Norwegian Bliss Cruise Review by Mojofoot
- Sail Date: July 2018
- Destination: Alaska
- Cabin Type: Mid-ship Mini-Suite with Balcony
The embarkation process was very easy and we were on the boat in less than 15 from dropping off our bags which was about noon. Since our mini suite wasn't ready, we started in at the bar. We had the unlimited beverage package. Excellent choice. We were able to try different drinks during the cruise and it was nice knowing there would be no "sticker" shock at the end. We knew we wanted to see Prohibition and reservations weren't allowed until on board so that was our first task. What a hassle and stressful time. I wish I would have known about the "I" touch screens earlier. These are located throughout the ship and you can use them to see about reservations (more about that later) and what is happening that day. Very good feature on the boat.
Our group also had the Specialty Dining Package. We ate at Teppankaki, Le Bistro, and Ocean Blue. Our food was very good. Even though we had the package, there was a nominal charge to eat at Ocean Blue. I will say I was glad to have the package because the prices for the specialty dining was very pricey and probably wouldn't have tried them otherwise. The complimentary dining food was good, The buffet had a good variety although finding a place to sit was stressful at times. There are no food options by the pool just bars. So everyone has to come inside the the buffet. Seems like a design flaw. You need burgers, pizza, and sandwiches poolside to relieve the buffet line.
The entertainment on the ship was good. We saw Havana-just ok, Jersey Boys-very good, comedians-just so so, and Prohibition-excellent. We have been on other ships and spend lots of time in the comedy club. This comedy club was very disappointing. You had to have reservations for every show and there weren't many options.
The go-karts and laser tag required reservations (and other activities as well) plus they cost $10 a pop to do. When the "I" touch were realized, we made go-kart reservations. By 1:00 on embarkation day, they only times available to reserve was the last day of the cruise. Frustrating especially since everyone really enjoyed them and would have loved to do them again. We wondered if just walking up anytime if we could have gotten onto the track.
Excursions. We booked ours when we made our initial reservations. We did the Nature Walk, Raptor, Center in Ketchican. Don't bother. All the guide wanted to do was sing country songs to us and tell us he goes into his meditation room to find an answer about the rainforest. We did have time to explore Ketchican after the excursion and enjoyed it.
Juneau we did Mendenhall Glacier and Gardens. The gardens were awesome and the story of the owner and his vision was great. The Glacier was ok. Unless you take the Nugget Trail, you won't be close to the glacier at all. The negative part of the day was our dock was two miles from the city center. They did have shuttles to take you there but we were in port such a short time there was no time to explore the city. We did see trams in the downtown area and would have loved to have done those but we had 15 minutes before All Aboard after our excursion. Skagway we did the train ride. Excellent and highly recommended. After that we walked around town. It is about 6 blocks from the pier but not a hard walk. Victoria we chose not to do anything. Again not much time in town and the excursions took all of it. We did walked the long pier next to the boats and that was enjoyable.
We had a mini suite. We always get suites when we cruise. This suite wasn't up to par with others we have had. The configuration was cramped. The bathroom was great, especially the shower.
The observation deck was the absolute best thing on the ship. We spent much of our time there since it was too cold/foggy for us to be by the pool. Having a bar and the light breakfast/lunch in there was great.
This was our 7th cruise (first with NCL)so we feel we kinda know the lay of the land. We were disappointed with the process of reservations for everything, most everything costing extra, no mid ship elevators, and way too many "Closed for private functions" With most everything requiring a reservation, it didn't allow for spur of the moment changes or even repeat experiences. Just stress. Vacations should be relaxing. This wasn't that relaxing. Would we go again on a NCL? No
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