My husband and I had only been on one other cruise several years ago - the Med on the Ruby Princess. We chose this particular ship and destination because we were "invited" to a NCL cruise by a casino. Just a heads up, Southeast Alaska is pretty boring. Every day/port was the same. Embarkation in Seattle was organized and easy enough. The BEST thing though is when you disembark NCL will take your luggage to the airport for you for FREE so you can wander around Seattle without your bags prior to your flight home. The Bliss itself is huge - holds 4k people which is not a good thing. It was just plain crowded. Waiting for the elevators was a nightmare as was finding a table at the breakfast/lunch buffet. On the Bliss, the furnishings/decor in common areas are all quite nice. Great attention to detail by decorators. Their only misstep was the hideous chandelier in the center of the ship. We booked an ocean view cabin. It was small. There was about 8" to the wall on either side of the bed. If you had friends or family in other cabins come by to visit, they would have to sit on your bed as there were no chairs. There was adequate closet space but rather than shelves, drawers would have been much nicer. It was very clean! ALL staff were super nice and really seemed happy to be working on the ship. We both have graduate degrees but were confused regarding the myriad of extra charges and tip allocation. We learned the last day of the cruise that bartenders do not receive any of the daily per person fee ($15) charged to your room. Still not sure what the $7.95 "service charge" on every drink, cupcake, and slice of pizza covered. Also there was something about 20%. Your bill at the end of the cruise is like a hospital bill. You probably really do not want to bother with an itemized statement. Announcements were made via hallway speakers and were completely indecipherable from inside the cabin. The food was the biggest disappointment. On our Princess cruise, we canceled all our reservations at the specialty restaurants and ate nightly in the main dining room because the food was so good. Everyone dressed nicely and looked chic. Because the Bliss is so big, they have 3 separate dining rooms which is nice even though the food is the same in all three. The dishes all sounded good and had a nice presentation but was of poor quality and bland. We ended up spending more money eating in specialty restaurants which were much better. So they can prepare great meals but choose not to. If your idea of going out to eat is Applebee's or Olive Garden, then you will be satisfied with the complementary meals. Otherwise make reservations at the specialty restaurants. The very crowded buffet is actually pretty good. It is huge with a mammoth selection. The casino is large with many tables games and slots from which to choose. We did not go to any of the towel folding classes, game show re-enactments or 30 minute musicals so I cannot comment on their entertainment. NCL advertises "free style cruising". Unfortunately it appears many of the guests took that to mean "show up like you are going on a 30 hour Greyhound bus trip". The cruise was not a bad experience per se but I could not recommend Alaska as a destination, NCL or the Bliss specifically.
First trip to Seattle. Had to do the Pike Place Market and Space Needle. Touristy and crowded but that is what we expected. Remarkably had perfect weather. We enjoyed walking around in hipster heaven!
This is just a little town with a few gift shops and strangely as with the other ports numerous fairly expensive jewelry shops. We just wandered around enjoying the great weather and had a bite to eat. If you are looking for interesting culture - you will not find it here.
We enjoyed a hike on Mt. Roberts. Great views. Had fantastic weather. Could have had a little more time in this port. The line for the cable car to/from the visitors center on the mountain was long (like 45 minutes).
One and only bad weather day. Very windy and grey. This is very tiny downtown area. Weather was too unpleasant to bother with going anywhere so we just went back to the ship. Think we had the longest time in port there.
A strikingly clean and pretty city. Again we had beautiful weather. Interesting architecture and flowers and gardens all over the place. We did not arrive until 4pm. Would have preferred to get there earlier in the day.