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This was our first ever cruise and we thoroughly enjoyed the ship, the itinerary, the crew and the meals. After reading the somewhat mixed reviews of the ship and trip, I was slightly concerned about our booking. While there were some small items that could be improved, it was a really great trip. As others have noted, it’s a large ship and thus you need to plan ahead to carve out the optimal vacation. Service was consistently friendly and thoughtful. The room steward was fantastic and the dining staff great. (For context, we dine out often and typically stay at 4 and 5-star hotels so have a high expectation for service). Below are some more specific thoughts to help plan your trip: • We were in a mid-ship mini-suite – 12824. Cabin was very nice, bed was super comfortable (billed as a queen but felt more spacious). Sheets were so-so soft and the pillows we’re ok (I brought one of my own). Plenty of storage, spacious bath room. Balcony was perfectly fine/spacious. Given how much there was to do and the fact that you’re in Alaska, we didn’t use it a ton but left the slider door open every night to get a fresh breeze while sleeping. • Plan ahead. This is perhaps the most important thing to do. We book all our specialty restaurants and entertainment the day it became available to do so (120 days prior to sailing, I believe). This allowed us to ensure we got in the restaurants we wanted at the time we wanted. We also booked the Thermal Spa Pass ahead of time. Also, we planned to board early so that we’d be able to secure passes to the Vibe Beach Club, which is super important. We didn’t have any issues booking excursions but did plan these a few weeks in advance. • Thermal Spa Pass: For a fee ($129?), you can get a full week pass to the spa which was important for us. I provided a great place to get away from crowds and offered a beautiful viewing area. I’d highly recommend this. • Vibe Beach Club. I’d also highly recommend this. This area provided a sanctuary from the crowds as well. For ~$139/week, you get access to a “private” deck with its own bar, cabanas, loungers and hot tub. Was amongst the best part of the ship. The crew here (Ruby and Randy) were soooo friendly and helpful, ensuring our every need was met. Again, we’re in Alaska so it can get cold up there; however, there are blankets to use to keep warm. While I believe they sell ~75 passes (not certain about the number, but limited), we never saw more than 10 people at a time on the deck. Run to the guest services to get these passes. • Spa services: This was the one area where service was not great - - there was constant upsell throughout the process to book a massage; and post massage, also an attempt to sell you products. The massage itself was great – I asked for deep tissue and was almost crying because of the pressure - - a good thing for me. • Restaurants: Our favorite was La Cucina – dined there twice. Delicious food, tasty wines and great service. Ocean Blue was also great - - both food and service. Cagney’s food was very good – service was perfunctory at best. Teppanyaki was really fun – with good food/service. Q was so-so, food was OK as was the service. We ate at Taste/Savor for lunch and both of these were perfectly good – busy but the staff is accommodating. Coco’s for crepes was delicious. • Cellars Wine Bar: Would highly recommend. Great wine selection and very helpful staff. Throughout the cruise, they have wine-classes you can take (for a fee). Was really fun and informative. • Common Areas: The Observation Lounge and the Garden Café can get crowded. The Café was often a zoo – with so many people for breakfast. We grabbed breakfast there but then took it to the Observation Lounge which worked must better. Also, some of the crown can be a challenge – e.g. kids running around, bare feet on loungers, poor manners. Overall not an issue, but at times a distraction. • The overall ship furnishings and décor are really beautiful – first rate and very nicely done. In sum, would highly recommend this ship and the Alaska trip. We’d definitely do it again.

Great experience, friendly staff, plan in advance

Norwegian Bliss Cruise Review by John Cruiser SF

4 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: August 2018
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Mid-ship Mini-Suite with Balcony
This was our first ever cruise and we thoroughly enjoyed the ship, the itinerary, the crew and the meals. After reading the somewhat mixed reviews of the ship and trip, I was slightly concerned about our booking. While there were some small items that could be improved, it was a really great trip. As others have noted, it’s a large ship and thus you need to plan ahead to carve out the optimal vacation. Service was consistently friendly and thoughtful. The room steward was fantastic and the dining staff great. (For context, we dine out often and typically stay at 4 and 5-star hotels so have a high expectation for service). Below are some more specific thoughts to help plan your trip:

• We were in a mid-ship mini-suite – 12824. Cabin was very nice, bed was super comfortable (billed as a queen but felt more spacious). Sheets were so-so soft and the pillows we’re ok (I brought one of my own). Plenty of storage, spacious bath room. Balcony was perfectly fine/spacious. Given how much there was to do and the fact that you’re in Alaska, we didn’t use it a ton but left the slider door open every night to get a fresh breeze while sleeping.

• Plan ahead. This is perhaps the most important thing to do. We book all our specialty restaurants and entertainment the day it became available to do so (120 days prior to sailing, I believe). This allowed us to ensure we got in the restaurants we wanted at the time we wanted. We also booked the Thermal Spa Pass ahead of time. Also, we planned to board early so that we’d be able to secure passes to the Vibe Beach Club, which is super important. We didn’t have any issues booking excursions but did plan these a few weeks in advance.

• Thermal Spa Pass: For a fee ($129?), you can get a full week pass to the spa which was important for us. I provided a great place to get away from crowds and offered a beautiful viewing area. I’d highly recommend this.

• Vibe Beach Club. I’d also highly recommend this. This area provided a sanctuary from the crowds as well. For ~$139/week, you get access to a “private” deck with its own bar, cabanas, loungers and hot tub. Was amongst the best part of the ship. The crew here (Ruby and Randy) were soooo friendly and helpful, ensuring our every need was met. Again, we’re in Alaska so it can get cold up there; however, there are blankets to use to keep warm. While I believe they sell ~75 passes (not certain about the number, but limited), we never saw more than 10 people at a time on the deck. Run to the guest services to get these passes.

• Spa services: This was the one area where service was not great - - there was constant upsell throughout the process to book a massage; and post massage, also an attempt to sell you products. The massage itself was great – I asked for deep tissue and was almost crying because of the pressure - - a good thing for me.

• Restaurants: Our favorite was La Cucina – dined there twice. Delicious food, tasty wines and great service. Ocean Blue was also great - - both food and service. Cagney’s food was very good – service was perfunctory at best. Teppanyaki was really fun – with good food/service. Q was so-so, food was OK as was the service. We ate at Taste/Savor for lunch and both of these were perfectly good – busy but the staff is accommodating. Coco’s for crepes was delicious.

• Cellars Wine Bar: Would highly recommend. Great wine selection and very helpful staff. Throughout the cruise, they have wine-classes you can take (for a fee). Was really fun and informative.

• Common Areas: The Observation Lounge and the Garden Café can get crowded. The Café was often a zoo – with so many people for breakfast. We grabbed breakfast there but then took it to the Observation Lounge which worked must better. Also, some of the crown can be a challenge – e.g. kids running around, bare feet on loungers, poor manners. Overall not an issue, but at times a distraction.

• The overall ship furnishings and décor are really beautiful – first rate and very nicely done.

In sum, would highly recommend this ship and the Alaska trip. We’d definitely do it again.
John Cruiser SF’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Mid-ship Mini-Suite with Balcony
Cabin MA 12824
We were in a mid-ship mini-suite – 12824. Cabin was very nice, bed was super comfortable (billed as a queen but felt more spacious). Sheets were so-so soft and the pillows we’re ok (I brought one of my own). Plenty of storage, spacious bath room. Balcony was perfectly fine/spacious. Given how much there was to do and the fact that you’re in Alaska, we didn’t use it a ton but left the slider door open every night to get a fresh breeze while sleeping.

I have a propensity for motion sickness so was glad to have booked mid-ship.
Deck 15 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews