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Going to Alaska was on our bucket list and doing it via a cruise seemed like the best way to see a few places in a limited time. Neither of us have ever been on a cruise, but we decided about a month before the cruise that it was time to give it a try. We read reviews and tips online and took the leap. We arrived in Seattle the night before the cruise because I didn't want to stress about any possible flight delays. We stayed at the Residence Inn Downtown, which is walking distance from the Pike Place Market. The hotel was wonderful! We walked down to the Market the next morning for breakfast at the Crumpet Shop (delicious) and wandered around before the area got too crowded. We boarded the ship at noon, and embarkation went very smoothly. Our first stop was to get tickets for the shows onboard, and we were able to get tickets to all of the shows. I was concerned with so many people on board and our last minute decision to go on the cruise that all of the shows would be booked already. Our cabin was actually bigger than what we had prepared ourselves for. We had a chosen a balcony because we knew we would want to see the scenery. We wandered the ship and definitely were impressed with how large and how nice the ship was. Our overall impression of the complimentary dining was that there was no major reason why we would need to eat anywhere else. The main dining rooms had great food and service. Lots of options for each course - it was often hard to narrow down what we wanted - and all of it was delicious. My favorite dish was an appetizer of baked brie with apricot en croute with a salad. All of the shows were wonderful. I didn't think I would enjoy The Jersey Boys as much as I did. Although I have to say the drinks with the Happy Hour Prohibition show were not very good - but the show itself was fun. Our favorite excursion was the raft float through the eagle preserve when we were in Skagway - you have to go to Haines by ferry and then bus up the river. The trip was amazing - the salmon were running so there were so many eagles and we even saw a bear catch a salmon. We also enjoyed out excursion to Totem Bight State Park in Ketchikan. Our guide was so informative and there are so many totem poles there. I enjoyed my excursion to Mendenhall Gladier and to the salmon hatchery in Juneau but it was very rainy and foggy that day so the views were not great. The salmon bake food was tasty but seemed a bit more touristy than I was really interested in. Overall we were impressed with the service we received on the cruise ship. Our room was always straightened twice each day - although occasionally we were missing wash cloths or a bathmat. The rest of the staff was always genuinely helpful and friendly. We did notice there was occasionally times when the information we got was contradictory - but nothing major. Amber and Sam provided incredible information about the shopping in each port. I highly recommend you go to their sessions if shopping is high on your list of port activities!

First time cruise, and now we are hooked!

Norwegian Bliss Cruise Review by detreesoh

4 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: September 2018
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Mid-ship Balcony Stateroom
Going to Alaska was on our bucket list and doing it via a cruise seemed like the best way to see a few places in a limited time. Neither of us have ever been on a cruise, but we decided about a month before the cruise that it was time to give it a try. We read reviews and tips online and took the leap.

We arrived in Seattle the night before the cruise because I didn't want to stress about any possible flight delays. We stayed at the Residence Inn Downtown, which is walking distance from the Pike Place Market. The hotel was wonderful! We walked down to the Market the next morning for breakfast at the Crumpet Shop (delicious) and wandered around before the area got too crowded.

We boarded the ship at noon, and embarkation went very smoothly. Our first stop was to get tickets for the shows onboard, and we were able to get tickets to all of the shows. I was concerned with so many people on board and our last minute decision to go on the cruise that all of the shows would be booked already.

Our cabin was actually bigger than what we had prepared ourselves for. We had a chosen a balcony because we knew we would want to see the scenery. We wandered the ship and definitely were impressed with how large and how nice the ship was.

Our overall impression of the complimentary dining was that there was no major reason why we would need to eat anywhere else. The main dining rooms had great food and service. Lots of options for each course - it was often hard to narrow down what we wanted - and all of it was delicious. My favorite dish was an appetizer of baked brie with apricot en croute with a salad.

All of the shows were wonderful. I didn't think I would enjoy The Jersey Boys as much as I did. Although I have to say the drinks with the Happy Hour Prohibition show were not very good - but the show itself was fun.

Our favorite excursion was the raft float through the eagle preserve when we were in Skagway - you have to go to Haines by ferry and then bus up the river. The trip was amazing - the salmon were running so there were so many eagles and we even saw a bear catch a salmon. We also enjoyed out excursion to Totem Bight State Park in Ketchikan. Our guide was so informative and there are so many totem poles there. I enjoyed my excursion to Mendenhall Gladier and to the salmon hatchery in Juneau but it was very rainy and foggy that day so the views were not great. The salmon bake food was tasty but seemed a bit more touristy than I was really interested in.

Overall we were impressed with the service we received on the cruise ship. Our room was always straightened twice each day - although occasionally we were missing wash cloths or a bathmat. The rest of the staff was always genuinely helpful and friendly. We did notice there was occasionally times when the information we got was contradictory - but nothing major. Amber and Sam provided incredible information about the shopping in each port. I highly recommend you go to their sessions if shopping is high on your list of port activities!
detreesoh’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
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Entertainment
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Cabin Review

Mid-ship Balcony Stateroom
Cabin BA 11880
The stateroom was laid out very well with lots of little storage spots tucked around the room. The closet had plenty of room and enough hangars for our clothes. The bed was comfortable, although the seam between the two twins can be felt when they are together.
We loved the balcony! It was plenty big for us to sit out there with drinks. It even stayed dry on the rainiest days we had.
Deck 15 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Gardens/Hatchery
    I went to the salmon hatchery and then Mendenhall Glacier. I had not realized that the salmon hatchery was part of my excursion, but I was so glad I went. It was fascinating to see the work they are doing and the touch tanks and aquariums had an interesting collection of Alaskan sea creatures.
    View All 61 Gardens/Hatchery Reviews
  • Gold Panning
    This was the only rainy, foggy day of our cruise. My hubby went gold panning and felt like it was a good glimpse at the process. He felt like it was worth it and provided some history. He said the food at the salmon bake was okay but pay attention to which bus to take back to the ships.
    View All 47 Gold Panning Reviews
  • Mendenhall Glacier
    We were only at the Mendenhall Glacier for 75 minutes, which was barely time to hurry down the Nugget Falls trail to get as close as possible to the glacier. The falls are very impressive! Unfortunately the weather obscured much of the view of the glacier. It will definitely be on the list the next time I go on an Alaskan cruise - and I will hope for a sunnier day!
    View All 889 Mendenhall Glacier Reviews
  • Totem Bight State Park
    Our guide gave us a quick tour of the city on our way to the park. She provided great information at the state park of both the natural surroundings, the clan house and the totem poles. I felt like I understood the purpose and design of totem poles so much better after the tour.
    View All 105 Totem Bight State Park Reviews
  • Seattle
    We enjoyed wandering around the Pike Place Market before embarkation. Go early and beat the crowds - and definitely try the Crumpet Shop!
    After the cruise we rented a car for the day, had lunch and sampled the beers at Perihelion Brewery, went to Vashon Island (Dragon's Head Cidery is fabulous!), and then drove around the Alki beach neighborhood. There were so many restaurants that looked amazing.
    View All 835 Seattle Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Seattle Cruise Port Review
  • River Rafting/Eagle Preserve
    This was the most amazing excursion! First you take the ferry to Haines and the scenery was beautiful. There was a guide on the ferry that provided great information both ways. You then take an old school bus to the eagle preserve where they get you ready with boots and life jackets for your raft trip. We were there on the last excursion and the salmon were running. The setting is gorgeous and there were so many eagles everywhere. We were lucky enough to see a bear catching salmon too. I was very nervous about taking my nice camera on the trip but another review had said it would be fine and the guides said it would be too. Sure enough, we did not get the slightest bit wet on the trip and I got some amazing photos.
    View All 31 River Rafting/Eagle Preserve Reviews
  • Victoria
    We did not book an excursion because we were arriving so late that we didn't think an excursion made sense. I was glad we had not booked the whale boat tour because we saw so many from the ship as we sailed to Victoria. We walked around town, Fisherman's Wharf (cute restaurants, shops and homes on houseboats), popping in shops and making it down to Chinatown and Fan Tan Alley. The shops were touristy souvenir shops with maple flavored goodies, t-shirts and knick knacks mixed with high end shops - most of which we have at home. Perhaps an excursion would have been more interesting. I heard the gardens are beautiful.
    View All 1,307 Victoria Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Victoria Cruise Port Review