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Norwegian Bliss Cruise Review
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
1,207 Reviews

Worst Cruise Experience Ever--It's a lot but read it, PLEASE!!!

Norwegian Bliss Cruise Review by JMAC9995

4 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Oct 2018
  • Destination: the Mexican Riviera
  • Cabin Type: The Haven Courtyard Penthouse with Balcony

We paid over $6000 to do a cruise that took us from one California city to another where the temperature stayed below 60 degrees at every stop! We paid to go to Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas and never saw either location! I watched the web cam from the day this ship arrived in L.A. from their Alaska itinerary and the first week you could see the Mexico locations. The second week the web cam shots were different so since I wasn't familiar with the areas I assumed the ship docked somewhere else at the Mexico locations. The third week was the week we sailed. We were maybe an hour out of port and this captain (sounding shocked as ever) comes onto the PA system and announces we're going to San Francisco, San Diego and Ensenada! Really! They changed the schedule the week before and never told anyone! We never saw another ship from any line at any port, not even the one's that left L.A. as we did. When we docked in San Francisco and saw the view, it was the view we saw on the web cam from the previous week! So they knew we were doing an itinerary that a rental car could have done! One excursion was offered in San Francisco, A TOPLESS bus tour! It was COLD and sitting inside the bus it was difficult to see outside because the bus windows (Big Bus) are covered with advertisements! We ran into several people from San Francisco and San Diego, none of them were happy at all. One couple had friends to pick them up at the port and went to lunch and dropped bags off at their home. Imagine driving to L.A. from San Francisco only to have a mega ton ship drive you back to San Francisco (too funny, right?)! Everyone was packed for warm temps and boy did we get surprised! The pool decks at evening/night were empty because it was cold for 6 straight days! The water attractions never opened that week. A few kids played in the kiddy pool when the ship had sunlight but people in recliners were covering themselves with towels! It was an awful decision by Norwegian to switch the itinerary to places that were cold. To ad injury to insult, the embarkation pictures showed the Mexico trip! After people complained they changed the location on the pictures to show you a trip you could have driven in a rental car for a far lower price. We spent 7 days going in a circle at what seemed like 1 knot. By the way, if you're on the ship in a state side port and get that included drink package drink, be prepared to pay state tax and of course the customary tip. They have all these complimentary restaurants on board right? Don't stress about not going to one of them, the menu is the same for Taste, Savor and The Manhattan Room, you won't miss a thing. Avoid staying on a floor with anything other than rooms above you. We were on 18 in the HAVEN! and early every morning and late into every night we heard a 1000 pound gorilla walking and he was dragging a bench behind him! It was noise always! The restaurant menu you get on day 1 is the same menu you get every day or night. If you see a menu and only like 2 or 3 items, you will eat those 2 or 3 items for 7 days! In the Haven you get this invite to a reception with the captain and it was from 7:00PM - 7:45PM, where was the captain? Never saw that guy!

We were told a perk to the Haven guess was complimentary access to the Mandara Spa, NOT! We were embarrassed at the spa desk! We were told it's complimentary if you are in a spa suite (a spa suite is a suite with a spa tub)! We upgraded from a spa suite to a penthouse suite costing more money and in the end, got less. By the way, there are only 12 spa suites on the Bliss according to the concierge desk. Imagine the looks (and laughs) we got from guest who were given free access to the spa prior to cruising. Thanks to the concierge who gave us a pass because I was fuming! It appears Norwegian will offer no credit for a far inferior itinerary to guest who sailed October 20 - October 27, 2018. Our butler, cabin steward and haven concierge staff were absolutely AWESOME so they are 10 Star! trust me! You may have heard about Latitudes Rewards right? My wife registered her number and gets points...I can't register my number for some reason and no one has been able to correct this issue. Yes, my card says the same status as hers, but what happens if she kicks my butt to the curb? Cruising is great but remember, you are at the mercy of the cruise line so if they make a decision when you're out on water that you don't like, YOU CAN'T WALK ON WATER (can you?-Lol!!) so you're likely just a duck out of luck! L.A. port embarkation could use a MAJOR upgrade, it's awful! even for Haven guest. We stood in a long line outside a tent basically and when we entered the building, the non-haven line and haven line was the same length, LONG! No snacks like in Miami and you're lucky if the escort doesn't leave you because you're stuck behind others that may not be able to walk as fast as she was walking plus the card entry guy took our picture a second time like they did when we were at the Haven check-in desk (something was odd about him and the way he was acting so I stepped on his side to watch him take a picture of my wife (he was taking 2, 3, maybe 4 shots of her...it was about to get ugly!) and she watched when he took my picture to make sure it was not some sort of game this joker was playing with the pics). I should have trusted more of the reviews I read before spending that much money because they were spot on and would've likely made me shop around and give another line a shot. We will now because truthfully Norwegian 2 out of 4 times has been a major super disappointment. Don't expect much from the workout center. We went 4 of the 7 days and all 4 times half the machines didn't work and there was no attendant. Expect guys to sit around on benches and watch butts (I encouraged one guy to keep it moving as he pretended to play with his phone and snap a pic of my wife's buttocks. We were on elliptical and I looked back at the mirror and could see his phone face showing her butt, so he was busted).The spa is small and not at all quiet even though signs on the wall say "Quiet Area"! Some people in the spa tub/pool spa were loud as heck so we saw a few people (we did as well) exit the facility. I know this is a lot to read. Even though I could go on with more, hopefully this much helps you make an informed decision about Norwegian. A lot of HYPE but average to below average line. Good Luck, hope this helps. Yes, I'm a real normal guy not a paid review person to slam anybody, just a normal everyday guy who hates wasteful spending so don't make the same mistake I made. You have been warned!!! If you like, go to Youtube and see a couple (not me) in cabin 18706 and ask yourself it you see Penthouse in that video (put bliss cabin 18706 in the search and hopefully it's still out there).

JMAC9995's Full Rating Summary
Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

The Haven Courtyard Penthouse with Balcony
Cabin H5 18706

Penthouse with a balcony! Really! See YouTube video of cabin 18706. A tub/shower combo doesn't make it a Penthouse Norwegian! Between the bed and the closet wall there may be two feet. The cabin has three outlets and two of them are being used for the coffee maker and the clock radio. The ship swayed so much during the night that both closet doors keep slamming open and close throughout the night.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

San Diego

Went to the carrier museum on our own because there was nothing else to do.

San Francisco

NCL Diverted to this Port with no warning prior to cruise. Topless Big Bus City tour was the only option. It was a really COLD day and it was that and/or walk down the street to little shopping area

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