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Wanted to try a different experience from Holland America, which we find to be excellent, also, but the Bliss was a new ship, and much larger, with more activities. Overall, GREAT experience, but will try to give the positive and not so positive aspects of our cruise from L.A. through Panama Canal into Miami. Getting on the ship was a real trying event. Not sure if it was the port of L.A. or NCL, but it was disorganized and confusing from the bus provided from the airport by NCL until WE took our luggage to be processed. Once that was done, the process moved smoothly, but it was not a good first impression, and we wondered if that was an indicator of things to come. (It wasn't.) Cabin was great, dining options excellent, entertainment options OUTSTANDING, with exception of Havana, which didn't seem to flow at all. "Beatles" fantastic, as were the Jersey Boys. Dining options also excellent. Service and staff friendly and helpful. Soooo many helpful folks the list would be too long to name them all. Only two banks of elevators for 18 levels. One bank in front, one bank in back. None in the middle of the ship. Elevators not synchronized AT ALL. Usually very packed when it finally arrived after a long wait. Became a joke among the passengers. The good news about long wait and packed elevators is that MANY folks decided to walk the stairs instead of waiting, and so we walked off a lot of the calories the fantastic food on board provided!!! Logistics getting luggage on the ship to begin the cruise, and finding location of luggage getting off the ship, and finding and waiting on buses for the excursions seemed to be a weakness, but on the ship itself it would be hard to do much better. Coffee plantation tour was great. Cartagena excursion was a disappointment. Mostly promoting the guide's favorite shops, plus didn't even go to the Gold Museum that was listed. Several hours in heat on the go without time to look at any much except favorite vendors of our specific guide. NCL did make an adjustment for missing the museum when we pointed that out back on board, so NCL folks were responsive (partial credit back to our account), so we believe they were fair about that. We were not at all confident or comfortable with the way the lifeboat drill was handled. We assembled in one of the theaters as an assembly spot, not at the boats, (there would not be room at the boats because Deck 7 at boats is very narrow) The life vests were demonstrated in the theater, but were not in our cabins as with Holland America. While the need for them is almost non-existent, IF there were a need to abandon ship, I think it would not go well getting to theater, being issued a life vest, then finding the right lifeboat. Although the boat number was on the cabin swipe card, if a guest did not take the time to find the right lifeboat before needing it, I suspect the confusion of 4000 passengers not having life vests until they get to the assembly point would be very comforting. What if they became disoriented, or for some other reason never made it there, or to the boat. (Plus, 1700 crew members would be in the "mix"!) Would we do it again? Will we travel on NCL again? Oh, yeah!!! Best cruise taken so far, in spite of a few concerns.

Excellent

Norwegian Bliss Cruise Review by redulaney

Trip Details
Wanted to try a different experience from Holland America, which we find to be excellent, also, but the Bliss was a new ship, and much larger, with more activities.

Overall, GREAT experience, but will try to give the positive and not so positive aspects of our cruise from L.A. through Panama Canal into Miami.

Getting on the ship was a real trying event. Not sure if it was the port of L.A. or NCL, but it was disorganized and confusing from the bus provided from the airport by NCL until WE took our luggage to be processed. Once that was done, the process moved smoothly, but it was not a good first impression, and we wondered if that was an indicator of things to come. (It wasn't.)

Cabin was great, dining options excellent, entertainment options OUTSTANDING, with exception of Havana, which didn't seem to flow at all. "Beatles" fantastic, as were the Jersey Boys. Dining options also excellent. Service and staff friendly and helpful. Soooo many helpful folks the list would be too long to name them all.

Only two banks of elevators for 18 levels. One bank in front, one bank in back. None in the middle of the ship. Elevators not synchronized AT ALL. Usually very packed when it finally arrived after a long wait. Became a joke among the passengers. The good news about long wait and packed elevators is that MANY folks decided to walk the stairs instead of waiting, and so we walked off a lot of the calories the fantastic food on board provided!!!

Logistics getting luggage on the ship to begin the cruise, and finding location of luggage getting off the ship, and finding and waiting on buses for the excursions seemed to be a weakness, but on the ship itself it would be hard to do much better.

Coffee plantation tour was great.

Cartagena excursion was a disappointment. Mostly promoting the guide's favorite shops, plus didn't even go to the Gold Museum that was listed. Several hours in heat on the go without time to look at any much except favorite vendors of our specific guide.

NCL did make an adjustment for missing the museum when we pointed that out back on board, so NCL folks were responsive (partial credit back to our account), so we believe they were fair about that.

We were not at all confident or comfortable with the way the lifeboat drill was handled. We assembled in one of the theaters as an assembly spot, not at the boats, (there would not be room at the boats because Deck 7 at boats is very narrow) The life vests were demonstrated in the theater, but were not in our cabins as with Holland America. While the need for them is almost non-existent, IF there were a need to abandon ship, I think it would not go well getting to theater, being issued a life vest, then finding the right lifeboat. Although the boat number was on the cabin swipe card, if a guest did not take the time to find the right lifeboat before needing it, I suspect the confusion of 4000 passengers not having life vests until they get to the assembly point would be very comforting. What if they became disoriented, or for some other reason never made it there, or to the boat. (Plus, 1700 crew members would be in the "mix"!)

Would we do it again? Will we travel on NCL again? Oh, yeah!!! Best cruise taken so far, in spite of a few concerns.
redulaney’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Mid-ship Balcony Stateroom
Cabin BA 13164
Cabin was well arranged, had a good sized sofa, and overall was comfortable. Nice bathroom, and service was excellent.
Deck 15 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews