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This was our second cruise on NCL. We have cruised on Carnival, Princess, and Holland America. I'm a bit of a cigar lover. I would like to enjoy an unpersecuted cigar or 2 each day on my vacation. NCL's Humidor Lounge is the perfect venue for this. But, what we have found to be superior on both NCL cruises thus far is the entertainment. Jersey Boys was "Legit". Havana was of the same quality, but, not as entertaining. The point is that there were 2 main stage shows that were of better quality than anything we have seen at sea (with the exception of Rock Of Ages and Cirque on the NCL Breakaway 2 years ago. Additionally, the Cavern Club, Beatles Tribute Band was chilling in their authenticity. They performed 2 different shows during the week, and then they combined the 2 shows into a main stage performance on the final night of the cruise. I wondered why they didn't do more. But, then you realize that the Beatles are famous for about 30 songs, that average about 2 and a half minutes each. We ate at 5 of the specialty venues, La Cucina, Cagney's, Los Lobos, Food Republic, and Teppanyaki. Shocking, as it was to me, Teppanyaki was hands down the best. I say that because its the only restaurant that is truly better than the land based restaurant on which it is based. La Cucina had osso bucco on the menu, and it was very good. The dessert at Los Lobos was so good, we went back after dinner and paid a' la carte to have it again a couple night later. The staff was very accommodating in letting us come back just for dessert. Cagney's was (I hate to say it) a little disappointing. We went with friends. 3 of the 4 steaks had to be sent back. The second round was better, but, I'm beginning to think that the steak house is very difficult to execute at sea. We have had similar disappointments at other over the water steakhouses. They are aiming at an experience comparable to Flemings or Ruth Chris. I'll go back, because I love a good steak, and their's are much better than the one on the main dining menu. But, I've lowered my expectations. The best steak I had was at Teppanyaki. It was fun, and the food was great. We didn't eat dinner at Food Republic. I got a snack, and my wife loved what she got. I should have paid more attention. My opinion is that if you like what you see on the menu (like my wife did), then you will like the food you will receive. The Local makes a great option for dining without any surcharge. We had several items there throughout the week. The main dining rooms served a great breakfast. You can order breakfast for your room without the room service charge. There are some menu items that carry a charge, but, if you want something before an early excursion, you can tip your server and go. We had never been to Tortola. We are running out of Caribbean Islands to see. Good thing we opted for the Virgin Gorda Baths tour. Tortola had little more than the typical port shopping area. There was a cigar bar in the port, that I might visit if we ever go back. But, other than that, I didn't see much there. We started to walk into town after our tour, but, noticed that a lot of people were walking back empty handed. So, we went back to the ship. The Baths tour was spectacular. In Nassau, we went to "The Fish Fry" for lunch. I think we ate at Curly's. Don't make the mistake of thinking the Fish Fry is a single place. There are probably a dozen restaurants there. They all serve local Bahamian fare, like Conch Fritters, Bahamian Mac and Cheese, and some fresh seafood. There aren't a lot of great excursion options in Nassau (in my opinion) so, this is a great way to spend a couple hours. After lunch we went to Graycliff Resort. Graycliff has a great cigar factory on premises, and sell (expensive) cigars all over the world. They also have great indoor and outdoor lounge space. A tip: Cigars are hand rolled in their 5 star restaurant each night for sale to guests of the restaurant for an after dinner cigar in their elegant lounge. I paid $20 for one after dinner there a couple years ago. Well, apparently they sell the leftovers in their gift shop for $12 the next day. The elegant after dinner lounge is open to the public. So, I enjoyed my fresh rolled cigar before heading back to the ship. We've been to St Thomas several times. We've done the beach tours and the pirate castle, etc. The last couple times, we've just strolled the shopping district, picking up a few souvenirs. Other elements: Embarkation and debarkation were the most efficient I have ever experienced. This shocked me, since, the worst I had ever experienced was on the other NCL cruise (NY port on NCL Breakaway) we sailed. I have never gotten on a ship faster. We were almost last off the ship and we were out of the port by 10:00. We really never waited for either events. We had a leisure breakfast in the main dining room about 8:30, and then we joined the line to walk off.

Great ship, food, entertainment; So-So Itinerary

Norwegian Bliss Cruise Review by ranstar

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: January 2019
  • Destination: Eastern Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Mini-Suite with Balcony
This was our second cruise on NCL. We have cruised on Carnival, Princess, and Holland America. I'm a bit of a cigar lover. I would like to enjoy an unpersecuted cigar or 2 each day on my vacation. NCL's Humidor Lounge is the perfect venue for this. But, what we have found to be superior on both NCL cruises thus far is the entertainment. Jersey Boys was "Legit". Havana was of the same quality, but, not as entertaining. The point is that there were 2 main stage shows that were of better quality than anything we have seen at sea (with the exception of Rock Of Ages and Cirque on the NCL Breakaway 2 years ago. Additionally, the Cavern Club, Beatles Tribute Band was chilling in their authenticity. They performed 2 different shows during the week, and then they combined the 2 shows into a main stage performance on the final night of the cruise. I wondered why they didn't do more. But, then you realize that the Beatles are famous for about 30 songs, that average about 2 and a half minutes each.

We ate at 5 of the specialty venues, La Cucina, Cagney's, Los Lobos, Food Republic, and Teppanyaki. Shocking, as it was to me, Teppanyaki was hands down the best. I say that because its the only restaurant that is truly better than the land based restaurant on which it is based. La Cucina had osso bucco on the menu, and it was very good. The dessert at Los Lobos was so good, we went back after dinner and paid a' la carte to have it again a couple night later. The staff was very accommodating in letting us come back just for dessert. Cagney's was (I hate to say it) a little disappointing. We went with friends. 3 of the 4 steaks had to be sent back. The second round was better, but, I'm beginning to think that the steak house is very difficult to execute at sea. We have had similar disappointments at other over the water steakhouses. They are aiming at an experience comparable to Flemings or Ruth Chris. I'll go back, because I love a good steak, and their's are much better than the one on the main dining menu. But, I've lowered my expectations. The best steak I had was at Teppanyaki. It was fun, and the food was great. We didn't eat dinner at Food Republic. I got a snack, and my wife loved what she got. I should have paid more attention. My opinion is that if you like what you see on the menu (like my wife did), then you will like the food you will receive.

The Local makes a great option for dining without any surcharge. We had several items there throughout the week. The main dining rooms served a great breakfast. You can order breakfast for your room without the room service charge. There are some menu items that carry a charge, but, if you want something before an early excursion, you can tip your server and go.

We had never been to Tortola. We are running out of Caribbean Islands to see. Good thing we opted for the Virgin Gorda Baths tour. Tortola had little more than the typical port shopping area. There was a cigar bar in the port, that I might visit if we ever go back. But, other than that, I didn't see much there. We started to walk into town after our tour, but, noticed that a lot of people were walking back empty handed. So, we went back to the ship. The Baths tour was spectacular.

In Nassau, we went to "The Fish Fry" for lunch. I think we ate at Curly's. Don't make the mistake of thinking the Fish Fry is a single place. There are probably a dozen restaurants there. They all serve local Bahamian fare, like Conch Fritters, Bahamian Mac and Cheese, and some fresh seafood. There aren't a lot of great excursion options in Nassau (in my opinion) so, this is a great way to spend a couple hours. After lunch we went to Graycliff Resort. Graycliff has a great cigar factory on premises, and sell (expensive) cigars all over the world. They also have great indoor and outdoor lounge space. A tip: Cigars are hand rolled in their 5 star restaurant each night for sale to guests of the restaurant for an after dinner cigar in their elegant lounge. I paid $20 for one after dinner there a couple years ago. Well, apparently they sell the leftovers in their gift shop for $12 the next day. The elegant after dinner lounge is open to the public. So, I enjoyed my fresh rolled cigar before heading back to the ship.

We've been to St Thomas several times. We've done the beach tours and the pirate castle, etc. The last couple times, we've just strolled the shopping district, picking up a few souvenirs.

Other elements: Embarkation and debarkation were the most efficient I have ever experienced. This shocked me, since, the worst I had ever experienced was on the other NCL cruise (NY port on NCL Breakaway) we sailed. I have never gotten on a ship faster. We were almost last off the ship and we were out of the port by 10:00. We really never waited for either events. We had a leisure breakfast in the main dining room about 8:30, and then we joined the line to walk off.
ranstar’s Full Rating Summary
Value For Money
Embarkation
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Cabin Review

Mini-Suite with Balcony
Cabin MX 8736
Our Mini-Suite was actually a "Sail-Away" category. We didn't get to choose it, but, we were very happy with the cabin. It was on the 8th floor. This made it most convenient to "inside" activities and dining. Also, same floor as The Humidor Lounge. Cabin had an over-sized balcony and no obstructions. The bathroom had a nice walk in shower with a "rain" type shower head. It also had a double sink. Seems like the bathroom is the biggest difference between the mini-suite and balcony cabin. I read several reviews about cramped bathrooms in balcony category. This one wasn't cramped at all. The bed was very comfortable. We could put our suitcases under the bed. Closet and drawers were sufficient. We had 2 loungers and 2 chairs and a table on the balcony. This will be our cabin choice on future NCL cruises.
Deck 10 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews