Norwegian Bliss Cruise Review by Horatio Hornblower
- Sail Date: May 2019
- Destination: Alaska
- Cabin Type: Spa Balcony Stateroom
Embarkation: All of our prior cruises departed Galveston or Miami, if you have had experience departing from these locations then you will find the terminal at Seattle is very different. We flew in the day before and visited the Museum of Flight located at Boeing Field. I'm a Air Force vet so this was a required stop. I highly recommend this visit. We then went to Pikes Market for dinner but bailed out because the place was packed with people. Be advised that if you travel in Seattle off of the main streets there appeared to be no stop signs on the side streets.
The board process is very difficult because of what they have to work with in regards of space. Unloading and loading happens on the shoulder of the road which is a very busy street. We boarded on the first day of the season so we didn't have to contend with off loading passengers. We parked at the parking garage, then hiked across a sky bridge to the terminal. There is only one elevator from the bridge to the ground. Then we dropped off our bags and stood outside awaiting to enter, thankfully it wasn't raining. Checking in was very easy.
The cruise itself was simply outstanding. Since it was early May we were prepared for rain, cold, snow, wind and sunshine. Our son who worked the local waters in the Coast Guard advised us that it was going to be really cold on deck with the wind and he was correct. Bring quality rain gear, don't believe the weather forecast.
My goal was to see as much wildlife as possible. Bring binoculars that are at least 10x50 I found that power really worked well. Day one is a sea day so I spent it staring out at the water looking for whales. I saw a few that day but you have to be persistent. The Bliss is designed was Alaska. It has a very large observation lounge but get there early for the best seats.
Next stop for Juneau. It rained and was cold. We visited the Glacier. I wasn't impressed as I thought the Glaciers in the interior are more impressive. Then off to Skagway and the Whitehorse train trip, again I wasn't thrilled. We walked around Skagway which was a lot of fun and had great pizza at the Northern Lights . I had fun people watching there. Then on to Glacier Bay. Its very hard to put into words that experience. Outstanding doesn't describe seeing the beauty you will see there. It was very overcast with light rain, but the sun came out as we came to the head of the bay. Our last stop was Ketchikan which is a beautiful town. It wasn't raining and it would have been warm enough to wear shorts it I had them. We took the trolley tour and saw some totem poles, again I wasn't really impressed.
As to the excursions we went on, my review is based on having lived all the fun adventurous excursion activities when we lived in the interior so I didn't need to do that again.
As I mentioned we have been on 12 different ships and 4 different cruise lines. The Bliss was the best experience we have had. The staff hotel staff and food staff were excellent, kind and attentive. Many times I heard them singing as they worked. The buffet was the best food I've eaten on a ship. They served prime beef twice. The dining room food was better then most of us eat at home and the service was five star.
There are plenty of things to do on the Bliss from shows to eating to just watching the world go by. One nice thing was there weren't any photographers lurking waiting to take your picture.
There are only two banks of elevators in the ship, forward and aft. We always used the aft bank and never had long wait times, however there was always a wait when trying to use the forward bank.
We saw whales, sea otters, seals, orcas, bald eagles and one brown bear. I scanned the shore line and areas that had been clear cut looking for Bigfoot but to no avail. Looking for these creatures takes dedication and a bit of luck. I spent many hours just watch the water. If you see a lot of sea birds on the water then you will probably see a few whales. All you might see of a whale is a water spout but to me the time spent looking was worth it.
I highly recommend the Bliss for a cruise to Alaska.
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