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

Good ship for the Caribbean but NOT good for Alaska

Norwegian Bliss Cruise Review by scaraway

1 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: May 2019
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Inside Stateroom

As an experienced cruiser, (this is my 9th cruise) I expected this to be a very relaxing and enjoyable itinerary. Unfortunately, this ship is definitely not designed for Alaska. A tremendous amount of space was devoted to pools, water features, outdoor dining, race track, mini golf etc. Most of the time, these things were closed due to cold temps and high winds.

Once we saw some of the incredible scenery, there was no place to sit. You were basically forced out on deck which was very cold and windy. The observation lounge was the only interior space but people were 3-4 deep at the windows. You couldn't see anything. (and the windows were quite dirty)

I do want to give the National Park Service kudos. They boarded the boat in Glacier Bay and did a terrific job narrating the points of interest, pointing out animals (whales and a bear), and generally adding interesting history and culture to the park. Finally, a good use of my tax dollars!

I do believe the staff tried their best to accommodate all the passengers as this was a very full ship. However, their management needs to do a better job of providing processes and procedures to keep passengers informed. For example, I tried to participate in a wine tasting in the Cellar the first day at sea. The head waiter was so flustered with 25 people trying to sign up. He really lost his composure. There were so many people because few instructions were provided on how to make reservations, what wines were being tasted and what the additional costs were. It was really an avoidable issue.

Also, anything you pre-booked from the website for dinner, shows, etc. didn't load into the schedule on the ship's tv or reservation system. The reservation thankfully showed up at the venue but because you couldn't see it, I inadvertently overbooked my activities. This was disappointing because I couldn't rebook one of the shows.

Also, skip the specialty restaurants on this ship except the steakhouse. I went to the Italian and Mexican and both were horrible. Definitely not worth the additional cost. While the steakhouse's food was good, the prices were high. The wait staff needs more training. I tried to order one of the wines featured on that night's menu but he didn't know it - it was also sponsored by the cruise line. Another waiter tried to serve port wine over ice.

I would also recommend Norwegian look into changing the itinerary for this cruise. We did a morning cruising Glacier Bay, a day at sea, a morning in Ketchikan and an evening in Victoria. Back to back, it felt like we were confined to the ship for 3 days. They needed more time in Ketchikan and Victoria. We were only in Victoria for 2.5 hours. It took longer to get off the ship and into town than we were in town. And, because we were there in the evening, many of the stores and restaurants were closed. It was a waste of time.

Overall, skip this cruise. Wait for winter when the ship will be in the Caribbean.

scaraway's Full Rating Summary
Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Public Rooms
Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Inside Stateroom

The cabin was fine but nothing interesting.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews


I just wanted a shopping experience but there was basically one t-shirt store. Nothing interesting to do outside an excursion.


Really cute little town in an incredible setting. Nice stores. Worth a stop

Glacier Bay

Incredible experience. Great pictures. Saw some seals and whales. Definitely worth the experience. Park Service did a nice job narrating.


Another cute town in an incredible setting. Shopping was good. Several nice restaurants. Had a really good crab cake sandwich much better than the food on the ship.


I've been to Victoria before and absolutely loved it. The Butchart Gardens are incredible and not to be missed. Had lunch at the Empress and did some shopping downtown. Was looking forward to doing it all again but didn't have time and too late in the day on this cruise. The itinerary really needs to be reworked!

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