More details later, but a quick explanation of the ear plugs. NCL has the volume turned up WAY TOO LOUD on all speaker systems. Even with my ear plugs in, it hurt my ears. Other than this, we really enjoyed the cruise. Celebrating our 20th anniversary and friend's 35 anniversary, the 4 our us ventured to Seattle to leave on an Alaskan cruise aboard the NCL Bliss. We spent 2 fun days in Seattle prior to leaving and had a wonderful time. We stayed at the Fairmont Olympic (beautiful) and toured the Japanese Garden, Arboretum, Space Needle, Chihuly Glass Museum and Garden, Pike's Market, and the Waterfront. I recommend spending a few days in Seattle before your trip. It was a wonderful way to begin. The Bliss is a fantastic boat. Clean, well organized, wonderful service, fantastic food, SO much to do, and love the observation lounge. This was our 8th cruise with NCL and I must say, pick a newer ship when you can. NCL has done a great job designing and creating their new ships. Not that the older ones are bad, even refurbished, they just can't offer what the newer ships can. The Bliss offers something for everyone and every age. My only disappointment was the entertainment. The volume was SO ridiculously LOUD that we couldn't enjoy it. Entertainment has always been one of my favorite things about a cruise, but such a disappointment on the Bliss. We couldn't participate because of the volume (even with ear plugs). And all entertainment from the music around the pool, to the game shows/events in the Atrium, to the musicals offered in the auditorium was too loud for all of us. We were only able to participate in 2 things - the comedians (wonderfully outstanding) and the silent disco (you can adjust the volume). We left both Havana and Jersey Boys because the volume was too high. For the few atrium activities, we had to stand way down the hall (where you can only listen, not see) because of the speaker volume was TOO LOUD. I can only imagine the damage being done to the staff's ears!! Also, I wish NCL would go back to a variety of entertainment instead of all musicals. I missed the magician and the acrobats and other varieties of entertainment that I am used to. Since it was too loud, I guess it didn't matter anyway, but it sad to see that NCL seems to be going to all musicals on their newer ships. As much as we have enjoyed NCL in the past, because of this change, we will be trying other cruise lines as entertainment is a big reason we go on cruises. I will say, we enjoyed the laser tag and go carts - but count that more as ship activities not so much entertainment. Also, the water slides were fun. The pool looks nice, but the music was too loud to enjoy spending any time there. Most meals were at Taste, Savor, or the Manhattan room. In all 3, we consistently had delicious food and good service. We did try 3 specialty dining restaurants - French, Mexican, and Steakhouse. French and Mexican = Delicious!! If you go to Cagney's (their steakhouse) don't order steak - get the lamb instead. Their steak is only ok, but the lamb is fantastic. Oh, and the raspberry creme brûlée's is outstanding! At the French one, be sure to order the onion soup (wow!!). As for Mexican - table side guacamole and the corn = Devine!! If you like margaritas, be sure to order at the table, not the bar. They are different. Bar = undrinkable. Table = delicious. But I think you can only have 1 at the table. Two of group ordered a second one. The second one obviously came from the bar (different glass) and was undrinkable. Speaking of bars, our favorite one was in the observation lounge. If you are ordering beer or wine, it doesn't matter which bar you go to. But, if you like mixed drinks, try a few until you find the bartenders you like. For us, it was in the observation lounge, the Local, and (if you could catch the right bartender) the Atrium. It also seemed that the bars do have themes. So depending on what you are ordering, go with the correct theme to get a good drink. As for bartenders, I'm guessing some have more experience than others and they do switch around. So, watch for your favorites. As for the itinerary, we enjoyed everything. Felt like we had a fun taste of Alaska. For excursions we did a helicopter ride, train into the Yukon, and rainforest hike. All were very fun. I recommend getting out of the towns unless you want to shop. Lots of shopping, otherwise, you have to book something that takes you away from the towns. All in all, we very much enjoyed the cruise and would recommended it to anyone. Just, be sure to bring ear plugs!
I liked our cabin. It was clean and efficient. I loved the bathroom. Nice size and amazing shower. The cabin stewards did a wonderful job of keeping the room clean and nice. Also, try to book a cabin with the bed by the sliding glass door (with the couch by the closet). The other room configuration puts the bed by the closet and there is not enough space between the two.
Really enjoyed Seattle. My favorite part was the Japanese Garden and Arboretum. I recommend spending at least 2 days in Seattle before departing on the cruise.
Our only overcast, cold day. Otherwise, a fun "outing". I enjoyed listening to the park ranger tell us what we were seeing and being able to ask her questions. Certainly enhanced the trip for me (learning about the various glaciers, ice field, and park). Otherwise, pretty to look at.
We were there at night, so just walked down to the waterfront and back to the ship. Since we knew we were only going to be there a few hours (and at night) our expectations were very low, so we enjoyed out time.