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

NCL Bliss Not Blissful For Families

Norwegian Bliss Cruise Review by JennlynnCruising

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

We have been on 14 cruises and this was our first with Norweigan, there will not be a second. Of course what you enjoy is very personal, but we were very disappointed with the options on board for our teen and under 10 yr old. Basically, you have the kids club (one of which housed kids from 3-12 in one area) or you spend money for the race track, laser tag, or arcade. They did have a couple of ping pong tables - for over 4K passengers. My youngest was crying when we picked him up from the one time he would go to the camp; they had not reached out to us at all and just said, “Well there are a LOT of kids in here tonight”). The teen last 30 minutes and checked himself out, refusing to return. The ship had movies we could attend together.... at 11pm that were decades old like Field of Dreams or Sully. Two of the musicals were not kid-appropriate at all and note that even the Jersey Boys has cursing in it if that is a concern for you.

The menu was extremely repetitive. The same every day in the non-buffet for breakfast and lunch, a couple changes for dinner. Kids menu was pizza, hot dog, burger or chicken strips for lunch and dinner, not a vegetable to be had. And really odd offerings for the adults like “loaded potato skins” loaded with just crabmeat. The servers seemed very new. We had the wrong items brought to us often, they seemed perplex by their own ordering system, they would forget to take one member’s order, they were arguing in front of the guests, and stacks of plates were dropped on a daily basis. When I asked for soy milk for my youngest, I was told to go to the top of the ship, because nowhere else had it - this was while I was in the restaurant. Nearly every time, we had to call the server over to ask for a refills, perhaps they spread them out too thinly. While on one of the excursions, it was almost all Norweigan passengers and the guide receive a loud “No!” from almost everyone when she asked if they were feeding us well.

We saw our room steward once on the entire cruise. Most of the time, we had to go to Guest Services to get the daily paper that gives the details off events or required forms. They left the bunk beds down each day, so that our room felt smaller than it already was. This may not seem so bad, but you are charged $15 per person per day (little kids included), so that was $420 for really lousy service for us. Also, they broke the handle on our new luggage and left it outside of our door without a word - if this happens to you, take it to Guest Services because they have to fill out a report if you want to fill out a claim afterwards. Again, the group that attending the towel folding session responded “No!” when asked if they had seen the towel animals shown because the majority had no turndown service over the cruise.

We did like the observation lounge and the embark/disembark processes went smoothly. Alaska, of course, was absolutely gorgeous. However this was certainly not the cruise line for us. The kids have begged us not to go back (never a reaction to a cruise previously) so it will be “No!” to NCL for us.

JennlynnCruising's Full Rating Summary
Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Balcony Stateroom
Cabin BF 11274

Felt very tight and extremely limited storage for a family of four for seven days.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews


Stayed at the Edgewater and it was wonderful! The room was spacious and the kids loved it! Had lunch and breakfast there before we left, were able to walk directly from the hotel to the ship


Not a lot to do if you had not scheduled an excursion. We walked around a bit. Operators of the stores were fairly aggressive trying to get people to come in, that felt uncomfortable.

White Pass Scenic Railway

Great scenery and service. There are restrooms in each car and they are very wheelchair-friendly. The kids enjoyed it and we learned a lot about Alaska.

View All 1212 White Pass Scenic Railway Reviews
Glacier Bay

The ship provided a park ranger to speak and that was helpful, but honestly the scenery looked the same as Skagway, it would have been better to have another port visit.

Duck Tour

Captain Peggy and McKenna were great! The stop here was VERY short, but we felt we received a good understanding of the town and an insight to living there. The kids enjoyed this one as well.

View All 140 Duck Tour Reviews

It looked like a beautiful place but we were only there a couple of hours, so the only excursion was an extremely abbreviated visit to the gardens at night, so it did not seem worth it. However, the people at the shops seemed absolutely in love with their town and that was nice to hear.

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