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We loved the Breakaway last year, discovered Haven and didn’t even look at other cruise lines, booked the Bliss for our Alaska trip which we’ve been planning for a while now. Haven was great for embarking, disembarking and to skip the crowds which can be overwhelming. However, it’s exaggerated to the point of misrepresentation. You do get priority with dining but everything else is just regular. You have a concierge that calls around for you but if something you want is booked, it’s booked. Our trip also started on the wrong foot, a customer representative canceled our whole reservation by mistake 4 days prior to sailing - she was supposed to be canceling the airport transfer- 3 hours on the phone after being interrogated and put on hold to listen to the recordings and I got it back but allen reservations I’ve made were gone. And when I tried to rebook, everything was gone. Another few hours on the phone with no luck, no sympathy from anyone, not even an apology and we hoarded without any reservations. Haven concierge just kept saying everything is booked. Freestyle cruising is a joke, if you don’t plan months ahead, you won’t get to do the things you want. Race car and laser tag we’re both completely booked, we could do race car doubles only and once in the whole week. That was disappointing since we were counting on those two even though they charge extra. Our butler was nice but he didn’t have language or people skills to make anything happen. Luggage - tagged priority- came at 7pm, butler said sorry it will come from downstairs?! Everyday I asked for housekeeping at 9am, we get up early with the kids, no one stopped by before 1pm. I was washing coffee cups in the sink because housekeeping wasn’t responsible for those, it was someone else, butler we found out the last day. Small things but they add up. Jersey Boys was great, Broadway quality. However, there was nothing to do with the kids during the day. The simple silly things were really boring because the staff is not enthusiastic and language is really a problem. How can you entertain people if you’re struggling to speak English the whole time? And 80% of the activities revolve around selling you stuff and promotions. So we actually walked around not being able to find anything to do which was not the case at Breakaway. Haven lounge was a great escape and the observation deck there is outstanding, we spent most of our time there. Also the pool and jacuzzi was nice for the kids since it was indoors. Fitness center is a shame, it was full every single time I went and it’s so small. Just the lounge area of the spa is bigger than the fitness center. The weight equipment is lined up on the side so narrow, looks like an after thought. And no classes other than a 7am stretch class. This is a deal breaker for me. Dining is pretty good at NCL, however Haven restaurant was over staffed with under trained employees that walked around all the time but you still don’t get your coffee and only option is French press. For us, Haven was not worth the money and downstairs was too hectic so we’ve decided to look at smaller cruise lines and it’s ok if they don’t have a race track on top.

Gorgeous ship but crew not trained well.

Norwegian Bliss Cruise Review by hhammett

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: August 2019
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: The Haven Suite (Connecting Stateroom)
We loved the Breakaway last year, discovered Haven and didn’t even look at other cruise lines, booked the Bliss for our Alaska trip which we’ve been planning for a while now.

Haven was great for embarking, disembarking and to skip the crowds which can be overwhelming. However, it’s exaggerated to the point of misrepresentation. You do get priority with dining but everything else is just regular. You have a concierge that calls around for you but if something you want is booked, it’s booked.

Our trip also started on the wrong foot, a customer representative canceled our whole reservation by mistake 4 days prior to sailing - she was supposed to be canceling the airport transfer- 3 hours on the phone after being interrogated and put on hold to listen to the recordings and I got it back but allen reservations I’ve made were gone. And when I tried to rebook, everything was gone. Another few hours on the phone with no luck, no sympathy from anyone, not even an apology and we hoarded without any reservations. Haven concierge just kept saying everything is booked. Freestyle cruising is a joke, if you don’t plan months ahead, you won’t get to do the things you want. Race car and laser tag we’re both completely booked, we could do race car doubles only and once in the whole week. That was disappointing since we were counting on those two even though they charge extra.

Our butler was nice but he didn’t have language or people skills to make anything happen. Luggage - tagged priority- came at 7pm, butler said sorry it will come from downstairs?! Everyday I asked for housekeeping at 9am, we get up early with the kids, no one stopped by before 1pm. I was washing coffee cups in the sink because housekeeping wasn’t responsible for those, it was someone else, butler we found out the last day. Small things but they add up.

Jersey Boys was great, Broadway quality. However, there was nothing to do with the kids during the day. The simple silly things were really boring because the staff is not enthusiastic and language is really a problem. How can you entertain people if you’re struggling to speak English the whole time? And 80% of the activities revolve around selling you stuff and promotions. So we actually walked around not being able to find anything to do which was not the case at Breakaway. Haven lounge was a great escape and the observation deck there is outstanding, we spent most of our time there. Also the pool and jacuzzi was nice for the kids since it was indoors.

Fitness center is a shame, it was full every single time I went and it’s so small. Just the lounge area of the spa is bigger than the fitness center. The weight equipment is lined up on the side so narrow, looks like an after thought. And no classes other than a 7am stretch class. This is a deal breaker for me.

Dining is pretty good at NCL, however Haven restaurant was over staffed with under trained employees that walked around all the time but you still don’t get your coffee and only option is French press.

For us, Haven was not worth the money and downstairs was too hectic so we’ve decided to look at smaller cruise lines and it’s ok if they don’t have a race track on top.
hhammett’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
Onboard Experience
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Cabin Review

The Haven Suite (Connecting Stateroom)
Cabin H8 11-106
Cabin was great, brand new, bathroom design is smart, bedding excellent which is a Haven perk, there’s nespresso machine in the room, we used the balcony a lot. The room was great with just enough space.
Deck 13 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Glacier Bay
    This was the biggest disappointment because there was one little cliff glaciers that we passed by, that’s it. Other than that there are a few mountains with some ice on top. Looks more like New England with forests than the Alaska I’ve seen in pictures. The narrator on the ship kept talking about global warming which sadly is very real right in front of your eyes. This part is being misrepresented in my opinion.
    View All 722 Glacier Bay Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Glacier Bay Cruise Port Review
  • Float Plane
    Amazing and a mistake if you want to see glaciers. Unfortunately almost all cliff glaciers have melted so you don't actually see much if you don't fly. We booked independent which came out to be 40% cheaper
    View All 84 Float Plane Reviews
  • Lumberjack Show
    We just walked into one in town, it was fun, no need to book ahead through the cruise, not much to do in ketchikan so I think it's a good port for a long hike or some other adventure excursion.
    View All 299 Lumberjack Show Reviews
  • White Pass Scenic Railway
    Overpriced and 3 hours for a train ride is long but this is a must to understand the history and the scenery is breathtaking. Dangerous in my opinion, railway is so narrow on a cliff.
    View All 1,085 White Pass Scenic Railway Reviews
  • Victoria
    There’s not much to see, cute little town, we took one of the pedicabs to take us around, it’s a quick 3-hour stop.
    View All 1,285 Victoria Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Victoria Cruise Port Review