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I picked the Norwegian Bliss, because it was a new ship and NCL was recommended to me. The embarkation in Seattle went smoothly (we were on board by 11.30am), we were given access to our cabin by 12.30pm and all our prebooked excursions vouchers and the on board credit, was waiting for us in the cabin or on our account. The things NCL got right - Bliss is beautiful inside. Our cabin (Balcony deck 10) was a good size and we had plenty of storage space. It was clean and comfortable and there is toiletries in the bathroom. Most of the staff are friendly. NCL need to Address. The excursions are over priced and badly organised (plus they get dearer, nearer the cruise date). We were asked to meet in bars, resturants or the theatre, but it didn't help as we still had to get off the ship in the normal way - so the coaches were often late leaving and we had the trip time reduced. When I wanted to change my original excursion choice, I had to pay for the new one and wait for a refund ( I was told 5 days to get my money back) it took three weeks because the reservation team cancelled the excursion and didn't tell the accounts team to refund. I found this out, because I had to nag to get my money back on two sperate occasions. We spent more time at sea than in the Alaska inside passage or on shore. Due to a storm in Skagway and the ship leaving port seven hours late - we had our shore time in Ketchikan cancelled the night before we were due to dock. The reason we were given was bad weather, but a Holland and America ship, which was also struck in Skagway with us, still managed to dock on time in Ketchikan. The storm we were told we needed to out run, was just heavy rain. Passengers who had private bookings lost their money, but NCL refunded the passengers who booked with them. The worst bit is that some staff were warning passengers that Ketchikan was cancelled hours before the captain told everyone else and this wasn't the first time this port of call had been cancelled. NCL gave us $4 each for dispointment and refund of shore fees, which is a joke. The plus side for NCL is that the seven hours we lost on shore and they kept us at sea, allowed them to open the casino and on board shops, so they could recover the revenue from struck in Skagway. Especially as we were on slow and slower speed to Victoria, so that the Holland and American, came out of nowhere, overtook us and we lost sight of them really quickly. One of their guests asked us why we were on stop mode. Most of the time NCL docked away from the main town area, so Passengers had to pay for the shuttle buses to get anywhere and when you were on the trips, you were rushed,so you didn't get to enjoy what you had paid for. Victoria was four hours at night, Juneau and Skagway are full of the shops belonging to the cruise lines. Glacier Bay was really beautiful, but for me - we spent two much time there. NCL like to charge you multiple times for the same things - pay for meals, then the speciality meals and two restaurants also charge you an additional fee. Tips,Tips and more Tips. for instance they charge $14.99 ($18.99 Haven and Suites) per person, per night. But what they don't tell you is that they will remove the fees if you ask. (So if they charge you - ask on the last day for the full charges to be removed). But some people didn't know and paid this bill in full. You even have to pay $7.95 for room service and in our case it took over an hour and after we chased room service the food was delivered but it was stone cold. They don't offer many changes to see the shows (Jersey Boy and Six was good) and the spaces are limited - so book ahead. Likewise with the speciallity restaurants, as there isn't as many bookings available. The main dinning area is always really busy and while you can get a table, sometimes it is more luck then organisation,but the staff are good at removing old dishes. The traven is always slow and you often get your drinks after you have eaten your meal. No free indoor pool on Bliss, so unless you book a spa room, suite or Haven cabin you need to pay $200 for a weekly spa pass (You cannot get a daily one) or use the outdoor pool on the top deck - Well Planned for Alaska. Passengers on my cruise, had a number of issues - didn't feel the food was any good, ( I found it ok, but most of the menu doesn't change daily). No quiet areas on Board, bad organisation, not enough shows in the evening. Lastly we all felt like we were being feeced by NCL. I don't feel that I had value for money and I cannot see me rushing to rebook.

Not Value for Money

Norwegian Bliss Cruise Review by Dizzychick

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: September 2019
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Balcony Stateroom
I picked the Norwegian Bliss, because it was a new ship and NCL was recommended to me. The embarkation in Seattle went smoothly (we were on board by 11.30am), we were given access to our cabin by 12.30pm and all our prebooked excursions vouchers and the on board credit, was waiting for us in the cabin or on our account.

The things NCL got right - Bliss is beautiful inside.

Our cabin (Balcony deck 10) was a good size and we had plenty of storage space. It was clean and comfortable and there is toiletries in the bathroom.

Most of the staff are friendly.

NCL need to Address.

The excursions are over priced and badly organised (plus they get dearer, nearer the cruise date). We were asked to meet in bars, resturants or the theatre, but it didn't help as we still had to get off the ship in the normal way - so the coaches were often late leaving and we had the trip time reduced. When I wanted to change my original excursion choice, I had to pay for the new one and wait for a refund ( I was told 5 days to get my money back) it took three weeks because the reservation team cancelled the excursion and didn't tell the accounts team to refund. I found this out, because I had to nag to get my money back on two sperate occasions.

We spent more time at sea than in the Alaska inside passage or on shore. Due to a storm in Skagway and the ship leaving port seven hours late - we had our shore time in Ketchikan cancelled the night before we were due to dock. The reason we were given was bad weather, but a Holland and America ship, which was also struck in Skagway with us, still managed to dock on time in Ketchikan. The storm we were told we needed to out run, was just heavy rain. Passengers who had private bookings lost their money, but NCL refunded the passengers who booked with them. The worst bit is that some staff were warning passengers that Ketchikan was cancelled hours before the captain told everyone else and this wasn't the first time this port of call had been cancelled. NCL gave us $4 each for dispointment and refund of shore fees, which is a joke. The plus side for NCL is that the seven hours we lost on shore and they kept us at sea, allowed them to open the casino and on board shops, so they could recover the revenue from struck in Skagway. Especially as we were on slow and slower speed to Victoria, so that the Holland and American, came out of nowhere, overtook us and we lost sight of them really quickly. One of their guests asked us why we were on stop mode.

Most of the time NCL docked away from the main town area, so Passengers had to pay for the shuttle buses to get anywhere and when you were on the trips, you were rushed,so you didn't get to enjoy what you had paid for. Victoria was four hours at night, Juneau and Skagway are full of the shops belonging to the cruise lines. Glacier Bay was really beautiful, but for me - we spent two much time there.

NCL like to charge you multiple times for the same things - pay for meals, then the speciality meals and two restaurants also charge you an additional fee. Tips,Tips and more Tips. for instance they charge $14.99 ($18.99 Haven and Suites) per person, per night. But what they don't tell you is that they will remove the fees if you ask. (So if they charge you - ask on the last day for the full charges to be removed). But some people didn't know and paid this bill in full. You even have to pay $7.95 for room service and in our case it took over an hour and after we chased room service the food was delivered but it was stone cold.

They don't offer many changes to see the shows (Jersey Boy and Six was good) and the spaces are limited - so book ahead. Likewise with the speciallity restaurants, as there isn't as many bookings available. The main dinning area is always really busy and while you can get a table, sometimes it is more luck then organisation,but the staff are good at removing old dishes. The traven is always slow and you often get your drinks after you have eaten your meal.

No free indoor pool on Bliss, so unless you book a spa room, suite or Haven cabin you need to pay $200 for a weekly spa pass (You cannot get a daily one) or use the outdoor pool on the top deck - Well Planned for Alaska.

Passengers on my cruise, had a number of issues - didn't feel the food was any good, ( I found it ok, but most of the menu doesn't change daily). No quiet areas on Board, bad organisation, not enough shows in the evening. Lastly we all felt like we were being feeced by NCL. I don't feel that I had value for money and I cannot see me rushing to rebook.
Dizzychick’s Full Rating Summary
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
Onboard Experience
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Cabin Review

Balcony Stateroom
Cabin BF 10130
Good size, clean, had free toiletries and you have access to a safe and hairdryer.
Deck 10 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Glacier Bay
    You cannot get off the ship, so it was beautiful to see, but after a while you are only seeing the same things in a different part of the Bay. We did see whales as they were swimming near to the boat.
    View All 748 Glacier Bay Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Glacier Bay Cruise Port Review
  • Mendenhall Glacier
    This was the second half of a tour. We arrived late in the evening and it was starting to get dark. We were given an hour to walk to the glacier, but by the time you got off the coach and got to the starting point of the walk, you really needed to go fast to the glacier as it is a 50 minute walk.

    Some of our passengers - managed to see a mother bear and two cubs, but i wasn't lucky enough.
    View All 889 Mendenhall Glacier Reviews
  • Whale Watching
    The first part was excellent - We were taken to a spot and we did see a number of whales and seal lions.
    View All 841 Whale Watching Reviews
  • City Tour
    Late leaving due to NCL - so we were trying to catch up so we could be at the airport at 1pm.
    Given an hour at the Space Needle - but by the time you got to the top - it was time to go back down.
    View All 50 City Tour Reviews
  • White Pass Scenic Railway
    We left the ship late, so during our trip into canada by coach, we didn't get many changes to get off the coach, for picture. We were taken to a musher camp for lunch and to see the huskie puppies. We didn't have time to do the shed ride.

    The train was ok, the weather was bad and we had fog, so it was hard to see,so it made the trip boring.
    View All 1,104 White Pass Scenic Railway Reviews
  • Pub tour
    A good way to see victoria if you are fit enough to do the walking
    View All 5 Pub tour Reviews