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We chose to cruise Alaska on this ship to experience a 'big' ship with all it had to offer: go carts, laser tag, water slides, broadway style shows. We are all experienced cruisers but had never sailed on a ship this size. There are positives about this ship but more negatives. First and foremost, there are not enough public spaces. As there were six of us, we were always looking for a place to have drinks before dinner or, just to get together somewhere during the day for a a visit. This was a most difficult task on this ship. All the lounges were full before dinner and often during the day as well. The Observation Deck is spectacular but you have to get there early in the day to secure a spot as so many people stake their spot for the entire day! This becomes very obvious when you see staff bringing in hundreds of folding chairs into the Observation Deck. The lounges are mostly full. And, even if you do find a lounge with seating for six, it's nothing to write home about. The lounges on this ship rarely offer an outside view and are mostly very noisy. Nothing like the quiet spacious lounges with views that we're used to. Additionally, the Maltings Whiskey Bar on Deck 8 has a cigar smoking lounge beside it but because of inadequate ventilation you can often smell the smoke from this lounge. The same with the Casino on Deck 7. Smoke smells from their smoke room permeate throughout most of the public areas of Deck 7. We weren't always looking for room for six as often there were just two or four of us looking for a lounge. There was space in the outside lounges like Margaritaville, and the Pool bars and the Waterfront (which is lovely when the weather is nice) but it's cold up there in Alaska and, like the Waterfront spaces, these are weather dependent. In a nutshell, there just aren't enough nice quiet lounges or public spaces. Now for the food. We did not like the food on this ship. It's not a bad thing, but it's probably the only cruise we have ever been on that we either didn't gain and probably lost weight on! The food was plentiful, but not tasty. We ate in the specialty restaurants and were disappointed. We were also disappointed with the Garden Cafe buffet. To be fair to the ship, we never experienced breakfast and maybe that was their best offering! Overall, however, we would have to say it was the worst tasting food we have ever had on a cruise ship. By the end of our week we were looking forward to Q Smokehouse thinking that they couldn't really mess up ribs! Right? Wrong! The ribs themselves were OK (if you put enough sauce on them) but the sides were actually inedible. Why would any restaurant present you with four ribs on a huge platter and then place four tiny little sides in tiny little metal dishes on this huge platter? The platter looked absolutely bare! But worse, the sides were so bad! The coleslaw was flavourless, the beans so bland, the pickles awful and I can't remember the last side because I couldn't bear to try it! It seems the Executive Chef does not oversee the food or taste it. There is absolutely no food quality control on this ship! And if there is, they need a new taster! The best meal we had on this trip was at the Seattle airport! The internet. We took the internet package but should have received a refund. It didn't work for a day or two because of bad weather (we think) and when it did work it was soooooooo slow! It took an hour to download our (small) local newspaper. We had to buy more internet time just to have a paper to read. No game playing, no responding to emails (just reading them) and still we were out of time on our package. The ship did offer a Superior Package with a quicker download speed but having spent what we had already, we felt it should be more than enough for just simple email and newspaper downloads. We've never run out of Internet minutes before, even on much longer cruises from just as remote places. This ship stands alone! Guest Services was not really a service, and NCL should be well aware of this given the lines in front of Guest Services snaked down the corridor! Once you got to Guest Services, you were lucky if you got someone who actually understood what you were saying or cared about what you were there to discuss. We didn't get lucky! The Spa area floor is extremely slippery in spite of the fact that a staff member is constantly 'squeeging' it! This is around the Thermal Pool and Sauna area so beware. Also the Sauna is coed, you may prefer it, but we didn't. We did like our cabin, which surprised us as it was the smallest cabin we have ever cruised in but it was so well planned that there was room for everything, plenty of storage, nice vanity/desk layout, great washroom, and the TV was well situated and one was able to swivel it. Also, the ventilation was good and the bed was comfortable. We had a Mini Suite on Deck 8 and it was nice. The Lectures by the Park Rangers while cruising Glacier Bay were excellent. We appreciated the decisions the Captain had to make in regards to missing a port because of bad weather however, when we missed our port stop in Ketchikan, we fully expected to either sail into Victoria early (as there was a berth open at 2PM) or at the every least, be right on time. As it was, we were allowed off the ship at 8:30 PM and asked to be back on the ship by 11:30! Three hours in the nicest port of the cruise! All the other ships that we saw were there for at least 5 hours and often more. This ship spends far too little time in Victoria! Even their original schedule of arriving at 7:30 (which was adjusted to 8:00 PM prior to sailing) is too little time in this port. One should look closely at their port stop schedule, particularly in Victoria before choosing this ship. We were very disappointed. As a group, we enjoyed our time together and it was interesting to discover what a mega ship offers as we have always sailed on smaller ships but, having tried it once, we will not be trying it again as there was nothing that would entice us back such as good food or nice public spaces or an Observation Deck we could actually find a seat in. Having said this, if the weather is good so that you can enjoy the pool areas, waterslides, go carts and other outdoor areas and you have young children, it's probably a good ship for you!

Big Ship, Inadequate public spaces

Norwegian Bliss Cruise Review by ms_cruiser

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: September 2019
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Mini-Suite with Large Balcony
We chose to cruise Alaska on this ship to experience a 'big' ship with all it had to offer: go carts, laser tag, water slides, broadway style shows. We are all experienced cruisers but had never sailed on a ship this size.

There are positives about this ship but more negatives. First and foremost, there are not enough public spaces. As there were six of us, we were always looking for a place to have drinks before dinner or, just to get together somewhere during the day for a a visit. This was a most difficult task on this ship. All the lounges were full before dinner and often during the day as well. The Observation Deck is spectacular but you have to get there early in the day to secure a spot as so many people stake their spot for the entire day! This becomes very obvious when you see staff bringing in hundreds of folding chairs into the Observation Deck. The lounges are mostly full. And, even if you do find a lounge with seating for six, it's nothing to write home about. The lounges on this ship rarely offer an outside view and are mostly very noisy. Nothing like the quiet spacious lounges with views that we're used to. Additionally, the Maltings Whiskey Bar on Deck 8 has a cigar smoking lounge beside it but because of inadequate ventilation you can often smell the smoke from this lounge. The same with the Casino on Deck 7. Smoke smells from their smoke room permeate throughout most of the public areas of Deck 7. We weren't always looking for room for six as often there were just two or four of us looking for a lounge. There was space in the outside lounges like Margaritaville, and the Pool bars and the Waterfront (which is lovely when the weather is nice) but it's cold up there in Alaska and, like the Waterfront spaces, these are weather dependent. In a nutshell, there just aren't enough nice quiet lounges or public spaces.

Now for the food. We did not like the food on this ship. It's not a bad thing, but it's probably the only cruise we have ever been on that we either didn't gain and probably lost weight on! The food was plentiful, but not tasty. We ate in the specialty restaurants and were disappointed. We were also disappointed with the Garden Cafe buffet. To be fair to the ship, we never experienced breakfast and maybe that was their best offering! Overall, however, we would have to say it was the worst tasting food we have ever had on a cruise ship. By the end of our week we were looking forward to Q Smokehouse thinking that they couldn't really mess up ribs! Right? Wrong! The ribs themselves were OK (if you put enough sauce on them) but the sides were actually inedible. Why would any restaurant present you with four ribs on a huge platter and then place four tiny little sides in tiny little metal dishes on this huge platter? The platter looked absolutely bare! But worse, the sides were so bad! The coleslaw was flavourless, the beans so bland, the pickles awful and I can't remember the last side because I couldn't bear to try it! It seems the Executive Chef does not oversee the food or taste it. There is absolutely no food quality control on this ship! And if there is, they need a new taster! The best meal we had on this trip was at the Seattle airport!

The internet. We took the internet package but should have received a refund. It didn't work for a day or two because of bad weather (we think) and when it did work it was soooooooo slow! It took an hour to download our (small) local newspaper. We had to buy more internet time just to have a paper to read. No game playing, no responding to emails (just reading them) and still we were out of time on our package. The ship did offer a Superior Package with a quicker download speed but having spent what we had already, we felt it should be more than enough for just simple email and newspaper downloads. We've never run out of Internet minutes before, even on much longer cruises from just as remote places. This ship stands alone!

Guest Services was not really a service, and NCL should be well aware of this given the lines in front of Guest Services snaked down the corridor! Once you got to Guest Services, you were lucky if you got someone who actually understood what you were saying or cared about what you were there to discuss. We didn't get lucky!

The Spa area floor is extremely slippery in spite of the fact that a staff member is constantly 'squeeging' it! This is around the Thermal Pool and Sauna area so beware. Also the Sauna is coed, you may prefer it, but we didn't.

We did like our cabin, which surprised us as it was the smallest cabin we have ever cruised in but it was so well planned that there was room for everything, plenty of storage, nice vanity/desk layout, great washroom, and the TV was well situated and one was able to swivel it. Also, the ventilation was good and the bed was comfortable. We had a Mini Suite on Deck 8 and it was nice.

The Lectures by the Park Rangers while cruising Glacier Bay were excellent.

We appreciated the decisions the Captain had to make in regards to missing a port because of bad weather however, when we missed our port stop in Ketchikan, we fully expected to either sail into Victoria early (as there was a berth open at 2PM) or at the every least, be right on time. As it was, we were allowed off the ship at 8:30 PM and asked to be back on the ship by 11:30! Three hours in the nicest port of the cruise! All the other ships that we saw were there for at least 5 hours and often more. This ship spends far too little time in Victoria! Even their original schedule of arriving at 7:30 (which was adjusted to 8:00 PM prior to sailing) is too little time in this port. One should look closely at their port stop schedule, particularly in Victoria before choosing this ship. We were very disappointed.

As a group, we enjoyed our time together and it was interesting to discover what a mega ship offers as we have always sailed on smaller ships but, having tried it once, we will not be trying it again as there was nothing that would entice us back such as good food or nice public spaces or an Observation Deck we could actually find a seat in. Having said this, if the weather is good so that you can enjoy the pool areas, waterslides, go carts and other outdoor areas and you have young children, it's probably a good ship for you!
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Cabin Review

Mini-Suite with Large Balcony
Cabin M6 8114
Well planned spaces in this cabin. We were concerned about the small square footage but there was room for everything and we don't travel light. We didn't like the large deep balconies because it gave you a 'slotted' view as opposed to a panoramic view. Also, traveling to Alaska late in the year, it was not possible to use the loungers or have meals outside. Perhaps earlier in the year to Alaska or once this ship goes to the Caribbean, it would be more useful to have a large balcony, as long as you're OK with the 'slotted' views.
Deck 10 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

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    We took the VIP White Pass Scenic Railway ship excursion and it was outstanding! The VIP car is beautiful and extremely comfortable. Appetizers were plentiful and there was an ample bar. The host was very informative. Overall, it was a great excursion that we really enjoyed.
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