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We booked this cruise only 30 days before sailing. Reading the reviews, many people had booked this 6 day cruise well over a year ago. This was billed as a 6 day cruise, and everyone paid tips for a 6 day cruise. It was really 5 days. The ship arrived at the pier in Vancouver at about 6:30PM and check in was slated to start at 7PM. Guess what happened at boarding? Most people started lining up at 4PM and by 7 there were several thousand people standing in a line that wound around Canada place. This is part of the ugly. We had done 2 other late departure NCL repositioning cruises from Vancouver before. The first was really bad and a woman waiting actually had to be taken away by ambulance due to a panic attack it was so bad. Well this time we did not even show up to check in until 9:40pm! We still waited about 10 minutes in line and we were just about the last 2 passengers to board the ship. We tried to eat as soon as we boarded but we had our drill and everything was shut down. Still the ugly! When we arrived in our room, we found a letter letting us know our itinerary had changed. Since the cruise was announced it had its first day in Seattle. Now it was changed to eliminate Seattle and we had an overnight in Victoria. This was OK for us but many passengers were disappointed. The excuse was not having enough time to notify the US authorities for immigration purposes. Now, all 4,000+ pax had to go through US customs in San Francisco! We did the drill and enjoyed the ship. The next morning we arrived in Victoria. This would be the good for us. Victoria is a beautiful place to visit and we had a beautiful day there. We took a nice walk to Craigdarroch Castle (about 3 miles) as we had never visited there. Well worth the visit. Then we headed back to town and enjoyed happy hour! Swan's was our first stop then we visited Canoe. Both fun places for adult beverages! We had enough energy left and walked back to the ship. The Liverpool Beatles did a show at 7:30 in the showroom and it was standing room only. They did early Beatles in this show and everyone enjoyed it. The next day we were to leave at 2PM so we just walked into town and back. Again it was a beautiful day. Sail away was nice and we just explored the ship. We had dinner at the Q which was good. DW stayed and to watch the CW band (ok but not great). I went to the Cavern club and got there early enough to get one of the last seats there. The 9PM Beatles show was the early years. This was great for me as a Beatles fan to see these guys performing in a small club environment and I could imagine what it was like to see them in Liverpool in 62/63! Now for our first sea day. We received a notice that we would be refunded our port charges for Seattle and they gave each cabin $100 OBC. This was a positive move as NCL knew full well the immigration situation long before our cruise but did not tell the passengers until we were onboard and could do nothing about it! Our Cruise Critic M&G was at noon. This was also the time the ship scheduled the Veterans get together at Maltings. I went to the Veterans and DW went to the M&G at the District Brewhouse. I visited with the one other Vet at the bar for a few minutes and then wet off to join in the M&G. NO SHIPS OFFICERS attended the M&G but they did have champagne for us (nice touch). There were 30-40 cruisers there. Great to meet those we were chatting with on the roll call. The schedule said there would be an Alaskan Beer tasting at 2PM at the District Brewhouse. I was in a group of 10-20 standing outside the closed doors to the District at 2 pm. I just left and came back about 10 minutes later figuring I could join in the tasting a little late. When I got to the District, it was empty. They had kept the doors closed and then the bartender said nobody was there at 2 so he just cancelled the tasting! Poor management! Dinner was at the buffet and it was fine. Then we went to Six. DW liked it, she was listening to each of the "wives" as they sang about their life with King Henry. I was a well done show but not up my alley! Overall, the sea day was good. Now for San Francisco. Since we now needed to clear customs in SF (which was originally going to be handled in Seattle) it meant that EVERYONE would be getting off the ship when we arrived. We had booked a trip to Alcatraz on our own for 10:30AM. I had gone to the front desk on the sea day and managed to get with the correct person to assist us in getting off the ship in the first group to go through customs. This did work fine and we were walking around in SF by 8:30AM. I heard the ship was cleared by around 11AM. We had a good day and BEAUTIFUL weather in SF. On Alcatraz, they were saying how unusually beautiful and clear the day was. Parts of the island were opened to the public that normally are off limits. We spent the remainder of our day walking in the Fisherman's Wharf area. We would have ridden the cable cars but it was way expensive and a long line just to get on. Not for us. Back to the ship and the buffet for dinner. We finished dinner and it was about 7 so we wandered by the theater. There was no line so instead of sail away we went into the Jersey Boys show. Mistake missing sail away! Jersey Boys was an excellent show right up until the point in the show where they dropped the first "F" bomb! There was an audible gasp in the theater. To be fair NCL does have a sentence to warn passengers in the Daily and a piece of paper size sign at the theater when you walk in. We never saw either of these. That just tainted our enjoyment of what otherwise was a great show. It is just sad that NCL feels like this language is necessary in their primary entertainment show for a ship that is marketed to families! The language could be changed without damaging the performance. Another example for us of the BAD! We did eat breakfast and lunch at the local. They did an outstanding job and the food was fresh and hot. Dinner on our last sea day was at La Cuchina and it was good food and the service was good. We just wandered a bit and packed. The ship is new. It is well maintained and the crew were all happy. We did not care for the size of the ship. You have 3 levels of shops, shows and places to eat (6,7 and *8). Then you have 7 levels of hotel and 15 and 16 for food and pools. The only place they used for games, trivia, presentations etc was the atrium. This is typical of NCL in that they really do not pay attention to those types of activities. The atrium in big and impersonal and when we cruise, we typically make friendships at trivia and other small group activities. Not so much on NCL. Disembarkation went great. We walked off with our bags. That started at 7:30 and we left at 8 with NO LINES! this was a good! We have continued to try NCL but sometimes it is just not a good fit. I tried to add photos but the review would not allow it!

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly NCL drops the ball. A long review

Norwegian Bliss Cruise Review by zonacruiser25

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: September 2019
  • Destination: Pacific Coastal
  • Cabin Type: Mid-ship Balcony Stateroom
We booked this cruise only 30 days before sailing. Reading the reviews, many people had booked this 6 day cruise well over a year ago. This was billed as a 6 day cruise, and everyone paid tips for a 6 day cruise. It was really 5 days. The ship arrived at the pier in Vancouver at about 6:30PM and check in was slated to start at 7PM. Guess what happened at boarding? Most people started lining up at 4PM and by 7 there were several thousand people standing in a line that wound around Canada place. This is part of the ugly.

We had done 2 other late departure NCL repositioning cruises from Vancouver before. The first was really bad and a woman waiting actually had to be taken away by ambulance due to a panic attack it was so bad. Well this time we did not even show up to check in until 9:40pm! We still waited about 10 minutes in line and we were just about the last 2 passengers to board the ship. We tried to eat as soon as we boarded but we had our drill and everything was shut down. Still the ugly!

When we arrived in our room, we found a letter letting us know our itinerary had changed. Since the cruise was announced it had its first day in Seattle. Now it was changed to eliminate Seattle and we had an overnight in Victoria. This was OK for us but many passengers were disappointed. The excuse was not having enough time to notify the US authorities for immigration purposes. Now, all 4,000+ pax had to go through US customs in San Francisco! We did the drill and enjoyed the ship.

The next morning we arrived in Victoria. This would be the good for us. Victoria is a beautiful place to visit and we had a beautiful day there. We took a nice walk to Craigdarroch Castle (about 3 miles) as we had never visited there. Well worth the visit. Then we headed back to town and enjoyed happy hour! Swan's was our first stop then we visited Canoe. Both fun places for adult beverages! We had enough energy left and walked back to the ship.

The Liverpool Beatles did a show at 7:30 in the showroom and it was standing room only. They did early Beatles in this show and everyone enjoyed it.

The next day we were to leave at 2PM so we just walked into town and back. Again it was a beautiful day. Sail away was nice and we just explored the ship. We had dinner at the Q which was good. DW stayed and to watch the CW band (ok but not great). I went to the Cavern club and got there early enough to get one of the last seats there. The 9PM Beatles show was the early years. This was great for me as a Beatles fan to see these guys performing in a small club environment and I could imagine what it was like to see them in Liverpool in 62/63!

Now for our first sea day. We received a notice that we would be refunded our port charges for Seattle and they gave each cabin $100 OBC. This was a positive move as NCL knew full well the immigration situation long before our cruise but did not tell the passengers until we were onboard and could do nothing about it!

Our Cruise Critic M&G was at noon. This was also the time the ship scheduled the Veterans get together at Maltings. I went to the Veterans and DW went to the M&G at the District Brewhouse. I visited with the one other Vet at the bar for a few minutes and then wet off to join in the M&G. NO SHIPS OFFICERS attended the M&G but they did have champagne for us (nice touch). There were 30-40 cruisers there. Great to meet those we were chatting with on the roll call.

The schedule said there would be an Alaskan Beer tasting at 2PM at the District Brewhouse. I was in a group of 10-20 standing outside the closed doors to the District at 2 pm. I just left and came back about 10 minutes later figuring I could join in the tasting a little late. When I got to the District, it was empty. They had kept the doors closed and then the bartender said nobody was there at 2 so he just cancelled the tasting! Poor management!

Dinner was at the buffet and it was fine. Then we went to Six. DW liked it, she was listening to each of the "wives" as they sang about their life with King Henry. I was a well done show but not up my alley! Overall, the sea day was good.

Now for San Francisco. Since we now needed to clear customs in SF (which was originally going to be handled in Seattle) it meant that EVERYONE would be getting off the ship when we arrived. We had booked a trip to Alcatraz on our own for 10:30AM. I had gone to the front desk on the sea day and managed to get with the correct person to assist us in getting off the ship in the first group to go through customs. This did work fine and we were walking around in SF by 8:30AM. I heard the ship was cleared by around 11AM.

We had a good day and BEAUTIFUL weather in SF. On Alcatraz, they were saying how unusually beautiful and clear the day was. Parts of the island were opened to the public that normally are off limits. We spent the remainder of our day walking in the Fisherman's Wharf area. We would have ridden the cable cars but it was way expensive and a long line just to get on. Not for us. Back to the ship and the buffet for dinner.

We finished dinner and it was about 7 so we wandered by the theater. There was no line so instead of sail away we went into the Jersey Boys show. Mistake missing sail away!

Jersey Boys was an excellent show right up until the point in the show where they dropped the first "F" bomb! There was an audible gasp in the theater. To be fair NCL does have a sentence to warn passengers in the Daily and a piece of paper size sign at the theater when you walk in. We never saw either of these. That just tainted our enjoyment of what otherwise was a great show. It is just sad that NCL feels like this language is necessary in their primary entertainment show for a ship that is marketed to families! The language could be changed without damaging the performance. Another example for us of the BAD!

We did eat breakfast and lunch at the local. They did an outstanding job and the food was fresh and hot. Dinner on our last sea day was at La Cuchina and it was good food and the service was good. We just wandered a bit and packed.

The ship is new. It is well maintained and the crew were all happy. We did not care for the size of the ship. You have 3 levels of shops, shows and places to eat (6,7 and *8). Then you have 7 levels of hotel and 15 and 16 for food and pools. The only place they used for games, trivia, presentations etc was the atrium. This is typical of NCL in that they really do not pay attention to those types of activities. The atrium in big and impersonal and when we cruise, we typically make friendships at trivia and other small group activities. Not so much on NCL.

Disembarkation went great. We walked off with our bags. That started at 7:30 and we left at 8 with NO LINES! this was a good!

We have continued to try NCL but sometimes it is just not a good fit.

I tried to add photos but the review would not allow it!
zonacruiser25’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Ages Under 3
Ages 3 to 6
Ages 7 to 9
Ages 10 to 12
Ages 13 to 15
Ages 16+
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Cabin Review

Mid-ship Balcony Stateroom
Cabin BA 15816
We were concerned about being directly under the huge slide on 15/16 but it turned out great! The room itself is very tight around the bed. Storage is sparse so do not over pack. For a 6 day cruise it was fine. We had no noise from Pool deck 16 above. This cabin is located below the deck 16 bottom of the large slide and the area is a walkway with no chairs. The bathroom was really nice. The TV has no sleep timer function even though it is designed to offer that. We spoke with others several cabins aft of us and they complained about chairs being moved at all hours! We did NOT travel with children but I had to add a child to satisfy the requirements to post this review!
Deck 15 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews