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Embarkation I got a taxi to the port in LA and we instantly hit serious traffic the second we got to the port entrance. It took half an hour to go half a mile. I ended up getting out of the taxi and walking the rest of the way. I then had to stand in line for security for 40 minutes and once I got through that there was 'priority' check in. 'Priority' with NCL means anyone who has ever cruised with them before whether that's a 3 day cruise or whether you have spent 6 months on board. Needless to say this was another 40 mins and a complete joke to be called priority. Disembarkation It took over 2 hours to get off the ship and through customs. It was like nothing I have ever experienced before. It was chaos and I can honestly say they should not cruise out of LA if they don't have the capacity to get everyone off the ship in a decent time. Loads of people missed their flights due to this. Once on board the ship itself was beautiful but it was just so overcrowded. Unless you book all your restaurants in advance you will be eating at 10pm or 5pm. Cabin I had a studio cabin and was horrified to see the bed had shrunk by half on this ship. It did give a bit more space but when a cabin is this small bed size doesn't really make much difference. As usual upon arrival both of my pillows smelt badly of man sweat so I needed two fresh pillows which Norwegian just don't seem to have.So it was a week of sleeping on sunken in sweat pillows that stank. My cabin steward cleaned my cabin whenever she felt like it rather than every day. My bin wasn't emptied on a daily basis and the cleaning was really half hearted. Dining As always the food in the main dining rooms were lukewrm at best. This is a theme throughout NCL and something they just cannot get a grip on. There were plenty of specialty dining options but I noticed that all of them apart from Teppanyaki are now a la carte so gone are the days of having more than one starter. And Teppanyaki is now up to $39. The food in Teppanyaki is definitely the best and the only one where you might get value for money. Le Bistro was disappointing (overcooked meat and chewy) as was Ocean Blue (tasteless lobster). Los Lobos wasn't anything special and La Cucina is bog standard Italian fare which isn't worth paying extra for. I didn't go to Cagneys on this ship but I have been before and after being served a cold steak I have never returned.The buffet is just low quality food as is the food in the Observation lounge. Entertainment Low grade shows not even worth sitting until the end of. The main show was SIx which was basically 6 women singing stories about being the wives of Henry VIII. No substance and nothing special. The singers weren't that great either. The Beatles was just boring. There were no shows that displayed skill, talent, dancing, acrobatics, just boring singing. The comedian was okay but again nothing special. There were the same old game shows Not So Newlywed and Deal or No Deal. There was a new one called the Wheel of Ill Will but it wasn't that great. Service The staff generally seemed quite miserable apart from Carla and Nestor in the Sugarcane Bar who were always smiling and upbeat. I accidentally booked my airport transfer twice once at home in the Uk and once on board. At no time did Guest Services say to me 'oh you have already booked a transfer' and when I took it up with NCL at home they refused to credit my card and offered me onboard credit.Which I refused. I am yet to see if they will credit my card. Ports & Shore Excursions Mazatlan - I got left behind by the NCL tour operator and had to find my own way back to the ship. Went on the Stone Island trip $89. You go on a catamaran across to the island (peninsula) and then you get in a cart to a restaurant overlooking the beach. You can go on the beach but the tour guides tell you that you will be bothered by sellers. I sat in the restaurant and was bothered by sellers in there every two minutes so I couldn't imagine how much worse it would be on the beach. I met a lady travelling solo and spent the excursion talking with her. We asked the tour guide Delize if we could join the 3.15pm group instead of going back with her at 2.15pm and she said that would be no problem and she would add us to Erika's group. She came back and said it was all done and that we would be leaving at 3.15pm with Erika. At 2.51pm I noticed everyone had gone. I asked a waiter at the restaurant and he said yeah they left about 10 mins ago. I panicked and spoke with the restaurant manager called Jorge who was frantically trying to call Erika who wasn't answering. In the end we had no choice but to get in this random guys truck and be taken to the pier, which was pretty scary when you are alone in Mexico in a place that has a travel advisory for US citizens not to travel. When we got to the pier the catamaran had already left so the guy was whistling for them to come back. They eventually turned around and came back but it was the scariest experience of my life. The tour operator didn't even say anything when I got on the catamaran and the lady I had met on the excursion who also got left behind asked her when did she realise she had left two passengers behind. She said they left over half an hour earlier to sail to see the rockface at the entrance to the port and blamed it all on Delize. When I got onboard we reported it to guest services. After 24 hours I hadn't heard anything so went to see guest services again. Another 24 hours passed and I contacted the lady who was also left behind and she said Shorex had called her the day before offering her 50% of all her excursions back and I was annoyed because I hadn't had any contact from NCL at all. She said she had an appt to see the assistant general manager Dieter Welp at 6pm and could I join her. I was just horrified that nobody had bothered to contact me about what had happened at all. We met with Dieter and it resulted in nothing more than a refund of the excursion which was paltry considering what had happened. I took it up with NCL when I got home and they didn't want to know. Would not listen to me or bother to contact Dieter Welp to confirm what happened just basically called me a liar and said it was all my fault and begrudgingly offered me a dining package on my next cruise (which you get included with free at sea anyway). As if I am ever going to want to cruise with NCL after this huge failure. I am a Platinum member and have always been a loyal customer of NCL but to leave two passengers stranded and then not even take accountability for it is shocking. If you can't be safe on an excursion with NCL then that's not a cruise line I want to travel with. Puerto Vallarta - did the Marietas Islands Eco Tour with Vallarta Adventures via NCL and wasn't that impressed. We spent 90 mins on a catamaran sailing to the islands. When we arrived we were taken snorkelling as we were not allowed on the islands. The fish there were not that impressive and the water was cloudy so you couldn't really see much. There was the option for paddle boarding and kayaking but there wasn't really enough time. We then were taken around a few rocks sticking out of the water to be shown the birds and then we headed back to the port. We did stop once more to snorkel but there were three dead eels floating in the water which didn't make it very tempting to jump in.Again we were not allowed on the beach. Cabo San Lucas - I did the Exclusive Beach Resort at Me Cabo Melia hotel which was beautiful. Not very far from the port and very luxurious. Only had 2 hrs 45 mins there despite our excursion being advertised as 4 hours. The food was included as was one drink. The main advantage of coming here was for the free Wifi. The food you chose off the menu and I had the fish tacos which were really good. This was my last cruise with NCL after 12 cruises in 3 years with them as I am so disgusted by their attitude and behaviour. From now on it's Celebrity all the way as the level of service and the all round quality is far superior. You should be very careful travelling with them as once you are off that boat they do not care about you at all. Their own member of staff was murdered in Roatan and all they did was cancel the cruises for a week there. I think that speaks volumes about them as a company.

Avoid NCL they do not care about their passenger safety

Norwegian Bliss Cruise Review by Linzd123

4 people found this helpful
Trip Details
Embarkation

I got a taxi to the port in LA and we instantly hit serious traffic the second we got to the port entrance. It took half an hour to go half a mile. I ended up getting out of the taxi and walking the rest of the way. I then had to stand in line for security for 40 minutes and once I got through that there was 'priority' check in. 'Priority' with NCL means anyone who has ever cruised with them before whether that's a 3 day cruise or whether you have spent 6 months on board. Needless to say this was another 40 mins and a complete joke to be called priority.

Disembarkation

It took over 2 hours to get off the ship and through customs. It was like nothing I have ever experienced before. It was chaos and I can honestly say they should not cruise out of LA if they don't have the capacity to get everyone off the ship in a decent time. Loads of people missed their flights due to this.

Once on board the ship itself was beautiful but it was just so overcrowded. Unless you book all your restaurants in advance you will be eating at 10pm or 5pm.

Cabin

I had a studio cabin and was horrified to see the bed had shrunk by half on this ship. It did give a bit more space but when a cabin is this small bed size doesn't really make much difference. As usual upon arrival both of my pillows smelt badly of man sweat so I needed two fresh pillows which Norwegian just don't seem to have.So it was a week of sleeping on sunken in sweat pillows that stank.

My cabin steward cleaned my cabin whenever she felt like it rather than every day. My bin wasn't emptied on a daily basis and the cleaning was really half hearted.

Dining

As always the food in the main dining rooms were lukewrm at best. This is a theme throughout NCL and something they just cannot get a grip on. There were plenty of specialty dining options but I noticed that all of them apart from Teppanyaki are now a la carte so gone are the days of having more than one starter. And Teppanyaki is now up to $39. The food in Teppanyaki is definitely the best and the only one where you might get value for money. Le Bistro was disappointing (overcooked meat and chewy) as was Ocean Blue (tasteless lobster). Los Lobos wasn't anything special and La Cucina is bog standard Italian fare which isn't worth paying extra for. I didn't go to Cagneys on this ship but I have been before and after being served a cold steak I have never returned.The buffet is just low quality food as is the food in the Observation lounge.

Entertainment

Low grade shows not even worth sitting until the end of. The main show was SIx which was basically 6 women singing stories about being the wives of Henry VIII. No substance and nothing special. The singers weren't that great either. The Beatles was just boring. There were no shows that displayed skill, talent, dancing, acrobatics, just boring singing. The comedian was okay but again nothing special. There were the same old game shows Not So Newlywed and Deal or No Deal. There was a new one called the Wheel of Ill Will but it wasn't that great.

Service

The staff generally seemed quite miserable apart from Carla and Nestor in the Sugarcane Bar who were always smiling and upbeat. I accidentally booked my airport transfer twice once at home in the Uk and once on board. At no time did Guest Services say to me 'oh you have already booked a transfer' and when I took it up with NCL at home they refused to credit my card and offered me onboard credit.Which I refused. I am yet to see if they will credit my card.

Ports & Shore Excursions

Mazatlan - I got left behind by the NCL tour operator and had to find my own way back to the ship. Went on the Stone Island trip $89. You go on a catamaran across to the island (peninsula) and then you get in a cart to a restaurant overlooking the beach. You can go on the beach but the tour guides tell you that you will be bothered by sellers. I sat in the restaurant and was bothered by sellers in there every two minutes so I couldn't imagine how much worse it would be on the beach. I met a lady travelling solo and spent the excursion talking with her. We asked the tour guide Delize if we could join the 3.15pm group instead of going back with her at 2.15pm and she said that would be no problem and she would add us to Erika's group. She came back and said it was all done and that we would be leaving at 3.15pm with Erika. At 2.51pm I noticed everyone had gone. I asked a waiter at the restaurant and he said yeah they left about 10 mins ago. I panicked and spoke with the restaurant manager called Jorge who was frantically trying to call Erika who wasn't answering. In the end we had no choice but to get in this random guys truck and be taken to the pier, which was pretty scary when you are alone in Mexico in a place that has a travel advisory for US citizens not to travel. When we got to the pier the catamaran had already left so the guy was whistling for them to come back. They eventually turned around and came back but it was the scariest experience of my life. The tour operator didn't even say anything when I got on the catamaran and the lady I had met on the excursion who also got left behind asked her when did she realise she had left two passengers behind. She said they left over half an hour earlier to sail to see the rockface at the entrance to the port and blamed it all on Delize. When I got onboard we reported it to guest services. After 24 hours I hadn't heard anything so went to see guest services again. Another 24 hours passed and I contacted the lady who was also left behind and she said Shorex had called her the day before offering her 50% of all her excursions back and I was annoyed because I hadn't had any contact from NCL at all. She said she had an appt to see the assistant general manager Dieter Welp at 6pm and could I join her. I was just horrified that nobody had bothered to contact me about what had happened at all. We met with Dieter and it resulted in nothing more than a refund of the excursion which was paltry considering what had happened. I took it up with NCL when I got home and they didn't want to know. Would not listen to me or bother to contact Dieter Welp to confirm what happened just basically called me a liar and said it was all my fault and begrudgingly offered me a dining package on my next cruise (which you get included with free at sea anyway). As if I am ever going to want to cruise with NCL after this huge failure. I am a Platinum member and have always been a loyal customer of NCL but to leave two passengers stranded and then not even take accountability for it is shocking. If you can't be safe on an excursion with NCL then that's not a cruise line I want to travel with.

Puerto Vallarta - did the Marietas Islands Eco Tour with Vallarta Adventures via NCL and wasn't that impressed. We spent 90 mins on a catamaran sailing to the islands. When we arrived we were taken snorkelling as we were not allowed on the islands. The fish there were not that impressive and the water was cloudy so you couldn't really see much. There was the option for paddle boarding and kayaking but there wasn't really enough time. We then were taken around a few rocks sticking out of the water to be shown the birds and then we headed back to the port. We did stop once more to snorkel but there were three dead eels floating in the water which didn't make it very tempting to jump in.Again we were not allowed on the beach.

Cabo San Lucas - I did the Exclusive Beach Resort at Me Cabo Melia hotel which was beautiful. Not very far from the port and very luxurious. Only had 2 hrs 45 mins there despite our excursion being advertised as 4 hours. The food was included as was one drink. The main advantage of coming here was for the free Wifi. The food you chose off the menu and I had the fish tacos which were really good.

This was my last cruise with NCL after 12 cruises in 3 years with them as I am so disgusted by their attitude and behaviour. From now on it's Celebrity all the way as the level of service and the all round quality is far superior.

You should be very careful travelling with them as once you are off that boat they do not care about you at all. Their own member of staff was murdered in Roatan and all they did was cancel the cruises for a week there. I think that speaks volumes about them as a company.
Linzd123’s Full Rating Summary
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Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Cabo San Lucas
    Me Cabo Melia hotel which was beautiful. Not very far from the port and very luxurious. Only had 2 hrs 45 mins there despite our excursion being advertised as 4 hours. The food was included as was one drink. The main advantage of coming here was for the free Wifi. The food you chose off the menu and I had the fish tacos which were really good.
    View All 13,797 Cabo San Lucas Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Cabo San Lucas Cruise Port Review
  • Mazatlan
    I got left behind by the NCL tour operator and had to find my own way back to the ship. Went on the Stone Island trip $89. You go on a catamaran across to the island (peninsula) and then you get in a cart to a restaurant overlooking the beach. You can go on the beach but the tour guides tell you that you will be bothered by sellers. I sat in the restaurant and was bothered by sellers in there every two minutes so I couldn't imagine how much worse it would be on the beach. I met a lady travelling solo and spent the excursion talking with her. We asked the tour guide Delize if we could join the 3.15pm group instead of going back with her at 2.15pm and she said that would be no problem and she would add us to Erika's group. She came back and said it was all done and that we would be leaving at 3.15pm with Erika. At 2.51pm I noticed everyone had gone. I asked a waiter at the restaurant and he said yeah they left about 10 mins ago. I panicked and spoke with the restaurant manager called Jorge who was frantically trying to call Erika who wasn't answering. In the end we had no choice but to get in this random guys truck and be taken to the pier, which was pretty scary when you are alone in Mexico in a place that has a travel advisory for US citizens not to travel. When we got to the pier the catamaran had already left so the guy was whistling for them to come back. They eventually turned around and came back but it was the scariest experience of my life. The tour operator didn't even say anything when I got on the catamaran and the lady I had met on the excursion who also got left behind asked her when did she realise she had left two passengers behind. She said they left over half an hour earlier to sail to see the rockface at the entrance to the port and blamed it all on Delize. When I got onboard we reported it to guest services. After 24 hours I hadn't heard anything so went to see guest services again. Another 24 hours passed and I contacted the lady who was also left behind and she said Shorex had called her the day before offering her 50% of all her excursions back and I was annoyed because I hadn't had any contact from NCL at all. She said she had an appt to see the assistant general manager Dieter Welp at 6pm and could I join her. I was just horrified that nobody had bothered to contact me about what had happened at all. We met with Dieter and it resulted in nothing more than a refund of the excursion which was paltry considering what had happened. I took it up with NCL when I got home and they didn't want to know. Would not listen to me or bother to contact Dieter Welp to confirm what happened just basically called me a liar and said it was all my fault and begrudgingly offered me a dining package on my next cruise (which you get included with free at sea anyway). As if I am ever going to want to cruise with NCL after this huge failure. I am a Platinum member and have always been a loyal customer of NCL but to leave two passengers stranded and then not even take accountability for it is shocking. If you can't be safe on an excursion with NCL then that's not a cruise line I want to travel with.
    View All 13,797 Mazatlan Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Mazatlan Cruise Port Review
  • Puerto Vallarta
    We spent 90 mins on a catamaran sailing to the islands. When we arrived we were taken snorkelling as we were not allowed on the islands. The fish there were not that impressive and the water was cloudy so you couldn't really see much. There was the option for paddle boarding and kayaking but there wasn't really enough time. We then were taken around a few rocks sticking out of the water to be shown the birds and then we headed back to the port. We did stop once more to snorkel but there were three dead eels floating in the water which didn't make it very tempting to jump in.Again we were not allowed on the beach.
    View All 13,797 Puerto Vallarta Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Puerto Vallarta Cruise Port Review