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We arrived at 1pm and embarkation was smooth. However there were undisclosed problems getting some passengers from LAX to the ship, which delayed the sailaway for hours (until after dark).Disembarkation in NYC did not go well. Huge lines snaking around. I stood in line for an hour (was on a NCL bus tour/ transfer to JFK) with people coughing all around me. There was time for only one stop on the $99 tour due to the delay in us gettiing off. We were assembled at 8am in the theater and our bus didn't leave the port until 10am. Glad that our guide chose Ground Zero for the stop, though. This is another NCL ship subject to itinerary changes after final payment. It is too big to dock in Costa Rica. We were told that it had to do with silting in the harbor after a flood earlier in the year. After final payment, they dropped Costa Rica and added Acapulco. Also, they had to wait until extreme low tide to be able to pass under the Pacific side bridg of the Panama Canal. Hence the "daylight transit" started at 2am. Hygiene and illness were a problem on the ship. Early in the cruise no one was enforcing good sanitation in the buffet lines. After Guatemala (Day 11) they started with 'extra cleaning' which continued and ramped up throughout the cruise, to the point where for several days at the end they were at full-Noro levels of cleaning. They were attempting to keep the statistics below the threshold for special reporting. (We heard the intestinal illness was above 1% but less than 2%). There was also a nasty respiratory virus spreading. At nearly every port (and a few unscheduled, such as Huatulco and in the PC itself) there were medical evacuations and ambulances waiting. We usually arrived early enough in port that disembarkation wasn't delayed, but at one port we were late getting off. The Main Dining Room was mediocre with only a few menus that rotated through 20 days. Sometimes service was awful and sometimes it was okay. After we complained, we were "flagged" and then got put in the MDR sections with better servers. We also got comped a meal . The specialty restaurants were better for service and food, most of the time (we went 8 times). Cagneys was hit and miss. On the first night, the truffle fries were cold.Toward the end of the cruise during the Noro outbreak, they were full and service suffered. We were ticketed to see Jersey Boys, but our waiter didn't ask if we had a show, We sat for 15 minutes without seeing a waiter at all, and then it was another 30 minutes without even seeing the first starter. After calling over the maitre d' and explaining that we were going to miss the show if this continued, the service was rushed and we managed to gobble down 4 courses in an hour with 10 minutes to spare (we had allowed a total of two hours before show time). We found the best service (and food) at Le Bistro. We liked Los Lobos okay. Ocean Blue was good, but hard to get a seating. We didn't hear good things about Q so didn't go there. We went to Food Republic once (comp'd due to my complaining about the MDR). We noticed a lot of crew dining there (probably the only place to get sushi). Some of the plates were better than others. The scallop one was just plain strange. It isn't in the dining package. Most people don't eat at Los Lobos, but we thought the food was pretty good. Ocean Blue was good but difficult to get into, especially after the "extra cleaning" started and more people avoided the buffet. Thank goodness for the wonderful Indian food (BLD) in the buffet, at least I didn't starve. In the beginning they had pickled herring available but toward the end a lot of items went missing from the buffet. The only place you could get smoked salmon at breakfast was in the MDR. The Observation Lounge has limited hours for food service. The only 24/7 is Local, the buffet has limited late night food. Room service now has the upcharge except for limited continental breakfast. They were good about coming during the requested window (I must have been near the beginning of the rotation since the knock came a few minutes into the window). I had a midship balcony and it was fine, no problems at all. I would have liked a few drawers rather than all shelving. The cabin steward was great. Liked the single cup coffee maker. Requested my minifrig to be cleared on Day1. I kept skim milk, yogurt cups and snacks in there which came in handy during the Noro outbreak.You can find some smaller plates around the buffet and Observation Lounge (full sized plates are too big for the frig). The Observation Lounge is a nice space. Unfortunately the sheltered outdoor walking/viewing spaces are limited especially in the front of the ship which are blocked by private spaces. We also miss the public decks in the aft that you can find on other ships and cruise lines. Jersey Boys was excellent. It's easier to get into the later show. The Beatles were good. Six was okay. We only took one shore excursion (Acapulco) which went to Tres Palos and the Botanic Garden. It was advertised as "unguided" and an "Aviary visit" which was misleading. We did not visit an aviary by any English definition and there was a guide who kept tight rein on the group at the Botanic Garden. We complained and they gave us a minimal discount. I booked the NYC tour/transfer and as discussed above we only had one stop due to slow disembarkation. I would not travel on NCL Bliss again for 21 days. Maybe for 7 or 10, but 21 is too many even with 8 specialty dinners. It isn't worth putting up with the terrible dining room service.

Last minute Itinerary Switch, Ship is too big. Beware on Panama Canal Transits.

Norwegian Bliss Cruise Review by mlgb

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
We arrived at 1pm and embarkation was smooth. However there were undisclosed problems getting some passengers from LAX to the ship, which delayed the sailaway for hours (until after dark).Disembarkation in NYC did not go well. Huge lines snaking around. I stood in line for an hour (was on a NCL bus tour/ transfer to JFK) with people coughing all around me. There was time for only one stop on the $99 tour due to the delay in us gettiing off. We were assembled at 8am in the theater and our bus didn't leave the port until 10am. Glad that our guide chose Ground Zero for the stop, though.

This is another NCL ship subject to itinerary changes after final payment. It is too big to dock in Costa Rica. We were told that it had to do with silting in the harbor after a flood earlier in the year. After final payment, they dropped Costa Rica and added Acapulco. Also, they had to wait until extreme low tide to be able to pass under the Pacific side bridg of the Panama Canal. Hence the "daylight transit" started at 2am.

Hygiene and illness were a problem on the ship. Early in the cruise no one was enforcing good sanitation in the buffet lines. After Guatemala (Day 11) they started with 'extra cleaning' which continued and ramped up throughout the cruise, to the point where for several days at the end they were at full-Noro levels of cleaning. They were attempting to keep the statistics below the threshold for special reporting. (We heard the intestinal illness was above 1% but less than 2%). There was also a nasty respiratory virus spreading. At nearly every port (and a few unscheduled, such as Huatulco and in the PC itself) there were medical evacuations and ambulances waiting. We usually arrived early enough in port that disembarkation wasn't delayed, but at one port we were late getting off.

The Main Dining Room was mediocre with only a few menus that rotated through 20 days. Sometimes service was awful and sometimes it was okay. After we complained, we were "flagged" and then got put in the MDR sections with better servers. We also got comped a meal . The specialty restaurants were better for service and food, most of the time (we went 8 times). Cagneys was hit and miss. On the first night, the truffle fries were cold.Toward the end of the cruise during the Noro outbreak, they were full and service suffered. We were ticketed to see Jersey Boys, but our waiter didn't ask if we had a show, We sat for 15 minutes without seeing a waiter at all, and then it was another 30 minutes without even seeing the first starter. After calling over the maitre d' and explaining that we were going to miss the show if this continued, the service was rushed and we managed to gobble down 4 courses in an hour with 10 minutes to spare (we had allowed a total of two hours before show time). We found the best service (and food) at Le Bistro. We liked Los Lobos okay. Ocean Blue was good, but hard to get a seating. We didn't hear good things about Q so didn't go there. We went to Food Republic once (comp'd due to my complaining about the MDR). We noticed a lot of crew dining there (probably the only place to get sushi). Some of the plates were better than others. The scallop one was just plain strange. It isn't in the dining package. Most people don't eat at Los Lobos, but we thought the food was pretty good. Ocean Blue was good but difficult to get into, especially after the "extra cleaning" started and more people avoided the buffet.

Thank goodness for the wonderful Indian food (BLD) in the buffet, at least I didn't starve. In the beginning they had pickled herring available but toward the end a lot of items went missing from the buffet. The only place you could get smoked salmon at breakfast was in the MDR. The Observation Lounge has limited hours for food service. The only 24/7 is Local, the buffet has limited late night food.

Room service now has the upcharge except for limited continental breakfast. They were good about coming during the requested window (I must have been near the beginning of the rotation since the knock came a few minutes into the window).

I had a midship balcony and it was fine, no problems at all. I would have liked a few drawers rather than all shelving. The cabin steward was great. Liked the single cup coffee maker. Requested my minifrig to be cleared on Day1. I kept skim milk, yogurt cups and snacks in there which came in handy during the Noro outbreak.You can find some smaller plates around the buffet and Observation Lounge (full sized plates are too big for the frig).

The Observation Lounge is a nice space. Unfortunately the sheltered outdoor walking/viewing spaces are limited especially in the front of the ship which are blocked by private spaces. We also miss the public decks in the aft that you can find on other ships and cruise lines.

Jersey Boys was excellent. It's easier to get into the later show. The Beatles were good. Six was okay.

We only took one shore excursion (Acapulco) which went to Tres Palos and the Botanic Garden. It was advertised as "unguided" and an "Aviary visit" which was misleading. We did not visit an aviary by any English definition and there was a guide who kept tight rein on the group at the Botanic Garden. We complained and they gave us a minimal discount. I booked the NYC tour/transfer and as discussed above we only had one stop due to slow disembarkation.

I would not travel on NCL Bliss again for 21 days. Maybe for 7 or 10, but 21 is too many even with 8 specialty dinners. It isn't worth putting up with the terrible dining room service.
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