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We choose this cruise due to the port location (no flights for us) and the deal we got at time of booking. Have cruised with NCL many times before but have never dealt with such crowds everywhere on the ship at all times. Bigger is not always better. Ship: The ship itself is a beautiful ship. There are only 2 banks of elevators on this ship located forward and aft-none in the middle of the ship and the wait for an elevator was ridiculous to the point where people became very rude trying to get on the elevator cutting in line, pushing people out of the way, jamming themselves into packed elevators, etc. The Observation Lounge was beautiful, but out of 14 days we were able to get a seat one time our whole cruise. I was never able to get a lounge chair by the pool at all. On deck 8 there were couches and chairs that I was able to get a seat each day. Lots of kids on the cruise which we weren't expecting in January. Cabin: We had a mini suite forward on Deck 11 which was a good location-cabin rooms above and below us and near the elevators. Advice-the mini suite itself was no bigger than a balcony room-the extra room is in the bathroom area, so if the size of the bathroom doesn't matter to you -you might want to pay a lower price for a balcony room. I didn't feel our room had a lot of storage. One closet with 4 shelves, 2 suitcases went under the bed. Room was clean, room steward did a good job, shower didn't drain well, so by the end of the shower you were standing ankle deep in water. Dining: Buffet extremely crowded at all times. Never could get a table inside of the dining area but caught on that the tables outside on the deck near the pool were always available. Mostly had lunch at the buffet and the food was very good. The main dining rooms had very slow service, food was good. Cagney's was very good, Ocean was excellent, Q was very good, Le Bistro ok, La Cucina didn't like at all. I would not pay extra to eat in any of the specialty dining areas, but since we had 7 dinners included we tried them. As long as you keep in mind that dinner in each place is approx. a 2 hour event you will be fine. If you are in a hurry, I suggest you eat at the buffet or at Local. Local is where we ate breakfast most days as the dining rooms were long lines and slow service in the mornings. Entertainment: We enjoyed almost all of the shows. Jersey Boys was great, Six was ok, Beatles were very good. Went to a show every night and enjoyed the variety. What I didn't like was the line to get into a reserved show such a Jersey Boys. People started lining up 1 hour ahead of when the theatre opens and the line ended up blocking off a whole bank of elevators. Then for those of us waiting in the long line, the elevators would open, people would get off and jump in line cutting off those of us who had been waiting. Same for people lining up on the stairs- no effort from ship employees to regulate the lines or restore some kind of order-resulting in passengers yelling at each other about cutting the line-it was ridiculous! Service-we received excellent service from all of the employees on board. All we dealt with were polite, helpful, and very pleasant. Ports and Shore Excursions: We don't normally use the ship shore excursions, but since we received credit to use for booking ones, we tried one in each port and enjoyed each one we took. What I didn't like is they try to get you to book online or using their app to avoid long lines on the ship, so I did, but as a Platinum member I was supposed to get 10% off each tour and the only way to get that is to go the Shore Excursions desk, so even though I booked on the app, I still then had to go stand in line to get my 10% off. Spa: the spa was quite expensive, but the last day of the cruise, they had several specials for $99 so only used the spa on the last day of the cruise and of course had to deal with them trying to sell me a $1,000 worth of products at the end. Overall we enjoyed the cruise, but I for one, will never go on a ship this big again as it did not seem prepared to deal with number of people the ship holds. There was a lot we didn't get to experience due to the long lines of people and then getting cut off because the venue had reached capacity. Embarkation and Debarkation took about an 1 1/2 from start to finish. Would much rather go back on the Escape, Getaway, and Epic.

Crowds at all times!

Norwegian Bliss Cruise Review by djayne

4 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: January 2020
  • Destination: Western Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Mini-Suite with Balcony (Connecting Stateroom)
We choose this cruise due to the port location (no flights for us) and the deal we got at time of booking. Have cruised with NCL many times before but have never dealt with such crowds everywhere on the ship at all times. Bigger is not always better.

Ship: The ship itself is a beautiful ship. There are only 2 banks of elevators on this ship located forward and aft-none in the middle of the ship and the wait for an elevator was ridiculous to the point where people became very rude trying to get on the elevator cutting in line, pushing people out of the way, jamming themselves into packed elevators, etc. The Observation Lounge was beautiful, but out of 14 days we were able to get a seat one time our whole cruise. I was never able to get a lounge chair by the pool at all. On deck 8 there were couches and chairs that I was able to get a seat each day. Lots of kids on the cruise which we weren't expecting in January.

Cabin: We had a mini suite forward on Deck 11 which was a good location-cabin rooms above and below us and near the elevators. Advice-the mini suite itself was no bigger than a balcony room-the extra room is in the bathroom area, so if the size of the bathroom doesn't matter to you -you might want to pay a lower price for a balcony room. I didn't feel our room had a lot of storage. One closet with 4 shelves, 2 suitcases went under the bed. Room was clean, room steward did a good job, shower didn't drain well, so by the end of the shower you were standing ankle deep in water.

Dining: Buffet extremely crowded at all times. Never could get a table inside of the dining area but caught on that the tables outside on the deck near the pool were always available. Mostly had lunch at the buffet and the food was very good. The main dining rooms had very slow service, food was good. Cagney's was very good, Ocean was excellent, Q was very good, Le Bistro ok, La Cucina didn't like at all. I would not pay extra to eat in any of the specialty dining areas, but since we had 7 dinners included we tried them. As long as you keep in mind that dinner in each place is approx. a 2 hour event you will be fine. If you are in a hurry, I suggest you eat at the buffet or at Local. Local is where we ate breakfast most days as the dining rooms were long lines and slow service in the mornings.

Entertainment: We enjoyed almost all of the shows. Jersey Boys was great, Six was ok, Beatles were very good. Went to a show every night and enjoyed the variety. What I didn't like was the line to get into a reserved show such a Jersey Boys. People started lining up 1 hour ahead of when the theatre opens and the line ended up blocking off a whole bank of elevators. Then for those of us waiting in the long line, the elevators would open, people would get off and jump in line cutting off those of us who had been waiting. Same for people lining up on the stairs- no effort from ship employees to regulate the lines or restore some kind of order-resulting in passengers yelling at each other about cutting the line-it was ridiculous!

Service-we received excellent service from all of the employees on board. All we dealt with were polite, helpful, and very pleasant.

Ports and Shore Excursions: We don't normally use the ship shore excursions, but since we received credit to use for booking ones, we tried one in each port and enjoyed each one we took. What I didn't like is they try to get you to book online or using their app to avoid long lines on the ship, so I did, but as a Platinum member I was supposed to get 10% off each tour and the only way to get that is to go the Shore Excursions desk, so even though I booked on the app, I still then had to go stand in line to get my 10% off.

Spa: the spa was quite expensive, but the last day of the cruise, they had several specials for $99 so only used the spa on the last day of the cruise and of course had to deal with them trying to sell me a $1,000 worth of products at the end.

Overall we enjoyed the cruise, but I for one, will never go on a ship this big again as it did not seem prepared to deal with number of people the ship holds. There was a lot we didn't get to experience due to the long lines of people and then getting cut off because the venue had reached capacity. Embarkation and Debarkation took about an 1 1/2 from start to finish. Would much rather go back on the Escape, Getaway, and Epic.
djayne’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
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Cabin Review

Mini-Suite with Balcony (Connecting Stateroom)
Cabin M8
Good location-rooms above and below so no noise from venues on the ship such as nightclubs or pool area. Close to a bank of elevators. Balcony small with 2 chairs and tiny table. Same size as a balcony room-just has a bigger bathroom which we enjoyed having.
Not a lot of storage-one closet with 4 shelfs in it. Our 2 suitcases fit under the bed.
Deck 14 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews