We sail on Norwegian out of Manhattan because it is very convenient. However, The Bliss seemed to have too many people for the facilities on the ship. The main areas were always crowded with people. There was congestion around the elevators, difficulty finding a table at the buffet, not enough room for the more popular attractions in the Atrium. Guests were actually moving chairs from the meeting rooms and library because of lack of seating. The embarkation and disembarkation were poorly organized.
The Observation Lounge was very nice and a good gathering spot but seats were at a premium because it was the only quiet area inside. We enjoyed the Texas Smokehouse restaurant and the country western band although there was not much of a dance floor. The Chocolate bar in the buffet was delicious on the few occasions it was available. The photographers did not push for taking photos. Some of the cruise director’s staff were very good but others made up their own rules for the games and even became a little snippy with the guests about it. And, of course, the pattern of fish on the hallway carpeting showing direction was a real plus.
There were two outstanding shows during the cruise, Six and Jersey Boys. They were two of the best performances we have ever had on our cruises. However, the shows definitely had to be booked prior to the cruise to be assured of a seat. There was a long line each performance in the Standby line. Not everyone could get in to see the show, again, too many people for the facilities on board.
The first day ballroom dancing was on the schedule, quite a few people arrived to find a dance floor packed with chairs and no one around to remedy the situation. Once the floor was cleared, it was a fun experience that a good crowd enjoyed. However, the next time it was scheduled, the floor was so sticky that it was extremely difficult to dance and many of the people left. The third time the dance floor had not improved even after complaining for 3 days about the conditions and the crowd dwindled. After that there was no more ballroom dancing scheduled.
On the night of the 70’s party at H2O, the floor was wet and that made for treacherous conditions. Sugercane drew a lot of people for Latin dancing but the dance area was small and even more restricted with the addition of tables on the dance floor.
We visited Guest Services on a few occasions and, at times, they were not very helpful or not knowledgeable and, in fact, made a mistake on my account that took 5 more trips and a supervisor and the supervisor’s supervisor to straighten out.
As the cruise went on and the problems multiplied, some of the little things started to become annoying. There were onions in everything in the buffet, the mini gold course had no clubs or balls available, there were no salt and pepper shakers or sugar on the tables but just a few days before the cruise ended they magically appeared. On other cruise lines there are precooked fried eggs available at the buffet to cut the wait time at the omelet stations. I really missed that.
The Norwegian Bliss is a pleasant looking ship but definitely not a lot of pizzazz there. The theater was nondescript but the performances made up for that. Norwegian had an onboard app that I found was not very useful. All in all, the Norwegian Bliss was not one of my favorite cruise choices.
However, some of the crew gave us exceptional service:
Komang Pariana - (Waiter in the Q) Kind and thoughtful, he went overboard in being helpful to us and was sure to stop by and greet we each time we visited the Q.
Priscilla Mupfururi - (Hostess in the Q) Smiling and personable, she kept us country all during the cruise by giving us tables in the Q close to the dance floor each night.
Oscar Aranas - (Room Steward) Hard working and efficient. He kept us comfortable and supplied us with everything we needed for our room.
Garmo Gaye - (Greeter at Garden Café) A beautiful, happy person. If everyone could be greeted each morning as happily as Gamo did for us, the world would be a better place.
Didia - (Maitra D in Cagneys) Concerned and friendly, she always stopped to talk a while. Even when on her way to clean up late at night.
Rico SaFranca Hermaso - (Waiter in Manhattan) Considerate and pleasant, he even went out of his way to get a special salad for our group each night. Made dining pleasurable.
Darlyn Melendres - (Assistant waiter in Manhattan) With a sweet smile and gentle manner, she was always in the background waiting to be of service.
The cabin was comfortable but the bathroom had no amenities such as face cream etc.