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Norwegian Bliss Review

4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating
1265 reviews

First Post COVID Cruise and it was wonderful

Review for Norwegian Bliss to the Panama Canal & Central America
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6-10 Cruises • Age 60s

Rating by category

Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation

Additional details

Sail Date: Feb 2022
Cabin: Spa Balcony Stateroom

This was our 10th cruise on NCL and the Panama Canal cruise was on our bucket list. We had the same cruise scheduled for 2021 but it was cancelled due to COVID. We were excited when NCL started sailing again but became worried when the Omicron wave hit Fortunately our cruise was not cancelled. We would have been devastated. NCL's health and safety protocols were outstanding. We tested at the pier at our designated time and that went smoothly. Checking in was just as easy. The new terminal is fantastic. Embarkation was quick and easy. We upgraded to a spa balcony and our room was great. Plenty of room and storage. The ship was about 40% full, about 1800 passengers but was fully staffed by the crew. We have always enjoyed the crew, but they were even more attentive than before. We made a point of talking to many of them and they always took the time to chat. Because of the number of sea days, we thought it would be fun to try to find as many crew members from different countries as we could. Each time we found a new country, my took a photo with them. In all we met crew from 50 different countries.

We enjoyed all of the ports. We were concerned about getting to all of the ports because the prior cruise was denied entry in Guatemala and Costa Rica, but we hit every port. We normally use private excursions over NCL because they tend to be less crowded, but because of COVID we stayed with NCL at every port except Guatemala where we used a private tour.

We enjoyed the shows, especially the Jersey Boys Julie Barr, a comedian was at the social and she was very funny. Another singing group, These guys Worldwide was also entertaining. Did not like the Beatles cover band.

Cabin Review

Spa Balcony Stateroom

Plenty of room and storage. Large walk in shower with multiple shower heads. Great location Cabin No. 15810.

Port Reviews

Cabo San Lucas

We signed up for the 3 in tour, paddle, kayak and snorkeling and got so much more. The water was cold so the tour had wetsuits for us. Good snorkeling over a reef with many colorful fish. Paddle boarding and kayaking were fun too. The highlight thought was whale watching. Our boat driver got us incredibly close to both whales and dolphins. Much better than a regular whale watching trip.

Cartagena (Colombia)

Interesting port and first time setting foot in South America. Biggest issue was being surrounded by vendors the second you got off the bus. We toured the old Spanish Fort and then walked through the old city. Great sites. Also enjoyed the mini zoo that was located right at the port as you returned to the ship.

Colon (Cristobal)

We first stopped at the Agua Clara locks which were fascinating. We then took the train from Colon to Panama City. Very scenic ride, well worth it as we rode along side Gatun Lake. Panama City was impressive would like to visit someday.


This was a two part excursion. River tubing and beach visit. The tubing was a lot of fun but could have been longer. Bamboo Beach was nothing special.

Puerto Quetzal (Antigua)

We took a private tour to Antigua. Antigua is a beautiful city surrounded by volcanos. Very picturesque. We also had a traditional lunch that was excellent.

Puerto Vallarta

The tour started with a walk in the Romantic Section. Interesting sculptures by the water. The trip to the tile factory was nothing special. We can find the same tiles near our home in Arizona. We did enjoy the Tequila distillery and our guide was entertaining.

Puntarenas (Puerto Caldera)

This tour was part river cruise and part gondola ride through the rain forest. The river cruise as great as we saw many crocodiles and exotic birds. The gondola ride was cool though we did not see any animals at all which was disappointing.

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