17th cruise, 12th on Norwegian, 2nd on the Bliss. My wife and I enjoy cruising to exotic destinations but decided to make a last minute booking on the Bliss to escape the cold and rainy weather of the Pacific Northwest. We previously sailed on the Bliss to Alaska and I thought very highly of the ship and its crew.
Things I liked on this sailing: The crew was friendly and for the most part went out of their way to make passengers feel welcome. I actually found the staff outside the Haven especially friendly but in fairness, the Haven was booked full while the overall ship had only 1792 passengers (typical full capacity is 4000) so there was a lot of extra staff. The washy washy buffet greeters were always appreciated. There are always things to do on the Bliss - I didn't partake on the electric race karts or water slides on this sailing but previously enjoyed them. The Bliss has a great jogging/walking track with beautiful views (including whale sightings) during exercise. With less than half capacity, pools, hot tubs, deck chairs were readily available. The thought the entertainment (which is always a highlight of NCL) was exceptional. The headliner shows I attended included the Beatles tribute band, the magician Jackson Rayne, Jersey Boys, and the 80s tribute band Back in the Day. The Beatles band played frequently in the Cavern club and was quite good especially with the early Beatles music. Jersey Boys was great, as always. I was quite surprised at Jackson Rayne's show - I usually skip comedians and magicians, but I found his show quite good - in the league of David Copperfield. Back in the Day played some great music, although I thought the band played too many of their favorite hard rock/metal hits instead of more Pop music that the mixed audience might have enjoyed more. Perhaps having an 80s singalong show for the main theatre and a different show of their favorites for one of the clubs. In any case, they were quite good especially the lead singer. My favorite entertainers was the house band Siglo who, as with my previous voyage on the Bliss, found them to be the best band on the seas. They cover so many musical acts and have so much musical talent! Overall, the food was good - some misses but mostly hits. We ate at many different venues - Cagney's is always a favorite of mine for their rib eye steak, Teppanyaki is fun with food, and Ocean Blue had great selection of seafoods. We had a couple of dinners at the main dining room based on their evening specials and two dinners at the Haven restaurant.
Some misses with this sailing: I was a little disappointed that the ship was not as clean as I remembered it on my Alaska trip - Glass on the main deck was dirty, even little things in our cabin were not in the usual near perfect cleanliness. It is nit picking, but with only a half full ship you would think maintenance would be a bit easier. Perhaps they spend more time cleaning the high touch areas like the outdoor showers due to COVID protocols.
Can't go wrong with a NCL Haven Suite!
We hiked up El Faro with the ship sponsored tour - the highest functioning lighthouse in the world. Sign up for lighthouse excursion but enjoy the nature and incredible views. We had an exceptional guide Cristobal who spent most of the tour talking about the nature and history of Mazatlan.