This was our 4 - 5th trip with Norwegian Cruise Line but our first on the NCL Bliss. We were satisfied with our previous vacations. This trip we brought our daughters, and grandchildren to see Alaska for the first time. This trip on was considerably dissatisfying .
We took the Alaska cruise. At the first stop Sitka the ship docked 5 - 6 miles from the town and you were shuttled in. With 4500 guest needing to take Shuttle buses into to town and back , this took a great deal of time . Normally this wouldn't have been an issue but because of the size of the ship time in port time is shorter for Mega ships (Bliss) than it is for the smaller cruise ships. We only had a few hours in each port to sight see or do an excursions. We were never in a port all day, in fact we only did two excursions and almost missed the boat at each port. The next stop was Juneau. The on the July 4 the same day of the big parade where the town shuts the streets down for the celebration. Norwegian knew this fact. We were only in Juneau from 8-2. Some guest got left in Juneau due to traffic being stopped. We left Juneau to the go to glacier bay (the only thing our grandchildren wanted to see). When we got to the entrance of the bay, the captain told us there was too much ice and couldn't enter but that we had to go back to Juneau to pick up guest anyhow. Most of the guest on board felt as we did, that we missed the glacier so NCL could go back to pick up guest that they had left. Ketchikan was the same story, 5 miles into town via shuttle buses and back from 8 to 2 but was told be on the shuttle by 12:30 or you wouldn't make the ship.
All excursions were over priced and not clearly subscribed. With the increasing number of passengers and a minimum of 5 - 7 ships in port just made prices higher. One excursion that we signed up for was a rainforest walk, for 59.00. We did this thinking it was a guided tour. We were put on a bus and dropped off. (59.00 for the bus ride!!). Our second excursion was described as go to the logging show and then a crab feast buffet lunch for 279.00 each. We got on the bus and were told we be going to eat crab first....it was 7:15 AM. Crab for Breakfast!!!!! Buffet food was mediocre. Restaurant food was better and service very good so we quit going to buffet.