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1,619 Mexican Riviera Cruise Reviews

My wife and I enjoyed this cruise. No pressure to purchase extras, but it had a lot to offer if interested. Great staff and although a fairly large ship it never felt overwhelming or in-personable. The Crown Grill was fantastic. The main ... Read More
My wife and I enjoyed this cruise. No pressure to purchase extras, but it had a lot to offer if interested. Great staff and although a fairly large ship it never felt overwhelming or in-personable. The Crown Grill was fantastic. The main dinning room was nice but the food was mediocre. However the bars, particularly Vines Wine Bar were fantastic. Very good entertainment, including movies under the stars which was a unique and fun experience. Loved the specialty coffee shop and choices. Gelato bar was pleasant surprise. Because of rough seas that day, we were unable to go ashore at Cabo San Lucas, but the ships staff mad up for it a lot with extra events and other fun things to do on board that day. Mazatlan was another pleasant surprise as I've always heard it wasn't a "safe" port, but we found it very nice and enjoyed a day at the beach at one of it's hotels. Of course Puerto Vallarta is always a great place to visit. All in all, a very nice cruise. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We took this cruise as a winter getaway, and it served its purpose. positives: - we feel there's been an improvement in the quality of the entertainment, both in small venues and in the Princess Theatre (compared to previous ... Read More
We took this cruise as a winter getaway, and it served its purpose. positives: - we feel there's been an improvement in the quality of the entertainment, both in small venues and in the Princess Theatre (compared to previous Princess cruises) -we appreciated the full service sit-down pizzeria on board (no charge) -International cafe is a great place for a light meal or dessert -embarkation and disembarkation were a breeze not-so-positive: -it is hard to find a quiet spot on the ship outside of your cabin - even retreat pool area has noise filtering from other areas -food in main dining room is ok, but not exceptional -- appetizers were more inventive than mains -need to arrive at Princess Theatre at least 1/2 hour before showtime to get a seat negative: -we found the medallion app not user-friendly, complicated to access the internet app, and chat function not useful, as there is no notification that message has been sent Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
My wife and I are not seasoned cruisers, having been on the Carnival Splendor and MSC Divina prior to our cruise on the Miracle. However, the friendliness of the staff and customer service on both of our Carnival cruises far outpaced the ... Read More
My wife and I are not seasoned cruisers, having been on the Carnival Splendor and MSC Divina prior to our cruise on the Miracle. However, the friendliness of the staff and customer service on both of our Carnival cruises far outpaced the experience on MSC. The ship itself is mid-sized, easy to find your way around, and never seemed crowded. However, signs of age are everywhere, and a drydock is much needed. We saw some neon lights out, a lot more rust on the railings than on prior ships, and just general signs of age. It's not always easy to describe, but you know it when you see it and can kind of feel it as well. Upsides to the ship are the aforementioned customer service, Carnival's adult retreat Serenity Deck, the hidden and quiet gem Gotham Bar on Deck 3 outside of the dining room, the Alchemy Bar on Deck 2, the Red Frog Pub, and the Skybox Sports bar which was great for watching football. Downside is the overall quality of the food, and the ridiculous amount of cigarette smoke emanating from the casino which permeates all of the public areas around it. (When will a cruise line finally get the balls to eliminate smoking onboard altogether? Safety and health hazard, not to mention just absolutely disgusting.) The cabins are clean and well serviced, and the entertainment that my wife and I partake of is generally music, Classic Rock if we can find it. We aren't much for the Las Vegas type shows and did not attend one on this ship. We have been in Cabo before and did not go ashore, it's not worth the tender ride. Mazatlán was disappointing and kind of dirty, we didn't enjoy the day there. Puerto Vallarta is great, we took a taxi to the Malecon and had drinks and lunch at a great restaurant called Bar Oceano. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
This is a wonderful ship, large but I never felt crowded. The staff is exemplary, Princess should be proud of the staff on this ship. The entertainment, in particular the musicial groups were superb. The level of talent, far exceeded my ... Read More
This is a wonderful ship, large but I never felt crowded. The staff is exemplary, Princess should be proud of the staff on this ship. The entertainment, in particular the musicial groups were superb. The level of talent, far exceeded my expectations (you must listen to the Extravaganza Duo, to violinists that play amazing harmonies).The food, for the most part was very good. Their pizza restaurant was unexpectedly great (pizza oven cooked on stone the Italian way). The common areas of the ship are all very nice, in particular the piazza at the center of the ship. This ship does not have a promenade deck that completely encircles the ship, you need to go to the top deck to a walk/run track to do that, but it does have a partial outdoor space off deck 7 midship and near the back of the ship that are hardly ever used, and is a excellent area to use if you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the swimming areas on the sun deck. Lounges ar provided. Beware the weather in November can be difficult (Puerto V. 92 F with 88 percent humidity made it feel like 100+, Cabo was fine) On this ship you waited for tenders in the public areas as groups were called, much better than everyone stuffed into one of the restaurants. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
i hadn't been to Mexico in many years, so I wanted to check it out. Princess offered me a comp, so why not. Cabo was great but the shore excursion to the "resort" ended up being on a very crowded public beach with dirty ... Read More
i hadn't been to Mexico in many years, so I wanted to check it out. Princess offered me a comp, so why not. Cabo was great but the shore excursion to the "resort" ended up being on a very crowded public beach with dirty couches and no lounge chairs for us. the beach is typical now - the drop in the sand to get into the water was just as bad as many Caribbean beaches these days. I found Mazatlan to be dumpy. The last time I was in Puerto Vallarta there were only three or four hotels. what a change. we went to the Hyatt away from the masses and the resort was great. my room steward was great and I showed him my appreciation. Being on Keto, I ate in the buffet almost all of the time. Many choices, good food but they should open for dinner at 5 pm instead of 5:30, no biggie. The casino comped me at the Crown Grill - food and service was great - left a pretty big tip - maitre d' even asked me if I was sure if i wanted to leave that much - well, turns out he ended up sending in a charge to my room for the meal even though I handed him the casino invite. After a visit to guest services and being questioned, they reversed the charge. a high point was that i lost my watch at the pool - someone actually turned it into lost and found and I got it back. service overall was good but they have the same problem with the slow bartenders at the bars so i just waited til i got to the casino to drink. casino was filthy and it seemed as though it was never cleaned during the week. machines pretty much sucked but i did manage to get a jackpot which covered most of my losses. embarkation and debarkation went very smoothly. the new medallion is not all that it is supposed to be - at least not yet - many of us were charged for items we didnt buy - if you walk by a bar or a store, for some reason, a charge seemed to appear. Also, I do not like my name posted outside my cabin. it was nice, though, to be able to walk up to your room and your door unlocks. also, they advertise heavily how you can use your medallion anywhere on the ship to place an order. I tried four different times and different locations and each time I was told that I was not in an area serviced by the medallion. the internet was just as shoddy as on other ships. it worked probably half of the time. sanctuary pool area is the only way to go if you dont want to be around kids. they did have the most amount of hot tubs that i've ever seen on a ship - at least 10. plenty of chairs to sit anywhere - unlike MSC Meraviglia and Seaside - we could never find a chair. The showroom does not have enough seats for a cruise of over 3500 ppl. I could not get a seat at any of the shows. Ppl put their bags on the seats next to them to take up seats. something needs to be done about that. i wrote that in my review with princess. let me know if you have any questions. if you don't know, san pedro (pier in LA) is in a pretty lousey area so be aware. that's about it mj in ny Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
I predicate any review with a caveat. Not everyone likes the same experiences and I come to most experiences skewed by the fact that I live in the Las Vegas area, where entertainment and food service are highly competitive and demand ... Read More
I predicate any review with a caveat. Not everyone likes the same experiences and I come to most experiences skewed by the fact that I live in the Las Vegas area, where entertainment and food service are highly competitive and demand excellence. I try to weigh this bias in while reviewing and realize not everyone is subject to the variety and expertise in the areas as one who lives in a recognized entertainment capital of the World. So, I will not nitpick in my cons, but mention only those drawbacks I find extraordinary. With that out of the way, let's begin. Let me first say that this was my first NCL experience. My resume sports twenty cruises, but the lion's share is on Royal Caribbean. My wife and I wanted to see if "freestyle" cruising was for us. A one week cruise on NCL's Bliss, sailing out of Los Angeles, a mere one hour plane ride away, seemed like a good beginning to what we hoped would lead to many more cruises with Norwegian. After watching several reviews, we decided on a Spa Mini Suite to take advantage of the thermal spa suite. Having visited each of the ports on our itinerary, we decided to spend the entire week on the ship and sample as many of the restaurants as we could. Before looking at the pros and cons, let me begin with an overall review of the Bliss. This is a beautiful ship with so much going on it is nearly impossible to get it all in with just one week. If an active cruise is your thing, you will be certainly satisfied on the Bliss. Now, to the list. I like to finish with the pros, so let's start with five glaring cons, not in any particular order. Cons: 1. Food...Although I found some outstanding dishes around the ship, I'd classify most dishes as not bad, just lacking flavor. I found myself tasting many dishes and just coming to the conclusion that it didn't offend and was filling. Believe me when I say, the meal packages will not leave you hungry. Most meals included two appetizers, one main, two sides and a dessert. I ate at seven different restaurants plus the buffet, so I covered quite a bit in one week. I did not visit the main dining rooms so I'll hold judgement and assume they were at or above buffet quality. The best experience I had was at Le Bistro, where all of the dishes shined. My worst experience was certainly at the usually highly regarded Cagney's steak restaurant, closely followed by Los Lobos. If you've had Cagney's before, and I haven't, although most I asked said it was not to be missed, you might want to miss this one on the Bliss. There are just some things you come to expect in a finer restaurant, and Cagney's on the Bliss fell far short. Let me just mention a few things. I enjoy my filet with a Gorgonzola crust. I know, it's a little odd, but steak restaurants all know how to do it. I asked for this and was told they could do a blue cheese crust, but not Gorgonzola. The waiter didn't seem to understand what Gorgonzola is. Anyway, when delivered, there was no crust at all. I asked about the blue cheese and he kindly went back to the kitchen and brought out a side of blue cheese crumbles. I spoke to the manager about it and asked him if he knew what I was talking about. He even told me how it was cooked to form the crust. He offered to take it back and fix it, but I was just frustrated at this point and against a window of time so I just ate the steak with some microwaved blue cheese on top. I need to also add I couldn't eat my two sides. Their definition of cream corn is whole corn kernels in a milk broth. The potatoes au gratin came clumped together in one piece. But check this out. My wife's wine glass had a hole in it...not a crack...not a broken off piece, but a hole you could stick your finger through. She didn't see it and wine poured all over her when she tilted back the glass. How does a glass make it to the table with a big gaping hole. Just don't do the cheesecake. It's flavorless. The multi-layered cake is the best choice. I could add a few more tasteless dishes but I think you get it. For a better filet, visit Le Bistro or even the Teppanyaki restaurant. Los Lobos Mexican restaurant was also pretty tasteless. I have to say I am used to great Mexican food, having lived once in Albuquerque, but I also know the minimal requirements to pass for tasty Mexican food. Los Lobos did not meet this minimum. As to the other restaurants I visited, they were all filling with hits and misses. La Cucina had some tasty spicy shrimp appetizer, but how do they get away with being an Italian restaurant without meatballs? I opted for another filet and it was rather dry. As to the buffet, I thought the breakfast buffet was average, but there was one dish I had to repeat a few times, the Bananas Foster French Toast or Waffle. I haven't seen this on other ships and it was, IMO, to die for. If I travel again on the Bliss, I will skip the specialty restaurants and dine mostly between the buffet and the main dining room. The money saved here can go toward one of my pros, the Thermal Suite. 2. Cabins...I suppose I'm spoiled by junior suites on Royal, but I was under-impressed with the spa mini suite. Gone is the walk-in closet of a stepped-down suite I'm used to. In its place is a closet pinned against one side of the bed. There are no drawers, ambient light nor outlets next to the bed. Royal is lax here too, but the walk-in closet light provides a nice night light over the door. I should mention that the cabin did provide a USB outlet on each side of the bed. IMO, the long couch just isn't needed. I would rather have seen two chairs and a small table. The balcony was one of the smallest I've had in awhile, and that includes standard Royal balconies. I would have expected a larger balcony from a mini-suite. It appears it's all about the included Thermal Spa, but the cost simply doesn't justify the increase in price without extra amenities. As to the noise? It's the worst I've ever had due to these mini-suites being directly under the pool deck. The cabin we had, 15782, was so close to the band on deck 16, my wife could repeat the words from the songs while she tried to take a nap. IMO, stay far away from cabin 15782. As to service, I didn't even see our cabin steward until the fifth day. For some reason, he just couldn't get his timing down on when we were in and out. I have a recommendation here. They have the buttons for privacy and clean room. I would have those tied in with the steward's stations. And while we're on these buttons, let me say I am not a fan of the card in the slot for power idea. I wish that would go away. NCL Bliss has it. Finally, the mini-fridge is too small to fit in a plate from any dining room, so don't bring your food back unless you get a small plate. I tried every which way to get it to fit by moving cans and little bottles around to the point of being charged for a can I never used. 3. The App...I could also add this to the pros because when it worked, it was well worth the $9.95 to stay in contact with all your friends. This eliminates the classic walkie-talkie. It's just that often I found my texts not being received for as much as 30 minutes later. My advice would be to add something I can't believe they forgot...Information on ship-wide opening and closing times. It's in the daily planner, but not on the App. I would think this would be an easy extra page to add. Finally, although it's nice to see your activities you booked each day, any time I had more than one, I could only pull up the first one. Maybe I was doing something wrong and if anyone has some advice, please help. So, I won't say this is a total con, just needs improvement. 4. The Racetrack...This will be a huge pro if you have kids or even adults who are a kid at heart. The ONLY way to participate here is to buy the unlimited pass. There is no way you're riding without a reservation, and even in the off season I cruised in, they were well gone early on. I hate having to plan a ride four days from now at 3pm, and limiting my drinking all day to ride that one time. With the pricey unlimited pass, you could just walk up and get in the queue before you start drinking. 5. Ship Embarkation...I'm not going to hold this entirely on NCL. Perhaps the confusion was the LA port's staff as well. A Few More Minor Cons...The ship had a strange vibration at times. It wasn't the usual sway we all know, but a almost popcorn popping shake that even woke me up one night. I didn't care for the theatre seats in that they were slanted down and the drink cup holder cut into your arms. The staff seemed over-worked and I only remember 2 or 3 bars where the staff was happy and interactive. I study the cleaners as well and they were never aware they should always present a positive attitude. Don't get me wrong, there were some staff that were happy, but they were new in their contract. NCL has an eight month contract with zero days off. That's extreme. If I'm wrong about this, it's because that's what they told me and maybe it weighed into their attitude. Pros: I know the cons seemed a lot, but they were far less than all the pros of this ship. I think the pros and cons I write about here will be biased toward your cruising style. Many of the cons can be avoided just by doing some good research and adjusting my cons by simply doing something like picking a quieter room. It's just that I am highly disappointed in a ship having a mini-suite so loud and so small. I am highly disappointed in such a supposedly high quality steak restaurant failing on simple instructions. That being said, let's look at five pros so outstanding, it might be all you need to cruise on this ship... 1. The Observation Lounge...I've been told this area is so spectacular, quiet and serene, that this makes booking the Haven, if some privacy away from crowds is your Haven reason, unnecessary. IMO, this is correct. I spent many mornings there with a cup of coffee in my hand watching the Sun rise. There's a small continental breakfast there as well, and the muffins are delicious. This ship should be high on your list of options for an Alaskan cruise. I've cruised New Zealand, Norway and Santorini. I would have loved this view on those cruises. 2. The Thermal Spa...Do not miss out on this. There's a warm pool with thermal jets that alleviated any back pain I had. There's also saunas, a steam room, a salt room, and even a snow room. It really changes the entire cruise when you spend an hour or two in this massive area early in the day. PLEASE try it. 3. The Drink Package...Simply put, I loved it. The drinks were great and they serve two at a time if you want with no number limit. Also, if 19 bars isn't enough for you, you might need help. Note, the package is VERY expensive. You must get this included as a free at sea. It needs to be your first and maybe only choice if you drink. 4. Entertainment...Check it out, I saw The Beatles at the Cavern Club and Jersey Boys in the theatre all the same night. I only wish the seats had been better. But don't act yet, look what else you get. The drinks at Prohibition, five of them, were tasty and strong, just like the musical. I didn't see Six, but I heard it was great. Siglo, the rock band, sounded JUST LIKE PINK FLOYD. Those guys were awesome. The piano players were top notch and the Reggae band jammed. Add to this, the first Country Music venue I've seen at sea and it's tough to decide what to do each night. There's also tons of activities going on. NCL knows what they're doing with this. 5. The Waterfront...What a great idea. They hide the life rafts below and give you an almost complete wraparound walking area with scattered bars and dining outside. This should be on every ship. I'm used to a lower deck walking area on Royal, but there's nothing going on like on the Bliss. I loved this area and I think you will too. Some other pros I liked...Karaoke in the Cavern Club was fantastic. The large screen at the Atrium is great for Wii and movies each day. The Local is a restaurant bar open 24 hours a day. I don't believe I've seen this on any Royal ship, Carnival or Celebrity I've cruised. On Royal, you're lucky to find some pizza or muffins at most. On NCL Bliss, you can order the entire menu at the Local. Imagine fish and chips at four in the morning. That's freestyle to the max. I also loved that the sales areas don't take up all the walking room on the floor. Finally, I don't know if it's the port or the ship, but the vibe was young and energetic. The Halloween party was fantastic and lots of people dressed up. Things I didn't get to: Coco's Chocolates, Night Club, Comedy at the Comedy Club, Race Cars, Laser Tag, Slides, Main Pool, Main Dining Rooms, Q Texas Smokehouse, The Haven. Maybe it's because one week just isn't enough, but some of these things got missed because I simply fell in love with the Thermal Suite and spent a lot of time there. So, one final caveat to my review. You could love all the things I missed and have a completely different cruise. I guess what I'm saying is...It really is freestyle, and with so much to do, you will certainly find your groove. I hope I was able to help. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We recently took the 7 night Mexican Riviera cruise on the Norwegian Bliss with our 3 year old son. We have cruised with him before (Disney in 2017 to the Bahamas) and wanted to try another cruise line this time around. I did all of my ... Read More
We recently took the 7 night Mexican Riviera cruise on the Norwegian Bliss with our 3 year old son. We have cruised with him before (Disney in 2017 to the Bahamas) and wanted to try another cruise line this time around. I did all of my cruise homework including pouring over reviews all over the internet but I still had a ton of questions. Here's what I think you should know and hopefully will hlep you on your vacay adventure. So first and foremost this was a great cruise- I have some criticisms but they are constructive and this is no way a BAD cruise! We had a lot of fun as a family but there are a few things that I did notice could be better. So we had an ocean view cabin on the 5th deck. 5164 to be exact. The room was a good size for us and I surprisingly liked the bed (it is on the harder side) but I hated the placement. Right when you walk in the room there is the bathroom on the right side and just past that, boom, the bed, with literally a 2 ft space to walk between the wall and bed to get to the couch and rest of the room. Not the end of the world but definitely made things feel more cramped. That said the room has a ton of storage, large bathroom, really small fridge that is stocked with overpriced sodas and mini bottles of liquor so beware! There is a hairdryer but no iron. The cruise line will lauder your clothes and iron them for you but it is insanely overpriced. I started to run out of shirts for my son so yes I did do some hand washing (there is a clothes line in the bathroom hanging over the bathtub) lol...the cruise line charges PER PIECE for laundry service and PER PIECE for ironing. Crazy. Disney had a laundry room with ironing board for our use for free so that was definitely something I missed. Ok so moving on to the Soda Package - you might be considering buying this $65 unlimited adult and teen soda package, but don't. Its not worth it. Paying individually will equal less, unless you slam like 5 sodas a day. The sodas in the fridge are not covered in your soda package, the sodas on room service are not covered and there is no soda served in the Garde Café which is the buffet. The only places you can get your unlimited Soda is at the sit down restaurants- either the free ones (Taste, Savor and The Local) or the specialty ones. I think total my husband got the chance to get like 6 sodas. So those translated to $10 sodas. Never again lol. Now for the Daycare. I honestly whish I could tell you more about this but I cant because my son refused to even go in. So the Daycare is located on the 5th floor and they are a drop in center. When they are full, they are full. You have to wait outside until someone comes to get their child for yours to go in. Disney lets you reserves ahead of time so you can plan out shows, dinners etc. But the kicker is they would not let you walk your child into the actual center. When dropping off, parents are not allowed into the actual play area, so you take your kid to a lobby, check them in and then someone comes out and these little doors open and your child is supposed to walk into a hallway with some person they don't know. So there we were with about 3 other sets of parents trying to goad our toddlers into going with the workers and yeah...no dice. I honestly cant say I blame them. 3 year old me probably would have been cool off that too. Not to keep comparing but Disney lets you walk your kids in and then do the old slip a'roo out the door. Adopting this style would help out parents a lot I think, but I also get why they don't allow people in too so. So assuming your toddler does not want to go into the unknown that is the Daycare then what to do with your toddler? Well the truth is...theres not much to do at all besides walk around, watch TV, and go into the pool. The pool area for kids is relatively small and I wasn't super impressed. Same for the pool that kids can go in. The race cars, golf and laser tag are an up charge and obviously not something you can do with your toddler. There is an arcade that you pay like $1.50-$3 per game for but that gets old too. Since you will be on sea for a few days make sure to pack some of your kids favorite smaller toys (this also comes in handy for embarkation day which can be a long time in line), books, crayons, cars, dolls whatever...because for us we basically had nothing until our first port day when we stocked up on cars, guitars, moroccas, xylophones you name it. My 3 yr old was a one man banda by the end of the day in Puerto Vallarta. If your child is still in diapers/pullups don't forget to take something on port days that you can change him on, a towel, blanket whatever...there are just not many places to change them at all. I suggest doing Mazatlán and Cabo on your own. In Mazatlán you can get the same tour of the city that they offer as an excursion on the cruise line for half of the cost by going with one of the guys that will rush you when you get to the cruise port. Im not gonna lie... I was scared to go around Mazatlán...but I talked to the guy who ended up being our tour guide and was straight up with him about my fear and he completely understood. In the end we did go with him and he took us all around, the cathedral, the cliff divers, the golden zone and then to a hotel where if you bought an item from the menu let you use their beachfront facility, towels, chairs, pools, bathrooms etc. It was pretty awesome and ended up being my favorite port day. Also....if you are looking to bring back some traditional Mexican items I suggest doing it from Mazatlán, there is shopping at the cruise terminal there so you don't even have to go far. Its cheaper there and they have so much more beautiful items at this port. I was so mad at myself for not shopping more there thinking that Cabo would have the same stuff. Not true...and even so Cabo was way more expensive. Speaking of Cabo...since having a little one pretty much vetos snorkeling, day drinking, and ziplining for you, your options are a but more limited. We ended up going on our own that day and walking their boardwalk area. Its about a 30 min walk to Medano Beach. You just follow the board walk and it will deliver you directly to the beach. Once there its the same kind of set up as Mazatlán, beach front hotels offer you the ability to use their towels, chairs and services for a head charge. We paid $20 to say as long as we wanted. Our Cabo day was pretty short so be sure to time out everything factoring in the walk back and the tend trip time as well. Oh and if you are new like I was...tendering is when a little boat picks you up from the cruise ship which is parked off of the dock in Cabo since they have no actual cruise port. For this reason I don't suggest you take a huge stroller! We took an umbrella stroller and since the boat was rocking crazy that morning I am so glad we did. Finally I will say that there is not a really huge store on the ship, there is a small gift shop with a ton of alcohol and basic sundries but not one toy or child like thing lol..So yeah...I hope this helps you and I hope you got some clarity! The Bliss is a big beautiful ship that is really trying to do its best to incorporate families but by and large is still I think more friendly to solo travelers, childless travelers, and travelers that like to drink and late night party lol....If you really want a kid friendly trip through and through...Im pretty sure you know what line will deliver that less adulty feel. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Excellent cruise! We were on a family vacation and there was 15 of us. From babies to great grandma on the trip we had a large range in ages. Embarkation was fairly easy considering the size of the ship and # of passengers they have to ... Read More
Excellent cruise! We were on a family vacation and there was 15 of us. From babies to great grandma on the trip we had a large range in ages. Embarkation was fairly easy considering the size of the ship and # of passengers they have to screen. There was a surprise US Coast Guard inspection which delayed departure by about an hour. Disembarkation was a little more chaotic and somewhat disorganized. Once we arrived at the deck for disembarking there was little direction from NCL and no staff to point people in the correct direction. A lot of people in a small space. The ship is magnificent, it is huge and it even though there’s close to 4K passengers it never felt crowded. The kids had a great time enjoying all the activities but spent most of the their time in the water (pool, slides). We get it, ship is designed for Alaska cruises so more indoor than outdoor but even so the kids had a great time. Reservations a must specially if your a large group but honestly we didn’t have too many issues. Food was average to good, nothing to write home about. Only complaint was the lengthy wait at Taste or Savor for food to be served. We saw Jersey Boys and it was excellent! I think NCL definitely does a better job than most in this department. The live music was also great throughout the week. We were onboard the week of Halloween and I do have to say that was a great time being onboard for Halloween. They do a great job of entertaining the little ones all the way to the adults with the different activities that day. We also enjoyed the comedy shows. Silent disco was way too short only lasted like 45 min. Service was hit or miss everyday. Mostly hit but minor hiccups here and there. You can definitely tell which crew members care and which ones want to get off at the next opportunity. Overall everyone really enjoyed their time on the Bliss. Would we pick the ship again? Maybe with a smaller group. Will we cruise NCL again? Definitely, we really love the freestyle motto this cruise line offers. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This was a special cruise called HALLOWEEN ON THE HIGH SEAS. San Diego, Cabo, Mazatlan and PTO Vallarta/San Diego return. My first-ever holiday sailing. Cabin 5012 was forward and located on deck-5. A excellent location with great ... Read More
This was a special cruise called HALLOWEEN ON THE HIGH SEAS. San Diego, Cabo, Mazatlan and PTO Vallarta/San Diego return. My first-ever holiday sailing. Cabin 5012 was forward and located on deck-5. A excellent location with great access to everything. This is a outside stateroom with the large picture window/porthole. The ship is in pristine condition. As in the cleanest ship I have ever sailed on. Both in stateroom and public areas. Embarkation was classic Disney with perfection in line/group control but Disney was using the older San Diego cruise terminal that is in dire need of refurbishment. Escalators and elevators were broken so it was the stairs for all with the exception of one elevator. It's dark, cold, poor seating and with limited restrooms. Once aboard, it all turns to Pixie Dust and I will never know how Disney accomplishes such crew perfection but they do and with ease. Every single employee/cast member/crew member was amazing 24/7. I was never so impressed. Cabins are larger than most at-sea with a two-bathroom concept that takes up way too much space in the stateroom/cabin. Serving no purpose as only one bathroom has a toilet. Stateroom TV's are ultra small at 22"-26" and guess what? It's all Disney programming! ABC, FOX and CNN can be had but that did not occur when at-sea. The most disappointing aspect of a Disney cruise is the overall dining quality (my third Disney sailing). That said, expect 'Theme Park Dining' at best. Catering to families and kids mostly. You'll need your own salt & pepper shakers. The food is bland, boring, basic in presentation and uneventful in every single course. Disney incorporates what is called 'Rotational Dining' in that that every night you change dining rooms (keeping the same waiter) which are themed on a different approach each night. We had ANIMATOR'S PALATE, TRITON'S and TIANA'S PLACE as our dining venues. Tiana's Place is new to Disney with a Mardi Gras theme and it is exceptionally loud. Very loud. It is a dining room floor show experience in a sense. It can be impossible for the waiters or the guest to engage in conversation. There are Quick Service dining venues also aboard The Disney Wonder but they all failed. The only exception to any dining experience onboard is the buffet area called CABANA'S. That saved us all! Yet Disney closes it for dinner making it a sit-down venue instead serving the same basic and bland offerings as found in the dining rooms. Unlike most other cruise lines that offer 24/7 dining options, Disney has a very rigid schedule of openings and closings. Room service is 24/7 thankfully but on par with Arby's Roast Beef if not worse. Disney is all about its movies and shows and expect only the best because that is the rule for any Disney showroom presentation. We were entertained for FROZEN, THE GOLDEN MICKEY'S and DREAMS. There were also several guest performers for a 7 day cruise but all were 'VERY SAFE' because we are a family cruise line first and foremost. Because this was a holiday sailing involving Halloween, candy was passed out Halloween night and most passengers dressed in costume for the event but activities were very limited. Menus that night never addressed Halloween. This isn't a cruise line for just kids. There are many 'adult-only areas' (never enforced) and on this sailing the amount of kids never felt like it exceeded 40-50%. What I will remember most about the type of passenger aboard a Disney cruise was the morning we were dining outside (at Cabana's) and on the table, next to the drink station for beverages, was a mother changing her baby on the table while we all dined for breakfast. Several Disney cruise staff walked by the event but none ever addressed it... There was a bathroom just inside the doors some 30 feet away that the mom could have used. That said, it is a family line. It's a Disney product and it's always 'Pixie Dust'. Sometimes boring. Unless you are a kid or a pure Disney fanatic. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I love the new bliss ship. The hard product is the best among all cruises I had taken . The touchscreen, water slide and racetrack are unique and certainly very appealing. However, I’m disappointed Bliss canceled the childcare ... Read More
I love the new bliss ship. The hard product is the best among all cruises I had taken . The touchscreen, water slide and racetrack are unique and certainly very appealing. However, I’m disappointed Bliss canceled the childcare program for children under the age 3 so we had to leave our 1 year old daughter at home. Also because the ship could accommodate 4000 plus people, there was always a long wait during normal dining hours at the dining rooms even with reservations. Other popular venues such as the Jersey Boys show and trace track were a torturous affair to attend. The food could use some improvement too. We stopped going to the sit down dining room altogether after day 3 on the cruise, not only because the long wait but also because the food lacks variety and didn’t taste authentic( the pad Thai tasted so weird I only took one bite). Overall The cuisine failed to compliment the dining decor it had hoped to capture. It certainly was lackluster and uninspiring in taste and presentation considering that it’s a new ship. I felt you were almost forced to eat at the specialty restaurants. Overall I think the hard product is very good however the soft product fell way short of expectations. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
No one does it better than Disney! After the terrible experience of taking my first cruise on Carnival about 5 years ago I was real hesitant to go cruising again...least to say I'm very glad I gave Disney a try because they ... Read More
No one does it better than Disney! After the terrible experience of taking my first cruise on Carnival about 5 years ago I was real hesitant to go cruising again...least to say I'm very glad I gave Disney a try because they changed my perspective on the whole cruising industry. Our cruise was a 7 night to the Mexican Rivera with stops in Cabo, Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta. Room: The room was great! We had a family balcony stateroom which was very spacious and could sleep up to 5 people with 4 beds in the room. The split bathrooms on Disney ships are genius, especially for getting ready in the mornings. Our room steward Lorenzo was amazing! Entertainment: There was never a down moment aboard the Disney Wonder! They always had something going on. We saw 3 stage shows which were all amazing and they also had a Ventriloquist, Magician, comedian and hypnotist aboard doing shows daily. Being 23 I was concerned that there would be annoying kids all over the ship and that all entertainment and activities would be geared solely to children. Despite what I thought, the only time I really saw children was a breakfast in the buffet and at night at the stage shows. For the most part they stayed in the kids clubs and the children pool. There were plenty of adult areas to relax in, and the entire front of the ship in filled with adult only clubs and lounges. Food: To me the food aboard the Disney Wonder was a bit of a disappointment. The appetizers, soups and desserts always blew us away but the entres were somewhat lacking in flavor and constancy. I feel this is one area they could definable improve. The buffet was good, they had a great variety of food and rotated their menus which I appreciated. I really enjoyed the rotating dining that Disney does, my favorite restaurant for food was Tritons and Tianas Place for the atmosphere. Service: The service aboard the ship was incredible! Our servers were amazing and really boosted our experience aboard the ship! Tati and Ikadek were our servers and they treated us like kings. The cruise line lost our bags on the first day, we went to guest service and they located them within hours and sent chocolate covered strawberries and a hand written apology for the inconvenience. Spa: I spent alot of time (and money) in the spa and was pleased with the service rendered there. On day one of the cruise I won a raffle for a $50 spa certificate. I ended up getting a rainforest pass which for $129, I don't feel was worth the money. Also had my teeth whitened what I was very pleased with (they honestly did a better job than my dentist), I received an acupuncture session (waste of money) and a great massage! They always tried to sell you stuff after services which really got annoying after a while. Ports: Highlights Cabo: we didn't do any excursions here, just walked around the pier. Extremely touristy! Mazatlan: Probably our lease favorite port. We did the Best of Mazatlan tour which was a complete waste of money and time. They took us to see a light house (which was a couple miles away from the look out point the bus stopped at) Then took us to see a old church (which was pretty) Their "golden zone" was super trashy and full of street vendors that get really annoying after a while. We ended the tour with a nasty fiesta lunch filled with store bought taquitos, overcooked rice, and other gross, non authentic food. There was supposed to be a folkloric show that mainly just consisted of drinking games. Don't go on this tour. Puerto Vallarta: Our favorite port. It's very jungly here and lest touristy. We did a cooking class which consisted of visiting a local market and tortilla factory where we bought masa, then took a bus ride through the mountains to a rural village where we learned to cook amazing authentic mexican food. I highly recommend this tour if you are looking for an authentic mexican experience. Altogether the cruise was amazing! I booked another cruise while onboard and can't wait till my next one! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
How did we chose this cruise? Mostly timing and price. It was a better value for the dollar than others we had found. And a big perk was there were hardly any kids on the ship because the cruise was during Normal school season. I ... Read More
How did we chose this cruise? Mostly timing and price. It was a better value for the dollar than others we had found. And a big perk was there were hardly any kids on the ship because the cruise was during Normal school season. I would definitely cruise again during Halloween. There were so many great costumes on the ship by both crew and guests. The ship itself is recently refurbished and lovely. Our cabin was nice. There were three of us sharing the Mini Suite, and we never felt over crowded. Dining on the ship was excellent. I enjoyed the quality and selection of the food. Our service was also very nice. We had good servers every evening even though we had a different server every evening with Any Time Dining. Anytime Dining worked out quite well also. I was concerned about it, but we never had an issue getting a table to share or to ourselves. Here's my downside to this cruise: Please know that princess does not stand behind the shore excursions they sell. So buyer beware. We had a miserable experience on our Puerto Vallarta shore excursion and Princess left it up to their third party shore excursion company to decide if we got our money back. That’s not right. Their third party vendor decided we would only receive a 20% refund. We have been on many many shore excursions. They aren’t all amazing. But this was the first time that the 3 of us all were truly miserable, for different reasons, and all decided to ditch the tour and took a cab back to the ship at our own expense. It makes me leary is shore excursions in the future. I purchased the excursion directly from Princess, and I believe that Princess needs to back what it sells. The reason the tour was so bad is because the Tour Guide did not stick to the description of the tour. Instead of showing us Puerto Vallarta as the City Highlights tour was described and sold to us, he instead showed us just two things from the day's planned events and then took us to his friend's silver shop, his friend's leather shop, to his friend's iguana way the heck away from the city for a photo op, and then to his friend's restaurant for a non-included lunch. It was just not enjoyable. It was all about the Tour Director getting kick backs from his friends. Embarkation with the new Medallion class is quite simple. Disembarkation was even simpler. In fact, the easiest disembarkation we have ever experienced. Customs was a snap as was boarding the Princess bus to the airport. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Princess Medallion is a work in progress. Its good but not yet great. I recommend it. Just be patient as it is so new. Princess needs to get more ambiance in their bars. No music for the most part. Be careful on deck as its slippery and ... Read More
Princess Medallion is a work in progress. Its good but not yet great. I recommend it. Just be patient as it is so new. Princess needs to get more ambiance in their bars. No music for the most part. Be careful on deck as its slippery and don't ask me how I know. Entertainment is good but there's not a lot of it. Dining is the best in the regular cruise line segment. Bar service is hard to attain and sometimes you have to fight to get the attention of the crew. We don't recommend this line for children or party goers. There wasn't a lot of onboard activities that fit our age group (Late 30's to early 40's). Embarkation was a snap due to the medallion. You have to learn a few tricks to figure out food options and what you wish to eat on any given day. They need to work on publishing this data for easier access. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
The Bliss is an amazing ship. Lots to do with kids and adults. The pools are very close together and always very busy. There are many options for dinning for every meal of the day, even in the middle of the night. The food is great we ... Read More
The Bliss is an amazing ship. Lots to do with kids and adults. The pools are very close together and always very busy. There are many options for dinning for every meal of the day, even in the middle of the night. The food is great we never had a bad meal. The buffet was different every day with a large amount to choose from. Cagney's Steakhouse was amazing. Everything we ordered was cooked perfectly and was delicious. La Coucina was our next favorite. The waiter explained everything on the menu. The food was amazing. We really love the free style dinning it gave us a chance to try almost every place to eat on the ship. I recommend getting the dinning package upgrade to try different resturants at a very reasonable price. We truly enjoyed the experience. All of the ships employees are great, very friendly, helpful, and funny. The balcony room is great. We loved being out there enjoying the views. It was peaceful and relaxing. The bed are comfortable. There is extra storage under the sofa. The bathroom had plenty of space for all of our things. The closet had plenty of hangers for our close and the steward asked if we needed more. We loved the coffee maker in the room. It was great for making hot chocolate at night and sitting on the balcony. My daughter lover the large mirror with sitting stool to get ready. It had great lighting she said. It was very convenient so that two people can get ready at the same time. I highly recommend the Stone Island excursion in Mazatlan. The people were amazing, the food was great, the views were stunning. The activities were wondering. There was so much to do and alot of them were included in the package. Everything else was a very reasonable price to do. We loved our guides. The Mexican Fiesta & Lunch excursion in Puerto Vallarta was fun and full of information. Our guide Victor was great and very funny. The Tequila factory was amazing alot of free tequila tasting. The lunch was good and the entertainment was great. The tour around the city before we returned to the ship was great. Alot of stops and alot of sightseeing. We would recommend this. Both of these excursions were well priced for what we got. Not very exspensive at all. AVOID AT ALL COST THE EL ARCO, SCENIC STOP AND GLASS BLOWING IN CABO!!!!!!!!!!!! It was the WORST excursion we have ever been on. The guide would only talk about how poor his country was, how they need and rely on our tips. How the government treats its people so badly, and if you have money then you will be fine. The driver went so slow it was only supposed to be a 3 hour excursion and it ened up being 4 and a half one. With no food or drinks. Not even somewhere to buy something. We were only at the glass blowing demonstration for 5 minutes and the guide kept jumping infront of the demonstration. Even the glass blower himself was getting frustrated. All the guide kept saying was dont forget to tip him. He needs it to feed his family. The glass blown stuff you can purchase was way over priced and was just ok. When we finally got back we had 30 minutes to run back to the tender boat to get to the ship before we left port. The guide and driver took to long there was no time to do anything. We wished we never booked this excursion and never wasted our money. AVOID AT ALL COST. Overall this was a great vacation. We loved Norwegian so much we booked another vacation with them for next year. If you are planning another cruise. Make sure you go to the cruise next desk while on board to book it. They have great offers and are very helpful and friendly. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We had a great time on the cruise. We arrived around 10 am to check in and so were one of the first to get on the ship. Prior to getting on the escalators, there was a desk to reserver for the specialty dining rooms so we were able to ... Read More
We had a great time on the cruise. We arrived around 10 am to check in and so were one of the first to get on the ship. Prior to getting on the escalators, there was a desk to reserver for the specialty dining rooms so we were able to make reservations without waiting at all. Getting on was very simple and after checking out our room, we headed down to 6th floor to make reservations for the shows and go-carts. We waited about 10 minutes. Disembarkation was very well organized and we walked off with our luggage and it took us about 20 min without waiting much in line. The ship was very clean and beautiful. We laid out in the Spice H2O area and never had a problem finding lounge chairs. We tried the family slide but did not try the big slide as we saw at least 3 people getting stuck in the middle of the slide. They need to fix that slide. We tried the go-carts and had a blast except they slowed my husband's cart because he was going too fast.. We ate at Food Republic twice. They had the best kimchee fried rice and we are experts. The waiter there was also very helpful. We also tried Cagney's which was great and Ocean Blue which was also very good. We did not enjoy Le Bistro as much. The buffet had excellent Indian food and we were able to always find seats. We ate at the dining room once and it was okay. Great Desserts. The entertainment was outstanding. We saw Six twice, Jersey Boys Twice, and saw the Beatles show multiple times. The comedians were also pretty funny. The main thing that we had a problem with was the excursions. The Puerto Vallerta jungle tour was a joke. We walked on a road for about 15 minutes and then were stuck at the place for over an hour waiting for others who did zip lining which was not supposed to be part of the package. This is when we got bitten by chiggers. I had bug spray but it did not help at all. The tour guide should not have allowed the zip liners to keep us waiting. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
My husband and I hopped on this cruise for a quick getaway. We’re booked on the Horizon for next year, but couldn’t wait that long, and I needed to get to my happy place: the ocean. It’s been twenty years since we were on a Fantasy ... Read More
My husband and I hopped on this cruise for a quick getaway. We’re booked on the Horizon for next year, but couldn’t wait that long, and I needed to get to my happy place: the ocean. It’s been twenty years since we were on a Fantasy Class ship (Elation), and we had some reservations about the condition of this ship. We noticed that the ship underwent a recent refurb, so we took the chance and went with the Inspiration. I was pleasantly surprised. We usually book balcony cabins because we like to have breakfast on the balcony when sailing into or docked in port, but for this cruise, we booked a guaranteed ocean view stateroom and ended up with a cabin on the Riviera Deck. The cabin was fine. It appeared to be clean, and worked for this short 4-day cruise. We did smell the occasional sewage odor in the bathroom, but I always pack an air freshener for this purpose. We saw our room stewards often, and they were friendly. The food was just ok in both the dining room and at the buffet, but Guy’s Burger Joint and the BlueIguana Cantina were the stars of the show. In addition to good burgers, Guy’s has good fries. I had the best fish taco from the cantina. Note that in the morning, you can get omelettes and breakfast at the cantina as well; no need to wait in line at the buffet for the same offerings. There are also sandwich and pizza stations, which I visited once, and both were ok. There is definitely better pizza at sea, but in a pinch, the pizza on this ship will do. Fresh fruit and vegetables also abound. I don’t recommend the Sea Day Brunch. Service took way too long, and once again, the food was just ok. As far as entertainment goes, Carnival opens a “big ol’ can of fun.” There’s something for everyone. Having said that, however, everything might not be for everyone. Some of the venues can get a little raunchy late into the evening. I also had a nice and relaxing facial at the Spa. Overall, we had a great time. We had beautiful weather and calm seas – can’t ask for anything more than that! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
My cousin and I wanted a cruise that we could drive to and just spend a lot of time enjoying the cruise itself. One port that we didn't care about was perfect! Unfortunately, this ship has the Medallion system, technology to use ... Read More
My cousin and I wanted a cruise that we could drive to and just spend a lot of time enjoying the cruise itself. One port that we didn't care about was perfect! Unfortunately, this ship has the Medallion system, technology to use instead of talking to real live people. It was very frustrating, very slow, and very inefficient. We don't like keeping our cell phones with us, but if you wanted to use the Medallion system, then you needed your phone with you at all times. The only good thing about the medallion was that when you were within 15 feet of your cabin, the cabin would unlock for you when you had your medallion with you. Leaving the ship, as well as returning to the ship, was easy. You just scan the medallion. We tried to use the medallion system with our phones,but it would just turn off, or go very slow. I preferred the daily paper over caring around my phone. We tried to also order drinks using the system, and it wouldn't work. Finally just walked up to the bar and ordered. We heard others complaining that when they did order their drink, it would never arrive with the GPS system supposedly able to find them with the Medallion. If you didn't want to wear the Medallion on a lanyard around your neck, Princess sold (Surprise! Surprise! ) a wrist band for $12 or a chain necklace for $54. If you already wear a watch, then you would need to put the wrist band on the other wrist. Too much. As a vegan, the main meals were disappointing. No protein offered, and the worst veggie burgers there are. They also allow smoking in half of the casino. But, you could smell it throughout the casino. Plus, if you wanted a machine that was in the smoking area, but not in the non-smoking area, too bad. The entertainment was great! Wonderful music and musicians. The assistant cruise director, Matt O', was great! He kept us smiling. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Just off the Royal this morning. There was 7 in our group, including my wife and son, in laws and sister in law and her husband. Overall enjoyed the ship and the cruise. The food was better than expected, the ship is in lovely ... Read More
Just off the Royal this morning. There was 7 in our group, including my wife and son, in laws and sister in law and her husband. Overall enjoyed the ship and the cruise. The food was better than expected, the ship is in lovely condition. The cruise director, Matt O is very funny and has more energy than the Energizer Bunny. We were in a mini-suite (B337) midship. The cabin was nice for three people. Our son slept on the bunk bed that came down from the ceiling. We really enjoyed the bedding. Two large screen tv’s on the wall. Lots of free movies to chose from. The bathroom was nice enough. We would prefer a nice shower over a shower/tub combo, but it was fine. Lots of storage space. Our cabin attendant was simply adequate. He came in the first day and told us three things he couldn’t do, before we opened our mouth. We picked the cabin because it has the bunk bed in the ceiling. Our 14 year old is 6’0 and the couch was just too small. He was not happy that we asked for the bunk bed but he made it up. We asked for three towels in the bathroom as there was three of us and he told us we were lucky to have 2 towels as the machine was down. While I’m sure this was true, all he had to say was that he would get the third towel in asap. We asked that he replenish the ice bucket in the morning and at night and we failed to do that most of the time. None of these issues is major, but we have never encountered this type of average service from a cabin attendant in over 25 cruises. Usually we are making sure to tip extra to our cabin attendant who took such good care of us, but this time there was simply no “above and beyond” type of service. We had lovely service in the Allegro dining room every night. Civil and Ariel were great waiters. The food in the main dining room was better than past cruises on Princess. The food in the Horizon Court buffet was also good. The design of the Horizon court is awful. They have “alleys” that are perpendicular to the seating areas. The ship was full and there was narrow walk ways and congestion, partly caused by the fact that there is no front/back of the lines. We had breakfast in the dining room a couple of times just to avoid the buffet. The pizza and burgers were also delicious by the pool. Loved the pool area. Lots of loungers, the Movies Under the Stars was great, and the waiter service at the bar and all areas of the ship was excellent. We worked out in the fitness center twice over the 5 days and the gym is a little tight but the equipment was in good shape. Our son played hoops on the basketball court and loved that there was a competitive game with adults. We did the virtual clay pigeon shooting one afternoon that was also fun. The casino was nice (other than overwhelming cigarette smell). I do love the new ships that ban smoking in the casino. The casino dealers were nice and friendly. The coffee shop on level 5 was fantastic. They have fabulous espresso, great sandwiches and desserts. We enjoyed the jazz septuplets in the Wheelhouse Bar and the piano players throughout the cruise. They had mariachi music throughout the week and while it was great it got a little old as it felt that we heard it in the piazza every day for three days straight. The regular band played by the pool and in the piazza and had a great guitar player and lead singer. There was a good selection of shops on board that my wife and son loved and good advantage of! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
From the time we step onboard, everything was all in order. There was little chaos on elevators and passages due to people are lost or don’t know what to do or where to go. But the crew was very helpful in all ways possible to help out. ... Read More
From the time we step onboard, everything was all in order. There was little chaos on elevators and passages due to people are lost or don’t know what to do or where to go. But the crew was very helpful in all ways possible to help out. The foods are amazingly well organized. The crew made sure that all guests are enjoying each meal. The restaurants are very well maintained and crews assigned are ready to serve all guests. The mustering drill is very chaotic. It took so much time to muster all guests. There should be a better way to fix this issue. If there is a real situation, there might not be enough time to save someone’s life. It took about 40 minutes to fill the theatre where our group has to muster. It takes about 10 minutes before hypothermia set in to someone. Every crew were very responsive and courteous. They know what they are doing. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Summary of our trip: If you ever traveled on one of the larger Disney boats, the Dream or Fantasy, you will be somewhat disappointed on the Wonder. We traveled with our adult children and their children ages 8, 6, 2-1/2 and a 10 month ... Read More
Summary of our trip: If you ever traveled on one of the larger Disney boats, the Dream or Fantasy, you will be somewhat disappointed on the Wonder. We traveled with our adult children and their children ages 8, 6, 2-1/2 and a 10 month old. My husband and I had connecting rooms with my daughter who has two babies. The connecting rooms helped with the small cabin size as we freely went back and forth. We had all their junk in our cabin so they could accommodate the pack and play comfortably. I don't know how they could have managed with all their kid stuff....stroller, diapers, formula, diaper genie, etc...if they had only their cabin space. Embarkation was fine. We arrived at the Port of San Diego about 10:45 and people were already checking in. We were number 21 for boarding and that happened about 12:45. We headed for the Triton sit down restaurant, but it was already full and there was a 30 minute wait. So off to the food court, Cabanas, we went. What a mad house as everyone was there since the cabins were not ready. Your first impression is ....holy cow....how crowded is this small ship. It took some ingenuity to find a table for nine. Once we could go to our cabin at 1:30, we received our bags about 45 minutes later. The first night of dining was at the Animator's Palace, early seating. They had a cute show on the walls and Mickey makes an appearance in Fantasmic fashion. Our servers were Jen from the United Kingdom assisted by Angelina from Poland. They could have not been more helpful especially since we had two kids in high chairs making a mess every night. Out of the many cruises that we have been on, the food delivery was the quickest that we have experienced. Tonight's show was the Golden Mickeys in the Walt Disney Theater. Note that this theater is only on one level....versus the larger ships that have a balcony. Go early if you want a decent up front seat. We never arrived after 8 for a 8:30 show. (First dining at 5:45, shows start at 8:30) We spent some time the next day in the Oceaniere Lab during the open house....the only time the toddlers could be in the Lab. The two year old thought it was fun, but the 8 and 6 year old loved it. We did not get off the ship in Enceneda....others felt the same was as it was full of people for a shore day. Pirate dinner in Tiana's Place. Servers walked around in pirate gear. It was pirate night and here is where the difference between a large ship and a small old ship is highlighted. On the Dream last year, there was a detailed pirate show that lasted a full 15 minutes with about 30 actors. On the Wonder, it's basically a dance party for pirate night. Mickey and a pirate go down the zip line, but there is no show to speak of. What a disappointment. Fireworks at sea lasted for about 90 seconds. It was not worth keeping toddlers up to past 10:15 when the fireworks happened. Before the pirate and firework event, there was a magician in the WD theater. We saw half of the show then left to save seats on the pool deck for the non existent pirate show. Day three was a sea day. Our impressions....the food at Cabanas is fine. Nothing special but it is convenient if you want to be at the pool area. There is also an average burger and pizza spot. Daisy's food area has salads and sandwiches and fruit, so we enjoyed that area. We went to Triton's for a sit down lunch most days....nice to be out of the crowded pool area. Speaking of pools....the pool area compared to the Dream is about half its size, which is also a disappointment. BTW. Kids must be potty trained...swim diapers not allowed. A kid pooped in the baby pool and it had to be closed for three hours. If not potty trained, there is a very small splash pad area....again, half the size of the Dream. Not worth the hassle with the toddlers. We played bingo with the kids....$40 for the cards. Dinner again at Tiana's Place where she made an appearance and they had a New Orleans style parade around the restaurant. The show was Frozen. Fabulous production. The actor playing Elsa is amazing with a really solid voice. Again, if you want center, up close seats, get in line early....for this show, earlier than 8 pm. Next day was Cabo. There are tenders in Cabo....a royal pain with kids in strollers. We went to the Dolphin area where the older kids swam with the dolphins. They enjoyed themselves...they should for the price of this excursion. Cabo by the port is very touristy...bars and tee shirt shops. Next time, I won't get off the ship. Dinner at Triton's Place...the most boring restaurant of all. Forgot to mention that the cabin stewart, Omar, made sure his services did not interfer with nap time. He was great dealing with that dreaded diaper genie. Thanks, Omar! The highlight for the 8 and 6 year old granddaughters happened on the last full day. The Princess Royal Tea. Very expensive for the girls, but well worth it. It is done so well. The girls were showered with gifts only available at this tea....a doll, jewelry box, charms, crown etc. The Princesses came to each table and spent time talking to the girls. A cute show with the hostess and baker....two very good actors from the ensemble. I can't recommend this tea more....worth every penny if you have girls that love the Princesses. The show tonight was Believe which was fabulous. It's snippets of many Disney movies. Don't miss. Back to Animator's Palace. No show by the servers. Disembarkation was chaos. We had breakfast in Animator's Palace....they rush you through. We had first seating at dinner....so first seating for the last breakfast at 7:15. They servers make it very apparent that they want you out for the next group. You get off the ship on level 3 and the elevator spills out to the area where those waiting for Tiana's Place are lined up. It was gridlock. Plus, most people are with all their luggage ignoring the night before drop off. There is luggage everywhere, wall to wall people on level 3 and no where to go. I'm so surprised that Disney has not figured out a solution to this problem. Getting off was easy if you do not need an elevator in the port building. We carried down the stroller or we would have had a 20 minute wait for an elevator. Customs was a breeze and cabs were plentiful. Again our total impression....we will not cruise on the Wonder or Magic, the smaller ships, again. Just too crowded, not as technically advanced, more of a wall to wall people feeling. Give us a newer, larger ship any day. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We wanted to try out something that’s fun and relaxing and were told Carnival Cruise Line could be one good choice. Since the itinerary was able to fit into our overall schedule touring LA and taking another cruise ship, we decided to ... Read More
We wanted to try out something that’s fun and relaxing and were told Carnival Cruise Line could be one good choice. Since the itinerary was able to fit into our overall schedule touring LA and taking another cruise ship, we decided to sail on Carnival Inspiration. We were impressed by the Long Beach Cruise Terminal which is run by Carnival Cruse Line. The fun element started when we were brought to a cocktail table where they would verify our identify. Everything was really just like s flash, scanned and we saw our photo. We didn’t have to go go thru another round or registration and the key card was sent to the stateroom by 1:30pm. The activities on the ship were American orientated but people were enjoying on the ship. It’s Halloween season and many guests were dressed up every day in their own favourite Halloween characters. The main dining room had very friendly and helpful staff. Most dishes were nicely served, which we didn’t have any problem. Except for few Asian / international delights which might need some improvement in terms of the naming of the dishes and cooking styles. I enjoyed the brunch and hi tea on the last sea day, they were deliciously presented. Ensenada is such a nice port in Mexico and I was glad we signed up for a city tour which brought us to the town area. In the evening we would explore few places for dancing and realised Salsa and Bachata were popular on this ship. Great Singers! Though Carnival Inspiration is not a premium ship, it provides the general comfort and fun elements to the guests. For instance, every dinner the staff would gather to dance with the guests. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
The ship is outstanding. Every area has a different but cohesive design so the ship never was monotonous and always had something to discover. We had reservations at one restaurant that I didn’t know was there until I found it that ... Read More
The ship is outstanding. Every area has a different but cohesive design so the ship never was monotonous and always had something to discover. We had reservations at one restaurant that I didn’t know was there until I found it that final night. Always a myriad of events to pique an interest. The food was good - only one meal was amazing (Cagney’s). The water slides were fun as was laser tag and go carting on the ship top. The room was well designed and had plenty of storage. Staff was pretty much always friendly and made you feel welcome. Only two cons pool(s) area could be a bit larger. Kids club needs to be both larger and have a second string support staff to assist when busy. One night there was a 45 minute line and the hostess and server at the restaurant had a bit of an attitude when the entire party hadn’t arrived on time. Other wise it was a fantastic trip. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This was a fall break trip for the two of us, our two teenagers and our friends (married couple) that were experiencing their first cruise. Embarkation: Fair. Long line. But once at the counter it went quickly. They have keycards ... Read More
This was a fall break trip for the two of us, our two teenagers and our friends (married couple) that were experiencing their first cruise. Embarkation: Fair. Long line. But once at the counter it went quickly. They have keycards pre-printed and scan your passport photo for the photo they see when they scan your card. It took about 1.5 hours to get aboard the ship from when we got off the airport transfer. I already had a feeling that NCL doesn’t know how to handle big numbers at this stage of the cruise. Ship: Big, new and beautiful, with appropriate modern design features. Even though it’s large, it is fairly easy to navigate, with only a few dead-ends and hard-to-find places. The things that aren’t easy to find include the waterslide line locations and the mini-golf. Carpets in the hallways for cabins have fish to designate fore and aft, but the big inside areas don’t have any indicators, where I think they would be more helpful. There are many areas that have their own feel, and yet everything goes well together. The décor is beautiful and tasteful. Entertainment and pools: The pools close early (8pm!! Really?) and are very crowded on sea days. The lines for the water slides were brutal. I waited about 45 minutes for the drop slide, and that was about the shortest the line had been. It was also closed frequently, so I only got to do it once. The other waterslide had a slightly shorter line, but still at least 20 minutes wait time. There was an abundance of things to do, and we enjoyed some of the game shows and the trivia. Some of the game shows, though, were not done very well. They’re not polished, I think is the best way to explain it. Also, the trivia is done in the Atrium, and at times it was difficult to play because the Atrium Bar is loud, and some passengers found it fun to just shout out the answer while they were grabbing another drink and walking away. We didn’t get to do laser tag or the go-karts due to the reservation problems (more about this below), but our friends were able to get a reservation for two for the go-karts and they said they were a blast. I didn’t have the patience to try again to get a reservation or stand in the stand-by line. On our sailing they did the silent disco on two nights, and if you like music and/or dancing, you absolutely can’t miss this; it’s a ton of fun! The teen club got great reviews from our teens. The arcade is large and clean. Lots of games and activities for the kids and a final-night dinner in Manhattan. Cabins: I really liked the cabins. We had a standard balcony cabin, and the size was reasonable, with good storage. The bathroom is probably the best standard cabin I’ve been in. Cabin was only cleaned once a day. No turn-down service. But the cabin steward did introduce himself, and certainly worked hard. Dining: I really think that Norwegian is close to getting this right. It’s nice to have a range of restaurant choices from high-end down to buffet. Having a sports bar pub with great wings and the Q bbq restaurant is great. Teppanyaki was delicious. Unfortunately, it’s not really “freestyle” or easy to eat because of the reservations system (or even the fact that you need reservations). I guess I should mention the reservation problems. This was a systemic problem on this ship for us. It affected everything on the ship, ranging from dining to shows to laser tag. Somehow the reservation system “lost” most of our online reservations. We also made reservations from the kiosk right when we arrived on the ship, but most of the things were already booked. Further, the kiosk doesn’t print anything, so you are relying on the app to keep you informed of your reservations, but this also failed on this sailing. The lack of ability to spontaneously do something really detracts from the so-called “freestyle” cruising. This was compounded dramatically by the failures in the online reservation system, the kiosk system and the app to work together. Yes, it’s really that bad, and I’m not a person looking for something to complain about. Bars: The Bliss has a great selection of bars, and we really enjoyed them all. It’s nice that several of the bars have a selection of unique cocktails as opposed to a homogenous menu that’s the same at every single bar. The District Brewhouse craft brewery was a great place to have some good beers. The pool bar had some mediocre bartenders, but the Atrium Bar and Maltings Whiskey Bar both had excellent bartenders. All the other bartenders were at least good. The Observation Lounge is a great place to relax or to get a good drink. We enjoyed getting a light brunch (they have a small buffet selection) and a Bloody Mary more than once! Disembarkation: Bad. I know it’s difficult to get 4000 people off the ship in just a couple hours, but the bottleneck at customs creates a terribly long line. From the time our color group was called (after waiting an hour in the Atrium) to the time we boarded our transfer to LAX was just shy of 2 hours. All that time in a long, snaking line that went through Manhattan dining room to some crew areas, to finally getting off of the ship into the circus tent with 2000 of the other passengers still waiting (probably from at least an hour before..). It was straight up miserable. Service: This is a tough one to rate. Almost all of our service was very good, with nice employees really appearing to care about customer service. The difference is that in general the NCL Bliss is more casual than a Princess or Celebrity ship, so although the service is good and friendly, we found that we missed the extra class of service we are used to. Casino: Excellent. Easily the best casino at sea that I’ve been to. They have a lot of modern slot machines and a lot of table games. There is a Texas hold-em table with a real dealer and there were live money games and tournaments throughout the trip. The main portion of the casino is non-smoking, but there is also a large enclosed casino area for smokers which also had a lot of machines and table games. We didn’t get to see the Haven, nor did we do any spa days. We looked at the fitness center, and it was a bit crowded on day one, but then we decided we were walking enough to skip the gym. All in all, this cruise was a ton of fun, and we really enjoyed being on such a nice and new ship, but we found that the casual atmosphere sometimes went too far into the casual realm. It’s a little snobby but we missed things like the constantly clean cabin and turn down service. Between the casual atmosphere, the lines, the need for reservations, and the failures with the reservation system, I think we are unlikely to book another NCL cruise. I would probably recommend the cruise line for family cruising and for casual cruising if the price and itinerary are appealing. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
As the title says, I felt that the ship was too large. I am accustomed to sailing on smaller ships, particularly the NCL Jewel class. The Bliss has twice the passenger capacity. Don't get me wrong, they did design it so that you ... Read More
As the title says, I felt that the ship was too large. I am accustomed to sailing on smaller ships, particularly the NCL Jewel class. The Bliss has twice the passenger capacity. Don't get me wrong, they did design it so that you didn't have overcrowding, in fact it felt less crowded than the smaller ships. This is due to being well planned out. More public space (observation lounge) and dining. I never had to search for a seat in the buffet or the "Pub" as I did on the smaller ships. The drawback was that I didn't see anybody more than once and didn't make any friends on this cruise. Embarkation was long, but that was just the queue for check in, no waiting around the terminal, pretty much a simple walk on to the ship after check in process. Our cabin was ready by about 2 pm and bags were there before dinner. The cabin was well positioned, just forward of the elevators and only 2 decks above the common areas. I only used "The Local" and the buffet for dining, but the selections were great, and I never had trouble getting a seat in the area I wanted. The Local overlooks the Atrium and can be noisy when there is an activity, but if you ask, you can usually get seated in the back, (Port forward) area which is much quieter. We saw the musical Six and I was entertained by it. Some of the other patrons were less than thrilled with it, so take that as it is. I also went to the "Happy Hour: The Musical" show. If nothing else, an affordable way to get drinks. But I did enjoy that show as well. A little risque for some perhaps, but you can sing along to some old tunes and there was some audience interaction. Our cabin steward (Wilson) was attentive to our needs and was prompt with servicing our cabin when we went to meals. (I turned on the service light when we left to let him know.) Leaving him a note in the card switch (just inside the door above the light switch, they use it to turn off the outlets inside the room when you are out.) is the easiest way to submit requests. No towel animals any more. They do leave a card in the switch, so you don't need to bring a spare to keep your devices charged, they just pull it part way out when they service the room. The "running track" was constantly blocked by too many chairs and people on that deck. Also the queues for the water slides overflowed into the area. I took two shore excursions. One in Puerto Vallarta, a low cost bus tour, that took us into old town to see the church, to a restaurant for lunch and a view, and for some shopping at a silver and opal shop, chocolate and cigar shop and the usual street hawkers. The other in Cabo San Lucas, a boat tour to see El Arco connecting to a bus tour to a scenic point and back to a glass blowing factory. Both tours were worth the price to see a slice of the culture and beauty of the areas. Disembarkation was more of a mess. We were in the 9 am group. I believe we were actually off the ship before 9:30. Our group was called at 8:30 but the standing around in the queue to leave was a very tough wait. Also, ALL of the public area restrooms were closed. We had to return to our cabin at 8:00 to use the restroom, but it had already been serviced, we used it anyway. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I choose this cruise because finally a newer larger ship was being moved to the West Coast (LA) Our friends and family that were traveling with us including my husband and I had never been on one of the larger ships. Also it was 10 days ... Read More
I choose this cruise because finally a newer larger ship was being moved to the West Coast (LA) Our friends and family that were traveling with us including my husband and I had never been on one of the larger ships. Also it was 10 days and went to a new port Loreto and the Sea of Cortez. It was a great itinerary and a beautiful ship. Only problem was they moved our room without any notification to us or to our TA. Down four floors and from Port to Starboard. See my comments below. We loved the entertainment, best I've seen on a Princess ship, good guest entertainers as well. The Royal Princess is really special and I highly recommend it if you have not experienced this class of ship. There were 11 of us and the dining room was able to accommodate us all at one table. Usually the tables are for 10 max. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019

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