The crew is friendly but rather unhelpful, they never clarified any instructions and I was offered a drink maybe once in my several days by the pool. There was no one out taking drink orders and bringing drinks. The food at the formal ... Read More
The crew is friendly but rather unhelpful, they never clarified any instructions and I was offered a drink maybe once in my several days by the pool. There was no one out taking drink orders and bringing drinks. The food at the formal dining was not great, and even upon sitting at the bar my younger sister tried to get the crews attention for over 30 minutes. I’m addition when we made it to our second stop we originally were told we could get off at 11, well going through customs has people still on the boat it’s alrwady 2 o’clock. Originally they also said we didn’t have to be back on the hot until 8, that has also been moved up until 6:30. This is the most unruly cruise I’ve ever been on, people are missing their excursions they paid hundreds of dollars for, and frankly it isn’t even worth it to get off the boat anymore. Simply ridiculous. All of this said, we were looking for a cheaper cruise but I feel even for the price it wasn’t worth it. Read Less
We booked a signature suite on this cruise which showed on the HAL website as being a newly refurbished suite with new couch and chairs,marble top counters ,big screen TV on the wall and bright fresh interior but what we actually got when ... Read More
We booked a signature suite on this cruise which showed on the HAL website as being a newly refurbished suite with new couch and chairs,marble top counters ,big screen TV on the wall and bright fresh interior but what we actually got when we came onboard is a tired old suite with marks all over the walls,an old bathroom with old grubby shower curtains, an old TV that you couldn’t make out what was on the screen due to the fuzziness on it. boy were we disappointed!
They have since replaced the TV but have stuck paper serviettes under it for whatever reason which looks terrible but at least we have a clearer picture,
. We have complained to the customer relations desk onboard who were really disinterested and said we should have read the fine print that says the photos of the cabin are not necessarily representing the actual cabin!!!! That is false advertising as ok the layout may vary or the colour scheme but not when the photos are actually under the Noordam and showing a new cabin and not a dinghy old cabin that is desperate to be refurbished.
A number of suite passengers have complained as it is all suites and cabins that have not been fefurbished,
The Noordam overall throughout the vessel is very worn with old grubby carpets throughout the dining rooms,stairwells and quite a bit of the public rooms.
Around the covered pool area they have set up long trestle tables with plastic chairs which has made the whole area overcrowded and very tacky looking.
The room service has delivered us cold toast and cold water for tea so now on day 4 we have despaired with room service and will have to tackle the throngs of people in the Lido.
We are 4 star mariners and are very dissatisfied with what is happening with HAL and the standard of the ship as it once was a fantastic line to sail with.
On a positive note the Staff are always a pleasure but with the cutbacks on staff they are working twice as hard and consequently the tables in the pool area are not being cleared and no delivery of water or tea and coffee any more but of course you can still purchase a beer because that creates revenue.
If you are booking the Noordam for travel before I understand November 2019 just bear in mind you are not getting the cabin as shown in the pictures or on the website As there are a lot of disgruntled passengers onboard. Read Less
We decided to add the thermal suite pass for the full cruise. We were happy we did, especially on the cool weather days. The suite had a pool, hottub, salt room, steam room, sauna and a snow/cold room to cool down ... Read More
We decided to add the thermal suite pass for the full cruise. We were happy we did, especially on the cool weather days. The suite had a pool, hottub, salt room, steam room, sauna and a snow/cold room to cool down in. We used them all. Relaxing in total comfort with wonderful views from the thermal suit aft windows made me realize how blessed we were to be on the NCL Bliss.
We also enjoyed the CC get together. Unfortunately we missed the cabin crawl. We told Stephenie (Dotty) about how we wanted to see the haven and she suggested we contact Jovo-the head of hotel services. I called Jovo and asked if it would be possible to get a 5 min look/tour inside the Haven. He said he was not sure and would ask if it would be possible to do on a port day for just 5 mins. He then said someone on his staff would get back to me. Alas, we never heard back from his staff. No worries though since we were pleased with our ship experience overall. David loved the ship and wants to return. Read Less
Just off the 5 day Coastal cruise Vancouver to LA. I cruised in the solo studio cabins. I loved the studio cabin and lounge concept. The lounge was perfect for snacks and drinks, especially the specialty coffees. Jose who ran the 5 ... Read More
Just off the 5 day Coastal cruise Vancouver to LA. I cruised in the solo studio cabins. I loved the studio cabin and lounge concept. The lounge was perfect for snacks and drinks, especially the specialty coffees. Jose who ran the 5 o’clock meet ups was an excellent host.
Wasn’t totally impressed with the specialty restaurants, Teppanyaki was my favorite, Cagney’s was ok, and I didn’t think Ocean Blue was worth the additional surcharge. Food Republic, sushi and dumplings were excellent.
Lots of fun activities in the Atrium but be there early to get good seating. Beatlemania performance and the crew show in the theatre were excellent.
Loved the Observation Lounge, no problem every finding a spot to sit, chair hogs did not seem to be an issue. The food stations were excellent, I ate my breakfast and lunch there most days, avoiding the Garden Cafe craziness.
Star crew member, in my opinion, was Jose from Cruise directors staff, with a second to ‘Jackie Chan’.
Disembarkation in Los Angeles went very fast.
The only issue, and it was not a fault of NCL, was getting off the ship and through Customs in San Francisco. Started at about 8:30 and last people got through around 1:15. A lack of custom officers seemed to be the issue. Read Less
Prior to the ship being built , I booked. I followed this vessel for months and read countless posts and reviews-this is unadulterated. I wish I continued on the next 8 day sailing! The embarkation in Vancouver was sketchy-but it was ... Read More
Prior to the ship being built , I booked. I followed this vessel for months and read countless posts and reviews-this is unadulterated. I wish I continued on the next 8 day sailing! The embarkation in Vancouver was sketchy-but it was their first time with the Bliss. From the moment we boarded it was special. Our cabin (13844-balcony mid) was awesome and clean. The Garden Café fantastic-no problems with food or seating as prior reviews stated. Met a great gang at Spice H2O and we gelled (smoking section)...so I missed all other meet and greets. La Cucina was fabulous/Cagneys was good/ Le Bistro awesome...Savor and Taste great...didn't care for the Local.Mario and team at Spice H2O did a great job at bartending and providing exceptional service. Jersey Boys good, ample theatre. The Beatles show awesome! The Casino was also great-wish more machines but they played nicely!!! the waiters and waitresses were phenominal, food exceptional, drinks great, our cabin steward was so so...do the racing experience! I wish they get rid of Margaritaville-it was dead space. Elevators were also fast-not as many reviews stated. What I realized is that you cant please everyone....many passengers would try to cut lines, complain about trivial things, not respect the staff...it is sad. I met many seasoned cruisers who loved this experience for a larger ship I believe I got hung up with many posts and prior reviews but this was exceptional! If staying in Vancouver-Sutton Place is phenominal! Victoria a nice stop, San Francisco was good-did the Hop On Hop Off and not disappointed-only disappointment was the behavior of a few folks who wouldn't disembark for customs and the behavior of the mob to get back on! The only other thing I can say-the karaoke was dull and machine wasn't good....met many nice new friends from all over! Many friendly people! A few that should have stayed home! Read Less
We took the five day Pacific Coastal (re-positioning) Cruise on the Bliss and had a great experience. I was a bit nervous having read many mixed reviews about the Bliss but would certainly sail on the Bliss again in the future. There ... Read More
We took the five day Pacific Coastal (re-positioning) Cruise on the Bliss and had a great experience. I was a bit nervous having read many mixed reviews about the Bliss but would certainly sail on the Bliss again in the future. There were some minor negatives, but overall it was an excellent experience.
One thing that is clear about the Bliss is that it benefits those that like to plan ahead or, on the other end of the spectrum, those that are extremely relaxed about what they do or do not experience on the cruise (eg just show up and see if it works out). If you are in the middle, it is a lot easier to be disappointed on the Bliss. For those that are planners, making specialty restaurant and show reservations through the NCL website well in advance of departure is a must. I would say make the reservations as soon as you can. Then, once you board, go to a screen on the ship and make go-kart, laser tag and any additional show reservations (those that couldn't be reserved online) right away. This will help ensure the best experience. That being said, if you are not a planner and just go with the flow there seemed to be enough cancellations, no-shows, etc..., that you can do just about everything. Again, you just can't have that expectation. I suspect that many of those disappointed in the Bliss fall somewhere in between these two ends of the spectrum. Those that want to eat at 7pm at Le Bistro or Cagney's on the first sea day, but wait to make a reservation until they get onboard will not be happy.
With that being said, some of the points from the Bliss are:
Embarkation -- Vancouver + NCL was a great experience -- I never got on a ship so quickly or so easily.
Cabin - small but workable space. We had a balcony cabin on the 11th deck and it easily fit 2 adults + a teen. The free movie options on the TV were an improvement. Storage space was good. I felt the bed was a bit firm compared to other cruises.
Dining - We ate at specialty restaurants 3 nights, the main dining room 1 night and the buffet 1 night. All were good and we did not have a bad experience. The buffet was a real highlight and one of the better cruise buffets I have experienced. On past NCL cruises it seemed that the staff was slow in cleaning tables at the buffet, that was not the case on the Bliss. The food in the main dining room (Manhattan Room) was as good as the specialty restaurants, but the service was nowhere near as good. Our best meal was at Le Bistro. We also hit up the Local several times on the cruise and feel this is a vast improvement over O'Sheehans.
Entertainment and Activities -- Very good experience with Laser Tag and Go Karts. I felt they were expensive going in (they are), but worth it. Bars were good and I especially liked the district brew house -- I hope this concept catches on for additional ships. Pool and slides were crowded even in cooler weather. This is a constant issue on megaships like the Bliss. I will say they added enough hot tubs at different locations and that was a plus. Night club was a ton of fun with better than average cruise DJs. Jersey Boys was amazing, Havana was terrible (I think it was written by a 6th grade drama class that ran out of time).
Spa -- Had to set this aside as it was my least favorite aspect of the cruise. The actual set up is nice, so that is not the issue. The problem is the hard sell. Can I just get a sign/flag that says "I don't want to buy anything". The don't have the Brazilian steakhouse on the Bliss, but the green button / red button system could also work. If I am paying $200 for a service, I don't need you to lay into me to buy $250 miracle cream. Sure, let me know what is available, but a sales pitch in the guise of a "consultation" is an awful experience. I was waiting for the attendant to say "well, if you don't want my shampoo for $100 an once, are you interested in hearing about a timeshare I am selling".
Service -- Good service, they got the job done with a smile.
Ports -- It is not the fault of the ship (it is a customs/immigration issue) but the delay to get off the ship in San Fran should have been explained better in advance. I live close enough to SF that we did not have big plans, but felt bad that were visiting the city for the first and possibly only time. We did not do any ship based excursions.
I look forward to the possibility of sailing on the Bliss again. For the right type(s) of traveler it is a really great experience. Read Less
very disappointing embarkation went smoothly
cabin ready when we arrived at noon. cabin small, but appreciated muted colours of brown and teal and coffee maker since room service costs 7.95 per delivery. noisy music blaring ... Read More
very disappointing embarkation went smoothly
cabin ready when we arrived at noon. cabin small, but appreciated muted colours of brown and teal and coffee maker since room service costs 7.95 per delivery. noisy music blaring everywhere including the elevator. only cabin and observation deck quiet, except several times day and night, cabin shuddered from slamming doors. pop music played so loud in the cafeteria we took breakfast in our cabin. bar in the cafeteria opened at 6 am food served at 7 am. thank goodness, Savor and Taste restaurants open at 7 am. music loud, but I was not in danger of going deaf. ALL food stations noisy w/ silverware clashing w/ metal Holland America and Celebrity use wooden salad bowls, Princess uses plastic. Bliss uses meta; bowls and metal utensils.-- adds to the constant din.
BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT WAS THE NOISE IN THE THERMAL SUITE. Some women were talking so loud we couldn't hear the meditation music. I went at 8 am to avoid the crowds. On Holland America, Celebrity, Princess, RCI there r signs requesting silence and the staff remind the rare persons who forget. No signs on the Bliss and no one cares. I sailed on the Epic a couple of yrs ago. The Spa was quiet.
even in the main dining room and specialty restaurants, people's voices rose as they drank alcohol. bliss advertised free bar as a perk and most people took advantage of this offer. in fact, because i am a silver member i get a free bottle of wine in my cabin even though i do not drink. no matter how many times i request sparkling water i get wine. some stranger getting off the elevator when i arrive benefits. i suspect the powers that be on Norwegian r alcoholcs. i am diabetic and i tell them every time i sail.-- no one cares
Norwegian provides lousy customer service. when we arrived in San Francisco, due to unclear instructions i disembarked early b4 i had eaten breakfast. an officer came to me after i complained to security that i could not wait 4 hrs to get back on ship to eat he assured me he would solve the problem. i was shaking by this time on the verge of passing out. he never returned.
i will forever be grateful to Gina from Frisco security who gave me a yogurt from her lunch. NorwegIan also disembarked people in wheel chairs who had to sit for hours b4 returning to the ship why couldn't they have been taken off the ship last, not first?
when i finally got back on board i whimpered bitterly to a supervisor about them putting my life in jeopardy. to calm me they sent chocolate coated strawberries and a bottle of wine to my cabin. chocolate and alcohol will kill me. some travel agents already tipsy in the early afternoon benefitted. how hard is it to google diabetic diet? i was so upset i went to a manager at guest sevices who listened, but probably won't implement my simple suggestions eventho she said thet were good ideas.
on the plus side, The Jersey Boys show in the theatre was great as were the Beatles impersonators in the Cavern Bar. we left Havana when a young lady on stage took off her bra. for a moment i thought i was in Vegas The food on Norwegoan ships has improved. I like the fact that i can order 3 appetizers and call that dinner. Teppenyaki was terrific except for the woman who spilled her beer on me. the food was almost as good as if i had eaten in Vancouver. Los Lobos served fresh quacamole which was as good. they had IMPORTED the corn from Chilliwack BC i recognozed the peaches and cream corn which was delicious
why do i cruise Norwegian? Itinerary and spa. The Bliss stopped in Victoria where my daughter andi had planned to visit the Egyptian Exhibit at the museum. this seemed like a better idea than an overnight in a hotel. BIG MISTAKE Read Less
This was our second cruise and we were excited to be aboard the brand new Bliss.
Overall we had a great time. The food was good but it was disappointing that the three complimentary dining rooms (Savor, Taste, and Manhattan) all have ... Read More
This was our second cruise and we were excited to be aboard the brand new Bliss.
Overall we had a great time. The food was good but it was disappointing that the three complimentary dining rooms (Savor, Taste, and Manhattan) all have the exact same menu despite being represented as different restaurants. The food at the Local dining room was good most of the time but inconsistent in quality. Ie. one day my Rueben was perfect and the following day it was so full of fatty meat that it was inedible.
Our cabin was clean and in good repair. The boat was spotless. The staff were Friendly and helpful.
It was difficult to get a booking at the race track or laser tag as they close when raining.
My only complaint about the cruise is the smoke stacks are too close to the upper decks and as a result the soot falls on the rear portions of the boat including the racetrack and H20 bar area. We had several instances of having soot on our hands or clothing. Read Less
Sailing south and going through the Panama Canal was a bucket list Item. Princess had a cruise that fit our time line so we booked it a year in advanced. Jade and Lucy the cruise director staff made the cruise such an enjoyable ... Read More
Sailing south and going through the Panama Canal was a bucket list Item. Princess had a cruise that fit our time line so we booked it a year in advanced. Jade and Lucy the cruise director staff made the cruise such an enjoyable experience. We laughed with them and had competitions with them. they could always be counted on for a smile and a warm and friendly hello.
If going, plan on packing several suitcases as the dress code in the main dining area is VERY RESTRICTIVE. It got to the point where the head waiter dismissed me due to improper attire. ( collard shirt and dress shorts) I felt it was in poor taste.'
Excursions into the ports were great and the staff was very helpful on boarding and embarking.
Sea Days were fun with the steady games and dancing on board. Crazy and wacky game show type games entertained us along with the many bars lounges that were stocked with ample seating areas to enjoy meeting other passengers from around the world. Read Less
Due to hurricane Helene we rerouted from Bergen and Belfast to Vigo and the Azores. Great effort by the crew to reconstruct tours and the Royal did a great job. Many aboard were miffed at the rerouting. Get over it folks. I’ll take ... Read More
Due to hurricane Helene we rerouted from Bergen and Belfast to Vigo and the Azores. Great effort by the crew to reconstruct tours and the Royal did a great job. Many aboard were miffed at the rerouting. Get over it folks. I’ll take sunny and 85 over 20 foot waves and driving rain any day. Cruise Staff under Matt O was the best I have ever AND I MEAN EvER had. Superior does not begin to describe how much they did in rearranging our tours and extra days at sea. The food was outstanding and the transatlantic allowed for empty optional restaurant choices as Sabatini’s and Crown Grill were empty most nights. But beware the transatlantic route appears to be the motherload of long retired passengers o canes, walkers and scooters. I am 61 and felt young! The crew on the Royal was excellent but the international cafe baristas were not up to par and the new coffee card on your room card is sooooo BAD! Watch for mischarges for regular coffee and now you can’t use it at the gelato bar. Which by the way had great gelatos but was empty 24/7 partially due to the coffee card change. Which is also not transferable to your next cruise. Bad call Princess!!! Read Less