1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
we just returned from our cruise with ncl bliss. i just wanted to say if you use a mobility scooter and are concerned about getting around with the scooter in ketchikan, juneau, skagway or victoria dont be. we traveled to these ports. my ... Read More
we just returned from our cruise with ncl bliss. i just wanted to say if you use a mobility scooter and are concerned about getting around with the scooter in ketchikan, juneau, skagway or victoria dont be. we traveled to these ports. my husband and granddaughter went their own way and i was by myself with the scooter. ketchikan i took myself up to creek street and while i didnt see salmon there i walked up a street on the left followed the stream up and the salmon. went way up past where all the people were and there they were thousands of salmon. wonderful site! in skagway i took the ocean raft wildlife adventure. these ladies went out of their way to make sure i was able to walk (which i couldnt) and brought the bus where they could. in juneau i went to mendenhall glacier. the bus drivers took the scooter and put it under the bus. scooters MUST BE FOLDABLE. otherwise they will not take you. went out 2 miles to nugget falls. wonderful site. great photos. i probably could have done the helicopter and raft excursion but im afraid of heights. went thru the towns w/o any problem including the wood slated walkways. there is nothing to fear but fear itself. so give it a try. you didnt spend all that money to sit on the ship. enjoy! as for ncl bliss itself. i cannot say enough about the service or accommodations on this ship. i saw a waiter go over to a man and cut up his meat. even though this person was with his family and his wife was sitting right next to him. staff at the buffet would ask if i needed a table or if they could get something for me because i was in the scooter. they would ask if i needed assistance with an elevator. embarkation was wonderful. disembarkation in victoria was a bit annoying but then again the staff/crew handled it the best they could and even brought me down a "secret" elevator. the food was great. entertainment at all levels was wonderful. a cruise is what you make of it. we sat quietly in the observation deck reading & playing a game or two. we went to the comics and different bands, and saw havana and jersey boys, played bingo and daily games. its certainly what you make of it. sit like a bump on a log and you'll not enjoy yourself. i have been on other cruises. ncl was by far the best we have been on. a shout out to the maitre d in manhattan who made sure i had my cappuccino in a glass. even though he gave me his card, im sorry i misplaced it. my only complaint was at seattle airport. SMS & Sons Int'l. i did not pick up my luggage at the airport to board flight to nyc. jason who is the 'DIRECTOR' was a rude, nasty, arrogant person. even if i was wrong, he deals w/the public and should be able to control himself, which he cannot. how SMS has this person working for them amazes me and is a loose cannon. cant tell me i am the only one who left their luggage and he tells me 'the fact that you left your luggage @ the airport tells me something about you." i was furious w/this comment and made him know it. glad i spoke w/him after the cruise as he did not ruin it. but management should certainly pay attention to him. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Just off the Bliss on 7/21 and had a great time. It was me, my wife and son who turned 17 on the cruise. We’ve cruised NCL, RCCL and Disney in the past. Overall, we loved our cabin, the ship, the crew, the food and ports. Really ... Read More
Just off the Bliss on 7/21 and had a great time. It was me, my wife and son who turned 17 on the cruise. We’ve cruised NCL, RCCL and Disney in the past. Overall, we loved our cabin, the ship, the crew, the food and ports. Really don’t have any complaints and any hiccups were handled to our satisfaction. Here are the day-to-day details (sorry for typos in advance)… We flew in the night before and stayed at the Edgewater Hotel next to the cruise terminal. We used Aces Town Car Services from the airport to the hotel. They were on time, courteous and the price was very competitive. Great customer service all the way around. We didn’t get to the hotel until about 9:45pm, checked in and headed to the lounge for some food. We enjoyed the food and drink, but it was a bit expensive as we expected. The room was cozy with two double beds but worked fine for a good night’s sleep. On embarkation day, we had brunch at the Six Seven Restaurant at the hotel. Great selection of food and really good service. My son mentioned this was his “birthday week” so our server brought him a special desert…nice touch. After brunch we checkout and walked to the cruise terminal which is literally next door to the hotel. Just a few minutes’ walk. We dropped out bags and headed to the check in line. My son has special needs so we had made arrangements ahead of time for a less crowded check-in experience. I’ll share the details. We were told to use the security line marked “Haven/VIP” because the line was shorter. Since we arrived at about 10:15am all the lines were shorter so it really didn’t matter. We then proceeded upstairs to the “quiet” check in area. It was actually a bit loud, crowded and chaotic but there were plenty of chairs until they call your party to the check in desk. After about 10 or 15 minutes we were called up and check in. Very quick and efficient. We were told to head to the ship but instead entered a room that was packed and standing room only. This didn’t look good. There was an employee right there and I asked her if there was somewhere less crazy to wait and she pointed behind her and told us that was the door to the ship and she was going to open it in two minutes and we could be the first through. Sure enough, two minutes later we were walked up the ramp to the ship. There we were, on board the beautiful Bliss. It was surreal because there was no one else on the ship (I’m assuming the Haven passengers had boarded and where up in the Haven). We went to make go kart reservations in the Social (I think) and then to Teppanyaki to adjust some dining reservations. Just like that we were ready to cruise! We just had brunch so we decided to explore the ship for a while before eating again. We really loved the ship. Everything was clean and new, well laid out and easy to navigate. After our walkabout, we headed to the Local for lunch. Food and service were good. I told my wife we needed to check out the spa. We were given a tour and sold on just about every kind of “treatment” you could imagine, from acupuncture, to massage to hair loss treatments. No thank you. I just wanted to see the Thermal Suite. After we checked that out, our tour guide tried to sell us Thermal Suite passes. I told her no need because, surprise, I had already purchased one for my wife! She visited there just about every day and really enjoyed it. By then the cabins were ready to we headed to our Mini-Suite with Large Balcony – 8126. I was tempted to bid on an upgrade to the Haven in the month leading up to the cruise but am so glad I didn’t. The location was perfect for us. We were steps away from the Waterfront, most specialty restaurant and plenty of bars. Most of the other things we needed to visit were just a deck or two down so no need for the elevators (which could get crowded, especially the forward ones). I’ve sailed the NCL Pride of America before and felt our cabin was claustrophobic. Not the case on the Bliss. While the cabin wasn’t huge, we never felt like were too cramped. We had enough storage for the three of us and the balcony was huge with two chairs, a table, and two loungers. The only downside was it wasn’t covered, and since it rained just about every day, we couldn’t use it as much as we would like. The bathroom was pretty big and the shower was very spacious. Our cabin steward was excellent and always had the room ready to go at the right times. I would take this cabin again in a heartbeat. We had dinner at Cagney’s that night and it was excellent, from the food to the service. My wife and I had the dining package for three meals but I didn’t buy one for my son. Looking at all the menus before the crews and estimating the cost I thought it would be a wash if I paid for his a la cart. That was a mistake. His tab at Cagney’s alone was about $60 so next time I will by him a dining package to match ours. It ended up working out in our favor any, but more on that later. Day two was at sea and we had booked a double go kart ride so I could drive my son around the track. I used to race karts a bit so this was a must do for me. First, we had breakfast in the main dining room (Taste or Savor) as we ended up doing most mornings. Plenty to eat and we always had excellent service. After the first day they remembered us which was nice. And, since my son told everyone it was his birthday week, he always got special treatment. In fact, it felt like the entire crew went out of their way to make sure he had a special cruise. On to the go karts and the experience was pretty disappointing. We were told to arrive about 15 minutes before our 9am reservation, which we did. By nine we were climbing into the kart and ready to hit the track. We would be the only ones on the track, which was actually goo, because the double karts are so wide I don’t think we could have passed anyone. We were told we would get four laps but actually only got three. So, after a few minutes (and about $15) we were done. I think we walked off at about 9:05. That was it? That was it. I wouldn’t do that again. Later we met my wife and had lunch at Food Republic. It continued the theme of good food and service on the ship. We tried a variety of small plates and like them all. I think our total at the end was about $60. We enjoyed the ship that afternoon and then headed for an early dinner at Teppanyaki because we had reservations for Havana at 7:30 that night. Our Teppanyaki reservation was at 5:15 and we were seated at the table by them. By 5:45 all the other tables had a chef but we did not. Since we had a show reservation my wife went to ask when we would get started. Finally, at 6:oo, we get our chef. We sat for 45 minutes with nothing. I though that was strange. Anyway, the chef was good and we enjoyed the food. My wife and I agreed that this was our least favorite meal on the ship. The good news was because of the delay, the didn’t charge us for our son’s meal, which was how not buying him a dining package ended up working out. I though that was excellent customer service. We didn’t ask for anything or make a fuss, they just took care of it. We really appreciated that. I’ve read mixed reviews of Havana but we really enjoyed it. Plot? Who cares? The singing and dancing were really good and we all liked the show. Plus, it wasn’t too long and drawn out. Some have commented the costumes were too skimpy. We live in Hawaii, and if you’ve been to a luau, the Havana costumes were no skimpier than that. Anyway, just our experience, YMMV. The next day we arrived in Juneau, which by far was out most disappointing day. I checked the weather forecast a week out and figured our float plane flight to Taku Glacier Lodge would be cancelled. NCL left us a voicemail in our cabin the day before saying all excursions involving flights were subject to cancellation (of course) BUT they wouldn’t tell us until we were off the ship at and at the meeting point. So, if we’re cancelled, we have little time to find something else to do. I woke up, look out the window, and it was foggy and rainy. No way we were going to fly. However, we had to get off the ship, walk to the meeting point, give the bus driver our tickets, sit on the bus for five minutes only to have the bus driver get back on the bus and tell us we were cancelled. NCL could have been more proactive here to give us better rescheduling options. I hopped off the bus and started to ask around trying to find the one NCL rep that could actually help us find something else. Finally found her. We were scheduled for a salmon bake at Taku Lodge, and my son really loves salmon, so we found another option. We had some time to kill so we walked in the rain into town, had some snack and drinks, and walked back. We didn’t really enjoy Juneau too much. Took the bus to the salmon bake and they did a great job. We all had plenty to eat, and I especially enjoyed their chowder. Our van driver back to the ship grew up where we now live in Hawaii…small world! The next day we had an early, and long, day in Skagway. I think we had breakfast at the buffet that morning and I didn’t like it at all. Two many people and too crazy. I felt like I was always getting bumped into. I’d much rather sit down and be served…just more my speed. We did the excursion where you take a bus to Carcross in Canada and then the White Pass Railway back to Skagway. I love trains and had done this excursion about 30 years ago. The bus ride was really loooooong but the scenery was beautiful. Carcross was our lunch stop and was disappointing. They had the restaurant for lunch, a museum and petting zoo. It was just us and about a thousand of our closest friends. My wife and son really wanted to see a sled dog puppy and got there wish. The train ride was as spectacular as I remembered it, although the rain and clouds made it a bit less scenic. It was such a long, long day that we headed straight back to the ship and didn’t bother walking around Skagway. Next time I’ll pick a shorter excursion and explore the town. We had dinner at Taste or Savor and it was a good as always. The next day, Glacier Bay, was a highlight (as you can imagine). We woke up early so we could be one of the first on the bow when they opened it up. It was a little after 8am when they did and we got a spot right on the rail. It was so cold!! On the way to the first glacier I saw two pods or Orca, a humpback whale, a whale I couldn’t identify, and plenty of otters and puffins. I was really cool. By the time we got to the first glacier the bow was a madhouse, just a crush of people. I realized our balcony was about 50 feet away on the same deck, so why are we with all these folks? We headed back to the cabin and had the same spectacular view all too ourselves. I mentioned we were right near the Waterfront as well, so for the rest of Glacier Bay, we headed there any walked from one side of the ship to the other to catch the best view. It was busy but not crowded at all…and they have bars! Dinner that night was at Q. The portions were so big and the food was good BBQ. They really do a good job with the four types of sauces. Next up Ketchikan, which ended up being our favorite port. I thought our son would enjoy the Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show so I booked it on my own. We got off the ship early and made the short walk to the show. We were so early that we needed to kill some time and headed to Creek Street. We were the only ones there (nothing was open) which was fine because we avoided the cruise ship crush of people. Back to the lumberjack show and we had so much fun. Yes it was cheesy but in a good way. And the things those guys can do with saws, axes and logs. Wow! We all loved it and I’d see it again. Next was lunch next door at The Alaska Fish House. Really good fish and chips. We did some shopping and then I had the Ketchikan Historic Walking Tour app on my phone, so we decided to give it a try. It was so interesting. We didn’t have time to get through the while thing, but really saw and learned a lot. Plus, found a spot on the creek where salmon were swimming upstream. Really need to see. Great day in Ketchikan. Another great dinner at Taste/Savor and then off to Jersey Boys. It was another great show and we all loved it. All the performers were so talented. Yes, they say a lot of ‘bad words’ but nothing my son hasn’t heard from me while watching football. Victoria is that short, late night port stop. I had booked a carriage ride with Tally-Ho Carriage Tours. Before that we spent our last day on the ship hanging out and packing. We had dinner that night at Los Lobos. The Mexican food was pretty good, I have to say. Really enjoyed the tableside guacamole. This is where we had the worst service of the trip, very slow and forgetful server but we had time. It was warm enough that we were able to sit outside on the Waterfront which was awesome. Great views of Mt. baker and the city as we ate dinner. I wish we would have had dinner outside more often, it’s a spectacular setting. We got off the ship and walked about 30 minutes to the carriage ride meeting point. Took about a 50-minute scenic trip about the city, very pleasant. They were able to drop us off at the port so we didn’t have to worry about the 30 minute walk back. Appreciated that. It was late, so we had a could of farewell drinks and then off to bed. Early debarkation in the morning. We had signed up for the Port Valet service where they check you in for your flight home and take your bags to the airport for you. The night before they had delivered out boarding passes and bag tags to our cabin. We put the tags on the bags and had them out by 11pm. That morning in Seattle, we got to Taste/Savor at 6:30am, right when they opened for breakfast. I was surprised because it wasn’t crowded at all. For Port Valet, they ask you be off the ship by 8am. The ship cleared at a about 7:15, and we finished breakfast just after 7:30. We had assisted debarkation and met the access staff at the internet café. We waited a few minutes and they escorted us off the ship at the uncrowded rear gangway just before 8am. We merged into a long line with the forward gangway passengers and I thought this might take a while, but the line kept moving at walking pace. We should the customs officers our passports and that was that. Cruise over! Our flight wasn’t until 5:30pm, so I booked a Pike Place food tour with Savor Seattle Food Tours. This was outstanding. It ran from 10am to noon and we hit about eight locations in the market. We tried everything from Greek yogurt, to cheese, to chowder, to donuts, to cherries, to crab cakes and more. Some locations at 45-minute waits for their food but we got to cut the line. Everything was so, so good and we learned about the history of the market. We had planned on eating lunch after the tour but were way too full. Instead we did a little shopping at stopped at a ginger beer bar. Then it was off to the airport. Of course, we didn’t have to check in or check out bags and there was no line at security. Had some dinner and boarded the flight. When we arrived home, our backs were there too. I highly recommend the free Port Valet service if you qualify. Some notes… We did spend a bit of time in the Observation Lounge and it’s a beautiful space. Great for Alaska, of course. It was usually crowded but we tended to go later in the evening and were able to find seating. Have a bar and (usually) some small bites was great. We saw the Beatles tribute band twice. Once in the Cavern Club (get there 45 minutes early) and once in the main theater. They played different sets and were really good. Also enjoyed the band Siglo many times, the piano duet, and the solo piano player. All were great to listen to over drinks. Never tried the pool or slides…way too cold for me. But, there were die hards out there having a great time. It was fun to watch people get stuck on the looping slide! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
1. when NCL Bliss came to Seattle, we were expecting Epic kind of service or amenities. But the Bliss was way worse than what we were expected. we paid $9000 for 4 of us in same room, the room doesn't have enough closet space or ... Read More
1. when NCL Bliss came to Seattle, we were expecting Epic kind of service or amenities. But the Bliss was way worse than what we were expected. we paid $9000 for 4 of us in same room, the room doesn't have enough closet space or drawers for our close, have to 2 of us has to use our luggage, placing at the middle of the room. 2. can you imagine the Specialty Restaurant served the exact same dish as regular Main Dining Room? ( in this case is La Bistro & Manhattan), it's a rip off. we were on Heaven Category so we got to dine at Heaven Restaurant but the quality was not as good as before, NCL used to serve special meals for each destination like Mediterranean Cruise with Seafood, Alaska Cruise with King crab leg, but with the Bliss none of those (even with Pearl, they don't serve it any more) and the selections are getting scares ..... 3. the dining room hours are so limited you have to rush yourself......... otherwise you end up eating in your tiny room....... the Concierge wasn't helpful unless you pile up the green notes upfront....... very realistic. I do give extra tips for those who worked behind the scene, wait staffs or housekeeper daily...... they are hard workers and were almost at the point being abused by NCL the Only reason I chose NCL is because of my MOM, who is wheelchair-bound, I like the free style..... but the Bliss isn't made for , or accommodated for Handicapped persons. Showroom alone is not made for one...... the wheelchair area were not made for watching the show unless you are really tall, my Mon can sit there but can only watch the wall in front of her..... the rest of the handicapped seats are those 2 rows down the stairs and only have one opening out........ not recommended..... One more thing, you have to check your bill diligently or NCL tend to over charge you unless you complaine. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Low discount no single supplement, last minute cruise. Issue one: I walk with the aid of a cane, in the garden cafe out could take me three trips to get every thing I neefed. Multiple times the zombie bussers would clear my table before ... Read More
Low discount no single supplement, last minute cruise. Issue one: I walk with the aid of a cane, in the garden cafe out could take me three trips to get every thing I neefed. Multiple times the zombie bussers would clear my table before I even had time to start eating, clearly a fresh plate. Chair tipped up indicating table in use, and most times in the disabled section where you would think they would know a passenger might need more time. I complained about this to the section supervisor over and over, no resolution. The bussers acted like robots. By the time i got my coffee my food was gone, or cold. By the way coffee was so hot I got a third degree burn carrying my cup back to my table only to find my food gone. Quite the blister from coffee so hot thst it heated the cup to the point of burning me in a 50 foot walk. Non disabled passengers loved to use disabled sections. Bussers and crew were not proactive in offering help. Only twice did I see them bring coffee around. Garden cafe is way too large. Disabled sections far from hot food. All in all the food was horrible. I tried table service in Savor for breakfast, very slow to get a waiter, more wait then pancakes that were colder then the butter, egges that were cold, dab of cold potato, cold toast Bottom line I cook much better then the ships cooks. The Local with is short menu did okay, to good. I ate there often. I did not eat at the specialty venues as my last years trip with NCL the speciality venues were marginal. I never knew who my room steward/stewardess was,, it seemed like deck five was the junior level workers, by night six, cabin service went sideways, things left un done. I did get a wheel chair embarking, but no help getting off. The crew that did the wheel chair wad only one tipped. Automated booking for shows, all were full, I suspect people booked for every thing and times, leaving everything unavailable in the booking system. Lots of fees for things to do, bringing a nice ship down in class. I dubbed it the Hillbilly cruise line. I paid zero service charge, as there really was no human service. Unknown crew, and robots. They have deliberately sabotaged the complimentary food service in hopes of driving passengers to the pay venues. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Chose this cruise because our last NCL trip was so good. This shop was to big. Getting around was difficult and elevators hard to get on for baby stroller and senior with a walker. People were rude. All of the entertainment was booked ... Read More
Chose this cruise because our last NCL trip was so good. This shop was to big. Getting around was difficult and elevators hard to get on for baby stroller and senior with a walker. People were rude. All of the entertainment was booked up the first day but we feel we paid for something we didn't experience. Kids were very disappointed. And don't waste your money on specialty food package, it was a waste. If you want service you must tip more than the 20% they already add in. Most of the staff was great but people at service desk seemed bothered by questions. Many people didn't want kids on board and it seemed a conflict in some places to have kids. I can also see where the idea of ugly American came from, old white people can't hardly hide their disdain for foreign and minority travelers and I am an old white guy. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We chose this boat because it is a brand new ship, started sailing just two months prior, and we loved the itinerary. The stops were great, we loved the excursions chosen, food was good, service was great, and we took full advantage of ... Read More
We chose this boat because it is a brand new ship, started sailing just two months prior, and we loved the itinerary. The stops were great, we loved the excursions chosen, food was good, service was great, and we took full advantage of the drink package. We enjoyed the shows, bands, live music, trivia, and hot tubs. I was surprised there was no lobster served in the dining room - first cruise I have been on where this was not on the menu. However, the food was food, and we would sail on this boat again. Our first stop was Ketchikan where we did off road vehicles through the woods. This was a great tour. We wish it would have been longer. It was about twenty minutes out and twenty minutes back, but it was so nice to be outside. We spotted a mother bear and two cubs which is a rarity. We felt really blessed to have seen them out in the woods. The tour guides were kind, and informative. Our second stop was Juneau where we decided to go whale watching. We chose Alaska Galore Tours because they had small boats. We were on a boat that held 15 or so along with a boat captain and tour guide. We learned so much, and saw 5-6 whales turning in the water about 15-20 times. Unfortunately, it was raining, but we still would have chosen this tour again. We were supposed to go by Sawyer Glacier, but the weather was too bad as it was very cloudy and icy. We still saw some beautiful scenery from the boat, and it was a lovely evening on the balcony. Finally, our last day was in Skagway. My husband and father-in-law went on a helicopter to walk around on the glacier. it was short, 20 minute ride out and 20 minutes back with about half an hours walking around and learning about the glacier. We would recommend. We also did the train ride up the mountain. It was informative, beautiful, and again, we would do this same tour all over again. The bands at night were great, especially the guy in the piano bar. He was funny and incredibly entertaining. My in-laws loved Jersey Boys, the broadway show. We would absolutely sail on Norwegian and on this same boat again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
This was a cruise for nine people in our party to celebrate birthdays and an anniversary. We couldn’t have picked a better cruise line or ship! What a fabulous surprise! The amenities, food and ship employees and service, as well as ... Read More
This was a cruise for nine people in our party to celebrate birthdays and an anniversary. We couldn’t have picked a better cruise line or ship! What a fabulous surprise! The amenities, food and ship employees and service, as well as the surroundings was 5 Star all the way! As this was my first cruise, I didn’t have anything to compare to but I must say I’ll probably have a much higher standard to gauge any other cruise line or ship for that matter. I was so spoiled by the service, quality of the food and things to do, that it is hard to come back to the real world! And it makes me want to go on another cruise in the next year or so. We were so well treated and I got to meet so many new people from around the world. The shows, art work, pools, food, observation deck, lounges, laser tag, go cart race track (who thinks these things up?!); whatever you wanted to experience was there. One of my most favorite things was learning about the artist who painted the ship (Wyland!); his conservation efforts, paintings and murals and watched his channel when in the stateroom every chance I could get! This man and artist is AMAZING! Amazing and so talented! My next cruise will probably be on the Bliss just because of this artist!! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
I have read a few of the most recent reviews and I feel the need to defend NCL because I am hearing a lot of the same complaints I heard on the ship. Yes, there were multiple medical emergencies, that's what happens when the average ... Read More
I have read a few of the most recent reviews and I feel the need to defend NCL because I am hearing a lot of the same complaints I heard on the ship. Yes, there were multiple medical emergencies, that's what happens when the average demographic is 74 years old. There were a couple medical evacuations people never even knew about, that is called HIPPA and a person's right to privacy. The Captain had to make a tough call when the coast guard did not answer distress calls, nor was a medical evacuation possible for a young woman who walked on the boat healthy and fell deathly ill from an infection that later took her life. If that was my loved one, I pray they would make the same choice and I am comforted that they chose trying to save a human life over make a popular decision. I realize there were a lot of disappointed passengers, but please take comfort in knowing that collectively we did everything possible to help save a human life. Now, for my review... Getting to the ship from the airpot in Seattle, the $20 NCL shuttle was easy. They took my luggage right from the baggage claim and the next time I saw it was outside my stateroom door at 6:30pm. An Uber would have been about $40 for a solo traveler, so it saved me money. Check in was easy and I was early, so I enjoyed the Seattle Pike Place Market before returning to the ship for embarkation at 11:30am. I would recommend going straight to the observation lounge if you're like me and need to charge your phone. There are hidden charging ports in the lamps. Comfortable seating and really good food (salmon chowder) were calling my name on day one while the Garden Cafe was over run with people. You are allowed in your rooms after 1:30. I booked my room last minute, no solo supplement for a really great price ($499) with an inside guarantee and was assigned a handicapped accessible inside state room. The room was really spacious and would be great for a person in a wheelchair. I am guessing it to be 200 square feet, the only problem for me was that I confused the lights with the automatic door opener and would accidentally open the door while standing in my underwear. I'm guessing I would have figured it out eventually, but I had a request to change rooms due to a handicapped passenger needing the room. I was asked very graciously and politely, since I'd already shown the neighbors more of me than I cared to, I voluntarily gave it up. Linda, the accessibility coordinator told me that at 24 into the cruise, there were no longer any larger rooms available for an upgrade, but she offered me either a studio or inside cabin plus a $200 on board credit. I happily accepted the studio cabin since I was solo and wanted to have access to the solo lounge. I had a really hard time finding my interior room on deck 13, I felt like I was in a maize, once I switched to room 12517 in the Solo Studio, I never had trouble finding my room again. This brings me to NCL's Solo Cruiser Program. I am so impressed with this program. The Solo Host, Jose Jaramilla, went above and beyond in assisting every solo cruiser whether you were in the solo studios, or not. I met him the at the first meet and greet in the Mojito Bar on the first day and he brought everyone back to the solo lounge and explained the program. An itinerary with show dates and times was provided where selected seating had been reserved for the solo cruisers to sit as a group. It was in the far lower right corner, but at least you weren't sitting by yourself. You could sign up for one or all of the activities and there were daily meetings followed by dinner for those that wished to eat with the group. What a wide variety of ages, 22-75, ethnicities, and personality types. From the introvert to the extrovert, there is something for everyone. Jose did a great job ensuring everyone had a great time. For solo cruising, NCL has my vote 100%. Jose is also seen during many of the game shows and theme parties, which were pretty low key with the generally older demographic, but he is hilarious. The solo cabin itself it small, 99 square feet with less than a full size bed, but it's well designed. The shower and the toilet feel more like you are in a rocket or coffin, so I was really wishing I'd shaved my legs in that handicapped accessible bathroom. There is a virtual window and you do have access to the solo lounge where there is an espresso machine, ice water, fruit, orange juice, and pastries always available. It was very easy to meet other solo cruisers in the lounge which was a huge perk. It was like a little ship in the ship. I did not get in on a free at sea with the super low rate, so instead I brought on two bottles of wine and paid the $15/bottle corking fee. This was enough alcohol for me and the bar tenders were quite pleasant and entertaining even though I wasn't ordering a bunch of alcohol. They seem to keep up with demand and for those that couldn't get drinks fast enough, I would recommend some of the quieter bars like the whiskey bar, wine bar, mojito bar (love Black Cowboy), or the bar in the observation lounge. The atrium bar was always busy, but I thought the guys were great. I loved the adults only Spice H2O for the hot tub to watch the sunset, although it could have been a bit hotter. It was a chilly sprint out and to the heated hallway. It was too chilly for the pool for me, but I did lay out one day and watch festivities. Freestyle dining was made easy, I was always seated quickly with my group and ate in the complementary restaurants except for Cagney's one night and Sushi at Food Republic. I enjoyed the lighter lunch food in the observation lounge, it seemed a little more on the gourmet side. The Garden Cafe was OK, I always seemed to catch the half hour between breakfast and lunch when there was really no food. Kids and adults who love ice cream will be happy, there were numerous Ice Cream Stations, both hard and soft serve, although I'm not positive about the hours. The food in the Main Dining Rooms was good, but not great. If I didn't know any better, I would be more impressed. There was no lobster, not even at Cagney's, salmon the first night and that was fabulous, but I did not catch it on the menu again. I was a little disappointed being it was an Alaskan Cruise. It seems NCL has taken money out of fine cuisine and put it into entertainment as the meals consisted of less expensive cuts of meat, fish and pasta. They were all well prepared and presentation was beautiful, but budget cuts were noticeable for an experienced cruiser. I heard the Q really stands out, but who wants to pay $25 extra for what you used to get for free? The sushi at The Food Republic is amazing and well worth it for about $8/roll. Nolan, the head chef is fantastic and ensures his customers are satisfied with his creations. The Local had Pub-Style food and a nice made-to-order omelet for breakfast with a very friendly staff. Shows and Entertainment...The Jersey Boys is a must see production, as good as a Broadway Show. Havana was very well choreographed. I had hoped to see a comedy show, but lines we long and there was standing room only. The game shows were entertaining as usual, the night life was pretty mild due to the advanced age demographic. I had a great time and feel the crew was vey friendly and courteous. The Social was open late for dancing and as a solo lady, it was an added benefit that not only one, but a male and female security guard would walk you back to your cabin upon request. I felt very safe on and off the ship at all times. Juneau...For those that like to save money, you can take the city bus to the Mendenhall Glacier for $2 instead of $45 for the express bus. It drops you off 1.5 miles away, but it is a beautiful paved trail and I saw a Momma bear and two cubs along the way (escorted by park rangers). I will be going again at least once, if not more. I need to bring my kids to show them the beauty on this side of the country, I am awe struck. Getting off the Bliss proves to be the biggest challenge. If you are in a rush to get off the boat to catch a flight, do the express walk off as early as you can. Otherwise, plan on it taking 1-2 hours to get off the boat from the time you get off the elevator. If you are traveling with anyone that may need any medical assistance or not tolerate standing in a circulating line for that period of time, get them a wheelchair assisted disembarkation. I hope they work the kinks out of disembarkation before they get to Miami for my next venture on the Bliss. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Let me be transparent, I didn't know whether to trust Cruise Critic. I even searched Google and Reddit to see others' experiences on whether this was even a legit website. This is not one of those puff piece reviews. This is a ... Read More
Let me be transparent, I didn't know whether to trust Cruise Critic. I even searched Google and Reddit to see others' experiences on whether this was even a legit website. This is not one of those puff piece reviews. This is a real review written by a guy who went on his first cruise with no set expectations. So here's the story: If Spirit Airlines ran a cruise ship, it would be the Norwegian Bliss. You get nickeled and dimed for literally everything. Want to play laser tag? That'll cost you. Go carts? That will cost you. Bowl in the mini bowling alley that we never saw/heard about until disembarking at the end? That will cost you. Honestly surprised the hot tubs and pool didn't cost you. The cabin was super small. My in-laws her cruised earlier this year with Carnival and said their stateroom was double the size of these. Technology is great, but when you need to leave your room key card in a slot by the main door to get any of the lights to come on, you've gone too far. Our cabin steward was unattentive at best. My wife requested additional pillows and towels multiple times. One day he took away our extra pillow. Never did show up with the towel, so we had to grab one off the maintenance cart. And they wanted $14.95 per person per day as a room service fee to pay him to do his job! If you get bad service, go to guest services to dispute this. You can only do it Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday. Otherwise you're stuck with it. For a family of 4 this would get pretty pricey. There isn't much to do onboard this ship. If you're there to get the ultimate drink package, have a blast, you'll enjoy this. If you are there to gamble, the casinos are right in the middle of the main decks, including a room for smokers that drifts into the main deck area. Wife has asthma, we tried to avoid but it was right in the middle of the ship (floors 6-8 middle). Jersey Boys was well done, but Havana was terrible - seemed like Havana cast was not synced up. So shows came out average. Theater seating also poor. Such a low grade as the seats go from balcony to the floor that you were almost assured to have someone's head in front of you, leaving you with an obstructed view. Especially if you sat in the handicapped section. Food wasn't great. I actually stopped eating onboard mid-cruise because the repetition of the food quit agreeing with me. Lunches don't change in the dining rooms, and the buffets are self-serve, rather than staff serve like at an all inclusive resort. Great opportunity to spread germs. Specialty restaurants were meh. Cagneys was overrated, porterhouse had a funny aftertaste. Old Fashioned they brought me was WAY too sweet, tasted like syrup. Never ordered another cocktail. Craft beer bar The District had disinterested bartenders. Even beers I knew didn't taste exactly right, Dogfish Head 90 minute IPA tasted watered down. Not sure how often the tap/lines got cleaned. Excursions were ok, but in talking with some folks I met onboard many of them found them cheaper by just signing up in town. One family did the dogsled experience in Skagway for $75/person CHEAPER than if they had booked through the cruise line. We also did not get nearly enough time in the ports. 5-6 hours most places. In the time it took to get an elevator (elderly in-laws and wife with asthma), there wasn't really enough time to truly explore these towns and excursions. Disembarking was a clusterf*ck. All week they hype Port Valet to transfer your bags directly from the ship to the airport. The airlines will even waive baggage fees. Wife and I asked 3 different people at guest service about this and got 3 completely different answers. None of those answers stated that you have to leave Saturday when you get back to Seattle. We were to leave Sunday, so apparently we didn't qualify. They waited until after we left the ship in Victoria the night before we got back to Seattle to inform us of this. It ultimately cost us about 7 hours of our time, waiting an hour and a half extra to disembark, getting to the hotel, renting a car, and then coming back to downtown, not to mention the extra time in the lines at the airport the next day. Guest services needs to get their story together. As I mentioned earlier, wife and I got different answers for same question when we talked to multiple people there (you start questioning it after it happens once). When my mother-in-law went down to question some items on her bill, the guest services girl called her a liar when MIL stated she had paid for gratuity and excursions up front. Terrible customer service experience with them. I spoke with at least 2 dozen people at random on this cruise through happenstance meetings. The overwhelming majority took this cruise because it was a new ship. They were disappointed like me. Many had children and remarked that there isn't a kid's club or daycare like some other ships offer. The other reviews hit this spot on. Kids are running wild all over this ship, no parental control in sight. Basically parents expected the crew to entertain their kids without nearly enough for children to do. Note for those who are handicapped or elderly. Hallways are very narrow outside staterooms, difficult for my mother in law to get her walker through them. Also, the gangway ramps in Skagway and Juneau, and even portions of Seattle were too steep. Who does this cruise line think takes cruises? Senior adults need better care and more options to disembark at ports with this cruise line. Thanks for taking the time to read. You work hard for the money you do have, or if you're paying for family to cruise together, you want the best experience for them. My advice, look elsewhere. Every person who told me they took this cruise because of the ship being new said in the next breath they wished they had done this with Royal Caribbean. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
The Bliss is not handicap friendly. If you are on a scooter or in a wheelchair, with no companion traveling with you. It's almost impossible to get into the forward elevators. The busy areas, like the buffet, pool area and ... Read More
The Bliss is not handicap friendly. If you are on a scooter or in a wheelchair, with no companion traveling with you. It's almost impossible to get into the forward elevators. The busy areas, like the buffet, pool area and observation lounge are all above the room decks from mid ship to the front of the ship. Also, below these room are disembarking/embarking at all ports, the atrium and the theater. The elevators seemed to always be packed by the time they get to the room decks. If you are on a scooter or wheelchair. You have to wait through so many elevators to get one that you could fit into. I had to wait as long as a half hour at times. I found kids playing on the elevators, pushing all the buttons, and totally rude people that would crowd past the scooter I was on, leaving me stranded again. The buttons to open sliding doors are mainly in the center of glass doors. On a scooter you can't reach over the front of scooter to reach the button. If you pull up sideways to push them. You can't get backed around fast enough to go through before the door closes again. Smoking casino has no button to push at all. You have to just sit in front of the glass doors and wait for someone to go in or go out, to hold the door open for you. Many of the handicap Restrooms have doors that open outward. When you get close enough to push the button you have to try to backup fast enough so that the door slams into you (which happens often) then you need re-aim your scooter to get in. Hope you don't have to go bad. The exclusive place that rents scooters to NCL, tell you that they will fit in a regular balcony room. Well, it was in the room when I got there, but, I couldn't get past it into the room. The scooter also wouldn't go anywhere but just inside the door. It took 3 crew members to get it out of there. They ended out scraping up the door and the metal door frame in the process. Larger scooters will only go into a handicap room. Almost all big restaurants are at the very back of the ship. I found it easier to get to deck 8 and drive down the outside Waterfront to get to the aft part of ship. As we had a very windy, rainy trip, if wasn't a pleasant ride. This weather caused closing a lot of the activities on top decks which left the rest of the ship very congested and lots of children running around unsupervised. Also, for handicapped people that choose rooms close to elevators. Be aware that the room do not have good sound proofing. The kids are playing and running up and down the stairs and halls till late at night. It will be heard in your room. I would advise that handicap or elderly, go on the smaller NCL ships, like the Jewel or Pearl. I always cruise on NCL and will continue to do so. This was just too much ship for me without a companion that could help me through doors and congested area. Also, in the buffet, you are unable to reach things like glasses and cups for your drinks. Someone missed the boat (ship) when they did the designing for the handicapped on this ship. It is a beautiful ship though. But, I feel it was designed for the younger class of people. Excursions are misleading when they say they have handicap access. Make sure if you can't get out of your wheelchair or walk some, that they have lifts on their shuttles and area inside to park you, etc. Please continue cruising on NCL but maybe a smaller one. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
After reading the negative reviews prior to our departure I was quite nervous for our family's first cruise and wondering if we made a mistake booking on such a big new ship. I'm generally inclined to be critical. However, this ... Read More
After reading the negative reviews prior to our departure I was quite nervous for our family's first cruise and wondering if we made a mistake booking on such a big new ship. I'm generally inclined to be critical. However, this cruise couldn't have been a better experience from start to finish. Yes, there are a lot of people. No, it's not all inclusive, but no one ever said it was. I traveled with my husband (with mobility issues) and two teenagers (17 and 19 years old). Details & maybe a few tips: -Initial, final and port embarkations & debarkations were smooth, quick and easy. Port valet (luggage sent from the ship to final destination) for final disembarkation is the BEST! -We had connecting balcony staterooms on 9 aft and they were perfect. Our room steward did an excellent job keeping our room clean and tidy. I've seen plenty of complaints about the elevators. If you haven't booked yet, try to book a room in the back half of the ship and use the aft elevators and you'll have no problems; or if you can walk to the aft elevators during busy times. -We chose the specialty dining and unlimited open bar options for our "free at sea." Very happy with both. We made our restaurant reservations in advance, as advised by our planner. We didn't have a bad meal in any restaurant, including the buffet and the complimentary restaurants. We NEVER had to wait and were NEVER rushed in Manhattan, Taste or Savor. We did room service for breakfast a few of the days when we had early excursions and we were very happy with this service. Drinks were delicious and service was available and fast at numerous bars throughout the boat. We found the selection of cocktails, beers and wines to be great. Service in all of the establishments was friendly and accommodating. I will second, third and fourth the annoyance at off-brand sweetners but NCL may have gotten the message as I started to see real "Sweet N Low" appear later in the week. -Amenities & Onboard--book your laser tag and go-karts upon embarkation day and you'll get reservations. We chose a late embarkation time and still had no problem. Entertainment is good. It's not broadway but it's solid and entertaining and they're working their butts off for us. We loved The District and entertainer Jim Badger--lots of fun! No problems finding space on the pool deck. Very comfortable seating for hanging out and viewing on Deck 8 ("The Waterfront"). We were able to get seating in the Observation Lounge whenever we frequented it. Activities and instructions were clearly communicated all week long by the captain and cruise director. -We did two excursions through NCL--Wilderness Exploration & Crab Feast in Ketchikan and Mendenhall Glacier Explorer in Juneau. Both excellent. First was completely guided. Glacier was mainly transportation with good commentary on the bus, and then explore on your own. We privately booked excursions in Skagway, Victoria and Seattle. -The gym was quite crowded on the days at sea. The weather on these two particular days was not great so I'm sure this contributed to the crowding. However, I got great workouts by walking (Deck 8 is good for this) and doing lots of stairs. This was also a good way to explore the ship. I returned the same weight as I was when I departed so I'll call that a win :). Again, all in all, a fabulous family vacation! Gleaming new ship, great service from all the crew, delish food and drinks, and the spectacular sights of Alaska. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
I choose the Bliss to Alaska because I have sailed on Norwegian many times and really like it. I am very disappointed in this ship especially for what we paid for it. First, the entertainment was very subpar. I am not a prude but the ... Read More
I choose the Bliss to Alaska because I have sailed on Norwegian many times and really like it. I am very disappointed in this ship especially for what we paid for it. First, the entertainment was very subpar. I am not a prude but the language in Jersey Boys is totally uncalled for, especially with the majority of people sailing in their 70’s and 80”s. The Havana show was lack luster. And, you had to make reservations for EVERYTHING and most things were sold out. Totally uncalled for. Plus, you had to pay extra to see one of their shows. The observation deck was fantastic and the bar staff was excellent. This area provided a great view of the Alaskan scenery. It seemed that all NCL wants to do is sell you something. And, the activities to do were very boring. You even had to make reservations for the go kart track and laser tag which there were no spots left. Spa was way overpriced. Cabin staff were very accommodating. And, the staff was very accommodating and helpful for handicapped individuals. I will sail Norwegian again but no ton the Bliss. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
This review was sent directly to Norwegian as well. Some background: My 84 year old mother booked this trip for her four children and their spouses (10 of us in total) as a last special family vacation. All but two in the group are ... Read More
This review was sent directly to Norwegian as well. Some background: My 84 year old mother booked this trip for her four children and their spouses (10 of us in total) as a last special family vacation. All but two in the group are over 60, all are retired. My mother has 200 plus days at sea and my wife and I have at least 150 days at sea now with several other cruise lines, so we all pretty much know the ropes and our way around a ship. The new Bliss was supposed to be a huge step up in cruise ships with numerous new amenities and with all the media hype, that is why my mother choose NCL over Princess and was willing to pay thousands of dollars more for the total package. None of us are not hard to please and generally we all just go along with whatever comes our way, but considering what was paid and expected, this was not the best experience or value. So why did I rate my overall experience as “fair” in response to your survey: First - you booked our cruise at a significantly higher rate than comparable cruises to the same destinations. When she was booking the cruise, I reminded my mother that we should all get senior discounts and that two of us were eligible for veteran’s discounts or cabin credits. She told me then that you had denied all senior discounts/cabin credits and disabled veteran qualifications for this particular ship. I personally contacted Norwegian Customer Service about it in writing and was promised a response within a few business days. What I got was a call from an unintelligible oriental woman about two weeks before we sailed saying something to the effect that my concern had been forwarded somewhere. We still have not received any contact or resolution from anyone at NCL. You over charged for shore excursions. I say this because six of the ten of us have sailed to Alaska within the past few years on different cruise lines and took some of the same excursions. You also required that we pay months advance. No other cruise line has ever done that to us. You advertised a go-cart track and a laser tag game that were both completely booked by the first morning and remained so for the duration of the cruise. We were told we could stand in line each day on the happen stance that someone might not show up. We tried for 5 weeks in advance of the cruise to sign up for shows which should have been not only free, but also “first come – first served”. Those too were completely booked and none of us could reserve anything except The Jersey Boys, so that was the only show we saw. (On a side note: The Jersey Boys were absolutely phenomenal!) Our cabin steward was a total no show for the duration of the cruise. On the third day out we ran out of tissues and called House Keeping. The person that brought them to us turned out to be our steward. He knocked, introduced himself, handed us the tissues and then turned and left. About 5 seconds. That was the entirety of our association with the cabin steward, though he did maintain the room satisfactorily. While we are on the subject of the cabin, they are small and cramped, the beds are hard and uncomfortable and your closets do not accommodate the standard hangers which we brought from home for our formal clothing. The dining rooms were nice and a couple even had large windows which made the experience nicer when you managed to get a window seat. Steaks/carved meats in the buffet and The Manhattan dining room were horrid, tough and gristly every single time we ordered them. This was not just me, but voiced by every person in the group of ten. The Garden Buffet was generally an acceptable place to eat with tasty food and a nice variety, though several times we had to take our meals back to the room because there was absolutely no seating available anywhere in the vicinity of the dining room. The best meals were served in the Specialty dining rooms, though every single meal we took on the ship with the exception of the Garden Buffet took two full hours from the time we sat down until the dessert was served. We could never understand why service was so slow. The only time we were ever offered coffee before, during or after our meal was in the Le Bistro. Otherwise, the wait staff never came around so we could ask and we had to flag them down for refills on things like iced tea though they refilled water without request. Alcohol was grossly overpriced on this ship and since we did not choose the unlimited drink option, we had few. Also, the value of your bingo and slot tournaments was pitiful based on the prize money. Enough said there. In general, the new Bliss is an average appearing ship with basic amenities available without reservations. We have sailed on several new inaugural ships with both Carnival and Princess. Their ships add sparkle and glamour to their décor. They also provide enough elevators to move passengers between decks without excessive waiting. Where are the Bliss elevators? You have only two banks of elevators on this massive ship carrying up to 4,000 passengers. Even Carnival has four additional glass elevators in the atriums of their larger ships. The Bliss was clean and well run; the staff was friendly and polite. I am sorry to have vented so much, but our week on your new ship was somewhat disappointing and my mother now wishes she would have booked us on Princess. It is unlikely we will recommend NCL to our friends or other family members based upon our experience and the poor value provided. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
This was my 2nd NCL cruise and my 6th cruise overall. Embarkation went relatively smoothly. Took about 25 minutes from curb to ship. My wife and I had a standard interior cabin. It was extremely functional but did lack storage space. ... Read More
This was my 2nd NCL cruise and my 6th cruise overall. Embarkation went relatively smoothly. Took about 25 minutes from curb to ship. My wife and I had a standard interior cabin. It was extremely functional but did lack storage space. There were absolutely no dresser/cabinet drawers for clothes storage, just one modest sized closet so my wife lived out of her suitcase. Make sure you don’t bring a jumbo suitcase that doesn’t fit under the bed, otherwise your space will decrease even more. There are two usb chargers by the bed that are convenient for charging phones/kindles/etc. Also included are the safe, phone and tv which were all functionally easy to navigate. The bathroom, unlike the bedroom, seemed to have a slightly better than average size feel with a glass shower that seemed slightly bigger than other showers I have had on cruises. For two people there was plenty of room for our toiletries. Due to our specialty dining package we were able to eat at most of the restaurants on the ship: Complimentary restaurants of Taste, Savor and Manhattan room are the Main Dining Rooms (MDRs) and are all similar in service and menus, just a little different ambiance. I found the service on par with what I have come to expect from NCL, friendly and professional but not overtly warm like other cruise lines. Unlike with a standard dining time, you end up getting different wait staff unless you specifically request someone. The freestyle dining is extremely convenient for two people but when you dine with more than 4 people I’d advise making reservations if you plan on eating during peak dinner times otherwise you could wait for 20-30 minutes for a table to open. The food at the MDRs was hit or miss, some great tasting options, some just ok and some blah. This isn’t a problem though because if you do not like a specific dish, you can always order a second option which the staff is happy to bring you. The Local is the 24 hour complimentary restaurant that serves pub style food. The food is ok and the menu is limited but serviceable. Service is again professional and friendly. The Garden Cafe (buffet) had plenty of food options but I didn’t find anything at the buffet that was spectacular. My favorite part of the buffet was the fact that they had multiple egg/omelet stations that would cook your eggs to order. The buffet crowds could be overwhelming during peak food times and made it difficult at times to find a seat. If you get desperate you can ask staff and they will assist you in finding a place (we needed to do this once). Observation lounge also had a mini buffet which was usable for snacks. We were also able to try Le Bistro, Cagneys, and La Cucina as part of the dining package. You MUST make reservations before you set sail or immediately upon arrival at the ship or you will probably get locked out. Food quality in the specialty restaurants on NCL never disappoints. It also shows that you need to pay for quality when you can taste the difference in the tiramisu from La Cucina compared to the MDRs. A few critiques for the specialty restaurants compared to my other NCL experience 2 years ago on the Escape. Service was not even close to as good. At Le Bistro the waitress actually pushed for extra gratuity (which I always give but didn’t appreciate it being forced). At Cagneys the person in charge with wine disappeared on us twice to the point I had to ask for him to be hunted down. I think one time that he disappeared it was due to the fact that he personally had to find glasses to serve dessert wine so it wasn’t necessarily his fault, but whatever the reason, they were uncommonly large wait times. Finally in La Cucina our server did actually disappear to the point I had to ask for help from someone else regarding closing out the check and storing the purchased wine during dinner. To summarize, food quality 5 out of 5, service 2 out of 5. Maybe we just had an off week with the staff. We also tried Cocos. Espressos and desserts were both good and the servers were extremely warm and friendly. Although not an extremely busy place, if you want a quality dessert or espresso it is worth the experience. Entertainment and Activities I find NCL does a fantastic job with quality but there can be a problem due to crowds. If you don’t make reservations when you first get on the ship (or before) you will miss out on a lot. We didn’t get to experience the racetrack or laser tag as they were booked solid after day 2. The two shows (again make reservations) of Havana and Jersey Boys were fantastic quality, just a little below broadway quality. The Beatles show I enjoyed and thought they did the band justice. When they play at the Cavern Club, get their 30 minutes early otherwise you will not get a seat. One person in our group has special needs and went to a bunch of the ship activities (trivia, dance parties, game shows) and the crew was fantastic for them. The person always felt welcomed and involved. It was a pleasure to see the person so happy. The crew and cruise director were amazing. Although this was an Alaskan Cruise I must say during Caribbean cruises this ship will have the same problem as the Escape with deck space/pool space. With the Haven taking up a good piece of the ship, the rest of the pool deck will be overwhelmed on Caribbean sea days. I highly suggest if you find crowds and noise to be a problem to purchase a thermal suite pass. Observation Lounge I must say was a fantastic outside the box idea that works. Bliss takes up prime cabin space to dedicate a huge area of the 15th floor to an observation lounge with food and drinks served. People play cards and board games, listen to live music, read books and fall asleep in this relaxing public area. It was always in use. Thermal suite! My favorite part about NCL. For $200 a person pre cruise you can purchase a week pass at the thermal suite. It gives you access to a quiet area with floor to ceiling windows across the back of the ship, your own hot tub, your own heated pool, cushioned and heated chairs, sauna, steam room, salt room, cold room, etc. It makes my cruise. As for the Casino, NCL finally solved the problem plaguing all cruise ships, the smoke emanating into the public areas. On the Bliss the smoking section is completely sealed off in its own room and even walking by the room itself the smell of smoke is minimal. Fantastic job. Truthfully the only area with a smell problem to public walking areas is in 6,7,8 by the restaurant Ocean Blue which for some reason doesn’t have a solid wall so the whole area smells like fish. Ports - Alaskan Cruise was definitely unique with their ports and what you experience. Also you must have more clothes for this cruise then almost any other because of the different environments. You need shorts and short sleeves in Seattle, bathing suits if you want to try the pool or have a thermal suite pass, pants and short sleeve depending on the weather, long sleeve shirts and jackets for some areas in Alaska. Just something to keep in mind. You will get wet in Ketchikan as it will always rain but it was not a heavy rain for us. More of a misty rain. We only did the lumberjack show which was fun. That said any excursion I heard was quality, just can be pricey. Juneau was my favorite port on the trip. So many bald eagles on the trip from town to Mendenhall glacier. The glacier was pretty cool to see but the star of the trip was the waterfall which you can practically walk up to and almost touch (1-2 mile hike). The waterfall makes you feel how powerful Mother Nature can be. If you feel up to it, you can pay to be flown on top of the glacier. Everyone who did raved about the experience. In Skagway we did the train excursion. It was an amazing experience to take a train from sea level to 3000 feet in the air to the summit. In July it was cold at the summit and it was pretty amazing to see the walking path miners took to the summit and picture how they survived. Victoria was a pretty town. Ship gets there late (4 PM) so although the souvenir shops are open, not everything stays open for the cruise tourists. It is worth taking a walk around or going to the gardens. To summarize my experience, I found the room small but serviceable, food quality ok to great but food service below average at the specialty restaurants, and entertainment great but you need to make reservations otherwise you will lose out on experiences. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We had loved Alaska on two previous cruises, (NCL Pearl in 2010 and NCL Star in 2004). On this cruise it was cold and rainy so; Everyone stayed inside. Ship was packed at all times. Most people were in the Observation Lounge. You could not ... Read More
We had loved Alaska on two previous cruises, (NCL Pearl in 2010 and NCL Star in 2004). On this cruise it was cold and rainy so; Everyone stayed inside. Ship was packed at all times. Most people were in the Observation Lounge. You could not find seating in The Garden Buffet. We spent a lot of time waiting for an elevator...Only two elevator banks for a ship this size. Could not traverse to the Sawyer Glacier. Did not see much of the beauty that I had witnessed the previous two cruises in Glacier Bay. Disembarkation was incredibly bad...Walked the entire ship three times to get off. NCL doesn't have a clue how to deal with their Elderly Clients that may have severe walking disabilities. Atrium was packed all of the time so you could not stay there. Can they not hold any of the events elsewhere? Jersey Boys sucks...Have seen the Production on other ships and was really disappointed. Walked out of Havana! All in all a very pricey cruise that basically sucked!!! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
After having taken numerous cruises on another cruise line, all with favorable reviews, I found NCL exceptional, exceeding prior positive vacations. The Bliss ship was exceptional, and the crew could have not been more friendly or ... Read More
After having taken numerous cruises on another cruise line, all with favorable reviews, I found NCL exceptional, exceeding prior positive vacations. The Bliss ship was exceptional, and the crew could have not been more friendly or helpful. "Hello", "how are you doing today" and "can I assist you in any way" was the first line of all crew members. The food was exceptional, as we choose not to pre-pay for meals at the specialty restaurants, thinking we would try them if the food in the cruise restaurants was not good. That however never occurred. We tried all of the restaurants on the ship, and were never left without a favorable review of the service and the food. We would have liked a little more as to options for activities during the sailing only days, as this was not a Caribbean cruise where sitting in the sun on deck is the main activity. Finally, the excursions and options as to type of excursions were great, and appealable to all of my family members (14 to 50) Overall, the cruise was outstanding. Crew, food, excursions, and the location of the cruise are highly recommended. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Stayed one night in Seattle prior to departure and enjoyed a beautiful day. Took an Uber to the dock and was quickly brought in for check-in. Embarkation was extremely easy and everyone made you feel welcomed. Stayed mid-ship, in a ... Read More
Stayed one night in Seattle prior to departure and enjoyed a beautiful day. Took an Uber to the dock and was quickly brought in for check-in. Embarkation was extremely easy and everyone made you feel welcomed. Stayed mid-ship, in a mini-suite, adjoining cabins on deck 9. The location seemed great for most everywhere we wanted to go. As for the dining, there was something for everyone. The usual spread of international selections, pizza and burger bars were available in the Garden Cafe. Seating seemed ample and seemed busy at the front of the ship which overlooked the Observation Lounge below. Wall to wall windows made this a popular spot. They put actual sinks at the entrances to the cafe, but unfortunately, most people opted for simply using hand sanitizer. (Aside: I never understood this--take 30 seconds and actually clean your hands. If you put your hands in bird poop, would you want to CLEAN them, or just move it around and hope to sanitize hands with some gel?) The specialty restaurants were a bit of a disappointment. Not only was the service not up to par with other NCL trips I've made, but it just didn't have the "Specialty" feel. Perhaps it was the places we booked--Le Bistro, La Cucina, and Los Lobos, the food was ok, but just didn't have that POP. The regular restaurants were just ok as well. Seemed like Garden Cafe food, marketed with cute menu-speak to make it sound more elegant. The activities and entertainment were outstanding. The cruise director was very welcoming and had a remarkable memory. The normal trivia games were fun and some newer games had a modern twist with the use of computers to make some feel like a real game show. The family enjoyed "Escape the Bigtop", which pitted several teams against each other in order to solve the final puzzle. If you're a sleuth, check this out for a great hour of fun. The go-karts were pretty cool, however I don't recommend buying the cruise-long unlimited offering ($99). I believe the per-race cost is around $10. Although I probably could've raced at least ten times to break even, the process and safety briefings become so long and tedious that you just don't want to wait in line again to re-ride more than once, maybe twice a day. We didn't get a chance to play laser tag, so no review of it. The Video arcade had a few, not so cheap games to play. Parents, be aware that your kid can simply tap or swipe and play. It can add up quickly. Tickets are dispensed similar to Peter Piper Pizza, but the cash spent/prize value ration is not very good. My teen really enjoyed Entourage, the parent free entertainment area. She made lots of new friends and had a great time. My 11 year old went into Splash Academy, but after seeing Entourage, she was too cool for the Academy. Jersey Boys was a little slow at the beginning, but got fun 45 minutes into the show. A mix of classic hits made it a favorite among the Boomers on the cruise. The comedians were very funny for a cruise ship gig and were even able to keep it together during the "family friendly" shows. We enjoyed the art auction a couple of times, just for the showmanship. I lost my butt in the casino, even after hitting a royal flush on video poker for $8k. That didn't take away from the fact that everyone in the casino was super friendly and proficient at what they did. Probably the best crew I've seen on a cruise. As for the ports, we caught incredible weather during our cruise. This had its positives and negatives. Mid 70s in Alaska can be dynamite, but it took away from the true Alaskan feel we had hoped for. Our favorite excursion by far, was ATV/Glacier tour in Skagway by Southeast Tours (through Costco). It was absolutely breathtaking and a fun ride (30-45 minutes) up rugged terrain to see a glacier and Lake Bennett. There's decent shopping at all stops, but I think Ketchican had the best value for souvenirs dockside. All in all, it was a wonderful trip. I had hoped to see more wildlife from the ship, but aside from a few whales at a distance, we really didn't see much. There was however, plenty of mountains with waterfalls and other beautiful scenery. If wildlife is what you're after, be sure to book excursions that cater to that. Read Less
Norwegian Bliss Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 4.5 3.9
Entertainment 4.0 3.9
Public Rooms 4.5 4.1
Fitness Recreation 4.5 3.8
Family 3.5 3.8
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.7
Enrichment 4.0 3.5
Service 4.5 4.1
Value For Money 3.5 3.5

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