Sail Date: February 2019
I learned something valuable on this cruise: how to remove gratuities from your account. We arrived at the port and had an easy check in experience. This was around 11 AM and there were no lines and we walked right onto the ship. They ... Read More
I learned something valuable on this cruise: how to remove gratuities from your account. We arrived at the port and had an easy check in experience. This was around 11 AM and there were no lines and we walked right onto the ship. They did not take our pictures but instead use the pictures from our passports. This was a first. The first thing we did was check out the Go Carts and Laser Tag area in hopes of learning about package deals. There was no one there, so we came back later that day. We learned that you need reservations for both of these activities and package deals were expensive. Fine. They were open at the time and so we asked to reserve a spot, now. The crew seemed disinterested but complied and we started off the trip with a Go Cart experience using the 2 seaters. We were asked to watch a video and then the crewmember gave us instructions (while facing away from us). We put on the balaclavas and they slapped on the helmets and we were off. It was fun, but I do not think it would’ve been fun if there were more than 2 go carts on the track. We did not do it again, thankfully. The Laser Tag was also enjoyable, but the video they made you watch had nothing to do with how you actually play the game. It rained on us and so they refunded our play. More on this later. The ship was decent. There is no grand atrium or staircase area but I did not miss it. Instead, it was replaced by the magnificent Observation Lounge. I would have spent more time up here if I could have. Watching the sea rolling forward on sea days and the ship come into the various ports was fantastic. It was crowded during the day and deserted at night. There was one bar up there and no bar service (*see below). A light buffet was provided there during the day only. The other bar areas were OK. Most of the bars have inside and outside options with the Waterfront on Deck 8. Each bar area had a unique cocktail on tap. They were interesting to try, just for the fun of it. Our children, 9 and 10, enjoyed the kids club “Splash Academy”. The kids program is exactly the same across every NCL ship we have experienced so far (4x NCL). My children actually have come to enjoy knowing what to expect. We ended up tipping the kids club staff what we took away from the general gratuities. Will not rehash the pool and lounge chair experience which was exactly as all of the reviewers have stated. We made bets as to which waterslide riders would not make it through both loops (50-50 shot). The food was mediocre, as previously stated. It is worth again stating how the food was often cold in the buffet. Truly remarkable. Fortunately I prefer breakfast and there was always piles of bacon hot and ready. All of the entertainment was painfully loud. Bring earplugs. Now the worst of it: The Service. I have never experienced such a dejected and seemingly miserable crew. There was no personality. There was no service. The bartenders did not look you in the eye. Instead of asking what you were having they just pointed at you. There was no walk around bartender service anywhere except the pool and theatre and even that was very limited. You had to go uo to a bar to get your drink. One of our daiquiris had human hair in it (not ours)! But at that point in the cruise I realized there would be no point to go back and complain. In the buffet, there were no waiters to bring drinks or ask about your day. The waiters were all used as busboys, leering, waiting to snatch your plates. They did not speak to you other than to ask you if you were done. Our experience in the specialty dining restaurant, Los Lobos, was particularly unusual. We started with one waiter who took our children’s orders and explained the dining package options and menu to my elderly in-laws and then left. Then another waiter came with the drink menu. Fine. That waiter then tried to take my children’s orders again, explained a whole different set of dining rules to the in-laws and left no time for us to review the menus before requesting our orders. The in-laws were confused and it became a big disastrous miserable experience. Our physical room itself was to be expected. An outside balcony on Deck 10. It is notable that for a party of four, we were initially only given two sets of towels. We wrote a note to our Invisible Room Steward to get the rest of them. The first night my daughter slept lightly in the upper bunk and so it appeared unslept in. The second night, our Invisible Room Steward did not pull down the upper bunk. Again, we had to write a note to ask him to pull it down. The sofa that converted to a bed was never converted back into a sofa the entire trip. We were taking bets on whether or not the liquid soap dispensers would be refilled before they ran dry (they were, but just barely). It was also notable that our trash bins were not emptied daily. The NCL app is never updated, a joke. Do not rely on it. Unfortunately, we also received spotty paper information in our room. We received the typical and expected Notification on our bed for the first Time Change. When it turned back however, there was no Notification. Fortunately, we did not miss out on anything because of this. We found it a nice surprise that the smokers were confined to a glass box in the casino. On the other hand, as another reviews have noted, there must be a lack of smoking areas on the ship (we are not smokers) and found that many were smoking on their balconies, which was unpleasant for us. Guest services: equally pathetic. Be ready, if you have a problem, they will tell you they cannot handle your problem and try to send you to the department in which the problem arose (request it happen there at Guest Services via phone). Back to the Laser Tag refund. A couple days after our rained out round we checked our account. 2 of the 4 players games were refunded but we had two new charges for games never played. Note that while charges appear, an explanation for the charges does not. Watch your account closely. My in-laws also had charges that were “mistakes”. Getting these corrected was challenging but not impossible. At the end, when I made my “Gratuity Adjustment” the guest services staff did not care to ask why (nor look me in the eye). Just a request to write the reason on the form. They seem well-versed in the Gratuity Adjustment form. We had a new experience leaving the ship and a fast, pleasant one. INS used facial recognition technology on the ship as we were leaving and so we did not have the typical walk through customs. We were not provided with a declaration form which was unusual. Fortunately, we had nothing to declare. We have been on well over 40 cruises and it is unlikely we will return to NCL anytime soon. A shame because we enjoy the NCL ships. Had it been for just one surly staff member or even a whole department we could have forgiven. But the entire crew? Bizarre. Our single excursion was to Virgin Gorda, the Baths. This is an extraordinary place, full of smooth granite boulders that seem to have dropped from the sky, carved into cave-like spaces and caverns by the ocean’s waves. We had read that this place would be a disaster if it was crowded and we concur. We went with the first group of the day and there was only one other ship in dock. It requires a ferry ride followed by a bus ride to get there. The formations were incredible and it was unlike any place we have been to in the Caribbean. It was worth it, but I am certain we would have felt otherwise if there was a larger crowd. It could become a very dangerous place with more people. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
This is a beautiful ship. We had a mini suite and thought the bathroom was great. It had a huge double sink with 2 faucets and a big shower. Worth the extra charge for sure! The room is a bit smaller than Celebrity Ships I've been on ... Read More
This is a beautiful ship. We had a mini suite and thought the bathroom was great. It had a huge double sink with 2 faucets and a big shower. Worth the extra charge for sure! The room is a bit smaller than Celebrity Ships I've been on width wise but same length. Nice room. Ample storage for clothes. The only thing I'd recommend is bring a light of some sort for the bathroom otherwise you have to turn the overhead light on during the night. We thought the food was pretty good on the ship. We did speciality dining 6 of the 7 nights and thought the food and service were really good. Ate one night in Taste, the regular dining room and thought the food was pretty good there too. We did breakfast almost every morning at either Taste or Savor and thought they were great. Service was good too. The ship is easy to navigate. Sometimes elevators are a bit full but another one comes along fairly quickly. Thought embarkation and debarkation were very easy. Everyone on the ship always has a smile and really tries hard to make your experience a good one. The Observation lounge is a great place to hang out plus they serve food all day long and there is a bar if you want a drink. As the week went along, more people found this treasure. They have comfortable furniture for reading and just watching the water. Neither of us had the drink package but we did notice that with all the people that did have it, bars were open everywhere on the ship all day long. When we were on Celebrity, it was pretty hard to find a bar open during the day except at the pool. Loved the outside deck that surrounds the specialty restaurants. Great place to hang out on the couches or to take a walk or get a drink. Really nice atmosphere and great place to watch the sun rise or set. On other ships this type of deck view is blocked by the life boats. The boats are on deck 7 on the Bliss a deck below Deck 8 where the specialty restaurants are. The ship definitely has places to view the water all the time; something that was lacking on Royal Caribbean's mega ships. On that ship, I felt like I was floating on an island where I rarely saw the water. NCL knows how to bring the ocean into the cruise experience especially when you eat outside at the specialty restaurants. Now here are my cons about the ship. The pool area is crowded and the music is SO LOUD it literally hurt my ears. I was surprised parents let their little ones hang out there...it was deafening. Actually we found the music was too loud almost everywhere. Couldn't hear the words to the music when bands played. Only the instruments. Love the adult solarium on Celebrity and Royal Caribbean. NCL has a small adult area with chairs and a bar. The only problem is there is no shade even with 3 or 4 small umbrella's. Too bad cause that would have been great. Now for the shows. I liked Jersey boys although its a shorter version of the Broadway production. I left 15 minutes into Havanna. I couldn't get into it. Saw the comedienne's. Hard to get into The Social Club so appreciated the show that happened in the theater one time during the week. Liked the Beatle's tribute although again the music was so loud in a tiny venue. I missed a regular show that you could catch at either 7:30 or 9:30 on Celebrity ships. You always had to make reservations for the shows and they didn't always coincide with the times booked before you get on the ship at the specialty restaurants. Lots of stuff happened in the atrium. It's way too small for the purpose it serves for some of the shows there like the Newlywed game. People were everywhere with no seats. The theater would be a better choice for that and later in the night. The cruise director tried to make it sort of risqué yet there were young kids around cause it was pretty early. Overall, its a great ship that is staffed well. Like I mentioned earlier, the staff is always smiling and trying to make your experience a good one. I would like to see the music at a decibel that doesn't bust your eardrums and make your ears ring along with a show you could see every night with a 7:30-8:30 reservation. (Most shows were in the Atrium then) There is something for every age on this ship for sure!!!! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
The embarkation and disembarkation process was very organized and smooth with the exception of the computers going down for a short time during disembarkation, but it was fixed quickly. The ship is easy to get around on, the cabins are a ... Read More
The embarkation and disembarkation process was very organized and smooth with the exception of the computers going down for a short time during disembarkation, but it was fixed quickly. The ship is easy to get around on, the cabins are a little small but they worked for us once we got everything unpacked and put away. There was plenty of dining choices to make so we did not have to eat at the same place every night if we did not want to. The entertainment package go quickly so make sure you sign up quickly if you want to go, otherwise you will miss out. There are plenty of other activities to keep you busy, however the race track and the laser tag also fill up quickly so keep that in mind as well, check out the art gallery and auctions they are interesting, the game shows and other entertainment in the Atrium were fun to sit and watch or participate in. The service was impeccable could not have asked for better service from everyone than what we got, everyone was so helpful always. The elevator can be a little trying as they are always busy but just be patient you will get one. We did excursions in all the ports of call and were not disappointed beautiful and the tour guides were very knowledgeable. We will absolutely go again we are even talking about when and where to now and we have only been home a day. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
My husband is disabled. Stroke at 56 years. He was 1 year post stroke. We were on the bliss with stateroom in the haven. Everything and I mean everything was awesome. The butler, steward—amazing room awesome, the restaurant had amazing ... Read More
My husband is disabled. Stroke at 56 years. He was 1 year post stroke. We were on the bliss with stateroom in the haven. Everything and I mean everything was awesome. The butler, steward—amazing room awesome, the restaurant had amazing food. The luxury and privacy amazing....they were always helping hold doors for us etc. we rented a w/c and shower chair and the service for that was excellent. I ordered shrimp, cookies, the b—bon voyage package, and it was all in the room and wonderful. With the haven easier boarding etc. I recommend it. Well worth the price. Want to go again as soon as possible Saw Havana, jersey boys and the cavern-Beatles show, so good I can’t even tell you. So much fun. So talented performers. Stunning cabin, ocean views from living room and bathroom, loved showering with a dazzling ocean view, also they had a great deal on laundry services, daily snacks in the rooms in the haven, also snacks in the haven observation room. So comfy my husband napped I’m the sofa while I enjoyed the stunning view Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
New ship. New look. Great time everything was easily assessable. Food was to die for something for everyone. Drinks were everywhere Could use more somking areas. Will be looking for another Norwegian Cruise to Alaska. Our Steward ... Read More
New ship. New look. Great time everything was easily assessable. Food was to die for something for everyone. Drinks were everywhere Could use more somking areas. Will be looking for another Norwegian Cruise to Alaska. Our Steward took great care of us. Even the Birthday cake and decorations for my wife was welcome. I think I gained 10 pounds!!!!! I will have to go back and try to lose it!!! Hardly no waiting lines for dinners. Restaurants were all very abliging. Took very good care of us. The Japanese Steakhouse provided great entertainment The Steakhouse steak didn’t need a knife to cut with. The Seafood restaurant had scallops that were out of this world. And I didn’t find any deserts I didn’t like The Casino was my favorite place was a winner and a player of tournaments. Lots of entertainment. All of the bartenders worked hard to keep you happy. Tried many new drinks that I never heard of. Didn’t find any I didn’t like. Lol Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We are a family with young children (ages 6 and 12). My son (age 12) is special needs and we were booked in a HA stateroom (5136). This is our 15th cruise, our first time with NCL! We have mainly sailed with Disney and have done a few ... Read More
We are a family with young children (ages 6 and 12). My son (age 12) is special needs and we were booked in a HA stateroom (5136). This is our 15th cruise, our first time with NCL! We have mainly sailed with Disney and have done a few cruises with RCCL and Carnival. Embarkation/Disembarkation - We arrived at the port around 1 pm and because our son is special needs and is in a wheelchair, we were attended to and take care of quite well. Both embarkation and disembarkation was a breeze for us. Cabin - for an HA room that fits 4, you only have ONE cabin choice onboard the Bliss - a family oceanview stateroom. The room was very spacious and had lots of storage space. Beds were comfortable and our stateroom host was very attentive and friendly. This room is by the service/crew elevator and there are a lot of noise coming from that area. In general, noises here and there do NOT bother us but I can see how it can be an issue to others who are more sensitive to sound. Entertainment - Only saw Jersey Boys and it was PHENOMENAL!!! Do not take young children to this show as it is not exactly kid friendly (due to language). The cast was outstanding and amazingly talented. It's a must see in my opinion. Live bands onboard were also very very good. We enjoyed hanging out at the atrium or at The Local listening to them perform. Kids Club - my daughter (age 6) loved and enjoyed her time at the Splash Academy. She went almost every day - an hour or two during the day/night. Counselors were very friendly and the activities were fun and enticing. Specialty Dining - we had a 3 meal package and dined at Cagney's, Teppanyaki, and Los Lobos - all were EXCELLENT!!! Food was great, service was great, everything was well prepared and everyone went above and beyond. Definitely one of the highlights of our cruise! Cruise Staff - 90% were friendly, helpful, and had smiles on their faces willing to help and assist you. Out of the 15 cruises we've done, I would rank this as the 2nd most friendly staffed ship. We had a person or two here and there that never said hi but then again, you will always have that on ANY cruise you go on. For the most part, the staff was fabulous. Laser Tag/Go Kart - AWESOME!!! If you really stop to think that you are doing these activities ON A SHIP, in the MIDDLE OF THE OCEAN - that in itself is AMAZING! While $9.95 isn't necessarily a lot of money to charge to experience it, I'm a bit disappointed that NCL decided to even charge at all. We don't pay to go ice skating, rock climbing, zip lining on any of RCCLs ships nor does Carnival charge to go on their Sky Ride. I just feel that these should have been complimentary. Arcade - we purchased the unlimited arcade pass for 1 person. I believe it was $56 total for 7 days if purchased prior to the cruise and it was WELL WORTH IT!!! Although only valid to use on games with a GREEN slot, my daughter took advantage and played Mario Kart (by The Local) at least 25 times every day. Racing games, basketball, air hockey, and shooting games in the Arcade are also eligible under the unlimited pass (all are coded GREEN). Now let's get on the CONS.... 1. FAMILY pool (right next to the kids splash area) is 5 feet 7 inches deep! You will rarely see anyone in that pool for the simple reason that NOBODY wants to RELAX in the pool by TREADING WATER! Why NCL did not put a shallow area in that pools is crazy to me. Most people would like to take a dip in the pool and be able to stand up in it while enjoying a drink and soaking in the sun. No one wants to be treading water while trying to sip a cocktail. 2. Big screen TV by the pool - plays NCL commercials 90% of the time. On the last night of the cruise, they did play ONE movie. Why not play a movie on the screen multiple times a day?! Having NCL commercials on that big screen majority of the time is such a waste in my opinion. 3. This is our biggest complaint of all - the ELEVATORS!!! Our room was on deck 5, the buffet and pool deck (which we often go to) are both on deck 16. The climb up or down from 5 to 16 and vice versa would often take FOREVER. The elevator would practically stop at every floor!!! The elevators are always crowded and full of people!!!! There is NO A/C in the elevators so you are there cramped and sweating. This was the top complaint among majority of cruisers in our sailing. Everyone was talking about the elevators! OVERALL... Yes, we would sail on NCL again. Yes, we would sail on the Bliss again. The ship is beautiful and though I am not so much into art, I was really intrigued and quite fascinated by the art displayed onboard - cool and very unique!!! Feel free to ask any questions, I'd be happy to answer them for you =) Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
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
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
3 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
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 4.0
Value For Money 3.5 3.4

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