3 Norwegian Bliss Cruise Reviews for Cruises for the Disabled Cruises to Pacific Coastal

Original itinerary was 6-Nights Vancouver-Seattle-Victoria-at sea-San Francisco-at sea-Los Angeles, but we ended up staying in Vancouver for two nights, two days in Victoria, then at sea skipping Seattle-San Francisco-at sea-Los Angeles. ... Read More
Original itinerary was 6-Nights Vancouver-Seattle-Victoria-at sea-San Francisco-at sea-Los Angeles, but we ended up staying in Vancouver for two nights, two days in Victoria, then at sea skipping Seattle-San Francisco-at sea-Los Angeles. If we had known we couldn't even board the ship until after 7:00 pm on the embarkation, and would be staying in Vancouver for two nights, we could have saved three nights pre-boarding hotel bookings trying to adjust our flight for afternoon boarding. Embarkation at Vancouver Terminal went relatively smooth this time, compare to the last two times, because we didn't even get there until 8:30 pm, and there were no other ships boarding at the same time. First we were told to stand in a very long winding line in the terminal hallway, but when we asked for wheelchair assistance, we were told to go to wheelchair check-in line inside the door, which was very short. From there, check-in and boarding went very quickly and smoothly. We were traveling with 97-year old mother on wheelchair, but I also needed wheelchair assistance to board, because of my spinal stenosis-intermittent coasting problem. I can push mother on wheelchair on flat ground for a short distance eg., getting around the ship, but not on slopes. Stooped posture holding on to wheelchair, walker, shopping cart etc., lessens the pressure on my spine and makes easier for me to walk. All three of us have Latitude Platinum status, but that doesn't seem to help much getting extra help at check in no matter where we are. When we boarded NCL Jewel on September 17, 2018 for 19-Day Transpacific to Yokohama from the same terminal, a woman who was in charge of the terminal wheelchair service refused to assign us an additional wheelchair and assistance to push mother's wheelchair to board. We were finally able to board after running into a NCL wheelchair assistance crew member who recognized us from previous May 2018 Yokohama-Vancouver crossing. That was the most distressing embarkation experience for us in the last decade. Well, maybe another distressful and confusing embarkation at Long Beach/Los Angeles. We took NCL Sun's 5-Day Pacific Costal Vancouver to Los Angeles cruise in 2014, and visited Vancouver, Victoria, Astoria, and Seattle, so we did not do any sightseeing on this trip. We knew our friends in Victoria, Seattle and San Francisco couldn't meet us on the days of visits, so we didn't even go ashore. The highlights of our 2014 cruise were a visit to Astoria, a very charming town with welcoming town folks, lunch at a local restaurant and Colombia River Maritime Museum in town, and a tour of Fort Clatsop/Lewis & Clark National Park. On this cruise we had dinner at Le Bistro twice, Cagney's once, Los Lobos once and Food Republic once. We wanted to try Q Texas Smokehouse and Ocean Blue, but didn't have enough days. Le Bistro dining room is much smaller, probably 1/3 of the older ships', and too many tables are crammed in. We usually book and eat at Le Bistro on first and last night on board, but this time we had to wait for 1/2 hour the last night, even we had a reservation. Rack of Lamb, Asparagus Salad with Duck, creme brulee and cheese selection were excellent, much better than the last three cruises on Jewel. Porterhouse Steak at Cagney's was also excellent, but huge. Side dishes were very good as well. Actually this was the first time we liked the Cagney's food after a while. Guacamole made at the table was excellent at Los Lobos, but otherwise we can't remember how other items were. I am not sure if prices were justifiable for what were offered on the menu. In any case it's very difficult to get a table at most specialty restaurants, so it's better to plan ahead and make reservations. We wanted to try La Cucina, to see food and menu had been improved, but couldn't get in. Moderno had been one of our favorite restaurants on NCL, along with Le Bistro, but it has been removed from Bliss and other newer ships. We miss the menu and quality food offered at Moderno. Food Republic seems to be an update of Chin Chin, sushi and noodle bar, featuring ethnic fusion menu on tablet. First we went for lunch, and then went back for dinner, so we must have enjoyed what we ordered. We had potstickers, tempura shrimp roll of sort, "Yakisoba" (not what one would expect at all), bakalava with passion fruit sauce, and lemon tea. They ddid not have any green or jasmine tea on entire ship entire cruise. About Yakisoba, "Yaki" means grilled or fried, and "soba" means noodles in Japanese. it is supposed to be panfried, sometimes deep fried, noodles, never in deep sauce/broth/soup, but that of Food Republic was more of an Italian pasta with mushrooms, soaking in a cream sauce. It was good as was, but it WAS NOT anything like what we call Yakisoba. They had Ramen and Pat Thai, too, but we dared not try. Chin Chin never did/do Asian noodles right either. I wonder why it is so difficult to have some experts, for example, in Japanese, Chinese, Thai food etc., to start with, and now and then, to develop more or less authentic recipes, before offering such "experimental mock Asian" foods on board. After all, Indian curry dishes have been staples of maritime for centuries, and most cruise ships seem to do pretty decent jobs on them. We only had room service breakfast once on this trip, because the cabin is not set up for it, and had our breakfast and lunch at the Deck 15 Observation Lounge to avoid crowd and hustle. They only had limited menu eg., continental + some fruit, yogurt, oatmeal/porridge, granola for breakfast; salad, soup du jour, canapes/open face, and carrozza/pizza types for lunch, but it was more than enough for us. We didn't have the chance to eat at main dining rooms, Savor, Taste and Manhattan, or at Garden Cafe buffet on this trip, except for the last breakfast on the Disembarkation Day at Taste. We had our usual, half and half OJ and tomato juice, coffee, one hardboiled egg, wholewheat toast with peanut butter, hash brown and link sausage, and watermelon slices for mother; half and half OJ and tomato juice, yogurt, coffee, All Bran, two over-hard and link sausage for myself. Everything came out as we ordered, service was efficient, and we enjoyed our last meal aboard and relaxed before disembarkation. We went to see "Jersey Boys" and "Six", and were very pleased we did. Both performances were excellent, well produced and executed, and both troops were amazingly talented and skilled. Probably they were the best shows we've seen onboard. I don't know how they can stage such impressive productions at sea. Highly recommended. Over all service was good, but I believe smaller ships can offer more or less intimate and personal service we had in the past. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
First, let me say that we have not cruised in about 10 years. We are retirement age people who cruised often as a family with our 2 children. They enjoyed it more than we did. Recently, we decided to give it a try again and visit some ... Read More
First, let me say that we have not cruised in about 10 years. We are retirement age people who cruised often as a family with our 2 children. They enjoyed it more than we did. Recently, we decided to give it a try again and visit some cities we've never been before, namely Victoria and Vancouver in British Columbia. In the past, we cruised on Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and Princess. These were standard size ships (2,500 to 3,000 passengers). The Bliss is a new (almost 1 year old) "Mega" vessel with a capacity of over 6,000 passengers (although the ship lists it at 4,000 passengers). And despite its immense size, no matter where you go, you were always jammed in with a huge crowd of people. On this ship, be prepared to do a lot of walking. From the back end of the ship to the front (or other way around). Or going up or down stairs from one deck to the next. The elevators on the ship were always jammed with passengers all day and night long. My wife found it very difficult to get around, having had knee replacement surgery recently. • I'll list all the "pros" of my experience first: • Entertainment: "Jersey Boys" was the best show on the ship. Standing ovation. Get your seat a 1/2 hour before the show starts, because it fills up fast. "Havana" was a good latin song and dance review. Elaborate costumes and stage decor. The stand-up comedians were terrific, hosted by Tim and featuring Jay Black and Larry Omaha. Book your seats on your first day on the cruise at the theater asap. I did not go to the Cavern Club shows. Way too late for us. However, "Siglo", their resident rock band that played at functions around the ship (the atrium and the pool) throughout the day were awesome. Be sure to go to the functions at the atrium, there's a lot games and shows with lots of audience participation. If you can find an empty seat, grab it fast. • Food: The best specialty restaurant for us was Cagney's steakhouse by far. Great Prime Rib (16 oz). La Cucina was good, not great. But "Q" was very disappointing and hardly anyone besides us were in the restaurant. I guess they got the word of mouth on it. The main dining rooms are good, The Manhattan room is the best of the mains, be sure to book a dinner reservation (even in the main dining rooms) or else you will wait in a long line before you are seated. Beware the breakfast and lunch service in the main dining rooms are slow, but sometimes a better alternative than the buffet. The Garden Cafe (the buffet, on deck 16) is a mad house. It's the largest buffet restaurant we have ever experienced anywhere and you can have ANY kind of food that you can imagine (asian, italian, mexican, deli, salads, on and on). But you have to scramble to find an empty table and you have to dodge and weave around the other passengers getting their food. Overall, the food at the buffet is standard in quality. Our cabin: see my separate review • The observation lounge: what could be bad about lying on a long lounge chair with a pillow behind your head and overlooking the ocean along with a drink and a snack, This is the observation lounge, a quiet area one deck below the buffet. • The Cons: • The elevators were always jam packed! I would have taken the stairs if my wife wasn't with me. • Excursions: because of scheduling problems, our time at the cities were very limited to a short quick afternoon. Plus, because of the number of passengers, we were very slow in disembarking the ship. Very frustrating. Overall, the cruise had some great aspects with a few not so great aspects. If you come in with a positive attitude and are not annoyed by the bad aspects, you'll have a great time. If you read this review you will know what to expect and figure out how to avoid the bad and indulge in the good. Good luck. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
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
Sail Date September 2018
Norwegian Bliss Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 4.5 3.9
Entertainment 4.0 4.0
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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