56 Norwegian Bliss Cruise Reviews for Entertainment Cruises to Alaska

This was a bucket list check- off, fantasy vacation for our family.We had a group of 8 people. 6 adults and 2 children. We started our journey from Florida, which is a 3 hour time difference. We stayed at Seattle Marriott Bellevue hotel, ... Read More
This was a bucket list check- off, fantasy vacation for our family.We had a group of 8 people. 6 adults and 2 children. We started our journey from Florida, which is a 3 hour time difference. We stayed at Seattle Marriott Bellevue hotel, which I booked through hotwire for 135 per night. The hotel was located in the Bellevue city district. I feel the hotel would be better suited for business meetings. We were all hungry when we arrived and decided to eat at the hotel restaurant. The waitstaff was kind, but the food was overpriced and not great. When we awoke in the morning we anticipated a continental breakfast, they did not offer one. Bellevue was a very clean and beautiful city, but expensive. The hotel did not offer a shuttle to the airport or the dock. We took an uber ride to the dock, our driver was very nice and told us a lot about the city and living in Washington. We arrived at the pier around 0800. We were able to check our bags at that time, but we could not check-in until 1000. I liked that we didn't have to drag our suitcases around until check-in. We dined at a small coffee shop on the corner of the street across from the ship that offered Korean inspired breakfast dishes. It was good and the only restaurant I saw open close enough to walk with a 5 and 8 year old. We walked around the pier and looked at the ship from the outside. We were able to get some great pictures in front of the artwork of the Bliss. When we were getting ready to embark an elderly woman tripped and fell face down on the cement while on her way to check her bag. Norwegian staff was quick to help her and a medic came to address her needs. Embarkation went smoothly. We are all balcony rooms and still got in at around 1030. We explored the decks. 6,7,8 are the main ones for activities. On all the walls are screens for ordering or directions, and in the bottom right hand corner of the screen also has the time, which is important because clocks are scarce. This was also helpful, as the time zones changed twice while we aboard the ship. We ordered a game of laser tag. Later in our room we ordered race track for my husband and grandson. They had a double go kart ride for kids and adults from 5-6. I ordered the specialty dining, spa and shows before the cruise. The Garden cafe had a good mix of food choices. Indian, Asian, American, seafood, etc... unique desserts were included with each dining time in the Garden Cafe. We got to our cabin around 1330. Our luggage didn't arrive until around 1800. The cabin had the bathroom to the right, couch, and then bed by the sliding glass door. The bathroom had one sink and a glass shower stall. We had plenty of room to move. My husband is 6'2" and I'm 5'3". I put my clothes in the drawer under the couch and hung dresses in the closet. There is room underneath the bed to slide the suitcases. My husband lived out of his suitcase and closet. The other drawer had pillows and blanket for the couch. Our room was clean and comfortable. Our room steward was excellent. We ate dinner at Teppanyaki. Good show and large portions of Japanese food. They take a photo while you are eating and have it ready at the end of service. We checked out the observation lounge. Nice, large viewing windows, lounge chairs and seating throughout the area. A small buffet is offered. Soup sandwiches, some desserts and drinks. The ship is crowded, but there are places to be alone. The second day at sea we used the spa. My husband would workout and use the spa. I loved the relaxation pool with the jets. I liked the heated tile loungers too.I did some of the organized classes when I could. I would get sweets at the bake shop from time to time. The grand kids went to the kids club and loved it. The morning time for kids club is free play time, but each evening there was a different theme. They had a pajama party, superheros, pirates, and jungle circus practice for the big performance. They also had a white themed dance party for the kids, they could wear all white or florescent and glow under the black lights. The circus performance for the kids took place in the main theater and was the highlight of their time. My grandchildren were a tiger (five years) and a plate spinner (eight years). We had a cruise critic meet and mingle in the District brew house at noon. NCL provided champagne, mimosas, snacks of spring rolls, chicken, puff pastries with assorted toppings. The cruise director Silas Cook and other officers met us. They provided entertainment and a good time. After the meeting we did a slot pull at 1400. It was fun! 14 of us put money in one slot machine and took turns playing it. Kristie was the most lucky and we were able to break even. We had dinner at the Manhattan room, there isn't dancing in this one. Good food and great service. I saw Havana, it was interesting. The actors and dancers were good and professional, but the script seemed off and pieced together oddly. It was difficult to follow. On the 3rd day we arrived in Ketchican. We went off the ship two hours before our excursion and had a chance to explore the city. The town shops were quaint and had the best prices of all the excursion stops. We did the canoe ride and rain forest in Ketchikan. The views were spectacular. We got a history of the area and were able to enjoy a relaxed canoe ride. We stopped at a small cooking hut and enjoyed a wonderful lunch of home made jam with bread, salmon spread on bread, and a delicious clam chowder. They even gave us coffee and hot chocolate, all cooked over an open fire. Our guide took us on a nature walk through the Ketchikan rain forest where we learned about the native plants and their medicinal properties. On the way back we all had a blast racing the other canoe, and experienced some of Ketchikan's famous rainy weather as we docked. The grand kids had a ball paddling.We did laser tag that evening when we returned. It was a workout and fun. You could recharge if someone killed you to play some more. We ate at Le Bistro. Good food, but small portions, good service. We snacked at the garden cafe too. On the 4th day, we did whale watching through Juneau Whale Watch. It was my husbands favorite excursion. Our naturalist and ship captain were Alaska natives and offered us interesting facts about the area and were very knowledgeable about the whales and the glaciers. We saw four whales, sea lions, pilot dolphins, and bald eagles. Just the views were worth the trip. It was truly breathtaking and the boat ride was exhilarating. We cruised the glacier that night and ate at the Manhattan. On our 5th day, Skagway, Alaska, we did Mushers camp. It was a 1/2 hour ride in a bus and then 1/2 in a jeep to get to the dog carts. The ride was short. One loop around the camp. Then we had a talk on the races that happened. A short time to play with the dogs and pups. The guides were great and informative. The mushers were all professional racers and had participated in either the Jr. Iditarod or the actual race and the dogs were also professional racers. We wished we could have had more time to interact with the dogs and puppies. Then back on the jeep to the bus. That night we ate at Cagney's. My son got the Porterhouse and ate it all. It is a huge steak! Nice dinner and service. 6th day, more spa, arcade room, casino, and eating. We ate at the Local sometimes for lunch and had the chicken wings, and sandwiches. At noon, there was a past guess party at the District brew house. They gave us different beers and finger foods. It was a nice selection and the staff came and spoke to us from the different departments of the ship. I saw the "Beatles", fun show and good singing. Dinner was at the Manhattan. Food at the Manhattan room was always good and there was a good selection. We saw the Jersey boys. Excellent show! Good story line and singing. 7th day, Victoria we didn't book anything and walked to the pier, nice playground and food shops around pier. Good music and acts throughout the ship. I saw Camille Rae sing, she was good. Jim Badger was good. Tatiana was good. Duo Rika was good. The guy sang Elvis great, but had an accent when speaking. My family said they liked the comedy show. They had movies in the Atrium and game shows there. We would get yummy snacks in our room from the hotel director Mark Maeling and Jovo Sekulovic. We would get invites to various things happening aboard the ship. Something for everyone. We had a Seattle excursion on disembarkation day. They had us check our luggage the night before and we went to the theater the day of at 0800. We went through customs and the luggage was separate waiting for us on the other side of the custom building. The bus for the tour was the next stop. Disembarkation went smoothly. The Seattle tour took us to the Space Needle. We all had to pee waiting in line to go up and there are no bathrooms until you get to the top, so go before you go up! We were a bit disappointed that the space needle seemed to be under construction, but the views were still spectacular. Next stop was Pike Place market. This was a fun touristy stop, but it was so crowded and crazy that it was hard to take it all in. We did get some really fun souvenirs to take back with us. The tour guide was funny and informative. We were dropped off at the airport from the Seattle Tour. We were in staterooms 11210, 11214, 11222. Somethings that could be improved are the times in port and NCL's texting app. I would like to go again. Best cruise ever! Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
The professional and friendly staff aboard the Norwegian Bliss made my wife and I feel like we were totally welcome. The staff did everything with smiles and I truly believe they enjoy their jobs. Always greeted by my name and always ready ... Read More
The professional and friendly staff aboard the Norwegian Bliss made my wife and I feel like we were totally welcome. The staff did everything with smiles and I truly believe they enjoy their jobs. Always greeted by my name and always ready to give an ear to my stories. This is the definition of service at its best! The shows were very entertaining and never to many people.Dining on board can be anything and anywhere with so many choices, it never gets old. Shore excursions were totally awesome and adventurous as well! My wife and I set sail with other couples and we all loved it so much that we signed up for another cruise before we left the ship. We cannot put into words the excellent way we were treated and how spoiled we felt. We will miss the staff that took so good care of us all. Thank you Norwegian, Keith Hayden and Chong Sibley Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
I chose this ship because I sailed on the Pearl and Jewel. They were pretty nice ships and had a lot of great activities to do. Unfortunately, the Bliss is too big. 4,000+ people with about 1500 staff. All the shows were booked before ... Read More
I chose this ship because I sailed on the Pearl and Jewel. They were pretty nice ships and had a lot of great activities to do. Unfortunately, the Bliss is too big. 4,000+ people with about 1500 staff. All the shows were booked before I got on the ship, nearly all the specialty dining was booked before we got on the ship, the elevators were constantly packed, the buffet constantly packed, the staff were overworked, over exhausted and probably underpaid.... They charge for EVERYTHING!! It didn't matter if you had the dining package....Ocean Blue added an additional $18 per person to eat there and the food was raw!! Disgusting. I truly had the worst experience every on this ship. Shore excursions were amazing of course because Alaska is amazing, but choose another ship to enjoy this Alaskan adventure unless you like crowds and lots of pushy people making their way to all parts of the ship. Oh, and if you decide to try out the fitness room just to kind of get a little exercise, be prepared to be belittled while you are there by the fitness guru who knows it all. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
This is by far a revenue- money maker cruise for NCL and not about the best possible “Guest” experience. With over 4000 cruises NCL “missed the boat” when it comes to “ public” venues...with over 4000 Guests and plenty of ... Read More
This is by far a revenue- money maker cruise for NCL and not about the best possible “Guest” experience. With over 4000 cruises NCL “missed the boat” when it comes to “ public” venues...with over 4000 Guests and plenty of cabins they did NOT have public spaces large enough to accommodate a group of this size and everything needed a reservation but was sold out within hours of boarding and up charges for everything?!! NCL has lost their ability to offer “freestyle” cruising but has enhanced their ability to pack people on a ship causing overcrowding but for sure this ship has become a money maker for them! Their Management team had the worst attitude and rude and did not aim to please from Cruise Director to Hotel Director to Group Leaders to Staff...so many rigid rules that benefited NCL but NOT the Guests! Safety issues for sure! On a positive note- food was great but service was slow and Jersey Boys Show was excellent while Havana Show put me to sleep! I loved the single Studio cabin! I have cruised with NCL over 12 times and have been pleased with other ships but I do NOT recommend the Bliss. The PORT of departure experience was the worst ever...no bays for buses and nothing but traffic jams trying to board/disembark from the city streets of Seattle-hard to believe NCL did not have a better plan for a ship with so many passengers?! Best part of this cruise was viewing the beauty of Alaska but that can be done on any ship with any cruiseline NCL needs to step up to compete with other cruiselines for the best “Alaskan” experience! Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Used the ships porter system, NCL gives you boarding passes, and airline tags, leave bags outside room before midnight, you do not retrieve in hanger, bags get taken to airport by cruise and checked into your airline. I received 1 bag, 2nd ... Read More
Used the ships porter system, NCL gives you boarding passes, and airline tags, leave bags outside room before midnight, you do not retrieve in hanger, bags get taken to airport by cruise and checked into your airline. I received 1 bag, 2nd bag never got checked into airline. Hopeful 2nd bag will show up. Will never use this system again. The ship is great, service wonderful. Front desk for service is understaffed, very slow!! Food excellent, bartender's very attentive. The spa would not let you buy a day pass for back wet area, and soak very high pressure to purchase their products, more than usual.NCL charging extra for everything. Laser tag, and go carts are an uncharged. They will only take dinner reservations up to 25%capacity ahead of cruise, so you have to call as soon as you get on ship to restaurants for reservations. Which I did not get most. I have always loved NCL, but not the same. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We just returned from the inaugural cruise to Alaska on the NCL Bliss. Alaska is mindblowing, it's lush, vast and beautiful and even just a sampling of it that we experienced was wonderful. Similarly the NCL Bliss is equally stunning. ... Read More
We just returned from the inaugural cruise to Alaska on the NCL Bliss. Alaska is mindblowing, it's lush, vast and beautiful and even just a sampling of it that we experienced was wonderful. Similarly the NCL Bliss is equally stunning. It's big, clean, well appointed and has many fun features that make it a step above many of it's competitors. However a ship in and of itself is not enough. The huge staff that service the 4700 cruisers that joined this first foray into SE Alaska is the most critical component to making your experience memorable. Many of the cruise personnel were great. Cruise Director Silas was great, engaging, personable and fun. Many of his staff and the kid club staff were excellent. However many of our interactions on the cruise with the dining room staff did not meet expectations. The Manhattan, Savor and Taste dining rooms were slow, unaccommodating and the staff seemed confused or apathetic. In contrast the dining at the Specialty restaurants such as Tepanyaki, Cagney's, Le Bistro and the Q were great. The real problem with NCL's model, which isn't much different than other cruise ships, is the constant upsell. NCL seemed to take it to the next level and general experiences that one would think are just there to pass time or educate you are really opportunities to extract more money from your wallet. Even the premier features; laser tag and go carts, which were both great fun, require additional fees. In all we loved Alaska and the Ship but were whelmed by the staff and on board experiences. Whether it's more training or a need to change the model of customer service we feel something should change before we use NCL again. The good: Room was well designed, great bathroom, comfortable Specialty dining was great in all locations we used Observation deck was nice, but usually crowded and not much room available Splash Academy staff were excellent Jersey Boys and Beatles Ports were great, just too amazing to describe The Bad: General Dining room staff were not very good or in some cases apathetic Havana: thin plot, non-engaging music despite great voices of the cast. Garden Cafe was always crowded at meal times and food options didn't change much Pool only lightly used due to the cooler temps, Haven pool is covered, not so for general pool Constant push to charge extra for nearly everything Read Less
Sail Date June 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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