11 Norwegian Bliss Cruise Reviews for Entertainment Cruises to Alaska

I decided to take vacations the last moment (needed a break from a stressful work assignment) so once I decided on the destination, an Alaska cruise, I got what was still available so it wasn't really a thorough choice. Some other ... Read More
I decided to take vacations the last moment (needed a break from a stressful work assignment) so once I decided on the destination, an Alaska cruise, I got what was still available so it wasn't really a thorough choice. Some other lines were selling out fast, the Norwegian Bliss still had a mini-suite (better accommodations were sold out) so I took it. This was my first cruise so I didn't know what to expect, but I was overall pleasantly surprised, with many ups, but also, there were a few downs. The good: the Norwegian Bliss is a very new ship, and it is tastefully decorated, with everything in top shape and working order. The service is unbelievable, with extremely friendly and helpful staff everywhere. We didn't have a single negative experience with the staff. We were impressed with how they were always willing to help, with a smile, and were very efficient, knowledgeable, and professional. The Norwegian Cruise Line must have an excellent training center for the staff! We felt pampered! Some of the food was surprisingly good. The La Cucina restaurant served one of the best Italian meals I've ever had, and I'm half-Italian (I'm a dual citizen of Italy and the United States), I know Italian cuisine very well. Food Republic was delicious with original items, very well-presented. Los Lobos was very tasty too, with Mexican food that benefits from a modern touch. The one meal we had at the complimentary Manhattan was excellent and almost as good as what we had in the paid specialty venues above. Breakfast at The Local was tasty and peaceful. The swimming pool area and the hot tubs were clean and pleasant, and never too crowded. The Observation Lounge is a very cool and relaxing space, and they have tasty snacks and a nice piano bar. I really enjoyed the cast of the musical Six (the other musical, Jersey Boys, I didn't attend because I had seen it already), and the Beatles cover band at The Cavern. A duo of Phillipino male pianist and female singer were excellent. The silent disco with earphones at the Social was cool. The bar that specializes in Mojitos was good too. The wine bar The Cellar was excellent, with very good tasting events, including lectures by a very knowledgeable sommelier. I've been studying and tasting wine for decades and still, he surprised me with some information that I didn't know. The stand-up comedians were very, very funny! My wife very much enjoyed the Spa. She had several treatments there, and found the staff to be competent, and with prices similar to what she pays elsewhere. I didn't frequent it. She also liked the Gym with Yoga and Aerobic classes. Gift shops were good; my wife gave me a beautiful Scuderia Ferrari watch and I gave her a nice necklace. These were both well-priced. Other guests were friendly, polite, and we had some nice conversations. Embarkation was easy and fast. Disembarkation, however, was rather slow, with long lines and long waiting times. The bad: The Norwegian Bliss, together with the similar Norwegian Joy, are two of the biggest ships in the business, and the elevators, 16 in total, were overwhelmed. Often, the elevators were full when they reached our deck, and we had to wait and wait for an opportunity to get in. This ship should have the double of the number of elevators they offer. It's a pity that obviously, this can't be changed. The architects should have planned it better: for a ship this size, add more elevators! Some of the food was rather mediocre. The two restaurants with the best reputation, Ocean Blue and Le Bistro, were paradoxically very weak. For example, I had a steak with five peppers at Le Bistro, and I had to abundantly add more pepper to get any flavor at all, and the meat was overcooked although I asked for medium rare. Again, I lived in Paris, France, for 5 years and I know French cuisine very well. Everything we had at Le Bistro was bland and a pale imitation of good French cooking. Ocean Blue was also rather unremarkable. We had better seafood in the other venues, as compared to this one that specializes in seafood. Weird. Two of the three main complimentary restaurants, Taste and Savor, were also very mediocre. The Garden Cafe serves a buffet, and the food there was rather unappealing as well, not to forget, it was very crowded and chaotic. A particular breakfast at Savor was almost disgusting, with a croissant with scrambled eggs that looked like it was microwaved, so mushy the croissant was, and Eggs Benedict that were pretty dry and chewy. Some of the live music was atrocious. First of all, the selection is geared towards Country and Pop, two genres I don't care for. There was absolutely no venue that played jazz. For a cruise line that is registered in the United States (as well as the Bahamas) and sails to and from mostly American cities (with the exception of Victoria, BC) with most guests being American, it is weird that they don't present at all the most quintessential American genre, jazz. I also enjoy classical music and there was none to be found. The blonde female pianist was terrible, often botching the musical lines. The rock band Blue 4, oh my God, they must be the worst I've ever heard! Slow, low energy, poor playing, and mediocre voices. I can't believe the cruise line can't find better musicians. As a matter of fact, in the talent show featuring members of the crew, there were two waiters who sang much better than most singers who were hired for the live music! It would be nice to have an indoor swimming pool for the cold weather. Apparently they do have one in The Haven, the upscale section of the ship, but it's only for the guests of that section, which was sold out when I booked my cruise. The shore excursions in general were expensive and not a good value. Some were enjoyable but others were rushed and confusing, including, it was hard to find the correct buses outside. Maybe it's the luck of the draw since there are so many options, but unfortunately some of the ones we picked weren't that great. We bought them from the cruise line website and later realized that the same excursions are offered elsewhere for much cheaper prices. Oh well, I guess next cruise I'll be smarter. A couple of them were good, though. The art auctions weren't good. We found most of the art being sold, to be very tacky. Funny enough, the one piece we liked inside the art venue, wasn't for sale; it was part of the permanent ship decor. So, overall, I'm pleased with the Norwegian Bliss, but I do think they need to hire better musicians, be a bit more even in terms of food quality, and it would be lovely to have more elevators and an indoor swimming pool, although these structural issues are set in stone and can't be changed. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Received a promotional offer from a travel agency we have used before. We saw a lot of beautiful scenery. The Ports were fun but the stop in Victoria at 19:30 was a waste of time. Time would have been better spent staying longer in ... Read More
Received a promotional offer from a travel agency we have used before. We saw a lot of beautiful scenery. The Ports were fun but the stop in Victoria at 19:30 was a waste of time. Time would have been better spent staying longer in Ketchikan, which was too short. We spent 2 days seeing Seattle before the cruise which was nice. Transfer from hotel to airport to ship went smoothly. Enjoyed the amenities onboard the ship and the time in Glacier Bay was very nice. Best breakfast onboard was the buffet. Restaurant menu was very limited which is understandable on a week long cruise. Best dinner was in the Local. Other restaurants tried to make things too fancy with tiny portions.. Disembarkation was a very pleasant experience. We just tagged our bags and put them in the hallway the night before and the next time we saw the was a baggage claim in our hometown. They even had our boarding passes printed and delivered to our room so we could go straight to security and boarding. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was our second cruise, but it took us over 20 years to try again because our first one wasn't a pleasant experience. So I'll start with why we selected this particular cruise and why it was so much fun for us overall! We ... Read More
This was our second cruise, but it took us over 20 years to try again because our first one wasn't a pleasant experience. So I'll start with why we selected this particular cruise and why it was so much fun for us overall! We love surprises, but some are even better than expected! The backstory: Bill and I planned an August RV trip to Washington to visit family members who are no longer traveling long distance in their RV. Our 25th anniversary is August 20, so we thought, since we'd be nearby around that time, maybe an Alaskan inside passage passage cruise would be a nice way to celebrate. As we were narrowing in on a particular ship from another cruise line and deciding on which 7 days, the Mickey Utley Band, a favorite that plays in Laughlin, Nevada when touring, announced that they had signed on to entertain for 2 months on the Norwegian Bliss, with their last week being July 21-28. So I started asking questions on their Facebook page, and we decided that it was worth moving our trip up by a month to know we'd enjoy dancing during the cruise. I continued to correspond occasionally after we booked the trip, including sending a message on the morning of the 21st saying we were headed their way. We enjoyed our first day, had an early dinner, and headed for "Q", the BBQ restaurant. The band had just taken the stage, and I waved as we walked in, but nobody waved back. I just figured they were busy, and when they started their first song, Bill and I immediately headed for the dance floor. The looks on their faces surprised us as much as we surprised them! It turned out I had been corresponding all along with their photographer/media person, and the band didn't have a clue we would be here until they saw us start dancing! We had a wonderful time dancing to this excellent band almost every night, and are so very glad we made this choice! We didn't make reservations for any other entertainment or shows, nor did we book any shore excursions. We attended several lounge-type performances by Duo Rika. Siglo, and Suzanne Jade, all of whom were excellent. We had local friends who gave us an incredible tour of Juneau, and booked the White Pass & Yukon Train trip at the dock. We wandered around Skagway and Ketchikan on our own. We didn't disembark at Victoria because of the short stay at that port. We bought the "Romance Package", which was wonderful in every detail. The roses looked almost as fresh as we left our room for the last time as they did when we arrived, and our dinner in Le Bistro was perfect in every way. We ate most of our meals in the Garden Café, which had a great variety of choices as well as special theme nights. The local was great for late-night gatherings with new friends and entertainers. Because we don't drink a lot of alcohol, we didn't buy either of the beverage packages, and found that we had made the right decision for us. We enjoyed the Sugar Cane Mojito Bar's creative options, had our usual 2-beer nights in Q while dancing, and enjoyed other adult beverages "a la carte" wherever we happened to be. Overall, we kept this cruise as simple as possible to allow ourselves to figure out whether we would enjoy cruising again in the future. We're glad we did it our way, we had a great time, and next time, we'll be more adventurous with our planning and reservations. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We had beautiful weather. No rain at all. In Juneau it was about 78 and Skagway about 72. The ride through Glacier Bay was beautiful. You don’t stop. Book your tours ahead of time through Viatour. So much cheaper than ship prices!! In ... Read More
We had beautiful weather. No rain at all. In Juneau it was about 78 and Skagway about 72. The ride through Glacier Bay was beautiful. You don’t stop. Book your tours ahead of time through Viatour. So much cheaper than ship prices!! In Ketchikan we walked to Creek Street and did all our shopping there and very good prices for all souvenirs. You must do the Yukon tour in Skagway. Don’t do the train. Everyone was disappointed since you can’t really get pictures, do the Yukon bus tour instead. Lots of stops and so beautiful. In Juneau we did whale watching (not great) and Mendenhall Glacier. Go to Nugget Falls there! So worth the hike!! The smoking area is only on Floor 17 in a small area but we had so much fun up there and made great friends! Food is all pretty good. We did Cagneys, Italian and Ocean Blue. Didn’t love the Italian but at Ocean Blue you can get lobster for a $10 upcharge. The Beatles and Jersey Boys were great. Didn’t make it to Havana. Beautiful ship, very clean. We had a great time!! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
More details later, but a quick explanation of the ear plugs. NCL has the volume turned up WAY TOO LOUD on all speaker systems. Even with my ear plugs in, it hurt my ears. Other than this, we really enjoyed the cruise. Celebrating our ... Read More
More details later, but a quick explanation of the ear plugs. NCL has the volume turned up WAY TOO LOUD on all speaker systems. Even with my ear plugs in, it hurt my ears. Other than this, we really enjoyed the cruise. Celebrating our 20th anniversary and friend's 35 anniversary, the 4 our us ventured to Seattle to leave on an Alaskan cruise aboard the NCL Bliss. We spent 2 fun days in Seattle prior to leaving and had a wonderful time. We stayed at the Fairmont Olympic (beautiful) and toured the Japanese Garden, Arboretum, Space Needle, Chihuly Glass Museum and Garden, Pike's Market, and the Waterfront. I recommend spending a few days in Seattle before your trip. It was a wonderful way to begin. The Bliss is a fantastic boat. Clean, well organized, wonderful service, fantastic food, SO much to do, and love the observation lounge. This was our 8th cruise with NCL and I must say, pick a newer ship when you can. NCL has done a great job designing and creating their new ships. Not that the older ones are bad, even refurbished, they just can't offer what the newer ships can. The Bliss offers something for everyone and every age. My only disappointment was the entertainment. The volume was SO ridiculously LOUD that we couldn't enjoy it. Entertainment has always been one of my favorite things about a cruise, but such a disappointment on the Bliss. We couldn't participate because of the volume (even with ear plugs). And all entertainment from the music around the pool, to the game shows/events in the Atrium, to the musicals offered in the auditorium was too loud for all of us. We were only able to participate in 2 things - the comedians (wonderfully outstanding) and the silent disco (you can adjust the volume). We left both Havana and Jersey Boys because the volume was too high. For the few atrium activities, we had to stand way down the hall (where you can only listen, not see) because of the speaker volume was TOO LOUD. I can only imagine the damage being done to the staff's ears!! Also, I wish NCL would go back to a variety of entertainment instead of all musicals. I missed the magician and the acrobats and other varieties of entertainment that I am used to. Since it was too loud, I guess it didn't matter anyway, but it sad to see that NCL seems to be going to all musicals on their newer ships. As much as we have enjoyed NCL in the past, because of this change, we will be trying other cruise lines as entertainment is a big reason we go on cruises. I will say, we enjoyed the laser tag and go carts - but count that more as ship activities not so much entertainment. Also, the water slides were fun. The pool looks nice, but the music was too loud to enjoy spending any time there. Most meals were at Taste, Savor, or the Manhattan room. In all 3, we consistently had delicious food and good service. We did try 3 specialty dining restaurants - French, Mexican, and Steakhouse. French and Mexican = Delicious!! If you go to Cagney's (their steakhouse) don't order steak - get the lamb instead. Their steak is only ok, but the lamb is fantastic. Oh, and the raspberry creme brûlée's is outstanding! At the French one, be sure to order the onion soup (wow!!). As for Mexican - table side guacamole and the corn = Devine!! If you like margaritas, be sure to order at the table, not the bar. They are different. Bar = undrinkable. Table = delicious. But I think you can only have 1 at the table. Two of group ordered a second one. The second one obviously came from the bar (different glass) and was undrinkable. Speaking of bars, our favorite one was in the observation lounge. If you are ordering beer or wine, it doesn't matter which bar you go to. But, if you like mixed drinks, try a few until you find the bartenders you like. For us, it was in the observation lounge, the Local, and (if you could catch the right bartender) the Atrium. It also seemed that the bars do have themes. So depending on what you are ordering, go with the correct theme to get a good drink. As for bartenders, I'm guessing some have more experience than others and they do switch around. So, watch for your favorites. As for the itinerary, we enjoyed everything. Felt like we had a fun taste of Alaska. For excursions we did a helicopter ride, train into the Yukon, and rainforest hike. All were very fun. I recommend getting out of the towns unless you want to shop. Lots of shopping, otherwise, you have to book something that takes you away from the towns. All in all, we very much enjoyed the cruise and would recommended it to anyone. Just, be sure to bring ear plugs! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
It was a dream for us to go on an Alaska cruise.The personnel were very pleasant.My main complaint is that there is not enough areas for smokers.Talked to many smokers who say that other cruise lines offer smoking outdoor on one side of ... Read More
It was a dream for us to go on an Alaska cruise.The personnel were very pleasant.My main complaint is that there is not enough areas for smokers.Talked to many smokers who say that other cruise lines offer smoking outdoor on one side of the ship.Very disappointed. On that large of a ship there should have been more areas.I guess smokers are considered second class citizens,I wont use this ship again.The food at buffet was decent.The other compimentary restaurants there was an extra charge.So we did'nt go to those.Also we had ice delivered to cabin,then found out there was a 14.50 charge.So from then on we got our ice from the restaurant or bars.The drinks were great.Entertainment was hard to book,it was always booked up.The best bar was outside on the 8th floor,had a great bartender.Excellent job and very easy to talk to.All told it was a decent cruise,beautiful ship.Bed was very comfortable. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We cruised to Alaska last year twice on the Ruby Princess and it was such an inspiring journey, I knew we wanted to go back. This year we decided to return on NCL Bliss because it was big and new and sounding very exciting....and it was. ... Read More
We cruised to Alaska last year twice on the Ruby Princess and it was such an inspiring journey, I knew we wanted to go back. This year we decided to return on NCL Bliss because it was big and new and sounding very exciting....and it was. We sailed out of Seattle and the embarkation was a breeze, very organized and very quick. But the scene outside the terminal.....a zoo! NCL docks downtown Seattle at Pier 66, not at Pier 91 outside of town like Princess. The terminal is directly across the street from railroad tracks and adds to the chaos. The public street is narrow and with all the buses, taxis, limos, shuttles, and private cars it is very challenging just to get to the drop off location. The taxi drivers made it even worse by stopping in moving traffic, moving street cones, and cutting across lanes to the curb. So just be warned, especially if you are dropping someone off or in a private car. The ship is beautiful with lots of entertainment, over-the-top buffet, and plenty of bars and eatery's. The shops are all very pricey, not like most other cruise lines that keep prices competitive with the ports. You cannot bring water or beverages of any kind on board and the Unlimited Drink Package is expensive ($89 per day) and does not include water or brewed coffee. In fact the only specialty coffees on board are at Starbucks and that is not part of the cruise or beverage package....it is pay per drink. Lots of speciality restaurants you can pay to dine, or eat in the buffet, 3 included dining rooms, or the awesome cafe called The Local. This is a pub-like bar and eatery. They have the best breakfast, fish & chips, and lots more food, including an amazing tortilla bowl. Best part is they are open and serve off the menu 24 hrs! They also have a bar and seating around the atrium on deck 7. I want to give a huge shout out to one of the best little excursions we have had on any cruise. It is in the Port of Juneau, called Alaska Pedicab-Juneau. They are local and can usually be found at the dock or in town to escort you around town or just from the ship and back for about $5. But you can arrange for a 90 minute tour of town and landmarks around town for $90 that includes 2 people. It was fantastic, so personalized to where ever you would like to go. The owner, James took us all over downtown and to some of the historic monuments and statues dedicated to the town's history. He also took us out to Whale Park where we got a great picture of the news view in Juneau. Be sure to look up Alaska Pedicab-Juneau. They also have a Facebook page. And finally the disembarkation back in Seattle was so easy. We picked the Port Valet service as it is FREE! Your bags are picked up the night before docking, the ship checks in to your flight and delivers your boarding passes and bag tags to your room. Your bags are taken directly to the airport for your flight and you don't pick them up until you are back at your home destination. We got off early with our carry on luggage and was at the airport before 9am, our flight was at noon. So simple and easy. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
The new ship is beautiful, with many dining options, and gorgeous spaces. The crew is wonderful and attentive, and Dan Dan the cruise director and his group were very funny and entertaining. The food is above average in most restaurants, ... Read More
The new ship is beautiful, with many dining options, and gorgeous spaces. The crew is wonderful and attentive, and Dan Dan the cruise director and his group were very funny and entertaining. The food is above average in most restaurants, but the specialty restaurants should have more vegetarian options for those people who want to enjoy them with their vegetarian spouses. That being said, maybe because this was an Alaskan cruise and many outdoor spaces were not used in the evenings due to colder weather/wind, the venue spaces were really too small for the number of people onboard. They do try to schedule things in different places, but the popular activities you had to arrive WAY in advance if you had any hope of seeing or participating. The observation lounge was gorgeous, and would have been a great place to hang out, except for the people who would literally take the best seating and stay there for hours, if not all day. They would leave their stuff to get something to eat, or go to the bathroom, but otherwise monopolized the space. In the entire 7 days, we had zero opportunities to use the lounge chairs in the space except for one morning at 5:30 AM before an excursion. I am not sure how they should do it, but there needs to be a time limit on the use of these areas/and or the best seating, so others get the opportunity to utilize the space. Maybe use your room key for access, and start charging after a certain amount of time? Also the same in the hot tubs. In Spice H20, one group stayed in the hot tub for over 4 hours (we kept checking). The new Food Republic looked good, but was very expensive when there were so many other good options on board for free. we never saw anyone in there, day or night. Ocean Blue was a HUGE disappointment. The seafood selections were few, and the halibut I had was tasteless. The one TINY piece of lobster and crab on the plate was overdone and chewy. The fish was dry. Our party's scallops were inedible. The appetizers were good, but very unimaginative. For the upcharge, I expected a lot more than average to below average seafood. There definitely should have been an Alaskan King Crab option since we were in Alaska, but no crab or lobster was ever offered onboard, even at seafood night at the buffet. Plenty of shrimp, mussells, and clams, but no lobster or crab. Would not recommend Ocean Blue at all, even if the did away with the upcharge. It's just not worth it. We had better fish in the complimentary dining room. A large part of the upper deck of the ship is taken up with the go-karts, laser tag, and slides. The slides were fun. The putt-putt golf was laughable, and difficult to find. The go-karts were dangerous, as they let small children, and teenagers/preteens with no driving experience to race around at 30 mph. I met several people that had been injured by getting hit by these kids. One man had a broken tailbone, and had to be taken to a hospital in Skagway. They need to have a kids only time with much slower speeds, and allow only licensed drivers at other time. Also, the price went from $5 to $10, which is absurd, and they allowed people to book multiple time slots at once, so most spaces were taken by the time we left port. Overall, a huge amount of space was take up for pay for play sports that was unusable by many passengers. Kids were allowed to run rampant, and many younger children were in the adult pool even with the stated age limit. Also, not enough dancing/music past 10 pm. Since most of the day is taken over by kids, more nighttime activities for adults only would have been welcome. For an Alaskan cruise, which should be more sedate, I would probably choose another, more adult cruiseline. The rooms were great, as was the service and crew. With some adjustments, this could be a really great ship and experience. I gave public rooms an average rating because of the overcrowding, and the fitness and recreation a poor rating because of the cost and lack of space. Nobody should have to pay $20 for a yoga class on a cruise; it should be included or at the most $5. Read Less
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
Sail Date July 2018
The Germans built one heck of a boat! I noticed the fit and finish along with quality of fixtures immediately. My 99' solo cabin was a work of art! Loved it, especially the Port TV monitor and the bridge cam on regular TV gives you ... Read More
The Germans built one heck of a boat! I noticed the fit and finish along with quality of fixtures immediately. My 99' solo cabin was a work of art! Loved it, especially the Port TV monitor and the bridge cam on regular TV gives you a great live view all the time. I found many places on board where I was the only one there. The Cavern club outside bar had about 10 seats, I rarely saw more than a couple of people there. Waterfront walkway had tons of great seating looking out to sea. Never crowded. The Hot Tubs would have been nice, but I'm not a fan of taking intimate baths with total strangers...... Music was sort of hit or miss. I thought the Beatles should have lip synced......my $100 bluetooth speaker had more punch then their live band! Jersey Boys was OK, sort of rambling with a lot of really useless lines. Havana had some nice looking people, but again so so music. Wasn't expecting top of the line Vegas shows and the price was right, free! Crowding and lack of access to specialty restaurants - I had no problem getting in Cagney's, Le Bistro and Luciano. The key is flexible time choice. I opted for 8:30 and 9:00 and was wisked right in for pretty good food. I even just dropped by Teppanaki and had no problem getting a table seat in prime time. One of the best places was Food Republic. Great sushi and innovative other small dishes. It was A La Carte but averaged $22/meal and none for alcohol since I had the beverage card. Never crowded at any time I went which was varied. I took the Helicopter tour to the Mead Glacier in Skagway. I booked Temsco Helicopters directly and saved $50 plus got to pick a reasonable time. Since we didn't get to see the glaciers from the ship that was a good choice. I was on the bow in the drizzle with probably 150 others when they tried to go up the channel but turned back. They had deployed a small jet boat with a guy who was pushing mini icebergs out of the way with a pole but still no go. I did meet one of the staff captains in a hallway and he gave me a private tour of the bridge. Really interesting and impressive to this South Florida Boat captain. He mentioned they can't risk dinging the props on the Azimuth POD drives. In summary I'll probably do a smaller ship although the solo cabins are compelling. Even if you have several people they have some with connecting doors that gives you great space and privacy plus more bathroom. I could see the crowding would be a lot worse in the Caribbean in hot weather. Pools aren't that big, deck space/chairs not that adequate if everybody wanted to be outside. All in all good value for the money and a really interesting sea passage to Alaska. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We wanted to do the Alaska cruise to see the sights. The ship and staff was great, and we wanted for nothing. The bar staff made great drinks, except for Maltings Whiskey Bar, which for some reason kept making my Crown and diet wrong. ... Read More
We wanted to do the Alaska cruise to see the sights. The ship and staff was great, and we wanted for nothing. The bar staff made great drinks, except for Maltings Whiskey Bar, which for some reason kept making my Crown and diet wrong. After two like that, I just went to other bars without any problems. Maybe it was a language thing, or maybe the gal bartender just didn't listen. Our balcony cabin was nice, though it seemed a bit smaller than the balcony cabin we had on a freedom class vessel with Royal Caribbean. The buffet was good and consistent but not over the top. The specialty dining we did was great however. We did Q's, Ocean Blue, and Cagneys. Our party of seven had only one gripe regarding our dining. The house coffee was dreadful! We all laughed about it each morning, and drank juice with breakfast, then rode the elevator down to deck six to Starbucks for a decent coffee. Really, Norwegian, you surely can do better with another coffee supplier! The entertainment onboard was great. My wife and I had seen Jersey Boys in Las Vegas years ago (great show there) and the cast on the Bliss was on par with Vegas. We enjoyed the Beatles show on the last day too. The theater on board was very nice! The various entertainers in the bars, atrium, etc. were all pretty good. The service staff was very good throughout. Our itinerary was good with plenty of activity choices. We wished we would have had more time in Victoria however, as it is one of our favorite vacation places. 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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