Sail Date: October 2018
I selected this cruise for a look at the new ship, Bliss, and the warmth of the Mexican Riviera. I got only 1/2 of that promise fulfilled since Hurricane Wila prevented the Bliss from sailing south. So, while I saw the ship, I also saw ... Read More
I selected this cruise for a look at the new ship, Bliss, and the warmth of the Mexican Riviera. I got only 1/2 of that promise fulfilled since Hurricane Wila prevented the Bliss from sailing south. So, while I saw the ship, I also saw San Francisco (I live 50 miles away and it is no big deal...or any deal to me), San Diego where I was stationed in the military, and Ensenada, which a friend called "Tijuana by the Sea". Pluses included: 1) Awesome Observation Lounge on the Bliss. Beautiful, not crowded and affording great views. 2) Thermal suite: Big, lots of heated couches, great therapy pool. 3) Two excellent shows: Havana and Jersey Boys 4) Good embark particularly considering 4,000 passengers 5) Big buffet with good views (but would get crowded) 6) Specialty restaurants were very good to excellent. Cagney's, Q, Le Bistro and Teppanyaki all more than met my expectations 7) Buffet, The Local, Taste/Savor all had good service and good food. Not so good: 1) The theatre, unlike the smaller ships, looks like a cardboard box. The entries are almost nondescript and, while the productions were good, the whole area is without style. 2) "Office building" decor in many places. Lobby not as impressive as other smaller ships (like the Star, Jewel, Pearl or Sun). 3) Gym has lots of equipment, but only two exercise bikes. For which there was some contention but no contention for the myriad stair masters and treadmills. 4) No real promenade. Guests can walk back and forth on deck 7, by the life rafts to dead ends, around deck 8 (the Waterfront) but only by going into and out of the interior of the ship, or around a short loop on Deck 17 while contending with joggers. 5) Closet design in my stateroom (148362) was not good. Impinged at one end so that clothes couldn't really hand there, too close to the couch which blocked easy entry, and with doors that looked like something from IKEA, as did most of the staterooms furnishing. 6) NCL provided disembark was OK until it was marred by a bus that had little luggage capacity because it was storing spare tires for the bus. So we were loaded up and then made to get off and go to another bus. The port does get real crowded with 4,000 people trying to leave at the same time. 7) The Bliss is BIG with lots of decks. Hoofing it from deck 6 (restaurants) to our stateroom on 14 certainly raised my heart rate. But that is the nature of the newer huge ships. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Inside cabin 12th deck met our expectations, plenty of room for the two of us. 1st stop Ensenada La Bufadora - really cool but be aware, you have to walk about a mile from where the bus drops you off thru the gauntlet of Mexican ... Read More
Inside cabin 12th deck met our expectations, plenty of room for the two of us. 1st stop Ensenada La Bufadora - really cool but be aware, you have to walk about a mile from where the bus drops you off thru the gauntlet of Mexican vendors! I suggested at the excursion desk upon return they should make a specific note on the distance walking, the desk Mgr. clearly was not interested in my suggestion stating the excursion was already rated as moderate indicating the walking required. 2nd stop Puerto Vallarta - Las Caletas & John Huston private island. We thought the price was a steep for what you get but it was a beautiful place. We took the cooking class and enjoyed the food, was really good with the open bar. Beach is not quite as they describe in fact at high tide there is little beach at all. Would recommend just one time, it was very pretty. 3rd stop Cabos - We took the catamaran sail over to Santa Maria cove. Easily the best excursion, we swam with thousands of fish, of course it helps when your tour guide releases food for the fish. Would definitely recommend this. Hurricane turning toward us prevented a stop at Mazatlan. Sad we could not visit but understand. On board unlimited go carts was the bomb, really really fun. Had read difficult to ride, but did not have that experience. Food - clearly the cruise line would love to just shut down the main dining room and have you go to the buffet or pay extra for the specialty restaurants. Very average FREE food! Entertainment - sad the days of fun entertainment every night in the theater is gone. The Jersey boys Valli lead singer was not quite on point, we understand hard to find someone with that tone for sure. Overall the show was fine. Havana was also fine, would have rather seen another USA type musical or show. The other nights were filled with miscellaneous shows not really worth watching so really just 2 different shows. For those smokers - just be aware if you like to smoke, you have a small little corner near the bar at the very back of the ship to smoke. I personally am not a smoker but why that entire area near the bar is not open to smoking was beyond me. Overall very average, getting onto the ship and off was really easy. We stayed at the crown plaza across the street from the port and did the park and ride which was really easy and I would recommend if parking your car for a week. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
...the printed info that you are given is misleading. There are different food packages that you can purchase. The printed info you recieve will suggest you have many more options for "free" or covered places to eat than you ... Read More
...the printed info that you are given is misleading. There are different food packages that you can purchase. The printed info you recieve will suggest you have many more options for "free" or covered places to eat than you actually have. You'll sit down, order, then find out, opps this place isn't covered by your package even tho it says it is on your info page. Also, on our cruise, there was a medical emergency. Someone fell down some stairs. The Captain announced that he was going to forego going through the glacier fields (which was the main highlight that most passengers were looking forward to) in order to get to Juneau a few hours sooner. What I and every passingger that I talked to wondered why they didn't helicopter the person to a hospital. Especially when you are asked to purchase additional insurance to cover being helicoptered for a medical emergency. Finally, Jersey Boys was great! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We chose the cruise because of the show Jersey Boys. The show was wonderful. All of the entertainment on the ship was excellent. The ship was clean and well staffed but the staff often had language difficulties. Overall, the price for ... Read More
We chose the cruise because of the show Jersey Boys. The show was wonderful. All of the entertainment on the ship was excellent. The ship was clean and well staffed but the staff often had language difficulties. Overall, the price for the cruise, compared to the quality of the cruise, was too much. We have traveled to Australia for two and a half weeks for less than this cruise cost us. We felt like we were nickled and dimed to death by the cruise line. There was an additional fee for the go karts and one of the theatre shows. The dining was rather disappointing. There was a large selection of food in the cafeteria with the buffet, but the food was usually just warm and the quality was mediocre. There was not a restaurant that served brunch. The Mexican specialty restaurant was awful and overpriced. The steak and BBQ restaurants were pricey but excellent. The beverage package was the best deal for the money on the ship. Don't waste your money on the water package, the ship's water is just as good as the bottled water. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We booked our cruise one year ahead. We were so excited to cruise on the Bliss. Upon boarding we tried to book reservations for go karts and laser tag... Totally booked up. Evening shows were booked and only stand by was available. This ... Read More
We booked our cruise one year ahead. We were so excited to cruise on the Bliss. Upon boarding we tried to book reservations for go karts and laser tag... Totally booked up. Evening shows were booked and only stand by was available. This was the first day! Everything had an extra charge, my 11 year old had over $300 charged for Arcade play before they locked her card. The buffet food was delicious, but there were not enough tables and people had to hover over other guests, to get a place. Guests were irritated and often somewhat rude. The bars and staff were awesome, the balcony room was very nicely furnished and comfortable. Our steward was very polite, calling each of us by name from day one. Almost every elevator ride had a wait and people continued to load until it was uncomfortable. If I were rating the beauty and luxury of the ship and the courteous, professional staff it would be a 5+ star rating. Unfortunately, with the overcrowding and even a 40 minute wait for an elevator, it drops the score to 3. So disappointed, we will cruise NCL again, but on the Pearl or Jewel, not another monster ship which equates to a floating city of 5000 people. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
New ship, Breakaway class, Alaska. Inside Passage. Stunning scenery. There was no dancing floor in Manhattan Room although we were told repeated when we called that there will be. Throughout the ship, the little floor they had at night ... Read More
New ship, Breakaway class, Alaska. Inside Passage. Stunning scenery. There was no dancing floor in Manhattan Room although we were told repeated when we called that there will be. Throughout the ship, the little floor they had at night clubs were often covered by tables. The atrium was the last place left and unfit for packing in over 100 dancers. We were most disappointed because we sailed three times on the Breakaway and once on the Escape, both with Manhattan Room for dinner dancing. Food, identical menu to other NCL ships, but clearly better prepared or better delivered. A very pleasant surprise. Having chowder on observation deck most of the time was a great improvement. The observation deck was designed as numerous connected living rooms. This is a great feature for privacy and access to view. Service in general was great. room was clean and quiet but small. Shower was adequate and enjoyable. We did not get to see the glacier because of ice problems on the water inlet. Weather was in the 80F and sunny week. People the week before, rainy and colder, had no ice problem. Did see six humpback whales on whale watching. Best photos from smaller boats. Having the Garden Cafe now in the front of the ship is super confusing for us. However, it makes it possible to bring food down from it to the observation room easily. Seating hard to come by often in the Garden Cafe. Diners there often aggressive because of this. Bliss and Escape each added a floor of rooms without adding service support capacity, hence both led to overcrowding. Cannot recommend these ships! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
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
11 Helpful Votes
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
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
Inaugural cruise, crossing the Atlantic Ocean. The ship was beautiful however only 2300 people were on the ship and you could not get a seat in any of the bars to listen to the music. I was in the Haven and the room was extremely small, ... Read More
Inaugural cruise, crossing the Atlantic Ocean. The ship was beautiful however only 2300 people were on the ship and you could not get a seat in any of the bars to listen to the music. I was in the Haven and the room was extremely small, never been on anything that small . The room had a bathtub that was so small and curved you could not stand properly I have a problem climbing so I asked for a seat for the tub and they supplied me with one, however,the seat did not fit in the tub . Comforter on the bed Was so heavy it would fall off the bed on the floor when you got up during a good chance you could trip and fall(good thing I travel with a light). The haven restaurant should have a different menu every night or a special for the night you get tired of the same every night. They give you 4 specialty restaurant and that was nice, but it is nice if you could meet people in the haven and eat with them. Food was great and service excellent. Read Less
Norwegian Bliss Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.5 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.5 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.5 0.0
Family 3.5 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 4.0 0.0
Service 4.5 0.0
Value For Money 3.5 0.0

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