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.
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
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