Norwegian Bliss is an incredible ship built for adults who love to wine, dine and enjoy some great music and adult entertainment - all were in abundance. This is my 4th cruise (but first time on Norwegian). See my specific comments and I ... Read More
Norwegian Bliss is an incredible ship built for adults who love to wine, dine and enjoy some great music and adult entertainment - all were in abundance. This is my 4th cruise (but first time on Norwegian). See my specific comments and I also added some tips for traveling with kids ages 10-12 I wish I had known before we went.
Food: was incredible in every location. Specialty dining package was great and glad I did it.
Drink Package: I was worried we would not get good brands or good service, but was quite the opposite. There is no "catch" to this package, was easy to get a drink and was nice to not have to tip for every drink (gratuities are paid in advance when you pay for your cruise).
Shore Excursions: Alaska has crazy weather, book your excursions with a plan B in mind - there is a chance your first choice will get cancelled even after you have booked and paid for it months in advance. Two of my shore excursions got cancelled and one was supposed to be the main highlight of our trip. Needless to say it was very disappointing for our whole group. Was not expecting that to happen. The shore excursions we did do were fantastic: Yukon railway to Canada with suspension bridge had beautiful, amazing views, Zip Line over Grizzly Falls was fun for mom, dad, kids and even grandma! Tons of whale watching, great little shops in every port.
On Ship activities such as shows and specialty restaurants: my biggest advice to avoid disappointment is to plan your week way in advance. Choose excursions, time you will be on ship with port schedules, book dining, shows, everything you can online 120 days out, or as soon as they permit you. Only way you will get to experience everything you want. If you wait, will all be filled up. Could not get specialty dining reservations changed or added to on the ship (but there are a few that don't take reservations and it is a first come, first serve, I did not have trouble getting into lunch at Margaritaville).
Race Track/Go Kart Tips: My 10 year old son had no problem with height (I think 55 inches but check) and enjoyed this the most. Get on the ship early the first day, find out where registration is for this activity and stand in line and get the unlimited package for every kid in your group. This will save you when you want to go watch one of the shows, sit and enjoy the views, etc. while the kids go on the Go Karts. An Adult does not have to be with them. It was a great activity and the only way you can get on it more than once or twice is with the unlimited package. There is no standing in line, you get right on, etc. I cannot recommend more, get the unlimited package! Worth the $199. Cannot sign up for unlimited package on kiosk, you have to stand in line day 1. Get a drink and then stand in line!
Laser Tag: unfortunately no unlimited package for this activity. I would have bought it if I could. But same advice here: get on ship early, go to kiosk right away and book your laster tag for whole week. Then make sure you remember the days and times you signed up for. It is on your TV in your room, NOT on the NCL app. I messed up 2 laser tag times (because I was enjoying the cruise) and my kids only got to do it once in the whole 7 days. I left feeling bad they didn't get to do it more than once, but they did get to play 2 rounds and said it was fun.
Kids Club/Teen Club: my daughter was really looking forward to the teen club activities, but she missed the cut-off for 13 by a few months and they would NOT make an exception and don't have the parent waivers you can sign I have seen on other cruise lines. We traveled with 5 kids total in our group and did not use the kids club for the younger kids. We signed up on first day, people seemed nice, space looked good, but for some reason the kids did not want to go. I felt the kids were very safe on the ship and as long as they stayed together in pairs they were able to move around and meet up with us after activities, etc. Pool and waterslides were great, we did get to use 2 of the 7 days.
Shows/Music: are great and in abundance all over the ship. Really for adults, not inappropriate, but lots of music only adults would enjoy or get. But really great entertainment and performers. Send kids to race track or go to a 10pm show after they go to bed.
Volume of people/embarkation/disembarkation: I was on a sold out cruise, we had 4800 passengers on board and I think Norwegian Bliss Operations did a fantastic job of not making the ship feel very crowded. Only had to wait once or twice for a bathroom and not for long, buffet seating was always crowded, but could find a table right outside by the pool under heaters. Getting on and off the ship at the ports was a breeze, was really impressed with how fast it went.
Last night in Victoria Port: Do NOT plan on walking to and from the city in the short time you are there. Either plan an excursion or arrange for transportation ahead of time, especially if traveling with kids or grandparents. If just adults and you like to walk, go for it. I wish I had stayed on the ship and let my son go on the race track one more time!
Overall I would highly recommend this cruise, and I would go again following my own tips above. Alaska was beautiful, amazing and all I hoped and more! Read Less