Sail Date: July 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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 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: April 2019
It's one of the few ships that offers a studio room for solo travellers. This makes cruising much more affordable so I can cruise more often. The solo concierge is excellent and ensures that everyone is taken care of and the solo ... Read More
It's one of the few ships that offers a studio room for solo travellers. This makes cruising much more affordable so I can cruise more often. The solo concierge is excellent and ensures that everyone is taken care of and the solo lounge is a great place to escape from noisy children and obnoxious people. The coffee in the solo lounge is the best on the ship. There are plenty of places to dine with The Local being one of my favourites, but Taste and Savour are also excellent The adult area on the aft deck has two hot tubs and a bar and is a wonderful place to enjoy the scenery. It was the perfect place to view the Golden Gate Bridge sailing out of San Francisco. The crew are attentive and the food was always good. Certainly heard no complaints. The port in Victoria was excellent although a long walk from the city, however again no complaints. The weather was perfect and there was plenty to see and the path to the city was well marked. Embarkation in Los Angeles was a breeze and went much better than I expected. Disembarkation in Vancouver was also quick and painless. I would recommend this ship, especially to solo travellers. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
New ship just wanted to try it out. Needs bigger & more pools! Needs more options after midnight!!! Also no welcoming music or staff dancing as we entered ship. Not festive at all!!! Our steward was very nice but I needed ... Read More
New ship just wanted to try it out. Needs bigger & more pools! Needs more options after midnight!!! Also no welcoming music or staff dancing as we entered ship. Not festive at all!!! Our steward was very nice but I needed to ask for ice every day & he put it in a plastic bag that dripped & soaked my beach bag & 3 handbags!!! My husbands luggage didn’t arrive until Tuesday & the staff were helpful to his needs. The announcements should be heard in our rooms so we don’t have to rush to the door to listen. Also the staff in the photo room were very rude. I felt their deals were unfair & the pictures were poor!!! Our crowd of 22 people felt like it wasn’t easy to find specialty restaurants in fact there were a few we never saw! Also all the entertainment is very short!!! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
Last minute booking. Booked with Sunwing ......got a package deal...flight, cruise and transfers. With this option you don’t receive any of the free Norwegian perks but we were able to get a flight! The ship is great...brand new. ... Read More
Last minute booking. Booked with Sunwing ......got a package deal...flight, cruise and transfers. With this option you don’t receive any of the free Norwegian perks but we were able to get a flight! The ship is great...brand new. The ship is huge....4000 passengers. I think I would go for a bit smaller ship next cruise so the pool area wouldn’t be so congested. On our last night we had dinner in The Bistro.....what a fabulous restaurant.....the meals were amazing! We went to Jersey Boys.....first rate show! Seven days is just not enough to experience everything the ship has to offer. The ship has a lot of specialty restaurants.......great meals but more up charges. Unfortunately you don’t get to spend much time at the ports. We went to the Virgin Gorda baths. Awesome experience......fabulous beaches! We did a tour of St. Thomas and Magens Bay Beach. This tour was disappointing......just went to mountain top.....try to get you to spend at the tourist trap......very hurried Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
We had friends going on this cruise so we joined them. It was our first cruise. I loved sitting out on the balcony at night you could see so many stars. The food was great. We did have to wait a long time at Cagney's, they gave us ... Read More
We had friends going on this cruise so we joined them. It was our first cruise. I loved sitting out on the balcony at night you could see so many stars. The food was great. We did have to wait a long time at Cagney's, they gave us extra drinks to compensate. There is always something to do on ship. We didn't do some activities we wanted to as we were still at another activity. Warning! Don't have beads in your hair if you want to do the waterslide! LOL Actually the only thing that upset me was the smoking area. On the aft sundeck you are squeezed into a small area when they could have made half the deck smoking. The bar could even be on the non-smoking side. I know there will be backlash to the smoking area, but just asking for a little room to move and not having people squished in like sardines in a can. All said we had a great time! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
We chose Norwegian over the other cruise lines because of the "Free-Style" dining concept. You can eat, drink and party anytime you want. We went to Hawaii on the Pride of America and it was spectacular. This trip we were on the ... Read More
We chose Norwegian over the other cruise lines because of the "Free-Style" dining concept. You can eat, drink and party anytime you want. We went to Hawaii on the Pride of America and it was spectacular. This trip we were on the Bliss. Brand new. Gargantuan. We always get a balcony and love it. The entertainment always keeps you on the move. Plenty to choose from. Also, the poolside activities are hilarious. We embarked and went to the Sugarcane Mojito Bar. Bob, the "Chocolate Cowboy" made us feel welcome and part of the entire ship family immediately. The experiences just kept going. The main dining rooms were always ready to serve. Never had to wait and never ran out of selections. We never ran across a single negative employee. They always stopped what they were doing to help you if you needed it. They also knew when to leave you alone. Two things that weren't up to our standards were the shore excursions and the final port. We went snorkeling in St. Thomas. It was OK but it didn't hold a candle to the snorkeling in Hawaii. We also went to Balmoral Island beach break. Save your money. We had to walk a long way to a pier through so many vendors and taxi drivers. You can keep Nassau. It seemed dirty and the vendors were unfriendly, rude and seemed like they expected you to spend a lot of money. Our agent said: "Stay on the ship" and she was right. St. Thomas and Tortola were pretty cool. The other down side to our experience was the smoking. Our neighbor, on the first night tried to have a smoke. As soon as he lite it I could smell it. We brought it to the attention of guest services who very promptly addressed the issue. But we were helpless. There were others even though they have a special section for smokers. I only hope Norwegian ( or any other cruise line) comes up with a "non-smokers" cruise. I'll be the first to sign up. Would we go again? ABSOLUTLY!! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
This is a beautiful ship. We had a mini suite and thought the bathroom was great. It had a huge double sink with 2 faucets and a big shower. Worth the extra charge for sure! The room is a bit smaller than Celebrity Ships I've been on ... Read More
This is a beautiful ship. We had a mini suite and thought the bathroom was great. It had a huge double sink with 2 faucets and a big shower. Worth the extra charge for sure! The room is a bit smaller than Celebrity Ships I've been on width wise but same length. Nice room. Ample storage for clothes. The only thing I'd recommend is bring a light of some sort for the bathroom otherwise you have to turn the overhead light on during the night. We thought the food was pretty good on the ship. We did speciality dining 6 of the 7 nights and thought the food and service were really good. Ate one night in Taste, the regular dining room and thought the food was pretty good there too. We did breakfast almost every morning at either Taste or Savor and thought they were great. Service was good too. The ship is easy to navigate. Sometimes elevators are a bit full but another one comes along fairly quickly. Thought embarkation and debarkation were very easy. Everyone on the ship always has a smile and really tries hard to make your experience a good one. The Observation lounge is a great place to hang out plus they serve food all day long and there is a bar if you want a drink. As the week went along, more people found this treasure. They have comfortable furniture for reading and just watching the water. Neither of us had the drink package but we did notice that with all the people that did have it, bars were open everywhere on the ship all day long. When we were on Celebrity, it was pretty hard to find a bar open during the day except at the pool. Loved the outside deck that surrounds the specialty restaurants. Great place to hang out on the couches or to take a walk or get a drink. Really nice atmosphere and great place to watch the sun rise or set. On other ships this type of deck view is blocked by the life boats. The boats are on deck 7 on the Bliss a deck below Deck 8 where the specialty restaurants are. The ship definitely has places to view the water all the time; something that was lacking on Royal Caribbean's mega ships. On that ship, I felt like I was floating on an island where I rarely saw the water. NCL knows how to bring the ocean into the cruise experience especially when you eat outside at the specialty restaurants. Now here are my cons about the ship. The pool area is crowded and the music is SO LOUD it literally hurt my ears. I was surprised parents let their little ones hang out there...it was deafening. Actually we found the music was too loud almost everywhere. Couldn't hear the words to the music when bands played. Only the instruments. Love the adult solarium on Celebrity and Royal Caribbean. NCL has a small adult area with chairs and a bar. The only problem is there is no shade even with 3 or 4 small umbrella's. Too bad cause that would have been great. Now for the shows. I liked Jersey boys although its a shorter version of the Broadway production. I left 15 minutes into Havanna. I couldn't get into it. Saw the comedienne's. Hard to get into The Social Club so appreciated the show that happened in the theater one time during the week. Liked the Beatle's tribute although again the music was so loud in a tiny venue. I missed a regular show that you could catch at either 7:30 or 9:30 on Celebrity ships. You always had to make reservations for the shows and they didn't always coincide with the times booked before you get on the ship at the specialty restaurants. Lots of stuff happened in the atrium. It's way too small for the purpose it serves for some of the shows there like the Newlywed game. People were everywhere with no seats. The theater would be a better choice for that and later in the night. The cruise director tried to make it sort of risqué yet there were young kids around cause it was pretty early. Overall, its a great ship that is staffed well. Like I mentioned earlier, the staff is always smiling and trying to make your experience a good one. I would like to see the music at a decibel that doesn't bust your eardrums and make your ears ring along with a show you could see every night with a 7:30-8:30 reservation. (Most shows were in the Atrium then) There is something for every age on this ship for sure!!!! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Ship is beautiful, Food was great, Entertainment was great but most specialty restaurants were unanavaible unless you book months before cruise. Seating was primarily unavailable in buffet during peak periods and waits on elevators was ... Read More
Ship is beautiful, Food was great, Entertainment was great but most specialty restaurants were unanavaible unless you book months before cruise. Seating was primarily unavailable in buffet during peak periods and waits on elevators was lengthy. It just seemed as if ship was overbooked but we would definitely go again on the Bliss. This was our first cruise on Norwegian but have a total of around 20 cruises among RC, Celebrity and Princess. Bartenders Rossi, Ivana and Marina were outstanding heros in the Maltings Whiskey Bar. Room was excellent!! Loved the shower. Lots of room. Totally enjoyed the prohibition show and jersey boys. Embarkation was good. Was disappointed we could never get on go carts. Didn’t know you had to book in advance. That was the main reason for this cruise. My husband loves to ride go carts. Maybe next time. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
we chose this ship because it was new and the price when we booked it was good. and the observation deck looked so amazing.we liked the last ncl cruise we went on very much.overall service was very good. specialty dinning restaurants were ... Read More
we chose this ship because it was new and the price when we booked it was good. and the observation deck looked so amazing.we liked the last ncl cruise we went on very much.overall service was very good. specialty dinning restaurants were great,but no lobster tail.we also had not been to the eastern caribbean in a few years.we did spend time by the pool.sat on balcony alot. there were so many small children and babies on this cruise. kids running up and down the halls and the parents walking behind them,IDIOTS overall it was a very good cruise with nice ports of call,except nassau.im sure most frequent cruisers are tired of nassau,please stop going there.food and drink service was really good.the one thing I would ask is that small children and babies are not allowed in the specialty restaurants.its to long for them to be in there and get tired and cranky,and make it unenjoyable for other people. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
I wanted to see the new ship. It is not a ship for smokers, there is 1 area that is "free" to smoke. H2O had the smallest smoking area that I've seen on any NCL ship, it was crowded not comfortable and partially covered so ... Read More
I wanted to see the new ship. It is not a ship for smokers, there is 1 area that is "free" to smoke. H2O had the smallest smoking area that I've seen on any NCL ship, it was crowded not comfortable and partially covered so if it rained you would likely get wet. You could not use the Cigar Room, and casino for smokers you had to play to smoke. The ship and entertainment was wonderful as well as the staff but not enough staff for the number of passengers. Was in the regular casino for 3 hours and not one wait staff in sight the whole time, had to go to the bar for drinks. The food was really good in Food Republic and Cagneys was sub-par which is unusual since it typically is way above average. I'm not sure if this is due to staffing or not. Personally, I will not go on the bliss again but mainly because I am a smoker, if you are not, you will likely enjoy the ship which is a sight to to see. I'm glad I went and the ship will be awesome traveling to Alaska. I do hope that they increase their staff though which would round out the average to excellent for most on board. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
The Bliss is a beautiful ship. Norwegian got it right with this plus class. They have made up for the sins of the Epic. Embarkation was a breeze. They used two terminals at the Port of Miami and this kept the crowds to a minimum. ... Read More
The Bliss is a beautiful ship. Norwegian got it right with this plus class. They have made up for the sins of the Epic. Embarkation was a breeze. They used two terminals at the Port of Miami and this kept the crowds to a minimum. We had barely finished our health surveys when the agent called us to the desk. We were on board within fifteen minutes of clearing security. As with many larger ships, the elevator count and placement is inadequate. They also seemed to accommodate fewer passengers than many ships. Getting around the ship is relatively easy if you remember that you sometimes need to "go down to go up". Entertainment was mostly good. Jersey Boys was excellent but Havana was very repetitious. Stage mechanicals were amazing. The Beatles tribute band was very entertaining but they really need a larger venue for this popular show. The comedy show was average. Games, competitions and karaoke were all fun. One of our favorite hangouts was the Atrium. The drinks at the Atrium bar were the best and most consistent. You won't go wrong if you attend any offerings in the Cavern Club. We tried three upcharge restaurants. Teppanyaki was excellent with great food and entertaining chefs. Le Bistro was excellent but was strangely located near the race track. La Cucina was a bit of a disappointment. When the waiter saw that I had eaten very little of my entree, he didn't even ask if there was something wrong. I had to bring to his attention that my meal was subpar. This did not put a damper on our trip as the meals in the main dining room (Taste and Manhatten) were excellent and the service was prompt and friendly. Enjoy a lunch at The Local pub. Buffet is well organized and the food tasty and warm. Seating is much less crowded than many large ships. Addition of booths was a great idea and the high tops provide additional seating. Pools are small and very crowded on sea days. Deck chairs are plentiful but you have to snag one early if you want to be near the pools or in the shade. Bar service is quick and friendly. Theater is large and comfortable. It is not overly ornate, more like a up class modern movie theater. Visibility is good from most seats. This was the first ship I have sailed where the theater did not have a balcony, eliminating the need for support posts that block views. I don't know why but Norwegian has the most disorganized method for disembarkation. It often involves a conga line of people with multiple suitcases weaving around the ship. Why call people to join the line when it is already a quarter mile long? Better to have them wait in the common areas then exit the ship as their tag color is called. All-in-all we had a very enjoyable cruise on the Bliss. Would definitely sail the Bliss again and recommend her to all. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
We just got off the Bliss after a great week in the carribean including great weather. The Bliss proved to be a ship of contrasts. Some things were great and other things not so much. We we in a basic balcony cabin near the back of the ... Read More
We just got off the Bliss after a great week in the carribean including great weather. The Bliss proved to be a ship of contrasts. Some things were great and other things not so much. We we in a basic balcony cabin near the back of the ship. Firstly the great things; the ship is new and everything seemed to work well and the ship is quiet (little engine noise and vibration). The food is on average exceptionally good, especially in the buffet. The service is also very good. The water tasted quite good and there is a number of flavoured drinks available all the time, including sugarless ones that were very good. The numerous shows were exceptional (especially Jersey Boys) but need to be booked as early as you can to ensure you will get in on the date and time you want. There are standby spots for people booked who don't show up. While only two sets of elevators for this very long ship, you could always get one quickly as they are new and fast. There is a Starbucks on board and lots of nice comfortable places to sit inside the ship and find a drink or entertainment. Now for the not so good; we could hear voices in the cabin next door pretty regularly. The bathroom is the biggest we have seen on this class of ship but for this you give up closet space. If your cabin has a large couch next to the closet you have to little space between the end of the couch and the closet. There is a couple of cabinets near the tv but only two large drawers under the couch and filled with pillows and extra comforter so maybe you can sqeeze your clothes in them but just maybe! The cabinets on each side of the bed are extremely tiny unless you get one bigger one like our friends did, we got two tiny ones. The adult pool was nice but on sea days we couldn't get near it from all the passengers sitting all around who obviously got the drink package as their free perk. The hot tubs were a better as there are five of them on the upper deck above the pools. There is a kids pool too The race track was neat (and the kids will love the laser tag facility) but does take up so much room that there are few places to find quiet spots to find a lounger unless you splurge for "the haven". We tried two specialty restaurants and Le bistro was great but Cagneys was a disappointment. There are quiet a few other specialty reastaurnts but we didn't try the others. Margaritaville seemed empty most of the time when we went by and may have been due to the cover charge. The casino was spacious but a bit too smokey in the evening for us. Embarkation and debarkation went well for us, and we did have a nice cruise on the Bliss but a few issues meant we couldn't give this ship top marks. Tip. You can't punch a hole in your card for a lanyard as the card will stop working, so bring a lanyard with the plastic casing for your card. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
Pros: Ruby was an excellent bartender. Highly recommended. Very friendly, happpy and energetic. The observation lounge is amazing, plus food and snacks. You get quite a view and a relaxing area for all to spend some time together. ... Read More
Pros: Ruby was an excellent bartender. Highly recommended. Very friendly, happpy and energetic. The observation lounge is amazing, plus food and snacks. You get quite a view and a relaxing area for all to spend some time together. Los Labos was excellent and huge food portions. You must like Mexican. Great guac and skirt steak. La Bistro was excellent. The food tasted so good. I recommend the filet or the shrimp. Ocean Blue was good but little portions. The taste was superb. Cons: Stay out of the casino the worst odds I ever saw. What are they trying to do pay the ship off in a year? Just be careful if you do gamble. Not worth it. Food service at La Carina needs work. Very slow and small portions. Don’t go hungry. They also never offered us if we wanted wine or a drink. Gave us water but little Refills. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
First cruise on Norwegian, went with 2 other couples. Very large ship with many, many people. Reservations go very quickly but we knew that and reserved ahead of time and right after we boarded. Staff is very friendly and helpful. Bars are ... Read More
First cruise on Norwegian, went with 2 other couples. Very large ship with many, many people. Reservations go very quickly but we knew that and reserved ahead of time and right after we boarded. Staff is very friendly and helpful. Bars are beyond numerous. Food was excellent except for a few exceptions. Mini Suite is a suite on a cruise ship but bathroom was large with 6 separate shower jets and a double sink, NICE! Just a couple of negatives. Specialty restaurant La Cucina is nothing special, many of food items are available in main dining room, service was very slow here and subpar, disappointing. Fee for Go Carts $99.00 is not worth it at all, explanation given to me was not correct, you got no special privileges and track kept breaking down due to children using the go carts and not knowing how to operate the vehicles, wait time is sometimes in excess of 1 hour. DO NOT BUYTHE GO CART PASS! One of the Broadway Plays, “Jersey Boys” stated no one under 16 yet there were kids 7, 8 and 9 watching the play and playing games on their cellphones, embarrassing and distracting. Elevators tend to get crowded. Make sure you get a reservation for the specialty restaurant “Cagney’s“. Amazing and well worth it. Service was phenomenal here and food was superb, also the Japanese restaurant was well worth it. No reason to sit down for breakfast as the buffet has everything and I mean everything. Just one other complaint I heard was bottled water is not a part of ultimate drink package and it is expensive. Aside from just a few minor details my wife and I really enjoyed our first cruise with NCL. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
We chose this cruise due to port proximity to our home state of Arizona. This is an incredibly large ship with a lot to do. Overall, or experience was very good. We had two big "singles" groups on board & struggled in getting ... Read More
We chose this cruise due to port proximity to our home state of Arizona. This is an incredibly large ship with a lot to do. Overall, or experience was very good. We had two big "singles" groups on board & struggled in getting reservations for dinner. Only availability was either at 5pm or 9pm. This made it difficult for my elderly parents. The staff was not as friendly as I have experienced on previous cruises. Felt like I was bothering them at times when ordering drinks or asking questions. The individual that checked us in at port made some mistakes & did not load our credit card information for both cabins we were occupying. This made us have to go to Customer Relations in the main lobby. The individual that assisted us barely even looked up at us as he completed the necessary changes. Was a bit uncomfortable with it all being my elderly father was the one having to go through having his picture retaken at that time. Luckily my father has a good sense of humor stating "I think he has had a bad day." The ship bars, for the most part, were incredibly busy. The bar tenders manning the bars by the pool area rarely smiled. It was definitely not a pleasant experience getting your drinks from them as has been on other cruises. While I would recommend NCL for cruises, overall, this cruise was not as great an experience as previous cruises I have taken with NCL. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
Hurricane caused the itinerary change from Mexican Riviera to San Francisco, San Diego, and Ensenada, ports that are all "home" so we stayed onboard. It was still a lot of fun. We're used to much smaller ships and so ... Read More
Hurricane caused the itinerary change from Mexican Riviera to San Francisco, San Diego, and Ensenada, ports that are all "home" so we stayed onboard. It was still a lot of fun. We're used to much smaller ships and so enjoyed all the activities and entertainment available on the Bliss. There was a very heterogenous mix of ages from children to seniors and there were many activities for everyone. Being smashed into elevators was unpleasant, but the elevators were fast and numerous so it was tolerable. Events in the atrium were also crowded but it still was possible to find a seat or view from the upper level. The pool area was crowded but we didn't go there. Otherwise, the ship is designed so that the large number of guests are spread out and it doesn't seem too packed. All the restaurants have attractive dividers so the rooms seem much smaller than their actual size. Service was always speedy. You had to make it very clear if you didn't want to be rushed through a meal. Wait staff became much friendlier when they weren't so busy. All in all, it is a lovely ship and we had a very good time. A week is long enough, though. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
We love everything about NCL. The ship was beautiful! Only complaint is the elevators. Very slow and packed. We would wait for a long time, one would open up and a group of people just walking up would rush in before us. I wish there ... Read More
We love everything about NCL. The ship was beautiful! Only complaint is the elevators. Very slow and packed. We would wait for a long time, one would open up and a group of people just walking up would rush in before us. I wish there was a way to remind others people have been waiting and to not cut. The food was very good. The casino was very nice and having a separate smoking area was a huge bonus, our group stayed in a lot longer to play since we didn't have to deal with smoke. The pool was a little packed but I assume that would be common on an Alaskan cruise lol I think it sucks they don't have better planning for heavier people that want to use the big slide. My husband waited in line to to turned away in embarrassment for being 6 lbs over the weight limit. Also in this time era it is VERY common for piercings, my daughter-in-law has a nose ring that needs to be professionally removed, due to this she was not able to use the slide either. Again, she waited in line and was told at the TOP she could not use the slide. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 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
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 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
7 Helpful Votes
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
5 Helpful Votes
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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 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
Norwegian Bliss Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 4.5 3.9
Entertainment 4.0 3.9
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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