Sail Date: July 2019
This was my 33rd cruise and 8th time to Alaska. Maybe I'm just getting pickier or maybe because our last cruise was in the haven, but I seemed to notice more little things that bugged me. It was a good vacation but nothing ... Read More
This was my 33rd cruise and 8th time to Alaska. Maybe I'm just getting pickier or maybe because our last cruise was in the haven, but I seemed to notice more little things that bugged me. It was a good vacation but nothing spectacular. We are platinum and so we were expecting the priority boarding as stated in many places on the NCL website. We got the priority check in which had I believe 3 dedicated workers just checking in platinum and higher, and haven guests. The problem was that if you were in that "special" line, you had to wait for one of those 3 dedicated workers to check you in. After moving super slow and the non platinum/haven guests clearly getting their paperwork done quicker, a worker saw what was going on and waved us to a regular check in spot. The worker checking us in had no personality and barely said anything. The last thing anyone wants at this exciting start to a vacation is to get bummed out by someone who just doesn't care. We also didn't get a ship map or listing of what was going on the first day like everyone else. We got boarding group 18 and I asked about the platinum priority boarding and the worker either didn't speak English or couldn't formulate an answer more than a few grunts so we moved on. On to the waiting area and I asked 2 workers about the priority boarding and they said there is none for platinum. I had even printed out the platinum perks and showed them but they were oblivious. As I type this I know I probably sounds like a snob but I just wanted what we were told we'd get from NCL. Moving on, turns out the priority boarding is probably a farce because they called 2 or 3 boarding groups at a time and group 18 was called about 15 minutes after group 1 so probably something that NCL gives frequent cruisers that doesn't really make a big difference, at least for those who arrive early anyway. It was a warm day in Seattle and my daughter and I were excited to go on the loop slide but it was broken and not operational all week. We then moved on to booking go carts and laser tag. The first screen we encountered lead us all the way to the part where you insert your card to pay just to be told it didn't work. We found another one and were able to get a decent go cart time on day 5 and laser tag the last day while in Victoria. You must reserve these 2 things ASAP upon boarding because at least 2/3 of the times were already filled and we did this as soon as we boarded. Next we went to an unorganized line at Teppanyaki to remove the 4th person from our reservation there and at Cagneys. NCL still can't figure out how to let people book for an odd number. We were a party of 3 but had to book for 4 ahead of time. We got the drink package perk so off to a bar. Long island ice tea was the drink of the day so I got one. They pre-mix all the liquors into 1 bottle and then add sweet and sour and coke at the end. Without a doubt, the alcohol mix is watered down greatly. In a 12 ounce glass, there was 1 shot of the "alcohol" mix followed by what appeared to be heavily diluted sweet and sour mix and coke. I had a bad stomach ache about halfway through the drink. A better bet is beer or wine, or a 1 alcohol drink and tell them easy on the mixer. I feel bad for anyone who paid $100 a day for this package. Crazy expensive! We went to La Cucina the first night. I wish they had chicken parmesan still. They seem to be going more fancy. The food was great but our waiter was extremely quiet and hard to hear. We met our room steward later that night which was the only time we saw him. Didn't get any towel animals this trip either but he did a good job cleaning. Cagneys was excellent. No issues at all with the food or service. Great dinner. Since I'm complaining so much, after dessert we didn't get anything to sign and no one asked if we were done so we just left. No biggie, but weird because at the other specialty restaurants they gave us a bill to sign and a place to add even more than the 20% tip already included. Speaking of the specialty restaurants, I think it's way too expensive. For example, at La Cucina you can get salad, soup, spaghetti and dessert. This looks exactly like what you can get at the buffet or main dining room. Why pay $20-$30 more for this? Is it really worth that much more that eating at an included restaurant? Again, we got this perk included. Teppanyaki at $39 each plus 20% tip is even worse. More little annoyances- games in the atrium. This cruise starts and ends in the USA. Why not get someone to host the little games they have who has a grasp of the English language? It was like NCL looked for the person with the thickest accent and told them to host a trivia game. Platinum tour-I'm glad I didn't pay the regular $79 price. Again, 2 of the 3 places we visited (laundry and galley) had workers speaking to us who were barely understandable and then asked if we had any questions only to have to ask several times and then have the tour guide answer for the other person. The show coordinator was English so at least everyone understood him and he was able to communicate. Lame tour other than the show guy. Perhaps add some interesting facts about how much laundry or how many eggs they use....something interesting other than here we do laundry and here we cook a lot of food. Los Lobos restaurant- despite the board showing completely full, the restaurant was less than half full when we arrived and left. While waiting to check in we heard them tell several guests that they were completely full. Strange. Maybe they were just short handed. Go carts- very fun but we arrived 15 mins before start time, then waited another half hour for some unknown reason. Then we got our racing hoods and were told the smokestack was blowing black stuff onto the track so our clothes might get dirty (they didn't get dirty at all). Then we waited longer sitting in the carts with helmets on for who knows why? It took 1 hour and 15 mins to complete this yet the racing part was only 10 mins. Once we got going it was really fun. The waiting was annoying especially since you have a reservation. Laser tag was also fun but the instructions given on the TV screens as you wait were completely different that what you are told when given your weapons. How does NCL not notice that? Again, the worker who gives verbal instructions can barely speak English. One guest asked how many bullets you can shoot and she asked, "what bullet mean?" This went on for a few more questions until everyone just agreed that we'd figure it out on our own. Butchart garden tour- way too short. I think this should not even be offered. Judging from other reviews, this is a common theme. Here's how it went down. Meet at 745 in the theater. Walk to the bus off the ship at 815. Drive 45 mins to Butchart and get tickets. Enter the gardens at 915. Immediately go to the fireworks area for the 930 show. Sit on the sidewalk because all the lawn seats are long gone. Fireworks ends at 10 and all aboard bus at 1050 cause all aboard the ship is at 1130. Try to work through the massive crowd leaving the fireworks to see at least a little of the gardens and then start the walk back to the bus. Too rushed!!! Despite the annoyances, it was a good trip. Alaska is a fun place and the ship has a lot to offer. Food was great everywhere we ate and service fairly good. This is not a luxury cruise line but NCL can make some easy changes to greatly improve things. For just over $7k I expect more. As many say, "first world problems." Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
The Bliss is a beautiful vessel... without a doubt! Everything looked beautiful and for the most part the staff was good. The cruise director Roberto was fabulous. The entertainment was top notch, really all the shows and the ... Read More
The Bliss is a beautiful vessel... without a doubt! Everything looked beautiful and for the most part the staff was good. The cruise director Roberto was fabulous. The entertainment was top notch, really all the shows and the comedy shows were fabulous. The spa package for the week was a great experience and a great deal we thought. We did a couple of really great excursions at port.. they were on time and very informative about the Alaska culture. My one HUGE disappointment was the photography services. We got our photos taken in the atrium and asked if we wanted to do photos on the day we were cruising through glacier bay.. of course!! We showed up at the time we were given for those family photos in front of the biggest glacier, we were so excited!! These were the same photographers that took pictures two days before, once we were done they handed us a paper and off we went. We went to the photo area 2 days later to look at all the pictures taken throughout the week so we could order but noticed those glacier pictures were not there, come to find we had a specific time to view those in a different photo gallery.. several other families also were experiencing the same issue and were upset they were not informed of the difference. We went to the gallery and were told to come back the next day at a specific time.. we did and they did this elaborate slide show of our photos and once done we asked what’s the deal they said all these photos are only available in canvases.. Ridiculously EXPENSIVE!! we couldn’t even buy one print.. Therefor we didn’t get one photo of our family in front of that glacier! This made me sick and made me cry I was so upset... Shame on you Norwegian!!!! Why have 2 different photography shops and not allow people to view their memories with just one shop. We went to the arcade and was shocked you charge to play. I think charging for video games is ridiculous. The food was very repetitive. Would of liked it changed up some. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
ship is only two years old. very clean and modern. 3 main dining rooms all had same menus, so you had your choice for dining. dinner menu could of been more selective. so called nightly specials not up to par that i have experienced on ... Read More
ship is only two years old. very clean and modern. 3 main dining rooms all had same menus, so you had your choice for dining. dinner menu could of been more selective. so called nightly specials not up to par that i have experienced on other cruise lines. had about six items on menu all seven nights and about six specials. food was tasty,but could of used a better selection (fish,lobster,filet) wait staff was excellent! entertainment was good. different game show activities for all ages several times during day and night. two major shows on ship. Havana was very good. Jersey Boys was outstanding! previously saw show on Broadway. the ships show was almost the same exact show, Fantastic! rock band Siglo was best cruise ship band I ever heard. They should be on a concert stage, not a boat! Can't say anything bad about service on ship! everyone very friendly and never had to wait for any amount of time for anything Time at ports could be longer. A cruise to Alaska is about the scenery especially the Inside Passage which is worth the price of admission itself! There is a lot of down time on the ship.to much time between ports. Again, I realize the trip is about the scenery, but time to explore the ports is also fun. shore excursions were excellent. 12 person canoe ride on Mendenhall Lake to see a glacier was stunning! Bus ride through the Yukon was breathtaking. Bike and Hike through rain forest outstanding! Highly recommend this ship to see Alaska. It was a trip of a lifetime! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
This cruise was picked as a VIP Park West Gallery art auction cruise. We did not directly pay for this cruise but we are glad we chose it. Park West Gallery paid in full for Cruise, drinks, gratuities, and special dinning. The only real ... Read More
This cruise was picked as a VIP Park West Gallery art auction cruise. We did not directly pay for this cruise but we are glad we chose it. Park West Gallery paid in full for Cruise, drinks, gratuities, and special dinning. The only real down side was the specialty dinning. It was not very good. Service was poor and the food was just ok. Got a backed potato at one dinning and did not even receive butter or sour cream, or anything other then the potato. We had charges on our bill that were not correct, the customer service desk had us back and forth several times for the same reason. Just seemed like they were not concerned. We were unable to use the go cart track as it was booked full the second day of the cruise. I would just think that they would have there act together if they were concerned about the customer. I did enjoy the cruise and most of our complaints are small, overall it was a nice cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
After doing research on cruise lines, we chose Norwegian based on the amenities and the itinerary, and they did NOT disappoint! This was our first cruise and from preparations and pre-cruise communications to embarkation, we knew exactly ... Read More
After doing research on cruise lines, we chose Norwegian based on the amenities and the itinerary, and they did NOT disappoint! This was our first cruise and from preparations and pre-cruise communications to embarkation, we knew exactly how to prepare and what to expect. We boarded the ship with ease and had one of the most incredible experiences of our lives! Our cabin was bigger than we expected and worked well for three adults and all of our stuff (lots of storage)! The bathroom was spacious with a roomy shower. Our balcony gave us 24 hour views of the scenery, fresh air, and the experience of watching multiple dockings. We enjoyed many of the bars and some of the entertainment. We saw Jersey Boys, which we really liked, and sat in on trivia and other games in the Atrium. We also took in live music in the Atrium and Observation Lounge. One of our favorite spots was the aft bar Spice H20 which was adults only for most of the day. We sat in the hot tubs and sipped drinks while taking in the majesty of Alaska. The food was also delicious! The buffet had a wide variety of choices for every meal and a special dinner offering each night that was well advertised. The main dining rooms had lots of options and great wait staff. We tried three specialty dining restaurants that we also enjoyed...we especially loved Ocean Blue! We opted for the in-room continental breakfast several mornings and appreciated the option to have an easy and relaxing morning as we prepared for the day. Overall, the ship staff was always friendly and greeted us everywhere we went. We always had our questions answered and needs met. We did excursions in 2 out of 4 ports and were extremely satisfied. All of our guides were great, and the White Pass/Yukon Railroad is a must!! Getting on and off the ship, even on short port calls, was so much easier than we expected and we never had a problem. We had such an amazing time that we've already put down a deposit on our next Norwegian Cruise! We can't wait to come aboard again!! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
My parents treated all the kids/grandkids to an Alaskan cruise for their 50th anniversary. They had done one years ago and loved it so much they wanted us all to enjoy it with them this time. Last time it was on a different cruise line. I ... Read More
My parents treated all the kids/grandkids to an Alaskan cruise for their 50th anniversary. They had done one years ago and loved it so much they wanted us all to enjoy it with them this time. Last time it was on a different cruise line. I booked the Bliss because of all the amenities it listed I thought it’d be fun for all ages going: water slides, racetrack, laser tag, etc. I’ll start with that, unless you book a day/time on first day for racetrack/laser tag you won’t get to do it. One of the slides wasn’t operating and the other is run in a way that you have to wait in long line until a certain size tube is returned. Shows were NOT appropriate for kids which was disappointing, even though they say family friendly online. Food: it was ‘meh’. The few times we chose the dining room it was edible but not good by any means and we are NOT picky eaters. The desserts on board were flavorless. A few were ok but I was prepared to be wow’d by the food on the cruise. My husband and I have cruised before and I’ve always wanted 2nd’s even when I was stuffed because it was so good! Not this time... The room. It was nice, and plenty of storage. Our bathroom smelled like a urinal the entire trip but appeared to be clean so I didn’t complain. One of the lights in the vanity was out and never replaced even though I told our cabin guy. We did the laundry service and also a pair of shorts that was never to be seen again. Overall we had a good trip and enjoyed the family time. Our favorite place to eat was The Local, and loved the mojito bar. I think the Bliss is too big to be able to give over 4000 guests a 5 star experience and dining experience. Something to be said for the little guys, they don’t disappoint! The Bliss wins for smooth ride but that’s about it. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
I chose this Alaskan Itinerary because it was one of the few that went to Glacier Bay and I wanted my kids to see it over the other options. Here were some of my answers to the NCL survey they just sent to me. 1. Breakfast at the buffet ... Read More
I chose this Alaskan Itinerary because it was one of the few that went to Glacier Bay and I wanted my kids to see it over the other options. Here were some of my answers to the NCL survey they just sent to me. 1. Breakfast at the buffet didn't have the variety I am used to. 2. The Race Track was fully booked within the first few hours of boarding. Maybe you should limit reservations to one per person until the 2nd day so we all have a shot. 3. Drink package not inclusive of bottles of water? So I can have a $10 glass of wine, but can't get a 25cent bottle of water? That's just petty. 4. Drink package not to include espresso/latte? 5. Gym had minimal weight equip. Plenty of cardio, but not enough weights. 6. I chose this specific cruise solely because it hit glacier bay. The value of this cruise was poor compared to others that had another stop instead of glacier bay. If I had to do it again, I would choose a less costly cruise. 7. Limited storage in the rooms, especially for my kids who had an inside stateroom. 8. Elevators were awful- Too long to wait, always full, disembarkation took me over 10 minutes to catch an open elevator. 9. Photo package should be unlimited like Disney offers. I would gladly pay you $300 vs the $150 for my 10 images if I could have unlimited digital images. I don't need the prints. There is no incremental cost to you, so it is 100% profit to allow me all photos for more money. You already did the work, but you lost out on $150 in more revenue. Other cruise lines provide this and you should too! 10. Wine cost is absolutely ridiculous. You have maybe 2-3 wines in each class that qualify for the drink package. I can walk into any restaurant in town and get a nice glass of wine for $14, but on your ship, that isn't the case. 11. Because of this, I likely would NEVER pay for a drink package again on your cruise line vs your competition. 12. Pool entertainment was too short. They should be out there all day long. 13. Pool temperature was too cold. 14. Hot tubs were always crowded and there weren't enough of them. They should also be located on the main pool deck, not just up above. 15. Entertainment was great. Jersey Boys, the Beatles, Havana, comedy, all good. Kids enjoyed this as well. 16. Could never find a seat in the mojito bar. 17. Needed more jazz music too, rumba, foxtrot music to dance to. 18. Pizza was so good I gained 5 lbs. 19. It's Alaska, how about a king crab dinner included. 20. $15 cover for Margaritaville? Not necessary, not worth it. 21. Same for the BBQ place. For over 10k for the family, I should get to eat in these mid tier places as part of the fare. 22. Daughter needed a bathing suit- None available for young adults in your shops. 23. Indian food in buffet was really good. 24. Plenty of omelette stations so you never had to wait long. 25. Sometimes difficult to find a place to eat at breakfast in the buffet. 26. The internet app was awesome. Again, no need to charge me $10 a person to communicate with family. For the 10k we paid, just include it. No one likes to be nickled and dimed. 27. would be nice to book larger parties in multiple staterooms for the same show. Link the rooms. 28. Let me trade my celebratory overpriced bottle of bubbly for some bottles of water. (latitudes gift) Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
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
Sail Date: July 2019
Seven days on the Round trip Seattle to Alaska , inside passage! numerous activities for grandchildren, They loved the Go Karts, waterslides, variety of food options. The Haven for us. We loved unlimited bar, 24 hour butler, Private ... Read More
Seven days on the Round trip Seattle to Alaska , inside passage! numerous activities for grandchildren, They loved the Go Karts, waterslides, variety of food options. The Haven for us. We loved unlimited bar, 24 hour butler, Private escort to excursions, embarkation and disembarking. Food.was amazing! Haven restaurant had beautiful presentation and service was impeccable. The kids loved the waffles. We enjoyed eggs Benedict and the smoked salmon frittata. The filet and prawns and lamb at dinner we favorites. Our butler delivered coffee and juice each morning and afternoon tapas. Each day we had a complimentary bottle of champagne. The excursion were well organized and lots of variety. We loved the Skagway Railway, Sled Dog and puppies! Ketchikan we saw a Lumberjack Show outside but undercover with heat lamps. The Saxman Native Village had a dance presentation as well as Totem Pole Craving demonstration. The village have many Totom Poles and our guide explained the history and meaning. In Juneau we went on the Mendenhall Glacier Explorer. Enjoyed the visitor center and great hike with views of the glacier and waterfall.Cruising Glacier Bay for the day was amazing. The ship circled the bay so so everyone had up close views. Glacier Bay Ranger came aboard for informative narrative as well as Junior Ranger Program. In Ketchikan our son and daughter went Ziplining. Challenging with expert instruction.In Victoria my son and I did city sunset tour and Escape Room. The Haven was beyond, beyond! Private dining, pool, bar, lounge,observation deck. Beyond pampering! Loved the spa thermal suite with wave tub and waterfall, snow grotto and steam and salt room. The heated lounges were so relaxing!The men’s facial and shave was excellent! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Just off the Bliss on 7/21 and had a great time. It was me, my wife and son who turned 17 on the cruise. We’ve cruised NCL, RCCL and Disney in the past. Overall, we loved our cabin, the ship, the crew, the food and ports. Really ... Read More
Just off the Bliss on 7/21 and had a great time. It was me, my wife and son who turned 17 on the cruise. We’ve cruised NCL, RCCL and Disney in the past. Overall, we loved our cabin, the ship, the crew, the food and ports. Really don’t have any complaints and any hiccups were handled to our satisfaction. Here are the day-to-day details (sorry for typos in advance)… We flew in the night before and stayed at the Edgewater Hotel next to the cruise terminal. We used Aces Town Car Services from the airport to the hotel. They were on time, courteous and the price was very competitive. Great customer service all the way around. We didn’t get to the hotel until about 9:45pm, checked in and headed to the lounge for some food. We enjoyed the food and drink, but it was a bit expensive as we expected. The room was cozy with two double beds but worked fine for a good night’s sleep. On embarkation day, we had brunch at the Six Seven Restaurant at the hotel. Great selection of food and really good service. My son mentioned this was his “birthday week” so our server brought him a special desert…nice touch. After brunch we checkout and walked to the cruise terminal which is literally next door to the hotel. Just a few minutes’ walk. We dropped out bags and headed to the check in line. My son has special needs so we had made arrangements ahead of time for a less crowded check-in experience. I’ll share the details. We were told to use the security line marked “Haven/VIP” because the line was shorter. Since we arrived at about 10:15am all the lines were shorter so it really didn’t matter. We then proceeded upstairs to the “quiet” check in area. It was actually a bit loud, crowded and chaotic but there were plenty of chairs until they call your party to the check in desk. After about 10 or 15 minutes we were called up and check in. Very quick and efficient. We were told to head to the ship but instead entered a room that was packed and standing room only. This didn’t look good. There was an employee right there and I asked her if there was somewhere less crazy to wait and she pointed behind her and told us that was the door to the ship and she was going to open it in two minutes and we could be the first through. Sure enough, two minutes later we were walked up the ramp to the ship. There we were, on board the beautiful Bliss. It was surreal because there was no one else on the ship (I’m assuming the Haven passengers had boarded and where up in the Haven). We went to make go kart reservations in the Social (I think) and then to Teppanyaki to adjust some dining reservations. Just like that we were ready to cruise! We just had brunch so we decided to explore the ship for a while before eating again. We really loved the ship. Everything was clean and new, well laid out and easy to navigate. After our walkabout, we headed to the Local for lunch. Food and service were good. I told my wife we needed to check out the spa. We were given a tour and sold on just about every kind of “treatment” you could imagine, from acupuncture, to massage to hair loss treatments. No thank you. I just wanted to see the Thermal Suite. After we checked that out, our tour guide tried to sell us Thermal Suite passes. I told her no need because, surprise, I had already purchased one for my wife! She visited there just about every day and really enjoyed it. By then the cabins were ready to we headed to our Mini-Suite with Large Balcony – 8126. I was tempted to bid on an upgrade to the Haven in the month leading up to the cruise but am so glad I didn’t. The location was perfect for us. We were steps away from the Waterfront, most specialty restaurant and plenty of bars. Most of the other things we needed to visit were just a deck or two down so no need for the elevators (which could get crowded, especially the forward ones). I’ve sailed the NCL Pride of America before and felt our cabin was claustrophobic. Not the case on the Bliss. While the cabin wasn’t huge, we never felt like were too cramped. We had enough storage for the three of us and the balcony was huge with two chairs, a table, and two loungers. The only downside was it wasn’t covered, and since it rained just about every day, we couldn’t use it as much as we would like. The bathroom was pretty big and the shower was very spacious. Our cabin steward was excellent and always had the room ready to go at the right times. I would take this cabin again in a heartbeat. We had dinner at Cagney’s that night and it was excellent, from the food to the service. My wife and I had the dining package for three meals but I didn’t buy one for my son. Looking at all the menus before the crews and estimating the cost I thought it would be a wash if I paid for his a la cart. That was a mistake. His tab at Cagney’s alone was about $60 so next time I will by him a dining package to match ours. It ended up working out in our favor any, but more on that later. Day two was at sea and we had booked a double go kart ride so I could drive my son around the track. I used to race karts a bit so this was a must do for me. First, we had breakfast in the main dining room (Taste or Savor) as we ended up doing most mornings. Plenty to eat and we always had excellent service. After the first day they remembered us which was nice. And, since my son told everyone it was his birthday week, he always got special treatment. In fact, it felt like the entire crew went out of their way to make sure he had a special cruise. On to the go karts and the experience was pretty disappointing. We were told to arrive about 15 minutes before our 9am reservation, which we did. By nine we were climbing into the kart and ready to hit the track. We would be the only ones on the track, which was actually goo, because the double karts are so wide I don’t think we could have passed anyone. We were told we would get four laps but actually only got three. So, after a few minutes (and about $15) we were done. I think we walked off at about 9:05. That was it? That was it. I wouldn’t do that again. Later we met my wife and had lunch at Food Republic. It continued the theme of good food and service on the ship. We tried a variety of small plates and like them all. I think our total at the end was about $60. We enjoyed the ship that afternoon and then headed for an early dinner at Teppanyaki because we had reservations for Havana at 7:30 that night. Our Teppanyaki reservation was at 5:15 and we were seated at the table by them. By 5:45 all the other tables had a chef but we did not. Since we had a show reservation my wife went to ask when we would get started. Finally, at 6:oo, we get our chef. We sat for 45 minutes with nothing. I though that was strange. Anyway, the chef was good and we enjoyed the food. My wife and I agreed that this was our least favorite meal on the ship. The good news was because of the delay, the didn’t charge us for our son’s meal, which was how not buying him a dining package ended up working out. I though that was excellent customer service. We didn’t ask for anything or make a fuss, they just took care of it. We really appreciated that. I’ve read mixed reviews of Havana but we really enjoyed it. Plot? Who cares? The singing and dancing were really good and we all liked the show. Plus, it wasn’t too long and drawn out. Some have commented the costumes were too skimpy. We live in Hawaii, and if you’ve been to a luau, the Havana costumes were no skimpier than that. Anyway, just our experience, YMMV. The next day we arrived in Juneau, which by far was out most disappointing day. I checked the weather forecast a week out and figured our float plane flight to Taku Glacier Lodge would be cancelled. NCL left us a voicemail in our cabin the day before saying all excursions involving flights were subject to cancellation (of course) BUT they wouldn’t tell us until we were off the ship at and at the meeting point. So, if we’re cancelled, we have little time to find something else to do. I woke up, look out the window, and it was foggy and rainy. No way we were going to fly. However, we had to get off the ship, walk to the meeting point, give the bus driver our tickets, sit on the bus for five minutes only to have the bus driver get back on the bus and tell us we were cancelled. NCL could have been more proactive here to give us better rescheduling options. I hopped off the bus and started to ask around trying to find the one NCL rep that could actually help us find something else. Finally found her. We were scheduled for a salmon bake at Taku Lodge, and my son really loves salmon, so we found another option. We had some time to kill so we walked in the rain into town, had some snack and drinks, and walked back. We didn’t really enjoy Juneau too much. Took the bus to the salmon bake and they did a great job. We all had plenty to eat, and I especially enjoyed their chowder. Our van driver back to the ship grew up where we now live in Hawaii…small world! The next day we had an early, and long, day in Skagway. I think we had breakfast at the buffet that morning and I didn’t like it at all. Two many people and too crazy. I felt like I was always getting bumped into. I’d much rather sit down and be served…just more my speed. We did the excursion where you take a bus to Carcross in Canada and then the White Pass Railway back to Skagway. I love trains and had done this excursion about 30 years ago. The bus ride was really loooooong but the scenery was beautiful. Carcross was our lunch stop and was disappointing. They had the restaurant for lunch, a museum and petting zoo. It was just us and about a thousand of our closest friends. My wife and son really wanted to see a sled dog puppy and got there wish. The train ride was as spectacular as I remembered it, although the rain and clouds made it a bit less scenic. It was such a long, long day that we headed straight back to the ship and didn’t bother walking around Skagway. Next time I’ll pick a shorter excursion and explore the town. We had dinner at Taste or Savor and it was a good as always. The next day, Glacier Bay, was a highlight (as you can imagine). We woke up early so we could be one of the first on the bow when they opened it up. It was a little after 8am when they did and we got a spot right on the rail. It was so cold!! On the way to the first glacier I saw two pods or Orca, a humpback whale, a whale I couldn’t identify, and plenty of otters and puffins. I was really cool. By the time we got to the first glacier the bow was a madhouse, just a crush of people. I realized our balcony was about 50 feet away on the same deck, so why are we with all these folks? We headed back to the cabin and had the same spectacular view all too ourselves. I mentioned we were right near the Waterfront as well, so for the rest of Glacier Bay, we headed there any walked from one side of the ship to the other to catch the best view. It was busy but not crowded at all…and they have bars! Dinner that night was at Q. The portions were so big and the food was good BBQ. They really do a good job with the four types of sauces. Next up Ketchikan, which ended up being our favorite port. I thought our son would enjoy the Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show so I booked it on my own. We got off the ship early and made the short walk to the show. We were so early that we needed to kill some time and headed to Creek Street. We were the only ones there (nothing was open) which was fine because we avoided the cruise ship crush of people. Back to the lumberjack show and we had so much fun. Yes it was cheesy but in a good way. And the things those guys can do with saws, axes and logs. Wow! We all loved it and I’d see it again. Next was lunch next door at The Alaska Fish House. Really good fish and chips. We did some shopping and then I had the Ketchikan Historic Walking Tour app on my phone, so we decided to give it a try. It was so interesting. We didn’t have time to get through the while thing, but really saw and learned a lot. Plus, found a spot on the creek where salmon were swimming upstream. Really need to see. Great day in Ketchikan. Another great dinner at Taste/Savor and then off to Jersey Boys. It was another great show and we all loved it. All the performers were so talented. Yes, they say a lot of ‘bad words’ but nothing my son hasn’t heard from me while watching football. Victoria is that short, late night port stop. I had booked a carriage ride with Tally-Ho Carriage Tours. Before that we spent our last day on the ship hanging out and packing. We had dinner that night at Los Lobos. The Mexican food was pretty good, I have to say. Really enjoyed the tableside guacamole. This is where we had the worst service of the trip, very slow and forgetful server but we had time. It was warm enough that we were able to sit outside on the Waterfront which was awesome. Great views of Mt. baker and the city as we ate dinner. I wish we would have had dinner outside more often, it’s a spectacular setting. We got off the ship and walked about 30 minutes to the carriage ride meeting point. Took about a 50-minute scenic trip about the city, very pleasant. They were able to drop us off at the port so we didn’t have to worry about the 30 minute walk back. Appreciated that. It was late, so we had a could of farewell drinks and then off to bed. Early debarkation in the morning. We had signed up for the Port Valet service where they check you in for your flight home and take your bags to the airport for you. The night before they had delivered out boarding passes and bag tags to our cabin. We put the tags on the bags and had them out by 11pm. That morning in Seattle, we got to Taste/Savor at 6:30am, right when they opened for breakfast. I was surprised because it wasn’t crowded at all. For Port Valet, they ask you be off the ship by 8am. The ship cleared at a about 7:15, and we finished breakfast just after 7:30. We had assisted debarkation and met the access staff at the internet café. We waited a few minutes and they escorted us off the ship at the uncrowded rear gangway just before 8am. We merged into a long line with the forward gangway passengers and I thought this might take a while, but the line kept moving at walking pace. We should the customs officers our passports and that was that. Cruise over! Our flight wasn’t until 5:30pm, so I booked a Pike Place food tour with Savor Seattle Food Tours. This was outstanding. It ran from 10am to noon and we hit about eight locations in the market. We tried everything from Greek yogurt, to cheese, to chowder, to donuts, to cherries, to crab cakes and more. Some locations at 45-minute waits for their food but we got to cut the line. Everything was so, so good and we learned about the history of the market. We had planned on eating lunch after the tour but were way too full. Instead we did a little shopping at stopped at a ginger beer bar. Then it was off to the airport. Of course, we didn’t have to check in or check out bags and there was no line at security. Had some dinner and boarded the flight. When we arrived home, our backs were there too. I highly recommend the free Port Valet service if you qualify. Some notes… We did spend a bit of time in the Observation Lounge and it’s a beautiful space. Great for Alaska, of course. It was usually crowded but we tended to go later in the evening and were able to find seating. Have a bar and (usually) some small bites was great. We saw the Beatles tribute band twice. Once in the Cavern Club (get there 45 minutes early) and once in the main theater. They played different sets and were really good. Also enjoyed the band Siglo many times, the piano duet, and the solo piano player. All were great to listen to over drinks. Never tried the pool or slides…way too cold for me. But, there were die hards out there having a great time. It was fun to watch people get stuck on the looping slide! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Excuse the length of this but wanted to include everything I could remember and also some pre and post trip information. I traveled with my husband, 3 kids (12,16,19) and elderly parents (mid 70’s). This was our very first cruise. We ... Read More
Excuse the length of this but wanted to include everything I could remember and also some pre and post trip information. I traveled with my husband, 3 kids (12,16,19) and elderly parents (mid 70’s). This was our very first cruise. We traveled July 14-21. Pre-cruise: We flew into Seattle early afternoon on Friday. We rented a car through Avis and picked up at the rental center. We drove from the airport to Port Angeles which took about 2 hours. We really wanted to some hikes at Olympic National Park prior to the cruise. In Port Angeles we stayed at the Olympic Lodge. One of the few “nice” hotels in Port Angeles. Did a waterfront walk starting at Francis park and had dinner at Kokopellis which was very good but a bit pricey. Saturday we drove into Olympic National Park and spent a good portion of the day doing hikes around Lake Crescent including Marymere Falls. We also drove up to Hurricane Ridge and walked around. Well worth the trip. Saturday night we drove back to Seattle and stayed at the Sleep Inn near the airport. It was as expected for a lower end hotel but very nice staff. Getting on ship: Sunday morning, I dropped of my parents, kids and luggage at the pier at 9am while my husband and I went to return the rental car. There is an Avis/Budget rental car on 1919 5th Ave. About a 15 minute walk (less than a mile) to the pier. We were all checked in by 9:45. We received boarding group 2 and were on the ship by 11:15. We immediately went to Deck 6, the Social to book laser tag, go-karts and the escape room (escape the big top) We had pre-booked shows and dining. We did not do the dining plan but you can book Manhattan, Taste and Savor early as well. Book as much as you can early. Go to book other things as soon as you get on the ship. Cabins: We made it into our cabins about 1pm. We went on the cheap so we could spend money on excursions. We had 2 family 1 regular inside stateroom. My husband and I were in 12641 the kids 12637. Our room had the big bed in the middle with 2 bunks in ceiling, the kids had 2 twins and 2 bunks that could come down from ceiling. They had one dropped the first night and kept that open. My parents were in 13451 with one bunk that come out of the wall and the main big bed. I thought the cabins were plenty roomy enough. There is a definite lack of storage though and we had stuff stored all over the place. I brought 10 magnetic hooks which were great for the backpacks, jackets, hats and gloves. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07GVCSGTX/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 Hair dryer is great which was surprising. I had packed mine just in case. Water pressure and temperature in shower and sink were also good. We only felt rocking the evening after Glacier Bay. Never really felt it unless sitting on the pot. TMI? Dining: Again we did no specialty dining and really didn’t see the need for it. Breakfast we did in the buffet. My parents really enjoyed Taste and Savor for breakfast. I think we only ate breakfast 4 of the days. Garden Café has lots of choices for breakfast and they are all ok. I don’t like the fact at how crowded it is and how often you have to get up for drink refills and coffee. The food is never hot which I also don’t like but for a buffet it is fine. We only went to dinner at the buffet once and that was because we had a short time span between laser tag and the Jersey boys show. It was fine for dinner. We went on Alaska night which had a lot of seafood which my husband enjoyed. Most dinners were at Manhattan or Taste/Savor. My youngest age 12 had the New York Strip every night. It was hit or miss on the cooking and quality. Some nights a perfect medium, sometimes overcooked and once near raw. Sometimes it was a bit thin and fatty others it was perfect. He LOVED the Caesar salad and would often eat 2 at dinner. One night asking for one for dessert! We always found plenty of appetizers we wanted to order and several things from the entrée menu. I thought it had a good variety of specials each night and we usually ordered one of those. The only disappointing thing is it is always a long meal. Plan on 2 hours for dinner. Our favorite place was the Local. I loved their Cobb salad and had one about every day. My boys (12 and 19) loved the burgers and wings. They didn’t try anything else on the menu as they loved it. We ate lunch here most days as it is quick and good. We would get chairs above the Atrium to watch whatever show was going on. Your food comes out quickly so if you order appetizers you won’t be done with them before the entrée comes out. We did lunch one day at Savor and it was also great. We never went to buffet for lunch. I loved that we could wear anything to any of the restaurants as we aren’t fancy people and are happy in jeans and sweatshirts or shorts and t-shirts. I also loved that from the app I could book a new dinner reservation if we wanted to eat earlier or later that day. There were always something available in the complimentary dining places and we never had a wait even when we didn’t have reservations. Common areas: The pool deck was great even though it is a bit small and can get crowded. We were able to find seats and enjoyed the first day and last day up there most of the day. If hungry you can bring food from Garden Café out to seating. We loved the Waterfront. It was never crowded and we would sit outside there a lot and have drinks. The Atrium was a bit of a nightmare. I don’t understand why they would have such a small area for so many people. The seating is poorly designed and it would be better suited to have stadium seating or something so more people could sit and enjoy it. Go to the Local and watch from above. The Atrium area was always packed and we only once scored folding chairs after searching and dragging them over to the bar area. My parents were on the Not so Newlywed game and we were in the WAY back for that. I don’t know why they don’t utilize the Bliss theatre for more things. Which brings me to activities. Activities: I thought the amount of activities for teens were lacking. It kind of sucked for us since our kids are in 3 different age groups and they actually like hanging out together. There was no “club” they could go to together. They liked the game shows in the atrium but again always crowded. Other than that there wasn’t anything to do on the cold rainy days. Kids liked the go-karts and we all loved the laser tag. I wish we had signed up for the laser tag more than once. Worth the money. The Arcade is pretty small and not worth the money for the few unlimited games with the prepay. The 12 year old went twice and spent about $20. Of course we told him no more than $20 a day and he went twice and spent about $10 each time. We saw Havana and all I can say is Yawn. They are talented performers but no story line and we all found it incredibly boring especially the slow songs. The 12 year old took a hard pass and went back to the cabin. We all loved Jersey Boys though. Even the 12 year old boy liked it. Yes, some cussing but they are pretty much desensitized to that by their horrible parents. ;0) Bars: We only got one free at sea option so went for the drink package. Lots of fun bars and great drinks. Unfortunately we usually drank too much during the day to rally and do much at night. We did do a bar crawl or two where we tried to hit as many as we could by having one drink at each before moving on. We liked the mojito bar but drinks can be pretty sweet after one. They make great Moscow mule everywhere. We also liked the Dark and Stormy but some places made it better than others. District Brew house has a great selection of beers but the On Tap cocktails were a bit strange. We drank them anyways. Excursions: - All excursions booked off ship months in advance. So much cheaper than booking through NCL. My parents couldn’t be as active as we were so they did not do the excursions with us. 5 people for each excursion adds up quickly! $$ • Juneau - We walked around town a bit as our excursion wasn’t until 5:50. We ate lunch at Tracy’s King Crab shack. It was a bit expensive but you have to try the King Crab while you are here. It was fabulous. We shared 2 legs, 2 soups and 4 crab cakes. I didn’t share my beer though. For our excursion we did the Glacier and Dog Sledding trip through Coastal Helicopters. Pricey at $550 a person (NCL $100 more a person) but well worth it. We were lucky we had hats, gloves, fleece and rain coats as it was very cold. Dog camp was awesome though and everything was very professional and informative. The van driver even took us out of the way on the way back to see so many bald eagles it was amazing. Highly recommend this once in a lifetime experience. On and off ship was easy and everything ran smoothly. • Skagway – We packed a lot into this day. Our pre-booked excursion wasn’t until 1:30. We took our time getting off ship and made it into town around 10am. We went to the tour desk in town and asked what we could do and be back by 1:30. We did the Summit Express. Walked into town and caught a van for a 90 round trip minute drive to the top of the summit into Canada and back. We had to go back on ship and get our passports before meeting the van. We didn’t have to go through border crossing in Canada but we did coming back into Alaska. Great tour guide that answered questions and made lots of stops for pictures. Cost was $37 a person. We then went to lunch at the Smokehouse. Great BBQ and beer. Our pre-booked excursion was the Glacier ATV tour. It was a 6 hour excursion that I think was about $350 a person maybe a little more. We took a boat to an area to ATV. The boat ride was about an hour each way and the crew did a great job with pointing things out and telling stories. The ATVs were a blast. Each one holds 4 people but my husband and I had one to ourselves and my kids had another. My 19 year old had a blast driving as did my husband. We were right next to the glacier and got some amazing pictures. We were also on the coast and got to explore that as well. They do provide lunch but we were glad we ate before. Apple sauce, trail mix and some nasty turkey sandwich. Loved talking to the people who work there and hearing their stories as to how they got there. On and off ship was easy and everything ran smoothly. Even going back to get passports was not an issue. • Ketchikan – My husband, father and boys had a salmon fishing trip booked for 7:15. They got in a waiting area early and were there to meet the Captain at 7:10. Can’t believe how smoothly everything goes with getting on and off the ship. They id Ketchikan Charter boats with Captain Dan. I believe it was about $250 a person. They had an amazing time. Caught about 17 fish and were able to keep 8. Captain Dan was great and he even called a bald eagle down to the ship to catch a fish when he threw it. They packed up 18.5 lbs of salmon that was shipped to our house and arrived today (Tuesday). It cost about $200 to ship the prepared fish to us but again, once in a lifetime experience. My mom, daughter and I did the Alaska Kayaking experience. I think about $150 a person. I can’t rave about this one enough. It was a couple Mary and Tim who meet us at the pier. We walked to their boat and got on. They drove us out to a cove where they fitted us with water proof pants and jackets and pulled down the kayaks. My daughter and I were in one and my mom road with Tim. My mother had NO intention of getting in the kayak. She took a bad fall in Olympic National Park on Saturday and was very bruised, plus she had a pace maker put in 4 weeks ago where she couldn’t raise her arm fully. Tim convinced her and he seriously lifted her in and out of the kayak so gently. We saw 100’s of starfish, sea urchins, a sea lion, a minks and sea anemones. It was such a personal tour. We felt like we were the only ones on the water. They only take up to 4 people but if you get a chance book this excursion. Alaskakayakcompany.com • Victoria – I had mixed feelings on this one. It seemed stupid to get off the ship this late at night and we had nothing planned. Well my daughter is an explorer like me and we decided to go for it. Everyone else stayed on the ship. We walked off the ship with no plan. We were greeted by Graham the pedicab driver. A pedicab is essentially a guy biking you around the city. It was $75 a person which we initially thought was way too much. We decided to do it and were so happy we did. Graham was an awesome driver and peddled us all through the city. He even made us stop at a chocolate store where he bought us chocolate covered maple bars which he said we must try in Canada. The city is beautiful and clean. We saw so many sights in the 2 ½ hours and took lots of great pictures. He told us cool ghost stories and other things. Definitely give it a try and ask for Graham! Leaving the ship – We packed our luggage up the night before and left out to pick up in the morning. Go early to pick up tags as there weren’t many left when we went. We wanted a late disembarkment which we got though. We woke up at 8 and headed to Garden Café for some breakfast. They called our color tags around 9:15. There was a line but it moved quickly. We found our luggage easily and walked outside. We went out to the right and took the elevator to the 5th floor. We walked across the bridge to a less populated area. I thin walked to back to the car rental place and picked up our van. I drove back down the street and loaded everyone up with no problems. We spent some time doing tourist things in Seattle. Not a very clean city and had lots of homeless. We did the Underground Tour, Public Market and Wings over Washington. I don’t think Wings over Washington was worth the $20 a person unless you have never done Soaring at Epcot. Very similar to that. Underground tour is good and this was the second time we have done it. The other time was 20 years ago. We had lunch at Pike’s Place Brewery, very good. We drove back towards the airport and again stayed at the Sleep Inn. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
My family of 4 had a great experience with NCL on our recent trip to Alaska. We traveled with my parents who are experienced cruisers on different lines (RCCL, Princess, and Disney) we have only sailed with Disney. Here are our pros and ... Read More
My family of 4 had a great experience with NCL on our recent trip to Alaska. We traveled with my parents who are experienced cruisers on different lines (RCCL, Princess, and Disney) we have only sailed with Disney. Here are our pros and cons. Pro: Beautiful ship! Loved the Waterfront, beautiful area to walk around outside. Great place for whale and other wildlife watching. Lots of entertainment, always something going on so we were never bored. Kids (both age 11) loved the pools and water slide. They did not weigh enough for the body slide so they only did the tube slide and kids slide. They loved how warm the water was (my kids and others were swimming in 65 degree weather, sun was nice and warm when it was out!). They LOVED Splash Academy! Had lots of fun there and was constantly checking out the Splash Academy itinerary and the daily freestyle for daily events. Food was over all good. Nothing really stood out. We only ate at the complimentary dining so cannot comment on the specialty restaurants but didn’t feel like we missed out. Loved the heaters by the Garden Cafe so we could eat outside on cold days but still feel warm and enjoy a quieter dining experience. Jersey Boys was excellent. Highly recommend this show. Embarkation and finial debarkation were easy. Others experienced poor experience with finial debarkation but we walked right off with no wait. Friendly service throughout the entire ship. Race track and laser tag were lots of fun but be prepared to bundle up for laser tag. We went on a warmer day but being on the highest deck it was cold and windy!! Cons: We had a balcony room and it felt tight for 4 of us. When they made our room up they always left the couch as a bed and never turned it back to a couch during the day. Our room had the bed close to the balcony and couch next to the closet. Didn’t really care for that design as it was hard to get into the closet and onto the balcony. My parents room was opposite with the bed next to the closet and in my opinion a much nicer layout and easier to move around in with several people in the room, but they had no bunk bed option in that room. No self laundry, they have a day where you can stuff the laundry bag and have it washed for $20 but the bag is small and rips very easily. You have to pay and make reservations for the race track and laser tag, things that on other lines you don’t have to pay for. You have to make reservations for many activities (laser tag, race track, comedy show, most shows in the main theater, and some activities like Canvas by U and such) if you don’t make reservations you risk missing out. Haven was terrible, simple as that. No family show. Would have been nice to have 1 show that our whole family could see together. Havana and Jersey Boys are not that family friendly. Short port times in Ketchikan and Victoria. We almost didn’t get off the ship in Victoria because we had already saw most things would be closed but decided to get off and walk to Fisherman’s Warf. Glad we did as it’s super cute! We were suppose to get off at 8 but we weren’t cleared until 8:30. Observation longe was always crowed and hard to find a seat. Great idea on NCLs part but just like pool lounge hogs, people hog the chairs in there not allowing others to take advantage of them. Overall we all had a wonderful time and would absolutely sail this ship again. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
Embarkartion was a quick process. We boarded much faster then I thought it might be. We had plenty of time to explore the ship before we were allowed in staterooms. Staterooms ere comfortable, clean and well appointed. The dining ... Read More
Embarkartion was a quick process. We boarded much faster then I thought it might be. We had plenty of time to explore the ship before we were allowed in staterooms. Staterooms ere comfortable, clean and well appointed. The dining experiences were wonderful! The Garden Cafe' had a plethora of food choices- many cultures, flavors, and tastes represented. The other restaurants were a pleasant experience good selection of foods each day and night. Performance entertainment choices were varied with something for most adults to chose from. Plenty of activities for all ages, abilities, and preferences. Port excursions were interesting but overpriced, but enjoyable and offered new experiences for cruisers. The day in Glacier Bay National Park was the icing on the cake! The National Park Rangers were fabulous guides for the day. They gave interesting and accurate information- something for every age level. The staff made the trip! First class service, exceptionally friendly, unqualified level of professionalism. From their warm welcomes to the sad farewells, we were made to feel like family. Everyday- at every meal, at every activity, at every location, service was top notch. Yet with a ship this size, with a group of ,000 cruisers, and with a staff of 1,700 we never felt crowded or overwhelmed- except at the first port of call, Juneau. There was a crush of people eager to get out enjoy our first Alaska city experience. Who can blame us! It was worth the wait. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
The Bliss is a beautiful ship- immaculately clean and well maintained! The crew is extremely helpful and friendly- they are the ones that really make the whole experience. The dining options were varied and top notch, we especially enjoyed ... Read More
The Bliss is a beautiful ship- immaculately clean and well maintained! The crew is extremely helpful and friendly- they are the ones that really make the whole experience. The dining options were varied and top notch, we especially enjoyed Savor, the buffet, and Q Texas Barbecue. Cagney's Steakhouse and Food Republic were so-so, in our opinion. The 7-day Alaska itinerary is awesome, our favorite port of call was Skagway and sailing through Glacier Bay was amazing. If you are a National Parks Passport nerd like myself, don't forget to take yours on this trip- there are park rangers that come aboard the Bliss to stamp your parks passport for Glacier Bay and narrate the tour. Don't miss the White Pass Railway in Skagway- the tour is definitely worth the money and the views are breathtaking. We were seated on the caboose- try to sit there if you can- it is great for taking photos because you have an unobstructed view when standing on the back platform. Take your camera! The Mendenhall Glacier and whale watching tour in Juneau sponsored by Alaska Tales was also well worth the money. Hannah was an excellent tour guide and Luke was a great captain. The hovercraft tour in Ketchikan was also a really unique experience- I am not sure how much wildlife we saw- really only some seals and eagles, but the experience of traveling on a hovercraft and seeing firsthand how it works is really the coolest part. Carter was an excellent tour guide on the hovercraft. The biggest disappointment of our trip was the stop in Victoria, BC. The ship was almost an hour late in getting cleared by Canadian customs and we had booked the Butchart Gardens Express tour. By the time the charter bus drove the 35-40 minutes each way to the gardens, we really only had about 75 minutes there to explore a 55 acre area. It was very frustrating. Since this was a night time tour, only the footpaths of the gardens were illuminated, so it was very discouraging because you had a feeling the whole time that you were missing so much that would have been apparent during the daylight hours. It cost the three of us in our party $335 to go on the Butchart Express Tour- definitely a rip off for 75 minutes of not being able to see that much. The Victoria stop was the weakest part of the trip itinerary- either Norwegian needs to allow for more time in Victoria or they need to stop doing the Butchart tour- there is just not enough time to transport passengers 35 minutes each way and then have enough time to even see anything once you are there. Since this was our last port of call, it left the trip on a sour note. Jersey Boys was an excellent show- I have seen the Broadway production of this and I think that the Bliss did a wonderful job of adapting this to a smaller stage. The actors/actresses were top notch. Great job! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
We have been on many cruises and cruise lines. My husband has done over 25 cruises. Quick Summary: Ship - Beautiful, a little choppy not as open. Maybe because it was made for Alaska. Embarkation - Easy Debarkation - ... Read More
We have been on many cruises and cruise lines. My husband has done over 25 cruises. Quick Summary: Ship - Beautiful, a little choppy not as open. Maybe because it was made for Alaska. Embarkation - Easy Debarkation - Nightmare Ports - Beautiful Port times - Horrible, we only had a couple hours in two ports and Glacier bay was 4/5 hours (not all day) Cabin: beautiful and new.. not much difference in the categories though. Hot tubs: kicked out every night at 10:00pm Pool: small Go Karts - $15 per ride, tiny track Laser Tag - not free never did it Messaging App: Gliched often missed messages and $9.95 per person Specialty dining: amazing food Buffet: average Staff: Just ok, not nearly as friendly as other trips. A rude staff member asked my 19 year old where his parents were. Excursions: Great! You must book excursions most days or you will be bored due to the horrible short port times. Shows/activities: just ok, Jersey boys was good, Havana and comedy show were bad. Overall the cruise was extremely expensive and there was an upcharge for everything you walked by. Beware!!! You will spend much more money on board if you have children. We booked this cruise way in advance with a group of 10 in 4 rooms and we grossly overpaid. They had the same rooms a thousand less per person 90 days before. We called and we got a 25% of total difference credit and some room upgrades. Robbed!!! I suggest you book 90 days before when sales run and people didn’t pay in full. We are done with NCL for now or maybe cruising all together. We spent 13k without airfare for 2 mini suites for 4 people. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
Seattle to/from fit our travel plans best. We spent a couple days prior visiting Seattle. Embarkation was easy. The (experienced cruisers with Carnival) couple that joined us said they had never had it that easy. Ship was clean and ... Read More
Seattle to/from fit our travel plans best. We spent a couple days prior visiting Seattle. Embarkation was easy. The (experienced cruisers with Carnival) couple that joined us said they had never had it that easy. Ship was clean and full of activities. Crew was magnificent. Dining food and experience was wonderful. Entertainment was Great! Ports were fascinating. A couple of the excursions were not really as they were marketed, but would have done it again. Looking for a 4-5 day cruise in Caribbean, (NCL agent) was my first call. Only because of a very limited number of choices for me (duration, time frame, location), may need to go to Carnival for this trip with my two kids. Will return to NCL. The worst experience was two dis embarkations. I will label the first ordinary because of the amount of people getting off the ship in Juneau. No problem really. Although, the final port/day exit was crazy. I was part of the airport deal where the ship takes our bags all the way to the airport, to the plane, to my destination. They called down my group as well as those carrying their own bags off the boat. Then we find out the local agency had not yet cleared the boat. The delay was an hour. During that hour the floor we met on filled, elevators could not empty to the floor (they were all full as well), then he worst happened - the ship called down more groups before we started clearing out. This made for a very unpleasant experience. Except for this I would rank this with one of my top vacations ever. Our excursions were managed well by the cruiseline, all tickets were correct, billing accurate, etc. We scheduled 3 excursions: - Whale Watching with Orca Point Lodge in Junea, give it a B. Lodge was not what I expected, dinner was rushed. - Mushing, Sled Dogs in Skagway, give it a A+++++. Loved the dogs, the guide, the entire experience. - WhitePass Train in Skagway, give it a B+, the ride was hot and cramped. Wonderful scenery and history. Jersey Boys show was a highlight on the cruise. We ate at Q, Cagneys and Los Lobos. All were clean, great service. Los Lobos food was standard, the rest was top shelf! We also ate a lot at the Garden Cafe (buffet) and a few times at Taste (Main Dining). Garden Cafe was clean, easy, not too crowded, always found a seat, good food choices. Taste was great, needed a little more change from day to day in the menu but food and service was great! Observation deck was great, but very crowded, we would go to the Garden Cafe and eat near the front where we benefited from the same floor to ceiling windows as the observation deck. I will use NCL again. May go to Alaska again on NCL. Just hope the cruise options are available. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
We were a group of 8 traveling with family which included 3 children (5, 9, 10). We thought it would be fun for them as well as have the opportunity to see Alaska and it's wildlife. Because the ship is so large getting on and off ... Read More
We were a group of 8 traveling with family which included 3 children (5, 9, 10). We thought it would be fun for them as well as have the opportunity to see Alaska and it's wildlife. Because the ship is so large getting on and off took forever. The elevators were almost always crowded. The food, although there was lots of variety all tasted the same--salty, oily, fattening! Not enough healthy choices. The stateroom had a very small balcony and the bed reached almost to the desk. It was cramped and hard to get around, no room for a chair with a back!--we thought we paid for a good stateroom! The ports were interesting but the time was limited. Too much time at sea. We went dogsledding via helicopter in Juneau and that was fabulous! Skagway wildlife excursion was way too long and we saw NO wildlife and the guides seemed uninterested. Because there was a medical emergency we were late getting into Ketchikan and missed opportunities to go on the bear adventure we had planned on. The next day was all at sea and we got to Victoria at night! Took almost an hour to get off the ship, taxi/bus lines were long and we had to be back on board in less than 3 hours! Shops in Victoria were mostly closed, not much else to do. Wished we could have spent the time in Ketchikan. Lots of games and mediocre entertainment on board but how many bingo or deal or no deal games can you play? We wanted to be outside experiencing the wonders of Alaska. WiFI was extra and we had to share it! Only one device at a time! The service was good and the staff was very nice. This ship and this cruise just had too many people and it made it difficult to do anything. I've been to Alaska on Princess much better experience! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
Staterooms were clean but very small in comparison to other ships we've been on. Noise from decks above should not be heard in rooms below in a modern ship. If you book on deck 5, bring your sleeping pills as it will be noisy. ... Read More
Staterooms were clean but very small in comparison to other ships we've been on. Noise from decks above should not be heard in rooms below in a modern ship. If you book on deck 5, bring your sleeping pills as it will be noisy. Photography is a big miss on NCL's part. Photos taken at dinner are strong-arm sold on the spot and are not available once you leave the restaurant. There are plenty of gimmicky backgrounds for pictures and no shortage of NCL badged borders. If I wanted this style of photo, I would have booked with Disney. Needless to say we did not get photos. Royal Carribbean does a much better job with photos. Dining was generally okay but waiters hovered over us while expecting additional tip to be offered on the bill. signing with a tablet is fine but the interface is not ready for the consumer. It had very small font and looks like it was made for the employees. We had this issue at Cagneys. Shore excursions were generally good but overpriced. Do not go on the Bering Sea tour. You might do better to watch an episode of deadliest catch and then visit your local seafood store to see the crabs up close. Waste of money. The shows were raunchy with no notice of content so we had to find out the hard way when we brought our kids to see Havana. The app was useless and it's absurd NCL charges for the ability to e-chat with other cruisers. Overall, a great itinerary but a very poor value and many missed opportunities for NCL. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
The ship is relatively new and it seemed like a good choice. I've only been on one other cruise (3 days from Miami to the Bahamas and back) and was not very impressed. In fact I swore I would never go on another cruise. When we ... Read More
The ship is relatively new and it seemed like a good choice. I've only been on one other cruise (3 days from Miami to the Bahamas and back) and was not very impressed. In fact I swore I would never go on another cruise. When we started talking about this trip I was a little skeptical. Boy was I wrong! We were a group of 25 and had a blast! My family of four had a cabin with a balcony. It was a lot roomier than I expected. A little tight if all four of us were trying to get ready at once so we did it in shifts. The ship was beautiful inside and out. There are plenty places to eat or drink. Our favorites were "The Local" & "MIXX". Merwin the magician & Rudy were great at the local & Willy, Willy at mixx was a blast! We mostly ate at the local or the garden buffet on the top deck. We found that if you want to eat at any of the specialty restaurants make your reservations before boarding. We don't like being on a schedule so we didn't opt for that. The staff/crew were always available and very nice the whole time. They all seem to enjoy their jobs which is rare these days. Another highlight of the trip was the band Siglo on the ship. A very talented group of musicians! We followed them all around the ship to catch them play every chance we got! We did two shore excursions - whale watching in Juneau and a bus tour in Skagway. We saw Orcas and a Humpback whale and the bus tour was nice with fantastic scenery. We booked these on our own - not through Norwegian. Cruising through Glacier Bay was also an incredible experience. All in all it was a great trip and I would definitely do it again! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
We have been on a good amount of cruises but this may have been our favorite. We were traveling with 2 kids (15, 12) and were a bit worried about keeping them occupied on an Alaskan Cruise but the Bliss was absolutely perfect for them. ... Read More
We have been on a good amount of cruises but this may have been our favorite. We were traveling with 2 kids (15, 12) and were a bit worried about keeping them occupied on an Alaskan Cruise but the Bliss was absolutely perfect for them. There were so many activities even though they didn't really use the kids club very much. We were always busy with something---go carts, laser tag, bingo, deal or no deal, etc. Jersey Boys was unbelievable and my wife and I really enjoyed the Beatlemania shows as well. We really enjoyed the food overall. We ate at 3 speciality restaurants--we'd rank them---1) Q Smokehouse (so much food and fun), 2) Teppanyaki (kids loved it), 3) Cagney's (just ok). We ate in the main dining rooms on the other nights and it was totally fine. Really liked the breakfast buffet although it did get crowded at times. The ship is the biggest we have ever been on but most of the time we didn't really feel it. The elevators were tough and we did do a lot of walking up and down steps but it didn't really bother us. There were also some backups when we were trying to get off the ship in ports so be careful if you have private tours that leave soon after the ship gets into port. In Juneau, we had to call because we were running late getting off the ship. We thought the service overall on the ship was excellent even though we really didn't get to know any staffers too well. Alaska was amazing. We lucked out and hit a heat wave which made everything a bit more pleasant. Glacier Bay was incredible and we enjoyed watching from the pool deck and the observation lounge. This whole cruise was just great. We love Norwegian and look forward to our next cruise with them Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
My family and I picked this cruise to celebrate my 50th birthday. We had an excellent time. Loved the ship, crew, and ports we visited. Great food and plenty of activities to keep us occupied. Overall it exceeded my expectations. We ... Read More
My family and I picked this cruise to celebrate my 50th birthday. We had an excellent time. Loved the ship, crew, and ports we visited. Great food and plenty of activities to keep us occupied. Overall it exceeded my expectations. We upgraded our cabin to balcony cabin and it was well worth it. I highly recommend that. There’s incredible views you won’t want to miss at all Hours of the day. We were lucky enough to see lots of whales (Humpback and Orcas), Eagles, Sea Otters and a Sea Turtles. Also loved seeing the Glaciers. The ship was extremely clean and the staff were really friendly, professional and helpful. The entertainment was terrific. Loved Jersey Boys and Havana. Apparently we were really lucky as it didn’t rain a single drop and the temperatures were in the mid 70s-80s. Strange for Alaska but it worked out well for us. I would recommend this trip to anyone! The only complaint is that You need To pay for WiFi and it’s very expensive. It should be included. It was a bit challenging to communicate with the group of people we were traveling with or with our families at home. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Food was great in the specialty dining where you had to pay lots of extra money. Nothing is cheap on this cruise. Everything is extra even the free drinks in Drink Package as they add on a 20% gratuity to every drink. The Wifi sucks. ... Read More
Food was great in the specialty dining where you had to pay lots of extra money. Nothing is cheap on this cruise. Everything is extra even the free drinks in Drink Package as they add on a 20% gratuity to every drink. The Wifi sucks. Forget your Laptop. The entertainment ,was good. Stateroom was tight as we continually kept bumping the bed as we walked past it. the Stateroom was poorly designed. A large bathroom was nice. but they could not remove the barrier on our deck as we had the grand kids in the next room and wanted to expand our deck i don't like Carnival cruises. But at least they were able to move the barrier if requested. the food is very subjective but the quality from the main dining room to specialty dining was obvious of their intensions PAY THE EXTRA TO GET FINE DINING. The Fitness Center was over crowded and had to wait for a machine. and no place to set a mat down to Plank. But this was for the Grandkids and they enjoyed it Being their first cruise.plus every thing is extra . The ship was very clean.very nice looking. but have stayed in places where all the money went into appearance not quality. The grandkids did not use the teenage lounge so no comment. . I would skip the Lager ships and try a smaller one . Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
We wanted to do an Alaska itinerary. We have sailed, Disney, Holland, and Celebrity, first time on Norwegian. I have kids 20, 19, 14, and 13. The brand new Norwegian Bliss seemed like the perfect blend for our crew. The Alaska itinerary ... Read More
We wanted to do an Alaska itinerary. We have sailed, Disney, Holland, and Celebrity, first time on Norwegian. I have kids 20, 19, 14, and 13. The brand new Norwegian Bliss seemed like the perfect blend for our crew. The Alaska itinerary is much more relaxed and there is a lot more at sea time, so I wanted to pick a ship that had some fun things to do when we weren't in port. The ship itself is really beautiful. We had two connecting mini-suites, but were disappointed the verandahs did not connect. We were told they are made to connect but didn't have approval so couldn't unlock them yet... They are great size for a cruise ship room, full closet and decent storage. The bathrooms in the mini- suites were worth the price of the upgrade alone. Huge walk in shower with a multi-feature spa shower head, large trough style sink with two faucets and vanity with nice storage for toiletries. We had two beds combined into one large bed in one suite, with the pullout single bed, and the other room two single beds, and one single pullout bed. The 13 and 14 year old slept on the single pullout beds. They were small and fairly hard. The bottom sheet and pillow was placed on the bed along with a folded blanket at the foot of the bed. Each night I had to make up the beds and pull out a top sheet from a drawer bellow the bed. Our room attendants seemed very sweet, but we could tell right away he spoke and understood very little English. After trying to request more blankets for both rooms and only getting an extra for one. It worked better to just call and ask for what we needed and let the concierge translate. On the first night we went to the main dining room, I have two type 1 diabetics. My daughter's blood sugar started to go low and I couldn't get a servers attention so I went to find her a soda to quickly and quietly resolve the situation. Upon returning to my seat, the server quickly came over and was overly apologetic that I had to get my own beverage. I promptly explained that it was no big deal and that I just needed to get a soda quickly and that it was for a medical condition, again I could tell she didn't really understand and told me that her manager had spoken to her about the situation. I asked to speak to her manager and again explained that our server was great and that I needed to act quickly, no big deal. But I could tell it was a big deal, and I felt really awful, I felt like our server was going to get in trouble. very awkward! We did have the 3 night specialty dining and beverage package and the premium beverage/alcohol package for my husband and me. I found that there was no way we could possibly drink $90 a day in alcohol, but pretty sure a lot of people did. I would never buy it on my own, but it all was part of a deal when we booked the cruise. But the kids definitely got their money work in soda. Oh, and by the way they have only Pepsi products on board, no Coca Cola, so if you don't like Pepsi don't buy the beverage package. We quickly realized their was no indoor pool. Norwegian sent many emails/ attempts to get me to upgrade to The Haven. This was suppose to be for higher category rooms above mini-suites that had a private key access entrance, a special designated dining room, it's own observation area, and a private sundeck and pool. What I didn't realize is that it took the whole front of the ship and you couldn't access it unless you upgraded to The Haven category rooms. I guess since they added The Haven, it used the space that would have normally been used for an indoor pool. Naievely I didn't look closely enough at the pools and assumed the ship would have one, but it doesn't. Ironically, even if I had upgraded our rooms there still wouldn't have been and indoor pool so I don't really thing their was enough of a benefit for our family. Considering we were on an Alaskan cruise I would have thought that would have been a staple... And there are 4 small hot tubs on the deck above the main pool. Two hot tubs in an adult-only area, and if I remember correctly 1 in an alcove by a bar and I think one more somewhere that I can't remember. The main deck in the middle of the ship that is open to the outside has a medium size kids pool with a splash area next to it, and on the other side and a medium size adult only pool for any one over 18. So this doesn't sound like a problem, right?? But when you are traveling with teenagers they don't want to swim with babies in swim diapers and toddlers, they want to swim with their parents and older siblings, and the adults and older siblings don't want to swim in the kiddie pool either because there are too many little people jumping around and lots of parents in the pool to supervise. It is chaos, and that is ok. There was a time when that was me, but now I want to be able to enjoy swimming with my older kids and relax a bit too, but no that wasn't gonna happen. The choices were kiddie pool. That's it! Even thought the adult only pool was right there in the middle of the main deck, not in a separate adult only area. Right there taunting us, but we couldn't swim together as a family, and oh by the way we had record temperatures during one of our days at sea, but no pool for my teens to swim in. This leads to another issue. The glorious waterslide that they feature on all those great Norwegian commercials. My kids were so excited to use it. They couldn't wait... Except little did we know, it is NEVER open!! The slide hours were from 2-5 everyday. Only 3 hours a day, and remember 4 days you are on shore excursions. The first day you board I am pretty sure it wasn't open, the next day we were at sea but it was cold so that limited its use, the record 90 degree day we were on the deck fairly early thinking this was slide and pool day, only to find out it wasn't open until 2 and closed at 5. That day the deck was packed and it stayed light until 11pm so why in the work wouldn't they have kept the slides open late, but they didn't. Pools closed by 7 and slides closed at 5, and hot tubs closed at 10 like clockwork everyday. Every night my youngest would hurry through dinner in hopes that they would have time to hot tub before it closed. Moving on to the glorious go-cart track that again, my kids couldn't wait to do. Yeah, that ended up not being all it was cracked up to be either. So my kids ended up doing it twice. What you discover quickly is that they mix up little kids who they allow to drive their own cart with older kids and adults, so you have kids that have no idea how to drive that get stuck constantly on corners or go really, really slow because they can barely touch the gas pedal, and they continually have to stop the race and help them. It makes for a very frustrating experience. This was a really cool concept, and is actually really something to see. It is a full size track on the top of a cruise ship, but honestly at $20 per ride probably more interesting to see than worth the money to do... As for the food, it was pretty good. We have been on alot of cruises, it is a lot of people to feed and I can't even imagine what it takes to pull it off. The quality of the food was pretty good, it still seemed like a lot of processed food,fresh veggies were pretty hard to find, salads were very basic not a lot of choices, fruit was basics what you would expect. Deserts were pretty disappointing, and the biggest disappointment was my 14 year old loves chocolate chip cookies and they were nearly impossible to find. They were only available 4 days out of the 7 on the ship. They would be scooped up quickly so you had to act fast, and actually they weren't even very good. I feel like that is such a staple, chocolate chip cookies should always be available and they should be really delicious! The specialty restaurants added a little more interest to the dining, and actually the BBQ one was one of our favorites. The food was good but what we enjoyed most was the live music. The Italian restaurant was good, maybe slightly better that what you would get in the main dining, and the Mexican restaurant was good as well, the table side guacamole was really good. One thing we did notice was we tended to eat dinner around 7:30-8. On other cruise lines we always did later dining, sometimes even 9-9:30, but everynight we noticed by 8:30-9 that restaurants and dining room started closing down. Tables started emptying out, the servers looked beat and you could tell they were starting to prepare for closing. It just seemed odd, but we noticed it after about the third night. If you went upstairs for a late night snack, by 11 everything started closing down as well. I get it, the staff was ready to be done, but on other cruise line the staff rotated shifts so people always seemed fresher. On this cruise the staff seemed tired, and a little beat down. Not sure if it was working conditions, or really demanding travelers, but the staff just seemed different than on other cruise lines. I did use the gym and fitness classes 4 times. They had a really nice gym, equipment was nice and new, and spin room and TRX room as well. Unfortunately the class sign up system was really unorganized and every time they had a spin class some of people that signed up for the class didn't get to take the class, I think they overbooked the classes with the idea that a certain percentage wouldn't show up. Spin was only offered three mornings on the entire cruise and they never had a TRX class. I did take a boot camp class it was ok, not great, but glad I worked out, and of course the classes cost extra. The ports were good but bear in mind I am pretty sure that the inside passage cruise itinerary is the same no matter what cruise line you choose. We followed the same cruise lines in and out of all our ports. But we were truly, amazed at how remote these little towns in Alaska are, but really enjoyed the scenery. Absolutely stunning! I booked all of our excursions separate from the cruise line. We arranged a car to and from Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau, rented a car and drove the Yukon Pass, zip-lined in Ketchikan, and took a cab to and from the town of Victoria for the evening for $10 each way.We enjoyed everything we did, no regrets and we felt like we saw everything we wanted to see. Overall we enjoyed the cruise, we were disappointed overall in Norwegian. My kids were bored at night, everything pretty much shut down by 10. The theatre on board had Prohibition the musical and Jersey Boys, so not exactly family shows. They did play two family movies, Incredibles 2 one night and Jumanji another on the large screen on the main outdoor pool deck. The night they played Incredibles 2 was a day at sea. We had spent the afternoon on the sundeck and thought we would hang out on our lounge chairs and watch the movie. We watched a staff person start to stack the lounge chairs and move them to the side and then set up normal chairs in straight rows like a theatre. He came over and asked us to move our chairs, we were back a ways from the rows and wanted to keep our loungers so basically I told him no. He told me if we didn't move we would not be able to see because of the chairs in front of us. The screen was really large, its a jumbo tron. I explained that you had to look up to see the screen and that people standing wouldn't be in the way, he seemed puzzled and in retrospect I think might have been afraid he was going to get in trouble. I hope he didn't. We all realized several days into the trip that the staff operated like they were afraid, maybe of being fired if they didn't do everything exactly like they were told, or if someone complained... Again I hope we are wrong! We are really glad we decided to do the Alaska Itinerary, it is definately something everyone should consider seeing. As for Norwegian, probably not going to choose it again. We all agreed this ship was not our favorite. The ship itself was beautiful, but everything closed early, not enough activites in the evening for families with older children, unless of course you had kids that liked to do the kids clubs and activities offered. My kids have never been into this, so it wasn't even a consideration for which cruise had the best kids club and activities. We went to the library and got board games several times and that helped but I felt like I had to try and find activities to do which is why we had picked the Norwegian Bliss in the first place. Not enough hot tubs and they were small. No family pool, only a little kids pool and an adult pool. Water slide was open very limited hours only 3 hours, and pretty sure not even the first day on the ship. Oh, and we took the stairs always, we were on the 12th deck and just got use to walking up and down, but a couple of times tried to use the elevators. Impossible! Too many people trying to get up and down a very large ship. Glad we are all very able bodied and in pretty good shape. My advice is make sure you do your thorough research about the ship. I now know to ask more about the ammenities and when you can use them. I am not sure how to ask about the staff, I don't know that you can ever really know that until you experience it, but something just felt different about the staff on this ship?? I know it would be impossible to get everything right for everybody, too many tastes and expectations, but I do believe that I do have a different perspective when booking a cruise without a packed itinerary where you are not in port most days. It definitely changes the importance of the ship and it's amenities. Hopefully, this will be helpful to anyone considering an Alaskan cruise on the Norwegian Bliss traveling with teens not interested in any the teen club, or activities and older kids that are not 21. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
We had an excellent cruise on Norwegian Bliss. We were lucky enough to stay in a Haven Suite and were spoiled rotten. Most everything went smoothly from getting on the ship (ten minutes from the curb to the ship's elevators) to ... Read More
We had an excellent cruise on Norwegian Bliss. We were lucky enough to stay in a Haven Suite and were spoiled rotten. Most everything went smoothly from getting on the ship (ten minutes from the curb to the ship's elevators) to getting off in ports (Haven staff usually escorted us down in a crew elevator). The food was generally good and plentiful. The Haven restaurant is the best dining on Bliss. We were super lucky with weather on our sailing. It was mostly sunny and no rain. The cruise highlight was probably Glacier Bay -- don't miss it if you're selecting an Alaska itinerary. The port highlight was probably Ketchikan and the hiking expedition we took there. We traveled with three teenage boys and they loved all the options. They stuffed themselves at the buffet, drove the go-karts and used the gym. Definitely go visit Alaska by sea, you won't regret it. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We were on the Norwegian Bliss from June 23 til June 29. Our whole experience was incredible. Our cabin, room 12844 was great. Having a balcony was really nice. The size of the room was perfect for my wife and myself. All of the staff ... Read More
We were on the Norwegian Bliss from June 23 til June 29. Our whole experience was incredible. Our cabin, room 12844 was great. Having a balcony was really nice. The size of the room was perfect for my wife and myself. All of the staff took very good care of us. The cabin staff went our of their way to make sure our room was well maintained daily. Always asking if there was anything more they could do for us. The food in the cafeteria was as good as most of the restaurants. The family ate at four of the restaurants. The stake house and the restaurant where they prepare the food in front of you were in my opinion the best.The bar tender in the lounge named "Idaho" took very good care of me. Don't drink much alcohol but when I walked up to his bar he had a Pepsi just poured waiting. He always remembered what i liked. Great guy. We did not do much of the entertainment because we were too busy enjoying the ship activities. The arcade, hot tubes, pool and go cart track keep us busy on the ship including the game show. The only thing I can say that i would of like to changed is the loudness of the music out around the pool area. It was just a little to loud for me. Enjoyed going into town to shop. Wife like the blue Tanzanite jewelry. I know what we bought does not have the same value are other stones but are happy with our purchase and the wife is happy. That is the important part. I enjoyed panning for gold. It was really fun learning the correct way to do it. Norwegian was very professional to have people helping you to get to the correct buses and to have very nice and clean buses to take you where you needed to go. Over all this was a really good week we had. I gave the two rating of "very good" because I heard the shows but opt to not sign up to see them. The same for the fitness rooms. I went in to look around but did not use the equipment. I was on vacation. Thank you Norwegian. Clive Read Less
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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