431 Norwegian Bliss Family Cruise Reviews

Too many people for the number of elevators always a wait, long walk from cabins to elevators. Exits are long walk for elderly cruisers. Add on charges for service costly upcharges for drinks etc, Prices for drinks limits the number of ... Read More
Too many people for the number of elevators always a wait, long walk from cabins to elevators. Exits are long walk for elderly cruisers. Add on charges for service costly upcharges for drinks etc, Prices for drinks limits the number of drinks people order. Drink package options very poor, drinks costly with add on service charges and gradtuity Long walk for elderly On board entertainment limited show times not popular Staff friendly, very hardworking helpful and respectful even under stressful conditions We have been loyal NCL cruisers for over 20 years up untill this cruise we never felt we were being taken advantage of I think the time has come for us to try other cruise lines. The design of the Bliss is not user friendly, We have cruised on the Breakaway several times with less problems getting to a stairway and elevator. We have come to the point that bigger is not always better when it comes to cruise ships. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
My family has sailed on NCL 7 times, the last 6 in The Haven. Once you stay there, it's hard to go back downstairs. We have been on other cruise lines but have become loyal to NCL. The NCL Bliss was absolutely beautiful and well ... Read More
My family has sailed on NCL 7 times, the last 6 in The Haven. Once you stay there, it's hard to go back downstairs. We have been on other cruise lines but have become loyal to NCL. The NCL Bliss was absolutely beautiful and well appointed. We have been on other NCL ships but this was my favorite of their large ships. Do not miss spending time in the Observation Lounge, it is heaven with food, drink, and peaceful alcoves to read, rest, and relax! The Haven areas were wonderful with plenty of comfortable sitting and great service. Also, if you are a Beatles fan, the Beatles Experience tribute band is fantastic! We saw Six and Jersey Boys in the theatre and they were both top notch shows. Book before you get on the ship or you may miss out. We went on the zipline excursion in Roatan (Honduras) that was amazing. The guides are very good and ease your anxieties (I was nervous at first). Great views with 11 lines of varying length and altitudes. I finally got to check something off my bucket list! My only complaint was that throughout the ship the staff seemed to be working double time to cover their areas, which caused some lag time in receiving food, drinks, and services. I guess that is just a given in the current downsizing trend in every sector of industry. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We are a family of five on Deck 5 and went with four additional friends who stayed on Deck 10. We considered ourselves typically non-complainers and easy going for what it's worth. It was easy to notice many complainers on the ship, ... Read More
We are a family of five on Deck 5 and went with four additional friends who stayed on Deck 10. We considered ourselves typically non-complainers and easy going for what it's worth. It was easy to notice many complainers on the ship, more than we've ever seen on any other type of vacation. Needless to say, this was our family's first cruise and I placed a deposit with CruiseNext, and super excited to sail again. Keep in mind I pretty much prepared and researched before hand, so embarking from Manhattan was certainly a breeze and better then anticipated. We paid the $400 to park at terminal and would do it again for convenience. We drove from Montreal so this definitely beats costs with flying to FL for our family of five. Everything was clear and well guided through the terminal from parking, to check-in and then up the ramps to the ship. Ship layout was great, I averaged 16K steps a day just on the ship. Elevators were always packed, but we learned to use the aft elevators which were less busy and worth the extra steps to get there. Service, food, ship layout was enjoyable to take in for 14-days. Splash Club was great with our kids. Our kids enjoyed going to the club and met friends whom they stayed connected with. We partied at the Social club almost every night - because we're Montrealers and that's what we do. Ship cleanliness was superb. My wife bought new shoes in Cape Canaveral and she only wore it around the ship. I kid you not, the white soles on her shoes had no dirt or signs of use - they were clean and white as a ghost! She could return them to the store without any notice of usage. That was impressive, as you can see staff working around the clock keeping the ship clean and sanitized. WASHY WASHY in full effect! We enjoyed the pool deck and water slides / splash pad. We ate our Garden Cafe buffet food by the pool deck daily with tables always available despite being a full ship. We did not find it overcrowded on most days except the last sea day. There's plenty of areas to find "your own space" throughout the full capacity ship. We thought the cruise directors and activities were fun, funny and entertaining with no complaints. Port excursions were fine and had ample enough time to enjoy as first timers. The waterfront was our favorite spot and surprised how people miss this area to get away from all the buzz from time to time. Observation Lounge was awesome with bar and food servings, also with Cristie the piano player sounded amazing... but our only complaint was how people were hijacking the seating areas. Yes, we knew it was a popular area - but easily can be irritating and cause rage to many who hunt for seats. Not the Bliss' fault by any means, I mean like when you see some rest a book on one side of a lounger sofa and their reading glasses on the other end - boggles my mind. Garden Cafe was our daily go-to, and we did frequent to dining rooms and specialty dining restaurants enough times. Food was great, and we appreciated all the offerings which were plenty. We heard complaints about the lack of seafood in buffet, but didn't bother for us. We really enjoyed Beau, the piano player in Brewery District and eventually became friends by the end of our trip. Be sure to check him out and tell him his Montreal "tractor" friends referred ya! (inside joke which will help identify) Our room steward Rene was on point, courteous and did a fantastic job daily with up-keeping / turn-downing our room. Disembarkation was easy at each port, tendering in Great Stirrup Cay was bumpy and fun. Starbucks was rarely busy, and I was able to use my mobile app to pay for drinks. I had the buffalo wings daily at Local's Pub - I miss those wings. Chris in the Sugar Cane Bar was the best and took well good care of us...the Ginger Mojito is to die for! But overall no complaints on waiting for drinks at any bar. Six and Jersey Boys were awesome, Broadway quality performances in the Bliss Theatre. Brenda at Guest Services was awesome whenever we needed assistance, and skillful when we saw her resolve and subdue other passenger complaints. Go-Karts and Laser Tag was great, although we were satisfied with one-time visits. Our daughter had the arcade pass and was able to share with our two other kids, that was a great value which they enjoyed. We know there are different sizes of ships for everyone, for us first-timers the Bliss was perfect in every way. We definitely would like to cruise on the Bliss again, if not perhaps the Encore or Epic but for now we're into the Mega Ships for family getaways. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
The boarding process was a bit more tedious than TSA at the airport. We have a small toddler and wanted to relax and welcome the new year doing something fun and new. This was our very first cruise and certainly the last. The food is ... Read More
The boarding process was a bit more tedious than TSA at the airport. We have a small toddler and wanted to relax and welcome the new year doing something fun and new. This was our very first cruise and certainly the last. The food is average and overpriced. They mess up your order EVERY day (room service) and EVERY day you might order the same thing to eat but it will be cooked completely different. If you have a small child there's NOTHING to do. The pool area is tiny and over crowded. But so is the rest of the ship. Not an ideal place to spend family time. The staff cannot be bothered. They just don't care. Honestly with the amount of drunk and rude people on board that wouldn't mind crushing a small child in an elevator I kinda understand why the staff can't be bothered. But it is their job to help you, they will not. The reservations for shore excursions that we made meant NOTHING. We bought things through the app that were NEVER delivered but we were charged for. Disembarking for shore excursions is a complete NIGHTMARE. hours and hours of waiting and angry people piling up because they don't let you out on time. Reserving something off shore only to find out it was given to someone else once you get there. Complaining or asking for your money back won't work. Nobody cares. It is NOT family friendly. it is NOT a good experience. unless you are 21 and single I guess. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
I chose NCL Bliss because I cruised with NCL in the past and had a great time. The last cruise I took was earlier this year on the Royal Caribbean. So, I thought I would give NCL another shot. We were going to hold off on one of the most ... Read More
I chose NCL Bliss because I cruised with NCL in the past and had a great time. The last cruise I took was earlier this year on the Royal Caribbean. So, I thought I would give NCL another shot. We were going to hold off on one of the most expensive weeks but, figured it could be fun traveling for on New Years, so we sucked up the added cost. WHAT A DISSAPOINTEMENT. A day before we were asked to delay arrival to the port. We were asked to wait to 1 PM to arrive, for no reason. Whatever, wasn't a big deal to me. I was driving in from Boston anyway. When we finally arrive after our 3 hour road trip, get through the craziness of check-in we were ready to start our vacation. Once on ship, we headed straight to the bar and were greeted with a "yeah" from the bartender. If "Welcome Aboard" was too much "What can I get ya?" would've sufficed. I let it go at that point, it was early on the vacation and figured he might be overwhelmed with crowd. NOPE, that is the service we got at throughout the ship. With the exception of The Local. The Local was exceptional. The specialty dinning was also good but, we technically paid extra for the service. Turns out.. the cruise before us got ill, and it effected a good chunk of the staff. Therefore, the staff we were with were most likely overworked which left us with subpar service. Beside the service, beware that if you pay for a beverage package that does not include everything. For instance, if you want coffee from Starbucks, a particular liquor, or EVEN WATER, you won't be covered. That's right, WATER. Once aboard and after I learned water is not included.. I ventured to find 6 bottles or so for my room. I had to travel to multiple bars to ask where to get some. Literally, I went to restaurant after restaurant looking for water. Pathetic. Finally, I was given a order form for water. I ordered 32 bottles of water for a mere $52 dollars. Ugh. (Royal does not do this. Your drink package not only includes WATER but coffee from Starbucks.) Our days at sea was subpar. Actually quite boring... The first day aboard I went straight to book dinning, shows, and onboard excursions (like laser tag, bumper cars, ect…) But, they were all BOOKED, for the ENTIRE week. I could understand not getting the times or days you would like but, nothing..at all...for the entire week?... Ugh. So. that left days at sea quite boring. I mean how many games of bingo (that you pay $40 a card for min). can you play? Other than the shows the little trivia and "game shows" in the atrium became tiresome. Especially since it became overcrowded due to lack of entertainment throughout the ship. Stirrup Cay, looked beautiful from afar. However, once ashore it was an overcrowded disaster. Literally people fist fought for a chair. Talk about cabin fever. There was no seating whatsoever. And if you were hungry...enjoy a burger, or hotdog from a tray that is swarmed with flies, and preceded by dozens of people. Turns out, NCL decided to get an additional bang for their buck and dock an additional ship to the island. Overall, this ship was a major disappointment. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
I have to open this review with the caveat that we stayed in the Haven. Haven passengers have a completely different experience than those not in the Haven. If you take anything from this review, know that I would rather cruise once every ... Read More
I have to open this review with the caveat that we stayed in the Haven. Haven passengers have a completely different experience than those not in the Haven. If you take anything from this review, know that I would rather cruise once every other year in The Haven, than annually in a standard room. With that said, the Bliss is a beautiful ship! The observation lounges (Haven and public) are a feature I won't soon sail without. They're spacious, comfortable, and offer a great view with the protection from weather. The staff is friendly, and food and entertainment options are nearly limitless; Jersey Boys was phenomenal!!! Food ranged from mediocre to excellent depending on the restaurant, but why not try them all. Several passengers on the cruise before ours got sick, so the ship took extra precautions to avoid the exchange of germs for the first half of our cruise. I'd rather err on the side of caution and appreciated the efforts. We were lucky enough to stop at Great Stirrup Cay, and had a great day. My biggest complaint would be the capacity of the Splash Academy. Our kids got blocked out the first two nights due to capacity, and they never had the opportunity to fork any close bonds with the other kids on board. All in all, I can't wait to do it again!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Just got back from the 8-day Norwegian Bliss (Bahamas & Florida from New York) Christmas cruise If you’re the type of person who likes to stay on board during port stops, then this maybe the cruise for you (my wife enjoys spending ... Read More
Just got back from the 8-day Norwegian Bliss (Bahamas & Florida from New York) Christmas cruise If you’re the type of person who likes to stay on board during port stops, then this maybe the cruise for you (my wife enjoys spending time on the ship, whereas for my kids and myself we use it as a floating transportation hotel mechanism to the islands) Pros: • Friendly staff • Immaculate rooms and the ship is kept very clean (ship built in 2018) • Food was very good (even the buffet) • Entertainment shows were very good (especially for a cruise ship) • Boarding was a quick and painless process. • If you like to eat, then this is a cruise for you (a floating “golden corral” – eat sleep repeat) Cons: • My teenage kids complained about the ship not having a basketball court, this was a common nightly event on other ships where they would congregate during evenings. This ship had go carts and laser tag (for additional charges), but did not interest my kids. • We were at sea and there were NFL Saturday games (w playoff implication) blocked from the TVs throughout the day where they only showed international soccer games (great if you’re a European, but where most of the people on the ship were from the US, it was a complete disaster). • Port Canaveral is not that exciting if you do not venture out to Disney or Universal. We would have gone to the theme parks if we had longer port times. It takes an hour to get to the parks, but the first day you arrive at 1 pm and parks close at 9 pm, so you would not get your money’s worth. The second day we had to be back on the ship by 4:30 p, so that would only allow for a half a day. What NCL should offer is a full 8 am until 10 pm option, this way you could spend a full day at one of the parks. • We had signed up for scuba diving, but due to strong currents the ship canceled the excursion. So we booked an excursion to the Blue Lagoon Island. Perhaps it would be okay if you wanted to swim with the dolphins or if you had small children. But in my opinion it was not worth the money. The one ocean beach was rocky and you could not swim due to the currents (but even without currents, it was a rocky beach). So the only alternative was a knee deep river that goes in between the island. We got a lunch ticket, but lines were long and food was sub par. • The next day we were supposed to port at Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas, only to find out the current was a bit too strong for the tenders to take us to the island. NCL purchased the island in 1977 (42 years of ownership and you cannot invest in a port?? really) Meanwhile next to the island was Royal Caribbean Little Stirrup Cay and they had a port, so they got to spend the entire 'sunny' day on the island and to make matters worse we could see them, where we could not disembark. Our cruise ended up heading back to New York early. NCL gave us a whole $18 per person for the inconvenience. • Next exciting event, people got sick on board (and do you think passengers are going to quarantine themselves per the rule… nope they went out and shared the love) NCL has a policy where they remove salt n pepper shakers etc to keep from spreading the virus. Note: fortunately none of us got sick, minus a cold and a kid throwing up just missing my son. • Departure back in NY was a disaster too, we needed to be out of the rooms by 9 am and yet we could not leave the ship until our color times were called. So most of the people were in long lines and sitting on the floor. Summing it up, this was the worst cruise I have taken (we have been on several cruises). Now clearly I have seen videos of cruises where the ocean was pouring into the cabins due to a hurricane, now we didn’t have it that bad. But it was not worth the premium Christmas week up charge. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
I waffled a bit between a 'poor' and an 'average' review, but ultimately chose 'poor' because there were just too many things that we found annoying for our family of four. First, the pluses. The cabins ... Read More
I waffled a bit between a 'poor' and an 'average' review, but ultimately chose 'poor' because there were just too many things that we found annoying for our family of four. First, the pluses. The cabins are roomy and in pretty good shape. Food in the buffet was reasonably good (with the exception of scrambled eggs at breakfast, which could always be counted on to be cold). Main dining room experience was good at all three of the MDRs we tried. We also tried 3 specialty dining restaurants (Los Lobos, La Cucina, Teppanyaki) and came away very satisfied each time. Wait staff at the restaurants were good. The musical production of Jersey Boys was really first-rate, and having recently been subjected to the incomprehensible productions aboard Royal Caribbean's Anthem of the Seas, this was an unexpected treat. Comedians were funny. And the unlimited drink package was fun, with good pours and experienced and friendly bar staff. So if your goal from a ship is to hang out among adults, simply relax, eat, drink and be merry, you could definitely do worse than the Norwegian Bliss. The problem is that the Bliss was not the right boat for us. The Bliss has a bit of a structural blind spot: teenagers. It's not that they don't have a teen club (they do: it's called Entourage, for ages 13-17). It's that the capacity of that interior space is just 65 teens, and on the Xmas vacation week - the time when teens are most likely able to travel - the ship had more than 500 kids just in this age range on it (I can't speak to capacity issues for the younger age categories). Bottom line, unless you line up early, your teen could easily get shut out of the teen club on any given evening. One caveat, some teen events take place in other parts of the ship, but if you can't get into the club initially, it's hard for your kids to connect with the other kids too. Our kids had mixed success getting into Entourage, but on those occasions when they couldn't get in, the Bliss really does not have a ton of stuff available to them. Unlike the Anthem of the Seas, there's no basketball court or other multi-sport area (doudgeball, soccer, etc.), and there's lip service paid to ping pong (just two tables, on Deck 17 outdoors) and to mini-golf (5 tiny holes, in the middle of nowhere on deck 20). Fitness center? Not for teens. You have to be 18 to use their facility, period. You can't even have a 15-year-old work out with you in the fitness center under parental supervision, nor can you sign a waiver for the ship to avoid liability. We saw fitness staff telling under-18s that they had to leave. Meanwhile, some of the hot tubs (like in Spice H2O) are adult only, and even one of the two pools on the main deck are adult-only. The unspoken message is that teens are supposed to cluster in Entourage, which might be fine on a regular week, but is severely hard on a holiday season week when everyone else with teens is traveling too. The alternatives for your teens cost extra. Laser tag is an extra $9.95 for two 5-minute rounds, and the racetrack (super fun by the way) is $15 per person for 8 laps of the track. Aside from those things, there's just not a ton to do aboard. Some of the so-called activities were pretty desultory and not well planned. A sudoku event with one puzzle and pencils with erasers that left blue smudges if you actually tried to use them. It's also really aggravating when the staff are poorly trained. Guest Services would guess where you had to sign up for something and be incorrect. It's a big ship with 4,000+ guests. You can spend a good 10 minutes getting from one place to another. One example. Our teens wanted to sign up for a teen bowling tournament - the ship has two lanes, $6 per game in normal use. We went to the teen club (assuming sign up was there - it was not), who sent us to guest services. Guest services sent us to the box office, where there was a line of people for other things. We waited 20 minutes only to discover that the box office knew nothing about the bowling tournament and tried to send us back to guest services. Come on people. Eventually one of the box office staff took pity on us and made a few phone calls and somehow managed to shoehorn our kids into that tournament. Whatever the 'right' process was, we still have no idea. That was par for the course with guest services. The port excursions were mostly fine. We stopped in Port Canaveral and Nassau, and obviously trying to move 4,000 people around is not easy and takes time. However, for Great Stirrup Cay, the wind (17 knots) was too strong for the tender boats to function, and so we simply couldn't visit their private island. RC's Anthem of the Seas was capable of docking in the same wind because their nearby island had a deepwater pier, unlike Great Stirrup Cay. That's something Norwegian might want to think about fixing. If you are a family with teens, you might want to consider taking a trip on the Bliss where you are traveling with other families you know (who have their own teens). We saw a lot of teens hanging out in the beautiful Observation Lounge on deck 15 - a great space - but the point is that having built-in friends to hang with is a huge plus when the normal meeting place for teens (Entourage) might not always be available. Lastly, the Norwegian app is worth getting for the trip and enabling unlimited messaging, but it has its hiccups. More than once, the app stopped working and wouldn't let us either call or message (sometimes one worked, but not the other). Also, the app is supposed to show next day's activities during morning, afternoon and evening, but we discovered that the app would only do this on the day-of, not the day before. So if you're trying to do a bit of advance planning while on board, the only real option is the printed handouts that arrive around 6pm at your cabins. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We took the Norwegian Bliss from New York to the Bahamas, from December 20th to the 28th. The cruise was very disappointing. The ship stayed in port Canaveral overnight, which was nice even-though it rained on both days. The next port was ... Read More
We took the Norwegian Bliss from New York to the Bahamas, from December 20th to the 28th. The cruise was very disappointing. The ship stayed in port Canaveral overnight, which was nice even-though it rained on both days. The next port was Nassau Bahamas, we stayed on the ship till 1 pm, then took a taxi to Cabbage beach. (The crew members were conducting drills on the ship that day so it wasn't a good idea for us to stay to 1 pm). Our next port was Great Stirrup Cay, that port was cancelled and we were told that the ship was heading back to New York. For some strange reason, we were still late to the New York port. Disembarkation was miserable and long for anyone who didn't have an excursion with the cruise line. The lines were long and disorganized. The food in the buffet was good. The observation lounge was nice, but since a port was cancelled, it was always crowded. There is no childcare provided for children under 3, so parents were out at the bars and adult events with children. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
I chose this cruise because of the ease of sailing out of NYC and not having to fly to get to the cruise, plus the dates worked well. The ship was large enough to house 5,000 people, but beyond that, we were like sardines or ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of the ease of sailing out of NYC and not having to fly to get to the cruise, plus the dates worked well. The ship was large enough to house 5,000 people, but beyond that, we were like sardines or cockroaches running around trying to find space to eat, sit and explore the ship. The ship itself was not that big, believe it or not, as the area in which to explore was very limited, limited being the operative word. The majority of the ships space was devoted to the rooms in which to house the patrons. Onto the food.... It was good and tasty but not of the same caliber as Holland America. There was no grilled fish in the Garden Cafe (the all inclusive food area), there was no sautéed shrimp nor any of the more expensive variety of foods. What was very good and tasty was the Indian food and hamburgers. The activities were positively limited. My young boys didn’t even get to do the go carts because they were filled up or closed half the time. That is one of the reasons why I booked this cruise, so disappointed would be an understatement. All activities on board were very expensive and any miscellaneous desires were very costly as well. Plus, they add 15 bucks for each day each passenger sails, so that was just shy of 500 bucks for my family of four. I paid a lot for this cruise, so I didn’t account for this extra charge. I gave tips out to those who accommodated me during sailing. I found the crew as a whole to be kind, warm smiles and overall very helpful. The Jersey Boys was fabulous and so was Six. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Overall, had an enjoyable experience on the NCL Bliss on an 8 day voyage over Christmas 2019.  The Bliss is modern and clean, with plenty of activities and entertainment, and dining/drinking options and quality are good enough.  However, ... Read More
Overall, had an enjoyable experience on the NCL Bliss on an 8 day voyage over Christmas 2019.  The Bliss is modern and clean, with plenty of activities and entertainment, and dining/drinking options and quality are good enough.  However, there are also some hiccups in the design, cabin noise, children's programs and crowded nature of activities.  For the cost, was a great value (especially over holidays) and would recommend for anyone who is comfortable with NCL. Specific comments: * Embarkation process in NY:  Baggage and embarkation process in NY is a mess and includes a mob of people pushing there way to the entry after arriving on a narrow sidewalk.  Complete lack of order. (disembarkation was even worse) * First impression of vessel:  new ship, modern and clean.  Significantly nicer than Jewel class.  Quite large but didn't feel overwhelming; crowds were an issue occasionally with seating at Garden Cafe Buffet, lounge chairs around pool, and the entertainment.  - There is a fantastic observation lounge on deck 15 where you can also have lunch or snacks throughout the day - nice outdoor deck on 8 with various areas to lounge.  Many people used for walking rather than track on deck 17- gym was decent with lots of cardio, but limited free weights, especially only 1 cross cable machine where there was often a wait* Cabin:  we had connecting balcony rooms on aft side on deck 9.  Large enough.  Bed ok.  Nice balcony.  Practical, though small bathroom and shower with strong water pressure and instant hot water.   Issue was noise, we were close to a crew service door and could constantly hear door slamming throughout night.  Could also hear noises from above and general boat creaking* Food / Drink:  - as can be expected quite hit or miss.  Best meals were unsurprisingly specialty restaurants:  Cagney's and Le Bistro were highly enjoyed and great service.  Q was fun atmosphere and pretty good food with live music.- There is a Starbucks in the lobby which is VERY expensive, but is included in the premium beverage package; this package also gives access to freshly squeezed juice in Garden Cafe and higher end alcohol (we actually thought worth the extra price) - Lots of bars and rarely much of a wait:  Mustangs and Sugarcane are nice and central; Craft brewhouse was a fun place to grab a beer* Pool deck:  there are 2 small pools and kiddie Aqua Park.  There are also a number of hot tubs, but these were generally filled to capacity often with children or severely overweight patrons; not enjoyable in any way. * Kids programs (Splash Academy and Guppies):  major disappointment compared to other cruise lines- our group had 2 in Splash Academy who didn't even want to go after 1st day.  Then the organizers on last day misrepresented kids show process and kids waited in long line to be denied participation even though on time and were at the morning practice - Guppies play area is pretty lame, small room and some of the counselors were not overly enthusiastic * Entertainment:  strong point of our cruise.  Only issues were getting decent seats unless showing up really early, and rude patrons constantly coming in and out of every show - Six show was fantastic- Jersey Boys was Broadway caliber- Beatles cover band was great- other live music (Siglo, Country) pretty good * Activities- Water slides are fun and highlight of boat; the Aqua fall is very fun, but was closed much of the cruise due to high winds.  Other one a bit boring but better than nothing- Go karts fun, but a bit slow.  Hard to get a reservation- we were not able to get a reservation for laser tag- 2 small bowling lanes off the Local pub- 5 hole, somewhat simple mini-golf on top deck * We were not able to dock at Great Stirrup Caye as seas were too rough for tenders to operate.  Huge disappointment and led to tense environment for the extra day at sea due to agitated masses.  NCL does not operate a pier there, as opposed to RC who have one and can dock in rougher conditions* Casino is typical but at least separate, enclosed smoking area which is a huge difference.  Note, for BJ, use automated shuffles and poor payouts (6/5)* Generally friendly and helpful staff* Disembarkation process a nightmare.  1.5 hour delay and then another long line through customs.  The masses were strewn about throughout the ship/lobby with no order - like Penn Station on a cold day Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
I chose this cruise because we liked the NCL pearl from Seattle to Alaska 6 years ago. However, right from the beginning this trip was not started out great. Prior to check-in, there was a lady so rude to people, she was not nice asking ... Read More
I chose this cruise because we liked the NCL pearl from Seattle to Alaska 6 years ago. However, right from the beginning this trip was not started out great. Prior to check-in, there was a lady so rude to people, she was not nice asking people to keep moving the line. Then when we are on the ship, it was supposed to depart at 3:30 but it didn't departed until after 6pm. Food in the garden cafe was not much of variety as to the point I don't know what to eat there. Lines to other main dining room area such as Savor, Taste, Manhattan room were always long and reservation were not accepted. In addition, there were too many people on this ship (over 4000), which created a bit cramped every where we went to. It was hard to find a spot to relax on the Observation lounge. People were sleeping on the sofa or long bench. Due to the high winds, our ship end up to skip the private island, which added another day at sea. Many people including kids were vomitting. Vomit bags were hanging at each staircases. The entertainment Six and Jersey Boys were good but make sure to book them as soon as you booked the cruise. Another positive thing to mention was our steward. The housekeeping was good, her name is Gemma. Food overall was okay. Specialty dining was pricy and on top of 20% service charge automatically added to the bill. The lines to guest service were always crowd. Overall, I might look into smaller cruise and pick a better time for the cruise. Both cruises Alaska and Bahamas, they skipped a port due to bad weather. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Boarding began rough, with a long line caused by equipment malfunction in the port of Manhattan, NYC. By the time we got in, it was nearly 4 PM, an hour after the listed sailaway time. The ship only left port at 5:40 PM, nearly 3 hours ... Read More
Boarding began rough, with a long line caused by equipment malfunction in the port of Manhattan, NYC. By the time we got in, it was nearly 4 PM, an hour after the listed sailaway time. The ship only left port at 5:40 PM, nearly 3 hours late. Buffet was less crowded than usual on embarkation day, and stateroom was ready with luggage by the time we boarded the ship. Sailaway party was cancelled due to rough weather, and we did not hear about a muster drill but sure there was one, just before we boarded. We dined in the MDR Taste at 6 PM, before the show "First Night". Food in Taste was excellent but slightly delayed service than normal for a ship this size. The buffet also had an ice cream stand, something I either never noticed before or there never was on cruise ships, but nevertheless great feature. We also tried out MDRs Savor & The Manhattan Room, located on Deck 7 Aft, a deck above the Taste/Savor MDRs. Food was of equal quality but service was more expedited in The Manhattan Room, where we celebrated a birthday. Our ports were Orlando, FL, Great Stirrup Cay, and Nassau. The ship did unfortunately skip Great Stirrup Cay due to weather, but the 2 stops we had were fabulous. We got $28 OBC per person (port fees). Since we booked through the CruiseNext program from our previous NCL cruise, we had OBC from that as well. Unfortunately, on both the 1st sea day and the last sea day in/out of NY harbor the ship had encountered rough weather causing her to rock hard. The crew had put out barf bags on all the stairwells too. In Port Canaveral (Orlando) there were excursions to theme parks, NASA, & a beach. We decided to just have a walk around the port and then get back onboard and watch some ship sailaways from Disney, Carnival, & Royal Caribbean. The port had not much to offer except until you turned out of the port itself, unlike Nassau. Nassau was a more busy port with shopping and cafes right on the dock. We heard there was a beach nearby but didnt end up going to it. Nassau is another great place to watch ship sailaways from your favorite cruise lines from onboard. The ship also had a lot of fun activites and entertainment on board. There were 2 water slides, Ocean Loops & Aqua Racer. On the outdoor decks there was also the Bliss Speedway, which was the largest race track at sea before Encore's debut. There was also Laser Tag on the top deck. Both the speedway and laser tag have a fee. Entertainment was perfect. 2 complimentary broadway productions: Jersey Boys & SIX. You do need to reserve the shows however. There was also Happy Hour: Prohibition onboard but for additional fee. The ship also had a comedy club, a bar with a piano, and live music in the atrium and pool decks. Overall, the NCL Bliss became one of my favorite ships within a 1 week period and would definitely recommend her to anybody wanting to cruise Alaska, the Panama Canal, or the Caribbean/Bahamas! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
The ship was awesome, but embarkation was terrible. We were supposed to board at 12 and leave at 3 but we only got on at 3:30 and the ship left at around 6. We also had terrible rocking the 2nd day/night as well as the last day. They also ... Read More
The ship was awesome, but embarkation was terrible. We were supposed to board at 12 and leave at 3 but we only got on at 3:30 and the ship left at around 6. We also had terrible rocking the 2nd day/night as well as the last day. They also cancelled Norwegian's private island destination in the bahamas, giving us an extra sea day and pushing our florida stop a day late. The food was great in the buffet and the MDRs. Wait times for all 3 MDR's however is outrageous and not being able to reserve the "main dining hours" (6-8 PM) is simply ridiculous. I would recommend everyone do all reservations for NCL dining out of the buffet or specialty restaurants pre-cruise. Staff on board was great, and we had no issues with our stateroom. However, on the last night of our cruise a squeaking noise began and every time the ship rocked it made that sound, we believe it was our 3rd bunk bed that was opened but it came from behind the wall so not sure. We were able to get a great view of other ships departing the islands from The Waterfront and the Observation Lounge. Now just so everyone knows, this is my 7th cruise, 3 on Royal Carribbean, 2 on NCL including the Breakaway, and 1 on Carnival. This was one of my favorite cruises but the island cancellation and the horrible embarkation really ruined 2 days for me. Overall, I would definitely recommend the beautiful Norwegian Bliss but be prepared with seasickness pills and for some wait times, especially the elevators which are crowded by over 4000 people onboard. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Bliss is completely diff than all their other ships. Usually ncl is a blast but the bliss I will never step foot on again. Let’s begin: Smoking cigarettes is only in 2 places either at h20 or casino section and u must be playing to ... Read More
Bliss is completely diff than all their other ships. Usually ncl is a blast but the bliss I will never step foot on again. Let’s begin: Smoking cigarettes is only in 2 places either at h20 or casino section and u must be playing to smoke . Compared to other ncl ships they had at least 2 to 3 more areas. Ok not a huge deal but let’s move on H20 shut down every nite at 1030. The bar yes was closed at 1030. Compared to other ncl h20 the other ones had parties every nite til 2 am ! They had 2 scheduled themed parties on a 12 nite cruise Bliss does not make u animal critter towels at turn down service I never met my room steward There was a bed bug outbreak on a certain deck level and they only gave one couple on that deck an obc of 200 bucks and moved their room for the inconvenience. A certain guy named Chuck yep I’m putting his name out there was escorted by security 3 x for obnoxious rude behavior. He started a fight on h20 and continuously was saying racial slurs . He was complained about several times. He groped my girlfriend and we called security. They never came! He walked around barefoot everywhere even in fancy restaurants yelling profanities. Finally the last nite they held him in a holding area below deck. Before that even happened a friend of mine had him on video saying a whole bunch of racial slurs and she talked to guest relations about it that ncl should do something about him. They could care less and the fact that my friend said wouldn’t this b a shame if this video made it to YouTube still didn’t make them care. Their sense of respect and loyalty to guests on the bliss was astonishing Also they broke my 250 dollar luggage the first day. After four days I finally got them to acknowledge it and they said I would have to file an Ins claim with ncl when I get home I also put a bid in for a spa balcony room. I always buy the spa thermal pass but I didn’t purchase it before I got on the boat because I was waiting to hear if I won the bid because that new room would include a spa thermal pass. They didn’t let me know until the day before boarding that I didn’t get the bid . No biggie right so I go online to buy the thermal pass and I can no longer buy it at the discounted rate because it’s less than 48 hrs before boarding . So now I lost out on the discounted rate because ncl let me know last minute I didn’t get the bid. Lesson learned but seriously they couldn’t care less about it when I inquired at guest relations and the spa. They got your money when u booked this cruise so if u got a complaint they really don’t care about anything Food was just ok. Same boring food every day at buffet. Dining room was ok nothing spectacular. Upgraded restaurants are nice tho I’ll give them that I could keep going on here . Bliss was awful ! And gamblers if u r looking for perks for gambling u won’t get any with ncl except a water and latte card that u can only use at casino. I know 2 people who gambled A Lot of money over 10 k and NCL didn’t even acknowledge their big spenders . With carnival they would give u an alcohol package or send fruit and wine to your room and give u free upgrade dinners. Pretty sad job ncl ...just no respect . This ship turned me off of ncl and my last 5 cruises have been with them. Not enough activities at all onboard. The one rave thing I can give Bliss is the show Six. It was phenomenal If it wasn’t for the great amazing people I met on this trip I’d of had a horrible time. I feel like the bliss got rid of the little things that make cruising so nice Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We chose the NCL Bliss, because it is big and new and will bring us to our long planned destination -- South Caribbean. Unfortunately, captain announced after get onboard that we had to skip Puerto Rico due to waves (each passenger got $16 ... Read More
We chose the NCL Bliss, because it is big and new and will bring us to our long planned destination -- South Caribbean. Unfortunately, captain announced after get onboard that we had to skip Puerto Rico due to waves (each passenger got $16 refund.) The previously NCL advertised Free bar, Free shore excursions, Free WIFI, Free specialty dining were not available at all. (You probably have to pay more to upgrade your cabins.) Forgot to bring books to read? Playing ping pong was then a major activity for many of us to kill time. (New ship has no basket ball court.) It was a really disappointment. The indoor game has been still placed on an almost open area, though mostly covered ceiling. Wind and rain blowing through the open glass panels and balls flying in all directions or ditches. You had to chase balls towards underneath many beach chairs. The glaring sun beans made players put sun glasses to play in the afternoon. The dim light made playing almost impossible after 5:00pm. The worst scenario was that ping pong balls kept shooting out of ship and fell into the sea. Shame on NCL to pollute the sea! It might be the similar set up on other cruise ships. Cannot understand why they did not cover up the glass panels like lower deck and put up some boards around to curb balls. I promise that will be a good attraction if they did so. I will not choose Bliss or NCL if it's not improved. Many people also complained about the Garden Café (buffet) whose food has never changed through the 12 days. Indian taste section was authentic prepared by Indian chef, but had attracted very few people. Hope they will add other Asian taste like Chinese. Other dilemma is that in public areas, you did not know which direction you were heading. Garden Café is at the front while the gym is afterward. You could tell between staterooms, as the little fishes tell you the direction. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We have cruised twice before on Holland America and once with Royal Caribbean and were generally satisfied but this was by far the worst of the four cruises. The problems included: 1) We routinely had to wait 25+ minutes to eat dinner ... Read More
We have cruised twice before on Holland America and once with Royal Caribbean and were generally satisfied but this was by far the worst of the four cruises. The problems included: 1) We routinely had to wait 25+ minutes to eat dinner at the complimentary restaurants because the ship has insufficient dining space. When added to the 25+ typical wait for food because of insufficient kitchen staff the 50+ minutes were unacceptable. Furthermore, we were not informed that such waits would occur if we do not reserve. Had we wanted to reserve we would have had to wait an hour on line to reserve on Day 1, and once we were able to reserve all of the dining rooms were booked for all reasonable hours. Further, NCL could have allowed us to book dinner times, all shows, tendering, and laser tag etc. online prior to boarding but did not do so. The result was that we could only play laser tag once and, due to poor communication by NCL, found out about choosing tenders too late to book the first five tenders. 2) The mattresses were not comfortable. The mattress springs dug into my back, so I informed the housekeeper on day 2. He made it worse by turning over the pillowtop mattress, which caused the springs to dig in more. Only after I complained to Guest Relations on day 5 was a foam mattress topper placed on top of the existing mattress. However, I still had four uncomfortable night of sleep due to a poorly trained and inconsiderate housekeeper. 3) Despite primarily sailing to Alaska, the Bliss does not have a retractable roof on its pool deck and NCL seems to aim to avoid disclosing this fact. Therefore, we were unable to swim for most of the cruise because it was to cold to swim on the way to and from New York. 4) Wi-Fi did not work on decks 15 through 20 5) Although being cleaned frequently the bathroom in the cabin always smelled, as though the sewage was being stored in the stateroom’s toilet throughout the cruise. 6) On two evenings we had no shows to watch because the Bliss has only one theater and performs its two main shows (Six and Jersey Boys) for two nights each. Additionally, the comedian shows also repeat, and two of the three comedians were not funny. Also, one show (Brent and Sarah) was amateurish. 7) Special meals we ordered were not available on the first day. Additionally, no one informed us we have to order them in advance until the third day, so we also did not get them on day 3. Also, many orders were improperly filled and did not include our requested items. Many waiters also lacked familiarity with the process and could not speak English, which caused long waits to place orders. 8) Employees were poorly trained, lacked an understanding of English, and constantly gave wrong information. For example, on day 4 Jake repeatedly announced that we need only to bring our room keys to go on Stirrup Cay which we did. But when we got there we were sent by an employee back because we did not have passports/driver’s licenses. As it turned out passports/licenses were unnecessary, but this wasted an hour of our time because then all other tenders were called. 9) We had to wait 90 minutes to begin disembarking to Stirrup Cay and 30 minutes in Florida because NCL failed to make proper arrangements to allow us to disembark upon arrival. NCL even claimed they needed permission from the authorities to disembark onto their own private island (Stirrup Cay). This never happened on our other three cruises. 10) The children’s pool is small and constantly full for kids when it was warm. Therefore, my kids did not want to swim in it and would not have had space to do so. Also, depth is a constant 4’7”which is above most children’s heads and children are not permitted to swim in the adult pool. 11) We were promised complimentary Wi-Fi, but had to pay ~$4 to activate each package, which was not disclosed at time of booking. Other complimentary packages (e.g., drinks) also have hidden fees. 12) The cruise line refused to allow us to dispute gratuities after the cruise because we had not filled out a form while on the cruise, even though we indicated we would file a credit card dispute, we did not know this was required because they did not disclose or prominently disclose that filling out the form on the ship was required, filling out the form would have required us to wait on a long line, and they could have emailed us the form to fill out. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We choose this cruise because we thought it was going to be a wonderful holiday getway. The dining room staff was horrible it took literally 20 minutes to get a cup of tea. Apepitizers took forever to get waiters never check on you. Poor ... Read More
We choose this cruise because we thought it was going to be a wonderful holiday getway. The dining room staff was horrible it took literally 20 minutes to get a cup of tea. Apepitizers took forever to get waiters never check on you. Poor selection seafood same food in the buffet everyday, poolside no server asking you for drinks unless you stumbled over a bar tender get off his shift. Plus according to some people they were short staffed. Staff we recognize on other ships just continue to apologize over and over again. Disembarking for the tender is a joke. Staff on the private island very rude to people who have shore excursion like the wave runners and others etc. The best thing is we had a great room steward. They all seem more pleasant than most. Never saw the cruise director unless we was introducing a game show or production show. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We booked the Bliss for our annual family Thanksgiving cruise, but were greatly dissatisfied by the on-board service level, particularly the food service. This was by far the poorest service we have received on any cruise line/ship. And ... Read More
We booked the Bliss for our annual family Thanksgiving cruise, but were greatly dissatisfied by the on-board service level, particularly the food service. This was by far the poorest service we have received on any cruise line/ship. And since food is a big part of a cruise, when that is poor, it pulls down the whole experience. Cabin: 8126 and neighboring cabins have very large balconies, great for reading outside or just relaxing. Maybe, just maybe, NCL should choose not to wash down the balconies on the best port day and spray their guests with water who are trying to enjoy their balcony. Food Service: When we boarded (and for the first two days) the Bliss crew were operating under a protocol where passengers were not permitted to serve themselves at the buffet; indeed you could not even pick out a tea bag yourself. This made service unbearably slow and crowded. And if you dared to ask for more of some food, they would glare at you as if you committed a sin. Regrettably, the dining rooms were no better. You would typically have to wait over 30 minutes to get your first appetizer. It took 80 minutes to receive an entree at the Thanksgiving dinner in Manhattan, and then only after asking the Maître D' to find out what was taking so long. At one lunch in the Local, we simply walked out after an hour passed and we had not been served. Zero stars for the food service. One exception was Le Bistro where the food and service were spot-on! Entertainment: NCL touts their on-board entertainment and activities as the greatest feature of the Bliss, that is if you can get a reservation. Most of these events and attractions were sold out within hours of boarding. And yet despite the demand, activities like the racetrack were closed on a perfect weather day in Nassau. Jersey Boys was a great show (once we snuck-in after the doors closed). Embarkation: NCL decided the day before we cruised to limit embarkation to a two-hour time block (2PM to 4PM) to give the crew more time to clean the ship from top to bottom. The result was obvious. Moreover, after 3PM check-in counters were only about 50% manned. Chaos and delays ensued. Great Stirrup Cay: The good news is we made it in. The bad news is we were an hour late (without explanation) despite near glassy seas and light winds. Having one of the new Villas gave the promise of great service, but it was not to be. Order a drink from one of the few roving waiters and you might see him again in 30 minutes as he strolls by with an empty tray. Villa residents nearly mutinied, but once we started serving each other on our drink runs, morale went up. Note: The Villas are a huge expense with no service to match. Guest Services: Watch your bill - they make numerous mistakes such as not applying Latitudes discounts, losing reservations made on-line before the cruise, and failing to follow-through on actions they promise you will be done after you walk away. So, overall this was a very disappointing cruise and very much unlike many prior NCL cruises. When you were lucky to get good service, it was a welcome surprise. The rare few that did offer good service were appropriately rewarded. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
So I was told after the fact that this was the first re positioning cruise for this ship. I think the ship is to big for me. There was not enough seats in the atrium. Guests were pushing people to get to seats. Elevators were always ... Read More
So I was told after the fact that this was the first re positioning cruise for this ship. I think the ship is to big for me. There was not enough seats in the atrium. Guests were pushing people to get to seats. Elevators were always crowded. Someone made a suggestion to put escalators in to relieve the overcrowded elevators. Our last day on board was very cold so everyone was inside. This made for the inside of the ship to be very crowded. We had many issues but some positive reviews also. I also don't think that the ship is staffed correctly. Not enough staff to handle 4000+ guests. Main dinning room- My mother asked for a piece of apple pie and was told it is not on the menu so she could not have it. The waiter would have to go to a different restaurant to get the pie and speak to his supervisor about leaving his station. Oh well that is your job and we as customers are paying to have apple pie if we want it. On that note the waitress (Kim) at The Local bar was amazing. She went out of her way to achieve cake for three family members celebrating their birthdays. She and other wait staff sang Happy Birthday. The bartenders worked very hard on this cruise. Even though the ship was full, I never really waited long for a drink. Around the pool and in the theater, there should be more wait staff. They should have more then one waiter in the atrium and the pool. In my package I had 3 specialty restaurants for my husband and I. The three specialty restaurants I attended were very tasty. I attended La Cucina, The Q, and Teppanyaki. The Q was just ok. I have had better barbecue food, however the staff was friendly and the restaurant itself was clean. We also relaxed in the District Brew House. Ryan was AWESOME! He started to get to know our family. He started to joke around with us and was very attentive. They have different beers on tap. It does remind me of a brewery here in NJ. You can relax, talk and drink beers with friends and family. Tendering on the island- Tendering was chaotic. The cruise line has been tendering at this island for years. They should not bring a West Coast ship to the East coast if they can not handle the ports. We had to get a tender ticket group which I only found out about after I read the daily news letter. No announcements were made. By the time we got to the island we had 45 mins to eat. Beach was so crowded and we did not get a chair and had to sit at a picnic table. I should have never gotten off the ship. Staff had no clue on how to tender every guest. They were unable to answer questions about what the hold up was. We were at this private island an hour early. My tentative time to get off was 1200. I did not end up getting to the tender boat until 130pm. So unorganized. Excursions- Waste of money. The excursion I took in Nassau, was not worth the money I paid for it. I did enjoy sitting and relaxing on the beach. The lunch that was offered was very good. The beach was not crowded. I paid $160 for my daughter and I to sit on a beach and eat lunch. Not worth the price. We went to Pearl Island. The island was clean and staff on the island very friendly and attentive. Entertainment- The Cruise Director Jake and his staff made the cruise fun. There were different theme parties every night. The games we played were funny. Alex and Tiago were very fun to be around and interacted with every guest. Now onto the shows. You had to get a ticket for each show. Instead of just showing up to the theater and being let in for the show, you had to stand in a standby lane if you did not reserve a ticket. All complimentary entertainment should be first come first serve. I pay all this money to be put in a standby lane, yeah that is not good customer service. That theater holds 900 guests. The two shows that were complimentary were Jersey Boys and a show called Six. Six is about Henry VIII's six wives. I only saw Six. The actresses were very good and talented. I saw Jersey Boys when it was on tour in New Jersey. I did not get to see any of the comedians on the ship. Disembarkation- Unorganized and staff did not know how to handle 4000 guests. We docked at approximately 2am. I understand customs do not arrive until 6am, however it should not take 3 hours to clear the ship. This clearing put us back an hour. We had a light blue luggage tag which is anytime. We were told to meet at the internet cafe because my father is handicapped and needs assistance with his wheelchair. Our light blue tag was to disembark at 815am. We put our name on the list for assistance and that we just needed a "pusher" because my father had his own wheelchair. I asked if we were able to push my father and get off by ourselves without a "pusher". We were told no. I asked this at 915 an hour after we were supposed to disembark. I finally asked again at 945 and was told to follow a crew member pushing another guest. Once we were cleared I was in my car at 1020, 2 hours after we were originally supposed to disembark. If you are able too, take your luggage with you on disembarkation. Do not wait until a certain time. If you do it on your own, you do not have to put your luggage out in the hallway the night before. You will be one of the first off the ship. I will travel NCL again however not out of NYC and definitely not on the first re positioning cruise. This is our second cruise out of NYC that we have had problems with. I like traveling NCL. I hope this review does not persuade you from traveling on NCL. They offer very good on board deals like the adult beverage package and sometimes free 3rd and 4th guest. This is our 5th NCL cruise. We have taken 2 Royal Caribbean cruises too. Not a big fan of them and they are more expensive. We traveled with 8 people in our group. We had a great time despite all of the issues above. Love being with family. Hope this review has helped you. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We stayed in Newark at Springhill suites. Very nice place to stay. We used a car service to go to the port. Embarkation was delayed but went smoothly. The ship had illness before us so had to be deep cleaned. First three days they served ... Read More
We stayed in Newark at Springhill suites. Very nice place to stay. We used a car service to go to the port. Embarkation was delayed but went smoothly. The ship had illness before us so had to be deep cleaned. First three days they served you in the Garden cafeteria so was a little hectic. Ship is beautiful. I stayed in the solo cabins which are wonderful!!! The main shows were very good. The rest of the entertainment was not good. We were to go to NCL’s private island but they had a huge problem with the tendering operation!!!! Never did explain why it was such a disaster!!! Overall I enjoyed myself. I love to cruise this was number 26 for me. The best bar is the mojito and the BEST BARTENDER IS Nestor!!!!! Love the observation deck on deck 15. Wonderful place to enjoy yourself. General service was not as good as it could be. Did not see much of the upper cruise staff around the ship like on most cruises. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We recently took the 7 night Mexican Riviera cruise on the Norwegian Bliss with our 3 year old son. We have cruised with him before (Disney in 2017 to the Bahamas) and wanted to try another cruise line this time around. I did all of my ... Read More
We recently took the 7 night Mexican Riviera cruise on the Norwegian Bliss with our 3 year old son. We have cruised with him before (Disney in 2017 to the Bahamas) and wanted to try another cruise line this time around. I did all of my cruise homework including pouring over reviews all over the internet but I still had a ton of questions. Here's what I think you should know and hopefully will hlep you on your vacay adventure. So first and foremost this was a great cruise- I have some criticisms but they are constructive and this is no way a BAD cruise! We had a lot of fun as a family but there are a few things that I did notice could be better. So we had an ocean view cabin on the 5th deck. 5164 to be exact. The room was a good size for us and I surprisingly liked the bed (it is on the harder side) but I hated the placement. Right when you walk in the room there is the bathroom on the right side and just past that, boom, the bed, with literally a 2 ft space to walk between the wall and bed to get to the couch and rest of the room. Not the end of the world but definitely made things feel more cramped. That said the room has a ton of storage, large bathroom, really small fridge that is stocked with overpriced sodas and mini bottles of liquor so beware! There is a hairdryer but no iron. The cruise line will lauder your clothes and iron them for you but it is insanely overpriced. I started to run out of shirts for my son so yes I did do some hand washing (there is a clothes line in the bathroom hanging over the bathtub) lol...the cruise line charges PER PIECE for laundry service and PER PIECE for ironing. Crazy. Disney had a laundry room with ironing board for our use for free so that was definitely something I missed. Ok so moving on to the Soda Package - you might be considering buying this $65 unlimited adult and teen soda package, but don't. Its not worth it. Paying individually will equal less, unless you slam like 5 sodas a day. The sodas in the fridge are not covered in your soda package, the sodas on room service are not covered and there is no soda served in the Garde Café which is the buffet. The only places you can get your unlimited Soda is at the sit down restaurants- either the free ones (Taste, Savor and The Local) or the specialty ones. I think total my husband got the chance to get like 6 sodas. So those translated to $10 sodas. Never again lol. Now for the Daycare. I honestly whish I could tell you more about this but I cant because my son refused to even go in. So the Daycare is located on the 5th floor and they are a drop in center. When they are full, they are full. You have to wait outside until someone comes to get their child for yours to go in. Disney lets you reserves ahead of time so you can plan out shows, dinners etc. But the kicker is they would not let you walk your child into the actual center. When dropping off, parents are not allowed into the actual play area, so you take your kid to a lobby, check them in and then someone comes out and these little doors open and your child is supposed to walk into a hallway with some person they don't know. So there we were with about 3 other sets of parents trying to goad our toddlers into going with the workers and yeah...no dice. I honestly cant say I blame them. 3 year old me probably would have been cool off that too. Not to keep comparing but Disney lets you walk your kids in and then do the old slip a'roo out the door. Adopting this style would help out parents a lot I think, but I also get why they don't allow people in too so. So assuming your toddler does not want to go into the unknown that is the Daycare then what to do with your toddler? Well the truth is...theres not much to do at all besides walk around, watch TV, and go into the pool. The pool area for kids is relatively small and I wasn't super impressed. Same for the pool that kids can go in. The race cars, golf and laser tag are an up charge and obviously not something you can do with your toddler. There is an arcade that you pay like $1.50-$3 per game for but that gets old too. Since you will be on sea for a few days make sure to pack some of your kids favorite smaller toys (this also comes in handy for embarkation day which can be a long time in line), books, crayons, cars, dolls whatever...because for us we basically had nothing until our first port day when we stocked up on cars, guitars, moroccas, xylophones you name it. My 3 yr old was a one man banda by the end of the day in Puerto Vallarta. If your child is still in diapers/pullups don't forget to take something on port days that you can change him on, a towel, blanket whatever...there are just not many places to change them at all. I suggest doing Mazatlán and Cabo on your own. In Mazatlán you can get the same tour of the city that they offer as an excursion on the cruise line for half of the cost by going with one of the guys that will rush you when you get to the cruise port. Im not gonna lie... I was scared to go around Mazatlán...but I talked to the guy who ended up being our tour guide and was straight up with him about my fear and he completely understood. In the end we did go with him and he took us all around, the cathedral, the cliff divers, the golden zone and then to a hotel where if you bought an item from the menu let you use their beachfront facility, towels, chairs, pools, bathrooms etc. It was pretty awesome and ended up being my favorite port day. Also....if you are looking to bring back some traditional Mexican items I suggest doing it from Mazatlán, there is shopping at the cruise terminal there so you don't even have to go far. Its cheaper there and they have so much more beautiful items at this port. I was so mad at myself for not shopping more there thinking that Cabo would have the same stuff. Not true...and even so Cabo was way more expensive. Speaking of Cabo...since having a little one pretty much vetos snorkeling, day drinking, and ziplining for you, your options are a but more limited. We ended up going on our own that day and walking their boardwalk area. Its about a 30 min walk to Medano Beach. You just follow the board walk and it will deliver you directly to the beach. Once there its the same kind of set up as Mazatlán, beach front hotels offer you the ability to use their towels, chairs and services for a head charge. We paid $20 to say as long as we wanted. Our Cabo day was pretty short so be sure to time out everything factoring in the walk back and the tend trip time as well. Oh and if you are new like I was...tendering is when a little boat picks you up from the cruise ship which is parked off of the dock in Cabo since they have no actual cruise port. For this reason I don't suggest you take a huge stroller! We took an umbrella stroller and since the boat was rocking crazy that morning I am so glad we did. Finally I will say that there is not a really huge store on the ship, there is a small gift shop with a ton of alcohol and basic sundries but not one toy or child like thing lol..So yeah...I hope this helps you and I hope you got some clarity! The Bliss is a big beautiful ship that is really trying to do its best to incorporate families but by and large is still I think more friendly to solo travelers, childless travelers, and travelers that like to drink and late night party lol....If you really want a kid friendly trip through and through...Im pretty sure you know what line will deliver that less adulty feel. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Excellent cruise! We were on a family vacation and there was 15 of us. From babies to great grandma on the trip we had a large range in ages. Embarkation was fairly easy considering the size of the ship and # of passengers they have to ... Read More
Excellent cruise! We were on a family vacation and there was 15 of us. From babies to great grandma on the trip we had a large range in ages. Embarkation was fairly easy considering the size of the ship and # of passengers they have to screen. There was a surprise US Coast Guard inspection which delayed departure by about an hour. Disembarkation was a little more chaotic and somewhat disorganized. Once we arrived at the deck for disembarking there was little direction from NCL and no staff to point people in the correct direction. A lot of people in a small space. The ship is magnificent, it is huge and it even though there’s close to 4K passengers it never felt crowded. The kids had a great time enjoying all the activities but spent most of the their time in the water (pool, slides). We get it, ship is designed for Alaska cruises so more indoor than outdoor but even so the kids had a great time. Reservations a must specially if your a large group but honestly we didn’t have too many issues. Food was average to good, nothing to write home about. Only complaint was the lengthy wait at Taste or Savor for food to be served. We saw Jersey Boys and it was excellent! I think NCL definitely does a better job than most in this department. The live music was also great throughout the week. We were onboard the week of Halloween and I do have to say that was a great time being onboard for Halloween. They do a great job of entertaining the little ones all the way to the adults with the different activities that day. We also enjoyed the comedy shows. Silent disco was way too short only lasted like 45 min. Service was hit or miss everyday. Mostly hit but minor hiccups here and there. You can definitely tell which crew members care and which ones want to get off at the next opportunity. Overall everyone really enjoyed their time on the Bliss. Would we pick the ship again? Maybe with a smaller group. Will we cruise NCL again? Definitely, we really love the freestyle motto this cruise line offers. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I love the new bliss ship. The hard product is the best among all cruises I had taken . The touchscreen, water slide and racetrack are unique and certainly very appealing. However, I’m disappointed Bliss canceled the childcare ... Read More
I love the new bliss ship. The hard product is the best among all cruises I had taken . The touchscreen, water slide and racetrack are unique and certainly very appealing. However, I’m disappointed Bliss canceled the childcare program for children under the age 3 so we had to leave our 1 year old daughter at home. Also because the ship could accommodate 4000 plus people, there was always a long wait during normal dining hours at the dining rooms even with reservations. Other popular venues such as the Jersey Boys show and trace track were a torturous affair to attend. The food could use some improvement too. We stopped going to the sit down dining room altogether after day 3 on the cruise, not only because the long wait but also because the food lacks variety and didn’t taste authentic( the pad Thai tasted so weird I only took one bite). Overall The cuisine failed to compliment the dining decor it had hoped to capture. It certainly was lackluster and uninspiring in taste and presentation considering that it’s a new ship. I felt you were almost forced to eat at the specialty restaurants. Overall I think the hard product is very good however the soft product fell way short of expectations. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We recently returned from our Norwegian Bliss cruise to the Mexican Rivera. These are our thoughts: 1. Embarkation was extremely efficient and quick. 2. Be prepared to wait for the elevators, which aren't conveniently located ... Read More
We recently returned from our Norwegian Bliss cruise to the Mexican Rivera. These are our thoughts: 1. Embarkation was extremely efficient and quick. 2. Be prepared to wait for the elevators, which aren't conveniently located if you are mid-ship. 3. By prepared to pay for things like: race car driving, laser tag, bowling, gelato, coco's, cabaret, etc. 4. The food in Savor and Taste were average at best. 5. We dined at: Cagney's, Le Bistro, The Cucina, Teppanyaki, and Ocean Blue. These restaurants were absolutely outstanding and we would HIGHLY recommend them. 6. The Garden Cafe was a go-to for breakfast and lunch. There was a nice variety of selections, and the food quality and taste were great. 7. The shows: Jersey Boys was Excellent. Six was Good. Happy Hour Prohibition was $39 and not worth it. You're served 5 mini-cocktails laced with sugar overload and the entertainment factor is something equivalent to a high school show production. The Cavern Club featuring the Beatles were good. The Comedy Shows were good. 2 of the 3 comedians were funny. The other was boring. 8. The ship is very large so be prepared to wait and wait and wait. 9. Reserve dining and entertainment quickly or it will be sold out. 10. We had the mini-suite with balcony. The bathroom was nicely equipped with a dual vanity and large shower. The room was spacious with very comfortable beds and pillows. We did not like the fact that you can't charge your phones if your not in the room. The electric shuts off if your Key Card is not inserted. 11. Cabin Steward and Cruise Director Team were very nice. Bar and Dining- with the exception of speciality dining and washy washy team- were not very friendly at all. 12. We took three excursions: Luxury Sailing with Snorkeling in Cabo- was awesome. Private Beach Resort in Mazatlan- Outstanding. City Tour of Puerto Vallarta- Avoid. 13. The Norwegian Bliss is the 10 largest ship in the world, so just be prepared for large crowds who are impatient. Norwegian does a great job of trying to make as much seating available and to ensure spots like the Garden Cafe do have plenty of stations. If you meet someone, the chances of running into them again is unlikely. 14. There are plenty of places onboard to get a drink. There are bars nearly everywhere. Don't expect a straw, plastic or paper, which makes drinking a frozen drink difficult. 15. The food in Savor/Taste were just average. We dined once for breakfast and once for dinner. 16. Use the NCL app when you get onboard. It's a great resource. 17. Use your stateroom TV to reserve shows, specialty dining, onboard activities, and shore excursions. It's much more convenient. 18. There was a medical incident onboard and the team reacted quickly and professionally. It was reassuring. 19. The onboard activities were engaging and fun. We really enjoyed them. 20. You get the impression that NCL is always trying to sell you something. 21. I yearn for the days when you can buy a package and EVERYTHING is included. The Deluxe Beverage package did not include water/soda/Starbucks. 22. Norwegian Bliss does have their Disembarking to a science. It was efficient and organized. Overall, we enjoyed the cruise and there is some room for improvement. We wish the staff were more friendly. We sailed on Royal Caribbean in February and that team were so awesome even after a 8 month stint. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
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 4.0
Value For Money 3.5 3.5

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