146 Norwegian Bliss Mexican Riviera Cruise Reviews

I predicate any review with a caveat. Not everyone likes the same experiences and I come to most experiences skewed by the fact that I live in the Las Vegas area, where entertainment and food service are highly competitive and demand ... Read More
I predicate any review with a caveat. Not everyone likes the same experiences and I come to most experiences skewed by the fact that I live in the Las Vegas area, where entertainment and food service are highly competitive and demand excellence. I try to weigh this bias in while reviewing and realize not everyone is subject to the variety and expertise in the areas as one who lives in a recognized entertainment capital of the World. So, I will not nitpick in my cons, but mention only those drawbacks I find extraordinary. With that out of the way, let's begin. Let me first say that this was my first NCL experience. My resume sports twenty cruises, but the lion's share is on Royal Caribbean. My wife and I wanted to see if "freestyle" cruising was for us. A one week cruise on NCL's Bliss, sailing out of Los Angeles, a mere one hour plane ride away, seemed like a good beginning to what we hoped would lead to many more cruises with Norwegian. After watching several reviews, we decided on a Spa Mini Suite to take advantage of the thermal spa suite. Having visited each of the ports on our itinerary, we decided to spend the entire week on the ship and sample as many of the restaurants as we could. Before looking at the pros and cons, let me begin with an overall review of the Bliss. This is a beautiful ship with so much going on it is nearly impossible to get it all in with just one week. If an active cruise is your thing, you will be certainly satisfied on the Bliss. Now, to the list. I like to finish with the pros, so let's start with five glaring cons, not in any particular order. Cons: 1. Food...Although I found some outstanding dishes around the ship, I'd classify most dishes as not bad, just lacking flavor. I found myself tasting many dishes and just coming to the conclusion that it didn't offend and was filling. Believe me when I say, the meal packages will not leave you hungry. Most meals included two appetizers, one main, two sides and a dessert. I ate at seven different restaurants plus the buffet, so I covered quite a bit in one week. I did not visit the main dining rooms so I'll hold judgement and assume they were at or above buffet quality. The best experience I had was at Le Bistro, where all of the dishes shined. My worst experience was certainly at the usually highly regarded Cagney's steak restaurant, closely followed by Los Lobos. If you've had Cagney's before, and I haven't, although most I asked said it was not to be missed, you might want to miss this one on the Bliss. There are just some things you come to expect in a finer restaurant, and Cagney's on the Bliss fell far short. Let me just mention a few things. I enjoy my filet with a Gorgonzola crust. I know, it's a little odd, but steak restaurants all know how to do it. I asked for this and was told they could do a blue cheese crust, but not Gorgonzola. The waiter didn't seem to understand what Gorgonzola is. Anyway, when delivered, there was no crust at all. I asked about the blue cheese and he kindly went back to the kitchen and brought out a side of blue cheese crumbles. I spoke to the manager about it and asked him if he knew what I was talking about. He even told me how it was cooked to form the crust. He offered to take it back and fix it, but I was just frustrated at this point and against a window of time so I just ate the steak with some microwaved blue cheese on top. I need to also add I couldn't eat my two sides. Their definition of cream corn is whole corn kernels in a milk broth. The potatoes au gratin came clumped together in one piece. But check this out. My wife's wine glass had a hole in it...not a crack...not a broken off piece, but a hole you could stick your finger through. She didn't see it and wine poured all over her when she tilted back the glass. How does a glass make it to the table with a big gaping hole. Just don't do the cheesecake. It's flavorless. The multi-layered cake is the best choice. I could add a few more tasteless dishes but I think you get it. For a better filet, visit Le Bistro or even the Teppanyaki restaurant. Los Lobos Mexican restaurant was also pretty tasteless. I have to say I am used to great Mexican food, having lived once in Albuquerque, but I also know the minimal requirements to pass for tasty Mexican food. Los Lobos did not meet this minimum. As to the other restaurants I visited, they were all filling with hits and misses. La Cucina had some tasty spicy shrimp appetizer, but how do they get away with being an Italian restaurant without meatballs? I opted for another filet and it was rather dry. As to the buffet, I thought the breakfast buffet was average, but there was one dish I had to repeat a few times, the Bananas Foster French Toast or Waffle. I haven't seen this on other ships and it was, IMO, to die for. If I travel again on the Bliss, I will skip the specialty restaurants and dine mostly between the buffet and the main dining room. The money saved here can go toward one of my pros, the Thermal Suite. 2. Cabins...I suppose I'm spoiled by junior suites on Royal, but I was under-impressed with the spa mini suite. Gone is the walk-in closet of a stepped-down suite I'm used to. In its place is a closet pinned against one side of the bed. There are no drawers, ambient light nor outlets next to the bed. Royal is lax here too, but the walk-in closet light provides a nice night light over the door. I should mention that the cabin did provide a USB outlet on each side of the bed. IMO, the long couch just isn't needed. I would rather have seen two chairs and a small table. The balcony was one of the smallest I've had in awhile, and that includes standard Royal balconies. I would have expected a larger balcony from a mini-suite. It appears it's all about the included Thermal Spa, but the cost simply doesn't justify the increase in price without extra amenities. As to the noise? It's the worst I've ever had due to these mini-suites being directly under the pool deck. The cabin we had, 15782, was so close to the band on deck 16, my wife could repeat the words from the songs while she tried to take a nap. IMO, stay far away from cabin 15782. As to service, I didn't even see our cabin steward until the fifth day. For some reason, he just couldn't get his timing down on when we were in and out. I have a recommendation here. They have the buttons for privacy and clean room. I would have those tied in with the steward's stations. And while we're on these buttons, let me say I am not a fan of the card in the slot for power idea. I wish that would go away. NCL Bliss has it. Finally, the mini-fridge is too small to fit in a plate from any dining room, so don't bring your food back unless you get a small plate. I tried every which way to get it to fit by moving cans and little bottles around to the point of being charged for a can I never used. 3. The App...I could also add this to the pros because when it worked, it was well worth the $9.95 to stay in contact with all your friends. This eliminates the classic walkie-talkie. It's just that often I found my texts not being received for as much as 30 minutes later. My advice would be to add something I can't believe they forgot...Information on ship-wide opening and closing times. It's in the daily planner, but not on the App. I would think this would be an easy extra page to add. Finally, although it's nice to see your activities you booked each day, any time I had more than one, I could only pull up the first one. Maybe I was doing something wrong and if anyone has some advice, please help. So, I won't say this is a total con, just needs improvement. 4. The Racetrack...This will be a huge pro if you have kids or even adults who are a kid at heart. The ONLY way to participate here is to buy the unlimited pass. There is no way you're riding without a reservation, and even in the off season I cruised in, they were well gone early on. I hate having to plan a ride four days from now at 3pm, and limiting my drinking all day to ride that one time. With the pricey unlimited pass, you could just walk up and get in the queue before you start drinking. 5. Ship Embarkation...I'm not going to hold this entirely on NCL. Perhaps the confusion was the LA port's staff as well. A Few More Minor Cons...The ship had a strange vibration at times. It wasn't the usual sway we all know, but a almost popcorn popping shake that even woke me up one night. I didn't care for the theatre seats in that they were slanted down and the drink cup holder cut into your arms. The staff seemed over-worked and I only remember 2 or 3 bars where the staff was happy and interactive. I study the cleaners as well and they were never aware they should always present a positive attitude. Don't get me wrong, there were some staff that were happy, but they were new in their contract. NCL has an eight month contract with zero days off. That's extreme. If I'm wrong about this, it's because that's what they told me and maybe it weighed into their attitude. Pros: I know the cons seemed a lot, but they were far less than all the pros of this ship. I think the pros and cons I write about here will be biased toward your cruising style. Many of the cons can be avoided just by doing some good research and adjusting my cons by simply doing something like picking a quieter room. It's just that I am highly disappointed in a ship having a mini-suite so loud and so small. I am highly disappointed in such a supposedly high quality steak restaurant failing on simple instructions. That being said, let's look at five pros so outstanding, it might be all you need to cruise on this ship... 1. The Observation Lounge...I've been told this area is so spectacular, quiet and serene, that this makes booking the Haven, if some privacy away from crowds is your Haven reason, unnecessary. IMO, this is correct. I spent many mornings there with a cup of coffee in my hand watching the Sun rise. There's a small continental breakfast there as well, and the muffins are delicious. This ship should be high on your list of options for an Alaskan cruise. I've cruised New Zealand, Norway and Santorini. I would have loved this view on those cruises. 2. The Thermal Spa...Do not miss out on this. There's a warm pool with thermal jets that alleviated any back pain I had. There's also saunas, a steam room, a salt room, and even a snow room. It really changes the entire cruise when you spend an hour or two in this massive area early in the day. PLEASE try it. 3. The Drink Package...Simply put, I loved it. The drinks were great and they serve two at a time if you want with no number limit. Also, if 19 bars isn't enough for you, you might need help. Note, the package is VERY expensive. You must get this included as a free at sea. It needs to be your first and maybe only choice if you drink. 4. Entertainment...Check it out, I saw The Beatles at the Cavern Club and Jersey Boys in the theatre all the same night. I only wish the seats had been better. But don't act yet, look what else you get. The drinks at Prohibition, five of them, were tasty and strong, just like the musical. I didn't see Six, but I heard it was great. Siglo, the rock band, sounded JUST LIKE PINK FLOYD. Those guys were awesome. The piano players were top notch and the Reggae band jammed. Add to this, the first Country Music venue I've seen at sea and it's tough to decide what to do each night. There's also tons of activities going on. NCL knows what they're doing with this. 5. The Waterfront...What a great idea. They hide the life rafts below and give you an almost complete wraparound walking area with scattered bars and dining outside. This should be on every ship. I'm used to a lower deck walking area on Royal, but there's nothing going on like on the Bliss. I loved this area and I think you will too. Some other pros I liked...Karaoke in the Cavern Club was fantastic. The large screen at the Atrium is great for Wii and movies each day. The Local is a restaurant bar open 24 hours a day. I don't believe I've seen this on any Royal ship, Carnival or Celebrity I've cruised. On Royal, you're lucky to find some pizza or muffins at most. On NCL Bliss, you can order the entire menu at the Local. Imagine fish and chips at four in the morning. That's freestyle to the max. I also loved that the sales areas don't take up all the walking room on the floor. Finally, I don't know if it's the port or the ship, but the vibe was young and energetic. The Halloween party was fantastic and lots of people dressed up. Things I didn't get to: Coco's Chocolates, Night Club, Comedy at the Comedy Club, Race Cars, Laser Tag, Slides, Main Pool, Main Dining Rooms, Q Texas Smokehouse, The Haven. Maybe it's because one week just isn't enough, but some of these things got missed because I simply fell in love with the Thermal Suite and spent a lot of time there. So, one final caveat to my review. You could love all the things I missed and have a completely different cruise. I guess what I'm saying is...It really is freestyle, and with so much to do, you will certainly find your groove. I hope I was able to help. Read Less
Sail Date October 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
This was my first cruise and it was great! So much food! Sometimes the food wasn't that hot as I thought it would be, but it still tasted good. There was so much to do! I wish the Go Karts and Laser Tag didn't cost as much. ... Read More
This was my first cruise and it was great! So much food! Sometimes the food wasn't that hot as I thought it would be, but it still tasted good. There was so much to do! I wish the Go Karts and Laser Tag didn't cost as much. But both water slides were fun!! The pools were little disappointing. They were very small and there's 4,000 guests. Still too small even if 2,000 guests wanted to be at the pool . There was a lot of places to lay out in sun, but you couldn't really get into the pool because all these people were there. We decided to just go to the adult area of 18+ and it was nice. At least there was a water feature to cool off under. The hot tubs were nice too. The other activities and music were fun. I loved Jersey Boys and seeing Comedy shows. I didn't like that the casino smelt the cigarettes. Was there smoking allowed in the closed off part of the casino? Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This was my 7 cruise and I must say it was the best. The service was outstanding the food was equal to any 5 star restaurant if not better. Our cabin was a inside but we managed to have 23 people join us for a quick shot to celebrate ... Read More
This was my 7 cruise and I must say it was the best. The service was outstanding the food was equal to any 5 star restaurant if not better. Our cabin was a inside but we managed to have 23 people join us for a quick shot to celebrate Halloween, it was quite a snuggling experience. The entertainment on board reminded me of my days in Vegas I could see them again and hope to soon. Even though I can rave about all that I was just slightly disappointed in the shore excursion but i know it was the people on the other end who in charge not the staff of Norwegian. I still am excited to travel on the Bliss again, it is a big ship and lots of walking but that helps with all the good food, keeps you trim .I will be booking this cruise line again this spring,hope to see you on Norwegian soon. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
because of need, requirement!, to reserve show times i never saw a show. both early showings of jersey boys where reserved out by 4.30 on day of sailing and could sign up on line before cruise. boat had not left the dock and i could ... Read More
because of need, requirement!, to reserve show times i never saw a show. both early showings of jersey boys where reserved out by 4.30 on day of sailing and could sign up on line before cruise. boat had not left the dock and i could not reserve a seat. many of the other shows had same requirement -- did not see a show!! spa was a complete rip off -- they wanted more for 7 day cruise then i paid on longer cruise, 12-21 days. after heavy handed spa tour where u are solicited for all their service u are provided card for free drawing BUT u most be present to win. if i had been told that i had to come back at 5.30 to win i would never have submitted myself to 20 minutes of time share type sales pitch as i had bought package before and new all about the spa benefits. oh and no steam or sauna room access after work out, some ships allow, not the bliss did love the many food locations -- it made for short lines in buffet and main dinning rooms. BUT did wait for more than 20 minutes for service in craft beer venue, left w/o buying a beer. EMBARKATION - NCL still has not got this figured out, some people had waits of over an hour. ADVICE either show up WAY early or WAY late if u don't want to stand in a VERY LONG LINE. NCL seems to be the only cruise that has a serious problem getting people on and off their ships Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I've been on all the Breakaway Class ships except Joy and Bliss. I finally got a chance to try Bliss and WOW. This ship is beautiful. NCL addressed the two common issues on past ships and fixed it on this one. They enclosed the ... Read More
I've been on all the Breakaway Class ships except Joy and Bliss. I finally got a chance to try Bliss and WOW. This ship is beautiful. NCL addressed the two common issues on past ships and fixed it on this one. They enclosed the smoking section of the casino. Brilliant idea. Another move was they put the restaurants at both ends of the ship. It's somewhat hard to find but eased the overcrowding on the middle of the ship. I hope they keep the same layout on their smaller Leonardo ships. Good job on the changes on Bliss..... which I heard is the same on Joy and Encore. Booked the Encore for next year already. The only negative I can say was the pricing on Food Republic. Way too expensive. All the others including Margaritaville was OK and pricing was Average and probably subsidized by the high cruise fare. Food Republic wasn't. For example, sushi on Wasabi on Breakaway was $5-6 but $12-16 on Food Republic Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We had never gone to the Mexican Riviera. We were really excited to go on the Bliss and to be back in the Haven. We have enjoyed the Haven on other NCL ships. My overall cruise experience with Norwegian is fantastic; however the last ... Read More
We had never gone to the Mexican Riviera. We were really excited to go on the Bliss and to be back in the Haven. We have enjoyed the Haven on other NCL ships. My overall cruise experience with Norwegian is fantastic; however the last cruise on the Bliss was very poor. Our toilet did not work until Saturday afternoon, the last full day. We had to use the public restrooms in the Haven area the first six days of the cruise. They replaced the parts and the toilet multiple times until they finally replaced just about everything, then the toilet starting working. Wednesday night from about 10:00 pm until 3:30 am there were really strange sounds coming up through the walls. We call Hanno Meyer and he helped us figure out the Maintenance staff was removing and replacing damaged floor tiles in the Garden Cafe directly below us. There was quite a bit of hammering and grinding noises that kept waking us up. Sadly, the food in the Haven was the worst food we have ever had on any cruise. The kitchen appeared to be undertrained. The first day, I found a long black hair on the plate where the staff had just placed all of the food on top of it. We heard the kitchen blamed us for that, but the hair was under the food and we both have very short, blonde hair. No matter how hard we tried, they really struggled getting eggs cooked how we asked. We asked that the whites not be runny, really runny. It took until Friday until they finally cooked the eggs where the whites are how we like them, firm. We had to resort to having them cook us scrambled eggs or omelets just most of the week to be sure the eggs were edible to us. We asked for our steaks to be cooked medium well, but they kept coming back as medium rare, really red inside. We asked the staff what the cause of this was, they said, “the chef says it was a communication problem on the guest’s part”, obviously blaming us for their inability to cook food properly or at least how we asked for it to be cooked. It was very obvious that this kitchen staff was not able to cook the food to the "Norwegian standard" that we have had multiple times in the past. It appeared that nowhere along the process from the cook to the guest appeared to be any quality control. It was obvious that from the cook, to the person plating the food, the Sous chef, the server were not checking if the food was cooked to the NCL standard. The communication problem was within the kitchen. We were not asking for anything special or out of the ordinary, just right from the menu. I spoke to the servers and told them what my expectations were; if I order something a certain way, the server should be doing a final check in the kitchen to be sure what is on the plate is what the guests asked for. If it is not, they are the voice of the customer and to tell the kitchen staff, not just bring it to the table wrong. I will complement your staff, once we had that conversation Thursday afternoon with the servers and the Maitre'D, everything from that point forward was served to us perfectly. In the end, we were told the experienced kitchen staff were recently moved to the NCL Encore for training and the Maiden Voyage. If that is true, that was a huge mistake on NCL's part. 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
I was so excited to spend 7 days in the sun on the 9th largest cruise ship in the world! Brand new with all kinds of bells and whistles. Magic was going to happen. .....It was not exactly what I was expecting. The online process of ... Read More
I was so excited to spend 7 days in the sun on the 9th largest cruise ship in the world! Brand new with all kinds of bells and whistles. Magic was going to happen. .....It was not exactly what I was expecting. The online process of logging into an account and check in was the worst ever causing much stress and many repeated phone calls to support. God forbid you use a curse word. They stop talking to you. Most employees that I talked to from the bartenders to the galley staff couldn’t wait for their 9 month contracts to be up so they could transfer. They made no secret of this. You dont go on a cruise to surround yourself with the drama. The food was ok (try the pizza and the Indian food) in the buffet garden cafe. It was clean and you could always get a seat. Great view looking out over the front of the ship. The other restaurants were poor quality food and waiters pestering you for tips. OMG! The gym was good but doesn’t open before 6am. It’s the only thing on the ship that stays on time schedule lol. Jake the cruise director is ok. His underling from Ukraine is much better. Great dance parties and bingo calling. Park west... or should we say criminals... “yup” as they call out trying to sell you extremely overpriced paintings like used car salesmen with high pressure sales pitches and tactics. They are only seconded to the ships 75% off sales in the jewelry store for products like invicta watches that are marked up 80% already. Literally looked it up online on the spot with a sales associate who then stammered away that it was still a good deal, “75% off lol. I wonder what else they are trying to gouge us passengers on. The shore experiences on this cruise were in decent Locations getting off the boat and on it we’re very smooth and quick. The pool wasn’t crowded. Drinks are always flowing. That part was glorious. So much more to say in this review but like the cruise I’m only giving 70% effort. Ps I don’t know their names but the two “washy washy, happy happy” employees were the highlight of our interaction with the crew. Give this a big fat raise and promotion. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This was our second time on the Bliss. We were in the Haven. It was fantastic the Haven restaurant food was to die for. The hostess Arlene was the best. She is an excellent employee. She remembered everyones name and visited with us made ... Read More
This was our second time on the Bliss. We were in the Haven. It was fantastic the Haven restaurant food was to die for. The hostess Arlene was the best. She is an excellent employee. She remembered everyones name and visited with us made us feel like family. we ate at the Le Bistro the food is outstanding. I had the escargot and mushroom soup as starters. Both were delicious They have the best cream of mushroom soup. I have ever had. filet for entrees. Excellent flavour by far the best of the speciality restaurant on the ship. cagney’s was a Big disappointment. The service was awful and food was mediocre. They cram you in to little space. The Q was pretty good bbq. We paid ala cart. Same with Los Lobos. We like this ship so much we booked the ship for the 16 day Panama Canal cruise. I recommend this ship you will have a great time Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I joined this cruise because a friend from my past cruise told me about it. My brother joined me on this cruise. It was his first cruise, my third. We both had transfers from and to the airport thru Norwegian. My brother got in 2 hours ... Read More
I joined this cruise because a friend from my past cruise told me about it. My brother joined me on this cruise. It was his first cruise, my third. We both had transfers from and to the airport thru Norwegian. My brother got in 2 hours before me and it took 30 minutes to find the transfer person that would eventually get him to ship 2 hours later. I never found the transfer person at my baggage claim terminal. I wasted an hour and a half asking the info desk where they were, being sent to 2 other terminals, calling and being disconnected from 3 NCL customer services reps, and finally having to take a 50.00 lift ride to the ship. Once we got to the port gate, the port authority guard said they closed the gate at 2:45pm, It was 2:50pm. There were 7 others in front of me and 4 others came after me with the same issue.We all tried to call NCL customer reps, to let them know we weren't being let thru the gate, and all of us got hung up on or disconnected in the process. I ended up calling my brother, who was already onboard, to let the customer service desk on board, that 12 people had been left at the airport by the transfer company. After talking to 4 people, one of the reps got a hold of the port authority guard and they finally cleared us to go thru the gate. No one ever apologized as we went through the check in process. we got on board around 4pm after going through all that mess. Once on board, the cruise went fairly smoothly. The ship, overall, was a beautiful ship. I thought the pool area was poorly designed compared to my 2 other cruises on the Getaway and Breakaway. But I also realize this ship was designed to go to Alaska most of the time, and not to the Mexican Riviera. The dining was great for the most part. A couple people, in our group of 10 to 15 people, had some bad experiences a couple of the nights. The entertainment was pretty good. Jersey Boys and the Beatles put on great shows and the comedians were really good. The ports of call were beautiful, but the excursion variety was lacking for my taste. We did our own thing on 2 of the ports and did one boat sight seeing excursion on Cabo. Not quite as advertised. The service on the ship was excellent, as always. As opposed to the issues getting on the ship, Getting off was the quickest I've seen in my 3 cruises. LAX is possibly the worst airport I have ever flown in or out of. It is a train wreck. The best thing to come from this cruise was all the new friends we made. We met a couple people from my last cruise on day one. within the next 2 days we had a fun group of 10 to 15 people hanging together at different times and places. We always met up in the Solo Lounge at 5pm to get the nights started. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Traveled with 8 other adults from San Diego. Parked in the San Pedro lot ($19/day) for a 10 am check-in, which was quick since fewer people there due to the early time. Not too long a wait until they started boarding. We immediately went ... Read More
Traveled with 8 other adults from San Diego. Parked in the San Pedro lot ($19/day) for a 10 am check-in, which was quick since fewer people there due to the early time. Not too long a wait until they started boarding. We immediately went for lunch at the Local for chicken wings, burgers, salads, etc. Great start, food-wise. Dropped off our carry-on bags in our cabins and explored the ship. Disappointed they don't have a viewing deck facing the bow of the ship for us non-Haven folks, as that's where we normally like to be when the ship heads out of port. The cruise starts with 2 sea days, so we got to know the ship activities pretty well. The gym on this ship is small (compared to RCCL, for example), and was packed by 8 am each day. So better to do work-outs in the afternoon. At least the equipment is new. The race track is fun, but you have to make reservations, which is not a very smooth system. It took almost an hour to make 3 different reservations, because the person entering them kept screwing them up. Don't know if it was a language barrier, or a problem with their reservation system, but she kept deleting or adding people to the wrong dates/times. My friend dealing with her complained at guest services, and they took off his three $15 charges for the racing. While fun, the track takes up A LOT of space on the ship. They had to remove many of the activities found on other ships (rock climbing wall, basketball court, ropes course, etc.) to put the track in there. The mini-golf was shrunk down to a 4 hole afterthought behind the race track. Not once did we see anyone doing the laser tag, and we never saw that it was even open. The pool slides were fun, particularly the inner tube one. The drop slide seems to have a design flaw. Just after the initial drop, there is a steep incline to slow you down. A large percentage of people, particularly lighter women and heavier folks (especially if wearing a shirt) don't make it up the incline and drop back down in reverse, where a crew member has to let your out of an escape hatch. The casino slot machines were tight as usual, and it's nice that they have a separate, enclosed smoking section. The Jersey Boys show was great - just like the Broadway musical, with just as talented singers. The two leads could really sing! Bingo was fun, but $49 was their cheapest package to play. It was Halloween during our cruse, and a surprisingly large number of cruisers dressed up in costumes. There was a party at 10:30 pm in Spice H2O at the back of the boat that was packed. We did the 10:30 Spice H2O party a couple of times, which was fun. The silent disco was also amusing, especially when you take off your headphones and see people dancing without music, and singing to songs you can't hear. There were 4 different zones playing different music, adding to the entertainment factor. If you don't like the noise of the pool deck, there are plenty of places for quiet, particularly the Observation lounge on deck 15, which wraps around the whole front of the ship. Many couches and loungers, snack counters, a bar, and a piano player at night which can only be heard closer to the front of the lounge. Deck 7 has the Waterfront that wraps around almost the entire ship, and is lined with couches, chairs, and tables. It's designated as a quiet space and is a great place to sit, read, eat, nap, or have quiet conversations, either in sun or shade. Taste, Savor, and the Manhattan Room are the complementary dining rooms, and had good, changing selections each night. The NY Strip steak (available every night) was surprisingly good. I found the Caesar salad dressing bland. I noticed they've reduced the portion size (a good thing) of their appetizers, since many people get more than one and end up wasting food. Desserts were surprisingly good as well. We also at at Le Bistro, Food Republic, and Los Lobos specialty dining. Le Bistro was fabulous as usual. Service was outstanding and the food was on point. Food Republic was our second favorite, with good sushi and Asian-fusion options. Los Lobos had some good dishes (eg, fresh guacamole, and the elote corn), but being from San Diego, we had a high bar for them to make good Mexican food, and they didn't meet it. Not that it was bad, we just had much better back home. Ports: We went zip lining in Puerto Vallarta. Book through Viator - only $40 for 10 lines, but there was a lot of climbing up steep hills to get from line to line. Just a 5-10 minute walk to the pick-up point from the ship at 10:30 am, and we were back at the ship by 2:30 pm, well before the 4:30 all-aboard time. In Mazatlan we took Ubers ($4!) to Los Arcos restaurant for seafood lunch. It was highly recommended by friends, and they were right. Don't miss the grilled shrimp and the mixed seafood ceviche. In Cabo San Lucas, we had to use tenders to get to port, and we just walked over to Sammy Hagar's Cabo Wabo Cantina for lunch. Short shore leave, as it was a 2:30 all-aboard time. It was pretty hot in all 3 ports, and shopping was the same stuff. If you've ever done the Western Caribbean, you know what I mean. Not once did any of us use Mexican pesos. USD are widely accepted, as are credit cards, which get a better exchange rate. Overall, it was a fun cruise, and a good learning experience to our friends who have never cruised before. Service was top notch as almost all the crew were helpful, friendly, and attentive. Being from SoCal, it was a great value since we didn't have to pay for airfare or the usual overnight stay in a hotel the night before. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I am a Latitudes member and like the "freestyle" approach. There is something for everyone to do. You can be active -- or not. You can be entertained -- or not. You can go to many different food venues -- or consistently go ... Read More
I am a Latitudes member and like the "freestyle" approach. There is something for everyone to do. You can be active -- or not. You can be entertained -- or not. You can go to many different food venues -- or consistently go to your favorite restaurant. The choice is always yours. We are in our "seventies" and still continue to enjoy cruising. We stayed busy all day on this cruise. Never bored -- not even for one minute. The service is great. They handled 4,500 passengers as if it were only 450 passengers. No long lines or inconveniences. It had been a long time since we were in LA so we decided to spend a few days and enjoy some sights. That was a great idea and I am glad we did it. The port in Mexico were new to us and quite beautiful.. We did a little shopping, toured a little and enjoyed some tequila! I cannot say enough about the fabulous entertainment. We had seen Jersey Boys in the theater and I can say that NCL's show was just as good if not better! They also added a show called SIX about the wives of Henry the Eighth. Wow, wow Wow!!! this will be a broadway hit when it comes out. The Beatles show was a great stroll down memory lane and the comedians kept us entertained for several nights! 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
We choose this cruise because of the ship, especially because of the newly designed Haven and it did not disappoint us. Overall there was a lot to do and many places to go, we didn't have a change to experience all, as there were so ... Read More
We choose this cruise because of the ship, especially because of the newly designed Haven and it did not disappoint us. Overall there was a lot to do and many places to go, we didn't have a change to experience all, as there were so many things to do. The Waterfront is a great concept, we had dinner outside in Los Lobos and the food, ambiance and service were excellent, try the table-side guacamole! The avocado ice cream was not a favorite of us, but everything else was delicious. Also had drinks on the Mojito bar outside several times. The breakfast foods in the buffet were good selection, but we felt that hot foods were not hot at all, by the time you would get to your table the food would be cold. The Haven court yard, sundeck, lounge and restaurant were excellent with top of the line service and food, the fillet mignon in the Heaven restaurant was better than in Gagney's. The personnel in Haven would greet you by your name and remember your preferences, I have a gluten intolerance and it was always addressed properly, they would provide gluten freed bread and adjust dishes to be gluten free. Our Concierge Hanno and our butler were super attentive and took care of everything from room service deliveries, Racetrack reservations to shore excursions. Casino was also nice with good selection of slots, wished there would have been more Video poker game variations. VP machines had a decent pay tables for a cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I chose to sail on the NCL Bliss because it is Norwegian's newest, largest ship. Usually, newer means better. But the design of this ship and the crew of the Bliss proved they are truly "not ready for prime time." The NCL ... Read More
I chose to sail on the NCL Bliss because it is Norwegian's newest, largest ship. Usually, newer means better. But the design of this ship and the crew of the Bliss proved they are truly "not ready for prime time." The NCL Bliss is indeed a beautiful ship. MANY facets of the ship were fantastic, from the relaxing observation lounge on deck 15 to the overall ship decor, which is chic and contemporary. The designers did a great job creating a comfortable experience. However, so many other important elements of the ship's design are lacking. The most obvious issue was that this massive ship only has forward and aft elevator banks, with none in the center. How did the architects think over 6.200 passengers and crew were supposed to navigate about such a massive ship with so few elevators? I noticed hundreds of people congregating near the elevators all throughout the days of my 7 day cruise. So many passengers gave way to "crowd-think" mentality, which meant becoming rude and somewhat aggressive in their fight for elevators. Otherwise, they were forced to walk many floors of stairs to reach their desired floors. Couldn't NCL executives anticipate this dynamic might occur on such a large ship? Also, the communications system onboard the NCL Bliss was awkward. Sure, NCL has a telephone APP for passengers to use onboard to help them schedule daily activities, and the same activities are also shown on the in-cabin TV screen and printed in the daily newsletter, but NONE OF THEM ARE IN SYNC! For instance, the NCL phone app is supposed to load activities at least 24 hours ahead of time, but it often didn't display them even a few hours ahead. And the in-cabin TV app was also inaccurate at times. In all, I found the best strategy was to just take along the PRINTED guide provided to my cabin and maintain my actual calendar on my own personal phone calendar. SMH. The in-cabin screen also displayed the Mazatlan port stop as a "sea day" for the entire length of the cruise. I pointed this error out to the Guest Services desk, but they only kicked the can down the road and made it clear they couldn't be bothered. SMH. As for my cabin, it was designed comfortably and with a soothing blue/brown color scheme. Exactly what I anticipated on the NCL Bliss. I was pleased with the individual reading spotlights placed on either side of the bed along with the corresponding USB input jacks for charging electronic devices. Very convenient. My room steward couldn't be worse! I asked for one special item to be placed in my room which, on ALL 40 previous cruises with various cruise lines has never been a problem. But this steward had to be asked numerous times a still failed to provide. So, I escalated the matter. And again...and again...and again...SEVEN times! It took three days until the simple item was delivered -- a small plastic ice bucket. How hard is that?! When I activated the "do not disturb" sign on my door, the room steward constantly ignored it. He was always calling and knocking and bothering me about silly things. I finally had to raise my voice to him and remind him that "do not disturb" means JUST THAT! On many occasions, I was not feeling well and just wanted to relax. Overall, my dining experience on the NCL Bliss was subpar compared to other cruise lines. I ALWAYS dined in the reservations-only Manhattan room and in the same section. But the experience was poorly executed by NCL. As for the service, even though guests are required to reserve their tables in the Manhattan room, NCL subjects them to standing in not one, but two separate hostess lines to be seated. I've never stood in two lines at ANY restaurant in America where I had made previous reservations, just to be seated. What was the sense in that? There were other key issues where the waitstaff messed things up. First, EVERY TIME I had just sat down, the waiter or waitress INSTANTANEOUSLY pounced on me for my order! I had to remind them that I had barely sat down and needed a few moments to receive my water and study the menu. But they never listened. Second, upon being seated at the same time and at almost the same table with the same waitstaff, they NEVER remembered my preferences (e.g.: that I NEVER eat bread during meals or that I ALWAYS prefer lemon slices with my water). I mean, the waiters only served a few tables simultaneously, so how could they not remember certain key details like those? And I found myself always having to BEG for water. Finally, even before I was finished with my plates, the waitstaff constantly attempted to remove the plates! Who does that? In all, I found the NCL Bliss waitstaff to be grossly inexperienced and undertrained. As for the food, it was obviously prepared in a huge galley with little quality control. First, EVERY salad I received was served in a warm bowl or plate, causing the greens to wilt before reaching the table, Any chef worth his salt knows that salads should ALWAYS be served chilled and in chilled bowls/plates. So, I often sent them back in order to have them prepared fresh. Second, most of the entrees were either flavorless or served barely warm, or both. It's clear the NCL Bliss chefs don't taste their food for quality control. Once again, I sent back items until I found a replacement that was appetizing. Third, I addressed my concerns with the Maitre'd and he said he would "deal with" the issues. But nothing happened. Business as usual on the Bliss. They must figure it they ignore problems, they go away. Finally, as for daily activities, I was surprised at how far NCL would go to make money. MANY of the scheduled activities, like craft hour, required passengers to pay fees to partake. The nickel-and-diming on the NCL Bliss was record-breaking, I found. But I attended the "comedy shows" and a stage production called "Six." The comedy shows were a joke, if you'll excuse the pun. During the first show I attended, it was considered a "family-friendly" performance. There were over 10 children in the room under the age of 12. The comedian decided to focus his entire show on those children and reveled the audience with inappropriate "jokes" about a) male penises, b) public urination on others' faces, c) homosexuality/homophobia and d) how much he hates the current president of the United States. How were these topics humorous to 12 year-olds? When I decided to attend the "18+" comedy show on the last evening of the cruise, nearly every sentence was wrapped around the f-bomb or kinky sex topics. SMH. What ever happened to truly funny comedy that doesn't require offensive topics or cursing to be humorous? Clearly, NCL needs to do a better job at screening its "comedians." I also attended a show called "Six." It was a pre-Broadway release show about the six man-hating, feminist former ex-wives of England's King Henry 8th. The show storyline made no sense, in my opinion. The vocals were "pitchy" at best, so it was clear that these performers were not the best NCL could find. But the costumes were flashy. As for port experiences, I only chose to visit Cabo San Lucas and Mazatlan. In Cabo, I took an NCL sponsored "Luxury Day Sail & Snorkel" cruise. The 50-foot vessel motored around the Bay for three hours and stopped for some snorkeling. Only at the very end, for about 15 minutes, did the crew raise the sails. That experience was my best experience during my Mexican Riviera cruise. In Mazatlan, I chose to take a shore excursion provided by a private tour operator. It was comprehensive and included lunch. Very enjoyable, as well. Overall, I found the NCL Bliss to be a beautiful ship, but it has many design, service, management and flow problems. I would recommend it to first-time cruisers, but maybe not experienced cruisers. This was only my second time sailing with NCL, and after this cruise it will be my last. NCL as a company is just too difficult to deal with, from its pre-sailing customer "no-service" to its onboard experience. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
It's a great cruise line for you to enjoy the cruise and relax. No formal night, anytime dining to make things more easier and feel more relaxed like real vacation. Great ship, great port of calls, give two thumbs up. Food ... Read More
It's a great cruise line for you to enjoy the cruise and relax. No formal night, anytime dining to make things more easier and feel more relaxed like real vacation. Great ship, great port of calls, give two thumbs up. Food and specialty restaurants were excellent, I love that Cageny steakhouse. Roast prime rib were delicious. Observation lounge was tremendous huge area and classy. You'll feel like and upper class person when you step in and it's not crowded as upper stair buffet. Great area for you to relax or reading, or simply doing nothing but enjoying the infinity sky line or each port of calls. And good thing about this ship is that they have ocean front deck. You may walk around or dining there for different experiences. By the way, perfect on board Activities. I love to ride the kit car and it's different feeling when you race on ship instead on land. I will definitely cruise again with NCL in the future and recommend it to friends and relatives Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I went on this cruise with my boyfriend and his family. Staff were great, and overall very attentive. The food was generally not good. The best food was at the buffet. While staff at the restaurants were very accommodating, the food did ... Read More
I went on this cruise with my boyfriend and his family. Staff were great, and overall very attentive. The food was generally not good. The best food was at the buffet. While staff at the restaurants were very accommodating, the food did not live up to our expectations for being on a "luxury" cruise. Service at the restaurants that required an upcharge was mediocre at best. Staterooms were modern and very clean. The shows that we went to see (Six and Jersey Boys) were both excellent. The observation lounge and promenade were great places. The shore excursions were well-organized and a lot of fun, although our last excursion to Cabo was time limited because it was turning into an "at sea" day. I would definitely do an NCL cruise again, but with more realistic expectations. Not sure if it was really worth the money that I paid. Overall, it was definitely a positive experience. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I have never cruised before nor had a ever wanted to. My friends talked me into it and I am beyond happy they did!!! Can’t wait for my next one. We chose The Bliss and I was blown away with this ship. From the minute we stepped aboard to ... Read More
I have never cruised before nor had a ever wanted to. My friends talked me into it and I am beyond happy they did!!! Can’t wait for my next one. We chose The Bliss and I was blown away with this ship. From the minute we stepped aboard to the sad moment we disembark was the best holiday I have EVER had. I brought all the things for getting sea sick, gravel, bracelets etc. Never used a thing!!! You didn’t feel like you were moving at all, sometimes you forgot you were on the ship. Wow what an experience!! The fun at the pool, always something happening, games or a band, so much fun. Delicious food and such a variety. Cagney was my favourite!!! We had a balcony stateroom and I would sit out there and watch the beautiful sunrise and sunsets. The entertainment was unbelievable, we saw the Jersey boys, a Beatles cover band and three comedians. FABULOUS!! The three ports we went to were amazing, I liked Cabo the best. When I told people this was my first cruise they all said the same thing, you have set the bar high on this cruise, you will never see entertainment like this on any other cruise. Oh well guess I better stick with Norwegain then. Thank you to all the crew on the Bliss, you all were amazing. Thank you to the booking staff as well, you too were amazing and so helpful. Now on to the next one Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I was amazed that the size of the ship and the number of people on board did NOT make my husband and I feel crowded. The reservation app was genius - no waiting in line at the main dining rooms any more! And reserving for shows was a great ... Read More
I was amazed that the size of the ship and the number of people on board did NOT make my husband and I feel crowded. The reservation app was genius - no waiting in line at the main dining rooms any more! And reserving for shows was a great idea - made the seating and the theater capacity work together well. The food was impeccable (with a few misses but not many). Loved the buffet options, especially the Indian Food! Very Important : The coffee on this cruise in the buffet and in restaurants was EXCELLENT!!! Great improvement since our last cruise. Downside? Pool seemed crowded, but there were plenty of chairs. Casino - table wagers started at a minimum of 10$ .. too pricy! The tables would have been consistently full if the wagers were dropped to a reasonable level.(5$) Teppanyaki seems to have gotten to be a bit of a frenetic "show" - and too noisy. Chefs standing with their backs to each other had to be loud and seemed to copy each other's banter. (I expect they might have to somewhat, since they do so many dinners) The food was still excellent. The theater shows blew us away, especially "Six". I like the idea of a Broadway style show vs a variety show. Much more compelling and engaging. Comedians were mostly spot on... We were laughing like crazy (with one or two misfires). Cruise staff was excellent! All around. Kudos to Norwegian for exceeding our expectations for this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
The ship is huge!! With the exception of a few bright spots, it was very impersonal. I might go again, but my expectations will be much lower!! The shows were amazing! Jersey Boys and Six were really great productions and very worthy ... Read More
The ship is huge!! With the exception of a few bright spots, it was very impersonal. I might go again, but my expectations will be much lower!! The shows were amazing! Jersey Boys and Six were really great productions and very worthy of our time. Comedy shows were okay. There were two comedians that were fabulous, unfortunately, one was so poor, the quality of the show suffered. (Felt like this person was simply winging it.) There were few other activities offered onboard. Unless you want to pay extra for laser tag or car racing or participate in pool based contests (best legs??). The one great option was wine tasting. "Free at Sea". Very poor!!! There is no free lunch is the lesson here. We turned down the drink package. Because, we would have needed to drink 4+ drinks per person per day. That is the amount of tips/gratuity we would have paid for taking the free package. We took the free Internet and then upgraded for unlimited which was wise. Occasionally, the service was overtaxed, but in general, it was adequate. Free airfare and transfers. Please don't!! We disembarked by 9:30 AM and had flights scheduled by NCL after 9:30 PM. The transfers were run by some absolute amateurs dressed in NCL garb. After being part of a silly crowd of chaos, we decided to take an uber to the port. We accepted the free service charges (bright spot) and also took the free 3 specialty restaurants. Restaurants. Cagney's Steak House was absolutely wonderful. The food was excellent and so was the service. For the other two specialty restaurants, we chose Italian and the seafood restaurants. The food was just okay in these two. It would have been better to attend Cagney's for three nights. If we had to pay the exorbitant fees for the specialty restaurants, we would have been very upset. It used to be that there was a $20 cover charge, but now these are a la cart, and our bill would have easily been $50 or more per person. The Garden Cafe (buffet) was as expected, just okay food; the Manhattan Room, a "free" restaurant, had decent food--we had excellent service two of our three meals, with the third meal's service being deplorable! Our room steward was adequate. Not one single towel animal :-( No turn down service. Our balcony room was fine and comfortable. Very limited space of course, but as expected. The ship is huge. Elevators were problematic and insufficient when events concluded and during excursion returns. Some people would try to shove in when the elevators were full. It was disturbing. We booked only one excursion (choosing private options at PV and Mazatlan). We had tickets to gather at the Manhattan Room. In the same method as the transfer from the airport, it was chaotic. PLEASE NCL--you don't know how to gather and move large groups of people?? We arrived 5 minutes before the meeting time and people were already lined up and being moved. No one knew where to line up or which groups were being called. We purchased spa passes for the week. We enjoyed what the spa had to offer. However, fellow passengers behaved badly and there was no support from the spa staff. Specifically the heated mosaic chairs, which are very limited, are not to be reserved. Yet, people drop their belongings to save these chairs while they are using other features. I asked staff and they said I could move their stuff, but why isn't it posted? Why doesn't the staff move those items to keep the chairs available? Ports: We used FlavorTeller Food Tours in Mazatlan, which was absolutely wonderful!! This private tour was booked online and the owner/guide was amazing. Maaike took great care of us, shared the culture and flavors of the area and served to translate. In Puerto Vallarta, we books ToursByLocals and chose Cervando--he was polite, kind, and very knowledgeable about PV. We had a great personalized day in an air conditioned van. In Cabo San Lucas, we took the ship's excursion to the Los Arcos. We were supposed to hear a Cousteau recording about the local sea life, however, the speakers were inadequate and when we got to the attraction, there were so many other ships, our views were obstructed. Afterwards, we walked to "The Office" and had a great lunch at a table on the beach. Next time, I'd forego the ship's excursion and just go hang out at the beach as the water was warm and beautiful! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We had a great time on the cruise. We arrived around 10 am to check in and so were one of the first to get on the ship. Prior to getting on the escalators, there was a desk to reserver for the specialty dining rooms so we were able to ... Read More
We had a great time on the cruise. We arrived around 10 am to check in and so were one of the first to get on the ship. Prior to getting on the escalators, there was a desk to reserver for the specialty dining rooms so we were able to make reservations without waiting at all. Getting on was very simple and after checking out our room, we headed down to 6th floor to make reservations for the shows and go-carts. We waited about 10 minutes. Disembarkation was very well organized and we walked off with our luggage and it took us about 20 min without waiting much in line. The ship was very clean and beautiful. We laid out in the Spice H2O area and never had a problem finding lounge chairs. We tried the family slide but did not try the big slide as we saw at least 3 people getting stuck in the middle of the slide. They need to fix that slide. We tried the go-carts and had a blast except they slowed my husband's cart because he was going too fast.. We ate at Food Republic twice. They had the best kimchee fried rice and we are experts. The waiter there was also very helpful. We also tried Cagney's which was great and Ocean Blue which was also very good. We did not enjoy Le Bistro as much. The buffet had excellent Indian food and we were able to always find seats. We ate at the dining room once and it was okay. Great Desserts. The entertainment was outstanding. We saw Six twice, Jersey Boys Twice, and saw the Beatles show multiple times. The comedians were also pretty funny. The main thing that we had a problem with was the excursions. The Puerto Vallerta jungle tour was a joke. We walked on a road for about 15 minutes and then were stuck at the place for over an hour waiting for others who did zip lining which was not supposed to be part of the package. This is when we got bitten by chiggers. I had bug spray but it did not help at all. The tour guide should not have allowed the zip liners to keep us waiting. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We have taken river cruises but never an ocean cruise. We traveled with a group and this was the ship the travel agent booked. Because we booked last year our cruise allowed us to choose from three free amenities. We chose the Unlimited ... Read More
We have taken river cruises but never an ocean cruise. We traveled with a group and this was the ship the travel agent booked. Because we booked last year our cruise allowed us to choose from three free amenities. We chose the Unlimited Drink Package (which DOES NOT include bottled water) and the Gratuity Package, both saving us a lot of money. Everything went smoothly from the minute we stepped foot onboard to the minute we disembarked. The ship itself was spectacular - every detail we could imagine was taken into account. Our mid ship balcony suite was a great size. The bathroom was remarkably roomy; we had plenty of closet space and the bed was extremely comfortable. We loved sitting on our balcony to enjoy our morning coffee or an evening glass of wine. We purchased a 3-meal specialty restaurant package which turned out to be a great value*. We enjoyed all of the other restaurants onboard and the entertainment provided was first class. We had a wonderful experience with bartenders, cleaning crews and servers - everyone seemed happy and were very accommodating. If we travel again we would book an "adults only" cruise as we had some very noisy neighbors with smaller children that did a lot of crying and stomping around late at night. Other than that this was a very positive experience and we would recommend to everyone. *except Cagney's: Food wasn't great and the service was painfully slow Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
PacifIc Coastal cruises are great for a relaxing getaway but not this time: 2.5 hours for embarkation and the lifeboat drill after 11 pm was just the start of this disaster vacation that created more stress an angst than one could ever ... Read More
PacifIc Coastal cruises are great for a relaxing getaway but not this time: 2.5 hours for embarkation and the lifeboat drill after 11 pm was just the start of this disaster vacation that created more stress an angst than one could ever imagine! When it was time to get off at the ports they were long lines weaving around the entire ship. Try booking specialty restaurants – nothing was ever even available yet there were still lines to waiting for them to tell you that nothing was available. Except for some special instances the food was average at best. Forget the bus say unless you wanted to spend an hour walking around trying to find a seat. Oh and if you want to try any entertainment don’t even think about it on the ship. It shows were all sold out lines were long, however we were finally able to catch the comedy show as long as we were standing probably in violation of fire code in the very back! 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 4.1
Value For Money 3.5 3.5

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