57 Norwegian Bliss Pacific Coastal Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise to explore Vancouver, Victoria, Seattle and San Francisco with a total of 4 couples. We arrived several days early to Vancouver to explore the beautiful city. It was a great day. Already we had been told within the ... Read More
We chose this cruise to explore Vancouver, Victoria, Seattle and San Francisco with a total of 4 couples. We arrived several days early to Vancouver to explore the beautiful city. It was a great day. Already we had been told within the week prior that boarding would not be at 12 noon as sold Finally the day to embark arrived. We saw the ship sitting in the harbor long after all other ships left their berth. Decided to go to a restaurant to eat since it was so late. Our 7:30 pm boarding time came and left. We stood in line until 10:15pm when we finally picked up our cabin card. Finally making it into the cabin we discover a letter that all our specialty restaurants reservations were worthless. The tickets for the Jersey Boys was changed to another night -conflicting with the 2 hr minimums the restaurants required. We were in a balcony room and had adjoining rooms which was fun. Didn’t notice the noise through the walls. DAY 1 of the cruise was over about 11:30 pm as we were just sitting on the bed! I think the ship pulled out about 2:30 am. DAY 2. Notice was given that our next stop Seattle was CANCELLED. yup. All the plans and reservations were done for - no harbor cruise, hop on/off bus tour, Space Needle and Chihuly Garden and Glass museum. We were less than 24 hours notice so NO Refunds!! About $250 for each couple. Viator is an outside company that have great tours and prices but they need 24 hours advance notice to cancel. We were in Victoria BC. Beautiful city with lovely gardens. We had scheduled a 2.5 PediCab ride around the town. The owner sent a text early on that stated,” it seems your ship is in port, want to go today?” We did and had a delightful personal tour of the city. Ryan our pedal driver was quick witted and knew Victoria history. We visited parks and heard some tantalizing stories of old government with the hanging alley. Ate at the Garden Cafe for dinner. It was jammed, with mediocre cafeteria food. People didn’t know what to do. No scheduled entertainment. Seems the JB didn’t get picked up in Seattle!! Listened to a couple of singers in the atrium area that were good. DAY 3. Still in Victoria. Almost every thing, place or activity on the ship is closed. We are in port. Limited bars, no racetrack, lazer tag, casino, stores. What do 4400 people do for another 24 hours. Nothing to do. Dinner at the Q Smokehouse- hard to go wrong with a chicken breast and baked beans! At 10:30 pm We enjoyed the production of SIX-Louis VIII six wives. Action paced and very cleverly done. We are now underway to San Francisco.. DAY4. Cruise in under the Golden Gate Bridge. That was amazing so quiet at 6:30 am. Dressed and ready to go. Hop on/ off bus tour, get some sourdough bread and have clam chowder in the City. We are all excited to go @ 8 am. We have all day until 6:30 pm in town. Wait, it’s Noon and we are still on board! Seems NCL didn’t pick up the Immigration official in Seattle. So 4400 people wait. We were off by 1 pm. So we did the bus tour. Went out to Sausalito, crossed the GGB 4 times due to bus route, saw a jumper and made it back at 5 ish. No clam chowder, no sourdough to take home. Specialty dinner in Ocean Blue was fantastic. Giant scallops, shrimp and blue fish were plated well and the dinner was a success. Finally got to see Jersey Boys at 10:30 and it was fantastic. The songs were easy to listen to and enjoy. The cast of both shows are outstanding. Day 5 at sea so headed out to some activities. Alaskan beer tasting. The District. Double doors closed before 2 pm. Showed up with about 30 others. After 15 minutes waiting, I went around to the wine event and got an employee to go inside to see if there was a problem. Barman stated no one was there so he cancelled it. Guess he should have opened the door!! Not an apology to anyone. Nothing available for the racetrack, or laser tag, casino, did our bit to give back to the ship. . Ate dinner at the Manhattan Room. Was pleasant and complimentary. Not hurried like the Cafe. Day 6. Pull into LA. Cruise is over. Disembarking and getting luggage was easy. Was looking forward to fun time doing things with friends and family. It was uneventful. Can’t say I would recommend NCL after this fiasco. We have enjoyed Royal Caribbean and carnival over the years. Carl our room steward was delightful. The room was tidy each day. Loved the continental breakfast each morning. Didn’t have to fight the elevator masses for coffee. The Observation Deck was very pleasant. Light food and drinks available with wonderful views. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We can’t wait to get off this cruise ship. This is the last day of our cruise on the Norwegian Bliss from Vancouver to LA. We stayed in a balcony room in 10246. The room is spacious and modern, but it’s not sound proof enough so we ... Read More
We can’t wait to get off this cruise ship. This is the last day of our cruise on the Norwegian Bliss from Vancouver to LA. We stayed in a balcony room in 10246. The room is spacious and modern, but it’s not sound proof enough so we constantly hear the TV from the next room at night when we’re trying to sleep, people “doing it” at night, and just general stomping noises and people slamming their doors. The worst part is the food. It’s terrible. The teppanyaki served really salty food, and the Q Texas had the worst food we’ve had all year. The buffet and main dining rooms also had either really salty or bad food. It’s worse than a mall food court sometimes. The only good meal we had was at Cagneys, but you pay extra for that. Also, the gym was very good with excellent weight machines. The onboard process was long and terrible, and it pissed off a lot of people. We were supposed to board at 7:30pm, and we didn’t board until 10pm because they were disorganized and boarded late. We had 30 minutes to grab something to eat at the extremely crowded buffet (we were not offered food or drinks in the 3-4 hour wait to board the ship) before we were told to go to the muster station. After our Seattle port was cancelled, they offered each stateroom a $100 onboard credit. Nothing we could do about that. However, when we got to SF and had to clear customs, they called floor by floor to try and be efficient, but everyone still had to stand in line for almost an hour. They could have organized it to minimize the wait time. I’ve done customs clearing on another ship and it was done within ten minutes! Just very thoughtless and inconsiderate. The last straw was that we spent $50 to purchase a couple of photos, and the photographer said I could download the digital copy from the Norwegian app. I could not find the photos so I went to the photo station. The guy then told me that if I wanted the digital copies, I’d have to pay another $50 for the two photos. I asked if I could exchange the physical prints for the digital copies, he said no, you have to buy the prints first, then you can buy the digital copies. That would cost $100 for two photos! We will not cruise with Norwegian again. Going to try Celebrity next based on other equally unhappy cruisers’ suggestion! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Having previously sailed on the Bliss in the Caribbean, we looked forward to the Pacific Coastal cruise so much we even convinced a friend of ours to book a cabin on the cruise. Boy were we disappointed. Standing in line winding ... Read More
Having previously sailed on the Bliss in the Caribbean, we looked forward to the Pacific Coastal cruise so much we even convinced a friend of ours to book a cabin on the cruise. Boy were we disappointed. Standing in line winding outdoors and indoors for over 2 1/2 hours to get our room cards and board the ship. There was no place to sit or rest until we were more than 2 hours into the process. No one from NCL seemed to care. When we finally got onboard (after 10 pm) the only place to get some food was the buffet....where nearly 4,000 of our fellow passengers were trying to do the same thing. Then we were told the first port of call, Seattle, was cancelled because there was not enough time to process the passengers through immigration so we would spend an overnight in Victoria BC. Why NCL created an itinerary that requires two separate US immigration stops is beyond me. (Vancouver to Seattle to Victoria BC to San Francisco before ending in Los Angeles). We wondered about that part of the itinerary when we booked the cruise but apparently NCL did not. Victoria BC has no amenities near the cruise terminal and no entertainment area either. To make matters worse, only 3 bars were allowed to be open due to local restrictions so drink service at our specialty restaurant was negatively impacted as the closet bar was 7 floors away. Our tour guide told us it was the first time he could recall a ship staying overnight in the 20 years he had been in the town. On the 3rd day of the 6 day cruise we finally sailed so the shops/bars/casinos could be open. Things were looking up...or so we thought. Unfortunately the next cruise port (San Francisco) was another frustrating experience as we technically arrived at 8 am but we were not able to get off the ship until after noon (with another 45 minutes of standing in line after our floor was called to disembark. So much for a full day in San Francisco. The Bliss is a beautiful ship but it is NOT capable of handling the number of passengers it carries when those passengers are indoors. The employees did not seem to give much effort to making our trip enjoyable. Maybe the attitude of frustrated passengers caused them to become defensive. We have already talked three other couples who inquired about our trip to stay away from NCL Bliss for this itinerary. When I wrote to NCL customer service to express my frustrations with their efforts, they brushed me off and did not offer what I really wanted most...acknowledgement that they did not provide the level of service their customers deserved. It may very well be my last NCL cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We booked this cruise only 30 days before sailing. Reading the reviews, many people had booked this 6 day cruise well over a year ago. This was billed as a 6 day cruise, and everyone paid tips for a 6 day cruise. It was really 5 days. ... Read More
We booked this cruise only 30 days before sailing. Reading the reviews, many people had booked this 6 day cruise well over a year ago. This was billed as a 6 day cruise, and everyone paid tips for a 6 day cruise. It was really 5 days. The ship arrived at the pier in Vancouver at about 6:30PM and check in was slated to start at 7PM. Guess what happened at boarding? Most people started lining up at 4PM and by 7 there were several thousand people standing in a line that wound around Canada place. This is part of the ugly. We had done 2 other late departure NCL repositioning cruises from Vancouver before. The first was really bad and a woman waiting actually had to be taken away by ambulance due to a panic attack it was so bad. Well this time we did not even show up to check in until 9:40pm! We still waited about 10 minutes in line and we were just about the last 2 passengers to board the ship. We tried to eat as soon as we boarded but we had our drill and everything was shut down. Still the ugly! When we arrived in our room, we found a letter letting us know our itinerary had changed. Since the cruise was announced it had its first day in Seattle. Now it was changed to eliminate Seattle and we had an overnight in Victoria. This was OK for us but many passengers were disappointed. The excuse was not having enough time to notify the US authorities for immigration purposes. Now, all 4,000+ pax had to go through US customs in San Francisco! We did the drill and enjoyed the ship. The next morning we arrived in Victoria. This would be the good for us. Victoria is a beautiful place to visit and we had a beautiful day there. We took a nice walk to Craigdarroch Castle (about 3 miles) as we had never visited there. Well worth the visit. Then we headed back to town and enjoyed happy hour! Swan's was our first stop then we visited Canoe. Both fun places for adult beverages! We had enough energy left and walked back to the ship. The Liverpool Beatles did a show at 7:30 in the showroom and it was standing room only. They did early Beatles in this show and everyone enjoyed it. The next day we were to leave at 2PM so we just walked into town and back. Again it was a beautiful day. Sail away was nice and we just explored the ship. We had dinner at the Q which was good. DW stayed and to watch the CW band (ok but not great). I went to the Cavern club and got there early enough to get one of the last seats there. The 9PM Beatles show was the early years. This was great for me as a Beatles fan to see these guys performing in a small club environment and I could imagine what it was like to see them in Liverpool in 62/63! Now for our first sea day. We received a notice that we would be refunded our port charges for Seattle and they gave each cabin $100 OBC. This was a positive move as NCL knew full well the immigration situation long before our cruise but did not tell the passengers until we were onboard and could do nothing about it! Our Cruise Critic M&G was at noon. This was also the time the ship scheduled the Veterans get together at Maltings. I went to the Veterans and DW went to the M&G at the District Brewhouse. I visited with the one other Vet at the bar for a few minutes and then wet off to join in the M&G. NO SHIPS OFFICERS attended the M&G but they did have champagne for us (nice touch). There were 30-40 cruisers there. Great to meet those we were chatting with on the roll call. The schedule said there would be an Alaskan Beer tasting at 2PM at the District Brewhouse. I was in a group of 10-20 standing outside the closed doors to the District at 2 pm. I just left and came back about 10 minutes later figuring I could join in the tasting a little late. When I got to the District, it was empty. They had kept the doors closed and then the bartender said nobody was there at 2 so he just cancelled the tasting! Poor management! Dinner was at the buffet and it was fine. Then we went to Six. DW liked it, she was listening to each of the "wives" as they sang about their life with King Henry. I was a well done show but not up my alley! Overall, the sea day was good. Now for San Francisco. Since we now needed to clear customs in SF (which was originally going to be handled in Seattle) it meant that EVERYONE would be getting off the ship when we arrived. We had booked a trip to Alcatraz on our own for 10:30AM. I had gone to the front desk on the sea day and managed to get with the correct person to assist us in getting off the ship in the first group to go through customs. This did work fine and we were walking around in SF by 8:30AM. I heard the ship was cleared by around 11AM. We had a good day and BEAUTIFUL weather in SF. On Alcatraz, they were saying how unusually beautiful and clear the day was. Parts of the island were opened to the public that normally are off limits. We spent the remainder of our day walking in the Fisherman's Wharf area. We would have ridden the cable cars but it was way expensive and a long line just to get on. Not for us. Back to the ship and the buffet for dinner. We finished dinner and it was about 7 so we wandered by the theater. There was no line so instead of sail away we went into the Jersey Boys show. Mistake missing sail away! Jersey Boys was an excellent show right up until the point in the show where they dropped the first "F" bomb! There was an audible gasp in the theater. To be fair NCL does have a sentence to warn passengers in the Daily and a piece of paper size sign at the theater when you walk in. We never saw either of these. That just tainted our enjoyment of what otherwise was a great show. It is just sad that NCL feels like this language is necessary in their primary entertainment show for a ship that is marketed to families! The language could be changed without damaging the performance. Another example for us of the BAD! We did eat breakfast and lunch at the local. They did an outstanding job and the food was fresh and hot. Dinner on our last sea day was at La Cuchina and it was good food and the service was good. We just wandered a bit and packed. The ship is new. It is well maintained and the crew were all happy. We did not care for the size of the ship. You have 3 levels of shops, shows and places to eat (6,7 and *8). Then you have 7 levels of hotel and 15 and 16 for food and pools. The only place they used for games, trivia, presentations etc was the atrium. This is typical of NCL in that they really do not pay attention to those types of activities. The atrium in big and impersonal and when we cruise, we typically make friendships at trivia and other small group activities. Not so much on NCL. Disembarkation went great. We walked off with our bags. That started at 7:30 and we left at 8 with NO LINES! this was a good! We have continued to try NCL but sometimes it is just not a good fit. I tried to add photos but the review would not allow it! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Cruise was spoiled by problems with embarking, disembarking, cancellation of Port of Seattle, very late night safety drill and lack of half day on ship in Vancouver. Cruise also spent too long in Port of Victoria, where we live. Management ... Read More
Cruise was spoiled by problems with embarking, disembarking, cancellation of Port of Seattle, very late night safety drill and lack of half day on ship in Vancouver. Cruise also spent too long in Port of Victoria, where we live. Management blamed the tides on our loading problems, which was ridiculous because tide conditions are posted months in advance. Our ship came up empty from Seattle and had plenty of time to dock and let passengers on to enjoy the ship before we embarked. Maybe they forgot to reserve a spot on the jetty? Two meals, lunch and supper were missed. Getting on the ship (3 1/2 hours plus) was a nightmare with too long lines, being kept in holding rooms where no refreshments were served. Not enough crew were hired to assist, as they knew they had to process 4000 plus people. Passengers who had sailed with Norwegian before said this had not happened before. Why this time? Why not do the safety drill when we were held in holding rooms? I realize the drill is mandatory, but 10:45 is ridiculous. Why couldn’t people with small children, send one parent and let the kids sleep? We were not shown where the life jackets were, which is foolish in an emergency. Why wait until we were boarding to inform us by letter that Port of Seattle was cancelled. What was the real reason? Many people were meeting loved ones in Seattle or had their day planned. Others chose this cruise because it was the only one going to Seattle. We were lucky to get off the ship quickly in San Franscico, but many were not. Floor 9 didn’t get off until after 1:00 which ruined their days’ plans. When did the lower decks finally get off? We heard the crew didn’t get any shore leave. Customer service lineups seemed to at least twenty people deep whenever we went. We were also charged for 6 days gratuities when we didn’t get our day in Vancouver. Disembarking in Los Angeles was smooth because management hired some Princess cruise staff to assist. Finally. Staff on ship were very good. Loved the observation lounge for reading and light lunches. Jersey Boys were excellent. Food in Cafe was good but maybe a bit bland without spices. Loved the food choices. Great weather. Hop on and off in San Francisco was excellent and visiting Pier 39 for outstanding clam chowder in a sourdough bowl was yummy. Unfortunately, the Management planning was terrible and needs to be vastly improved Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
A beautiful ship with excellent people serving the guests. The overall trip was ruined by in competent senior staff on board, and incompetent senior management at Norwegian Cruise Lines. The trip started out as a disaster from Vancouver. ... Read More
A beautiful ship with excellent people serving the guests. The overall trip was ruined by in competent senior staff on board, and incompetent senior management at Norwegian Cruise Lines. The trip started out as a disaster from Vancouver. The ship was originally scheduled to board at 7PM. The original cruise documents said boarding could begin an hour earlier (6PM). However, this changed the day of departure, and no one was allowed to board until 7PM. You can imagine what it was like when 4,000 passengers all showed up at 7PM to board the ship. There was one line that twisted and turned the full length of the terminal and wound around and doubled back outside the terminal. We stood in line from 7PM until 9:30 when we finally boarded. We paid the extra fare to stay in the Haven, because of the additional perks included. One of those perks was supposed to be expedited boarding. After two hours and 15 minutes in line, a guy finally came down the line with a Haven sign and led us to the Haven check-in line. Never once while in line, nor after we boarded did anyone explain what had gone wrong. No announcement over the loudspeakers apologizing for the disastrous start. Instead, to add insult to injury, they came over the loudspeaker and announced that everyone had to go through the lifeboat drill at 11:00 at night. Even after they covered all of the information on how to put on your life vest in case of an emergency, the Captain didn’t bother to come on the speaker, explain what had caused the horrible delays, and apologize for the disastrous start to the cruise. Next morning we wake up to find out that our scheduled port of call in Seattle had been cancelled. Instead we spent two days tied up at the first port of call in Victoria, B.C. On our next port of call, after a day at sea, was San Francisco. The night before arriving there a note is left on our bed telling us to meet the concierge in the Haven Lounge the next day at 7:45AM to get off of the ship because everyone on board had to get off the ship and go through customs, since this was the first stop at a US port. Furthermore, no one would be allowed to get back on the ship until everyone on board had exited and gone though customs. So, regardless of what you may have wanted to do that day, you had to hang out in the terminal for about two hours before getting back on board. I fully understand that sometimes things don’t go as planned. Glitches occur. However, great companies develop contingency plans to handle unforeseen circumstances. And the very best o take extra seps to see to it their customers either never know a problem existed, or that they far exceed their customers expectations when addressing the problem. From my perspective after this Cruise, Norwegian Cruise Lines hasn’t got a clue about how to deal with uncertainties when they occur. That’s actually scary when you think about being in a boat on the open seas. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We have been on 25 cruises, 3 so far this year. We have been on multiple NCL cruises and we were excited to try out the Bliss! The cruise did not start out well and was lacking through out the entire cruise. The Good: 1. We loved ... Read More
We have been on 25 cruises, 3 so far this year. We have been on multiple NCL cruises and we were excited to try out the Bliss! The cruise did not start out well and was lacking through out the entire cruise. The Good: 1. We loved the observation lounge. 2. The entertainment was good. We loved SIX and the Beatles. The bands were good. 3. We enjoyed the Laser Tag. 4. The ship was extremely clean. 5. We liked our balcony stateroom, especially the shower size! The Okay: 1. Food was hit or miss, with not much variety. 2. Raceway cars were pretty slow, overpriced, and you had a hard time passing people. The Bad: 1. Embarkation was delayed due to NCL issues, which meant one less day onboard that we paid for. The process was 2 1/2 hours. We finally got on board around 9 pm. The only dinner that was offered to us was an overcrowded buffet for 1st night. 2. The first port, Seattle, was cancelled due to NCL problems. After guests complaints the compensated guests $50pp, which is about the cost of the port fee we paid for Seatle. They let us know about the cancellation only 10 hours before we were supposed to arrive. 3. Customs/immigration in San Francisco was done very poorly, causing 3-4 hours delay in getting off the ship. They only had one extremely, long, slow line that snaked throughout the ship. There was lots of misinformation with the process. 4. The service was poor through out the ship. It seemed like there were lots of new or improperly trained staff. The service in the dining rooms was slow. We were directed many times to certain areas, only to be re-directed somewhere else. Several times when we returned to our room in the evening for a brief moment our steward who ask: "If we needed service for that night." We have never experienced this on any other cruise. We are pretty flexible and know that there might be some problems or mishaps on a cruise. The negatives far outweighed the positives on this cruise. The attitude of NCL has been extremely disappointing. It seems like everyone has downplayed any and all problems and dismissed the guests’ concerns as unimportant and irrelevant. When problems arise you find out quickly who values their customers and acts with integrity. Norwegian has shown that they do not value their customers. There are many good choices in cruising industry and unfortunately, we can no longer count Norwegian Cruise Line as a good choice. It will be a very long time, if ever, if we choose to cruise NCL again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
not enough info given to guests --- we were told while traveling to Victoria that we would stay overnight in Victoria and not going to Seattle was not right. not enough to do in Victoria , could have stayed over night in San Francisco. ... Read More
not enough info given to guests --- we were told while traveling to Victoria that we would stay overnight in Victoria and not going to Seattle was not right. not enough to do in Victoria , could have stayed over night in San Francisco. Trying to get in a restaurant to eat was impossible tables open all over but told you need reservations, but none were avalilable.( We were in the Haven so we ate there alot,and the service and food was great.) Food was good when we able to get in to eat It was the same with the shows if you did not make reservations the day they were available,you didn't get them you could try and wait in standby line but you had to get in line at 6pm for a 7:30 show. We were on a BTOB cruise, over all not real happy with this part of the cruise. we usually like Norwegian and will probably sail with you again but not in near future and not on the Bliss. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Celebrating a special anniversary. Embarkation nightmare. Supposed to board ship at 7P.M. which is a late boarding to begin with. At 11P.M. finally made it without any explanation as to the delay. Ate dinner at midnight. Company not ... Read More
Celebrating a special anniversary. Embarkation nightmare. Supposed to board ship at 7P.M. which is a late boarding to begin with. At 11P.M. finally made it without any explanation as to the delay. Ate dinner at midnight. Company not terribly concerned about inconveniencing passengers. Due to the extraordinary delay Seattle was eliminated from our itinerary. Instead of three stops on our 6 day cruise we ended up with 2 stops and the rest at sea. Aside from the specialty restaurants the service was poor and the food fair at best. I waited two hours for an omelette in one of them.Even the excursions were poorly run.Lines everywhere you went very long.Balcony cabin very small.Trip seemed very disorganized from the get go. I wrote to the executives regarding my concerns almost two weeks ago but haven't gotten a response yet. If your looking for a good cruise I suggest you try a company other than NCL. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Beautiful ship and attentive crew. Comfortable stateroom. Good food, entertainment, amenities, etc. for just about any interest and taste. Theater shows were high-quality plus the go-kart track was a blast. Go figure - Getting back ... Read More
Beautiful ship and attentive crew. Comfortable stateroom. Good food, entertainment, amenities, etc. for just about any interest and taste. Theater shows were high-quality plus the go-kart track was a blast. Go figure - Getting back into pingpong was an unexpected bonus. All of the good stuff had a terrible downside. Poor communication of key information such as boarding/disembarkation was only surpassed by the pain of actually enduring the process used. Instead of a staggered boarding process, there was only an extremely long line that snaked through a very large building, plus around it outside. This took about 3 hours to complete. At one point, the line snaked around a big room only to end up seating people near the door that they entered. An entire port visit was cancelled completely. At San Francisco, every passenger was required to exit with none allowed to return until everyone was off. We felt lucky to take only 2 hours on this, although others took much longer. Since we had no knowledge of what was involved until the night before, we thus missed an onshore appointment. Whereas I suspect that the port authorities have certain requirements, it almost appeared that the cruise line had not actually gone through these activities before. Of course, because the line in fact regularly enters ports of multiple nations, there is no excuse apparent for the long lines, waits and significant (un-communicated) reduction in shore time. We did not take any cruise-line arranged shore excursions, so I cannot comment on them. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We are frequent cruisers. We got together with two other couples on this cruise - just to enjoy a new ship. We had all been to all the ports so we figured we would just enjoy each other's company. When we booked the cruise, it said ... Read More
We are frequent cruisers. We got together with two other couples on this cruise - just to enjoy a new ship. We had all been to all the ports so we figured we would just enjoy each other's company. When we booked the cruise, it said that the ship would depart Vancouver at 3:30 PM. So we made our airfare and other travel arrangements accordingly. When we checked in on line, our boarding time came up as 7PM. They had accepted our 6:30 dinner reservations so we were confused. After several calls to our travel agent and NCL, we were told that the 7PM must have been a mistake and that we should go to the pier and would probably be on board after 12 noon. Two weeks before the cruise we get a letter from NCL that stated the ship would not be docked until 7PM and that we should not go to the pier before then. Our travel arrangements could not be altered so we got up at 4AM and travelled getting into Vancouver around 9:45. We purchased transportation to the pier and had to walk around Vancouver all day after turning in our luggage. We were tired so went to the pier at 4:00. No where to sit. The ship was in the harbor since 2:30 AM but couldn't get to the pier because 3 other ships were there. Boarding was terrible. Meals were cold and long waits - didn't go to Seattle as planned. Whole experience was terrible. Restaurants were crowded and food came to the table slow and not hot. The dining rooms are decorated beautifully - very contemporary. French, Italian and Steak house food was excellent, but of course there was a hot food issue everywhere. As far as entertainment, the Jersey Boys show was wonderful, but on that size ship shows had to be done more than 1 night (each was two nights) so we didn't have a show to go to every night. One show, Prohibition, was a surcharge of $39 - never heard of that. The race track and laser tag on the top deck along with the slides were for the younger guest so we didn't frequent. At cocktail time before dinner, most of the bars we went to service was so poor that we went to the bar to get our own drinks. - Also never had that happen. We didn't use any shore excursions as they were VERY pricy and we had already been to these ports. Please note - they took away Seattle too. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was our second cruise and first on Norwegian. It was a cruise from hell! We booked a boarding time of 10:30 a.m., so booked a flight from Calgary to Vancouver arriving at 9:00 a.m. Got to the port and advised that boarding had ... Read More
This was our second cruise and first on Norwegian. It was a cruise from hell! We booked a boarding time of 10:30 a.m., so booked a flight from Calgary to Vancouver arriving at 9:00 a.m. Got to the port and advised that boarding had been changed to 7:00 p.m. We had the whole day to kill so were given a recommendation to take the seabus to North Vancouver. We did that, and thankfully the weather was nice. Walked around and basically watched our ship floating in the middle of the water - all day. The onboarding process was horrendous and no one was happy. We were supposed to board at 7:00 pm - waited in line since 6:30 pm. We were herded like cattle into a gymnasium type area and sat there with no water or communication. Long process!! Finally got on the ship around 9:30 p.m. Had to go to the muster stations at 11:00 p.m. - had no food at that point and the crew were not pleasant. Didn't get our luggage until midnight. The next morning I noticed a $30.00 service charge to our room. We didn't cruise the first day and they still had the gall to charge us. I complained to customer service and their only answer was that they couldn't do anything about it. The food in the buffet was terrible. Very bland and no variety. Part of our package included 3 specialty dining restaurants. What they don't tell you is that only includes limited items on the menu. You can't order the 35.00 steak. The Local was about the only place that had great food. We loved their chicken wings and decided to order them one night to take to our room. I asked for a plate and when asked why I said we wanted to take it to our room. We were told that wasn't allowed due to "sanitary" reason, but we could order room service (and pay for it) and that would be okay. Really?? Not sanitary for us to take it - but hell - you can load up at the buffet and take it to your room - that's okay. They nickel and dime you to death. This was was advertised as a 6 day cruise, but with leaving Vancouver at 2:30 a.m., and sitting in Victoria for two days (Seattle was cancelled) - this should be touted as a 5 day cruise and we should be refunded for a day. We didn't find the staff exceptionally pleasant - most of them were flying back home after the cruise, and I think they just wanted to get off as well. We will NEVER, EVER take Norwegian again - even if it was free. You would still get nickel and dimed to death on everything else. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I took the Pacific Coast re-positioning cruise on 9/30 which was supposed to stop in Victoria, Seattle, and San Francisco. As others have pointed out, boarding was a nightmare. When we booked the cruise many months before, boarding was ... Read More
I took the Pacific Coast re-positioning cruise on 9/30 which was supposed to stop in Victoria, Seattle, and San Francisco. As others have pointed out, boarding was a nightmare. When we booked the cruise many months before, boarding was supposed to be at 3:30 PM. Then when we received our luggage tags in the mail, the boarding time had magically changed to 7:30 PM. Then, due to the ridiculous line on the departure day, we didn't actually get on the ship until at least 10:00 PM. This was particularly crappy, because we have have a 6-year-old and had to return our rental car before 6:00 PM. And obviously we had to check out of our hotel much earlier in the day. So we ended up hanging out at a food court across the street from the cruise terminal for hours after 6:00 PM. Pretty awful. Once on board, we read that the itinerary had changed such that we were no longer stopping in Seattle. Of course, there was no legitimate or concrete reason provided for this, nor did the Captain or anyone else bother to explain or apologize for ripping us off. I was eating at the buffet one day, and one of the head dudes on the ship (not the captain, but the second or third in command) was going around talking to people. When he approached me, I asked him why we didn't stop in Seattle. He made up some excuse about not being able to coordinate enough Customs workers to process passengers. As if this was all new to them and the ship didn't spend all summer going in and out of Seattle. Ridiculous. I suspect the real reason we didn't go is because of extreme disorganization/incompetence on the part of the crew/ Cruise line which was a common theme throughout the trip. We eventually got a $100 credit to our cabin for the missed port. How generous. Just as others experienced, getting off in San Francisco was also a nightmare. It took 45 minutes to get off the ship, and this was with a few line cuts (thanks to some of the crew) because we had an excursion that we were late for. This was not our fault, as we were initially told that we had to disembark the ship floor-by-floor, and were supposed to wait for our floor to be called before disembarking. Regarding the ship, it was reasonably nice, but I felt that there was not enough common space for the number of passengers aboard, and this was consistently evident based on virtually everywhere being overcrowded when at sea. I think they should have designed the ship with fewer cabins and more common areas, but of course, this would yield a few less dollars, so I guess it may not have been tenable. Even though the weather was starting to cool down, I went on the water slides. There weren't even that many people in line for either of the slides, but the wait was still extremely long to use them. I can't imagine how miserable it must be waiting for the slides in a more temperate climate such as the Caribbean. Our balcony cabin was very average, nothing special. It was a bit loud and we could hear toilets flushing and some voices from other rooms. The toilets were also unreasonably loud. The free TV choices were extremely limited, and movies cost $10 each. Total rip off. Also a ripoff was the "free" internet package we received. It was a hassle to log on and off (this is undoubtedly intentional so that people don't use it as much), and we weren't even able to access YouTube or other streaming sites unless we paid for upgraded internet. Also, we were limited to using one device at a time. Again, a total ripoff. Regarding the food, I felt it was very average. Not amazing, not terrible. All in all, this was probably one of the the worst cruises I've been on all things considered. I actually think that Disney is worse than NCL (bad food, no casino, too expensive for what you get), but the wife and kid like Disney at least. None of us liked NCL much, and for this reason, we probably wont be back on an NCL ship for a very long time. They really blew it with this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We are Platinum Plus (30+ cruises) and consider ourselves "loyalists." Unfortunately, our experience on the Bliss in September pushed us to look elsewhere. We'd also had a not so great experience on the Bliss in April but ... Read More
We are Platinum Plus (30+ cruises) and consider ourselves "loyalists." Unfortunately, our experience on the Bliss in September pushed us to look elsewhere. We'd also had a not so great experience on the Bliss in April but explained it away by the newness of the ship, etc. This time, we couldn't explain away the below average experience. It really makes us sad b/c we've loved NCL for so many reasons. Unfortunately, the changes in NCL (growing too big too fast) are impacting customer service, the cruise experience, and food quality. No longer is there a "family" feel...we felt like just another number (I know we are no matter what but there was not even a pretense to care). On top of that, we brought along our 2 cousins and our travel agent (who'd never sailed NCL) and she brought along 7 others. We had been ranting and raving about NCL to her so she wanted to try it to share her good experiences with her customers. First, we were not allowed to board until 10p. It was chaos (as other reviews have indicated). We ate in the MDR - the most mediocre food (at best) ever. Then the muster drill at 11p. Really? Most everyone was asleep listening to the drill...elderly folk were exhausted, parents were drained, kids were irritable, and everyone else (including myself) were dumbfounded at the sheer stupidity of keeping us at the drill so long (longer than usual). When we get to our room, there is a letter indicating we will not be stopping at Seattle as planned but would stay in Victoria for 2 days. There was no explanation and no one knew anything. Later we'd find out that supposedly Seattle port did not have enough Customs agents to allow us to pass through. We found this incredibly hard to believe. There was never an apology or explanation from the Captain or Hotel Director. In fact, the Senior Officers were nowhere to be found. Gone are the days where Senior Officers socialized a bit during the morning/afternoon in the Atrium. Guest Services was a joke. I loved sailing NCL b/c it felt like EVERYONE knew their jobs so well and I could depend/trust the information I was provided. This was not true of Guest Services - all of whom barely looked up from their computers when speaking to us. Shore Excursions Desk gave us wrong information indicating we should follow immigration process when we stopped in San Francisco ("listen for announcement"). Thank goodness I didn't trust this (mis)information and asked around and found that if you had an excursion, you could get off the ship at the excursion time. Food - the worst MDR experiences we've ever had. The food was tepid with poor presentation (it really seemed that the chefs just threw food on the plates). Orders were continually wrong, waiters didn't know answers to simple questions regarding the food, and service was horrendous. Several times waiters brought us our soup and appetizer at the same time. So we had all of our plates prior to the main meal at one time. I actually muttered "well this is new" and the waiter asked if I'd rather they hold it for me until I was ready. I declined since I knew all that meant was for it to go sit in a cold room and who knew how long it'd be for him to come around again to bring it to me. One of the Officers told me that about 30% of the staff were entirely new employees. It showed. On this trip (and the one in April on the Bliss) there were no smiling faces, "good mornings," or anyone who seemed to care that we were paying guests on a cruise ship. Everything was done with what seemed like a great deal of effort, from the hostess swiping our key cards when we checked in for dinner to handing us menus (vs tossing them to us). No more pulling out chairs for us and forget about a napkin on your lap. Platinum members? Didn't matter...there was nothing special for us. In fact, the Lattitudes party was in the Observation lounge and EVERYONE stopped by to get a drink at the bar, regardless of status. Cruise Critic Meet and Greet was pathetic - some of the Senior Officers were there and they were hurriedly introduced and they quickly ran off to somewhere else after their names were called. I often felt like saying "sorry to bother you." Not what you want when you've spent a nice chunk of change on a cruise. I wasn't sad when it was time to leave and it was hard for me to give a standing ovation at the farewell party. When I got home, I felt like I'd never even been on a vacation. I also started getting on Cruise Critic and looking at reviews of HAL, obtained other members' opinions, and called HAL for information. Did you know that a person at HAL actually answers the phone without waiting on hold for 30+ minutes?! So not only did NCL give my travel agent nothing to encourage her customers to try, her companions saying they'll go back to their usual smaller/more expensive cruises, and my cousins got driven back to Disney, but they also helped me decide to spread my wings and try HAL. Maybe I'll get back some of that feeling of being valued. While I feel a bit disloyal, I really felt the need to speak with my money and go elsewhere at least for now. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I had high hopes for this cruise since some friends of ours took it just a few months ago. Unfortunately, my husband and I were a bit disappointed. I have cruised many times on different liners and have always been in awe of the friendly ... Read More
I had high hopes for this cruise since some friends of ours took it just a few months ago. Unfortunately, my husband and I were a bit disappointed. I have cruised many times on different liners and have always been in awe of the friendly smiling crew. This cruise was very limited on that. We were not greeted with smiles, some of the bar staff were rude, some of the servers in the restaurants were rude and not many staff members had smiles on their faces and were ready to help if you were "lost". One night our group of 9 wanted to take some pictures since we were all celebrating our 55th birthdays. We got dressed up and went in search of some of the ships photographers. the very first photographer we saw stated that he would take the pictures yet we had to do exactly what he said, when he said it and a few of us would have to "LAY" on the ground. He saw we were all dressed in dresses and suits. We left there immediately and moved on. The photographer at the Atrium stairs was wonderful and help us and also let us do some "fun and cute" pictures. Another photographer we went to would not let us do a "fun" picture. She also kept telling someone in our group to smile and she was waiting to take the picture until she smiled. The woman in our group DOES NOT smile (for personal reasons) and we kept telling her to just take the picture. It was uncomfortable. The bartender and wait staff (Antonio) in the Mojito bar was FABULOUS! The specialty dining was amazing yet the food in some of the other dining areas was dry and not that good. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Original itinerary was 6-Nights Vancouver-Seattle-Victoria-at sea-San Francisco-at sea-Los Angeles, but we ended up staying in Vancouver for two nights, two days in Victoria, then at sea skipping Seattle-San Francisco-at sea-Los Angeles. ... Read More
Original itinerary was 6-Nights Vancouver-Seattle-Victoria-at sea-San Francisco-at sea-Los Angeles, but we ended up staying in Vancouver for two nights, two days in Victoria, then at sea skipping Seattle-San Francisco-at sea-Los Angeles. If we had known we couldn't even board the ship until after 7:00 pm on the embarkation, and would be staying in Vancouver for two nights, we could have saved three nights pre-boarding hotel bookings trying to adjust our flight for afternoon boarding. Embarkation at Vancouver Terminal went relatively smooth this time, compare to the last two times, because we didn't even get there until 8:30 pm, and there were no other ships boarding at the same time. First we were told to stand in a very long winding line in the terminal hallway, but when we asked for wheelchair assistance, we were told to go to wheelchair check-in line inside the door, which was very short. From there, check-in and boarding went very quickly and smoothly. We were traveling with 97-year old mother on wheelchair, but I also needed wheelchair assistance to board, because of my spinal stenosis-intermittent coasting problem. I can push mother on wheelchair on flat ground for a short distance eg., getting around the ship, but not on slopes. Stooped posture holding on to wheelchair, walker, shopping cart etc., lessens the pressure on my spine and makes easier for me to walk. All three of us have Latitude Platinum status, but that doesn't seem to help much getting extra help at check in no matter where we are. When we boarded NCL Jewel on September 17, 2018 for 19-Day Transpacific to Yokohama from the same terminal, a woman who was in charge of the terminal wheelchair service refused to assign us an additional wheelchair and assistance to push mother's wheelchair to board. We were finally able to board after running into a NCL wheelchair assistance crew member who recognized us from previous May 2018 Yokohama-Vancouver crossing. That was the most distressing embarkation experience for us in the last decade. Well, maybe another distressful and confusing embarkation at Long Beach/Los Angeles. We took NCL Sun's 5-Day Pacific Costal Vancouver to Los Angeles cruise in 2014, and visited Vancouver, Victoria, Astoria, and Seattle, so we did not do any sightseeing on this trip. We knew our friends in Victoria, Seattle and San Francisco couldn't meet us on the days of visits, so we didn't even go ashore. The highlights of our 2014 cruise were a visit to Astoria, a very charming town with welcoming town folks, lunch at a local restaurant and Colombia River Maritime Museum in town, and a tour of Fort Clatsop/Lewis & Clark National Park. On this cruise we had dinner at Le Bistro twice, Cagney's once, Los Lobos once and Food Republic once. We wanted to try Q Texas Smokehouse and Ocean Blue, but didn't have enough days. Le Bistro dining room is much smaller, probably 1/3 of the older ships', and too many tables are crammed in. We usually book and eat at Le Bistro on first and last night on board, but this time we had to wait for 1/2 hour the last night, even we had a reservation. Rack of Lamb, Asparagus Salad with Duck, creme brulee and cheese selection were excellent, much better than the last three cruises on Jewel. Porterhouse Steak at Cagney's was also excellent, but huge. Side dishes were very good as well. Actually this was the first time we liked the Cagney's food after a while. Guacamole made at the table was excellent at Los Lobos, but otherwise we can't remember how other items were. I am not sure if prices were justifiable for what were offered on the menu. In any case it's very difficult to get a table at most specialty restaurants, so it's better to plan ahead and make reservations. We wanted to try La Cucina, to see food and menu had been improved, but couldn't get in. Moderno had been one of our favorite restaurants on NCL, along with Le Bistro, but it has been removed from Bliss and other newer ships. We miss the menu and quality food offered at Moderno. Food Republic seems to be an update of Chin Chin, sushi and noodle bar, featuring ethnic fusion menu on tablet. First we went for lunch, and then went back for dinner, so we must have enjoyed what we ordered. We had potstickers, tempura shrimp roll of sort, "Yakisoba" (not what one would expect at all), bakalava with passion fruit sauce, and lemon tea. They ddid not have any green or jasmine tea on entire ship entire cruise. About Yakisoba, "Yaki" means grilled or fried, and "soba" means noodles in Japanese. it is supposed to be panfried, sometimes deep fried, noodles, never in deep sauce/broth/soup, but that of Food Republic was more of an Italian pasta with mushrooms, soaking in a cream sauce. It was good as was, but it WAS NOT anything like what we call Yakisoba. They had Ramen and Pat Thai, too, but we dared not try. Chin Chin never did/do Asian noodles right either. I wonder why it is so difficult to have some experts, for example, in Japanese, Chinese, Thai food etc., to start with, and now and then, to develop more or less authentic recipes, before offering such "experimental mock Asian" foods on board. After all, Indian curry dishes have been staples of maritime for centuries, and most cruise ships seem to do pretty decent jobs on them. We only had room service breakfast once on this trip, because the cabin is not set up for it, and had our breakfast and lunch at the Deck 15 Observation Lounge to avoid crowd and hustle. They only had limited menu eg., continental + some fruit, yogurt, oatmeal/porridge, granola for breakfast; salad, soup du jour, canapes/open face, and carrozza/pizza types for lunch, but it was more than enough for us. We didn't have the chance to eat at main dining rooms, Savor, Taste and Manhattan, or at Garden Cafe buffet on this trip, except for the last breakfast on the Disembarkation Day at Taste. We had our usual, half and half OJ and tomato juice, coffee, one hardboiled egg, wholewheat toast with peanut butter, hash brown and link sausage, and watermelon slices for mother; half and half OJ and tomato juice, yogurt, coffee, All Bran, two over-hard and link sausage for myself. Everything came out as we ordered, service was efficient, and we enjoyed our last meal aboard and relaxed before disembarkation. We went to see "Jersey Boys" and "Six", and were very pleased we did. Both performances were excellent, well produced and executed, and both troops were amazingly talented and skilled. Probably they were the best shows we've seen onboard. I don't know how they can stage such impressive productions at sea. Highly recommended. Over all service was good, but I believe smaller ships can offer more or less intimate and personal service we had in the past. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was such a disappointment Took over 4 hours to board the ship and it was disorganized. By the time we boarded ship it was after 10 pm. Missed out on dinner as there was a mandatory safely meeting at 11pm Completely missed out on ... Read More
This was such a disappointment Took over 4 hours to board the ship and it was disorganized. By the time we boarded ship it was after 10 pm. Missed out on dinner as there was a mandatory safely meeting at 11pm Completely missed out on porting in Seattle. So because we missed out in Seattle spent an extra day in Victoria Was looking forward to San Francisco and we couldn’t get off the ship until after noon even though ship was ported in the early morning. Not what our itinerary had told us Public washrooms we’re discussing. Toilets seemed to not be flushing properly and guesses continued to use them..... Food was undercooked a few times and service was terrible. We had two dining speciality packages and one of those evenings our waiter forgot to submit our food order and it took nearly an hour and 40 minutes to receive our food Terrible experience all around! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We are a platinum latitude member but normally took a NCL cruise on a small ship. My wife and I wanted to try a larger ship. The embarkation was a disaster. It took us more than 4 hours to check in and embark. Personnel at the pier in ... Read More
We are a platinum latitude member but normally took a NCL cruise on a small ship. My wife and I wanted to try a larger ship. The embarkation was a disaster. It took us more than 4 hours to check in and embark. Personnel at the pier in Vancouver were so disorganized and they waited until 7pm to start the process. They could have started earlier and gave us our passenger pass. NCL deleted our stop at Seattle without any prior notice. We found out this deletion when we boarded the ship. NCL however compensated us with $50 each. Entertainment were mostly Broadway musicals without any variety. Some of the entertainment has an entrance fee. The inside room was smaller than the smaller ship. When we reached San Francisco, all passengers must check with the immigration at the terminal building. With more than 4000 passengers to process, NCL provided only 1 checkout counter to check IDs. No wonder the cue was really long. Because of this long line, I started to get sick and passed out while on the line. Per my wife, NO NCL PERSONNEL assisted us while I was laying on the floor. Thank God, one of the passenger called 911. I was taken to the emergency room of California Pacific Medical Center. It took the hospital more than 5 hours to complete the medical tests and diagnosis. I missed the ship and NCL provided us a hotel room and a flight home to Los Angeles the following day. I believe the long line gave me the stress and sickness. I will never a large NCL ship cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary and to cruise again after serious health problems/recovery from during 2016 and 2017. We enjoyed a similar cruise in 2010 aboard the Pearl so we thought let's try it ... Read More
We chose this cruise to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary and to cruise again after serious health problems/recovery from during 2016 and 2017. We enjoyed a similar cruise in 2010 aboard the Pearl so we thought let's try it again. We changed to this cruise from another one during June, 2018 and got a couple of notifications from Ncl regarding later boarding times( due to low tides and getting under Lion's Gate bridge) by January, 2019. However on our roll call group, people were still being told normal boarding times. 30 days prior to the cruise Ncl sends a letter stating 7pm check-in/boarding for passengers. We arrived in Vancouver on the 28th of September to sightsee so it was like a port day for us. We had late checkout at the Pan Pacific hotel and watched 3 other ships leave before the Bliss could dock. The "fun" was only beginning little did we know! We went down to get n the line and OMG it was unbelievably long and snaked around outside the building and down along side the pier. It was now after 7pm and getting dark and colder. We stood in line for over 2&1/2 hours til we finally got to Hall C and we heard someone ask about priority boarding. We were platinum level plus in the Haven area so we mentioned that to a gentleman, who motioned us to a different line to check-in, and from that point we were about 15 minutes until we were escorted to the Haven area. We got seated in the Haven restaurant about 10 pm and had 30 minutes to order and eat our food! We then had to go to the 11 pm muster drill. I think there were passengers still boarding the ship just prior to the muster drill. We got a letter saying we were skipping Seattle the next day and going to Victoria instead and staying there for 1 &1/2 days. We did get some OBC but that didn't begin to make up things. The casino, several bars and shops were also closed during all this time and what do you do with 4,000 unhappy passengers? And there were lot's of them. We upgraded from a side balcony cabin to a Haven aft balcony cabin in celebration of our anniversary and my serious health problems. While we did enjoy our cabin and large balcony, there were too many negatives on this cruise and we came away very disappointed. Late and confusing embarcation, last minute change regarding ports, getting the wrong foods in restaurants from what you ordered, lack of communication and inaccurate info pre-cruise were some of the issues. Never really felt like we were on vacation because of the problems. For what we paid for the Haven experience and to disembark feeling deflated! We dined in the Haven restaurant, Cagney's, LaCucina, Los Lobos, Teppanyaki ( wife and daughter only), the Local, the buffet and Q. My favorite was LaCucina ( outside on the waterfront) and the other family members enjoyed Teppanyaki the most. Food was good everywhere (even when we got food that was different from what we ordered). We went to Jersey Boys and the new show Sixx. We enjoyed JB and my wife liked Sixx much better than I. Wife and daughter donated their $$ playing bingo. We didn't t really get to play in the casino as much as normal due to it being closed half of the cruise and trying to work everything in the the other half of the cruise. Really like the Bliss having the separate non-smoking area in the casino. Our Cruise Critic group had a M&G, a Group Slot pull and a small sailaway party on our large balcony leaving Victoria. We then proceeded on a cabin crawl (about 10 people) and we're allowed by the concierge to show them the Haven area quickly Things were so much out of whack that we couldn't ever seem to get into a rhythm or flow and enjoy our cruise. With our celebrations, we wanted this to be an unforgettable cruise. I will always remember this cruise but for the wrong reasons! Did we have a good cruise.....maybe Did we have a great cruise.....not even close!!! This was our 7th cruise with Ncl but time will tell if there will be more. I couldn't even justify buying more cruise rewards to use towards future cruises. Sent emails to customer service and CEO Andy Stuart but they haven't responded so far. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Embarkation in vancouver was a disaster! embarkation staff was incompetent and overwhelmed by the number of passengers. there was no special line for handicap or platinum members. Lifeboat drill was at 1100 p.m.-stupid time to have ... Read More
Embarkation in vancouver was a disaster! embarkation staff was incompetent and overwhelmed by the number of passengers. there was no special line for handicap or platinum members. Lifeboat drill was at 1100 p.m.-stupid time to have it. passengers were tired after being up all day then waiting for the embarkation process. Our seattle stop was cancelled-we were not informed of this until later that night. had we have known in advance that we were not going to seattle then we would have changed our booking. overheard several passengers saying they had friends/family meetings in seattle. a big disappointment for a lot of people. Ncl's excuse was that it would take too long to disembark and embark at the seattle port. bs: they should have known from experience how much time was involved and planned accordingly. Main dining staff was "lost". they were getting orders messed up and appeared as though this was the first cruise ship they had ever been on. besides being incompetent, most were not friendly. The first day of using the spa facility, there was a constant flow of perspective clients being toured through-so much for peace and quiet! Last year we were on the bliss for a 7 day cruise and it was fantastic. this time it was not. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
My husband purchased this cruise for me as a holiday gift - we love cruising, and have cruised several times with NCL. The fact that Jersey Boys (one of my favorite musicals) was on-board was the proverbial icing on the cake! We were ... Read More
My husband purchased this cruise for me as a holiday gift - we love cruising, and have cruised several times with NCL. The fact that Jersey Boys (one of my favorite musicals) was on-board was the proverbial icing on the cake! We were excited! We flew into Vancouver late the night before, with the expectation of boarding the boat in the late afternoon. We enjoyed the sites, ate a really good lunch, and proceeded to the cruise terminal. At this point (after receiving an email) we knew that the embarkation process was delayed, and that boarding would begin at 7pm. There was a line 3,800 strong. Luckily, we were seated in a holding room due to the fact that my husband is a disabled veteran. But it went down hill from here. The check-in process did NOT go smoothly. I had entered my CC information online prior to leaving home, but the agent at the desk failed to notify me that it didn't save. Once we stepped on the ship we found out that one of the ports had been cancelled (Seattle). (This was especially disturbing as I had forgotten some medication and had arranged and paid my neighbor to overnight it the port for pick up - except, now.... ). Then, by the time the agents make it through the line, we have the mandatory safety drill at 11PM - no one is "feeling it" at this point and tempers are flaring, including the lady doing the demonstration who actually yelled at passengers to SHUT UP! at one point. Nice. We awake the next morning to a letter that a cash deposit is required, since there is no credit card on file and we proceed down to the guest services desk and wait another hour or so in line. (they tired to close the line just in front of me, but I wasn't having anything to do with that. I made them listen. I am not a rude nor normally pushy person by nature, but I was already pretty dissatisfied.) My husband and I decided to schedule a spa day. We arrive for our appointment in the spa (couples massage) and are taken to a "pre-massage" relaxation room... that has 10 warmed beds, music, curtains in between for privacy, except 9 of the 10 bed are full and there are two of us - hence the couples massage. We offer to reschedule, however they WILL NOT let us leave (obviously fearing missing out on the up-charges) and throw my husband and I into the spa haven place where others have paid to enjoy private saunas and jacuzzis. Whatever. The massage was decent. Thank goodness! I'm not sure if it was the sheer size of this ship - now the largest in Norwegian's fleet - or the way this vacation started, but it really felt like one huge disappointment. Like when you're excited because you're going to Disneyland and you know you're going to have a fun filled day - except you spend all day waiting in line! That's this cruise to a "T"! LOWLIGHTS that make me say skip it: *Staff was not as welcoming or friendly as other NCL trips we have been on *Ship is SO large that you wait to dine anywhere or even to see a show *Don't dare ask for a non-alcoholic cocktail *Buffet food could be fresher at times *No where to sit - again, too many people, not enough planning *Lack of options for food during non peak meal times *No fun towel animals on the bed - c'mon, this makes you feel special! *Feeling like numbered cattle HIGHLIGHTS that make me say consider it: *The entertainment was PHENOMENAL!!!! *99% of the food we had - outside of the buffet - was out of this world! *Hey, you're on a boat! All in all, two thumbs down on this one. And this previously hard-core loyal NCL sailor is seriously reconsidering if they earned my loyalty on this one. This ship itself is beautiful, but I would not sail on this vessel again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We have been on many cruises usually 2 or 3 a year and we looked forward to trying out NCL and their newest ship the Bliss. Right from the beginning it was frustrating. The drink packages are way over priced. $99 a Day is crazy compared to ... Read More
We have been on many cruises usually 2 or 3 a year and we looked forward to trying out NCL and their newest ship the Bliss. Right from the beginning it was frustrating. The drink packages are way over priced. $99 a Day is crazy compared to other cruise lines. Most of the Shore Excursions were way over priced. I rented a car for the day and drove all over San Francisco and Victoria. It was far cheaper and a much better value for the money. Then we finally get to the day of departure and I had been speaking to NCL by phone asking to get instructions for getting to handicap and elderly parents aboard. And was told to ask at the pier. We dropped luggage very early in the day and asked at the pier...to no avail. They said it will be set up when we embark later that evening. We stood on line with two elderly handicap parents for 2 1/2 hours to board the ship. It was a disaster. Not only for us but many people with elderly parents or young children. I have been on 20 cruises and this was the worst process I have ever seen. Not a single NCL person around. Only people employed by the pier. I have not experienced a more chaotic departure. We were doing our safety meeting at 11:30pm ... that’s tough on the elderly and young kids. Not to mention anyone. Then many of us were surprised to find out the next morning that NCL decided not to got to Seattle like scheduled ... and just go directly to Victoria. We saw the piece of paper at 11pm the night before but a vast majority of the people had no idea. You would think NCL would make arrangements for the arrival into Victoria and it was a ghost town at the pier for transportation. Again, No NCL people on the pier. 70 people waiting to get a cab into downtown ... not one cab. We started calling all of the cab companies and they had no idea the ship was there. Peoples book shore excursions were a mess. I could not make this up if I tried. The NCL staff on board the ship are very good. The dinning was great. The Beatles shows were amazing... but there were so many organization issues on this cruise. We will stick with RCCL. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
NCL staff and management have no clue how to travel with 4,000 passengers. We are still trying to decide if the ports just are not ready for the mega ships - or if NCL just doesn't care whether they get repeat customers. Nothing ... Read More
NCL staff and management have no clue how to travel with 4,000 passengers. We are still trying to decide if the ports just are not ready for the mega ships - or if NCL just doesn't care whether they get repeat customers. Nothing about this cruise would make guests feel welcome. (1) NCL knew in advance that the docks were full on Sept 30th so embarkation would not begin until after 7pm. They chose NOT to share this info with guests. (2) NCL knew that customs and immigration officials would not work later than 5pm so that the Seattle stop would have to be cancelled. They chose not to share this info with guests. (3) They knew the number of customs officers available in San Francisco - so that passengers would lose 1/2 of their shore time waiting in a three hour line to exit. But they chose not to share this info with guests. This ship added extra decks full of cabins. But the common venues such as garden cafe, showroom, pool area are the same size as on smaller ships. So guests feel like cattle being herded to the slaughter house. They did add a lot of activities that guests can pay extra charges to get some privacy and service. Guest services staff on board would answer guests with "We have no control over this problem or that problem. When you get off the ship, talk to corporate offices in Miami." But corporate sent the same form letter to each passenger who sent a complaint. The form letter could best be summarized as "tell someone who cares". If NCL is your choice - stick with the smaller ships. This cruise was better than the Titanic's maiden voyage - but not by much. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The Good - Beautiful ship, great colors & decoration - Explorer lounge on deck 15 very nice - Loved the shows. Jersey Boys, Six & The Liverpool Beatles. Clinton Jackson is an entertaining comedian. The bands around the ... Read More
The Good - Beautiful ship, great colors & decoration - Explorer lounge on deck 15 very nice - Loved the shows. Jersey Boys, Six & The Liverpool Beatles. Clinton Jackson is an entertaining comedian. The bands around the ship were pleasant. - The cabin steward did a decent job. - Disembarkation was good since we did not have to clear customs. It started early. The Bad - Most of the employees did not seem that friendly and excited serving the passengers. - Lines in the Garden Café were long. Tables were hard to find. The buffet is too small for the number of passengers on the ship. Food was comparable to most cruise lines. - It was hard to get a reservation for any of the shows mid cruise. You can stand-by and it looked like every stand-by got into each show I attended. Don’t be reluctant to stand-by for shows. - I did not hear the Captain address the ship. I am used to a once a day update from the bridge. - If you like lines and a crowded cruise, then this is the cruise for you. - We had a good location for our cabin but it was noisy. Many slamming doors and you can hear your neighbor’s TV since it is right against your wall. - We were supposed to board at 7pm and didn’t get on the ship until 9:30pm. NCL still charged us for 6 days of gratuities even though we lost the 1st day of the cruise. It was advertised as a 6-day cruise with boarding at 7pm. - Muster drill at 11pm the 1st day. Many passengers sleeping through the drill after waiting hours in line to board. The Ugly - Embarkation was a disaster. We signed up for a 7pm check-in. There were at least 3000 people in line when we arrived. The line snaked all around the cruise terminal and outside into the cold. Some water was provided. No food. The ship docked at 5:30pm after sitting all day out in the harbor waiting for 3 other ships to sail. For some reason boarding was delayed. Very bad way to start a cruise. - As we boarded the ship, we were given a notice that our 1st stop in Seattle was cancelled due to an expected excessive time to clear customs. We got an extra day in Victoria instead. NCL gave a $100 non-refundable credit per cabin to our account to compensate. The cruise was poorly planned by NCL. Vancouver-Seattle-Victoria-San Francisco-Los Angeles. Two times to clear US customs. - Clearing customs in San Francisco was a disaster. We started at 08:00am but did not get off the ship until 11:45am. Long snaking lines through the ship. There were still two decks to clear behind us. We lost almost half of our port call in San Francisco. - I have never been on a cruise with so many unhappy passengers. The ship is beautiful but just too big for the infrastructure. I will avoid NCL and the mega ships in the future. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We have taken several Pacific Coastal cruises. We really like the itinerary since we live in the LA area. The embarkation is the worst I have ever seen. We spent several hours in the Canada Place terminal. We arrived 30 minutes before ... Read More
We have taken several Pacific Coastal cruises. We really like the itinerary since we live in the LA area. The embarkation is the worst I have ever seen. We spent several hours in the Canada Place terminal. We arrived 30 minutes before the start of check-in (18:30). It was 20:45 when we finally got on board. We spent most of the time standing on our feet in a line to be admitted to the check-in area. The Bliss is a really nice new ship. The layout is very similar to the Escape. It is very easy to find the dining and entertainment venues as most of them are concentrated on decks 6-8. Food quality was good. We ate in the Steak House, Italian Restaurant, as well as the dining rooms. Food service varied widely. We encountered several enthusiastic efficient food servers as well as a few that were disinterested. The biggest surprise was the poor service we received in the Steak House. This was very unusual compared to previous experiences. The entertainment was very good. We especially liked the Six, Jersey Boys, and the Cavern Club. It didn't seem like there was enough to do on sea days. The service was generally good. Our cabin steward was very attentive. I'm not sure why NCL corporate decided to eliminate our planned stop in Seattle. They sited expected customs delays. We arrived at Victoria a day early and stayed there overnight. We were compensated $100 on board credit to make up for any inconvenience caused by the change. What I found interesting is the amount of time it took us to clear customs in San Francisco (our first stop in the US). The ship arrived in SF at 8:00 AM. it was 12:00 before we cleared customs. Passengers were allowed to proceed to customs by deck starting from the top. There were several decks that got off after us. As for shore excursions, we skipped the NCL excursions as we were very familiar with the scheduled ports. The schedule in Android NCL app is still not updating properly when reservations are changed. I would have hoped this would have been corrected by now. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Norwegian Bliss Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabin 4.0 N/A
Dining 4.5 3.9
Entertainment 4.0 3.9
Public Rooms 4.5 4.1
Fitness & Recreation 4.5 N/A
Family 3.5 3.8
Shore Excursions 4.0 N/A
Enrichment Activities 4.0 N/A
Service 4.5 4.0
Value for Money 3.5 N/A

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