55 Norwegian Bliss Repositioning Cruise Reviews

Had a good experience cruising with the Bliss through the Panama Canal. Thought we would go again with the Bliss on the Canada and West Coast Cruise. Bad mistake, it took us 3 hours standing in line in Vancouver to get aboard the ship. ... Read More
Had a good experience cruising with the Bliss through the Panama Canal. Thought we would go again with the Bliss on the Canada and West Coast Cruise. Bad mistake, it took us 3 hours standing in line in Vancouver to get aboard the ship. There was no priority boarding for anyone other than the Haven. We then find out Seattle had been cancelled from one of our stops and we would spend 2 boring nights in Victoria BC. The food aboard the Bliss was average and we could not get a reservation to the Specialty Restaurant Cagneys. We had to make reservations to go to the show Jersey Boys ( this was a very good show). The other show about the wives of Henry the 8th was a disappointment, I thought being loyal to one cruise would reap some benefits like priority boarding, apparently being a Gold member meant nothing for boarding in Vancouver. I will start looking at other cruise lines for my future trips. Read Less
Sail Date October 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
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 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
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
It was kind of stressful being on this cruise from LA to Vancouver, right from the start till the end. Embarkation: It started with embarkation, long lines, no directions for people arriving by public transport and worst for ... Read More
It was kind of stressful being on this cruise from LA to Vancouver, right from the start till the end. Embarkation: It started with embarkation, long lines, no directions for people arriving by public transport and worst for Platinum NCL customers: no skip the lines possible. Food/restaurants: The speciality restaurants were the only places where we could find a quiet atmosphere to enjoy our meals. The complimentary dining rooms, as well as the buffet, were always crowded and often offered mediocre food. Items like the evening Nutella crepes that used to be complimentary on cruises I did with NCL before are now sold for 5 bucks plus gratitudes. Pools: It's kind of odd, that there is no indoor pool for non-suite guests on this ship, that was particular build for Alaska. On most days of this cruise, it was too cold to use the pool area. Guest services: When visiting the cruise next team I had an unpleasant encounter with one of their team members. She was very pressing to sell at least two or more cruise rewards. After telling her three times I don't want to change my purchase, she was still in her pushing mode, so I had to leave this unpleasant person. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
First, let me say that we have not cruised in about 10 years. We are retirement age people who cruised often as a family with our 2 children. They enjoyed it more than we did. Recently, we decided to give it a try again and visit some ... Read More
First, let me say that we have not cruised in about 10 years. We are retirement age people who cruised often as a family with our 2 children. They enjoyed it more than we did. Recently, we decided to give it a try again and visit some cities we've never been before, namely Victoria and Vancouver in British Columbia. In the past, we cruised on Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and Princess. These were standard size ships (2,500 to 3,000 passengers). The Bliss is a new (almost 1 year old) "Mega" vessel with a capacity of over 6,000 passengers (although the ship lists it at 4,000 passengers). And despite its immense size, no matter where you go, you were always jammed in with a huge crowd of people. On this ship, be prepared to do a lot of walking. From the back end of the ship to the front (or other way around). Or going up or down stairs from one deck to the next. The elevators on the ship were always jammed with passengers all day and night long. My wife found it very difficult to get around, having had knee replacement surgery recently. • I'll list all the "pros" of my experience first: • Entertainment: "Jersey Boys" was the best show on the ship. Standing ovation. Get your seat a 1/2 hour before the show starts, because it fills up fast. "Havana" was a good latin song and dance review. Elaborate costumes and stage decor. The stand-up comedians were terrific, hosted by Tim and featuring Jay Black and Larry Omaha. Book your seats on your first day on the cruise at the theater asap. I did not go to the Cavern Club shows. Way too late for us. However, "Siglo", their resident rock band that played at functions around the ship (the atrium and the pool) throughout the day were awesome. Be sure to go to the functions at the atrium, there's a lot games and shows with lots of audience participation. If you can find an empty seat, grab it fast. • Food: The best specialty restaurant for us was Cagney's steakhouse by far. Great Prime Rib (16 oz). La Cucina was good, not great. But "Q" was very disappointing and hardly anyone besides us were in the restaurant. I guess they got the word of mouth on it. The main dining rooms are good, The Manhattan room is the best of the mains, be sure to book a dinner reservation (even in the main dining rooms) or else you will wait in a long line before you are seated. Beware the breakfast and lunch service in the main dining rooms are slow, but sometimes a better alternative than the buffet. The Garden Cafe (the buffet, on deck 16) is a mad house. It's the largest buffet restaurant we have ever experienced anywhere and you can have ANY kind of food that you can imagine (asian, italian, mexican, deli, salads, on and on). But you have to scramble to find an empty table and you have to dodge and weave around the other passengers getting their food. Overall, the food at the buffet is standard in quality. Our cabin: see my separate review • The observation lounge: what could be bad about lying on a long lounge chair with a pillow behind your head and overlooking the ocean along with a drink and a snack, This is the observation lounge, a quiet area one deck below the buffet. • The Cons: • The elevators were always jam packed! I would have taken the stairs if my wife wasn't with me. • Excursions: because of scheduling problems, our time at the cities were very limited to a short quick afternoon. Plus, because of the number of passengers, we were very slow in disembarking the ship. Very frustrating. Overall, the cruise had some great aspects with a few not so great aspects. If you come in with a positive attitude and are not annoyed by the bad aspects, you'll have a great time. If you read this review you will know what to expect and figure out how to avoid the bad and indulge in the good. Good luck. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
It's one of the few ships that offers a studio room for solo travellers. This makes cruising much more affordable so I can cruise more often. The solo concierge is excellent and ensures that everyone is taken care of and the solo ... Read More
It's one of the few ships that offers a studio room for solo travellers. This makes cruising much more affordable so I can cruise more often. The solo concierge is excellent and ensures that everyone is taken care of and the solo lounge is a great place to escape from noisy children and obnoxious people. The coffee in the solo lounge is the best on the ship. There are plenty of places to dine with The Local being one of my favourites, but Taste and Savour are also excellent The adult area on the aft deck has two hot tubs and a bar and is a wonderful place to enjoy the scenery. It was the perfect place to view the Golden Gate Bridge sailing out of San Francisco. The crew are attentive and the food was always good. Certainly heard no complaints. The port in Victoria was excellent although a long walk from the city, however again no complaints. The weather was perfect and there was plenty to see and the path to the city was well marked. Embarkation in Los Angeles was a breeze and went much better than I expected. Disembarkation in Vancouver was also quick and painless. I would recommend this ship, especially to solo travellers. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We just wanted a getaway for a few days But this one became a memorable one Can't wait to go back. The embarkation in Los Angeles is smooth and quick. We cleared in no time and head straight to the main dining room. The ship ... Read More
We just wanted a getaway for a few days But this one became a memorable one Can't wait to go back. The embarkation in Los Angeles is smooth and quick. We cleared in no time and head straight to the main dining room. The ship itself is really amazing But most importantly, the crew who truly made this trip one for the books. Not only they are courteous and friendly, but they to beyond to make you special. The entertainment is Broadway-class, amenities of the ship is top notch. The food, unforgettable with so much variety. Worth it, every penny spent. Had the chance to meet the Captain and the senior officers when we got invited to the Captain's cocktail party It was an eye opener and a humbling experience, plus you get free booze and canapes. Disembarkation in Vancouver BC is also hassle-free. We hope the future cruises will be like this, if not better. As mentioned earlier, we can't wait to get back to sea. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Our first time on a very large ship, previous cruises have always been on ships with less that 2000. While there were 4000 on this ship it seemed less crowded most times than a medium size vessel. We found some of the staff less than ... Read More
Our first time on a very large ship, previous cruises have always been on ships with less that 2000. While there were 4000 on this ship it seemed less crowded most times than a medium size vessel. We found some of the staff less than enthusiastic to provide more than the basic help, that tended to be more the exception than the rule and was really only in a couple of the bars. The room attendants were exceptional as were the staff in the Garden Cafe which is the buffet area. Speaking of the buffet, we found the food to be creative and well seasoned with more than ample serving stations and areas to get a seat. We did 2 nights of specialty dining. The French Bistro was a nice break because the room is quiet and the service was very good. One dish we had, the veal was excellent and the other one, sole was over cooked. 2 of the appetizers were less than good.Presentation was as one would expect in a French Bistro. The star attraction here was the desserts. We were on a dining package which allowed us to have 2 appies, 1 main and 1 dessert each. The other meal we chose to go to the Teppanyaki house. A form of group dining that we have not done for about 20 years. The food was ample and cooked perfectly, the chef at the grill very entertaining and the side service excellent. Note that this is fun and entertaining but not a place to go if your looking for a quiet meal. Tons of entertainment all over the ship and the bands tend to rotate from venue to venue during the cruise so most you get to see more than once so dont worry if you miss the first event they are at. We took the repositional cruise from San Pedro CA up to Vancouver Canada with stops in San Francisco and Victoria. Getting on and off the ship at ports of call was a breeze and ample time was given at ports to really get out and investigate the surrounding countryside. We did not partake in any of the ship offered excursions as we are very familiar with the places we were going and able to get around on public transit, walking or Uber. Victoria has a shuttle that runs you into downtown or you can walk the 20 minutes. In San Fran you are essentially within walking distance of plenty to do but would highly recommend taking the Hop On Hop off tours that pick you up right in front of the port parking lot. Back on the ship our room was a mini suite and smaller than we are used to. In general it would seem the rooms are smaller than most ships I have been on but still adequate. As a reasonable new ship everything was in good working order with plenty of water pressure and endless hot water. HVAC systems worked exceptionally well in the room and in all parts of the ship. For comfort, in many of the covered outdoor area's on the ship there are overhead heaters. At this time of year on the west coast it made it enjoyable to sit outside and eat or drink in many area's. That would not have been so without at. Very important as they have a deck with bars and patio extensions from several of the restaurants called the Waterfront. Other cool features on this ship are a 2 level go cart track powered by electric cars, A free fall water slide over the side of the ship, mini golf, Tube water slide and hot tubs that tend to hang over the side of the ship so you have a wonderful unobstructed view if you are in one when coming into a port or whale watching. Too many bars to list here (about 22 of them I think) and so many food options, plenty are complimentary and plenty are al a carte or have surcharges. From an authentic BBQ joint, to Sushi to a Jimmy Buffet Margarittavile burger joint there is something for everyone on this ship. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
It went through the "new panama canal". It was amazing to see and enjoy the passage. Other parts were not so amazing. The casino was the poorest we have ever seen at sea with very tight slots. Bingo was a joke they did ... Read More
It went through the "new panama canal". It was amazing to see and enjoy the passage. Other parts were not so amazing. The casino was the poorest we have ever seen at sea with very tight slots. Bingo was a joke they did not do a roll over and a last game grand prize winner. the real winner was norwegian. In place of over $5000 the final coverall got $1000,not bad, but not was expected. The ship is confusing to get around, all of the hot tubs have no shade so it's early morning or later at night. Entertainment was spotty, comedy was good , havana was good, magician was good, jersey boy's was a bust in my opinion, and the cavern was good. As for the food it was great, with the exception q which served some poor dry brisket. Would recommend gagneys and teppanyaki. Both were exceptional and worth the cost. Disembarkation was the worst experience of our 25 plus cruise's. This was not norwegians fault,it was cause by the port of los angeles. The most un organized mess i have ever encountered. Porters laughing at people in line waiting as they breezed by to a special line where they and their cruisers were they had no waiting saying for a few bucks you could be gone by now. Union i assume. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
I booked this adventure as it has been at the top of my vacation priorities for a long time. This 15 day transit of the new Panama Canal exceeded even my lofty expectations (I am a seasoned cruiser). The crew and staff of NCL`s Bliss made ... Read More
I booked this adventure as it has been at the top of my vacation priorities for a long time. This 15 day transit of the new Panama Canal exceeded even my lofty expectations (I am a seasoned cruiser). The crew and staff of NCL`s Bliss made every effort to ensure that the transit and the whole experience was exhilarating - and it was! The entire fifth day of the cruise was spent going through the canal - which took from about 7:00 A.M till close to 9:00 P.M. ; the weather was perfect and the excitement was shared by many of my fellow cruisers (most of which were transiting the new canal for the first time). There was even a guest lecturer on board who gave two lectures; one on the history of the canal and another on the conquering of yellow fever in Panama. This guest expert also narrated the crossing throughout the day. His anecdotes and color commentary greatly added to my enjoyment of the experience and appreciation of the new Panama Canal (opened in 2016). To commemorate the canal transit, the officers of the Bliss issued every guest a beautiful color certificate memorializing the trip, signed by the captain and included a glossy color certificate documenting the cruise and ports of call. These are genuine souvenirs worth framing and a very fitting commemoration of the adventure. One thing worth noting: during the time spent on the crossing, NCL facilitated guest access to the bow area (not usually accessible to guests) for viewing the canal locks and the tug. They also furnished refreshments and set up canopies to protect guests from the intense sun. A very nice touch. This viewing area at the bow on deck 8 allowed a great up close view of the tug guiding the ship and the operation of the locks that we could not have gotten from the observation area on deck 15 (a great area to view but deck 8`s observation area was much closer to “the action”). This special access was greatly appreciated and allowed me to get some great photos and video of the entire canal crossing Oh, I speculate that NCL booked this time slot so as to facilitate the best viewing (daylight) of the Panama Canal - again, my heartfelt thanks, NCL! You made the trip truly memorable !!! While the crossing was the highlight of my cruise, the rest of the trip was also magnificent. Sea days with first class entertainment and shore excursions that offered a sampling of the best that the port had to offer. Fandamtastic experience! Thanks to all on NCL Bliss! Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
This is a beautiful ship. We had a mini suite and thought the bathroom was great. It had a huge double sink with 2 faucets and a big shower. Worth the extra charge for sure! The room is a bit smaller than Celebrity Ships I've been on ... Read More
This is a beautiful ship. We had a mini suite and thought the bathroom was great. It had a huge double sink with 2 faucets and a big shower. Worth the extra charge for sure! The room is a bit smaller than Celebrity Ships I've been on width wise but same length. Nice room. Ample storage for clothes. The only thing I'd recommend is bring a light of some sort for the bathroom otherwise you have to turn the overhead light on during the night. We thought the food was pretty good on the ship. We did speciality dining 6 of the 7 nights and thought the food and service were really good. Ate one night in Taste, the regular dining room and thought the food was pretty good there too. We did breakfast almost every morning at either Taste or Savor and thought they were great. Service was good too. The ship is easy to navigate. Sometimes elevators are a bit full but another one comes along fairly quickly. Thought embarkation and debarkation were very easy. Everyone on the ship always has a smile and really tries hard to make your experience a good one. The Observation lounge is a great place to hang out plus they serve food all day long and there is a bar if you want a drink. As the week went along, more people found this treasure. They have comfortable furniture for reading and just watching the water. Neither of us had the drink package but we did notice that with all the people that did have it, bars were open everywhere on the ship all day long. When we were on Celebrity, it was pretty hard to find a bar open during the day except at the pool. Loved the outside deck that surrounds the specialty restaurants. Great place to hang out on the couches or to take a walk or get a drink. Really nice atmosphere and great place to watch the sun rise or set. On other ships this type of deck view is blocked by the life boats. The boats are on deck 7 on the Bliss a deck below Deck 8 where the specialty restaurants are. The ship definitely has places to view the water all the time; something that was lacking on Royal Caribbean's mega ships. On that ship, I felt like I was floating on an island where I rarely saw the water. NCL knows how to bring the ocean into the cruise experience especially when you eat outside at the specialty restaurants. Now here are my cons about the ship. The pool area is crowded and the music is SO LOUD it literally hurt my ears. I was surprised parents let their little ones hang out there...it was deafening. Actually we found the music was too loud almost everywhere. Couldn't hear the words to the music when bands played. Only the instruments. Love the adult solarium on Celebrity and Royal Caribbean. NCL has a small adult area with chairs and a bar. The only problem is there is no shade even with 3 or 4 small umbrella's. Too bad cause that would have been great. Now for the shows. I liked Jersey boys although its a shorter version of the Broadway production. I left 15 minutes into Havanna. I couldn't get into it. Saw the comedienne's. Hard to get into The Social Club so appreciated the show that happened in the theater one time during the week. Liked the Beatle's tribute although again the music was so loud in a tiny venue. I missed a regular show that you could catch at either 7:30 or 9:30 on Celebrity ships. You always had to make reservations for the shows and they didn't always coincide with the times booked before you get on the ship at the specialty restaurants. Lots of stuff happened in the atrium. It's way too small for the purpose it serves for some of the shows there like the Newlywed game. People were everywhere with no seats. The theater would be a better choice for that and later in the night. The cruise director tried to make it sort of risqué yet there were young kids around cause it was pretty early. Overall, its a great ship that is staffed well. Like I mentioned earlier, the staff is always smiling and trying to make your experience a good one. I would like to see the music at a decibel that doesn't bust your eardrums and make your ears ring along with a show you could see every night with a 7:30-8:30 reservation. (Most shows were in the Atrium then) There is something for every age on this ship for sure!!!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
You need to understand that I'm probably one of the worlds pickiest eaters. No really I helped the medical community discover many thousands of adults that have the same disorder ARFID. So my wife and I chose the Bliss because of ... Read More
You need to understand that I'm probably one of the worlds pickiest eaters. No really I helped the medical community discover many thousands of adults that have the same disorder ARFID. So my wife and I chose the Bliss because of past experiences on the Breakaway and the Getaway which we had great times on and I was able to find enough food that I could tolerate at the Garden Cafe. So my review will not cover all the upscale dining on the Bliss which has many many choices. I'm going to cover the eating issues at the end of this review. Now here is the rest of the ship review first. The Casino was outstanding. The best I have ever seen on a cruise ship. Over 300 brand new slots and table games with seperate smoking and nonsmoking areas. However the smoke did leak out to the nonsmoking portion when the doors to the smoking section were opened and closed. The leaked smoke was a minor problem that did not affect most of the non smoking portion. My wife had 3 wins of $200 and one $400. Seemed to me like the machines were looser than many you play in shore based casinos. I would caution that they seemed to tighten up quite a lot on the last day. While we are discussing gaming let's talk about the Bingo game on the last day of the cruise. Bingo really is a suckers game but the Bliss took it to a new level. There were probably 250 people playing the game and the average cost per person including the additional sale of cards just before the last game was easily around $50 per person. So I would guess the revenue collected was near $14,000. The event consisted of three games. The first two were some sort of regular Bingo and the last was a cover all in 47 numbers or less for a prize of $5000. If no one got their card blacked out the prize was reduced to around $500 and continued until a blackout was completed. Of course no one blacked out their card in 47 numbers. It is ridiculous to think anyone would ever win the $5000. Look at it this way you need 24 of the first 47 numbers called to be successful blacking out your Bingo card. That would leave 28 other numbers that were not drawn yet. If you look at this in reverse. When was the last time you ever had a Bingo card go through the first 28 numbers and not have a single one of those numbers on the card? The odds of a blackout in 47 number is so small. I wonder if NCL has ever had to pay the $5000 jackpot. So at the end of the Bingo game The Bliss paid out about $1750 total which included blackout and the first two games prizes. I would guess the ship made a tidy profit of $12,000 to $13,000. I have been on cruises that each day the blackout number was raised by 1 making it slightly more possible to win the jackpot So if you love Bingo go ahead and play. Just don't expect to ever win the $5000 jackpot by blacking out in 47 numbers or less. Excursions were just OK. The Bliss is so big that many regular cruise ports can not accommodate the size of the ship. So in 4 of the 5 ports we visited we were docked in an industrial location. In those locations you either had a tour bus at dockside or if you wanted to wander on your own shuttles were provided to the port entrance. I was in the US Navy and if you were on a small destroyer port visits were lots of fun and the local populace treated us well while ashore. One thing that would always ruin a visit was the docking of an Aircraft Carrier with 5000 crewman. Well you might say the Bliss and mega ships like it are the Aircraft Carrier of the cruise ship world. My wife and I are not very mobile so the excursions we took were always on an air conditioned bus. The Bliss had all excursion passengers assemble in the Theater. Then we would be called one group at a time and hustled down 3 or 4 flights of stairs. Only to stand in long lines while waiting to board the tour busses waiting for us on the pier. This hurry up and then stand in line left our legs feeling weak. So in the next ports we timed leaving the ship to about 10 minutes before the excursion groups departed. We were able to locate our bus that had a sign on it describing what tour it was. This provided us a way to always get a great seat in the front of the bus. This could be a great tip. Seems each of our tours were accompanied by 4 or 5 other packed buses going to the same places. So it was always hurry up move along. Watch out you don't run into another traveler. Sometimes I felt like the ball in a pinball machine moving through the crowds at each location. Finding a bathroom during the tour was always a problem. Some of the other excursions for more mobile travelers might have been better. Now when you review the entertainment on the Bliss we have a great review There were so many great shows to see. I especially liked the Jersey Boys the last night of the Cruise. Wow what a great show it was. The audience was so pleased with the performance. Havana was really great also. The Beatles band put on a great show featuring the early sounds of the group. Place was packed to gills. There were other musical acts that were all great to listen too at various locations around the ship. The go kart track was just terrific. I lapped my wife twice. It is really neat that all the cars are electric powered. You would never know it. The cost was about $10 per person for about 8 to 10 laps on the course. If you like water parks the Bliss has some very interesting water slides including the one that you just get dropped straight down. I have never seen anything like it on a Cruise ship before. The internet was great once I got it working. I would advise you to create your login on one of the internet cafes terminals before trying it on your phone. You will probably save lots of time and aggravation if you do it that way. Everytime you use it make sure you enter logout.com to finish your session. A really great part of this ship is the service and the crew that provides it. Wow what a great group of dedicated people. From our steward to the food service staff including the bartenders at all the bar locations. The Bliss just has terrific people everywhere. They deserve 5 stars plus. There is so much that I did not cover. I really like this ship and my wife and I prepaid a deposit for two future cruises with NCL and we are hoping to do more on the Bliss. Now my food issues. I hope someone from the Bliss food service reads it. As I mentioned I'm the worlds pickiest eater. I have a web site called www.pickyeatingadults.com established in 2003. I have found out that the world is populated with lots of people just like me. Most of them never like to talk about it. Here is all I need to be happy regarding food and then I will grade the bliss on how they did. In the morning some toast, crispy bacon, cereal, plain pastry, and a cold glass of milk. This has been my breakfast for most of my adult life. Really it's very simple. I will give the Garden Cafe a B for breakfast. The serving line had many commercial grade toasters and lots of bread stations in the Buffet lines. It was very easy to toast your bread of choice. There was lots of cereal along with cold milk. Never had a problem with milk. I did stockpile extra milk in our cabin's now empty mini fridge. I like pastry like a plain sugar donut. Never did find a single plain donut anywhere during any meal. The reason for the B is the bacon. While it was plentiful and usually well cooked it was at times so thick and tough to chew. Many times I would start to chew a strip of bacon and ended up spitting it out because it was so tough. On our last NCL cruise started from Miami the bacon was always perfect as you would ever get on a cruise ship. Could be the west coast supplier of bacon to NCL should be changed or at least obtain bacon that is not so thick. Lunch and dinner C All I require is more of what I like for breakfast or I do like a grilled cheese sandwich made with white bread and American cheese. French fries like you would get from Mcdonalds, plain cake or donuts, Cold milk. This is really simple. How did Bliss do? Never saw a grilled cheese once. The French fries were great if you could get them hot. That was the problem. Almost always they were cold or worse. Seems the staff is making them too fast and they get a pile that is too big which results in loss of all heat before someone puts them on a plate. The wonderful toasters during breakfast are all stowed away during lunch and dinner. Also there was no plain sliced bread available. I was able to find some pound cake that was great once in awhile. There was never any milk unless you took it from the dispenser located in the coffee area. I have to admit the dispensers provided some really great cold milk. Like most ships Bliss has soft ice cream dispensers at about 6 stations in the Garden Cafe. They were almost always working and full. One small problem was the temperature of the product was always high enough to make the ice cream runny. You could not make a cone that was very tall because it would run over the sides of the cone if you tried. I tested these machine at off hours when they were not being used very much. Always runny was what I found. The staff needs to lower their set temperature probably about 5 degrees to dispense a more satisfying product. My food review could be much better if a few changes are made. I hope the Bliss staff will read this review and make their ship a place people like me would always want to visit. It's a great ship overall. I doubt any other cruise line has a better one. I highly recommend you take a cruise on the NCL Bliss. Picky eaters hopefully things will improve for you soon. It would be so simple. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We are first timers traveling with experienced family members that cruise yearly. The Bliss had excellent service, excellent food, the variety of food is fit to meet every palate, very clean, pleasant employees. In the dining rooms the ... Read More
We are first timers traveling with experienced family members that cruise yearly. The Bliss had excellent service, excellent food, the variety of food is fit to meet every palate, very clean, pleasant employees. In the dining rooms the employees just wished away all the dirty dishes very quickly. They exceeded our expectations. The entertainment was wonderful. The casinos were fun and affordable. We purchased many professional pictures. They were extremely organized in getting people off and on the ports. The staff were always waiting with drinks and a cool towel when we returned from our excursions. There were several employees that we almost felt like family. They were so pleasant. We also enjoyed the Havana and Jersey Boys. They were Broadway quality plays. After we arrived to our home port we cried all the way home. We can't wait to be back. Thank you Norwegian for giving us the best experience. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
This is a smokers alert- Norwegian Bliss Nov. 3rd Panama Canal cruise. Prior to booking I was advised I could smoke on Deck 17 at the Spice Bar, In the humidor lounge, and somewhere at the pool area. I smoke mini cigars which are ... Read More
This is a smokers alert- Norwegian Bliss Nov. 3rd Panama Canal cruise. Prior to booking I was advised I could smoke on Deck 17 at the Spice Bar, In the humidor lounge, and somewhere at the pool area. I smoke mini cigars which are slightly larger than a cigarette. Arrival at LAS airport and awaiting transfer (prepaid) of the shuttle. We waited and waited and after an hour finally saw a woman with a blue scarf (no signage just a blue scarf) a gentlemen advised me he too was waiting an that I should speak to the woman with the blue scarf. I was advised that we were waiting for one more couple and the shuttle bus had been called. An hour after that I was told there were more customers arriving on different flights and that the bus had been called. Three and a half hours later – you read that right – a bus finally arrived and we were told it would be about a thirty minute drive to the port. The ride was uneventful but the three and a half hour wait started telling me this isn't right. Chaos upon arrival- no one tells you what is going on. Where are the bags, do they take them, do I, or where to check in. Checking in wasn't bad except there is no information available. Cabin #14796, Balcony; OK room, shower could use an enlargement but was acceptable. Room was fine, midships, except for at night the band playing at the pool area was loud in the room. Cleaning staff was excellent, friendly, and always asking if there was anything he could do. “Z “ Bags don't arrive till late at night the first night- wasn't use to that type of service. This is probably due to it being a large ship with 4000 guests. With no luggage to unpack it was time for lunch and a snack. Learned where the Cafe is, front of ship. Had an acceptable meal and headed off for a smoke at the rear of the ship. It's a long walk when you are unfamiliar with the ship. You get used to it! Upon arrival I was advised that I could only smoke cigars in the Humidor. I promptly went to guest services and asked for a complete refund at the first port. After a discussion I was advised that I could also smoke at the Spice Bar on deck 17 by guest services but there is no smoking at the pool area. I thought I would be ok with that until the arrival at the spice bar located behind Jimmy Buffets Margaritaville. I asked for a Bailys coffee at the bar. No! They don't have coffee at the bar. They advised to go to Buffets and get a coffee and then bring it to the bar. (I should do that?) Yes! Drink in hand I was further told I could only smoke on the Starboard side of the ship in an area no bigger than 12' x 35'. I thought I would be ok with that until other smokers showed up. I went to sit at a small table approx 24” in diameter and there were about 5 tables there each with about 5 chairs at each. Note- when we started the first day there were three umbrellas in this area. Three days into the cruise there were only two umbrellas. There is a covered area in which to smoke approx 12'x20' the rest is open or semi covered by umbrellas. Note- remember there are 4000 people on this ship. Another problem is that the starboard side railing is covered by sheets of glass or plastic with spaces in between them so that wind blows extremely forceful through the slats. ( hmmmm- creating cigarette ash to blow off a lit cigarette....fire hazard....naaaahhhhh! This ship was designed for Alaska waters and I don't think it would be pleasant to smoke in a cold climate with no wind protection. At the table the four ashtrays on the table were full of cigarettes. I complained to guest services that I don't clean ashtrays- this was taken care of and was acceptable for the rest of the cruise with one exception which I'll mention later. It got crowded as people learned where you can smoke- Humidor, Spice and the CASINO!!! Casino- smoking of cigarettes is allowed. Cigars-NO. People complained that if you didn't have money in a machine you couldn't smoke.-I don't know! I do find it odd that you couldn't smoke in the casino if the casino was closed-all ashtrays removed while in ports after all it is a smoking area but I guess you have to pay money to smoke there. The spice area holds approx 40 people maximum and they couldn't open up the entire deck area for some unknown reason. Rumor was it's a rule-Captain doesn't like smokers- Seems to me the non smokers have numerous bars they can attend but smokers are herded to an area the size of a cabin. On top of that the non smokers utilized the smokers rest room- It was comical watching some of them hold their nose as they walked by to open the rest room door- PS there is a bathroom on the non smoking side but they didn't use that one!!! I think you get the idea so far. It is now standing room only. A person of authority assured me the reason for the small smoking area was to prevent fire hazards. A travel agent aboard stated that all cruise lines are doing away with smoking. Appears so! I would say it is a beautiful ship except for all the walking one has to do especially since the elevators are always on the wrong floor and when you do get one it was usually full- to the stariways. What I found odd was that since it is a new ship what was a lot of the paneling on the walls coming buckling- front of the Cave/Cavern by the humidor. In the humidor and numerous other places. I guess someone didn't tag out the ship before taking possession from the factory. Guest speaker for canal trip was good- however on his first day the theater was packed full. Went to the atrium and you have to hear people complaining at guest services a few feet away from the speaker----- this also works in reverse- speaking to guest services you can't hear employees due to they always have music or show going on in the atrium area. Need sound walls installed. At guest services I stated this noise wouldn't be a problem if the speaker was on the TV in the rooms. The next day it was on the TV- problem solved. Back to the cafe- another design flaw- no where near enough seats. You get your food in a line and people are picking a piece of food and tasting it in front of the serving area. I was shown an area that is not crowded. Get your food and take it to the table towards the pool area. Set your food down and go way back to get a beverage, etc. Food is edible but I noticed that the India cafe area is hardly used. Manhattan room- excellent service the first night- then it went downhill from slow to bad. Food quality was fine. No charge. La cucina Italian? I don't think so- no lasagna, no eggplant $$ Cagneys steakhouse excellent. $$ This was a repositioning cruise- the ports were the worst. We always docked in the commercial parts of the ports. They charge for a bus ride to the towns. Seems petty to me- I your taking me somewhere at least have some service available. Due to 4000 people NCL needs a lot of work in this area. If you can't handle it hire more people or get out of the business. Even people that paid for tours advised that it was so disorganized that they got refunds. NCL- this is not good business sense. At Puntenaras we had to pay $15 PP to get to town. The HAL docked about 100' from where our bus dropped us off. Hmmmmm! THE OTHER SHOE DROPS- So I finish dinner and go to smoke on deck 17 in what I was now calling the CAGE! I am told that the area is closing in 15 minutes for a special party. OK- where do I smoke! Told to go to deck 19 top of the ship behind to smokestacks. I go to deck 19- couldn't find an elevator with 19 on it but finally did – there is only one elevator to 19. Talk about an unsafe area to smoke- on deck 19 the wind is howling. There is no wind protection, the bar is closed, no ashtrays, and no cover-overhead. There is however an NCL rep standing there that didn't have a clue about anything. Back to guest services- The complaint is written down a refunds due. I had it with NCL.... I was told that the bar did open- it was too windy- and ash trays were on hand after my complaining. Should never have happened. None of this was in the brochure. I suggest that any smokers avoid this ship. I have numerous cruises with NCL and this one has caused me to seek other cruise lines. As for non smokers who like large crowds, lines at dining areas, unavailable show tickets, disorganization of the highest level from getting to the ship and from the ship, terrible fill in ports with no transportation unless you $$$$. I further suggest that NCL reads this article- It could help but then again, maybe not! Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We choose this cruise because it was a new ship going through the new locks of the Panama Canal. The crew were excellent and the majority were happy and helpful. The cabin was fine, we had a mini suite which had a nice sized bathroom. ... Read More
We choose this cruise because it was a new ship going through the new locks of the Panama Canal. The crew were excellent and the majority were happy and helpful. The cabin was fine, we had a mini suite which had a nice sized bathroom. The ship is too open and very loud. The free restaurants very noisy because they are so open. The entertainment was good when you could get a seat. Having to book for shows was inconvenient. If you didn't book weeks or months before the cruise you didn't get in or you could get in a standby line. Several of the smaller venues seat less than a hundred people and when the ship hold over 4,000 your chances of getting in is nil. The no pay lunch restaurants don't change the menu so that gets old after a few days. Breakfast at the buffet is a disaster with way too many people and not enough space. The ship had to dock in commercial ports due to it's size and getting from the ship to the towns required busses and once again 4,000 people on our ship . The lines were long and the buses not up to what we are used to. We ended up being bussed to one tour destination in groups of four in taxis which took overall two hours and therefore shortened our tour considerably as we were the last to get there. They didn't utilize the theatre for enough activities and over used the atrium where there were way too many people and too much noise. If you went to a customer service desk, shore excursion desk etc which were all in the atrium area you couldn't hear anyone trying to help you because of the noise of the activity going on. Very bad planning. All in all we saw what we wanted going through the Panama Canal but I doubt Ill ever go on Norwegian again and I won't go on any of the mega ships again. Too many people, and having to book for average meals and entertainment just doesn't make for a relaxing holiday. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
I chose this cruise as I had never been right through the Panama Canal & I wanted to experience NCL's latest ship. Leading up to the cruise we had a very active roll call which led to some of us meeting up the night before the ... Read More
I chose this cruise as I had never been right through the Panama Canal & I wanted to experience NCL's latest ship. Leading up to the cruise we had a very active roll call which led to some of us meeting up the night before the cruise at the San Pedro FIsh Market where we had a nice meal & got to know each other a bit. Some of us stayed at the Vagabond Hotel which was fine & very close to a McDonalds & a Taco place in case you couldn't get a seat for the free breakfast in the little room at the hotel. I took the free shuttle from the hotel at 10:30 & being platinum got onboard quite quickly. One thing is I didn't see where to get the boarding picture taken so couldn't do that. I did head for the space where they were signing people up for the cars, restaurants & shows. My Jersey Boys' reservation had been changed from Nov 14 to the 16th at 10:30 which wasn't going to work for me. I also booked Prohibition. I was finished early enough to meet the others at the MDR for lunch. I had my first of many tomato soup appetizers as I really love it. BTW the lunch menu is the same every day. Food: I found the meals onboard to be yummy! I tried most of the pay venues & really enjoyed them. The guac at Los Lobos was to die for! Our chef at Teppanyaki was very entertaining & the food good & plentiful. I had a lot of lunches & 1 breakfast at the Local & found the staff there to be very friendly & efficient & the food good too. I also stopped by for a late night snack of chicken wings, yum! It was a great place to sit & watch the big screen, in my case the Panama Canal passage, away from the chaos of the Observation Lounge or at the bow of the ship. Most mornings I ate at the MDR where I was "happy to share" so met lots of people. Entertainment: is great on NCL ships!! This was no different. I enjoyed Prohibition even though I'm not a drinker. I was okay with I Havana & loved Jersey Boys, which I'd seen before in Toronto & will see again there in March. The game shows are fun too but it's exasperating trying to get seating in the Atrium!! The comedians the first week I liked better than the ones at the end as I don't like the audience providing the laughs or demeaning remarks about other cruise lines which actually all performers did. I took part in the Progressive trivia which was run by Morne, a fun guy. We came in 3rd so that was nice. SIlas, the CD & Jacky his assistant were very good. I sometimes watched their morning show. The music in the Atrium by "Familiar Strangers" was very good. The Dancing with the Stars show is always a hoot & if you can't get a seat in the Atrium you can watch it on tv later. That reminds me the Panama Canal lecturer was good & also could be watched live on tv rather than trying to find a seat in the theatre. I watched for free a documentary I had wanted to see, called "Three Identical Strangers", a story of triplets separated at birth for a study!! It was so fascinating I watched it 3 times! I also paid to watch a movie called "Pick of the Litter" about training guide dogs Cabin: I had a studio cabin as usual but this one is different than those on the other new ships. The bed is a bit smaller which is fine as it gives more space to walk in & the addition of the virtual window is amazing!! So nice to see what's going on outside for a change! The solo host Rod arranged solo dinners but a bit too late (8:30) for my taste. He also reserved us great seats in the theater for shows, in front of the Haven ones! He took the group to other venues & had a schedule printed up for us to keep. The Lounge was beautiful & quite large but pretty noisy when the whole group was there. The coffee machine was great as usual & I think we had the only cookies available on the ship!! Excursions: There weren't a lot of them posted early as this cruise had 3 itinerary changes!! This led to my biggest problem on the cruise. We received a letter saying all cabins would receive $100 OBC for the disruption & when we boarded many studio people had only received $50. I went to Guest services twice about it, Stephanie, sort of the solo's leader, went to bat for me plus I emailed my TA & finally received the extra $50 during week 2. This begging for what was due me left a bad taste in my mouth but thankfully it was resolved. Don't know who came through for me in the end but if it was you Johnny, thanks! The only excursion I booked though NCL was the Easy Antigua one in Guatemala which was the only one I believe went there. It was an interesting place & the drive there long but interesting. We saw the effects of the volcano that had erupted in May killing 170 & making a mess of the countryside & the roads. We also were late getting back to the ship so I was glad to have done an NCL tour. In Ensenada I had booked through Ship Mate (SEG) for the 1st time & all went well. It was a lovely tour of 2 wineries with tasty nibbles & wine tastings & the drive there was beautiful. Mazatlan ~ here I took another SEG tour "Highlights with Lunch" which was really good too. During the free time in the city centre I got lost but the traffic policeman was helpful in me finding my van again. In the park I met a couple who had lived in a nearby city to me so it was nice to chat with them. On the bus I met another lovely couple who I ran into several times on the ship. The Cathedral there is beautiful & the market interesting. What do they do with all those chicken feet?!! The lunch by the water was yummy. In Costa Rica I joined a group formed through a CC member with Gio Tours & it was lovely too. We did the 8 in 1 tour but actually only did 7 things as traffic was bad that day, a Sunday, so skipped the tour of Puntarenas in order to be back onboard well in advance of sailing. Our guide was great as was the included meal. In beautiful Cartagena, a place I love & was there for the 3rd time, I finally got to tour with Dora the Explorer! It was a great tour that began at La Popa, a place I hadn't been the other times & offered a fantastic view of the City. It is SO HOT & humid there but the scenery is so lovely & the little zoo at the port cute. The Bliss itself is beautiful, quite like the Getaway, Breakaway, Epic etc but with the addition of the lovely Observation Lounge where there are 3 little buffet stations available, lovely seating with amazing views & some piano entertainment at night. The day of the crossing was terrible I heard but other than that it seems quite a nice, quiet spot & I imagine it's lovely for Alaska. The Cruise Critic Meet & Greet was well attended over, 200 people I believe, & the officers were well represented, we had nibbles, drinks & a band! Oh there were also 2 cakes!! It's always nice to meet people you've chatted with before the cruise. Nice job arranging that Stephanie! The group also had a slot pull & we played LCR on sea days, lots of fun!! Anyhow that's about all I remember. It was a lovely cruise & I'm so happy to have done it. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
NCL Bliss - Panama Canal - November 2018 - 14 Days We recently returned from a cruise aboard the NCL Bliss traveling to Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama Canal & Cartagena, Columbia. We enjoyed the cruise a lot. This being a ... Read More
NCL Bliss - Panama Canal - November 2018 - 14 Days We recently returned from a cruise aboard the NCL Bliss traveling to Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama Canal & Cartagena, Columbia. We enjoyed the cruise a lot. This being a two week cruise at the beginning of November there were probably only 20 kids on the ship in total and the average traveler age was probably 60. These factors did influence our experience significantly. There were some highlights and there were some disappointments. About us: We are mid 50's, have cruises 40+ times, were traveling with a group of 14, ages ranging from 50 to 85. Had never sailed on NCL. We booked a spa balcony stateroom, our rate included the unlimited beverage package and a dining package (we dined 9 nights in dining rooms with an additional cost(Specialty Dining), with a prepaid package for 8 of those nights) Dining Venues used: Manhattan, Savor, Taste, Tepannyaki, La Cucina, Le Bistro, Ocean Blue, Q, The Local, Garden Café, Los Lobos, Food Republic, Cagneys, Coco's, Margaritaville, Starbuck, The Bake Shop, and Dolce Gelato. Activities and entertainment we participated in: Cart track, both water slides, pools, spa thermal suite, massage, bowling, Jersey Boys, Havana, Happy Hour Prohibition, Beetles show, Comedy Social, and the Cavern Club. Highlights: Service was fantastic everywhere. There were times the front desk staff seemed uniformed about ports and times but other than that service around the ship was excellent, friendly and personable. Dining was excellent. This was influenced by our decision to eat as many meal as we did in the Specialty dining venues. Our experience in the main dining room, (Manhattan, Savor and Taste) were hit or miss. Breakfast was good in Savor and Taste but sometimes very slow. Service in the main dining rooms was okay, one night GREAT! Food has very mediocre most nights in the main dining rooms. Our best meals were in #1 Le Bistro, #2 La Cucina, #3 Cagneys (We did do Cagneys and La Cucina twice) We were disappointed with Ocean Blue, didn't think it warranted the extra cost. Coco's - we went for the staff and the fantastic treats! So friendly and so good! The entertainment - both the Jersey Boys and Havana we two of the best productions I have seen on a cruise ship and with 40+ cruises we have seen a lot of shows. Great energy, production, vocals! The ship is beautiful! Doesn't feel like a ship but more like a luxury resort. There are so many smaller venues that it makes it feel now so big. This is a BIG ship with 4000+ guests but spreads out the crowds fairly well, with a few exceptions. We were always able to find several deck chairs together but the decks were often full. The spa thermal suite is beautiful and a great place to relax! There is a therapy pool, hot tub, snow room, salt room, steam room, two saunas, heated lounges, showers, locker rooms with views of the ships wake, padded lounge chairs. The space is coed and is generally full of folks but never had an issue finding a place. Some folks do drop the things on a heated lounger and then go to other spaces. That did make it difficult to find available heated loungers at times. There are signs that give a max time for the loungers but folks seem to ignore that. Overall a fantastic venue. Our room included access to the venue and a location on the ship that is close which we did enjoy. Not sure I would pay for this this way in the future. Would probably purchase a regular balcony stateroom and then pay for the weekly pass to the thermal suite. There are, however, a limited number of passes available each week so you'd have to book that early on embarkation do to ensure you could get a pass. Could have been handled better: The Garden Café - the ships buffet does become very crowded. They have done a great job of spreading out the serving stations and there were seldom lines at the serving stations. But, getting a table was always difficult! The staff was fantastic at clearing table and were very efficient in getting tables turned! It didn't help that we were often looking for seats for 6 or 8 at a time. It seldom happened that we could find two tables together. Most of the time we split up into 4's and sat where we could find a seat. It seems peak hours could be supplemented by offering a full breakfast buffet in Margaritaville or another venue. There were light breakfast items served in Margaritaville and in the Observation Lounge but some further way to lighten the load in the Garden Café at peak hours would be really helpful. Another time that was horrible was on embarkation day lunch. Two other lunch options identified at the gangway could have minimized the horrible experience that that first meal was. Ports: Our ports were changed twice from the time we first booked our cruise. The last change eliminated Cabo San Lucas and replaced it with Ensenada. This change, the second change, was made right after final payments were required and therefore cancelation would require a penalty. The cruise line did provide a $100 ship board credit for the change, but those that have been to Ensenada know that it is not a port that should be on a 14 day itinerary where many passengers have paid in excess of $3500 per person. We made the best of it and found a San Diego company that took us wine tasting in the Valle de Guadalupe and had a fantastic time. The stop was then further challenged by the port call times. We were in port from 8:00am to 3:00 pm. However, that day was the day of time change due to daylight savings time and the ship choose not to change the time forward. Therefore our port time was 7:00am to 2:00pm in Ensenada. What is there to do at 7:00 am in Ensenada? Nothing! That felt a bit like smoke and mirrors. We only had one port where we were in port during a normal 8 hour window. Mazatlan, we were in port from 12:00 to 7:00pm. However, because you have make reservations for shows and dining in advance, made before the schedule change, the evening hours conflicted with a show. So we had 4 hours for that port. Costa Rica we docked in an industrial port that required a 35 minute shuttle ride to get to town. Holland America got to dock in town. With the changes to ports, the port times, and port locations, it didn't seem like NCL had the clout to get the preferred locations, ports or times or they hadn't don't the planning necessary early enough to do so. I would not do another NCL cruise to an itinerary where they weren't working a regular schedule. This in essence was a repositioning cruise for the ship, moving from summer in Alaska to winter in the Caribbean. These were port that, for this ship, they would only be visiting twice a year and they didn't have the on the ground infrastructure to accommodate a ship of this size. This could also be seen in the excursion offerings they had. Overall they were very limited and lacked in depth of experience. We sailed on Celebrity earlier this year from Chile through the Canal to Florida and the excursion offerings were much more extensive and interesting. As a result of this we booked all but one excursion on our own with private tour operators in the ports. But, if you were not comfortable doing this the ports would not have been a very good experience. Panama Canal Schedule: We asked three days before our canal crossing what the schedule would be and the front desk staff was very uninformed. He told us that we were scheduled to arrive at the canal between 3:00am and 6:00am. When I asked if we would be entering the locks or going through the first set of locks in the dark he said we could be but not to worry because the entire crossing would be a large part of the day. This was disappointing since the cruise lines itinerary indicated it would be daylight crossing. We asked again the night before and the front desk was still very vague. We were again told we would arrive at the Bridge of the Americas at around 3:00 am but they were unclear when we would enter the first lock. With the size of the ship we had to cross under the Bridge of the Americas at low tide which I understand that cruise line cannot control but will 4000+ passenger that paid for a panama canal cruise you would think they would have more definitive information. We ended up crossing under the Bridge of the Americas at 2:40am. I did make it out on deck just prior to passing under the bridge and it looked like there was only about 15 ft to spare. We had one member of our group that needed a place to sit to watch the crossing so I went to the observation lounge to sit in a seat for him until we starting entering the first lock. At 2:50 am there was a full row of people already at the windows, many of which spent the night in a chair to get a good seat. At 5:00 am, still dark, we moved forward toward the first set of locks. I called other members of our group and the one showed up for his seat at 5:30 and the rest of us headed to the bow of the ship to watch. The canal crossing was very interesting. Given the size of the ship we transited through the new panama canal locks. By the time we entered the third lock in the pacific side set of locks the crowd had thinned out and from that time on you could find a place at a rail or anywhere around the ship. We watched from the stern on deck 8, the rail on deck 7, the rail on deck 19, the bow, the waterfront on deck 8 and the observation lounge. There was narration that was happening during the day but there where many of the deck areas where you couldn’t hear the narration. Margaritaville: This is fantastic venue but few people ate there. The most I saw during our cruise was three tables at one time. We ate here once and the food was good but didn't feel like it was worth $14.95 per person more than a meal in the buffet, the local or the dining rooms. One of us had a burger and one fish and chips. The food was good and the setting is nice but I think it just costs too much. I bet they would grow their business exponentially if they lowered the price to $7.95 Reservations: Reservations are required to soooo many things on this ship. I was very proactive and made dining and show reservations as soon as they were available in advance of our cruise. That was very difficult with a group of 14!!!! Finally got help from some in the groups department which was greatly appreciated. Even with reservations if you wanted good seats you needed to show up for shows an hour in advance. There were always standby line available and usually folks in those lines got in but you would sit in the back or have to look around a pole. I think a key reason we had a great time on this cruise is that we knew what could about what to expect or we were willing to be flexible with those things we couldn't arrange in advance. There are a lot of opportunities to spend extra money on this ship, gelato, bowling, go carts, shows (Happy Hour Prohibition, included drinks), Starbucks, chocolates, cookies..... but we knew that and did the things we wanted to...the moto was "We're on Vacation!" This is beautiful ship with more things to do and experience that you can do in a week or even two weeks. They have put together a fantastic staff that is eager to serve and are so gracious. I did say a few times, and I have 4 kids that are now in their 20's, I'm not sure I would want to be on the ship during a normal peak travel week with 1000 kids on board. You'd wait in line for the water slides, and the ice cream machine in the buffet, you'd have a hard time getting a reservation for the go carts and laser tag and the buffet would be even more congested. I liked being the Kid on the ship! Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Bucket list Cruise. The Bliss exceeded all expectations. For a large ship no waits on dining. Lots of options. Local restaurant and sports bar we excellent. Great place to meet friends etc. gym was superb as was the spa. We bought the ... Read More
Bucket list Cruise. The Bliss exceeded all expectations. For a large ship no waits on dining. Lots of options. Local restaurant and sports bar we excellent. Great place to meet friends etc. gym was superb as was the spa. We bought the therapeutic spa package and used it daily. Observation deck superb. Shows Jersey Boys and Havana top notch. Matter of fact the Jersey Boy production was fast moving and had more songs than most productions. Bar staff and wait staff were superb. Loved the observation lounge. Staff couldn’t do enough to please us. Took Spanish classes. Lol. That was great. Had Guest lecture on the canal that was of tremendous value. Highly recommend this ship and this cruise. Only negative was photo packages are extremely expensive. They want you to buy packages instead of individual photos. We will definitely book this ship again. Another plus was the overall staff. All the best. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We chose this ship because we wanted to go the Panama Canal for years now and finally decided to take the plunge. NCL is the best cruise line out there and decided the Bliss was how we were going to do it. Ship is amazing and the crew ... Read More
We chose this ship because we wanted to go the Panama Canal for years now and finally decided to take the plunge. NCL is the best cruise line out there and decided the Bliss was how we were going to do it. Ship is amazing and the crew was phoenominal. We will never cruise with any other cruise line. Saw Prohibition. I was worried because I am not a hard liquor drinker but what the give you at the show was great. Not too strong. Not too weak. Also booked the Vibe. It’s the only way to go if you like to sunbathe. Quiet and you never have to hunt for a lawn chair but there are limited passes so book as soon as you get on board. Food out of this world. We ate mostly at the non specialty restaurants but were lucky enough to be invited to the Haven one night for dinner again unbelievably good. Just made platinum. Next stop platinum plus. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
It’s all about connections isn’t it? Whether it’s Danijel at Le Bistro, or Scott at Cagney’s, or Emelie and Mihai at the Manhattan they make you feel special. Like a VIP with each encounter! And the YUMMY YUMMY for your TUMMY ... Read More
It’s all about connections isn’t it? Whether it’s Danijel at Le Bistro, or Scott at Cagney’s, or Emelie and Mihai at the Manhattan they make you feel special. Like a VIP with each encounter! And the YUMMY YUMMY for your TUMMY bakery clones (twins) made our day, EVERYDAY of the Cruise! We wouldn’t change a single thing! Fantastic 14 days that we wish lasted longer. The NCL Bliss is flawless! Perfection at sea! The 15th deck is unbelievable! The food choices are fantastic! Entertainment is out of this world! The crew is the hardest working anywhere! Pilinda at the Atrium bar is so funny and nice. She’s our favorite! The places to “get lost” and just enjoy the ocean air are to numerous to count. The pools always have music and fun stuff going on. Simply a wonderful way to relax and sit back and get spoiled. NCL is the best! Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We chose this ship because it was the newest ship. This was our first cruise and the Norwegian Bliss is a brand new ship. We have always wanted to have the experience. The room was a bit small, but the extended balcony and bathroom made ... Read More
We chose this ship because it was the newest ship. This was our first cruise and the Norwegian Bliss is a brand new ship. We have always wanted to have the experience. The room was a bit small, but the extended balcony and bathroom made up for this. It was helpful to have space underneath the bed to put our stuff. The cruise was very expensive. We wouldn’t be able to travel as a family due to the cost. The kids will have to wait till they’re older to have this experience. Our excursions were shortened and not long enough to visit. A 12 to 14 day hour would allow for more time to see the sights. We loved the performers in the sugarcane, the variety of foods offered, the jewelry selection and art onboard along with a Starbucks was very much appreciated. The charge for yoga way too much and the overall experience was not that great. The charge for wi-fi was unbelievable. We learned what it is we’re looking for our next vacation. Taking a cruise is the way to vacation. 7 days isn’t long enough. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
WOW
We went on the Bliss with a back to back starting out September 30 ship from Vancouver......, This is a Beautiful ship with a great itinerary......the entertainment was fantastic, so much to do on this ship....the food was yummy, we did ... Read More
We went on the Bliss with a back to back starting out September 30 ship from Vancouver......, This is a Beautiful ship with a great itinerary......the entertainment was fantastic, so much to do on this ship....the food was yummy, we did specialty dining.....love NCL...We Can't wait for our next cruise... The staff and crew were amazing the cleanliness of the ship was fantastic it was just a beautiful all-around great cruise. The only thing negative on this whole cruise was the time that we had to get off the ship to go through San Francisco. We had to go through customs, it was a mandatory that everyone had to get off the ship, The lines were long and you stood in line for hours, however it was of no fault of NCL...... this was the first time that San Francisco had such a big ship dock and everyone had to go through customs so that's what the delay was all about, again it was no fault of NCL. I feel the did the best they could with this situation. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
very disappointing embarkation went smoothly cabin ready when we arrived at noon. cabin small, but appreciated muted colours of brown and teal and coffee maker since room service costs 7.95 per delivery. noisy music blaring ... Read More
very disappointing embarkation went smoothly cabin ready when we arrived at noon. cabin small, but appreciated muted colours of brown and teal and coffee maker since room service costs 7.95 per delivery. noisy music blaring everywhere including the elevator. only cabin and observation deck quiet, except several times day and night, cabin shuddered from slamming doors. pop music played so loud in the cafeteria we took breakfast in our cabin. bar in the cafeteria opened at 6 am food served at 7 am. thank goodness, Savor and Taste restaurants open at 7 am. music loud, but I was not in danger of going deaf. ALL food stations noisy w/ silverware clashing w/ metal Holland America and Celebrity use wooden salad bowls, Princess uses plastic. Bliss uses meta; bowls and metal utensils.-- adds to the constant din. BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT WAS THE NOISE IN THE THERMAL SUITE. Some women were talking so loud we couldn't hear the meditation music. I went at 8 am to avoid the crowds. On Holland America, Celebrity, Princess, RCI there r signs requesting silence and the staff remind the rare persons who forget. No signs on the Bliss and no one cares. I sailed on the Epic a couple of yrs ago. The Spa was quiet. even in the main dining room and specialty restaurants, people's voices rose as they drank alcohol. bliss advertised free bar as a perk and most people took advantage of this offer. in fact, because i am a silver member i get a free bottle of wine in my cabin even though i do not drink. no matter how many times i request sparkling water i get wine. some stranger getting off the elevator when i arrive benefits. i suspect the powers that be on Norwegian r alcoholcs. i am diabetic and i tell them every time i sail.-- no one cares Norwegian provides lousy customer service. when we arrived in San Francisco, due to unclear instructions i disembarked early b4 i had eaten breakfast. an officer came to me after i complained to security that i could not wait 4 hrs to get back on ship to eat he assured me he would solve the problem. i was shaking by this time on the verge of passing out. he never returned. i will forever be grateful to Gina from Frisco security who gave me a yogurt from her lunch. NorwegIan also disembarked people in wheel chairs who had to sit for hours b4 returning to the ship why couldn't they have been taken off the ship last, not first? when i finally got back on board i whimpered bitterly to a supervisor about them putting my life in jeopardy. to calm me they sent chocolate coated strawberries and a bottle of wine to my cabin. chocolate and alcohol will kill me. some travel agents already tipsy in the early afternoon benefitted. how hard is it to google diabetic diet? i was so upset i went to a manager at guest sevices who listened, but probably won't implement my simple suggestions eventho she said thet were good ideas. on the plus side, The Jersey Boys show in the theatre was great as were the Beatles impersonators in the Cavern Bar. we left Havana when a young lady on stage took off her bra. for a moment i thought i was in Vegas The food on Norwegoan ships has improved. I like the fact that i can order 3 appetizers and call that dinner. Teppenyaki was terrific except for the woman who spilled her beer on me. the food was almost as good as if i had eaten in Vancouver. Los Lobos served fresh quacamole which was as good. they had IMPORTED the corn from Chilliwack BC i recognozed the peaches and cream corn which was delicious why do i cruise Norwegian? Itinerary and spa. The Bliss stopped in Victoria where my daughter andi had planned to visit the Egyptian Exhibit at the museum. this seemed like a better idea than an overnight in a hotel. BIG MISTAKE Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
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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