55 Norwegian Bliss Repositioning Cruise Reviews

This was our second cruise and we were excited to be aboard the brand new Bliss. Overall we had a great time. The food was good but it was disappointing that the three complimentary dining rooms (Savor, Taste, and Manhattan) all have ... Read More
This was our second cruise and we were excited to be aboard the brand new Bliss. Overall we had a great time. The food was good but it was disappointing that the three complimentary dining rooms (Savor, Taste, and Manhattan) all have the exact same menu despite being represented as different restaurants. The food at the Local dining room was good most of the time but inconsistent in quality. Ie. one day my Rueben was perfect and the following day it was so full of fatty meat that it was inedible. Our cabin was clean and in good repair. The boat was spotless. The staff were Friendly and helpful. It was difficult to get a booking at the race track or laser tag as they close when raining. My only complaint about the cruise is the smoke stacks are too close to the upper decks and as a result the soot falls on the rear portions of the boat including the racetrack and H20 bar area. We had several instances of having soot on our hands or clothing. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
I wanted to go on this ship and see what i thought. PRE CRUISE I flew from london to vancover on direct flight on air canada got train to b&b nobody there but got a password to the keys,later went to canada place to see nieuw ... Read More
I wanted to go on this ship and see what i thought. PRE CRUISE I flew from london to vancover on direct flight on air canada got train to b&b nobody there but got a password to the keys,later went to canada place to see nieuw amsterdam sail. Then the owner was there no heating despite asklng and did not like me going outside to smoke. Check in. I left the b&b nobody around and got train to canada place. Check in was quick despite no going in the platinum queue. Then after the picture i went onboard to find my cabin which was ready. Cabin. I had a studio cabin on 12 deck 12517, tv, shower,virtual view. No drawers but ok for a short cruise. Lifeboat drill. At 3.30pm had lifeboat drill in show lounge no lifejacket required almost forgot to scan my card it was over quickly. My account. As i do not have a credit card and using a debit card charges it twice i was going to use the atm onboard until i find it is a $6.00 charge. So went ashore and got canadian money instead. Dinner. I had booked cagneys so went there i did try to share but sadly no good so sat alone. I had a voucher being a platimum member so got a free meal and a bottle of wine. Had a mini filet mignon a bit small a good dinner. No show booked so went to welcome aboard not what i expected then cigar room for a cigar then studio lounge for coffee and fruit. Shows. Havana and jersey boys were good and beatles tribute in the cavern and main lounge really good. Ports of call. Victoria i went to see butchart gardens already so got shuttle into town and did miniture wonderland. San francisco i booked trip to alcatraz myself at $30 at 12.00 despite the long delay getting off ship i made it ok. Other restaurants. As a platinum member i had 2 vouchers and a 3 dining deal. After cagneys i did los lobos(mexican) really enjoyed it there despite sitting on my own also did q prime rib with the other solos really good, never got to go to the main dining room. Service. My stateroom steward who i did not see much was ok mucked up my ice i wanted and one night had no interest in doing my cabin for the evening. Then on last day wanted me out and said i had to go now despite it being before the time,not impressed. Disembarkation. Pretty good i said 0930 as did not want to rush got off before that as was very well done. My thoughts. Enjoyed the ship but need to be able to share with others more and do not like the booking for shows much. Liked the meeting up with solos in studio lounge and jose was so good. Would go on ncl again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
This was my hubby and I's 9th cruise and 8th cruise with NCL. I would have to say, this was the best one yet! Our favorite ship was the "Pearl", but now....it the "Bliss"!!! This was so much better! The ship is ... Read More
This was my hubby and I's 9th cruise and 8th cruise with NCL. I would have to say, this was the best one yet! Our favorite ship was the "Pearl", but now....it the "Bliss"!!! This was so much better! The ship is beautiful and really spacious, we never felt crowded. In fact, I took a picture of my hubby in the "side" room of the Observation area and he was sitting all alone! Our favorite hang-out was in the Atrium....loved "Phil & Keysha" and ended up following the around from venue to venue like groupies....LOL! My hubby said that the Phil's guitar playing skills are awesome! We also saw "Jersey Boys"....it was spectacular! They vocals were spot-on and a wonderful theatre, loved the bar service in our seats! For eats...we ate at the Local (a few times) and Taste (once for dinner and twice for breakfast) and at the Speciality restaurants: Margaritaville, Food Republic, Teppanyaki, Los Lobos and Cagneys.....all great food, but Los Lobos was really slow. We think something most have happened in the kitchen because we never had any problems with any of the other restaurants. And finally, the Go-Karts.....awesome!!! It was so much fun! Wish we could have gone again, but ran out of time. Can't wait for our next NCL Cruise....wish it was tomorrow!!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Just off the 5 day Coastal cruise Vancouver to LA. I cruised in the solo studio cabins. I loved the studio cabin and lounge concept. The lounge was perfect for snacks and drinks, especially the specialty coffees. Jose who ran the 5 ... Read More
Just off the 5 day Coastal cruise Vancouver to LA. I cruised in the solo studio cabins. I loved the studio cabin and lounge concept. The lounge was perfect for snacks and drinks, especially the specialty coffees. Jose who ran the 5 o’clock meet ups was an excellent host. Wasn’t totally impressed with the specialty restaurants, Teppanyaki was my favorite, Cagney’s was ok, and I didn’t think Ocean Blue was worth the additional surcharge. Food Republic, sushi and dumplings were excellent. Lots of fun activities in the Atrium but be there early to get good seating. Beatlemania performance and the crew show in the theatre were excellent. Loved the Observation Lounge, no problem every finding a spot to sit, chair hogs did not seem to be an issue. The food stations were excellent, I ate my breakfast and lunch there most days, avoiding the Garden Cafe craziness. Star crew member, in my opinion, was Jose from Cruise directors staff, with a second to ‘Jackie Chan’. Disembarkation in Los Angeles went very fast. The only issue, and it was not a fault of NCL, was getting off the ship and through Customs in San Francisco. Started at about 8:30 and last people got through around 1:15. A lack of custom officers seemed to be the issue. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Prior to the ship being built , I booked. I followed this vessel for months and read countless posts and reviews-this is unadulterated. I wish I continued on the next 8 day sailing! The embarkation in Vancouver was sketchy-but it was ... Read More
Prior to the ship being built , I booked. I followed this vessel for months and read countless posts and reviews-this is unadulterated. I wish I continued on the next 8 day sailing! The embarkation in Vancouver was sketchy-but it was their first time with the Bliss. From the moment we boarded it was special. Our cabin (13844-balcony mid) was awesome and clean. The Garden Café fantastic-no problems with food or seating as prior reviews stated. Met a great gang at Spice H2O and we gelled (smoking section)...so I missed all other meet and greets. La Cucina was fabulous/Cagneys was good/ Le Bistro awesome...Savor and Taste great...didn't care for the Local.Mario and team at Spice H2O did a great job at bartending and providing exceptional service. Jersey Boys good, ample theatre. The Beatles show awesome! The Casino was also great-wish more machines but they played nicely!!! the waiters and waitresses were phenominal, food exceptional, drinks great, our cabin steward was so so...do the racing experience! I wish they get rid of Margaritaville-it was dead space. Elevators were also fast-not as many reviews stated. What I realized is that you cant please everyone....many passengers would try to cut lines, complain about trivial things, not respect the staff...it is sad. I met many seasoned cruisers who loved this experience for a larger ship I believe I got hung up with many posts and prior reviews but this was exceptional! If staying in Vancouver-Sutton Place is phenominal! Victoria a nice stop, San Francisco was good-did the Hop On Hop Off and not disappointed-only disappointment was the behavior of a few folks who wouldn't disembark for customs and the behavior of the mob to get back on! The only other thing I can say-the karaoke was dull and machine wasn't good....met many nice new friends from all over! Many friendly people! A few that should have stayed home! Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We took the five day Pacific Coastal (re-positioning) Cruise on the Bliss and had a great experience. I was a bit nervous having read many mixed reviews about the Bliss but would certainly sail on the Bliss again in the future. There ... Read More
We took the five day Pacific Coastal (re-positioning) Cruise on the Bliss and had a great experience. I was a bit nervous having read many mixed reviews about the Bliss but would certainly sail on the Bliss again in the future. There were some minor negatives, but overall it was an excellent experience. One thing that is clear about the Bliss is that it benefits those that like to plan ahead or, on the other end of the spectrum, those that are extremely relaxed about what they do or do not experience on the cruise (eg just show up and see if it works out). If you are in the middle, it is a lot easier to be disappointed on the Bliss. For those that are planners, making specialty restaurant and show reservations through the NCL website well in advance of departure is a must. I would say make the reservations as soon as you can. Then, once you board, go to a screen on the ship and make go-kart, laser tag and any additional show reservations (those that couldn't be reserved online) right away. This will help ensure the best experience. That being said, if you are not a planner and just go with the flow there seemed to be enough cancellations, no-shows, etc..., that you can do just about everything. Again, you just can't have that expectation. I suspect that many of those disappointed in the Bliss fall somewhere in between these two ends of the spectrum. Those that want to eat at 7pm at Le Bistro or Cagney's on the first sea day, but wait to make a reservation until they get onboard will not be happy. With that being said, some of the points from the Bliss are: Embarkation -- Vancouver + NCL was a great experience -- I never got on a ship so quickly or so easily. Cabin - small but workable space. We had a balcony cabin on the 11th deck and it easily fit 2 adults + a teen. The free movie options on the TV were an improvement. Storage space was good. I felt the bed was a bit firm compared to other cruises. Dining - We ate at specialty restaurants 3 nights, the main dining room 1 night and the buffet 1 night. All were good and we did not have a bad experience. The buffet was a real highlight and one of the better cruise buffets I have experienced. On past NCL cruises it seemed that the staff was slow in cleaning tables at the buffet, that was not the case on the Bliss. The food in the main dining room (Manhattan Room) was as good as the specialty restaurants, but the service was nowhere near as good. Our best meal was at Le Bistro. We also hit up the Local several times on the cruise and feel this is a vast improvement over O'Sheehans. Entertainment and Activities -- Very good experience with Laser Tag and Go Karts. I felt they were expensive going in (they are), but worth it. Bars were good and I especially liked the district brew house -- I hope this concept catches on for additional ships. Pool and slides were crowded even in cooler weather. This is a constant issue on megaships like the Bliss. I will say they added enough hot tubs at different locations and that was a plus. Night club was a ton of fun with better than average cruise DJs. Jersey Boys was amazing, Havana was terrible (I think it was written by a 6th grade drama class that ran out of time). Spa -- Had to set this aside as it was my least favorite aspect of the cruise. The actual set up is nice, so that is not the issue. The problem is the hard sell. Can I just get a sign/flag that says "I don't want to buy anything". The don't have the Brazilian steakhouse on the Bliss, but the green button / red button system could also work. If I am paying $200 for a service, I don't need you to lay into me to buy $250 miracle cream. Sure, let me know what is available, but a sales pitch in the guise of a "consultation" is an awful experience. I was waiting for the attendant to say "well, if you don't want my shampoo for $100 an once, are you interested in hearing about a timeshare I am selling". Service -- Good service, they got the job done with a smile. Ports -- It is not the fault of the ship (it is a customs/immigration issue) but the delay to get off the ship in San Fran should have been explained better in advance. I live close enough to SF that we did not have big plans, but felt bad that were visiting the city for the first and possibly only time. We did not do any ship based excursions. I look forward to the possibility of sailing on the Bliss again. For the right type(s) of traveler it is a really great experience. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We are in our early 50’s, aren’t married and have no kids, we have been on more than 50 previous cruises on 6 different cruise lines, most of which to the Caribbean. We’ve cruised with NCL before but not for more than 15 years. We ... Read More
We are in our early 50’s, aren’t married and have no kids, we have been on more than 50 previous cruises on 6 different cruise lines, most of which to the Caribbean. We’ve cruised with NCL before but not for more than 15 years. We chose this cruise to check out the new ship and because a Pacific Coastal is a nice change of pace from a Caribbean itinerary. We chose to fly in the day of sailing to reduce time away from home and avoid the expense of a hotel in Vancouver. We normally fly to the embarkation port a day prior to sailing in case of travel delays, but since sail away was scheduled for overnight and the first port was Victoria, we decided the risk was minimal and flew in the day of sailing. Our flight landed just before 1PM in Vancouver. My plan was to take the train from the airport to the port, but since it was raining, we decided to hop on a transfer. After finding our luggage and exiting the baggage area we easily found the NCL desk and asked about the transfer. They took our name and room number, so they could charge the transfer to our onboard account, they also took our checked bag and transported to the ship separately. Then sent us out to the pick-up area where we waited only about ten minutes before a bus arrived. Because of traffic the ride to the ship took almost an hour. The only complaint about the transfer was that the bus smelled horribly of stale cigarette smoke. At least we didn’t get wet since we boarded and exited the bus under cover. There was no waiting to check in, just a lot of walking. First through security then upstairs to check in then back downstairs to board the ship. We arrived right when the muster drill was starting, so we went directly to our muster station, The Local Bar and Grill, to participate. After the drill I wanted a drink, but out of all the bars on board I could find only 2 open and they were 4 deep with people, so I gave up and went to the room. We were in room 11100. This was a room with a window all the way in the front of the ship. I booked it because I thought it might be a little bigger than most and I think it was but only by the storage and bench area right under the window. The room was much narrower than I’m used to, there was only about 3-4 inches between the end of the bed and the wall. The shower was a nice sized glass enclosure with no clinging curtain, it would’ve been nice to have a shaving step in the shower. The ship is very long with only two elevator banks, it is a very long walk between this room and the forward elevator bank. I recommend a room closer to the elevators. And a word about the elevators, they were very slow. There was almost always a long wait for an elevator and often they would open but were already full. They really need to work on some logic to improve the elevator service. Our bags were already at our room when we arrived, so I decided to unpack while he went to see if the pool bar was open to get some drinks. When booking the room with a window we received the drink package and 3-night dining package. One nice thing about the drink package on NCL that is different from others I’ve experienced is that they will give you two drinks with one card, perhaps since both in the room are required to have the package. After unpacking we spent some time at the pool bar even though it was raining and cool it was less crowded than the couple bars open inside. The first night we ate at La Cucina. We chose to eat outside because this inside was hot and noisy. They offered blankets if you were cold, I’m not sure why they didn’t turn on the heaters in the ceiling. The food was mostly good, my salad and veal were good, but my tortellini seemed like from pasta from Costco. He had gnocchi with pesto and that was his favorite of the night. Service was very slow. Since we wouldn’t sail until overnight we had the Vancouver skyline as our view, nice. After dinner we had a drink at the atrium bar before heading to the room, it had been a long day. Since we left Vancouver later than scheduled, we wouldn’t arrive in Victoria until late morning. We had nothing planned for Victoria and thought we’d walk into town if the weather was nice. Again, the day was cloudy and wet, so we opted to stay on board today and explore the ship. Much of our route between Vancouver and Victoria straddled the international boarder, so for much of the way we were charged tax on our drinks. I’m puzzled about this, some cruise lines charge tax some don’t. Another puzzle, like many land and sea based venues NCL has discontinued the use of plastic straws, but then why do they use disposable plastic cups at the pool bar? Plastic cups contain much more material than plastic straws. We had breakfast in the buffet. I loved how they had about a dozen or more omelet stations set up during breakfast. Very fast and easy service. Today we stayed on board and took some pictures around the ship, spent some more time at the pool bar, read and napped. I also had lunch in the buffet, there was a nice variety of offerings including fish sticks and mac and cheese. Tonight, we ate at Q’s Texas Smokehouse. I started with the chopped salad, very tasty, then I tried the beef brisket which I found to be dry. He had the sampler and the best thing there was the sausage with cheese and jalapenos, super tasty. Again, after dinner went to the atrium bar for after dinner drinks and watched the atrium activities. This morning I ate breakfast in the buffet again. This time I found the eggs benedict, is was very good, eggs not over cooked or under cooked and the muffin wasn’t hard and dried out like often happens. Our first sea day and the weather is starting to dry out, it isn’t raining any more but at time it’s very foggy. Up on the pool deck you can be above the fog, then you look out the side window but can’t see the water because of the fog. We did some more ship exploring. We watched some folks try the drop water slide to see who could make it all the way through without having to exit in the trap door. We did not try this, I’m sure I wouldn’t have made it. We stopped in at Margaritaville for a margarita that was good but didn’t spend any money on food. We also stopped in at District Brew House, I had a nice stout he had a cider. Tonight, we ate at Cagney’s. We both had rib eyes that were very tasty and also enjoyed the au gratin potatoes. After dinner we had reservations for the go karts. I’m glad we tried them, although I don’t think I would do them again. Since the track is so narrow, they turn into bumper cars rather than go karts and you come off battered. Also, since they are back by the stacks and exhaust from the ship, we came off filthy and drenched. It wasn’t raining but there was so much moisture coming out of the stacks that the track was wet with standing water it was as good as raining. The next morning, we were in San Francisco. Today was a clear sunny day. I had purchased tickets to tour Alcatraz while we were there. I booked for 1PM which I thought would be plenty of time to get off the ship, but we barely made it. Since this was our first US port we have to go through customs, which turned into a fiasco. All passengers had to go through customs and couldn’t return to the ship until all had been cleared. We had a schedule that went by deck, we were group 4. They started about 8AM, our group wasn’t called until 11:10AM and we weren’t off the ship and through customs until about 12:30!We made it to the Alcatraz ferry with only about 10-15 minutes to spare. We spent a couple hours on the island exploring, then decided to just go back to the ship rather than wandering around on shore. We decided to try The Local for a late lunch. We started with artichoke dip, pretzels and I had a salad that would’ve been better with less lettuce and more other ingredients. Then I had a Rachel that was very good, and he had a burger that was cooked to his liking. Since I wasn’t up yet when we sailed in, I was waiting on the pool deck until we left and then was disappointed to see the fog rolling in right before sail away. It was so foggy we could barely see the bridge. We didn’t have any dinner reservations and just ate in the buffet. The pizza in the buffet is really good. Tonight, we had reservations for Jersey Boys late show. I thought they did a very good job on this show, I’ve seen the Broadway touring version several times and couldn’t figure out what they might’ve cut, it also seemed to move at a faster pace. I think it ran about one hour forty minutes. Eggs benedict in the buffet again for our last sea day. Today was warmer and sunnier than before, we even sat in loungers by the pool for a while it was so nice. We stopped by the store for a few souvenirs. Tonight, we ate at Los Lobos. We each had some kind of enchilada mine with green sauce his with red. We both enjoyed them. Our dining package was used up, so we paid for this, I think it was about $25 including the auto tip. Since we only had the one suitcase, we decided to carry it off. It seemed like they expected us to debark before they started calling luggage tags, so we left when they called our floor, but I suspect we might still be there if we had waited for an elevator, so he carried the suitcase down to leave the ship. I had booked a car to bring us to LAX, we were off the ship and out of the terminal early so I called, and our ride came to get us early. It was Friday morning, so the traffic was bad our driver took us on many surface streets to avoid the traffic jams. We arrived at the airport too early to check in so had to wait a bit, but that’s much better than being late. We had time for lunch before boarding the plane. Our flight home was on time and uneventful. This was a nice return to NCL for us, hopefully we will sail with them again soon. I would consider NCL for itineraries that we are familiar with the ports so that we wouldn’t want a ship excursion. For our two ports I found the excursion sold by NCL to be significantly higher priced than the same excursion on the other cruise lines we frequent. I hope they find a way to make the Bliss elevators more efficient. Maybe there just aren’t enough elevators for the number of people on board. We enjoyed the food options and found the staff to be very friendly and efficient.   Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We decided to add the thermal suite  pass for the full cruise.  We were happy we did, especially on the cool weather days.  The suite had a pool, hottub, salt room, steam room, sauna and a snow/cold room to cool down in.  We used them ... Read More
We decided to add the thermal suite  pass for the full cruise.  We were happy we did, especially on the cool weather days.  The suite had a pool, hottub, salt room, steam room, sauna and a snow/cold room to cool down in.  We used them all. Relaxing in total comfort with wonderful views from the thermal suit aft windows made me realize how blessed we were to be on the NCL Bliss.  We also enjoyed the CC get together. Unfortunately we missed the cabin crawl.  We told Stephenie  (Dotty) about how we wanted to see the haven and she suggested we contact Jovo-the head of hotel services.  I called Jovo and asked if it would be possible to get a 5 min look/tour inside the Haven.  He said he was not sure and would ask if it would be possible to do on a port day for just 5 mins.  He then said someone on his staff would get back to me. Alas, we never heard back from his staff. No worries though since we were pleased with our ship experience overall. David loved the ship and wants to return. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Our children wished to take an Alaskan cruise with our grandchildren and chose NCL because of the exceptional prior experiences they had enjoyed when we took them on several Christmas cruises from Miami. When we were asked to join them we ... Read More
Our children wished to take an Alaskan cruise with our grandchildren and chose NCL because of the exceptional prior experiences they had enjoyed when we took them on several Christmas cruises from Miami. When we were asked to join them we of course agreed. The ship was brand new and spotless which certainly contributed to our enjoyment but it was the world-class service provided by the entire staff that truly made the difference from cruises we have taken on any other cruise line. At every possible interaction we found caring individuals who not only extended every possible courtesy but also took it upon themselves to make certain that they had done everything possible to make the cruise a problem-free experience. The food was good and the ship's staff flawlessly accommodated special dietary needs. The entertainment and shipboard activities were good and the grandchildren especially loved both the go carts and the laser tag facility. The casino was the largest and best operated we have found on any cruise ship. Embarkation and disembarkation was flawless and remarkable for a ship of that size. My wife and I cruise fairly often and have achieved top level status on several cruise lines but we have never received the personalized service and attention that once again was provided by the staff of the NCL Bliss. And we are looking forward to another cruise on the Bliss at the end of this year/ Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We did the initial Panama Canal cruise on this ship. As always I will keep it simple and do a Pros and Cons section below. The biggest issue we had on this cruise was the ports and the dining room foods. The buffet foods were great. ... Read More
We did the initial Panama Canal cruise on this ship. As always I will keep it simple and do a Pros and Cons section below. The biggest issue we had on this cruise was the ports and the dining room foods. The buffet foods were great. Seated dining not so much. PROS: The ship is amazing Great layout Excellent staff and customer service (Largely Filipino...this is huge) Buffet Food was excellent Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlan were both pretty nice ports. The only ones that were decent. Nice variety of entertainment Great pools Plenty of variety of places to relax and get lost Havana the show. Very nice. Laundry bag full of dirty clothes washed for $19. Good deal. The District was a fantastic Brewery. Best ever on a cruise. Food Republic was excellent but no one was ever there. Too many specialty restaurants on this ship and most were not great. CONS: The Ports (Cartegena, Puntarenas should not be spots to stop. You have to take a minimum of a 90-120min ride to get anywhere even remotely interesting. The same could actually be said for Guatamala.) You are porting at Shipping Yards. Its bad. Real bad. The Seated Dining food: Average at best. You won't get any Crab or Lobster nights in these nicer restaurants either. They don't actually announce those nights, they just make them pop up in the Buffet at nights. We missed 2 out of 3 after finding out the next day. The Beatles experience: These guys are so out of sync and so out of tune they have no business being on this ship. It's really really bad. The bands like Siglo are much better. Excursion costs: $209 per person to take a ferry out to Tortuga Island in Costa Rica. The bus ride to the boat is 30 mins. The Boat ride is 2hrs!! Each way. Thats 5hrs of your day, gone. When we asked WHY the boat was going so slow we were told to save gas. With 40 people onboard paying $200 each, use your gas. Thats absurd. Norwegian iConceirge was a big selling point. Nice to be able to text with your people you are traveling with onboard. Except it didn't work and no one knew why or how to fix it. Specialty Restaurants are EXPENSIVE. $29 for steaks, $10 for sides etc...$30 for a teppenyaki PER PERSON. Whats the purpose of going on a cruise exactly? They charge for EVERYTHING: Go Carts $7 per person, Lazer Tag $5....why not charge to use the pool and slides? Dartboards, Suffleboard etc....they had them on the Getaway and they are greatly missed. Removing the Brazilian Steakhouse in exchange for Los Lobos was a big mistake. A boat should have a brazilian steakhouse, that was an epic addition on the Getaway that the Bliss deserves. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We were looking for a cruise in May that was going through the new Panama Canal and our travel agent suggested this one. We arrived at the embarkation port prior to the time they said their reception area would be open. We were allowed to ... Read More
We were looking for a cruise in May that was going through the new Panama Canal and our travel agent suggested this one. We arrived at the embarkation port prior to the time they said their reception area would be open. We were allowed to enter and walked through the registration process with almost no wait. We waited for about an hour upstairs and them were allowed on the ship. Were able to use our cabins much earlier than on other ships. I wear disappointed with the entertainment as there were multiple smaller venues and reservations were almost required. I thought we needed reservations for all the restaurants but found out the since we eat early we rarely had to wait. The food at all restaurants was good. Early in the trip the wait between courses was long, but as the days went by that was improved. Cabin Service was good but our cabin steward was either slower than normal or he had more cabins to serve. Most of the time the cabin was not cleaned up before noon. We were disappointed to find out that two ports pwere removed from the itinerary about two weeks before we left and one was added. The shore excursions were in general very good. Family traveling with us were disappointed that one excursion did not state that at the first stop at a beach the boat didn’t bring us to shore. The second stop did take us to shore. Also one stop required us to take a shuttle to the town we were supposed to dock at. And, the shuttle was $15 per person. When our party complained, in each case a refund of part of all of the fee was provided. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
What a wonderful trip. We started our adventure from Miami. We arrived a day early and spent the evening at the Romero Britto Gallery in Liberty Square. After a fun outdoor dinner we went back to our hotel filled with excitement for the ... Read More
What a wonderful trip. We started our adventure from Miami. We arrived a day early and spent the evening at the Romero Britto Gallery in Liberty Square. After a fun outdoor dinner we went back to our hotel filled with excitement for the next days boarding. I had been told by other cruise passenger that the Miami Cruise port was a difficult port to deal with, long lines, difficult port personnel etc. So I was prepared for the worst and hoping for the best. As our Uber car dropped us tat the luggage area, a very kind and respectful person welcomed us, took our luggage and directed us to the correct entrance. Well this wasn't the experience I was expecting, Next we looked up at the ship, starring at the waterline and then looking up and we continued looking up and up and up. This was the biggest ship we had ever seen. I remember thinking to myself how does this thing float. It was huge. At the very top we noticed a water slide that jetted out over the edge of the ship. After having such a good experience with our luggage porter we walked into the terminal, (here's where I figured the problems would happen) again to my dismay there were folks waiting to direct us to the proper area to check in and within 15 minutes we were on our way to security and then onto the ship. After hearing the stories about the port of Miami, I have to say this was the smoothest check in process we have ever experienced. Kudos to all in the cruise port. As we boarded the ship the first thing we noticed was folks crowed around large touch screen TV's , all working feverishly to secure show reservations, or dinner reservations. Never having cruised with Norwegian I wasn't quite sure what was going on, but figured we should stand and watch for a bit. After a few minutes I realized these folks were trying to get the best dinners times, best show times etc. I said to my wife, I don't have any idea what times we want for anything yet and we decided it was our vacation and we'd let the chips fall as they may and we'd book later, after we sailed. Our rooms were not yet ready so we ventured to the buffet area for a bite to eat. As we walked into the buffet, there were so many folks and an almost chaotic feeling in the area. For a moment I thought we had made a mistake booking on such a large cruise. After we made our plates we tried looking for a place to sit and as I said earlier it was a bit chaotic, we must have had the OMG what have we done look on our faces as one of the staff members approached us and said if we wanted more seating the observation lounge was on floor below us. We thanked him and set off to find the observation lounge and hopefully seating. Much to our surprise, not only was there seating but the chaos of upstairs was gone, replaced by floor to ceiling pictures windows looking out over the port, the water and the city in all directions. The lounge was huge, decorated in beautiful Shades of Black, Greys and Whites with beautiful hardwood flooring that looked like a path through a forest of tucked away sitting areas. As we made our way to the back of the lounge we were greeted by a very large center bar that had been designed to in no way block a view from any sitting positions. This was to become our favorite area and we spent many hours watching the view, talking to the wonderful wait staff, and exploring new drinks with the help the bartenders. Our favorite is the Mudslide, they are fantastic and each evening I'd enjoy a Grand Marnier as we watch the sun set. Once our room was ready started our trek to find the room, as we were walking towards our room, our room Steward (said his name was V) greeted us and asked if we had any difficulty in finding our rooms. We said no, it was quite easy to find. He said this was the easiest ship to navigate, there are only two banks of elevators and once you are on the correct floor all we had to do follow the fish on the carpet, they were swimming towards the front of the ship. Our room was very nice, about the size we had expected, with one exception, the closet. While long enough the depth of the closet is very small and coats hanging in the closet had to turn on the side in order for the closet to actually close. The TV was, at first as a bit of a challenge, but once we figured it out we used it each day to plan our events. We also figured how to schedule reservations for restaurants and shows. What we found interesting is we were able get the times and restaurants we wanted without having to work with the crazy scene that happened earlier in the day. As each day progressed the ship felt less and less busy, and there were times when there were only a few dozen folks were in the observation lounge. Food on the ship was wonderful, some of the best we've ever experienced. We very much enjoyed the freedom of being able to eat when we wanted. Deciding each day if we wished to eat early or late. The excursions were done quite well, and we enjoyed each new adventure. Our favorite was the Zip line through the rain forest in Costa Rica. When we had Sea Days, we enjoyed the activates offered throughout the ship as well as the Park West Art Gallery. Chris and his crew were wonderful. We ended up purchasing several items to add to our collections. Passing through the Panama Canal was interesting to watch as this was the biggest cruise ship to have ever gone through the canal, and there was press, and drones that flew by the ship as we moved though the journey. To sum the trip in a few words, it was wonderful. I would recommend this passage to anyone thinking of going through the canal. The Bliss is a large ship that doesn't feel large, (after the first couple of hours) and there is so much to do. We plan on doing this trip again in the future, but we'll go from LA to Miami. Thank you for a great vacation and we look for many more vacations with Norwegian. Bud and Lorraine Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
I was on the Panama Canal cruise in May 2018 as the ship was being moved over to the Pacific side of the world in order to do Alaska cruises this summer. This was my sixth cruise with Norwegian, and my 44th cruise overall. Even though ... Read More
I was on the Panama Canal cruise in May 2018 as the ship was being moved over to the Pacific side of the world in order to do Alaska cruises this summer. This was my sixth cruise with Norwegian, and my 44th cruise overall. Even though I've done more cruises with Carnival than any other cruise line, in recent years I've come to think of Norwegian as my cruise line of choice. It really seems to be the best fit for me, for numerous reasons which I'll try to expand on here. I was really impressed with the design of the Norwegian Bliss, and noticed numerous improvements over her sisters... Norwegian Escape, Norwegian Getaway, and Norwegian Breakaway. The most important improvement was the addition of the observation lounge at the front of the ship, and moving the buffet up to the front of the ship, too. This provides two fantastic indoor spaces where you can sit and enjoy great views ahead of the ship. We spent a LOT of time at these areas at the front of the ship, enjoying drinks, food, and fantastic views, without dealing with wind or any other kind of weather. The way NCL put a variety of comfortable seating in the observation lounge was absolutely brilliant. There is everything from chairs to couches and even super-comfortable loungers. Whoever designed the observation lounge hit a grand slam home run with this one. My only suggestion for future NCL ships would be to add a staircase at the very front of the ship, between the observation lounge and the buffet dining area. We frequently could not find an available table anywhere in the entire buffet restaurant and had to either settle for a table outside near the pool or down one level in the observation lounge. A staircase at the very front of the ship, connecting the observation lounge and the buffet restaurant, would lessen the seating shortage at the buffet restaurant. Another great improvement over the previous generation of ships was the addition of the go-kart racetrack, which really was a lot of fun. Some people complain about the $7 charge to ride the go-karts, and cite it as an example of nickel-and-diming by NCL. But I completely disagree, and understand that the small fee is necessary to prevent huge long lines that would occur if the go-kart were available at no extra charge. If I were in charge, I think the fee might be $5 instead of $7, and there would be no fee for Haven guests. Speaking of The Haven, even though I wasn't staying in The Haven on this particular cruise, I did get a tour... and I like the changes they've made over the previous generation of ships. The two-level lounge with views forward is a brilliant improvement. There were also some really nice improvements made to The Haven Sun Deck, including an improved arrangement for loungers and daybeds, and a really cool set of bar stools that looks over the bow of the ship and has spectacular views. I love the waterslides on Norwegian Bliss. There's only one vertical-drop waterslide, compared to two on the previous generation of ships... but one is enough... and there is a really cool waterslide where you sit on an inner tube and get a very gentle but fun ride that won't scare anyone, but everyone will enjoy. The vertical-drop waterslide is only for thrill seekers... it will scare the heck out of you, but it's also a lot of fun. Of all 44 cruises I've been on, the food and dining on Norwegian Bliss was the best match for my tastes. I've never enjoyed cruise ship food more than I did during this cruise. Not only was the buffet excellent, especially the breakfasts, which were the best I've ever had on a cruise ship... but I also enjoyed several good dinners in the Manhattan Room (one of several main dining rooms onboard, at no extra charge)... as well as the wide variety of specialty restaurants, including a couple of new ones that the previous generation of ships did not have. The best new specialty restaurant was Q, which is the Texas smokehouse. I loved the food I had at Q, and I hope this restaurant finds its way on to other NCL ships. Fantastic idea, perfectly executed. Well done, NCL! When I first heard they eliminated the Brazilian steakhouse in favor of a whole new restaurant idea, I was disappointed. I used to love the Brazilian steakhouses on the previous generation of ships. But Q was even better. I also enjoyed my meal at Los Lobos, the new Mexican food concept. Mexican food is so popular in California, where I live, that I'm glad to see NCL is starting to embrace it. They do need to take it even further, though... adding a Mexican station in their buffet at every lunch and dinner. I don't think NCL fully understands the popularity of Mexican food, but Los Lobos is a good step in the right direction. I also had good meals in La Cucina, Cagneys, and Margaritaville. Be aware that Cagneys is the most popular and that it's nearly impossible to get a reservation there unless you make your reservation from home, before the cruise. If you expect to just board the ship and then make a reservation at Cagneys, you will be disappointed. I love the idea of Margaritaville, but I think NCL needs to make a few adjustments. The extra fee they charge to eat there is WAY too high, and therefore the restaurant is under utilized. In other words, there are an awful lot of empty tables... which is a big waste, considering how overcrowded the buffet is. I know that it would not work to have no additional charge at Margaritaville... it would get too crowded... but they need to lower the extra charge significantly until they find the price point that will fill those seats at Margaritaville. Right now, it's just a waste of potential that there are so many empty seats there. Something that really surprised me during our cruise was how good the Internet connection was for downloading and uploading files. I create videos for YouTube, and normally I have to wait until I'm home to upload cruise videos... because the upload speeds on most cruise ships are dismally slow. But on Norwegian Bliss, I was uploading gigantic video files in a matter of a couple of minutes. I had never seen anything like that, even on Royal Caribbean, which uses an entirely different (and superior) kind of satellite network than all the other cruise lines do. Royal Caribbean's use of the O3B network gives them very low ping times, which means very little latency in the Internet connection, which means that when you use the Internet it feels very fast and responsive to your clicks. The system Norwegian uses doesn't offer the low latency and responsiveness that Royal Caribbean's system uses, but what it does offer is extremely fast upload and download speeds. So as you click things, it doesn't really respond that quickly to your clicks, but once you start it doing a big upload or download, that occurs extremely fast. That's great for someone like me who uploads and downloads big files. However, in order to take advantage of that, I did have to purchase the most expensive Internet plan that NCL offered, which cost $30 per day. Other lower priced plans are available, but they are limited to having access to only certain sites. For example, on the lower priced plans you CAN post to Facebook and Instagram, but not to YouTube. Also, the speeds are throttled... so even though NCL's network has tons of bandwidth, you don't get full advantage of it on the lower priced plans. On the $30 per day plan, I was quite impressed, though! So, if you absolutely need high speed Internet during your vacation, for some business reason, the $30 per day plan is the one that offers the super fast speeds needed for video conferencing and video uploads. Another thing that really impressed me about this cruise was how experienced and competent the crew was. NCL must have cherry picked their best crew members from the rest of their fleet to staff this new ship. These folks all seemed to really know what they were doing, even though this ship had just come out of the shipyard. Earlier this year, I did a cruise on the MSC Seaside, and at the time of my cruise the MSC Seaside staff had already had something like 6 or 7 previous cruises to work out some of the kinks in the learning curve... yet I still witnessed numerous examples of things that the crew just was not good at yet, and needed more time to learn and improve upon. On Norwegian Bliss, there had basically only been one previous cruise... the transatlantic... before our Panama Canal cruise. Yet this crew was impressive in how well they did everything. If I hadn't known it was really only their second cruise on this ship, I never would have known it from the crew's behavior. They seemed to know exactly what they were doing, and they performed extremely well. After 44 cruises, I can tell when things are going well and when they are not, and this crew did everything very well. Bravo! Embarkation was among the many smooth operations I witnessed... and I was absolutely FLABBERGASTED by how smooth the self assist disembarkation went. I had never seen any disembarkation go that smoothly in all of my cruises. The only reason I can think of to explain how that happened was that perhaps, since it was a 15-day cruise and a much older-than-usual group of passengers, there must have been far fewer passengers doing self assist disembarkation than usual, and more requiring the full service disembarkation. Because when we walked off the ship with all of our luggage, it was completely un-crowded and we made the quickest disembarkation we have ever made from a cruise ship. Entertainment was also excellent on the ship. I like the shows and all the music they had. I already mentioned that cruise I did a few months earlier on the MSC Seaside. Entertainment on that ship was a joke. I hated the entertainment on that ship. It was SO much better on Norwegian Bliss. Where MSC seemed to be trying to do their entertainment the cheapest way possible, it sure looked to me like Norwegian spent a ton of money on the various musical acts and other entertainers for this ship. There was such a large variety of entertainment acts... a little something for everyone... even something you almost never see on a cruise ship... a country music band. Not a cover band from the Phillipines trying to sing country songs with an accent... a genuine American country music band that was actually pretty darned good. And there was a cover band from the Phillipines, and a soul/Motown group, and a female headliner performing with the ship's band, and a female singer/comedian that was kind of like Weird Al on estrogen, and a Beatles tribute band, and a full-length broadway-style show about the Four Seasons, and more. It was impressive... how much money and effort NCL put in to entertainment on this ship. The comparison to what I saw on MSC Seaside made me laugh... NCL did such a better job at keeping me entertained! If you ever happen to do a Panama canal cruise, be sure to spend a lot of time looking in the water when the ship is off the coast of the southern portion of Mexico. I'm not talking about the Cabo San Lucas and Puerto Vallarta part of Mexico... I'm talking about the area much further south, such as near Acapulco, and even farther south than that. When your ship is in that area, keep an eye on the water. You will see an incredible amount of sea life such as turtles and sting rays... much more than you'll ever see on a Caribbean cruise or even a Mexican Riviera cruise. For the entire day we cruised off the coast off southern Mexico, we spent time on our balcony looking at the water, and we literally saw hundreds of green sea turtles. If you've sailed on previous NCL ships, you will notice that they've continued with their tradition of building an excellent thermal suite within the spa. It's one of my favorite features on NCL ships, and I always try to book a spa cabin or a Haven Spa Suite so that I'll have full access to the thermal suite at no additional charge. On the previous generation of NCL ships, the thermal suite was at the front of the ship. On this new ship, it's at the aft end, with a beautiful view of what's behind the ship. For this particular cruise, since it was 15-days and also since it was a brand new ship, the price of a Haven Spa Suite was just out of my reach... so I booked a spa mini suite instead. I can definitely recommend it! A mini suite gives you a much large bathroom and shower than you get in a regular balcony cabin... and the difference between a cramped shower and a shower roomy enough for two people makes a huge difference to me in how much I enjoy my overall cruise experience. I hate starting the day with a shower in a tiny, cramped shower! If you can afford a Haven Spa Suite, you really should go that way, though! They've made the Haven Spa Suites much bigger on this ship than they were on the previous generation. So, I give Norwegian Bliss my highest recommendation! This is the cruise ship you should sail on, if you want to see what the state-of-the-art looks like in cruise ship design. Since it's the newest ship in the fleet, NCL is charging the highest prices for the privilege of cruising on this ship. I thought it was worth it, but if money is tight for you, you may want to consider Norwegian Escape, Norwegian Getaway, or Norwegian Breakaway instead. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
This brand new Breakaway Class ship from NCL is amazing. I am NCL Platinum Plus and have sailed on a number of NCL's ships, both smaller and mega sized BUT this one is unique. It's really beautiful. Some of the features will ... Read More
This brand new Breakaway Class ship from NCL is amazing. I am NCL Platinum Plus and have sailed on a number of NCL's ships, both smaller and mega sized BUT this one is unique. It's really beautiful. Some of the features will remind you of the Breakaway or Epic, but this ship has lots of new cool venues.....like a go-cart track on top (was so fun) and laser tag. A full-service real STARBUCKS.....just to name a few. And the ship has some of the favorites, too, like SPICE H2O, Cagney's Steakhouse, Le Bistro, Garden Café, etc etc. Speaking of dining, a couple of new restaurants Q and Los Lobos were excellent. Food Republic is on this ship (and I think only also on The Escape) and was totally awesome. But, I also ate several times at The Garden Café and all three MDR's and I thought the food everywhere was EXCELLENT. The crown jewel though is the Observation Lounge. I've never seen anything like it. It is huge, spacious, plush and very comfortable....with spectacular views. Just overall, great cruise with great service which is one reason I have stayed exclusively with NCL is their absolutely amazing service.....consistent amazing service I should add fleet wide. In closing though, this ship is a must see even if it is a short cruise, you have to see it to fully appreciate it. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We had wanted to do the Panama for years. Travel agent recommended this cruise on the new ship. We were not let down. We have travelled on most cruise lines but never Norwegian. The complementary dining rooms were great. Food service ... Read More
We had wanted to do the Panama for years. Travel agent recommended this cruise on the new ship. We were not let down. We have travelled on most cruise lines but never Norwegian. The complementary dining rooms were great. Food service and ambiance excellent. Music was great. The onboard rock band Siglo were outstanding. We had a drinks package and the drinks could not have been better. We had a balcony stateroom which was nearly the same as any other we have been on. The only criticism is that nearly all the clothing storage is on one side of the bed and that side is quite narrow. Also the door entry lock broke 4 times. I was disappointed that you had to buy a Spa package to use the sauna. The design of the ship means that you are forever finding nooks and crannies and small bars. The go carts were fantastic although poorly organised. The crew were exceptional. Embarkation and disembarkation was well organised at all times We will travel with Norwegian again Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Omg where to start? Every detail on this ship is handcrafted awesomeness! We had a balcony room, so we had fantastic ocean views anytime, but when your in on the interior you could totally forget you were on a boat at all! A floating ... Read More
Omg where to start? Every detail on this ship is handcrafted awesomeness! We had a balcony room, so we had fantastic ocean views anytime, but when your in on the interior you could totally forget you were on a boat at all! A floating resort, it had so many options for dining, all of which were delicious! And a mega list of all the activities (for all ages!)that were going on was delivered every evening so you could plan what you wanted to do! The service was great! So polite, and there for anything you might need! Everything was super clean, and even though we were close to fully booked it didn't really feel crowded, a major plus for us! Over all best cruise I ever had! Definitly booking with them again! Oh and the best cheesecake I ever had was at Taste or Savor, (imagine peanut butter cup crumbles, with a fluffy cloud of delight on top!) and I have eaten a lot of cheesecake in my lifetime! The excursion list was great, would have like more time in Tikal, but they treated us like royalty the whole way on every branch of that excursion! Definitly reccomend the Las Caletas Hideaway for anyone who is a fan of luxury beach services, awesome food, great beach, fancy hammocks and great landscaping! Plus it was owned by the man who played Gandalf, from Lord of the Rings,so really in my mind it was Gandalf's Hideaway, pure awesomeness! Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We have just been introduced to NCL when we bid on a cruise at an American Cancer Society auction. We chose the Escape (western Caribbean) for this first experience. We enjoyed it so much that we booked our next cruise while on board. Six ... Read More
We have just been introduced to NCL when we bid on a cruise at an American Cancer Society auction. We chose the Escape (western Caribbean) for this first experience. We enjoyed it so much that we booked our next cruise while on board. Six months later we had the most marvelous cruise experience on the Bliss. There isn't anything I would have wanted to change. We took advantage of nearly EVERYTHING the ship offered. The staff is so well trained, so professional, and so personable! The size of the ship could be daunting to some people, but we have found that the restaurants and common areas are designed in such a way that you never feel like you are being 'herded' with the masses. I particularly felt the entertainment was extraordinary. We were treated to "The Jersey Boys," 'Havana' and 'Prohibition, the Musical.' The food cannot be matched...it's sumptuous, plentiful, and diversified. We have already pre-booked our next cruise! Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Didnot explore Miami as we’re from SFL. Embark and disembark went smoothly. The NCL Bliss is beautiful and spacious. Loved the observation areas on Deck 15 and enjoyed the light buffet there for lunch. Comfy chaises and quiet place to ... Read More
Didnot explore Miami as we’re from SFL. Embark and disembark went smoothly. The NCL Bliss is beautiful and spacious. Loved the observation areas on Deck 15 and enjoyed the light buffet there for lunch. Comfy chaises and quiet place to read and watch the ocean. Manhattan and Local were our favorite places to eat dinner. Food was varied and good. Evening specials were good. Loved the Rachael sandwich at the local. Shows were excellent but be sure to reserve before you even get to the ship if possible. Deck 8 Waterfront was great for those wishing to get their steps in Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Review of Norwegian Bliss based on its Maiden Voyage - April 21, 2018 12 Day Transatlantic (TA) Cruise Background: This review is based in part on comparisons with our past experience on 2 Celebrity TA’s, 1 Cunard QM2 TA, 1 Celebrity ... Read More
Review of Norwegian Bliss based on its Maiden Voyage - April 21, 2018 12 Day Transatlantic (TA) Cruise Background: This review is based in part on comparisons with our past experience on 2 Celebrity TA’s, 1 Cunard QM2 TA, 1 Celebrity TP and 2 Celebrity Caribbean Cruises. We have no connection with the travel industry. At the time of our Bliss TA, starting from Southampton UK on 4/21/18, the ship carried about 2200 passengers - or less than 50 percent of its passenger capacity. Similar to all our other cruises, we had a mid-priced Veranda Mini-Suite room on Deck 10 for which the total cost, including all fees, taxes, mandatory gratuities, ultimate beverage package service charge, etc. was $4053.42. That included an Ultimate Beverage Package (UBP), 250 minutes of internet usage, and $125 of On Board Credit (OBC.) Positive Points - The staff is outstanding everywhere, without exception. They lean over backwards to solve problems. I would rate them even higher than our past cruises on other lines. - The food is very good in the Manhattan room and restaurants using the same menu, such as Savor and Taste. We preferred Taste because it was smaller, quieter and more intimate. The food in the Garden Cafe buffet was also very good. - The quiet spots in the Deck 15 Observation Lounge are very, very nice, as is the small buffet available there. As the cruise progressed, others discovered this as well and the space began to reach capacity. - The cabin bathrooms, showers and sinks are wonderful - much better than in the other ships in our comparison. - The talks on upcoming ports (by Janice Leader) were very detailed and complete, including maps, pictures and history. These were much better than we have seen on other ships which just seem to guide you to jewelry stores. - The Jersey Boys, Tenors of Rock and Beatles shows were absolutely outstanding. (In contrast, the Havana show team and sets were very good, but they were tied to a completely forgettable musical score.) - Internet access was good throughout the ship and the speed and delay much better than on the other ships we have been on. - The Gym is quite good, and open early. - We enjoyed the short morning Trivia, Origami and food demonstrations in The Atrium. It is also close to Starbucks, whose coffee we preferred to the ships. Minor Negative Points - OBC cannot be used for mandatory gratuities as on other lines. - There are no daytime enrichment talks (on sea days) as opposed to the rich lecture series we have seen on other ships. On our other crossings there were usually 2 morning talks and an afternoon talk or show in the theater on sea days. - The cabin light scheme, requiring the insertion of our key card before the room lights come on, is cumbersome and unsafe at night. We finally resorted to having one person hold open the cabin door to let in hallway light, while the other person went in to activate the room lights. - The soap dispensers in the public restrooms are of very poor design. Most people could not figure out how to use them, and by the end of the day many were empty. - We had numerous billing errors which took several days to sort out. - Early in the cruise, there was a very noticeable smoke smell on the 8th floor covering the area from the elevators to the Atrium. Smoke was also sucked into the Cavern club when people came in. This got much better as the cruise went on. - There were no seat covers available in the ladies rooms, as there were on other ships. - We paid extra for a mini suite, but the available space seemed about the same as a standard Veranda cabin on other ships. Shelf/cabinet space for storage seemed less than on other ships. - There were no daily world news summary newspapers as on other ships. - There seemed to be no daily announcements from the bridge giving weather, sea conditions, location and area facts as we have become used to on other lines. The daily event announcements were fairly easy to hear. The art auction announcements were the loudest, most frequent, and most annoying. Most Important Points - Even carrying less than 50% of capacity, there was insufficient capacity and excess competition for key events. For example, for evening shows in the main theater (capacity about 870), you needed to line up 30-45 minutes before the show to get a fair seat. At the Cavern Beatles show (which is superb) we arrived 30 minutes early and got standing room only. A few nights later, we arrived 45 minutes early to get a seat. The capacity of that room is only about 250, depending on how many standees can squeeze in. - The same is true of the better specialty restaurants. There is a very good computerized display in the main hallways that shows dining availability. But if you want to eat at the better restaurants you need to book days in advance or accept a poor time. - Consider the value of the Ultimate Beverage Package carefully. At its list price, you would have to drink 7 - 8 drinks per day per person to break even. (We chose it is as one of our bundled benefits, so the break-even point might have been lower.) It also added an additional total of $427.20 in mandatory service charges (covering 2 people for 12 days) to our bill. I should have investigated ala-carte pricing or an alternate use of the bundled benefits more closely. - Consider the useable value of the Specialty Dining Package carefully. You may need to schedule days in advance and may not get in to your desired restaurants. Overall The Bliss is a beautiful ship with an outstanding staff, and we had a very good cruise. But we both observed that, even at less than 50% load, there was a competition for resources that we did not like. A cruise should be a relaxing thing and one should not have to worry about lining up early for something. I cannot imagine what this ship would be like at closer to full capacity. Even a major re-thinking of the number of shows and venue sizes leaves the specter of the need for careful advance pre-scheduling for shows and restaurants. This is not like the casual cruising that we have seen on other lines, and the opposite of the promise of Free Style. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Inaugural cruise, crossing the Atlantic Ocean. The ship was beautiful however only 2300 people were on the ship and you could not get a seat in any of the bars to listen to the music. I was in the Haven and the room was extremely small, ... Read More
Inaugural cruise, crossing the Atlantic Ocean. The ship was beautiful however only 2300 people were on the ship and you could not get a seat in any of the bars to listen to the music. I was in the Haven and the room was extremely small, never been on anything that small . The room had a bathtub that was so small and curved you could not stand properly I have a problem climbing so I asked for a seat for the tub and they supplied me with one, however,the seat did not fit in the tub . Comforter on the bed Was so heavy it would fall off the bed on the floor when you got up during a good chance you could trip and fall(good thing I travel with a light). The haven restaurant should have a different menu every night or a special for the night you get tired of the same every night. They give you 4 specialty restaurant and that was nice, but it is nice if you could meet people in the haven and eat with them. Food was great and service excellent. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We did the Trans-Atlantic cruise last year on the Celebrity Eclipse and wanted to try a different cruise line this time around. The Bliss was still being built when we booked last September and looked like an amazing vessel, so we thought ... Read More
We did the Trans-Atlantic cruise last year on the Celebrity Eclipse and wanted to try a different cruise line this time around. The Bliss was still being built when we booked last September and looked like an amazing vessel, so we thought we'd give it a try. This is our third cruise, we did the Caribbean on the Disney Magic back in 2009, which was excellent. Boarding at Southampton was a fairly smooth, we arrived at 2:00pm and most of the passengers were already processed. Baggage drop-off signage could've been better, we had to drag our luggage about half the length of the ship to get it where it needed to be. Our bags rolled, so no big deal. I'm sure they'll get this ironed out soon. There was really no line to deal with processing in, we were in our room within ten minutes of arrival. Our initial room was 11209 aft with a balcony, but my wife bid on an upgrade and received it a few days before while we were still in London. Our new room was a mini-suite, 11109 mid-ship with a balcony and was absolutely beautiful. The entire ship was beautiful and smelled like a brand new car, everything shiny and spotless. We did Norwegian shore excursions in Ponta Degada, Azores and Halifax, Nova Scotia. The Azores excursion was to the Furnas Valley and we had lunch at the Cozido Das Caldeiras. The area reminded us of Yellowstone National Park with all the boiling hotpots and steam coming from the ground. Our outstanding meal was cooked by being steamed for six hours in a large container placed in the ground. We highly recommend this excursion. We also stopped at a tea plantation and tested local brews. We were back at the ship by 5:00pm and heading out to sea by 6:00 pm. Beautiful countryside to enjoy. The Halifax excursion took us to Peggy's Cove, about 40 miles away. Unfortunately the weather was not great, raining heavily at times, but Peggy's Cove was just beautiful anyway. Rain or shine it's worth checking out. We bought the hop-on hop-off bus pass but didn't end up using it because we found a nice restaurant about a 10 minute walk from the ship. The Waterfront Warehouse served the best seafood chowder and lobster I've ever had, and I grew up in New England. Friendly staff and outstanding beer to boot! Can't wait to get back there. The food on board was a hit or miss situation. We liked the Garden Cafe Buffet, beautiful setting in the front of the ship on Deck 16. Good variety but nowhere as close to Celebrity. Ate at the following Specialty Restaurants: Ocean Blue, oysters on the half shell were great but the main meal of sauteed scallops was nothing special; Cagney's Steakhouse, Surf & Turf and the Prime Rib were excellent; Teppanyaki's, the chef chopped and cooked everything right there, excellent Oriental cuisine. Great running commentary by the chef!; Los Lobos, Some the best authentic Mexican cuisine we've ever had. Guacamole salsa made fresh at you table, the chef stopped by to make sure everything was just so. Enchilada's to die for, just amazing. Highly recommend this place.; Margaritaville on the Deck 16, if you love delicious margarita's and Cheeseburgers in Paradise, this is your place to be. When we went for lunch, the Captain and his three senior officer's were having lunch and they looked content. Loved the overhead electric heaters to keep you toasty. The Savor and Taste had excellent atmosphere, but the food was just average. With twenty something restaurants on board, we were just a little disappointed. The entertainment was exceptional. We saw Jersey Boy's in Las Vegas in 2011 and the group of performers on the Bliss put on a high energy version that was perfect. A must see. The Beatles cover band was very good, doing songs from their early years, the Sgt Pepper's era and the Abbey Road years. The Cavern Club was small and cozy so get there early for all shows if you want a seat and table. We arrived an hour and a half before the show, sixth in line and the line got very long. If you loved the Beatles, well worth the wait. The highlight of the voyage for us was going under the Verrazano Narrows Bridge (all lit up) into New York City at 1:00am and then passing the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Most of the passengers were up and about to see this. To top off the trip, we docked at Pier 88 in downtown Manhattan next to the aircraft carrier Intrepid, with an SR-71 on it's deck. Overall a very enjoyable voyage with just a few minor gripes on our part, but I'm sure Norwegian will correct within a few sailings. Customs at the Port of Manhattan was smooth and professional, all the Customs Officer's were friendly and helpful. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
I’ve taken out on inaugural trips the latest Norwegian ships since the Epic, so Bliss was the latest. Having sailed Escape in 2015 I was familiar with the core layout and so concentrated on what is different for this ship. The ... Read More
I’ve taken out on inaugural trips the latest Norwegian ships since the Epic, so Bliss was the latest. Having sailed Escape in 2015 I was familiar with the core layout and so concentrated on what is different for this ship. The bad points first (then we will get to the good points). No Moderno ☹️. My favourite restaurant in the fleet has been replaced by a Mexican which I didn’t fancy. Moreover not many others did, everytime I went by it it was near empty! New Cagneys menu. No baked potato Soup?!!! Or Oreo cheesecake . Also they have increased the prices so the larger filet is now over the $20 platinum limit (you can pay the upcharge if needed) Non theatre ents: lacking. No white hot / glow party. The caliante? Party was a bit of a flop, maybe better in warmer weather as a deck party but not in Alaska so not sure how that works. The skyline bar has now been swallowed up by the Casino and no longer the night venue. Instead the comedy club social doubled up as a half decent if sometimes cramped nightclub venue. No Howl at the moon either! The bar ents sang the same songs and the Beatles were the worst tribute act I’ve ever heard (and can’t unhear). There was another band that played in the Cavern which were half decent if you could get a seat. The Good points: The headline shows Havana and Jersey Boys we’re both great! I was a bit suspect as Jersey Boys out of my age range but sat through the 1hr 45mins clapping and tapping away. Havana was also a hit. The guest ents like tenors of rock were also great acts. Go-kart racing- was a lot more exciting than I thought it would be and well worth the $7 charge. Similarly the laser tag at $5 was a youthful blast from the past. Smokehouse venue, much better use of this venue and a late night bar. The food was really good and first time I’ve failed to finish a portion! All dining services were great, the crew were all great. The Brewhouse had loads of beers And lasted a lot longer than on Escape with some guest ales from Canada being added when we reached Halifax. Embarkation and disembarkation were fine, although we were at only about 50% capacity I had a trip into the Haven and it looks fantastic! The observation lounge was a bit hit and miss. It’s big, the bars at the very front, the toilets and the very back .. the walk in between at some stage resembled a cross between a retirement home and an inside sun deck with people sprawled out over sofas and yes some even had towels on the Chaisse long in the morning! The Internet when it was working was fastest I’ve had on any of the fleet and was able to stream live video from the ship during several events. Now if only they could bring back howl of the moon, white hot party and sort out a better night venue (smokehouse would have been better in my opinion) oh and Moderno it would have got 5* but can only give it 4*. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We did the first transatlantic trip on this boat. The ship is beautiful, the staff attentive and the food was sublime. Well it should be as they had pulled the best of the best crew for this trip. There was some training in evidence and ... Read More
We did the first transatlantic trip on this boat. The ship is beautiful, the staff attentive and the food was sublime. Well it should be as they had pulled the best of the best crew for this trip. There was some training in evidence and we did have some snagging going on but I personally had no problem with this. I did have a problem with the extremely limited smoking facility. It was improved slightly during our stay but you either had to get very cold and wet on the H2O deck or go in the humidor which was a small box of a room which held about 20 people comfortably but was often filled with far more This was not fair on the cigar smokers who do not like to be surrounded by cigarette smoke when enjoying the very expensive cigars they purchased. The range of cocktails was good and they were freshly made on the whole. The food was really nice, we mainly ate at the Garden Cafe and the variety and amount of food was such that any one could have a good meal at any time. There is a bit too much time spent trying to upsell to you, the deposits on future cruises does not need to be mentioned several times a day, give the info and let people make their minds up, if you go to the demos about good posture or acupuncture but it is always just another way that they want you to spend money and lots of it, these are not cheap items. There is a lot to do but not always the space to enjoy it. The ship holds over 4,500 guests but the Cavern Club only holds 150, The Q room was always packed out for seminars and is badly planned to allow standing room, The Social was also too small. The theatre is only one level and that is not inclined enough so at the back it is very hard to see what is going on with all the heads in front. I am disabled and from a disability point of view I could not easily enter the H2O smoking area as the pathway was too narrow for the chair and I could not even begin to get into the humidor. There was a place to smoke in the casino but you could not smoke unless playing a machine or at the tables and I do no gamble very much. The staff soon chased you out even if you were playing a slot or table that was not available in the very small area of the casino that smoking was permitted. The 2 ports that we stopped at on the Azores and Halifax in Canada were very good although the tours would have been cheaper to have paid locally for. All that said we did have a good 12 days of chilling and having 99% of everything we needed done for us. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
The ship is beautiful, the spa is now located at the back of the ship and a new 2-story, large observatory lounge is forward with the 2nd floor the Garden Buffet. In the Observation lounge: cruisers were putting their feet and laying on ... Read More
The ship is beautiful, the spa is now located at the back of the ship and a new 2-story, large observatory lounge is forward with the 2nd floor the Garden Buffet. In the Observation lounge: cruisers were putting their feet and laying on tables and chairs. Finally, the FreeStyle Daily, directed people to stop putting their feet on those objects and to stop laying on tables: how some people have bad manners! Plus, the majority of the passengers onboard were middle aged and older, and regular cruisers. The food’s temperature was remarkably improved from past experiences on NCL. The crew went out of the their way to make sure everything was “correct.” I booked the Thermal Suite Spa online and was charged an additional 18% gratuity. Had multiple NCL agents say the gratuity was correct and then incorrect with no one through the 800 number helping me. It took 8-days to have the charge reversed, thanks to Jovo Sekulovic, Hotel Director. The spa management never acted on my behalf; Sam Hurst, assistant Spa Manager- tried to help me. CRUISENEXT: did a hard sell on future cruises, I made 2 deposits to discover I was never given the “on board” credit associated with the future bookings. I canceled the both deposits. Tenors of Rock, Hypnotist Brenda Kaye, JERSEY BOYS were terrific. CASINO has enclosed the smoking part of it, which makes the 6th deck more tolerable, especially, when walking through the casino. The minimum bet for Black Jack is now $10/hand. On the 12-night cruise, just about no one played black jack. Automatic shufflers are used at all tables. As on the Getaway in 2017 transatlantic from Miami to Copenhagen, no one was winning in the casino which continues on the 2018 Bliss Transatlantic. There were some winners at the slot machines. Debarkation in NYC at 8am as a walk-off was simple and no lines. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
The opportunity to go on our first trans-Atlantic cruise, on a brand new vessel, with our favourite cruise line was too much to refuse. All of our party were at work the day before the sailing, as we live in the UK and have visited ... Read More
The opportunity to go on our first trans-Atlantic cruise, on a brand new vessel, with our favourite cruise line was too much to refuse. All of our party were at work the day before the sailing, as we live in the UK and have visited Southampton on several occasions in the past, we travelled down on the morning of the cruise. A four hour car journey meant we were in plenty of time for the scrum of a Southampton check-in. The check-ins at Southampton always seem so hectic and disjointed, but passed quite smoothly once we squeezed up to a desk. A bit of advice, if needed, always check in on line, it really helps. Embarkation itself was very easy and passed with no problems. On boarding the Bliss we were a little taken aback, the ship is beautiful. Wide open spaces in the centre of the ship, flanked by great bars and eateries. I liked the way the second MDR had been split in two (Taste and Savor) and the great Mixx bar put in between them. The décor in parts of the ship is art deco or is it art nouveaux? I can never quite distinguish the two, very reminiscent of a liner from the 20's or 30's. The Casino seemed to take up the central portion of deck 7 along with the Local, with the theatre at the bow and the Manhattan Room aft. The piece de resistance was saved for deck 15 .The observation lounge is wonderful and with the front of the Garden Café looking down on it from deck 16 and then moving back through the ship on either side. The pool area was very similar to most pool areas on most cruise liners. The much vaunted go kart track and the laser tag were situated on Deck 18, with the Haven taking up most of deck 17. Thanks to a cheeky minimum bid we were upgraded from inside staterooms facing each other to adjoining balcony staterooms, all on deck 11 midship. Very close to the crew areas on the deck which did get a little bangy on occasion, but hey I got an upgrade for £55 each so I'm not going to complain too much. I thought the cabin was slightly narrower than cabins on other ships and the balcony was tiny but adequate, the bathroom was fine and the toilets seemed quieter than normal. The only real complaint was that our steward was not informed of our latitudes status, probably down to the late upgrade, and there was no bottle of water or fizzy wine. That's not strictly true, there was loads of water due to us being all inclusive, but none for us being Gold. A quick word with our steward and then guest services soon rectified the problem along with some chocolate strawberries courtesy of the Hotel Manager. We don't usually go for any of the Speciality Dining options so mostly ate in the MDR and occasionally in the buffet. The food was good, as it always seems to be. We tried Savor one evening, although it could have been Taste. Our travelling companions are more buffet orientated and raved about how good it was compared to other cruises they have been on, not that any of those were poor. We took in two shows. Havana! which wasn't really my sort of thing, and Jersey Boys which also isn't really my thing, shows aren't really my thing, but Jersey Boys was excellent, if a tad too long. NCL shows are usually very well performed, and these were no exception. Jersey Boys was up there with Priscilla on the Epic. Most of the time we entertained ourselves in the many bars. Particular favourites were Sugarcane Mojito and the District Brewhouse. We sometimes had a look at what was going on in the Atrium and these two things led to my only concerns about the ship. I don't think they're big enough. People were grabbing chairs from elsewhere so they could take in the entertainment on offer in the Atrium and the bars are all on the small size, most open out onto the Boardwalk but are only really utilised in really good weather. The ship coped well with the 2500 passengers aboard, but I'm not sure how it will fare with 4000. As usual the service was excellent, happy smiling faces from the crew, impromptu entertainment from the barstaff, left you with a good feel about the place. Room service breakfast was always on time and correct. It was good. We didn't really go for Port excursions but did pay for the Hop on Hop off Bus in Halifax. I think NCL must have a hook up with the local supplier because we bought the trip once ashore but it was charged to our rooms, missed the 10% discount but it was our own fault for not really taking much notice. So our first trans-Atlantic, would I do it again? Probably, I love sea days. Would I go on the Norwegian Bliss again? Absolutely Read Less
Sail Date April 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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