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