17 Norwegian Bliss Cruise Reviews for Romantic Cruises to Mexican Riviera

I predicate any review with a caveat. Not everyone likes the same experiences and I come to most experiences skewed by the fact that I live in the Las Vegas area, where entertainment and food service are highly competitive and demand ... Read More
I predicate any review with a caveat. Not everyone likes the same experiences and I come to most experiences skewed by the fact that I live in the Las Vegas area, where entertainment and food service are highly competitive and demand excellence. I try to weigh this bias in while reviewing and realize not everyone is subject to the variety and expertise in the areas as one who lives in a recognized entertainment capital of the World. So, I will not nitpick in my cons, but mention only those drawbacks I find extraordinary. With that out of the way, let's begin. Let me first say that this was my first NCL experience. My resume sports twenty cruises, but the lion's share is on Royal Caribbean. My wife and I wanted to see if "freestyle" cruising was for us. A one week cruise on NCL's Bliss, sailing out of Los Angeles, a mere one hour plane ride away, seemed like a good beginning to what we hoped would lead to many more cruises with Norwegian. After watching several reviews, we decided on a Spa Mini Suite to take advantage of the thermal spa suite. Having visited each of the ports on our itinerary, we decided to spend the entire week on the ship and sample as many of the restaurants as we could. Before looking at the pros and cons, let me begin with an overall review of the Bliss. This is a beautiful ship with so much going on it is nearly impossible to get it all in with just one week. If an active cruise is your thing, you will be certainly satisfied on the Bliss. Now, to the list. I like to finish with the pros, so let's start with five glaring cons, not in any particular order. Cons: 1. Food...Although I found some outstanding dishes around the ship, I'd classify most dishes as not bad, just lacking flavor. I found myself tasting many dishes and just coming to the conclusion that it didn't offend and was filling. Believe me when I say, the meal packages will not leave you hungry. Most meals included two appetizers, one main, two sides and a dessert. I ate at seven different restaurants plus the buffet, so I covered quite a bit in one week. I did not visit the main dining rooms so I'll hold judgement and assume they were at or above buffet quality. The best experience I had was at Le Bistro, where all of the dishes shined. My worst experience was certainly at the usually highly regarded Cagney's steak restaurant, closely followed by Los Lobos. If you've had Cagney's before, and I haven't, although most I asked said it was not to be missed, you might want to miss this one on the Bliss. There are just some things you come to expect in a finer restaurant, and Cagney's on the Bliss fell far short. Let me just mention a few things. I enjoy my filet with a Gorgonzola crust. I know, it's a little odd, but steak restaurants all know how to do it. I asked for this and was told they could do a blue cheese crust, but not Gorgonzola. The waiter didn't seem to understand what Gorgonzola is. Anyway, when delivered, there was no crust at all. I asked about the blue cheese and he kindly went back to the kitchen and brought out a side of blue cheese crumbles. I spoke to the manager about it and asked him if he knew what I was talking about. He even told me how it was cooked to form the crust. He offered to take it back and fix it, but I was just frustrated at this point and against a window of time so I just ate the steak with some microwaved blue cheese on top. I need to also add I couldn't eat my two sides. Their definition of cream corn is whole corn kernels in a milk broth. The potatoes au gratin came clumped together in one piece. But check this out. My wife's wine glass had a hole in it...not a crack...not a broken off piece, but a hole you could stick your finger through. She didn't see it and wine poured all over her when she tilted back the glass. How does a glass make it to the table with a big gaping hole. Just don't do the cheesecake. It's flavorless. The multi-layered cake is the best choice. I could add a few more tasteless dishes but I think you get it. For a better filet, visit Le Bistro or even the Teppanyaki restaurant. Los Lobos Mexican restaurant was also pretty tasteless. I have to say I am used to great Mexican food, having lived once in Albuquerque, but I also know the minimal requirements to pass for tasty Mexican food. Los Lobos did not meet this minimum. As to the other restaurants I visited, they were all filling with hits and misses. La Cucina had some tasty spicy shrimp appetizer, but how do they get away with being an Italian restaurant without meatballs? I opted for another filet and it was rather dry. As to the buffet, I thought the breakfast buffet was average, but there was one dish I had to repeat a few times, the Bananas Foster French Toast or Waffle. I haven't seen this on other ships and it was, IMO, to die for. If I travel again on the Bliss, I will skip the specialty restaurants and dine mostly between the buffet and the main dining room. The money saved here can go toward one of my pros, the Thermal Suite. 2. Cabins...I suppose I'm spoiled by junior suites on Royal, but I was under-impressed with the spa mini suite. Gone is the walk-in closet of a stepped-down suite I'm used to. In its place is a closet pinned against one side of the bed. There are no drawers, ambient light nor outlets next to the bed. Royal is lax here too, but the walk-in closet light provides a nice night light over the door. I should mention that the cabin did provide a USB outlet on each side of the bed. IMO, the long couch just isn't needed. I would rather have seen two chairs and a small table. The balcony was one of the smallest I've had in awhile, and that includes standard Royal balconies. I would have expected a larger balcony from a mini-suite. It appears it's all about the included Thermal Spa, but the cost simply doesn't justify the increase in price without extra amenities. As to the noise? It's the worst I've ever had due to these mini-suites being directly under the pool deck. The cabin we had, 15782, was so close to the band on deck 16, my wife could repeat the words from the songs while she tried to take a nap. IMO, stay far away from cabin 15782. As to service, I didn't even see our cabin steward until the fifth day. For some reason, he just couldn't get his timing down on when we were in and out. I have a recommendation here. They have the buttons for privacy and clean room. I would have those tied in with the steward's stations. And while we're on these buttons, let me say I am not a fan of the card in the slot for power idea. I wish that would go away. NCL Bliss has it. Finally, the mini-fridge is too small to fit in a plate from any dining room, so don't bring your food back unless you get a small plate. I tried every which way to get it to fit by moving cans and little bottles around to the point of being charged for a can I never used. 3. The App...I could also add this to the pros because when it worked, it was well worth the $9.95 to stay in contact with all your friends. This eliminates the classic walkie-talkie. It's just that often I found my texts not being received for as much as 30 minutes later. My advice would be to add something I can't believe they forgot...Information on ship-wide opening and closing times. It's in the daily planner, but not on the App. I would think this would be an easy extra page to add. Finally, although it's nice to see your activities you booked each day, any time I had more than one, I could only pull up the first one. Maybe I was doing something wrong and if anyone has some advice, please help. So, I won't say this is a total con, just needs improvement. 4. The Racetrack...This will be a huge pro if you have kids or even adults who are a kid at heart. The ONLY way to participate here is to buy the unlimited pass. There is no way you're riding without a reservation, and even in the off season I cruised in, they were well gone early on. I hate having to plan a ride four days from now at 3pm, and limiting my drinking all day to ride that one time. With the pricey unlimited pass, you could just walk up and get in the queue before you start drinking. 5. Ship Embarkation...I'm not going to hold this entirely on NCL. Perhaps the confusion was the LA port's staff as well. A Few More Minor Cons...The ship had a strange vibration at times. It wasn't the usual sway we all know, but a almost popcorn popping shake that even woke me up one night. I didn't care for the theatre seats in that they were slanted down and the drink cup holder cut into your arms. The staff seemed over-worked and I only remember 2 or 3 bars where the staff was happy and interactive. I study the cleaners as well and they were never aware they should always present a positive attitude. Don't get me wrong, there were some staff that were happy, but they were new in their contract. NCL has an eight month contract with zero days off. That's extreme. If I'm wrong about this, it's because that's what they told me and maybe it weighed into their attitude. Pros: I know the cons seemed a lot, but they were far less than all the pros of this ship. I think the pros and cons I write about here will be biased toward your cruising style. Many of the cons can be avoided just by doing some good research and adjusting my cons by simply doing something like picking a quieter room. It's just that I am highly disappointed in a ship having a mini-suite so loud and so small. I am highly disappointed in such a supposedly high quality steak restaurant failing on simple instructions. That being said, let's look at five pros so outstanding, it might be all you need to cruise on this ship... 1. The Observation Lounge...I've been told this area is so spectacular, quiet and serene, that this makes booking the Haven, if some privacy away from crowds is your Haven reason, unnecessary. IMO, this is correct. I spent many mornings there with a cup of coffee in my hand watching the Sun rise. There's a small continental breakfast there as well, and the muffins are delicious. This ship should be high on your list of options for an Alaskan cruise. I've cruised New Zealand, Norway and Santorini. I would have loved this view on those cruises. 2. The Thermal Spa...Do not miss out on this. There's a warm pool with thermal jets that alleviated any back pain I had. There's also saunas, a steam room, a salt room, and even a snow room. It really changes the entire cruise when you spend an hour or two in this massive area early in the day. PLEASE try it. 3. The Drink Package...Simply put, I loved it. The drinks were great and they serve two at a time if you want with no number limit. Also, if 19 bars isn't enough for you, you might need help. Note, the package is VERY expensive. You must get this included as a free at sea. It needs to be your first and maybe only choice if you drink. 4. Entertainment...Check it out, I saw The Beatles at the Cavern Club and Jersey Boys in the theatre all the same night. I only wish the seats had been better. But don't act yet, look what else you get. The drinks at Prohibition, five of them, were tasty and strong, just like the musical. I didn't see Six, but I heard it was great. Siglo, the rock band, sounded JUST LIKE PINK FLOYD. Those guys were awesome. The piano players were top notch and the Reggae band jammed. Add to this, the first Country Music venue I've seen at sea and it's tough to decide what to do each night. There's also tons of activities going on. NCL knows what they're doing with this. 5. The Waterfront...What a great idea. They hide the life rafts below and give you an almost complete wraparound walking area with scattered bars and dining outside. This should be on every ship. I'm used to a lower deck walking area on Royal, but there's nothing going on like on the Bliss. I loved this area and I think you will too. Some other pros I liked...Karaoke in the Cavern Club was fantastic. The large screen at the Atrium is great for Wii and movies each day. The Local is a restaurant bar open 24 hours a day. I don't believe I've seen this on any Royal ship, Carnival or Celebrity I've cruised. On Royal, you're lucky to find some pizza or muffins at most. On NCL Bliss, you can order the entire menu at the Local. Imagine fish and chips at four in the morning. That's freestyle to the max. I also loved that the sales areas don't take up all the walking room on the floor. Finally, I don't know if it's the port or the ship, but the vibe was young and energetic. The Halloween party was fantastic and lots of people dressed up. Things I didn't get to: Coco's Chocolates, Night Club, Comedy at the Comedy Club, Race Cars, Laser Tag, Slides, Main Pool, Main Dining Rooms, Q Texas Smokehouse, The Haven. Maybe it's because one week just isn't enough, but some of these things got missed because I simply fell in love with the Thermal Suite and spent a lot of time there. So, one final caveat to my review. You could love all the things I missed and have a completely different cruise. I guess what I'm saying is...It really is freestyle, and with so much to do, you will certainly find your groove. I hope I was able to help. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
DH and I have been on this itinerary before (once on HAL, twice on NCL), but this was the first time just the two of us, without the kids or any other family. This was a celebration of our 27th anniversary. We had the free airfare, ... Read More
DH and I have been on this itinerary before (once on HAL, twice on NCL), but this was the first time just the two of us, without the kids or any other family. This was a celebration of our 27th anniversary. We had the free airfare, which worked great. Easy, nonstop flights both ways (PDX-LAX). The airport transfer process involved a lot of standing around without much direction beyond "stay against the wall and wait," but we made it to San Pedro no problem. As it turned out, there had been a surprise Coast Guard inspection of the Bliss that delayed embarkation by 2+ hours. There would have been just as long a delay at the port as there was at the airport. By the time we boarded cabins were available, so we checked out the room. We were on deck 13 port-side forward, which turned out the be a lovely location. We'd been on the Breakaway last December and were familiar with the overall deck plan, but we found we liked the Bliss much more in terms of the public spaces. The pool deck is way better - more open and welcoming. Moving the hot tubs up to the next deck eliminated the "bro factor" from around the pools. Those folks who liked to hang out in the tubs and flex all day were on a different level entirely. We also really enjoyed being along the Waterfront, mostly near Sugarcane, the mojito bar. We'd park ourselves in one of the couch groupings and play Cribbage in the afternoon, enjoying the view, the air and the people watching. We had the UBP, which was important. We do like to imbibe and took full advantage of the package. We tip $1 cash with each drink. Not only is it nice to do and gets us remembered, but it helps track how many drinks we've had at what point in the cruise. ;) We had the 3DP and knew we wanted to eat at Le Bistro and Teppenyaki and would decide on the 3rd option after that. It turns out the meal at Le Bistro was so good we went back a 2nd time. Our other meals in the MDRs (3 dinners, 1 breakfast, 1 lunch) were very nice, and the Garden Cafe offerings kept us happy. We sampled the Local's menu throughout the week, mostly for a late afternoon snack. Normally we're trivia geeks on a cruise and hit karaoke at every opportunity. This time we were much less motivated. We saw Jersey Boys, which was great. Other than that we spent a little time (and money) in the casino but mostly just hung out together and enjoyed the relaxing time. We only went ashore in Cabo to specifically visit a cantina we've enjoyed in the past. It had changed since last time and, while good, wasn't as good. We also had to buy a tiny sombrero to take home for the fur baby. We took advantage of the port days when the pool wasn't as crowded and hit the water slides multiple times. Yes, we both did Ocean Loops, and yes, we both made it all the way through each time. No trapdoor rescues for us! Do keep yours eyes open, if you can. The view is spectacular. As always on NCL, the ship was spotless, the crew delightful and the experience just what we want and expect. We enjoyed the Bliss so much that we've booked the same trip for next year. We only have the one anniversary: why not celebrate the heck out of it every year? Thank you to Janet from our roll call for organizing the Meet & Greet on sea day 1. It was nice to put faces to names and chat with the officers. This site is such a valuable resource for all things cruise-related. Happy cruising! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I've been on all the Breakaway Class ships except Joy and Bliss. I finally got a chance to try Bliss and WOW. This ship is beautiful. NCL addressed the two common issues on past ships and fixed it on this one. They enclosed the ... Read More
I've been on all the Breakaway Class ships except Joy and Bliss. I finally got a chance to try Bliss and WOW. This ship is beautiful. NCL addressed the two common issues on past ships and fixed it on this one. They enclosed the smoking section of the casino. Brilliant idea. Another move was they put the restaurants at both ends of the ship. It's somewhat hard to find but eased the overcrowding on the middle of the ship. I hope they keep the same layout on their smaller Leonardo ships. Good job on the changes on Bliss..... which I heard is the same on Joy and Encore. Booked the Encore for next year already. The only negative I can say was the pricing on Food Republic. Way too expensive. All the others including Margaritaville was OK and pricing was Average and probably subsidized by the high cruise fare. Food Republic wasn't. For example, sushi on Wasabi on Breakaway was $5-6 but $12-16 on Food Republic Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We have taken river cruises but never an ocean cruise. We traveled with a group and this was the ship the travel agent booked. Because we booked last year our cruise allowed us to choose from three free amenities. We chose the Unlimited ... Read More
We have taken river cruises but never an ocean cruise. We traveled with a group and this was the ship the travel agent booked. Because we booked last year our cruise allowed us to choose from three free amenities. We chose the Unlimited Drink Package (which DOES NOT include bottled water) and the Gratuity Package, both saving us a lot of money. Everything went smoothly from the minute we stepped foot onboard to the minute we disembarked. The ship itself was spectacular - every detail we could imagine was taken into account. Our mid ship balcony suite was a great size. The bathroom was remarkably roomy; we had plenty of closet space and the bed was extremely comfortable. We loved sitting on our balcony to enjoy our morning coffee or an evening glass of wine. We purchased a 3-meal specialty restaurant package which turned out to be a great value*. We enjoyed all of the other restaurants onboard and the entertainment provided was first class. We had a wonderful experience with bartenders, cleaning crews and servers - everyone seemed happy and were very accommodating. If we travel again we would book an "adults only" cruise as we had some very noisy neighbors with smaller children that did a lot of crying and stomping around late at night. Other than that this was a very positive experience and we would recommend to everyone. *except Cagney's: Food wasn't great and the service was painfully slow Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
From the time we step onboard, everything was all in order. There was little chaos on elevators and passages due to people are lost or don’t know what to do or where to go. But the crew was very helpful in all ways possible to help out. ... Read More
From the time we step onboard, everything was all in order. There was little chaos on elevators and passages due to people are lost or don’t know what to do or where to go. But the crew was very helpful in all ways possible to help out. The foods are amazingly well organized. The crew made sure that all guests are enjoying each meal. The restaurants are very well maintained and crews assigned are ready to serve all guests. The mustering drill is very chaotic. It took so much time to muster all guests. There should be a better way to fix this issue. If there is a real situation, there might not be enough time to save someone’s life. It took about 40 minutes to fill the theatre where our group has to muster. It takes about 10 minutes before hypothermia set in to someone. Every crew were very responsive and courteous. They know what they are doing. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We chose this cruise because we wanted to try Norwegian, specifically the Haven area. We were not disappointed, The Haven was a wonderful respite from the excitement and crowds of the main areas of the ship. The ship is very well designed, ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to try Norwegian, specifically the Haven area. We were not disappointed, The Haven was a wonderful respite from the excitement and crowds of the main areas of the ship. The ship is very well designed, with lots of smaller spaces so you don't always feel like your with 4000 people. We really liked the Observation Lounge on 15, a beautiful space with a nice bar and food served (buffet style) daily. There are two musicals being presented on the ship Jersey Boys and Six, we thoroughly enjoyed them both. We also enjoyed the Beatles tribute band Britain's Finest. Can't really say much about the shore excursions because we only did the bus tour in Puerta Vallarta, Maztatlan was rained out and we did our own thing in Cabo. I have to mention the service on the ship, it was excellent, almost seemed like there was a competition between the employees as to who could be the nicest. We ate in 3 specialty restaurants, Cagney Steakhouse which was very good and if you want to try it you need to make a reservation before you get on the ship. We also tried Ocean Blue which we enjoyed, it was probably our favorite, had a really nice waitress, I'm sorry I can't remember her name. The other was the Italian restaurant, La Cucina also really good. We only ate in the Garde Cafe once, can say it is pretty typical for a cruise ship. We also tried The Local which is complimentary for burgers and fish and chips and it was fine. Since we stayed in the Haven we ate at the Haven Restaurant a few times and it was also very good, liked the specialty restaurants better. But the Haven had a good breakfast and lunch menu as well. Our butler, Maria was extremely nice and around enough that if we needed something she would provide it. We just didn't;t ask her for much. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
My Experience My experience on the Norwegian Bliss was my first cruise ever, as well as my husband's. We decided to do our honeymoon on the Bliss because we were struck with the Go-Kart on the ship since we both have a love for ... Read More
My Experience My experience on the Norwegian Bliss was my first cruise ever, as well as my husband's. We decided to do our honeymoon on the Bliss because we were struck with the Go-Kart on the ship since we both have a love for go-karting. That was so much fun! It was FAST and exciting! I have to say that we want to do the cruise again soon and take the kids. If you appreciate smaller things, you will appreciate a trip to Mexico for 7 days! I don't get all the negative remarks on these reviews, but I am grateful for small things in life! There was over 4000 people on the ship and most of the time, it didn’t feel over-crowded. The only time it was crowded is when a show is let out and the exercise drill. There was a couple of nights that it felt like a ghost-town, most everyone was turned in for the night or hiding somewhere! Haha! About the Ship The ship was beautiful! I have never seen anything so big and beautiful. I couldn't get enough pictures. This trip was a big deal for both of us and we were just so excited to see something that we have never experienced before. We walked all over the ship and tried to see every inch of the ship since it was such a beautiful thing. I am grateful that we had this opportunity to experience an awesome vacation on this big beautiful boat! I am pretty sure we poked around just about every corner except for the Haven area. Our Cabin Room Our room was the Mid-Ship Stateroom with Balcony on the 13th Deck and I wouldn't pick any other room on board. We had originally picked out a room on 5th deck that was in the center and I am glad we decided to upgrade twice to get a room with the balcony. I felt it was plenty of room with just the both of us. I can bet it would be plenty if I had my kids with me. We were confused at how to keep the light on in our cabin and later learned that we had to keep the room key in the slot (learned this from avid fellow cruiser)! Our room was kept cleaned every day and we had a surprise waiting for us every time we came back to our room. Thank you, Larry, for outstanding services with the cabin and we were excited to see each animal towels left just for us! We are also very thankful for the Honeymoon Package waiting for us when we first entered the cabin. That was a very nice touch! When leaving on our final day, we waited until the last minute on the night before the last day to get two new beach towels and to my dismay, we never got them – oh well – we have another souvenir that we are happy with. Dining Experience (Specialty, Buffet included) I have to say that I was really impressed with all the Specialty Dining we had. We got the Dining Package that consist of 3 Specialty Dining and our choices were The Q, Teppanyaki and Los Labos. Of course, we made reservations at The Taste, Manhatten Room and visited The Local few times. For our Honeymoon package, we had our romantic dinner at Le Bistro which was very lovely and completely enjoyed ourselves. I was happy with a bottle of Bubbly which was delicious and a bottle of white wine that we took back to our room later. Breakfast was pretty much at the Garden Café every morning and occasional lunch. I just know we ate so much food and loved every bit of it. I had an issue with couple of things on my plate that I have chosen but overall really good food. I am just thankful there was plenty to go around! We also had the drink package and that was the best thing ever as we drank whatever we wanted throughout the day. Never got drunk or felt any hangover. It was perfect! Entertainment & Activities We saw most of the shows such as the Comedy Night at the Social, The Havana!, The Jersey Boys and not to mention the International Talent Show done by most of the crewmembers! OUTSTANDING! I was happy with all the shows and completely enjoyed myself. It was a very relaxing atmosphere and loved every minute of it. My husband was enjoying himself as well. We both absolutely love the Go-Karts and did that four times. Although I never made it up on the board, I had so much fun! Mini-golf was cute, it was so small though. I believe more creation in the mini-golf would be ideal. We hung out by the pool a couple of days and went to most of the themed party. I am confused as to why there were children at the H2O when it clearly shows “Adults Only – 21 and over?” Same thing with children in the Adult Only pool. I heard complaint about the pool being overcrowded but I didn’t feel like it was. I have seen worse overcrowded pools before. We did not opt to play the Laser Tag, it just wasn’t our thing but man it looked fun. We didn’t have the chance to check out the Hot Tub – it was always full of people or shut down. Shore Excursions Experiences Puerto Vallarta: We chose Tequila Town, Country and Farm Excursion and it was a pleasant tour. The tour guidance, Hugo was excellent. I love his trilling R’s! I enjoyed the tour through the town and the church especially. However, I was a little disappointed in the town itself, it was so run down and dirty. The local folks looked so depressed, sitting outside their shop waiting for business, that I just wanted to jump back onto the happy ship! Once we got to the Tequila Farm, the fun started heating up with 6 samples of tequilas and loved them all! Had a nice little lunch with authentic tacos and then we did a little bit of shopping on our own when we got back to the port and bought some souvenirs! Mazatlán: We chose the Hike the Lighthouse Excursion because we both love to hike and explore the nature. Our reservation was in the high time of the day, so it was a bit warm. Thankfully I had my big brim hat on since I had gotten sunburn days before from chilling out by the pool. Our tour guide was very friendly and did an awesome job with the tour. I made it all the way to the top at the Lighthouse after going up over 340 something steps! It was a struggle, but we did it! Great team support as I had some couples encouraging me along the way because I was nearly giving up. Good hike though! Again, did some quick shopping at the port before loading back up on the big happy boat! We only saw a small part of the downtown area and it was a little more colorful than Puerto Vallarta! Cabo, San Lucas We chose the Snorkeling, Paddle board and Kayak adventure and I will NEVER forget this trip! We got on this awesome boat that was pretty fast and bee-bopped across the water to our final destination. Before we headed that way, we toured around the most beautiful rock formations ever! It was a sight to see! Once we got to our destination, we explored the beautiful sea down under with our snorkeling gear! I am so thankful for the photographer that was with us because he got some awesome pictures of us swimming below – holding hands and pointing at fish! I was so thankful for such a beautiful time! I spent few moments on the kayak and we had to head back. Not enough time for such a great adventure! Then we saw the jumping baby whale having the time of its life! Thank you, Lord, for such a beauty in sight! I am truly thankful for the Cabo Adventure for such a wonderful adventure! They had tons of photos for us to take back home on a flash drive for a small cost! We did some quick shopping as we had to head back to the happy ship at 1:30 pm and it was lined up for miles! No complaint as it was all smooth-sailing! I was sad to be leaving so soon as we wanted to explore more. Like someone else said in the review, we are flying back to explore more! Farewell: On our final day, it was so very hard to leave the boat. I had tears in my eyes as I was saying goodbye to all the staff. They were all outstanding, friendly, helpful and very knowledgeable. We were greeted every day, throughout the day! All of our waiters/waitresses did such an amazing job and I can't thank them all enough! We are coming back for sure and pick another destination as traveling has been on our bucket list for a while! To our surprise, we didn’t spend a whole lot as we paid for everything in advanced and that was a nice plan! I tried to add some photos but I am having issues with the download. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This was our second trip on the Bliss and I would have to say I was incredibly disappointed. We did the Mexican Riviera from LAX. Getting on the ship was a nightmare. We had to wait over two hours in line to get onboard and it was beyond ... Read More
This was our second trip on the Bliss and I would have to say I was incredibly disappointed. We did the Mexican Riviera from LAX. Getting on the ship was a nightmare. We had to wait over two hours in line to get onboard and it was beyond unorganized. We had a Jr. Suite and it was what we expected, large bathroom and decent space. Our cabin Stewart was less than stellar. We ask for extra towels and he was less than accommodating, but finally gave in. We travel our own shower head and left the ships one under the sink, only to find it went missing. The first day our room did not get made up until 4:00 pm. The second to last day we found our frige locked and our pool towels missing. Our room was cleaned, but barely. The bar staff was crazy amazing (except in the Casino, those guys should not be in the people business, all of them acted like they hated their job). Food was good, but definitely nothing to shout about (except for the pay for Cagney’s and Los Lobos). I was most disappointed by the windows where food was not available (except for the Local, which we were told was dine in only). Why couldn’t there be light snacks available 24 hours a day in the observation deck? Not full meals, just chips and salsa and light desserts? Ports were ok. I could skip Mazatlon and Puerto Vallarta, but Cabo was worth the trip. Would I recommend this...probably not. The Bliss was Blissful in Alaska but lost is luster for Mexico. NCL you need to up your game.... Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We really enjoyed our cruise on Bliss. It's very big ship with lots of dining and entertainment options. It was also Halloween and we had like 1000 singles on the ship, so that was great people watching. We flew in the night before ... Read More
We really enjoyed our cruise on Bliss. It's very big ship with lots of dining and entertainment options. It was also Halloween and we had like 1000 singles on the ship, so that was great people watching. We flew in the night before and stayed at the Hyatt regency in Long Beach. I can't say enough good things about it. It was perfect and about 15-20 mins to port. We had a gorgeous view of the queen Mary which we unfortunately didn't have enough time to visit. The one part that was not pleasant was check in at San Pedro world cruise center. It was extremely chaotic, very little signage. Our Lyft driver was confused. Porters were taking new luggage and helping passengers getting off. Super confusing mixing the two different cruises. Once we figured out where to go, the line wasnt bad. It moved sort of quickly. Once through security we waited in another line to get checked in and receive room keys. Again signage was poor and we had to ask. Disembark was also poor and chaotic once off the ship. At check in they didn't give us a map of the ship and we had to go back and ask. By the time we got in to the boarding wait area... they had started boarding groups 1-4. We were group 21. We waited about 20 mins and were on the ship by 11:15 am. Once on the ship we ran for guest services but were told that Vibe Beach club passes were already sold out. I think they only have 70 of them. Somewhat discouraged we went to the Social to book go karts, laser tag and shows. That was fairly easy and short. Laser tag was 9.95 and go karts too. Happy hour prohibition was 35.98 but includes 5 regular sized drinks. Plus we loved that show but not for kids. Once booked we headed up to the garden Cafe and pool deck on 16. Lots of people , we grabbed a snack and a drink and two loungers in the shade. Sail away was pretty easy to entertaining but drinks expensive and no straws. Then off to check out our balcony room...more on that in room review but we liked it. First show was ¡Havana!. It was great and we both enjoyed it. It was an original musical, lots of singing and dancing but blessedly short. I think a little over an hour. Get there early 20 mins for a good seat. We sat middle row in the middle. Very much enjoyed it. Next we saw Jersey Boys and though longer...2 hours it was fabulous and Broadway quality. Very entertaining story, awesome singers and sets. Again get there early...we were late and sat too far back and couldn't see as well as I would have liked. I would have seen this twice but we went to the last one. We did not see comedy but heard it was great. Too much to do. Pool was great with an adults only pool next to the kids water park area. We did one water slide but I didn't have the courage to do the ocean loop because u drop 10 feet. Lots of seating but it fills up fast. Go karts! So fun! Do it once and prepare to get dirty. They are electric but still pretty fast. I got bumped a few times so if u have back or neck issues don't do it. We waited at least 30-40 mins after reservation time in line. Ladies don't bring a purse, they won't hold it and there's no where to put it. My boyfriend ended up winning first place. Ride is only about 10 mins long. Bars were so amazing on this ship. We went to almost all of them. But district brewhouse and sugar cane mojito were our favorites. My boyfriend did the beer tasting ($23) one afternoon and really enjoyed it. We also got the mojito flight for 19.95 one afternoon which is 6 mini different mojitos and loved that. I wish we had gotten two! We did not have the drink package. Atrium bar and Q smokehouse were also awesome places for drinks. We also really enjoyed Margaritaville. It's 14.95 but worth it. Lots of food and best burger on the ship. I would say that place had the funnest staff too. Most everywhere the service was good to great. We didn't have a bad experience but some places were nicer than others. Dining- we mostly did specialty restaurants. We ate in Manhattan room once and though service was good, the table was in a bad location near where they scrape plates into a huge gross pile of food. Not what u want to see. The waiter was very quick with the wine pours! Good was decent to good but nothing special. The Q Smokehouse- we loved this place and went twice for dinner. Fabulous smoked meats in the pit master platter! Highly recommend. 4 kinds of meat including brisket! Jalapeno cornbread was delicious! Awesome country music. A must do! Ocean Blue- we should have sat outside for this one but we didn't....food was great. I had bacon wrapped seabass and it was the best Seafood of the cruise. Salmon cakes were perfect. Highly recommend this one too. Cagney's- was ok. Not amazing. Probably would have rather done Q again. But not bad. Los lobos- this was a tough sell for me. It was good but the restaurant it replaced Moderno Chucusarria was my favorite and truly amazing. Other Norwegian ships have that restaurant still. I'd rather go there. But it was good... Standard Mexican fare. Food Republic- kinda chilly in here but neat views with no outdoor seating. Really neat mini plates of food and worth the alarm carte prices. I thought the shrimp phad thai was delish. We also checked out the bake shop and the sweet chocolate place. Yummy truffles and bon bons. Worth it if u like chocolate and affordable. We thought the Local was not as good as it's predecessor O'Sheenhans. Also almost all the places for breakfast serve the same thing every day. This gets old by day 5. Norwegian should address this. Not everyone likes eggs, waffles, cereal or pancakes. We very much enjoyed freestyle dining. I hate eating dinner the same time every day. All the ports were great... Mazatlan was my favorite and we did our own adventure in each port. Cabo was a blast. More time in port would have been better. Tendering went very well in Cabo. There is a ton for adults to do on this ship. They do have kid things but most of the entertainment is more adult centric which we really liked. We also got a day pass to the thermal suite and loved it too. So worth it for 60 per person. The therapy hot tub /pool is huge and very effective. I also thought the snow room was fun..wear shoes...and the aromatic steam room was great. Parties- Caliente was very hip. A glow party on deck. Music was loud and dancey. We brought a 100 glow sticks to give out and the kids enjoyed this a lot. Nashville nights and lights was also a blast. This is current country not old country. Lots of line dancing and very fun with a live band, Greg white Jr. Our fav. We also listened to and very much enjoyed Tim Boaz on the piano in the district brewhouse. Great piano songs and super cool guy. Actually most of the music was really good. One of our favorite things was hanging out in the observation deck. You really have to go here. It's huge and amazing and comfy. People tend to camp out here but if you go later at night, there's always a seat. Very well done. All ships should have a place like this. We will absolutely sail the Bliss again. Maybe try Alaska next time. Also we had a fun time at our cruise critic meet and greet. Very fun meeting different people. Bring straws! They don't have them. Keep calm and sail on! Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
I chose this cruise because my travel agent organized it. From the cancelled ports of call to the dessert that tasted like compressed sand, the 157 minute dinner service, the elevators being too crowded to fit people resulting in long ... Read More
I chose this cruise because my travel agent organized it. From the cancelled ports of call to the dessert that tasted like compressed sand, the 157 minute dinner service, the elevators being too crowded to fit people resulting in long waits, broken hand towel machines, dirty restrooms, staterooms that resembled those of an RV and then everything being closed for a private event, and NCL catering to a huge group of travel agents, poor entertainment, fitness center which was OK, but didn't allow to use the sauna unless you paid $267 additional - made this cruise was the biggest waste of time and money. I would have never agreed to get on the ship had they disclosed the trip itinerary changes. It was shady they waited until we had set sail to disclose the changes. Not having WiFi we couldn't look into the new ports of call. I had my heart set on Mexico. I have been to San Francisco and San Diego more than any other city in the world excluding the ones where I have lived. Had NCL offered me a deferral on a different date I would have taken it. Instead I paid way too much money to spend a few hours in cities I have been to 40-50 times and would never travel to for vacation. This was disappointing at a minimum. Sorry if my story is not a good one, its just an honest one. I will for sure never choose to book on a ship of this size ever again and likely never go on NCL again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
I can understand a change in itinerary due to weather, but when the entire experience is filled with bad customer service it's difficult to make the best of what you've been given. Our tropical vacation become our typical weekend ... Read More
I can understand a change in itinerary due to weather, but when the entire experience is filled with bad customer service it's difficult to make the best of what you've been given. Our tropical vacation become our typical weekend getaways. Too bad I didn't take my San Diego Zoo season pass with me, didn't think I would need it. Customer service was laking through the entire boat, especially in the main dining rooms. Staff did not take the time to interact and almost appeared bothered when you asked questions. One of my favorite experiences, from previous cruises with other companies, is the food. This ship did not offer exotic food or anything new to experience. It was the typical meat or chicken with potatoes type of menus every night. They never even had lobster tail on the menu, something I looked forward to and expected bases on other cruises. There were very few staff that made a positive impact on us. Even the experience afterwards when reaching out to guest relations was bad customer service. Norwegian has left us feeling like they do not care if we ever travel with them again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
I chose this cruiseline because I’ve always been loyal to them & enjoyed their fairly affordable prices. I’ve done the Mexican Riviera itinerary before & it was really fun, so I wanted to go again on their newer ship. The ship ... Read More
I chose this cruiseline because I’ve always been loyal to them & enjoyed their fairly affordable prices. I’ve done the Mexican Riviera itinerary before & it was really fun, so I wanted to go again on their newer ship. The ship is nice, but it does not compare to the Epic, which is still NCL’s best ship. We decided to upgrade this vacation to a Spa suite. The bathrooms in the spa suites almost make it worth it. However, you are on deck 15, and I don’t know what they are doing on deck 16, but it sounded like they were sliding chairs around all night, every night. So maybe avoid deck 15. You do get access to the Manadara Spa, which is nice. The bed is like sleeping on plywood though. It looks comfortable but it’s very hard. They ended up changing our itinerary because of a Category 5 hurricane, so we didn’t go to Mexico until Ensenada on the last day. We rerouted to San Francisco & San Diego. I’m from California and love both of these cities, however, it was a bummer to pay $4,000 just to go back home. I’m not sure how else they could have rerouted us though. Holland America had the same issue, but we heard through the grapevine that each of their passengers received a future cruise credit. NCL did not offer that. Because of the short notice change, there were only a handful of shore excursions altogether (10?) and they were definitely last minute put-togethers (who pays $50 for a hop on/hop off city bus tour??). I feel NCL protected the safety of its people which was great, but they could have offered something to their loyal customers. NCL’s gameshows are getting tiring, they are the same on every ship. The comedy club is a nice addition to their newest mega ships, big book early. It was sold out for the whole week on the first day. Also, book dining early if you have a dining package. Unless you don’t care about eating at 5pm or 9pm every day. The crew for the most part was good, although not as friendly as normal. They were all very happy about the rerouting though, a lot of them wanted to go to Ross. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Although we were supposed to cruise to the Mexican Riviera ports of Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, and Cabo San Lucas on Oct. 20, 2018, due to Hurricane Willa, the caption announced during our first evening at dinner that we would be headed to ... Read More
Although we were supposed to cruise to the Mexican Riviera ports of Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, and Cabo San Lucas on Oct. 20, 2018, due to Hurricane Willa, the caption announced during our first evening at dinner that we would be headed to San Francisco, San Diego and Ensenada instead. This new itinerary was not only frustrating and disappointing, but inconvenient, since most people had packed for hot weather, and had little, if any, clothing and shoes for the 59 degree temperature in San Francisco. Yes, there is a lesson there to pack for every possibility of weather and temperatures in the future, but it was also disappointing since many Californians on board, including me, and probably others also, didn't want to see those cities, which were a few miles from where we boarded and live. I realize we couldn't sail into a hurricane, or rough waters, but perhaps there may have been some more interesting ports outside of California selected by NCL. NCL definitely knew prior to our departure that the itinerary would be changing and notified no one; we were not given a choice to board or not, even though the decision to sail to ports headed north, rather than south, had been made prior to our departure. I never would have selected a cruise sailing to ports in California and if given the choice, I would not have boarded. Choosing to make the best of the situation took some time to get adjusted to for all of us. As a family we had to make decisions of our own on how to change the course of our attitudes. So, now on to the positives...we DID have a very nice week as a family spending time together, eating, being entertained, and being pampered. The Cruise Critic Meet & Mingle was coordinated well in the District Brew House with samples, appetizers, and many ship officers and crew members. The service we received was excellent everywhere, especially in the restaurants. The food was delicious across the board, the production shows were good, and the ship is gorgeous! Our balcony cabin on deck 13, port side, aft, was quiet, beautiful, and a good location. We had fun on the go-carts, playing laser tag, using the slides and pool, at the parties, at the daily activities and using the beautiful observation lounge to relax. The ship itself is truly impressive and it's easy to have a great time! We had a very nice week on the ship - I just wish I felt like I traveled somewhere. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We were on the October 20th sailing of Norwegian Cruise Lines brand new Norwegian Bliss, only 6 months old. We arrived at the cruise terminal at 11 a.m. and by noon we had gone through security, picked up our cruise cards, dropped off our ... Read More
We were on the October 20th sailing of Norwegian Cruise Lines brand new Norwegian Bliss, only 6 months old. We arrived at the cruise terminal at 11 a.m. and by noon we had gone through security, picked up our cruise cards, dropped off our bags, and were comfortably resting in the new huge observation Lounge on the 15th floor. Norwegian has done an excellent job of making the check-in process virtually painless. We enjoyed six of the seven nights in specialty dining restaurants such as La Cucina, Le Bistro, Ocean Blue, Los Lobos, and Cagney's. The two Production shows were fantastic, Havana and the Jersey Boys. Originally our cruise was going to Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, and Cabo San Lucas but due to a hurricane going to Mazatlan, the captain diverted the ship North to San Francisco, San Diego, and Ensenada. We really didn't mind because the ship was a great place to bar hop and enjoy the many entertainment venues on board. We especially enjoyed the many venues of live music. Strongly recommended and we can't wait to our next Norwegian Cruise! Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We had a great time was not ready to leave needed another 7days:) My first Cruise every & I did no expect it to be so great looking forward to the next one in 2019. From start to finish everything was perfect the staff was great, the ... Read More
We had a great time was not ready to leave needed another 7days:) My first Cruise every & I did no expect it to be so great looking forward to the next one in 2019. From start to finish everything was perfect the staff was great, the food omg:) The Deal or NO Deal game, The Perfect Couple game was so entertaining. Enjoyed the Singing group the Familiar Strangers good good good:) The ship's CAPTAIN & CREW got us every where SAFE SMOOTH & in one peace:) Silas the Cruise director & Jackie the assistant Cruise director were the BEST. The drinks omg for days met great and amazing people from all around the world. The local was great 24hrs & FREE the food was fast & on time always. All of the staff seemed happy to work on the Cruise Ship always had a smile on there face & would greet you every single time. Sanitizing & Cleaning was #1 PRIORITY. Dining @ Cagney's the STEAK & side dishes all I can say is WOW:) 2019 looking forward to bringing our adult children & grandchildren with us on our family CRUSIE. Thank-you NORWEGIAN BLISS & STAFF for showing us a great time Oct 13-20th:) See you again SOON:) Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We cruise at least 3 times a year and wanted to try NCL's newest ship. It was not what we had hoped it would be. The overall service was below average primarily because a good number of the employees were not trained very well and ... Read More
We cruise at least 3 times a year and wanted to try NCL's newest ship. It was not what we had hoped it would be. The overall service was below average primarily because a good number of the employees were not trained very well and many had trouble communicating not to mention the ratio of servers to passengers. The ship was very full and waiting for drink servers was not good. The restaurants were not run very well at all. We tried 70% of them and experienced long waits for food, food prepared incorrectly and the quality wasn't as good as other NCL ships we've cruised on. Super long waits at the internet cafe along with problems throughout the cruise with the ships Wifi. Customer service lines were slow and long. We did not see the cruise director once during the cruise. When we went to the decks to enjoy the few days of sun the chairs were difficult to get. So many inconsiderate passengers go up and lay towels on chairs and were not using them. The floor with the Deck entertainment was very loud and made rest before midnight difficult. We had an additional issue with lost clothing sent to the laundry not recovered. Debarkation was a nightmare and there is no such thing as priority debarking. I hope NCL improves the problems on the Bliss because we had booked two cruises at once and our second one is a few months away. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
The ship itself is beautiful, loved the cabin 12788. Pleamty of room, Tons of strange, and bathroom was large and also beautiful — double sinks and 6 jets in the shower. Our cabin steward was fantastic. Didn’t have the courage to ... Read More
The ship itself is beautiful, loved the cabin 12788. Pleamty of room, Tons of strange, and bathroom was large and also beautiful — double sinks and 6 jets in the shower. Our cabin steward was fantastic. Didn’t have the courage to do the big water slide, but the race cars were a blast. Tried to get into the comedy shows but they were booked full for the week by 3:00 first day on ship. We ate in the specialty dining rooms every night and the service was so-so. Not what you would expect - Ocean, Cagney's, LaCucina, etc.. We ate in both Savor and Taste, and the service was extremely slow and hard to get refills on coffee, iced tea, even water. One of the last days we ate dinner in La Cucina and waited over 10 minutes just for water before drinks. When our waiter came by to take our orders, we first asked for water and he went back to get it himself. When my husband asked where the busboys were, he said they don't have them anymore. A-HA!!! that is why service is so slow everywhere - watiers have to do it all with no backup. Also none of them, except for one (Leslie in Taste) were very pleasant or bothered to even make eye contact. Also, in all of these restaurants, any alcoholic drink you purchase has to be obtained from the nearest bar, and the charge for that drink on your cabin bill will be from that bar. I saw many people in line at guest services questioning their bills because of this - the servers should notify guests of this poilicy to avoid confusion. Casino deck 6 center of atrium had heavy smoke smell drifting up 2 decks and down to restaurants either en of deck 8. We talked with some independent vendors on the ship (won't say who) and they remarked also that the service was bad throughout and very surprised as this was a new ship. We skipped the night dining in the Manhattan room and were told by many people they wish they had also. One more comment - in Cabo, it was written in the daily newsletter that because we were tendering, those in wheelchairs could not be accommodated -- is this normal for NCL? There were so many on the ship. Read Less
Sail Date October 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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