3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
My wife and I just returned from this Alaskan Cruise in late August. We both have mixed reviews. There is a lot to like about this ship - it's new, it's clean, it's got a wonderful spa and thermal area! We also paid the ... Read More
My wife and I just returned from this Alaskan Cruise in late August. We both have mixed reviews. There is a lot to like about this ship - it's new, it's clean, it's got a wonderful spa and thermal area! We also paid the premium rate to stay in the VIP section called the Haven. Definitely worth the extra $$. The Haven has it's own dining room with excellent dinner and breakfast and ok lunch. You also have your own indoor pool area and outdoor sun deck with hot tub, which we used a lot. The Haven guests have their own separate observation room, consierge desk and bar area. You also get special access when getting on and off the ship using the crew elevators so you can really avoid the big crowds that are in the general population onboard. So, if you're going to do this boat, I highly recommend the Haven experience...otherwise this is a very very crowded ship. In terms of excursions, we did the Mendenhall Glacier and whale watch which I rate a 7 of 10, we also did the helicopter, hike and train glacier experience in Skagway which i rate a 8/10, if you are in shape for the hike of 6 miles. We saw the Jersey Boys show and it was excellent but it only played for two nights and the rest of the trip was void of any really good entertainment. We both had massages at the spa and were very pleased, but the best part of the spa is the (extra charge $) Thermal suite which was never too crowded and had a wonderful sauna, steam room, salt room, and pretty cool massaging pool area. Besides the Haven restaurant, we ate a several specialty dining places including the seafood restaurant (excellent), the steak house (very good) and the french restaurant (excellent dover sole). But there arent many restaurants that are always open on this ship, so we had to do the garden buffet once or twice just to get some late lunch and it is a massive food trough. As far as the schedule, there is a whole lot of onboard ship time on this cruise. And with a lack of activities and entertainment, you can get bored. One stop in Victoria was at 8pm at night, for only 2.5 hours! Ketchikan was only half day and it took 48 hours from getting on the ship to getting off at the first port in Juneau. So the negatives are the crowd size, elevator wait times, the lack of activities and entertainment and limited port times. The positives mostly are due to the Haven experience we had. Alaska is wonderful and so beautiful! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
came along as a group of 25. wish we had chosen either another ship or different time of year to sail. my least favorite of all cruises i have been on. second cruise to alaska. suffice it to say, i am not a megaship kind of cruiser. ... Read More
came along as a group of 25. wish we had chosen either another ship or different time of year to sail. my least favorite of all cruises i have been on. second cruise to alaska. suffice it to say, i am not a megaship kind of cruiser. breakfast in the buffet? good luck finding a table. dinner at the buffet? good luck finding a table. oh...and reserve everything beforehand. everything. i am not that kind of planner...if you are, you are a good fit for this ship. while it is perhaps well suited for others, the layout of the ship with all activities taking place in the atrium is not my cup of tea. you cannot hear anything at the guest services or excursion desk if you are trying to get info. too loud from the game shows and other stuff going on. the plus side is everything you might want to do is very centralized on decks 6, 7 and 8. smallest mini suite cabin i have ever had and most expensive cruise i have ever taken. seriously not worth what i spent. the ports are beautiful, but owing to a medical emergency the night before, our time in ketchikan was cut to about 3 hrs . good thing we had been there before and knew exactly where we wanted to go. elevators had quite the wait. disembarkation was one of the worst experiences if not THE worst of any ship i have sailed. 1.5 hrs just off the thing, never mind the almost 1hr wait for our bus transfer to the airport. can't help that...the traffic in seattle is a cluster you know what on cruise days. choose another port to sail from...seriously...if you are not big on being patient. will i sail her again? nope. will i sail any megaship again? nope. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
This cruise was chosen because we were traveling with another couple. We have only been on one other cruise (Royal Caribbean) but I would have to say it was only average. Royal Caribbean has better food and excursions. The food was ... Read More
This cruise was chosen because we were traveling with another couple. We have only been on one other cruise (Royal Caribbean) but I would have to say it was only average. Royal Caribbean has better food and excursions. The food was somewhat disappointing in quality, desserts especially. The employees were mostly very friendly and helpful.We did have frustrating problems with the internet and texting on the app.Texting cost $10 per person and was not worth it because it did not work well. I spent too much of my vacation in the guest services line for help with problems. The entertainment on board was excellent! Jersey Boys was the best, Also saw Havana! and Beatles tribute band. Even the various singers throughout the ship were really good. Be prepared to use the stairs due to elevators always full. Excursions were disappointing except for the train ride in Skagway. Don't miss it! Cabin with balcony was not worth the extra cost. Getting on and off the ship went fairly smooth. Some of the activities were not planned well for seating of passengers. Norwegian is just average. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
I had heard so much great stuff advertised about this wonderful new ship. It had been a few years since I had been on a cruise but never cruised with Norwegian. My daughters and I were excited about our trip to Seattle and then Alaska. ... Read More
I had heard so much great stuff advertised about this wonderful new ship. It had been a few years since I had been on a cruise but never cruised with Norwegian. My daughters and I were excited about our trip to Seattle and then Alaska. The embarkation and disembarkation process was very organized and went by smoothly. The disembarkation was great because we had a group of 5 and were lucky to have help getting our luggage and through customs in less than 20 minutes. Ship The Bliss is beautiful and the amenities are great but I would not say that it was any different than other cruise ships. Some of the reasons why we were looking forward to it was so that we could try the go-karting or laser tag. However, it's nearly impossible to book a time unless you do it as soon as you step foot in the ship. They also need to be better about advising passengers about weather and temperatures. Cabin Our cabin was nice and meant to fit up to 5. However, I think the cabin is of good size if there are small children in the group. I was told 5 adults would fit comfortably and that was very deceiving. There was my sister, my three daughters (two teens and one over 21) and myself. We traveled with one to two medium sized luggages each. It was a task trying to fit all the luggages in closet areas so that we could have space to walk. Dining We had to dine in the complimentary dining restaurant the entire trip. The food and service at the restaurants was good, for the most part. Some of the staff in the buffet style cafe seemed overworked and not friendly. We were unable to get reservations at any of the specialty dining restaurants. Also, it was difficult in finding healthy meal options and non-dairy milk. At one time, I requested a vegan meal option and was told that their fruit salad was an option. However, when we dined at a restaurant named Taste, we had a great server that knew I was looking for special meal options and he was always prepared with the options when we dined there. Entertainment and Activities The entertainment put on by the staff is fun and nice to watch. Again, it was impossible to book reservations for things like painting of canvases. Even though it is at an additional cost, they only have about two or three sessions during the entire cruise and maybe 10-12 open spots. The go-cart and laser tag was completely booked. When we attempted to book a time, on the second day, we were told they were fully booked for the remainder of the cruise. I purchased an Ultimate Arcade package for my teenage daughter and it was a waste. There are not many games that can be played using the package. Most kids will be in there with the same package and do not move from the machines, and no one is there to tell them to allow others a turn. We booked our shows - Havana (average) and Jersey Boys (great) as soon as reservations opened up. Service For the most part, the service was good. Ports and Shore Excursions We did the Alaskan - Inside passage (Seattle, Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay, Ketchikan and British Columbia, Victoria, Seattle). We were very happy with our excursion experiences. In Juneau, it was raining when we arrived but we enjoyed our trip to Mendenhall Glacier. We had plenty of time to enjoy the downtown area as well. Skagway was very nice and we enjoyed the White Pass Scenic Railroad Excursion. Make sure to bring snacks if you do this one. The day at sea (Glacier Bay) was amazing. The views are amazing from anywhere in the ship. It was great that they had a park ranger come on board and explain all about the national parks. The stop in Ketchikan, if you do an excursion, is just not enough. We would have liked more time to explore the downtown / port area. We were really disappointed with the port stop at British Columbia. We were allowed to get off the ship at 8:30pm and were expected to be back on board by 11:30pm. By the time you arrive at the port and walk to nearby locations, most shops are closing down. We walked to Chinatown which was a 30 minute walk and everything was closed. We wished that this information was provided to us on the ship. I am not sure if I would travel with Norwegian again but overall it was a wonderful trip and experience. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
I choose the Bliss to Alaska because I have sailed on Norwegian many times and really like it. I am very disappointed in this ship especially for what we paid for it. First, the entertainment was very subpar. I am not a prude but the ... Read More
I choose the Bliss to Alaska because I have sailed on Norwegian many times and really like it. I am very disappointed in this ship especially for what we paid for it. First, the entertainment was very subpar. I am not a prude but the language in Jersey Boys is totally uncalled for, especially with the majority of people sailing in their 70’s and 80”s. The Havana show was lack luster. And, you had to make reservations for EVERYTHING and most things were sold out. Totally uncalled for. Plus, you had to pay extra to see one of their shows. The observation deck was fantastic and the bar staff was excellent. This area provided a great view of the Alaskan scenery. It seemed that all NCL wants to do is sell you something. And, the activities to do were very boring. You even had to make reservations for the go kart track and laser tag which there were no spots left. Spa was way overpriced. Cabin staff were very accommodating. And, the staff was very accommodating and helpful for handicapped individuals. I will sail Norwegian again but no ton the Bliss. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
This review was sent directly to Norwegian as well. Some background: My 84 year old mother booked this trip for her four children and their spouses (10 of us in total) as a last special family vacation. All but two in the group are ... Read More
This review was sent directly to Norwegian as well. Some background: My 84 year old mother booked this trip for her four children and their spouses (10 of us in total) as a last special family vacation. All but two in the group are over 60, all are retired. My mother has 200 plus days at sea and my wife and I have at least 150 days at sea now with several other cruise lines, so we all pretty much know the ropes and our way around a ship. The new Bliss was supposed to be a huge step up in cruise ships with numerous new amenities and with all the media hype, that is why my mother choose NCL over Princess and was willing to pay thousands of dollars more for the total package. None of us are not hard to please and generally we all just go along with whatever comes our way, but considering what was paid and expected, this was not the best experience or value. So why did I rate my overall experience as “fair” in response to your survey: First - you booked our cruise at a significantly higher rate than comparable cruises to the same destinations. When she was booking the cruise, I reminded my mother that we should all get senior discounts and that two of us were eligible for veteran’s discounts or cabin credits. She told me then that you had denied all senior discounts/cabin credits and disabled veteran qualifications for this particular ship. I personally contacted Norwegian Customer Service about it in writing and was promised a response within a few business days. What I got was a call from an unintelligible oriental woman about two weeks before we sailed saying something to the effect that my concern had been forwarded somewhere. We still have not received any contact or resolution from anyone at NCL. You over charged for shore excursions. I say this because six of the ten of us have sailed to Alaska within the past few years on different cruise lines and took some of the same excursions. You also required that we pay months advance. No other cruise line has ever done that to us. You advertised a go-cart track and a laser tag game that were both completely booked by the first morning and remained so for the duration of the cruise. We were told we could stand in line each day on the happen stance that someone might not show up. We tried for 5 weeks in advance of the cruise to sign up for shows which should have been not only free, but also “first come – first served”. Those too were completely booked and none of us could reserve anything except The Jersey Boys, so that was the only show we saw. (On a side note: The Jersey Boys were absolutely phenomenal!) Our cabin steward was a total no show for the duration of the cruise. On the third day out we ran out of tissues and called House Keeping. The person that brought them to us turned out to be our steward. He knocked, introduced himself, handed us the tissues and then turned and left. About 5 seconds. That was the entirety of our association with the cabin steward, though he did maintain the room satisfactorily. While we are on the subject of the cabin, they are small and cramped, the beds are hard and uncomfortable and your closets do not accommodate the standard hangers which we brought from home for our formal clothing. The dining rooms were nice and a couple even had large windows which made the experience nicer when you managed to get a window seat. Steaks/carved meats in the buffet and The Manhattan dining room were horrid, tough and gristly every single time we ordered them. This was not just me, but voiced by every person in the group of ten. The Garden Buffet was generally an acceptable place to eat with tasty food and a nice variety, though several times we had to take our meals back to the room because there was absolutely no seating available anywhere in the vicinity of the dining room. The best meals were served in the Specialty dining rooms, though every single meal we took on the ship with the exception of the Garden Buffet took two full hours from the time we sat down until the dessert was served. We could never understand why service was so slow. The only time we were ever offered coffee before, during or after our meal was in the Le Bistro. Otherwise, the wait staff never came around so we could ask and we had to flag them down for refills on things like iced tea though they refilled water without request. Alcohol was grossly overpriced on this ship and since we did not choose the unlimited drink option, we had few. Also, the value of your bingo and slot tournaments was pitiful based on the prize money. Enough said there. In general, the new Bliss is an average appearing ship with basic amenities available without reservations. We have sailed on several new inaugural ships with both Carnival and Princess. Their ships add sparkle and glamour to their décor. They also provide enough elevators to move passengers between decks without excessive waiting. Where are the Bliss elevators? You have only two banks of elevators on this massive ship carrying up to 4,000 passengers. Even Carnival has four additional glass elevators in the atriums of their larger ships. The Bliss was clean and well run; the staff was friendly and polite. I am sorry to have vented so much, but our week on your new ship was somewhat disappointing and my mother now wishes she would have booked us on Princess. It is unlikely we will recommend NCL to our friends or other family members based upon our experience and the poor value provided. Read Less
Norwegian Bliss Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 4.5 3.9
Entertainment 4.0 3.9
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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