3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We are platinum members and sail on many NCL ships. We normally like smaller ships however we wanted to experience the new locks on the Panama canal with this ship. We have priority boarding and it was easy to get on board, however had ... Read More
We are platinum members and sail on many NCL ships. We normally like smaller ships however we wanted to experience the new locks on the Panama canal with this ship. We have priority boarding and it was easy to get on board, however had difficulty finding our cabin, inside Deck 12 midship. Well as it turned out it wasn't midship it was due aft net to an elevator. Cabin was extremely small, I had to turn sideways to get into bed, never before on NCL that we had an inside that it was this small. Now the specialty restaurants: used to be one price now it priced per item. We had two coupons for free restaurants Steak house and Italian, Steak, ribeye was great, now you only get one salad or soup, one on try and one desert for you free meal...if you want something else you pay for it, like if I wanted the Kansas City steak it was 5 dollars more, for appetizer another 5 bucks.....in the Italian restaurant, well there is no spaghetti and meat ball or meat sauce, no egg plant etc., you can get ravioli's with lobster??? well I had a pizza which was just about the same as the one you get in the buffet. The buffet area closes down, I mean door locked you can't even get a cup of coffee after midnight unless you go to the Local which is a 24 hour limited menu dining area midship and then you only get small paper cups. Now we're smokers and in the morning would like to have a cup of coffee and smoke, the only place to smoke is on deck 17 starboard side of the H20 spice bar, which has no coffee, if you're luck to get to the Margarita place right next door they have coffee only for 2 hours for a limited breakfast buffet and the hours were never the same, after they close it down they drain the coffee, I asked them why, and they couldn't give me a reason. Walking was terrible , with most food stuff in the front of the ship and we're in the back so you see our problem. Now the ship is pretty, but huge, too big , too many people, reservations are needed for almost everything and if you don't get reservations when you first get on you are out of luck. Jersey Boys was great free show, but had to pay to see Havana shop which was terrible, pay to see a show NOT....The itinerary changed three times just before we got on board, we even went to Acapulco, only got off the ship to walk to a pharmacy and back on. Never again on this ship and if all NCL ships are paying extra for meals , sorry but no more NCL. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this criuse to celebrate our 50th anniversery and had a wonderful time. We chose the beverage and dining packages and could not have been happier with the choice. We are not big drinkers but it was nice to feel free to try new ... Read More
We chose this criuse to celebrate our 50th anniversery and had a wonderful time. We chose the beverage and dining packages and could not have been happier with the choice. We are not big drinkers but it was nice to feel free to try new ones that we would not have if we didn't have that package. The dining package gave use many great chioces. We chose Cagneys for our anniversery diner and loved it. The only negitves where the soup and potatoes where lukewarm. The service was great and, as it happened, our waiter was also our waiter when we sailed on the Star. We also ate at Le Bistro and Los Lobos. Le Bistro was above average and Los Lobos was so good we eat there two more times. Yessina at Los Lobos is a treasure. On our second night there she made my wife a napkin rose that she kept and admiered for the rest of the cruise. We ate at Savor and The Local alot and they were always top notch. Service on the ship was excellent with only a couple of grumpy grew members. I have a great deal of respect for the crew members. They work 12 hour days for up to 9 months without a day off and still show great attitudes. As far as the ships entertainment and activities go the entertainment was great! We mostly liked to just relax and read a good book, so I can't really review the activies, although there seemed to be something going on all the time. Embarkation was a breeze but disembarkation could be termed organized chaos. We only took one Norwiegian excursion and it was just OK. We took a Thumbs Up 10 in 1 excursion in Costa Rica and it was awsome. If you ever get to Costa Rica you should check this out and request Allie as your guide. Overall we were very happy with the Bliss and would cruise on it again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
It’s all about connections isn’t it? Whether it’s Danijel at Le Bistro, or Scott at Cagney’s, or Emelie and Mihai at the Manhattan they make you feel special. Like a VIP with each encounter! And the YUMMY YUMMY for your TUMMY ... Read More
It’s all about connections isn’t it? Whether it’s Danijel at Le Bistro, or Scott at Cagney’s, or Emelie and Mihai at the Manhattan they make you feel special. Like a VIP with each encounter! And the YUMMY YUMMY for your TUMMY bakery clones (twins) made our day, EVERYDAY of the Cruise! We wouldn’t change a single thing! Fantastic 14 days that we wish lasted longer. The NCL Bliss is flawless! Perfection at sea! The 15th deck is unbelievable! The food choices are fantastic! Entertainment is out of this world! The crew is the hardest working anywhere! Pilinda at the Atrium bar is so funny and nice. She’s our favorite! The places to “get lost” and just enjoy the ocean air are to numerous to count. The pools always have music and fun stuff going on. Simply a wonderful way to relax and sit back and get spoiled. NCL is the best! Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 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
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
NCL Bliss is okay and and we looked forward to the cruise (we were on the NCL Escape inaugural cruise from UK to Miami. Generally the staff was good. However, excess focus on revenue generation and penny-pinching (fake Equal and Splenda) ... Read More
NCL Bliss is okay and and we looked forward to the cruise (we were on the NCL Escape inaugural cruise from UK to Miami. Generally the staff was good. However, excess focus on revenue generation and penny-pinching (fake Equal and Splenda) diminished our cruise experience. Penny-pinching was evident in almost every aspect of NCLs operations. The mapping system and the passenger information screen were significantly less informative than other cruise lines (lots of "N/As" for categories that scrolled across the top of the screen). Generally, service quality. We were happy to provide numerous positive comment forms but, but the quality of service was inconsistent (we refrained from submitting negative comment cards). Our steward seemed to be disinterested and un-managed. His schedule to attend to our room varied a lot. We were unable to plan a day based on when the steward would be done with the room (or need to be in our room). Food was good but menus in the restaurants did not change sufficiently (some menus did not change for days). This is appears to be an effort to push people to "specialty" (additional charge) restaurants or the buffet. The buffet is good but poorly managed... very crowded. There were TOO MANY specialty restaurants. Stateroom size has been reduced. Our balcony stateroom was much smaller than the Escape. The restrooms have been redesigned and are nice. The closet is awkward and difficult to access. NCL has reduced the number of elevator banks from 3 to 2 (no elevators mid-ship). This created long wait periods and long walks to staterooms and other venues. It was frustrating the way NCL provided only partial information about seaports. Emphasis was on selling excursions and shopping at stores that partner with NCL NCL did not inform passengers of alternative touring opportunities (concealing information). Excursion presentations exaggerate tour content. Once a excursion was bought, passengers are informed excursions are provided by third parties. NCL goes on to disclaim responsibility and limit NCL liability. Entertainment was very good (with a few exceptions). The theater seems to be smaller and clearly less impressive than the Escape (or other contemporary cruise lines. Here again there are clear signs of the accountants having too much influence on design. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
new ship seemed exciting, boarding in Miami good, a bit down hill from there. The ship is large with plenty of open spaces, clean as you would expect. The decor fine, food excellent in the buffet when you can get a seat to enjoy it, a bit ... Read More
new ship seemed exciting, boarding in Miami good, a bit down hill from there. The ship is large with plenty of open spaces, clean as you would expect. The decor fine, food excellent in the buffet when you can get a seat to enjoy it, a bit hard to find gluten free stuff though. food in main restaurant a bit strange at times ie: half a chicken and very little veg, then huge portions of beef again no veg to speak of, fish strangely on its own a bit of garnish, it seemed all or nothing. The cabin we had was an inside aft, well we had bunks over our bed so had to crawl around to get out of bed, the back of the bed has a lowdown metal rail feature so no comfy sit-ups in bed. The bathroom was just fine, not so the tiny closet that was so dark and dingy I found clothes I didn't know I had taken still clean when I unpacked. We were on a package that included 2 litres of water a day, well shock horror this was delivered in bulk on day one. If you don't drink it all they advise give it away or to the steward as they throw it away(disgusting waste) The entertainment was ok Jersey boys ok seen better, the Cavern and the Beetles tribute must have most of them turning in their graves seen better at Butlins. One thing we didn't know as first time NCL cruisers was to book shows within first day or so or miss out, we were not used to this so missed some shows we would have liked, Movies in the cabin were pay to view if you wanted to see anything decent, as was the go carts, laser tag etc. The service on board was pretty good with helpful cheerful staff. Some of the shore excursions were iffy like hop on hop off with no time to hop off or chance of getting another bus back to the ship. On the whole slightly disappointed but would give NCL another chance possibly on a smaller ship Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
This cruise was the 15 night initial repositioning leg from Miami to LA through the Panama Canal. May 10-25 2018. The ship is amazing. The luxury and decoration is top notch. The staff and other service workers were so nice, kind, ... Read More
This cruise was the 15 night initial repositioning leg from Miami to LA through the Panama Canal. May 10-25 2018. The ship is amazing. The luxury and decoration is top notch. The staff and other service workers were so nice, kind, professional. The food was the best I have ever eaten than any other cruise. (Except they didn't have a lobster night). I was impressed with the variety of food. There was foods of all kinds and nationalities, vegetarian, sugar-free, low-cal, etc. The entertainment was very high quality for a cruise ship - not the typical Las Vegas 'wannabe' type show. There were good comedians and also the Jersey Boys, Uptown, and Jeanine Carimielo were incredible. Havana was good but was in need of more 'pre-production, scripting, plot, etc.' (if you can say that for a live show) in order to have an actual story line. But the production itself was good. The Beatles impersonation group however was a bit disappointing. It was pretty clear that this was their first stint at sea. They appeared pretty nervous to be performing. Our hotel staff was wonderful. The room was cleaned every day at least twice and even three times sometimes. Nightly towel animals are a nice fun little touch as well. It is worth noting however, that NCL is more expensive than most other cruise lines. The additional fees for the Laser Tag, Race Track, bowling, and other on board activities can get costly and add up quickly. There is no mini golf, or sport court area. There are only two ping-ping tables. Also the Laser Tag is only open a couple hours in the evening and the deck completely locked up during the rest of the day. It would be nice that the deck at least could be open for browsing around for sight seeing on sea days. Note that a couple of the decks of the ship are for 'first-class' services only and require additional fees to access. (Think of first class vs coach class on an airplane) The Haven and Vibe decks require extra cost. The spa area is also contracted through a third party company and not directly with NCL and therefore requires additional fees to access. The spa area has a maximum of 120 people to access so when there are 4000 folks on board, it is important to get your reservations the first day. When purchasing your spa access, it is an all or nothing type of package. You purchase for every day of the cruise, you cannot purchase for a one day pass access. To have to pay extra for 90% of the restaurants also was unexpected, considering that they serve pretty much the same food as can be found in the main dining room and cafeteria buffet areas. When cruising on a ship of this caliber, the WiFi should simply be included as internet access is a necessity in today's world. The current cost is too expensive. If not, at least make the social connection package included. As for the fitness area -- it is much too small to accommodate 4000 people on board. Fitness machines were always occupied. Also the fact that there was additional cost to attend any of the spin class, aerobics, kick-boxing, etc. was not too pleasing. Additionally, it is worth noting that there is no locker room or changing area for the fitness area. No one wants to see 'sweaty bodies' walking through the other public areas to get back to their rooms to clean up. Reservations for all the shows could be better handled or explained prior to the cruise. To have to wait in line with several hundred people for a couple hours the first day just to reserve our 'shows' for the rest of the week caused most folks to have an initial sour attitude that was difficult to be around. Overall, however, we are quite happy with our cruise (once it got going after the first days hectic events) and the service we received. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
My wife and I are seasoned cruisers and wanted to experience a fairly new ship without all the dings and odors of other ships we have been on. This was a beutiful ship with a terrific service crew with the 3rd leg out of Miami going over ... Read More
My wife and I are seasoned cruisers and wanted to experience a fairly new ship without all the dings and odors of other ships we have been on. This was a beutiful ship with a terrific service crew with the 3rd leg out of Miami going over to Los Angeles through the Panama Canal. Neither of us have been through the Panama Canal before, so we were really looking forward to this cruise. Here are our thoughts regarding this adventure. I will start with the Pro's and follow up with the Con's needing some attention. Pro's: Like swimming pool seating Like the waterfront for walking Like the two swimming pools and depth from 5.7 to of 6.5 feet Like the shower and pressure Loved The Observation lounge and windows Liked the singing group Phil & Keisha Duo except Phil needs to cut back on the Elvis sets Liked the Atrium seating to view a gigantic video board and to watch entertainment The Teppanyaki restaurant was set up very well and the food was plentiful and delicious. The Teppanyaki cook could be a comedian he was that good Great view coming into Cartagena Columbia. Peacocks, monkeys, toucans and ant eaters were some of the animals experienced. Super plant growth near the port. I have to say, the electic go carts were fun and sturdy. My wife and I raced each other and she let me win. We came in 35 and 36 seconds respectfully. Cowboy is the bartender in the Caverns outside bar on the waterfront. Great bartender. Jim Badger was the Piano Player in the District House and was very good and funny. He will pick on people in the audience. The singer Jenene Caramelo was very very good in the theater. The embarkation was really fast and easy Con's: The Latitudes Club representative was non-existent. As Platinum members, we could not contact anyone to handle questions regarding benefits. There was a card in the room speaking of the benefits, but not an explanation as to how to receive them. For example, each member gets 30 minutes of free internet for their use. But to receive the free minutes, you need to go to the internet manager to have the minutes post to your account associated to your cabin. The line was a mile long to see the two internet people to turn on the minutes. It took all of thirty seconds of face time after standing in line for thirty minutes. Not cool. They could have a better way. Also, the ship was not using any of the NCL Apps that you may have on your electronic device. The internet manager indicated that it is coming, but not functional at this time. We had to go to the Nextcruise desk to get info on Captains Latitudes party and for reservations for behind the scenes tours. They do not make it easy for Latitude members. We went to sign up for the behind the scenes tour, but it was sold out and put our names on a waiting list after only being on the ship for two hours. Even though they advertise concierge service which would have been nice to make all of the reservations, it appears non-existent. Also No information on departure area for Latitude members. Not to be completely negative, I do appreciate the two specialty dining and laundry services for Platinum members which was presented on a card in the room. They pride themselves on the latest electronics, but they have a long way to go. The electronic boards in the Public Areas to make reservations did not respond very well while attempting to use it. We did make one dinner reservation before it locked up, but failed at other dinner reservations and entertainment reservations. The TV electronics were also poor to use as a way to make reservations or to view our calendar of events. The calendar only showed one shore excursion made at home before the cruise. It did not reflect dinner reservations once made. I can’t reinforce how far they are behind on usable technology for cruisers. There should be messaging to the cabins and a useable interactive TV to make reservations and communicate with departments. FreeStyle cruising has gotten very lose as to attire on this ship. It use to mean when you want to eat, not what you where to eat in dining areas. The chairs in the theater are very uncomfortable. Cagney’s Restaurant was disappointing. The pro’s include the tuna tartar was exceptional and the prime rib which they indicated was a pound, but it sure seemed larger than that. I left about a quarter of it because I could not finish it. It was very tender and tasty also. The con’s include mediocre busboy service, the mashed potatoes had too much garlic. The lobster bisque was very bland. The wine glasses were huge and when you ordered a wine selection, they brought an individual carafe which filled only the bottom of the glass. Also, the whipped butter they served with the bread was not that good. The outdoor speaker systems on the ship are awful. You could not hear messages when announced on the 8th deck as well as the pool area. Another con is not having the restaurant menu’s available on the TV so as to make decisions as to where to eat. In the main dining room, The Manhattan Room, they were crowded and seemed to borrow servers from other specialty restaurants. The reservation system on the TV’s indicate the restaurants are full, but when you look in, there appears to be plenty of room. People make reservations and then do not act on them I guess. Charge $5 for reservations not acted on to solve the problem of blanket reservations. We got a phone message that are specialty restaurant Ocean Blue will cost us an extra $18/person even though it was covered under are specialty restaurant package. That really sucked calling the day before our reservation to let us know it would cost more. We cancelled our reservation. The ventilation in the theater is bad. It does not move enough cool air for the large number of people, which I believe is about 700 people capacity. I know it seems like there are a lot of con's, but the pro's helped balance out the benefits of being on this cruise. By the way, the Panama Canal was cool, even if it took us all day to work our way through it. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2018
Chose this cruise because a tour agency was offering a great price for an escorted cruise package. Having someone else take care of the arrangements is a must when traveling with my elderly parent. Also, the itinerary was less port ... Read More
Chose this cruise because a tour agency was offering a great price for an escorted cruise package. Having someone else take care of the arrangements is a must when traveling with my elderly parent. Also, the itinerary was less port intensive with a sea day or two in between each port. If you have status with NCL, embarkation is always a breeze. Unfortunately, the Los Angeles Port was a very different experience. It seemed that it took a while for the tour group to get called to start the walk down into the custom area. When we got there, we saw custom agents having to use cell phones to take photos of arrivals. Labor intensive to say the least, and the customs employees handled themselves very professionally. The exercise layout for the Bliss is a little strange. Deck 7 outside has the tenders/ life boats and it only goes partway up and down the side of the ship. Deck 8 is the waterfront that is split with chairs / lounges and walking area. It was thoughtful of the dining staff to provide coffee/hot water and pastries around the waterfront bar areas for the cruisers enjoying the outside scenery. The walking area does not go around the front of the ship so walkers have to cut through the inside of the ship to continue walking. The Atrium stairway was beautiful to look at but not very functional to walk down. Everyone was using it as a photo op, but it was precarious to walk down. The tube ride did not have enough water flowing because people noticed that mostly men only made it through the entire ride. Women (more clothing) barely made it up the first hill and most had to be rescued after sliding back down. The inflatable tube flume ride was fun but had to carry up the tandem raft. If you go, get the single inner tube because you ride faster and you can experience the clear Plexiglas and think you're going to fall. The casino is huge and certain machines were making people happy. There were two ATM/Voucher/Change machines in the casino. Used the machine to break my bigger bills but it was out of service after the fourth day, sucks. I loved the set up of the Locals Bar and Grill which overlooks the atrium area. Found myself up there many a nights listening to Phil and Keysha, who was my companion's favorite group! Also kudos to the staff, they provided excellent service around the whole area. There was one handicap gentleman who hanged out in the area and the staff helped him get to the bar chair for the entertainment. Also the bartenders were great performers and back up singers for the groups. And finally, there was this one guy who helped the elevators after the bliss theater show ended. He'd get the passengers on the elevators as soon as possible and help with directions. Great staff. If Silas and his staff were cloned, then NCL would have the best fleet entertainment division in the industry! Wii Dancing with Alex was fun. I know Alex will get assigned to be a cruise director on a ship soon. Hope to see Uptown and Jersey Boys preform again. We went to see Uptown each night they preformed and were wowed by their energy and musicality. Phil and Keysha had their ship groupies following them to the different venues. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
NCL BLISS. BEST CRUISE EVER ! Room Service better than FOUR SEASONS !!! Food outstanding, service incomparable. Ship new and Georgously decorated, encomporably appointed interiors with uncompareable attention to details! Crew and ... Read More
NCL BLISS. BEST CRUISE EVER ! Room Service better than FOUR SEASONS !!! Food outstanding, service incomparable. Ship new and Georgously decorated, encomporably appointed interiors with uncompareable attention to details! Crew and staff incomparable to any other. Ship easily handles large number of passengers with all the simultaneous events and activities to do. DINNING EXPERENCE WONDERFUL! NCL OUTDID THEMSELVES WITH DESIGN AND LAYOUT OF THE ENTIRE AREA OF THE SHIP. CONGRATULATIONS to all involved in her design and layout. Latest in THEATER DESIGN LAYOUT in audio and visual considerations for viewing and performances! The performers excel in this excellent in layout and consideration of performers challenges as the new enhancements augemented the performers experience to these enhancements!!! The observation deck with continuous food offerings enhancements felt like CONCERIGE LEVEL EXPERIENCES!!! Spa area well layed out and easily accessible elegantly stocked with all amenities!!! Totally wonderfully pampered and luxuriously!!! Every adult had smiles of approval at all times Just can’t say enough about the different dining experiences!!! Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
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
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
We flew in to Miami the day before the cruise and stayed at a hotel close to the airport and the port. Embarkation was a breeze but we were in The Haven so were escorted onto the ship as soon as we arrived at the port. We were taken ... Read More
We flew in to Miami the day before the cruise and stayed at a hotel close to the airport and the port. Embarkation was a breeze but we were in The Haven so were escorted onto the ship as soon as we arrived at the port. We were taken directly to the Haven lounge but our room was already ready so we dropped off our stuff and went to the Haven Restaurant for lunch. By the time we finished lunch and went back to our room, our luggage had arrived so we were able to unpack and relax a little bit before setting off to explore the ship. The ship is huge. Amazing but huge. We were still finding new places on the ship the day before we got off. Our cabin was fairly large and the balcony was nice size with 2 chairs and a table. We were on Deck 18 and could look down on the balconies in the Haven on Deck 17 which appeared to be larger and had a lounger and a chair and table. If we do this ship again we would book one of those cabins to get the larger balcony. We tried most of the specialty restaurants since we had the 4 meal dining package and 2 more as Platinum perks (Cagney's, Q's Texas BBQ, La Cucina, Los Lobos, Le Bistro and 4 of the complimentary ones - Manhattan, Savor, Taste and The Local). We were very pleased with the quality of the food and the level of service. Beyond our dining package we also tried The Local one day for lunch and the rest of the time we ate in the Haven Restaurant which was easily as good as or better than any of the other restaurants onboard. We were a little disappointed initially that the menu didn't vary at all but when we mentioned to the Haven restaurant manager that we would like a little more variety, the chef started including a daily special to the lunch and dinner offerings. Of the entertainment offered, we went to see Jersey Boys which was really good and Havana which we also enjoyed. The Beatles show was very disappointing both in quality of the performers and choice of songs. There are so many popular Beatles songs but they seemed to pick all the more obscure ones. The piano player was very good and very funny but seemed to operate more as a comic than a musician and never really sang any song all the way through. It was not a performance that you could sing along with, which is what we enjoyed on other cruises. The level of service we experienced was very high but again one would expect that in The Haven. And the butler, concierge and room steward didn't disappoint. We celebrated several special occasions during the cruise including our anniversary and the butler and room steward decorated our room with balloons and banners and made kissing towel swans with orchid flowers and set the table with white linens, crystal and orchid flowers and left us a really pretty cake. We took the following shore excursions: Puntarenas, Costa Rica A Real Coffee Experience, Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala Macadamia Nut Farm, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico Tequila, Tiles & Shopping and Los Angeles LA Overview/Farmers Market (ending at the airport). We really enjoyed each of the shore excursions and would highly recommend them. By taking the one in Los Angeles our disembarkation was really easy. Our luggage was taken off the ship very early and segregated in a smaller area in the terminal so was ready when we got off the ship and was really easy to find. The excursion itself helped pass the time until our flight much later in the evening. We would definitely sail on the Bliss again but would probably not do the Panama Canal cruise again. We enjoyed it once but feel no need to do that again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
We have done over 13 cruise on Princess but The Bliss the ship the crew and the food is over the top . The ship is so friendly you don,t even feel that you s sea the crew don,t know what to do for you .You feel like your traveling with ... Read More
We have done over 13 cruise on Princess but The Bliss the ship the crew and the food is over the top . The ship is so friendly you don,t even feel that you s sea the crew don,t know what to do for you .You feel like your traveling with family. I think princess may have loss us to NCL Bliss.We ate in 7 of the special restaurants great food. The buffet had so many different choices you didn,t know what to eat first salads Indian buffet ,orientall food , you name it it was there.The observation deck had about 4 stations were you could get small plate to eat breakfast,light lunch, light dinner.For the casino player many slots and table games also a nonsmoking area fully enclosed poor people that have to work there,i can see with the amount for players there they should make it total nonsmoking which would rather do smoke or gamble(fomer smoker) but again all I can say for NCL BLISS OMG OMG OMG 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

Find a Norwegian Bliss Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click
Compare and book excursions for your next cruise