Sail Date: August 2019
Alaska has always been a must see for me. This was my first cruise and my first solo trip. It was fantastic! Norwegian has everything down to a science, from embarkation to disembarkation. The ship itself is beautiful with so many ... Read More
Alaska has always been a must see for me. This was my first cruise and my first solo trip. It was fantastic! Norwegian has everything down to a science, from embarkation to disembarkation. The ship itself is beautiful with so many places for entertainment, socializing or whatever your heart desires! The dining options are great and will please any palette, young and old. I loved the entertainment. I saw the Jersey Boys, Havana and Prohibition. This ship is so big with so many activities like mini race car driving, mini golf, water slides, walking/running path, full gym. You won't be bored on this ship! All of the staff are profession and so very nice. All you have to do is ask and they will do their very best to accommodate you. I booked all of my excursions through the NCL website. My experience was top notch. My favorite was the 5 Glacier Float Plane Flight to Taku Lodge. The landscape was stunning! And, the salmon bake at the lodge was delicious! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
I chose this cruise because I had never been to Alaska and since I’m an NCL Latitudes member I was excited to experience the newest ship in the fleet that was built especially for Alaska. I persuaded a friend who lives in Seattle to go ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I had never been to Alaska and since I’m an NCL Latitudes member I was excited to experience the newest ship in the fleet that was built especially for Alaska. I persuaded a friend who lives in Seattle to go with me although she was reluctant as she had only cruised once before, years ago before the stabilizers, and had gotten seasick. I’m not sure she believed me when I told her how smooth it would likely be. Embarkation and disembarkation were an unbelievable breeze….the best I’ve every experienced….NCL has this people moving thing down pat. When we embarked we immediately went to The Local and had lunch. By the time we were done, our bags were at our stateroom door. I very carefully chose our cabin because I knew that the size of the ship and the number of passengers would irritate my friend. It couldn’t have turned out better for us. I chose a Spa Balcony cabin that was directly under the spa so it was not noisy. We were on the same deck as the Observation Lounge and also had our own private balcony. Up one flight of steps and we were in the spa (passes were included in our category) or we could go to the buffet for a quick bite to eat. The Observation Deck also had light breakfast and lunch and an awesome bar. All those venues had great ocean views and with the exception of the buffet, a good amount of privacy. I love the spa and because a limited number of passes are sold, I never had to wait for a heated lounger. Even the Observation Lounge was pretty uncrowded when we were there….usually early in the morning or late at night. We did go to activities in other areas of the ship but the point is, we wouldn’t have had to…..everything we needed and wanted was right on those 2 decks. So for those who don’t like the big ship experience (and I see a lot of those complaints in these reviews) this is what I would recommend. Also, book everything you want to do as soon as NCL will let you….you can always cancel and other cruisers will be happy to fill your slot but there are many things that fill up fast and then you’re probably out of luck. The cabin itself was well laid out (beds by the balcony rather than the closet) and was plenty of room for 2 people, although no one could call it spacious. I can’t imagine having 3 in a room like this although it is advertised to accommodate 3, maybe a couple and a small child. We really enjoyed the beverage package. It was fun to try drinks we’d never had before and I discovered I like White Russians. The first time I ordered it the bartender made it with cream (as it is supposed to be) and it was wonderful but every subsequent bartender told me they only had milk. So I’d go to the coffee bar and get half and half and hand it to them. I don’t think I was very popular with the bartenders…lol. Anyway I would suggest that NCL make cream available behind all the bars. Never had a problem getting a bartenders attention or a drink in a timely manner. The dining package was fabulous too. We did Cagney’s, Teppanyaki, and La Cucina. The food was fantastic in all of them. One small complaint about Teppanyaki is I think they sit too many people at a table. We were the last to arrive for our table and I was seated on the end by a woman who was left handed. I didn’t notice until we were well into the meal or I would have requested a change of seating because her elbow was in my space the entire meal. We only did 2 shore excursions, the rail trip in Skagway and the Lumberjack Show in Ketchikan. They were OK. I wished I had done something where we could see wildlife. I had thought we would see some in Glacier Bay but we didn’t. My fault for not doing more research. We did see a lot of humpback whales though and I was surprised that they came so close to the ship. They would breach and blow through their blowholes….quite an experience….I had only ever seen orcas before. The only difficulty we had on this cruise was when we were in Glacier Bay. They had park rangers come on the boat and talk about the glaciers. They said if you go outside you can hear the glaciers, especially if they are calving. We went out on the balcony to listen and enjoy the serenity only to find that one of the ship’s photographers was 3 decks below us, taking pictures and yelling at his subjects to get them in certain poses and reactions. I called guest services to complain and have him stop. Unfortunately I had to make 3 calls before it stopped and then we think they only moved him to the other side of the ship but we were glad to no longer have him disrupting our enjoyment. Management sent us some sweet treats to apologize and we were happy again. All in all a great cruise and I am doing this ship again in October on the Mexican Riviera. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
I booked a Sailaway inside cabin for this Alaska Inside Passage cruise out of Seattle. The ship is absolutely beautiful and well suited to Alaska and any other location, for that matter. The Observation Lounge was wonderful with snacks, ... Read More
I booked a Sailaway inside cabin for this Alaska Inside Passage cruise out of Seattle. The ship is absolutely beautiful and well suited to Alaska and any other location, for that matter. The Observation Lounge was wonderful with snacks, a bar, gorgeous views, music in the evenings, and lots of seating (except when people decided to take up an entire couch to sleep on with feet on the upholstery, etc. - there were many chaise lounges for this, but for some reason people were pretty rude hogging the regular couches for sleeping). My cabin #5715 was in a great location on deck 5 near much of the indoor entertainment. It was below the Q restaurant, which did have a band playing at night. I could hear very faint noise from this at times, but it was usually quiet after 11:00 p.m. Speaking of the Q, I ate there the last night of the cruise and it is another new favorite with wonderful upscale southern food (BBQ, cornbread, pecan pie, etc.). Great entertainment, great fun on this ship. Although the food was excellent, I didn't give it a full excellent rating, as I was really looking forward to my meal in Lobos Cantina, but the guacamole was made with unripe avocados, and I was served the wrong entree (it had ingredients I can't eat and the entree I'd ordered was served to another person at the table, who thought it was his). When I mentioned this to the waitress, she said no, that was what I'd ordered. My table mates had just about finished their meal by the time the waitress came back to check. Anyway, it was a big mess and left me wanting to cry, and the overall experience took hours! Everything else on the ship in terms of food and service was fantastic. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
The ship was gorgeous. The Pro's Many things to love here. The food was phenomenal. And I loved the fact that most of it was casual, without the sometimes rigid seating arrangements and times I heard some cruise lines use. I ... Read More
The ship was gorgeous. The Pro's Many things to love here. The food was phenomenal. And I loved the fact that most of it was casual, without the sometimes rigid seating arrangements and times I heard some cruise lines use. I was able to eat about anytime I cared to in the complimentary dining fares. The specialty dining was by reservation which I understood. All of which I thought were first class. All the crew members in every aspect went out of their way to help and to serve. With that, I was extremely impressed and appreciative. Being disabled and on a scooter,they were prepared to make things as easy and uneventful as I thought were possible. Well done by the crew. The pool areas, the decks were pristinely maintained and entertainment was provided in which I enjoyed. There were shops on board, that were a bit upscale for my finances, but nice never the less. There was also an art exhibit with art that could be purchased. The Cons Being disabled and in a scooter was extremely challenging on accasions. Cabin area corridors were extremely narrow and at times difficult to navigate. Elevators were extremely difficult for myself and my scooter, as the elevator doors would attempt to close much too rapidly as I was attempted to embark and disembark. The cabin itself, although set up for a handicapped person, with wider doorways for wheelchairs and such, were still extremely difficult for navigation. However, I did manage. To me, the cost was the biggest problem on the con list. And unfortunately a huge consideration. Yes being disabled on a cruise ship can definately be a challenge, no doubt. But I travel alone, and when you travel alone, unfortunately you are subject to what I call up charges. What they are unrelated to how they list the prices, (per person) when you travel alone, you must pay subsidie charges, I suppose to make up for wht the cruise line ould have made if another person s traveling with you. So the bottom line is you I'll always pay more on line to wht couple would pay and you seem to get less. A huge negative in the con column for me as to whether I will be a returning customer. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
Here is my review of the Norwegian Bliss. I just sailed in February. For anyone who has sailed the Getaway or the Escape, the Bliss is very similar. She is quite large and beautiful. Some changes from the Escape-Ocean Blue is back ... Read More
Here is my review of the Norwegian Bliss. I just sailed in February. For anyone who has sailed the Getaway or the Escape, the Bliss is very similar. She is quite large and beautiful. Some changes from the Escape-Ocean Blue is back (never tried), Moderno is gone (never tired but friends had like it a lot) and BBQ and Mexican restaurants have been added. I knew there was an observation lounge-but was not prepared for how expansive and amazing it is. It is has a wow-factor. Also, if you find yourself looking for a place to enjoy conversation and cocktails without live music (as I had that issue at every bar on a sailing of the Epic in 2018), the observation lounge would be a great place to head. Also, good for playing cards or board games-has its own bar too. Embarkation was ok-NCL did not seem prepared for its Plantinum+, as it did not have the special check in area ready and never came to pick up the Platinum+ for boarding (as I was later told is the normal process). Also, things have gotten out of hand with so many items needing to be purchased onboard or reserved onboard (dining, passes, laser tag/go cart bookings). NCL needs a new process before someone gets hurt trying to get onboard to reserve dinners, book a spa pass, etc. Personally, I suggest letting people buy online and hiking the prices for passes. I had lunch day 1 at Taste-delicious! Love their fish n chips (also great at the Local (pub)). My cabin (a studio cabin) was nice. They have shrunk the beds to what essentially feels like a twin. This is a deal breaker for me. I do not feel any adult should have to sleep in a twin. After my sailings on the Encore next year, I can’t see myself sailing the Bliss or Encore unless I can avoid the studios or they replace the beds with adult-appropriate beds. Reportedly, some had complained they need more room to move around (seems as if NCL is catering to the aging). The studios now have virtual windows showing outside. Mine did not work for part of the sailing-no big deal to me. I would rather they bring back the mood lighting available on the Escape. The Studio corridor was also very wood decor-versus more neon and colorful like the prior ships’ studio corridors. My steward was good-no complaints. Food-La Cucina was good-enjoyed a ravioli meal. Cagneys was great-filet was amazing. The main dining room menus have changed slightly-not too impressed. Very upset that they dropped the Chicken Parm-that should be an every day option. Garden Café and Pub were both good-especially the pizza and fish n chips. Entertainment-this is still an area NCL where lets me down. I feel they cater to an older crowd. I did not see Jersey Boys but a friend around my age (30s), had not enjoyed it and those who I’ve heard give it good reviews have been older. This is a theme I’ve noted over the years (ex: Million Dollar Quartet). Someday, NCL may start catering to their 40s and below cruisers. I did not get to any comedy shows (which I regret). NCL has a new app (which appears good)-but did not allow me to see which comedian I was booking-so that is something they need to work out. That said, I wish I’d made time for the comedy-usually enjoyable. Next cruise! Deal or No Deal was fun-as usual. The free cruise giveaway has been reduced to 5-day cruise (raffled off at Bingo)-disappointing and probably not worth missing tanning time to enter. Even 7-days is not enough! The Bliss has added laser tag and go carts-which to me is space that should be used for more sundeck chairs. Plus, it attracts children-not a demographic important to me. Spice H20 appears slightly smaller. The hot tubs by the pool have been moved to the deck above the pool on this ship. There appeared to be two adult pools (honestly I spent no time by the pools as that chaos is not something I enjoy). I do think putting the hot tubs on 17 makes the deck that people walk/jog on a bit too wet. White Hot Glow Party is no more. I did not check out its replacement (Caliente?). I hope they bring the white glow party back by popular demand. Overall, staff were amazing, as usual! Love Maltings Bar and my friends seem to really like the Mojito bar. I made new friends-courtesy of the solo program. Observation lounge is massive and a beauty. Can’t wait to cruise again! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
Timing and price both worked for me. I travel solo, so NCL is my go to cruise line because they have some great options for the single traveller. I usually book a studio cabin, but this trip, because of the multiple "at sea" ... Read More
Timing and price both worked for me. I travel solo, so NCL is my go to cruise line because they have some great options for the single traveller. I usually book a studio cabin, but this trip, because of the multiple "at sea" days, I chose a stateroom with a balcony. This was soon upgraded to a mini-suite, unsolicited by me. Beautiful big cabin with a full size shower(sliding glass doors and six mini-nozzles.) Embarkation and disembarkation both took no time at all; just walked on/off. The food and beverage situation was typical NCL; fair to average. I dined at 4 "specialty" restaurants. Q, Los Lobos, and Cagney's were average, at best. Le Bistro, however, hit it out of the park. Food, wine, service, all excellent.After trying each of the 3 main dining rooms, I resorted to the buffet for the rest of my meals. Pretty decent, by the way. The ship is absolutely beautiful, albeit almost new. Highlights include a go-cart track, laser tag, and waterslides that extend out over the sides of the ship. The overhang sections are clear plastic; pretty cool. Nightly shows, alway something to do. A popular venue is a replica of the pub the Beatles used to play when they started out, complete with a very good cover band. Lastly, a word about the Observation Lounge. Designed specifically for Alaskan waters, it covers the front 1/3 of the ship on deck 15. All floor-to-ceiling windows, comfortable roomy seating for hundreds of people, serving continental breakfast, lunch, and "tea". Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
I did a back-to-back cruise on the Norwegian Bliss. (Jan 5 thru Jan 19). The ship is absolutely beautiful. The Observation Lounge on the 15th floor is magnificent. It's not well advertised and many thought it was off-limits which ... Read More
I did a back-to-back cruise on the Norwegian Bliss. (Jan 5 thru Jan 19). The ship is absolutely beautiful. The Observation Lounge on the 15th floor is magnificent. It's not well advertised and many thought it was off-limits which was great for those of us who frequented the area. The food in the Manhattan Room, Taste, and Savor was very good. I am not a buffet person and did not even venture there during the 14 days. Entertainment was sub-optimal. They featured Jersey Boys and Havana. Jersey Boys was better than Havana but I like flashier shows. The comedians, Allison Weber, Flip Schultz and Jim McDonald were very good. Beatlemania was absolutely superb but space was very limited in The Cavern. The show in the theater was on the last night. The entertainment was limited. There were no magic shows. I've seen the show Elements on the other Norwegian ships which was breathtaking but nothing like this on the Bliss. The biggest disappointment with both the entertainment and specialty dining was the reservations. The shows were filled on the first evening of the cruise. I kept this in mind for the 2nd cruise and as soon as I returned on the ship I made reservations. I'm not sure why there has to be reservations for the Bliss theater productions. Many people make reservations for the shows but then don't go. There is always a "standby" line which gives that NY Broadway appearance but everyone gets in. Get rid of the reservations for entertainment and make it first-come-first-served venue. Even with reservations, people started to line up an hour before the shows which was just crazy. Restrooms were at a premium. For a brand new latest state of the art ships, there seemed to have been no planning for restrooms. There were 2 sets of restrooms on floors 6,7,8 on the far ends and 1 additional on Deck 6. There were none near the Atrium or the Casino where there were lots of folks gathered. The Casino had a huge room for smokers but the smoke poured out of the area into the other areas. Smoking areas were limited so you did see massive amounts of smokers using the casino to smoke in. This was an improvement over the other ships but I still think smoking within the ship should be excluded. The smoking area had a different variety of slot machines that were not available in the non-smoking areas. The sun deck area was overcrowded and not enough lounge chairs. The race car area took away a huge amount of prime sun deck space. Service was outstanding from all the staff. There seemed to have been a shortage of staff in many areas. The staff that were there are greatly overworked and not given much time to rest and sleep. I'm not sure why cruise ships treat their staff so poorly. I can't say enough about the outstanding job these men and women do. I'm glad I took the cruise on the Bliss but I won't be back. I'll stick to the EPIC or Breakaway or Getaway. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
This is a beautiful ship. We had a mini suite and thought the bathroom was great. It had a huge double sink with 2 faucets and a big shower. Worth the extra charge for sure! The room is a bit smaller than Celebrity Ships I've been on ... Read More
This is a beautiful ship. We had a mini suite and thought the bathroom was great. It had a huge double sink with 2 faucets and a big shower. Worth the extra charge for sure! The room is a bit smaller than Celebrity Ships I've been on width wise but same length. Nice room. Ample storage for clothes. The only thing I'd recommend is bring a light of some sort for the bathroom otherwise you have to turn the overhead light on during the night. We thought the food was pretty good on the ship. We did speciality dining 6 of the 7 nights and thought the food and service were really good. Ate one night in Taste, the regular dining room and thought the food was pretty good there too. We did breakfast almost every morning at either Taste or Savor and thought they were great. Service was good too. The ship is easy to navigate. Sometimes elevators are a bit full but another one comes along fairly quickly. Thought embarkation and debarkation were very easy. Everyone on the ship always has a smile and really tries hard to make your experience a good one. The Observation lounge is a great place to hang out plus they serve food all day long and there is a bar if you want a drink. As the week went along, more people found this treasure. They have comfortable furniture for reading and just watching the water. Neither of us had the drink package but we did notice that with all the people that did have it, bars were open everywhere on the ship all day long. When we were on Celebrity, it was pretty hard to find a bar open during the day except at the pool. Loved the outside deck that surrounds the specialty restaurants. Great place to hang out on the couches or to take a walk or get a drink. Really nice atmosphere and great place to watch the sun rise or set. On other ships this type of deck view is blocked by the life boats. The boats are on deck 7 on the Bliss a deck below Deck 8 where the specialty restaurants are. The ship definitely has places to view the water all the time; something that was lacking on Royal Caribbean's mega ships. On that ship, I felt like I was floating on an island where I rarely saw the water. NCL knows how to bring the ocean into the cruise experience especially when you eat outside at the specialty restaurants. Now here are my cons about the ship. The pool area is crowded and the music is SO LOUD it literally hurt my ears. I was surprised parents let their little ones hang out there...it was deafening. Actually we found the music was too loud almost everywhere. Couldn't hear the words to the music when bands played. Only the instruments. Love the adult solarium on Celebrity and Royal Caribbean. NCL has a small adult area with chairs and a bar. The only problem is there is no shade even with 3 or 4 small umbrella's. Too bad cause that would have been great. Now for the shows. I liked Jersey boys although its a shorter version of the Broadway production. I left 15 minutes into Havanna. I couldn't get into it. Saw the comedienne's. Hard to get into The Social Club so appreciated the show that happened in the theater one time during the week. Liked the Beatle's tribute although again the music was so loud in a tiny venue. I missed a regular show that you could catch at either 7:30 or 9:30 on Celebrity ships. You always had to make reservations for the shows and they didn't always coincide with the times booked before you get on the ship at the specialty restaurants. Lots of stuff happened in the atrium. It's way too small for the purpose it serves for some of the shows there like the Newlywed game. People were everywhere with no seats. The theater would be a better choice for that and later in the night. The cruise director tried to make it sort of risqué yet there were young kids around cause it was pretty early. Overall, its a great ship that is staffed well. Like I mentioned earlier, the staff is always smiling and trying to make your experience a good one. I would like to see the music at a decibel that doesn't bust your eardrums and make your ears ring along with a show you could see every night with a 7:30-8:30 reservation. (Most shows were in the Atrium then) There is something for every age on this ship for sure!!!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
The Bliss now has been added to my list of favorite ships. The vessel itself is beautiful with everything in a logical place with the notable exception of Le Bistro, which is oddly hidden on an upper deck. The crew is fantastic, led by ... Read More
The Bliss now has been added to my list of favorite ships. The vessel itself is beautiful with everything in a logical place with the notable exception of Le Bistro, which is oddly hidden on an upper deck. The crew is fantastic, led by Jovo as Hotel Director. Everyone is friendly, caring and helpful. For me, the crew makes or breaks the experience, and this group made mine a joy throughout the week. The food was consistently at least good, with some excellent. Most of my dinners were in specialty restaurants, all of which performed well. Menus seem to change almost every month, which adds variety, but inevitably results in removal of my favorite items. I realize that’s a corporate issue, not a ship decision, but it’s worth mentioning anyway. The entertainment was excellent, led by the two big shows: Havana and Jersey Boys. Both were major productions with very talented casts. The Beatles tribute band also was great, including their theater show on the last night. Silas, the Cruise Director, did a wonderful job, backed up by an excellent cruise staff. I was in a balcony cabin. If you’ve been in a balcony on any NCL mega-ship (other than the Epic), you know what it’s like. At least they’ve finally improved the interactive TVs to provide more functionality. On the other hand, the internet service was awful. Much of the time, it was hard to log in, slow as an old-fashioned dial-up connection when you could get on, and unable to retrieve email too often because the server would time out. The worst I’ve experienced on any ship. Find a new provider; this is simply unacceptable. I’m anxious to sail on The Bliss again, though it’s scheduled move to New York will make that more difficult. As far as the senior officers, I expect to see many of them again after they launch The Encore next year. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
Because of the possibility to join a group of solo travelers. Our daily meeting and the accompanying cruise member (Ankica) who helped us participate in different activities. The Studio stateroom and studio lounge made it easy to meet ... Read More
Because of the possibility to join a group of solo travelers. Our daily meeting and the accompanying cruise member (Ankica) who helped us participate in different activities. The Studio stateroom and studio lounge made it easy to meet other travelers. I purchased credits at the Cruises Next desk which will be used in the near future I will recommend NCL to my friends. That being said. I would like to point out a few things that I thought could be improved: 1. Being a Karaoke fan, I thought the song selections was OK but limited. It should include more songs from the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s (for the middle age group). I personally own a large selection and brought a list with me to help me find songs to sign but could only find a few. 2. I would have liked to see a Golf simulator. I REALLY enjoyed the Go Cart track. Loads of fun! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
I had a blast on my cruise. The cruise director Jackie Chang ( yes that's his name ) was absolutely hilarious!! The competitions he hosted had me laughing for days ! I still watch the videos on my phone. The speciality dining was ... Read More
I had a blast on my cruise. The cruise director Jackie Chang ( yes that's his name ) was absolutely hilarious!! The competitions he hosted had me laughing for days ! I still watch the videos on my phone. The speciality dining was good. I tried the BBQ place and seafood spot. Good service there. The only complaint I have is the dining room service was entirely too slow. Your meal would come out separately at times ,15 mins after your first part. Dinner was at 830 I wouldn't leave till 1030 sometimes. I also didnt like that there was no captains ball with lobster served. The go carts were fun. Be sure to book ALL entertainment items on the day your bored. Go carts, laser tag, shows..they fill up fast. Garden cafe was ok. Always hard to find a seat. Drinks were def watered down...Overall good cruise and would cruise again.. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
My singles group was on this cruise ship. NOT good for large groups because dining is all over the ship in smaller venues, so it could not meet our group needs, we were 450 people. Pricing was inconsistent, I bought about a year before the ... Read More
My singles group was on this cruise ship. NOT good for large groups because dining is all over the ship in smaller venues, so it could not meet our group needs, we were 450 people. Pricing was inconsistent, I bought about a year before the cruise with way over inflated pricing and was never told that others (found out later) paid about 45% less!! Internet service was poor according to many including myself. The food: Buffet was usually decent, sometimes excellent. The main dining rooms offer the same meals every night to entice you to purchase dining from a specialty restaurant.....which was pretty good, ended up dining at the French restaurant and Cagneys, very good. Drinks were usually watered down I hear unless you cash tip the same bartender over and over. Some NICE features though, overall. If you SMOKE, you will not be happy, very few places to smoke plus ( I loved this) if you go to the casino, they have a CLOSED OFF ROOM to gamble separated from the rest of the casino, in effect, smoke free gambling! Vegas should learn a few things from them. We all know that smoking kills and nobody should be subjected to 2nd hand smoke, ever. So for this, I give NCL kudos! Yes, heard some complaining from people who smoked. Too bad, sorry, I hate smoking. The Go Karts looked like fun but I could not get to it. Dining in the main room could be better. Cabins are VERY small unless you get a suite, so beware! The mini suite bathroom was built for handicap people so the bathroom was LARGE but not enough places to put things. So I rated a 3. Jersy Boys show was great and the Beatles cover band, well, I liked it but i've seen MUCH better Beatle cover bands. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
I cruised over Halloween week with a large hosted singles group. While I pretty quickly figured out that the hosted-singles thing wasn't my cup of tea, I was entirely pleased with the Bliss, and with NCL in general. The ship ... Read More
I cruised over Halloween week with a large hosted singles group. While I pretty quickly figured out that the hosted-singles thing wasn't my cup of tea, I was entirely pleased with the Bliss, and with NCL in general. The ship itself is absolutely beautiful. It rarely felt crowded, except for a few times when trying to get an elevator right after a show let out, but that's just the nature of a megaship. Otherwise, I could always find a lounger or a seat at the bar. The cabins are well-laid out, with three (!) outlets at the vanity of our balcony cabin, instead of one as on the older Jewel-class ships. The closet had a hanging rod & some open shelving. Could have used a little more drawer storage space (there's only the two drawers under the sofa,) but we made it work. Everyone we encountered was great, from our room steward to the bartenders to the Guest Services folks that we had to speak with a couple times. Service in the MDRs was sometimes a little leisurely; but I was generally seated with a large group, so blamed the slowness on that. I really liked the shows, which is an area where NCL really shines. Jersey Boys was outstanding, and ¡Havana! was quite well-done & beautifully staged, if a little short on plot. Some in my group thought it was going to be another Broadway-style show & complained that it was boring, but, hey, I liked it for the song-and-dance revue that it was. Wasn't too impressed by the comedy shows, they seemed a little flat. The unexpectedly-wow show was Happy Hour Prohibition. Don't miss it, it's a great up-close cabaret style revue that's a little goofy & a little naughty & all good fun! I spent every spare moment in the Thermal Suite. It has a good-sized pool and lots of seating in the saunas & steam room. Plenty of tile loungers facing aft were a good way to enjoy a leisurely sea day, watching the water. Loved, loved, loved Bliss; and can't wait to sail her again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
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
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Loved my Norwegian Bliss Cruise. Best: Food was really good. Ate at the Garden Cafe, The Observation Deck 15, The Local, and the 3 dining rooms. Overall I thought these were above average. Staff throughout the ship were the ... Read More
Loved my Norwegian Bliss Cruise. Best: Food was really good. Ate at the Garden Cafe, The Observation Deck 15, The Local, and the 3 dining rooms. Overall I thought these were above average. Staff throughout the ship were the nicest, most helpful, and fun people I've every encountered on a cruise! Bravo Norwegian - I hope you treat them well. The bartenders were outstanding. My room steward was charming, unobtrusive, and kept my room immaculate. Anytime you asked staff a question they would bend over backwards to help. The BEST. I totally enjoyed the entertainment. The band called Familiar Strangers was fabulous. They played Calypso pool side then throughout the cruise played Motown and Bob Marley and other sets mainly on the 6th Floor Atrium which was a really comfortable venue for entertainment. You guys are talented. I loved the comedy show - Thanks for not swearing the whole time while STILL being very funny. The Cavern Club Beatles were WONDERFUL. Go down and get in line 45 minutes before the scheduled performance. They will let you in about 1/2 before the show and you can drink. The cruise director was very good and the guy from Hong Kong that hosts many of the games was sooooooo funny. As big as this ship is, I never felt overcrowded which was amazing. Don't miss the peaceful Observation Deck on 15. The room configuration is a bit weird and small. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Just off the 5 day Coastal cruise Vancouver to LA. I cruised in the solo studio cabins. I loved the studio cabin and lounge concept. The lounge was perfect for snacks and drinks, especially the specialty coffees. Jose who ran the 5 ... Read More
Just off the 5 day Coastal cruise Vancouver to LA. I cruised in the solo studio cabins. I loved the studio cabin and lounge concept. The lounge was perfect for snacks and drinks, especially the specialty coffees. Jose who ran the 5 o’clock meet ups was an excellent host. Wasn’t totally impressed with the specialty restaurants, Teppanyaki was my favorite, Cagney’s was ok, and I didn’t think Ocean Blue was worth the additional surcharge. Food Republic, sushi and dumplings were excellent. Lots of fun activities in the Atrium but be there early to get good seating. Beatlemania performance and the crew show in the theatre were excellent. Loved the Observation Lounge, no problem every finding a spot to sit, chair hogs did not seem to be an issue. The food stations were excellent, I ate my breakfast and lunch there most days, avoiding the Garden Cafe craziness. Star crew member, in my opinion, was Jose from Cruise directors staff, with a second to ‘Jackie Chan’. Disembarkation in Los Angeles went very fast. The only issue, and it was not a fault of NCL, was getting off the ship and through Customs in San Francisco. Started at about 8:30 and last people got through around 1:15. A lack of custom officers seemed to be the issue. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Prior to the ship being built , I booked. I followed this vessel for months and read countless posts and reviews-this is unadulterated. I wish I continued on the next 8 day sailing! The embarkation in Vancouver was sketchy-but it was ... Read More
Prior to the ship being built , I booked. I followed this vessel for months and read countless posts and reviews-this is unadulterated. I wish I continued on the next 8 day sailing! The embarkation in Vancouver was sketchy-but it was their first time with the Bliss. From the moment we boarded it was special. Our cabin (13844-balcony mid) was awesome and clean. The Garden Café fantastic-no problems with food or seating as prior reviews stated. Met a great gang at Spice H2O and we gelled (smoking section)...so I missed all other meet and greets. La Cucina was fabulous/Cagneys was good/ Le Bistro awesome...Savor and Taste great...didn't care for the Local.Mario and team at Spice H2O did a great job at bartending and providing exceptional service. Jersey Boys good, ample theatre. The Beatles show awesome! The Casino was also great-wish more machines but they played nicely!!! the waiters and waitresses were phenominal, food exceptional, drinks great, our cabin steward was so so...do the racing experience! I wish they get rid of Margaritaville-it was dead space. Elevators were also fast-not as many reviews stated. What I realized is that you cant please everyone....many passengers would try to cut lines, complain about trivial things, not respect the staff...it is sad. I met many seasoned cruisers who loved this experience for a larger ship I believe I got hung up with many posts and prior reviews but this was exceptional! If staying in Vancouver-Sutton Place is phenominal! Victoria a nice stop, San Francisco was good-did the Hop On Hop Off and not disappointed-only disappointment was the behavior of a few folks who wouldn't disembark for customs and the behavior of the mob to get back on! The only other thing I can say-the karaoke was dull and machine wasn't good....met many nice new friends from all over! Many friendly people! A few that should have stayed home! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
I liked their website, they were nice to deal with. The ship is new and beautiful. The specialty restaurants excellent, and the Mandara spa outstanding. The room was very nice, and the rain shower and jets were great. Had a wonderful ... Read More
I liked their website, they were nice to deal with. The ship is new and beautiful. The specialty restaurants excellent, and the Mandara spa outstanding. The room was very nice, and the rain shower and jets were great. Had a wonderful time. Very smooth waters for the whole trip. Loved Coco's for crepes and cappachino. Only compaint is the Internet did not work most of the time. Took the ships shutlle to and from airport and the baggage handling on last day was so helpful, sponsered by the port of Seattle. They take your bag check it in at airport, deliver boarding passes to cabin and luggage fee is added to your ship bill. Could not have been more convenient. The garden cafe buffet was not to my liking. All the other eateries were really top notch. The coffee pot in the cabin was much appreciated for that morning get go. Lots of outlets in cabin also. Looking forward to next cruise. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We chose the Bliss because of all the amazing videos we saw and everything we heard from our travel agent. I will start with the positives: - If you're a single or older couple with no kids, this cruise MAY be for you - Good ... Read More
We chose the Bliss because of all the amazing videos we saw and everything we heard from our travel agent. I will start with the positives: - If you're a single or older couple with no kids, this cruise MAY be for you - Good options for entertainment - Paid/ upcharge restaurants were definitely better than included ones - Alaska ports made the trip worthwhile Now, for the things we do not like and why we will never choose Norweigan again: - Maybe because the Bliss is so new, this could explain the utter lack of organization of the staff - Food at Buffet, Taste/Savor (same food) and Manhattan was very mediocre (at best) with no place to sit in the buffet restaurant - Our room (10-154) had a horrible banging/knocking in the walls and for 3 straight nights I go ZERO sleep, for a vacation it was unbearable - The spa passes were pointless and way over priced (again with kids, it's very difficult to coordinate since the kids clubs closes for 2 hours chucks all through the day) - The arcade and bowling machines will charge you repeatedly whether you used/ played the machine or not (and the way we were treated when we brought up an extra $6 charge was atrocious...) -Staff on cruise aren't empowered to do anything. So, if you have issues you have to write a complaint post cruise and they say it takes up to 15 business days to get a response - The app is trash and they charge you $9.95 per person to use it - Most things were constantly closed down (laser tag, mini golf and race track) which attracted us in the first place - Most things on ship are an extra cost so it's a constant nickel and diming vacation - Not a lot of family friendly activities - Havanah was just awful (as you will see in every other review) but there was really no need for the actors to light up real cigarettes in Jersey Boys (it was disgusting and made the whole theater smell) - The common spaces like the observation area are ALWAYS packed and people put their gross feet on the furniture and no rules are enforced. NOTE: We had a balcony but if you get an inside cabin it will be very hard for you to find a "common space" to relax and enjoy when there is anything to see outside - No drawers/ clothing space for fmaily with kids (if you're just 2 people, I imagine the closet space would be fine - The worst traffic flow I've ever seen on a ship. Elevators are always packed and no one wants to make space for new people (so you will be climbing 5-10 flights of stairs all the time to get where you need to go) - Captain decided to not go to the glacier which was a huge selling point for us. Given all the equipment they have on board it was more of an issues of not “wanting” to rather that not being able to. Why not save their gas and effort, right? We literally turned around. Overall, this is a cruise where the food is bad, few options for families, the staff is not empowered to make anything right which means absolute HORRIBLE or non-existent customer service, over-crowded ship with poorly planned traffic flow, this was not a vacation this was a total disappointment. As with anything, we have each other so spending time together was the best part but I would not waste money with Norweigan (they appear economical but after being charged for EVERY SINGLE THING) they are way more pricey. I will be booking with Disney Cruise from now on until kids are older (they have exquisite food, service and pretty much everything is outstanding). Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
I have read a few of the most recent reviews and I feel the need to defend NCL because I am hearing a lot of the same complaints I heard on the ship. Yes, there were multiple medical emergencies, that's what happens when the average ... Read More
I have read a few of the most recent reviews and I feel the need to defend NCL because I am hearing a lot of the same complaints I heard on the ship. Yes, there were multiple medical emergencies, that's what happens when the average demographic is 74 years old. There were a couple medical evacuations people never even knew about, that is called HIPPA and a person's right to privacy. The Captain had to make a tough call when the coast guard did not answer distress calls, nor was a medical evacuation possible for a young woman who walked on the boat healthy and fell deathly ill from an infection that later took her life. If that was my loved one, I pray they would make the same choice and I am comforted that they chose trying to save a human life over make a popular decision. I realize there were a lot of disappointed passengers, but please take comfort in knowing that collectively we did everything possible to help save a human life. Now, for my review... Getting to the ship from the airpot in Seattle, the $20 NCL shuttle was easy. They took my luggage right from the baggage claim and the next time I saw it was outside my stateroom door at 6:30pm. An Uber would have been about $40 for a solo traveler, so it saved me money. Check in was easy and I was early, so I enjoyed the Seattle Pike Place Market before returning to the ship for embarkation at 11:30am. I would recommend going straight to the observation lounge if you're like me and need to charge your phone. There are hidden charging ports in the lamps. Comfortable seating and really good food (salmon chowder) were calling my name on day one while the Garden Cafe was over run with people. You are allowed in your rooms after 1:30. I booked my room last minute, no solo supplement for a really great price ($499) with an inside guarantee and was assigned a handicapped accessible inside state room. The room was really spacious and would be great for a person in a wheelchair. I am guessing it to be 200 square feet, the only problem for me was that I confused the lights with the automatic door opener and would accidentally open the door while standing in my underwear. I'm guessing I would have figured it out eventually, but I had a request to change rooms due to a handicapped passenger needing the room. I was asked very graciously and politely, since I'd already shown the neighbors more of me than I cared to, I voluntarily gave it up. Linda, the accessibility coordinator told me that at 24 into the cruise, there were no longer any larger rooms available for an upgrade, but she offered me either a studio or inside cabin plus a $200 on board credit. I happily accepted the studio cabin since I was solo and wanted to have access to the solo lounge. I had a really hard time finding my interior room on deck 13, I felt like I was in a maize, once I switched to room 12517 in the Solo Studio, I never had trouble finding my room again. This brings me to NCL's Solo Cruiser Program. I am so impressed with this program. The Solo Host, Jose Jaramilla, went above and beyond in assisting every solo cruiser whether you were in the solo studios, or not. I met him the at the first meet and greet in the Mojito Bar on the first day and he brought everyone back to the solo lounge and explained the program. An itinerary with show dates and times was provided where selected seating had been reserved for the solo cruisers to sit as a group. It was in the far lower right corner, but at least you weren't sitting by yourself. You could sign up for one or all of the activities and there were daily meetings followed by dinner for those that wished to eat with the group. What a wide variety of ages, 22-75, ethnicities, and personality types. From the introvert to the extrovert, there is something for everyone. Jose did a great job ensuring everyone had a great time. For solo cruising, NCL has my vote 100%. Jose is also seen during many of the game shows and theme parties, which were pretty low key with the generally older demographic, but he is hilarious. The solo cabin itself it small, 99 square feet with less than a full size bed, but it's well designed. The shower and the toilet feel more like you are in a rocket or coffin, so I was really wishing I'd shaved my legs in that handicapped accessible bathroom. There is a virtual window and you do have access to the solo lounge where there is an espresso machine, ice water, fruit, orange juice, and pastries always available. It was very easy to meet other solo cruisers in the lounge which was a huge perk. It was like a little ship in the ship. I did not get in on a free at sea with the super low rate, so instead I brought on two bottles of wine and paid the $15/bottle corking fee. This was enough alcohol for me and the bar tenders were quite pleasant and entertaining even though I wasn't ordering a bunch of alcohol. They seem to keep up with demand and for those that couldn't get drinks fast enough, I would recommend some of the quieter bars like the whiskey bar, wine bar, mojito bar (love Black Cowboy), or the bar in the observation lounge. The atrium bar was always busy, but I thought the guys were great. I loved the adults only Spice H2O for the hot tub to watch the sunset, although it could have been a bit hotter. It was a chilly sprint out and to the heated hallway. It was too chilly for the pool for me, but I did lay out one day and watch festivities. Freestyle dining was made easy, I was always seated quickly with my group and ate in the complementary restaurants except for Cagney's one night and Sushi at Food Republic. I enjoyed the lighter lunch food in the observation lounge, it seemed a little more on the gourmet side. The Garden Cafe was OK, I always seemed to catch the half hour between breakfast and lunch when there was really no food. Kids and adults who love ice cream will be happy, there were numerous Ice Cream Stations, both hard and soft serve, although I'm not positive about the hours. The food in the Main Dining Rooms was good, but not great. If I didn't know any better, I would be more impressed. There was no lobster, not even at Cagney's, salmon the first night and that was fabulous, but I did not catch it on the menu again. I was a little disappointed being it was an Alaskan Cruise. It seems NCL has taken money out of fine cuisine and put it into entertainment as the meals consisted of less expensive cuts of meat, fish and pasta. They were all well prepared and presentation was beautiful, but budget cuts were noticeable for an experienced cruiser. I heard the Q really stands out, but who wants to pay $25 extra for what you used to get for free? The sushi at The Food Republic is amazing and well worth it for about $8/roll. Nolan, the head chef is fantastic and ensures his customers are satisfied with his creations. The Local had Pub-Style food and a nice made-to-order omelet for breakfast with a very friendly staff. Shows and Entertainment...The Jersey Boys is a must see production, as good as a Broadway Show. Havana was very well choreographed. I had hoped to see a comedy show, but lines we long and there was standing room only. The game shows were entertaining as usual, the night life was pretty mild due to the advanced age demographic. I had a great time and feel the crew was vey friendly and courteous. The Social was open late for dancing and as a solo lady, it was an added benefit that not only one, but a male and female security guard would walk you back to your cabin upon request. I felt very safe on and off the ship at all times. Juneau...For those that like to save money, you can take the city bus to the Mendenhall Glacier for $2 instead of $45 for the express bus. It drops you off 1.5 miles away, but it is a beautiful paved trail and I saw a Momma bear and two cubs along the way (escorted by park rangers). I will be going again at least once, if not more. I need to bring my kids to show them the beauty on this side of the country, I am awe struck. Getting off the Bliss proves to be the biggest challenge. If you are in a rush to get off the boat to catch a flight, do the express walk off as early as you can. Otherwise, plan on it taking 1-2 hours to get off the boat from the time you get off the elevator. If you are traveling with anyone that may need any medical assistance or not tolerate standing in a circulating line for that period of time, get them a wheelchair assisted disembarkation. I hope they work the kinks out of disembarkation before they get to Miami for my next venture on the Bliss. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
I'm a seasoned world traveler and booked , first time on a cruise. I made my own reservations for port excursions. The port stops are wonderful, with much to see, but often not enough time before you have to return to the ship. The ... Read More
I'm a seasoned world traveler and booked , first time on a cruise. I made my own reservations for port excursions. The port stops are wonderful, with much to see, but often not enough time before you have to return to the ship. The Bliss is new, very beautiful, but packed with 4000 or so noisy people going every which way all the time. Embarkation and disembarkation were faster and easier than I expected with so many people aboard; many families, elderly, people in wheelchairs, even with assistance dogs. Happy to see they are all made welcome and comfortable. I liked my cozy single studio (99 compact sq feet) on deck 12, the ship's service in general (although some employees, like my groups' waitress in the Manhattan room every night seemed tired and was impatient), overwhelming choice of dining, entertainment (the musical plays Havana and Jersey Boys were outstanding) and the spa (I had an expensive massage)... but I grew weary of the crowds, confusion and noise, waiting at the elevators, then giving up and usually walking up and down the stairs. This fatigue added to my getting vertigo from the movement of the ship, which bordered on seasickness, which I've never had. I couldn't wait to get into each port and walk on solid ground, but the vertigo dizziness/balance issue didn't cease, even several days after the cruise ended. I'm very glad my one and only cruise was on this magnificent ship and that I got to see some of Alaska. But I learned that I'm not a big-ship or motion-of-the-ocean fan and would not cruise again even if it was free. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
I had determined after taking a bus tour in 2016 and a rail tour in 2017 that this year I'd take a cruise. I'd been hesitant because I'm a solo traveler and didn't want to pay the single supplement or stick out like a ... Read More
I had determined after taking a bus tour in 2016 and a rail tour in 2017 that this year I'd take a cruise. I'd been hesitant because I'm a solo traveler and didn't want to pay the single supplement or stick out like a sore thumb. But my preferred destination was Alaska and Norwegian Cruise Line's new ship, Norwegian Bliss, offered solo cabins with only a minor supplement, so I went for it. I flew to Seattle a day early and enjoyed a sightseeing day, boarding the ship on Saturday 8/4. Embarkation was very efficient even for a newbie. Once I was on board I was fortunate enough to meet a couple who asked me about my dining plans. When I told them I had purchased the prepaid dining package they asked if I had booked dining reservations. I was surprised as I had assumed that NCL's Freestyle Cruising was all about dining when and where you wanted-just walk in. They said "Make reservations right now or you won't be able to use your dining plan!". Thankfully I had an app on my device that allowed me to do just that. The Teppanyaki restaurant was already sold out but I was able to book the barbecue, steak house and Italian joint. Sorry to run on but the point is: Make your dining reservations as soon as you board if not sooner-they go fast! The Bliss was huge, the largest cruiser ever on the West Coast. There were 4,000 passengers aboard, but the ship never seemed crowded, except perhaps at the buffet. A lot of the outdoor activities, like the water slides and "party decks", seemed designed more for the winter Caribbean season. I was too cold in Alaska to use them. But even on a cold, rainy sea day with everyone inside there was sufficient room for all. The public decks were modern & spacious and I don't recall seeing any dirt at all. Dining ranged from good to excellent. The buffet was sufficient and filling, though I would have liked more day-to-day variety. The complimentary sit down restaurants were good but not gourmet. The best food was found at the specialty restaurants. The barbecue & steak house were A+. The service at the Italian restaurant was slow, but it was fun to dine outside on the "Waterfront". On s ship as big as the Bliss there was plenty of entertainment. The gambling was like setting your money on fire, so I avoided it. I didn't see the show "Havana" but most people said it was meh anyway. The headliner show "Jersey Boys", about the Four Seasons, was lots of fun. Some people complained about too many "F-bombs" and yes there were a lot. So be warned. But the best entertainment was The Beatles cover band that performed in both the main theater and The Cavern Club. Everyone including myself was raving about them. I should also point out that the Bliss really caters to singles. We had our own exclusive, key-access area and a private lounge, making us feel like VIP's. We even had our own cruise director, Tiana, who organized a meet-up each day and left each of us four complimentary chocolate strawberries on the next to last day of our cruise! Service overall was exemplary; I didn't encounter one rude crew member. "Happy happy, washy washy!!" Given the number of people on the Norwegian Bliss, and inclement weather in Juneau & Skagway, the shore excursion off-loading and re-loading process was extremely efficient. Some of us almost got left behind in Juneau because our driver didn't show up for the return trip! But all's well that ends well and we made it back with a half hour to spare. Juneau was the only port where I felt rushed because we only had six hours. Disembarkation morning on 8/11 had the feel of "Get the heck outta here!" but I suppose that's pretty standard on any cruise. Gotta clear & clean the ship for the next flock of sheep lol. I was off by 7:45 so it was all good. I have to give a shout out to The Port Valet service offered by The Port of Seattle. You leave your luggage outside your stateroom on the last night & you don't see it again until your final destination. All for no extra charge above the airline's baggage fee! That was such a blessing to me as I was planning to walk around Seattle for a few hours and the forecast called for rain. All in all it was a great trip and a learning experience. I'll know what I'm doing next time-whenever that may be. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
I chose this cruise because I had always wanted to go to Alaska and since I am a solo traveler, I thought this would be the easiest way to see Alaska. A little bit about me - I am a woman in her 30s who lives in NYC, travels solo, and ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I had always wanted to go to Alaska and since I am a solo traveler, I thought this would be the easiest way to see Alaska. A little bit about me - I am a woman in her 30s who lives in NYC, travels solo, and usually takes land trips to Europe. I am not a bigger cruiser but have been on two other cruises before with Carnival. Pre-Cruise On the advice of my co-worker, who loves to cruise, I booked dinners and shows in advance. I was only able to get the 10:30 show reservations because apparently booking two months before is not early enough. I never ended up going to the shows because I was still on NYC time and it was just too late for me. Seattle I flew to Seattle a day early because I had never been to Seattle before and wanted to leave enough time before my cruise. I stayed at a hotel near the Space Needle. This area looks like it was probably a seedy area at one time that is now being gentrified by Amazon. However, you feel about it, Amazon has brought in hip restaurants and shops so there is a lot of places to eat around here. I had good ramen across the street from Amazon's The Spheres. Of course Pike Place market was a tourist trap and worried about pickpockets, I didn't spend much time there. Embarkation The next day, I took the hotel shuttle to the pier. We left the hotel at 12 noon and I was on the ship probably by 12:30. Embarkation was very easy and fast. The rooms were not ready until about 2 p.m. and bags were delivered shortly thereafter. Room I stayed in a studio room intended for a single person. I would say most of the people who stayed in these rooms appeared to be traveling with other people but just wanted their own rooms. They did not appear to be solo travelers. The room was not bad during the day but at night when I turned the light off, I felt like I was sleeping in a coffin. I would wake up on the verge of having a panic attack so I had to sleep with the tv on and the shade of the faux window open so it wasn't so dark and oppressive. The first night it got hot in the room and I had to call someone to come and fix the air conditioning because the warmth combined with the coffin feel was making me feel claustrophobic. Needless to say, I did not sleep well during the cruise and would not stay in one of these rooms again. In addition, people kept slamming the doors at night - clearly they aren't used to living in apartments - and since I went to bed early as I was on NYC time, I kept being woken up by slamming doors. Gym On sea days, the gym was mobbed. You have to sign up for spin, yoga or other classes as soon as you get on the ship as they book up right away. I found this annoying because how do I know if I want to go to spin class five days from now at 9 a.m.? There was also an additional charge for the classes. I managed to book a boot camp class that was allegedly $20 for one hour. However, when the instructor came, he said it was only half an hour. There were also about four Cuban people in the class who insisted on talking really loudly in Spanish to each other the entire class. It was really odd. Observation Lounge Since my room was basically a coffin, I spent most of my time in the observation lounge. On sea days in the morning it was virtually impossible to find a seat and I would sit outside on the deck. But after lunch it usually emptied out. Yes, there were people napping on the couches or lounge chairs but it didn't bother me. Those cabins are so small that there is really nowhere for people to go. However, I did not appreciate people taking their socks off and lounging with their bare feet. No one wants to see a person's gnarly feet! I also found that there were constantly hordes of pre-teens running around the observation lounge screaming on the tops of their lungs. The observation lounge was a place people were using to read or nap and so the screaming was obnoxious. The pre-teens and kids were also constantly running up and down the cruise ship stairs. Food I thought the food was good. I ate in the dinning rooms for the most part and enjoyed the food. I ate at the buffet a few times but it was always so loud and crowded that I preferred dining in the dining rooms, which were quieter and more relaxing. Excursions In Ketchikan, I did a sea kayaking tour. I enjoyed the tour - we got to see whales and sea lions. The company would not let us go out in our own kayaks so I had to share a kayak with a stranger but it worked out OK. I only had a little bit of time after sea kayaking to explore the town before I had to get back on the ship. In Juneau I did a hiking excursion, which was a my favorite. There was even less time in Juneau and had to go back to the ship immediately after. Skagway was probably my favorite stop. So pretty. It reminded me of being in Yosemite. I did the Klondike biking excursion, which was least favorite excursion. They drove us up a highway and then we biked down this highway on mountain bikes. The road was so steep and we were going so fast that I was was just concentrating on not losing control of my bike. There was no opportunity to look around at the scenery so what was the point? Note that I am an experienced biker and this was probably the scariest bike ride I have ever been on. In Victoria I paid to take the shuttle into town and then walked around for a bit. There was not a lot of time. I did have a chance to walk along the water when I came back to the ship and that was really nice. Things to Do on the Ship Basically, there was nothing to do on the ship. All the activities were activities in which Norwegian is trying to sell you something - ugly art, crappy jewelry, etc. Most people seemed to spend sea days hanging out drinking all day. Some started their drinking as early as 10 a.m. On sea days, I spent the entire day reading. There was far too much down time on the ship for me. I was starting to go stir crazy and at the end, was desperate to get off the ship. In Victoria, I got panicky when I thought about having to get back on the ship again. In Seattle, I was one of the first people off the ship and was grateful to be back on land. Overall Overall, I am glad I got to see some of Alaska and Seattle because I had always wanted to go to these places. However, if I was going to do it again, I would fly to Alaska and then sale on Princess south so I can stop more places in Alaska and spend less time on the ship. I would not sail Norwegian again because they nickle and dime you for everything and I don't like that I have to book every detail of my trip months in advance. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
This is the best boat I have ever been on. I have always traveled in luxary in Celebruty cruises but this beat all of them. There sanitary in the is boat is ten times best. The do not let you eat unless u put hand sanitizer or was your ... Read More
This is the best boat I have ever been on. I have always traveled in luxary in Celebruty cruises but this beat all of them. There sanitary in the is boat is ten times best. The do not let you eat unless u put hand sanitizer or was your hands. The staff is very kind and is the best. They are very kind. This cruise also have a lot of kids things to go cart racing and laser tag. This boat also is very nice. The only thing is the boat does not have great entertainment in the theater but the game shows are first class. All of the game shows are all in the atrium and I reccomend all of you that are interested on this cruise to look at one of the game shows. Best cruise ever!!! Everbody come join the happy family here in the norwegian bliss. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
What a wonderful trip. We started our adventure from Miami. We arrived a day early and spent the evening at the Romero Britto Gallery in Liberty Square. After a fun outdoor dinner we went back to our hotel filled with excitement for the ... Read More
What a wonderful trip. We started our adventure from Miami. We arrived a day early and spent the evening at the Romero Britto Gallery in Liberty Square. After a fun outdoor dinner we went back to our hotel filled with excitement for the next days boarding. I had been told by other cruise passenger that the Miami Cruise port was a difficult port to deal with, long lines, difficult port personnel etc. So I was prepared for the worst and hoping for the best. As our Uber car dropped us tat the luggage area, a very kind and respectful person welcomed us, took our luggage and directed us to the correct entrance. Well this wasn't the experience I was expecting, Next we looked up at the ship, starring at the waterline and then looking up and we continued looking up and up and up. This was the biggest ship we had ever seen. I remember thinking to myself how does this thing float. It was huge. At the very top we noticed a water slide that jetted out over the edge of the ship. After having such a good experience with our luggage porter we walked into the terminal, (here's where I figured the problems would happen) again to my dismay there were folks waiting to direct us to the proper area to check in and within 15 minutes we were on our way to security and then onto the ship. After hearing the stories about the port of Miami, I have to say this was the smoothest check in process we have ever experienced. Kudos to all in the cruise port. As we boarded the ship the first thing we noticed was folks crowed around large touch screen TV's , all working feverishly to secure show reservations, or dinner reservations. Never having cruised with Norwegian I wasn't quite sure what was going on, but figured we should stand and watch for a bit. After a few minutes I realized these folks were trying to get the best dinners times, best show times etc. I said to my wife, I don't have any idea what times we want for anything yet and we decided it was our vacation and we'd let the chips fall as they may and we'd book later, after we sailed. Our rooms were not yet ready so we ventured to the buffet area for a bite to eat. As we walked into the buffet, there were so many folks and an almost chaotic feeling in the area. For a moment I thought we had made a mistake booking on such a large cruise. After we made our plates we tried looking for a place to sit and as I said earlier it was a bit chaotic, we must have had the OMG what have we done look on our faces as one of the staff members approached us and said if we wanted more seating the observation lounge was on floor below us. We thanked him and set off to find the observation lounge and hopefully seating. Much to our surprise, not only was there seating but the chaos of upstairs was gone, replaced by floor to ceiling pictures windows looking out over the port, the water and the city in all directions. The lounge was huge, decorated in beautiful Shades of Black, Greys and Whites with beautiful hardwood flooring that looked like a path through a forest of tucked away sitting areas. As we made our way to the back of the lounge we were greeted by a very large center bar that had been designed to in no way block a view from any sitting positions. This was to become our favorite area and we spent many hours watching the view, talking to the wonderful wait staff, and exploring new drinks with the help the bartenders. Our favorite is the Mudslide, they are fantastic and each evening I'd enjoy a Grand Marnier as we watch the sun set. Once our room was ready started our trek to find the room, as we were walking towards our room, our room Steward (said his name was V) greeted us and asked if we had any difficulty in finding our rooms. We said no, it was quite easy to find. He said this was the easiest ship to navigate, there are only two banks of elevators and once you are on the correct floor all we had to do follow the fish on the carpet, they were swimming towards the front of the ship. Our room was very nice, about the size we had expected, with one exception, the closet. While long enough the depth of the closet is very small and coats hanging in the closet had to turn on the side in order for the closet to actually close. The TV was, at first as a bit of a challenge, but once we figured it out we used it each day to plan our events. We also figured how to schedule reservations for restaurants and shows. What we found interesting is we were able get the times and restaurants we wanted without having to work with the crazy scene that happened earlier in the day. As each day progressed the ship felt less and less busy, and there were times when there were only a few dozen folks were in the observation lounge. Food on the ship was wonderful, some of the best we've ever experienced. We very much enjoyed the freedom of being able to eat when we wanted. Deciding each day if we wished to eat early or late. The excursions were done quite well, and we enjoyed each new adventure. Our favorite was the Zip line through the rain forest in Costa Rica. When we had Sea Days, we enjoyed the activates offered throughout the ship as well as the Park West Art Gallery. Chris and his crew were wonderful. We ended up purchasing several items to add to our collections. Passing through the Panama Canal was interesting to watch as this was the biggest cruise ship to have ever gone through the canal, and there was press, and drones that flew by the ship as we moved though the journey. To sum the trip in a few words, it was wonderful. I would recommend this passage to anyone thinking of going through the canal. The Bliss is a large ship that doesn't feel large, (after the first couple of hours) and there is so much to do. We plan on doing this trip again in the future, but we'll go from LA to Miami. Thank you for a great vacation and we look for many more vacations with Norwegian. Bud and Lorraine Read Less
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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