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Sail Date: April 2019
We enjoyed taking our 10 year old granddaughter on this cruise. It was a no-brainer as she lives in San Pedro and we live in Seattle. Fun to cruise the coast and end in Vancouver followed by a train ride home to Seattle. My wife and I ... Read More
We enjoyed taking our 10 year old granddaughter on this cruise. It was a no-brainer as she lives in San Pedro and we live in Seattle. Fun to cruise the coast and end in Vancouver followed by a train ride home to Seattle. My wife and I enjoyed sharing with her the cruise vacation lifestyle we love. She enjoyed the freedom of the Splash Academy but also hanging out with Grammy and Papi. She made friends, learned new things, loved the buffet, doing activities like watching the towel folding demonstration and more. We are already planning our next cruise with her for her 13th birthday in 2021. This way she can got to Entourage. My wife thought Jersey Boys was the best show we have ever seen on a cruise. We also made note that this also may be the best food we have ever had on a cruise. The only downside is due to Canadian and Washington State laws, the stores were closed the last three days and many of the bars as the ship was only allowed 8 bars open at any time. Finally, we had a great time doing laser tag as a family. We were on a team with another family and it was super fun. Note...be prepared to walk the stairs or wait for elevators. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
Our first time on a very large ship, previous cruises have always been on ships with less that 2000. While there were 4000 on this ship it seemed less crowded most times than a medium size vessel. We found some of the staff less than ... Read More
Our first time on a very large ship, previous cruises have always been on ships with less that 2000. While there were 4000 on this ship it seemed less crowded most times than a medium size vessel. We found some of the staff less than enthusiastic to provide more than the basic help, that tended to be more the exception than the rule and was really only in a couple of the bars. The room attendants were exceptional as were the staff in the Garden Cafe which is the buffet area. Speaking of the buffet, we found the food to be creative and well seasoned with more than ample serving stations and areas to get a seat. We did 2 nights of specialty dining. The French Bistro was a nice break because the room is quiet and the service was very good. One dish we had, the veal was excellent and the other one, sole was over cooked. 2 of the appetizers were less than good.Presentation was as one would expect in a French Bistro. The star attraction here was the desserts. We were on a dining package which allowed us to have 2 appies, 1 main and 1 dessert each. The other meal we chose to go to the Teppanyaki house. A form of group dining that we have not done for about 20 years. The food was ample and cooked perfectly, the chef at the grill very entertaining and the side service excellent. Note that this is fun and entertaining but not a place to go if your looking for a quiet meal. Tons of entertainment all over the ship and the bands tend to rotate from venue to venue during the cruise so most you get to see more than once so dont worry if you miss the first event they are at. We took the repositional cruise from San Pedro CA up to Vancouver Canada with stops in San Francisco and Victoria. Getting on and off the ship at ports of call was a breeze and ample time was given at ports to really get out and investigate the surrounding countryside. We did not partake in any of the ship offered excursions as we are very familiar with the places we were going and able to get around on public transit, walking or Uber. Victoria has a shuttle that runs you into downtown or you can walk the 20 minutes. In San Fran you are essentially within walking distance of plenty to do but would highly recommend taking the Hop On Hop off tours that pick you up right in front of the port parking lot. Back on the ship our room was a mini suite and smaller than we are used to. In general it would seem the rooms are smaller than most ships I have been on but still adequate. As a reasonable new ship everything was in good working order with plenty of water pressure and endless hot water. HVAC systems worked exceptionally well in the room and in all parts of the ship. For comfort, in many of the covered outdoor area's on the ship there are overhead heaters. At this time of year on the west coast it made it enjoyable to sit outside and eat or drink in many area's. That would not have been so without at. Very important as they have a deck with bars and patio extensions from several of the restaurants called the Waterfront. Other cool features on this ship are a 2 level go cart track powered by electric cars, A free fall water slide over the side of the ship, mini golf, Tube water slide and hot tubs that tend to hang over the side of the ship so you have a wonderful unobstructed view if you are in one when coming into a port or whale watching. Too many bars to list here (about 22 of them I think) and so many food options, plenty are complimentary and plenty are al a carte or have surcharges. From an authentic BBQ joint, to Sushi to a Jimmy Buffet Margarittavile burger joint there is something for everyone on this ship. 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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We chose the California Coastal 5 day cruise from Vancouver to Los Angeles which stopped in Victoria and San Francisco. After reading reviews on Cruise critic we booked the shows and restaurants we wanted to see before ... Read More
We chose the California Coastal 5 day cruise from Vancouver to Los Angeles which stopped in Victoria and San Francisco. After reading reviews on Cruise critic we booked the shows and restaurants we wanted to see before boarding.Boarding was quick and efficient as was disembarking. There was an issue in San Francisco because it was the first US port of entry with immigration.Everybody had to get off the ship and go through immigration. They started with cabins on Deck 15 and worked their way down to Deck 7. That process started at 8.20 am and as we were on Deck 8 we did not get off the ship until 1.30 pm, If you had booked excursions you were let off at 9 am. We did not really eat at the buffet except for a quick bowl of cereal but chose to eat at the Local for breakfast. It had a decent menu and the food / service was good. For dinner we ate at the Taste where it was much quieter than the Manhattan room with the same menu. The selection was good and the food tasted very good. The specialty restaurants we ate at Q and Los Lobos were just alright. Really enjoyed the District with its beer selection and views. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
This was a short 5 day cruise out of Vancouver with stops in Victoria and San Francisco before disembarking in Los Angeles. We don't normally take short cruises, but we wanted to experience a brand new ship. We had a wonderful time. ... Read More
This was a short 5 day cruise out of Vancouver with stops in Victoria and San Francisco before disembarking in Los Angeles. We don't normally take short cruises, but we wanted to experience a brand new ship. We had a wonderful time. Although this is one of NCL's larger ships we never felt overcrowded or overwhelmed. We have preferred smaller ships in the past but this changed our perspective. We arrived in Vancouver two days early to explore the city. We stayed at the Marriot Downtown Pinnacle. This is a perfect place to stay precruise because it is walking distance to many spots as well as to the cruise terminal. Unfortunately on embarkation day it was pouring down rain, so we took a taxi for a five minute ride. Because the ship arrived empty from Seattle, we were able to board early in the morning, about 10:00. There were no lines at all and were able to get to our room immediately. We immediately began exploring. The ship is easy to get around and all restaurants and bars are easy to locate. We had lunch in the garden buffet. Excellent variety of fresh food. We then checked out the rest of the ship. There is a giant screen TV at the main pool where live NFL football was on. They also show movies there at night. Very cool. Our bags were delivered to our room promptly and we met our room steward who was very pleasant. We are "Platinum Members" and we also had a meal plan so we dined at specialty restaurants each night. We ate Cagney"s which never disappoints, Ocean Blue, La Cucina, Los Lobos and Q. A little disappointed at the selection at Ocean Blue as they did not have lobster. They also dropped my wife's favorite tea that she had on the Getaway. La Cucina has been updated and was very good. Los Lobos and Q are both new restaurants. Los Lobos was upscale Mexican complete with table side guacamole preparation. The rest of the menu was excellent. Q is the new barbecue restaurant and was excellent as well. As far as bars, the new District Brew Pub had a great variety of micro brews on tap. We also enjoyed the on board entertainment. We watched Havana, which was okay, would have preferred more music along the lines of Buena Vista Social Club. The Jersey Boys production was top notch. We also watched a comedy show from Levity. First comedian was okay, the second was hilarious Dylan Mendalsohn. The Cavern Club was a great venue for 60s 70s and 80s music The bands were also great. The cruise only had two stops, Victoria and San Francisco. We have spent time in both places, so we simply walked off the ship and and walked around town. There are plenty of things to do on board, but the only thing we tried was the waterslide that extended over the ship. You get loaded into a tube and the bottom drops out from below you. It was fun and exciting. Disembarkation was a breeze. We were renting a car offsite in order to drive to Disneyland for a couple of days so we carried our own suitcases off, quick and easy. All in all for a short cruise we had a great time. We would love to do the Bliss for another longer cruise. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We took the five day Pacific Coastal (re-positioning) Cruise on the Bliss and had a great experience. I was a bit nervous having read many mixed reviews about the Bliss but would certainly sail on the Bliss again in the future. There ... Read More
We took the five day Pacific Coastal (re-positioning) Cruise on the Bliss and had a great experience. I was a bit nervous having read many mixed reviews about the Bliss but would certainly sail on the Bliss again in the future. There were some minor negatives, but overall it was an excellent experience. One thing that is clear about the Bliss is that it benefits those that like to plan ahead or, on the other end of the spectrum, those that are extremely relaxed about what they do or do not experience on the cruise (eg just show up and see if it works out). If you are in the middle, it is a lot easier to be disappointed on the Bliss. For those that are planners, making specialty restaurant and show reservations through the NCL website well in advance of departure is a must. I would say make the reservations as soon as you can. Then, once you board, go to a screen on the ship and make go-kart, laser tag and any additional show reservations (those that couldn't be reserved online) right away. This will help ensure the best experience. That being said, if you are not a planner and just go with the flow there seemed to be enough cancellations, no-shows, etc..., that you can do just about everything. Again, you just can't have that expectation. I suspect that many of those disappointed in the Bliss fall somewhere in between these two ends of the spectrum. Those that want to eat at 7pm at Le Bistro or Cagney's on the first sea day, but wait to make a reservation until they get onboard will not be happy. With that being said, some of the points from the Bliss are: Embarkation -- Vancouver + NCL was a great experience -- I never got on a ship so quickly or so easily. Cabin - small but workable space. We had a balcony cabin on the 11th deck and it easily fit 2 adults + a teen. The free movie options on the TV were an improvement. Storage space was good. I felt the bed was a bit firm compared to other cruises. Dining - We ate at specialty restaurants 3 nights, the main dining room 1 night and the buffet 1 night. All were good and we did not have a bad experience. The buffet was a real highlight and one of the better cruise buffets I have experienced. On past NCL cruises it seemed that the staff was slow in cleaning tables at the buffet, that was not the case on the Bliss. The food in the main dining room (Manhattan Room) was as good as the specialty restaurants, but the service was nowhere near as good. Our best meal was at Le Bistro. We also hit up the Local several times on the cruise and feel this is a vast improvement over O'Sheehans. Entertainment and Activities -- Very good experience with Laser Tag and Go Karts. I felt they were expensive going in (they are), but worth it. Bars were good and I especially liked the district brew house -- I hope this concept catches on for additional ships. Pool and slides were crowded even in cooler weather. This is a constant issue on megaships like the Bliss. I will say they added enough hot tubs at different locations and that was a plus. Night club was a ton of fun with better than average cruise DJs. Jersey Boys was amazing, Havana was terrible (I think it was written by a 6th grade drama class that ran out of time). Spa -- Had to set this aside as it was my least favorite aspect of the cruise. The actual set up is nice, so that is not the issue. The problem is the hard sell. Can I just get a sign/flag that says "I don't want to buy anything". The don't have the Brazilian steakhouse on the Bliss, but the green button / red button system could also work. If I am paying $200 for a service, I don't need you to lay into me to buy $250 miracle cream. Sure, let me know what is available, but a sales pitch in the guise of a "consultation" is an awful experience. I was waiting for the attendant to say "well, if you don't want my shampoo for $100 an once, are you interested in hearing about a timeshare I am selling". Service -- Good service, they got the job done with a smile. Ports -- It is not the fault of the ship (it is a customs/immigration issue) but the delay to get off the ship in San Fran should have been explained better in advance. I live close enough to SF that we did not have big plans, but felt bad that were visiting the city for the first and possibly only time. We did not do any ship based excursions. I look forward to the possibility of sailing on the Bliss again. For the right type(s) of traveler it is a really great experience. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Our first cruise so we kept it short and close to home for this trip. Turns out everything was great. Beautiful ship, great service, good food so overall a really nice vacation. Room was clean and well appointed. Only lineups were after ... Read More
Our first cruise so we kept it short and close to home for this trip. Turns out everything was great. Beautiful ship, great service, good food so overall a really nice vacation. Room was clean and well appointed. Only lineups were after safety / muster point talk. Shows were fun and good quality. Speciality dining was really good. We really enjoyed the meals at Q and Cagney’s. the casino was fun although the smoking room didn’t have much ventilation so it was really smokey. Our only complaint was the time it took for everyone to disembark in San Francisco and get through customs (5 hours) but this had nothing to do with NCL, just US border security. The crew and staff were all very friendly and professional and always took the time to say hello and ask how your day was going. We will be booking a second cruise soon. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
My husband and I booked this coastal cruise on the Bliss from Vancouver to LA just to experience this huge new ship. The cruise was only 5 days so we were very busy just trying to see, find and experience all the fantastic things she had ... Read More
My husband and I booked this coastal cruise on the Bliss from Vancouver to LA just to experience this huge new ship. The cruise was only 5 days so we were very busy just trying to see, find and experience all the fantastic things she had to offer! Of course the go-cart racing was one of the big attractions. We didn't participate but had fun watching all the excitement and fun that everyone was having. The dining rooms were elegant and the food was plated nicely, served hot and tasted delicious( this also included Los Lobos, Cagney's and La Cucina, Garden Buffet and the Local) Will have to plan another trip to sample all the other restaurants! The shows were Jersey Boys and Havana and the Social Prohibition...Wow...top notch and very professional. Music venues and lounges proved to be very entertaining and very popular with all age groups. Getting on and off the ship was seamless, immigration in San Francisco was a bit rough but being a new ship with that many passengers, I am sure they will get the bugs worked out before the next sailing. As usual the staff was inviting and took extra special care of us. All had a smile and something pleasant to chat about. The décor, staterooms, public venues and restrooms were extremely nice. My only complaint was having to wait an unusually long time for elevators. There are only 2 banks for the entire ship. 8 forward and 8 aft. This was an exciting new ship to cruise on...she certainly has ALL the bells and whistles anyone could ask for! Give it a try, we think you will enjoy it. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We decided to book this cruise as it was on the new ship Bliss. The Bliss is a Gateway Plus class, however it should be it’s own class as it’s so different. We stayed in an Haven Spa Suite. It was amazing. Very spacious, walk in ... Read More
We decided to book this cruise as it was on the new ship Bliss. The Bliss is a Gateway Plus class, however it should be it’s own class as it’s so different. We stayed in an Haven Spa Suite. It was amazing. Very spacious, walk in closet and a therapeutic bath in the room. The Haven was really nice with the private lounge, observation deck, private pool and restaurant. The staff working in the Haven were just amazing. Very nice and so helpful. Thank you! The cruise itself was nice. We got on in Vancouver and got off in LA. We had two stops, Victoria and San Francisco. Although we were lucky to be the first one to get off in San Francisco, the mandatory Immigration took a very long time. We couldn’t go back on the ship before everyone had cleared Immigration (Customs). The only thing that I can complain about is the speciality restaurants. We had 3 speciality restaurants with our package. We loved Q but was disappointed with Los Lobos. Not worth using as one of your speciality restaurants. They are also charging extra if you want to go to Ocean’s. The Haven restaurant was so good that we cancelled one of our speciality restaurants. I wish we had canceled Los Lobos. Other than that and really this was small, the rest of the cruise was fantastic. I would recommend the Bliss. Beautiful ship. Love the observation Lounge. I hope to do another cruise on the Bliss or it’s sister ship the Joy very soon. Thank you! Read Less
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