Norwegian Bliss Cruise Review by SpartyTX
- Sail Date: June 2019
- Destination: Alaska
- Cabin Type: Mid-ship Balcony Stateroom
Overall the service was great on the ship, particularly our cabin steward. The only service issues we incurred were in two of the specialty restaurants Cagney's and La Cucina. Cagney's was too crowded and extremely slow, causing us to miss the comedy show we planned to attend after dinner. My wife complained to guest services and they were very apologetic, and sent chocolate covered strawberries to our cabin. I thought that was fine since we got to see the comedy show another day. La Cucina was OK but our server was a bit of a strange personality. However, we got to eat outside in late evening and had a spectacular view. Teppanyaki was great; we enjoyed the food and the service.
The free dining venues had good food and service. We ate at two of the free restaurants -- The Manhattan Room and Taste -- and had a good experience in both. The set menu for the week had good choices so we had no problem choosing. We also at breakfast every morning at the buffet, and had a late snack at The Local. I love the buffet breakfast on NCL ships. Lots of eggs, bacon, sausage, french toast, fruit, etc. We ate dinner there only once, and it was OK.
Bars were nothing exceptional, but the bartenders knew their drinks. Atrium bar is small on this ship compared to the Getaway. Our favorite was the Sugarcane Mohito Bar, which also had entertainment most nights. The observation lounge on deck 15 is a great place to drink and eat, and they have some entertainment too. Only complaint on that lounge is too many families taking up space, and too many people sleeping there. Otherwise it's a great place for some solitude and taking in the scenery.
The entertainment was first rate. Havana was very good and Jersey Boys was outstanding. However, they attempted to offer beverage service with servers in the aisles and they never seemed to give any service to people in the middle of the theater. They should just put a bar in the back of the theater and let people get their own drinks. If you go on the Bliss you have to see Beatlemania. These guys are outstanding, and they look and sound just like the Beatles. They did songs from the first Beatles album to the last, and they dressed in both 60s and 70s garb. I would pay to see that show again but it's a freebie on this ship. Don't miss it, especially if you are from the Beatles era.
Bliss has a go-kart track and laser tag but we did not attempt to do those activities. One lady told us she tried on Monday to sign up her son for the go-karts and they were already booked for the entire cruise. And it costs $10 a ride. The weather was nice enough that the pool got some use, and the hot tubs were popular as well.
The shore excursions were very good in Juneau and Skagway, but not so much in Ketchikan and Victoria. In Juneau we did the glacier tour by seaplane with a fresh Alaskan salmon dinner feast at Taku Lodge. The sights are phenomenal and the dinner was delicious. I highly recommend this excursion. In Skagway we took a ride on the White Pass railroad. We did the round trip on the train because we didn't want to do an 8 hour excursion by connecting with bus tours and hikes. It was nice but not as good as I expected. Some of the sights are hard to see due to all the trees lining the sides. Also, the best sights are all on one side so you get to see them either going out or coming back. Still, it was a worthwhile excursion. In Ketchikan we just walked around Creek Street as were only there 7am - 1pm. Fishing is the thing to do there but we passed on that. Victoria is a wasted stop but required by Canada to stop there. We arrived at 8pm on the last night and left again at midnight. We stayed on the ship and packed our bags for disembarkation the next days.
Embarkation and disembarkation seemed fine to us. It takes a while but both were efficient processes. The traffic around the pier is terrible and there is no good way to get to and from the airport. We used the NCL shuttle and it was fine. Nice to have them take care of your luggage at the airport and not have to deal with porters at the pier. We didn't spend any time in Seattle but I wish we had the time to do so.
Overall this was a very good cruise, and I highly recommend it. It's a bit pricey compared to the Caribbean but for me it was a bucket list trip, and well worth it. I would do it again but there are other places I want to go first. Next stop is Hawaii.
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews
Glacier BaySome gorgeous scenery as the ship goes around glacier bay, and you can relax and watch wherever you like. Some folks stay on an open deck up top, some in the observation lounge, some from cabin balconies. I spent some time on deck 8 on The Waterfront, with easy access to food and drinks while I sat in a comfortable chair and took pictures. This is a relaxing sea day with nice views.View All 720 Glacier Bay Cruise Port Reviews
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Float PlaneToured the Juneau ice field by air and had fresh grilled Alaskan salmon dinner at the Taku Lodge. Had time to hike a trail through the rainforest and take some pictures before returning via float plane. Excellent excursion.View All 83 Float Plane Reviews
KetchikanCreek Street is unique but not much to do except shop. And there are plenty of souvenir shops at this port.View All 1,760 Ketchikan Cruise Port Reviews
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White Pass Scenic RailwayTook a round trip train ride to the summit and back. Nice pictures at times, and some very cool things to see with tunnels and tressels. Only one side of the train gets to see each direction as all the scenery is on the left side going and the right side coming back. Not much to see on either side until the halfway point to the summit but overall a good time.View All 1,085 White Pass Scenic Railway Reviews
VictoriaA complete waste of time to stop here but required of NCL to do so. Didn't even get off the ship. Very limited excursions and only there a few hours at night.View All 1,283 Victoria Cruise Port Reviews
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