Wonderful Ship and Excellent Crew

Norwegian Bliss Cruise Review to Caribbean - Eastern

Cruises: 1 cruise (first)
Reviews: 2
Helpful Votes: 53

Overall rating:

4.6 out of 5
Norwegian Bliss

7 Night Eastern Caribbean (Miami Roundtrip)

Sail date: March 02, 2019

Ship: Norwegian Bliss

Traveled as: Singles/Friends

Reviewed: 3 years ago

Review summary

NCL Bliss is a beautiful, but very large :)) ship. Taking a cruise has been on my bucket list for many years, & was finally able to mark it off. After debating whether or not to go to Alaska or Caribbean, decided on Eastern Caribbean. Ports included Tortola, BVI; St Thomas, VI and Nassau, Bahamas. Arrived in Miami Thursday prior to Saturday embarkation. Explored Miracle Mile as was near hotel, was not that impressed. Next time will plan something more entertaining, as there is much to do there. When first arrived at Miami Port on day of embarkation, didn't know what to expect, except what I had read. However, went extremely smooth & quick. Was onboard within 30 mins. or so of arrival. Stayed in studio staterooms newly developed on cruise ships specifically for solo travelers such as myself. We had our own beautiful studio lounge w/expresso machine, snacks, water, juice, etc. Even have wine station but it is pay per glass, not part of beverage package. JP set up several function for solo travelers, such as daily meet & greets, dinners and shows to attend as a group, if desired. However, I choose to do most of the stuff on my own as I had made reservations couple months ahead of cruise for shows and dinner. Activities crew, which included cruise director Dan Dan, Junior, Anika, among others, were very entertaining, putting together many trivia games, as well as their own version of Deal or No Deal game in the atrium daily. Among one of my favorite things participated in was learning the "Thriller" dance by the late Michael Jackson. Other favorites included the hilarious late night 18+ comedy show at the Social Comedy Club. Headliner was Steve Smith. He had us rolling in laughter entire 30 mins or so he was onstage. Couple nights later they had a first come first serve (no reservations required) 18+ show in Bliss Theater, which also included Spencer James. He too put on an extremely entertaining show. Attended Havana show, which was good. However, really enjoyed Jersey Boys show. Both of which I highly recommend you reserve ahead of time online, as soon as your are able if you are interested. Complimentary dining rooms were good for most part. Only down side was I felt service was slow at times, but staff was very friendly. Enjoyed to breaded Founder at Manhattan Room. Only 2 specialty restaurant I tried were Los Lobos & Margaritaville. Had chicken enchiladas @ Los Lobos....very delicious, & Chicken Quesadillas at Margaritaville....also very good. Only wish would have been a larger helping, instead of only two enchiladas. Had made reservations to Cagney's Steakhouse & Q Smokehouse, but decided not to go. Maybe next time. Took advantage of complimentary room service a couple of mornings for breakfast with croissant rolls, fresh fruit, cereal, etc. Couple of different Omelettes or French Toast were available for fee of $7.95. Choose Ultimate Beverage package for promo. As I am not a very heavy drinker, probably would not have purchased it had that not been the case. However, did enjoy margaritas, pina coladas, other mixed drinks & beer. Tried my first Mojito...Raspberry Guave which I truly enjoyed. Average of $10.95 each for the drinks I had, as well as a couple of sodas. Of course gratitude of promo package is added to cost of cruise, believe it was around $105 to $110, maybe little more. As with many other guest, had issue at pool deck with guest "reserving" sun loungers for themselves or friends/family members, by placing towels, shoes, hats etc while they went to breakfast or whatever they did, despite being requested to refrain for doing this. Would walk out there looking for chair, only to find more than half the chairs had stuff in them, but no one was there. They say there is a 30 min rule and your belonging will be removed if you are not there. However witnessed firsthand this rule is not enforced. For ship that size it needs larger pool area and they need to implement a stricter policy regard the lounge chairs. They do have separate adult and kid pool area which I liked. Pulse Fitness center was very nice, lots of equipment and machines. though I only made it there once. Also have nice jogging/walking tracking. Did lot of walking though as took stairs 99% if the time. Shore Excursions I had were not exactly what I had hoped they would be. Tried to experience scuba diving in Tortola for first time but wasn't able to make it out to do a deep dive as I had hope. Didn't feel comfortable enough after an hour of being trained the basics. In St Thomas went Castaway Girl Sailing and Snorkeling to Buck Island. My only real issue was there were way too many people (80) for this one excursion. Could not move in water without someone kicking or bumping into you or vice versa. We were in groups in order for guides to go through some details of area with you during snorkeling. In Nassau, I had one day all inclusive day pass to RIU Palace. Was not what I expected. Very loud music blaring most of time, and of course that was only day we experience not so great weather. Walked on beach some, got rock by some waves on shoreline. Very refreshing. Each location we visited had the most beautiful blue clear waters I'd ever seen. Will definitely cruise on the Bliss again. Took advantage of their CruiseNext program where you can make one to four deposits for future cruises and get onboard credit amounts based on how many deposits you place. You have up to four years to use them and decide where you want to go. Next cruise will probably be to Alaska, hopefully.

Embarkation

5 out of 5
Much smoother than I had expected based on what I had read from other reviews

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

4 out of 5
Was not crazy about much of buffet food, enjoyed breaded flounder at Manhattan Room. Tried Savor and Taste as well. Wish they have little larger selections. Food at Los Lobos and Margaritaville were very tasty.

Onboard Activities

5 out of 5
Fitness center is great, though only visited once. Pool area too small for such a large ship. Had issues, of course, with many people reserving chairs, There would be over half the chairs on deck with towels, hats, shoes, etc and not a single person to be seen using those chairs. I mean some had up to 5 to 7 chairs in a row saved. Only spent one day by pool deck and personally experienced these chairs would remain "saved" for over an hour, and longer.

Entertainment

5 out of 5
Excellent. Dan Dan (Cruise Director), Junior and Anika were great activities host in atrium. Many trivia games take place, in addition to Deal or No Deal games daily. Only wish Deal or No Deal cards would have been little cheaper tha $25 each. Only purchased one card.

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
Very friendly, helpful, courtesy. Willing to help in anyway necessary to make sure your cruise went smoothly.

Ship Quality

5 out of 5
Beautiful ship. Often saw crew cleaning common areas throughout the day. Of course you had those disrespectgful guests who would drop/throw paper in stairwell and hallway areas.

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5
Very nice small studio built for solo travers such as myself. Only complaint is wish there would have been small table or eating area so you didn't have to eat on bed. Had small misfortune of spilling orange juice one day while eating breakfast from room service.

Ship tip

I guess just be alittle more patient than I was with people (guests) onboard. So many selfish, self entitled, rude people in today's society.

Ports of call

Miami, Florida

3 out of 5
Walked around Miracle Mile.....Not that impressed. Only choose this as it was near my hotel and I didn't want to spend too much money on public transportation and events before even left on cruise. Saving money for other excursions, etc.

Tortola, British Virgin Islands

5 out of 5
Port itself was very beautiful, clear blue crystal waters. I chose to do scuba diving lessons as wanted to learn. Unfortunately wasn't comfortable enough to go through with deep water diving yet.

Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas

5 out of 5
Again, Island itself is beautiful. Just too many people on our excursion. They even said we were a much larger group than they normally took at once. There were 80 people, when normal group is between 40 and 50. We went sailing and snorkeling to Buck Island.

Nassau, Bahamas

4 out of 5
First, off took water taxi to where RIU Palace was (near Atlantis). Once onboard water taxi, we had to wait at least 20 mins or more as he would not leave until taxi was full. Once water taxi reached destination, had to walk long way to get to destination. Don't mind walking, its only had a certain amount of time and by time I reached excursion it was almost 90mins since I left ship. And of course it was only day where weather was not the best, cloudy and rainy so didn't really get to enjoy the all day inclusive pass as I had hoped. Did get to walk along shoreline some.

Disembarkation

5 out of 5
Not bad. Little longer time that embarkation but still better that I expected. Was very easy to locate luggage and find bus that took me to Miami airport.

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