Posted by: Tom Baker | June 11, 2018

BEAUTIFUL BLISS!!!


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I recently sailed for two days on Norwegian Cruise Line’s beautiful and BEST SHIP to date, the 2018 Norwegian Bliss… The most amazing change besides her stunning interior décor is the amazing forward facing double deck observation lounges found both in the private Haven complex (for suite guests) as well as the massive side flanking and forward facing general public observation lounge which is one of the largest and most elegant complexes at sea…

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The 168,600-ton, 1070 feet long, 138 feet wide, 4,200-passenger, and 1716 crew members, 1 billion dollar cruise ship boasts the innovative features found on Norwegian Getaway and Norwegian Breakaway, as well as a number of new interactive experiences. The new miracle by NCL features an expanded Haven – the line’s concept “ship within a ship”. This space (accessible only by keycard) boast an outdoor terrace, private restaurant, courtyard area with retractable roof pool, whirlpools, spa treatment rooms, separate sauna, private sundeck. Other differences from the Breakaway-class NCL vessels are: more Haven Suites (42 to 55), 26 additional Penthouses, 14 Spa access suites, more Studio cabins (59 to 82). The home port of the ship is Port of Miami.

Bliss itinerary program

Norwegian Bliss itinerary program is based on weekly 7-day Alaska voyages departing Seattle on Saturdays. Passengers experience the wildlife and beauty of Alaska while visiting Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan, and enjoy the charm of Victoria BC.

Following the inaugural Alaskan season, the ship was homeported in Miami, Florida for the winter season 2018-2019, with scheduled 7-day Caribbean roundtrips to St Thomas USVI, Tortola BVI, Nassau Bahamas.

In January 2018, NCL announced that for winter season 2019-2020, the Bliss ship will be homeported in NYC- New York. From NYC, the ship will operates on roundtrip itineraries to Caribbean (a total of 18 voyages). Ranging from 7- to 14-days, the itineraries visit call ports in Bahamas (Nassau, Great Stirrup Cay), St Lucia, St. Thomas USVI, Antigua, Jamaica (Ocho Rios), Puerto Rico (San Juan), Barbados, St Maarten, St Kitts, Roatan, Mexico (Costa Maya, Cozumel), Belize (Harvest Caye).

Bliss Cabins

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Most Norwegian Bliss staterooms are 170-tt2 Balcony rooms (1088). There are a total of 2206 staterooms in 42 categories. 47 are the wheelchair accessible rooms. The largest staterooms are the Haven Deluxe Owner’s Suites (900 ft2). The ship offers 82 single cabins (studio staterooms designed for solo travelers) with virtual views and exclusive Studio Lounge. The ship also features many family cabins (connecting staterooms) across most categories.

Bliss Dining options – Food & Drinks

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Norwegian Cruise Line introduced Norwegian Bliss’ à la carte specialty dining at the signature specialty restaurants onboard, providing passengers the freedom to savor gourmet dishes, various tastes and the flexibility to choose the number of courses to enjoy during the meal. On Norwegian Bliss guests can choose between 11 complimentary dining options. They can also experience new flavors at signature specialty restaurants, such as Le Bistro, La Cucina, Cagney’s Steakhouse and Ocean Blue. Norwegian’s signature specialty restaurants feature enhanced menus including favorite dishes and new tastes. Whether passengers prefer a light meal of a favorite soup or appetizer, or indulge in a dinner featuring Maine lobster, with the new à la carte options, they have the opportunity to create their own, desired dining experience.

  • The shipboard dining options feature the new “Q Texas Steakhouse” (barbecue eatery with live country music). The menu includes brisket, chicken, ribs and sausages smoked over oak, pecan and hickory woods. A modern Mexican restaurant is named Los Lobos (first debuted on Norwegian Dawn in 2016). I dined here one night and the food was surprisingly excellent as were the margaritas!
  • Adjacent to Los Lobos is The A-List Bar, serving handcrafted cocktails, premium spirits and wines.

Norwegian Bliss is the first NCL ship with full-service Starbucks store. The first Starbucks at sea was opened in 2010 on Allure of the Seas (Royal Caribbean). Another new for NCL amenity is the chocolate-themed dessert outlet Coco’s (patisserie / treat shop), serving handmade pralines, crepes, truffles and other treats paired with specialty teas and coffees.

Follows the complete list of Norwegian Bliss restaurants and food bars.

  • Private Room at Taste (100-seat, group private dining venue)
  • Savor Restaurant (forward Dining Room, complimentary)
  • Taste Restaurant (forward Dining Room, complimentary, with Your Time dining)
  • Le Bistro (French specialty dinner-only restaurant; reservations-only; US$20 cover charge)
  • Teppanyaki (Japanese Hibachi specialty, reservations-only restaurant; US$25; open for Lunch and Dinner; features live cooking demonstrations)
  • Manhattan Room (aft-location Dining Room; complimentary; Freestyle dining, Dinner only)
  • O’Sheehan’s Neighbourhood Bar & Grill is now called The Local (sports bar, with 24-hour American cuisine – burgers, steaks, desserts; complimentary)
  • Food Republic (via partnership with Pubbelly Restaurant Group; specialty restaurant open for lunch through dinner, offers international cuisine; iPad ordering system)
  • Cagney’s Steakhouse (specialty dinner restaurant for prime steaks and gourmet seafood specialties; reservations-only, US$30 cover charge per person and free Kids Menu)
  • La Cucina (Italian specialty restaurant; reservations-only, US$15 cover charge; with outdoor seating waterfront area)
  • Ocean Blue Restaurant (seafood restaurant)
  • Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville At Sea (debuted in Southampton on October 27, 2015 as a complimentary fast food restaurant; however, in November 2015 NCL confirmed that the first ever Margaritaville at Sea aboard Norwegian Bliss, would operate as a specialty a la carte restaurant, due to “crowd-control reasons”)
  • Garden Cafe (complimentary buffet restaurant with various cuisine stations)
  • Q (Texas barbecue eatery)
  • Los Lobos (Mexican restaurant)
  • Coco’s (chocolate-themed dessert outlet)
  • The A-List Bar (serving handcrafted cocktails, premium spirits and wines)
  • Starbucks coffee shop & store.

Entertainment options – Fun & Sport

The Bliss vessel features expanded 55-suite Haven, a spacious sundeck, 2 whirlpools, private dining and specialty restaurants, expanded courtyard, outdoor terrace, Thermal suite, treatment rooms (14 – suite Heaven SPA) and fitness center.

NCL Bliss is the world’s second cruise ship (together with NCL Joy) featuring a Ferrari racetrack (deck 19). It’s a first for a cruise ship based in North America. The facility is built by RiMO Supply (RiMO Germany Group) and operated via partnership with Scuderia Ferrari Watches. This is also the first ever branded Formula 1 race car track.

  • The 2-level track spans on 2 decks and offers incredible sea views at height of 60 m  (200 ft). It has capacity up to 10 racers at a time on electric go-karts (Ferrari branded).
  • The Go Cars can reach speeds up to 40 mph (65 kph). In comparison to the sister-ship Norwegian Joy, Bliss’ racetrack is 40% longer and has 10 turns (Joy has 8), two of which are cantilevered over the ship’s side.
  • Passengers booked in Concierge and The Haven staterooms enjoy complimentary rides with bookings. The used by RiMO technology ensures optimal usage under intensified UV conditions and saltwater exposure.

NCL Bliss features an open-air laser tag course on the top deck. Other top-deck features are Aqua Park )with 2 multi-deck water slides, one with a hull-extending loop, one with transparent loop section stretching down to the below deck), 2 racing slides (inner tubes with length over 110 m / 360 ft) with a transparent section.

Pool Deck 16 has 2 pools (located away from the deck’s center) and cantilevered whirlpools (hot tubs over the ship’s sides). A water fun kids zone (on top deck) has splash pads, tipping buckets, water cannons and slides.

Follows the complete list of Norwegian Bliss lounges, clubs and other entertainment venues for kids, teens and adults.

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  • Bliss Theatre (800-seat; features Broadway-style musical productions; two grand-shows per night). Theater’s signature programming features the new Broadway musical show “Jersey Boys” (“Best Musical” 2006 Tony Award, rock ‘n’ roll themed) and the “Four Seasons” musical (NCL exclusive production show by Warren Carlyle / themed on Cuba’s culture – dancing, music, costumes).
  • The Supper Club (theatrical entertainment dining venue, with grand-style aerial acrobatics; surcharge $30-40 PP)
  • Atrium (3-deck midship hub area – “678 Ocean Place”, with a big-size LED screen, dance area and live entertainment)
  • Atrium Cafe & Bar (specialty tea & coffee bar)
  • The Library; Card Room; Internet Cafe (24-hour)
  • Headliners Comedy Club & Lounge
  • Mixx Bar (live piano music; pre-dinner cocktails); Bar 21; 5 O’Clock Somewhere Bar; Tobacco Road Liquor Bar; The Humidor (cigar lounge); The Cellars Wine Bar; Sugarcane Mojito Bar; Prime Meridian Bar; Studio Lounge
  • Carlo’s Bake Shop (cakes, pastries, bakeries; cupcake classes)
  • Art Gallery
  • The Cavern Club replica of the Liverpool music club, Beatles music, tribute bands performances)
  • Bliss Casino (served by Skyline Bar)
  • The District Brew House (craft beer hall featuring a keg room, 24 draft beers on tap and 50 different bottled beers; via partnership with Wynwood Brewing Company, Miami)
  • Dolce Gelato (Italian ice cream)
  • Atrium Boutiques (tax-duty free shops); Photo Gallery & Shop
  • Waterfront Promenade (1320 ft/402 m long; open air dining and entertainment venues)
  • Aqua Park (3-deck, with two pools, 2 racing twist-slides and 5 multi-level waterslides)
  • Kids venues, club lounges (Kid’s Aqua Park, Splash Academy for kids 3-12 yo, Guppies Nursery for kids 6 months to 2 yo)
  • Mandara Spa & Fitness (Thermal Suite, Snow Room, Salt Room, Medi Spa, 24 Treatment Rooms, Beauty Salon, Barber Shop, fitness classes)
  • Spice H2O (adults only; served by Breezeway Bar & Grill)
  • Entourage Teen Centre (jukeboxes, table football, video arcades, teen disco)
  • “The Haven” (Suite- and Villa-passengers only complex; consists of The Haven Courtyard, The Haven Restaurant, The Haven Lounge)
  • Rock Climbing Wall; Jogging Track; Sports Complex (Spider Web – enclosed 24ft/7m tall kids climbing wall with spiral slide, Bungee Trampoline, 9-hole Mini Golf course, the largest at sea Ropes course, Zip Line, The Plank – 8ft/2,5m extending platform)
  • Vibe Beach Club (adults only).

This is a ship for all tastes and budgets and is one of the best ships introduced to date. Please check out my complete photo tour: https://cruisecenter.smugmug.com/Toms-Norwegian-Bliss-Gallery-May-2018.

Happy Cruising!

 


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