Training and learning about the products, ships and destinations that our clients are experiencing is top priority to all of us at Embrace the Journey Travel! Here’s a snapshot about one of our planners, Danielle, experiences as she toured and experienced the Norweigan Bliss.
I had the privilege to go with my husband and daughter to experience Norwegian Cruise Lines, aboard The Norwegian Bliss with Norwegian’s Seminar at Sea program and it was amazing!
The Norwegian Bliss during the summer months sails Alaska roundtrip from Seattle. Because this was a Seminar at Sea and also a repositioning cruise, (meaning they were moving the ship from Alaska down to LA to sail the Mexican Riviera for the winter) our cruise sailed from Vancouver down to LA.
We definitely fell in love with Vancouver the few extra days that we spent there, so make sure to be on the lookout for a Vancouver only post coming soon!
Now, to the ship….
She is truly a stunner! Inside and out she is beautiful! On the hull of the ship, the artist Wyland painted a beautiful ocean scape that definitely had the Pacific Northwest in mind. Whales, seals, turtles and more are on display and beautifully done! The sheer size of her is remarkable!
We were in awe of the first glimpse we had of her next to Canada Place! She is huge compared to other ships sailing in and out of Vancouver and Seattle. With 20 decks and at 1,094 ft. long, she makes her presence known.
As we boarded we were greeted by friendly staff welcoming us onto the ship and offering any help we may need. Something that you definitely feel throughout the interior of the ship, is the feel of Alaska. The shades of blues, whites and earth tones are very inviting and fit perfectly for the area that she sails.
We decided to first head to our room to check out our space for the week.
Our room was on deck 10, midship balcony (Stateroom 10866). It was a very comfortable room with a king bed (2 twins put together) and a sofa that made it into a twin bed. In the room we also had a fully stocked refrigerator (extra $) and my favorite item… a coffee maker with great coffee!
The stateroom entertainment or TV console has a great feature for you to check out what’s going on, your reserved activities and dining times and also your shipboard account to help you keep track of your purchases onboard. I will tell you as far as TV goes, we really didn’t spend much time surfing channels because this ship has so much to offer!
Our stateroom bathroom was perfect for what we needed. In the “BA” balcony category, the bathrooms include a glass enclosed stand up shower, 1 sink and facilities. Norwegian also offers shampoo, conditioner and body wash dispensers in the shower, as well as, lotion and soap samples.
On the Bliss there are an extraordinary array of restaurants, bars and areas to just relax.
During our cruise we choose to eat at each of the complimentary restaurants. The Manhattan Room and Taste & Savor all offer the same menu, but each have their own flair. These restaurants were coursed and definitely felt a notch above. We also frequented the Garden Cafe and The Local. The Garden Cafe is the buffet onboard, which I will say we really enjoyed! Normally I am not a huge buffet fan, but it was good and the views are great!
The Local was definitely my daughters favorite! They serve things like, reuben sandwiches, burgers, wings, nachos and it has an awesome vibe. It had the feel of a Chili’s or TGI Fridays.
Now, the FUN!
Norwegian has so many fun things to do onboard!
They have Broadway shows, RaceTrack at Sea, laser tag, arcade, casinos, the Observation Lounge, game shows, kids clubs and so much more! There is something for everyone!
One thing to definitely know is SETUP RESERVATIONS!
When you get onboard the first day, go to any of the elevator banks. They have 2 touch screens by each bank that you can easily make reservations for shows, the racetrack, laser tag and dining. Most fill up quickly so don’t wait!
If you think you might want to do the racetrack or laser tag multiple times, go ahead and reserve. You can always call in and cancel later. You will just need one of your room keys to make the reservations.
Our first thing we had to experience was the RaceTrack at Sea!
Norwegian has teamed up with K1 Racing to offer an incredible experience at the TOP of the Bliss, Joy and soon the new Encore. After a safety briefing you are on the track. It was so much fun and I highly recommend it! It does cost to do this, so make sure and budget for it because trust me, you’ll want to! We had such a great time we did it twice! ($19.95 per rider, cost subject to change)
Next was Laser Tag! Oh my goodness, this was the highlight for us! We had so much fun that we did it twice too! Laser tag is on deck 20, so be prepared if it’s chilly and dress accordingly. I will say though, you will be moving around so much no matter how cold it is you’re bound to break a sweat! With this game there are 2 teams and each team competes to win by shooting lasers at the other teams guns. We experienced it once during the day and then once at night. If you are only going to do it once, for sure go at night! The laser beams can be seen and put a whole other spin on the game. SO FUN!!!
One area on the Bliss that is beyond amazing is the Observation Lounge.
This area also screams Alaska in such an elegant understated way. Couches, loungers, bar setting and quiet corners all are so inviting and make you want to stay for a while. At night, they have a pianist that is incredible. She plays and sings on request some of the more beautiful music and it is such a relaxed fun atmosphere. If you wanted to find my husband and I each evening, you would just have to come to the white circle couch in the Observation Lounge.
My daughter’s favorite area onboard was Splash Academy (Kids Club, ages 3-12).
We literally could not get her out! I was very impressed with the security measures that were in place and the professionalism of the kids staff. On the first day, of our cruise we went to Splash Academy and got her setup with a wrist band that she wore the entire cruise and then she was good to go! Each day they had different themes, such as survivor, spy night, glow party, circus, pajama party and more.
The staff does a great job with the theming and getting the kids excited to be there. Norwegian also offers Port Play. We had 2 days in Victoria so on day 2 my daughter chose to stay onboard in Port Play and she LOVED it!
There is a minimal charge for lunch ($4) during Port Play, but it was well worth it! My husband and I had a great time and so did she! Splash Academy also offers late night activities. Splash Academy normally closes at 10:30pm but for an additional fee of $6 per hour, kids can staff and have fun up until 1am. This was great for those nights that shows don’t start until 10:30.
On our next Norwegian Cruise she will be in Entourage (Teen Club) and she’s already excited!
Let the shows begin!
We really enjoyed the shows onboard! We saw Six, Jersey Boys and Clinton Jackson at the Comedy Club and Prohibition.
Six is a brand new Broadway show that is debuting on the Bliss. It is about King Henry’s 6 wives. It has great music and loved the spin on the history!
Jersey Boys is about Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. Loved the music and the story, but be warned if you have younger ones, there is quite a bit of language.
Clinton Jackson was the comedian onboard and he was hilarious!!! Highly recommend checking his show out! If you want something that will leave you still laughing and possibly a bit tipsy (well, probably more than a bit tipsy) than Prohibition is a must! We had the best time!!
Take my advice and get there a little early to get a good seat and then sit back and play along! This show is definitely not for kids (age says 16, but I would probably recommend a bit higher). They do serve each guest that is of age, 5 prohibition style full cocktails, so come ready! It’s a great time of laughing, drinking, fun and possibly a little dancing! If you are interested in this there is a charge of $35 per person, but well worth it!! (Cost subject to change)
Overall, we had a great time on the Bliss!
It’s a great ship for families, multigenerational groups, and couples. With Norwegian and their FreeStyle cruising the fun keeps going and you’re on your time! Whether you enjoy the fast pace of the racetrack, the casinos, dancing until the sun comes up or sitting back on knitting (yes, saw this too!), The Bliss has it all!
A little about myself, the guest blog writer… Danielle Hupp
Travel is not just something I enjoy, but a passion! My husband, daughter and I travel as much as possible! We have had many great adventures, but our favorite place to visit is Alaska! We love the wildlife, nature, and incredible people that surround us when we are there! My favorite place in Alaska to visit is Denali! I wish everyone could go and experience the vast wilderness that Denali holds. It is an incredible place!