Norwegian Cruise Line just launched their newest ship, Norwegian Bliss and 5 of us Clickies got to be the first people to sail into the sunset on it. The inaugural cruise went from Hamburg to Southampton but Bliss will be sailing around the Caribbean and Alaska.
Here’s our lowdown on the latest addition to their fleet…
The Food on Norwegian Bliss
You’re not stuck for food options on Bliss and honestly, I still have fleeting thoughts of the hot butter baked pretzels from The Local. On the 7th deck, complimentary and open 24 hours, The Local is an ideal place for breakfast (yum French Toast), lunch or the aforementioned post-nightclub pretzels.
The main dining was split into three restaurants so you felt like you were in an individual restaurant instead of a sprawling room with hundreds of hungry passengers. We had dinner in The Manhattan Room and Taste and breakfast in Savor. For dinner, they serve everything from Beef Wellington, sirloin steak and lamb shank to scallops and lobster to risotto and tortellini… the list of delicious food is endless!
The Garden Café buffet was airy and well-spaced so you wouldn’t be bumping into people with your tray, which is something all the team noted in comparison to some other cruise ships. It had an area in the middle with high stools for more casual dining, which again added to the spaciousness of it.
The speciality dining options, of which there are 16, were designed to perfection. For example, Cagney’s Steakhouse has large, comfortable armchair seats and, depending on the weather, you have the option of dining inside or along the boardwalk.
Norwegian Cruise Line, and indeed Bliss, also have freestyle dining. What does that mean? It means there are no fixed dining times and no pre-assigned seating. It gives you the freedom to enjoy the ship and its food at your own pace.
Facilities on Norwegian Bliss
The Pool Area
The pool area and sun deck are spread across the 16th and 17th deck.
On the pool deck are the two pools with sun loungers galore, two fantastic waterslides, two bars, the kids aqua park, Mandara Spa and the Garden Café. While we didn’t test out the waterslides ourselves, we saw two women have multiple goes on the Aqua Racer and they loved it.
The fitness centre is also on this level and we have it on good word that the spinning class is excellent. It even has a leaderboard to keep you motivated!
On the sun deck, there is the running track, jacuzzis, Spice H20, the adults-only zone with sun loungers, a bar and another jacuzzi (a fantastic place to watch the sunset). You also have Margaritaville and Il Bistro, the French speciality restaurant.
The Mandara Spa
If you like a spa day on land, you’ll love this floating oasis of calm. It has a full salon with hairdressers and nail technicians, numerous treatment rooms where you can get every type of massage from hot stone to seaweed, a Vitality pool, steam room, sauna, a salt room to clear your lungs and an ice room to embrace the cold. Its relaxation area looks out to sea and has a mixture of traditional loungers and warm stone loungers. Dare I say… Bliss.
The Observation Lounge
If you’re on a Bliss cruise to Alaska, this is the place to be to watch the glaciers go by. Floor to ceiling windows with a 180-degree view, a central bar, smaller food bars and an abundance of comfy couches, armchairs and chaise lounges. This is where I would be.
Whether you want to take in a show, dance the night away in the Social Comedy Club, watch an excellent Beatles cover band in the Cavern Club or just relax with a few drinks, there’s something for everyone.
If you’re travelling with kids, there’s plenty of entertainment for all ages with a large laser tag area on the 20th deck, a race track on the 18th deck, waterslides and aqua park by the main pools and fantastic facilities on the 5th deck.
On the 5th deck, toddlers and small children can go to the Splash Academy for supervised fun from early in the morning ‘til late at night (they can even stay there while you go on a shore excursion!) and teenagers can hang out in the Teen Lounge or go next door to the Video Arcade.
This is the standard for Norwegian Bliss and with their cruises being 8 nights, it’s fantastic value. It includes:
- All meals in the Garden Café buffet, a lá carte main restaurants and casual eateries
- All non-alcoholic and alcoholic (incl. premium brands) drinks
- Fresh bottle of water per day, per person in your stateroom
- All entertainment
- 60mins ship-wide complimentary WiFi
Bliss is a well thought out cruise ship with plenty to offer whether you’re a couple, friends, family or solo traveller. The detail on it is superb, be it the art used around the ship, the colour schemes, the design and layout of the restaurants and bars or the navigation at all the lifts. There’s a great selection of staterooms and the addition of the studio staterooms and the private lounge for solo travellers is fantastic. I would definitely go on Bliss again… if not just for the butter baked pretzels.