People always say you remember your first time. We certainly do: On May 8, we took our first cruise together. It just so happened to be on the Norwegian Bliss, the cruise giant’s latest and greatest ship. Its inaugural sail from Miami was a memorable one, giving media and other special guests an unforgettable experience.
Here’s what you can expect when taking a trip on the Bliss.
The Norwegian Bliss is a mini-city. Capable of holding over 4,000 guests, the ship is home to a wealth of specious staterooms that feature outstanding views and creature comforts galore. While it may be tempting to just lounge around on your mini-suite’s balcony and enjoy the ocean air, there are floors and floors of activities that await.
One of the main attractions is the observation deck, which offers expansive looks at the sea and its inhabitants. During Alaska cruises, you’ll want to grab a seat — there are plenty — and admire the whales from this vantage point; there’s no better view on the ship. We found ourselves spending a few hours here taking in the calm waters during our two-night adventure. It really was pure bliss.
On the other side of the spectrum are activities that get your heart racing and adrenaline pumping. Thrillseekers can take advantage of the ship’s go-kart track, which is the largest one currently at sea. There’s just something exhilarating about being able to GO-KART IN THE MIDDLE OF THE OCEAN. Pick a nice day to ride and then cool off on the deck’s massive pool — it’s the perfect combo. There is also laser tag on-board if that’s more up your alley. Regardless of the activity, make sure to reserve a slot; both can get really busy.
Nightlife is also ample on the Bliss. Comedy shows, dance parties and karaoke are a few of the evening options that will close out your day with a bang. Our recommendation, though, is to catch Jersey Boys. We’ve always wanted to see the Tony Award-winning musical, but it’s always been outside of our budget. Thankfully, we didn’t have to worry about that on the Bliss, and the production is superb.
While cruise ships in general aren’t known for their food, the Norwegian Bliss is a different story. There’s a huge emphasis on dining here: Name a cuisine, and you’re likely to find it on-board. In the mood for BBQ? Q has you covered with ribs, brisket and other flavorful meats. Craving international cuisine? Food Republic will take you on a trip around the world with a globally inspired menu that features ceviche, noodles and rolls — to name a few items.
During our media preview, we grabbed a seat at Teppanyaki and Ocean Blue. The former focuses on Asian cuisine, and it’s reminiscent of Benihana. Our chef cooked tableside and cracked jokes while pulling off some amazing culinary tricks. It was not only fun, but it also gave us an opportunity to meet fellow cruisegoers since you’re all sitting together. Pick your protein — chicken, shrimp, etc. — and then sit back and watch the show. At Ocean Blue, seafood is the star as is the view. While you can dine inside and savor the restaurant’s array of fish options, we suggest you grab a seat outside at the waterfront if the weather is nice.
Should you prefer something a little more casual, take a trip to the buffet. It’s a diet’s worst nightmare (and your stomach’s dream): rows and rows of cuisine from all over the world. We made it a personal challenge to try something from every station, and we couldn’t finish; the buffet is gigantic and features new food every day. There are even themed meals. During lunch one day, it was a seafood buffet; we didn’t know it was possible for us to eat so many crab legs. Thankfully, there’s a state-of-the-art fitness center to help guests burn off all those inevitable calories.
tl;dr: Once you’re on the Norwegian Bliss, you’ll never want to leave. This new ship is full of amenities and activities that can keep you entertained day after day. The next time you’re thinking of taking a cruise, make sure it’s on the Norwegian Bliss — it lives up to its name a hundredfold.
For more information on the Norwegian Bliss, visit the official site.