Jim Zim's Full Cruise Review of Norwegian Bliss

Jim Zim's Full Cruise Review of Norwegian Bliss

Show Video

I'm. On board Norwegian. Bliss and I've been on board for about a week and a half now one, thing became very, clear, practically, from day one and that is that this is a fantastic cruise. Ship one of the best I've ever been on and one, I can very highly recommend, to you I want to take you through step by step some, of the great things about the Norwegian, bliss, one. Of the most brilliant things they did in designing the ship was, adding a huge Observation. Lounge up, at the front end we. Spent a lot of time here in the Observation. Lounge enjoying. The views and having, drinks at the bar because. This area is fully, enclosed, it, didn't matter if it was hot outside or windy. It was always comfortable in the Observation. Lounge and, I really, love the way they outfitted this lounge with a variety of furniture, everything, from chairs to couches, to these little day beds with. The ship positioned, in Alaska, during the summers this, is going to be a fantastic, spot, for, viewing the beauty of Alaska without. Being exposed, to the weather, here's. A picture of my family when we visited, Alaska, a few years ago on a different, cruise ship notice, how bundled, up we were the. Observation. Lounge is going to be perfect, for viewing the scenery in Alaska, no matter what the weather does, but. Even on our cruise in the Caribbean and, through the Panama Canal and, up the west coast of Central America, we spent a lot of time, in the Observation, Lounge and really. Loved it they. Serve a light buffet, here at meal times and if, you want a big meal just, head up one flight of stairs to, the ship's big buffet restaurant, which, also has fantastic. Views out, big, picture, windows and is, another great place to sit and enjoy the scenery, the. Most talked about new feature on Norwegian bliss, is the, go-kart, racetrack at the top of the ship all. The cruise lines have a friendly competition adding. Fun new attractions, to their newest ships remember. Years ago when Royal, Caribbean, was getting all the attention for, adding things like ice skating, rinks. And Rock, Climbing, Walls, and zip. Lines to their ships now. It really seems like Norwegian. Has hit their stride with, the innovations, on Norwegian bliss, the. Go-kart racetrack was a lot, of fun I wrote it many times even, though the go-karts are electric, they're equipped, with realistic, go-kart, sounds, that really, make them feel like an old-school, gas-powered. Go-kart, back in the day they. Definitely feel fast and, responsive a, lot, of fun to drive and, if they win any faster, you'd never make it around the very tight turns on the course. Passing. Other cars, is the ultimate, challenge and if. You watch the go-karts for a while you, will almost surely witness, a crash, or two when, people try to pass but don't, quite get away with it.

I Think. Norwegians scored a big hit with the go-kart race track. There. Is definitely, no shortage of, things to keep people of all ages entertained. Right. Next to the go-karts you'll find a five hole mini golf course, inside. The ship there's a bowling, alley as well as an arcade there's. A very cool setup for a laser tag that, simulates, two opposing, security, forces, shooting. It out inside a space, station, and. There's also two, very, cool water, slides on the ship on. A lot. Of cruise ships the water slides are so basic that they're really only going to appeal to a child, and the Norwegian, bliss does have a children's, play area with a very safe, and gentle, water slide for the little ones but there are also two. Very thrilling water slides, that are perfect, for adults, I had, so much fun on these the first one is very gentle, but still good fun even for adults you, sit on a big inner tube and float, down the waterslide inside. This very colorful tube, you. Get good speed going and it's just a lot of fun without. Scaring. You. Now. The second, waterslide, will definitely. Scare. You. You. Climb up to the top of the tower get inside this cylinder and then get the scare of your life. When. The floor drops right out from under your feet. When. You're dropping down in a freefall you, will have a little moment of panic I pretty much guarantee, it. Especially. Since there's, water splashing, all around you and you're fighting just to get a breath without breathing, in the water you. Go out over the side of the ship then, you go upside down for a little while it just totally throws you for a loop pardon, the pun I love. These vertical, drop water slides they've become a standard. Feature on all, of Norwegians, newest ships and you can ride any of these water slides as many times as you want for, as long as you want without ever having to make a reservation, or pay any kind, of fee be. Sure to try both, of these water slides out if you sail on Norwegian bliss. When. I go on vacation I just love, to spend as much time in the water as possible. In port. That means a shore excursion, to a beach spending. Time in the warm waters of the Caribbean or, the tropical part of the Pacific, on board. The ship it can sometimes mean spending, time in one of the main swimming, pools but what I really, love is when, a ship has a good thermal suite, within their spa and Norwegian. Bliss, definitely. Has that that. Big indoor pool you see here is as, warm as a jacuzzi, and I visited here just about every, day to relax in the warm water and then to lie on one of these heated, tile loungers, or one of the very comfortable, padded, loungers, and enjoy, the view out the big picture windows, on, norwegian. Bliss the thermal suite is located. At the back end of the ship with fantastic, views of what's behind the ship it. Was at the front of the ship on previous, generations. Of Norwegian, ships but, by moving the spot to the back and freeing, up that space in the front it allowed, the designers, to create that fantastic, Observation. Lounge, on Norwegian, bliss. Another. Smart, bit of ship design that Norwegian has done with all of their recent ships and I'm seeing a lot of other cruise lines copy this now is extending. Out the deck, directly, above the lifeboats, this. Serves to, first. You cover up the lifeboats, so that they're hidden from view from above when. You look down from a balcony cabin, up above you just never see the bright orange lifeboats, because, they're hidden out of sight but, the other thing that's cool about this is that the extended, deck that covers the lifeboats, makes, a fantastic, outdoor dining and viewing area on Norwegian, they, call it the waterfront. And quite, a few of the specialty, restaurants, have outdoor dining on the waterfront there are also several bars, out on the waterfront and even, a little place to buy gelato. Norwegian. Has been designing the waterfront, onto their ships for several, years now MSC. Realized. How brilliant, Norwegians, idea was and copied, it on their new ship the MSC, seaside, and they, also stole, another, really, great idea that NCL pioneered, years ago the, Haven, a private, VIP area. Within the ship that's only accessible to, a small group of passengers who, pay at least two or three times the price of a regular cruise, in order, to have an uncrowded. Luxurious. Pampered. Experience. In a private, section of the ship, with. The bliss being a brand-new ship and our Panama Canal Cruise being, 15, days, NCO, was getting big, bucks for, Suites within the Haven on this cruise so I just, couldn't afford the Haven this time around and I, booked a spa, mini suite instead, to, at least have access to, that great thermal suite within the spa whenever. I wanted to get away from it all but, I did get a tour of the Haven on Norwegian bliss, and I've, stayed within the Haven on other, Norwegian ships, I was, really impressed with, the design of the Haven on Norwegian bliss, and the improvements.

That They've made over previous, generations. I. Also. Really, liked what they did with the adults-only, Sun, Deck area at the back of the ship they, call this spice, h2o. What. They improved in this area on this generation, of ships is that they added a nicer, water feature it, can get warm back here lying on a lounger, in the Sun when, you get too hot just, take a walk through the water feature it's, the adult equivalent of, how, we used to run through the sprinklers, on the front, when, we were kids I. Mentioned. MSC seaside a little earlier I sailed, on that ship a few months before my cruise on Norwegian bliss, comparing. The two ships MSC. Compares quite poorly as far as I'm concerned, my, cruise on Norwegian bliss, has been pretty much one of the best cruises, I've ever been on MSC, seaside, and not so much MSC. Is very much geared towards the Preferences, of European. Passengers. Norwegian. Is fantastic. About gearing, things towards American. Tastes, it's, especially evident in the areas of food and dining and also, in entertainment. Let's start with the entertainment, it seemed to me that MSC. Made a conscious, decision to keep their costs low as far as the entertainment went, on Norwegian bliss, I was so impressed to see how much money and effort Norwegian, had spent on offering, all sorts, of entertainment there, was a huge, variety, of entertainment offered, during our cruise and nothing. About it struck, me as being done, on the cheap, there. Were three big musical, production, shows onboard I actually, only made it to one of them Jersey. Boys which, traces the career of Frankie, Valli and the four seasons it. Was like seeing a show on Broadway the, show ran an hour and 40 minutes and while, I don't really, think of myself as a huge, fan of Frankie, Valli when I was in that theater and one song after another was a huge, hit that I grown up listening to back, in the day well. It's just a great musical, production show for anyone over the age of 50. There. Was a fantastic soul. Motown. Kind of act called, uptown that. Was so good I actually went to see them twice, and. There was a headliner, musical, show featuring, Jeanine karmiel, Oh a singer, who performed music from a wide variety of genres, once, again I enjoyed, her show so much that I went back to see her again on a second.

Night, They. Had a beatles tribute band, called the bliss beatles, that performed, throughout the cruise in the cavern, club an intimate. Little venue styled after the real thing in liverpool, as you, might expect the 20-somethings. Weren't really into it but the baby-boomers. Had a great time, there. Was a lot of stand-up, comedy throughout. The cruise, MSC, should follow Norwegians, example, here this, was so much better than the improv, comedy I saw, on MSC, seaside one, of the comedians was this singer Allison, Weber who, was really, funny and I got a real kick out of her shows she's, kind of a female, version of Weird Al doing. Parodies, of pop songs, super. Creative original, stuff I loved. It and she was, only one of many comedians. On board, like. I said Norwegian. Does not skimp, on the entertainment I was. So excited, to see a pretty, good country, music, band performing. Onboard you, almost never hear country, music on a cruise, ship I think, it was a great idea to include it on Norwegian, bliss. Like. Almost every other cruise ship I've ever been on there was a Filipino, cover, band but unlike. A lot of cruise ships these guys were only one of many, musical, acts onboard and also, they, were really good I really. Loved, that, Norwegian offered, such a big variety of entertainment so. Much that I didn't even get video of some of them like the comedian hypnotist. The, big Cuban, inspired, musical, production, show and the, musical, based on speakeasies. From the Prohibition, era. They. Had late-night parties, out on the main pool deck as well, as at the back of the ship in spice h2o, which, is what you're looking at here. And. There were all sorts of game shows in the main atrium both, during the day and at, night this. One we're looking at here was a comedic, take off on Dancing, with the Stars called. Ultimate, dance clash and it was really. Creative, and really. Funny you, know a lot of these goofy shows you see on cruise ships like, the newlywed not so newlywed, game have, been performed, on cruise ships for decades. Now but, this one looked original, to me I was, really impressed with it and all, the, entertainment, on board. Now. Let's talk about the food another. Area where MSC. Seaside, performed, poorly in that cruise that I took with them a few months before my cruise on Norwegian bliss, from. My past cruises with Norwegian, I knew that I was going to enjoy the food on Norwegian bliss, and it was even better than I expected this, was practically, a perfect, match for, my tastes, and food and my, wife seemed to enjoy the food much better on this cruise than some of our other cruises a, big.

Strength For NCL is the, variety of specialty. Restaurants, that they offer we. Didn't eat at all of them only the ones that matched up with our tastes and food like Hugh, the, new Texas, smokehouse, this. Was, some delicious. Barbecue, if you're a meat-eater, you, like barbecue. You're gonna love Hugh. And after. Dining hours it's, where the country music band performs, but, I really think they need to offer some, food while, the country music band performs. Los. Lobos, is a Mexican, restaurant that takes, over the space that on the previous generation of, ships had a Brazilian steakhouse in, it I love. Mexican. Food and I loved my meal at Los, Lobos. My. Suggestion. To NCL, on the subject of Mexican food is that, they should offer much, more of it in the buffet, I don't, think nco realizes. How big of a deal Mexican, food is to people in the United States but. Los Lobos is at, least a step in the right direction, we. Had a fantastic dinner. At Cagney's. The classic, steak house and it, is definitely the most popular of, all the specialty, restaurants, on board make. Your reservations. From home before. You get on board the ship unless, you want to end up eating your meal at Cagney's at a very late hour like 9:00 p.m.. We. Also ate, at La Cucina the Italian, restaurant and had. A fun lunch at Jimmy, Buffett's, Margaritaville, restaurant. Where my, advice is order. The volcano, nachos. When. We booked our cruise they, were running a special promotion where, we got our choice of two perks, we, chose the dining, package, so, that our dinners and the specialty restaurants, wouldn't cost a thing, and we also got the beverage package, so, we had a lot of fun trying different cocktails, throughout the cruise I always. Have my wife with me on our cruises, and this, time I also had one of my sisters, with me and she, is a lot of fun having. The beverage package, only enhanced, that and I love that having unlimited adult, beverages, all cruise long didn't, cost us an arm and a leg like, it would have on many, other cruise lines. Now. If you've read some of my previous cruise, reviews, on my website at Jim's M net you know that my wife and I tend to eat a lot of our meals in the buffet when we're on a cruise the. Specialty, restaurants, and the main dining room were so good on Norwegian bliss, that, we ate a lot less buffet, meals than we usually do, but, I've got to tell you that one of the best surprises. On Norwegian bliss, for me was. How good the breakfast, buffet was, I love. A good omelet for breakfast, with potatoes, a croissant, if I can get it and some, crispy bacon and on Norwegian bliss, it was, the best breakfast, buffet I had ever experienced. In all, 44. Of my cruises. Just. Before the cruise I bought, a new laptop for video, editing with, a solid-state, hard drive, but I didn't really expect to be able to upload videos from the ship cruise. Ship Internet is usually just too slow, to upload, gigantic, video files, but, Wow, was I surprised. After, I upgraded, to the most expensive, internet, plan that they offered on Norwegian bliss they, had a ton, of bandwidth. I uploaded. Videos, faster, on the ship than, I ever could have at home, really, it was amazing. How far they've raised the technology, bar on this, ship. Boarding. The ship in Miami was, totally, painless a very, smooth, process and, as, we sailed out of the Port of Miami we got a look at the new terminal that, Royal Caribbean, is constructing, but big, news, Norwegian. Is also having a new terminal built for them in Miami right, next door to, this Royal Caribbean, terminal and the new Norwegian terminal. Is going to be a state-of-the-art. 100. Million-dollar, terminal, that should be ready in time for the newest Norwegian, ship Norwegian. Encore, coming, in the fall of 2019. Disembarkation. In Los Angeles, at the end of our cruise was. Ridiculously. Fast, I have, no video of it so we're just gonna have to go with this shot for a minute we did self assist disembarkation. And I can only guess that everybody, else must not have because, we practically, had the gangway to ourselves as, we, walked off the ship in LA. No. Review of our cruise would, be complete without mentioning the fact that this was a Panama, Canal cruise and our, very first time through the canal since. The Norwegian, bliss is the ninth largest cruise, ship in the world and it was way too big to fit through the old locks, we, got to go through the news section of the canal which just opened up two years ago after a huge, nine-year, expansion, project, that cost billions, of dollars it. Was truly the highlight of the cruise the day we spent crossing, from the Caribbean, to the Pacific Ocean via the Panama Canal if you, like cruising, you're fascinated, by cruise ships like I am you, really, have to do a Panama, Canal Cruise some time and an, Alaska, cruise - and, Norwegian.

Bliss Is the perfect, cruise ship for either one they, even opened up the crew only area, at the bow of the ship the day we went through the Panama Canal it. Was crowded with passengers up, there but I got a kick out of having access to an area of the ship that passengers, usually, never set foot on, another. Cool thing about a Panama Canal cruise is the, amount of wildlife you see my. Wife and I have a thing about macaws. We, got to see free flying macaws, not, in cages on three, different occasions during, our cruise and when, the ship got into the general, of Acapulco, we, saw a ton of green. Sea, turtles, maybe, a hundred of them over. A period of a day or two at sea. So. It was a great cruise on Norwegian bliss, I really. Think that this, is one of the best cruise ships in the world one, you should definitely make. A point to sail on of course, there were a few things that I think NCL could improve upon and I'll list those in my full review on my website, at Jim's, MDOT net where you can read a lot more about Norwegian, bliss and all, the other cruise ships I've been on and see some nice still, photos that I took during my cruise.

2018-06-10 17:07

Show Video


i feel like I am watching romper room with jerry lewis as the host.................fell asleep......pep up your videos a bit this is not the Muscular Distrophy telethon.

Great review Jim! The Bliss will be my 1st cruise to Alaska. NCL is my favorite cruise line and when I learned that they were building a cruise exclusively for Alaska I immediately booked it with more than a year in advance. Thanks for this video!!!

Jim, a true pleasure as always..

Was interested in your review until you compared it to MSC, if the Bliss was the best cruise ship in the world, then no need to put down another cruise line down to make Bliss look better. IMO. For the record, I have never sailed on MSC

Let's hope MSC never "steal" the bad idea of misuse upper, outdoor decks for a racing track and war zone!

Emily Mockler I totally agree. I was so exited about the Bliss review, but the MSC comparison completely killed the vibe. Everybody knows that Jim did not liked (understatement) the MSC Seaside. Why involve MSC in a NCL review and why bring them down AGAIN? Totally unnecessary!!

Great review. It was really nice meeting you and your wife on the Bliss. There is only one complaint I have about the Panama Canal Cruise aboard the Bliss, I am Blissed Ruined, I am going to compare every cruise ship to the Bliss.

How big is it

i went on seaside in march and i did not fell as the ship was built for the eurpion market. I'm from Canada and i felt that the ship was catering a lot to the North American market. msybe some changes after you got off.

Jim's a big meat eater...I'm shocked.

Thank you for the great review. Yeap, you are right, as an ex-European I find Mexican food uneatable, don't really appreciate steaks and bbq, and that breakfast just looks horrible :-p

See, MSC Seaside really is perfect for the Europeans! And Norwegian Bliss is perfect for the Americans. And that's exactly what I'm trying to let the American cruisers know!

Great review as always Jim. Glad you enjoyed your cruise.

I love those great observation lounges ... it was called "The Spinnaker" on the Pearl!

Can you go on ovation on the seas and carnival spirit and legend of have you already gone on them

Jim you should go on carnival horizion

Hi Jim :), We just got off her this morning, Everything was wonderful, though they have a few bugs to fix, but I loved everything about her, mainly her Solo, Studio Lounge and Studio Rooms. :) I know you never got to see them, I have pictures of the Room/Bathroom and parts of the studio lounge :).

Well, main issue is the Audio in the Observation Lounge. They have it labeled as "Quiet Zone" but they played a Audio Demo of Wild Life really loud in there.They even admitted it was a poor choice, or not having the Aqua park opened long enough,.but other then a few things, I would recommend you go on that ship :),

What would you say are the bugs they need to fix?

Hi Jim, Another excellent review ! It was an amazing ship and a wonderful cruise !

Hey Jim Great Video I Did One On The Freedom Check It Out And Let Me Know https://youtu.be/gL10fsBhRoE

Excellent video as I was on this same cruise! Now I wish you had tried (or did you?) FOOD REPUBLIC. It was my favorite on The Escape actually and is where I ate on my first night here. Soooo good! I noticed you didn't mention The District Brewhouse. It's a very nice bar (across from Food Republic with an interesting draft beer selection) and speaking of your spot on internet comments, I spent a very pleasant time one afternoon there catching up on e-mails. I did the same thing and upgraded to the best package and yes I was impressed as well with the speed. I wish too that you were able to visit and video the Studios and Studio Lounge where I stayed. They have also taken this a step further on this ship with the design in that all the studios have a virtual window....and the Studio Lounge's design is most interesting. I've stayed in every type cabin from an inside up to a mini-suite and I have to say I LUV the studios best of all and that is from many Studio stays on The Epic, Breakaway and Escape. (and now The Bliss) Again, awesome video, thank you and yes indeed the Observation Lounge was amazing. I've never seen anything like it anywhere before. I was in awe and LUV'd the way it wrapped around too. :)

My husband & I are sailing on our very first cruise ever in September on the Bliss to Alaska and this is a very well done review, its amazing how much work you put into your videos! I’ve subscribed for over a year now learning how to cruise from your travels and excursions. My only suggestion (not criticism) but more of an observation is the video includes MSC Seaside which really has nothing to do with the Bliss review and only makes this video longer than it needs to be. Just an observation and not meant disrespectfully at all. Other than that, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed watching the segments on the Bliss and can’t wait to sail on our first of hopefully many cruises. Thank you for all you do! Theresa

the video is amazing Jim

I tried to book a Mexican Riviera cruise

Yes, prices are always high for a brand new ship. That's just the way it is for cruise ships. Perhaps the thing to do is to wait a little bit and check back on it in a year or two... you may find prices have fallen a little by then, once the ship is no longer the newest, latest, greatest.

Excellent video!!!

Taking a Thanksgiving 2018 cruise on Bliss. Thanks for the reviews....it helped me decide between Bliss and Symphony of the Seas.

Jim, you are a very good YouTuber!

I am so glad this ship comes to my home port the money I save on a flight I can upgrade to a suite.

Boarding Bliss next month for an Alaska cruise ....... cant wait...

Great video for a great ship. Thank you.

Great video Jim. I was on the same cruise and second everything you said. Thermal Spa was Bliss!

Nice video!

I absolutely love your reviews You don’t take 45 minutes to explain every detail but you review enough so I know what to expect Great job Jim, have a great day

Seems like a cool cruise ship, but I think the Symphony of the seas design is better. I like ur videos mate!

Totally worth the wait!! I'm sailing on Carnival Paradise in August and Carnival Breeze and I'm hoping to be able to catch enough video that I can start to post reviews as well. Thanks for the video Jim glad to hear it was a great trip!

Thank you !!!

The perfect review for this massive awesome ship! Thank u so much Jim. You're the best! Awesome video and photos and everything description and comments and reviews. Of all the videos i've watched about the Bliss, yours is on the top of em all! Amazing! Man! i can't wait to try her in March of 2019 out of Miami. And we booked one of the Haven Cabin! Wooohooo!

I can't imagine a better cruise experience than being in The Haven on Norwegian Bliss. You are going to love that cruise!

Jim great review! You are my favorite cruise review YouTuber! I always look forward to your videos!! Now I wish I would have booked the Bliss for my Alaska cruise this August. That’s ok. We are going on RCCL and I know we’ll still have a great time. Thanks for the time you take to share your experiences cruising!!

My only complaint about Seaside was that the Specialty restaurants were so expensive. They always seemed empty. We did a back to back Yacht Club. The buffet on Seaside was very poor. As the reviews pointed out, they had too many burgers and pizza. I think they changed the entertainment, as the shows in the theatre were amazing! No opera at all.

wow. Im inpressed. we have sailed on royal carribean, harmony, Oasis etc, but this looks awesome.. great video

Hey Jim I’m going on the bliss in August to go to Alaska for a week, My mom said the other day the laser tag and race track coast money now. Do you have and details about that??? Thank you

Yes, there is a fee for both of those... simply because if it was completely free, you'd end up having to spend an hour in line waiting for it. A good example would be the bumper cars on Royal Caribbean's newest ships. Totally free to ride, but there's a gigantic line because people just want to ride over and over again. So, they have to keep the rides pretty short. On Norwegian Bliss, you don't have that problem, and you get a fairly long ride on the Go-karts.

i love NCL thermal suite spa and the waterfront area, booked the bliss for my next cruise, staying in the studio cabin for the solo traveler, love this cabin, it is inside but perfect since i don't spend much time in the cabin, the next best thing would be for NCL to have a studio cabin (oceanview and maybe balcony for the solo traveler, this would be great, anyhow love NCL, i will be doing my ALaska cruise on this ship next . love your videos jim !!!!!

thanks, for responding to my question, i look forward to cruising anytime i will be on the bliss later on this year . i will look forward to the virtual window also.

The studio cabin on the Bliss has a virtual window so you see outside exactly what you would see with an O/V cabin. Loved watching the sunrise and the scenery while in my studio.

What's your shipmate username? I'd love to add you as a shipmate.

Great and very thorough Vlog on the Norwegian Bliss. I can't wait to try her someday. Just curious, have you ever cruise out of Galveston? If so what ship were you on and what was your opinion of the port.

I really love cruising out of Galveston, and can't wait to go back. I don't know if you realize from some of my other videos that I'm a train nut as well as a cruise ship nut. Galveston has a really cool railroad museum, not far from the cruise ship dock. They've got a fully restored version of the class Santa Fe Super Chief passenger train. Can't wait to go back there some time! The only negative thing about Galveston is that it's a long ride from the nearest big airport. It's pretty much too far from Houston to Galveston to take Uber or Lyft... so hiring a town car is what we usually end up doing, which isn't very convenient. But that's just the way it is!

Fantastic review!

Hey Jim, we’re you able to visit the gym? If so, is it nice and large so it does not become to crowded? Thanks!!

Jim Zimmerlin not at all! It’s vacation! Haha, I am just on a workout schedule for losing weight and I’d just like to maintain it.

Should I be embarrassed to admit that I never made it to the gym in 15 days onboard?

Great video, Jim! I’ll be sure to try those volcano nachos when I get on the Bliss in October!

Thanks for the review! Going in about 2 weeks!

So happy my family and I decided to book the Bliss over the Seaside. Thanks Jim!

You made the right choice.

Great review! Makes me want to take a cruise on it. =)

Sweet! But I’m going on the harmony today!

Jim Zimmerlin maybe next tome I’ll go on Norwegian, I have a great experience on the Pride of America

That's a good one, too! I like to say that if you want to see the state of the art in cruise ships right now... go on Norwegian Bliss, Carnival Vista, Harmony Of The Seas, or Anthem Of The Seas.


Love this video!!! Thanks

Great video! But I cannot believe it, that the NCL so much better then MSC. For me the MSC is the best:) Must try this ship, but why go-kart on the top?

We choose dining and drink package! We also had 1 dollar deposits sailing Feb break 2019 I love omelettes!

Great review! Can't wait for my Alaskan Cruise on the Bliss in August.

I don't like the setup of the pool deck when I was watching your video it look like a plain wall in the background with a pool was everything crammed in together how smooth was the cruise was it Rocky seasick

Things can get a little rocky in the Pacific. My sister wore a patch, and she was fine. My wife and I are seasoned cruisers and don't ever get seasick, even on a really nasty part of the Atlantic like we had on our return to New Jersey when we sailed on Anthem Of The Seas.

Yay a new video! :-D

I love your videos and I am so glad you make them thank you

Thank Jim. We cancelled our cruise on the MSC Seaside, based on your review and then booked on the Bliss instead. Then we saw your review on the Bliss and we're happy we did. Looking forward to March 2019 to the Caribbean.

FABULOUS video!!!!! Great job & thank you!!

Finally decided to sit down and find some time! Go me. Great review. I've cruised with NCL since I was 11 on 9 NCL ships so I am really desperate to get onboard Bliss. I was invited on the inugral cruise actually but I had to turn it down because I was on my Asia cruise at the time.. :( One day I will get there though!

I just booked on The Bliss through the Panama Canal in November. Looking forward to seeing it in September when it makes it's one stop in Vancouver. (Where I live) When the tide is low enough for the bliss to get under the Lions Gate Bridge. I was on the ncl Epic last fall for a Mediterranean Cruise and look forward to seeing the new changes that they have made with the bliss. Glad you get a full washroom (bathroom in the cabins.) I will have a balcony on deck 14. Thank you for your detailed video.

Jim, how much open deck space is there on these Breakaway class ships? They just seem to have so much crammed up on top compared to other lines. I like alot of the features, but I also enjoy finding a good spot to enjoy the sun and a pool with fewer kids. It seems like NCL took a bunch of space for The Haven and the for fee Beach Club on the front third of the ship. What is your experience about navigating the top of the ship and finding space for relaxation?

It didn't seem like a problem to me at all. There were plenty of places to find available loungers, as long as you don't insist that it be right next to the pool. Just like every cruise ship in the world, finding an available lounger right next to the pool is tricky, except on port days. But there are lots of other upper deck areas where loungers are available. One of my favorites is on deck 19 forward, on the port side. There is even a Jacuzzi there. But there are lots of other spaces besides that. And don't forget the Waterfront on deck 8. Unless the sun is straight up above in the middle of the day, there is usually a sunny side of the ship and a shaded side of the ship. Visit both sides of the Waterfront on deck 8 and see which you prefer, depending on how how it is outside. The waterfront has more comfortable furniture than they offer on the upper decks, so it really is a great alternative place to get sun and fresh air. Or shade and fresh air, depending on which side of the ship you go to.

I'll never go on an Italian again. I've been on 7 cruises and no more italian ran.

Question: Can you pay and use the thermal spa for 1 day? I booked a mid ship balcony, not spa. Excellent job on the video. Thanks.

We`ll do that. Thanks.

Yes, one day passes are sold... but only a limited quantity. Inquire about it at the spa on the very first afternoon.

Jim - One critique of your reviews. You seem to like EVERYTHING. We were on the exact same cruise as you.The Beatles group on the ship was quite bad. As in the bass player was so wasted most of the time he had a hard time keeping up and people definitely noticed. The female comedian was also fairly bad. She also repeated the same act about 3x over the last week. That got a bit old. Some of the other comedians were awesome.

She definately was friendly. The filipino band was excellent. I hung out with them a few times. The guitar player specifically was a brilliant musician

Yes, that older comedian was really great! I wish I had gotten a picture or some video of him. The thing I noticed about him that probably no one else noticed was that if you closed your eyes and just listened to him... he sounded EXACTLY like John Denver telling a story. Like you said, he was fantastic. Also, I've been thinking about what you said about the female guitar playing comedian. There was one portion of one of her shows where she did a bunch of jokes about butt holes. It totally bombed with that audience on that night. If they had been drinking more, or if they were 30 years younger, it might have worked... but it didn't work on that audience on that night. But it was only a portion of the otherwise funny routine I saw that night. But my point is... yeah, OK, she was not as absolutely perfect for that crowd as the older guy was. He and that crowd were a perfect match. Now I ran in to that female guitar playing comedian two times on the ship and she was super friendly, so I have to give her credit for that. Sometimes comedians are not friendly when you meet them in real life!

The senior comedian was FANTASTIC and had a different act each and every time. I think his name was Jim Stein or something like that. I did not see your review of the Seaside yet. The food on the Bliss in the Main Dining Room we found to be just OK. The buffet was def one of the best we ever had. The specialty restaurants were decent. The service took way too long and the food was just decent in Cagneys.

If you think I like everything, you obviously did not see my videos about the MSC Seaside! ha ha I thought the female comedian was great. I loved her act. And I don't fault a comedian for repeating material. They have multiple shows so that different people can come see the shows. They can't be expected to have so much material that each show will be completely different than the others. I would say that the Bliss Beatles were not a 10 on a 10 scale, but they didn't suck. I went to see them two or three times, and I was entertained.

i feel the reviews coming through on Cruise Critic are pretty spot on. The ports for the canal weren't great. Ship is great though.

As far as the ports... yes, it's not like doing a Caribbean cruise and going to a world-class port. But we still managed to have fun in several of the ports!

Thanks for review. For me, MSC and Seaside in particular has some of the strangest super fans. I have never seen people so angry that someone else didn't enjoy the cruise. You sold me on the Bliss and MSC customers have sold me on canceling the cruise we had booked with them and doing something else with my time/money.

Jim, my wife and I have been waiting for your full review! We really enjoy your videos. This will be our 5th NCL cruise. I even proposed to my wife on the Breakaway in 2014! Keep up the good work!

I just had one question. If this boat is supposed to be heading to Alaska, then why have the water slides outside? Love the channel

I'm guessing you have never been to Alaska in the summer. It can actually be quite nice there on some days. Some days not. Be prepared for all types of weather, if you go. But there will definitely be some nice warm days on most Alaska cruises, especially in late June through early August.

You seem to have a real vendetta for MSC. I went on the Seaside in March and had an amazing time. I’m definitely going back. One of my least favorite cruises was on the Norwegian Getaway. I was nickeled and dimed to death. The crew was rude to us and the bathroom in our cabin leaked the whole time we were there. Despite several complaints no one ever came to fix it. I’m going on Symphony of the Seas in December, it will be my first RC Cruise. Fingers crossed.

Wow Jim, your video is just fantastic! I get asked all the time on my channel about your take on these cruise ships, and I really liked how you compared the Bliss to the Seaside as both of these ships have been the talk on my live shows. I was on the Epic for a 7 day caribbean cruise with my wife and I just loved the spa area at the back of that ship, so I can relate to how nice the spa on the Bliss must be too. Thank you for your great work on youtube. Regards, Bruce

I’ll be on the Bliss in February with a spa balcony room, so I found this video chock full of great information. Beautifully filmed!

Todd Petry well said!!

Well I am an American and just got back from MSC Seaside. I thought the shows were outstanding! They packed a lot of punch into 40 minutes! I would never be able to sit through a 1 hour and 40 minute show on a cruise ship, that is just too extreme! Entertainment is so subjective so to totally bash MSC's as being not for Americans brings NO CREDIT to your review! NO way I would want to sit in a Beatles show but I'm not gonna bash it because some people like that, I just don't! For what it's worth I thought MSC seaside was a nice ship with good food and good entertainment! Would I sail MSC again??? Yes if I got another great price on a yacht club cabin. There is no reason to keep bashing MSC Seaside just because you had a bad cruise! Thousands of Americans are coming back every week raving about it so maybe you should look in the mirror! BTW get rid of the big mic you use at the begining makes you look like an rookie trying to be a profesional! lol

It was just such a sharp contrast to me... having been on MSC Seaside only a few months earlier and seeing all the ways in which MSC had made bad choices in what they had stated was their ship designed for the North American market. So on the one hand there was this ship that failed in many ways to impress this American, and then a few months later this other ship that had succeeded brilliantly at impressing this American. A study in contrasts of how to do it versus how not to do it. Such a clear contrast that I couldn't not mention it. Plus, I honestly feel like I am doing a favor to American cruisers to let them know what are the best cruise ships in the world, and which ones they should probably avoid. There are cruise ships I've been on that I wouldn't necessarily recommend... but there has never been one until MSC Seaside that I felt so strongly about wanting to warn people that they really should avoid it. (Unless they book the MSC Yacht Club, which would probably be a much better cruise experience.)

On the Gem too.

I agree! I'm thinking about doing that sometime next year. My vacation schedule is full for this year.

Although I haver not yet been on a NCL ship-I plan to soon-I am booked on the MSC Seaside June 30. I am connected to several MSC forums on social media and it is great to have first hand advice and tips from so many people, people who LOVE the Seaside. I know it started out a bit shaky, but with a European cruise line beginning service in the USA, there were bound to be some snafus, which according to so many, have been attended to, and fixed! I understand your critiques that say the ship caters to European clientele, but what is wrong with that? I sailed the Queen Mary 2 for that very British reason! A lot of the USA ships seem a bit over the top and Vegas-y which can be great, or very tacky depending on the ship. Personally I am thrilled to try an Italian line and I will be giving it my full attention with reviews soon.Your review of the Bliss, Jim was very entertaining and definitely puts it at the top of my ever-growing list! Thank you!

I've watched a LOT of Bliss videos in anticipation of our B2B in October. Your video was easily the most pleasant and informative of them all. You did a very fine job and it's appreciated :)

You made the right choice!

From what I've seen, they have finally gotten the pool area right. It seemed cramped for space on Getaway. It appears to be very wide open and spacious on Bliss. Regarding open deck space, I have to give kudos to NCL. On Oasis there was a very distinct disconnect from the ocean. It was nearly impossible to be anywhere near the water. Not so on NCL... if you love the ocean, Breakaway and Breakaway Plus ships are for you.

The Alaska cruise season runs from May through September. During the remainder of the year, Bliss will be cruising in tropical climates.

hello Jim Im a cruise fan from China,is this sister ship of NCL joy ,it looks almost same,especially the go kart part

Jim, once again, great review. Although we have been crushing for many years, this fall will be our first cruise with NCL. Your reviews have heightened my anticipation of a great experience with NCL. We actually have already started searching for 2019 cruise but thus far we have been thoroughly disappointed. We like to take longer cruises (10 to 14 days) but have only been able to find 5 to 7 day cruises mostly to Bermuda which in not one of our favorite destinations. Is this going to be a new trend in cruising; short cruises to close ports?

I think the 7 day cruises will always be the bread and butter of the cruise lines, but there will always be other options, too. What state do you live in? Perhaps I can make a suggestion or two.

Another excellent review Jim.  I agree with everything you say about the Bliss.  Our experience in “Q” was not as favorable as yours, but not bad.  I really loved Los Lobos.  The best feature for us was something you didn’t mention.  In August 2014 we cruised on the NCL Getaway two months after its inauguration.  In spite of being almost brand new, the Getaway already had an unfortunate nickname on the Internet:  “Old Stinky.”  This was because the Atrium and 678 Ocean Way in the heart of the ship were wide open to the Casino and its clouds of cigarette smoke.  Even cruisers that never went near the Casino had to breathe the second-hand fumes that drifted over three decks, mid-ship.  On the Bliss the Casino is largely smoke-free, with a fully enclosed “VIP” area where folks can light up while playing.  The difference is phenomenal!  This was the most pleasant atmosphere we’ve ever experienced on a cruise.  The Bliss just became our favorite Cruise Ship on NCL.  It was also a pleasure to meet you in person.  You are just as nice IRL as you are on YouTube.

Hi Mr Zimmerlin, I'm a 15 year old boy fascinated (and obsessed) with cruising. I found your channel and absolutely love your ship videos. I've been on 5 cruises now and will be doing a 14 night Scandinavian cruise with Royal next summer. Can wait to see more ship videos!

Outstanding review Jim! Huge fan of your reviews and NCL. Keep up the great work sir!

Jim What’s your top 3 favorite ships?

Anthem Of The Seas, Norwegian Bliss, Carnival Vista

Makes me want to go on a Norwegian cruise

Awesome video! Very well done! I’m going on the Bliss in November, can’t wait!!

Xuechen, Norwegian Bliss is a sister ship to Norwegian Joy, 诺唯真喜悦号. A friend of mine used to work onboard the Joy, but has not quit his job. 对了,你是中国哪里人?

Choose2Cruise TV Looking forward welcoming you to our beautiful Scandinavia! I'm in Stockholm myself and we've got a huge amount of cruise ship calls every summer. Many of the cruise ships dock right in the middle of the city. If you want to find out more, there's an app called Cruise Stockholm (I'm not sponsored btw) which I use regularly

Jim Zimmerlin thanks for the clarification. I have not been on an Alaskan cruise, but would like to. Thanks!

Awesome Review!

What’s the price for the go karts?

During our cruise, it was $7. I've read that on the first Alaska cruise, they switched it to $9 and then on the second Alaska cruise they put it at $5. Seems to me they are experimenting to find out what the magic price is at which they have just the right amount of people waiting to use the go-karts... not too many, but not too few.

Hello, I'm very disappointed that they removed the Moderno as it's my favorite specialty restaurant. :-(

That's what I thought, too... until I got on board and ate at Q. It's better. I assume if you liked Moderno, you like meat. You'll love Q. And Los Lobos was a nice addition, too. I think overall, the specialty dining on Bliss is an improvement over the previous generation of ships.

Hi Mr Zimmerlin, I'm a 15 year old boy fascinated (and obsessed) with cruising. I found your channel and absolutely love your ship videos. I've been on 5 cruises now and will be doing a 14 night Scandinavian cruise with Royal next summer. Can't wait to see more ship videos!

Hello, I've been on 17 NCL cruises, but my favorite cruise was my first on Royal C. on the Harmony of the Seas. It's a FANTASTIC ship! I think you will like the Symphony a lot!

He was in the Yacht club. No wonder he liked it so much.

We prefer the escape layout. Spa and observation deck is reversed. Laser tag is very fun though.

Jim Zim is the G.O.A.T.

Jim Zimmerlin greatest of all time

Greatest Of All Time, or Gassy Old American Turd?

Hey Jim! I loved the video! When are you going to review a Disney ship?

A lot of people have suggested that! I doubt I'll be cruising with Disney, though. It's super expensive! Doesn't seem like a good value for my vacation dollar. Of course, if Disney would like to invite me on to one of their ships at their expense, I would love to come on board and make some videos about what I find.

wow this video was was co cool to watch ty RR :)

glad you feel that way Jim, we had a terrible experience.... Alaska was Great!

Jim Zimmerlin Thanks for responding! While I agree that the price is a bit shocking, You do get it back with an extremely high quality cruise! Hopefully they invite you so you can see for yourself! Love the videos!

Hi Jim! Wanted to let you know we really enjoy your videos and reviews. We've done Disney Fantasy 2x, RC Harmony, and RC Allure, (in that order). Next month we're on RC Anthem, and if things work out, November will be RC Mariner. Next year for our 25th Wedding Anniversary we've already booked Norwegian Bliss & really hoping we can get time off to enjoy it! Keep the great stuff coming :)

We were on the inaugural Alaskan cruise on the Bliss in a Mini Suite on 13. Loved it! The Observation Lounge was our favorite hangout spot. Really had a blast in the Go-carts! Watersides were awesome! Unfortunately NCL didn't make the main pool & slides' entrances indoors. I froze my butt off trying out each slide at least once while in Alaska. It was a huge mistake by NCL. Only other major complaint was that specialty restuarants & spas sold out way to fast & easy. Have never been on a cruise that has sold out so much. The Waterfront was very nice. Specialty restaurants had delicious food. Entertainment was amazing & had tons of variety. Buffet was nice too. I agree with you. One of my favorite ships by far. Rarely felt crowded despite the large number of passengers. So much so that we plan to cruise with NCL 2 more times in the next couple of years. Look forward to our 2 bedroom suite on the Pride of America. Can't wait to try out a Haven Suite in the future. Our Mini Suite was great, just the same. The extra space in the shower & its massaging heads were very very relaxing. Instead of cramming myself into a small corner shower. Oh, one more that was very annoying to myself & many others was the fact that NCL only has Pespi products. Imagine my surprise when the bar tender gave me my Jack & "Coke" on embarking day. Embarking & disembarking both went extremely smoothly for our inaugural Alaskan cruise on the Bliss. Very impressed by NCL. Especially the Bliss.

Jim Zimmerlin thankyou love your channel by the way

Thanks for the great tour! I’ve been on five cruises, four on NCL including the Breakaway and Getaway. I like how you pointed out this differences between the two! I am definitely going to go on the Bliss now!

If you could pick between Norwegian Bliss and Royal's Symphony of the Seas, which would you recommend the most?

Thank you so much for your response. And thanks for the great informative videos!

For me, I'd take Norwegian Bliss over Symphony Of The Seas... for a couple of reasons. The food on Norwegian Bliss was a near perfect match for my tastes in food. So, that's a huge plus for Norwegian Bliss. I loved the specialty restaurants, the main dining room, and the buffet. That rarely happens on a cruise for me, because I'm a somewhat picky eater. But also, the Norwegian Bliss has that fantastic thermal suite within the spa. I totally love that. Plus, I like the fully enclosed observation lounge, versus the Solarium on Symphony Of The Seas, which is more open to the air. It can, under certain conditions, get too hot or too cold in the Solarium. The Observation Lounge on Bliss is always perfect. If we're talking about spending some big bucks and staying in a suite... I think the Bliss wins by a huge margin. The Haven on Norwegian Bliss beats anything Royal Caribbean offers in high end suites. If we're talking about just a regular balcony cabin, there is a slight advantage to the design of the balcony cabins on Symphony Of The Seas... their closet arrangement is one of the smartest I've seen on any cruise ship. But all the other factors combined make it a fairly easy call for me and my tastes... I'd take Norwegian Bliss over Symphony Of The Seas. But I do think that anyone that does more than just a handful of cruises in their life should -- at some point -- cruise on Harmony or Symphony Of The Seas... since they have such interesting and unique features such as Central Park, the Boardwalk, Studio B, and a nicely designed pool deck.

Very disappointed that the go carts are not gas powered. Nothing beats the smell of the gas when go cart racing.

Excellent review, I really enjoyed watching every moment you have shared.

You should review carnival breeze

Oh! Now I see why you couldn't find it! I didn't really do a video review, I wrote out a review on my web site. Take a look at http://www.jimzim.net/CarnivalBreeze-2015.html

Jim Zimmerlin I searched for it but I don’t see it anywhere

Did it already. Do a search on my channel.

I would probably get thrown off for getting drunk to much drinking cocktails all the time at their cool bars.

Hey Jim, I am thinking about getting my family a cruise this year and we are looking at staying in the haven owner suite or the 2 bedroom haven suite...do you have access to the thermal suite within the spa with both of these rooms or just the Spa Suite (I know it's a random questions but I heard that you didn't. Thanks, Drew.

Is the Norwegian gem similar to bliss?

I think NCL will be the next cruise I go on. Hopefully in the not too distant future.

No. Quite a bit older. But still... Interesting in her own way.

Hi Jim: Have you ever been on the Norwegian Gem?

We're planning on a cruise out of Boston to Bermuda, June of 2019. The Gem will be here. Currently their using the Norwegian Dawn, but it's going to NYC and their bringing the Gem up here to Boston. We love the fact that we're not going to have to fly to a destination port for a cruise. We live about 10 miles from the dock in South Boston where the cruise ships sail from.

Boston Bobby It’s an older ship but still really nice. It’s been recently remodeled with all the new do dads. If you are looking for a nice short cruise to get away for a weekend it’s perfect.

Hi! I’m new and just subscribed, so I don’t know if you’ve done this. But ... I think it’d be cool if you reviewed the largest cruise ship in the world, RC’S Harmony of the Seas.

Cath Y I went on the Disney Magic in November of 2008. I can’t really say anything about the re-imagines Disney Magic, but I know that the public spaces were great, we loved the kids club (dramatically different now) and that the itinerary was great (Western Caribbean). You should definitely go on a Disney Cruise!

Soham Bhatnagar I’m guessing you’ve been on a Disney Cruise too (considering your profile pic) and I want to know your opinion on the cruise if you’ve gone.

I've read more than a few reviews that state that the ship is overcrowded. As such, it's impossible to book the go carts and difficult to get-in to see the shows. Is there any truth to those reviews?

First off, the ship is definitely not overcrowded. However, you do have to understand NCL's unique system of reservations for shows and specialty dining. It's not like a Carnival cruise where you can just show up at the theater 20 minutes before a show and expect to find a seat. NCL uses a reservation system for shows, and for specialty dining. A certain percent of the seats are made available for pre-cruise reservations... it's something like 30% or 40% of the seats. Something like that. Once those seats have all been reserved, no more reservations are accepted until the actual first day of the cruise. So, if you try to make a pre-cruise reservation at 3 weeks before the cruise, you will likely find that no seats are available. They were already pre-booked by passengers who have cruised with NCL before and understand the importance of booking certain reservations as soon as they are accepted. (I think it's 60 days before the cruise, but I'm not 100% sure that's correct.) So, when people try to book a seat a couple of weeks before the cruise, they will find no seats available. This creates a perception that it's impossible to get a seat. It is not. You just have to understand the system. Once those 30 or 40% of the seats are pre-booked, your next opportunity to reserve a seat will be when you first get onboard on the first day of the cruise. This is when another 40 or 50% of the seats become available. Past NCL guests know this, and will quickly make reservations as soon as they walk onboard. The best reservations at the most popular places and the most popular times get taken first. So, for example, if you wait until the first evening of the cruise, after other people have been making reservations for hours already, you'll find it impossible to get a desirable reservation... say for dinner at Cagney's steakhouse at 6 PM any evening of the cruise. But shows have a lot more seats than restaurants do, so show reservations don't go quite as fast as dinner reservations do. The easiest way to book a reservation once you're onboard is to use one of the electronic kiosks near the elevators. Depending on the ship, you may also be able to do it from the TV in your room, from an app on your phone, or from a ticket office onboard the ship. But the electronic kiosks near the elevators have been the most convenient way I've found. In any case, what experienced NCL cruisers know to do is to pre-book as many things as possible as soon as advanced reservations are accepted. (I think it's 60 days before the cruise, but you should check that.) If you are unable to make a reservation before the cruise, definitely do it the minute you walk onboard the ship. This way you will have access to the most desirable times, before they fill up. If you fail to do this, you will find that either no reservations will be available, or only the least desirable times will be available. This does not mean that NCL ships are overcrowded. They're not. It just means that NCL is a little different than other cruise lines you may have cruised with, and you have to give shows and specialty dining a little thought in advance, in order to snag a good reservation. Those who have sailed with NCL before know how to work the system, and if you don't quickly learn how it works and how to do it, you will find you simply will not be able to get a reservation. One other thing to point out... If you book a cabin within The Haven, nothing I just said applies to you. A certain percentage of seats are always held open for the folks in The Haven. The Haven concierge can get you a reservation to just about anything at just about any time. It's one of the perks of The Haven. So, if you're going to be staying in The Haven, don't give it a moment's thought before the cruise. I hope that's helpful!

Jim Zimmerlin thank you Jim for the information. You, Don Terris and others on YouTube have been extremely helpful.

I've been on the Norwegian Pearl, which is a sister ship. That class of ships was the first of what I consider the generation of ships where NCL really started getting it right. In other words, the NCL ships before that time were quite plain with nothing about them that would make you want to choose them over any other cruise ship. But starting with the Gem, Jewel, and Pearl, NCL really started adding interesting features to their ships... such as a fantastic thermal suite in the Spa, and also The Haven. There's an observation area where you can see in to the ship's navigational bridge. And the Spinnaker Lounge is a nice weather-protected place with an unobstructed view forward... it's basically the predecessor to the big observation lounge on the current generation of ships. So, I absolutely think you should do a cruise on the Gem next June! If you like the idea of lounging around in the thermal suite, consider buying a thermal suite pass. Obviously, if you can afford it, book The Haven... but I understand that most folks can't... and don't worry, you'll still have a great cruise even in a non-Haven cabin.

Yes... take a look at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8b5Vwt7Cx2Q

Wonderful review Jim. Your best yet! Sounds like you had a lovely time.

Jim, looking at cruise critic reviews, there are a ton of reviews talking about how poorly designed the ship layout was --- they simply added a ton of staterooms to maximize profit, but did not add adequate elevator banks, nor places to sit while eating. Is it possible you did not have this problem because you were on a less than full booking? Lastly, are you sponsored by NCL in any way?

Jim I just went on Norwegian jewel to Alaska 3 weeks ago. Make a review on that if u haven’t already

I can't really make a video review of a ship that I haven't sailed on. Sorry!

The ship looks amazing.  Hoping the Encore is just as nice.

Great review! I want to go now!

Hey , Jim thx for the review. I’m thinking of a Panama Canal cruise for my honeymoon. I’m looking at Norwegian or Celebrity. Any recommendations? I have only sailed with Carnival as of now. Tia..

Thanks for the review but why so hatefull against MSC? Please check again your informations because not MSC has stolen the "Haven" concept but it was definitively NCL who has "stolen" the Yacht Club concept: MSC Fantasia and MSC Splendida 2008 and 2009 - NCL Breakaway 2013. Please compare what you can compare: 1 week MSC Seaside from Miami: 1959 €, 1 week NCL Getaway The Haven : 2769 €. If you pay 40% more...you should get more, or not?

If you're going to criticize, you might want to get your facts right. The first Norwegian Cruise Line ship with "The Haven" was the Norwegian Jewel, built in 2005. MSC's version came three years later. Your pricing information also supports my point about the relative quality of the MSC experience versus the NCL experience. It's a classic case of supply and demand in action. People are willing to pay 40% more for the comparable NCL experience... it's that much better. If people did not feel that way, no one would book The Haven on the Norwegian Getaway, the rooms would sit empty and Norwegian would be forced to lower their prices. It isn't happening... because demand is so strong for The Haven on NCL. Or looking at it the other way, people are so reluctant to book a cruise on the MSC Seaside that MSC is simply unable to command the kind of prices that NCL is able to get for their cabins. You're from Germany, right? OK, it's understandable that you don't understand my point of view on the Norwegian Bliss versus the MSC Seaside. A big part of the problem with MSC Seaside is that MSC management doesn't understand American tastes in food and entertainment. I wouldn't expect you to understand that... just as I would be incapable of picking the food and entertainment for several thousand German tourists on vacation. My comments about MSC have always been intended for an American audience... trying to warn them that the MSC Seaside is not customized to American expectations. The entire experience is adjusted for European tastes. So it's no surprise that you're a MSC fan... you're their target audience. What I'm trying to do is make sure that American cruisers understand that there are several great cruise lines that cater to American tastes and that they would be much better of to cruise with those lines than with MSC.

I apologize for assuming your were German when you are actually Swiss. In either case, perfectly suited for MSC Seaside... but that doesn't mean it's the right ship for American passengers. Regarding The Haven, it sounds like you're reading from Wikipedia. On the other hand, I've actually sailed on a Jewel-class ship. Perhaps you'd like to read my review at http://www.jimzim.net/NorwegianPearl.html This ship made her debut in 2006, two years prior to the MSC Yacht Club... but I'm sure that MSC first noticed The Haven a year earlier with the debut of the first ship in that class, the Norwegian Jewel. Just because Wikipedia makes no mention of The Haven on the Jewel-class ships, doesn't mean NCL didn't have it years before MSC stole the idea. If you look at my review of the Norwegian Pearl you can see all sorts of pictures of The Haven and see exactly where MSC got the idea.

Sorry, but you are critizise a lot from your point of you. No , I''m not from Germany but from Switzerland. What I found about Norwegian Jewel was: Norwegian Cruise Line pioneered the concept of an exclusive suite enclave, complete with private sun deck and pool surrounded by the ship's top accommodations, in 2005, and adopted The Haven moniker in 2011. The Haven can be found on newer vessels in the Breakaway and Breakaway Plus-class, ships in the Jewel-class and Norwegian Epic. So what I said was true. I can understand your point of you about other ships, because I also tried other companies. But when you compare, compare 2 companies in the same price segment. You can believe me: Seven Seas Explorer is much better then The Haven on Norwegian Breakaway. Why should other people don't have the right to make their own experience? Are you paid by other companies? I like personal review, personal opinions, everybody feels different but trying to influence other people is for me a No-Go !

If you enjoyed your Carnival cruises, I think you'll feel right at home on Norwegian. I've done more Carnival cruises than any of the other lines, but in recent years I've come to prefer Norwegian and I think of it as my cruise line of choice these days. However, NCL has become so popular that they've been able to steadily raise their prices over the last few years. I find Carnival to be one of the best as far as value for the money.

I think the ship has a great design. No, I was not on a less-than-full booking. The ship was completely full. The only thing that was unusual in that regard was that there were very few children onboard the ship since the cruise was during the school year and it was such a long cruise. And no, I am not sponsored by NCL or any other cruise line. I have paid for every one of my cruises out of my own funds. That's something you have to watch out for when you watch cruise videos on YouTube by people that do this full time. In many cases, they got the cruise for free from the cruise line in exchange for the free publicity for the ship... and therefore they are unlikely to point out any problems they see. If you take a look at my video about the MSC Seaside, you'll see that I have no hesitation about calling out a cruise line when they deliver a worse-than-average cruise experience!

Great Review! Will we ever see you on Celebrity? Maybe on the Edge?

I'm a little reluctant to commit to Celebrity. I worry that the food might not be a good match for my casual dining preferences. I want to read the reviews from people who actually sail on Celebrity Edge. And what I'd really like to find out would be what kind of dinner buffet they will offer. I just hate the 2-hour fancy dinner in a stuffy, formal atmosphere. It was great to be able to be fairly informal on Norwegian Bliss, and I loved all the specialty restaurants they offered. I just think Celebrity would be a food problem for me, since my food preferences are very casual and fun... not fancy and formal. Loved the Texas steakhouse and the new Mexican venue on the Norwegian Bliss. Those were perfect for me. And they have a nice dinner buffet, too.

Me too. This ship looks awesome!

I haven't been on the Gem yet, but I've been on the Dawn out of Boston twice. The Dawn was a descent ship (also recently renovated). The Dawn obviously doesn't come close to the ships out of NY or Florida but I think it's the best ship home ported in Boston during the Summer. Now as far as the Gem goes it's supposed to be a step up from the Dawn.

I love watching these reviews, can't wait for the next one!

Jim Zimmerlin Ty sir. I’m stuck between booking the Getaway and the Bliss . What do you think?

Great review. I've been waiting for this ship. Now I just need to convince my SO to go to Alaska. :) With this video, it won't be hard to do.

So what would you prefer-Norwegian escape with haven or Norwegian bliss without haven but has the thermal suits access?

I'd take The Haven on Norwegian Escape over a non-Haven cabin on the Norwegian Bliss. The Haven is fantastic. Of course, any cruise in The Haven is going to be a lot more expensive than a similar cruise not in The Haven... so it's kind of an apples to oranges choice. But really, if you can afford it, The Haven is going to make your cruise MUCH more memorable and enjoyable.

Your video was very professional and informative. We may take the Norwegian Joy (sister ship built in 2017) to the Mexican Riviera next year. I've read that NCL may add similar upgrades ($50 million worth) on Joy that are also on the Bliss ship (launched in 2018) after moving the ship from China back to the West Coast.

Thank you, Jim. We were thinking about taking the Bliss on an Alaskan cruise at a later date.

Yes... the upgrades to the Norwegian Joy are going to happen. However, be aware that the Norwegian Joy differs from the Bliss in one key area: it does not have a thermal suite in the spa, and it will not get one in the upgrades. So, if the thermal suite is a big deal to you, book the Bliss, not the Joy.

The Racetrack ($99.95 per week or $29.95 per day) is not free nor is laser tag ($5 per session)

we're going on it sept 2019. I'd be so scared that i'd get stuck while in the upside down part of the slide :o

Did Norwegian bliss have a go kart track?

+Jim Zimmerlin I might have accidentally skipped that part.

Did you watch the video? I talked extensively about the go-kart track starting at 1:45 in to the video.

Loved the review! I can’t really tell, your dislike of the MSC Seaside

Great review! I like many things about the ship, but I do not understand this go kart - compared to how much space it occupies, it should be more thrilling. (I love any type of open-wheel car, I tried this summer a Yamaha and a 48 hp KTM). I understand the safety rules, that it must be with electric motor and other correspondent aspects. My opinion is that they are out of smart solutions to implement on a ship. And I say this after 10 Norwegian cruises. (can you please share the notebook configuration?)

I know that seeing it in the video, the go karts don't look that thrilling. But it's actually a lot of fun when you're actually in them and doing the driving. It's a hugely popular feature of the ship, and a big hit for NCL.

Wife and I are planning a trip on the Bliss, is the Beatles cover band on every night or just some nights?

Hey Bud love you videos! I am going on this cruise in mid December and was wondering if it had a pizza buffet complementary? I couldn't find it anywhere

+Jim Zimmerlin do you know if the pizza is available all night like the oasis of the seas?

There's pizza available at lunch and dinner in the buffet, as well as pizza in the Italian specialty restaurant. I think you may also be able to order pizza from room service... but I'm not 100% sure of that.

Hey where are you booking your cruises? Do you have any recommended travel agent?

As a matter of fact, I have two different travel agents that I use, depending on what the vacation is. Write to me at james.zimmerlin@gmail.com and I can fill you in on the details.

hey what would you prefer? Harmony of the seas or Norwegian bliss?

I prefer Norwegian Bliss. I totally loved all the dining and entertainment options.

NCL does breakfast right! The best waffles on any cruise out there!

I also have someone..love her.. dlcampbell2008@aol.com

Excellent review, Jim! My family and I are taking our 2nd NCL cruise in December on the Bliss with a Haven Suite. We cannot wait!!!

Hi, is the go cart free.. or I should say included ?

No. If it was, there would be a huge line and huge wait times. The demand would exceed the capacity. So, they have to impose a small fee to keep people from just riding it over and over again all week long.

+Jim Zimmerlin Thank you. I thought that it was port day, usually on port days lines are short

I read on another Bliss review Laser tag and Go Carts cost $9.95 each; week pass for race cars $99.95.

+Jeff Alcantar Wow , thanks a lot for the information.

Hi Jim! Have you been on carnival spirit or voyager of the seas?

Love the review!!

How did you like the bliss compared to harmony of the seas. We just got back from harmony and loved it. We wanted to book symphony next year.

The Bliss is pretty much the best cruise ship I've ever been on, with Anthem Of The Seas being in second place. I think it's good for people that love cruises to do an Oasis-class ship at least once, since they're so unique... but really, I think Anthem Of The Seas is better, and the Norwegian Bliss even better than that. Check out my video about the Bliss at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PCKjd_Qlz0Y

There was a time when I considered Carnival Spirit MY ship. She used to be based in California, an easy car ride from my home on the coast. I cruised on her four times between 2009 and 2012, and renewed my marriage vows on her in 2010. But probably my greatest appreciation for Carnival Spirit is in regards to her Green Thunder Waterslide. I did a video about that waterslide in 2012, and that video has had 94 million views and provided with with a ton of money from advertising revenue. Basically, if that one video had not become a hit, I probably wouldn't be doing YouTube videos today. Watch the video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPMfe1vMZuE You can read what I wrote about the Carnival Spirit between 2009 and 2012 at http://www.jimzim.net/CarnivalSpiritCruise.html Back in those days, I considered her my favorite cruise ship... but since that time I've become a more experienced cruiser, sailed on a lot of new ships, and found others I like better. But in her own way, she is definitely a great ship... one I have a special fondness for.

+Jeff Alcantar im sure you have to add gratuity. Harmony charged $14.50 for everything which totaled about $410 for our seven day cruise. Still cheaper than Disney's 5 day lmao

None of the food you mentioned I could eat. Looks like a great ship but the food options worry me.

It was the Oasis in February and the food was aweful for everyone in our group compared to all the other cruise lines we have tried. It was all of ours first RCL and in no hurry to go on another.

Just out of curiosity... which Royal Caribbean ship did you sail on? We've sailed on the Oasis class several different times and each time we've noted that the food was some of our least favorite cruise ship food. Yet, on other Royal Caribbean ships, such as Anthem Of The Seas and Independence Of The Seas, the food has been some of the best we've ever had on cruises. It's the oddest thing. Such different food experiences within the same cruise line, and it's been so consistently sub-bar on every Oasis-class ship we've been on and so consistently above-par on every other Royal Caribbean ship. Odd!

Jim Zimmerlin thanks. Gluten and dairy are part of my long list of things I can’t eat. I found carnival pretty good for me but RCL was absolutely the worst for food for everyone we traveled with. Hoping to try NCL at some point.

By the way, she says the best gluten free and dairy free food of the 44 cruises we've been on was on Viking Ocean Cruises and also when we've cruised in The Haven on Norwegian. In The Haven restaurant, they are totally accommodating to anything you need.

I only pointed out the ones that were of interest to me. There were lots of options that I didn't mention, just because it's not my kind of food. My wife has to eat gluten free AND dairy free, and she did OK.

Is Los Lobos vegetarian friendly?

Close-up photos of the Los Lobos menu can be found at https://www.cruisecritic.com/photos/ships/norwegian-bliss-988/los-lobos-412493/

going on the Bliss next year Nov 3-24. looking forward to it.

Canadian Crissy I did awhile ago

joewillgo nothing beats lung cancer and brain damage

Been on several cruises, and really appreciate the depth and practicality of your reviews.

You sir are the new "Samantha Brown" from the Travel Channel. I watched that program religiously.

Just got back from the Bliss. Was very disappointed with the service at each specialty restaurant we attended.

Other news