Jump to content
Travelcat2

Luxury section of ship or Luxury Cruise ships?

Recommended Posts

cc6eb4546c235795879273200f8c7bce.jpg

 

Part of the rather large BBQ restaurant that we’ll go to in about a half an hour.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

607bbc7976d7bce9b0c0c0943372845e.jpg

 

One of many bars/lounges - amongst them are a Mojito Bar, Wine Bar and Whiskey Bar.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a great review. I have also been on Norwegian in a locked floor, but not as good as on Bliss. I feel that this is a good alternate as I frequently do Crystal, Regent or mostly Oceania. I think the Bliss looks fabulous and we are looking forward to our Haven Deluxe Owners Suite. I only wish Jackie was able to see that. I believe Norwegian treats their passengers like gold and I always look forward to my cruises.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What’s with the horrible, garish carpet in just about every photo?

It must have a terribly emetic effect on the passengers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great photos, Jackie. And interesting commentary especially coming from you.

 

What is the total capacity of Bliss and roughly how many are on board for this special cruise? Would give some idea as to what things might be like when "reality sets in" as it were.

 

Anyway - you have sparked my curiosity and I am off to look at NCL's site!!

merci!

Gerry

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
What’s with the horrible, garish carpet in just about every photo?

It must have a terribly emetic effect on the passengers.

 

Yes, please let us know how many people you saw throwing up because of the rugs. 🙄

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The food you have posted in the Haven is not "typical." I've read numerous trip reports from Haven guests and I'm sure they would have posted the seafood buffet pictures. Those crab legs, shrimp, oysters and caviar will disappear next week! And 100 children...we had 900 kids on our spring break cruise out of 4000 passengers. Summer in Alaska will likely be on average 600 kids I'm sure. I will agree that Le Bistro is the best food on NCL and it might be comparable to Regent but it doesn't compare with any dinner I've had on Crystal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Our close friends are also on this promo cruise. They laughed, and told us that this is absolutely a paid advertisement! This is NOTHING like they experienced this winter with their grandkids in Haven on onother NCL super ship. Not to mention the over-the -top entertainment (c’mon Train?!?!). The review is good to note the common spaces, but from a food and beverage and entertainment feel, this is nothing like it will be with the normal NCL passengers. Note, we have been in a Haven Suite several years ago with our grandson, and while it was nice, I wouldn’t gush because once you step outside of Haven, you are in the mob. Thanks, but I will keep on the smaller Premium and Luxury lines for our cruises. The concept and common spaces in this writeup are interesting, however, the hundred press write ups on the web have the same “glowing” paid feel. Wait a year, and then watch the reviews slide, as the normal food and service show up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

NCL's Bliss holds 4,003 passengers. There were approximately 2,000 passengers on the 3 day cruise and they still had 1,740 (approximately) crew members so there were more crew members per passenger than is typically. Interestingly, I did not notice the carpeting (although I always notice it on Regent). There was so much to see that I wasn't looking down at all.

 

I understand what several of you are posting but I am not writing this to suggest that luxury cruisers or even premium or premium plus cruisers try NCL. The purpose is really for people that have suggested that staying in a luxury section of a mainstream ship might be as good as sailing on a luxury cruise line.

 

Rather than going into detail, I'll go straight to my conclusions (for the NCL Bliss only as we have not seen any other NCL ships) and if anyone has questions, I'll be happy to answer them.

 

The ship is great for multi-generational families. There are a couple of areas that are adults only if this is something that you are interested in. There is also an area (unclear to me because I didn't see it) where passengers pay $100/day to enter the area. This may be adults only - not sure but was told that it is quiet.

 

There are many two-bedroom suites in the Haven so I can imagine that it could get noisy there. However, for this cruise, it was a place to get away from the noise. I do like this area - the lounge, restaurant, etc.

 

There is so much for children to do that it should not be an issue. There is even an area for teenagers to "hang out" which is great. Kids will find out that it is the adults that want to do the race track (not sure what age you need to be to drive).

 

The volume of announcements, music (even the piano being played near the atrium) is LOUD! It is pretty well known that people in some generations have a degree of hearing loss due to listening to loud music at concerts and wearing ear phones and listening at too high a volume. Although Baby Boomers listened to rock and roll, it was not as loud as music is today. I mention this for noise sensitive people like myself (my DH says that I have "stealth hearing"). It can be very annoying to be around the incredibly loud music (that is likely not loud for all of the people that blast music in their ears).

 

All of this plays into whether I think that a person can have a luxury experience on the NCL Bliss. I do think that it is possible but likely not during Alaska season or during school breaks where the amount of children is mind boggling. If you stay in the Haven and dine in the Haven, you will have some excellent service (as good as on luxury cruise lines). The food was also better than on the rest of the ship (except for yummy things at Starbucks, Le Bistro and Coco's (a decadent place where you can get some of the best chocolates - gelato, etc.).

 

If you stay in the Haven you will likely want to be around the rest of the ship to try the food, enjoy the lounges, shopping and activities. We did not find the specialty restaurants that we visited (Los Lobos, La Cuchina and O Smokehouse) were not up to par with the ships that we have sailed on (Regent, Silversea and Oceania). As mentioned, Le Bistro was excellent. Also excellent was a coffee shop that served an excellent breakfast.

 

As with any mainstream cruise line, you are pretty much nickeled and dimed at every turn. Unless you are in the Haven, expect to pay for bottled water. Even some non-alcoholic coffee drinks have a price tag.

 

This thread and my posts have been all over the place. It could not have been more a "different" experience for us and I'm still trying to digest everything.

 

So, the bottom line is that one can have a "close to" luxury experience on the Bliss - if you stay in the Haven and sail when children are in school. OTOH, you can almost book a cruise on Regent for not much more than a large suite in the Haven. Note: I am not mentioning the other luxury lines only because Regent has more exclusivity. So, when you take the fare on Regent and deduct Business Class or Coach Air (Coach being domestic) and excursions in addition to the inclusions that most luxury cruise lines provide, the cost is closer to NCL than one would think.

 

It was really a good experience - one that I'm happy that we did. If we had younger children, it would definitely be a cruise line that we would consider. However, after so many years of luxury cruising, this would not be an alternative for us.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks again Travelcat2.

You did a wonderful in pointing out the positives and negatives. No NCL in our future for sure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very interesting review! I feel like a bit of a cheat posting a reply - for two reasons. Firstly, we generally do not cruise that much (places where we want to cruise are on on the opposite side of the globe for us and taking time off is not easy) and secondly, we are yet to try a luxury cruise, which we are booked on, but it’s a while away.

 

With that disclosure, I will put my “two cents” worth. I am absolutely convinced that the prices between suits on a luxury line and a premium line are comparable. Although , we’ve never sailed a larger, mass line line, a quick research shows that their exclusive area suits are, too, not far from a luxury line cruise line. Although, I have seen posts on some premium line forums here that a suit on a premium is less expensive/more affordable, I don’t buy into it. Besides, once one looks at spending a least three times the price of a veranda cabin, the price sensitivity diminishes - at least to a certain extent.

 

I believe there is a market for both types -luxury lines and a luxury segment on a non luxury line. The latter would suite better people who travel with families, those who enjoy big ships’ entertainment, and a ‘feel’ of a bog ship whilst still dining, drinking and sunbathing in their artificial paradise (or Heaven :j ) and those who enjoy their “exclusivity” on a bigger ship. Those, who brag - obviously and discretely- on the forums about their experience, and how this compares to other “classes” on a ship. We’ve also encountered those on cruises, who start conversation on a very friendly note and become patronising once realising their opponent is not travelling in the same class as them.

 

Hence, in my view it makes perfect sense that if somebody is looking for a luxury experience as their absolute “must” for a cruise they should seriously consider a luxury line rather than a “luxury within”.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Very interesting review! I feel like a bit of a cheat posting a reply - for two reasons. Firstly, we generally do not cruise that much (places where we want to cruise are on on the opposite side of the globe for us and taking time off is not easy) and secondly, we are yet to try a luxury cruise, which we are booked on, but it’s a while away.

 

With that disclosure, I will put my “two cents” worth. I am absolutely convinced that the prices between suits on a luxury line and a premium line are comparable. Although , we’ve never sailed a larger, mass line line, a quick research shows that their exclusive area suits are, too, not far from a luxury line cruise line. Although, I have seen posts on some premium line forums here that a suit on a premium is less expensive/more affordable, I don’t buy into it. Besides, once one looks at spending a least three times the price of a veranda cabin, the price sensitivity diminishes - at least to a certain extent.

 

I believe there is a market for both types -luxury lines and a luxury segment on a non luxury line. The latter would suite better people who travel with families, those who enjoy big ships’ entertainment, and a ‘feel’ of a bog ship whilst still dining, drinking and sunbathing in their artificial paradise (or Heaven :j ) and those who enjoy their “exclusivity” on a bigger ship. Those, who brag - obviously and discretely- on the forums about their experience, and how this compares to other “classes” on a ship. We’ve also encountered those on cruises, who start conversation on a very friendly note and become patronising once realising their opponent is not travelling in the same class as them.

 

Hence, in my view it makes perfect sense that if somebody is looking for a luxury experience as their absolute “must” for a cruise they should seriously consider a luxury line rather than a “luxury within”.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro

 

Well said.

I must admit that I get very amused on these forums at all the discussions that deal with the differences in perks between different classes of travel on the mainstream cruise lines. Added to that are all the “packages” passengers have to worry about purchasing. Then you get the passionate loyalty program members, who seem to think that the fact they’ve cruised on the same line a lot makes them a superior breed.

It all seems to take up so much time and anguish, that one wonders if the poor sods on these cruises ever get time to have a holiday, or are they constantly on edge, worrying about whether they are getting all the perks they deserve and feeling inferior to those who have more perks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
NCL's Bliss holds 4,003 passengers. There were approximately 2,000 passengers on the 3 day cruise and they still had 1,740 (approximately) crew members so there were more crew members per passenger than is typically. Interestingly, I did not notice the carpeting (although I always notice it on Regent). There was so much to see that I wasn't looking down at all.

 

I understand what several of you are posting but I am not writing this to suggest that luxury cruisers or even premium or premium plus cruisers try NCL. The purpose is really for people that have suggested that staying in a luxury section of a mainstream ship might be as good as sailing on a luxury cruise line.

 

Rather than going into detail, I'll go straight to my conclusions (for the NCL Bliss only as we have not seen any other NCL ships) and if anyone has questions, I'll be happy to answer them.

 

The ship is great for multi-generational families. There are a couple of areas that are adults only if this is something that you are interested in. There is also an area (unclear to me because I didn't see it) where passengers pay $100/day to enter the area. This may be adults only - not sure but was told that it is quiet.

 

There are many two-bedroom suites in the Haven so I can imagine that it could get noisy there. However, for this cruise, it was a place to get away from the noise. I do like this area - the lounge, restaurant, etc.

 

There is so much for children to do that it should not be an issue. There is even an area for teenagers to "hang out" which is great. Kids will find out that it is the adults that want to do the race track (not sure what age you need to be to drive).

 

The volume of announcements, music (even the piano being played near the atrium) is LOUD! It is pretty well known that people in some generations have a degree of hearing loss due to listening to loud music at concerts and wearing ear phones and listening at too high a volume. Although Baby Boomers listened to rock and roll, it was not as loud as music is today. I mention this for noise sensitive people like myself (my DH says that I have "stealth hearing"). It can be very annoying to be around the incredibly loud music (that is likely not loud for all of the people that blast music in their ears).

 

All of this plays into whether I think that a person can have a luxury experience on the NCL Bliss. I do think that it is possible but likely not during Alaska season or during school breaks where the amount of children is mind boggling. If you stay in the Haven and dine in the Haven, you will have some excellent service (as good as on luxury cruise lines). The food was also better than on the rest of the ship (except for yummy things at Starbucks, Le Bistro and Coco's (a decadent place where you can get some of the best chocolates - gelato, etc.).

 

If you stay in the Haven you will likely want to be around the rest of the ship to try the food, enjoy the lounges, shopping and activities. We did not find the specialty restaurants that we visited (Los Lobos, La Cuchina and O Smokehouse) were not up to par with the ships that we have sailed on (Regent, Silversea and Oceania). As mentioned, Le Bistro was excellent. Also excellent was a coffee shop that served an excellent breakfast.

 

As with any mainstream cruise line, you are pretty much nickeled and dimed at every turn. Unless you are in the Haven, expect to pay for bottled water. Even some non-alcoholic coffee drinks have a price tag.

 

This thread and my posts have been all over the place. It could not have been more a "different" experience for us and I'm still trying to digest everything.

 

So, the bottom line is that one can have a "close to" luxury experience on the Bliss - if you stay in the Haven and sail when children are in school. OTOH, you can almost book a cruise on Regent for not much more than a large suite in the Haven. Note: I am not mentioning the other luxury lines only because Regent has more exclusivity. So, when you take the fare on Regent and deduct Business Class or Coach Air (Coach being domestic) and excursions in addition to the inclusions that most luxury cruise lines provide, the cost is closer to NCL than one would think.

 

It was really a good experience - one that I'm happy that we did. If we had younger children, it would definitely be a cruise line that we would consider. However, after so many years of luxury cruising, this would not be an alternative for us.

 

Thank you for your well written review.

I saw a comparison recently between the cost of a Regent cruise to Alaska and a comparable cruise on one of the mainstream lines. Once you added drinks, airfare and excursions to the cheaper mainstream fare, the prices ended up being quite similar.

I think the thing that would most probably put me off a luxury section of a big ship is that I would miss the sensation of actually being on the sea.

Luxury ships, being smaller, give you the opportunity to be closer to the water and actually get the feeling of being at one with the elements.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

sometimes the elements are a bit much!!

 

Jackie - thanks for this. You have really thought through it and summed things up well. I took a look at the NCL site and the prices for "Haven" suites and concluded that we are probably better off with Oceania or Regent. What really confirmed my thinking was your comment about the noise. I cannot tolerate noise of any sort and loud musak and loud anouncements would "send me up the spout". I know lots of people love "loud". But I can't even sit in a loud restaurant...

 

It was great to see the photos and to get your take on things.

Gerry

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
sometimes the elements are a bit much!!

 

Jackie - thanks for this. You have really thought through it and summed things up well. I took a look at the NCL site and the prices for "Haven" suites and concluded that we are probably better off with Oceania or Regent. What really confirmed my thinking was your comment about the noise. I cannot tolerate noise of any sort and loud musak and loud anouncements would "send me up the spout". I know lots of people love "loud". But I can't even sit in a loud restaurant...

 

It was great to see the photos and to get your take on things.

Gerry

 

I agree with you about the noise issue.

Background music in restaurants, planes and shops should be banned by law.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I agree with you about the noise issue.

Background music in restaurants, planes and shops should be banned by law.

 

I have to confess I have, on more than one occasion, 'bopped in the aisle'.

 

I take it we will not be seeing you any time soon in a flash mob.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jackie - thanks for all the information you shared. I have sailed on some of these ship before I discovered Regent. I agree that by the time you are done adding all the extras, price is not significantly different. Unless we travel with family, we will stick to a Regent.

Sheila

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have to confess I have, on more than one occasion, 'bopped in the aisle'.

 

I take it we will not be seeing you any time soon in a flash mob.

 

I have been a flash mob choir. But that isn’t background music, more in the foreground :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have been a flash mob choir. But that isn’t background music, more in the foreground :D

 

having had several enjoyable holidays in Nuremberg, I wish I had been present when the following 'flash mob' took place:

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
having had several enjoyable holidays in Nuremberg, I wish I had been present when the following 'flash mob' took place:

 

When I saw Nuremberg Igor a moment I was worried that the YouTube clip might be something directed by Leni Reifenstahl.

:eek:

Thank goodness it was far better than that:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
When I saw Nuremberg Igor a moment I was worried that the YouTube clip might be something directed by Leni Reifenstahl.

:eek:

Thank goodness it was far better than that:)

 

Triumph of the Will!

 

She lived to be 101.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have to confess I have, on more than one occasion, 'bopped in the aisle'.

 

I take it we will not be seeing you any time soon in a flash mob.

 

 

EV, much as I love Beethoven’s 9th and the feelings it can inspire with its “noise”, this so-called flash mob and the video and audio logistical issues sounded too good and too professional to be believable as anything spontaneous started by a little girl in the street with a recorder and man and woman on the street then chiming in.

Per several internet sites, it was indeed planned and staged by professionals, to unfold as it did

 

“The performance was orchestrated by a German bank in concert with members of Germany’s Hans Sachs Choir and the Philharmonic Orchestra of Nuremberg. “

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

TC2, thank you for posting this!

Very nice pictures, and balanced assessment.

 

And BTW, as someone who has two red leather sofas in our weekend house where we will likely retire, and a dining set with chairs that are red, purple, yellow, and blue, I love that bright red-themed carpet :cool:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
EV, much as I love Beethoven’s 9th and the feelings it can inspire with its “noise”, this so-called flash mob and the video and audio logistical issues sounded too good and too professional to be believable as anything spontaneous started by a little girl in the street with a recorder and man and woman on the street then chiming in.

Per several internet sites, it was indeed planned and staged by professionals, to unfold as it did

 

“The performance was orchestrated by a German bank in concert with members of Germany’s Hans Sachs Choir and the Philharmonic Orchestra of Nuremberg. “

 

You have linked to the video of 'Grease'.

 

By definition, a 'flash mob' does not preclude professionals.

 

 

 

Edited by English Voyager

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
TC2, thank you for posting this!

Very nice pictures, and balanced assessment.

 

And BTW, as someone who has two red leather sofas in our weekend house where we will likely retire, and a dining set with chairs that are red, purple, yellow, and blue, I love that bright red-themed carpet :cool:

 

Glad that you enjoyed the thread. I was thinking that the carpeting is the way that it is as apparently there could be 800 children on one cruise (omg). As the result of our NCL cruise, we are trying a premium cruise line in September to compare it to NCL and hope that the food is a bit better. While we are not giving up Regent, short trips on the West Coast are inviting (especially when they are not to Alaska as we have done that five times with one booked again next year). We will be sailing from Vancouver to San Diego and will likely post on this board since we will, once again, be in the luxury section of a non-luxury cruise line!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×