Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
hakunamatata2020

Bliss or Jewel for Alaskan honeymoon??

Recommended Posts

Hi everyone! My fiancé and I are trying to plan a honeymoon to Alaska in August 2020. We are looking at both the Norwegian Jewel and Bliss. We are leaning towards the Norwegian Jewel because it is significantly cheaper (leaving more $ for excursions) and we would also be getting a balcony. I have never cruised with NCL before, only with RCL and Carnival. Do you think the Jewel would be sufficient for a honeymoon? Since it is a smaller ship, does it have fun activities to do during the sea days like trivia, scavenger hunts, etc.? Please keep in mind we will be 24 and 25 years old, and are not "party" people at all... our favorite things to do include hiking, sightseeing, movie/drive-ins, and just relaxing in general. 

 

Thank you in advance! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Depends on where you want to fly into. Bliss sails out of Seattle. Jewel out of Vancouver BC.  Having sailed both ships, I would lean towards the Bliss for Alaska.

We sailed the Jewel from Australia to Hong Kong.  Yes, it is a smaller ship, what NCL calls jewel class ship . (Pearl, Jade, Jewel etc are ships in this class) It went through a refurbishment when it finished repositioning cruise last year.  Location of cabin more critical on this class ship. Could have obstructed views. Of the jewel-class ships, we really prefer the Pearl. The buffet set up and seating is much better.  Great Outdoors at rear of ship is nice on that class ship.

Bliss we sailed last fall, from Seattle. We do this cruise every year. In the past, we have been on the Pearl.  We were not sure we would like Bliss , as it is much larger.

We loved it. Had balcony cabin. They all seem to have great views. 

The big thing we noticed was the new ship had better tech.  Normally when sailing north and south for Alaska, the waters can be rough. On the Bliss, the movement was minimal. We really noticed how much more we enjoyed the days at sea on the Bliss.

Touch screens around the ship made it easy to schedule things. We did not do go karts or laser tag. I did do the big water slide, WOW. it was fun. Water was heated.

Food in buffet and set up of buffet , we liked better on the Bliss. 

We are sailing again on the Bliss this year. We waited and booked Mini Suite right after final payment time for this cruise. 

Keep an eye on pricing, if it goes down, you can call and ask them if they can do something for you. Some have been upgraded to next level cabin when price falls on same sailing.

Congratulations on the wedding.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
55 minutes ago, hakunamatata2020 said:

Hi everyone! My fiancé and I are trying to plan a honeymoon to Alaska in August 2020. We are looking at both the Norwegian Jewel and Bliss. We are leaning towards the Norwegian Jewel because it is significantly cheaper (leaving more $ for excursions) and we would also be getting a balcony. I have never cruised with NCL before, only with RCL and Carnival. Do you think the Jewel would be sufficient for a honeymoon? Since it is a smaller ship, does it have fun activities to do during the sea days like trivia, scavenger hunts, etc.? Please keep in mind we will be 24 and 25 years old, and are not "party" people at all... our favorite things to do include hiking, sightseeing, movie/drive-ins, and just relaxing in general. 

 

Thank you in advance! 🙂

First, congratulations!  

 

So, it like deciding on a small ship on RCCL or a megaship. The Bliss is equivalent to a Quantum class ship. We like the big ships (Quantum, Oasis). We

like the Bliss for the variety of things to see and do. 

 

From an itinerary perspective, we have always liked the Northbound Jewel. We sit for hours watching the sea for whales and sea life. Once you get to Seward, taking a land tour up to Denali National Park is magical. 

 

Enjoy!  

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We did the JEWEL southbound from Seward to Vancouver at the end of May this year.  I absolutely loved that cruise.  The ship was beautiful and because it was Alaska its all about the scenery.  I did play trivia, but honestly I sat in the Observation Lounge most of the time (we had a port hole cabin).  I can't speak to the Bliss, but make sure you are aware of the glaciers and viewing for Glacier Bay and Tracy Arm.  Alaska is quite magical.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BLISS and the JOY big ships sail out of Seattle and return -

see Ketchikan Juneau and Skagway Glacier Bay your basic

Alaska introductory cruise.

Round trip Flights to and from Seattle

 

JEWEL sails north and south bound between Vancouver

and Seward (Anchorage) - if sailing northbound an

abundance of land tours are available think Mt. Denali

One Way flight to Vancouver and return from Anchorage

or Fairbanks not as cheap as Seattle but using NCL

Free or reduced airfare maybe a break point

if sailing southbound land tours before cruise flights into

Fairbanks or Anchorage and flight home from Vancouver

 

All cruises are 7 days except those at the beginning and

end of the cruise season. Land tours are 3-4 and 5 days

 

If it were my wedding I would book the JEWEL for the

small ship intimacy and more options of seeing Alaska.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do both ships go to Glacier Bay?  This is considered a must by many. Also  port times earlier in the day are preferable.  That  also reduces the chances of having to tender.  Some  ports get extremely busy.  

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, milolii said:

Do both ships go to Glacier Bay?  This is considered a must by many. Also  port times earlier in the day are preferable.  That  also reduces the chances of having to tender.  Some  ports get extremely busy.  

 

 

In general:

 

The JOY and the BLISS go to Glacier Bay

The JEWEL goes to Hubbard and Tracy Arm Sawyer glacier

 

The port of Icy Strait Point is a tender port for one ship when two ships are there

Juneau and Ketchikan can also be tender ports if multiple ships are there

 

One would have to check the itinerary of the sailing for the port times

Juneau is often shorted on port time

 

Ketchikan is notorious for being extremely busy - but it is all determined by

how many ships are berthed at one time

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, don't-use-real-name said:

In general:

 

The JOY and the BLISS go to Glacier Bay

The JEWEL goes to Hubbard and Tracy Arm Sawyer glacier

 

The port of Icy Strait Point is a tender port for one ship when two ships are there

Juneau and Ketchikan can also be tender ports if multiple ships are there

 

One would have to check the itinerary of the sailing for the port times

Juneau is often shorted on port time

 

Ketchikan is notorious for being extremely busy - but it is all determined by

how many ships are berthed at one time

I'm seeing on my end that the Jewel does go to both Glacier Bay and Hubbard Glacier in August 2020. That is why I was looking at that ship specifically, since it goes to both.  https://www.ncl.com/cruises/7-day-alaska-with-glacier-bay-from-vancouver-northbound-JEWEL7VANKTNJNUSGYSWD/schedule?itineraryCode=JEWEL7VANKTNJNUSGYSWD&customerStoriesCurrentPage=1&customerStoriesPageSize=3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, hakunamatata2020 said:

I'm seeing on my end that the Jewel does go to both Glacier Bay and Hubbard Glacier in August 2020. That is why I was looking at that ship specifically, since it goes to both.  https://www.ncl.com/cruises/7-day-alaska-with-glacier-bay-from-vancouver-northbound-JEWEL7VANKTNJNUSGYSWD/schedule?itineraryCode=JEWEL7VANKTNJNUSGYSWD&customerStoriesCurrentPage=1&customerStoriesPageSize=3

 

Good - your research is providing different options as schedules itineraries and ships change often.

Even more so with the end and beginning of the season with the ship positioning cruises.

With this observation the Tracy Arm Sawyer glacier is deleted.

Of note only a certain number of ships can visit the glaciers and is regulated by the National Park Service !

Another plus is the northbound cruise out of Vancouver sails the Canadian Inside Passage a remarkable

experience - the big ships sail the Pacific Ocean side of Vancouver Island.

I hope you are considering a land package tour of the Alaskan interior - if this is your one and only visit to

Alaska seriously give thought to it.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Jewel NB vs SB visits different glaciers - NB is preferred a it does visit Glacier Bay and Hubbard. The Jewel also spends more time in each port then either the Bliss or Joy. The one way trip also gives you a chance to spend an extra day or two and see some of the Kenai Peninsula before flying home from Anchorage. As far as getting to Vancouver you can either fly into Vancouver or you can go to Seattle and take a bus or train from there.

 

There are not that many sea days on any AK cruise - however starting in Vancouver you eliminate going around on the outside of the island which does save some time in getting to the first port.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
44 minutes ago, bonvoyagie said:

The Jewel NB vs SB visits different glaciers - NB is preferred a it does visit Glacier Bay and Hubbard. The Jewel also spends more time in each port then either the Bliss or Joy. The one way trip also gives you a chance to spend an extra day or two and see some of the Kenai Peninsula before flying home from Anchorage. As far as getting to Vancouver you can either fly into Vancouver or you can go to Seattle and take a bus or train from there.

 

There are not that many sea days on any AK cruise - however starting in Vancouver you eliminate going around on the outside of the island which does save some time in getting to the first port.

 

Thanks for that input - the difference in JEWEL NB and SB cruises and glacier visits.

Sailing on the JEWEL 9/16 SB

 

Regarding the transportation issue at Seattle to Vancouver -

the Amtrak train makes terrible connections for cruise activity requiring an overnight stay -

(Is better suited to combine with the RockyMountaineer train)

that is the TRAIN and not the motor coach (bus) -

Amtrak motor coach (bus) service does meets the cruise schedule -

sort of takes the train out of the picture which is not to my liking -

visit the website 261(dot)com for my life time participation my love of steam -

 

Another option is Quick Shuttle from the Seattle airport and some Seattle

downtown stops to the Canada Place Pier.

Quick Shuttle does the reverse from Canada Place Pier to Seattle stops.

 

Getting around is like Phineas Fogg (Around the World in 80 days) planning

and executing an intricate schedule of seemingly impossible connections !

 

Just leave some real time space to get from A to B and smell the roses !

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

If as you post may imply, you can afford a balcony on Jewel but perhaps not on Bliss I would say Jewel... because a balcony is a real treat, especially for a honeymoon and watching Alaska slide by from a balcony is hard to beat, you're likely to spot whales and other wildlife, not too mention the scenery. (Take binoculars).

 

Saving some cash there and adding some adventurous excursions, maybe a scenic flight... no brainer.

 

 

Edited by Notnewtoit

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Notnewtoit said:

If as you post may imply, you can afford a balcony on Jewel but perhaps not on Bliss I would say Jewel... because a balcony is a real treat, especially for a honeymoon and watching Alaska slide by from a balcony is hard to beat, you're likely to spot whales and other wildlife, not too mention the scenery. (Take binoculars).

100% agree on this.  

 

Jewel class ships are great, especially when the focus of the cruise is the scenery and not what's to do on the ship.  (Not that there's nothing to do on the ship at all!)  Just like why would you want to ride go karts when you could be watching for seals, or bears, or... playing... in your stateroom.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My wife and I did our honeymoon on the jewel NB last year! We did the same research as you are right now and had a great time. It's all about the itinerary! We were so tired that most nights we stayed in the room and relaxed. I 100% suggest getting the balcony. We didn't have to fight to see any of the glaciers and had the extra money to spend on excursions. Do the jewel, you will have a great time!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While not our honeymoon, my trip to AK with my spouse next July is going to be a special occasion one, his 45th birthday, and we went with the Jewel for many of the same reasons stated above. We are NB, in a great balcony and plan to spend time in the Kenai area following the cruise. We LOVE NCL and the many amenities the ships offer, but this particular cruise, our first to AK,... we are more interested in the scenery and each other.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Congratulations!!!

We have not yet sailed the Bliss - we enjoy the Jewel Class. 

Our trip was a little different.  At the end of the season, we sailed the Jewel Transpacific from Vancouver to Tokyo - which included Ketchikan, Juneau & Seward.  Great Cruise, Roll-Call Group & NCL Team!

The great option for a one-way trip is the ability to add additional days to visit our amazing state!!!

Whichever cruise you decide upon - Congratulations & Wishing You a Happy Lifetime of Cruising Together...

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Jewel all the way especially on an Alaskan cruise! My wife and I have done both the Away Class ships and Jewel class. We really prefer the smaller ships better. And as noted above more time in port

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

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • SAIL-AWAY GIVEAWAY - Enter for a chance to win a $3,000 Norwegian Cruise Line Gift Card
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...