Having just celebrated my 39th anniversary in the cruise industry this past May 15 has afforded me an opportunity to go on approximately 80 cruises, from the largest in the industry to river boats. Having cruised on “family” cruise ships on numerous occasions, I have either attempted, or have watched others do the various activities that can be found on various ships, such as a zip line, rock climbing wall, surf simulator, ice skating rink, miniature golf, water slides of various sizes and designs and other interesting and exciting events. However, having just sailed on Norwegian Caribbean Cruise’s new Norwegian Bliss, I can say that they all pale in the uniqueness and excitement that the Bliss offers for guests—-a Go Kart track on the top deck. Yes, a go-kart track.
photo of track
The Norwegian Bliss is the cruise line’s newest ship which has a passenger capacity of 4,004. The Bliss offers many activities in addition to the go-kart track, including the first ever Laser Tag area on a ship and two dynamic water slides, one of which has a clear area that extends a bit over the ship and water. What is impressive, unique and exciting is the go-kart track. Beginning on Deck 17, you drive up a small ramp to Deck 18, where there are a few curves, until you go down the ramp back to 17 and loop until you go back up again. The experience isn’t short lived either as each turn is provided eight laps. Note to everyone that reservations are greatly suggested because this is one activity that will garner a great deal of interest from guests of all ages, including adults. Also, closed shoes are required—no flip flops, etc.
In addition to the activities, which of course includes a large pool and various whirlpools, the evening entertainment is plentiful. The Broadway play, The Jersey Boys about Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, is presented in the theater. Another show presented is Havana, a musical about a couple who own and operate a theater and whose daughter is in love with the lead star of their cabaret. Having viewed numerous shows that were created for ships, Havana is the best I have ever seen as it is full of exciting energy, dynamic dancing, and sensational songs. This show could go to Broadway! In addition to these two shows and special guests who are brought onboard the ship to entertain, there is also a comedy club and a club called the Cavern, which provides a musical tribute to the Beatles (The Cavern is the club in Liverpool, England, where the Beatles were playing when they were discovered by their eventual manager, Brian Epstein. The Beatles made close to 300 appearances at the Cavern, culminating in their last appearance in 1963, one month after the recording of their first mega-single, “She Loves You,” and six months before their first trip to the United States. As they say, the rest is history.)
Of course, one important aspect of any cruise is the food and I was pleasantly surprised by the quality. Even a seafood buffet with lobster, snow crabs, clams and an assortment of delicacies from the sea was offered at lunch. The service in Savor and Taste, two smaller dining venues if you don’t want to dine in the larger Main Manhattan Restaurant, was excellent. Of course, the Bliss, like many cruise ships, offers a few specialty restaurants which has an additional charge including Teppanyaki, which offers a hibachi-style Japanese cuisine; Cagney’s Steakhouse; Ocean Blue; Le Bistro French restaurant and La Cucina Italian restaurant, as well as Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville where the specialty is various hamburgers. You will also find Starbucks, Coco’s (for chocolate lovers) and Dolce Gelato for your sweet tooth.
(Photos of Seafood Buffet as well as Teppanyaki or Ocean Blue)
Overall, the Norwegian Bliss is a wonderful ship for either couples or families. And, with Norwegian‘s current Free at Sea promotion where you can get two amenities to your cabin (either the beverage package which includes alcoholic drinks; dining in the specialty restaurant–the amount of nights depends on the length of your cruise–; $50 per port towards shore excursions; internet minutes; or Friends and family sail free promotion which is available for selected sailings—*Gratuities, Beverage, Specialty Service Charges & other restrictions may apply.) Guests who book the Haven Suite receive all 5 amenities.
Interested in learning more, or possibly booking a cabin(s), please contact me at Luxury Cruise Connections at ext. 170.
Steve Gulko has been in the industry 38 years and has sailed on approximately 80 cruises to various “bucket lists” and just fun locations. If you have comments or want to have him check on the best available rates and promotions for any vacation, contact him at 866-997-0377, ext. 170. He promises to research for the best deals for his guests, provide his vast experience, and to always try to match and actually beat any offer.