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mamashamiller

Not really BLISSful 2/16 sailing

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Ok home from the 2/16 sailing on bliss. I should start by saying this is my 11th cruise with ncl.  My honeymoon was on  the old ss Norway back in 1998.  I’m gold latitudes and close to platinum.  I’ve been a very loyal ncl customer but this cruise might have changed that.

 

I think the Bliss can NOT handle 5000 passengers.  It was soooo disorganized 

for starters check in took 2 hours in line at the ny port and probably would have taken longer had not a nice  agent given us another boarding group.  Nobody boarded until after noon so the early people were waiting too.  
I think people’s patience were fried because the welcome aboard lunch in buffet was a lot of pushing and yelling which was followed by life boat drill which lead to a cluster **** outside of the local waiting for elevators

i knew enough to hang back can let the crazies go first.

i think the lack of center elevator bank was not smart on the size of this ship.  For the first 2 days at sea you could hardly get in one.  
I question why Norwegian build a ship this large and expect quaint rooms like cavern and social club to handle crowds? 
again this lest to upset people when only a few hundred can realistically see Beatles or  comedians.  Majority are turned away.

@BirdTravels was so helpful saying to go early......but unless you were there 40 minutes prior you weren’t getting in

so why aren’t these popular shows in a larger theatre where more people could enjoy.

same with kids club.  The room is same size as the dawn So kids were left to wait in line for another child to leave before they could come in. 
Ncl private island was a joke.  No chairs even worse than usual.  I had priority tender boarding yet everything was gone before I got there.  
excursions were poorly organized 

they started calling groups to line up before the gangway was even opened at Port Canaveral.

the food was ok at best in MDR

i really hate to complain because it’s better than having to cook and clean for myself but the quality of items has drastically declined.  It’s quantity over quality big time.

However, i think the local does an excellent job.  I didn’t eat in specialty restaurants this trip.  
the shows 6 and jersey boys were wonderful.

so will I return?

probably but it would have to be a jewel class ship.  Ncl just makes this extra large ships to make more money and doesn’t provide any extra planning or services. 

sorry ncl you were my go to but I’m going to take a little vacation from you.

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Was your cruise 7 nights? They always do the comedians in the theater one or two nights, and it’s usually less than half full. You could have gone to one of those. I’m pretty sure the Beatles are in the theater one night, as well. 
 

This is the 6th straight ship with this elevator set up. Yeah, not ideal. 
 

Sorry your trip sucked. 

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9 minutes ago, LrgPizza said:

Sorry your trip sucked. 

No it was fine.  I just think these big ships aren’t ideal if the boat is full.  I’m on vacation with my kids so that’s pretty awesome.  Yes Beatles did a show in bliss lounge first night followed by a night 6 fill in show in theatre because jersey boys got canceled and rescheduled to day 7 because of the rough seas. Comedians didn’t except for that welcome aboard preview performance.

i guess my thinking is try to accommodate as many people as you can and stay out of the little venues.

 

Edited by mamashamiller

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That you sailed during President's Day week, the mobs don't surprise me.

 

We (well me, DH is still open to it) don't bother with the private island.  We don't go early and the last time we got there the line for food was sooooo long we turned around and took the next tender back.  It's just not the same since they make the lagoon area exclusive.

 

If you ever go again, stay on the ship and enjoy the peace and quiet.

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23 minutes ago, April42749 said:

If you ever go again, stay on the ship and enjoy the peace and quiet.

Believe me we weren’t there long.  Long enough to let my 11 yo swim in the beautiful water then we were back to ship and an empty elevator!

 

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We did blue lagoon which gets good reviews but they also oversold their beach to the 5 cruise ships in port.

again not enough chairs

everything “ reserved” For the bargain price if an additional $66 which included 2 chairs 2 drinks

finally people were so disgusted they swarmed the reserved area and refused to leave👍

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One day your 11 year old will be a grown-up and then you can cruise when school is in session.  It's a whole different fish.  You seriously couldn't give me a free cruise during any "holiday week".  The ships are just too crowded and the kids can get underfoot or just plain annoying (like knocking on doors and pushing elevator buttons).

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Sorry that you're cruise wasn't so Blissful. I wish there was an easy answer. The big ships on all cruise lines have "issues" with crowd control and try to spread passengers out to as many different venues as possible. We have been cycling between Breakaway-Plus ships and Oasis/Quantum class ships lately (venue crowds only get worse when you have 6000+ passengers on an Oasis class ship). 

 

We use boards like cruise critic to learn enough about a ship to ensure that we properly navigate the crowds once we are onboard. 

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I also prefer the jewel class and the dawn class ships. We dont have young children so dont need all the extra things the big ships have. I am trying to plan a birthday trip and the only ship with a week long cruise that works with my birthday week is the breakaway...just cant get excited about it so i think i will just either wait or put two sky trips together as. B2B. I want to leave from miami so that is also a limitation. 

 

Anyway, i agree the bigger ships need to work on their crowd control.

 

 

 

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I was on Bliss cruise just prior to OP and I'm feeling the same way about the number of people onboard, think these ships have reached max cap. 

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14 hours ago, mamashamiller said:

for starters check in took 2 hours in line at the ny port and probably would have taken longer had not a nice  agent given us another boarding group.

That's a port issue, not really a ship issue (other than maybe the ship is too large for the port).  I had mixed experiences boarding this ship in LA (San Pedro actually), one time went super fast while the second time was slowed/delayed due to a CG inspection of the ship.

14 hours ago, mamashamiller said:

I think people’s patience were fried because the welcome aboard lunch in buffet was a lot of pushing and yelling

Many people don't realize there are venues other than the buffet open for lunch on embarkation day.

 

14 hours ago, mamashamiller said:

i think the lack of center elevator bank was not smart on the size of this ship.

Royal Caribbean's Oasis-class ships don't even have 3 banks of elevators.  This is an issue on many ships.  What I did the last time I was on the Bliss was walk to the other end of the ship and use the aft elevators, they were closer to my room anyway.  The first time I was in a Studio and used the stairs instead (I know, not an option for everyone but if those who CAN take the stairs do...)

 

14 hours ago, mamashamiller said:

I question why Norwegian build a ship this large and expect quaint rooms like cavern and social club to handle crowds?

The point of The Cavern Club isn't to handle crowds, it's to give the ambiance of the venue where the Beatles were discovered or played their first shows.  I can't speak to the size of The Social.  As noted - at the very least the Beatles band played one night in the theater.

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Thanks for sharing your thoughts.  We are going on the Encore in a few months and, although - like you - I'm sure I'll have a good time, it's a lot of people on one boat.  

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17 hours ago, mamashamiller said:

Ok home from the 2/16 sailing on bliss. I should start by saying this is my 11th cruise with ncl.  My honeymoon was on  the old ss Norway back in 1998.  I’m gold latitudes and close to platinum.  I’ve been a very loyal ncl customer but this cruise might have changed that.

 

I think the Bliss can NOT handle 5000 passengers.  It was soooo disorganized 

for starters check in took 2 hours in line at the ny port and probably would have taken longer had not a nice  agent given us another boarding group.  Nobody boarded until after noon so the early people were waiting too.  
I think people’s patience were fried because the welcome aboard lunch in buffet was a lot of pushing and yelling which was followed by life boat drill which lead to a cluster **** outside of the local waiting for elevators

i knew enough to hang back can let the crazies go first.

i think the lack of center elevator bank was not smart on the size of this ship.  For the first 2 days at sea you could hardly get in one.  
I question why Norwegian build a ship this large and expect quaint rooms like cavern and social club to handle crowds? 
again this lest to upset people when only a few hundred can realistically see Beatles or  comedians.  Majority are turned away.

@BirdTravels was so helpful saying to go early......but unless you were there 40 minutes prior you weren’t getting in

so why aren’t these popular shows in a larger theatre where more people could enjoy.

same with kids club.  The room is same size as the dawn So kids were left to wait in line for another child to leave before they could come in. 
Ncl private island was a joke.  No chairs even worse than usual.  I had priority tender boarding yet everything was gone before I got there.  
excursions were poorly organized 

they started calling groups to line up before the gangway was even opened at Port Canaveral.

the food was ok at best in MDR

i really hate to complain because it’s better than having to cook and clean for myself but the quality of items has drastically declined.  It’s quantity over quality big time.

However, i think the local does an excellent job.  I didn’t eat in specialty restaurants this trip.  
the shows 6 and jersey boys were wonderful.

so will I return?

probably but it would have to be a jewel class ship.  Ncl just makes this extra large ships to make more money and doesn’t provide any extra planning or services. 

sorry ncl you were my go to but I’m going to take a little vacation from you.

I was on the same cruise as you. While embarkation took a little while, everything else was smooth sailing.  We had lunch in Savor without a wait after we got on the ship.  The muster drill is always a mess because most people don't know where they are going yet on the ship.  We had a great time on GSC.  Which tender were you on? We were on one of the last excursion group tenders, was able to get lounge chairs to go with our clam shells without a problem.  

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I grew up in NY.  I would never go on a vacation during Presidents week.  I remember years ago we did that when I was a teen and everything in Florida was packed.  Once my kids started school, we always pulled them out the second or third week of September for vacations.  Never had an issue.

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3 hours ago, hallux said:

That's a port issue, not really a ship issue (other than maybe the ship is too large for the port).  I had mixed experiences boarding this ship in LA (San Pedro actually), one time went super fast while the second time was slowed/delayed due to a CG inspection of the ship.

Many people don't realize there are venues other than the buffet open for lunch on embarkation day.

 

Royal Caribbean's Oasis-class ships don't even have 3 banks of elevators.  This is an issue on many ships.  What I did the last time I was on the Bliss was walk to the other end of the ship and use the aft elevators, they were closer to my room anyway.  The first time I was in a Studio and used the stairs instead (I know, not an option for everyone but if those who CAN take the stairs do...)

 

The point of The Cavern Club isn't to handle crowds, it's to give the ambiance of the venue where the Beatles were discovered or played their first shows.  I can't speak to the size of The Social.  As noted - at the very least the Beatles band played one night in the theater.

I agree with all your comments.  You mention San Pedro and we've done it twice, the first being the first port of call after the Panama Canal and subject to the CG inspection, which tested everyone's patience.  The second time we arrived after 1:00 p.m. and there were no lines!  Just goes to show how much something can change from one time to the next!

Love the Cavern Club too.

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17 hours ago, mamashamiller said:

Ok home from the 2/16 sailing on bliss. I should start by saying this is my 11th cruise with ncl.  My honeymoon was on  the old ss Norway back in 1998.  I’m gold latitudes and close to platinum.  I’ve been a very loyal ncl customer but this cruise might have changed that.

 

I think the Bliss can NOT handle 5000 passengers.  It was soooo disorganized 

for starters check in took 2 hours in line at the ny port and probably would have taken longer had not a nice  agent given us another boarding group.  Nobody boarded until after noon so the early people were waiting too.  
I think people’s patience were fried because the welcome aboard lunch in buffet was a lot of pushing and yelling which was followed by life boat drill which lead to a cluster **** outside of the local waiting for elevators

i knew enough to hang back can let the crazies go first.

i think the lack of center elevator bank was not smart on the size of this ship.  For the first 2 days at sea you could hardly get in one.  
I question why Norwegian build a ship this large and expect quaint rooms like cavern and social club to handle crowds? 
again this lest to upset people when only a few hundred can realistically see Beatles or  comedians.  Majority are turned away.

@BirdTravels was so helpful saying to go early......but unless you were there 40 minutes prior you weren’t getting in

so why aren’t these popular shows in a larger theatre where more people could enjoy.

same with kids club.  The room is same size as the dawn So kids were left to wait in line for another child to leave before they could come in. 
Ncl private island was a joke.  No chairs even worse than usual.  I had priority tender boarding yet everything was gone before I got there.  
excursions were poorly organized 

they started calling groups to line up before the gangway was even opened at Port Canaveral.

the food was ok at best in MDR

i really hate to complain because it’s better than having to cook and clean for myself but the quality of items has drastically declined.  It’s quantity over quality big time.

However, i think the local does an excellent job.  I didn’t eat in specialty restaurants this trip.  
the shows 6 and jersey boys were wonderful.

so will I return?

probably but it would have to be a jewel class ship.  Ncl just makes this extra large ships to make more money and doesn’t provide any extra planning or services. 

sorry ncl you were my go to but I’m going to take a little vacation from you.

Really enjoyed your review, very honest and straightforward.  We've done the Bliss three times on the West Coast and although we love many things about the Bliss, we also like the Jewel and Dawn class ships because of fewer passengers.  

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21 minutes ago, GA Dave said:

I grew up in NY.  I would never go on a vacation during Presidents week.  I remember years ago we did that when I was a teen and everything in Florida was packed.  Once my kids started school, we always pulled them out the second or third week of September for vacations.  Never had an issue.

As kids get older, it's harder to take them out when school is in session.  Up to when our eldest was in 2nd grade we would go on vacation the first week in March.  Now it's not really possible

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1 minute ago, geegee1 said:

As kids get older, it's harder to take them out when school is in session.  Up to when our eldest was in 2nd grade we would go on vacation the first week in March.  Now it's not really possible

We did it even when our kids were in high school.  My wife worked in the school district, so we notified all of the teachers well in advance that they would be gone and had them get all assignments due during that time to them a week or two ahead.  They usually finished all the work before we even left on our trip.  Did not seem to hurt either of them, as they both graduated as 4.0 valedictorians.  I think the life experiences they had on the trips far outweighed anything they would learn in school during those days.

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26 minutes ago, GA Dave said:

We did it even when our kids were in high school.  My wife worked in the school district, so we notified all of the teachers well in advance that they would be gone and had them get all assignments due during that time to them a week or two ahead.  They usually finished all the work before we even left on our trip.  Did not seem to hurt either of them, as they both graduated as 4.0 valedictorians.  I think the life experiences they had on the trips far outweighed anything they would learn in school during those days.

We always pull the kids every September for disney because we get jewish holidays off so we can go away for a week and only miss 3 days.....but I think disney is never off season these  days.  

we  were on the Regal Princess out of Fort Lauderdale last February vacation 

no issues I think their use of medallions are far superior then waiting for a keycards 

 

Edited by mamashamiller

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1 hour ago, geegee1 said:

I was on the same cruise as you. While embarkation took a little while, everything else was smooth sailing.  We had lunch in Savor without a wait after we got on the ship.  The muster drill is always a mess because most people don't know where they are going yet on the ship.  We had a great time on GSC.  Which tender were you on? We were on one of the last excursion group tenders, was able to get lounge chairs to go with our clam shells without a problem.  

I knew enough to not go to buffet my friends did😱. When I boarded at 124 after a two hour wait I was directed to deck 16 when I asked where the dining rooms were.  I ran down the deck to get in to have a civil lunch 

it was a good cruise just not great imo

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1 hour ago, GA Dave said:

We did it even when our kids were in high school.  My wife worked in the school district, so we notified all of the teachers well in advance that they would be gone and had them get all assignments due during that time to them a week or two ahead.  They usually finished all the work before we even left on our trip.  Did not seem to hurt either of them, as they both graduated as 4.0 valedictorians.  I think the life experiences they had on the trips far outweighed anything they would learn in school during those days.

Nowadays certain school districts can deny graduation/promotions of grade level if you miss too many days without a documented medical and/or bereavement claim.  Times have changed.  It stinks.  Wasn't like this when I taught High School, but now that my own is there... summer or bust.  It's better than spring break, Christmas, or President's day.

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We used to pull our kids out of school for vacations too.  Much of travel is quite educational and, to be honest, I'm just refused to spend thousands of dollars to stand in line all day at Disney.  I also felt that if you were a smart kid before vacation you'd still be a smart kid after and, if you weren't so bright, you'd be no worse after.  It worked fine until they hit high school.  The problem was missing tests.  Some teachers refused to allow make up tests, they would just get a zero.  

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13 minutes ago, Travelling2Some said:

We used to pull our kids out of school for vacations too.  Much of travel is quite educational and, to be honest, I'm just refused to spend thousands of dollars to stand in line all day at Disney.  I also felt that if you were a smart kid before vacation you'd still be a smart kid after and, if you weren't so bright, you'd be no worse after.  It worked fine until they hit high school.  The problem was missing tests.  Some teachers refused to allow make up tests, they would just get a zero.  

 Exactly this. Unless it was medical or bereavement (and even then, if it was longer than a day or two) the penalties are ridiculous.  Normally I'm pretty quiet and lurk around here but lately this issue has been stuck in my craw.  I guess in my state, schools were tired of parents taking their kids out for vacations.🤷‍♀️

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2 hours ago, msmit002 said:

Nowadays certain school districts can deny graduation/promotions of grade level if you miss too many days without a documented medical and/or bereavement claim.  Times have changed.  It stinks.  Wasn't like this when I taught High School, but now that my own is there... summer or bust.  It's better than spring break, Christmas, or President's day.

And that is why more and more families are home schooling.  The schools are completely out of control and power hungry IMHO.  Parents control their children's lives much better when they are home schooled.

 

 

Annotation 2020-02-24 155403.JPG

Edited by GA Dave

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