“I always tell my clients that Norwegian is the fun cruise. It’s high energy, and it really is great for people of all ages,” I overheard a Cruise Planners travel agent say as we boarded Norwegian Cruise Line’s newest ship, the Norwegian Bliss. Although it was everyone’s first time on board the Bliss, I could immediately see that the travel agent’s sentiments also rung true for the latest addition to the fleet. As she noted, “It’s on another level of energy.”
Gearing up for its inaugural sailing from PortMiami, that fun, youthful vibe welcoming both adults and children was palpable throughout every deck of the ship, from the video arcade and 24-hour pub to the Aqua Park and Mandara Spa. The more I explored, the more I realized that there truly is something for everyone on this 4,004-passenger vessel.
Adventures on the High Seas
Thrilling screams can often be heard from the top decks of the Norwegian Bliss because that’s where the adrenaline junkies on board go to get their fix. While some are relaxing in the pool or grabbing a drink at the Wave Bar, adventure-seekers head to the Aqua Park where they’ll find two waterslides that are sure to get their hearts pumping. There’s the Aqua Racer where your clients can race side-by-side in inner tubes, but the truly courageous try their luck at the Ocean Loops. With this slide, riders stand inside a small enclosed tube with their arms folded across their chests until suddenly the floor beneath them disappears, sending them down a nearly 90-degree drop before propelling them back up again to go through a loop in the slide that is actually positioned over the edge of the ship. I wasn’t brave enough to test out the slide, but watching others scream as they make that first drop is just as entertaining.
For those with a need for speed, Norwegian Bliss also features the longest competitive race track at sea, where guests can drive go-karts at speeds up to 30 miles per hour all while competing for the best lap time. My time was far from earning a number one spot on the post-race pedestal, but it was an exhilarating feeling to drive in the open air while catching glimpses of the water surrounding us on all sides.
And the high seas adventures don’t end there. Norwegian Bliss is also home to the first at-sea laser tag experience for North America—a perfect family-friendly activity.
Drinking & Dining Around the Globe
If fuel is what your clients will need to keep the adventures going, there is no shortage of delicious food and beverage venues that will take their taste buds on a whirlwind tour around the globe.
The spread at the Garden Cafe buffet was impressive and internationally minded with several stations featuring Asian and Indian dishes, as well as some Italian and American favorites, but for a truly stand out, gourmet experience, recommend your clients try the specialty dining restaurants. There’s Teppanyaki, where the chefs whip up Japanese delights on a large grill in front of guests; La Cucina for Tuscan dishes; Los Lobos for a taste of Mexico; and several other venues, including Food Republic, my personal favorite. At the latter, your clients will find Asian fusion dishes served on shareable small plates so they can sample a wide variety of offerings. Recommend the tuna pizza for your truffle-loving clients, a crispy salmon roll for the sushi fans, and the green tea jar for a unique dessert combining a chocolate brownie with green tea mousse.
Obviously designed with adventure and delectable cuisine in mind, I’d also say Norwegian Bliss is equal parts rest and relaxation. Whether your clients need a bit of tranquility before, during or after a long day of activities, recommend they retreat to the Observation Lounge, which occupies almost all of deck 15. Scattered throughout the lounge are groups of sofas and chairs that create an almost living room-like atmosphere making it easy for groups to comfortably spend time together. With floor-to-ceiling windows plus a full service bar, guests in the Observation Lounge don’t have to stray far to sip on a cocktail while enjoying the breathtaking views.
The ultimate retreat, of course, is found inside the staterooms on board with Norwegian Bliss offering several well-appointed and comfortable options, including Norwegian’s exclusive luxury area known as The Haven, and The Studio, which features all single occupancy staterooms. Designed for solo travelers or friends who would like a little extra space in their own personal rooms, The Studio area is chic and offers a private lounge for its guests.
Norwegian Bliss: ncl.com