Five Things to Know About Norwegian Cruise Line's Bliss Cruise Ship
Best for: Budget-conscious families seeking plenty to do when they’re not on land.
Sails: Alaska, Pacific Coast, Mexican Riviera, Panama Canal, Caribbean, and Bahamas
At a Glance: This is the first mega ship to debut in Alaska, and it’s designed to make the most of the scenery, with two gorgeous observation lounges providing 180-degree views of the calving glaciers and breaching Humpbacks. Plus, Norwegian Bliss has the line’s latest family-friendly features.
This Is the First Ship in the Fleet With Laser Tag
For the active parents and kids this ship draws, one of the coolest new features is the laser tag arena. Located on the top deck, it allows you to run around an open-air course that’s designed to look like an intergalactic bunker, playing against your family or friends. It’s fast but fun, and a great break from whale-watching.
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There Are Lots of Dining Options
Beyond the main dining room, this ship has fabulous alternate dining choices, and while many of them come with additional fees they feel well worth it. Look for Q, a Texas-style smokehouse with rich and decadent barbecue and all the fixings (we loved the smoked peach margaritas and jalapeno cheese cornbread), as well as Coco’s, an all-dessert restaurant with Instagram-worthy candy-topped milkshakes.
You’ll Also Find Go-karts
Norwegian’s kid-friendly activities are impressive — waterparks! ropes courses! all-ages comedy shows! — and the new Go-Kart racetrack is equally unforgettable. The ride takes eight minutes as you race around the two-story course and rankings are displayed on a board for proper bragging rights. The line also offers unlimited full-day and week-long passes.
The Line’s Value-added Deals Rock
Sure, lots of lines offer sale fares, but Norwegian Cruise Line’s “Free at Sea” program lets you choose from, say, unlimited open bar, complimentary WiFi, and complimentary specialty dining. Getting what you want included can go a long way, whether you’re a foodie, a day drinker, or a social media addict.
The Line Has a “You Do You” Mentality
Norwegian has long been known for their Freestyle Cruising concept, which did away with dress codes and assigned tables more than a decade ago. And it’s as defining of the line now as it was when it first started. It’s a true pleasure to walk into a dining room when you get hungry and nab a table, without having to worry about heading back to the cabin to switch into formalwear or getting tired of having the same table mates at dinner night after night. Not surprisingly, it’s a philosophy that has been copied extensively.