Cruise notes: NCL Bliss, February 2023

Beware: I didn’t get this cruise documented in a reasonable amount of time after sailing, so have lost some context, but still want to keep track of all sailings for key reminders and later reference.

Norwegian Bliss was, at the time we sailed her in 2018, the best sailing I’d been on yet. It certainly outranked our previous five cruises from an amenities and service perspective, and was one of the reasons we started and ended with NCL for future bookings. When we were able to arrange a child-free sailing with some of our best friends, Bliss emerged at the top of the pack, despite not being the newest ship or best value in that timeframe. Thus in February 2023, we embarked Bliss from PortMiami.

Unfortunately after that 7-night sailing, Norwegian cruises haven’t had quite the same shine in my mind. It’s not at all that it was a bad cruise, but there were some truly mediocre experiences and blatantly obvious cost-cutting measures that hadn’t been present on any of our previous sailings.

Perhaps this is the “new normal”, or an aberration on this ship or specific sailing, but the changes and onboard experience made a (fairly) brand-loyal customer think twice about which cruise line to book with next. I was glad, in a way, that I didn’t have any more CruiseNext deposits to use after this sailing. I absolutely value the quality time we got to spend with friends on this trip, but this experience on Bliss left me wanting more.

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