I had an opportunity to sail for two nights on NCL’s newest ship, Norwegian Bliss and she didn’t disappoint. Built as a sister ship to Breakaway, Getaway and Escape, there are many similarities but lots of new bells and whistles to entice cruisers to give her a try. It always fun to be part of an inaugural and experience a ship that’s brand spanking new. There’s a race track on the top of the ship with race cars that go up to 35mph. It is accessible to guests who can get out of their wheelchair or scooter and transfer into the car. It’s quite low so you must be able to do this. There are four cars that allow a driver and a passenger so if you can’t use your feet for the pedals, you can be the passenger. There is a nominal fee for this activity. There is also Laser Tag. If you don’t want to drive but do want to observe the race cars, there is a stair lift to get you up two flights of stairs. Manual wheelchairs and standard scooters can be accommodated on this.
The pools have lifts as well as the Jacuzzi’s.
The Bliss has been purpose built for Alaska where it will sail round trip Seattle May to September. It will then head to Miami for the winter like all smart people! After plying the Caribbean, back to Alaska for summer. I think the most beautiful new space on this ship is the Observation Lounge on Deck 15 with wrap around walls of glass, comfortable chairs and couches and refreshments. A beautiful bar is in the very forward part of the lounge. I can’t wait to camp out here when I’m in Alaska in August. The glaciers will be simply magnificent from this very special vantage point.
We stayed in a wheelchair accessible balcony cabin which was excellent in terms of accessibility. It is spacious and has plenty of easy to reach storage space. The balcony can accommodate mobility equipment and it has an easy slope to get in and out. The doors are automatic which is a very good feature. I love the little area when you first enter the cabin that has a wall with an electrical outlet about half way up. The perfect parking space for scooters with the ability to charge it. You still have plenty of clearance for a wheelchair. The bathroom is very good with a large transfer seat attached to the wall and the hand-held shower head. They’ve installed an excellent drainage system to keep the floor from flooding. The only negative is that the beds may be a little higher than most wheelchair users would like. I believe this issue can be addressed if requested prior to sailing.
I love the fact that NCL has access officers on board that are responsible for addressing the needs of passengers with disabilities. All in all, I think NCL Bliss is an excellent choice for people with disabilities.
Entertainment was fantastic! Especially the Broadway production of Jersey Boys. I saw it originally in New York and this production definitely rivaled it. The show was just short of 2 hours and was the highlight of my 2 day stay. Revisit the Beatles era every night in the Cavern straight out of Liverpool. This was lots of fun and was standing room only…..lucky I brought my own seat! I also had an opportunity to enjoy a very funny comedian in the Comedy Club. His take in the “scooter people” onboard was hysterical! Not demeaning in any way, just very, very funny. Best take away….don’t back up in the buffet line if you’re driving a scooter!
If you’re lucky enough to be one of the 60 sailing with me to Alaska this summer, you are very lucky indeed.