Review Of A Balcony Cabin On The Norwegian Bliss · Prof. Cruise, Ship Tour, Cruise Vacation, Cruise Travel, Cruise Menus (2024)

Review Of A Balcony Cabin On The Norwegian Bliss · Prof. Cruise, Ship Tour, Cruise Vacation, Cruise Travel, Cruise Menus (1)

If published in book form, the thrilling plot of how “H” (my teaching/travel assistant and son) and I ended up in cabin 14874 on the Bliss would keep even Stephen King up at night wondering how he could clown his way back to number one on the New York Times Best Seller List and fearing this “Prof. Cruise” might become the next Tom Clancy if she keeps booking last minute cruises.

You can go here for the Reader’s Digest version. Or if you’re too lazy even for that, here’s a Haiku:

A last minute cruise
Booked at 3 the day before
Will we get a room?

Spoiler alert, we did. And a high floor balcony room at that, despite paying for an inside guarantee at the sail-away rate. The only drawback being that it wasn’t assigned until after Muster Drill as the vessel’s side thrusters were pushing us away from Seattle, finally extinguishing any lingering fears that we might be booted off and asked to return the substantial lunch we’d already consumed at the Lido buffet: “here’s a bucket for your convenience.”

Review Of A Balcony Cabin On The Norwegian Bliss · Prof. Cruise, Ship Tour, Cruise Vacation, Cruise Travel, Cruise Menus (2)

Well that and our cabin was located all the way aft, as far away from the Captain as possible, which I can only speculate was intentional after word had spread of my aggressive tactics to marry a cruise ship Captain, having booked the cabin closest to the bridge on my previous sailing aboard the Golden Princess. It turns out the Captain on the Bliss is happily married and wasn’t keen on my potential advances: “hold out for something aft, Captain’s orders.”

Review Of A Balcony Cabin On The Norwegian Bliss · Prof. Cruise, Ship Tour, Cruise Vacation, Cruise Travel, Cruise Menus (3)

Tour A Balcony Cabin On The Bliss

First things first, view my Bliss balcony cabin tour below with strategically chosen elevator music so bad as to distract from my poor attempt at cinematography.

If you happened to like the music, you can call Comcast customer service and listen to it for upwards of 3 hours before someone comes on the line: “sorry, wrong number.”

Balcony 14874 On The Norwegian Bliss: The Basics

Cabin Type: Balcony
Sub Category: BD
Occupancy: 3
Bed Configurations: Queen or two twins plus a single sofa bed
Cabin Size: 176 square feet
Balcony Size: 32 square feet
Cabin Location: Deck 14, starboard side of the ship, nearly all the way aft
Directly Above and Below Cabin: Additional cabins are located both above and below

12 Things I Loved About My Bliss Balcony Cabin

1. Contemporary Style

Surprisingly – as I chill easily, prefer to dinner at 4pm, and wear underpants in a style you might find in the sturdy French provincial oak dresser belonging to your granny – I loved the contemporary style of the room. Simple, clean lines and outfitted in shades of brown, gray, and blue.

2. Comfortable Bed

Review Of A Balcony Cabin On The Norwegian Bliss · Prof. Cruise, Ship Tour, Cruise Vacation, Cruise Travel, Cruise Menus (4)

Well it started out comfortable anyway, until my 6 year-old bed-mate settled on a horizontal sleeping position. One I attempted to match resulting in the same cold feet I wisely experienced but eventually brushed aside in originally contemplating parenthood.

3. Multiple Electrical Outlets And USB Ports

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  • Review Of A Balcony Cabin On The Norwegian Bliss · Prof. Cruise, Ship Tour, Cruise Vacation, Cruise Travel, Cruise Menus (6)

I know some cruise to unplug. And I count myself among them. But my 1st grader does not. And thank goodness or I’d be trying to referee a fight between his dinner knife and bread knife instead of gazing out at the ocean while enjoying my multiple desserts as he watches cartoon transforming robots battle on the iPad (#NoJudgement #SurvivalAtAllCost).

Review Of A Balcony Cabin On The Norwegian Bliss · Prof. Cruise, Ship Tour, Cruise Vacation, Cruise Travel, Cruise Menus (7)

So I was pleased that our room on the Bliss had three outlets just above the desk and an additional two USB ports, one on either side of the bed. Normally I pack this

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…but it wasn’t necessary on the Bliss.

4. Stocked Mini Bar

Review Of A Balcony Cabin On The Norwegian Bliss · Prof. Cruise, Ship Tour, Cruise Vacation, Cruise Travel, Cruise Menus (10)

This is a must when traveling alone with your kid. A few days in when Mr. Cruise messaged to ask me how things were going, I responded with, “I just drank two honest to God bottles of wine to get through bedtime (mini-bottles, but I left that part out for dramatic effect). But if you’re lucky enough to be cruising with a compatible adult or, better yet, solo and would rather use the fridge to store your midnight snacks, your room steward will empty out the mini-bar for you.

5. Coffee Maker

Review Of A Balcony Cabin On The Norwegian Bliss · Prof. Cruise, Ship Tour, Cruise Vacation, Cruise Travel, Cruise Menus (11)

After bemoaning to Mr. Cruise about our drawn-out bedtime routine, I went on to complain about how long it takes our spawn to put on his pants in the morning: “thank goodness for the in-room coffee maker, because in the time it takes him, I’ve brewed and consumed six cups!”

6. Room Steward

Nev was one of the best room stewards I’ve ever had. He was so friendly and kind and upon learning of our early bedtime, he had our turn down service completed by 6pm each night even though I begged him to, “please not worry about it!” Also, see below…

7. Towel Animals

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  • Review Of A Balcony Cabin On The Norwegian Bliss · Prof. Cruise, Ship Tour, Cruise Vacation, Cruise Travel, Cruise Menus (13)
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  • Review Of A Balcony Cabin On The Norwegian Bliss · Prof. Cruise, Ship Tour, Cruise Vacation, Cruise Travel, Cruise Menus (15)
  • Review Of A Balcony Cabin On The Norwegian Bliss · Prof. Cruise, Ship Tour, Cruise Vacation, Cruise Travel, Cruise Menus (16)

The reports of their death are greatly exaggerated. Although NCL recently announced a tested phase out of towel animals on some ships, we were happy to see them alive and well on the Bliss. H was so excited to see Nev each day so he could confirm his guess at what the previous night’s animal was. Can you guess them all?

*Hint, if you guessed Princess Leia for the third one and Prof. Cruise for the last one, you’d be wrong. The third one is a bighorn sheep and, although I can’t remember what it’s supposed to be, I can guarantee, despite the glaring lack of a chin, the last one isn’t Prof. Cruise. H never hugs me with so much genuine joy and affection.

8. Television

Review Of A Balcony Cabin On The Norwegian Bliss · Prof. Cruise, Ship Tour, Cruise Vacation, Cruise Travel, Cruise Menus (17)

If it weren’t for this fancy television and its 15 other options for those sick of politics and second run movies, I never would have checked my account on the second day and learned of the mystery family and their nearly $700 in charges (in two days, that’s some hard core vacationing!) somehow linked to my card.

Review Of A Balcony Cabin On The Norwegian Bliss · Prof. Cruise, Ship Tour, Cruise Vacation, Cruise Travel, Cruise Menus (18)

A quick trip to guest services ended my short stint as an involuntary sugar mama and my final bill was more in line with my reputation as a tightwad: $-6.00 (excluding the daily service charges).

9. Clothes Line

Review Of A Balcony Cabin On The Norwegian Bliss · Prof. Cruise, Ship Tour, Cruise Vacation, Cruise Travel, Cruise Menus (19)

Although every cruise ship I’ve ever sailed on has featured this, I’m always grateful for the retracting clothesline in the shower. It’s where I hang my sole gym outfit, dripping with sweat, until I recycle it again for the next day’s workout.

On an entirely unrelated note, I’ve always wondered why the gym is so crowded on the first day, but from day two onward, clears right out upon my approach. I suppose not everyone can be so disciplined.

10. Sliding Balcony Door

Review Of A Balcony Cabin On The Norwegian Bliss · Prof. Cruise, Ship Tour, Cruise Vacation, Cruise Travel, Cruise Menus (20)

Balcony doors can be a tricky business, some requiring bungee cords to prevent them from slamming shut in a gust of wind or attempt by your kid to lock you out there. But, despite being somewhat loud upon being unlocked, this sliding one functioned well. It was relatively easy to open, stayed open without a complicated hack, and sealed up tight when closed.

11. Modern Technology

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  • Review Of A Balcony Cabin On The Norwegian Bliss · Prof. Cruise, Ship Tour, Cruise Vacation, Cruise Travel, Cruise Menus (22)

On my last sailing I lost the little “privacy please” lock insert about 12 times (it was a 3 day cruise) and had to resort to a post-it note on the door that read, “ENTER AT OWN RISK: EXCEEDINGLY GRUMPY AND WILD-HAIRED WHEN AWAKENED!” So I was impressed by this cutting edge new technology and Nev was spared accidentally seeing me in the footed adult onesie with butt flap I wear for lounging.

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12. And Finally, This Odd Looking And Too Complicated, But Surprisingly Useful Furniture Piece

Review Of A Balcony Cabin On The Norwegian Bliss · Prof. Cruise, Ship Tour, Cruise Vacation, Cruise Travel, Cruise Menus (25)

People say the same thing about me, except for the useful bit. Mr. Cruise also likes to call me “Dr.” when I go in the out door and push when I’m supposed to pull. And if you re-watch my room tour, suffering through the open source, non-copyrighted music just long enough to get to the part where I can’t quite figure out how this thing works, you can call me “Dr.” too.

While it doesn’t open despite, in my defense, the silver thing that looks like a drawer pull, the blue bottom portion functions very well as a foot rest, stool, and backless chair for strengthening your abs between buffet runs. And the top part comes off and makes a great surface for doing one page of summer “mommy school” before your teacher officially gives up and hands you the iPad…

Review Of A Balcony Cabin On The Norwegian Bliss · Prof. Cruise, Ship Tour, Cruise Vacation, Cruise Travel, Cruise Menus (26)

…and a perfect tray for room service breakfast in bed.

A Few Things I Didn’t Love About Our Bliss Balcony Cabin

1. Glass Shower Enclosure

Review Of A Balcony Cabin On The Norwegian Bliss · Prof. Cruise, Ship Tour, Cruise Vacation, Cruise Travel, Cruise Menus (27)

While I admit it looked nice, made the bathroom appear bigger, and kept water from leaking out of the shower onto the floor, the glass enclosure meant I could see myself in the mirror while showering. And I’m sorry, but I can do without hard (more like soft and jiggly) evidence of the number of desserts I’ve consumed since embarkation.

2. 3% Power Remaining

That is NOT what you want to see on the iPad as you’re heading out to dine with your pint-sized date who makes for most pleasant company for 10-15 minutes before you start thinking the $7.95 convenience charge for room service would be worth every penny. Especially when you thought the iPad was charging for the full three hours you pawned your date off to those unfortunate souls at Splash Academy. It turns out this was the culprit:

Review Of A Balcony Cabin On The Norwegian Bliss · Prof. Cruise, Ship Tour, Cruise Vacation, Cruise Travel, Cruise Menus (28)

And they won’t even allow me a cigarette to calm my nerves! But seriously, a card must be inserted into the slot near the door for the lights in the room to work. AND for the outlets and USB ports to work! So if you leave your items charging as you exit the room, pulling out the card from the slot, none of your items will, in fact, charge. My advice? Leave a non-essential card (an old hotel key card works great) in there at all times and just remember to turn out the lights when you aren’t in the room.

3. Balcony Chairs

The only thing I didn’t love about the balcony was the lack of reclining chairs. On most other ships I’ve sailed on, there is at least one balcony chair that reclines. This is very minor, but I have to come up with a few negatives so I’ll appear fair and balanced even though I’m clearly biased in favor of pretty much everything related to cruising. And really, those who pay a highly discounted price for a balcony shouldn’t be choosers.

4. Night Light

Even when I don’t book last minute and have my choice of cabin, I often select an inside for two reasons, cost being the most obvious one. Insides are the least expensive option, meaning I can cruise more often. It’s sort of a quantity vs quality trade-off for me, although I’m actually of the opinion that you don’t sacrifice much quality booking inside cabins (you may disagree – many do).

Second, if there’s one thing I love almost as much as cruising and dessert, it’s sleep. And I never sleep better than I do in a pitch black inside cabin on a cruise ship. In fact, I’d probably sleep straight through a 7 day-er if my bladder would stop being such a demanding jerk and if I could make it past 6am without craving breakfast rice and french toast.

Anyway, despite stacking up furniture pieces against the drapes like I was preparing for a hurricane, I could never get our balcony room completely dark. And in Alaska during the summer that’s more of an issue due to many extra hours of daylight. Excellent for solar panels and bicycle rental outlets, but not so great for a 6 year-old with an early bedtime or his mother on her third (mini, but still) bottle of wine: “just close your eyes and it will be dark!”

Final Thoughts On My Balcony Cabin On The Bliss

  • Review Of A Balcony Cabin On The Norwegian Bliss · Prof. Cruise, Ship Tour, Cruise Vacation, Cruise Travel, Cruise Menus (29)
  • Review Of A Balcony Cabin On The Norwegian Bliss · Prof. Cruise, Ship Tour, Cruise Vacation, Cruise Travel, Cruise Menus (30)
  • Review Of A Balcony Cabin On The Norwegian Bliss · Prof. Cruise, Ship Tour, Cruise Vacation, Cruise Travel, Cruise Menus (31)

I’ve cruised to Alaska many times before, but this was my first time in a balcony cabin. And I have to say, while I’ll probably never pay retail for one, sailing through Glacier Bay from my private balcony in my footed adult onesie wasn’t a bad day at the office.

Review Of A Balcony Cabin On The Norwegian Bliss · Prof. Cruise, Ship Tour, Cruise Vacation, Cruise Travel, Cruise Menus (32)

And with that…

Class Dismissed.

*Check out my Alaska port lectures here. And be sure to subscribe to the blog to receive new course materials directly to your e-mail. Scroll up to the top right if on a computer or keep scrolling if on a mobile device. And be sure to follow Prof. Cruise on social media.

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Review Of A Balcony Cabin On The Norwegian Bliss · Prof. Cruise, Ship Tour, Cruise Vacation, Cruise Travel, Cruise Menus (2024)

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