10 May 2018

Norwegian Bliss interiors, decks 5-7

Welcome, everyone, to the grande finale of the Norwegian Bliss interior tour, where we look at the three bottom-most passenger decks: five, six and seven.

For decks 8-14, see this entry.
For decks 15-20, see this entry.

Norwegian Bliss

IMO 9751509
Built 2018, Meyer Werft Papenburg, Germany
Tonnage 168 028 GT
Length 333,32 m
Width 41,40 m
Draugth 8,72 m
4 004 passengers (lower berths)
5 MAN B&W diesels, combined 41 000 kW
2 azipods
3 bow thrusters
Service speed 23,2 knots

Photos taken on 20 and 21 April 2018.

Deck 7 is given over solely to public rooms.

The Bliss Theater extends down to deck 6, but is only accessible from deck 7. To be honest, I thought this venue could have been better - it was difficult to see the stage if there were people sitting in front of you (and I'm a tall guy, so this is rarely a problem for me - but it was here). Furthermore, music from the  Q Texas Smokehouse, located below the theater, could clearly be heard at least in back rows - less than nice when listening to a musical.
The elevator lobbies are impressive - but also big enough for it to be difficult to notice that a lift has arrived if you're standing in one end of the lobby and the lift is in the other.
Next up, we have The Local Bar and Grill, which replaces O'Sheehans on the previous ships (I'm surprised they kept the name of the former CEO in for the venue this long, to be honest).
Futher aft, we have the ridiculously large Casino complex that fills about a third of the deck. Personally, I've never understood the appeal of Las Vegasian casinos (and on all my cruises they've been mostly empty), but maybe I'm just too European to appriciate them.
The Skyline Bar is a continuation of the Casino complex, but has a near Art Deco -inspired looks, tying itself to the next public room...
...which is The Manhattan Room, located right aft. To me, the venue feels like a relic of the traditional main dining room and doesn't perhaps quite fit in with the rest of the ship. Here's the entrance...
...and here's the actual dining area.
Deck 6 is, like the deck above, dedicated solely to public rooms.

The Q Texas Smokehouse is, as the name suggests, a Texan-style smokehouse, but with added live music. It replaces The Supper Club from previous Breakway Plus -class ships.
Going aft, we next have the Atrium, which has also been redesigned from the older members of the class, and now features a dedicated Starbucks Café. Which I didn't photograph, as it was always too busy.
Next on the port side is the Social Comedy & Night Club...
...which, for some reason, has two side rooms in completely different style: this 1970s meets a gothic cathedral -style room...
...and this more refined library-like space.
On the starboard side, meanwhile, we have Coco's café and chocolatier, a new venue added on the Norwegian Bliss. Adjacent to it is the Teppanyaki Japanese restaurant, but the doors to that one were closed whenever i tried to go and photograph it so I can't show it to you.
Finally, we have the twin dining rooms of Taste and Savor aft (or at least as aft as the public rooms go).These are identical except for the colour scheme, but being smart I didn't write down which is which. I think this is Savor, but there is a 50% chance I'm wrong.
But if I am right, then this is Taste.
Deck 5 is the bottom-most passenger accessible deck. It has cabins forward, followed by public rooms for children and teenagers aft. Personally, I was a bit surprised that these were hidden so far down on a ship aimed at least in part at families. It was also odd that none of the public rooms here had windows - at least my son loves to stare at the ocean, so I would think windows in the kid's rooms would be a given.

The first kid's room is Guppies, meant or the smallest children. The bubbles are a fun idea, but why are they so high that no toddler can actually see through them? At toddler level, the room is actually a bit boring as far as the decor goes.
Next, we have the Splash Academy, which is actually a huge complex - I was sure I would get lost when walking in. It was also the space that I liked most of all public rooms onboard in terms of decor. Not sure what that says about me (especially as my experience on the Crystal Symphony was similar - except there my fave was the teen's room).
Next aft, we have the video arcade. Unfortunately I didn't have time to sample the games.
And finally, the Entourage teen's lounge.
Which brings this tour of the Norwegian Bliss to an end. The ship can really be summed up as a high-density ship for the mass market (even if NCL are selling it as a premium product due to it being almost all-inclusive). There is so much to see that you definately won't get bored, although keeping track of all the options can be a challenge - this is especially true for the dining rooms, as it's surprising difficult to find out which restaurants are included in the cruise fare and which are not, and which ones require a reservation and which ones do not.

NCL have done great work with reconnecting their guests to the ocean with The Waterfront and the extremely impressive Observation Lounge, but to me these felt a bit like half measures - especially on the lower public rooms decks (particularly the ones covered here) windows were few and far between. You still have to actively go to a venue which gives you a connection to the world outside, rather than it being a constantly present backdrop (as it is on some of my favourite ships). Of course, this is a matter of personal preference and I'm sure that the Norwegian Bliss' passengers will be more than pleased with her.

Kships will return, but with what I can't yet say.

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