Agents enthused about Norwegian Bliss

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The Haven is one of agents’ favorite features on Norwegian Cruise Line ships. Pictured, a rendering of The Haven’s restaurant on Norwegian Bliss.

LAS VEGAS — Agents praised Norwegian Cruise Line’s history of innovation after seeing the new features planned for the Norwegian Bliss, unveiled at Virtuoso Travel Week here.

Among the Bliss’ attractions are a go-cart course longer than the one that first debuted aboard the Norwegian Joy, an enclosed water slide that projects riders out over the side of the ship and an outdoor laser-tag course.

It will feature some new restaurants — like upscale barbecue eatery Q and a sweets emporium dedicated to chocolate called Coco — as well as some old favorites like Cagney’s.

Andy Stuart, CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line, said the mix of new and old is all about balance.

“We’re trying to bring a lot of new innovations, things our guests have never seen, and combine them with the things our guests absolutely love,” he said.

The agents in attendance for Norwegian’s announcement took notice of that, and said the cruise line has always been a leader in innovation.

“The Bliss just kind of ups the entertainment part. Norwegian Cruise Line has always been really excellent, and really the best, on their entertainment — that shines for them,” said Nancy K. Yale, president of Cruise and World Travel in Fairfield, Conn.

She said the go-carts in particular are a feature that will attract all ages, and called them an “interesting concept.”

John Maguire, CEO and president of Morristown, N.J.-based CruiseDirect.com, also pointed to the innovative features on the Bliss as a highlight.

“They’re always first in innovation,” Maguire said of Norwegian. “They’re always out there doing things other people aren’t doing.”

Lea Nielsen, CruiseDirect.com’s vice president of sales, said she was excited about the dining venues, especially the new additions.

According to Stuart, The Haven on the Bliss will be the largest ever built, something Virtuoso agents will find attractive. The Haven features the line’s largest and most well-appointed accommodations and exclusive venues for guests staying there.

Yale called The Haven “the thing I like most” about Norwegian Cruise Line ships.

“The Haven is an upscale, ship-within-a-ship, and the service and everything up there is as good as any of the luxury cruise lines. It is great for family vacations and multigenerational groups.”

In addition to showing agents renderings of the Bliss and its features, Norwegian also enabled them to experience it live using virtual reality. They could don headsets and virtually ride a go-cart or slide down the water slide, among other experiences.

Norwegian Bliss going big with go-cart track, other features

Norwegian Bliss Go-Cart track

The thrill of electric go-cart racing at sea is coming to North America next year on the Norwegian Bliss, which will take the concept that debuted on the Norwegian Joy in Shanghai to another level.

The widely anticipated adoption of the amusement-park staple on a ship sailing in the U.S. should give the Bliss something to brag about when it sails from the Port of Seattle on its first Alaska voyage next June.

Andy Stuart, CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line, said the Bliss’ track will be 40% larger than its predecessor.

“We think it’s going to be even a little better than what we’ve delivered so far on Joy,” Stuart said.

At nearly 1,000 feet, the track will be the longest at sea and will occupy the space that is claimed by a ropes course and the Plank on the Norwegian Escape, the most recent delivery to the North American market.


The cars can be geared to advanced, intermediate or beginning-level drivers. Stuart said that because the cars are electric, they are also noiseless, but that a pair of speakers with racing sounds inside the headrest provides audio for the driver.

An outdoor laser tag course will be themed as an abandoned space station.

An outdoor laser tag course will be themed as an abandoned space station.

The new ship will also have an outdoor laser tag course, first offered on the Joy as well, that will be themed as an abandoned space station, and a free-fall slide with a translucent loop that extends 11 feet over the side of the ship.

Norwegian executives revealed many of the public areas of the Bliss at a news conference at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas, where Virtuoso is holding its annual Travel Week conference.

Virtuoso members heard firsthand not only about the track, but about the dining and beverage options that will be installed on the Bliss, several of them for the first time on any Norwegian ship.

The Bliss will get Norwegian’s first try at a Texas smokehouse-style venue, to be called Q, which will serve brisket, ribs, chicken, sausage and more, freshly smoked over hickory, oak and pecan woods.

Q will be Norwegian Cruise Line's first try at a Texas smokehouse-style venue.

Texas smokehouse-style venue

Q won’t be decked out with stereotypical country-and-western decor, but rather will sport an edgier, urban design along the lines of the District Brewhouse on the Escape. Q will offer sides such as fresh-cheddar and breadcrumb-crusted mac and cheese and baked sweet potatoes smothered in pecan honey butter and cinnamon.

The restaurant will take the large space occupied by the Supper Club on the Norwegian Escape. Pricing will be a la carte.

Another new flavor on the Bliss will be chocolate, the theme of a Deck 6 a la carte sweets emporium that will feature an entry with an enclosed oversized chocolate fountain gushing with liquid chocolate.

A water thrill ride loops over the side of the ship.
A water thrill ride loops over the side of the ship.

Called Coco’s, it will sell handmade pralines, truffles, crepes and other desserts paired with select teas and coffees.

Also in the coffee category, the Norwegian Bliss will also have the brand’s first full-service Starbucks as it sails weekly from Seattle during the summer.

The upscale Mexican concept that was installed in drydock on the Norwegian Dawn last summer as Los Lobos Cantina will be featured on the Bliss, the first Breakaway-class ship to have one. It will be located on Deck 8 next to Cagney’s, and feature indoor/outdoor seating.

In a tip to the changing of the guard in Norwegian’s corporate suites, the 24-hour casual pub named for former Norwegian CEO Kevin Sheehan, who departed in 2015, will be called the Local on the Bliss, instead of O’Sheehan’s.

At the same time, the circular Prime Meridian bar that sits on Deck 8 between two complimentary dining rooms will be restyled as the A-List Bar in tribute to Stuart, who has worked for the company since 1988.

Click the Image below for the Latest Norwegian Bliss Video

The Aqua Park will feature a splash area and water slides.
The Aqua Park will feature a splash area and water slides.

Norwegian Cruise Line’s first ship for China christened

Image result for Norwegian Joy Christening

Norwegian Cruise Line’s first ship purpose built for Chinese passengers was officially named in Shanghai yesterday.

The 3,883-passenger Norwegian Joy is the first cruise ship to feature a two-level go-kart track.

Other elements of the ship include an open-air laser tag course, the Galaxy Pavilion featuring simulator rides, Oculus virtual reality technology, interactive video walls and two multi-story waterslides.

Norwegian Joy has 28 dining options ranging from traditional Chinese cuisine to French, Italian and steakhouse fine dining restaurants, an open space park, as well as the line’s largest shopping area.

The christening marked the end of a month-long grand inaugural tour where the 167,725–gross-ton ship was showcased in Singapore, Qingdao, Shenzhen and Hong Kong, as well as VIP partner cruises from Norwegian Joy’s homeports of Shanghai and Tianjin.

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings president and chief executive Frank Del Rio said: “After years spent carefully designing this amazing vessel, my team and I are both proud and thrilled to finally christen the world’s first cruise ship custom-designed for the wonderful people of China.

“This is truly a special moment for the entire Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings family, our valued travel partners, honoured guests and dedicated officers and crew across our fleet.”

The naming ceremony featured a performance by the ship’s godfather, Chinese singer songwriter, music producer, actor and film director, Wang Leehom.