Just days after the biggest Royal Caribbean ship ever began sailing from Miami, the city is becoming home to the biggest Norwegian Cruise Line ship ever.
Norwegian's 7-month-old Norwegian Bliss arrived at PortMiami early Saturday after an initial series of voyages out of Seattle and Los Angeles.
The 4,004-passenger vessel will be based in Miami through early April for a series of seven-night trips from Miami to the Eastern Caribbean. The sailings will feature stops at St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; Tortola, British Virgin Islands; and Nassau, Bahamas.
Bliss then will operate a single, 15-night voyage from Miami through the Panama Canal to Los Angeles that will include stops in Colombia, Guatemala, Costa Rica and Mexico. The voyage is in advance of the ship's move back to Los Angeles and Seattle for the spring and summer of 2019.
At 168,028 tons, Bliss ranks among the 10 largest cruise vessels of all time. It'll be the second largest cruise ship sailing out of Miami, behind Royal Caribbean's new giant Symphony of the Seas. Symphony took up residence in Miami last week.
Constructed at Germany's Meyer Werft shipyard, Bliss is the third ship in Norwegian's Breakaway Plus series, which also includes the 165,157-ton Norwegian Escape and 167,725-ton Norwegian Joy. The two earlier vessels debuted in 2015 and 2017, respectively.
All three of the Breakaway Plus ships are bigger than the biggest ships operated by rivals Carnival Cruise Line, Princess Cruises and Celebrity Cruises. But they are dwarfed by the biggest vessels at Royal Caribbean. Royal Caribbean's Symphony, the world's biggest cruise ship, measures 228,081 tons.
Designed to have all the trappings of a major mega-resort, Bliss features such over-the-top amusements as a two-deck-high racing course where passengers compete against each other in electric go-carts — a first for a vessel based in North America.
Like Joy and Escape, Bliss also has a sprawling water park with multistory water slides; a restaurant-lined boardwalk; Tony Award-winning production shows, including Jersey Boys; and a giant spa. Dining options include a modern Texas barbecue eatery called Q that will feature live pop country music — a new concept for the line.
By Gene Sloan, USA Today
Re-posted on CruiseCrazies.com - Cruise News, Articles, Forums, Packing List, Ship Tracker, and more
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