FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.
Korean Air

Norwegian Cruise Lines’ Bliss Sets Sail

by Elyse Glickman

Jul 1, 2018

© Elyse Glickman

Age Specific / Multigenerational

First impressions are critical, especially when a new resort endeavoring to be all things to all guests opens its doors. This is all the more true when a floating resort ramps up into a competitive market. The first thing passengers see as they board the Norwegian Bliss is the mast adorned with a mural by Wyland, an artist famous for his larger-than-life depictions of the Pacific Ocean and its marine life. His murals can be found around the globe (especially in California, his home state) in public spaces that attract large crowds.

The mural is emblematic of the ship’s objectives to be both an ultimate crowd pleaser and also something custom designed for the boat. With other past successes in luxury cruising to live up to, Norwegian Cruise Lines’ brass knew they had to put careful thought into the newest endeavor to assure it could achieve that balancing act of upscale sophistication and carefree childhood resort fun.

Bliss Race Experience

Bliss Race Experience © Elyse Glickman

Based on a preview cruise over Memorial Day Weekend, this Bliss is poised to live up to its promise. The 20-deck ship, which can accommodate up to 4,000 passengers, houses 2,043 staterooms, including 20 spa mini-suites, 26 suites/villas and 24 courtyard penthouses inside The Haven, the ship’s ultra-premium product. While a concierge tends to the desires of those booked within The Haven, the public areas of the ship have a delightfully luxuriant ambiance. The Observation Deck on the 15th deck is sumptuously outfitted with 180-degree panoramic views, opulent ocean-inspired interior design and lighter snacks for those not wanting to partake in a full sit-down meal or full-on buffet.

Children will feel like they’ve hit the jackpot when mixing with others their age on Deck 5, outfitted with updated renditions of the award-winning Splash Academy (ages 3–12) and Guppies (infants to toddlers), offering hands-on programs with an educational slant, as well as teen club Entourage and the Video Arcade allowing teens to be teens in a cool, safe space.

A vibrant mix of activities on the outdoor decks, meanwhile, allows everybody to indulge their inner child. The eye-catching Aqua Park slides (including one designed for younger thrill-seekers) are accessible to all guests free of charge. For an extra charge, adrenaline-fueled older kids and parents can fulfill the need for speed on the two-level Race Track and Laser Tag (both the first of their kind on a North American-based ship).

Norwegian Bliss Cabin © Elyse Glickman

Norwegian Bliss Cabin © Elyse Glickman

The main dining rooms, Manhattan Room, Taste and Savor, are ideally suited for meals with the entire family, while the casual The Garden Buffet offers a clean and modern spin on the cruise ship buffet enlivened with several world cuisines (Indian dishes were standouts). The newest addition to the extra charge Specialty Restaurants is the new smokehouse joint Q (appetizers were the strong suit during the preview — excellent soup, chili fries and onion rings), which becomes a country music club by night. Other venues with kid-friendly items include Los Lobos and its contemporary Mexican fare, sweets and gelato at Coco’s, and the familiar foods and beach-y ambiance of Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville at Sea.

When the kids are settled into daytime activities or bed for the night, adult family members won’t want to miss the exquisite trappings of the Mandara Spa (including its circuit of hot saunas and snow room) and high-end dining experiences of Le Bistro, Cagney’s Steakhouse and Le Cucina.

The Norwegian Bliss will be incorporated into the following itineraries for 2018–2019: five-day Pacific Coastal from Vancouver; seven-day Alaska Highlights from Seattle; seven-day Eastern Caribbean from Miami; seven- and eight-day Mexican Riviera from Los Angeles; seven- and eight-day Bahamas and Florida from New York; 12-day Southern Caribbean from New York; 14-day Panama Canal from Los Angeles; 15-day Panama Canal from Miami; and 14-day Western Caribbean or Southern Caribbean itineraries from New York. For more on the itineraries, visit ncl.com.


Insta Feed
Destinations / Europe
Apr 11, 2024

Some of the Best Daytrips from Munich, Germany

The lively city of Munich has plenty to keep family travelers busy, but families wanting to see a little more of Germany will find some of the country’s highlights within an easy daytrip. Every kid will want to see the fairy-tale castle of Neuschwanstein and will recognize its pointed towers as the inspiration for castles in Disney theme parks.

United Continues Its Global Expansion

United Airlines keeps soaring to new heights, recently announcing another expansion of its leading global route network. The airline added new non-stop flights between Newark (EWR) and Marrakesh (RAK), Morocco; Tokyo (NRT) and Cebu (CEB), Philippines; and Houston (IAH) and Medellin (MDE), Colombia. That’s not all: United also plans to increase flights to popular worldwide destinations including Hong Kong (HKG); Seoul (INC), South Korea; and Porto (OPO), Portugal. Following the recent agreement to increase flights between the U.S. and Chinese governments, the airline now adds four weekly flights from Los Angeles (LAX) to Shanghai (PVG).

Apr 11, 2024

7 Antwerp, Belgium, Destinations for Family Travel

It’s time to start dreaming of your next family trip. Here’s some destination inspiration for you. Take a visual journey through Antwerp, Belgium, with us.

Destinations / North America
Apr 11, 2024

REI, Hipcamp Partner to Make Camping More Accessible

REI and Hipcamp, a campsite booking company, partnered to launch the Summer of Magic Campout Series, a campaign offering complimentary stays at Hipcamp’s best campsites across the country during peak weekends. Great for family travelers, the campaign also provides outdoor gear packages and guided experiences by REI Co-op.

United Airlines Celebrates its First Class of United Aviate Graduates

As the only major U.S. airline to own a flight school, United Airlines already hit a major milestone, and now the carrier celebrates another important — and historic — step as the inaugural class of United Aviate Academy pilots graduates, leading the next generation of aviators. The 51 students in the graduating class were majority, at 80 percent, women and people of color — another stride toward United’s goal of training 5,000 new pilots by 2030 with half women or POC.

Destinations / North America
Apr 10, 2024

Discover Washington, D.C., with Passport DC

The District of Columbia is a great place to teach kids about politics and American history, but this coming May it will also be a great place to teach them about different cultures. Passport DC, an annual event taking place all month long, is designed to let visitors and locals, especially family travelers, learn about the many cultures represented in the nation’s capital.