With arrival of Norwegian Bliss, Los Angeles gets its biggest cruise ship ever

Norwegian Cruise Line's 4,004-passenger Norwegian Bliss.

Los Angeles soon will be home to one of the world’s biggest cruise ships.

Norwegian Cruise Line’s 5-month-old Norwegian Bliss on Friday will begin sailing out of the city after an initial summer based in Seattle.

The 4,004-passenger vessel will operate a series of seven- and eight-night voyages from Los Angeles to the Mexican Riviera through early November. The trips will feature stops at such ports as Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas.

Bliss then will operate a single, two-week voyage from Los Angeles through the Panama Canal to Miami that will include stops in Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica and Colombia.

At 168,028 tons, Bliss is Norwegian’s largest ship ever, and it ranks among the 10 largest cruise vessels of all time. It’ll be the largest cruise ship ever based in Los Angeles.

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.

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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 recently unveiled Symphony of the Seas, 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.

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