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emilyreid09

Bliss Review & Pics - Dec. 8th - Group of 7 adults

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Hi everyone! I just got home and am getting settled with all the post-cruise chores and wanted to start gathering my trip notes and start my review. 

 

I will try to keep it detailed but not rambling (though I can’t promise anything haha!) and I’ll be sharing some opinions and info from everyone in my group for some various perspectives. 

 

The Group: I sailed with myself and my fiance Gary (I'm 26, he's 27), my parents Stephanie & John, Gary's parents Elaine & Greg, and my grandmother Valerie (she's 75 but she acts like she’s 25 - seriously she is more active than myself and FH combined, she loves the watersides and all excursions!). We are getting married in just over 5 months so this was an awesome trip to bond with all the parents and just enjoy a vacation before the last few months of wedding madness! 

 

This is was my 3rd cruise, Gary’s 2nd, Grandma’s 2nd, and all the parents were first timers. You can see my review from my last cruise on the Getaway here. My first one was with Grandma 5 years ago but I didn't know about CC at that time so I have no review.

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Leaving Ontario.. ready for Miami!

 

Travel Day: Grandma, Gary's parents, Gary & myself all flew from Toronto on December 7th and stayed in the Homewood Suites Blue Lagoon in Miami before the cruise. My parents are retired and RV around the USA from October - May so they just stayed in an RV park in Miami for a few days and met us on boarding day. The 5 of us had a suite with 2 rooms, 2 double beds, and a pull our couch in the living room. It wasn't a large hotel suite but it served the purpose we needed for the one night. Our flight was about 8am so we had quite a full day in Miami where we walked around and did some last minute CVS shopping. 

 

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View from our hotel room

 

Overview: Before I get into each day, I’ll just give a quick overview here. 

 

  • Everyone loved the ship and loved the food. I am a vegetarian so I’ll be sharing my meals and food perspectives as well as the other 6 meat eaters. In general the food for me was still great, and only a few times I felt stuck with my options. I took photos of my meals and Gary's but I tried not to bug the others and just let them eat. 
  • Greg wasn’t drinking alcohol this trip but the other 6 of us were, and we had no trouble getting him tons of non-alcoholic cocktails and frozen drinks. Elaine tried a ton of new drinks that she loved, I had a list of 33 drinks I wanted to try and I managed to try every single one (and more!). Gary and John (my Dad) had a lot of beer and red wine, and Stephanie (my Mom) had a few fruity ones and a lot of tequila. Valerie (my Grandma) loved Mudslides and had a ton of those, and she tried a few other chocolatey drinks too. 
  • We were in cabins 11894 (Elaine & Greg), 11896 (Gary & me - angled balcony), 11898 (Stephanie & John) and then Grandma was in 11665 an inside room near us. The rooms were quite far to the back but we liked that. We had great views of Port for 2/3 stops and we only heard music drifting down from Spice H20 one time. 
  • We all thought the rooms were great, clean, and just enough room. All of the service at restaurants, bars, and in general was always very friendly and accommodating, and overall it never seemed too busy or crowded aside from prime time elevators (dinner time or just after a show) and getting on/off the ship.
  • Between the 7 of us we tried almost everything and did a good mix of activities, relaxing, shows, specialty and regular dining. The food seemed to be a hot topic that everyone kept raving about for different reasons, and the drink service (we all had UBP) was always pretty fast. 
  • Once or twice some of the group used the main pool deck by for the most part we were in Spice or one of the upper sun decks so we were always able to find chairs but a few busy mornings it took a lap or two to get a good spot.
  • Overall no one had any complaints and any small issues (one bill problem at the end of the trip) got solved promptly and with no hassle. 

 

For Seasickness: We all bought Bonine (well my parents bought 5 bottles in the States) and we each took one pill with breakfast every day. Some of the group was worried about this being an issue and feeling ill but it wasn't a problem at all. No one felt sick at all the whole trip, and although a few times we all felt the rocking and swaying, it was only like a mental note that we knew we were moving, and it didn't make anyone feel nauseous, dizzy or anything physical. Gary and I had done Gravol last time and he did feel dizzy here and there, but the Bonine was way better. 

 

With such a wide range of personalities and interests, this ship had something for all of us and it was a great vacation across the board. 

 

Feel free to ask any questions, I took tons of photos and notes and so did some of the others so we should have a ton of info.

 

I’ll start my day-by-days next! 

 

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I made a mimosa with orange juice from the buffet and a peach fizz cooler I got at Publix the morning we left the hotel to head to the ship! 

Edited by emilyreid09

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Day 1 - December 8

 

Gary’s parents, my Grandma, and Gary & I woke up at 6am in the hotel and had breakfast at the buffet downstairs which was actually pretty good. I grabbed some OJ and we had a leftover peach fizz drink from the night before so I made a mimosa (see last post) to celebrate Day 1! The hotel has been clean and nice, a bit small for a suite room, but overall it was just what we needed for the one night.

 

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Waiting for our Uber at the hotel. 

 

We grabbed an Uber at 9:30 and it took 18 minutes to get to Terminal B at the Port of Miami! For 5 of us we needed Uber XL which cost $37 USD ($50 Canadian). My parents were driving and parking at the Port so we waited for them outside and when they arrived we all tagged our luggage and headed into the building. We got in at 10:10 and went quickly through security and check in, and were sitting in the lounge waiting to board (as Group 2) by 10:30. It went smoothly and quickly even with a large and very chatty group, and time passed fats for us. We stepped on to the ship at 11:05am and the cruise officially began!

 

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View of Miami from the ship.

 

I took the group to Teppankyaki to do some last minute dining changes, and was able to get everything I wanted very easily. I had booked Havana, Jersey Boys, and Teppanyaki for all 7 of us online before the trip, but I needed La Cucina for the group, as well as 3 at Cagney’s, 2 at Le Bistro, and 2 at Los Lobos. I got those ones done and then headed to a touch screen to book some comedy shows as well.

 

We headed to the Observation Lounge and had a light lunch there, including our first drinks. I had a delicious spinach and brie cheese focaccia bread, Elaine had her first Pina Colada (she loved it) and we looked out the windows at the other ships parked in front of us.

 

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Our whole group! Stephanie, Elaine, Greg, Grandma Valerie, John, Emily (me), & Gary. 

 

We all headed up to Spice H20 and walked around some of the outside decks before settling at a table for more drinks. I snapped a pic of a Mudslide saying “enjoy” and it was a perfect little tribute to start our vacation sitting in the sun with our frozen drinks.

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A fun little message in a Mudslide! 

 

We stayed at Spice until 2:30 and then went to check our our rooms. Everyone was very pleased with them, and Gary and I had the angled balcony. I think the regular balconies are larger than the Getaway, or my memory is just off. Ours was a big bigger but we didn’t have the lounger like the Getaway. The rooms were clean and lovely, but I didn't snap a pic since I figured everyone on CC has seen balcony cabins before. I do have one of our angled balcony but it is hard to get the full look of it. 

 

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You can kind of see the angle of the balcony. It was hard to capture but it was a nice size, and the regular ones were good size too. 

 

We went to walk around some of the inside venues and walked the wraparound Waterfront deck. The parents loved the cushy blue couches around the side decks, and we ended up finding them there often throughout the week. There was a really neat crayon art piece in Food Republic. Everything closed around 3pm for the lifeboat drill at 3:30 so we went over to our station (G3 - Cagney’s & Los Lobos) for that. We were out at 4pm and headed to the Garden Cafe for a snack before sailaway. The group split up then and we met again at 6:15 for our dinner reservation at La Cucina.

 

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This crayon art piece was so cool to see in Food Republic!

 

Buffet Notes: I wanted to add a few notes in here about the buffet. Out of our group of 7 there are different dining styles and preferences, but I was surprised at how much every single person liked the buffet. Even a few who initially said they weren’t into buffet style dining ended up loving the wide selection and different options every meal. My Dad really loved trying all the different theme cuisines, especially the Indian station and the Asian noodles, as well as the specific night for seafood or barbecue items. Gary’s parents loved the dessert options, Grandma had about 3 ice cream cones a day, and I liked having the clear signs for vegetarian. The green label for the food means vegetarian, although I did see a seafood pasta labelled as that once so I am not sure if that was an error or they count seafood as vegetarian.

 

For the seating in the buffet we usually found spots after a lap around. It was busy but never too crazy crowded. For most other meals the group was split up for breakfasts or lunch, so finding tables for 2, 3, or 5 was never a problem. The bar at the Garden Cafe (very front overlooking the Observation Lounge) was almost always empty so that was a great spot to grab a drink.

 

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Passing by the pool deck during Sailaway. 

 

Back to the rest of the evening.. We met outside our rooms at 6:15 and headed to La Cucina for our 6:30 reservation. We never ever waited for any restaurants, whether it was all 7 of us, smaller groups, booked or just walk-in. I thought the service was wonderful to get us all seated so fast every time. The longest wait for a table was about 10 minutes at Savor on debarking day.

 

All 7 of us had the UBP and the 3 night SDP. For the balcony cabins both were booking perks (we paid the taxes), but for Grandma's inside room she only got the UBP and we purchased the SDP for her so she could join us. 

 

SDP 1 - La Cucina: The server at La Cucina was great and explained the specialty dining, as this was a first for all of us. We were able to order as many apps or the small pastas (left hand page) and one entree (right hand page). They could also turn the appetizer size pastas into main entree sizes.

 

I don’t know exactly what every single person had but I will mention what I remember. I always know mine and Gary’s, and have photos for most of those meals.

 

I had a burrata caprese salad (absolutely loved it though I added my own salt & pepper to pump it up), and Gary had an arugula and parmesan salad he really liked. I ordered the caprese pizza which was massive (I took the rest back to the room) and Gary had the sea bass and he liked that. Elaine had the fettuccine with mushrooms, and they made it an entree size for her. My mom tried the Gorgonzola rigatoni pasta and Carbonara pasta apps, and liked both. Greg had the salmon and said it was very good. I don’t recall what my Dad or Grandma had. For dessert I tried the chocolate tarte which was alright, but after a bite of Elaine’s tiramisu I thought that was really good and she said it was her favourite dessert all trip. Gary asked about the Starbucks espresso on the menu and even though it is meant to cost money the server gave it to him for free so that was really kind of him.

 

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Burrata caprese salad - yum! DSC08735.thumb.JPG.3c0b74d1d7779ce0e88b303b0260fc01.JPG

Arugula and parmesan salad - also yum (says Gary)! DSC08737.thumb.JPG.98e19f487d730d402355ba91fc15e481.JPG

Caprese pizza - so huge and tasted good. Not the best caprese pizza I have ever had but it's a 7.5/10 at least. DSC08738.thumb.JPG.24a97c1b332ebff0b75ab8d947952ea9.JPG

Blurry pic of Gary's seabass, sorry! He enjoyed it a lot though. DSC08739.thumb.JPG.82245e2cfa99e26022ec7af056203d75.JPG

Can't remember the name of this dessert but it was a chocolate tarte with pistachio crumbs/brittle. It was okay, but Elaine and my Mom got the tiramisu which was way better! 

 

After dinner, and dropping my pizza in the room (we had asked our room steward, Raul, to empty our mini fridge) we all walked around a few more indoor venues. We stopped at Maltings, the whiskey bar, where the boys had a drink, and the ladies checked out the shops and got a free pendant. Around 9pm we went to Q to listen to the live band. We had a few drinks there and the band was pretty good. They were so decked out in country outfits and it was entertaining to watch, and we spent about an hour there before everyone went their own ways.  

 

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The band at Q, I believe they are called Nashville Junction. We had a few good sing-a-longs  and for a few songs we saw people get up and dance but we only stayed a short while. 

 

The room cards for Gary and I had stopped working for drinks so we went down to customer service to get that checked out. Apparently my bank put a hold on my card once we left Miami and hit international water, so we had to switch cards for the room. They offered to let me call the bank to fix it but after being on hold for 15 minutes we just decided to swap cards. We got back to our room just after 11pm and called it an early night. It had been a long day and my feet were killing me (my Fitbit said 13,454 steps and 8.4km!). We heard the next day that both sets of parents had been out until 12 and 1am enjoying the ship.

 

Drinks: I kept notes on some of the drinks I really loved, or didn't like, so I am including a few notes here to wrap up Day 1. The Bahama Mama became a very popular choice for the week for both Elaine and myself, I much preferred the White Sangria over the Red, though the fruits in it seemed to be different at every single bar. I still love the Daydreamer's Daiquiri a lot, but the Smoked Peach Margarita in Q was a bit to smoky or something for my taste. It was good to try but I never went back for another. Strawberry Daiquiris at the pool bard were very strong, and we had to always double check the non-alcoholic Pina Colada's for Greg (or watch them make it). Gary was looking for a Mango Meltdown but we got told all day on Day 1 that they didn't have the mango drink/mix/ingredient yet. 

 

I hope this review is helpful or just fun to read, and I will be back with Day 2 coming soon! 

 

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Day 2 - December 9

 

Gary and I got up at 7:15 to the sound of room service croissants, fruit, and coffee being delivered. For anyone who doesn’t know yet, you can order what I call “dry” items for room service for no charge, they only charge when you order hot/cooked food like eggs etc. Things like cut fruit, coffee and tea, pastries, cereal, yogurt and juices can all be ordered for free by placing the card on your door the night before. It was a lovely way to start to morning with some light breakfast on our balcony. We watched the sun coming up across the water and then went in to get ready for the pool deck, heading up there at 8:30am. We checked out Margaritaville for the breakfast selection, which is like a small buffet with egg sandwiches, eggs, bacon, french toast, fruit, pastries, hash browns etc. No omelettes or pancakes or the bigger buffet items but it was just enough for an easy second breakfast. We went to Margaritaville for breakfast multiple times through the trip and passed the info on to the other 5 of our group when we saw them. 

 

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Empty hot tub on the front deck, probably because it was so windy! 

 

It was still just the 2 of us so we decided to explore the sundecks. We headed up to the very top left front, right behind the Haven and across from Vibe. The bar is split between the two but on the left side it is a public sun deck with loungers, a hot tub, and a few of the blue couches. That morning was crazy windy, like our clothes were blowing away on the chairs and my flip flops went flying across the deck. We weighed everything under a lounger chair leg and spent a bit of time in the hot tub but the wind got too much so we decided to head to Spice H20 instead. We grabbed our first drink around 10am (a BBC for me which I am obsessed with now!). We passed Grandma on the way there and ran into my parents who were just waking up. Dad went to the gym and Mom found a lounger in Spice, though there wasn’t any near Gary and I at the time. Eventually Greg and Elaine also ended up in Spice, a few chairs away from us, and we all spent a few hours there. 

 

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Miami Vice! 

 

Minor Medical Issue: Around 12:30 a spot opened up right beside Gary and I, so my Mom was coming to join us. As she walked up the stairs to grab her towel and bag, she somehow snagged her foot on the little plastic cap on the bottom of the lounger chairs and really injured her toe. Since she was a few rows back and up, we didn’t know about it, but Gary happened to go to the washroom and passed her. A couple really nice ladies were helping my Mom (thank you kind strangers!) and she was in shock and her foot was bleeding a lot. I was still in my chair and my Dad came back from the gym, and we turned to look for Mom and instead saw Gary waving us over. 

 

There was a bit of slowness and general confusion or lack of action from the crew during this issue, not moving as fast as I would have hoped for an injury, but eventually we had medical come and they took Mom in a wheelchair down to the medical centre. Dad, Gary, and I went with her. She got checked out and bandaged, and had to fill out a ton of forms. She did not get charged for the medical visit as they deemed it an accident, but I had to take a security guard up to the spot on the Spice sundeck to show him how and where it happened, and he photographed the piece of the chair that cut her. We got out of the medical centre around 2pm and Mom was a lot better, but it was still a bit of a scary incident to happen.

 

The 4 of us went to lunch at The Local, and I will try to remember what everyone had.

 

The Local: I know that my Dad and I both had the watermelon feta salad, and that was pretty good. I liked the creamy feta cubes and the combo with watermelon was new to me but I liked it. I also had the classic spinach dip, which was a bit watery but still enjoyable. I missed the mozzarella sticks from past cruises, and instead I had a very disappointing grilled cheese. It was really boring and plain and just overall quite bad so I gave up on that. Gary had caesar salad, wings and the All-American burger, both of which he said was really good. Dad had the tortilla bowl and liked it, and Mom had the Reuben sandwich which she said was the best she has ever had. I tried the raspberry cheesecake and it was really delicious! 

 

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Feta and watermelon salad - pretty yummy!DSC08741.thumb.JPG.f402c588af0c82e9b5981804872b316b.JPG

Spinach dip - a bit watery but I still really like it!

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Blurry cesaer salad and wings - Gary enjoyed these. DSC08744.thumb.JPG.ade6cf5b2dd1a0c25e8ce481bd13bc58.JPG

Gary's burger - he really liked this as well. DSC08746.thumb.JPG.e1cd640eaf3d10456bda5529ac61de2e.JPG

My awful grilled cheese. So dry and boring, I only had a bit and gave up on it. DSC08748.thumb.JPG.eaaa809a9262919102f3e550440f9b9c.JPG

The raspberry cheesecake was delicious. 

 

Around 3:30 after our lunch we went to the main pool so Dad could get a spot for the football game.Gary and I were going to go pop back to our room and come back to join them, but somehow we ended up lying down to rest for a minute and snoozed a few too many times and woke up just after 5pm!  We rushed to get ready for our dinners and met our groups just before 6pm. This was the night we had all different dinner plans, and split up into 3 of the SDP visits. Mom and Dad were waiting until after the football game to go to Le Bistro, Gary and his parents were going to Cagney’s, and my vegetarian self, along with Grandma, went to Los Lobos. 

 

Los Lobos and Cagney's are side by side, and the 5 people in those 2 spots all went to dinner at the same time. Grandma and I took 2.5 hours for our dinner, which was ridiculously slow when the place was quite close to empty, yet the 3 others at Cagney’s took just over an hour and that restaurant was much busier. 

 

SDP 2 - Cageny's: The Cagney’s trio absolutely raved about their experience. They said the server was outstanding and all the food was very delicious. I don’t know the exact meals they had but between steaks, sides, baked potatoes that get topped tableside, and some dessert called the OMG cake, they all were raving about how delicious their food was and how great the service was. 

 

SDP 2 - Los Lobos: Over at Los Lobos Grandma and I tried a million items it seemed, and only had a few standout things that we really loved. It was a lot of food, and most of it was pretty good, but the few things that really impressed us was the tableside guacamole and the tres leches cake. Grandma tried the queso fondue, the 3 cheese quesadilla, cactus salad, and the enchiladas. I had the guacamole, the corn and pepper tacos, and the mexican street corn. The quesadilla was quite yummy (I had a bit of Grandma’s) and she said the queso was alright. The enchiladas were okay, and my veggie tacos were good but had some spicy kicks here and there. The star of the show was the guacamole for me, and the street corn was yummy but a bit heavy with the cheese on it. Grandma tried the fried beignets which we thought were very dry and boring, the dulce de leche ice cream which she liked, and I ordered the tres leches cake which was amazing. We wanted to try the chocolate cake but it wasn’t worth it. We both had a Mexican coffee as well, and man were they strong! 

 

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I loved the plates in Los Lobos! DSC08749.thumb.JPG.38b0ffc12d524a15f762edf22539169b.JPG

Complimentary chips and salsa. I loved the spice on the chips, only some had it but it was a salty seasoning. DSC08755.thumb.JPG.32a10b31761ae89320c437cc9e722575.JPG

About to get our tableside guacamole made. DSC08757.thumb.JPG.ac4a0580d0849e24724744951df777af.JPG

You can't tell here but they used 4 avocados so this was a massive bowl of guacamole. And so delicious! DSC08760.thumb.JPG.5bfd2d75032e250f7a525718b5c299b0.JPG

3 cheese quesadilla, pretty yummy actually. DSC08761.thumb.JPG.09c97d265a6f63034aef53ae9cf3344b.JPG

Grandma's queso fondue - she liked it and it was a tad spicy here and there but she enjoys that. DSC08768.thumb.JPG.ee4b8d758eb46eff1c873ab904934981.JPG

Corn and pepper mini tacos. I liked these but every once in a while it was a kick of spice. The corn was good but I could have done with less of the cheese/white sauce. DSC08770.thumb.JPG.93740be15e80380e29ae2fb07e233f56.JPG

Mexican street corn - same above, it was good but I could have done with less cheese. DSC08771.thumb.JPG.14dbb4e1b3b880d47afd0b16db432506.JPG

You can see the ice cream in the back, then beignets (dry and boring) and then my delicious tres leches cake. 

 

SDP 2 - Le Bistro: I heard from my parents that they really enjoyed their dinner at Le Bistro. They went around 8pm after Dad finished watching the football game and they said they had good service but they also spent about 2 hours in the restaurant. I do not recall what they ate, but I know that they both kept mentioning how amazing the french onion soup was throughout the week, and the MDR soup never compared to that one from Le Bistro. I also know Dad had scallops as an app and he liked them but noticed they were very tiny/thinly sliced. 

 

After dinner we met Gary and his parents in the Atrium to watch a game show and have some drinks. I think this was the Not So Newlywed game, and I found a lot of it to be quite out there. I noticed kids in the audience and some of the responses to the questions were quite sexual. I don’t think there is anything wrong with that for the show, but I do think maybe it should be in a different venue as it is hard to label the show 18+ or PG 13 or anything, when it is hosted in an open area. Either way it was funny and we laughed a bit while watching and drinking. 

 

Grandma headed to bed early and the remaining 4 of us went to the decade dance party out on Spice H20. We passed a person in a gorilla costume in the elevator and I am still wondering what the heck that was all about haha! The dance party was fun and both Elaine and Greg were tearing up the dance floor. They ended up being in the promo video playing in the rooms later in the week! We had a lot of fun singing along and dancing out on the deck with a huge party crowd. Gary and I left around midnight, and my Fitbit stats for that day say 10,383 steps and 6.44km! For a sea day that isn’t too bad! We had to turn our clocks ahead one hour tonight to get ready for our next day, another sea day. 

 

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Decades dance party on Spice H20!DSC08782.thumb.JPG.e798afcd441af8ea69b67352bb7c23b0.JPG

Pool deck at night. 

 

Drinks: Today the highlight drink for me was the BBC. That was so delicious and I ordered a lot of those the rest of the week. I also tried the Passionfruit Lime Cooler at The Local which was good, and a few other fruity ones. Mexican coffee at Los Lobos was strong, and I didn’t love the spice in the Mai Tai, but Gary liked it. We both tried a Miami Vice, which was alright but nothing special. 

 

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Our towel animal telling us to turn the clocks tonight! 

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3 minutes ago, cheech907 said:

I am so excited for Los Lobos! Great review, Thank you!

 Go hungry - it is SO MUCH FOOD!  😃 

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Thanks for your review. I LOVE Los Lobos and hope to sail on The Bliss someday to have that guacamole again. We went on The Dawn a couple years ago, and it was the only time my entire life that I had a food coma. Best meal ever on any ship hands down!

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Now I've got to ask, and apologies in case I missed it, what's the BBC?  Google says a banana Bailey's coconut - is that it?  I'm going to try it.  Also, I love reading about the food from a vegetarian perspective!  I was total vegetarian for ten years, but let reverted a little and started eating a little bit of fish a couple of years ago.  

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45 minutes ago, ClaireAndMike said:

Now I've got to ask, and apologies in case I missed it, what's the BBC?  Google says a banana Bailey's coconut - is that it?  I'm going to try it.  Also, I love reading about the food from a vegetarian perspective!  I was total vegetarian for ten years, but let reverted a little and started eating a little bit of fish a couple of years ago.  

 

The BBC was delicious!!! A combo of banana and coconut and Baileys!

 

The Bushwacker was good too, similar to a Mudslide but with the vanilla, amaretto, and coconut.

 

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I noticed before I cruised there weren’t a lot of vegetarian reviews/info so I made sure to keep notes of my food and options to help other veggies in the future! 

 

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Just now, emilyreid09 said:

 

The BBC was delicious!!! A combo of banana and coconut and Baileys!

 

The Bushwacker was good too, similar to a Mudslide but with the vanilla, amaretto, and coconut.

 

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I noticed before I cruised there weren’t a lot of vegetarian reviews/info so I made sure to keep notes of my food and options to help other veggies in the future! 

 

 

Yay, thank you!!! 

 

This is my first cruise as a "pescetarian", but with a shellfish allergy which can get tricky!  I was on the Breakaway with a large group dinner in 2014 and we ate at Cagney's one night so I think I ended up eating a plate of roasted veggies or something, but this go 'round, I can maybe have salmon or something!    

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Day 3 - December 10

 

We got up a bit later today with the time change, so it was about 8:30am. We went to the Garden Cafe for breakfast and I got a custom made omelette - peppers, tomatoes, and cheese! There actually no line at all, which may have been due to the time change people might have been off schedule. Regardless, I got my omelette so fast and grabbed some fruit and hash browns, coffee, and met Gary at a table in no time.

 

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Pool deck at 10:30am on the second sea day. Notice the reminder on the screen about saving chairs. 

 

We ran into Grandma as we were leaving the buffet and the 3 of us grabbed a coffee and went up to a top sundeck. We were waiting for the slides to open at 10:30 but a few minutes after 10 we saw them running, so we went over and each did slide a few times. We only did the one where you sit on the inflated tube, we had been curious about the drop slide but it was closed the first few days. A crew member told us they were waiting to pick up a part in St. Thomas to repair it. 

 

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Entering the slide!DSC08842.thumb.JPG.a65408a5e519762604b760b1c81aa5b9.JPG

A portion of it is clear and goes slightly over the side of the ship!

 

At 11am I headed to the District Brewhouse to the CC Meet & Greet (thank you for putting that together Terry!) and met and chatted with some fellow CC’ers, including Holly (hi!) and fellow Canadians Ruthie, David & their son (hi!). I’d never been to a meet and greet before so it was nice to see how it went and meet other cruisers. 

 

I met my parents and Gary back up on one of the top sundecks, out front of Margaritaville. We all popped into the buffet for a late lunch around 1pm, and then watched some of the Ms. Bicep competition at the pool deck. My parents left after lunch, and Gary and I stayed up on the sundeck. We had great drink service up on this location and even got handed cool cloths when it was super hot out. 

 

Just after 2pm we went down to the blue couches on the Waterfront on deck 8 and met up with my parents and Grandma who were all reading in the shade. I had just tried a Painkiller for the first time, and it was so delicious. I thought it smelled like apple pie or something with the spices sprinkled on top! We convinced my parents to come on the waterslide so all 5 of us headed back up there. I got some cool pictures of them going through the clear section of the slide by standing on the staircase while they went through. 

 

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I got some great pics standing on the stairs while my family did the slides!DSC08807.thumb.JPG.4e5471455601624b242caa18382ca96f.JPG

A rainbow while we waited in the slide line!

 

After the slides, Gary and I grabbed a drink at Margaritaville and headed to our room. I tried the Havanas and Bananas which was similar to a BBC, and Gary had the mango one, since they still didn’t have mange meltdowns on the ship yet. 

All 7 of us met at 5pm to head to the Manhattan Room for dinner. We went early because we had such a large group and had to get to the Havana show at 7:30. Service was good and it took about 2 hours for the whole meal, which was perfect timing for us to head to the theatre and stop for a drink at The Local along the way. 

 

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The Manhattan Room 

 

Once again, I will try to cover everything I remember of the group’s meals, but only have pictures of mine and Gary’s.

 

The Manhattan Room: Half the group ordered the bruschetta as an appetizer and we were all surprised at how big it was. I was expecting more of a cracker-like size of bread but it was a full slice and it was very yummy. I love bruschetta and this one was flavourful, had tons of tomatoes, and I enjoyed the cheese on top. Gary and my Mom had caesar salad, and noticed the dressing was a bit thin and watery. I also tried the beet salad and enjoyed it, and Greg somehow got a tomato salad even though he asked for mixed greens. I had a pesto pasta with some veggies and parmesan, which was pretty good even though I am not normally a pasta fan. Gary had the mixed barbecue plate, which he liked. Greg had the steak (from the everyday section of the MDR menu) and Elaine had the herb crusted chicken (also from the everyday section). They both enjoyed their meals and the chicken dish was a massive portion. Grandma tried the shrimp and mushroom alfredo pasta (same section) and enjoyed that as well. For dessert I had the chocolate lava cake, which was just as delicious as I remembered from my last cruise. My Mom tried the cherry pie which was pretty good, and Gary tried the s’mores brownie which he thought was alright. 

 

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I loved this bruschetta! DSC08798.thumb.JPG.39473b674c1d9978b7e387bb599a160c.JPG

Another cesaer salad for Gary. DSC08800.thumb.JPG.559f6a6ea588f5caa2093f3fbc9374da.JPG

Beet salad for me - yum! DSC08801.thumb.JPG.f23c9e848910dd0be643b7abbbc69916.JPG

Pesto pasta with roasted veggies. Pretty good! DSC08803.thumb.JPG.f55a6ef2dadf20f31ebaf1c998db306b.JPG

Mixed barbecue plate which Gary enjoyed. DSC08804.thumb.JPG.62f027a8bb9619532e69d8e7c10c3971.JPG

S'mores brownie - it was okay. DSC08805.thumb.JPG.a69dab9914059f3c12f8fef6475ec463.JPG

Chocolate lava cake - my favourite! I am so sad that I only had this one the whole trip, on the Getaway it was available every night! 

 

After dinner we headed to the theatre and got 7 seats together. There is no bar in the theatre but they have servers coming to take drink orders, so we all got drinks for the show. The Havana show itself was very colourful, fun, and had really entertaining music and dancing, but there was practically no plot. We all agreed that it was quite fun to watch but it really seemed to be missing a storyline. I loved the changing background designs and sparkly costumes, and for a 45 minute free show it was a good way to spend the evening. 

 

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Before the Havana show started.

 

When it was over at 8:15 we all went up to the Observation Lounge and listened to some live piano music and singing, and had a few more drinks and chatted the night away. Grandma headed to bed and the remaining 6 of us grabbed a late night snack at the buffet and then went to the 80’s dance party on Spice. It was kind of similar to the decade dance party, but we still enjoyed it. Mom and Elaine knew every word to every song, and they had a great time singing along.

 

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Observation Lounge was nicely decorated for the holidays!DSC08826.thumb.JPG.52ca099ccce16f91a9ebd1183e92e191.JPG

A lovely singer and piano player that we all enjoyed listening to. 

 

Around midnight the group split up, and Gary and I left and went to get ready for our excursion tomorrow (snorkeling with Grandma!). My Fitbit stats for that day were 10,136 steps and 6.28 km

 

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Our little towel animal friend for the night! 

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Oops I forgot to add drink opinions for the day!

 

Drinks: I tried the Peach Berry Sparkle in the DBH and I like that one quite a bit. Many of our group were having BBCs and Bushwhackers throughout the week and really liked both. I tried the Painkiller and I did like it a lot, and also tried the Pineapple Rum Champ which my Dad ended up ordering many more through the week. I tried a Don't Stop The Carnival at Margaritaville and I really liked that one! Lots of white sangria at dinner, since it was light enough to work with my meals. Gary had a ton or Corona with lime, red wine, and occasionally a fruity drink here and there, but he was still searching for that Mango Meltdown. 

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Hi all!

 

emilyreid09 ~ really enjoying your review! I was on the Bliss Panama Canal cruise Nov 3 & really loved the ship. That guac at Los Lobos was so yummy! I ate at the Local a few times & really enjoyed the Reuben, the Rachel, wings, prime rib, breakfast....

I found the Newlywed Game a bit risque too. Was your CD Silas?

Looking forward to the rest of your review.

 

~ Jo ~ ☺️

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On 12/19/2018 at 8:35 PM, retiring soon said:

Hi all!

 

emilyreid09 ~ really enjoying your review! I was on the Bliss Panama Canal cruise Nov 3 & really loved the ship. That guac at Los Lobos was so yummy! I ate at the Local a few times & really enjoyed the Reuben, the Rachel, wings, prime rib, breakfast....

I found the Newlywed Game a bit risque too. Was your CD Silas?

Looking forward to the rest of your review.

 

~ Jo ~ ☺️

 

Hi Jo!

 

Yes, the CD was Silas, I thought he was very friendly and engaging! 

 

The dance show was also very risque, which is unfortunate because on the Getaway it was just plain funny, this time it was 90% twerking. Not as good. 

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1 minute ago, emilyreid09 said:

 

Hi Jo!

 

Yes, the CD was Silas, I thought he was very friendly and engaging! 

 

The dance show was also very risque, which is unfortunate because on the Getaway it was just plain funny, this time it was 90% twerking. Not as good. 

 

Ewwwwwwww, twerking.  No thanks!  😂

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Day 4 - December 11

 

Today was our first Port day - St. Thomas! We woke up at 7am and watched the boat pull into St. Thomas from our balcony, which was pretty cool to watch. We headed to Margaritaville for some quick and yummy breakfast before we had to meet for our excursion at 8:45 in the theatre. Grandma, Gary and I all were booked for the Powercat Snorkel excursion through NCL. After waiting in the theatre for our group to be called we were able to get off the ship and take a short walk outside over to the boat that would be taking us that day, called the Cruzan Breeze. It was about a 20 minute ride over to the snorkel spot, and I was on the front of the boat so I got soaked - which I loved! 

 

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Great view of the Bliss as we were leaving on the Cruzan Breeze! 

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St. Thomas is such a pretty place! 

 

Once we arrived we got into a few group and spent about an hour in the water. Each group had a guide who would find some sea life and direct us towards it. During this snorkel time I saw a couple turtles, one stingray, one jellyfish, and tons of fish. At one point I was using my underwater camera to film some fish and out of the corner of my eye I saw a big dark spot. I turned (still filming) and caught an entire school of fish swimming around a corner of the reef! 

 

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My favourite thing to see snorkeling! DSC09021.thumb.JPG.0d1264d8d1f5bf803edf165644e9796d.JPG

This turtle is well known because he only has 3 legs! DSC09038.thumb.JPG.b93b062ee0c6428156c45d1dff4e4d6b.JPG

A little fishy friend!

 

I loved how clear the water was and I really loved watching the turtles ascend to the surface, but I will admit I was hoping to see a little more in terms of quantity. I have been on other snorkel trips where it just seems like hundreds of fish everywhere you turn, but this one it was a little more thinned out. Still very enjoyable and I got some good photos and videos!

 

After the hour in the water we hopped back on the boat for some rum punch and a 15 minute ride to a place called Honeymoon Beach. The staff on the Cruzan Breeze were tons of fun and we had a blast with them all morning. At one point on the ride over to the beach, we made a turn and the wind picked up Grandma’s wet shorts (I thought wet jean would be heavier than that!) right off the front bench and they flew into the water! It was pretty funny and she was a good sport about it, and didn’t mind going without them for the rest of the morning. 

 

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Honeymoon Beach was our second half of the excursion. DSC09194.thumb.JPG.d5c4acd9beb6d6f68926daa679cf3b11.JPG

A view from the water looking in to Honeymoon Beach. 

 

We spent about an hour on the beach, where Grandma relaxed and read her book while Gary and I swam some more and explored. The boat ride home was about 25 minutes, full of rum punch, great music, and lots of fun. After we docked the 3 of us walked the shops a little bit before heading back to the boat. Gary and I went to the buffet for a quick snack, and I really liked the pizza they make there. 

 

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Cute little ornaments in the St. Thomas shops!

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During a short walk around the ship after we ate, we spotted a massive gingerbread house display that the chefs had made and put out near the main staircase/chandelier on deck 6. It was absolutely stunning and so intricate! There was a little Bliss ship, penguins, and a working train track! Later in the week I spotted a sign showing how many pounds of each ingredient was used, which I thought was so cool since I enjoy baking a lot myself.

 

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The incredible gingerbread display! Look at the Bliss, the train track and even a Ferris wheel! DSC09660.thumb.JPG.cc403b1be0266abbe3c0b1c5620d1900.JPG

Holy smokes! This ingredient list is crazy!

 

By this time it was about 3pm and we found a sunny spot on the pool deck and got some drinks. I had a delicious mojito, and I ordered it in the souvenir pineapple cup for an extra $6. I absolutely love pineapple theme decor, and the NCL cup is always a souvenir I purchase, so this was perfect! 

 

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Enjoying a mojito in my new pineapple souvenir cup! And Gary's mystery blue drink. 

 

That evening we had dinner in Taste, all 7 of the group. As usual, here are my photos and as much info as I can remember! 

 

Taste: For an appetizer I had the mashed potato croquettes, as did a few others. We all thought they tasted more like a mozzarella stick (which I was missing from The Local) and had little potato flavour. They were quite tasty and I enjoyed the dill dipping sauce with them. Mom had the jalapeno corn bread with the honey butter and she liked it a lot. Gary had the Asian noodle salad which he wasn’t a big fan of. He liked the shrimp in it but not much of the rest. 

 

For mains, my mom and Elaine had the chicken cordon bleu, which they liked. Gary had the grilled lemon pepper shrimp, and I had the eggplant parmesean. I absolutely loved my meal! The eggplant as delicious, and even though I am not a huge pasta fan I loved the sauce on the spaghetti with it. I really liked that meal a lot! Gary liked his, again with the shrimp, and both ladies with the cordon bleu said it was tasty. Greg got the roasted chicken from the everyday menu and he like that a lot, and the server was great to sub out a side dish to something else he preferred. For dessert I know that Mom had the chocolate espresso cake, which she said was alright. Greg and I both had the carrot cake which was so yummy! I loved the glaze on it (lemon or orange I think) and the cake was tasty and the cream cheese icing was awesome. Gary tried the English cherry trifle and he didn’t like it at all. Grandma had the warm bread pudding which she said was okay but not great. 

 

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Cheesy mashed potato croquettes, very cheesy but very yummy!DSC08852.thumb.JPG.07cace37832b1d00c8f48274e2b769dd.JPG

Mom's jalapeno cornbread. She loved the honey butter flavour. DSC08853.thumb.JPG.191897f46883965711bcca0e009273f5.JPG

Gary's Asian noodle salad appetizer. He ate all the shrimp but didn't like the rest. DSC08861.thumb.JPG.f8620db3f6169d42c75c6f2e59d8c9aa.JPG

Chicken cordon bleu, which both ladies liked. DSC08862.thumb.JPG.4139907391714101bec96f3503f57eb6.JPG

Eggplant Parmesan - I loved this meal! DSC08865.thumb.JPG.9e568db501ac3ad5b7dab4a09ecbabaf.JPG

Gary's grilled lemon pepper shrimp dish, which he liked but didn't love. 

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Mom's espresso cake. Good but not as good as the tiramisu from La Cucina. DSC08867.thumb.JPG.7be01908104fbdf9c8d4cf7b97d1450f.JPG

My carrot cake - every aspect of this one was delicious!

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Gary's English cherry trifle - he said the creamy part was too plain and the cherry was basically Jello. Not a fan. 

 

After dinner we headed to the theatre to catch a comedy show with Spencer James. The opener, Bob, wasn’t bad but it was definitely Spencer’s show and he was very funny. We all laughed at his jokes and he even referenced the washy washy song, which was pretty funny. After the comedy show we sat in the Atrium with a few drinks and watched the dance show. On my trip on the Getaway this show was hilarious, with theme dances and really funny moves. Unfortunately I found this time it was a lot more sexual and lots of twerking and other similar moves, crawling all over each other and not really dancing. There was one hilarious section with animal themed dance moves, but other than that I wasn’t a big fan of it this time around. 

 

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I've been calling this guy a dinosaur but maybe he was meant to be a giraffe? Either way he was very cute!

 

Around midnight Gary and I headed to bed, as we had another early day tomorrow in Tortola. For this day my Fitbit said 10,597 steps and 6.57 km!

 

Drinks: Today my favourite was the mojito at the pool bar. It was light and refreshing with just a hint of sweetness and lots of mint leaves. I had a lot of rum punch on the excursion this morning, and then had some banana daiquiris on the pool deck which I enjoyed. Gary had that bright blue drink from the photo, I can’t remember the name, and it was pretty yummy. The rest of the day was more of the same - beer, BBCs, wine, and sangria. 

 

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Saying goodbye to St. Thomas when we sailed away. 


 

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Hi all!

 

emilyreid09 ~ nice pictures! That gingerbread display is really something & the pineapple cup cute.

 

I liked Silas a lot but thought he encouraged the contestants to be bold. I wish they'd get new questions!!

I love the Dance show although it does sometimes get a little carried away. My favourite part is the losers' lounge, what a hoot that is!!

 

Reading your review is making me remember my Bliss cruise & look forward to my next cruise on the Pearl.

 

~ Jo ~ ☺️

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