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emilyreid09

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

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Thanks for sharing your experiences.  Wondering if there's enough room on the angled balcony for a lounger? We are on the Bliss in January with an angled balcony. Just curious.  Thank you.

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I am enjoying your review.

As a vegetarian, which specialty restaurant did you find worth while?  We don't have a dining package and are traveling with one vegetarian.

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Love this review Emily! We are also from Toronto, and headed to the Bliss in Feb. Just curious about your comment re your room cards not working for drinks when you got there due to being in international waters- had you already prepaid for the UBP?  If so I'm wondering why that would have happened, and what you meant by switching cards.  Anyway if you get a sec, let us know.  We are first time cruisers so maybe just missing some small detail. Thanks so much.

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29 minutes ago, morety said:

Love this review Emily! We are also from Toronto, and headed to the Bliss in Feb. Just curious about your comment re your room cards not working for drinks when you got there due to being in international waters- had you already prepaid for the UBP?  If so I'm wondering why that would have happened, and what you meant by switching cards.  Anyway if you get a sec, let us know.  We are first time cruisers so maybe just missing some small detail. Thanks so much.

 

Hey there!

 

So I did have the UPB but every cabin needs a credit card on file, just so they have something to charge you with if you “buy” anything. Say for drinks over the $15 UBP limit, for a souvenir glass (I bought one and it was $6), if you played arcade games (we didn’t), the small tax on drinks when you’re still in Miami, or anything else.

 

I guess NCL needs to put a $300 hold on the credit card just in case (like hotels do). 

 

Apparently my bank assumed it to be fraud once my card was in international waters and they shut me down. It worked fine in Miami for the whole day before and up until we sailed away (for the Miami drink tax). Once we left Port though thats when I had the issue so instead of waiting on hold for ages with my bank company we just switched the credit card linked to our room. 

 

Hope that clears it up! 

 

I’ll be back with the rest of my review shortly! 

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Hey great review, my family just booked the Bliss for Alaska 2020 (our 20th wedding anniversary). Just for first time future cruisers..always good to call your bank, cell phone and credit card companies ahead of your trip to let them know of your travels so they dont shut you card/cell phone off during your vacation. Cant wait to read more about your trip. We have been to st thomas 2 times and we both love that island.

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On 1/5/2019 at 10:46 PM, emilyreid09 said:

 

 

Apparently my bank assumed it to be fraud once my card was in international waters and they shut me down. It worked fine in Miami for the whole day before and up until we sailed away (for the Miami drink tax). Once we left Port though thats when I had the issue so instead of waiting on hold for ages with my bank company we just switched the credit card linked to our room. 

 

Hope that clears it up! 

 

I’ll be back with the rest of my review shortly! 

One way around this is to file a vacation notice with the bank.  We use Wells Fargo and that one can be done online.  I think most of the major banks have it available on their website.  Otherwise it can be done inside the bank.  For a cruise, you'll need to list each port you'll be stopping at including the embarkation port.  Since we started doing this, we've never had a card declined.

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On 12/29/2018 at 1:26 PM, xray121995 said:

Thanks for sharing your experiences.  Wondering if there's enough room on the angled balcony for a lounger? We are on the Bliss in January with an angled balcony. Just curious.  Thank you.

 

There might have been enough room but they did not have one on ours. On the Getaway we had an angled balcony and when we arrived the lounger was already there, so perhaps this one it wasn't quite the right size. 

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On 1/4/2019 at 4:09 PM, shanley said:

I am enjoying your review.

As a vegetarian, which specialty restaurant did you find worth while?  We don't have a dining package and are traveling with one vegetarian.

 

Personally La Cucina was my favourite of the 3 SDP ones I tried, however I will be honest and say that I would have been 1000% totally fine without the SDP and there were actually nights that the veggie option on the MDR menu looked better than what I ended up eating at the SDP, especially in the case of Teppanyaki. 

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Sorry it took so long to get back to finish this - the holidays kept us super busy!

 

Day 5 - December 12

 

Today we were in Tortola very early and we had a beach day planned with Gary’s parents. The four of us met for breakfast at the buffet and were heading off the ship at 7:30am. We walked past the main shops and got a van cab to Cane Garden Bay, which was $8 per person, each way. We waited a few minutes but no one joined our cab, so our driver Dexter took us to the beach. The ride over was only about 15 minutes but it was incredibly rough, bumpy, and seemed quite dangerous. We whipped around the corners on the mountains and I know all 4 of us riding in the cab were a little unsettled. Dexter was friendly and he stopped at a spot for some photos, but the entire ride was a bit unnerving. We arrived at the beach super early and it was pretty much empty. We chose a nice spot and rented chairs for $5 each. 

 

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Passing the shops on the way to get a cab. DSC09384.thumb.JPG.1687bf561dcb5e65f6f47c9c382c2d3b.JPG

Does anyone else get Jurassic Park vibes from this? DSC09388.thumb.JPG.74de96d1af9a331084015008127e90ff.JPG

Here we are!

 

The beach filled up quite quickly after that but it never seemed too crowded. There were places to get drinks, some shopping kiosks, and bathrooms. Unfortunately part way through the morning the bathrooms were really full and disgusting, and the showers were not working at all. 

 

The scenery at the beach was lovely, and we had a good time relaxing, reading books, and swimming. I showed Greg how to use a snorkel mask and we spotted a few fish while we were out in the water. Every time I looked around at the beach and the green mountain area around it kept reminding me of the visuals in the new Jurassic Park movies. 

 

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Spotted this little guy at the beach!

 

Around 11:30 we hopped in our same cab to go back (Dexter came back for us) and we walked around the shops for a while before heading onto the ship at 12:30. The four of us split up then and Gary and I got some food and drinks at The Local. I tried the Glacier Blue cocktail and we sat over the railing and watched some of the movie they were playing on the screen in the Atrium below as we ate lunch. 

 

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Glacier Blue cocktail at The Local

 

After lunch we hit the pool deck but it was unbelievably hot and after sitting in a lounge chair for only a little while I started to feel my heart beating crazy fast in my chest so I had to get out of the sun. We went back to the room to shower and ended up having a short nap, getting ready very quickly, and meeting our group at 5pm for Teppankyaki. 

 

I was very excited for the Teppanyaki dinner as I have never done that before, nor had most of the group. Since were were a group of 7 we had one other couple join us at the table. The Teppanyaki show was very funny and the chef had some great songs and jokes to go with the cooking he was doing. He had some really fun egg tricks and he made a snake from the egg, had a little chicky wind-up toy pop out of his hat, and a lot more! 

 

As for the food, I thought it was okay but definitely not as good as my meals elsewhere. That was largely due to the tofu I ordered, but the others who had seafood and meat dishes really enjoyed them. It was a lot of food and we were all pretty full at the end. 

 

Teppanyaki: This was our 3rd Specialty Dining option. We all got to order whatever combination we wanted from the menu, and they all came with rice and veggies. For my rice (vegetarian) the chef made it first and put it aside, and then made the rest of the rice with chicken in it. Between the 7 of us I think somebody tried almost every combination on the menu, and the ones I recall as standouts for the meat-eaters were the shrimp and filet mignon. The chef made each dish to order and if there was any extra protein he offered it to others who hadn’t ordered it (ie: a few extra shrimp he gave to somebody who had ordered the chicken dish, etc). We all had started with edamame and a soup, but I wasn’t sure about the stock used for the soup so I passed on that. 

 

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Our Teppankyaki station for the evening. DSC08908.thumb.JPG.667469894efdccd8b32f5292a0feeca9.JPG

So many eggs and so much rice!

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A huge rice heart!DSC08919.thumb.JPG.a8ee18c3d23be4a3267eb9b63a280148.JPG

So much food! I ate the edamame already, then we have salad on the left, my teriyaki veggie and tofu main course, more veggies above that, and the fried rice on the side! 

 

We got out around 7pm and Gary and I went to the mojito bar for a drink before meeting the family in the atrium for a few game shows. We didn’t really like the show much so we left around 8:30 and walked the ship just enjoying the different bars, shops, and seating areas, before calling it a night around 10pm. 

 

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Some delicious mojitos! 

 

My Fitbit stats for that day say 10,053 steps and 6.23 km

 

Drinks: The Glacier Blue cocktail was pretty good but I spent most of the day with more mojitos, Havanas and Bananas, White Sangria, and a couple Raspberry Guava Mojitos at night. I really enjoyed the Sugarcane Mojito bar this trip, and even though i tried it on the Getaway I seemed to enjoy the drinks a lot more this time. 

 

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A little elephant to end the night!

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Day 6 - December 13

 

This morning we got up around 7:30 and had a sit down breakfast with the whole group at 8:30. I can’t remember if it was Taste or Savor but every one of the group had tons of food, loved the service, and really enjoyed the sit down breakfast experience. I had peaches and blueberries in a ginger sauce and then an omelette, the whole table (except me) ordered loads of bacon and loved it, and Grandma tried the Belgian waffle with caramel and banana. She tried the yogurt parfait but the fruit layer was more jelly texture than fruit so she wasn’t a fan. I think we ordered half the breakfast menu between our table alone, but it was a lot of fun and a great way to start the day. 

 

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Peaches and blueberries in a ginger syrup - so yummy!DSC09545.thumb.JPG.80214baf46b40f4ebe9e969ca6acc621.JPG

Veggie omelette - my fave! DSC09546.thumb.JPG.c18f95d6e3b47d3bddd97a764e59d3e0.JPG

Gary's classic breakfast, over easy eggs and bacon!DSC09547.thumb.JPG.ed316f6f6766857d75082b1522525b2b.JPG

Someone ordered pancakes, can't recall who but I know they got another plate so they must have enjoyed them!DSC09548.thumb.JPG.3c55fd7abe530bc93b2b7a21e79a6126.JPG

Dad had a bagel with salmon and he liked it.

 

After breakfast Gary and I went up to a sundeck at the front, across from Vibe, and it was so empty. We had the place to ourselves, there was a hot tub and bar nearby, and it was great. Eventually my parents ended up finding their way up there so we spent a few hours relaxing there before we hit the slides. We all did the tube slide again, and this time we passed Elaine on the way over so she joined us too! 

 

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There goes my Dad down the slide!

 

Gary and I wanted a snack after that and since it was around lunch time we went to one of the main dining rooms. I had a red pepper hummus app which was very good, Gary had his usual Cesar salad, and then we shared a nacho app and peanut butter cup cheesecake which we loved! It was raining by then so we went to the Observation Lounge and got a coffee and sat there for a while to enjoy it. When it was raining that was by far the most packed that area was the whole trip, but luckily it didn’t last very long. 

 

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Roasted peppers and hummus - this was delicious!! DSC09611.thumb.JPG.d3014e0cf8efb5db65fd6f4bea71e5d0.JPG

Gary's go-to salad, this time it was spinach base and croutons instead of the skinny slice of foccacia. DSC09610.thumb.JPG.f2ac7871cd4103d2abd41e277526f050.JPG

We shared some nachos (no chicken). DSC09612.thumb.JPG.ed5e1c2cd8bd822933f55e93d483d188.JPG

This was so good! Peanut butter cup cheesecake - very rich and decadent. 

 

We were meant to be on our own for dinner that night, but when we got seated in the Manhattan Room we ended up spotting my parents coming in just when we got our appetizers, so we waited and they joined our table. 

 

Manhattan Room: I had the bruschetta again because I liked it so much previously, and I tried the baked brie salad which was delicious. I had the classic vegetarian entree that night, the 3 cheese baked ziti, and it was better than I had expected it to be. Gary had a pasta with shrimp and alfredo sauce which he like a lot, and it might have also been on the everyday classic menu section. I think he had french onion soup for an app, so did my Mom, but she said it was not as good as the one she had at Le Bistro. I believe my Dad had the lamb shank and enjoyed it. For dessert we all tried a few bites of the roasted golden delicious apple, which was just warmed apples pretty much. We also tried the banana souffle which was pretty good, and the chocolate eclairs were just mediocre. 

 

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I loved this bruschetta once again. DSC08948.thumb.JPG.c8c882753057a4622b389cb3a599b070.JPG

Baked brie salad - so good!DSC08950.thumb.JPG.ede6561e4e1d3866d5ece164a6540562.JPG

3 cheese baked ziti from the everyday classic menu options. DSC08952.thumb.JPG.4f8b86ef9a7dcdd9e332b2b5317de35b.JPG

Gary's shrimp alfredo pasta which I think also was a classic option. DSC08958.thumb.JPG.1dac379f4d0b8f17c00d299623fa8363.JPG

Banana souffle dessert - it was okay. DSC08960.thumb.JPG.a82083b88a02f02fcf0f1c0ccf2ff932.JPG

Warm roasted apple dessert - it was pretty plain. 

 

After our dinner it was about 7pm so we walked over to the theatre to meet the rest of the group for Jersey Boys. We all liked the show a lot and it was fun to sing along, especially for my parents’ generation. The show ended around 9:30 and we went up to the buffet to look at these really cool fruit sculptures that Elaine and Greg had spotted earlier. They were very neat!

 

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So cute! I only included a few here but there were probably 8-10 placed around the buffet stations that night. DSC08971.thumb.JPG.0231b7301eca1d73abe56fd86305e08a.JPG

This one was a little bit creepy!DSC08972.thumb.JPG.225b9b7e72b6a03ae008d1485ce74720.JPG

A little bumblebee type sculpture!

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I loved this fish one!

 

At the buffet I also ended up spotting a small crepe station which was so exciting because I had seen online that there was only Coco’s and the buffet crepes were gone. It was the only night I saw then for the whole week, and they didn’t have toppings like Nutella or strawberries, just the different jam-type fillings, but I still had one and I loved it! Elaine had one too and it was her first crepe ever, and she loved it! 

 

Gary had a Go-Kart reservation at 10:30 so we went there to check him in, and they happened to have one spot left so Greg signed up as well. By then the rest of the group had left, so when the two boys went to get ready for their activity Elaine and I went up to the top deck so we could watch them. They were put in a group with about 4 or 5 young children so I was worried that the speed would be limited and Gary wouldn’t be able to go as fast and he would with more adults, but once he was finished he said they were flying and he had a blast. They spent at least 10 minutes on the track, possibly more, and Gary and Greg both enjoyed it a lot. Gary came in first on the scoreboard and said it was pretty tricky to get around corners but overall it was worth it 100%. 

 

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This was ridiculously hard to get good photos of, I think daytime would have helped a bit but they were truly going too fast to capture. 

 

We stopped for a drink at the mojito bar and took some chandelier pictures before heading back to our room around midnight. 

 

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Classic chandelier picture at night. 

 

My Fitbit was the worst day so far with only 7,280 steps and 4.51 km

 

Drinks: The whole table has mimosas at breakfast which was great to start the day, and the drinks flowed from there on. I had Bushwackers, Pina Coladas, BBCs, some sort of orange spritz that I don’t know the name of and I didn’t really like, more sangria and more mojitos! We were all over the place with drinks this day but being a sea day it made sense that we were all over the place on the ship at different bars. It was a good day to try a bunch from my list. 

 

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A monkey friend to say goodnight! 

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On 12/19/2018 at 10:45 AM, emilyreid09 said:

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. 

I hope the Mango Meltdown is found!

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On 1/12/2019 at 4:44 PM, Mr and Mrs C said:

I hope the Mango Meltdown is found!

 

Sadly it wasn't, and the replacements he tried just never compared! He loved that drink on the Getaway!

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Day 7 - December 14

 

Today was our last full day and it was to be in Nassau. We didn’t dock until noon so we still had the morning almost as a sea day, and the afternoon as a Port day which was pretty cool. This was the only day that we slept in a little, and it was so nice to do that! We went to the buffet for breakfast and then back to our little top sundeck where we hung out and ended up watching as the boat made a full circle to dock in Nassau. It was an awesome view up there and really cool to see and feel the whole ship spin around. At one point Gary asked for a Mange Meltdown, and once again was told they didn’t have the mango. The server did offer to swap it with peach and make a peach meltdown, so Gary tried that but it just didn’t compare. 

 

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Pulling into Nassau was a gorgeous view from the top deck!DSC09650.thumb.JPG.59f8848aaaf794c4f900be2f9e64d2d9.JPG

We pulled right in between these two ships!

 

We wanted to do the slides again but they weren’t open yet, so we grabbed a few pieces of pizza at the buffet before we met the group to go off the ship together at 1pm. 

 

I had planned a little walking tour for the group that day to go see the Queen’s Staircase. It took us about 20 minutes walking to get to the Queen’s Staircase and the fort that was above it, and it was a very hot day so we were all quite exhausted. It wasn’t super busy but there were a few other groups there. We ended up not going in to the fort, as it cost a few bucks and no one seemed too excited for it, so we headed back towards the boat. By 2:30 we were back by the pier and Mom, Dad, and Grandma went back on board. Gary and I walked around a few shops with Greg and Elaine and we saw one that looked like a New York department store with a huge Christmas tree in it with some really cool decorations. We shopped for a while and then headed back to the boat to try to get on the slides. 

 

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The Queen's Staircase was a pretty cool thing to see and great that it was a short walk from the ship and didn't cost anything!DSC09695.thumb.JPG.df1a4be354a3c5569aa5306772079162.JPG

Looking down from the stairs.

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The coolest decorations on this tree in one of the shops! So creative and unique. 

 

We had dinner in the Manhattan Room around 5pm with the whole group and since we wanted to make it to the Beatles show in the theatre, we told the server that we wanted to be quick. The service was great for that and we all enjoyed our meals. 

 

Manhattan Room: I got the caramelized onion flatbread with goat cheese as my app and I loved it! Gary had seared scallops for his app, and citrus glazed seared salmon as his main and he enjoyed both of them very much. For my main I had the mushroom ravioli with Gorgonzola sauce and it was one of my favourite meals the whole trip! For dessert we shared the French opera cake which was pretty good, and the Strawberry Napolean cake, which tasted exactly like a packaged Vachon passion flakie pastry. It tasted pretty good and quite sweet, but the match was so similar it was really strange! 

 

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This was pretty yummy - the caramelized onion flatbread. DSC09060.thumb.JPG.9db36d04427d8cdcabc9bd575bd947be.JPG

Gary's scallops that he enjoyed. DSC09063.thumb.JPG.c01022228e34c2e84dc0c3d40ce3c14f.JPG

Gary's salmon main course - he liked that a lot too! DSC09061.thumb.JPG.6348585979949619440f238fb61d33ec.JPG

I loved this dish!! The mushroom ravioli with Gorgonzola sauce was amazing! DSC09064.thumb.JPG.a09a4c6011a3eef2aae29416827eb47f.JPG

French Opera cake was pretty good, not a favourite but it was tasty. DSC09066.thumb.JPG.4d5f13fb7c59df7c7b6108004db009e3.JPG

The Strawberry Napolean cake tasted just like those passion flakies! It was yummy and the similarity was uncanny!

 

After dinner we got a couple group photos by the chandelier and then headed to the theatre for the Beatles show. Mom and I only stayed for a few songs, but the rest of the group watched the whole thing and really liked it. Mom and I browsed the shops until the group met us upstairs at the mojito bar.

 

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A quick snap of the Beatles show before Mom and I headed out. 

 

Grandma went to bed then, but Gary and myself, and both sets of parents spent a long time hanging out at Sugarcane. My Mom and Greg even got up to dance a little  when the live Latin music was playing, and we all tried a lot of the different mojitos. We got to chat and laugh and enjoy watching the Latin music, and it felt like a nice way to end the trip. This was exactly what I wanted - a fun week for us to all enjoy and bond a little bit before we come home and dive into wedding planning! 

 

Just before midnight we headed to our room and I did my packing.

 

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A little frog to end our trip. 

 

My Fitbit was going crazy today and it says 14,493 steps and 8.99 km!

 

Drinks: There were a few drinks at Margaritaville that were still on my list so we tried those,  including the Zombie, but for the most part this day consisted of a lot of mojitos, red wine, and one last BBC. Gary did not like the peach meltdown as much as the mango own, so that was a disappointment for him. 
 

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Day 8 - December 15

 

Going home is never fun! This day was a long day for us Toronto travelers, and it always feels like the worst part of any vacation. I could easily do a back to back cruise, the 7 days never seems like enough. There were still so many things we didn’t get around to doing (mini golf for one!) and I enjoy the relaxation, sun, drinks, and food so much!


For our last morning on board we all work up early and the we said goodbye to my parents, as they had parked at the terminal and were just driving back to their RV park that morning. 

 

After a long time of goodbyes and hugs in the hallway, the other 5 of us left to go to breakfast one last time at Savor. This was our longest wait, and 10-15 minutes, but it made sense being the last day and being the only sit down breakfast place open. We all had a lot of yummy food and enjoyed our last meal on the ship. 

 

After breakfast we went up to get our bags, as we chose to walk off ourselves, and we also grabbed everyone’s bills. I noticed something off on Grandma’s bill, so we went down to the desk to sort it out. Somehow she got charged for a few glasses of wine, and very expensive ones, even though she had the drink package. After a short while with the customer service representative they refunded her and it was all solved!

 

At that point we hopped in the line that was wrapping around the bar portion of The Local, which was how to exit the ship. It took about 10 minutes in line which wasn’t bad, and then we zigged and zagged our way out onto the deck, into the terminal, through the last customs desk, and finally outside. 

 

We wanted to grab an Uber to the airport but we were having a really hard time connecting on our phones, so we ended up with a cab. We had been offered a few car services but they were waiting to be a full van and the price of the cab was actually better, and they left right away. 

 

We made it to the airport around 11:30 am but our flight was around 7pm that evening, so we had a long day. We all read books, got lunch in the airport, had coffee and snacks, and just wasted as much time as we could until we checked in for our flight around 4pm. Once through the gate we wasted more time with shops and snacks, and eventually got our plane to go home. 

 

I won’t bother with any more of the trip from here but I will give some overviews of the vacation and the Bliss ship from everyone. 

 

All 7 of the group enjoyed the buffet a lot, and more than we all anticipated. The main dining rooms were always amazing, we never had to wait in line except this last morning, and the meals were always good. There was enough variety on the menus for every taste, and for my vegetarian experience it was pretty good. I only felt stuck maybe once or twice. For the specialty dining package I honestly have to say we didn’t need it. We had it as a free perk so it was nice to experience and enjoy, but I wouldn’t ever buy it myself or purposely look for it. 

 

The drink package was the best choice we made! We all loved it and got a ton of use out of it, so I would highly recommend that even if you aren’t a huge drinker - if you can get the perk it’s worth it! The freedom to try anything and not worry about it, or even for non-alcoholic drinks we were able to get soda and juice and virgin drinks as well as all the alcoholic ones. 

 

Our rooms were all wonderful. Grandma's’ inside room was much bigger than we expected and she loved it. Our balcony rooms were great and we all used the balconies to watch our ship pull in or out, enjoy a morning coffee, or just relax. Our angled balcony was slightly larger but not as big of a difference as it was on the Getaway. We all thought the location was really good, as the 11th floor was in between top pool decks and the lower 6/7/8, so we weren’t too far or too close to anything. 

 

Activities and shows were something everyone enjoyed a lot. From the big shows like Jersey Boys and Havana, to the live music all over the ship and game shows in the Atrium. We all like the entertainment and the variety of options. Some game shows were a bit too raunchy for some preferences, and Havana didn’t have a strong plot, but for free entertainment pretty much all day long, we all liked it. Even the paid activity of Go Karts was something both Gary and Greg said was totally worth it. We also all liked the one tube slide, but none of us tried the drop slide and it was closed for a few days anyways. 

 

Overall the staff was incredible and friendly all the time, we never felt super crowded expect in situation where it made sense (after the muster drill, when it rained and everyone came inside, etc). The elevators actually were never an issue for us, if a full one passed us there was usually another one in a minute or two so it wasn’t a problem. 

 

All in all the whole trip was wonderful and every single person in my group of 7 was raving about it. I have been asked by half the group when our next one is being booked, and the other half have been Instagramming and telling everyone they know about how amazing the vacation was. I am so glad we got to do this family trip and it was a super fun experience that I would do again in a heartbeat!

 

Thanks for reading along with me and my trip! 

If you have any questions please feel free to ask! 
 

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Thanks for sharing your thoughts and pictures with us!   It was especially nice to get the perspective of how the different ages in your group enjoyed this cruise. 

 

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