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alyssazoll

Bliss 1/12/19 - 1/19/19 Review (ft. MDR menus, The Baths, & Atlantis)

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@ChesneygirlI am pretty sure we had it set to 1 picture every 30 seconds. We also bought a clamp mount from Amazon that we clamped on to the balcony, which made this one wayyyy better than our first one in Miami. 

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@Krisco I love flying GRR, but it is so hit or miss with pricing and flight schedules. Even with all our transfers, it still ended up being cheaper to fly into FLL than MIA. I am a maize & blue girl myself, but we can still be friends! :) 

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On 1/23/2019 at 3:22 AM, SNJCruisers said:

 

Alyssa.....Cruella mentioned slot issues, not soot issues.   Residual effects from the UBP?

Lol , I just saw my typo. I did mean SOOT issues as I have heard from other reviewers that they have had issues with soot on the aft balcony. 

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Wednesday - Day 5 - Tortola, BVI: 

This was an early morning! I was up by 6am, and ran up to the Garden Cafe to grab breakfast before we got off the ship for our 7:15am excursion to the Virgin Gorda Baths. 

I read so many reviews and asked so many questions about going to the Baths. Even with all the research, I still really had no idea what to expect. I booked through NCL (like I always do...🙈) and was really worried about crowds, crawling through tight spaces, and not having enough time. So for those of you who are in the same boat I was, hopefully this will help! Pictures and videos of the hike to come. 

I picked the 7:15am time to beat the crowds I had heard about. The ferry pick up is right behind the ship. 

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Spotted our balcony!

The tour guide was very detailed about how we would be spending our morning. We would get off the ferry, onto the taxis, arrive at Baths entrance, hike down to Devils Bay Beach until 8:45, and then begin to go through the paths to the Baths, we leave at 10:15. 

Going down to Devils Bay: Downhill walk on a dirt path with a few rocks to be careful on. Boring videos, but here's what you can expect for the walk down. We wore water shoes for this excursion, but there were many people just in flip flops. It was probably a 10 minute walk down, but we were trying to get down there ASAP. 

 

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Terrific review, thanks for sharing it. Any chance you saved the freestyle dailies to share?  Boarding in Feb and would love to get a sense of the happenings.

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Wednesday - Day 5 - Tortola, BVI (continued):

We made it to Devils Bay.51.jpg.77e2f3a1bc2139e012f767e349f57092.jpg52.jpg.6386cb4fd724c77a0fc26e4c95e4ebce.jpg

 

Now for the fun to begin! Going through the rocks! It was a single file line, there were multiple times we were stopped to wait for people to get through a more difficult part. I'd say it was about a 35 minute hike/walk (whatever you want to call it) to get the Baths beach. 

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Wednesday - Day 5 - Tortola, BVI (continued):

More pictures from going through the rocks53.JPG.04af768c3c1357505bd1ed704032583a.JPG54.JPG.b506e48e1de2edd9c2a80d421de0aeb0.JPG55.JPG.c4a238567fef0b3c7b6f6ba223db8bb4.JPG56.JPG.24c48e849249247991bb4e1d756dd131.JPG58.JPG.fe0e7f64cb2d68719da59ed735a04d54.JPG57.JPG.85e9a6289e98f1a7842e0bded76fc46f.JPG

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On 1/22/2019 at 11:45 AM, alyssazoll said:

Saturday - Day One - Miami (continued):

Our stateroom = 9922, Aft facing balcony! At our current point in our lives, we have no desire to cruise in the Haven because we want to cruise as much as possible right now. The minisuites don't offer us enough to pay more, and while a spa room would be nice, I don't think I would utilize the spa much with this type of itinerary. We spent a good amount of time on our balcony on the last cruise, so we decided to spend the extra money on an aft facing balcony. I'm not sure we'll ever cruise another way! It was amazing! I did a lot of research trying to pick the best deck. For Bliss, deck 9 is the deepest, which is why I picked it. I was worried about noise from the Waterfront, but it was never an issue. The A List bar is right below you, but doesn't open until 5, but was a good place to grab a drink at night, or go back to balcony with. Other close bars on deck 8 were Sugarcane, Maltings, and the Cavern on the Waterfront. The stateroom was standard, but the balcony had 2 loungers, 2 regular chairs, and a small table. The room had plenty of storage for the 2 of us. 

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Ugh. I miss it so much. 

 

We booked our brothers an inside room, and at the time it was only GTY rooms left. About a week after we booked them, they were assigned an inside family room, 12685, which was right above us 3 floors up, so it worked out well! I have no pictures of their room because they are 20 & 22 year old gross boys 😂

 

We went out and explored before muster and sail away. I did not take a lot of pictures of the ship since other reviews have done that so thoroughly. Muster drill was quick and easy. The bar was back open, and we decided to watch sail away from our balcony! 

Having cruised in balcony cabins, mini-suites and the Haven, I agree with you completely.  We bid on a Haven upgrade on Escape and to our surprise we got it.  I will say that the Haven Aft-Facing Penthouse was incredible.  Ours was on Deck 9 and we found out that the Aft Haven balconies on deck 9 are the largest on the ship because of how the ship is designed.  And while I say it was incredible, I could never justify spending the extra money outright for the Haven experience again.  For our lifestyle, the Balcony cabins are just fine for us.

 

Your review is excellent, I'm enjoying it and have pointed several of my friends to look at it as we get closer to our cruise on Bliss.

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On 1/22/2019 at 11:18 AM, alyssazoll said:

We weren't really planning on Vibe passes because we were in Terminal B, while the rest of our group was in Terminal C and in group 2, so we know it would be really tough for all of us to get passes. But, seeing how we got group 1, we gave it a shot. Someone even offered to buy our boarding card from us. We stood in line by the door, probably the 10th people in line for our terminal. Boarding began at 11:00am, we did our fast walk from the 7th deck where you board to the Social on deck 6, andddddd already sold out. We later heard that only 40 passes were sold. Oh well. Off to find a drink! 

Thanks for the review. We were on the same cruise! Couldn't ask for better weather. It is crazy that you were that early and they were sold out. The sun/pool deck is so crowded and, supposedly, Vibe is sold out, but whenever I would look in there it was not even half full on the sea days. My biggest disappointment is how badly NCL handles the amount of people on the ship.

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Wednesday - Day 5 - Tortola, BVI (continued):

 

We made it through! Now time to spend 45 minutes at the beach. We brought our own snorkeling masks so we could snorkel around the rocks. I didn't catch many on the GoPro, but we did see a lot of fish! 

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Wednesday - Day 5 - Tortola, BVI (continued):

 Okay, so my overall thoughts on the Baths. I am glad we did this excursion. I know people say "they're just big rocks in water". Well yeah, that's true, but it's something that you should see. It was not as crowded as people make it out to be. The later excursions could be a different story. I am not a super active person, I did just fine. Ryan and our brothers are all 6'0 or taller, and while there are some spots where you have to crouch, it was nothing extreme. Yes, I would have loved some extra time at the beach, but we got to snorkel and swim, and at the end of the day, it was everything we wanted it to be. 

 

When it is time to go, you go back up another dirt path to get back to the taxi. They have bathrooms, foot showers, and refreshments back at the top. The ferry took us by the beaches and boulders that we had been at, and then we went back to port.The ferry also has free wifi. 

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Some other pictures that our brothers took. They really enjoyed themselves, too!

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Wednesday - Day 5 - Tortola, BVI (continued):

Back to port! Tortola's port area is pretty small compared to others that we have been to. We walked around and got our t-shirts and magnets (which is what we collect from each port). All aboard was 2:30pm. We got to see the Celebrity Edge. 

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Dinner for tonight

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Byeeeeee Tortola! 

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On 1/22/2019 at 11:33 PM, itseaya said:

Great review!  Thank you.  So do you still have the charge at Margaritaville for breakfast?

Thank you! Margaritaville is complimentary for breakfast! It is the same food in the "hot breakfast" section as the Garden Cafe, but 100 times better of an atmosphere! It is not open for as long as the Garden Cafe though. 

Edited by alyssazoll

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Wednesday - Day 5 - Tortola, BVI (continued):

When we got back on the ship, we had the lunch at the Local that I talked about previously. Horrible service 😞 We are typically very patient people, but we didn't go back to the Local for the remainder of the trip. After the buffet and a nap, it was somehow already dinnertime. We went to the Manhattan Room again. 

The Manhattan Room, Taste, & Savor (The Main Dining Rooms or MDRs) all serve the same menu that feature a nightly selection of entrees, as well as the classic entrees that do not change. Taste and Savor are a little too small and quiet for our liking, so we dinned in the Manhattan Room for all dinners that we didn't have specialty dining. We did not make reservations, and the longest we waited for a table was 5 minutes. 

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My NY strip

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Ryan's 3 cheese baked ziti

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Eli's hake fillet 

 

After dinner, we went to find drinks.

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***STORY TIME!!!***

This is why you tip your bartenders, especially if it's a bar that you plan on sitting down at, or spending a lot of time at. 

On the Getaway, we LOVED the Sunset Bar on the Waterfront, and Mark was our fantastic bartender. We hoped that Cavern on the Waterfront would be just as great. There was a show going on inside at the Cavern Club, so the outside bar was empty. We sat down, ordered strawberry daiquiris and gave the bartender $3 for the 3 drinks he made us. We enjoyed a couple more daiquiris, all while tipping the bartender, before the show at the Cavern Club was let out. Suddenly people were lined up for drinks. Before the bartender took new orders, he asked us if we wanted another round. Obviously we said yes because we knew it would take awhile before he got back to us, and tipped him again. The lady standing behind us waiting made a rude comment to Ryan about how we were served before her. Ryan politely let her know that we had been sitting there for 30+ minutes and tipping him. This is probably the same lady who complains about having to pay the daily service charge and refuses to tip cash...lol. 

Moral of the story: take care of your bartenders (wait staff, room stewards, etc.) and they will take care of you! You might even get a paper straw 😉

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 Anyway, we had fun rest of the night! Tomorrow would be our last sea day, then Nassau, and vacation would be over 😞

 

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Edited by alyssazoll

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We were on the same cruise! We had the same expected disappointment with not getting into Vibe. We must have been near each other on the line to embark - someone also offered to switch boarding cards! 

What beautiful weather!

Thanks for sharing!

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Thursday - Day 6 - At Sea: 

The final sea day! I woke up to catch the sunrise. 

ADDA59FA-4DBB-4AB2-9F27-614BF822D705.thumb.jpeg.231a62224ac5b13c8a409df7538d1798.jpeg

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Everyone was up at a decent time so we were able to go to Taste/Savor for a sit down breakfast. Ryan and Eli got the biscuits and gravy, Nick got French toast, and I got waffles. 

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Relaxing was on the menu for today! After breakfast we went to the Atrium and they were doing the cake decorating show. It was pretty funny! We went up to 7 to play some of the acade games. Unfortunately the bowling game wasn’t open yet, so we played Deal or No Deal and the Mario Cart game.  We decided to hang out at Spice H20 for most of the day. We loved the bartenders there. The boys were sun-ed out so we were able to grab a table under the patio at the bar. Later my mom and her husband joined us. Also note that there is a large smoking section at Spice that was always packed. 

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Many screwdrivers and Bud Lights were consumed! But it was the last day at sea so we had to get our money’s worth 😉 We probably sat at that table for 6 hours enjoying our beverages, the weather, and people watching. We went back to the room to nap before dinner and start the dreaded packing to go home. 

 

Edited by alyssazoll

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Thursday - Day 6 - At Sea (continued):

Ryan wasn’t feeling good to go to dinner, and Nick was off doing stuff with friends he made, so Eli and I went to dinner at the Manhattan Room. 9383766B-0F3D-4C08-9EB1-CB8364742777.thumb.jpeg.59146719fa19eb8009babf783d801040.jpeg

We went a little bit later around 8:00pm and the service was so fast. When you are seated they do ask you if you have show reservations to try to accommodate.  

Eli got the smoked mozzarella ravoli and the tilapia for dinner. 

I got the meatballs and beef strips. 

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I didn’t like the side that was on the menu with this, so I asked for mashed potatoes to go with it and it wasn’t a problem. 

Dinner was great. We went up to the pool deck for the glow party and Caliente before going to bed. How is Nassau already tomorrow?!

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Friday - Day 7 - Nassau: 

☹️☹️☹️ 

Last sunrise at sea. 

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I fell back asleep since we weren’t scheduled to be in Nassau until noon. I woke up at 10am to go grab breakfast from the buffet. I wish the buffet had to go boxes or trays. It was not fun carrying my plate back to the room. Side note that we did order late night room service one time and got a pizza. No cost for the food, but $7.95 to have it delivered. 

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We made it into Nassau at about 11:20. We booked Atlantis through NCL. I was so stressed about this...the ship cleared “late”  at around 12:10 so we were lined up to get off. I heard rumors about people being kicked off the ship and/or medical evac in Nassau, which could be the reason we were late getting off. This was probably the most chaotic stop. We found our check in spot for Atlantis. They gave us wristbands and a map, and lead us through the maze of the port to buses to go over to Paradise Island. We got off the bus at Atlantis around 12:50. They explained that the buses back to the ship would start at 3:00pm and continue every 30 minutes, with the last bus coming at 6:00pm. All aboard was 6:30, so we decided to try for the 5:30 bus. I was getting real nervous about having enough time to do everything we wanted at the water park. It was about a 10 minute walk into the water park. You go through the hotel and casino before getting to Aquaventure. We got a locker ($28 for a large one that fit 2 backpacks) so we didn’t have to worry about chairs and our stuff being left unattended since we planned on using all our time being in the water. We brought our NCL towels but wished we wouldn’t have because they took up space in our bags and locker. Atlantis provides towels for Aquaventure. At 1:30 we were ready to hit the Rapid River! This was my favorite part. It’s like a lazy river and wave pool combined and it was so much fun! We did it multiple times and probably spent an hour total on it. We didn’t bring the GoPro with us because we didn’t think we could have it on the rides and stuff, but many people did. 

We were able to do all the water slides! I was really worried that it would be packed, but the most we waited in line was 10 minutes. Definitely make sure you do the slides that go through the aquarium. It was unreal to have sharks and other fish just swimming around you as you’re floating through. We did the famous body slide down the temple as well. We had time to grab something to eat as well. We got a combo meal with a burger, chips, and a drink and it was $12, which we honestly didn’t think was too bad. At 4:50 we grabbed our stuff and went to check out the aquarium. It’s the largest open air aquarium in the world! I didn’t take any pictures 😱 but a stingray swam over by us twice and it was amazing. It was very cool!

We did end catching the 5:30pm bus and made it back with no problems. The driver on the way back was very informative and told us all about the things we were passing. 

Overall, it was a great experience. I could not believe that the water park was so empty. Obviously it was pricey, and when you look at cost to how much time you get, it is lopsided. But we had a great time and got to see everything we wanted at the water park. We are actually looking at staying at Atlantis in December to get the whole experience. 

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Edited by alyssazoll

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Friday - Day 7 - Nassau (continued):

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We did our souvenir shopping at Atlantis so we didn’t go to any of the port shops. I did have many ladies approach me about getting my hair braided, so if you want that done, this is the place to do it. We had dinner reservations at Cagney’s with our brothers, but here is the menu for the MDR. 

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Friday - Day 7 - Nassau (continued):

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Eli’s crab cake 

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Ryan and I got the pork belly again

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Ryan, Eli, and I all got the 8oz filet mignon 

Nick got the NY strip. 

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Eli loved how the waiter came around and loaded your baked potato lol. 

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Friday - Day 7 - Nassau (continued):

 

Can’t forget about dessert! 

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Eli and I both got the cheesecake (so good!!!!!) 

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Nick got the 7 layer cake 

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Ryan got the macadamia nut brownie

 

We went up to Spice H20 for the farewell party, where we enjoyed our last drinks of vacation. We were all exhausted from playing at Atlantis. Plus we were doing self walk off in the morning, so we called it a night. I could feel the post cruise depression setting in already..

 

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Thank you for your detailed review and menus! Looking forward to our cruise in March!

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Loved your review.  Such fantastic pictures.   I'm doing this cruise in March and was nervous, myself, about getting all the waterslides in at Atlantis.  Now I feel a little better about it.  Thank you!!

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Thanks for the memories. We used all three of our specialty dining credits for Cagney’s.

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