About me and my style of cruising: This was my 11th cruise. I am a single gay Gent and usually sail solo. I work long, hard hours and live a clean and healthy lifestyle 50 weeks of the year. But on my vacation, I like to swing from the ... Read More
About me and my style of cruising: This was my 11th cruise. I am a single gay Gent and usually sail solo. I work long, hard hours and live a clean and healthy lifestyle 50 weeks of the year. But on my vacation, I like to swing from the chandeliers and act as though there is no tomorrow as I party, dance, drink and get to know fun new people. This I did on the Bliss with extreme ease and the utmost of joy! Loved the ship, my fellow passengers, the events on board, the food, the ocean and, of course, Mexico itself (especially P.V.) and being there for dia de los muertos. I would rather do nothing else than sail the ocean on these fantastic machines.
The ship is, of course, beautiful! There was a very good vibe on board, with fun passengers, lots of dancing and fun activities. The ship is decorated and laid out beautifully. Always lots to do. There were several fun deck parties at night with energized people that went on much longer than what I have experienced on other ships.
The nightclub on this ship is called The Social, and I was very pleased with the overall atmosphere and layout. While small, I would call it intimate rather than over crowded. Good music and a great crowd of people that liked to party into the early hours.
There was an LGBT get together every night @ 7 in the observation lounge. It was mostly well attended and very worthwhile. These always prove to be a great way for a solo traveler to meet lots of new and interesting folks. If you are shy about these things, don't be. Just go and grab yourself a seat, smile and say hi. Always plenty of couples there too.
Silent disco-- Fun, fun, fun! Don’t miss this. Although you aren’t speaking to people, it is a very social event because you are moving around amongst all the people and, in order to receive the music, you are required to dance in a proximity that makes it personal, but not too. And the number of folks present was just about right. Neat!
As for the pools and sun decks: Like many, I enjoy lying out in the sun and swimming. For a ship this size, the main pool area and deck above are way, way too small for this many people. Chair hogging is definitely a problem here. The aft sunning area is also small and doesn’t even have a pool. One pool?!? Yes, there are out-of-the way places where you might find a spot, but most people like to be closer to the music and fun. I liked that they provided beach balls in the pool. That got people having fun hitting them back and forth. And I personally like that the pool is too deep to stand in because I like to swim/tread water and I always had plenty of space amongst all those people to do that.
Regarding the food, I take most of my meals in the buffet. Out of the 11 floating troughs I have experienced through the years, I would rate this buffet about average. The number of dishes and variety is lacking. For my taste, they could have replaced the Indian section with something much better and, thereby, improved the variety. Tastiness was overall good, but meat was usually dry, in fact I think that was the driest salmon I have ever had. Salad bar was always fresh and delicious.
The buffet was never overly crowded and I never had to wait in line to serve myself some food--Very good flow. Despite what I have often read, I could always find a seat, even a very good seat in the front of the buffet which looks out onto the huge window of the observation lounge below. Most fellow sailors, having buffet bodies, just don't want to walk far from the food troughs.
If you like the lido deck burger grill on most ships, you may be sadly disappointed here. Burgers are self serve inside the buffet and were the worst I have ever had on a ship. Pizza was ok.
I also dined at Food Republic three times. Food was simply delicious (except for cod skewers) and, for me, well worth the price. Hostess is very good and extremely warm and friendly. Wait staff at Food Republic, however, is lacking attentiveness and are somewhat cold and unfriendly in manner. They also didn’t seem to recognize me on my third visit. And when I wanted to bring my two half rolls back to my room for later, server looked at me as though I was crazy.
It was wonderful to have Margarita Ville open for buffet breakfast. Most don't know about it, so I mostly had the place to myself. Muesli was delicious.
Since the elevators are often maligned, I wanted to offer my quick take: People are very impatient. This is a ship, people. I heard folks gripping more than once that, “Oh my god, we have to stop at EVERY floor????” Come on now! I actually think these elevators are above average in speed when compared to other ships I have been on. On embarkation, I didn’t wait more than a few seconds and never had to wait for more than a minute of so. I suspect most of these complaints are from people who always head for the elevator right when a show or event is let out.
Here are some things that could definitely use improvement:
I enjoy experiencing the live music on ships. In this department, this ship is seriously lacking. I did not experience any of the production shows, but did sample all of the live bands playing at the different venues, a there are a good number of them. Most of the singers were rather amateurish. The Beatles band was just ok, but the Cavern is a complete joke. Even if you get there early to stand, don’t plan on seeing anything. Ventilation is inadequate--Could not even breathe with the air so hot and stuffy in there. I know they played in the main theater once, but I would suggest they move the other Beatle shows to the Main Atrium, where there is a huge amount of standing and viewing space. Instead the Atrium hosted acts in the evening that left much to be desired. There were two very good live bands that deserve special mention: The Greg White Jr. Band that played at Q and Familiar Strangers that played on the pool deck.
Stateroom power for A\C is weak and the shower hot water was never really hot, day or night.
I don't like the upper decks of this ship. It's all about go-carts, laser tag, and exclusive haven areas-- Very poor in my book. One of the things I fell in love with on my first cruise was just being outside and having wonderful 360 degree views of the sea. Especially love having an outside forward view with no glass in front of my face. Here, there certainly is not that. In fact, there are no outside forward looking views for us non-haven peasants. There is that in the observation lounge, but it’s inside with glass in front of your face and A/c air in your lungs.
Bartenders are the most unfriendly bunch I have ever experienced on my 11 cruises, especially the bartender at the outside bar that has “Oct 31” painted on the wall. Love that bar, but ended up avoiding it because of him. Very grumpy, non-sociable and more interested in completing paper work than providing prompt service. Maybe he'd be better in a loud bar that doesn't require friendliness. Most bartenders I encountered couldn't provide a smile, much less a hello. It’s more like… “what do you want, you’re bugging me?” The exception is the Serbian gentleman who works at the observation lounge bar-- very nice and efficient.
It was often difficult to get a drink. I know there were the maximum bartenders possible at the night club, but the observation lounge could easily accommodate more staff. Multiple events going on in there with two bartenders and a half hour wait for a drink.
I had a super duper time on this trip and would recommend it wholeheartedly.
Thank you Bliss, Love you. Read Less