Now that I’m back from my 28 days on the Bliss and trying to recuperate before our January adventure I’ll try to give some of my thoughts. First of all I had a fantastic time. This was a B2B sailing the first 21 days from LA ... Read More
Now that I’m back from my 28 days on the Bliss and trying to recuperate before our January adventure I’ll try to give some of my thoughts. First of all I had a fantastic time. This was a B2B sailing the first 21 days from LA to NYC thru the Canal, then a 7 day roundtrip to Florida and the Bahamas. The first cruise had a very different atmosphere than the second. The first had an older average passenger age and about 3800 passengers with very few under 18, while last week being a holiday week was much younger with about 4800 passengers and 1000 under 18. So things were more laid back the first 21 days and much more hectic the last 7.
I ate in most specialty restaurants. I did not go to Los Lobos and Food Republic. My favorites were Le Bistro, Cagney’s and Teppanyaki, though La Cucina and Q Smokehouse were also very good. On the first 21 days, even though I had reservations, because of the length of the cruise, most restaurants had walk up seating available, but a total different situation last week, all were booked solid all week. If you don’t have reservations for dinner yet you can still book as soon as you board. On my cruises on the fist day they had reservations set up in The Social on deck 6 and most times were available, but they go quick. Though I have seen complaints about service online, I did not feel it was bad. I always allow 2 hours for dinner in the specialty restaurants. I didn’t have a bad meal in the 28 days. I did not go the buffet much, only for a quick breakfast on some days. I had lunch in The Local, basically the same as O’Sheehan’s but there are some different items then I’ve seen before.
As for the shows, Jersey Boys was my favorite (I saw it 3 times over the 28 days). It is an hour and 45 minutes long, starts out a little slow but then picks up and doesn’t stop. Doors open 30 minutes before show time and line started building up 15 minutes before that. The early show was more popular but from what I saw I think all the stand by line was able to get in, but if you want a good seat, make a reservation, again you can do that once you board if it shows as sold out online.
I saw Six on my first leg. The singing was excellent and the production looked great, but I wasn’t thrilled with the story line, but that is just my opinion. There were many who thought it was excellent. It is not as long as Jersey Boys. It helps if you’re familiar with Henry the 8th and his 6 wives.
The Beatle cover show in the Cavern was great. They do a few shows featuring songs form different years. No reservations are needed but it is a small venue and by 30 mins before show time most seats were tabken so come early. They also do a show in the theatre, again no reservations needed.
I went to most of the later Levity Comedy shows in the Social. These need reservations and can only be made once onboard so book as you can, either in the Social or use the kiosks around the ship, again they fill up fast. They also have a stand by line.
Besides Jersey Boys and Six in the main theatre (which only run 2 nights each) there was always another type of show each night. There was a singer, comedy hypnotist and magician act on other nights.
The main pool is larger than I’ve seen on the Escape and Breakaway. Chairs were no problem on the first 21 days, but last week with the younger larger crowd it was busier, but I always saw chairs available.
Of course many know I’m fond of my beer and spent time in the Brewhouse. On the first 21 days they had a singer doing requests, not Howling At The Moon, but since the Bliss doesn’t have it, it was fun. He sang and told jokes. It was pretty filled most nights he played. On nights when there was football he was off and they showed the games on TV. Last week he was off the ship and a new singer was there. He just sang with not much interactions with the passengers and it was not as busy, but the beer is still excellent. My favorites were the Stone IPA, Magic Hat #9, Newcastle Brown Ale, Hop Gun IPA and District Pale Ale. George and Sienna were behind the bar. I also spent a good deal of time at Maltings to enjoy some Jameson Caskmate with my New Castle. Sy, Jerome, Stephan and Mark were all great behind the bar.
The Observation lounge on deck 15 is beautiful. Plenty of seats and couches to sit an relax. There is a small buffet for breakfast and lunch. There’s a large circular bar to enjoy and they have a piano singer there at night.
The Q Smokehouse also has a bar and they feature country western singers during the evening.
There was one tender port in the 28 days, Great Stirrup Cay. I had priority and was on the first tender but I heard from many that it was very disorganized and many could not get to the island until after 1:30 PM. Since we arrive at 11 and last tender back was 5:30 many were not happy. If you plan to use a tender check the kiosks or your room TV to book a tender (no tickets, just goes on your card) and book an early tender. If you have a shore excursion you’re supposed to have priority but I heard some complain that they still couldn’t get on early.
I like to try to get to the gym in mornings. They have the same equipment as other ships. I like to use the elliptical, treadmill and stationary bike. I usually had no problem getting an elliptical or treadmill but they only had 1 stationary and 1 recumbent bike so it was hard to get one. They do have a separate spin room with many spin bikes (there is a charge when they do a spin class). On other ships you were not allowed to use them if not a class, but I did see people using them at other times, but I don’t like those bikes so I didn’t.
I had an aft balcony for the first 21 days and a mini suite with my wife last week. The cabins were great and I had great stewards on both cruises.
The casino has a separate smoking area that is closed off from the rest of the casino so not much smell of smoke. On the first 21 days the tables were not busy and the minimum dropped to $5, but last week it was a lot busier and the minimums were back to $10. Read Less