The opportunity to go on our first trans-Atlantic cruise, on a brand new vessel, with our favourite cruise line was too much to refuse.
All of our party were at work the day before the sailing, as we live in the UK and have visited Southampton on several occasions in the past, we travelled down on the morning of the cruise. A four hour car journey meant we were in plenty of time for the scrum of a Southampton check-in. The check-ins at Southampton always seem so hectic and disjointed, but passed quite smoothly once we squeezed up to a desk. A bit of advice, if needed, always check in on line, it really helps. Embarkation itself was very easy and passed with no problems.
On boarding the Bliss we were a little taken aback, the ship is beautiful. Wide open spaces in the centre of the ship, flanked by great bars and eateries. I liked the way the second MDR had been split in two (Taste and Savor) and the great Mixx bar put in between them. The décor in parts of the ship is art deco or is it art nouveaux? I can never quite distinguish the two, very reminiscent of a liner from the 20's or 30's. The Casino seemed to take up the central portion of deck 7 along with the Local, with the theatre at the bow and the Manhattan Room aft. The piece de resistance was saved for deck 15 .The observation lounge is wonderful and with the front of the Garden Café looking down on it from deck 16 and then moving back through the ship on either side. The pool area was very similar to most pool areas on most cruise liners. The much vaunted go kart track and the laser tag were situated on Deck 18, with the Haven taking up most of deck 17.