We are a family of five on Deck 5 and went with four additional friends who stayed on Deck 10. We considered ourselves typically non-complainers and easy going for what it's worth. It was easy to notice many complainers on the ship, more than we've ever seen on any other type of vacation. Needless to say, this was our family's first cruise and I placed a deposit with CruiseNext, and super excited to sail again.
Keep in mind I pretty much prepared and researched before hand, so embarking from Manhattan was certainly a breeze and better then anticipated. We paid the $400 to park at terminal and would do it again for convenience. We drove from Montreal so this definitely beats costs with flying to FL for our family of five. Everything was clear and well guided through the terminal from parking, to check-in and then up the ramps to the ship.
Ship layout was great, I averaged 16K steps a day just on the ship. Elevators were always packed, but we learned to use the aft elevators which were less busy and worth the extra steps to get there.
Service, food, ship layout was enjoyable to take in for 14-days. Splash Club was great with our kids. Our kids enjoyed going to the club and met friends whom they stayed connected with.
We partied at the Social club almost every night - because we're Montrealers and that's what we do.
Ship cleanliness was superb. My wife bought new shoes in Cape Canaveral and she only wore it around the ship. I kid you not, the white soles on her shoes had no dirt or signs of use - they were clean and white as a ghost! She could return them to the store without any notice of usage. That was impressive, as you can see staff working around the clock keeping the ship clean and sanitized. WASHY WASHY in full effect!
We enjoyed the pool deck and water slides / splash pad. We ate our Garden Cafe buffet food by the pool deck daily with tables always available despite being a full ship. We did not find it overcrowded on most days except the last sea day. There's plenty of areas to find "your own space" throughout the full capacity ship.
We thought the cruise directors and activities were fun, funny and entertaining with no complaints.
Port excursions were fine and had ample enough time to enjoy as first timers.
The waterfront was our favorite spot and surprised how people miss this area to get away from all the buzz from time to time.
Observation Lounge was awesome with bar and food servings, also with Cristie the piano player sounded amazing... but our only complaint was how people were hijacking the seating areas. Yes, we knew it was a popular area - but easily can be irritating and cause rage to many who hunt for seats. Not the Bliss' fault by any means, I mean like when you see some rest a book on one side of a lounger sofa and their reading glasses on the other end - boggles my mind.
Garden Cafe was our daily go-to, and we did frequent to dining rooms and specialty dining restaurants enough times. Food was great, and we appreciated all the offerings which were plenty. We heard complaints about the lack of seafood in buffet, but didn't bother for us.
We really enjoyed Beau, the piano player in Brewery District and eventually became friends by the end of our trip. Be sure to check him out and tell him his Montreal "tractor" friends referred ya! (inside joke which will help identify)
Our room steward Rene was on point, courteous and did a fantastic job daily with up-keeping / turn-downing our room.
Disembarkation was easy at each port, tendering in Great Stirrup Cay was bumpy and fun.
Starbucks was rarely busy, and I was able to use my mobile app to pay for drinks.
I had the buffalo wings daily at Local's Pub - I miss those wings.
Chris in the Sugar Cane Bar was the best and took well good care of us...the Ginger Mojito is to die for! But overall no complaints on waiting for drinks at any bar.
Six and Jersey Boys were awesome, Broadway quality performances in the Bliss Theatre.
Brenda at Guest Services was awesome whenever we needed assistance, and skillful when we saw her resolve and subdue other passenger complaints.
Go-Karts and Laser Tag was great, although we were satisfied with one-time visits.
Our daughter had the arcade pass and was able to share with our two other kids, that was a great value which they enjoyed.
We know there are different sizes of ships for everyone, for us first-timers the Bliss was perfect in every way.
We definitely would like to cruise on the Bliss again, if not perhaps the Encore or Epic but for now we're into the Mega Ships for family getaways.
We were able to fit comfortably (wife, kids age 8, 10, 12) and the layout of the room was the best we found (other than upgrading to a suite). There were plenty of storage spaces which we did not all use, and all 4 larger suitcases fit under the bed easily.
We were able creaks and rattles depending on wind / ocean conditions but nothing to complain about. The window curtain and divider curtain were impressive in blocking out all light.... pitch dark helped for longer sleeps.
Bathroom had a bathtub (we would prefer a shower stall) and double sink, but overall had amble space. Our room was close to the FWD stairwells with easy access to gangways on port days. Splash Academy / arcade was just down the hall for kids to roam to.
I definitely prefer this room setup than connecting rooms (or non-connecting) for our family of five... at least until the kids are older.
This Bliss cabin felt like home for 14 days and we were sad to leave.