Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
CruizinCutieJulia

BLISSfully sailing Alaska - Live report 6/23/18

Recommended Posts

I am off to Seattle via Phoenix from Columbus, OH. 5:25am arriving in Seattle at 10:45 PST. When originally booking flights it was necessary (per the budget) to book a much later flight that would have had me landing in Seattle at nearly 2am Saturday morning. Thank god for price drops and southwest no change fees as I’m much happier to arrive earlier and settle into Seattle for a day than be concerned in flights became delayed.

 

My morning started with an Uber rise to John Glenn International at 4am. Security was what we call a VERY HOT MESS,

 

43ecbad80005f61f2fca49c3c1b05e0d.jpg

 

which took about 45 minutes (unheard of for security lines in our tiny Cbus airport) causing me to miss out on the morning Starbucks fix and head straight to the gate for boarding. Hoping to have time to find a snack and caffeine on the hour layover in Phoenix.

 

My very peaceful, child-free bubble has been burst very quickly on this flight!!!! Even with earbuds in and music on, I can hear the screaming and children arguing several rows behind me. I have been spoiled to be traveling mostly when school is in session, so this is a new test of my normally quiet existence.

 

I am meeting a very dear childhood friend for this trip. Elizabeth and I met some 30 years ago, in the beginning she was a summer friend- our parents were members at the same local swimming club and we had mutual friends who convinced me to join the swim team, and as they say the rest is history. I’m high school when we had access to transportation, we remained close and began mixing school friends and hanging out more frequently. My dear friend has always been the “social director” so, while i planned this trip and all of our excursions, there is no doubt Elizabeth will meet new friends quickly on board and begin dictating our activities between ports on board. Elizabeth is flying in from her home base of Houston this evening and we are staying at Hotel Max downtown Seattle tonight.

 

We plan to head to port mid morning and board the beautiful Norwegian Bliss as soon as available.

 

I sailed the Escape last fall so I am excited to see some of my favorite bartenders who I know are onboard the Bliss. We have the UBP and 3 nights specialty dining - current have reservations for Teppanyaki, La Cucina and Cagney’s. I’ve been reading about the Bliss since the inaugural transatlantic, and appreciate all who have sail before me answering so many questions. I’d love to repay the favor if there is anything about staying in Seattle, boarding to port questions and then onboard this beautiful ship, please ask I’ll do my best to find answers if it’s something unknown.

 

 

Julia

 

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Were on the Bliss next week and were staying at the Hotel Max as well. Always interested in peoples experiences and any bits of wisdom you can pass along are always appreciated! Thank You for doing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Were on the Bliss next week and were staying at the Hotel Max as well. Always interested in peoples experiences and any bits of wisdom you can pass along are always appreciated! Thank You for doing.

 

 

 

In reference to hotel max... I got here about 30 minutes ago and they are very friendly, small but cute lobby/reception area can feel a little cramped with a lot of people, but nice decor. They were able to add me to my friends reservation so I could put my bags away and freshen up, the room was already ready.

 

We are on the 9th floor and as soon as I got off the elevator I could hear people talking in their rooms and the hallway smelled like cigarette smoke. The room smells much fresher, but the bathroom does not. We’re only here 1 night so it will be fine, 7ddb14ebb3d78dcf23440674e0ec79c4.jpgb160dca3180ff10a1a676ccc9a0d1134.jpgbut this definitely isn’t the best hotel I’ve stayed, but also very much not the worst!!

 

I’m off to find food and more caffeine! Luckily, I’m certain I will be able to find a Starbucks (like right next door)

 

Cheers!!0f61e9fb2775fa619daa75b7c044c649.jpg

 

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have been trying to figure out how many hours I’ve been awake but i can’t figure out how the time change figures in... plus I had a few pineapple ciders at yard house 🥃

 

Anyways, math isn’t working very well for me right now and I’m tired!!

 

Elizabeth’s flight is delayed so i forwent the tourist-y things I was thinking of checking out, walked a few blocks, had a few drinks, picked up easy dinner and came back to the hotel.

 

Chillin the rest of the night. Boarding day tomorrow!!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We are going on the same cruise... can't wait ! I am staying at Hyatt at Olive 8 , nice room and I used my Hyatt credit card anniversary free night for it!! See you tomorrow!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
We are going on the same cruise... can't wait ! I am staying at Hyatt at Olive 8 , nice room and I used my Hyatt credit card anniversary free night for it!! See you tomorrow!

 

 

 

See you on board!!! Happy cruising

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Saturday June 23, 2018

 

Embarkation day!!! I have waited so long for this it almost doesn’t feel real. Partnered along with starting a new job in March and so much time and attention going into that, even getting on a plane yesterday felt surreal, but my brain could’ve been easily tricked into it being a work trip. A cruise ship however... there is no denying that is full blown vacation mode!

 

I am an eastern standard time lady, I have never lived outside of Ohio, so I’m up at (what I feel is a respectable) 6:30 am and Elizabeth is sound asleep. She set an alarm for 8:30 - an alarm on embarkation day?! *GASP* I would never need such a thing!!!

 

We have to find a Walgreens to pick a couple of forgotten items and heading to the ship around 1030, is as much planning as I could get out of my dear friend before we drifted BLISSFULLY to sleep.

 

Also, BLISSFULLY, may be my new favorite word! I’m so excited y’all!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to apologize for falling off the radar in the live reporting last night after embarkation! Let me recap:

 

We left the hotel just after 11:00am. If I didn’t share before my travel mate and I are nearly polar opposites when it comes to travel habits. I’m always early, she’s usually running for the ship, I have every detail planned and recorded several times, she enjoys spontaneity... the list could go on... anyway, I would have preferred coming earlier and getting a seat out of the way to wait on boarding, she was in no hurry so the middle ground was leaving right after check out. The uber ride was about 15 minutes due to traffic mostly congestion right around the port and cost somewhere around $11.

 

Now... for the experienced cruiser but first

Timers out of Seattle this is where things got different.

 

They use the entire first floor of the terminal building to snack the queue line of security. I suppose because of the unpredictable weather, but we did the first queue to show our passports, than walked

Through to another queue to break into one of several security lines for xray and metal detectors. The port security agents were not good.

 

For example, for the lady in front of me, her bag went through X-ray and the man behind the screen said to her, is that a bottle of liquid in your bag? She replied, no. He said, ok you’re fine. I went through the metal detector, it turned red and beeped, the lady asked if I had anything in my pockets. I said no but my hair clip has a small piece of metal. (Remove hair clip back back through) more red, more beeping. Elizabeth says it must be your shoes (fake Birkenstock sandals) I ask the lady, do I need to take my shoes off here? She replies, no you should be ok, it could be your shoes, go ahead. No one ever wanded me, or patted me down like in other ports. If that was miami, i feel like I would have been outside with the dogs sniffing me!! (Also, I just remembered that i didn’t take my belt off and that was probably the cause of the detection - but no one seemed to care much)

 

More to come...

Edited by CruizinCutieJulia

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So after metal detectors you make a long trip around the area and are ushered upstairs. Yesterday the escalator was not running and we saw no elevator nearby. The staff was apologetic as we walked up the immobile stairs, but with the increased average age in some groups, I’m sure there were people who struggled with this if they didn’t get it moving quickly. At the top of the escalator, two ncl employees were handing out the health questionnaire... it felt mildly chaotic to ensure the flood of people got a form instead of everyone going to the counter to fill this out. But the line to check in was barely separated from the waiting area. A new cruiser may be slightly overwhelmed by all of this going on all in the same room.

 

When they were ready to call boarding group numbers the line formed and the mass was really very good about forming a line and not pushing ahead. One thing I thought was completely insane was they had the “onboard picture” stations set up along the wall where the line to embark was. The crazy photographer kept trying to stop the line and take family photos!!!

 

In my opinion, pier 66 terminal is just not large enough to comfortably handle the crowd size of the Bliss.

 

We were assigned boarding group 15. We did wait for them to call 15 and then merge with the existing line somewhere with group 11 and not a person check our card! My advice, some of the check in employees will not offer you a boarding card (we had to ask for ours) you can pretty much board anytime after the special needs and platinum guests. The lady collected our cards before the gangway, but never looked that our boarding number did not match the others. She was also asking for everyone to hold up sea pass cards to verify so she’s too busy. We couldn’t boarded with group 1-2.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Floors 11-15 boarded on deck 7 at the midship elevators. We had decided to forgo the buffet or lunch right away to start the bar hop to see what bartenders we would want to frequent this week. First stop was Spice H2O which was completely empty except for smokers and had the best photo ops. Bartender was just ok and we found the heaters in the ceiling being on in seattle were far too hot so after 1 drink we had to get out of there. Plus the smoking section was immediately filled and neither of us like the smell of smoke so I don’t think we will be back there much. The pictures of the city are pretty sweet though!!

8b3bd7e6e946961e61d3af983f21b012.jpg17f0a80b3385b63d0a0432459f0dea2a.jpg2918dce04a3799de8b52234448baafd0.jpg

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Our next destination was the waterfront, also on the city side, where we met Johnny Chicago who is very fun and very flirty. His name also isn’t not Johnny, nor is from Chicago. He is (a name that starts with a D) from Serbia, but i would guess he is a protégés of the chocolate cowboy and really interacts with the crowd well.

 

d119fb4ca3897045cf117056a4e13307.jpg

 

Speaking of Clarence the cowboy, we did find him inside at sugarcane, but true to form, his bar was packed so I waved hello and we continued on.

 

We spent 1 drink at waves pool bar after a quick bite to eat, and met some friends and more flirty bartenders before the muster and sail away. Not ones to fight the crowds, we stayed at the cavern club with Johnny chi for sail away and it was fun to see Seattle disappear behind us!

 

 

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey we checked in early and they only had some of the turnstyle things open to security, so I am wondering if they directed you to a different spot. Right after x-ray we turned right and I saw a bank of elevators but as I got closer I saw the escalator which was working when we boarded

 

Sent from my SM-G955U using Forums mobile app

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is possible that we just missed the elevators, walking up wasn’t a big deal or Elizabeth or I but there was an older couple in front of us that we were a little concerned about. They were definitely looking to see if there was a nearby elevator before attempting the walk up the escalator.

 

Took a brief little spin around the upper decks this morning after breakfast since we never made it to check out go carts etc yesterday. Getting chilly today ... I am impressed with the amount of people using the jogging track this morning, I ate a hash brown in their honor.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, let’s get back at this!!

 

Sorry for the delay, for anyone, IF anyone is reading along... we had a WiFi hiccup yesterday and have had a lot of cell phone charging/battery issues. I fully intended to buy a battery power bank before I left, and it completely slipped my mind. I owe you the entire break down of the sea Day and Ketchikan this far.

 

We had a fantastic sea day - a lazy morning, and coming from the eastern half of the US it is kind of nice to still feel like I’m getting plenty of sleep but waking up at 7-8am isn’t bad. Elizabeth slept in which gave me plenty of time to explore and take pictures early in the day.

 

Since it was cool and cloudy so we were indoors or at bars most of our day. We went to the “how to run a floating hotel” talk that Silas hosted with Mark the hotel direct, the executive chef and food and beverage manager. Right from that into the cruise critic m&g hosted again in the DBH. It is so nice for Norwegian to give is a space to meet in person and chat briefly with department heads.

 

Elizabeth is a bit of a foodie, so she had a bunch of questions for chef roger. As we mingled with he and chef sreekanth she asked if there was pistachio ice cream on board that we hadn’t gone looking for it yet. They were funny, took down our room number and joked about sending us a tub that night. Silas was also great at this event making sure to speak with every angle person before he left. He has been extremely engaging every time we see him around the ship!

 

We had lunch at the local. Service was slow and I never got the soft pretzels I ordered. But the food we got was good and we had a great seat to watch a dance lesson and deal or no deal.

 

Dinner last night was Teppanyaki which was AMAZING!!! As we were finishing our main course the waiter comes over and says that he has the ice cream that was pre ordered for our room. I was confused because I was looking forward to the light fruit plate at the end of the meal. And he said the chef had arranged for pistachio ice cream be on hand for us!! What a wonderful surprise for Elizabeth and thoughtful for chefs roger and sreekanth to look up or reservation to get us the ice cream.

 

Evening drinks around the ship mostly at cavern club and the atrium. Watched a fun singing show and kareoke before pulling the plug after MUCH drinking at the skyline bar around 130am.

 

Also props to TheDougOut and CruiseLifeRick who can maintain such entertaining blogs while drinking. Multitasking seems to not be a thing while i drink on board here... must figure out a way to improve!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • 2019 Cruisers' Choice Awards
      • NCL Sail-Away Giveaway Sweepstakes - Win a 7-Day Cruise on Norwegian Joy!
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Community Contests
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...