A couple of weekends ago I was invited, along with 4000 or so of my closest competitors, to fly from DFW to LAX to experience a tiny, tantalizing taste (just under 40 hours to be precise) of NCL’s newest floating masterpiece, The Bliss. It probably tells you everything you need to know about travel agents that they will blissfully (pun intended) get up at 3:30 am, fly three hours and Uber another half hour to board an inaugural cruise on a brand new ship and sail gleefully off . . . to nowhere. Such is our devotion to new experiences, expanding our already vast library of knowledge and OK, I admit, complimentary libations.
I was permitted a guest and I brought along my grandson, Samuel Denton Walls (take note of his awesome middle name), a very recent high school graduate. The only thing better than experiencing a beautiful new cruise ship by yourself is the delight of viewing it through the eyes of someone who has never set foot on one of these floating destinations. Plus, Sam proved exceedingly helpful once I offered him a small stipend to be my official photographer and videographer. The photos and video you see here are his handiwork.
So what does the NCL Bliss have to offer? Honestly, there are way too many features to recount them all in this post but click here and then “highlights” for a full recounting of the many venues and activities. I will focus our remaining moments on just a few of my own impressions. Before I do, those of you who are looking at the picture above and are imagining me plummeting through one of those blue tubes extending over the side of the ship like some bulbous human torpedo, you are cursed with hyperactive imaginations.
On the other hand, should you picture me lingering in this venue instead, you would be very near the mark if not on it. This was one of my favorite watering holes due to the fact that it is conveniently wedged between Cagney’s Steakhouse (my personal favorite specialty dining venue) and Los Lobos, in their words, “a premium Mexican restaurant celebrating traditional flavors with a modern twist.” Unfortunately, I did not get the opportunity to visit “The Wolves” (English translation) but I tried my best to offset that omission by behaving rather like a ravenous wolf myself at Cagney’s. Don’t be misled by my restrained demeanor in this picture to the left. Before the flash even had time to dissipate, I was up to my elbows in Australian lamb. Pray, what other fare would you expect from a wolf? We don’t do tofu.
I am hardly a connoisseur of fine art (unless watching every episode so far of Genius on the life of Pablo Picasso and attendance at two recent “wine and paint” parties qualifies) but I was very impressed by the magnificent works of art liberally sprinkled around the Bliss. That feature, among others, is treated in the video below.
One of the most unique features on the ship is the Grand Prix race track with Formula One style cars racing around the largest competitive racetrack at sea. On one of Sam’s few respites from filming the next great Indie film to take Cannes by storm (see below), he managed to take a spin. Not wanting to embarrass him with my own racing prowess honed over years of driving the DFW metroplex, I refrained.
I invite you to take ten minutes . . . I promise it will seem like less than half an hour . . . and watch this riveting video. I apologize in advance for the sound quality. No matter how rudely I shouted at the other 4000 invited guests to stop having such a boisterous good time, they treated my efforts to create a video masterpiece with what can only be charitably called disdain. These six little vignettes will give you a flavor of additional features on the Bliss that time and space fail me to mention here.
If you are longing for the perfect ship to sail you from the shores of your mundane daily rut and into a sparkling sea of fine dining, stimulating entertainment and/or soothing relaxation (as you prefer), the NCL Bliss is the obvious choice. Visit our website tltravelagents.com to find one of our experienced vacation travel advisors who will be only to happy to make this happen.