Friday, January 18, 2019

Travel Tips: The Cruise of All Cruises

For newbies and skeptics, we present the decadent Norwegian Bliss.

If we’re being honest, we’re not sure we’ve ever fancied ourselves official “cruise people.” However, the massive, luxurious Norwegian Bliss may have us changing our tune. Here are some reasons this brand-spanking-new vessel might also shift your thoughts about a fascinating mode of travel and seeing the world.

Courtesy Andrea Sugranes


“Jersey Boys,” courtesy Andrea Sugranes

Onboard entertainment options range from Beatles impersonators and the fantastic Camille Rae Country Band (complete with two-stepping pros) at “Q” bar to “Happy Hour Prohibition – The Musical” and the Tony Award-winning musical “Jersey Boys” (abbreviated from its Broadway length by just 20 minutes).


Observation Lounge, courtesy Ximena Tellez

Sure, cruise ships are notoriously massive and full of humans; after all, this ship plans to welcome 80,000 guests to its 20 decks during its inaugural season. Yet there are calm corners to be found and enjoyed on the Bliss, too. For example, cozy up in the revolutionary 180-degree Observation Lounge that lets guests soak in scenes of pastel sunrises and sunsets, plus bald eagles soaring high above Alaskan glaciers.


Race Track on Norwegian Bliss, courtesy Chris Venegas

There’s never a dull moment on the Bliss, thanks to amenities including an Aqua Park, “the largest racetrack at sea,” galactic laser tag, a mini-bowling alley, video arcade and, of course, an expansive casino.


Fitness Center, courtesy Andrea Sugranes

A beautiful fitness center (with classes like yoga and cycling) helps counteract all the onboard gluttony. Guests can also enjoy spa services ranging from mani-pedis and massages to acupuncture and—wait for it—BOTOX treatments.


The District Brew House, courtesy Chris Venegas

No matter the vibe you’re seeking, this ship may just have it. At District Brew House, you can feel at home sitting among funky, worn leather chairs and sipping Seattle Ciders; at the Cellars Mondavi Family Wine Bar, you might feel transported to the California countryside as you sip fine varietals and learn fun facts from a Court of Master Sommeliers-certified pro.


The Haven Courtyard Penthouse with balcony, courtesy Andrea Sugranes

Throw away all notions of teeny-tiny, cramped quarters. This ship offers space, if you’re willing to pay the price. Luxurious accommodations (with perks like private balconies) range from comfy, connecting staterooms for families to cozy studios ideal for solo adventurers. Looking to live it up like a true celebrity? The Haven features ultra-pampered suites, ultimate privacy and elevated touches like your own private butler.

(Looking for more cool ways to see the PNW this summer? Check out these ideas, too!)


About Corinne Whiting

Corinne, an east coast native who relocated here from the other Washington in 2011, was bit by the travel bug early on. She lived in Strasbourg, France (during her junior year at Georgetown University) and in Edinburgh, Scotland, where she got a masters degree in Cultural Studies. She feels very grateful to have explored incredible spots on our globe ranging from Bolivia and Egypt to Turkey and China, but there are passport pages yet to fill (and travel tales yet to be written!). After serving as associate editor at Where magazine in D.C. for five years, Corinne has embarked on a new adventure here in the PNW as a freelance writer and photographer, contributing to publications like National Geographic Traveler, the Alaska Airlines in-flight magazine, Amtrak's OnTrak, 1889 Washington, 1859 Oregon, Visit Seattle and so on. She loves exploring this incredible corner of the country while debunking the rain myths, upping her coffee quotient, hearing heaps of live music and finding her Zen near the water as often as possible.
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