Sunset, Kailua-Kona, The Big Island, Hawaii, March 11, 2024

Sunset, Kailua-Kona, The Big Island, Hawaii, March 11, 2024
Sunset, Kailua-Kona, The Big Island, Hawaii, March 11, 2024

Sunday, August 6, 2023

Cruise to Alaska on the Norwegian Bliss - Day 1 and Day 2 - August 5-6, 2023

Saturday, August 5: The day of our cruise finally arrived! After 1-1/2 years of anticipation, 11 of us made it to Seattle from Portland, Oregon; Henderson, Nevada; Missouri City, Texas, and San Antonio, Texas.

To get to the ship from our campground in Chimacum, Washington, we thought of inventive ways to travel there. We could have ferried across Puget Sound and ended up near the pier, but cruise ship parking is pretty expensive at $200 per car for the week. We ended up carpooling with our son Michael. He was nice enough to pick us up at my brother Frank's place in Elma, Washington. We had a great visit with Frank and Gina before heading to Seattle. I took a pile of jigsaw puzzles to Gina.

Michael maneuvered us through Olympia, Lacey, and Tacoma traffic. Once we arrived at the cruise parking lot, we boarded a shuttle bus to Pier 66 where the Norwegian Bliss was docked. 

Bob and Michael in front of Pier 66. The 
Norwegian Bliss is in the background.

I'm happy we were early because our shuttle driver took us to the wrong dock that was home to two other cruise lines, but no Bliss. After his faux pas, we made it onto the ship with plenty of time to spare. All the others from our group were on board as well.

Our first snack was in the Garden Café buffet overlooking the Seattle skyline. Gradually, we met up with everyone from our group and decided to go to the Manhattan Room for dinner at 5:30 p.m. 

From left to right: Rich, Laura, Liz, Randall, Michael,
Susan M., Darren, me, Bob, Louise, and Kristin in the
Manhattan Room.

The Manhattan Room is designed to look like the elegant cruise ship dining rooms from the 1930s-1940s. While the design was beautiful, the service was dreadful. It took a long time for our waiter to take our order. When he brought out the rolls, we had to ask three times for butter. The dining room supervisor hovered nearby, so I think he is in training. Another waiter and the supervisor finished taking care of our table. 

We made it through dinner and the food was excellent. At 7:30 p.m., we had plans to see "The Beatles Experience: Beatlemania" in the ship's theater. It took so long for someone to take our dessert order, we had to complain that if we didn't get dessert soon, we would be late for our show. Some of our group left early and skipped dessert. Dessert finally arrived, we wolfed it down and made our way to the theater. We'll chalk it up to first-night serving jitters.

The Beatles show was awesome. The crowd went wild. The lads who put on the show are from Argentina. 

After the show, we went to our stateroom and watched the sunset over Puget Sound and the Olympic Peninsula from our balcony. It's very beautiful here.

But our day wasn't quite over. Bob and I decided to see one of the comedians who was putting on an 18+ show at 9:00 p.m. His name was Graham Kaye and he was terrible. He didn't connect with the audience and most of his schtick fell flat. We decided not to see him again.

Sunday, August 6: Today, we're at sea all day. At 10 a.m., Bob and I went to the "This is Alaska Presentation." Our daily newsletter described it as a live multimedia enrichment presentation that highlights Alaska through history, its main attractions, and various ways to experience them. 

Here's a tour of the Norwegian Bliss in photos...

Pool deck with waterslide, behind that is a two-deck
go-kart track.

Outdoor laser tag arena entrance.

The layout of the laser tag arena.

Bear art by the pool. (Oops, sorry about my finger.)

Two decks in the front of the ship have floor-
to-ceiling windows in an atrium.

A model of the Norwegian Bliss.

"Live to fish, fish to live," an inaugural voyage 
plaque from the SE Alaska Pilot's Association.

Port of Seattle Inaugural Call plaque given 
to the NCL Bliss in  May 2018.

The view from our balcony at sea.

We had a pretty sunset tonight.

At 6 p.m., we went to an exclusive Latitude cocktail party. The captain and heads of the ship's departments greeted us. We had cocktails and light snacks. They wanted to interest us in future cruises. We stayed about 1/2 hour. 

After that, we had dinner before "The Beatles Experience: Sgt. Peppers" played in The Cavern Club at 8:30 p.m. The amount of enthusiasm and fun in The Beatles Experience shows kept us singing and clapping along with the music. Their best costumes were in tonight's show.

Tonight, we turn our clocks back one hour and we'll be on Alaska Time.

We've had a nice first two days on the ship. Bob's mom Louise and sister Laura, his son Randall, and sister-in-law Liz are on the ship. My son Michael, our friends Susan and Darren from San Antonio, and long-time "adopted" family member Kristin and her husband Rich from Missouri City, Texas, are also on the cruise. It's been wonderful to have everyone together and that they'll be able to enjoy Alaska and cruising.

Tomorrow, we will be in Sitka, Alaska. It will be our first time there. Susan, Darren, and I will do a 5 km Volksmarch in historic downtown, followed by lunch. Then, I will go off on my own and hike in the forest to look at totem poles.

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