23 April 2018 – Those in the studios
One thing that NCL seems to execute perfectly on this class of ship is care and feeding of solo travelers. They do better than any other line that I have seen. Unless, of course, that you feel that dance escorts and formal nights are required to make a cruise. I can’t help you with that. I am not a guy looking for discounts by being willing to dance with ladies older than I in fancy clothes on a round-the-world cruise.
Enough said about that.
Back to the studio cabins. The design of these is definitely improved from what I had on the Epic. The size is the same, which means that it really, truly is a solo cabin. There has been a slight redesign in the storage areas so that there are now doors over the closets and shelves. The bed is slightly smaller which means a bit more floor space. Instead of a useless porthole to the corridor, there is now a flat screen which shows the sea view from the forward camera.
There are 82 of these lovely little gems. But the key to comfort here is the area called the Living Room where there is a comfortable lounge, beverages, snacks and ….a real WMF coffee machine. So yes, lattes, cappuccino, expresso on tap without having to go down to Starbucks and paying extra. (BTW, this is a real Starbucks – the Starbucks app works as an alternative to putting charges on ones ship’s card.). You can’t get into the area without having the codes on your sea pass card. Technically, those of us sailing solo but not staying in the studios are invited in for happy hour staring at 1715. Or, when invited in by a resident.
One of the Canadians with whom I am traveling is also an early riser which means meeting for coffee early is a completely sane thing for her as well.
The Bliss has substituted Los Lobos (Mexican sort of food) for Moderno (Argentinian Grill) on this ship. One of the benefits of loyalty status on NCL is a free meal for two in one of the specialty restaurants. Unlike Royal with its BOGOs, this is an actual coupon and can be used once and only once. It means that if you are sailing solo, you get one meal and can’t come back later for a second go ‘round. I’ve teamed up with another traveler so that we will eat tonight on her 2/1 and I will host in a couple of nights to make maximum use of our coupons.
Guacamole made at table side, lovely salads, lovely perfectly grilled main course. What was not to like? I am being good and skipping most deserts!