Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Follow Your Bliss

First and foremost to all who celebrate the day, I say, “Happy Thanksgiving” on this 25th of November 2021.

Sometimes I take things too literally. So sue me. A couple of weeks ago, in the “A Day of My Week” challenge, I shared images from our 51st Anniversary as we departed on the Norwegian Bliss cruise ship.

Well, this week, guest host Lindy Low LeCoq asks us to Follow our Bliss here. From the challenge invitation, “It is truly an honor to be your guest host this week joining Amy, Ann-Christine, Patti, and Tina in providing opportunities for visual expression. We hope you’ll join us in sharing how you follow YOUR bliss.

I’m sorry, but this challenge is too much of an invitation to follow the Norwegian Bliss as it sailed from Los Angeles to three ports on the western coast of Mexico, the “Mexican Riviera.” Though I may have taken this challenge too literally, I have to say that cruising has become one of our favorite ways to travel. We get to visit foreign places and our hotel room travels with us. In the opening photo, we are passing the Coast Guard Station as we head out to sea at the Port of Long Beach where the Bliss was docked when we boarded.

Bliss Observation Lounge-1

One of the best places to be while at sea is the Observation Lounge on deck 15. The panoramic views off the bow of the ship are mesmerizing. After two relaxing days at sea, we arrived at our first stop, Puerto Vallarta.

View at the dock-1

We’ve actually been to every city on this cruise either by cruise ship or by air. It was 2013, on a Panama Canal cruise, when we first stopped at Puerto Vallarta. At that time, we went snorkeling and visited the town of Yelapa, a village that is only reachable by small boat, as there are no roads to the town. But I digress…


On this trip, we toured the city and found ourselves downtown at the Malecón, English translation, breakwater, pier, or jetty. The walking tour along the beach brought us to a group of individuals in native Mexican costume performing for the tourists. Truly they were following their own bliss.

Bliss in port-1

Our next stop was at Mazatlán. I captured this image of the Bliss with as we waited for our excursion to start. My wife and I have been in Mazatlán many times starting in 2007 when our son and his then bride-to-be decided they wanted to get married there. On that and subsequent trips, we saw many of the tourist sites, so we opted for a relaxing excursion. A catered shrimp lunch was featured, along with spectacular views of the city.

Mazatlan City View-1

The dual spires of the Cathedral Basilica de la Inmaculada Conceptión are unmistakeable. Completed in 1899, the cathedral is in the historical center of town, and is still the church with the largest congregation in the area.


From our vantage point, high on the largest hill in the city, we could see clearly the size of the Norwegian Bliss. Its 20 decks tower over the area near the docks.

Cabo Excursion-15

Our last stop on the journey was at Cabo San Lucas. There we visited a glass factory. This was also our second visit to the factory, and we found it so interesting a couple of years earlier, we decided to stop again. In the photo above, the artist is smoothing the handle that he had just attached to the pitcher he’d just created before our eyes.

Bliss at Cabo-1

Cabo San Lucas is a shallow water port so cruise ships have to anchor in the harbor and tenders shuttle guests to and from the pier. Upon our return to the ship, we would set sail for one day at sea and an early morning arrival in Los Angeles for disembarking.

In January 2022, we will again be following our bliss (lower case since it’s not the same ship) as we board the Norwegian Epic at San Juan Puerto Rico for two back-to-back cruises in the Caribbean.

Thanks again to our challenge guest host for allowing me the opportunity to share some more cruise photos. As usual, I’ve posted all of these images in 2K HD on my Flickr site. You can pixel peep at any image by just clicking on the photo. You can also view the entire album by clicking here.

John Steiner


  1. There couldn’t have been a better challenge topic for you than this! As you know, I’m not a fan of big cruise ships (although I can see how that view from the observation lounge could be quite mesmerising). I enjoyed more your shots of the places you visited, especially those dancers (it must have been great to see them in action) and the glass blower – a skill that always amazes me when I see it!

  2. Well John, I suspect you were in touch with Lindy prior to this week’s challenge as nothing else could explain the serendipity of the Bliss title😊. But seriously, what a terrific coincidence!! Your cruise looks to have been wonderful and I know you’ve been chomping at the bit to get back to it after the covid-created break. So glad to see you back on board and delivering your as-always terrific images for us to enjoy as well. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

  3. Blissful, serendipity indeed. Although I’m not a fan of cruising, preferring to spend evenings and nights on land, I can appreciate your enjoyment of this cruise. Your pictures are intriguing and I loved he one of the local entertainers. Hope you will soon be able to return to your favourite method of travelling.

  4. I am not into cruises but your post made me feel the fun and the excitement of it all. Enjoy planning for 2023. And Happy Thanksgiving to you and the family.

  5. I bet she named the challenge for you, John! Perfect and lovely gallery. I love watching glass blowers, we have many glass factories in Sweden, Orrefors and Kosta Boda is world famous.

  6. I can see why this is your bliss, John! Lovely places and an amazing experience. I’m sure you’re doing the same thing we are–watching the news about the variant so we can finalize our travel plans. We’re supposed to be going to Malaga and Florence in February. Fingers crossed. Take care, John and have a good week.

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