Sickness, Salvation, and Splendor – Part 10, Sea Day 2

I will not eat green eggs and ham again. Not ever on a trip or another ship.

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There was no need to be up at 7am, but there I was sitting on the edge of the bed. I couldn’t really fall back asleep again so I was going through the Fun Times (schedule of events). Outside the balcony door was a nice sunny day. The ship moved peacefully over the very calm water. Looking over what was in store for the day, I found that there was the Dr. Suess Sea Day Brunch. It was considered earlier, but I had balked at the $5 additional charge to go. I relented though. Picking up the phone, I called the maitre d and requested seating. Apparently, others had the same idea as there was a moment where the assistant maitre d wasn’t sure about finding room. Room was found though, and with that done, I found a little more sleep before needing to be there.

Arriving at 9 for the what I’ll to refer from now on as “Suess Brunch”, it didn’t seem like it was going to be that busy. There didn’t seem to be a lot of people being seated, having seen more in the other dining room for brunch the other sea day. While children’s music was being played over the speakers, I joined others at a table for 10. It was heavily decorated with Suess stuff, red, white, and light blues. The centerpiece a hat similar to the one the Cat in a Hat wears. The menus looked like an actual Dr. Suess book. Opening it, the terms for food you could order were very Suess-like, their descriptions not really straight forward (take note if you have kids and are specific about their food). It took a little while for everyone to have a seat. After that is where it all went down-hill, fast, like a train with no brakes (you sense where this is going?).

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Where do I begin with the hot-mess that was Suess Brunch? Lets start with the timing. Naturally, because it was a sea day on people’s vacations meant that others didn’t feel the need to be where they were supposed to be at the time they were supposed to be. It’s pretty rude to hold up others because you couldn’t get yourself together in time, especially when dining. There was now little time between everyone having a seat and the parade of characters. Not having placed our orders for food yet, the characters were brought in one by one. First were Thing 1 and Thing 2. They spent about 15 minutes taking photos. I was seated at one of the all adult tables. Everyone at our table got up for photos which meant they weren’t there in case our waiter wanted to take everyone’s order. Shortly after the Things left, the Cat in a Hat was brought out. Again, everyone at our table got up for pictures. I kind of wanted a picture too, but was already getting a little grumpy. Just as everyone regained their seats from taking photos with the cat, Sam I Am was brought in and they all got back up. GOOD GRIEF!.. Finally after all 3 photo ops had passed orders were placed. Then came the waiting. We waited, and waited, and waited. Others had already been given their food and it seemed like we were the lone table without. In the midst of our wait, all the staff donned blue wigs before doing a song and dance for everyone in the dining room. We continued to wait even more and being in the dining room for almost an hour and a half, the food finally showed-up. Or did it?.. I had ordered the pancakes with some green eggs on the side. My green eggs arrived in a full course (as there was difficulty in arranging them as just a side). They were on top of ham and on english muffins, like a benedict. It was a short while later my pancakes arrived (truthfully, I had hoped they forgot because I couldn’t eat it all). With all the might I had, I made my way through the breakfast and tried to eat as much as I could so it wouldn’t be wasted. What I couldn’t eat, I tried to give to others. Somebody took my macaroon. The green eggs were really just plain scrambled eggs with food coloring. People were put off by it, but it tasted no different. The small pancakes alternated between the normal color and red. Somebody assumed they were red-velvet, but it was just food coloring again. This was not a bad thing. The whole time we had been sitting there, my water had never been refilled and my coffee had long been consumed. I knew better than to ask for another because it had been almost two hours and I was getting to the point of just wanting to leave. Mercifully, a short while later, we signed off on the $5 charges and split. I was thrilled to get out.

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I have a lot of ideas to improve the way brunch was handled by the dining room, but apparently, the other dining room suffered a similar fate. Long wait times, cold food, etc… Something was probably up in the kitchen or with the staff because it was not just the Suess mess. One thing I will point out though, is that characters should come out ONLY AFTER everyone has placed orders. Then time can be passed while photos are taken. The rest I put into words in Carnival’s post-cruise survey (that I couldn’t get soon enough). I don’t think I’ll ever go to another Suess Brunch again.

After the train wreck that was Suess Brunch, it was time to wander the ship and see what others were up to. Turned out though that not much was really going on with people packing for debarkation and the trip back home. Guessing I should probably do the same, it was back to the cabin to organize my stuff. This is pretty much how much of the day progressed. Pack, wander, snack, nap, repeat. For a late lunch, I met up with Suzette and Keith. I indulged at the Indian buffet for the last time and then had some treats from the chocolate buffet that Carnival always has the last day. There were activities all over the ship, but people just didn’t seem at all interested. Everyone was either being lazy, packing, or beginning to camp out at the customer service desk. I checked in for my 6pm flight back home the next day, but wondered if I could find an earlier flight as nobody was really able to hang out after we got into port. I called JetBlue and found that to change flights, it would have cost me $200… no thanks. Kim had suggested before that I look into a Miami excursion as they’ll take care of your luggage while doing a tour. At the point I was at, I figured why not. At the Shore Excursions desk, There were 2 options for those leaving Miami, but flying from Ft. Lauderdale. An Everglades tour or a Miami tour. I chose the latter as it was forecast to rain and I could be inside for the most part. Yea, I have been around Miami many times before, but there’s always something to see and do. I bought my ticket and was told to meet early the next morning in the theater.

I spent some of the afternoon crossing off things I wanted. I had a Thirsty Frog Ale and bought the glass, I bought the yellow Serenity towel (cruise line towels make excellent beach towels because they’re usually more durable), and went seeking a funnel cup. I hadn’t seen one the entire cruise. I asked at just about every bar and got a lot of the same answers with the best one being “they ran out and didn’t order more before repositioning to Miami.” Alright, no biggie. I had at least got the magnet for my tool box.

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Dinner tonight was a bit of a swan song. We enjoyed each others company one more time in the main dining room. Harold came late with some trophies, medals, and a book. He ordered a steak and then left early without eating it. We all continued on afterwards, enjoying wine and conversation (but declining shots). Some of us exchanged info before setting off one last time for the last evening on the ship.

We had one more gathering with the Facebook group by the aft pools that night. That night there were less jello shots, but instead gummy bears that had been soaked in Fireball or Rum. I kept inhaling those while we all made goodbyes, shook hands, and hugged. Some of the others headed down to the comedy club while I remained there talking about the trip and where some of us might go in the future. A little after 11, I went to the dance club one last time and had a little fun just kind of sitting around watching everyone. I was kind of tired and sure I was going to be up earlier the next morning anyways. We enjoyed the drinks, goofing, and each others company one last time before calling it a night for the last time on Carnival Splendor.

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