I awoke to the sound of the Power Drencher pouring gallons of water onto the ceiling above my bed. There was no sleeping in this morning because I just couldn’t get back to it. I made the best of it though, getting showered and dressed. I exited the cabin to find a nice fresh morning. We had left the Caribbean Sea behind and were cruising through the southern Bahamas. Cuba was closer than it had been in the few times I’d passed it before. I took advantage of this by having what would be my last Blue Iguana breakfast burrito next to the large windows, watching as we passed by the island that was now more accessible. Perhaps I’ll have the chance to visit some day soon.
This morning I had scheduled another spa visit. My back had been killing me lately and with the last days of the cruise the spa was offering a special for combination massages for relatively cheap.
After breakfast I went back up the spa again and waited in the room with the whale mating calls and lemons or cucumbers floating in ice water. It was only briefly this time. I had already filled out the form previously and staff seemed to know me. I was brought to a hallway lined with doors to private massage rooms. Inside it was the usual spiel. Because of scheduling conflicts the masseuse nicely added hot stones to the massage that weren’t supposed to be included. It was only 55 minutes but it really helped. There were some knots that were a little too difficult, but overall I felt better, aside from the part where I wasn’t supposed to drink for the rest of the day. Well, I’d probably at least take it easy.
After the massage, I went downstairs to the main show lounge and caught the last part of Q&A with Matt the cruise director. I felt a little awkward for the guy because although there were some good questions, people did ask him some dumb ones. He made the best of it though and it was entertaining to hear this take on things. He really was a great cruise director and this was the first time I actually thought one was entertaining. Good for him and the other excellent staff the ship had. Everyone really did a good part on this ship, this cruise, to make it a good one.
After Q&A I went to the room. Before getting to the door, there was a strange, yet very recognizable smell coming from the cabin across the hall. I had been smelling this odor ALL WEEK. The couple across the hall was smoking weed. Normally I don’t mind at all, but this was a becoming nuisance as they were basically flaunting it. They were so obvious about it with the smell and blasting music. It really surprised me that it had been allowed to continue for so long. The crew or housekeeping staff HAD TO have smelled it and probably said something about it, or maybe they were afraid to. They might lose their tips. either way, I didn’t desire to be confrontational on a vacation, so I just kept minding my own. This really came back to bite me though. More on that in the next post….
Anyhow, I headed outside to get some lunch. Lunch today was a final Blue Iguana burrito and a hot dog from Sports Square. When I was up there I noticed that the ropes course was opened and thought that I would give it a shot in the afternoon.
After lunch I figured I’d spend a little while packing for the trip home. I had bought a bunch of crap to bring back home as usual and I really needed to find room for it all. Not too far in, Andrew came into the cabin in a hurry… “What’s up Andrew?” I asked. “I just bought a hundred-dollar t-shirt.” he replied, before heading back out… It took about a minute to click but then I realized, “Oh crap! I’m missing Groove for St. Jude!” I stopped what I was doing and ran outside. As I did, Matt thanked Andrew and another guest for their large contributions to St. Jude. It was awesome that Andrew and others had donated more than just the $10-$20 for the shirt and teddy bear. I couldn’t match $100, so I donated $30 and picked up my t-shirt and wrist band. People kept coming and coming to make donations. They ran out of medium and large t-shirts. All the teddy-bears, gone. By the time the donations had stopped, there was barely anytime for the deck party that goes along with it. I ran back inside to drop off my shirt and band. I figured that while I had taken a break from packing, I’d go try the ropes course.
The ropes course if you haven’t seen or heard of it, is an elevated course about sports square made of ropes and planks. You navigate with the assistance of a harness should you slip or lose your balance. While waiting in line for it a few things happened. First, kids (being kids) cut in line to join their friends ahead of me. Then these said kids would turn chicken when the time came to step out onto the course. Also, a kid smashed his finger pretty bad in the gate while exiting. His dad came by to ask for help, but because he didn’t speak any english, the British staff that worked there could only assume the child had some sort of injury. While one went to get the first aid kit, the father led his kid away, probably to the medical center. After all this, my turn finally came. Watching others go before me, I helped the staff by sort of helping myself. I fitted the harness and attached the cable. They made sure it was properly fastened. They then asked me if I had any loose items. Bye-bye went my phone and rental camera. I had hoped to record me going through the course, but figured I’d probably need to focus anyways so I left them behind. It wasn’t too intimidating. What did make it hard though was actually trying to focus on the course itself and not everything around it. The perspective was awesome. I never really lost balance and I completed it a little faster than I thought I would. It was fun. I made another pass and then got out-of-the-way of the teens and let the older folks go without me rushing them along. It is something I’d like to see on more ships.
After the course, I still didn’t feel like packing, I wanted to just take it easy for a little bit and enjoy the rest of the warm afternoon before having to give it up for the trip home the next day. I found a nice available clamshell lounger in the Serenity Deck. I grabbed a seat and thought to myself for a little while before taking a little bit of a nap. When I awoke, it was close to sunset. I ran back to the cabin, grabbed my camera, and then headed to the outside promenade on Deck 5. I was joined by others with their fancy cameras as well. One gentleman came out with one of the girls who worked at the shore excursions desk and took photos of her as the sun descended further into the horizon. As the sun set into the Atlantic, I set my camera down and just enjoyed it. At the very last second, I caught something that I had never seen before. The green flash. It was fairly subtle, but just enough to make me smile that I had witnessed such a thing. A perfect way to end the day.
I went back inside. I returned to rental HD camera (making sure to keep the mini-SD card) and looked around the shops a while. They were mostly packed. The least of which was Cherry on Top, their candy shop, so I stepped in to look around. Here they obviously had tons of candy. They also had a few souvenirs like champagne glasses, gift baskets, and some shirts. Looking around I came across a couple Nintendo branded candies that I had not seen back home. I picked them up knowing that there were some back home that would appreciate them. I left the candy store and stopped next door to pick up some rum cake for my coworkers back home, before heading back to my cabin to drop everything off.
Dinner that night wouldn’t be in the dining room. The night before, I let the people at my table know that I probably wouldn’t be back this evening. I had an early flight and needed to be off the ship early and occasionally our table would still be seated after 10pm. So, instead I had dinner in the Lido cafeteria. I didn’t feel up to another burger, mostly because the looped video of Guy Fieri was starting to annoy me (I can only imagine working there). I had made my peace with Blue Iguana. I didn’t want anything too heavy overnight, so I just kept it simple in the cafe. I passed a good amount of staff who were on break. They looked like they were enjoying some quiet time to themselves.
After dinner, I took one last walk around the ship as people were trying to get in as much of a final experience as possible. There were things I had not seen or taken advantage of myself, but I was satisfied with what the cruise was for me. Relaxing. After a good walk, I headed back to the cabin and finished packing. Andrew and I would be doing self-assist luggage tomorrow so there was no need to have everything for the porters in the hall. He was going to give me a ride to the airport right after stepping off the ship. I filled out my customs declaration and went to bed.