The last day of any cruise there is always a flurry of activity. Last minute decisions to make about souvenir photos to buy, running down to the casino for our free pulls and spending a bit of time saying thank you and goodbye to the wonderful crew and staff that made your trip so enjoyable.
Well, today is no different. But first, out onto the balcony to see what kind of a day it would be. The air was warm but the sky seemed to be stuck between night and day with the moon still high above and hints of the sun breaking free of the horizon.
We took our time getting ready and then made our way up to the Concierge Lounge for a light breakfast and coffee. We sat for a long time just watching the waves and trying to decide what we would like to do for the day.
In the end, we decided to bypass the sexiest man contest, the belly flop contest and even the volleyball contest between the officers and guests and just kickback, relax, finish packing and save our energy for the evening activities.
Around 9:00 Am it started to rain very hard so we retreated into the cabin until it stopped. Randy decided to spend a little time checking his email, etc. so I went for a walk.
We have been on the Brilliance several times and have always enjoyed seeing all the beautiful artwork around the ship. I have found over time that I am always drawn back to the same artwork. For me it is like being in one of my favorite art galleries back home always looking to see what is new but always being drawn back to my favorites.
Two of my favorites are entitled The Traveling Chair I and The Traveling Chair II. Both pieces were created by artist Lars Widenfalk and are made of granite stone. The accompanying plaque reads the same for each:
“The artist works in the classical and postmodern style, using a traditional and “eternal” material known as Nordic granite”. I find both pieces very interesting. I especially love the bird sitting atop the Traveling Chair I with the egg resting on the seat.
Then I moved down a few decks to a piece of architecture that has caught my eye several times. The ceramic piece entitled Dar al Salam was created by Dutch artist Arthur Meijer.
The plaque reads:
“The main sources of inspiration for this piece are Romanesque, traditional Mediterranean and Arabic architecture. Specifically, the ancient mud houses and buildings from the sun-blazed regions where civilization began. With these ‘tower house” sculptures, the artist wishes to evoke pleasant memories and tranquil daydreams”. This piece makes me think of castles.
I made it back to the cabin just in time to arrange for a fun picnic lunch on the balcony. The rain had stopped and the sun was out in full force. We had one beer left in the refrigerator, a bottle of water and a dish of treats. Randy ran up to the Solarium and picked up a sandwich and a few cookies and we were good to go!
The afternoon seemed to linger on as we ate a little, read a little and chatted a little. But, all too soon, it was time to prepare for the evening.
We met our neighbors in the next cabin at the lounge and, over drinks, chatted away the cocktail hour. We exchanged contact information and said our goodbyes. We joined our table mates and had a wonderful dinner together. I finally got a picture of Monroe and Martha. We all agreed that this had been a wonderful cruise because we had such a wonderful table, and we did!
This evening’s entertainment was two-fold. First, we were entertained by comedian Miguel Washington with a show entitled “Don’t blink you might miss something”. Mr. Washington’s act was at times was very funny.
The comedy act was followed by a farewell show featuring members of the production crew, activities staff, and many, many crew members saying, “Thank you and Goodbye”, to all the passengers. At the end colorful streamers dropped from above making it a very festive scene.
We retired back to our cabin, but out our luggage and settled in for a quiet night.
Morning comes very early on arrival day. We were up by 5:30 AM, showered and dressed and ready to go to the dining room for breakfast.
We were off the ship by 8:15 AM ready to retrieve our luggage, pick up our car and make the journey home. I had mentioned to Randy on our way to the port that there was a mural I wanted to get a picture of on our way home.
Every time we have traveled to the Tampa Port I have loved looking at what I call the ribbon candy American flag and I wanted a photo. Fortunately for me, traffic was light and Randy pulled over so I could jump out and get the shot. According to what I have read, the 80’ x 30’ mural of the American Flag on the north wall of the Tampa Firefighters Museum was painted by American Artist Scott Lobaido in May 2013. I love it!!
Just across the street is another sight I just love whenever we travel this way and took a few shots of the entrance to Perry Harvey, sr. Park. I just love the statues. There are musicians, dancers and a jukebox at the entrance to the park. They are so larger than life. I learned that these beautiful and fun statues were created by artist James Simon. I remarked to Randy, “The next time we come down here I want to stop and walk around the park. I am sure there are many wonderful things to see there”.
Our ten-day cruise aboard the Brilliance of the seas was just wonderful. We had a great time, met a number of very nice people, enjoyed seeing friends on the second leg of our trip and enjoyed each port-of-call.
Our next cruise will take us back across the pond to Europe for a trans-Atlantic back to the states stopping at a number of new and wonderful ports. I am so excited!
Until then, enjoy,