Today we are at sea and on our way back to Tampa and then home. The day started with a beautiful clear blue sky filled with puffy cumulus clouds that seemed as though they were hovering just over the water.
What to do? What to do? There are so many activities to get involved in on a ship the only question is, “What to do?” There was trivia, puzzles, exercise, a movie, seminars, the ever popular, bingo, ice carving demonstrations, art auction, dodge ball tournament, gambling, Wii bowling, and so much more.
Randy and I had decided the night before that we wanted to play a game of putt, putt golf. When we arrived, however, the wind was so strong there was absolutely no way that could be done. The rock wall and children’s pool and waterslide had been closed too. We decided to just leisurely walk around the ship and take pictures of things that interested us and return to our favorite spot, the solarium pool.
As windy as it was the main pool was packed and every lounge chair occupied with people trying catch that last ray of sunshine and warm Caribbean air before going back home to colder climes. Once I got Randy settled at the Solarium pool I reflected on one of my favorite activities, walking around the ship and looking at the many wonderful art pieces for passengers to enjoy.
You would be amazed at the wonderful art original/copies/prints that exist on cruise ships. The ship that I loved most for its artwork was the Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas. I fell in love with a mixed media piece. The year we traveled on this ship, trust me the art was just wonderful eye candy.
The first piece that caught my eye was a piece by piece by Miguel Chevalier called “Infinite Abyssal”. I loved it. This beautiful glass block was filled with 0’s and 1’s is such an explanation point on today’s society as everyone needs to be endlessly ‘connected’.
Another piece by Mr. Chevalier was his piece titled “Turbulence”, a holographic film on Pexiglas that was just alive with so many colors.
Then there was the simple but interesting pieces by Kim Koga called “Sweet” and Original”. My first reaction to these two pieces was: Who would re-create a jar of pickles and plums? Fortunately there was a plaque that explained that the pieces represent sweet memories of her grandparents who emigrated from Japan to America and raised and canned various fruits and vegetables.
Kim wrote, “My grandmother continued to can pickles and plums even after their ranch was sold. While my existence has been more urban, I am still inspired by her rural lifestyle”. I loved simplicity and sentiment of these two pieces of art.
But these are only a few examples of the many simple, complicated, beautiful, and thought provoking pieces of art that adorn the many ships that ply the waters. Next time you take a cruise take a few moments to stop on the landings, in the passageways, in the bars, etc. and look with an interested eye. You will be at times intrigued, amused and perplexed, but trust me you will be happy you did.
I returned to the pool around lunch time and decided to go and grab a small salad. When I entered the Windjammer I was blown away by the sight of a green, wide-eyed, large toothed alligator cake. What a sight! The culinary and service teams of the Windjammer created this wonderful 6’ long, 3’ wide, 126lb. cake as a thank you for sailing on the Jewel.
There were seven layers. To make this cake the staff used 50 lbs. flour, 8 pounds of sugar, 12 lbs. butter, 180 eggs, 5 oz. baking powder, 3 gallons of milk, 8 lbs. of chocolate, 36 liters Cream and 2 liters lime juice. It took 7 man hours to complete. The cake was just wonderful to look at but the best thing about this cake, it was delicious. It was fun to watch as people, especially children, come into the room and see the cake. Priceless!
Dinner time rolled around and we were happy to see that our tablemates, Jim and Erin, would be joining for our last meal on the ship. As I read the menu all I could think of was comfort food so when I saw that roasted turkey was one of the choices I stopped reading. I started with shrimp cocktail and Caesar salad. The turkey was served with roasted red bliss potatoes, Brussels sprouts, carrot sticks, apple bread stuffing and cider gravy. I asked if I could substitute the vegetables for mashed potatoes, asparagus and cranberry sauce and, of course, they were accommodating. Staying with the comfort idea I finished my meal with a scoop of vanilla and a scoop of chocolate ice cream.
After dinner we set off to the Coral Theatre to watch the ‘Farewell Showtime’ show. The show was a nice combination of entertainment and farewell statements by many of the crew members. The opening act was a comedy and magic routine by Matthew DiSero who brought several members of the audience up on stage to complete his acts. The routine was very funny. The ships singers, dancers and orchestra regaled everyone with several numbers and the Cruise Director Steve Davis took to the stage thanking everyone for cruising on the Jewel and inviting many crew members to join him on stage to say a fond farewell to the audience.
It was time to return to the cabin and pack up, fill out all the paperwork associated with disembarking and spend one more night listening to the sound of the water as the ship made its way through the waves.
The next morning found us at the Windjammer for a quick breakfast where we ran into Jim and Erin. We exchanged contact information and said our farewells knowing that we would travel with them again in the future.
In a short while I will be back in the kitchen cooking and posting wonderful epicurean delights. Stay tuned.