I always love the last full day on a cruise. We will be slowly cruising towards home and the day is getting off to a good start with a sky that was a lovely shade of blue filled with puffy white clouds. Standing on the balcony and looking skyward made me feel as though I was looking at a beautiful painting of nature at her best.
The last full day on cruise is always busy and fun. We had a full day planned and needed to get started. We made our way up to the concierge lounge to get a small continental breakfast of fresh fruit, pastries and coffee.
We returned to the cabin to do some preliminary packing. The next few hours found us at the casino playing our three free coins in the slots, doing a little shopping and choosing a few photo memories.
That done we were off to attend the first of three events that would be the highlight of our day. The first event was the Captain’s Corner. This is a nice event where passengers are invited to a question and answer session with the captain and, at times, other senior staff. The events are always informative and a very relaxed and intimate way to learn more about the captain, the ship and future plans for the cruise line.
Today Captain Malmberg was joined by the chief engineer, hotel director and environmental engineer on the stage. I thought all the questions were quite good. Actually, several of the questions were ones that Randy had mentioned during the cruise. The one question I most enjoyed being answered from each of the gentlemen was, “What led to become a captain?” The captain answered that for him ships were always his passion.
By not it was time for lunch. We decided to run up to the Solarium Café and pick up some lunch and return to the cabin. We did not want one moment of this lovely day to be wasted. All of a sudden Randy told me to look down at the water. There gliding through the waves was a pod of bottlenose dolphins. I grabbed my camera but all I could ever capture was a splash in the water after they had already jumped. There we were like two little children hanging over the railing anxiously waiting to see if they would surface again and they did several times. It was quite wonderful!!
We decided to take another walk around the ship stopping at the Diamond Lounge, the Schooner Lounge, and Giovanni’s Table. Two interesting pieces of machinery caught our eye as we explored these areas.
The first piece of machinery we spied looked to be an engine of some kind perhaps a piece of a ship’s engine. I found it interesting that was on display in a lounge.
The second piece of machinery we discovered was at the entrance to Giovanni’s Table. This beautiful piece of machinery was an Italian meat slicer. The sign on the wall read: “This Bella Macchina will slice Prosciutto, Carpaccio, and Salami with a razor sharp precision, in cast aluminum and stainless steel maintaining the high quality and craftsmanship of traditional Italian meat slicers made in the early 1900’s to the late 1960’s”.
On our way back to the elevators we heard a commotion emanating from the Centrum. We walked over to the landing to see what was happening. There was a bean bag toss or Baggo game being played. I watched for a moment and wondered why members of the sports team had hard hats on until I realized that bean bags were being tossed from deck 5 and 6. How funny is that!!!!!
On our walk we discovered that a light lunch was available in the Diamond Lounge. So, we decided to make a quick stop at the Concierge Lounge to see if they too offered a light lunch. There were little sandwiches, fresh fruit, cheeses and vegetables. Who knew? We ran into Janet Mary and Jim. They were spending their afternoon playing cards. We stayed a while and chatted and then returned to the cabin to finish packing.
Before we knew it, it was time to prepare for the rest of our day. No cocktails this evening. Instead we would be attending a bridge tour event sponsored by the Crown & Anchor Society. Randy has become very fond of these events and so off we went.
Very rarely are we greeted by the captain and yet, there he was. “How fun”, I thought to myself. Captain Malmberg spent a few moments greeting everyone and introducing the officer who would be conducting the tour and then asked if anyone would like to have a photo opportunity. While most people were listening to Tom explain the inter-workings of radar, etc., I was standing by the window looking beyond the bow as the ship moved through the beautiful blue waters below. I do love being on the water. Perhaps, just perhaps in a past life I was a seaman.
The tour finished, it was time to join our tablemates for dinner. This would be our last dinner with our wonderful tablemates. We talked, shared our day’s activities, agreed that we had a great table and then shared contact information. Randy and I hope to meet them again on another cruise.
The last event we planned to attend this evening was the Farewell Show featuring entertainer Michael James.
Mr. James was beyond funny as he performed many sight gags all the while talking to and away from the audience. During his act he juggled, rode a unicycle and performed several tricks while standing on a ladder on stage. The entire show was one you could not look or walk away from. I laughed and laughed enjoying every moment he was on stage.
The show over, we made our way back to the cabin to get a good night’s sleep. As I laid my head down on the pillow I found myself reliving some of the wonderful memories from the past week. I loved it all but especially all the holiday spirit we encountered on the ship and on shore. The cruise was a perfect prelude to our Christmas festivities.
Tomorrow we disembark and return home.
I want to wish all my family, friends and readers a very Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah. I wish everyone joy, peace and happiness over the holiday season!!