In the wee hours of the morning I woke up to the sensation of being gently rocked back and forth. The sea had become a bit turbulent creating a field of white caps across the water landscape.
But, for the first time during this cruise the horizon was clear of its misty curtain and the sun could be seen peeking from behind a sky filled with ominous looking clouds. I stepped onto the balcony to a chill in the air.
With only two items on our agenda, Randy and I decided it would be a lazy day as we slowly make our way back to Tampa. With that in mind we decided to enjoy a slow, lovely breakfast in the Minstrel dining room.
My favorite two breakfasts in the dining room are the made-to-order omelets and the French toast. Today I ordered a cheese and tomato omelet with very crisp bacon. Both were yummy! After breakfast we went up to the Concierge lounge for a hot cup of café latte and sat and just watched the waves below.
The rest of the morning was spent in the cabin packing for our move to a new cabin tomorrow. Today ends the first half of our back-to-back cruise; tomorrow we start a second 5-day cruise that will take us to Key West and Cozumel.
The nice thing about being a consecutive cruiser is that I only have to pack items that are in the drawers or on shelves. All items hanging in the closet will be moved as is by our cabin attendant.
I wanted to take a walk around the ship so as soon as I had finished packing I grabbed my camera, put on my sunglasses and off we went. The first stop was in the Windjammer Café. I loved the “Welcome” cake at the beginning of the cruise and wanted to see if they would have a “Thank You” cake for the last day. They did!
We continued our walk around the pool deck. Although it was a little rocky the sun was shining bright making it a beautiful day to get those last rays of sunshine before returning home. There was not a lounge chair to be had. It was wonderful as we walked around to hear all the laughter from the adults and the squeals of the children as they frolicked in the pool.
As we started to move away from the pool, Randy pointed to something on the wall. There on the wall was a funny weather forecasting tool developed by Capt. Stig Nilsen. We cruised with Captain Stig on our trans-Atlantic crossing on the Brilliance in 2015. A small anchor hung next to a wooden sign that gave the observer the signs to look for when wondering what is happening with the weather on the ship. I thought it was very funny.
Our next stop was the Solarium pool and noticed that they had covered the pool with netting. I love beautiful Asian motif of the Solarium Pool. This pool area is glass covered and is for adults only (16 and above). The area includes the pool, two whirlpools, a bar and its own café making it a lovely haven if you just want to kick-back for the day.
The pool was looking very whimsical today as the crew had decorated it with a variety of towel animals.
Then it was off to the sports deck. The sports deck was a very busy place with passengers playing a lively game of basketball and the golf course seemed to have a steady stream of players. Due to high winds the rock wall was closed.
We love to play a round or two of miniature golf when cruising especially when the wind was up. It makes for a very interesting game indeed. We were behind two teenage girls and it was so much fun to hear them laughing and squealing when they would hit their ball in one direction and the wind took it into another. Fun, fun, fun!
We returned to our cabin for a bit of lunch and hanging out on the balcony before attending a special afternoon comedy show by Steve Smith. Oh my word, this man was so funny. Randy and I laughed and laughed. Steve was wonderful engaging the audience pulling them into his sphere of influence; comedy.
Then it was off to the Consecutive Cruisers meeting. The meeting is designed to provide information and guidance for the consecutive cruisers to make a smooth transition in to the next leg of their cruise. There were not many staying on. Although I looked at the back of the room and saw the three comedians, Mario, Daniel and Steve were in the room. I took a moment to walk over and express my happiness that they would be returning.
The last night’s dinner is always a fun time with the dining room staff singing and dancing and expressing their thanks that we all chose the Brilliance for their cruise. Then it was ‘good byes’ and sharing contact information with our table mates. We have met so many nice people on our cruises and always look forward to seeing them again on another ship.
The last two things we wanted to do before returning to our cabin was purchasing our photos and spending our free pulls at the casino. We both received a receipt entitling us to fifteen cents. Now these get turned in usually for a raffle. The cashier explained that they do not hold raffles anymore and offered us a key chain. We laughed and told him that we had a draw full of key chains. I asked if it would be possible for him to give each of us one more coin instead. He did! We both dropped the coins down into the bowels of the one-armed bandit never to see it again. Funny!
Tomorrow we arrive in Tampa to start the second leg of our back-to-back cruise on the Brilliance.