We slept til 10 on Friday morning, and it was glorious. I popped my Dramamine, we had breakfast, and then we went to the theater to see the crew talent show and sendoff. It always chokes me up a little knowing that vacation is almost over. It goes so amazingly fast.
After the show, we headed to the pool. It seemed funny that we hadn’t done that yet, but we’d been in the ocean almost every day, and it was usually dark by the time we were back in our cabin. The waves were pretty high, which made swimming hilarious: you could just float and the movement of the ship would bounce you around the pool. While we swam, Captain Yannis came on and announced we were at 16 degrees latitude. That’s awesome.
We tried out the thalassotherapy pool in the spa, too. It’s open to everyone on the ship. There are reclining chairs built into the hot tub! That may be the greatest invention of all time. I wanted to stay in longer, but there were several signs telling us to only stay in there for 15 minutes at a time.
We showered, changed, and headed to swing dance lessons in Revelations, because we figured it’d be good to brush up on our skills. There were about 20 people there, and at least half of them were incapable of following directions. It was pretty funny. We then went to have salads from the spa buffet, and to balance it out, got margaritas from the bar out back. We hung out on the deck, watching the ship’s wake.
Since we were catching up on everything we hadn’t gotten to do yet on the ship, we headed down to geography trivia a bit later. Matt wanted to stop for a drink at the pool bar, and the bartender asked about my cocktail as well. I told him it was a not-great margarita, so he took it and ‘improved’ it for me. It pays to befriend the bartenders on a cruise ship!
We got 11/15 at geography trivia, which was good enough for us. From there, we went down to the front desk to pick up our ipods for the self-guided art tour. The lobby was decorated for Christmas, which was still confusing to us.
The battery on Matt’s ipod was almost dead, and mine had broken headphones. We didn’t want to wait in the long line again, though, so we worked out a deal that catered to my lack of focus pretty well: Matt would listen to the narration and relate the important details to me in what sounded kind of like stream-of-consciousness beat poetry, and I would take pictures, admire the artwork, and be amused.
So we weren’t being too nerdy about the whole thing, we decided to stop at the bars we passed along the way. It was a pretty excellent plan.
The artwork on the ship was actually great. They focused on modern art, and most of it appealed to us quite a bit. It was a nice change from the usual classical sculptures and such. Some of it is just plain weird, though.
Once we’d viewed all forty or so pieces and explored some areas we hadn’t seen before, we headed up for 2nd lunch. That was our other goal: to have as many meals as possible on the ship that day, just because it was funny.
My second lunch consisted of nachos, a raisin scone, and a little croissant. It was a mix of the Mexican buffet and tea time offerings. Oh, and also a Red Stripe!
Sadly (but not too sadly, considering our day), we went to the cabin to begin packing. We had a lot of work to do protecting all that rum, since it would all have to be checked at the airport.
Because we obviously expended so much energy packing (and making an ill-fated trip to the ship’s store for inflatable bags… they required the pump in the store, so we’d have to haul everything down there), we were starving (haha). We went for third lunch! I wasn’t hungry at all, but I had a roll just for show. Matt had his final sushi boat, and declared that he had eaten an entire sushi armada.
The next time we swung past the cabin, the rum we’d purchased in port had been delivered. We finished packing that up, as well as everything else we wouldn’t need. We had to have our bags out in the hallway by 10 or 11pm, and they would be returned to us after disembarkation the next morning. Everything else in the cabin would have to fit in our carry-ons in the meantime.
We went down to the casino and found seats at the blackjack table. The other people playing were great. One of the old guys had a lucky quarter on the table, and it seemed to help us all: from the original $100, I ended up with $170, and Matt left with $210. I think that’s the best I’ve ever done at blackjack!
We cashed out and went to make our final stop, as I’d promised Mehmet we’d visit him before leaving. (I hate saying goodbye to crew members. A lot.)
We arrived and found him flipping bottles around for the women sitting at the bar. They were loving it, and he was thrilled. He announced that he’d been practicing a lot. I noticed the bottle of Makers sitting out on the bar just for us: how cute is that? He said he also had an awesome martini for me to try, but I told him we had to go get dinner first. We took our Manhattans and headed back to the room to order room service.
Did I mention that you can order room service on the TV? I love the future. We watched ESPN while waiting for Jude (our shy cabin steward) to arrive with our food, which included the cheese plate. Totally not necessary, but I’d been obsessing over that damn cheese plate the whole time.
This photo is an accurate representation of how hard life on a cruise ship is. Matt’s waiting on hold to tell Jude the trays are ready to be cleared. There’s a cocktail on the table and a Cuban cigar on the bed.
We were exhausted by then, but we’d promised Mehmet to return for the special martini. We hung out at the bar for a bit listening to the terrible karaoke below (it was the same Americans we’d danced with the previous night), then said goodbye to Mehmet and headed to bed. We had another early morning ahead of us!