Day 7: It’s Been a Lovely Cruise

Posted: August 31, 2009 by jgrantmarshall in Uncategorized

Our cruise is quickly coming to an end and the real world has been looming over us today. On the one hand, we can’t wait to see the kids tomorrow, but on the other there sure are a lot of things that will need to be done when we get home. We have filled the day, though, with as much fun as we could and were also able to keep it relaxed.

This morning, we took a dip in the Solarium hot tub and afterward we hit the back sports deck. We started our sports off with mini-golf and again Natalie beat me. The wind on the course was an ever present obstacle that got the better of me on nearly every hole. Next up, I shot some hoops for a few minutes. Lastly, we played ping pong. I couldn’t remember the specifics of the rules, so we mostly just hit the ball back and forth.

We had lunch again in the main dining room. The salad there just might be my favorite meal that I have had. In case I didn’t write about it before, the staff stands behind the salad bar and puts all of the ingredients that you choose into a big metal bowl. You can choose the greens, cheese, meats, etc. and when finished they cut it all up in the bowl using what looks like a pizza cutter. For me, I have found that I have gotten a bit particular about what I eat and it is nice to be able to have it how I REALLY want it. Obviously, I have eaten very well all trip long but I have also felt a bit guilty when I eat how I normally haven’t been lately. (Not real guilty, though, because I am about to go find dessert #2 in the Cafe Promenade.) Our tablemates at lunch were a nice family from Southern California (& they spoke English). We had a nice time chatting with them. Actually, we have met a bunch of really cool people on the cruise like the newlyweds that we have shared our dinner table with and the couple from New Zealand that we shared the cab with in Mazatlan. Today, the cruise director, Dave Chapman, said that we have over 4,500 passengers from 67 countries on the ship right now. It is amazing to me that things go as smoothly as they do… & how they plan or even store that much food I will never know.

For the rest of the afternoon, we each relaxed and read books. I went up to the pool deck and froze… I used a towel as a blanket instead of something to dry off with. While up there I was treated again to the Caribbean band, Mega 4. I love the steal drum, it sounds like vacation to me.

We had the table to ourselves again for dinner… go figure, it is also the day to pay gratuities to the wait staff. HMMMMM. I do have to say, that if you have never been on a cruise, that you need to go (on Royal Caribbean, of course 😉 ) just to experience the pampering offered at mealtime. It is like nothing I have ever experienced. Our head waiter, Rodulfo (Rudy), from the Philippines, and our assistant waiter, Laurentiu, from Romania, were masters at reading what was wanted before you knew you wanted it. Natalie didn’t even have to say anything when she found that she just couldn’t eat the lamb that she had ordered but Rudy noticed and traded out her meal right away. I have no idea what kind of training these guys go through but I do not think any waiter anywhere could be more polished than the Royal Caribbean wait staff.

After dinner, we went to the farewell show and were entertained again by the juggler, Steve Carte. His comedy and juggling were just as good the second time around. I might have to see if he has anything up on YouTube.

Well, I am running out of things to say, Natalie is running out of items to pack and as Jimmy Buffett said, "It’s been a lovely cruise!" (Yes, I have been waiting this whole trip to say that!)

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