A Cruise, a Few Loop-De-Loos, and Some Blues (Day 6)

A Final Day at Sea (February 22, 2012)

The last full day of the cruise was spent at sea.  We took advantage of the laid-back pace to indulge in some of our favorite on-board activities one last time.  Overeating at meals, playing ping-pong, shuffleboard, and mini-golf, and relaxing on deck with a book made the list.  We engaged in a few new things, too.  In the morning, we participated in Wishes at Sea, a one mile walk which raises money for ill children and their families so they can take cruises with Royal Caribbean through Make-A-Wish Foundation.   The T-shirts we earned for participating are my favorite souvenirs of the trip.

After lunch, we spent some time in the movie theater watching Super 8.  The flick was a re-watch for us, but just as thrilling as the first time we saw it.  If you haven’t seen Super 8, I highly recommend it – especially if you have teens and tweens who like thrills and intensity but nothing too scary.  To get to the theater, we had to traverse the casino which was empty except for a few seniors playing the slot machines.  Buddy said it “looked like a video arcade for old people”.  We spent the rest of the afternoon on the upper decks.  The day was perfection and we wanted to soak up every last moment of it.

The ceiling of the Centrum.

The glass elevators had a couple of cool features.  Because they were glass, we could view the Centrum inside the ship and gorgeous ocean and sky on the outside.  I liked the nautical maps that were etched into the glass doors, too.  Removable plates on the floor of the elevators reminded us what day it was.  This was supremely helpful because once we boarded the ship we all acquired calendar amnesia.  I completely lost track of the day, date, and even the time – a true test of the best kind of vacation.

We ate dinner one last time in the Tides dining room.  By now, Jerome and Arnel were anticipating our every request – seconds on appetizers for Buddy,  root beer for Ace, hot green tea with my dessert for me.  I was surprised at how hard it was to say good-bye to these men who had been so good to us and made our cruise so special.  After dinner, we headed back to our rooms to try to organize and pack all our stuff.  Our disembarkation time was 8am the next morning and we wanted to be off the ship ASAP so that we could get to Universal Studios in Orlando before lunch.

In the morning, we said our farewells to Roland, whose bright smile and happy demeanor we would all miss.  Disembarkation went as smoothly as we ever could have hoped, and within the hour we were headed to the car rental agency and beginning the second leg of our adventure.  Sailing on the Jewel was an incredible experience.  Originally, we were the fence about cruising, believing that it just wasn’t our style of travel.  I’m so glad we took the plunge and tried something new.  It was extraordinary!

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