Day 18 – Friday – Oct 12 – Last Day at Sea

Oceans and Seas » Caribbean
October 12th 2012
Published: October 12th 2012
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Chief Chef & Maitre D'Chief Chef & Maitre D'Chief Chef & Maitre D'

making Salmon Pasta
Hello one more time from the Island Princess. We continued today on our cruise back to Florida. Earlier today they reported that we were about 50 minutes off the coast of Cuba. Anyway we should arrive on schedule.

This morning we slept in until almost 8:00 – tomorrow will be a much earlier morning – so we wanted to be well rested at the end of our cruise. We went up to the breakfast buffet and had our usual breakfast. I guess we haven’t described that process as much as the dinners, so here’s our chance. Each person starts with a platter which is much larger than a full-sized dinner plate. There are virtually every kind of breakfast item you can imagine and you can take as much of everything as you want. Then you can sit with about a 180 degree spectacular view of where the ship is headed. Waiters usually appear quickly and bring whatever you want to drink (juice, milk, coffee, tea, water,…) Then you can take as long as you like chatting with whomever is nearby or just sitting by yourselves. When you’re finished eating the waiter promptly cleans up your dishes and offers more beverages, or you can go back for more food if somehow you’re still hungry. It really is an enjoyable way to start the day and is going to be a startling adjustment when we get back home.

After breakfast, Janet went to have one more 9:15 gathering of her Knitters and Knatters, while David stayed in the cabin to finish his second novel of this cruise. The library is happy to take donations and it eliminates one thing to have to pack in the suitcases.

Speaking of packing that is today’s main goal. The cabin steward had straightened our room and laid a heavy pad on the foot of the bed to protect it from our luggage. He had also brought our bottle of Rum (reference an earlier episode when David won a bottle in a drawing). We have since purchased something called a wineskin, which covers the bottle in bubble-wrap and then it slides into a thick plastic wrapper which seals at the bottom. Wrap that carefully in your luggage, and most likely the airline will not break it flying back home. If the bottle should somehow break, the plastic outer wrapper is supposed to remain moisture proof so your clothes don’t get damaged too. The theory sounds good – stay tuned for the results in a following episode.

Janet joined David in the Universe Lounge at 10:00 for the traditional end-of-cruise cooking demonstration. It has always been a very humorous demonstration with the ship’s Chief Chef and the Maitre D’ trying to best each other in how to cook something. On other ships the Maitre D’ has played the part of a foolish cook, but this time they both seemed to be very skilled in the kitchen. They cracked lots of joke and threw plenty of barbs at each other, but at the end they had prepared 3 very good looking salmon dishes (a salad, a pasta, and a steak), in about 45 minutes. Afterwards, the head pastry chef came out and made a Black Forest Cake. Then at 11:00 they led the group on a tour of the galley. They don’t take passengers where the food is really being prepared for today’s lunch, but we saw a lot of cabinets, stoves, refrigerators, and dish washers. Somehow they also managed to serve lunch to the rest of the ship, so somebody must have been cooking somewhere else.

Janet had to leave the cooking show about 10:45 because she had a Spa appointment scheduled. We will be attending a wedding reception Saturday night and she has been planning all along to splurge and have her nails done so they will look nice. However the Spa person convinced her that she should buy some other products and David will be happier not knowing the cost. Well, it’s better than losing the money in the casino.

Back in the cabin we worked on the packing challenge for awhile and then went to another session of Pub Lunch (with Fish & Chips) about 12:30. David wanted to hurry off afterwards to hear a presentation on Shipboard Navigation. It was given by the lowest ranking member of the bridge staff (not counting the deck hands who serve as lookouts). The bridge is manned around the clock with no less than 3 officers on the bridge at any given time. Navigation is done these days relying on GPS readings, but all the officers are required to periodically renew their certification in celestial navigation with a sextant in case someday something happens to the computers. Then he provided a virtual tour of the bridge (not a walk-thru like the galley but a slide show). The pictures aren’t as good as a real tour, but it was interesting too.

Afterwards, we met up in the cabin and then went down to view the myriad of photos that had been taken of us during the cruise. We bought a couple for the scrapbook, but left 90%!o(MISSING)r them on the counter.

We then visited the Internet Café to print our boarding passes for tomorrow’s flight. We had to renew our minutes a few days ago so we have about 40 minutes left for trying to send the blog this evening and checking our mail. Trouble is that most everyone is also trying to use up their minutes too, so David is going to post this blog this afternoon and if we can get back on this evening then we will update the entry.

Janet went to her last Arts & Craft session where she learned to make one more kind of card. Meanwhile we have most things in the suitcases, so David is starting to read a new book for the flight back home.

When she came back we did some more packing. David finished the wine we had in the cabin and Janet had another of her special coffees. Then we went to the dining room for one last dinner. Tonight the theme was American Dinner. David had the Chicken Wing appetizer and Janet had Shrimp Cocktail. Then she had the Beef Consume and David had one final serving of the Fettuccini Alfredo. For our entrees Janet had the Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes (good but not quite as good as hew own), and David had the Turkey Dinner with all the Trimmings. Then finally we had the dessert course.

Each cruise the final evening dessert starts with all the assistant waiters parading around the dining room with platters of Baked Alaska. There was lots of singing and hollering, and waving of napkins as they marched around with the Baked Alaska. Then they marched the kitchen staff and cooks around the dining room to get their justly deserved applause. Finally they introduced the Chief Chef and Maitre D’.

All of us except Carol had the Baked Alaska. She had Apple Pie, but so did David and did Vic (yes they had an extra dessert). Also our waiter Francis heard that Rum & Raisin was David’s favorite ice cream (especially that in Carcross Yukon), so he brought David a scoop of that too (3rd dessert). Anyway, we had a great dinner and a lot of yummy dessert. Afterwards we said goodbye to the staff and to Vic & Carol, and we went back to our cabin.

When we got back to the cabin, we already had most everything packed but we weren’t really interested in any of the shows, so we settled down in the cabin to get a good rest, or at least until 5:45 tomorrow morning.


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