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Published: March 20th 2017
Today is officially the saddest day of our vacation - the final full day of our cruise. We have had a really good time but now it’s time to pack everything to go back home. Tomorrow will be exciting with all the ship-disembarking stuff, and the airport stuff, and getting picked up by our daughter once we get home. But today is mostly a challenge of trying to get everything back into the suitcases, but still having room for stuff tomorrow morning too.
We started today with breakfast in the Horizon Court. We were up there about 8:00 and it wasn’t crowded at all – people must have been sleeping in for the last time. Then Janet went to her Knitters group for a final meeting. Someone brought a tray of pastries and coffee, so they had a little party. She discovered that a lady from this group was booked to be on the same cruise we have planned for next year, so she will already know someone.
David got out the luggage and started packing, but gave up and went to the Internet Center to check our account. We have had some charges and
gotten a couple of credits, so the bill was a little confusing, but it seems to be correct. He wanted to verify everything before the hectic activities of tomorrow morning. He ran into Craig & Debbie and they told us about an app for the smart phone which is supposed to accelerate our processing through customs tomorrow. Maybe we can make it work.
They and David went to the Princess Theater and watched the Culinary Demonstration. These are always a comic show between the Head Chef and the Maître D’. This time the chef was an Italian who doesn’t have strong English skills, so it was a mismatch in sending zingers back and forth. They showed how to make Caesar Salad and a special Spaghetti, but David did not stay for the 3rd
course. This was to be followed by a tour of the galley, but he didn’t want to get caught up in that again.
We met in the cabin and continued on the exercise of packing. The challenge is that the suitcases are supposed to be out in the hall by 8:00 and we aren’t finished wearing today’s clothes by then. So
we’ve got to make room in the carry-off bags for clothes, toiletries, and everything else. One of our suitcases is stuffed to nearly bursting, but it still has several pounds before the 50 are utilized. The second suitcase has 49.8 pounds but could still hold a few more items (if they were weightless). The third suitcase had to handle everything else. It ended up weighing only 45 pounds, but was also stuffed full. Then tomorrow we will have a small bag for all the last minute items.
At 12:30 we went to the Crown Grill for a Pub Lunch. We each had the Fish & Chips one final time. It was good and we got a couple of sodas to go with it. Janet was able to access the Southwest Web Page with her Kindle and got us boarding numbers for tomorrow. After lunch we went to the Internet Café and printed the boarding passes. We’re happy to report that we are both Preapproved by TSA, so there should be no shoe problems to deal with. After printing, Janet got another special coffee and David got us a couple of dessert cakes from the International Café. We
returned to the cabin to rest for a couple of hours.
Today the temperature only got up to about 77, so we seem to be approaching the chillier regions of North America again. That did not prevent quite a few sun worshipers from paying homage one more time, but it looks like a lot of people preferred not to have to pack a wet swimming suit, as the pool was much less crowded than usual. We’ve had very nice warm weather the last few weeks and aside from a couple of misplaced showers in the Caribbean, we’ve been lucky with the rain. Sometimes during the early days of the cruise it was pretty windy, which made some of those days kind of bumpy, but altogether we’ve had fairly good weather for this trip.
At 3:00 David had to go to the Photo Center to pick up a picture we had ordered. There is a special template which shows the map of our trip all the way from Valparaiso to Ft Lauderdale, but you have to order it special. Ordinarily we get a mug for Janet’s “Mug Rack” with the itinerary of the cruise, but they did not get loaded on the ship, so we will not have one this time. This picture will have to serve the purpose this time.
At 4:00 the Princess Choir was performing. This was a group of passengers who have gotten together during the cruise to practice and they did their performance today. It was noteworthy because Mary (from our dinner table) is in the choir. We were careful to be early to get a place to sit and we thought they did a very good job singing.
At 5:00 we met Debbie & Craig Mulkins in the Club Fusion for a final set of appetizers. On each cruise we always seem to make another set of special friends, as we did again this time. Maybe someday we might find ourselves heading toward Toronto and will certainly let them know if we get near.
Dinner tonight was the “last supper” on the cruise. It is traditionally the “parade of baked Alaska” where they turn down the lights and the Junior Waiters parade around with plates of ice cream with a candle on top. At least that’s how it used to be done – now it is a plastic model with an LED candle. But it was a lot of fun. However we both had the deep dish apple pie instead. That is after we ate the main course – Janet had meatloaf and David had strip steak. And that was after we had a collection of appetizers and soups.
After dinner we stayed around and exchanged addresses and gave Edna and Mark small gratuities for their service. There was a show in the Princess Theater called the “Voices of the Sea” where passengers sang as soloists. They had spinning chairs (like on TV) and coaches, and tonight was the finals. However we were ready to call an end to the entertainment, so we stayed in the cabin for a good night sleep. That is all for today but we will have one more wrap-up post after we get back home.
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