Day 9 – Sunday
Today is the last full day of the cruise, the day for everyone to tidy up paperwork, and pepper the poor harried staff with questions. Gene and I spent some time this day in and out of the pool and hot tub. Sir John and Lady Honor wandered by to say hi (why do they always appear while I’m in the hot tub?) but hustled off because it was cold and windy out on the deck. It was kind of fun to test our mettle by getting out of the nice cozy hot tub and jump in the relatively cool pool, dive and play for a minute, then get back into the (now burning hot) hot tub. I absolutely wanted to get as much sun as possible before going back to winter and totally covered skin and no Vitamin D.
Dinner was come-as-you-are, which was good, because I was tired of dressing up. So I wore jeans and a T-shirt to dinner, possibly flaunting some rule or other, but I didn’t care on this, the last night of the cruise. We gave our envelopes of tip money to the head waiter, our table waiter, and his assistant Murat (leaving one in a lock box with guest services for our stateroom attendant). And I wrote sweet notes to Murat and Sandro, and put their tips in decorative cards I’d bought to send folks as new year cards.
After dinner, it was time to pack all the bags, and put the bags we wanted to check out in the hallway before they came around at midnight to pick them up. “checking a bag” on a cruise ship means porters take it on a big metal cart to who-knows-where, and later it appears where you’re going to be (in your stateroom at the beginning of the cruise, and in an organized line in what looks like an airplane hangar next to the parking lot when it’s time to leave). It also means worry, because you have to tag it with special sticker tags they provide, and you have to carefully pack them, because you know it’ll be roughly handled, AND you need to have your name on the bag somewhere, in case the provided tag gives up the ghost, and it’s a good idea to tie a big piece of ridiculous ribbon to the handle, so you can find your bags in a sea of bags that look just like them, in a giant hangar. (We used fat Christmas ribbon with an unseemly amount of glitter on it. Thank goodness! Someone had luggage in the exact same pattern, and had tied plain red ribbon on theirs.) You don’t Have to check any bags at all, but on the cruise, I was changing clothes three times a day, and that’s a lot of clothes, considering laundry service is comparatively expensive. ($25 for a small bag)
So we ordered room service, to make sure we had something to nibble while we packed, and finished packing, and got to bed after midnight. Probably 1am.