"" Writer's Wanderings: World Cruise - Saying Goodbye

Thursday, May 14, 2015

World Cruise - Saying Goodbye

There were two days at sea between St. Thomas and Miami. Plenty of time for goodbyes and enough time for us to pack. We had heard that some started packing the week before but then we only had six suitcases. Some had a lot more including one couple at our dining room table that had eleven.

We decided to give our beach blanket and napkin rings to our cabin stewardess. She was excited to get the blanket. We also gave her our leftover Dove candies and Hershey miniatures we had brought and not eaten since we had so many gifts of chocolate (much better chocolate) from friends and family when we sailed.

A six-pack of peanut butter crackers we’d also brought and not opened we gave to our favorite breakfast waiter along with his extra tip. He always teased us about our Wednesday pancakes, Sunday waffles, Bob’s Tuesday Japanese breakfast, and my orders of peanut butter for my English muffin.

Jorge and Nenad mugging for the camera.
A special program called Serenity Pops was our entertainment one night. Several musicians had joined us in St. Thomas and added to the orchestra we already had on board. The enlarged orchestra was led by the Crystal Cruise’s entertainment director. It started out with some opera offerings from the lead singers and then turned into some hilarious antics and entertainment interspersed with some of the best dancing I’ve seen on any ship.

Our last afternoon found us watching an hour long video of our World Cruise. I think Bob and I popped up once or twice but you had to look quick. We didn’t do a lot of the excursions that the videographers photographed but it did give a good summary of all the entertainment and lecturers and enrichment programs throughout the cruise. It was a gift to all the World Cruisers but I doubt anyone will want to watch it. We probably won’t watch again—well maybe just once.

Michael at tea time.
Pictures with our two waiters, Jorge and Nenad, were crazy selfies. These guys made 108 days very pleasant with their friendliness and good humor as did Michael from the beverage department who not only waited on us at tea time but would always bring us two waters at show time in the Galaxy—one “decaf”, one “caffeine”, delivered with a smile and a chuckle.

Dinner was followed by dancing and then a balloon drop in the ship’s atrium. It was the only time Bob wanted to dance and only because he wanted to be in the middle under the balloons with his toothpick. Not an easy thing to do when you’re getting jostled by all the dance ambassadors doing their fancy steps with the single ladies or those whose husbands won’t dance.

We finished our hugs and goodbyes with our tablemates and others we had grown fond of and went up to our room to change, stuff our “Crystal casual” clothes into the suitcase and change into our comfortable jeans and shirts that we would also wear in the morning. We set our suitcases out in the hall and then went off for one more walk through the ship. We wanted to take a walk around the Promenade Deck but it was wet and rainy and very windy.

Our tablemates for 108 days!
Our time to disembark was early since we had to travel from Miami to Fort Lauderdale and I’m guessing they had quite a time scheduling all the limos for the World Cruisers. We were also supposed to meet our luggage carrier, Luggage Free, at the pier and send off some of our luggage. 

Finding our luggage, we got a porter to load it on a cart and we started out. To my amazement we went through customs behind two carts that were filled with wardrobe shipping cartons from a moving company. What a way to travel!

Our luggage carrier never showed at the appointed time and when Bob finally got a time commitment from them it was an hour later. We stacked our luggage and managed to wheel it over to where the limos were being assigned. The lady in charge graciously found us an SUV that could handle six suitcases for our trip to Ft. Lauderdale.
Early morning in Miami. Moon still out!

Thanks to United dropping their direct flight to Cleveland for our return flight, we ended up getting home by way of Chicago but it all went smoothly and we found two other people from our ship going the same way. We’d met them once at the very beginning of our cruise.

A limo driver met us and helped us with luggage as we arrived in CLE. Home looked good. Bob counted the fish. They were all there. He checked out the new furnace and turned on the hot water. I looked at the six suitcases sitting in the mud room and decided tomorrow was soon enough to start unpacking.

We went off to Bob Evans for dinner—er, make that a breakfast. We both had a taste for fried eggs, sausage, toast (with the crust on) and real hash browns.  And we didn’t have to get dressed up to eat it. Home!

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