Saturday, December 13, 2008

Cruising Day 7: At Sea

The last day of the cruise was spent at sea. By plan and chance, we spent most of the day with our cruise companions. Nearly everyone in the group tried out the rock wall - including me! Goal #5 Try Rock Climbing - Completed! In my recent goal posts (ha ha, excuse the pun), this goals seems to have fallen off the list, probably because I hated it so much, but I accomplished it - accomplished "trying" rock climbing. I didn't get more than 2 feet off the ground and probably tore something in my romboids, but I overcame my fear enough to try and that feels good. My competitive nature came out and I wanted to keep trying until I could get higher, but in this, my fear had the better of me. But now I know that maybe, just maybe, I'll try it again sometime. And if I never do, well, I did try it once. A couple people also boogie-boarded on the flow-rider and the rest of us enjoyed spectating that event since it was crazy windy that day.

We had lunch in the formal dining room, which A and I hadn't even known was possible until mid-cruise. Of course, on days at port, we were never onboard during lunch, but we missed that opportunity on our first day at sea, so we told everyone who wanted to meet us there at noon our last day at sea and we had a nice group of about 10. I think everyone enjoyed their meals and I enjoyed another meal at table with my new friends.

We spent some time in the afternoon discovering the final nooks and crannies of the ship, including the absolute front point (think Titanic), the open rear deck, the movie theater and conference rooms (occupied almost exclusively by a 300 member Mah-jong group!) hidden on level 2 and then - woops - time to hot tub. As soon as I noticed our friends in the hot tub, my tour was cut short and it was into the stew for me. Ahh, that's nice after tearing it up on the rock wall. Our group moved in and out of several of the hot tubs, so I got to spend time with several different people - including the flower girls from the wedding who were doing their best hip hop hand movements. Hilarious, cute and spunky.

The rest of the day was pretty much all about packing. I spent some time that afternoon packing, figuring out only when I was done that I would have to unpack everything to accomodate our purchases because they would all have to be wrapped in clothing. A was at the hot tub drinking beers with the guys while I was doing this, so when I was finished I went to find him. I found him, like so many times, near the pizza place. He and the guys had just run into a couple others in the group and there were "hey's!" and various other Italian sounding drawn out noises and then, much to my surprise, a group hug. When the mother of the groom showed up moments later, a repeat of the noisy greeting and group hug. I wonder what other kind of vacation would see us all having multiple group hugs in public like that? It was great!

Dinner, more packing, with A desperately racing to finish (chaos!) before the finale show because I wanted to go together, but didn't want to miss it, the best parts of the show and then some final time with the bride and groom while they packed. Jazz. Sleep.

What I Learned:
  1. If you miss the shows or games on board the ship, they replay the videos of them on the TV.
  2. Especially when shared or large souveniers are purchased, you should just pack at the same time as your travel companion.
  3. Everybody loves group hugs.
My Favorite Part: The feeling of everyone coming together at the end of the trip - once we realized it was almost over, we became even more friendly.

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