Most of the chairs around the pool are occupied, many by people that are covered with a couple of towels to keep warm. There is definitely an advantage to other ships which have retractable roofs or enclosed pool areas. I spend part of the afternoon catching up on emails and posting to the blog. There is the usual trivia, bingo, and belly flop contests, none of which is for me.
On my way to the Diamond lounge I stop and listen to the orchestra performing a jazz set in the Schooner Bar. It is very enjoyable. There are not a lot of jazz music fans left so jazz entertainment is becoming harder and harder to find.
The Diamond lounge is relatively empty tonight, but there is the best selection of appetizers this entire cruise. Shrimp, chicken wings, many cheeses, wrapped hot dogs, pastries, and several things which I can't even guess as to what they are. If I can't identify it, I won't try it. Too easy be be undercover seafood.
There are a number of guests remaining on the ship for the next cruise, and Shawn (future sales manager) shares with me there will be only 5 Pinnacle guests.
I head to the Windjammer when it opens at 6:30 and have lasagna, probably the same as I would have ordered if I went to the dining room. If you follow my travels you may already recognize this, but despite being a very predictable creature of habit, my habits are changing. Prior to about a year ago I would always eat every evening meal in the dining room, now I find myself eating most evening meals at the buffet, and forgoing the dining room entirely. I do miss that opportunity to meet new people, but at the same time I have much better self control in the buffet and can stay away from the rolls and the deserts, two things I really don't need. Since I serve myself, there is never any issue with the service in the buffet, not a statement that can be said for every dining room I have been in.
As I get to know more and more frequent cruisers I find the majority of them also seem to prefer the buffet. Some for reasons similar to me, others because they prefer the wider choice offered in the buffet, and others for a multitude of individual reasons, the worst of which is they then feel they don't need to tip the staff, a selfishness I don't understand.
After dinner I listen to part of the production show from the back of the theater. If it has changed in the last half dozen years, it is very little. A Sprite Zero at the Schooner bar and then to the cabin to pack and leave a wake up call on the phone. I don't know why, but I will carry my broken clock back with me.
For the first time in many cruises, the passengers are very rowdy tonight. There is a very loud party down the hall somewhere, and kids, not little kids but adults (?) probably between 20 and 35, are running up and down the hall. After having been awakened several times I call the front desk to make them aware of the situation. Miraculously the noise stops in about 10 minutes. Another area that Royal does a much better job in than some of the other lines.
The telephone awakens me promptly at 6:30. After a quick shower I grab a glass of juice for breakfast and depart to deck 4 for disembarkation. Even though I am 10 minutes early, the entire deck is packed with passengers and suitcases waiting to head home. They start promptly on time, and passengers steadily and orderly have their sea pass cards scanned for the last time.
There is only a minute or two wait for the customs agent and I am soon on my way to my car and the drive home.
By 9:15 my suitcase is unpacked, the laundry started, and I sort thru the few pieces of mail that accumulated while I was away.
The family will actually be celebrating Thanksgiving on Thanksgiving Day this year, and then a few days later I am off for two weeks on the Celebrity Eclipse to Curacao and other ports in the Southern Caribbean.