December 17, 2018

Last Day on The Harmony

Another perfect day in the Caribbean. sunny skies and flat seas. Any breeze is negligible.  This week I have made Park Cafe my go to place for breakfast. Special K or an English muffin with egg, ham and cheese. Always served hot as they have a microwave and will heat your food if you ask, I always do.

Today I decide on apple juice instead of orange juice. What a surprise when I take a sip and learn that the dispenser is filled with undiluted ice tea concentrate. I bring it the staff's attention. They don't belive me until they taste it. The dispenser is cleaned and filled with the proper juice.

The Captain's corner is attended by about a 100 guests. One tidbit. Last weekend Miami greeted 52,000 incoming passengers from cruise ships, a new record for Miami. Ft Lauderdale still holds the all time record of 54,000 attained last spring.

Miami must be aggressively marketing to the cruise industry. Richard Branson recently announced that the first of his cruise ships will call Miami home when The Scarlet Lady is launched for cruisers 18 and older only. Virgin Voyages is also building their headquarters nearby in Plantation. Like the port of Miami needs more congestion.

Last night must have been the night to clean the scrubbers as the Boardwalk and the Aqua Theater are covered in black soot. Before long Royal will find a way to create a revenue stream and market the sooty experience as a tribute to sailing on steam fired vessels of a century ago.

I'm not sure I have mentioned this previously, but a few months ago they started selling a tour of the crew areas. I wonder if any of the revenue goes to the crew for the invasion of their privacy?

The afternoon performance of Greece is very good. The theater is full and everyone stays until the final curtain call.

Dinner in the Windjammer is the best of the week. I observed the same last month on the Symphony, the Windjammer was its best on the last day. I wonder if a deliberate ploy by management as they realize passengers are most likely to remember the last experience?

The third try succeeded in fixing the door to the Diamond Lounge. My luck isn't so good. The sewer gas odor in my cabin remains. A "floor" manger from houskeeping inspects the cabin. Why "floor" and not "deck" I don't know. He is in total agreement that the odor has not been fixed. I am to expect a letter for future cruise credit within 30 days. Yes, of course I will use it.

Another show with the comedians, this time a family show in the theater.  About 80% of the seats are occupied, many with children.

I finish packing and set my luggage out in the hall. The alarm is set for 7:00. A week of excellent entertainment is over.

In the morning, just as I leave the cabin at 8:10,  the announcement is made for all passengers with my luggage tag number to proceed to the gangway. Without any delays I make my way to the luggage hall, retrieve my luggage from under sign "24" even though my luggage is group "22". There just isn't enough room, they had no choice, but at least all the luggage tagged "22" is together.

A walk through customs and out the door. About 30 seconds to locate my shuttle bus, and then off to Park-N-Go. 25 minutes after leaving my cabin I am on the road headed home.

Traffic is as expected for a Sunday morning, steady but not congested.  After an hour or so I experience one of those moments where you think this might be the end.  A car travelling much faster than me, possible near a 100 closes in from behind very rapidly. I have no place to move to, and there is no indication he is going to slow down. I brace myself. Cars in front of me, cars on the right, and guard rails on the left. Is he drugged or texting, maybe both? I have no clue, and it really doesn't matter.  He finally sees me, but not before coming within inches of my rear bumper.  I squeeze between two cars to my right as soon as I safely can, he accelerates until he is on the bumper of another car. Finally he is far ahead of me.

About 3 or 4 miles further up the roadIt is my turn. I am elated to see that he has been pulled over by an unmarked police car, driven by an officer that I am positive witnessed his reckless driving. I'm elated to see that he has been stopped before killing someone.

The rest of the trip home is uneventful. The clear blue skies give way to heavy gloomy clouds over the Orlando area. I unpack, start the laundry, and head out to buy groceries. Back to the drudgery of normal life until next time. Six weeks on The Serenade of Seas departing February 1, 2019.  Some of my family will be joining me on the ship for the last 11 nights.