It is raining when I awaken at dawn. The seas are moderate at 3 to 6 feet, the wind is almost directly on our bow and whistles at the balcony door. Temperature is just above 70. Cold for the Caribbean, but nothing like they are getting in the northern states where windchills are reaching record lows of -60 degrees. Everyone is glad to be here.
There is a gentle rock to the ship as we head northerly at about 20 knots, almost top speed for this big girl.
The cooler weather and lack of sun does not stop many of the sun worshippers. They gather around the pools wrapped in extra towels to block the cool winds. Unlike some of the smaller ships, all the pool areas on this ship are exposed to the elements.
This afternoon I will see Cats for the XXth time. But not the Broadway Cats of the past. Royal has produced a special 90 minute production for presentation on the ships. Actually probably a good idea because historically many guests would walk out before the end of the show, the Broadway version just being too long.
The show runs until 5:15, just the right amount of time to get to the Coastal Kitchen for our last dinner. Food and service is again excellent. We have had several different waiters during the week. This is going to force me to start tipping waiters at the time of service instead of at the end of the week. I have been doing this for years with the bar service. Time to print many more $2.00 bills for future travel.
The fact that Cats is shorter is a good thing, but I only found a few musical numbers recognizable. If there was a story being told in this version, I missed it. Conclusion. Not a winner.
Before heading to the cabin to pack we take in another Ice show. Gppd as always.
The luggage is in the hallway by 9:00, the alarm set for 6:30.
We arise before the alarm goes off and make a last minute decision to head to the buffet. This is tough as I had [lanned to not set foot in the buffet this entire week. Absolutely packed at 6:15 AM. Eventually two seats to be shared with another couple are found. The pastry was stale, the ice water cold. My expectations were low.
We soon head to the meeting place for wheel chair assist departure. After a brief wait I am within the first dozen passengers with assistance to head to the gangway. It is a long walk to the baggage claim room. Thousands of suitcases for as far as the eye can see.
Both of ours are spotted, porters are abundant. We are on our way again. Probably only the second time in a week that Lynn is able to walk at her normal pace instead of needing to walk slow for me. Mere seconds to pass facial recognition for reentry, then whisked up to the 5th floor of the garage. This whole process only takes only about 15 minutes.
I exit the garage and am welcomed back to Miami. The signs lead me to be heading the wrong way on an exit ramp. Fortunately no traffice here. Get to the right road and then another misplaced sign takes me into another garage instead of the tunnel entrance I am looking for. The clerk collecting payment to let me out of the garage sees it all day long.
Exiting the tunnel there is lots of construction. The road is flooded to a depth of about 5 or 6 inches. I have no choice, I slowly creep across to the other side. I make it.
Once on the Florida Turnpike it is nonstop back to Clermont, stopping for gas only once about 5 miles from home. Traffic moves well despite the sometimes very heavy rain.
Laundry is washed and everything is promptly put away until our next trip in less than 4 weeks.