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June 12, 2010 / ebretzel

All Aboard!

We had one entire day left on the ship as we sailed from Aruba back to Puerto Rico. The lounge chairs by the pools were all claimed at the crack of dawn as the cruisers were settling in for a full day of tanning. Ryan and I had already had our fair share of sun the past five days and were not at all disappointed to find two chairs next to the ping pong tables which were obscured from the sun by a wall. It was relaxing to lay there in the shade reading my mystery novel with a cool ocean breeze and the gentle sway of the ship.

Eventually I realized I had dozed off and was getting hungry so we left our chairs in search of some sustenance. We decided on the all-you-can-eat hamburger/fries and pizza bar which is included in the cost of the cruise. We also get unlimited water, lemonade and iced tea which are served directly to you by servers (mostly Filipino) wearing bright green Hawaiian shirts. Ryan ordered himself a bucket of Dos Equis, which came with a souvenir t-shirt. Woo hoo!

A little later on in the afternoon they had an ice carving demonstration on the deck. These 2 guys carved a swan and a dolphin in about 25 minutes with chisels. Both were from the Phillipines. They learn first to carve wood when they are very young, then move on to carving fruit – like we saw on Hawaiian night – and eventually graduate to ice. The ice will last for 7 hours before it’s completely melted. Since we had nothing better to do we went on the galley tour next. Everything was made out of stainless steel, and they have 6 guys whose entire jobs consist of polishing silverware! I was also astonished at the length of time the head chefs had been employed on the cruise line. One had been working there for over 30 years! So he’s been basically living on the ship his entire life!

We had a nice long nap before dinner. Tonight’s final theme was “American.” It was absolutely hilarious. All of the waiters were wearing stars and stripes vests, cummerbunds and/or bow ties. Our menu options were thanksgiving turkey, meatloaf, cranberry sauce, etc. and for dessert, Baked Alaska. If you have never heard of Baked Alaska before (I haven’t) it’s like a giant mound of neapolitan ice cream covered in meringue and topped with a candle. I guess it’s a cruise ship tradition. Anyway, at the end of the meal they turned down the lights, put the Macarena over the speakers and all of the servers brought the Baked Alaska out in a big, Baked Alaska parade. It was one of the funniest, strangest things I have ever seen! My favorite was the one server who really got into the song and danced while he presented the dessert.

Our dinner crew: Joesceline, Marilyn, Colin, Michael, Michelle, Ryan, Emily, Amanda. And in the back Daniel and Alvin.

We said our final goodbyes to our tablemates and servers since it was our last night on the ship. I’m so glad we were stuck with a nice, friendly bunch. It was hard to come back home and start fending for ourselves at dinner again!  For our farewell we went up to the nightclub on the highest deck of the ship – deck 18. The nightclub is kind of like a pod that hangs out over the ocean so we could see the dark water gushing past below us. There were not many people in there so we requested as much ninety’s rap as we could and then sat back to watch people dance.

Back to Puerto Rico

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