First thing, after getting some last-minute buffet breakfast at the Windjammer Cafe of course, we finally had a chance to check out the Flowrider, the mini golf and the rock climbing wall. I mean, seriously! On a ship.
|It looked like this on every side as far as you could see. It was a little unnerving but also really awesome.|
|Jeff went first. He biffed it the first try, so they let him go again, and he did just great.|
|Elise had a great turn too.|
|But mine was the best! Just kidding. But maybe it was, I don't know because I was concentrating on not drowning or falling overboard.|
|We three! Julie opted out of this one.|
|Just a view of some of the funtivities.|
|A little golfing. The listing of the ship made for some interesting strategy, but we never really worried the balls would fly into the ocean (though I'm sure some have in the past). I can't remember who won, but I'm pretty sure I came in 4th.|
|Then (after a little ping-pong, which also proved pretty tricky) it was time to get climbing!|
|All ready to go! Julie wasn't feeling especially prepared for this activity, so she decided to be the photog.|
|Jeff went first. He was so fast!|
|Then Elise was up.|
|Ring the bell!|
|Almost my turn!|
|Oh yeah! Bum shot. But be glad because Julie did take an amusing close-up, which I will spare you the sight of. Look at Elise in the background!|
|Coming down. There were some really loose footholds, which gave me a heart attack or two.|
|*poses* Would you believe I didn't even take a second to look out at the ocean from this height?? Crazy. But I was concentrating on not falling.|
|Then we split up and the two of us hit the pool, since we hadn't had a chance to go swimming properly yet.|
|It was SOOOO cold.|
|But it wasn't so cold that we could refuse free self-serve soft-serve ice cream after we dried off a little.|
|Le hot tub. It was so big and neat, and there was one on each side of the ship.|
For the rest of the night we relaxed and had our last dinner and did our packing and tried to get to bed relatively early so we could get up in plenty of time to disembark and make our flight. There were a lot of other neat things that we did during our evenings and days on board. We saw a few shows, one that was a really neat Cirque de Soleil type acrobatics show (which was pretty amazing), one that was an amusingly condensed version of the Saturday Night Fever stage musical (which we had to finish on another day, since something happened to the star at some point which prevented him from going on with the show), and even an ice skating show which featured cultural performances from many different countries (ending with the "pinnacle of all entertainment, Las VEGAS!!!"). We didn't get a chance to actually go ice skating, but it was cool to see so much live entertainment, and amazing that these people can sing and dance and acrobatize and ice skate on a moving vessel. We also made great use of the free room service, and enjoyed SO much fancy and delicious food, and listened to some live music, and did the daily Sudoku and crossword puzzles which we picked up in the ship's library, played shuffleboard occasionally, sent each other greetings for the cheesy Cruise Director and Activities Director to read on the morning show, posed for all the dorky pictures they take and expect you to pay an exorbitant fee for, and watched a lot of bits here and there of DreamWorks movies and/or E! True Hollywood Stories that were constantly playing on the TV, and in general tried to absorb everything that the ship had to offer while we still could. There were a few interesting sales as the days went on, Elise and Jeff tried Johnny Rockets on board, and I went running a few times on the jogging track (without realizing, as I put on my GPS watch, that I was actually on a huge moving object, which altered greatly my pace... Yeah, I wasn't really running 2-minute miles). But easily one of the highlights of cruise living was on the very first day seeing Jeff's expression when he realized that the buffet was entirely free all day long. I don't know what he expected, or why he expected otherwise, but he was absolutely amazed, and that was a real treat for us all.
And I shall take this moment to say that Elise and Jeff were SUCH fun traveling companions, and their contributions were invaluable! We would have been completely lost without Jeff's dossier and navigational skills (I guess we would have found our way, but it was so nice that he had done SO much research and visited forums and printed maps and tips and everything), and Elise took a lot of great pictures and copious notes about our daily activities for posterity. Not to mention the fact that they were the ones who initiated this wild and crazy idea in the first place, and did a lot of footwork to figure out the deal and talk to the travel agent to sort everything out! They missed their Penny greatly, but she had a great week with her grandma, and hadn't forgotten her parents by the time they came home. It was so awesome to have another Drili adventure after all these years, and this time with our beloved respective spouses.
And then, the next morning, after leaving our bags out the night before and finding them gone when we emerged, we disembarked without much ceremony, were piled into a taxi in Barcelona, shuttled off to the airport, where we had plenty of time to sit and wait for our flight back to London, which of course called for another photo shoot.
But London was so exciting! We so wished, like we did on the way (though we had no chance then, we barely made it to our connecting flight to Barcelona on the way there... grumblegrumble security) that we had an extra hour or two to just take the Tube into the city and just say hello or something. As it was, we had to settle for seeing England from the airport as best as we could. *sigh* We will return for a real visit one day.
|London!!! Sort of.|
So, it was fun.
Then we were in airplanes for what seemed like an eternity and carried our suitcases all over the Subway and streets of New York for another eternity and were SO tired and ill and crabby after traveling all night (which was not quite as fun) that by the time we arrived at our (pretty fancy!) hotel we were just pooped and ready to go to sleep... which we did... and then we woke up and had a precious few hours in New York City!!! Stand by for the grand conclusion of this magnificent adventure.
(P.S. It was during the writing of this blogpost that I realized that I have reached my quota of photo space on the old blog here... And it only took four-plus years!!! That is really something, considering all those Disneyland and Walt Disney World and London and etc. picture-heavy posts... Luckily I have learned that if the photos are sized small enough they don't count toward your quota, which I have done starting now. They almost tricked me into paying a monthly fee! No, thank you.)