SATURDAY, AUGUST 18 -- Day at Sea
We slept in some today, but eventually headed to the dining room for breakfast. Upon coming up the stairs from our cabin, we saw these towel animals leading into the Taj Mahal.
VIEW FROM OUR BREAKFAST TABLE
After breakfast, we decided to pack our suitcases. Not because we were in a hurry for vacation to end, but because we wanted to do some shuffling between bags to see if we could get everything down into what we could carry off. It was fairly quick. We left out clothes for dinner that night and to drive home the next day. Then we met up for General Knowledge trivia (and another WIN!). We didn't do so well at board game trivia (which was a bummer, since we play a lot of board games), but then we were again on the winning team for Trivial Pursuit. We had to change seats between trivia and Trivial Pursuit, because it started to rain heavily outside and the window was leaking! Fluffy called for service, but no one came while we were there.
MAKING GOOD ON MY CHEERS PACKAGE
TRIVIAL PURSUIT BEFORE
TRIVIAL PURSUIT AFTER
WATER RUNNING DOWN THE *INSIDE* OF THE WINDOW
Emily and I went to the final art auction to check it out and try to win prizes. I'd never attended a cruise art auction before and found it quite interesting. I bought a sericel for my husband's birthday. I kept checking eBay constantly throughout to check to see if the cruise auction offerings were good deals. Many were. Some weren't. They had many different ways of selling the art, which kept it interesting. We didn't stay all the way until then end. We were there about an hour and a half. I had to go later that night to the gallery to finalize my purchase and give them shipping information. The art arrived at our house about a week ago in packaging that was seriously overkill for the size of what I bought.
Guy's Burgers again for lunch. It was pretty empty all day on the Lido deck due to the rain. Then we headed back to the pub for some board games. Our local community theatre performed Mamma Mia this summer, so we may have noticed it more than we otherwise would have, but we did hear a lot of ABBA in the Red Frog Pub. We like it, but we had to laugh because we always heard ABBA if we were in there for more than a few minutes at a time.
The it was time for Game of Thrones trivia. We missed only one, but two people had perfect scores, so we weren't contenders. We had a lovely final dinner in the dining room. I was just worn out, so I didn't stay for dessert, but went back to the cabin for a nap. It didn't occur to me that I'd miss saying good-bye to our wonderful servers, and I feel bad about that.
We wound up back in the piano bar on our usual stools, and then few of us regulars followed Mike downstairs to the Pub where he performed with the "Frog Fest" music festival. He sang with the CocoNotes. He was a great performer and appreciated us for being such great piano bar supporters. He came over and sang with us on mic as he worked the room. And he came over and personally thanked us for being such fun all week. He said that our enthusiasm was a big part of the fun that week. I joked, "Well, any time Carnival wants to give us a free cruise, we will come back and drum up business in the piano bar." He then said that Holland America pays "patrons" to do just that -- cruise their ships and have a great time getting everyone involved and that it keeps people drinking longer and having a better experience all around. If this is real, sign me up!
USING MAGNETIC HOOKS TO GET MY FAN TO KEEP BLOWING ON ME ALL NIGHT
SUNDAY, AUGUST 18 -- Debarkation
We packed our final items and had a quick Lido deck breakfast. We had FTTF info directing us to the Red Frog Pub by 9:15. We were there around 8:40am and it was already crowded. We got a table and the guys had one last game of shuffleboard. They called us at 9:08am and it was so easy to disembark. I wasn't eager for the cruise to be over, but I hate when travel and complications cause stress at the end of a relaxing vacation. This was completely stress-free. The line snaked through to the lobby, our S&S cards were scanned one more time and we wheeled our luggage down the ramp. Once in the terminal, our passports were checked. We were in the car and pulling out at 9:34am.
It was a wonderful vacation and I can't cruise with Carnival again (they sent our S&S balance on a gift card, so I will have to find something!). We are sailing on Royal Caribbean for the first time next August out of Bayonne.
Thank you for everyone who followed along and for all the kind comments!
QUICK PIC WITH FLUFFY BEFORE LEAVING. SHE LOVED MATTHEW AND REMEMBERED HIM THROUGHOUT THE WEEK.
GOOD-BYE FOR NOW, PRIDE!