Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Crazy busy relaxing! Sunday, June 15th - Sea Day!

Today was a mixture of relaxation and yet somehow busy, if that somehow makes sense! We slept in just a bit. Maybe until 8:00 or so! Alex didn’t get in until super late again, so I didn’t sleep well until he was safe and sound in his cabin.

Anyway, Keith and I went to the buffet today, just the two of us and had a nice breakfast together. Somehow when it’s just us it’s not nearly as hectic as when all 6 of us or even 4 of us are there! When we got back we woke the kids up and tried to convince them to not waste the last day sleeping and watching tv. 

I decided I wanted to do the Walk for Wishes, which is a charity walk for the Make a Wish foundation that Royal Caribbean sponsors. You donate $10 and get a t-shirt to wear while you walk. Then you meet at 10:30, I believe it was, and the whole group walks around the track until you walk 1 mile. The money is donated to the Make a Wish foundation so that terminally ill children can have their wishes granted. Some kid’s with wishes to be on that ship were there on this cruise. It’s a very heartwarming thing to do. The ship officers and captain participate in the walk. Mimi and I did the walk, five times around the track. When we were done they took a group picture, which I have no idea where that went – I would have thought you’d get one since they have your Sea Pass from when you bought the t-shirt – but it wasn’t with our pictures. Oh well! But we were told that just in that walk that morning they raised over $2000!

It was an incredibly windy morning out on the deck. I planned to go sit out with Keith but it was too much like being in a wind tunnel. He stuck it out though. He was determined to make use of this day of relaxation!

Meanwhile I took Alex to the teen speed rock walk competition. He didn’t have high hopes. He figured there were much faster teens. The older guys had to be faster than he was. They got everyone signed in and each teen was timed individually with stop watches. There were boys and girls. Turns out – Alex came in FIRST place for the boys! He was shocked. So were some of the older teens who thoroughly expected to win! There were about 10 boys in all. However, overall the fastest speed was by a girl. I had to smile. It was a lot of fun to watch and Alex got a medal.

Do I have a picture of him with his medal?  Of course not!!!  

Meanwhile Megan finally had the chance to ice skate. We had time and it was finally free skating! My parents took her down to get the skates and Alex and I met them down there. She was doing great!

Ice skating can be challenging enough, but on a moving ship? People were going down fast. Helmets are mandatory here. One woman fell and hit her head hard – she had to be carried off the ice. I had some fears, as a mom, watching Megan skate, but she seemed to be skating pretty cautiously and she was doing well. I can see though how someone could take a nasty fall. I’d hate for her to get hurt, let alone with 2 weeks of vacation still to go!

I have to say I was just a bit relieved when she had her fill of skating for the day!

My dad tried to skate and it turns out skating is not like riding a bike after all…he used to skate a lot as a kid and even as a younger adult. But he just couldn’t do it at all now. And as I said about Megan, we were ALL relieved when he came off the ice. We certainly didn’t need him getting hurt at this point in the trip! I think a fall for a 68 year old man would be much worse than an 11 year old girl! Whew~!

After lunch the wind calmed down a bit and I was able to sit out and read a bit. When it got to be too much, Keith and I went to the Solarium, which is the adults only area, and enjoyed the hot tub. This was definitely a perfect day. Time earlier with the kids, time in the sun. Time with Keith. Being on the open sea and watching the scenery just go by. We went through the Straight of Messina. Passed Mt Etna again. And this time saw the beautiful Stromboli Volcano. 

However, this cruise was coming to an end, so I knew I had to go back to our cabin and pack. We were doing self debark or is it disembarkation? I’m never sure. So I didn’t have to get our luggage out that night. But I wanted to be done before dinner. Off I went to tackle that mess. 

We enjoyed our last night in the Main Dining Room, and as I mentioned before, even with My Time Dining, we had the same waitstaff every night and the same table. They were fantastic and got to know us and our likes well. Every night I had an iced tea brought to me without asking. Alex had his 2 steaks brought to him. They knew our names. The service was fabulous.

After dinner, we went to the arcade a bit as a family. That was fun!

And then we had our usual routines – Alex to the teen club for their final night together. Keith back to the cabin to watch the same old thing on the tv, and my parents, Megan and I went to see the final show. It was pretty good. A physical comedy type show and then the staff cheers.

After the show Megan and I went to the Circus Parade. It was definitely a silly type thing that you couldn’t help but smile while watching. It was a fun atmosphere. Somehow in the crowd we met up with Alex and walked back to the cabins together. 

It was our last night on board the Navigator and tomorrow we’d be the beginning of a whole different adventure…our land journey.  We're officially becoming "Independent European Travelers"!! We’re taking a train to Venice! Look out - here we come!

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