Southampton, UK, at Sea

Today was a bittersweet day. It was the last day on the Pacific Princess before we go to the airport and fly back to the United States. I really didn’t do anything of interest today, we both woke up late, though I did have really strange dreams last night, and had our usual hot chocolate and apple juice, and then I showered and went up the Chef Extravaganza Lunch Buffet.

The lunch buffet didn’t seem that special? I mean there was a HUGE dessert table, but unfortunately due to my nut allergy, I couldn’t even partake in the dessert extravaganza.  The only thing that the person, who was working there, knew for sure didn’t have nuts in it was the black forest cake. The black forest cake was delicious, but Nelson broke my heart when he told me that the cannolis had nuts in them. I love cannolis. There was also a shrimp fountain, which was basically three layers of shrimp, and a bunch of fancy dishes that had names I couldn’t pronounce. They did have fresh mozzarella, pesto, and tomato sandwiches though, and that’s one of my all time favorite sandwiches, so I did enjoy that.  It was pleasant out, so I sat outside on the balcony, and read “The Andromeda Strain” while staring at oil rigs in the North Sea, and drinking decaf coffee and Arnold Palmer’s.

After lunch, I went back to the room, and it was packing time. Packing wasn’t that bad. Since we had a whole separate bag for our dirty clothes, I had plenty of room in my suitcases for the souvenirs and things I had gotten on the cruise. The only thing I didn’t pack was my electronics in my carryon bag because most of them need to charge before tomorrow.  After packing, because I’m a complete dork, I decorated all the envelopes with the tips for our waiters and steward with gel pens. Bernardo got balloons, Nelson got flowers, Martin got a butterfly and turtle, and Vesko got rainbows. I had to stick to what I knew I could draw, which isn’t much.  Then I spent the remainder of the time until dinner reading on my kindle, until it ran out of batteries :/ and playing Fire Emblem Fates on my 3ds.

Dinner was bittersweet. It was our last meal eating with Pierre and Martine, but it was also our last meal being served by Vesko and Martin. I guess because this ship is so small. I think it only had a total of 600 something passengers, the staff really feels like family. They know us by name, they know what we like to drink, and Martin and Vesko are just so funny. They remind me of brothers. For my last meal, I had a fruit plate [and I will miss my melon plates], meatloaf with corn and mashed potatoes, and then for desert was Baked Alaska.

I gave Martin and Vesko their envelopes with their tips in it. Vesko was apparently very jealous of Martin’s turtle, so I promised him I’d draw him a turtle when I got back to the room and I’d give it to him at breakfast. Nelson really liked the flowers I drew, and told me he’d keep the envelope because he really liked it.

Anyhow, apparently on the last day of cruise, there’s this tradition called the Baked Alaska parade. The entire junior wait staff [which is what Vesko is] parade around the room holding plastic Baked Alaskas with electric candles in it, and the kitchen staff also parade around the room to very cheesy Italian music. They asked everyone to swing their napkins and cheer, and then they make a loop or two around the room. This is why we tip wait staff well… because of all the embarrassing things they’re forced to do. After the parade, the head waiters give a speech, and the chef takes a bow, and they play all sorts of cheesy ass sad music like “You’ve got a Friend” by James Taylor. We also had one of the chefs sing to us. She sang “Total Eclipse of the Heart.” She was pretty good. The waiter at the section next to ours, Romeo, is always singing at meals, so he was also singing along with all the songs that were being played. And Nelson seemed to be having way to much fun with the electric candles, and he was swinging them up and down.

Baked Alaska was delicious, by the way. It was a three layer ice cream cake with chocolate ice cream, strawberry ice cream, and vanilla ice cream, surrounded by marshmallows that had been lit on fire and toasted… OMG, it was soooo freaking good, and totally worth the two week long wait. I had been looking forward to Baked Alaska since Day One of the cruise.

After we ate, we said goodbye to Vesko, Martin, and Nelson, and hugged goodbye and stuff. It was sad. They’ve really become sort of like family. I’ll miss telling Nelson what I want for dinner every single night. I’ll miss Vesko bringing me both my Shirley Temple with extra cherries and Iced Tea, and my decaf tea with milk, at the end of every meal. I’ll miss Vesko calling me “Bella.” I’ll miss Martin’s sense of humor, and him and Vesko joking around with each other. Those three guys have totally become like family on this cruise, and they played a huge part in making the cruise as enjoyable as it was for me. Every meal time was just a blast and so much fun, and I really will miss that.

After saying goodbye and exchanging information with Pierre and Martine, who were really fun to have at our tables at meals, we went back to the cabin, and had to quickly put all our luggage outside in the hallway for disembarkation tomorrow. Then I colored Vesko a picture with turtles on it [and starfish, fish, and snails because I had a lot of room on the paper] and that was that.

It’s going to be weird being in my own bed tomorrow, without feeling the gentle swell of the ocean [or the violent shaking depending on what part of the ocean we were in] or looking out the window and being surrounded by water on all sides. I’ll be happy to have my cell phone and internet back, and cable TV since I think I’ve seen every single program on Princess Television, at least three times, and the Love Boat repeats that were playing have made me want to actually watch the entire series. But overall, I really loved the cruise. It was AMAZING to see Iceland and Scotland. I had a blast with our wait staff. I’m happy this was a small cruise because everyone on it really felt like family. Granted, the weather was cold so I didn’t get to swim or anything like that, but I’ve enjoyed the peacefulness of just sitting and reading, and it’s been really relaxing. The cruise was an awesome time, and I’m very happy and grateful that my mom took me on it.

That concludes the last real day of the cruise. Tomorrow, we get to wake up early, disembark, and head to Heathrow Airport to go home. I’ll probably update this travel blog, one last time, to talk about the flight home and things like that. But this was it. And was an amazing trip it’s been.

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