adventures abroad, travel

December 17: At Sea (Last Day Onboard the Ruby Princess)

The morning starts well.

Lester has made sure my coffee is strong enough to be coffee, and not the colorful water they brought earlier in the trip. The bacon is cooked perfectly. And he offers to come by tomorrow to say goodbye (even though I tipped him this morning, just to make sure I didn’t miss him). I don’t plan to order coffee in tomorrow, so this is my moment.

It’s cloudy out on deck, so it’s not so terribly hot when I do my morning mile, and I come back for my shower in time to attend the next-to-last Effy event.

I’ve attended easily 45 raffles on this ship and haven’t won so much as a door prize. But I’m in the Princess Prizes draw today, and the only thing I’ve won so far has been entires into that drawing. Either that’s where I’ll find all my luck, or I’ll continue to have none.

Spoiler: it is the latter.

In fact, I sit near 4 other couples who are comparing notes. Between them, 4 people have won cash prizes from their doorpad, two of them for $250 each. And they have each won more than twice as many entries into today’s big prize drawing as I have.

Note: they’re not that happy by the way because there’s not a free cruise drawing, or a $100k draw.

Of the 5-6 people who do win prizes in total (a few for 25, one for 50, one for 100, one for the 5000 grand prize) — three of them are among this group of couples. Including the grand prize $5000 winner.

I wish I could say that was fun, at least, but it really wasn’t, once I realized not only had I never won a “prize” (onboard credit, spa visit, etc) I hadn’t even won as many entries into the contest as other people had, even though I was in and out of my cabin multiple times every day, on my way to anything (which is how you play, after you pay to participate at all).

So that won’t be something I ever do again.

But it’s still been a nice trip, and one I don’t regret experiencing.

Still: final day, jobs to do. I wrap up some more of the clothes that have to be packed, until I’m down to the last of it for tonight and the morning.

I close out my casino account; I’ve have no luck there either, though that’s standard and not unexpected— still it’s nice to cash out and put money in my pocket, even if it IS just my own money I’d put on the account.

I go up to sit on deck and watch a movie, but they’re broadcasting football instead. And it’s my local team!

Unfortunately, I do not give a rat’s furry backside about football.

But there’s another section of deck, and the sun is shining, and a cool breeze keeps the day from being hot. We are in the Gulf of Mexico now. The breeze is strong and sometimes almost borders on brisk.

We are approaching winter once again. It’s in the 50’s in Galveston today, and in the 30s’s at home, with both forecast to drop in the days ahead, and a massive holiday storm due to hit across the country for the holidays. It will be a rude awakening. I’ve been dreading having to put all all the layers tomorrow, but I think I’ll be happy about it, when it comes down to it.

They close the promenade deck exits – since I feel less than 100% I assume that’s because it’s rough. I hope it’s just because deck 7 is likely to get splashed because I still want to go walk on the upper decks this evening. With my fleece on, most likely.

Symphonee is rocking the piazza tonight!

After dinner I dress casually, try to check into my flight (forgetting we’re on the wrong time zone), and actually, finally win an Effy drawing for a complete charm bracelet (there were only 4 of us in the room; odds were much better than usual). That makes a total of 5 of the bracelets I collected for this trip (the remainder by showing up at ALL the events). I think I’m going to make them, along with those I collected on my previous cruises, into a garland on the travel tree.

Speaking of which, Mike and Tina from the table next to me at dinner bring me an ornament she made and the most lovely note. I will miss seeing them every day, when I get home.

Plus I get their address, so I will send them a Christmas card when I get back. Because that’s a task I still have ahead of me.

Having run all the errands, I do make it up to the top deck to stroll. It doesn’t feel as bumpy, but it is a fierce wind. I’m thankful for my fleece (and my mom, who gave it to me).

Time to head inside and get myself wrapped up for the night. I manage to crush my reading glasses, fighting the sensor lights while packing. Thank God I packed an extra pair.

(During which a medical emergency is called to the incinerator room, deck 3. That they are not calling for fire response is good. That they need medical assistance is bad. I hope whoever it is, is and will be okay. And the Captain comes on, twice, confirming that (first) there has been reports of smoke they had to investigate, but (second) upon investigation all is well. So that is good news.)

And then: Packing complete.

Tomorrow’s a travel day.


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