Today is the final day of our Grand World Cruise and it has exceeded all my expectations. We will be continuing on thru the Panama Canal and disembark in our home town of San Diego. We have 16 days to decompress as we enjoy what used to be a long cruise, but now seems quite short.
The Grand World Cruise is one of the handful of Grand Voyages that HAL offers every year. Others are the Grand Asia, Grand South America and Grand Mediterranean. We have learned that these Grand Voyages are truly special and are a step above the normally high standards on any HAL cruise. To use an airline analogy, think of a normal cruise as being in Business Class and a Grand Voyage being in First Class. Grand Voyages have better food, more enrichment activities, more lecturers, more and better parties, better entertainment, better room service and on and on.
I like to think of a World Cruise as a blank canvas on which you, with the assistance of HAL, will create a beautiful picture of adventures and memories. A world cruise has many elements to help you create your picture. There is the wonderful food, other passengers, great entertainment, enrichment activities, mindless fun and games, Bridge, a great casino, and specialty restaurants. How you mix and match this wonderful palette of activities to create your world cruise memories is up to you. More on this later.
This morning was the Walk for the Cure on the Promenade Deck. There were about 75-100 people taking part at one point or another. The weather was perfect, calm seas – a beautiful day. Most people were strolling but there were a few power walkers and everyone was smiling as they enjoyed the beautiful morning.
As I returned to my cabin after the Walk for the Cure, I noticed the first wave of suitcases in the hallway. They would be a constant presence all day as everyone, except 33 of us, was busy spending most of their morning packing.
Island Magic performed a matinee show this afternoon and once again they astounded the audience with their great music and great smiles. It’s always fun to watch entertainers who obviously enjoy what they are doing.
The final show of the cruise featured all of the HAL entertainers, with the singers in the production show, Debby Bacon from the Piano Bar, Adagio from the Explorers Lounge, The Neptunes from the Ocean Bar and Oasis from the Crow’s nest. The Queens lounge was about 80% full. The show was outstanding and they received a well-deserved, enthusiastic standing ovation.
Our final dinner was another hit with a wide variety of choices. Our favorite dessert, The Cappuccino Bomb, was on the menu and most of us ordered one. After dinner, we all posed for one final picture and bid farewell with a final series of hugs and vows that table 52 will return for the 2018 World Cruise. Our time at dinner was always something we looked forward to each day. We were very fortunate to have a table of like-minded people who all got alone very well.
After dinner we stopped by the Casino and played a final round of Black Jack and Texas Hold’em. The regulars in the casino all became fast friends and after our final Hold’em game there was another round of hugs as we all bid farewell.
Our Tablemate, Susan, was a Crow’s Nest regular so we stopped by to see her and check out the late night action. We joined a handful of people sitting around the bar reminiscing about our past four months when Show Host Erin stopped by and asked if we had any request for the final song tonight and what would also be the final song of the cruise. We asked if she had In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida by Iron Butterfly. She queued up the song and the familiar opening soon filled the room and Judy and I took to the dance floor for our world cruise farewell dance to this 60’s classic! Oh what a day.This entry was posted in Uncategorized