bunt sign

Saturday, November 15, 2003

2:50 pm. Befitting our last day at sea, today has been windy and chilly. Very few people are sitting around the outdoor pool, which makes the indoor areas of the ship seem that much more crowded. It's still mostly sunny out, with a few clouds off and on. I can only imagine how cold it would be if not for the sun.

As I look out our stateroom window and see whitecaps and eight-foot swells, it amazes me how smooth our voyage actually feels. I haven't felt the least twinge of seasickness, although I sort of dread the feeling I'll have setting foot on dry land again. I expect it to take a little while to get my land legs.

This has been a low-key day so far. I spent some time reading in my favorite lounge on deck 11, overlooking the world. I did a little shopping and bought some of the formal photographs. I bought a picture of Mom that she didn't like, and she bought a picture of me that I didn't like. Right now I'm simply digesting another big lunch. With luck I won't be tempted to eat again until dinner at 8:30 tonight.

I am packed, though, which is a very big deal and the main objective of the day. It's kind of sad but also kind of okay. Our bags will be picked up some time after 11:00 tonight, and we have to be completely out of our rooms and in our waiting areas by 8:00 tomorrow morning. I'm not really looking forward to getting up that early on my last day of vacation.

The ocean is impressive and daunting on a day like this. It moves in a way that suggests it's a living thing — which in a way I suppose it is. You can see it breathe heavily, as if exerting its mighty power is taking everything it has to give. And it goes on forever, every mile of it sighing and panting.

Off in the distance is another cruise ship, which must be huge because it appears to be straddling the horizon, and yet I can make out some of the details. It looks as if it could make a right turn and immediately plummet off the edge of the world. But at the same time the ocean seems to be saying that there is no end, no edge, no limits.

Is that hopeful, or just frightening? I don't even know.

11 November 2003

Our ship, seen through the marina at Cabo San Lucas.

11:00 pm. The farewell show was followed by the farewell dinner (with hugs from our waiters). This day brings us the last cocktail and the last pillow mint. I'm missing the farewell karaoke to try to get some sleep, although I'll probably miss the farewell breakfast at 6:30 am. I will be ready for departure by 8:00 am, though, followed by the long drive home. It makes me tired just thinking about it.

I'm okay about getting home, but I'll miss this life, the food and drink, the classy atmosphere, the fun and excitement. I'll also miss these people. I've made some new friends, and I've even bonded with some of the crew. (Well, I felt it, even if they didn't.) I was in the middle of something rare and wonderful, and I hope to do it again some time. It's been a lovely cruise.

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