Thursday, December 19, 2013

Cruise Review Day 9 - Fun Day At Sea

Our Last Day, a day at sea, was scheduled to begin with breakfast in buffet, and then the "Behind the Fun" tour. We headed to grab a quick breakfast, and after eating, I headed up with B to Camp Carnival to drop him off.

The Behind the Fun tour is a 4ish hour tour of the ship.. but not the passenger space, no, its of the crew space and all the inner workings. Kids B's age (I think under 12) are not allowed, hence why I was taking him to Camp Carnival.

Here was the biggest hiccup of the entire trip... in an example of brilliantly stupid scheduling, the Behind the Fun tour started at 9am, and Camp Carnival didn't open till 10am! My wife was BEYOND upset... This day was our actual 10th anniversary and she wanted to spend all day with me. I offered to stay with the boy so she could go, and that was not acceptable.

In tears, she stormed down to the Shore Excursion desk. They apologized and began to work to solve the problem. It turns out there were 2 tours, one at 9am and one at 9:30. They offered to move us to the 9:30 as 2 people showed up early and could do the 9am. They also offered to have them come get me after I got Bryan to Camp Carnival. Both the Shore Excursion staff, and the Camp Carnival staff told us to make sure to mention this in our survey, and that it needed to be communicated somehow to the Cruise Director in order to get this fixed.. that it was an ongoing problem with Adult Only Events and closed Camp Carnival.

So, shortly before the 9:30 tour left, I went down with B and got my access pass, and gathered the number to call to catch up, then went back to the cabin to wait.
At 10 am I dropped B off and took the elevator down to deck 1 and called the number I was given. Shortly thereafter the tour guide appeared and took me down into the bowels of the ship to meet the group. I missed the Galley, but that was it.

In case your curious, this was the pass they gave us:

We had to give it back at the end, but we did get a drawstring bag, a ball cap, a lanyard, and a bar of soap carved by the steakhouse chef.

The tour was fantastic!! We saw the garbage disposal area, engine control room, the Galley (at least the wife did), Crew Lounge, Crew Cafeterias, the Training Center, Crew Cabins, Behind Stage in the theater, and the steakhouse kitchen. However, the highlight of the tour for me was getting to go up on the Bridge. We were escorted up there and greeted by the Captain. After some pictures were taken, he showed us around the bridge, and in particular gave us a run down of how stuff worked on the fly bridge that sticks out on the side of the ship. It was an AMAZING view ahead of us, and the equipment was very very interesting.

The end of the tour was in the Steakhouse, and we were provided complementary Champagne and a little snack, and had a chance to provide feedback. It was a great tour!

After the tour, we grabbed lunch (one last stab at the Indian Tandoor!) and hit the chocolate buffet. The afternoon was uneventful with time spent napping and relaxing on the ship, savoring our last minutes. One thing we did do was gather the final clues for the Murder Mystery and turned in our sheet.

Dinner time came and we headed to the dining room for our last dinner on board. I know tipping is an oft-discussed topic, and we handle it by not only keeping the tips added to the sign and sail, but we also give some cash to those who deserve it. We personally delivered that money to each of our 3 wait staff for their OUTSTANDING work. Jose, our head water, kept saying that the worst thing about being a waiter on the ship is that just as you get to know someone, they leave.

B headed to Camp Carnival after dinner, and got signed in for the after-10 babysitting as we wanted to go to the final show and pack our bags and do some shopping.

My wife and her friend headed to the shops and I ran to start doing the initial packing, I got it about 90% done and headed down to make sure they weren't spending all our money... realized we left something in the room and ran back up to be greeted by this on the bed:

You have never seen a 35 year old man more happy about a cheap piece of plastic!! I GOT A SHIP ON A STICK!!!! And, its happily displayed on our mantle in the living room!!

The show that evening was great, we got everything packed and set out for luggage pick up. We took a few moments without the little one to honor our anniversary, and then went and picked up our little bundle from Camp Carnival.

The entire week B had not slept at Camp at all. He's the kinda kid that when presented with something to do, he will go go go and not stop. Heck, even gained a reputation for helping clean up when the other kids moved on. Well, but the time we got to pick him up, it was after midnight, and he was curled up under a blanket FAST asleep. He was WORE OUT!! We turned in our phone, said bye to the staff and headed back to the room, with a last stop at the ice cream machine.

B went right back to sleep, and the Wife and I sat out on the balcony and finished our icecream and enjoyed the AMAZING full moon sparkle over the water. Shortly after, we climbed in to bed and off to sleep for the last time in our little slice of heaven.

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