Here we are on that dreaded of all cruise days – The Last Day. It is only too well-known what happens tomorrow yet begins today.
Today is sale day on the ship. If you haven’t quite spent enough both on-shore and on-board, you have one last chance to part with any leftover money. Ship items are certainly reduced in price which, I suppose, brings them to a more palatable price point. Liquor on the other hand, which is only available in the ‘duty free’ sales corner, doesn’t go on sale. Apparently it is already as low as it can go. What has become more apparent over the years though is that ‘duty free’ does NOT mean ‘profit free’.
One part of our cruise that I had not taken advantage of was watching the Corning Museum of Glass exhibition on deck 15. Today had to be the day to do so. There are 3 ladies there, all of whom are professional glass blowers, doing demonstrations and explanations of what they do. They have all the tools complete with 3 ovens – one melting, one re-heating (both at 2100 degrees F) and one annealing (at around 900 degrees F). Using all 3, a variety of rods (for blowing through and just for handling), leather gloves, pincers (of various shapes and sizes) they work absolute marvels of molten silica, soda ash and limestone (along with many metallic compounds to give the different colorations). The finished, yet still incredibly hot, product is then placed into the annealing oven for a protracted time to ensure slow, even cooling. The 3 items they did while I was there (a banana complete with skin peeled back, a pineapple and a bacon cheeseburger with lettuce, pickles, red onion, and tomatoes all on a sesame seed bun!) were placed in that oven. This process will, unfortunately, take the better part of 24 hours so we’ll never get to see the final product. The banana, for instance, when it went into that oven, was a rather bright red. When it finally comes out, the peel will be yellow with some brown spots and the flesh will be white. A rather amazing transformation.
Today is also packing day. And that’s when it really hits home that the vacation is but hours from finalization. A final tally to make sure all custom-declarable items are accounted for, clothes set aside for wearing on the plane tomorrow, and then closing up the suitcases. They will be outside our cabin door by 10 P.M. tonight waiting to be set outside the ship in the disembarkation zone tomorrow morning.
Right after we pick them up we’ll have a short wait for our bus to the airport where yet another wait begins. As great as it will be to get back home, to see no more snow on our lawn, to suffer through the dog’s annoyance at being gone for so long, to meet up with family and friends…all those wonderful things…being waited on hand and foot was still its own treasure. 🙂
Now I have to go back to work to pay for the next one. Oh Well….
I hope my posts have not been overly verbose and that I have given some enjoyable insight to our travels. If you’ve never cruised before I urge you to consider it, at least once. If you have and it’s really not your cup of tea, ok. More room for me on the ship. 🙂 Seriously, I’m glad you all came along and hopefully you’ll be back here in late September.