The final few days on board our cruise went by in a flurry. It began to weigh heavily on us now that this really was the end of our cruise. After so much planning and saving, and dreaming and waiting, it had come and was now almost over. And what an amazing experience it had been! Would we do it again? Absolutely we would!
Our last couple of days were no means eventful. Having arrived back from Amedee Island we enjoyed a wonderful dinner in the main dining room, the Rotterdam, where we were treated to a Master Chef Dinner; a very theatrical dining experience. Our wonderful, smiley Filipino and Indonesian servers, all dressed in chef costumes for this one night, danced and twirled with napkins, salad bowls and utensils, between serving us our courses, while one of our on-board singers serenaded us from the level above. And the whole time I kicked myself that I had neglected to bring my camera.
Day 29 both Martin and I went about our day pretty much as usual. I Tai-chied. He battled it out in another Texas Hold’em Tournament, where the benevolence of the Casino Gods awarded him another win. We read. He sun-bathed. I fell asleep on our verandah. But prior to that I had joined in a Holland America Breast Cancer Fundraiser; On Deck For The Cure. Dressed in my for-the-cause T-shirt awarded to me on signing up, I took to the 3rd floor deck of the ship and joined the huge crowd of other similarly dressed do-gooders. The walk was five km’s long (12 full laps). The sun was hot, and the air was caustic with the smell of paint where some of the crew were busy at work. The walk itself could be as leisurely as desired, and once I decided to don my own headphones to drown out the music catering to the oldies that blasted from the overhead speakers, I rather quite enjoyed my walk. Until, of course, I heard the announcement that requested my presence several floors up, to meet with Australian Customs. And then I had to walk fast. No more leisurely, lost-in-the-moment strolling for me. I either had to walk my little heart out, or quit. So ‘walk my little heart out’ it was, and boy did I feel it the next day!
Getting clearance with Australian Customs was extremely easy. The ship liked to have us all organised a couple of days before so that our disembarking would be seamless. And we certainly did appreciate it when we finally did arrive in Australia. Granted it took me a good few minutes of creating confusion to get them to understand that despite having arrived on the ship with a Canadian Passport and citizenship, I was hoping to leave and enter Australia as a Kiwi with a New Zealand passport in hand. (One way to avoid the nuisance of having to apply for a visa.) It was very ‘Jason Bourne’ of me.
Then came our final day, and as if in condolence it rained. And rather reminiscent of my first day on board I was seasick. And no amount of seasickness pills was going to do the job this time. And so, in a rather pathetic state I attempted to take a few final shots of onboard our ship, and tried to enjoy some of the days activities like the ice-sculpture demonstration, but in the end I resigned myself to our room to alternate between the tremendous job of packing up our stuff, and lying down to try settle my stomach. Martin, of course, went about his day a little melancholy to be leaving, but with the iron stomach of a true seafarer.