Thou Swell, Thou Witty
And so we bring another “trip of a lifetime” to a close. Today was our last full day as we are disembarking tomorrow between noon and three; we wish we knew the actual time.
Our trivia streak was broken today, a fitting way to end the cruise. [Which city’s airport is named for Marco Polo? At what temperature are the Celsius and Fahrenheit measurements the same? What do we call a group of 13 witches? Which airline was the first to institute a frequent flyer program?] We weren’t even close today.
The big event of the day was packing to go home. Once MA had her clothes bundled and bagged, D loaded up suitcases with his and her clothing, purchases, electronics, etc. The hanging bag was left until after dinner [Cobb salads with romaine lettuce] because tonight was formal night and we had to get duded up one last time.
The captain erred on the side of caution last evening – we had no giant swells although there was a nice gentle roll to the ship. No luggage walked across the room; no tchotchkes fell from the shelves. We continued with quiet seas all day today. We have been very lucky for the past five weeks and hope we stay that way for the next several days.
Scooby announced at 1:00 today that he expects to be in Tilbury around 10:00 tomorrow morning and that we should be free to leave the ship between noon and 1:00. This would make us early by at least two hours, so we will have to contact Maria, our hostess for Friday and Saturday, in case she can get to the dock early. It would be to her advantage to be ahead of rush hour on the way home.
Tonight is also Envelope Night when the Tip Fairy descends on the wait staff. It is traditionally the last evening, but Ed and Roxanne will be rewarding the staff with us tonight rather than waiting. Roxanne hopes that they still get good service tomorrow.
Tipping has always been voluntary, especially on HAL, but in recent years a “hotel charge” has been added to each guest’s bill to compensate the crew. Currently, the charge is $11 per person per day and is divided up with a set amount going to the housekeeping staff and a set amount to the dining staff. Anything passengers give is above and beyond. Passengers also have the option of raising, lowering or eliminating the hotel charge if they wish. We tip above and beyond for good service; some years we have not tipped everyone and sometimes we have not tipped very much. This year, we think everyone will be quite happy with us.
Perhaps the biggest event of the cruise was the arrival of the UPS delivery man. D has gone anxiously to the room each day looking for mail and packages. Eventually, he started looking for a UPS package. Finally the UPS man showed up and we found a package for D on the doorstep. It contained candy bars and M&M’s a present from Ed and Roxanne with a little connivance from MA. Oh, joy! Life is good.
We fly home Sunday and try to adjust to what passes for normal life. Rats!