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Cabo San Lucas to San Diego – at sea

Tuesday, December 20, 2011 – Day 30 – Cabo San Lucas, Mexico to San Diego, USA

The last day of a cruise is always a bit strange, and especially so when it is a long cruise such as this one.

I have breakfast in La Fontaine dining room, and a couple from San Diego I met a couple of weeks ago at breakfast are seated with me again. They related a hilarious story about a flood of water they had coming down the wall behind the toilet in their cabin. Her husband sat on the edge of the tub and kept pressing the toilet flush button to prevent the water from flooding the rest of the cabin, while she flagged down someone to come fix the problem. He sat there for 20 minutes before a repairman finally arrived, and the guy was amazed at their ingenuity. He opined that most passengers would have let the cabin flood! I had to chime in and suggest she missed a golden opportunity to take a photo of her husband while he was in the bathroom, have a print made, and enter it in the photo contest under “People”. That broke up the whole table! I go out on the Lower Promenade Deck after breakfast and see a pod of dolphins beside the ship. The outside temperature this morning is only 16°C – time to wear a jacket!

The ship’s staff stage the farewell show this morning. It was great to see all the serving staff and cabin stewards, as well as the crew from engineering, bridge, food service, housekeeping, front desk & excursion, and entertainment. It is a tradition of Holland America for the crew to present a farewell parade of groups of crew representing each area of the ship. It is always a bit corny, and yet at the same time, it is quite moving to see all the hundreds of crew who cater to the passengers’ needs and wants. Of course, the passengers give them a standing ovation as they are introduced by the Cruise Director. With ample help from the resident entertainers, the crew ends the spectacle by singing a farewell song to the passengers.

My evaluation survey arrives after lunch, so I put a fleece jacket on and go out on the Lower Promenade Deck to fill it out while I experience the last day on the ship. I complain about the lack of enrichment speakers, but otherwise give them an excellent grade. This is also the day I usually set aside to capture the essence of the interior of the cruise ship with photos, since Holland America’s ships are always chock full of original works of art, and have beautifully appointed public spaces.

We had some moderately rough seas last night, but by this afternoon the sea has smoothed out. We are left with a slow, rolling sea almost the length of Rotterdam, which means she noses into the trough, then pulls up and out, so the view from the stern decks is of the horizon bobbing up and down slowly. Some people are getting seasick…on their last night aboard!

After dinner, I get serious about packing. In order to have my bag transferred to dockside tomorrow morning, it has to be out in the hallway by 1AM for pickup. After packing everything into my main bag, it feels heavier than when I arrived! Oh well, there isn’t anything I can do about it. Alaska Airlines charges US$20 per bag, so I’m sure they will tell me and charge me more if it is overweight. I just want to get the packing done so I can put my bag out for pickup, and then get to bed. The announcements for seeing immigration will apparently start as early as 6:15AM tomorrow morning. My friends and I are all scheduled to disembark at 9AM, the first time slot tomorrow.