As we woke up on Day 7 of our cruise, I pulled the blinds open to a partially overcast sky and a slightly choppy sea. The last day of any cruise is fairly low key since it is often a sea day and there is a bittersweet feeling that seems to pervade the ship as everyone realizes the journey is nearly done. There are still lots of activities going on around the ship, but they are taken on with a more relaxed approach than earlier in the week. For the most part, this is a day to transition from vacation mode to “back to reality”.
We began this day as we had the other sea days – I went up to the Solarium and picked out a spot on the deck that would be shady by afternoon. Kim joined me soon after and we meandered through the Solarium Bistro picking up our favourite breakfast fare from the buffet islands. After breakfast we climbed into our lounge chairs. Kim read while I just lay there and let the banter from the other guests and the morning warmth cover me like a cozy blanket. Ian and Laura eventually joined us. We spent the rest of the morning relaxing and re-energizing between the lounge chairs, the pool and the hot tub.
By early afternoon the clouds began to gather and it was slightly overcast. We packed up our gear and changed into street clothes deciding to use the time to walk around the ship to take photos. It was our intention to re-walk all common decks and ensure that we had not missed anything over the last 6 days. Since we hadn’t been to all of the specialty restaurants, we passed by Central Park and browsed the menus just to see what we had missed. There were some exclusive tasting menus and multiple course meals featured at these restaurants, but for our tastes and budget, we felt we had done quite well with the selections in the main dining room. Since I am an avid sushi fan, one restaurant that I would like to try the next time around is the Japanese Restaurant Izumi.
As we continued walking down Central Park, we decided to try the Park Café for lunch. We had stopped by here earlier in the week for a baguette which was quite tasty, but wanted to try some of their other food items as well. Today the lineup was moderate, but it did take some time to get through the cafeteria style queue. This was primarily due to the way the counters are laid out and the small venue size. There are only a few tables inside the café and they fill up pretty quickly. There is one line which goes from the soup and salad bar through to the sandwich bar and then the checkout area. Since the salads and sandwiches are fresh and made to order, there does tend to be congestion, especially on sea days. The wait however, is well worth it, since the both the salads and sandwiches are fresh and flavourful. This is where the famous roast beef sandwiches are found - fresh shaved roast beef with mustard on a caraway bun - so delicious! We also had huge salads that you choose the ingredients and they are made fresh for you. Ian enjoyed a toasted brie and cheese baguette and Laura had an egg salad sandwich. All very tasty! We brought our meals outside the café into Central Park and found a high top table which had an overhanging umbrella that kept us shaded.
After lunch we continued our walk around the ship. Kim and I had talked previously about stopping in at the wine bar for one of the wine tastings. Since we had not managed to make that happen to this point, we decided to do so today. We had actually just missed the scheduled tasting which is offered at a discounted price. Instead, we were offered the extensive wine list which featured vintages from every major wine region in the world. Most were priced by the bottle and some by the glass. The wines we were interested in were quite expensive and more than we are used to paying. For the serious wine connoisseur, there certainly are some superb wines listed. We opted to wait for another cruise when we can schedule one of the discounted wine tastings more suited to our budget.
We spent the rest of the afternoon walking the various decks of the ship and ensuring we had pictures of all the venues and specialty areas that we may have missed previously. The weather fluctuated between partly sunny and overcast - an appropriate backdrop to that bittersweet feeling that pervades the last day of a fabulous cruise.
Images from around the ship:
Just before dinner, we decided to try the Champagne Bar which was another venue that had eluded us so far. On other cruises, the Champagne Bar is one of our usual stops. It tends to be a quieter venue than most bars and often features some live music at the grand piano. On this last day of our cruise, we had the chance to just sit and reminisce about the last week and begin our plans for our stay in Fort Lauderdale following our disembarkation. Kim sipped the chilled champagne that was the daily feature, and I enjoyed a very dry, classic Vodka martini, with olives. Since we still had a couple of drinks left on the drink coupon that we had purchased earlier in the week at the Rising Tide bar, Kim’s champagne, normally 11 dollars and my martini, normally 13 dollars, were 7.99 each. We found that to be a bargain since both drinks were from the premium list.
Our last dinner on the Oasis of the Seas was bittersweet. We enjoyed prime rib, striploin steak and cheese & pancetta pasta. As with the other meals we ate in the dining room, we were not disappointed with either the quality or the quantity. We just weren't sure how we would survive the next night when we were no longer on the ship and weren't provided with so many tasty options to choose from each evening! We said our goodbyes to our waiter and assistant waiter and wished them many more good voyages.
Since there was no scheduled entertainment in the main theatre on this night, we wandered over to the Promenade. Kim went up to the Future Cruise Office to book our next cruise. This is an option that we often look at since booking your next cruise while on a cruise usually entitles you to a discount and additional onboard amenities. The booking only requires a modest refundable deposit and doesn’t obligate you to take the cruise you booked – you can change dates, itineraries or ships later if you wish. We opted for a 12 night cruise of the Hawaiian Islands in May. The cruise starts in Hawaii and repositions to Vancouver. Looking forward to that one already!
While Kim was booking our next cruise, I did my last night shopping at the duty free store, purchasing 2 bottles of Kettle One Vodka (one of my favourites) for $30. That is less than I pay at the Liquor Control Board of Ontario for one bottle. With that chore out of the way, I joined Kim in the Future Cruise office just as she was finishing up.
We made one last pass through the pool deck and Solarium, then headed to On Air and caught the finale of the Karaoke competition. The venue was packed and we barely managed to find spots for the 4 of us to sit (stand) together. The winners from the elimination rounds all came together, and we recognized a few of them from the first evening that we tried to get Ian registered. After the final tally, the competitor that won was the same girl who had managed to get in by singing acappela on the same night that Ian performed. She was very good and deserved to win the competition.
Because we needed to get our bags packed and in the hallway by 11:00pm so they could be transported for our morning departure, we said our good nights and headed to our staterooms. I have to admit, I was a bit sad that this was our last night aboard.
Read Day 1 - click here
Read Day 2 - click here
Read Day 3 - click here
Read Day 4 - click here
Read Day 5 - click here
Read Day 6 - click here
Sharing Our Travel Dreams
Sharing our personal experiences onboard and on the road, along with tips and insight for creating memorable vacations.