My last week on the Adventure of the Seas flew by, but was full of so many fun experiences that I was sad to go home.
The first port day of the week was Aruba. Everyone knows how much I love Aruba, so of course, I went out to enjoy a day in the sun. My roommate and I returned to Moomba Beach Club at Palm Beach. We had planned to go to a different part of the beach, but it was still dirty from Hurricane Matthew. Moomba was cleaned up nicely, and was less crowded than usual. We got two chairs close to the water, enjoyed cocktails, read our books, and chatted. Not too long after we arrived, two of our friends from the sports staff joined us. The 4 of us shared a lot of laughs!
A parasailing boat pulled up near us when we were swimming. My roommate jokingly asked if we could have a ride, and surprisingly, the men working said yes! My roommate, one of the sports boys, and I jumped on board while our other friend watched our things. We rode down to another part of the beach to pick up some clients, and got to sit out on the deck while they were parasailing. While the parachute was being folded up, we got to jump into the water for a swim. The men told us the water was about 25 feet deep, but I could see straight through to the bottom! It was gorgeous. When we returned to the beach and asked how much we owed, the drivers simply pointed to a tip jar. We never expected to actually get to go on the boat, but the experience proved that it doesn’t hurt to ask!
That evening I had my second late sail night off! Every other late port since install, I had duties on the ship. My dance captain/first ship roommate/close friend was off as well, so we went to dinner together. We chose Pincho’s, a restaurant on the water, to enjoy the sunset. The pink and orange sky reflected on the water, and the only things interrupting the view were pelicans! The meal also didn’t disappoint. We shared an order of fish cakes with pineapple mayonnaise and tomato salsa and then I had the fish of the day, grilled wahoo. After dinner, we walked downtown for a final scoop of gelato at Gelatissimo Bistro, and then meandered back to the ship. It was the perfect way to say goodbye to one of my favorite ports.
Towards the end of the week, I took a break from packing to go up to deck 10 for a private bridge tour! One of our good friends, a cadet, won a challenge from the Captain. His reward was dinner at Giovanni’s, the Italian restaurant on the ship. Our friend asked if he could give a few of the cast members a tour of the bridge instead. The Captain graciously said he could give us a tour and take us to dinner! On the bridge, our friend pointed out what certain buttons and levers do, explained what the various screens are for, showed us where the stabilizers are and how they are launched, and answered our many questions. Although it was all very interesting, my favorite part was just enjoying the peaceful space and open view!
That night was the crew Halloween party in the nightclub. The club was closed to guests, and drinks were served at crew prices. Like usual All Crew Parties, free beer and wine were available. There were some creative costumes, but I managed to be a costume contest winner! My friend helped me turn a plain blue morph suit into a pretty awesome Mystique costume. We cut off the head covering and painted and added sequins to the suit, painted my face and neck blue, slicked back and straightened my hair, and put on some gold eye shadow. Sorry to sound arrogant, but I looked good! I shared the female costume victory with two friends that were Team USA gymnasts. The party started winding down after the costume contest, but smaller cabin parties continued late into the night.
The next day was the final day of my contract. In the past, I’ve always had a sea day the day before I signed off, but this time we were in St. Maarten! A cast member had organized a catamaran for the cast, ice cast, and other friends. I’d been on the fence about whether or not I would go, since I needed to finish packing, cleaning, etc., but that morning, my roommate and I decided we needed to go and enjoy our last day with our friends. I’m so glad we rallied! The water was gorgeous, the group was fun and cheerful, and the crew was entertaining and accommodating. We weren’t able to pull all the way up to the beach, so we had to swim from the boat. The water was a little rough, but it felt good to actually swim! The beach was nearly empty, with powdery white sand, and the sky and water that day were a shocking shade of blue. I sat in the sand, enjoyed a beer, and chatted with some of the girls while most of the boys played football and/or volleyball.
When it was time to go back to the boat I didn’t want to leave, but the ride back to the port was fun. We were given a bottle of champagne, and had a group toast. Music was playing, people were dancing, and many photos were taken. I wanted to just enjoy the day, so for once I didn’t take any photos of my own! Upon returning to the ship, I had to go to the financial office, turn in keys at security, finish packing, and get ready for dinner at Giovanni’s. After dinner, I went straight to the Farewell show, had a short break, and then had to set up, perform, and put away the parade. That night I stayed way too late at the crew bar talking with and saying goodbye to friends. Although I was glad to be seeing my family, there were a lot of people I didn’t want to leave!
The next morning, my roommate and I overslept. We jumped out of bed and literally ran to the gangway while our friend took a final load of garbage to the incinerator for us. We made it to the airport with more than enough time, so we checked in, dropped our luggage, and went to Old San Juan for a final brunch together. Saying goodbye to her was especially hard, but upon arriving at my gate, so I was relieved to learn that another cast member was on my flight. I was happy not to be alone, especially when both of our connecting flights were delayed! We had dinner and kept each other company for our 2-hour layover in Boston.
I’ve now been home for 4 weeks, but I’m adjusting to being here. It’s hard to go from spending all day, every day in close quarters with the same people for 6 months to not seeing them at all. It’s also strange to wake up every day in the same place. Driving. Cooking. Sleeping normal hours. So many things feel strange! Although I’m struggling a little with returning to normal life, I’m so grateful for the time I had on the ship. The Adventure was a truly wonderful adventure!