By this morning, we were all spent. This trip has been nothing close to what we expected. The weather had changed everything. We were tired and ready to be home. We started that morning with a SeaDay brunch.
We used our last free drink coupons and the kids took full advantage of our frozen yummy drinks.
You can't see it under the other stuff, but there was a filet mignon there. He was thrilled.
We did a few things around the ship then ended up later with some ice cream.
The kids went o Camp Carnival to decorate their shirts. That is their favorite part of a cruise.
Our last night on the boat included more steak, another PB&J, yummy desserts and more napkin waving.
Most of the dining room had cleared out as we sat and chatted with her dining service team. They showed us pictures of their kids. They told us how they work 9 months at a time without seeing their families. They told us about their hopes and dreams. I'll be honest, I was teary. Here we were on a family vacation and they were serving us as they missed their own kids and family.
This next guy really got to me. He told us that his kids were 4 and 8, just like ours. He told us all the things he had missed with his kids. He told us that he works 11 months and is off 1 month because that allows his wife to stay him with their kids. He says he tries not to spend any extra money so he can send it all home to them. He kept telling us "Michael" was just like his 4 year old and every night that he was with our table make him go back to his room and pick up the picture of his little guy. OH. MY. WORD!
We checked out our nightly towel creations before turning in for the night. We were all tired and knew we had an early morning.
We woke up the next morning with some excitement about going HOME!!! But, as we were getting ready, we spotted Phibby hanging out in our room. The kids told him goodbye as we left. They were so worried he wouldn't be waiting for us at home. (He was!)
We had one last meal with our friends and then set in our assigned area (the casino) to wait for our group to be called for disembarkation.
The kids bellied up to the blackjack table to play a fun game of Uno. (We were all decked out in our MSU garb because that was the day of the ill-fated 2014 Egg Bowl!)
We said our goodbyes but then all ended up disembarking together. So, we hugged goodbye in the sunshine of Tampa and all began our journey home. We were sitting in our house in 4 hours (after a stop at Chuys for lunch!) They text me the next day at 12:30 p.m. after driving for 25 hours back to Chicago!!!!!!!!!!
This was definitely a trip for the books. It probably won't be what we do for another Thanksgiving week. It is the cheapest trip we have ever taken but we discovered that wasn't prime cruising time. But, even with the weather issues, we enjoyed our time together. And, I'm so grateful for that!