Saturday, December 11, 2004

Slow boat to Ft. Lauderdale

You know it's time to leave the cruise when you have chocolate on your room card.

Last night was the dessert buffet, which is less food than it is semi-edible sculpture. I skipped the artworks and had a Grand Marnier crepe, then sneaked off to the theater, curled up in a banquette, and watched Tom Cruise in Collateral.

Today we were scheduled to moor off the private island Half Moon Cay and get ferried over to the island for a variety of activities. My mom and I were slated for the morning glass-bottom boat trip. Skipping the "swim with stingrays" adventure, I'd then opted for the two-hour guided nature walk in the afternoon.

The captain came on the PA at 8 a.m. to announce that he was cancelling the island visit because the swells were too high, and they couldn't safely open the gangways to get us onto the little ferries (called tenders). Looking out our windows, I could see two of the tenders bouncing around below.

So, we are now slowly steaming--well, dieseling--toward Ft. Lauderdale where the cruise ends tomorrow at 8 a.m. The cruise director, a former stand-up comic, is printing out a new daily schedule of on-board activities and the staff, who had likely been looking forward to a day free of passengers, are beaming as cheerily as possible.

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