Dear Cruise Diary
Days 28-30 – At Sea in the Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea, Gulf of Oman and Persian Gulf
May 18-20, 2013
It was hard to believe that the cruise was almost over. Thirty days passed quickly. So, too, did the six days at sea that ended our cruise.
I would leave feeling some sense of accomplishment on my to-do list for sea days. I had finished creating the photo book from my previous cruise a year and a half earlier. It was a project I to never seemed to get to at home. All that was left was to review it carefully, page by page, word by word, at home on my large computer screen. The screen on my 11-inch MacBook Air just doesn’t give me that capability (although I loved its light weight).
I also completed the bulk of my photo book for this trip. Downloading and sorting through photos as I went along helped a lot. I spent most of Day 28 putting together the book – choosing which pictures best represented each port and activity, deciding the best way to lay out each page and editing these daily journals down to provide enough background to remind me of the wonderful ports and great days at sea.
My final work assignment of the cruise involved more than the usual web research, so I spent Day 29 working on the first draft. I took a break for lunch at Johnny Rockets with Robyn and Helen – we used two-for-one coupons for chocolate shakes to go with our burgers and onion rings. Every five minutes or so the waiters broke into dance with the classic diner tunes playing from the jukebox. It was fun to share the meal with new friends – they were staying on the ship for the final segment into Singapore before flying back to their Sydney, Australia, home.
We were finally winners at our nightly Name That Tune competition (topic: 50s music), but sadly four teams tied and we lost the tiebreaker. Oh well, we certainly had fun playing every evening.
I saw lots of dolphins and a lone whale while we sailed the Arabian Sea. The captain kept the outside decks closed from sunset to sunrise until the last night, making it easier for the security teams to keep a watch out for pirates. Helen said she woke up one night to lots of noise outside, which she thought sounded like shouting from a boat, but she couldn’t see anything. The captain reported the next morning that it was a quiet night; we undoubtedly will never know what really happened. That frustrates the journalist in me.
I put off packing until the last day – packing and disembarkation were my least favorite parts of cruising. I needed a check list – make sure all electronics were charged for the trip home, update the iPad with new videos, transfer some videos as well to the laptop from the external drive (which used too much power for a long flight), confirm tickets and print boarding passes for the flight home, carefully pack to balance weight so my bags don’t exceed the limit, remember to pack valuables and medicine in a carryon, etc.
Joyce and Darrell, a couple I had met through Cruise Critic, were interested in seeing Dubai with me on the final day, and we all had late flights, so I belated started research on a tour company. At the last minute, we hired a local driver who could carry our luggage while giving us a 10-hour (rather than making an extra trip to the airport to store it in lockers for the day). It always seemed logistics-planning like the Dubai tour caused me more anxiety than I liked. But this seemed to be a good option – I would have to report back on how it went in a future blog.
Tomorrow: Day 31 – Dubai disembarkation and tour; KLM flight back to Dallas