Angie has already written about the lovely day we had on Half Moon Cay. I second the endorsement of the soft sand and relatively peaceful beach.
I get to write about how the tender trip back looked for a while like it might put the kibosh on the next part of our travels. As Angie mentioned, even though the sea seemed super calm, the tender was rocking so much that the crew could not secure the gangway between the two vessels. Many of the passengers had been able to cross back onto the ship but the gangway kept coming loose. We were standing up, pretty close to the gangway, as the tender kept bobbing about, so I was working hard to keep my balance. We were finally able to stumble across the gangway and onto the ship, and then, suddenly, I was in pain and something seemed to be wrong with my right knee. I managed to hobble back to our stateroom but after we’d sat for a while, it got even worse. It was really scary because I had no idea of what had happened. I was holding onto the handrails and shuffling along the corridors very slowly to move around the ship that evening. It was very scary, not just because of our upcoming return to the bicycles, but also because we had signed up for express disembarkation for the next day, and if I was really hurt, there was no way I could carry my own bags off the ship.
Since we had no idea what I had done or how serious it was, we decided not to take any risks. Therefore, we changed our disembarking plan to have our bags taken off the ship and for me to get wheelchair assist. We also arranged for room service breakfast the next morning so I wouldn’t have to walk to either of the dining areas if I was not mobile.
I tried to ice and rest until it was time to go to dinner. Since it was the last night, we wanted to eat in the main dining room. Even though it was a struggle to move, we did go to dinner, and it was well worth it. Though the previous night had been the “farewell” dinner, on this night there was an interesting-looking menu presented by a member of the cruise line’s culinary council.
Angie was thrilled to see that one of the appetizers was a mezze plate, so of course she ordered that. It included olives, feta, hummus, dolmas and baba ganoush. Angie said that the dolmas (stuffed grape leaves) was actually the best on the dish, while it’s not her usual favorite Greek appetizer. I started with the South American gravlax, which was seasoned with pisco sour and was quite tasty. We both also enjoyed the main course of a duck dish with wattleseed and some sort of sauce. It was fantastic. For dessert, Angie enjoyed the baked Alaska, which is a traditional last night dessert, and I had the Pavlova, which had kiwifruit and a passionfruit sauce. It was extraordinary.
Although there was quite a lot going on during the last evening, but we decided it was probably best to get back to our stateroom and get our packing finished. Since we had switched our disembark plan to get assistance, we needed to have our bags outside the door before 11. Although Angie had to do most of the work, she managed to get it done fairly easily and we were able to call it a night before it was too late.
We also put an order tag outside the door to have breakfast in our room the next morning in order to minimize my need to walk.
The breakfast arrived around 7:00am and we ate and finished getting ready. We then got our hand baggage together and got ourselves up to the deck where the wheelchair assist was set up. I was definitely having an easier time moving than the night before, but it was still difficult and painful.
I quickly found out that we didn’t actually have to wait for our time slot for the wheelchair assist, so I got into the offered wheelchair and off we went. This process also pushed us even further ahead on the line, and before we knew it, we had our baggage, were off the ship, and wheeled to the shuttle pickup area. I called the hotel shuttle and they said they’d be arriving within 40 minutes. We talked briefly to a couple we’d met on the ship. The husband had participated in two of our spin classes and he and his wife were very kind and encouraging about my injury. It helped my morale a bit, especially since I was not in as much pain.
The shuttle took us back to the lovely Rodeway Inn. We loaded the car up and hit the road back toward Palm Harbor. Angie drove the whole way because of concern about my knee, so we tried to stop several times so she could rest. It took close to five hours, but we had a lovely reception and Doris had prepared a lovely dinner for us of turkey meatballs and mashed potatoes.