Crew Farewell and Disembarkation

April 27, 2012

This morning we had our disembarkation talk with the crew farewell.  For many of us, this is an emotional time, because we will be leaving behind many new friends as well as a life-style that is hard to beat.  Bruce, our cruise director (pictured here) did give us a few remarks about the disembarkation process, but most of the time was allotted to a video showing the various departments on the ship in their working environments, and then the gathering of a large part of the crew on the stage.  As the stage fills up with crew, you see many familiar faces.

Of course Captain Jonathan Mercer had to say something (above right).  He is not only an excellent seaman, but also very personable and relaxed around the passengers, a lot of fun to be around.  He participated in activities in ways we’ve not previously seen from captains.  As an example, his wife participated in the knitting group, which was making blankets for Project Linus.  So when the group had an event to show off finished projects, he was there with his camera and apparently wrote a blog about the group.  He was actually at the group on several such occasions.

It is always difficult to say goodbye at the end of the cruise.  For us many of the crew were familiar from the past, as well as many of the guests.  It is hard knowing that we no longer can opt to spend our evenings in the crow’s nest listening to the music of our friends, the Station Band.  We will also miss the wonderful humor shared by Bruce and the ship’s hostess, Adele.

At the same time, with all the packing we had to do, we have become ready to go home.  

When we did our first world cruise we figured it was a once in a lifetime experience, and could not understand how people could go back year after year.  At the end of our third world cruise we are more excited than ever about traveling the world.  The lesson we gained from this cruise is that just because we’ve done it more than once, it does not become a commonplace experience.  This experience was possibly the most intense of the cruises we’ve done.  There is excitement in discovering new places, but there is also joy in returning to places we’ve visited before.  Witness our three visits to the Jurong Bird Park in Singapore, which just never gets old.  In some cities, after multiple visits, you might want to figure out your own tour rather than do one provided by the ship, because those are limited in scope.  There are very few places where we would deliberately opt to stay on the ship because we’d been there before.

It has felt good to be home after 16 weeks away.  But when the right opportunity presents itself, we will be traveling again.  

There are a couple of additional photos in the album.

© Susan L. Stone 2015