The morning began bright and early as we sailed towards our next port of call, Great Stirrup Cay. For those of you who may not know, Great Stirrup Cay is Norwegian Cruise Line’s private island, but we were able to borrow it for our sailing. Soon, we had lowered our anchors and the island’s tender, Little Norway, soon began to approach our ship. Suddenly, the Little Norway halted a few hundred feet from the Divina. She then sat there for roughly a half hour before finally sailing up to our ship. Almost as soon as she sailed alongside, she began to sail away. She remained close by, but was not carrying any passengers from the ship to the island. This then was followed by an announcement from our cruise director, stating we would not be able to tender to Great Stirrup Cay at the moment due to high winds and waves, but we would stay put and consider tendering in about one hour. An hour came and went and the ship’s engine revved back to life. We unfortunately had to cancel our call at Great Stirrup Cay. On the bright side, the temperature was hovering around 90 degrees and the sun was out. Soon, an unscheduled day at sea began.
By the time we had departed the Bahamian island, it was almost noon. I quickly grabbed a slice or two of the freshly made pizza and began filming the remaining areas of the ship for my MSC Divina ship tour video. After a few hours of filming, I decided to just grab a lounge chair and lie in the sun for awhile. For spending three days aboard the Divina, I had barely had a truly “free” moment, and I was happy to just relax and bask in the sun. Soon, it was time to head to the main theater for an exclusive behind the scenes tour. Our tour took us through the ship’s main galley, the provisions area, the ship’s laundry center, and behind the stage in the main theater. Once the tour had ended, it was almost time for our final meal onboard.
A little while later, we made our way down to the Black Crab Restaurant for our final dinner. It was Italian night in the dining room and the menu’s featured classic and popular Italian dishes. I ended up with a fried calamari dish, homemade meat and red sauce pasta, and a homemade fish dish. As usual, everything was excellent – even the tiramisu and nutella ice cream! At the end of dinner, I had the pleasure of meeting one of my fellow Society of American Travel Writer members, Jackie Sheckler Finch. She was one of the first people to welcome me into the society and it was a great honor and pleasure to finally meet her in person.
As the night began, my dad and I ended up stumbling upon a few members of our press group, Isis and Lynn, at one of the ship’s bars. We ended up joining them and as the night went on, we continued to add more members of our press group: Gary, Kelley, Rich, Simon, and my friends from MSC in Geneva, David and Carlotta. Finally, the night ended with all of us singing along to various songs in the ship’s dueling pianos lounge. A great time was had by all and it was a perfect way to end my first cruise with MSC. Soon, we said our goodbyes and headed back to our staterooms. The next morning was disembarkation in Miami and we needed our rest. I ended up just sitting out on the balcony until 1:45 am watching the sea gently move by. It was simply beautiful and reminded me of the real reason I cruise: love of the ocean and traveling upon it.