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MSC Meraviglia- Sea Day, Ocean Cay- almost, and Key West, Florida

Our journey is slowly coming to an end. With only two days to go we will venture back across the Caribbean Sea to Ocean Cay on Saturday and then back to Miami on Sunday for the always sad disembarkation day. But we still have two days. Today was a leisure day. The weather on this trip has been perfect. The sun has been shining, the temperatures have been wonderful, and the sunburns have been a plenty. To be honest, I am not sure some of these folks on this ship ever moved. I have seen boiled lobsters with less redness them some folks. The decision on what to do today was made a lot easier by mother nature also. Today we were blessed with clouds and rain. No lying around in the sun today. I decided that after attending a few shows in the morning, today was going to be a working day.

We started our day off like was had all of the others, we woke up. After getting a late breakfast, since we had another time change, we headed down for a presentation on Ocean Cay. Our cruise director Gene and Candice talked about how the island started and where they are heading. The island was built to be sell sustaining and all items brought on the island are to be removed from the island. They are also working to rebuild the reefs in the area and bring back the marine life. We then attended the Master Chef at Sea competition. The competition started with a quiz and ended with profiteroles. After that it was all work until dinner time. I spend the rest of the afternoon working on my blog posts as well as learning and educating myself on the Coronavirus and cancellation policies. I find that educating oneself on the facts and understanding the steps being taking to keep people safe is far more important than giving into the fears and hype created by the media.

Tonight we dined in the main dining room before our last Cirque Du Soleil show Viaggio. The meal was probably the best meal we have had to date. There was no need to go to the buffet tonight. The show follows an artist through his world of color and design. This show was again well done and feature very talented artists. After this show we attended two additional shows in the Broadway Theatre. First was the usual nightly signing and dancing show. Tonight was all about amor. The show was well done but ended with one of the cast getting injured due to the rough sea conditions. The second show was the crew member talent show. The talent show was an opportunity for crew members who were not part of the entertainment staff to show their stuff. They show was very entertaining and well done. It is amazing to see the talented staff they have on board that do not get to show their talent every day. After the talent show it was time for bed and our final day of the cruise. Ocean Cay awaits.

And is still waiting…. Due to wind and rough seas our stop in Ocean Cay had to be cancelled. This was extremely unfortunate as I was looking forward to comparing it to Coco Cay. Up based on my observations, the channel is very narrow and with the crosswinds this morning we could easily be pushed into the reef system making it very dangerous. This does bring up an interesting topic however. With a lot of the cruise lines going to private islands, how is it that they cannot create a port that allows for various weather conditions. I know that we cannot control the weather but it would seem that in the case of MSC having a port with such a narrow channel to access it seems like a bad idea. Norwegian has a similar issue in Great Stirrup Cay having to tender to the island. If you are going to have a private island, then make sure your guests are able to reach it.

We spent most of the day relaxing and getting ready to disembark. Today was supposed to be a relaxing day on the beach exploring Ocean Cay, instead we stayed onboard, which is always a good idea while at sea, with little to do. Our cruise director did a presentation about his life in music and how he became a cruise director. The show was actually pretty entertaining and gave some insight into the world of showbiz. After one final meal with our travel agent tablemates, it was off to bed for an early start to a very long travel day.

Our final day of vacation took us to the southern most point of the United States. We quickly exited the ship and headed to the airport to get our rental car for the day. While normally I would not recommend doing this, we had a lot of time before our flight left, over 14 hours. So we hopped in our convertible and headed south. This was a little risky since the road in and out of the keys is mostly a two lane road and any major issues can shut the road down. But what the heck, it was worth it. Unfortunately we were blessed with another windy cold day. Oh well, we had a convertible and we were going to use it. Crank the heat and put the top down.

After arriving in Key West, we made our way to the southern most point of the US, snapped a quick photo and then headed to lunch. We found an nice seafood restaurant called the Stoned Crab. The meal was rather tasty featuring locally caught seafood. I would definitely recommend the restaurant if you are ever in Key West. Next it was off to find dessert and luckily there was a Baskin Robbins just up the road. After finishing a fat adding 3 scoops, it was time to head back. While we had plenty of time, we did not want to risk missing our flight. So back to Miami we headed.

After arriving back in Miami, we had a little extra time so we decided a game of mini golf was in store. We found a course that was at an actual golf course and hit the links. And while I wanted to hit the regular links, we kept it to the mini variety. After mini golf, it was of to find dinner, sort of. We found this great little restaurant with take out service. All I can say is that when you have the opportunity to get Baskin Robbins, you take full advantage of it. I am in trouble if a branch opens in Minnesota.

After dinner it was time to head to the airport and wait for a ride home. I figured it might be late since it was coming from Minnesota with some unruly passengers, but it actually was on-time and we were able to meet up with them. It was kind of fun meeting up with my brother and his family as they arrived before they embarked on their Spring Break Vacation. After a quick hello and goodbye, it was back to Minnesota for us.

While I have had a wonderful time exploring the Western Caribbean with my mother and the ports of call it had to offer, the experience onboard the MSC Meraviglia left something to be desired. I will be completing my review of the ship in the near future. Until then stay safe and never stop dreaming.

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