28.05.2011 - 28.05.2011 70 °F
Saturday is our last sea day of the cruise. Captain Perrin lets us know that we we will be passing through the Strait of Messina on our way to Naples, and that he'll keep us close to the Calabria coast, at least until dark, for some scenic cruising. We will have a front row seat from our balcony.
All is not peaches and cream, however. The ship has gone to "Code Red" due to the increased level of gastrointestinal illnesses aboard. A letter from the chief medical officer is dropped off at every cabin, explaining the necessity. The letter claims that the bug was probably brought aboard during our stay in Egypt, and that the number of cases has peaked and begun to decline.
Far be it from me to second guess the Captain or the Medical Officer, but I know from bitter experience that SOMETHING was definitely on board before Egypt.
Sure enough, guests are no longer allowed to handle tongs, plates, salt, pepper, etc. Extra blue-gloved personnel are stationed throughout the Horizon Court to serve the passengers without allowing them to touch the utensils.
Enhanced sanitization measures start being implemented as well. I witness staff in the casino, laboriously spraying and cleaning each individual chip. Public restroom doors are propped open, so that users don't need to touch the handles. I hear grumbling from some passengers, but I'm actually relieved to see these measures, and wish they had implemented it much earlier in the week.
One of the great things about this ship (and something that makes it well-suited to Mediterranean cruising) is the huge indoor pool. Unfortunately, the Star Princess has now been moved to other itineraries, and the Crown Princess, which has no indoor pool area, has taken over this route.
Anyway, after we pass through the Strait, we're treated to some beautiful scenery.
A trio in a small open boat start motoring toward the ship from shore. I can see one of them has a camera with a large lens, and is taking photos. The boat keeps pace with us, just off the starboard quarter. While everyone out the balconies seems to enjoy this, we're able to see the officers on the bridge wing from our stateroom, and they don't look quite so pleased. After a bit, someone lets loose a loud blast of the ship's horn. I don't think it's intended as a greeting.
The boat falls back, then swings around to the port side of the ship, where it's lost to our view. It must have kept pace with us, because it did not reappear on our side for at least a half an hour. Then, with a few waves and shouts, they headed in to shore.
As dusk falls, we are treated to a rare sight. A village along the coast must be having a festival, as we see a sudden eruption of fireworks. It's Mrs. Z's birthday today, and I joke that I have arranged the display just for her.
Tonight is our second formal, and we head down to the Capri dining room for dinner. The menu tonight includes lobster tail and enormous shrimp, which I thoroughly enjoy. We skip the production show, "British Invasion" and get a head start on our packing, including getting some laundry done.
I'll note that the laundry room on our deck has been consistently busy throughout the cruise. One of the dryers was broken, which caused a bit of a backup. Never the less, we managed to get a load of wash done, so we've got fresh clothes for the next few days. We relax at the spa afterward.
In the morning, I wake up to a wonderful sight....sunrise over Mt. Vesuvius.