Caribbean: Third Sea Day

Saturday, October 30, 2021

To be able to stay on the ship for the next cruise, we had to take another Covid test. Ours was scheduled for 10:30 today. We got coffee at 8:30 but decided to wait and go to the Sea Day Brunch after we had our test.

I passed by Guest Services and people are already lining up I assume to discuss the crew gratuities (tips), sometimes known as the hotel service charge, that was added on the bill today. Some people say they always remove the automatic gratuities as they only want to tip the people who they have direct contact with and they want to tip them in cash.

I guess that sentiment is all well and good but I wonder if they know that Guest Services records who doesn’t leave the auto tips on and then notifies the stewards, etc. If they receive cash from those guests, the crew is obligated to give up the cash so it can be distributed in the same percentage as the auto gratuity is. For example, the steward and waiters can’t do their jobs correctly and efficiently without the people behind the scenes who wash the clothes, towels, linens, wash all the dishes, stock the carts, etc. If the crew fails to give up the cash and is discovered, they can be dismissed from employment immediately.

If a guest will leave the automatic gratuities on their bill, any additional cash they wish to present to a crew member can be kept by the crew member and he/she can decide if they wish to split it with someone else.

The ship doesn’t hide how much will be charged to you for the automatic gratuities. You see it in the paperwork of the total cost of the cruise. I think someone should just budget for it like you budget for any excursions you might take or purchases you might make. If you don’t want a bill at the end of the cruise, just pre-pay the tips when you pay for the cruise and you don’t have to think about it any more.

There are some who think people who take the gratuities off and “say” they are going to tip in cash just never tip at all. They stiff the crew who work so hard to make the vacation fun. I hope that is not the case and if it is, I hope karma gets them at some point.

At 10:20, we made our way to the Comedy Club Lounge where we checked in and seated. We only had to wait 10 or 15 minutes until our name was called and we went behind the partition for the antigen test. The medical staff performed the swab and said that we would be notified of the results. We kept our fingers crossed and went to the Sea Day brunch. I commented to the medical staff person that I knew they would be happy when testing wasn’t necessary any more. She shook her head and said from what she has been told, testing will go on for quite a while – probably all next year. Sad.

It was a rainy, cool day – first we have had since leaving Port Canaveral last Saturday so I knew there would not be pool time for me today. There was the towel animal invasion at the mid-pool area this morning before the rain.

We went to the magic show in the Showtime Theater and he did perform some very interesting card tricks.

Chuck got in some casino time and I came back to the room to catch up on my blog posts. Got ready for the afternoon/evening and met Chuck for a late lunch at the Deli.

I mentioned to him that we hadn’t got our results yet. He said they must be negative as they would have caught us early if it had been positive. They would not want us wandering around the ship.

We went on to the Alchemy Bar and then to the Casino. Stopped by the room before Dinner and tipped our cabin steward a little extra. We had an envelope on our bed and it had the negative tests results for us both. We can continue on with the next cruise. Yay!

Went to dinner and got seated in Percival’s section again but it was a different team. I hoped the team hadn’t tested positive. The new team leader said Percival’s team had gotten the Number 1 spot from the last cruise so had earned a paid day off. The staff earn credits from good reviews they get from guest surveys. I always try to remember names or write down names of staff members who go above and beyond for us. I want to be able to recognize them by name in the surveys.

I was glad they had a day off but it was too bad that it was the last sea day as they probably missed out on some extra tips as people didn’t know he wouldn’t be there that night.

We had a very good dinner – I had the pork chop and Chuck had the beef ribs.

We saw an excellent production show in the Showtime Theater – America Rocks. The band that plays in the Ocean Plaza each night – Magic Band – played in this production and the two singers also took part in the production. The woman singer (from Albany Georgia) definitely had a better voice than the two lead female singers in the cast. I didn’t realize how screechy their voices could be until I heard the Magic Band singer sing some of the songs. The Magic Band male singer was good but the two male vocalists did just as good as he did.

The sang a great variety of songs from Rock and Roll – Cars, Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, Bruce Springsteen, Pat Benatar, etc. The crowd was on their feet at the end.

As we have to be in the Northern Lights Dining Room at 9:00 tomorrow to present our sail and sign cards and passports for the second part of the cruise, we decided to call it a night.

No towel animal tonight. Lots of luggage out in the hallway ready to be picked up. I’m thankful that my hand has stopped hurting.

Author: mmmtravelmemories

A retired college administrator who loves to travel. I write to remember the experiences and, I hope, to inspire others to make their own travel memories.

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