My flight from Tampa to Atlanta spent a tiny bit of time out over the Gulf of Mexico Saturday morning. It was a beautiful day to fly, and I couldn’t help but stare at the beautiful blue water only broken by the wake of ships and boats sailing to who knows where. After a relatively chilly few days in Tampa, my mind turned to sailing somewhere warm. Soon enough, we were on the ground in Atlanta, and I was on my way to the curb where MrsMJ was waiting. We are blessed that our home is a short walk from a favorite Mexican spot, where we enjoyed lunch and a few of these.
For whatever reason, Margaritas remind me of cruising. The conversation quickly turned to how much fun it would be to get out of town for a day or two, preferably to somewhere warm. MrsMJ then blurted out of the blue, “is there a short cruise we can take leaving around the 15th or so?” JOY!!! iPhones are great for many things including searching for cruises. Our favorite lines, Celebrity and Royal Caribbean offer apps and/or mobile sites that are completely capable of quick searches and even booking a cruise, so we started looking. Nothing, and I mean nothing was coming up on short notice at a price we wanted to pay, but more importantly offered sailing dates we could make work with very limited time. There were a few possibilities, but nothing was working out.
Then I remembered, a favorite ship of ours, Monarch of the Seas, is setting sail on her farewell cruise for Royal Caribbean later this month. Not only that, the cruise is a 3-night weekender that fits perfectly with our schedule. This was getting serious. Time to break out the iPad! A few clicks, and what do you know? Not only was the timing right, but so was the price!! Within 2 minutes, I had booked a cruise over Margaritas!! My attention immediately turned to flights. Using the FlyDelta app for iPad, I was able to identify flights that would work for us, and booked those too.
Were this just any old Bahamas cruise, I probably wouldn’t be this excited. But this is the final cruise of Monarch of the Seas for Royal Caribbean. The ship is heading to drydock after this cruise and will reemerge at RCL’s sister line, Pullmantur. Monarch holds the distinction of being the ship where I turned 40 and where I watched my first space shuttle launch. In fact, my cruise later this month will be my 5th aboard the ship. Not a record for me, Majesty of the Seas holds that honor, but notable nonetheless. I’ve never been on the farewell cruise for a retiring (transferring) ship, so this should be interesting. I expect a special occasion with a lot of celebration and a little nostalgia too. Once upon a time, Monarch of the Seas was the biggest ship in the world. Now, she’s considered smallish. I’m glad that I’ll get to sail on her last cruise with Royal Caribbean. I’m even breaking with my 3-night cruise dress tradition and busting out my tuxedo. I’ll raise a goodbye toast to Monarch in the style she deserves. And yes, I’ll blog about the experience too.