Thursday, August 10, 2023

Sifnos & Farewell Party

Last day…it started slow, but the last days had flown.  This morning we pulled into Sifnos as the sun was rising.  This morning the humidity was fully on, and it was hot.  Alec slept straight through several wake ups after the long day yesterday, so he opted to stay on board and sleep.  The rest of us headed on land and decided it was our last day so time to take a Greek bus.  2 euros for the bus versus a 25-euro taxi ride we reminded Ally this was the way to go for a traveling college student.  It was easy and clean, and the AC was even working well.  

The Chora was beautiful 25 minutes up on a hill overlooking the harbor.  Lovely little shops, beautiful buildings, but the heat got to us and we popped into a local café where the owner did not speak English and had our first freddo (cold) cappuccinos.  Back on the bus and back to the harbor we settled into Takis for lunch right on the water again.  Something for everyone it worked out well.  We have been eating so much I have converted over to salads on land the last few days.  

Ally still having a few more items to look for for friends we stayed on land and Andy returned to the ship to Alec who we had gotten his massage rescheduled and was relaxing after.  We thought we had a tender back at 2:15pm but walking there it pulled away 5 minutes early as they had staff who needed to get back ASAP for preparations for the night.  Mikel felt bad so he invited Ally and I to sit with him at a café and got me another freddo coffee while Ally enjoyed gelato.  It was wonderful to sit and talk with him.  38 years old with a bachelors and masters in Spanish from Cuba, the oldest of 4, he’s been working for a few years saving money for a home and is returning home this fall.  He misses his family and talks to them and his friends there almost daily.  He talked to Ally a lot about life and family.  The nicest guy!

Back on board we decided to wear all our new Greek clothes for our farewell dinner.  A beautiful evening that started with group photos on the back deck and drinks.  Then course upon course upon course of Greek food.  We heard there was a surprise and noticed staff gathering on the lower back deck in dress uniform. After dessert Mark took the wireless microphone, he’s been using all week and we finally got to see and meet ALL the staff.  The captain, chief engineer, engineering team, housekeeping, and then of course everyone we had seen day in and day out all week wait staff, tender trio, activities, and of course the bartender.  There are about 25 crew and when the boat is full capacity, 50, that means a 1:2 ratio.  And we definitely felt the personal attention and care.  So nice to know nearly everyone by name.

Next thing we knew confetti guns went off showering the entire back deck in color and we would dance for the next hour plus, including the limbo and Greek dance we had been taught.  The best part was the staff danced too.  In fact, someone won a bet with the activities director to take $50 off their bar bill because they got the captain to dance.  Mikel, also our Samba teacher, got his moves on too.  So much fun under a beautiful night sky.  Can’t believe it was coming to an end…an overnight trek back to the mainland and we were off the ship at 7AM to the airport and the next adventure.

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