We awoke to the sounds of the ship docking and knew we should start getting ready for immigration. Since this was our first port back in the USA, we had to go to a face to face immigration. We were in group two so we figured it would take a little while. As we were dressing, they called group two. Very quickly, we finished dressing and went to the Galaxy Lounge where we did not wait in line long at all. After immigration, we headed to Marketplace for coffee and a light breakfast.
We left the ship around 8:30. There was a complimentary trolley that took us into the center of town. We walked to the Hemingway House and a tour was starting about five minutes after we purchased our tickets. The tour guide was delightfully enthusiastic and knowledgeable. Even if you aren’t a huge fan of Hemingway, I still think you would enjoy the tour. The house and grounds are beautiful and the history is interesting. Of course, the stars are the 59 cats who reside there. They are all named for famous actors it seems. We saw one cat curled up sound asleep on the master bed. Out by the pool, near Hemingway’s last cent, we saw Marilyn Monroe sunbathing. His writing loft looks ready for him to sit at the typewriter. After the tour, we proceeded down the street to the Southernmost Point landmark. The line was pretty long but we managed to get some cool photos without waiting with some speed and creativity.
It was still pretty early in the day so we walked over to Duvall Street. The temperature was fairly warm and we forgot to bring water from the ship so we stopped in to Walgreens to buy some. Our favorite bartender, Petar mentioned his love of Doritos and Cheetos so I saw them and had to buy him some as a treat. He had been crafting us fine Manhattans every night so he deserved this small token.
Back on board, we returned to our cabin to find a terrible sight, our suitcases on the bed. I decided we should do some packing before we go relax. We packed most of our stuff and then changed our clothes and headed poolside for lunch and relaxation. Lunch was light in Marketplace as many were still ashore. We both made a salad lunch and saw our pal, Viktor. We told him we would be dining tonight in Waterside. After lunch, it was to the couches under an umbrella to read, write and relax. It started getting sunnier so we moved to our favorite round chairs in the shade. We had a quick dip in the pool to cool off. After the swim, I wanted to try the drink of the day, the Key Lime Martini. I saw Alan wave at me from across the deck and I waved back. He came over and before I could order, he asked if we were ready for a Key Lime Martini. He’s the best! The drink was a nice substitute for not getting the pie when we went ashore. It had a graham cracker rim and was made with coconut milk to make it creamy. So refreshing! A nice dessert. We relaxed, read and napped until Chris went to hit some golf balls. I stayed at the chair a little longer soaking in my last day.
The last day went by quickly and it was time to shower and dress for dinner. We went to our usual spot, Avenue Saloon to finish out the Manhattan Mission. We brought Petar his treat and he gave us the biggest smile. It seemed to surprise him which made the little treat even better! I ended with the Reposado which is made with tequila. It was very good with orange and chocolate flavors yet not sweet. Chris had the Rob Roy which according to Petar was the first one of the cruise. The Rob Roy was made with scotch but I did not find it to be a very strong scotch. I am not a fan of scotch and I could drink this one but with so many other choices, it would not be my first pick. The snacks were crudités and arancini. We had a great start to the evening with nice drinks and good conversations with fellow passengers.
Chris had made a special order the previous evening for Chateaubriand so we were both anxious to go to dinner. As we barely walked into Waterside, Remy the maitre’d recognized us and knew to seat us with Viktor. We started dinner with one of our favorites, Beef Crudo. It is horseradish, mashed potatoes and Wagyu beef in a jar filled with smoke. It is opened by the waiter and a small wisp of smoke comes out that fills your nostrils with a delightful aroma. The beef is deliciously tender and potatoes are so creamy. Our next course was lobster and mushroom strudel. I really enjoyed this as well. Dinner was our special order of Chateaubriand. It was cooked perfectly. The sauce that came with it was outstanding. For dessert, we both ordered the Key Lime mousse. It was a modern twist of a classic with a band of marshmallows around it. We both really enjoyed it. It was the perfect last dinner aboard Symphony. Always a bittersweet day, we took a photo with Viktor and said our farewells. Although he asked if we would be at breakfast. We typically do not eat in Waterside for breakfast but quickly decided we would tomorrow.
The Crystal Quartet was finishing up their set but we did manage to dance a few songs. We skipped the show tonight which for 5-6-7-8, a production style show. During the break of music, we went back to Avenue. We had a Jaggermeister chilled to settle our stomachs from the meal. The pianist played a few songs but soon it was his break as well. The dim lights of the bar started to make someone drowsy. I suggested to go back to Starlite to dance but instead we returned to the cabin to get our bags outside. The comfortable bed drew us in and we finished up the lecture I’d been falling asleep to for a few nights now. It was an interesting lecture about Titanic but he has a very soothing voice. I went to sleep thinking this cruise went by too fast!