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End Of The Cruise – Not The End Of Fun

In the morning our final Sail and Sign card bills were shoved under the door and taken care of. Mine was less than $100 so I was happy I had controlled my spending onboard. I’m sure others who were drinking a lot were not so happy. Oops!

We went up on deck one more time and then to breakfast. As priority FTTF passengers, we were put in the number 2 group to disembark. We were given instructions to be in the Rome Lounge on deck 3 at 8:30 am. It proved to be very confusing because the cruise director, Jen, kept constantly announcing that everyone should stay off deck 3 as they would be turned away. They need to clarify their special instructions about that to tell us to ignore the announcements. We made it down to the lounge a bit late and found quite a few people already there. It took a long time after we docked to get customs to clear the ship and start unloading. They took the self-assist people first (those carrying all their own luggage off). That took a long time too. The big screen in the lounge was showing cartoons to try and keep the kiddies entertained. An hour later when they finally got to us, they called our number then immediately starting calling a bunch of other numbers behind us. That really swelled the line. It moved reasonably fast though. Once again they scanned our cards and we headed down the never ending turns of the gangway. While out on the open part of the gangway, we waived for several minutes to the Galveston cruise cam mounted on the Harbor House while Bernie got her daughter on the phone to grab a pic of us. Score another webcam geocache for us! You can’t really see us but it was good enough.

Galveston Cruise Cam Geocache

Down in the terminal, we found our bags. One of mine was put in the wrong group despite the clearly numbered tag so be sure to look around if one of yours goes missing. With my duffel bag now much fuller than when the cruise started, I whined a bit about the weight and my friend went to get a porter for us. That turned out to be a very fortunate and smart whine. The porters get to bypass the long line that snaked back and forth through the terminal. He grabbed all our bags and whisked us off to the far side and right into a short line at customs. We showed our passports and handed over our customs forms to a very nice smiling fellow who waved us right through. Next came the Texas tax authorities which we were able to bypass since we hadn’t brought any booze or cigarettes back with us. BEWARE: Texas charges big taxes on that stuff so most of it will not be any bargain when you are done paying tax on it. I think they charge $4 per bottle of liquor. Know before you go!

Our porter swept us past the tax authorities and outside where he dropped off our bags with Bernie while I went to get my truck. He offered to take the bags all the way to our parking but the terminal was so busy and I felt he was really needed there to help others get through the long lines. We tipped him well. I got my truck and didn’t have too hard a time getting into the terminal area and finding Bernie. Everyone seemed to be pretty well behaved and there wasn’t any horn honking. We went straight from there to the Inn at the Waterpark nearby in Galveston.

The Inn at The Waterpark was pretty decent. They were nice enough to give us a room on the first floor and I really liked how it was laid out and how spacious it was. We put on our bathing suits and headed over to the Schlitterbahn Waterpark almost next door. The waterpark parking lots are right behind the motel. I had a coupon to get one of us in for free I was itching to use. I got it with my New Braunfels Schlitterbahn yearly pass at the end of last season. Now for any of you that are wondering how we got in during April which is out of season, the Galveston waterpark is part inside and that part stays open. We had a fantastic time! We went round and round on Torrent River, explored the wave pool, hit the hot pool which is very hot and has a bar in it, and hung out on the beach. I introduced Bernie to smoked turkey legs for lunch. YUM! We stayed until closing time.

Before going back to the motel, we went after a geocache very close by. It was at an aircraft museum and was hanging in plain sight (if you have good eyesight)  on the fence. Just as I found it, a couple pulled in near us. Considering the odd place we were parked, we knew it had to be more geocachers and it was. We all got to sign the log and they put it back.

We went back to the motel to change and go to dinner in their restaurant. The food was pretty good. We also looked over their miniature golf course which looked very interesting. We didn’t have time to play but will keep it in mind for the next time we stay there. It was that time… Zzzzz.

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