After boarding the ship to return to Tampa, Florida, it was another time of resting, watching the water, eating, visiting the ship’s casino, and other activities.
When we came near Tampa, we were told to pack our bags and leave them outside the cabin doors. They would be picked up and carried to the areas where we were assigned to leave the ship upon docking. Among packing and checking the room for anything left behind, we could also check on the TV screen for our charges and make they sure they were okay.
I went into the bathroom to get my toiletries from the wall cabinet. The cabinet door was mirrored and encased with a metal frame. For some reason it wouldn’t stay open (it did at other times). While in a hurry to pack everything, the glass door slammed on my arm, cutting it in two places. It seems the bottom of the door was not enclosed, leaving a sharp edge on the bottom.
It bled quite a lot, so I decided to go to the first aid room and get some help. I started down the hallway to get an elevator, but the luggage was piled up and I couldn’t get to the elevator. One of the ship’s porters told me to take the stairs (we were on the 9th floor and the first aid place was on the 2nd floor).
I started down the stairs, but due to piled up baggage, I couldn’t get onto the 2nd floor. Another porter told me to go down another hallway and then down and I should be there. Needless to say, the narrow hallway was lined with baggage, and dodging them while trying to keep from bleeding to death was a trick.
Finally I reached the door of the first aid only to find it was closed. “They’re all gone,” I was told by another porter. “Fine!” I thought. I needed an antiseptic and bandages, so I turned the door knob and found it was unlocked. “Wow!” I thought. I walked in and called out. No one answered. I turned on some lights and walked through each room. I thought to myself, “OK, Sally. You know what to do. Go do it.” I found some antiseptic wipes, bandages and creams. I took the bloody kleenex from my arm and cleaned out my wounds, anointing them and bandaging them. I left a note on the front desk explaining what had happened, and that I helped myself to what I needed and took extra bandages. I wrote my name and room number, then went to the area we were supposed to wait for our disembarking.
It seemed like we were waiting for quite a while, so I told my brother I was going to see what was going on, as people were leaving, but there were still a few of us left. I started down the hallway to the area we were to exit when an officer of the ship walked up to me asking, “Are you Sally?” I thought, “Oh, great, what did I do now?” “Yes,” I said. He said, “I got your note from the first aid room. I want to know how you got in there.” I said, “The door was open and I went in and helped myself.” He kept asking me how I got in and I kept telling him the same thing. Someone had neglected to lock the door. Oh boy! Then he handed me a plastic bag with more bandages and antibiotic for my arm and went away. I thought, “Someone is in trouble.” I went back to my brother and told him what had happened and that I thought they were going to interrogate me more. But we made it off the ship with no more problems.
Getting back to Tampa, we all said our goodbyes and headed for the airport, where I had a good two hour wait. It was so good to get on that plane and land in Tucson.
Home again! My cat was so happy to see me he followed me all over the house for three days. And then it was back to the old routine, with no more trips for a while. As I look back on all of it now, I really am glad I had a chance to meet the family I didn’t know, and really glad I wasn’t one of those that got seasick. I loved being on the ocean, but also love the desert and the mountains. Home sweet home!