Giovanni’s Table and the Queen of Upsell, a relaxing last day at sea, Solarium Bistro, the cruise virus

Our Oasis cruise is winding down and we are quite sad. We love the Central Park area best, have enjoyed the specialty restaurants and are very impressed with this mega ship.

Last night we had dinner at another Central Park restaurant, Giovanni’s Table. They feature Italian specialties done family style. We got a table outside and our wait person, Ana from Romania, had to be the distant cousin of our Turkish waiter from Chops Grille on Sunday. She persuaded us to buy a much more expensive bottle of wine and this time we succumbed to the pitch to purchase one of those decanter gizmos. I actually turned this in today as a minor gripe on the cruise survey, as the strong-arming to buy an expensive bottle of wine or something else like the decanter is a little overbearing.

The food was actually very good – we shared a Caprese salad, with fresh mozzarella (ok, where are the cows kept?) and I had a pappardelle with pancetta. Steve had a crepe (similar to manicotti) with a bolognese sauce. We split two tiny cannoli for dessert. Very good dinner! We will end the cruise without visiting the main dining room.

Today we slept in as late as possible, had breakfast at the Park Cafe, went shopping (a few items for sale) and finished our packing this afternoon, then checked in for our flights. It turns out that somehow my Global Entry information had never been entered, so Steve got it in and we are both showing TSA Pre-check for tomorrow. Tonight, we had dinner at the Solarium Bistro on deck 15 forward. This was another nice meal, with healthy selections. We both had the bison filet, which was quite good, but obviously had been frozen. Everything else that accompanied it was amazing, especially the grilled sweet potatoes. The Bistro was very quiet, probably because this is the last night and most fellow passengers are scrambling to pack, do as much as possible, or both.

We meet at the ungodly hour of 7:00 am for our post-cruise shore excursion around the sights of Ft. Lauderdale before getting to the airport around 1:00 pm for our flight at 3:48. I will try to do our top ten list of our cruise (and a handful of lowlights) tomorrow.

Oh, one more thing – apparently some people have had gastrointestinal illnesses on Oasis (the Norwalk virus problem, which is prominent this time of year). We had to fill out a form saying whether or not we have had symptoms (not yet!) and they are doing double-duty on sanitation. We have been happy with the way they handle food in every venue except the buffet and the Wipeout Cafe on the pool deck (that place is pretty horrible, actually). When I noted a middle-aged, well-dressed woman using the restroom tonight and walk out without washing her hands, it is apparent that some people never properly learn good hygiene and that drives me absolutely bonkers. I have seen people not wash their hands on other cruises, too, and at Disney Parks and sporting venues and I even have noted it with a few co-workers (grrrr.). Last New Year’s Eve was ruined for me when I came down with a stomach bug, so I hope we can escape unscathed.

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