Talk about a letdown. Our 7 day cruise departed on Sunday. We wrapped up the hospitality work Friday night, spent the night at an Atlanta hotel, and planned to drive back to Clearwater on Saturday. Saturday morning I received a call from the wife of my best friend. He was in cardiac arrest and they were headed to the hospital. He didn't make it.
On the one hand, I feel good that I was in contact with my friend as recently as Thursday. In fact, we were on the phone throughout the day as he was fretting about the latest financial crisis his family was in. On Thursday evening he called to tell me his pancreatitis had returned. Since he's been in the hospital so many times for it, I didn't think much of it. Along with numerous other ailments, this time it got him.
Needless to say, we rushed from Atlanta to the hospital in Birmingham. I stayed through the visitation on Tuesday evening. The family decided on cremation and opted not to have a funeral.
In case anyone is curious, Carnival Cruise Lines doesn't issue refunds or credits if you cancel a cruise the day before it departs. That hurts but I understand that they are unable to fill the cabin at such late notice. Still, it would have been nice if they offered some sort of credit toward another cruise.
In addition to the cruise ordeal, my best friend was also a tenant in my most expensive rental property. The financial impact of his passing goes much further than the canceled vacation, but hopefully I can get things worked out with his wife soon.