Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Exactly a month ago that we were getting ready to leave the port of Civitavecchia to begin our 7-day Western Mediterranean cruise. Civitavecchia is about 45 miles northwest of Rome, in the central Italian region of Latium and a convenient port for hundreds of cruise ships. We did not spend much time there, just enough to take a few photos of the lighthouse and the breakwater along the harbor. Civitavecchia means "ancient town".

After our ride from the airport, on Sunday, June 29th, we checked in with the cruise ship and turned over our luggages to be taken to our stateroom, we were informed that we could either wait a few hours until 2:00 p.m. to embark or take the free shuttle bus to go into town. We decided to sit, half falling asleep, in the waiting room at the port. The building was set up for practical purpose, a warehouse for storage of bags to be transfered onto the ship and as collection of luggages after passengers were disembarked. There were row of chairs with arms to prevent people from lying down taking a nap or sleeping. There was a vending machine and restrooms. At around 12:30 p.m. a welcome table with juice and soda in small plastic cups provided at no charge. Beers or wine were available for purchasing. Not much for a welcome reception!
At around 1:00 p.m. we saw the staff putting the retractable ropes for waiting lines to be formed in front of the counters where passengers must show proof of citizenships or legal status and as security clearance. When we saw a person in uniform making announcement, in Italian, we started getting in line. Good thing we did because the message was announced only once, in Italian, not English or any other languages, not that we could understand German or French! As we proceeded orderly thru the lines, a man dis-engaged the ropes, cut in front of us and started calling loudly in Italian for his family, wife, 4 children, and his mother to move up. Sadly the man was not the only one who behaved in uncivilized manner. Most of the Italian people we had the misfortune of encountering on the ship were rude, loud and almost primitive in their behaviors. There was no "scusi" or "mi dispiace" when the person ran over you to get ahead and when we had to form waiting lines, these people constantly cutting in the front of the line. I wonder if anyone else has similar negative experience and would like to share their horrible yet funny stories about Italian passengers on cruise ships.

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