Civatavecchia – Embarkation and All That

As Rome woke up on Saturday morning and we got ready for our taxi ride to the ship, I stepped out on our postage stamp sized balcony for a photo of the street in front of the hotel.

Arrivederci Roma! We had a lot better time than we expected, since we were just here waiting to go on the ship.

We crammed ourselves and our luggage into the tiny elevator – accompanied by another idiot who couldn’t be bothered to walk down one flight of stairs. Finally we got to the lobby.

When we had checked out, we were picked up by the same nice young man who drove us in from the airport. It was about an hour’s drive to the port – first through the streets of Rome and then through the country. As we got closer to Civitavecchia and entered the town itself traffic got very heavy again. Once we were on the Silhouette we figured out why.

There were three Costa ships in port.

Also Cunard’s Queen Victoria.

Not to mention a ro-ro ferry and our own ship. About 15000 cruisers coming and going. That is a lot, even for a busy port like Civitavecchia.

The weather – which had been nice in Rome – now threatened to turn rainy and stormy. In fact Celebrity Cruises changed our first port of call from Livorno to La Spezia – a snug harbor which was easier to get into if the sea was bumpy. This didn’t affect our trip to Florence much since we scheduled a ship’s tour. But those with private tours were scrambling to change their reservations.

We’d been here before but this was our first time embarking in Civatavecchia. The cruise terminal isn’t fancy, but they were fast and efficient. We were soon whisked through the lines and safely aboard.

Meanwhile the crew loaded up some last minute provisions.

We settled into Cabin 7312 and unpacked after Elroy (our friendly cabin attendant) delivered our luggage. This would be home for two weeks. Seemed a bit tiny after our nice hotel room in Rome but we soon got used to it.

Time to sail away. Civatavecchia isn’t the most butt-ugly port we’ve been in (Hello St. Petersburg!) but it isn’t exactly Sydney Harbor either. This familiar power plant looks a lot better at twilight than it does in the daytime. And so we began our journey.



Published by Ray MacDonald

Ray MacDonald is a retired food scientist who lives in Almonte, ON.
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