Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Drama, Drama, Drama

After leaving Florence and heading to the port in Civitavecchia we thought that our dramatic adventures were over. We were... slightly wrong. First of all, we had spent the entire trip up until then riding in very nice trains. This train had a LOT to be desired. No real AC, very dirty... I'm talking dirtier than a NY subway dirty, loud and just over all a very uncomfortable ride. We spent our entire trip looking at this sign:

Obviously this made me laugh for numerous reasons one of which being... when people get stuck in between the doors in Italy... is their natural reaction to try and hump the doors in order to defend themselves?

We spent the night in a very nice hotel which had the one thing I would've given just about anything for and that was a TV that converted every channel to any language you wanted. We could finally watch channels other than CNN! Don't get me wrong... being updated on what's happening in the world is wonderful but listening to that one man who rang a bell every time he thought he made an important point was torturous! The night was uneventful, we did our hair and relaxed... there is an amazing picture which I would never dream of putting up on here... simply because I've seen the wrath of my mother...but it is blackmail for both us. All I'm saying is, it's amazing what Ambrose hair looks like when it's not straightened.

The next day we woke up early and headed towards the ship. Finally we could settle in a place for longer than a few days and really relax (and work on my tan lines)! The first thing we did once we checked in was searched for food. It was 11:30 and I was completely starving! We spent a good amount of time there since we couldn't get into our state room until 1 and mom spent a nice 10 minutes texting Sam & Mike that we were on board and doing great!

The stateroom was lovely. It had 2 beds, a couch and of course our very own balcony. It was perfect! There isn't too much to do on a cruise when you first get on. You can tour the ship and try and remember the key places you'll want to revisit (dining areas, pools, theatre) so we spent a good deal of time in our room just settling in. As we were doing this I heard what to me sounded like a very loud monkey. The curious individual that I am I decided to see what all the commotion was and went onto the balcony to see not a monkey but several people in an altercation. About 4 travelers (2 men, 2 women--one of the women is the monkey voice), several Royal Caribbean staff and even more Italian Police. It looked to me like one of the travelers was insulted, pushed, bothered (who knows) by the ship staff. Good judgement by them too seeing that one of the men looked to be drunk. The women were escorted onboard and the men were put in the police car. Not exactly the type of situation I'd ever want to be in. Going to jail in a foreign country would probably be just as scary as someone banning all the worlds flat irons for hair (and that's REALLY scary).

At about 5:00 we were set to start our journey but 5:00 came and went and the ship wasn't moving. 5:15 and still nothing. 5:20 I walk out to the balcony and there is yet more drama happening below. It looks like there is a family trying to get on the ship. An older man and woman with a very young girl (14 or 15 maybe). The girl seemed frantic about finding a piece of paper and when her luggage was brought out from the ship she ran towards it screaming saying she knew where it was. But it wasn't there. I felt so horrible for them all. It seemed that the ship was being held for them but by 5:45 we still had yet to leave. Then... a car drove up... it was a police car. At first I thought that they were coming to deal with this family and their lack of papers but as the car got closer I realized how wrong I was. The guys who had been arrested earlier were being brought back to the ship. Because of them we waited until 6:00 to leave... a whole hour behind. If you're a cruiser you know that means the ship has to go faster which also translates into more rocking and on the first night a rocking ship is not fun!

Taken just before dinner:

Dinner time! We were placed at a table with, I have to say, the BEST group of people ever! There was Carol and Michael... a couple celebrating not only their anniversary but also Carol's birthday! They're from Pennsylvania so naturally I relate to the north east connection... the both of them were very sweet and incredibly welcoming! Then there was Dee Dee and Sharon... a mother/daughter tag team like us enjoying their time together! Dee Dee who I later learned was on her break from being deployed in Iraq. All of us had cruised before except for Sharon (I think Dee Dee had... now I can't remember) so as the cruise was rocking Sharon was telling us how whoozy it was making her. Now you have to understand. When you're on a cruise the table you're placed at can either make or break you. You either have the greatest people to sit with or the worst. I knew the second that Sharon said she was worried that the rocking on the ship was going to make her head fall into her soup that we had scored the good table! All of us laughed, of course... how could you not see that as funny and even funnier was when she went to leave the table. Now I need to preface this with the fact that I love this woman... she is very near and dear to my heart... she has spunk and pizazz and lots of style... all of which she expresses in her walk. A very hippy walk that lets you know she's in the room and you'd better take notice! This walk mixed with the rocking on the boat was amazing. She worked it out of that room... swaying to the left... then swaying to the right. It was... amazing and a moment I'll never forget!

Later that night we went to see the show that they put on. *sigh* okay... understand that I'm a broadway snob and I am incredibly opinionated when it comes to seeing people perform. I'm gonna do all of us a favor and not sugar coat this. It. Was. AWFUL!!! OMG... where did they get these performers!!?? Honestly I didn't even clap. I know some great singers who have been performers on cruises... kids who I went to school with. These guys on this ship just had everything to be desired. Then there was a juggler... well mom hates jugglers just as much as she hates Conan O'Brien... and she really really hates him. She gets this look of disgust on her face whenever he's on TV... actually it cracks me up because I love him but I digress...

After the performance from hell we ran into Dee Dee and Sharon who were heading to the same thing we wanted to go to... a game show called Finish That Lyric. Sounded fun enough. I wasn't gonna do it but my excuse is that Sharon made me do it and I'm sticking to that! It was totally rigged. The first round Sharon just stood there after the song dropped out... Dee Dee screamed from the audience "sing woman!" (another outstanding moment for me--very funny) and nada. She was out. I lasted I think 2 more rounds and then the girl running it chose the most random song... there was no way on Earth I was getting it. C'est La Vie!

As we were very tired and going on an excursion to Sicily the next day we decided to turn in. So far though the cruise was looking very promising and I was really looking forward to an adventure on Mount Etna the following day!

Taken just after dinner from our balcony:

A close up:


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