European Adventures, Honeymoon Day 5 – Our Last Day in Rome, and The Ship! – Chapter 6
For previous honeymoon posts, click on the links below:
Arriving in Rome & Wedding Memories
Downtown Rome and a Scary Experience
The Colosseum & Navigating Rome While Handicapped
A quick note for anyone that hasn’t read the previous chapters – the information is broken up because of journal entries written while on the trip. Anything quoted was written while traveling, and is usually written the day after the events, so when you’re reading it in past tense, it’s not as strange as it sounds. I’m so glad that I kept writing in my journal while we traveled, sometimes it’s those little things that are so easily forgotten that bring back awesome memories!
Wow what a crazy day on the ship! We woke up to lightning over the ocean, and the ship’s enormous horn! But more about that later. Back to Rome – our last day!
Well, kind of. Last few hours I suppose. We woke up and I was determined to take in the last sunrise, and God didn’t disappoint. I knew this would be my last morning in this happy place, so I sat on the balcony and enjoyed my coffee while writing. I felt waves of gratitude and joy crash over my heart. Here I was in, the city that I’ve always wanted to visit, with my new husband, and love of my life.
I have always been a sucker for rays of light peeking through the clouds.
First thing Sunday, we knew we needed to find an ATM for the ship. So we went to breakfast and thoroughly enjoyed our last meal at Hotel Spring House (boo… no more caprese breakfasts!) and then went upstairs to get ready. Tom wanted to go find an ATM while I showered and packed. I was a little concerned about him walking around alone, but I figured he would be fine. It was a Sunday morning, so he knew better than to go to close to the Vatican. He came back flustered and said the ATM didn’t work. I made a quick call to make sure the card was okay and he went back out again. This time he was gone for quite awhile and I was really starting to worry. Being so far from home meant I couldn’t just call him – a luxury that I had grown quite accustomed to. I tried to keep myself busy by packing but I was still worried, and folding clothes wasn’t helping. When he got back I broke down and hugged him SO tight, I was so happy to see him. Everything was packed, the ATM was fine, and we were ready to go. We checked out and got into our cab to the train station. I decided that it would be best for us to avoid Termini – we had been there on the bus tour and it looked like one big clusterf*** of activity. We had a direct train from Roma San Pietro to Civitavecchia – the cruise port. While waiting for the train, we met another couple on our ship from Arizona. In between conversations, I could hear the bells from mass at the Vatican and I smiled. What a great exit from our home for the past four days!
Our train was direct – and because the upgrade from coach to first class was only 2 Euros more, I splurged. I was thinking HEY first class, it has to be awesome! What a poor, ignorant soul I was. Not only had I never been on a train (LightRail doesn’t count) but I’ve never ridden a train in Europe. First of all, there were NO signs. We didn’t know what track to go to, what direction to go, or what the heck we were doing, and we were also lugging around all of our luggage, with me on crutches. Sound fun? Yay… first class. So finally we found the right track, after going UNDER the train station via elevator and then back UP to the top to go under the tracks, and we waited. When the train arrived we boarded and found ourselves in a really crappy spot. Again, keep in mind that there were no signs. No signs for TRAINS, much less first class or otherwise. We found ourselves in the spot between cars – where apparently, the people who don’t have tickets like to sit. So much for first class. There was zero ventilation, and I guess the people that like to ride in this section of the train find that showering for a train ride is just SILLY because wow, I was trying to hold my breath. It was standing room only, extremely hot, and crowded. Oh and this is also where the trash was as well. Perfect for throwing away your sardines, shoudl you need a receptable. And of course, because I am always in awe of trashcans that are considerate enough to remind me to throw away my sardine cans, I had to take a quick phone picture.
After a few stops, I looked at Tom and told him we needed to move to the car behind us. I think my face must have been a lovely shade of green, because he agreed. We moved between cars – WHILE THE TRAIN WAS MOVING. Okay, all of you who are routine traingoers are laughing at me right now – because I was freaking out. I kept picturing action movies where people jump between trains, and I was NOT thrilled. We very carefully moved to the car behind us, and a kind gentleman offered me his seat. I sat and propped up my ankle, thinking of a happy place, because that train was definitely not it. We had no clue what stop or when to get off. Again – no signs, no maps, no numbers, no announcements, nothing was said, we didn’t even know if we were on the right train. We were hoping for the best. Luckily I overheard someone near us say Civitavecchia and I asked – they were going to the same place and helped us.
The first time we saw the ocean it was a welcome site! We knew we were close. We arrived and were SO glad to get off, even though the heat and humidity assaulted us upon exit. A short taxi ride brought us to the ship, which was HUGE. We were early and when they saw me on crutches the cruiseline immediately got me a wheelchair. The process was quick and easy, although I’m still a little weirded out that they took our passports to hold onto. We went to the cafe for lunch becasue our cabin wasn’t ready yet and sat down for a few. When we were able to go to our stateroom, we made our way downstairs to deck 9. The room was much larger than I expected, and I loved our balcony! Another happy place.
I pre-ordered juice and it was the opposite of what I had ordered – all grapefruit, which is the one fruit I detest. Yay? I kept calling to get it corrected, to no avail. Tom finally told me that he would take care of it, my irritation level was getting a tad too high. We had just come from a hotel with amazing service, so the lack of service thus far was highly annoying to me. I gave up. We changed into our bathing suits and heard a knock at the door.
I was fully expecting someone to fix the juice, as I had been assured of resolution several times now. Tom answered the door to find Chad and Linda – our cruise buddies that we had never met. Weird right? Linda found me on a cruise website and we had been emailing back and forth for months! Two of our ports were tours planned with Chad and Linda, and here they were – normal and smiling and fun. Not gonna lie, I was a little concerned. This was our honeymoon, and we had scheduled two of our most important ports with people we didn’t know. You never really know what someone is like until you spend a little time with them. What if they were boring? Or completely annoying? I get along with most people but sometimes my patience for ignorance or rude people is not what it should be. So yes, I was a little worried. But when they introduced themselves and started laughign with us, I was glad to already know someone on board. They were fun and down to earth, and it was nice to know and see a friendly face. I mean, they had already started on cocktails and we hadn’t even left the port yet – I knew we were going to get along JUST fine.
They left to get to their room and we went to the pool. They were there too so we sat and talked for awhile until the drill time. My lovely new husband, Mr. Rule Follower, freaked out and we HAD to get to the muster station as soon as possible. We got through the drill easily and went back to the pool. Now for anyone out there that loves water as much as I do, if you see a pool, and you have your bathing suit on, what do you do? You JUMP IN. So silly me, I jumped in. Without testing the water first. Like I usually do at home, without issue. Although on the ship there were two issues. Two VERY large issues. 1 – the pool was FREEZING cold. Like seriously, ice down the shirt cold. 2. the pool was salt water. Not just salt water, but CRAZY salty. I could put my hands and feed out and would bob up and down because of all of the salt. That doesn’t sound too bad, right? Except when you’re not expecting it and it burns your eyes – ow. I got out very quickly and decided to take pictures instead. We listened to the live music, but decided to go back to our room to nap before dinner. Plus, I had to get the water off of me. Feeling sticky was not high on my list of happy feelings.
When I was in the shower – they fixed my juice – yay! I got out and found my orange and apple juice – yum – and saw that we had a voicemail. I figured it would be Chad and Linda – because we didn’t know anyone else on the ship, and who the heck would call us? But no… we were in trouble. At this point it was 6:30pm, and only one of our suitcases had been delivered. We were a little worried. And then, a voice mail from security. When I heard that voice mail, a little light bulb went off above my head – when we were in Rome, I bought Tom a Gladiator sword outside of the Coloseum as a souvenir. Oops. It wasn’t huge or sharp, it is a collector piece, but it is definitely a weapon. And it was in the bag that hadn’t been delivered. I guess the metal detectors work, and the ship doesn’t want a sword walking around. Who knew? So we went down to the “naughty room.” The room where people are called when security detects a forbidden item. We had to check the sword, to be picked up on our way off of the ship at the end of the week. Okay, we had our second bag. Juice was fixed, life was good. Time to relax before dinner! We got dressed for dinner and navigated through the ship to our assigned dining room. We didn’t know it’s one REALLY big dining room. With a beautiful chandelier. A HUGE chandelier, with lots of SPARKLES and RHINESTONES. Be still, my heart. We sat down to our first meal of being waited on hand and foot. I wasn’t even supposed to open my own napkin. As a mother, used to taking care of everyone else – this was completely foreign to me. But hey, if someone else wants to pull out my chair and open my napkin for me, who am I to complain?
We dined and talked, and went back to our room. We had every intention of enjoying the ship’s nightlife but we were just so exhausted! So we retired to our room, where my TV-starved husband had a remote control and a working TV. He was thrilled. Me, not so much. But oh well. We watched the destinations channel quite a bit, to learn more about where we were going. We set an alarm for our first port, and in the end, we drifted off. It didn’t matter what was on at that point. We were so tired that the back of our eyelides were much more entertaining, and fell asleep to information about our first port – Sicily & Messina.