Boarding the ship.
It is noon. We had agreed to meet at the terminal to board the ship. In fact, the Mole and I ran into the girls about an hour ago when we were all walking around trying to figure out where the ship was going to be docking. Few ships have multiple ports at which they board passengers on the same cruise line. MSC happens to do this which might explain why we are taking this particular ship at this particular time. What it doesn’t explain is the complete lack of signage about our ship or MSC at the terminal. Where we think our ship should be docked is the Costa Concordia. Not our ship.
What makes sense fairly soon is that our ship is not even due in till 1300. Since every cruise I have taken before starts with the ship arriving early in the morning – kicking everyone off followed by the crew scurrying around like insane little worker bees in order to turnover 900-1000+ cabins in order to allow boarding to start mid-afternoon. Of course, most of those cruises pull away from the pier before supper.
I stay with the luggage, the three head over to the shopping center for a meal. I am interrupted twice by Costa personnel who are frantically trying to get everyone on board. I don’t know more than a few words of Italian, the personnel aren’t functional in English. Finally settling for pulling out my paperwork and point to MSC – the woman looks both angry and relieved while dashing for the gangway.
I really don’t think it is my fault! When it finally starts, the boarding and organizational process is actually not all that painful. Cards have been pre-printed and we check through rapidly and board. Finding the room is not hard and we then proceed to roam the ship (food is always a good idea).
Five languages – most announcements are in five languages with the rotation varying dependent on who starts the cycle. Boarding here – the greetings were given in Spanish, German and English which to me indicates the languages spoken by the new arrivals.
In any case, the end result is that we are finally on the ship, cruising by the buffet and have dropped off our hand luggage in the room.
There is a show tonight, we stop in Marseille tomorrow and I will save the ship pictures for our “day at sea” which is not till next Tues.
Cabin 8058 MSC Lirica