Thursday, October 5, 2006
I know this was ages ago, in fact back in 2003, but I want the chance to tell you about my trip to Rome. I had been working on ships for about three years when I got the chance to sail in the Mediterranean. I had just been promoted to Assistant Cruise Director (on my climb to Cruise Director) and this was my first cruise in this role.
I flew from Houston to Venice (I think) and they drove me to the ship. It was all a bit overwhelming and way cool! I met the team I would be working with almost immediately. The Cruise Director was Gary Walker; the Hostess was Kym and the Cruise Staff was Krazy Karl, Shaun and Caitlyn. I instantly bonded with Karl and Shaun... they were MY boyz!
So, when the opportunity arose that cruise for us to go into Rome, we jumped at it. One Cruise Staff member has to stay on board to conduct activities for any people who stay on the ship for the day. It was Caitlyn’s day, so... Karl, Shaun and I got ready. The Cruise Director warned us about the train service into Rome... saying that it is NOT uncommon for the train workers to strike so make sure you left enough time to catch the train back to Civitavecchia where the ship was. I had Bingo scheduled for 4:30 that afternoon and one could ABSOLUTELY NOT miss Bingo! I was the Bingo Belle which meant I had to be there.
Off to the train we go. It is a sunday morning and we left early so that we could catch all of the sites. We arrived in Rome and headed to the Vatican first and were lucky enough to see the Pope, Pope John Paul, do his benediction and then leave the church to get in his Pope-Mobile. Wow! Karl kept saying over and over again... “We got to see the dude with the big hat!”
It is even more inspiring now, to know that we had the chance to see the Pope in person that day, considering he is no longer with us. The crowd that was assembled adored and revered him, no matter what their religion was. It truly didn’t matter!
From the Vatican, we hopped on a bus and headed over by the Colosseum. On the bus ride, I took a picture of Karl and I... turned out Crazy Western Union man behind me was not only copping a feel, he was doing this weird staring thing. :) Oh, and I cut off Karls head... that happens when you are 5’2 and he’s 6’5.
We did a quick drive through of the Colosseum and decided not to go in, due to lack of time. But, took some pictures outside.
We wanted to grab some lunch in Rome... so we found this little cafe near the Colosseum. We had a yummy lunch and then I got the “eye” from our married Italian waiter. :) He even gave us free dessert to take with us.
And now, the real adventure began. It was starting to get late, and we knew we had to head to the train station. We asked the waiter if we could walk to the station and he said... SURE! Yeah right! Here we are... two guys (with REALLY long legs, mind you) and me... all 5’2 of me in heels. Yeah... not a real great idea. We go streaking into the train station and can’t find our platform. Finally, we find the platform and the train is pulling OUT of the station. It was one of those moments where you just know... “I AM SCREWED!”
So, there are no other trains that are going to get me back in time for Bingo. There is no taxi that is going to get me there in time for Bingo. Face it... I was going to miss Bingo on my first week as Asst. Cruise Director. This sucks!
We catch a cab, tell them to take us to Civitavecchia and head out. $250 later... we pull into the ship, I run to put on my uniform, sure that I was fired... walk into the showroom and Gary, the Cruise Director, is calling my bingo. He just knew I wasn’t going to make it. I did get in trouble, but not too bad. :)
Hindsight... it was WAY worth it. He He He.