September 7-8, 2015
Captain logbook, day 5, day 1 @ sea
After we checked out at Villa Angelina @ 10:20, we drove along the Lago Maggiore to Verbania to join the Autostrada E26 towards Genova.
First we had to refuel the car. I discovered that my gas tank had become bigger, not too much but anyway, instead of 64,3 L, it had a capacity of 65,7 L, huh, WTF?! The first obvious sign that we'd entered Southern Europe!!!
And then.....We discovered, we didn't surrender the key of the room at Villa Angelina, so we had to make a vuelta and drove back to the Villa to return the key. Not too far, about 20kms only, we had time enough, or so I thought!
Once on the Autostrada, the drive was super relaxed, with only a few cars passing by every 10 minutes.
A stop at the refuge, where an information billboard informed about the local POI's, we decided to leave the Via Romana and discover the Po plains. Not much of a thrill, to say the least, so after some 25kms, we joined the Via Roman 26 back to the south, tunnel in tunnel out, or even better, a huge 50kms tunnel, with openings of sometimes not more than 20m in between every 400-500m.
Anyway, we hit the coast at around 16:30, to drive the last leg along the Mediterranean coastline, between the buildings of the Genovese townships, to arrive shortly after numerous bends onto the Grandi Navi Veloci ferry-terminal plaza. That's where the waiting started. Waiting to check-in the car, driving to the ramp, waiting for the ferry “La Suprema”to arrive, waiting for the unloading of the ferry, and finally-the passengers had to leave the vehicle (?)- I drove the car into the A-Deck, which I believed, was in the bilges!!!
Funny people, these italians, they do this everyday and still it's a mess, with trucks rolling-off and pax-cars rolling-on all at the same time.
Gina arrived in the lobby at the reception and was asked to wait(again), for whom? For me.
I left the car, got into the elevator, showing my ticket to the lift woman and ended up at my cabin, no key, no Gina, no service, just a few bags that I carried with me. I returned to the info desk, some 100m back and found Gina waiting(did I mentioned this before?) for me, without asking herself any questions. So we found each other back, important issue BTW, because she carried the money on her!!!
The lady at the desks didn't mind to check-in Gina first, at least to retrieve the keys, meal vouchers and information, as a kind of courtesy to reduce the waiting. Well, no surprise, there simply was no information. She gave the vouchers and we returned together to the “Master Deck” on the 10th Deck, where we enjoyed our presidential suite, with private balcony!!!!!
I just realized that there were more dogs than passengers on this ferry.
I instantly started to feel like a cruise tourist, overlooking the Genovese Port by night, taking useless pictures and trying out every refinement the suite provided.
We had our dinner first, because the kitchen would close at 22:00 sharp. And believe me, that's the point where every Italian is as punctual as a Swiss watch. Simple ferry food, not worth to mention.
We made a familiarization tour to the muster station, explained everything about safety and told Gina to look sharp at me how I react in certain situations. If you don't see me panicking, there's nothing to panic about. What a relief to have me so close at here side!!!!!!
We slept and woke up. Got to get our breakfast, forgot to show my meal voucher, triggered the Italian cashier to return my money I payed by error, all of a sudden he didn't understood english. A friendly reminder that I stayed in the presidential suite didn't impress him at all. ...I believe, everybody here is a president!
Anyway, my mistake to forget to present the voucher. After pretending that I had a kind of acute disease and nicely asking to see the manager (how do you call that guy on a ship? I normally deal with captains only), he returned to my table with the excess. Nice people, these Italians. The breakfast remained lousy!!!
It's now 11:00 and we should call at Palermo at 17:00, I hope this crew goes in holidays, then I'm 100% certain that they will keep this ETA, @ 25.2Kts!!!
Just had internet connection, they promised, the ferry would arrive at 16:30, the crew must have holidays, we're attacking Palermo at over 26Kts, so it's obvious!!!!
Further info will follow tonight, I hope....