While the weather continues to be beautiful in Civitavecchia, we are eager to get on the ship.
Breakfast at the Hotel is interesting and very different from the previous two times we have stayed here. The best part is the coffee, which is made to order by the waitress/barista. I am using as much of my minimal Italian as I can so, I tell her: “Caffe Americano, per favore” and what I get is a real sized cup with espresso diluted with steamed water. After I put in the milk, it tastes just like the expensive stuff at Starbucks.
There is also corn flakes and granola. No hot items and the only source of protein we can have is milk and cheese. Many of the pastries are commercially wrapped – croissants, sweet rolls. Many of them are good but it is a sugar-heavy pastry type of breakfast.
Still the Hotel Traghetto is a good deal at 80 Euros/night including the breakfast. Our room, 402, did not appear to have neighbors – not a sound was heard. The bathroom was also very nice with good water pressure and a nice shower. You can walk to anywhere in Civitavecchia from the hotel.
Another new factor is that since the last time we were here several years ago, a new entrance to the port has been constructed. Instead of walking halfway back to the train station, we just have to walk about 75 yards around the corner to find the shuttle busses for the port. Civitavecchia is a huge port and you cannot walk to your ship – busses are the only way to get there.
There are other ships here today
Civitavecchia – Full of Ships
including the Island Princess, an MSC Cruiser, and one of the Sea Dream Yachts.
The Queen Victoria from our Hotel Balcony
A Sea Dream Yacht
After checking out of the hotel, we went to the shuttle bus pickup zone and were delighted to find the bus for the Queen Victoria waiting for us. We were the only two people on the bus and he took us right to the ship.
We were assigned priority boarding (“Guest Entertainer”) and around 11:30 AM, we checked in with no waiting and a few minutes later we were on the ship.
The Queen Victoria looks like a brand new ship and a very well appointed one, as well. We did a little exploring to get our bearings on this ship.
Ellen in the Grand Lobby
The Royal Court Theater
The Queen’s Room
Britannia Dining Room
After dropping off our walk on bags in the room (4078 – Deck 4 Forward),
we went up to the Lido Buffet on Deck 9 Aft. The buffet on this ship is huge and not at all like the one on the QM2. They make pasta and pizza to order along with a salad bar and hot items. The lunch was very good – I sampled some pasta and pizza. The iced tea is also good but I had to get that myself.
Ellen is resting in the room, while I am typing this in Hemispheres,
a lounge on Deck 10 overlooking the Lido Pool.
Next to the pool is The Winter Garden with a retractable room to keep out inclement weather. There are a series of flat screen TVs in there but they are turned down low. It’s too warm to be in there right now.
We went to the Britannia Restaurant to inquire about seating. We were told to come back tomorrow when all of the switching of seats was completed. Tonight, we are going to have dinner in the Lido Buffet.
After the Lifeboat Drill at 5:00 PM, we met with Liam O’Leary, the Production Manager, about the logistics of my presentations (Sally Sagoe is the Entertainment Manager and Alex MacDonald is the Assistant Entertainment Manager). I also found out that the other speaker on board was Peter Quartermaine (Maritime History), The meeting was short but we covered everything. There would be three presentations in the Royal Court Theater (two at 12:15 PM and one at 11:00 AM).
Dinner in the Lido Buffet was very good – More pizza and a very nice salad bar.
The Sail Away featured a beautiful wife and a beautiful sunset.
We attended the “Welcome Aboard Show” at 10:30 PM in the Royal Court Theater. Sally introduced her staff and then the Royal Cunard Singers (4) and Dancers (12) did a series of numbers. They are both very good so we are anticipating some very fine entertainment on board.