The next morning we woke up to a breakfast cart outside our door, and enjoyed the coffee and light breakfast foods by the open window in our room. I love screenless windows in Europe!
Check-out from the B&B was at 10am, and our train wasn’t until 1:30pm, so we had some time to kill. Rather than trying to squeeze in more sightseeing and drag along our bags, we decided to take a cab straight to Termini Train Station to wait. Normally I am really not a fan of taking taxis – I don’t like the extra expense, the weird small talk, and the feeling of letting a stranger drive me around alone – but we decided to take one to get to the train station that morning for convenience. It was a really short ride, so the benefit of going door to door with our suitcases made it worth it.
Waiting at the train station for several hours is like having a long layover, but worse. There’s nowhere easy to sit, the toilets cost money, and they don’t tell you where you’ll be leaving from until right before you are scheduled to depart. We killed some time at the McDonald’s, but of course had to make a purchase first, and we felt bad lingering too long. With about two hours left, we went to the train assignment boards to watch for our platform. It was kind of interesting people-watching. We could easily spot the tourists from the locals; the tourists were often in shorts, caps, home-country flag apparel, sandals (sometimes with socks), and a few “Outback” hats. Conversely, the locals were wearing jackets and sweaters in the 70+ F temperatures, with no hats and always close-toed shoes.
Obviously we weren’t the only ones who could tell the difference. We watched three separate women wandering through the area and asking tourists if they needed help finding their platforms. We assume they were demanding money afterwards. They stayed for hours, and one even changed shirts halfway through. They mostly stayed separate, but at one point they came together to trade notes, so we know they were a scheming team. The train station logistics aren’t that hard to figure out, though, so we’re not sure how many people they were able to swindle.
We were finally assigned Platform 23, and the train was already there as we walked up. We hopped on and and the train left pretty quickly, but about three minutes late. The first stop was ours, Civitavecchia. We arrived there around 2:10pm, and everyone was supposed to be onboard the ship by 3pm. It took longer than we thought to find our way from the train station to the pier entrance, and we wondered if we were lost a few times, but we followed some other people with luggage and made it there. We cut it a bit close for time, but check-in was very fast, and we were able to go straight to our balcony stateroom.
While Kevin rested his feet in the room, I wandered around a bit and made a few reservations for later that week. As I was wandering the halls and spaces, I felt a weird giddiness. After months of anticipation, it was a bit surreal to finally be on the Celebrity Silhouette! I’d studied the floorplans and researched every little bit I could, but it was a whole other thing to finally be on a cruise ship for the first time, just a few days from getting married!
The rest of the afternoon we explored some more, attended the muster drill, and met up with the group from Cruise Critic that I’d been chatting online with in the prior months for our sailaway party at the Sunset Bar. They were all excited to meet each other, and we were the youngest there by far. Afterwards, we tried to go to the main dining room for dinner, but in our excitement, we had forgotten the pants requirement, and so Kevin in his shorts wasn’t allowed. We went to the buffet instead (first time of many) and enjoyed the customized pasta bar and marveled at all the desserts.
At some point we tried a trivia game where you choose between two answers by walking to one side of the room and they weed out anyone who is wrong until only one person is left. And somehow Kevin won! It was very exciting, and he won a card holder/lanyard thing.
Lastly, we checked out the “summary” show in the theater, and then it was time for bed! A full day and a great introduction to our ship!