Day 2 of this cruise will forever be remembered as the first of two major photography-related “disasters” of this trip. More on that later.
Our first morning waking up on the Celebrity Silhouette we decided to get some complimentary room service for breakfast and eat on our lovely balcony as the ship pulled into the port at Naples.
I had done some research and determined that with only one day here, Naples was not enticing enough to spend more time there than it takes to travel through it on the way out. I took some photos anyway, just as an outlet for my excited energy while we waited.
Then I tossed my camera battery on the charger so it would be ready for a full day of jaw-dropping views. I was so excited to see the Amalfi Coast! We had decided to join a group from the Cruise Critic roll call to do a private van tour, and we needed to meet them at the cafe at 7:30am. So we got ready and rushed out the door, arriving on time and heading right out through security.
Almost immediately there were things I wanted to photograph, so I took out my camera to start taking photos… and it wouldn’t turn on. Cue that stomach-dropping feeling. In case you don’t know, photography is a huge part of my life – I’ve never had another hobby stick with me this long – and when I travel, I consider it a huge part of the actual experience for me. I enjoy immensely the physical act of photo-taking just as much as I do the finished photos later. So when my camera didn’t turn on, it felt akin to one of my arms not working. It took probably a second to realize that I’d left the battery back in its charger in our stateroom, which was both good and bad. Good, because it meant my camera wasn’t broken. Bad, because it meant I didn’t have a hope of fixing it right there.
We weren’t that far out into Naples yet, but we were almost to our hired van with a group of people who didn’t really care whether I had forgotten something or not. If I had gone back to the room at that point, it would have probably taken around 20 minutes to get into and back out of the cruise ship security points and walk to and from our room – cruise ships are pretty huge. I wasn’t willing to ask the group to wait for me, considering we had a packed schedule that day without much cushion time. Kevin and I would have had to forfeit the tour and been left all alone, paying for that tour as well as a private car at the last minute for just the two of us to get around the Amalfi Coast. The cost would have been enormous and the stress astronomical. So I made the quick decision to carry on. Kevin had brought his own small point-and-shoot camera on the trip, but hadn’t felt the need to take it out that day, and this was before the days of me owning a camera phone, so I was totally without any photo-taking ability. It felt awful, and I wanted to cry. I had to work really hard to focus on the good and retain my earlier excitement for what we were about to see.
Our tour guide and driver, Giovanni, was wonderful. We told him about my problem, and asked if he knew where we could buy a battery. He wasn’t sure, but said he’d checked the local mall while we were in Pompeii with their on-site guide.
Pompeii was amazing. It was so incredible to see the way people lived so long ago; they had many innovative ways to solve problems without modern technology. But it was also heartbreaking to walk through where people lived and worked, knowing that they were all killed suddenly when Mount Vesuvius suddenly went from peaceful mountain to nightmare volcano.
After seeing Pompeii, we met back up with Giovanni (who had not been able to find me a battery), and he took us to lunch at La Tagliata in Positano. Our group ate family style, which allowed us to sample many more dishes than if we’d each ordered one plate. We shared a variety of appetizers – mozzarella balls, beans, spinach, broccoli, and rice balls – several pastas – ravioli, manicotti, and gnocchi – and finished with a plate full of desserts passed around. Everything was delicious, and the view was even better (seriously, the worst place to not have a camera – I’m so sorry I can’t show you)!
After lunch we spent some time in Sorrento, also very lovely. We had trouble using an ATM, so we got a cash advance from an exchange booth for a 6% fee. Kevin bought an XL swimsuit that later turned out to be ridiculously too small (he could only get it up one leg!). On the way back we stopped at a lookout point for everyone except me to take photos. A man with a cart was selling limoncello and spices, and we bought a little packet of Mediterranean seasoning to bring home. It was a nice end to a bittersweet day, and Kevin and I vowed to come back at some point in the future.
That evening was formal night, and since we’d had the hassle of bringing wedding apparel, we decided to skip bringing anything else too high-maintenance and just skip all the ship’s formal night activites. We ate dinner at Bistro on Five, a casual restaurant on the ship with a $5 all-you-can eat cover charge. Only one other person ate there with us, which may be why it’s been phased out on Celebrity’s other ships since then. The savory and dessert crepes were good, but not as memorable as some of the other meals we’ve had on board.
While waiting for our food I took some photos of the coastline, in an attempt to capture at least a fraction of the Amalfi Coast’s magic in photographic form. It wasn’t the same, though.
After that we wandered the ship some more and utilised our drink package to try out a few of the themed bars.
Then off to bed to get a good night’s sleep before our wedding the next day!