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Day 10 (?) – Naples

This was turned out to be a frustrating & unsatisfying day, as far as our trip ashore were concerned. It started when we learned that there was to be a shuttle bus ‘to the dock entrance’. This was a big suprise, as on the last visit in Galaxy we docked right in front of the Stazion Maritima, from where it is possible just to walk ashore (and round to the hydrofoil port). However, thanks to the presence of three other cruise ships in port today – Thomson Destiny, Carnival Freedom, and Westerdam – Galaxy was moored a few piers further to the east. This spot is definitely not suitable for walking so we did indeed have to use shuttle buses round to the front of the Stazion Maritima. (It wasn’t that far away, just in a busy industrial quay area, with no walking route to the Station Martima.) Unfortunately the first shuttle was timed for 8:30. This put paid to our plan to be on the 8:35 hydrofoil to Capri – we couldn’t get to it in time. (The official Capri excursion met quite early and they were coached round to the ferry terminal very early.)
As we got to the Stazion Maritim (around 9am) we saw huge throngs of people all over the hydrofoil port area, so we decided to adopt Plan B – the Circumvesuviana train to Sorrento. We bought a Campania day ticket from a street shop near the bus/tram stop (€6.20 each) but then found that it wouldn’t work on the bus (but we stayed on anyway) nor, more importantly, would it work in the barriers at the station. Back to the bigletteria where we bought a different ticket, a weekend dayticket (cost about €5 each). Then we got on board the 9:39 train to Sorrento, scheduled to arrive there at 10:45. Well, it started, stopped & started now & then, it was very hot, and in the end we were 50 minutes late at the end of the journey, so we had been on the train for almost 2 hours. Deciding that the train timetable would be unreliable for the rest of the day we went to look for hydrofoil times back to Naples, and discovered that the next three were at 12 noon (just about to depart), 13:40 and 16:25. The last was too late, and the first was too soon, so perforce it was the 13:40, meaning that we would have just 2 hours in Sorrento. So we had lunch and a drink, and then got on the hydrofoil which safely & quickly took us back to Naples (cost €9.50 each). What with a bit more time waiting for the shuttle bus to fill up, we reckoned that we spent 6 hours away from the ship, in order to spend 2 hours in Sorrento. The moral perhaps is that a) if you’re in Naples on a weekend, and b) there will be other ships in port, do an excursion.
As I say, this was frustrating & annoying, and was a disappointing last day in port.

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