Gail Jessen, Live Voyage Reports
I stepped onto my veranda as a purple sunrise crawled up Mount Vesuvius. The Noordam floated slowly toward her dock in Naples. A single fishing boat labored in still water, clear as glass. It was a scene whose calm betrayed the gritty hustle that would soon roar to life. Naples infamy is rightly due to its history, architecture, and of course pizza; but it’s also known as a muscular workhorse of a town. The area is believed to have been inhabited continuously since the 9th Century BCE (Greeks then Romans), making it one of the oldest cities in the world.
Jen and I opted to catch a ferry to the Isola di Capri. We didn’t book an excursion through Holland America, but we did have instructions from multiple guide books. What could possibly go wrong? The directions to the Beverello dock were simple enough, and seemingly within walking distance from the Noordam, yet we still managed to be seduced by a gorgeous bus driver at the end of the pier who said he was headed to the Capri ferries. Of course we did. He was right. We did end up at a ferry terminal that would take us to Capri. The only problem was that this terminal housed giant commuter ferries with vehicles and mountains of luggage and Italians shuttling back and forth. The ferry also left four hours later than we wanted to leave and wouldn’t get us back to the ship in time. We made our way back to where The Gorgeous Bus Driver dropped us off, waited 10 minutes, waved a sheepish hello to The Gorgeous Bus Driver as we hopped on, again, and said, “Beverello?” “Ahhhh,” he cooed, “Si si si…” and an hour after we disembarked the ship, we were off on round two.