Memories of the Costa Concordia

As almost everyone knows, Costa’s Concordia ship, carrying 4,200 passengers and crew, had its hull ripped open when it hit rocks late on Friday the 13th, just hours into a Mediterranean cruise. By tonnage, it is the largest passenger ship to ever sink, even though technically it’s only partially sunk.

Captain Francesco Schettino is under house arrest, accused of causing the crash. Prosecutors have also accused him of fleeing the Costa Concordia before evacuation was complete. Dickhead.

He’s now saying that he tripped into the lifeboat and couldn’t get out. If the Italians hadn’t already given themselves a horrible reputation for their soccer players feigning fouls and diving to get free kicks, then maybe we could believe that. But we’re onto them. Nice try.

I have different mental images of that ill-fated vessel than the ones I’ve seen this week. I’ve only been on two cruises in my life and the first was a 7-Day Western Mediterranean cruise on the Concordia starting in Rome with stops in Savona, Barcelona, Mallorca, Tunisia, Malta, and Sicily in 2007. I loved it, it was one of the best weeks ever.

I’m trying to figure out if the same dude was the Captain back then. I saw him at the Captain’s dinner one night and he looks like the guy in handcuffs on the news, but who knows. I’m pretty sure it’s him, but maybe I’m discovering that I think that all middle-aged Italian guys look exactly the same. 2012 is certainly a year of self-discovery. The SOPA blackout/boycott is slowing down my research efforts, but I fully support it.

In the next few months that ship will slowly be removed and God only knows what will happen to its remains. I made several friends who worked as waiters, chambermaids, and card dealers on that ship that week. I don’t know if they’re still employed there or not, but I really hope they’re safe.

This is the way I’d prefer to remember the Concordia. A little trip down memory lane.

My friend Kenny a few minutes after we realized that they gave us a full bed instead of two twins. The problem was being fixed while we toured the ship.

Didn’t feel like doing the safety demonstration so we skipped it. It was going to take way too long since they had to do it in seven languages.

Our favorite Romanian casino girls. Oh, so many Euros went into their pretty little hands.

The most patient waiter I’ve ever met, he had to deal with the only table of Americans. I tried to recruit him for my airline.

Kimma, who kept our mixers full and our illegal vodka a secret from The Man.

Mimi playing with the slots

Me ripping up Mimi’s room-service breakfast order after a disagreement. I’m not sure if I’ve ever told her that I did that. Hee hee, sorry Mimi ;)

The Kings of the Roulette tournament

The big winners of the Black Jack tournament, Kenny was the only one on the ship that made both finals! Yes, he has two of those cheesy shirts.

Kenny winning over the mother of the one young hot chick in the disco on Singles Night

The best part about cruising with an Italian company, the kick-ass all night pizza

Fun at the ports- kickin’ it in Barcelona

And while we were on the La Pedrera roof, we saw this photo shoot going on next door! Every male on the roof took this same photo.

Pulling into Savona, a view from the top

My first taste of Africa, a very watered down taste in Tunis

Poor Kenny got talked into buying a rug. I call this photo, “Buyer’s Remorse”

Beautiful Malta. While I was taking this photo a big wave came and captured all the groceries I’d just purchased, along with my favorite pair of pink/gray checkered Vans that I’d kicked off for a sec. The barefoot walk across town back to the ship was very painful, emotionally and physically.

A glimpse of the gladiator’s life at the Coliseum. And of cats, many many cats.

Whenever accidents happen it’s so easy to let it go in one ear and out the other. Every single day something horrible happens on some part of this planet and because of the internet, we hear about every single one, often while it’s still happening.

We’d all be suicidal if we took the time to really care about all these things going on in our world. It’s just not possible to give a shit about every single thing you see flash on your newsfeed on Facebook or on the evening news.

To be honest, I didn’t think too much about the cruise ship hitting rocks and going down, even after I heard that there were fatalities. It was just another depressing news story. In one ear and out the other.

When you have a personal connection to the tragedy, however, everything changes. Once I found out that it was my Concordia, I gave a shit. I remember that holiday like it was yesterday, even though we all admitted Costa was pretty low-budget. I hope all the people I met on that trip are ok.

I guess I should also realize that in every depressing news story I choose to ignore, that there are people who are personally connected and it’s ruining their world. I’ll try to work on my sympathy/empathy in 2012 as well as this apparent prejudices against middle-aged Italian men I seem to have.

See they all look the same to me! Am I wrong? And to make things equal, some girls to look at too. Something for everybody. Have a nice day.

7 responses to “Memories of the Costa Concordia

  1. Wow! I did not know you were ever on the Costa Concordia. I wonder how close to the rocks you came when you were on it. We will never know. But I’m glad you were not on there this time.

    Ha! Captain Francesco Schettino had a Preston Wiley moment.

    Damn you! I’ve never even been on a cruise. But . . .

    P.S. Please remove the images of my girlfriends playing soccer (that’s football to some) at the bottom of your post. I sent those pictures to you in confidence, and I didn’t want them to be published. Thanks for not publishing the “other” ones with me and all of them later on that night.

  2. Thanks for this entry. I had not heard about the incident on Friday. I enjoyed the photos from your holiday. The descriptions of each made them even better! I haven’t yet decided which scenic photo is my favorite. They are all so beautiful. I like the one of Malta. Coincidentally, I also enjoyed the story about the Vans you lost! :) That sounds like something that would’ve happened to me!!! LOL! As far as the photos of you and Kenny, there are several, but I’d have to say the one of you and the pizza is one of my faves of you. As for Kenny, there are several as well, but I’d have to go with the one you titled, “Buyer’s Remorse”!

  3. Wow! I didn’t really invest much in caring about the story either, to be honest. But now seeing your recap, I am really sad! It looks like it was a super-fun trip. I have never been on a cruise, and now am a little skeptical about trying one :(

    • no way, you should definitely do a cruise, they’re so much fun and brainless. You get to see so much without having to lug your luggage around all the time or worry about where to stay. Maybe you’ll even be able to get some great deals on Costa! I’m looking into it!

  4. Mary Lue Eastmond

    Tony and I have been on several short cruises and I agree with your assessment – they are great fun! I’d love to do a Mediterranean cruise sometime. You really whetted my appetite with your photos and commentary! Loved it – Thanks!

  5. Its definitely brilliant YouTube video in terms of quality, in fact nice, its quality is really appreciable.

  6. Hello there!
    I stumble upon your blog and it’s really good…
    keep it up!
    Really love your writing style…:-)

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