A Salute to the Incompetant Grimaldi

We boarded the Grimaldi boat Florence in Barcelona. We were bound for Genoa, Italy but really we were bound and gagged to a thirty hour boat ride that gouges its passengers at every turn. The ticket and breakfast cost us 140 euros. Only one bathroom was open (permanently since the lock was broken), breakfast was not self-service as advertised, any meals or food was tripled or quadrupled in price, the lights never dimmed in the seating room, they charged for wifi, and simply had no clue how to treat guests. When we landed in Genoa 6 hours late, the crew had to improvise a way to get six walk-on passengers off the boat, past the security gate, and into the rain at 2 in the morning. For a stylized description of our experience, read Just Loathing on the Ghost Ship Grimaldi.

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All of these seats were vacant, the bar was empty, and the ship was quieter than the Stanley Hotel in winter.
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The Grimaldi employee behind the help desk answers a few questions and tells us that all of the cabins are empty but that we would have to pay thirty euros a piece for the accommodation. Nathan: “How does Grimaldi make a profit if no one is riding their ships?” Employee: “We make all of our money from transporting cars and trucks.”
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Nathan searches for land during a brief break in the storm.
After some convincing from the other passengers who spoke fluent Italian, Sandwich-for-Brains drops us off next to a highway tunnel instead of the side of the road.
After some convincing from the other passengers who speak fluent Italian, Sandwich-for-Brains drops us off next to a highway tunnel. What a considerate dope.
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One of four other Grimaldi passengers guides us to a bar in Genoa where they serve sandwiches, coffee, and pastries.
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They go full sandwich here…stretching shoulder width across the table and straight into our bellies.
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After a long walk in the rain we find the train terminal in Genoa. The wind blows through the tunnel where many homeless people sought shelter from the rain and cold. Somewhere in the distance a baby’s screams echo down the dimly hall at 3 in the morning. We huddle inside a photo booth to get out of the wind, away from the crackling fluorescent bulbs, and to find some warmth while cursing Grimaldi and the whole wretched ferry industry.

We eventually caught our train at 4 in the morning and bounced from city to city along the Italian coast, sleeping when we could until finally arriving in Livorno later on that afternoon.

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