When I read the email inviting me on a cruise trip around the Mediterranean sea, I assumed it was a joke. “Really?” I thought. “A skate trip on a cruise ship through Italy, Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, and Turkey? No way!”
In each city that our floating resort docked, we only had about six hours to skate off the boat, find spots, battle tricks, get lost and find our way back to the ship before it left the port
Without the slightest hesitation, I accepted. I felt a bit guilty, because I’d already made plans to drive across the USA with Tom Remillard during the two weeks set aside for the European cruise, but after calling to tell him that I had made new, better plans, Tom’s only reply was, “That sounds epic, I’m coming too.”
Three weeks later we both arrived in Rome and the trip was on. Joining us for the journey were an eclectic mix of skaters from all around the world. We had Milton Martinez from Argentina, Ross McGouran from England, Silvester Eduardo from New York, and Jaakko Ojanen from Finland.
None of us had ever been on a cruise ship before and frankly, I had never imagined myself ever travelling on one. I’d always considered cruise ships reserved for old people and lazy travellers of the wealthier class. It turns out the old people part was true, as 80 percent of the passengers accompanying us on the enormous, 3000-berth passenger liner were retired folks, but as a skate trip, there was no laziness allowed. In each city that our floating resort docked, we only had about six hours to skate off the boat, find spots, battle tricks, get lost and find our way back to the ship before it left the port.
There was no getting stuck at spots for hours and certainly no excuses like, “Well let’s just come back tomorrow.” This often meant getting up at 7am so our crew could be the first to leave the ship (unheard of for skateboarders), soaking up every minute we had on land. Added to the experience were crash-course visits to some of the most beautiful and ancient cities that the coastline of the Mediterranean has to offer. After our flurried skate sessions we had the pleasure of enjoying hot tubs, swimming pools, saunas, casinos, and all of the finer things that our Costa Deliziosa cruise ship had to offer.
While unorthodox in its design, there is no denying that this was one of the most unique skateboarding trips any of us had ever been on. Our first stop was Savona, Italy followed by Olympia and Mykonos, two of Greece’s smaller, but still culturally-rich and magnificent destinations. Despite our limited time off the ship, finding spots to skate in each of these cities was not a problem.
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