By Lisa on Sep 16, 2013 with Comments 2
Yesterday marked a very important day in Alcudia’s history and in tourism in Mallorca. Yesterday the very first cruise ship arrived in Alcudia’s port with 800 American passengers aboard.
Guess who was there at 8am with three coaches lined up and a ticket book at the ready… yep, it was us.
More specifically, it was me and Toni and Toni’s dad: the No Frills Excursions Sunday team.
First Cruise Ship Visit to Alcudia
Many people who were arriving on the cruise had already booked our Alcudia Xperience tour online before they arrived. This gave Toni the idea that we could go to the port to meet the ship and offer the excursion to other passengers arriving, ensuring that visitors who were staying only eight hours in Mallorca could get the best of Alcudia in one tour.
Today was also market day in Alcudia and No Frills Excursions has a market stall there to promote the tours.
Once the stall was set up, I took the mini bus and met Toni at the port. He was busy co-ordinating the 86-seater coach that we had there to pick up some people who were visiting the Caves of Drach as well as the open-top Alcudia Xperience bus that he was hoping to fill.
The Policia Local at the port weren’t very keen on letting me drive into the restricted area; the young agent at the control wanted to know what I was doing there.
“I’ve come to pick up clients off the cruise for an excursion,” I told him. Well it was kind of true. Okay, it wasn’t.
“Yes, let me see your papers.”
“I haven’t got any.”
“Okay well show me your ID card or your passport.”
I didn’t have that either. I could see him losing his patience. I knew what was coming next and I knew I didn’t have a satisfactory answer.
“Well show me your driving licence.” There it was. Now he could really get me if he wanted.
“I have left it in my own car,” I lied, trying to look apologetic. It wasn’t in any car; it was at home with my passport. “I can go get it if you want, my car is parked at the office in the port.”
“You are aware that you need your driving licence to drive, aren’t you?” he scolded.
Yes, I knew. It’s one of the many stupid Spanish documentation laws that I normally forget to follow. Keeping your ID card on you is another.
“Okay,” he sighed producing a pen and paper. “Just write down your name and your ID number or your passport number.”
SHIT! I couldn’t tell him no again, he’d arrest me. The truth is I don’t know my passport number or my Spanish ID number. People find this unbelievable as you need these numbers for so many things here. For some reason, though, I just can’t memorise them.
I took the pen and paper and hesitated, willing one of the numbers to just pop into my head. I mentally flipped a coin and decided to go with Spanish ID number. I knew it started with X and ended with N. I made up the rest and hoped that I had got the number of digits right otherwise I’d be totally busted.
He told me off again, half smiling, and opened the barrier for me, hardly glancing at the paper. Phew.
After I managed to get in I parked the orange mini bus next to the open-top Alcudia Xperience and joined forces with the team, greeting the American tourists who were instantly attracted to the smart, brightly painted buses.
By 8:45 we had the eight clients who had already bought their Alcudia Xperience tickets online, plus another 15 who had decided to join the tour. The first tour of Alcudia set off with plenty of cruise passengers aboard and Toni and I left the port to go and open the main office.
We left Toni’s dad at the port to continue selling tickets for the later tours and he spent a contented morning ferrying people between the cruise ship and the open-top bus, happily collecting tips from his American passengers.
Prinsendam Holland-America Line
The smart cruise ship looked very impressive in Alcudia Port, and because it was the first cruise ship ever in Alcudia, there was a lot of hype: there were speeches from the town council, a display of local dancing and plenty of coverage from the local TV channel.
Not only was this the first cruise ship to visit Alcudia, but was also a one-off visit, with no plans to add Alcudia as a future cruise destination by this or by other cruise company.
Of course, for Alcudia’s economy and for tourism, it would be great if we had regular cruise visits; 800 people who have one day to wander around and spend their money – yes please! And that’s why there was such a fanfare and welcome.
The ship stayed in the port for 8 hours and then set off towards Barcelona at 4pm, with a scheduled arrival of 7am.
So let’s see if in the future we receive more visits from cruise ships – if we do, you can be sure that the Alcudia Xperience open-top bus will be there, ready and waiting to take its passengers on the best tour of Alcudia.
About the Author: Lisa, born and grew up in England, live in Mallorca, Spain... Have visited more than 20 countries, have twice as many to yet visit, love sharing experiences....