(3:18 p.m. EDT) -- Have any friends or family on a Mediterranean cruise right now? Will they be in an Italian port tomorrow? If so, give them a head's up. Italy's transportation workers plan to strike tomorrow throughout the country, crippling railroads, water taxis and public buses. Airports also will be impacted. The strike is scheduled for midnight to 11:59 p.m.
The strike was first reported by John Heald, Carnival Cruise Line's well-known cruise director and "brand ambassador," on his Facebook page. Heald is currently onboard Carnival Breeze, which completes its 12-night Mediterranean sailing in Venice tomorrow.
According to Heald, Carnival's port agents alerted the cruise line to the national strike. Dan Askin, Cruise Critic's senior editor is also onboard Breeze and reported that not a single Carnival excursion has been cancelled because of the strike.
Cruise passengers who will be in Italian port should expect lots of cancellations, although minimal services will most likely be in place for some train routes. For instance, Cruise Critic member romet reported that Rome's Leonardo Express service between Termini Station and Fiumicino Airport will continue to run normally.
However, as Italy is not known for always keeping to schedules, the strike could simply last a few hours or not even happen. Bottom line, cruise passengers in Italian ports might want to opt for ship tours and transfers.
-- by Dori Saltzman, News Editor