During a French & Italian Rivieras cruise on the Wind Surf, Insider was among a group of about 50 passengers who braved the heavily rolling seas and climbed aboard a tender bound for Portofino, Italy. After an exhilarating -- some would say breathtaking -- 20-minute ride, our boat tied up in the scenic little harbor, but we were told to stay on board. A few minutes later, our anxious group was told, rather apologetically, that the Italian authorities needed to see all of our passports. The announcement prompted groans, sighs and other sounds of discontent from the passengers, who were eager to begin exploring on land. An elderly fellow slowly climbed aboard the tender. His instructions were translated into English: We were to produce our passports and hold them up. We did. He peered around the boat once and said something in Italian. Our translator then said, "OK, he has seen all your passports. You can go ashore." We passengers howled and applauded as we stepped onto Italian soil. Now, that's immigration.

JDS Travel News JDS Viewpoints JDS Africa/MI