Siniscola case: prices double, but what about services?

SiniscolaWe receiveand publish a report from one of our readers, Antonio Zorcolo, an avid yachtsman who, once moored at La Caletta in Siniscola, Sardinia, this year, felt, to use a euphemistic expression, he was being “taken for a ride.” Summer is coming to an end: if you have experienced similar problems or have been the victim of disruptions, please do not hesitate to let us know by sending an email to speciali@panamaeditore.it

“For several years now I have been spending my vacations sailing with my family, circumnavigating our island, Sardinia, which, every year, amazes me with the beauty of previously unexplored coves. We are not lovers of ports and, on the rare occasions that we frequent them, we do not seek particularly sophisticated infrastructure and services and always aim to keep mooring fees down. If anything, the evenings ashore are motivated not only by technical and supply needs but also by the desire for pizza and ice cream and an evening stroll along the village streets, normally animated by acrobats, street vendors and various artists. Thus, the marinas we normally frequent are marinas such as Porto Corallo (Muravera), La Caletta (Siniscola), Cala Gavetta (La Maddalena), Castelsardo, Bosa Marina, Carloforte, all ports that are not particularly expensive and, almost always, with a “genuine and charming” urban center.

PRICES UNCHANGED FROM LAST YEAR
Until this year, the amounts for boats like mine, just under 10.00 meters, have always fluctuated between just over 30 euros and just under 50 euros per night, with a substantial invariance in recent years and even some slight reduction (perhaps the crisis?) for some, in the last two years.

SINISCOLA: COSTS DOUBLED, NO IMPROVEMENT IN SERVICES
One of the ports that last year seemed to be trying to counter the crisis by lowering the cost of mooring is precisely La Caletta in Siniscola, which, having reached an “all-time high” of 49 euros per night in 2012, hosted us for a meager 39 euros in 2013. But this year they took back the discount with interest and, in spite of the crisis and the choice of all the other competitors not to raise the rates, they practically doubled the mooring costs, charging us (same boat, same period, same location) the beauty of almost 79 euros! Needless to say, the service had no improvement over previous years and remained one of the poorest of the lot: very poor water pressure (impossible to wash the boat, topping up the 200-liter capacity of our tanks took almost half an hour); the power draw, initially not present in the column, required janitors to restore the protections; the wifi went out of service after a few hours and was not reactivated until our departure.

WHO CARES ABOUT TOURISTS
Even on the ground, the various merchants have never shown that they are economic gurus and that they particularly care about tourists: the market is quite far away and certainly does not (like many other establishments) have competitive prices; the pharmacy observes unbelievable opening hours (mornings from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., I don’t remember the afternoon hours, but by 6 p.m. on Friday, August 8, it was already closed); to get fuel, it is always necessary to call the pump operator, who opens only “on request”; the ATM is only one and, when not out of service, is literally besieged. In vain was my attempt to convince the maritime office worker that there must have been some mistake in selecting the tariff, because this one (receipts in hand) was totally “misaligned” with that paid in previous years and with that paid in other ports.

SINISCOLA’S STRANGE “BOATING INCENTIVE”
The response I received was that if I wanted to pay a comparable amount (I say comparable, not equal, because, if I remember correctly, it was 55 euros) I would have to hold the berth for at least one more night. It appears, therefore, that according to the maritime office worker, the policy of the municipality of Siniscola would be to charge rates comparable to those of its competitors only from the second night, after plucking the yachtsman well into the “honeymoon.” The “boating incentive” envisioned by the municipality of Siniscola would not be to charge an “attractive” rate on the first day and “particularly affordable” from the second day, but rather to double the cost of the first day and then charge a lower rate, but still higher than in previous years, from the second day. Well, I don’t know how smart my fellow Siniscola residents feel (or how stupid they think tourists and boaters are), but it is certain that as of this year La Caletta will be removed from the list of ports of interest to me.”

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