Palombo said a friend had then rung him, who said, "I saw a ship passing by so close, it is going to end up in the rocks ... I've never seen a ship passing by so close. The lights are off."
Palombo said there was no set procedure for doing a "salute" and that the cruise line had never asked him to do one to publicize the brand.
He'd done them only for his own sense of pride and seamanship, he said -- and always in summer and never with any "risky maneuvers."
Plates, glasses flying
Tievoli testified that after the ship hit the rocks and alarms started blaring, he ran down to the restaurant to check the situation. He found a scene of chaos -- terrified passengers, with plates, food and glasses on the floor as the ship listed.
The maitre d' told the court he left panicked elderly passengers in safe places where they wouldn't be hit by flying plates.
He heard a message from the loudspeakers that the ship was suffering a blackout but did not hear the coded message for crew members only to prepare for emergency, Tievoli said.
Once the general alarm was sounded, he and other crew members started preparing lifeboats so those on board could abandon ship, he said. He described lifting a man on crutches onto his back to carry him to safety.
Questioned by the defense, the maitre d' said he'd crawled down a ladder to jump on the roof of a lifeboat on the ship's upright side.
Tievoli said he met the island's deputy mayor climbing onto the ship to save passengers, which could undermine Schettino's argument that he could not get back on board after "falling" into the lifeboat.
Hero or villain?
The trial is expected to last through the fall with a string of witnesses, including passengers, crew members and islanders, who say they saw the captain on shore looking for dry socks before all the passengers had been safely evacuated.
Schettino argues that he is a hero who saved the lives of more than 4,000 people, not a villain whose negligence led to the deaths of 32. His defense is trying to prove, among other things, that the ship's watertight doors did not function properly, and that is the reason the ship sank, leading to all 32 deaths during evacuation.
The captain also has told the court that the ship would not have crashed had his helmsman turned it in the direction that Schettino told him to 13 seconds before impact.
The helmsman, Jacob Rusli Bin, and four others were convicted in a plea deal in July for their role in the disaster. A Florence court is considering the validity of those plea bargain agreements.