This pic gives more perspective on how close to shore they were. The cruise line is also throwing the Captain under the bus at this point. As I've said in comments on my previous posts, I've been through this area many times and it is impossible not to spot the ship channel, even at night. Civitaveccia (2 hours from Rome) is one of the biggest commercial ports in Europe and the traffic in and out goes on 24/7. Leaving the port, it looks like you're entering a highway, always a line of cruise ships, freighters, and tankers out in the shipping lane. If I were on a cruise ship and saw them approaching this close to land, I would have been running for my life jacket long before they had a chance to hit anything.
And a note, this is not the port of Civitaveccia, this is the port on the island of Giglio, not deep enough to accommodate this class of cruise ship. Assuming, according to some reports, there was an electrical casualty before they ran aground, heading for this port for repairs was out of the question for the same reasons the course he set was. Fortunately for the people on Giglio, he didn't run it aground in the harbor.