Rome cruise - tours?

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Italy Ports
Capri, Florence, Genoa, Naples, Palermo, portofino, Rome, Sardinia, Sorrento, Taormina, Venice
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#1
144 Posts
Joined Sep 2003
Has anyone done a ship excursion for Rome? What did you think of it? Good value for money? Was the meal good? Trying to figure out whether to go private tour or ship tour. Thank you.
#2
Western Washington
5,024 Posts
Joined Aug 2001
We've made similar choice for Livorno for Florence/Pisa and opted for on our own (sort of). Basically our Roll Call group has a bunch of experienced people and we (group of 20 or so) are taxi pooling to the train station and taking train to Pisa for brief stop then to Florence for 3.5 hours then train back to Livorno and reverse taxi pool. We've found the RCI tours to run twice to three times independent BUT there is that gauranty of ship waiting if delayed returning. Worst case for us we miss ship and take train to Civitivechia and wait for the ship to get there.

Like Florence Rome is pretty far from port so that eats up a lot of time. Doing an organized tour (RCI or independent) helps by adding a little time wasted waiting for next train.

I asked a parasailing operator in St. Martin once why he was not offered by RCI and he said by the time he had to charge for extra insurance (to cover RCI liability, not the passengers) and RCI's cut he would have to charge $180/pp instead of $60.
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#3
WA State, USA
1,112 Posts
Joined Oct 2011
Imperial Rome. You'll have an amazing tour of the Coliseum, Forum and city plazas. We had lunch at a small cafe on a plaza on our own- yummy wine and local pizza for under $20. The people watching and opportunities for photos were great. The tour allowed about 2 hours on your own for shopping or additional sightseeing. It was a full day in Rome and a great sampler of this historic city.
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#4
New Hampshire
1,080 Posts
Joined Jun 2009
I would recommend a private tour with Rome In Limo. We used them in 2010 and are using them again this June.
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#5
Seattle, WA
11,136 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
A full day ship's tour such as Imperial Rome will run you about 300 euros for two people (sorry I don't know how many are in your group) and it will be on a bus with 40/50 people. Just something to keep in mind as the tour will go at the pace of that group.
Some of the private companies such as the one mentioned above will give you comparable pricing per person if you have a bigger group such as 4-6-8 but you get the more personalized service and a much smaller group. If you don't have that many you can check the roll call here on CC for your cruise and the see if you can join with another couple or two. We did that, had a great time with a group of 8 and made some great new friends too.
If you are worried about getting left behind (late back to the ship), those companies live and die by the cruise ship industry and will most likely have you back to the ship before the ship's tour just to have that time buffer.

Bill
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#6
Stoughton, MA
4,173 Posts
Joined Apr 2002
I agree Rome in Limo is the way to go, verses the ship tours. We had more time in Rome due to the fact we did not have to wait for the tour bus to load and the Rome in Limo can access areas buses can not.

Also the people on the tours had to wear headsets since the group was so large.
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#8
Seattle, WA
11,136 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
Originally posted by CyberTag
We are a family of 5. How do the prices compare for private vs. ship tour?
Well if you take a private tour like the company mentioned, they will take you to all the highlights of Rome including the Vatican for 550 euros in a van all to yourselves. The comparable ship tour on a Royal Caribbean ship is the Imperial Rome which is $198 per person which works out to 750 euros.
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#10
California
804 Posts
Joined Feb 2010
Originally posted by PCWalton1
Well if you take a private tour like the company mentioned, they will take you to all the highlights of Rome including the Vatican for 550 euros in a van all to yourselves. The comparable ship tour on a Royal Caribbean ship is the Imperial Rome which is $198 per person which works out to 750 euros.
With both of these tours you would need to purchase your own Vatican tickets, correct? Does the RCCL tour have a special line where you can go in or do you need to wait in line?
#11
144 Posts
Joined Sep 2003
In the Caribbean I have usually done private tours but can't seem to find any groups to join on my roll call.

Thanks so much for everyone's suggestions. I will continue to try and find a group where the price can be a little more reasonable.

Sue
#12
Seattle, WA
11,136 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
Originally posted by CyberTag
With both of these tours you would need to purchase your own Vatican tickets, correct? Does the RCCL tour have a special line where you can go in or do you need to wait in line?
I don't know about the line for the Royal cruise but we took the private tour and just ordered our tickets online before leaving. We emailed the tour company and they told us what timeframe to order the tickets. Then we went right in. We also used one of the tour company's guides in the Vatican. Another 100 euros but well worth it.

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#13
Seattle, WA
11,136 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
Originally posted by CyberTag
Hi Sue,

We are on the June 10th sailing as well. I will be traveling with my 2 sons (15 and 18), my husband and father-in-law. This will be our first trip to Europe. I am very nervous about doing a private excursion in another country, but trying to run the numbers. Not sure if I'm missing something, but the ships excusion seems very close in price to the private tour price once you figure in the Vatican tickets and the coliseum tickets for the private tour. It appears the ships excursion includes lunch as well? Am I reading all of this correct???

Kari (aka CyberTag)
For 4 people the ship tour is close in price, but with 8 the private tour is usually about 600 euros and that is much cheaper. Thus the benefit to find others on CC.

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#14
California
804 Posts
Joined Feb 2010
Originally posted by PNW Traveler
Imperial Rome. You'll have an amazing tour of the Coliseum, Forum and city plazas. We had lunch at a small cafe on a plaza on our own- yummy wine and local pizza for under $20. The people watching and opportunities for photos were great. The tour allowed about 2 hours on your own for shopping or additional sightseeing. It was a full day in Rome and a great sampler of this historic city.
Did you do the Imperial Rome tour through RCCL? Doesn't the tour include lunch? Did you opt out of this to do lunch on your own???
#15
USA
8,951 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
Search the Ports of Call boards, but I think private is the way to go. Any cruise tour is going to be a bus and a bus is full of 40+ other people. Some keep time, some don't, some walk fast, some don't so your tour will fall to the lowest common demominator.

Private you get to pick the sites, how fast and etc. Much better, as its a busy day, and if you want the most, go private!

Originally posted by Sue Dawson
Has anyone done a ship excursion for Rome? What did you think of it? Good value for money? Was the meal good? Trying to figure out whether to go private tour or ship tour. Thank you.
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#16
45 Posts
Joined Dec 2011
I was going to book a private tour, but as we are travelling with an 18 month old infant it worked out cheaper to book through RCL because under 2's are free with RCL but pay full price on a private tour.

For Florence - Historical Florence & Accademia Museum
For Rome - Rome, The Eternal City

The total for the 3 of us was Ł500 / $795 / EUR610 (total not per trip)

That includes entrance fees, guides and lunch in a restaurant.

If our daughter was older I would definately book a private tour. Also we wouldn't want to share a private tour at present because we would slow people down.

If we take the RCL coach we may be slower because we have an infant, but from experience we will certainly not be the slowest!!!
#17
WA State, USA
1,112 Posts
Joined Oct 2011
Originally posted by CyberTag
Did you do the Imperial Rome tour through RCCL? Doesn't the tour include lunch? Did you opt out of this to do lunch on your own???
We did the tour through RCI - November 2011. The tour group was less than 20. I think that because so many are taking private rather than ship sponsored tours that the count is down for the ship sponsored tours. We had no more than 20 on all of our ship sponsored tours in the Med. The Imperial Rome tour did not pay for our lunch, but the guide suggested cafes and was price sensitive in her recommendations. We joined the tour early a.m. and did not return until 30 min. before the ship was to depart. There was bad traffic on the return trip from Rome. I was glad we were on the ship's tour rather than a private tour when we experienced the traffic delays. If you have children who can appreciate the amazing history of the Coliseum and the ancient buildings this would be a good tour for them, albeit a long day.
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#18
Pennsylvania
37 Posts
Joined Mar 2009
Originally posted by Sue Dawson
Has anyone done a ship excursion for Rome? What did you think of it? Good value for money? Was the meal good? Trying to figure out whether to go private tour or ship tour. Thank you.
We did an RCCI booked tour of Rome two years ago. It was a bit pricey BUT the tickets were included for everywhere we went; we didn't stand in line anywhere - we had a scheduled time and went around the lines and right on in; we had a tour guide with us all day; and we had a wonderful lunch with wine at a very nice hotel down town.
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#19
Glen Cove, NY
71 Posts
Joined Jun 2002
Has anybody taken a ships tour into Rome where they drop you off and everybody does their own touring?
Does the bus drop everybody at one location or can you ask to get off at a specific area?
#20
South Australia
8,068 Posts
Joined Jul 2011
Originally posted by WFF
Has anybody taken a ships tour into Rome where they drop you off and everybody does their own touring?
Does the bus drop everybody at one location or can you ask to get off at a specific area?
This is what we are doing but with the cruise ships private train. Both train and bus drop you off at one place only. We are doing the same with Florence and Pisa. Figure we get some security in case everything is late.


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