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About DragonOfTheSeas

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    5,000+ Club

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    travel and reading
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Celebrity, RCL and Carnival
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  1. DragonOfTheSeas

    New Cruiser Needing Help on excursion company

    I had alive thread on my trip to Rome. On page 2 a woman asked about how to see the most possible on a shore day. I described what to do and a few others refined the advice. Are you willing to do this on your own? You could do this for around 200 euro for the 2 of you. Timed Colosseum tickets with an audio guide are 20 euro/person. This are good for the Palantine Hill and Forum, too.
  2. DragonOfTheSeas

    Specialty Restaurant

    We did specialty dining a couple of nights ago. We did not like what was on the MDR menu and wanted something different. We went by Giovanni's and asked about availability. We asked if there was any special going on for the price. The hostess called someone and asked if there was still a special. He said yes and we got it 50% off each meal. If I had not asked we would have paid full price. So the next time you book--ask! edit: there was no advertisement of any special.
  3. DragonOfTheSeas

    Jewel Nov 5th TA

    I have not found the internet to be very good. As Bob says it varies. In the early morning it seems OK. Later in the day when others are on it is very slooooow.
  4. DragonOfTheSeas

    LIVE from ROME! November 1-5, 2018

    Thanks for mentioning this. . . I agree anything that saves time is important to Erby.
  5. DragonOfTheSeas

    LIVE from ROME! November 1-5, 2018

    OK--that gives me a little more information. This is a map of the ancient area around the Colosseum. {it comes from my Rick Steve's Rome 2018 book--but, it available online, too]You can see there are many places to see in a small area. All of this is walkable. However, there are hills and steps. This map makes it look flat--but, it is not. You did not say if you have any mobility issues. This is the location for the most history. You could spend your whole day in this area and taxi back to Termini to catch your train back to the ship. Note the church called St Peter in Chains.[It has chains used to restrain St Peter] I wanted to visit, but my travel friends did not want to walk the distance or steps after visiting the Colosseum/forum area. You could light a candle here and maybe leave your card/rosary. [After visiting the Vatican I can not remember anywhere there you could do this--lots of security] If I were having a 1 day visit my itinerary would be: Ship [bus or taxi] to Civitavecchia train ststion to Termini train station. Taxi to Palantine Hill entrance. Walk direct path to Forum observing some of the Palantine Hill on the way. Quick spin around the forum and exit to Colosseum. Get in line for Colosseum security 30 minutes before ticket time. Yes--there is a security line even if you have a timed ticket. It moves quickly. I would do a DIY audio or audio video tour. That way you can go at your own pace. Next I would taxi to Piazza della Rotonda. I would need a small rest at this pint. Have a meal at one of the outdoor cafes. We liked the one that is directly across from the Pantheon. Sorry, I do not remember the name. This would take 45 minutes to an hour, but give you a flavor of being in Rome. If you want a quick bit try the Antica Salumeria for a pork sandwich to go. Then get in line to visit the Pantheon. [free] If there is a line don't worry. It moves very quickly. Next, I would visit the Santa Maria Sopra Minerva Church 1/2 block from the Pantheon. You should be able to leave your card/rosary there. [sorry I tried to add something here and it would not load. ignore the box] I actually visited this church 3 times. They were getting ready to have a church service one of those times. You could enter the building, but not visit the side chapels or alter. I spoke with a priest while there. He was very informative and welcoming. I feel this would be a place they would understand your remembrance of your mother. As you walk back to the Pantheon buy a gelato. You can not leave Rome without one. Next check your time. Walk the 3 blocks to Piazza Navon. I was told it is the most beautiful in Rome. I believe it. It is a large oval with several fountains. You may need to taxi back to the Termini train station at this point. If not taxi to the Trevi Fountain or anything that is still on your short list. You will be exhausted when you return to the ship. but, you will have seen a great deal. Have a good trip.
  6. DragonOfTheSeas

    LIVE from ROME! November 1-5, 2018

    I agree a focus on ancient Rome is a good use of your time. I would purchase a timed ticket for the colosseum before your visit. Pick a time that gives you some wiggle room for time. You can visit the Forum/Palantine Hill before or after that time. [maybe late morning] Then I would take a taxi to Piazza dell Rotunda to see the Pantheon. It is easy to see in a short time [30 minutes is long enough]. There are a couple of good churches to see within a block [Santa Maria Sopra Minerva is my choice]. Also, Piazza Navona is only a 3 block walk and there are a couple of good shops on the way. There is a taxi stand beside the Pantheon so you can take a taxi to the Trevi fountain if you have time. A taxi is relatively cheap in Rome. Most places are about 8-10 euro from one another. I would not waste a lot of time walking from one place to another. [time is your enemy] Grab lunch on the go at either the Colosseum area [not many choices] or on the Piazza near the Pantheon. Unless you really have a desire to see the Vatican I would not use my precious time to visit. JMHO Another option is to book a private tour. They will drive you to all of the big attractions. This option is very expensive. . . . but would maximize your 1 day. [you could tell them what you want to see.]
  7. DragonOfTheSeas

    LIVE from ROME! November 1-5, 2018

    Delta--Not this time. I had joined roll call tours in each of the 3 ports [the we are not visiting now] and did not think I would have time for the first half of the cruise. . . . Come over to the "Beadie" message board and I will give you some more info that doesn't really pertain to this thread.
  8. DragonOfTheSeas

    LIVE from ROME! November 1-5, 2018

    OK here are the pictures from the roof. You can see all the way to the Vatican. Below is the street beside the Pantheon. You see how narrow it is. Below is the Piazza della Rotonda.
  9. DragonOfTheSeas

    LIVE from ROME! November 1-5, 2018

    One fun thing we did was have a rooftop picnic. We went to the Antica Sulmeria [old world deli] across the piazza. I noticed this place was on one of the walking food tours. So we decided to try it. They sell sandwiches, meats, cheese, wine, etc. There are just a few seats inside and it is very noisy. It was almost too crowded to walk through without running into someone. That tells me the food is good. We wanted to order an antipasti tray to take away--with some wine. The tray is priced at 15 euro/person. We saw one on a table and It was very large. So we bought one for 2 at 30 euro. It was plenty. We had meats, cheeses and a bag of bread. We did not finish it all. However, it was not intended as the meal. We went out for a light meal later. We want to get a bottle of house wine that was 6 euro, but that could not be purchased to go.. . . unless we brought an empty bottle and then they would refill it. LOL The views were great. It was good to just enjoy being in Rome. It seemed to stop raining around 4pm each day. So, we took a towel to the roof to dry the chairs and enjoyed the evening. There were others doing the same thing. Cruise Critic is not letting me load pics right now. [or maybe the ship's internet] I am getting an upload failure message. I will post them later.
  10. DragonOfTheSeas

    LIVE from ROME! November 1-5, 2018

    I wanted to mention something else I think is useful to travelers. There are many water fountains in the city that you can use to refill your water bottles. Here is one we saw on a side street. There was one in the Palantine Hill we used and there was one in the piazza with the Pantheon. There are hundreds of these in the city. The water is safe to drink. . . . and it saves you from taking a large bottle along.
  11. DragonOfTheSeas

    LIVE from ROME! November 1-5, 2018

    Thanks--That is very important information.
  12. DragonOfTheSeas

    LIVE from ROME! November 1-5, 2018

    Please add your thoughts and experiences in Rome. I want this thread to be a help as others plan their trip. I guess we were lucky in that regard. Our taxi drivers seemed to be more cautious than some we saw. The one thing that was hard to watch was the tight urns and threading the needle on some of the side streets in the old section. The streets are as narrow as those in the Gothic Quarter in Barcelona. . . . And they go off in as many directions. [I know many Med cruisers leave from there and are familiar with that city.]
  13. DragonOfTheSeas

    LIVE from ROME! November 1-5, 2018

    I want to mention a few things about taking a taxi. We were happy there was a taxi stand beside the Pantheon. It meant we could get a cab pretty much any time we wanted one. We walked to some places, but mostly relied on taking a taxi. We did not find taxi drivers to be very friendly. . . . or maybe just a few bad apples. The first day when we left the hotel to go to the Colosseum we saw a larger taxi parked at the stand. We told him we had 4 people and wanted to go to the Palantine Hill entrance. He turn to me and said I do not have enough room. He took the next person that came and left. 😮 Next came a smaller taxi you see all the time. He took us to our destination without question. Yet, his taxi was smaller. [~10 euros one way] When we came out of the Colosseum we wanted to taxi back to the hotel. To get to the taxi stand you need to go up the stairs, turn left and go down to the next intersection and cross the street to the taxi stand. [about 1/4 of the way around the Colosseum] There was a taxi parked at the top of the stairs. We thought this was our lucky day. We told him where we wanted to go and got in. He said that will be 25 euros. We said no the trip here was only 10 euros. He said the soldiers have closed off all these streets and he must go the long way around, etc. We said no thank you. So, we got out of the taxi and walked to the taxi stand and it was 10 euro. The taxi stands are marked by an orange rectangular sign with the word taxi in block letters. They are pretty easy to see. You do not hail a taxi on the street. You can call a cab or get a restaurant/hotel/tour operator to call you a taxi. When you do this the price [meter] starts from the call. At our restaurant just outside the Vatican we got them to call us a cab and the fare was 2.5 euro more than the trip there. It was so convenient.
  14. DragonOfTheSeas

    LIVE from ROME! November 1-5, 2018

    Thanks for following. We had a good time in Rome. We may get back to Rome someday----or maybe not. I would hate to waste my opportunity to see this great city. We boarded the ship today. So, it has been a busy day. I will finish up or information on Rome tomorrow,. . . since I am no longer live from Rome.
  15. DragonOfTheSeas

    Reputable website to book Colosseum Tour

    The official website is www.coopculture.it. We used this one.