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Rome the Eternal City Celebrity excursion?


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I know that many people swear by private and third party tours; we have been on our share of those too, but we have also enjoyed many wonderful Celebrity excursions. We are booked on Celebrity’s Rome the Eternal City excursion and looking for insights on it. We totally get that to see Rome properly we need a week minimum, but I’m just looking for insight as to what we can expect on this one day, ‘taste of’ excursion. It includes a portion of the Vatican museum, St. Peter’s Basilica, the Sistine Chapel, and the outside of the Colosseum and Forum and a lunch. Would appreciate insights from anyone who has actually taken this excursion before. Thanks and safe travels everyone! 

 

Dianne

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In 2016, we did not take this exact excursion, but we did the Vatican Museum, St. Peter's Basilica, and the Sistine chapel one through celebrity, and I will say I was thoroughly disappointed in the "Vatican Museum" portion.  Basically, we just walked through the Museum to the Sistine chapel.  I wanted to explore the museum, but we were unable to do that.  The excursion was scheduled to be 8 hours, but was only 5.  This was a post cruise excursion, so that may have the issue.  The Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica were worth the price of the excursion though.  If you have the ability to find a local guide for a personal tour, i would recommend that over the tour I did with celebrity. 

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Thanks mcolem2v, we are just in Rome for the day, so are hoping the Celebrity excursion will maximize the time that we do have, 7:00 AM arrival, 7:00 PM departure, with the tour times 7:30 - 6:00 PM. We are on B2B cruises from Barcelona to Venice, Venice, Greek Isles, return, so have many ports and sights to see. We know that to thoroughly see a city one must spend a number of days, but a glimpse of Rome will inspire us to plan an in-depth visit.

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It sound fine for those who enjoy cruise line excursions.   As you surmise, Rome is a large city with plenty to see and you can only scratch the surface on a day tour.   We love to cruise (and have often done it in the Med) but the downside is that you never have enough time to really absorb what is available in any port/region.  My first visit to Rome was on a Princess day tour back in the 80s.  It whetted our appetite to really see and experience Italy and we have since been back more than a dozen times including multi-week driving trips all over the wonderful country.   We still think that European cruises are a great way to discover the places that you want to return to and spend some quality land time.

 

For those who have been to the Med on a few cruises we would offer that cruises really limit your ability to experience a country.  There are many wonderful  parts of Italy not even accessible on a cruise vacation.

 

Hank

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14 hours ago, Swann5 said:

I know that many people swear by private and third party tours; we have been on our share of those too, but we have also enjoyed many wonderful Celebrity excursions. We are booked on Celebrity’s Rome the Eternal City excursion and looking for insights on it. We totally get that to see Rome properly we need a week minimum, but I’m just looking for insight as to what we can expect on this one day, ‘taste of’ excursion. It includes a portion of the Vatican museum, St. Peter’s Basilica, the Sistine Chapel, and the outside of the Colosseum and Forum and a lunch. Would appreciate insights from anyone who has actually taken this excursion before. Thanks and safe travels everyone! 

 

Dianne

 

Given the long drive from the Port into Rome, a small group private excursion might be better.  However, in Italy, a driver cannot also be a guide, so many small private tours do not have a true tour guide. 

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7 hours ago, cruiserchuck said:

 

Given the long drive from the Port into Rome, a small group private excursion might be better.  However, in Italy, a driver cannot also be a guide, so many small private tours do not have a true tour guide. 

We used a local private tour company (I think we had 8 people in minivan)...our "driver" was a good of a guide as we have ever had!  He did hand us off for our tour of the vatican, but his insights while we were with him were very insightful.  With 2 hours of driving he covered a large variety of topics.

 

To the OP...Is there a reason you don't want to use a local tour company that you arrange on your own or with others from this board?  

Edited by dodger1964
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OP - Enjoy your tour!  You are seeing lots of good sites and doing your best to maximize your time in  Rome.  I think you understand that you cannot possible see it all in 12 hours....so enjoy what you can see and make the best of it!  Have fun!

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We have done both a Celebrity tour of Rome the first time we visited, and arranged our own day the second time. The Eternal Rome tour was great, but do your research on the Sistine Chapel ahead of the tour so you will know the details that you want to pick out. Rick Steves has several pages of the guide to Rome devoted to it. There's a lot to see, and your time in there will be strictly controlled if it is as busy as it usually is. Groups were being let in with a guide for 20 minutes, then we were rounded up and had to leave to make way for another group. It was almost shoulder to shoulder in the chapel itself. It was a great tour, and don't let anybody tell you that cruise ship tours have to wait while privately arranged ones get priority entrance. We have never found that to be the case. Large groups with pre-bought tickets are usually let in as a group, whether from a cruise or privately arranged. We found the tour to be good overview of Rome, and the next time we visited we went on our own to the Pantheon, Palatine Hills, Spanish steps, etc.

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