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P&O Mediterranean Tours (Rome in particular)


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Hi everyone!

 

Been well and truly bitten by the P&O cruise bug.  I keep wanting to run off to sea so badly I'm now looking at getting a job on a ship in the fleet in the next few years!  Because of our new found love of the life at sea, I'm looking at booking a Mediterranean cruise on Britannia for May 2020 (addition to our November 2019 on Aurora, and the transatlantic Caribbean in October 2020.)  

 

However, we have done a Mediterranean cruise in the past on MSC, and found that the tours were not the best value for money.  We would hope to at least do a tour of Rome, has anyone done one?  Did you find it good value (and how much did you pay for it)?  Ideally, I'd like to do the Vatican, Sistine Chapel, Colosseum and old Forum/Palatine Hill.  Ideally, some time to have lunch in a Trattoria.  

 

In addition to Rome, we will also be stopping in Gibraltar.  Has anyone done a P&O cruise there?  Are they worth it or would it be better to just go it alone?

 

Rest of the ports are Cadiz, Cartagena, Cannes, and Florence/Pisa from Livorno.  I am inclined to think that apart from Livorno we would self-explore the rest of the ports.  

 

Apologies for all of the questions, I would like to have an idea of what we are looking at cost wise for excursions before booking this extra cruise.  I am also tempted by the RCL out of Southampton to Bilbao as it is one of my husband's favourite European cities and he is itching to go back.  What holds me back is just how much we both loved P&O and the opportunity for a 14 night cruise rather than an 8 nighter.  

 

Thanks so much.

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The port for Rome is Civitavecchia and is a bit of a  distance away. We did do a p&o tour but it was about 6/7 years ago so can’t remember how much. Look to see if theirs a tour  where they take you into Rome drop you off, you go and do your own thing. Most of the med cruises I have been on the last port of call is Gibraltar. The walk into town is about 20 minutes or you can get a cab or bus usually only there for morning or afternoon.

P&O do do tours. somebody else may be able to give you more ideas.

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You’re right that the three C’s, Cadiz, Cannes and Cartagena, are easy to self-explore.  All good imo.  I think Cannes may have been a tender port for us.

 

Gibraltar seems to be a bit of a “Marmite” port.  Generally only a half-day - which suits me.  (You can tell which side I’m on!). However, there are things to see and do, other than shop.  The cable car to the top of the rock and the horrible monkeys is probably an iconic activity.  Easy to do yourself - just walk and you can’t miss it.  The Trafalgar graveyard is an interesting and quiet spot, away from the madding crowd.  

 

Bilbao is absolutely fantastic though ... I’m not really helping, am I? 

 

Enjoy your cruise, wherever

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When we were on a Crown Princess cruise a couple of years ago we did 'Rome on your own' through tuscanyBUS - they were very good and it only costs approx. 23 euros each.  It depends if you want the re-assurance of booking with P & O to get back to the port on time because it is quite a distance away 11/2 hours - but we took the chance and booked tuscanyBUS as it was leaving Rome at 4.00pm so knew we had plenty of time to get back.  As it just so happens some passengers had booked the train to Rome through Princess and it never left the station because it broke down and they wasted the day not getting to Rome which must have been a great shame!!!!!

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Rome is huge, the sites are large, they attract tens of thousands of people a day.

 

It took us three days to do what you are trying to do in one.

 

Between 20,000-30,000 go through the Vatican museum and Sistine every day.  There is no shortcut, you go with the flow. Our tour met at 3pm, we left St Peter's after 6pm.

 

Same with Colosseum and Forum/Palatine Hill.  It covers acres of the city and needs time to be appreciated.

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29 minutes ago, Thejuggler said:

Rome is huge, the sites are large, they attract tens of thousands of people a day.

 

It took us three days to do what you are trying to do in one.

 

Between 20,000-30,000 go through the Vatican museum and Sistine every day.  There is no shortcut, you go with the flow. Our tour met at 3pm, we left St Peter's after 6pm.

 

Same with Colosseum and Forum/Palatine Hill.  It covers acres of the city and needs time to be appreciated.

 

That's what I was worried about.  We have not yet been to Rome on a longer city break because we stayed there for one day on either side of our MSC cruise, and found the city was not to our liking.  Was hoping over a few cruises we'd get to see the sites we wanted to. 

 

I have found out that we call into Rome on a Sunday, so Vatican museums, etc... will be closed.  Saves me the worry of trying to fit too much into one day.  Can concentrate on the other sites, and come back to do the Vatican another time.

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Rome's a great place just to walk around - though you could do a few miles. Just the cost of the basic transport (still ludicrously expensive) to the city (dropoff near the Vatican) and then wander round the main sites.

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13 minutes ago, Tommart said:

Rome's a great place just to walk around - though you could do a few miles. Just the cost of the basic transport (still ludicrously expensive) to the city (dropoff near the Vatican) and then wander round the main sites.

 

We did the 'Rome on Your Own' coach transfer in April and the drop off was near the Forum.  It used to be near the Vatican.  P&O were also offering a train transfer which terminated at St Pietro.  Prices were something like £40 for the coach and £45 for the train.  There wasn't much in it as we debated which to take.  I think it depends what you want to do - if it includes a visit to St Peter's then the train would be a good option or if you want to concentrate on the Form/Colosseum area the coach might be better. 

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On ‎6‎/‎20‎/‎2019 at 5:19 PM, Legal Stylist said:

Hi everyone!

 

However, we have done a Mediterranean cruise in the past on MSC, and found that the tours were not the best value for money.  We would hope to at least do a tour of Rome, has anyone done one?  Did you find it good value (and how much did you pay for it)?  Ideally, I'd like to do the Vatican, Sistine Chapel, Colosseum and old Forum/Palatine Hill.  Ideally, some time to have lunch in a Trattoria.  

 

I think that you will struggle to get all of that done in one day. It will be a real whistle stop tour and you may end up seen lots of different things for not a long time. We did the Rome on Your Own tour once. the coach took us to a drop off point (for us it was the Vatican). We then got a taxi to the Forum, took ourselves around that and the Colosseum and had a picnic close by. We then walked back to the Vatican, seeing the sites as we walked back. We then had a look around the Square before we got back on the coach / did a little shopping

On ‎6‎/‎20‎/‎2019 at 5:19 PM, Legal Stylist said:

 

In addition to Rome, we will also be stopping in Gibraltar.  Has anyone done a P&O cruise there?  Are they worth it or would it be better to just go it alone?

 

We did the one where you go to the top of the Rock and then on the way down you look at the underground caves / caverns. It was an excellent tour and the cavern was incredible. We were also lucky as it rained when we were inside !

 

On ‎6‎/‎20‎/‎2019 at 5:19 PM, Legal Stylist said:

 

Rest of the ports are Cadiz, Cartagena, Cannes, and Florence/Pisa from Livorno.  I am inclined to think that apart from Livorno we would self-explore the rest of the ports.  

 

Cadiz is easy to do on your own - a lovey walk around to the beach (I think). Cartagena we did ourselves, I think I am right in saying that in Cartagena there is a great Roman amphitheatre to potter around (if you like that sort of thing).

 

Livorno - am not a fan of Florence to be honest. We did the Florence and Pisa tour but the weather was DIRE ( i.e. there were storms all day and when you have been outside in a Mediterranean storm all day in your shorts and t shirts you know what 'wet' means!). I suppose that put a dampener on things (literally). If we returned we would do Pisa, not Florence. Have also done a wine tasting and a horse ride before now and that was nice.

 

On ‎6‎/‎20‎/‎2019 at 5:19 PM, Legal Stylist said:

 

Apologies for all of the questions, I would like to have an idea of what we are looking at cost wise for excursions before booking this extra cruise.  I am also tempted by the RCL out of Southampton to Bilbao as it is one of my husband's favourite European cities and he is itching to go back.  What holds me back is just how much we both loved P&O and the opportunity for a 14 night cruise rather than an 8 nighter.  

 

Thanks so much.

 

Cost wise I am not 100% to be honest. Re the Rome on Your Own, it was not expensive - for us about £30 each I think maximum.

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7 hours ago, Presto2 said:

 

Cost wise I am not 100% to be honest. Re the Rome on Your Own, it was not expensive - for us about £30 each I think maximum.

 

In April this year on Oriana, £40 for the coach transfer,  £45 for the train according to the pre-cruise brochure - with the appropriate loyalty discount if booked beforehand. 

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You may be better off getting a private guide who will collect you from the ship and 'whisk you' to the places you want to see. They will purchase skip the line tickets and get you too see as much as possible, including having lunch in a nice place rather than an expensive tourist trap. This, of course, costs more than your average tour, so if you're looking at something economical then I would suggest doing a Rome on your own transfer and just visiting one or two sites. You really need to spend more than one day in Rome, it's a wonderful city when you get over all the tourists, vehicles and craziness.

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