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Coliseum- Inside or out?


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I have been trying to get to Italy since 2001.  This is my 4th try.  The viking Ocean cruise around Italy has been cancelled twice so far.  We are now scheduled to cruise on 9/16/2022.  I was looking at the included excursion while in Rome - and it states that it is a 9 hour tour.  It mentions the coliseum, but not sure if it is a "drive by", or do you actually go inside?  But I also noticed that you can purchase an excursion that does go INTO the Coliseum.  

Here are my questions.

1.  Is it worth it to go INTO the Coliseum, or is it enough just to see it from the outside?

2.  Has anyone taken the INCLUDED Rome excursion through Viking, and how was it?

3.  Do the Viking excursions (both the included and the extra) include "skip the line"?

 

thank you very much.  So looking forward to this cruise

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11 minutes ago, shudach said:

I have been trying to get to Italy since 2001.  This is my 4th try.  The viking Ocean cruise around Italy has been cancelled twice so far.  We are now scheduled to cruise on 9/16/2022.  I was looking at the included excursion while in Rome - and it states that it is a 9 hour tour.  It mentions the coliseum, but not sure if it is a "drive by", or do you actually go inside?  But I also noticed that you can purchase an excursion that does go INTO the Coliseum.  

Here are my questions.

1.  Is it worth it to go INTO the Coliseum, or is it enough just to see it from the outside?

2.  Has anyone taken the INCLUDED Rome excursion through Viking, and how was it?

3.  Do the Viking excursions (both the included and the extra) include "skip the line"?

 

thank you very much.  So looking forward to this cruise

Wow, talk about perseverance ! While I have never done Viking’s excursion to the Coliseum, I have been there twice and would say that you need to go inside with a guide and hear the history and the stories of life at the Coliseum.  A skip the line type of tour is essential and so I would  double ( and maybe triple ) check with Viking as to how they handle a tour there. 

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Totally agree with vslparis.

 

We also haven't been with Viking, but have visited the Coliseum. Having a tour with a local guide is essential to seeing the inside and skip the queue, is highly recommended for all the attractions.

 

Would not be satisfied with a drive past.

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Rome is one of the great cities of the world and you cannot really do it justice on a day visit. If it was on the coast, I think a lot of cruises would have it as overnight port to give you two days to explore but not many would wish to make the transfer into Rome two days running. 
 

I have done both a Viking drive around tour of Rome plus I also stayed there 3 nights (independently organised) ahead of a cruise starting from Civitavecchia (Port for Rome - 75 minutes away). 
 

Looking at the options, I would opt for the “Rome on your Own” and engage a local guide to cover what you wish to see in depth. All the main sites are walkable but it can be a tiring day, especially as it can still be hot in September.  I personally would focus either on the Colosseum/Forum area or the Vatican/St Peter’s Basilica for an in depth visit (depending on your personal interest) and then more fleeting visits to other sites of which there are plenty. 

I would only recommend the Viking Panoramic tour with photo stops if you feel that you are not up to the walking that is needed to fully appreciate such an  amazing city. 

 

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We did an optional tour viking offered (Highlights of Rome and the coliseum) and I agree with vslparis and Heidi13 that going inside the coliseum is a must.  It was an all day excursion with a fair amount of walking but we saw most of the must see sites of Rome. The other option is to spend a day at the vatican. Our tour only had a drive by of St Peters at the very end of the day but I don't think its possible to both in one day.  

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NeilP57 is right on.  The Colisseum is so much more than a drive by.  If you wish to have a private guide I would recommend RomeCab.  We have used them three times over the last 15 years or so and they provided fantastic trips into and around Rome.  We always have them meet us at the ship as the drive in is much quicker than the bus but also filled with information from an English speaking guide.  RomeCabs have all the permits and licenses and as such can park, literally, on the steps of the various sites.  They are part of the tourist organization providing the Jump the Line type services at places such as the Vatican.  Our guide at the Vatican, Maria, could have been a double for Sophia on The Golden Girls.  Right down to the purse.  At first we were not sure we had made the right call but we could hardly keep up with her.  We skipped the massive entry line by going through an unmarked side door.  Private guarded elevators were all open to Maria with the Guards all calling her "Mamma".  We saw at least twice as much as the mass groups moving around.  

And before someone jumps me for "that's not fair' jumping the line, this is Italy.  This is their plan and how thousands of Italians make their livings.  Maria had been giving Vatican tours for 50 years!  She probably goes places the Pope doesn't know of.  It really is the best way to see a lot in a restricted amount of time.  The driver took us to private entrances all over Rome, especially the Colisseum..  There are separate elevators for the guided folks over the tour groups.  I was surprised last trip to have to go through bomb detection equipment.  The Colisseum is already a ruin folks so one can only think taking out large numbers of people is the crazies goal.  Sad to see the world at this place but with our guide we never were in any sort of stressful situation.  As has been said before Rome is one of THE cities to see.  Make it easy on yourself with a good guide and really enjoy the day.  Heck, the driver will also know a great place for a quick lunch.  😎  I have always loved visiting Rome.  The first time I was a backpacking student traveling on the ultra cheap.  Spent one night in the Colisseum.  But that's a story for another time...... Probably the real Explorer's Lounge......🍸

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7 hours ago, NeilP57 said:

I would only recommend the Viking Panoramic tour with photo stops if you feel that you are not up to the walking that is needed to fully appreciate such an  amazing city. 

 

We chose to do this tour because we had been to Rome before AND because we knew that we would still be recuperating after flying in the day before. I slept the whole way coming and going. We enjoyed the drive around town and when we finally got to Vatican City, which had visited in the past, we walked in the opposite direction of the crowds, taking a walk along the Tiber instead. It worked for us.

 

 

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We will be boarding a cruise a few days later, on 9-28-22 and going to Rome.  But having been to Rome many times before, and this probably our last time in Rome, we are thinking about skipping the 9-10 hour tours and doing Ostia, the old Roman Port.  I know this is a bit off topic, but has anyone done this?  And did you enjoy it?
 

 

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10 minutes ago, SantaFe1 said:

We will be boarding a cruise a few days later, on 9-28-22 and going to Rome.  But having been to Rome many times before, and this probably our last time in Rome, we are thinking about skipping the 9-10 hour tours and doing Ostia, the old Roman Port.  I know this is a bit off topic, but has anyone done this?  And did you enjoy it?
 

 

Yes

Nice picturesque drive to and from 

Totally fascinating, with a good guide you will have an excellent day exploring in and out of buildings.  Mostly flat terrain which will be of interest to those with mobility requirements.

The “Brick Tax” paid for the the majority of building works and hope your guide gives details.

There so many interesting places to be discovered, to open up your mind on the life and times.

Ask your guide the question .  With the thousands living and working, what were the toilet facilities.

How it all ended will leave to your guide.

Good facilitates, good quality souvenirs, and reasonably priced refreshments prior to entrance.

Reccomend it.

Gratutiy to the guide will be greatly appreciated.  They don’t earn much as guides.

Enjoy

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13 minutes ago, SantaFe1 said:

Thank you!  That’s the only thing we haven’t done.  It sounds like a nice day for us, albeit a year and a half away.

Correction, the Brick Tax, paid for the Councils buildings and the running of the city

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Highly recommended. 

As the original seaport for Rome, we enjoyed learning of all the merchants and markets located there.

It’s pretty massive but easy to navigate. Fascinating variety of architecture/ ruins. 

Makes for a nice day. We took the train there.

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5 hours ago, Jim Avery said:

NeilP57 is right on.  The Colisseum is so much more than a drive by.  If you wish to have a private guide I would recommend RomeCab.  

 

Another vote for Rome Cabs (owned / run by Stefano).

We used them on our first visit.

The company will tailor the day to do what you want to do.

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5 hours ago, SantaFe1 said:

We will be boarding a cruise a few days later, on 9-28-22 and going to Rome.  But having been to Rome many times before, and this probably our last time in Rome, we are thinking about skipping the 9-10 hour tours and doing Ostia, the old Roman Port.  I know this is a bit off topic, but has anyone done this?  And did you enjoy it?
 

 

 

Did it.  Loved it.  But then I'm a fool for ruins.  Lots of walking.  Magnificent theater but small.   We did it January so heat was not an issue. 

 

We also did , on a different day, the tour to Etruscan burial site at Tarquinia, which included time in the town and the Provincial Archeology Museum.  Glad we did not have to choose between the two.  

 

 

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39 minutes ago, SantaFe1 said:

Thanks.  Did Tarquinia years ago and loved it.  As I said, this is really the only thing we haven’t done.  I’m really glad I asked here, all the answers have been helpful!

 

At least you won't be stuck having to choose between them. 😉

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We found Rick Steve's audio guides very informative and good if you like to tour areas on your own.  We used them for many areas of Italy when we were on a driving holiday a few years ago.

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thanks everyone for your suggestions.  I really appreciate the suggestions.  I am a first time writer on the boards.  I have read them, some, but have never written.  I have pretty much decided that I will definitely go INTO the coliseum.  I will pass up the "Included" excursion.  Thanks all for the idea of RomeCabs.  I will look into them.  When we thought we were going to go in 2020, the cruise we had chosen did not take you into Rome as it was the end of the first part, and others were boarding that day.  So we had picked out a tour by Viator.  It looked pretty good also.  Has anyone used them?  They were going to pick us up at the ship and get us into the sites.  

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1 hour ago, shudach said:

thanks everyone for your suggestions.  I really appreciate the suggestions.  I am a first time writer on the boards.  I have read them, some, but have never written.  I have pretty much decided that I will definitely go INTO the coliseum.  I will pass up the "Included" excursion.  Thanks all for the idea of RomeCabs.  I will look into them.  When we thought we were going to go in 2020, the cruise we had chosen did not take you into Rome as it was the end of the first part, and others were boarding that day.  So we had picked out a tour by Viator.  It looked pretty good also.  Has anyone used them?  They were going to pick us up at the ship and get us into the sites.  

 

Viator is a booking agency, a third-party, not a tour operator.  

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11 hours ago, SantaFe1 said:

We will be boarding a cruise a few days later, on 9-28-22 and going to Rome.  But having been to Rome many times before, and this probably our last time in Rome, we are thinking about skipping the 9-10 hour tours and doing Ostia, the old Roman Port.  I know this is a bit off topic, but has anyone done this?  And did you enjoy it?
 

 

Maybe a bit off topic, but your question is useful to me. Just yesterday I changed our September river cruise to an April 2022 ocean cruise.  It's a combination of two shorter cruises, and Rome is the changeover port, so there are no Viking tours. Fortunately, we have been to Rome twice before, so I started to look for something closer. Ostia and Tarquinia are both on my list to investigate, and also Tivoli and Civita di Bagnoregio. We will be in port from 5:00 AM to 11:00 PM, so plenty of time to see something new. At least researching this gives me something fun to do in between checking all my registered sites looking for a vaccine!

 

Shudach,

People have different views of the ship's tours vs. private tours, and each of them have points in their favor. From my two visits to Rome, I would say that the Viking's Highlights of Rome & the Colosseum sounds like an excellent one day tour of Rome. In just one day, you really have to choose between a visit inside the Vatican or the Colosseum, and then fill in from there. Enjoy!

 

Jim Avery,

I will add RomeCabs to my list of options to check too.

Edited by lackcreativity
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