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cruisemom42

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  1. If you aren't interested in walking up Palatine Hill to the top (there are great views of the Circus Maximus up there, by the way) then I'd just take the shortest path to the Forum. There is a food cart right near the Palatine Hill entrance -- at least there has been one there on my previous two visits. You could get something there and carry with you until you're ready to stop and eat, if you want. Be warned, it's purely convenience food and is priced accordingly.
  2. cruisemom42

    Rome hail storm last night

    I'm in Assisi at the moment; I can tell you we've had terrific wind for the past 24 hours and WOW what a thunderstorm last night -- from my hotel window I can see out the valley and it was a bit terrifying watching the storm. Power went out (and came back) about 5 times. Luckily, however, nothing like as bad as it was in some other places....
  3. Sounds like all has gone well for the first "experience" with this format -- kudos to HAL. I'll be looking out for 2020 itineraries beyond what's currently posted. And can't resist an anagram using all the letters in Pitcairn: Inca trip! :D
  4. cruisemom42

    Athens Tips, Suggestions, Examples to Enjoy!

    Hi Terry -- you can see one of the few existing copies (made in the 2nd century AD, during the time when Athens was part of the Roman empire) of the Athena Parthenos statue in the National Archaeological Museum in Athens. It is much smaller, of course, but they think it is a good representation of what the original would have looked like:
  5. You're right -- I posted before in a rush and didn't stop to check out the site. Always better to use the official site. I've done the Borghese twice -- while it is a lovely, lovely museum I wouldn't necessarily put it on my list of "must do" places for a first visit to Rome. (Unless Renaissance and Baroque art is your wheelhouse...). If you do go, I highly recommend the audioguide -- it's very well done.
  6. Grazie mille, just a chance to put four years of Italian lessons to work... ;)
  7. cruisemom42

    Excursion to/from Civitavecchia and Rome

    I haven't used them; I navigate around on my own in Rome. I know it well, but it's not too difficult -- really. Does your ship not offer a "transportation only" option? That might at least give you the comfort of getting to Rome and then back to your ship without the transportation hassles... If they do, we can give you directions on getting to the Colosseum and Trevi the best way, based on your dropoff/pickup point.
  8. cruisemom42

    Voyage of the Vikings 2020

    The conventional wisdom, I know, is that it is more enjoyable to gain than to lose that hour every day, and if one sails west, one is closer to home at the end. However, the ports appeal to me more on the eastward part.
  9. cruisemom42

    Venice 2020

    In November 2017 it was announced that a new port would be constructed in Marghera and any ship more than 55,000 tons would dock there (and take a route around Venice proper, not through Giudecca Canal). This new facility was planned (in the announcement) to open in 2021 -- although, being Italy, healthy skepticism has been voiced as to whether this is possible. For now, I believe the ban on ships more than 96,000 tons is still in place (although I also remember some controversy about whether it would be enforced). So I think it likely that you'd still take the same route down Giudecca and dock at Marittima in 2020, unless there is another "ban" instituted.
  10. cruisemom42

    Voyage of the Vikings 2020

    I'm contemplating this for 2020 but cannot do the entire round trip. Is there any consensus as to which "half" is the better itinerary? I'm leaning toward the first part -- from Boston to Amsterdam.
  11. cruisemom42

    Excursion to/from Civitavecchia and Rome

    Are you really going to be able to see much of Rome with this tour? I'm concerned that Rome has so much to offer and this tour really isn't optimal. Sundays at the Vatican museum are free; lines are horrendous, there are no 'timed' tickets on those days.
  12. cruisemom42

    Embarking in Venice logistics

    You can stay IN Venice, on Piazzale Roma, and still get a taxi to your ship. No need to stay out in Mestre.
  13. cruisemom42

    Excursion to/from Civitavecchia and Rome

    The price for a solo on a 6-8 person tour of Rome with a private company should still be less than for one of the the cruise line tours -- and a better experience. Some of the companies offer a tour share option/sign up -- have you looked for those options? They are frequently mentioned here but I haven't used any of them (I'm a solo traveler but just do Rome on my own....) There really aren't 'cheap' options for tours from Civi -- the transportation alone to Rome and back by private vehicle is what costs $$$. There was a service that provided a bus service to/from Rome and, for slight additional cost, would also take you to a limited number of sites. But it got very mixed reviews in terms of reliability.
  14. Every time I visit Rome, I dive a little deeper. Rome has so many layers, many of which still coexist. I've been to several of the catacombs along the Appian Way and in other parts of Rome (along other ancient Roman roads converging on the city). Well worth seeing at least one of them. I also have spent quite a bit of time over my last couple of visits on the Appian Way -- I've walked the first few miles, stopping to investigate various tombs and the two villas that are open (Villa of Maxentius and Villa dei Quintili). I can also recommend a short visit to the Museum of the Walls, which is found right where the old Appia Antica enters into the city proper. Last May, I made arrangements in advance to visit some areas of the Roman era under San Sebastiano church and catacombs. There are three pagan tombs that you can see on the tour, but we went to several areas that are not open to the public generally -- amazing places with frescoed walls and mosaic flooring, and we were shown around by the archaeologist who headed the excavations (these were only recently recovered...). A few years back I started a thread with some ideas for what to visit in Rome beyond the most well-known attractions. It's got some interesting and still valid suggestions for anyone looking for ideas: https://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1496996&highlight=Rome+less+visited
  15. cruisemom42

    Venice: Loving It & Why??!!

    The docking situation in Venice is confusing. It was announced last year that ships of more than 55,000 tons would no longer be able to sail into the Bacino San Marco and down Giudecca canal, but would have to take a longer route through the lagoon and dock in Marghera. However, these facilities are yet to be constructed and won't be ready until 2021. In the interim, I believe there is still some sort of moratorium on really large ships docking in Venice at Marittima, which is why cruise lines have been sending there more moderately-sized vessels for the past couple of years. https://www.independent.co.uk/travel/news-and-advice/venice-cruise-ship-ban-55-tonnes-marghera-port-where-is-it-italy-a8044026.html The large ships you saw on the mainland may have been ones under construction in the Fincantieri shipyard. I know I saw at least two ships there when I was going from the airport into Venice last May -- one of them was the new Holland American ship of about 100,000 tons.
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