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Recommendations in Rome

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Taking a 9 day cruise on RCL Jewel of the Seas from May 20th thru May 29th. Will be arriving in Rome on May 18th so will have 2 days in Rome. Need recommendations as to whether to stay in Rome or a Hotel near the port and which hotel? Would like to do sightseeing during the 2 days that we are there (family of 4 all adults) so recommendations on places and tour company will be great. Also my cruise arrives back on May 29th at 5 am and our flight is at 12:45 Pm from RomeFiumicino International Airport . Looking for recommendations on transfers going to the Port from the airport and coming back to the airport from the port. My itinerary is below.

 

Also open to suggestions on things to do while on the below ports of call.

 

 

05/20/2019 Rome/Civitavecchia -- 05:00 PM
05/21/2019 Messina 11:00 AM 08:00 PM
05/22/2019 Valletta 08:00 AM 05:00 PM
05/23/2019 Cruising -- --
05/24/2019 Mykonos 07:00 AM 05:00 PM
05/25/2019 Thira/Santorini 07:00 AM 06:00 PM
05/26/2019 Athens/Piraeus 06:00 AM 06:00 PM
05/27/2019 Cruising -- --
05/28/2019 Naples 07:00 AM 06:00 PM
05/29/2019 Rome/Civitavecchia 05:00 AM --

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I would absolutely stay in Rome so you can enjoy the evenings and mornings there rather than in Civitavecchia, which is rather dull.  Also, for such a short stay it would be a huge waste of time to travel back and forth to Civitavecchia multiple times, it's more than an hour each way.

Edited by euro cruiser

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You have to get to Civi eventually, so why waste time traveling back and forth. Staying in Rome is the smartest thing to do and take an early morning train or taxi or whatever to Civi the day of your cruise.

Rome is pretty easy to do on your own, but two days is hardly enough time to see everything. 

Not sure if this helps, but if memory holds, the cost of a ride from the airport to say mid Rome is about $45 and from Rome to Civi about $75, give or take a few dollars. 

 

Cheers

Len

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Appreciate everyone's responses which makes it clear that staying in Rome is the way to go and i will be doing so. Any recommendations as to Hotels to stay in and things to do in the limited time that i have? Should i do a tour or on my own?

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16 minutes ago, cooljay said:

Appreciate everyone's responses which makes it clear that staying in Rome is the way to go and i will be doing so. Any recommendations as to Hotels to stay in and things to do in the limited time that i have? Should i do a tour or on my own?

There are so many things to do in Rome that it boggles the mind  ... what are your interests?

Most first time visitors want to see:

Vatican Museums/Sistine Chapel/St. Peters's Basilica

colosseum

Pantheon

forum

Trevi Fountain

Piazza Navona

sample some gelato/have some great Italian meals

Recommend staying in the historical center: you can check booking.com or TripAdvisor but frequently recommended are: 9 Hotel Cesare (https://www.9-hotel-cesari-rome.it/en/), Albergo Santa Chiara - close to the Pantheon (https://www.albergosantachiara.com/en/), & a favorite of mine, K Boutique Hotel (not as centrally located as the previous two but right off Via Cavour with easy access to metro with about an 8 minute walk to the colosseum or a 1 minute trip via metro - https://www.thekhotel.it/ ).

Rick Steves offers some free audio tours that you can download to your smartphone: https://www.ricksteves.com/watch-read-listen/audio/audio-tours

Edited by dogs4fun

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This is where you'll have to start getting into planning mode. You don't really have two full days but probably more like half a day on your arrival day (18th) when you'll likely be tired and jet-lagged, a full day on the 19th (which is unfortunately a Sunday and the Vatican museum is closed), and a morning on 20th before you have to head for Civitavecchia to board your cruise.

 

Unless you have specific interests, I would suggest a general plan along these lines:

 

May 18:  Arrive, check into hotel, plan a low-key afternoon walk that takes in Piazza Navona, the Pantheon, Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps. Find a nice restaurant near your hotel and then collapse.

 

May 19:  Do "ancient Rome" basics:  Visit the Colosseum (alone or with a tour) + the Roman Forum next door and maybe (if you are interested in ancient Rome) Palatine Hill -- although I would almost rather you walk a couple of blocks to the Roman Baths of Caracalla, which are more impressive and have a 3D experience.

 

May 20:  Book an early morning (before opening) tour at the Vatican museum, hopefully one that includes St. Peter's basilica.  Return to your hotel and head to the port -- I'd say no later than around 1pm if by train or 2pm by private transfer.

 

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Where you choose to stay in Rome will depends on where you want to concentrate your time (and how much you enjoy walking). On our past trip, we chose to stay further north than most would recommend -- just south of the Piazza del Popolo, near the Via del Corso. It was still convenient for a first-day walking tour that took in the Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, etc. We actually made it all the way down to Piazza Navona and then strolled back along the Tiber, past the Castel Sant'Angelo et al. It was a little further to the Colosseum and Forum  . . . but we'd stayed nearby and explored those neighbourhoods on a previous trip. Mostly, we choose our location this time for its proximity to the Villa Borghese, which is one of my favourite places in Rome (and home to my favourite gallery). Map out what you want to see and then go searching for hotels.

 

As for the other ports, again, it'll depend on what you want to see. For example, from Messina, many people like to visit Taormina, but I much preferred Mount Etna. I'm a science geek, not a shopper. We could recommend some tour companies? Browsing their websites might give you some ideas. For example, in both Messina and Naples, we took private tours with Joe Banana Limos -- both drivers were excellent and very responsive to what we wanted to do. (In Naples, they were able to prearrange a guided tour of Pompeii with an archaeologist for us.) In Valetta, My Maltese Guide took us around. In Athens, we had a great time with George's Taxi. Etc.

 

ETA: One of our favourite days that we spent on our last trip was a private tour that we took that took us to Tivoli, to Hadrian's Villa and Villa d'Este (both with a professional guide). Something to look into if you want to get out of the city. Even though sites like the Colosseum and the Forum were packed during mid-summer, Hadrian's Villa was almost deserted.

Edited by trosebery

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Stay in Rome! With just 2 days there is more to do than you will be able to.

 

i like staying in area of Trevi/Spanish Steps/Via Del Corso.   Central and pretty easy to get anywhere, most places walkable. I enjoyed having coffee at the Trevi in the early morning before the crowds 😊.  Last trip to Rome I stayed at Hotel Dei Borgognoni and absolutely loved it, would highly recommend.

 

Have also stayed at River Palace Hotel, which was excellent, very close to metro stop so easy to get around.

 

First trip we stayed at the Exedra on Via Veneto. Beautiful elegant hotel and lovely area, although not as central as the other two.

 

Enjoy  Rome and your trip!

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Posted (edited)

Appreciate everyone's feedback.i am overwhelmed with things to do so i think will do the touristy things since  this is my first time in Rome. On Sunday would like to visit the Colosseum, Trevi, Pantheon and On Monday will try to visit Vatican. Is this doable? Any other suggestions?  

Edited by cooljay

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On 3/4/2019 at 3:51 PM, cooljay said:

Appreciate everyone's feedback.i am overwhelmed with things to do so i think will do the touristy things since  this is my first time in Rome. On Sunday would like to visit the Colosseum, Trevi, Pantheon and On Monday will try to visit Vatican. Is this doable? Any other suggestions?  

 

Yes very doable. If you have time and energy, consider adding Palatine Hill or Piazza Navona. Get to Vatican early to minimize lines.

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Do tours.  They do not wait on the public lines which in May will be crazy-long.  You do not have the time to waste standing in line.

 

Have used "Walks of Italy" for some really good small group tours.  They (and other authorized companies) have reserved time-slots to get into key sights.  You really need that!

 

Also, someone above mentioned an early morning entry into the Vatican (that's where the Sistine Chapel is).  We just did a 7am meeting time Vatican Tour and were inside the Sistine Chapel by 8:15 long before the museum opened to the public.  Still about 50 people in the chapel but much less crowded than public hours.  That early access is via these authorized tour companies like Walks of Italy.

 

Take advantage of what these tour companies can offer.  It may cost a bit more, but you don't have much time... so you need it.

 

 

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There is so much to see in Rome that I agree with PelicanLver...do a tour.  You will spend less time in lines and you won't be wandering around losing precious time not to mention you will be told a little background/history of what you are seeing.

 

If you had more time then I would suggest doing more on your own.  I will be in Rome for my 2nd time in October.  I missed so much the first time that we are using a private tour guide this next trip.  

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we did this same itinerary (trip report link found in my signature line)

We used Maurizio from Cabs 4 Rome for all of our transfers. last year I priced 4 different companies. His was the best quote and we had great service.

 

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Hi Cooljay

 

Did a similar cruise last year. We stayed in rome at the Casa Bonus Pastor Monastery for 2 nights $335 us dollars. Very clean, quiet and near local bus stop (right outside hotel). 2 Euros for bus ticket takes you right into heart of Rome..walking distance to everything (colosseum, trevi, spanish steps, etc.). Hotel is in walking distance to Vatican.

We took a tour with walks of italy to vatican...excellent. Do the underground tour of colosseum if you can. Used Stefano's romeCabs for transportation to port for 110 euros. No issues, very friendly driver.

Lots of walking so wear comfortable shoes.

Be aware of pickpockets...use a moneybelt or pocketbook that is slash proof. We had no issues but keep our eyes open and stayed away from crowds as much as possible (trevi fountain and spanish steps are always crowded). We had no issue on the bus because it was a local bus line ...not many tourist on it to be targeted.

 

Have fun!

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On ‎2‎/‎25‎/‎2019 at 9:18 AM, cooljay said:

Taking a 9 day cruise on RCL Jewel of the Seas from May 20th thru May 29th. Will be arriving in Rome on May 18th so will have 2 days in Rome. Need recommendations as to whether to stay in Rome or a Hotel near the port and which hotel? Would like to do sightseeing during the 2 days that we are there (family of 4 all adults) so recommendations on places and tour company will be great. Also my cruise arrives back on May 29th at 5 am and our flight is at 12:45 Pm from RomeFiumicino International Airport . Looking for recommendations on transfers going to the Port from the airport and coming back to the airport from the port. My itinerary is below.

 

Also open to suggestions on things to do while on the below ports of call.

 

 

05/20/2019 Rome/Civitavecchia -- 05:00 PM
05/21/2019 Messina 11:00 AM 08:00 PM
05/22/2019 Valletta 08:00 AM 05:00 PM
05/23/2019 Cruising -- --
05/24/2019 Mykonos 07:00 AM 05:00 PM
05/25/2019 Thira/Santorini 07:00 AM 06:00 PM
05/26/2019 Athens/Piraeus 06:00 AM 06:00 PM
05/27/2019 Cruising -- --
05/28/2019 Naples 07:00 AM 06:00 PM
05/29/2019 Rome/Civitavecchia 05:00 AM --

just did a similar itinerary. feel free to ask any specific questions for the ports. do you have any excursions booked already. we liked taormina a lot in sicily. valleta was a really nice city and did a tour of the island. wish we had more time in the city. Mykonos was amazing. Athens we did just a sightseeing tour. naples.. we did an excursion including Amalfi coast and sorrento which was beautiful. 

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We will be doing a pre cruise in Rome and staying at the Empire Palace Hotel.  Can anyone suggest a casual restaurant nearby for a light dinner.  

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Just booked the following tour: Now my question  is that even though i booked Vatican skip the line with them they are saying that i wont get confirmation until the last minute whether i will be able to visit the vatican or not? anyone elese face this problem? also how long does a vatican tour take?

On 3/20/2019 at 9:04 AM, PelicanLvr said:

Do tours.  They do not wait on the public lines which in May will be crazy-long.  You do not have the time to waste standing in line.

 

Have used "Walks of Italy" for some really good small group tours.  They (and other authorized companies) have reserved time-slots to get into key sights.  You really need that!

 

Also, someone above mentioned an early morning entry into the Vatican (that's where the Sistine Chapel is).  We just did a 7am meeting time Vatican Tour and were inside the Sistine Chapel by 8:15 long before the museum opened to the public.  Still about 50 people in the chapel but much less crowded than public hours.  That early access is via these authorized tour companies like Walks of Italy.

 

Take advantage of what these tour companies can offer.  It may cost a bit more, but you don't have much time... so you need it.

 

 

 For the walksof italy tour what kind of transportation do i use to get to to The Vatican and then back to my hotel?

BEST OF ROME & VATICAN --- full day Private tour from hotel

- Date: May 20, 2019

- Reservation name/code: Hirani-ROME-0520

- Number of visitors in your party: 4 persons

- Pick-up Place: Please provide your hotel name and exact address in Rome as soon as possible

- Meeting time: 07:30 am (we will wait for you if you are late)

- Drop-off: Civitavecchia port

- Duration of tour: approximately 8 hours

- Vatican Skip-the-line – YES - (subject to availability - we will try until the day of touring so you may not know if we got them or not until you meet us – sorry its peak season time and access is limited)

- Colosseum Skip-the-Line - NO

- Type of tour: Private tour with an English speaking driver and an expert guide in Vatican

 

ITINERARY

- Transfer from Rome hotel in an air-conditioned mini-van

- Guided walking tour with an English speaking expert & certified guide

- Panoramic tour with driver for the rest of the sites

- Drop off at the port

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21 hours ago, cooljay said:

Just booked the following tour: Now my question  is that even though i booked Vatican skip the line with them they are saying that i wont get confirmation until the last minute whether i will be able to visit the vatican or not? anyone elese face this problem? also how long does a vatican tour take?

 For the walksof italy tour what kind of transportation do i use to get to to The Vatican and then back to my hotel?

BEST OF ROME & VATICAN --- full day Private tour from hotel

- Date: May 20, 2019

- Reservation name/code: Hirani-ROME-0520

- Number of visitors in your party: 4 persons

- Pick-up Place: Please provide your hotel name and exact address in Rome as soon as possible

- Meeting time: 07:30 am (we will wait for you if you are late)

- Drop-off: Civitavecchia port

- Duration of tour: approximately 8 hours

- Vatican Skip-the-line – YES - (subject to availability - we will try until the day of touring so you may not know if we got them or not until you meet us – sorry its peak season time and access is limited)

- Colosseum Skip-the-Line - NO

- Type of tour: Private tour with an English speaking driver and an expert guide in Vatican

 

ITINERARY

- Transfer from Rome hotel in an air-conditioned mini-van

- Guided walking tour with an English speaking expert & certified guide

- Panoramic tour with driver for the rest of the sites

- Drop off at the port

Didn't completely follow the above post but will try to answer the questions:

 

Never heard of the "we won't know until the day of your visit if you will get your tickets" approach.  Remember, this is Italy and anything can happen.   But I don't like the sound of that.  Would not risk my ability to visit the Vatican on them.  Hope you can cancel.  The Vatican is a "must-see" museum.

 

But, seems you are buying an "express" entrance ticket to the Vatican Museum...that's all.  You will be on your own in the museum?  It is huge and will be mobbed.  Really suggest you purchase a guided tour with skips the line entrance.  That way you will have someone who knows where the "masterpieces" are, and (most importantly) how to best see them.  Otherwise you will be wondering in a crowd looking for them.  

 

Also, if you plan to go into St. Peters, there is no public "skip the line" ability.  It's free so there is no ticket line....but the huge line is for security.  Public must go thru security twice for Museum and again for St. Peters.  In March the line for St. Peters was completely across St. Peter's square....and that was early March.  The public can't avoid that line, but combination Vatican/St, Peters tours do!!  Really valuable time saver.  Combo tours use a side door between the Vatican and St. Peters that is not open to the public.  

 

Combo tour covering both Vatican and St. Peters takes about 3.5 - 4 hours.   Most time in Vatican...so I would say 3 hours in Vatican.

 

How did we get to the Vatican?  We walked from our hotel near Spanish Steps.  Rome is a very walkable city.  But your hotel can certainly advise you on best public transportation there and back.

 

Also, the entire area around the Coliseum is under construction for a new subway line. It's a mess....Plan a bit of extra time.  Lots of the Coliseum is open to "tours only".  So if you want to see the underground or be on the floor....you need to take a tour.  Long lines there too and mid-day it can close for awhile if too many tourists are inside.

 

Know we are not "tour-people".  But sometimes you have to do them to get the best experience.  Yes, you can go on your own....but the Vatican/St. Peters and Coliseum are 2 places I would strongly suggest a tour.

 

Have an outstanding trip!!  Rome is wonderful.

 

 

 

  

 

 

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9 hours ago, PelicanLvr said:

Didn't completely follow the above post but will try to answer the questions:

 

Never heard of the "we won't know until the day of your visit if you will get your tickets" approach.  Remember, this is Italy and anything can happen.   But I don't like the sound of that.  Would not risk my ability to visit the Vatican on them.  Hope you can cancel.  The Vatican is a "must-see" museum.

 

But, seems you are buying an "express" entrance ticket to the Vatican Museum...that's all.  You will be on your own in the museum?  It is huge and will be mobbed.  Really suggest you purchase a guided tour with skips the line entrance.  That way you will have someone who knows where the "masterpieces" are, and (most importantly) how to best see them.  Otherwise you will be wondering in a crowd looking for them.  

 

Also, if you plan to go into St. Peters, there is no public "skip the line" ability.  It's free so there is no ticket line....but the huge line is for security.  Public must go thru security twice for Museum and again for St. Peters.  In March the line for St. Peters was completely across St. Peter's square....and that was early March.  The public can't avoid that line, but combination Vatican/St, Peters tours do!!  Really valuable time saver.  Combo tours use a side door between the Vatican and St. Peters that is not open to the public.  

 

Combo tour covering both Vatican and St. Peters takes about 3.5 - 4 hours.   Most time in Vatican...so I would say 3 hours in Vatican.

 

How did we get to the Vatican?  We walked from our hotel near Spanish Steps.  Rome is a very walkable city.  But your hotel can certainly advise you on best public transportation there and back.

 

Also, the entire area around the Coliseum is under construction for a new subway line. It's a mess....Plan a bit of extra time.  Lots of the Coliseum is open to "tours only".  So if you want to see the underground or be on the floor....you need to take a tour.  Long lines there too and mid-day it can close for awhile if too many tourists are inside.

 

Know we are not "tour-people".  But sometimes you have to do them to get the best experience.  Yes, you can go on your own....but the Vatican/St. Peters and Coliseum are 2 places I would strongly suggest a tour.

 

Have an outstanding trip!!  Rome is wonderful.

 

 

 

  

 

 

thanks for the response, i got confirmation for a 9:15 am guided tour for the Vatican so am all set there. tried to book a Colosseum tour but they are all sold out for the day that i am looking for.

Any suggestions for what to do in santorini, mykonos, athens? book a tour or?

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Glad Vatican tour worked out.  Keep looking for Coliseum tour, much easier way to do it. 

 

Santorini: Get to Oia.  Just soak it in.  No tour needed. - But (if you are not aware) check these boards about the "drill" for tendering/cable car (all ships tender here) in Santorini.  Some people take a tour just to get off the ship early.  

 

Mykonos:  Also just enjoy Greek Island life and soak it in.  Walk around by the windmills and "little Venice" area and eat some great local food in a waterfront cafe.

 

Athens:  If only there one day on a cruise stop you should consider a tour.  Dirty, chaotic city with unbelievable history.  You will be docked in Piraeus, the port area just outside the city.  Tour would get you in and out of the city and to the major sites.  Tough on your own in such a short amount of time. 

 

Valletta:  Amazing history here, most recently in World War 2.  If you want to see alot do the "loop tour" or if you want to just be on your own, walk Valletta and see the Cathedral and most importantly the fort at the harbor entrance....Sit in a cafe and people watch.   

 

Naples:  See Pompeii and/or Amalfi Coast, and eat pizza in Naples (birthplace of pizza).

 

Have an outstanding cruise!!

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, PelicanLvr said:

Athens:  If only there one day on a cruise stop you should consider a tour.  Dirty, chaotic city with unbelievable history.  You will be docked in Piraeus, the port area just outside the city.  Tour would get you in and out of the city and to the major sites.  Tough on your own in such a short amount of time. 

 

 

 

Have to disagree a bit that Athens is difficult to do on your own. Piraeus is only 20--30 minutes from central Athens (depending on traffic) and there is easy transportation available, including a HOHO bus that you can pick up right at the cruise terminal with a stop near the central pedestrianized area.  From here it is quite easy to walk to and up the Acropolis to see all the sights there, to the Greek Agora, with the beautiful and well-preserved Temple of Hephaestus, to the Roman Agora and the Tower of the Winds, and the Temple of Olympian Zeus. The Acropolis Museum is also in this highly walkable area. 

 

I've done all of the above in a day, even back when one had to get to the subway/train from the port either by a long walk or by bus. Now it is even easier.  No need to take a tour unless it is what you want to do.

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6 hours ago, cruisemom42 said:

 

Have to disagree a bit that Athens is difficult to do on your own. Piraeus is only 20--30 minutes from central Athens (depending on traffic) and there is easy transportation available, including a HOHO bus that you can pick up right at the cruise terminal with a stop near the central pedestrianized area.  From here it is quite easy to walk to and up the Acropolis to see all the sights there, to the Greek Agora, with the beautiful and well-preserved Temple of Hephaestus, to the Roman Agora and the Tower of the Winds, and the Temple of Olympian Zeus. The Acropolis Museum is also in this highly walkable area. 

 

I've done all of the above in a day, even back when one had to get to the subway/train from the port either by a long walk or by bus. Now it is even easier.  No need to take a tour unless it is what you want to do.

Thanks for this great info.  We have only stayed in Athens in a hotel and now understand that transportation from the port into town is not that difficult.  The sites you suggest make a great itinerary!

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