Rome (Civitavecchia) Rome / Private Train Excursion Reviews
The guided tour was great we saw lots of the sights of Rome in one day. This was a very active day with lots of walking but plenty to see - i would love to do it all again to capture the sights a second time.
The private train was a luxury i did not expect, leather seats, toilet available to use while traveling. Well worth paying the extra money to do this.
Although it was very hot it was a lovely day. The train was a lovely alternative to the coach
We just LOVE Rome !! Fantastic port of call and the only problem is the distance from the port (1.5hrs each way) so if you are booking your own tour please BEWARE of the time it takes to get back to ship. We took the private train to Rome but we had already booked our Vatican Tickets online (Direct with Vatican...Beware of imposters) and this was literally a godsend !! as the queues were nearly half a mile long and we just walked in at our allotted time !! so please do this before you go !! Sistine Chapel and all of the rooms were amazing and well worth the visit. Vatican square is were you enter the Vatican Church (which is free to enter) but the queues were even bigger for this and in this heat would have been unbearable.
Once we completed the Vatican (3hrs) we headed off towards the Trevi Fountain but in this heat we gave up after 30 minutes walking and plonked ourselves in a fantastic pizza restaurant which hand made the pizzas (They were the best I have ever eaten) and a few Becks biers swilled them down ... what a day ... Tired , exhausted and euphoric.
What can you say about Rome? We saw everything, got into the Vatican without queuing, seeing the length of the queue we wouldn't have been able to wait so long. The excursion was expensive and I must admit I was surprised that so many people did it, but it was worth every penny. The advice seems to be do 'Rome on your own' I'm glad we did the expensive trip. My complaint is the included champagne lunch. I know we British only eat fish & chips, but a choice would have been nice. Lovely pasta starter followed by not fish & chips, but pork, boiled potatoes vegetables and gravy.
The problem with Rome on a cruise, is that it is a city with so much to do, at least a week worth, and you lose 90 minutes in transit each way from Civitavecchia. Plus, we booked a train, and were given a bus somehow instead, which got stuck in traffic. We only had 5-10 minutes at some places, like the Pantheon, and had to entirely skip the Castel San Angelo. It's a long trek from the Coliseum to the Vatican, and you need 3 hours for the whole Vatican at a minimum. So you're literally running past all sorts of cool things. There's really little time for lunch if you don't want to skip a major site like the Pantheon or the Vatican. And you still really need a tour guide for the Vatican, or you'll waste time. Overall, RCI handled this stop rather poorly.