I had cruised with my Mother two year's prior on the Silver Cloud for her 70th birthday. We went to similar ports - Nice to Rome, in October of 2006. My mother and I had such a great time on that cruise, that my husband wanted to give it a try. So, we booked the Silver Whisper, Rome to Monte Carlo, but this time we chose high season in June. Both cruises were great in their own ways.
My husband and I booked the cruise through our Travel Agent, but we arranged our own air travel using Delta points. Prior to our departure, we filled out our preboarding information on the Silver Sea website. Our sailing vouchers were mailed to us by our travel agent a few weeks in advance.
We flew into Rome a couple of days prior to the cruise and stayed at the Rome Airport Hilton. We made the hotel arrangements independently using Hilton points. The Hilton is conveniently located within walking distance of the terminal. It was very easy to get to, and upon check in, we were upgraded to the concierge level, which had complimentary breakfast and food and beverages, including a great espresso machine, during the day. The Hilton also offers a complimentary shuttle service into Rome's City Center, which we used each day. We also took advantage of the train system in Rome to get from point to point, and we walked a lot. Rome is a very easy city to get around to see the sights. At the end of the day, we met back up with the Hilton shuttle bus at the city center at the appointed time, and it took us back to our hotel. On the morning of the cruise, we checked out of the hotel and took the shuttle bus once again into Rome. Then we took a short cab ride to the designated Silver Sea Bernini Hotel, where we met up with the Silver Sea transfer coordinator. We had arranged for the group transfer to the port, which was very convenient. Within 90 minutes we were at the port, and we were able to board right away. The Silver Sea personnel greeted us with smiles and welcome wishes, and one of them escorted us to our room. Our maid was waiting to greet us, as well. She was very friendly and lovely and very helpful. She stocked our fridge with beverages that we prefer, and also brought any alcohol to our room for the trip that we preferred to drink.