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4 P&O Cruises Rome (Civitavecchia) Cruise Reviews

It was our second Oceania cruise, having traveled with them to the Baltic and Russia a few years ago -- and loved it. We were especially looking forward to visiting Israel and Egypt, as well as Greek and Turkish ports --our first cruise in ... Read More
It was our second Oceania cruise, having traveled with them to the Baltic and Russia a few years ago -- and loved it. We were especially looking forward to visiting Israel and Egypt, as well as Greek and Turkish ports --our first cruise in the Mediterranean Sea . When Egypt was canceled from our itinerary because of the political problems, a lot of passengers apparently called off their trip -- and we were offered a reasonably priced upgrade to a suite with butler service.Wow --we jumped at the chance. It did not start out well. We had prepaid out transfer from the Rome Airport to the ship -- but our name was not on the list. We bullied our way onto the bus anyway, promising to pay if there had been an error -- they finally let us, but made us carry our own luggage. A few days later we received a note from the pursers office that there had been a regrettable computer error which accidentally dropped out names from the listing, and they would credit our account. It should have come as no surprise, Oceania's computer set up leaves much to be desired. Their web site places a cookie that prevents further interaction after your first visit -- others on the ship told of the same problem. We booked all our shore excursions from home -- none were on record when we got on ship. Our suite was very beautiful --essentially similar to a balcony stateroom but larger. A bottle of Champagne and a box of chocolates greeted us. The butler arrived, introduced himself and advised of us of what services were available. Eventually the thrill of a butler wore off, he kept wanting to do things for us we didn't want or need, and we found the butler service somewhat intrusive since he felt free to come into the room uninvited (the doors are heavy --sometimes you don't hear the knock) -- and by the end of our voyage did everything we could to avoid him. Once was nice, I don't think we would want that service again. As always, the food aboard Oceania is excellent, well prepared, and served. We found that the menu in the main dinning room was not as opulent as it had been on our first Oceania cruise, but what was there was good. The specialty restaurants were both first-class also. With one exception we were pleased with the shore excursions although they tend to be very pricey. The entertainment is as expected from a small ship -- the four person ensemble endlessly singing old songs and dancing around the stage multiple evenings, but there were some very excellent specialty acts aboard for the other nights. My wife became ill on-board, and I can not praise enough the service of Doctor Gustavo Rojas (and his assistant) in his expertise of diagnosis, treatment, and the warm care given throughout. Doctor Rojas felt that the illness (Bronchial Pneumonia) was severe enough that my wife should be referred to an onshore hospital for further evaluation and possible admittance. The port was Messina, Italy, and their local agent who made the arrangements is Destefano Speciale & C. My wife was taken to the emergency room at Ospedale Piemonte. The place is shabby and dirty beyond description (furniture kept together with duct tape, the one and only toilet had no seat, no toilet paper, no paper or other towels, and hadn't been cleaned in days.) There was not one person in the entire facility who spoke English (or German or Spanish) -- we were left there for four hours without assistance from the agent or anyone from the ship, unable to communicate with anyone there in any way. I had a terrible fear that it would be necessary for my wife to stay in that facility -- I'm convinced she would have come out sicker than she went in. Fortunately, she was remanded back to ship for continued care by Dr. Rojas. Since communication was impossible as much for them as for us, I assume they were glad to get rid of us. We are photographers and on a two week trip expect to take several thousand pictures -- so normally we carry with us a computer to download and process, and a portable hard drive store them. Because the literature promised a lap top computer in our suite, and a computer room with 18 of them -- we left our computer at home and just took the storage. To our horror we discovered on board that there is not a single computer accessible to a passenger with normal computer functions, only laptops so programmed to connect to the Internet and do absolutely nothing else. Even basic Windows functions are locked out. I spoke to the person manning the computer room and he confirmed that all 18 under his charge, as well as all others on board were totally useless except for Internet access (at horrific rates). This is outright false advertising. I wrote the CEO of Oceania concerning some of these matters since to correct them would require corporate action, but the letter was never acknowledged, with only a note from 'customer services' that they would look into things and get back to us --which they have not. While I have to point out negatives in a review so that potential passengers are aware of them, I want to state that overall the Oceania experience is a very pleasant one, service is superb, the ship is clean, comfortable, quiet, and the food good. This is a luxury experience -- are not bombarded with loud music or special offers for gold chain or souvenirs you don't really want. Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
This was the very best cruise of my life. Loved the ship, ports, food, service. A total 10 in my book. I give Oceania my highest recommendation. I hope to travel on their ships several times in the future. My Mom and I sailed on the ... Read More
This was the very best cruise of my life. Loved the ship, ports, food, service. A total 10 in my book. I give Oceania my highest recommendation. I hope to travel on their ships several times in the future. My Mom and I sailed on the Oceania Regatta 4/14/10 thru 4/28/10 from Rome to Venice. We booked the cruise through an internet travel agency which I found on CruiseCompete where travel agents bid on your business. April is the perfect month to go. It isn't too hot, and we had sunshine every day except for a few hours of rain in Split Croatia. The temps were in the 60's with nice breezes. Because we were down by the sea the humidity was high so it felt pretty warm. Most of the time I started out with a sweat shirt on, or a light jacket and then I would have to remove it because I would get sweaty from the humidity. Word of wisdom - Wear your clothes in layers, and make sure to have a light tee-shirt or sleeveless blouse or you will be perspiring like mad. We booked the cruise 10 months in advance (June 2009) so we could get one of the cheaper cabins. Our stateroom number 3021 was in a perfect location. Far enough away from the elevators so we didn't hear them, but close enough so we didn't have to walk very far to take them. The room has a port hole which is quite large. It is a lot bigger than it looks in the brochure. We loved the room very spacious with lots of storage. Our cabin steward was the best I have ever had. Free soda's and water in the room along with nice shower gel, soaps, moisturizer, etc... The towels are very plush and absorb well. A bit on my background. I am in my early 50's and have cruised 26 times on various larger ship lines namely Princess, Holland America, Royal Caribbean, NCL, Celebrity,and once on Carnival. This ship by far was my all time favorite. We took the cruise lines air & sea package & flew from San Francisco on April 13 to Washington DC/Dulles, then boarded another United Airlines plane heading straight to Rome. It was very convenient. My met others on the ship from the San Francisco Bay Area who flew to Munich then into Rome, which they said was a complete hassel. We arrived at the Rome airport about 8:30 in the morning. Oceania reps were there to greet us and take us down to the baggage claim area. We waited about an hour for other flights to come in, then they whisked us onto the bus for a 45 minute trip to Civitavecchia. When I saw the ship I could not believe how small it looked compared to all of the other ships I had been on. Boy was I in for a surprise. The ship is absolutely exquisite like a little jewelry box, and sparkling clean. The food is in one word SUPERB! Every dish was full of flavor, and beautifully presented. We enjoyed Waves very much where we munched on delicious large french fries (known as steak fries in California) incredible handmade milkshakes (Oceania makes their own ice cream) and the best hamburgers I have tasted in my life. The dining room is fabulous, all the meals there as well as in the fancy resturants were first rate. They bring on fresh fish, fruits and vegetables from the local ports every few days. We even watched the chef at the dock selecting various bins of food and taste testing the various items coming on board. The breads, rolls, donuts, pastries and cinnamon rolls were to die for. We elected to meet and dine with other travelers so I would always ask for a table to share. We met so many fun, well traveled and interesting people it was a joy to share the tables with them. The penny slot machines take American dollars, and my Mom and I had a blast on them. This trip was jam packed with a port of call everyday. Cinque Terre (La Spezia) we asked where the train station was and went with others from the ship to board the train. The walk to the train station was about 10-15 minutes. We bought a ticket and boarded the train to go to the 5 villages. We took the train to the last village and boy was it beautiful. We had lunch overlooking the water, and walked around. Then we re-boarded and hit most of the villages on the way back to the train station. What a fabulous day. Portofino, Italy - What a gorgeous spot. We walked around then grabbed a bus ticket, sat at the bus stop and went to Rapallo on our own. We ran into many of our cruisemates who had the same idea. Very cheap, and a great day. Monte Carlo, Monaco - I must say I was disappointed when we sailed into the port. It looked like a concrete jungle to me. We got off the ship and there was a little tram/bus like thing. We decided to take the tour which took us up to the palace and then around Monte Carlo. It was stunning. Later my Mom and I hopped onto a water taxi which dropped us off close to the casino. We went just inside the casino, where they have several slot machines and it is free to get in there. You don't have to dress up in the little area that we gambled in. The day our ship landed there was just before the Monaco Grand Prix so when we walked out of the casino there was a bunch of fancy/expensive cars being driven past the casino. There were lots of paparazzi shooting photo's, and of course all the beautiful people hanging out near the casino. Cannes, France - This is an awe inspiring place. The bldgs and the architecture are phenomenal. We walked to the train station, but we didn't board the train since it was mobbed by folks trying to get across the continent because the volcano had gone off and air travel had been stopped due to visibility, among other factors. So we boarded bus #200 right outside of the train station and took the motor coach to the village of Antibes France. Livorno, Italy - This was my least favorite port. It is an industrial port very grimy. We thought we would get a taxi here and look around. We took the shuttle into town. No cabs anywhere. This is not a tourist town. We walked for miles and miles, then back to the ship for us. In the future I would book a shore excursion. Amalfi/Positano Italy - OMG! Unbelievable beauty. The town of Amalfi is small, but perfect. Very pretty stores, and great bakery goods. We got off the ship's tender and went to the little shop across the street from where they drop you off to buy the local bus tickets to take us down the Amalfi coast and into Sorrento which is my Mom's favorite vacation spot. The drive is out of this world, very curvy road with the spectacular scenery. We stopped at Positano too, which is a very pretty old world village with lots of nice shops. Sorrento/Capri Italy - My Mom and I walked through all the beautiful alley's with shopping, then over to the foreigners club which sits on the cliff overlooking the ocean. You can get a drink there and just sit for hours. I loved the Amalfi coast trip so much that Mom and I decided to walk to the bus station and take the local bus back down to Positano then come back. My Mom has stayed at the Cesare Augusto Hotel many times in Sorrento which she highly recommends for a land vacation. Then we took the ferry from Sorrento to the island of Capri which takes probably 25-35 minutes. Capri is an awesome sight. It is on 3 levels, which you take the vanacular up to. It is like a tram. Taormina Sicily - There were a bunch of cabs here so we went with 4 others to the town. My goodness another fabulous place. I had the time of my life shopping here. There are tons of little shops full of treasures. I bought a couple of hanging plates for my kitchen, and an Hello Kitty tee shirt here. Corfu Greece - This is the only place that I had visited previously. The last time I was there was at the end of September 2006. It was a crystal clear day and the scenery was terrific. This time in April it was cloudy, and overcast. As soon as we got off the ship I negotiated with a taxi to take us for a 2 hour round the island tour for a total of 4 people at 25 Euro's each. The driver was a nice young man, driving a Mercedes. Well I was scammed here. Instead of taking us for 2 hours it was closer to 4 hours, and he charged us 200 Euro total instead of 100 Euro total. I should have known better when he told me that his min was 3 hours, and kept trying to talk us into a 3 hour tour. I should have put my foot down after about 1.5 hours and asked him about going back to the ship but instead, since it seemed like we were having such a good time,and he was enjoying our company that the time got out of hand. Enough said.... I was an idiot... I must state that our close to 4 hour tour was well worth the 50 Euro each that we paid, and definitely cheaper than the ships tours. Kotor Montenegro - Wow, this village is in a fjord. Need I say more. The scenery is beyond beautiful. We got off the ship and walked around for several hours. No real shopping here although there is an old castle where there are shops. Note: We didn't see any taxi's here. Split Croatia - We walked along where the piers are and there were several ladies selling tour bus tickets for a 1 hour city tour. It was good, no stops just a general tour along with commentary from the hostess in English. This is a good place to shop, lots of stores. Koper Slovenia - We walked around over here and went to a few dept stores. This is a small place, not much to see. There were no taxi's here either. Next time I visit I will book a ship's tour since there is nothing independent, or shops selling tours from what I could see. Venice Italy - My all time favorite place. Any pictures you have seen cannot do it justice. It is by far impressive. Lots of reasonable shops, awesome scenery, fantastic bakeries, and food stands. Love it, love it, love it. One of the best days of my life. Bring a camera. We left the ship at 4:00am for the Venice airport. We flew from Venice to Charles DeGulle in Paris then to San Francisco. Read Less
Sail Date April 2010
My husband and I have only sailed on small "boutique" boats prior to this trip. By comparison the Oceania's 700 or so passengers was large. Friends who cruise often had told us about this cruise line and praised it so off we ... Read More
My husband and I have only sailed on small "boutique" boats prior to this trip. By comparison the Oceania's 700 or so passengers was large. Friends who cruise often had told us about this cruise line and praised it so off we went. We were not disappointed. the boat is well managed and maintained. The strongest plus is the international and ultra warm staff. They are well trained and up to the task of making you feel at home. The food in both the main dining room and the two specialty restaurants compares favorably with any top New York restaurant and the Open Seating policy is a great way to meet other people if you are so inclined. For our sailing most of those traveling were couples - from 40 - 80 with the majority in the 60+ range. Predominantly American with a smattering of British and Canadian. Many had cruised on more expensive lines (Crystal, Seabourn' said that this ship compared favorably. A word of warning - if you like glitzy entertainment and lots of on board organized activities this is not the boat for you. The major fault we found was with the excursion desk. If you took the cruise tours each day - no problem. We took one and were pleased with it but doing multiple tours doubles the price of the cruise itself and you get so much more local color going off in a small group or on your own. The negative is if you are "independent". Each port has a tour agent that comes on board to help you arrange your day. These people are very knowledgeable but only come on board or are available once the ship has docked. The staff at the itineraries desk provides meager information so, unless you've really done your homework, this can be very disconcerting. The ship does provide a loop DVD and dailytaped itinerary briefing but it might be better to have a daily in person port of call seminar. You are always conscious of arranging your day so that the boat doesn't sail without you (and they will). Overall our experience was a wonderful one - we would definitely sail with this cruise line again Read Less
Sail Date October 2009
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