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If you type either Rome or Vatican into the blue search box there is a multitude of Q & A's on this subject covering all the aspects of Rome & more........Wilba.
£182 sounds a lot of money to me....especially as the return train fare (including metro) is 9 euros!!! as Wilba says do some research and I'm sure you will be able to diy...we went into the centre of Rome on our first visit (we don't speak Italian!) and it was very straightforward.
All organised tours do include entrance fees and the other reality is that if you do not go on an organised trip you will not get into the Vatican or St Peters in July without queing for at least an hour. If you are new to cruising my advice is to use the ship's tours until you see the lie of the land as there are some real dangers of doing things yourself until you know what you are doing. Yes ships tours are expensive but there are some real advantages like convenience, having a guide to bring the tour to life and the peace of mind that the ship will not leave without you. The cost of having to transport yourself to the ships next port of call is far more than a ships tour.
We are also going on this cruise in July and are considering taking an RCI tour to Rome. I'm not sure if the excursion with the £182 price you are quoting is because this is the tour you have chosen or whether you think this is the only one available. There are about 20 or so excursions to Rome for this cruise and prices start from around £40-50 depending on your choice of itinerary. If you go on to the RCI website and log in to your cruise (register your details if you haven't already done so) and then choose Shore and land excursions, choose Civitavecchia in the drop down box and you will see all of the available excursions for Rome. There is, for instance, one which takes you to Rome, quick tour of the sights and then leaves you at Vatican City for about 5 hours, I think, to explore on your own, before returning to the ship. This one is around £68. There is also another "Rome on your own" which takes you to rome, leaves you to do your own thing, and brings you back (around £50) We weighed up the option of doing in on our own but felt as Rome is so vast and we are there on a Saturday, the RCI excursion may be a better option. Hope this helps...happy exploring! Laura.
Hi Laura & everyone else. Thank you very much for your responses. We did see all the excursions available but really want to see the Vatican Museum & the Sistine Chapel which I don't think is available on the other excursions. As Williams said previously, July is a very busy time for tourists and we could end up spending alot of time just in a queue & we are also concerned that we don't want to miss the ship! This information maybe useful to new cruisers. Our T/A did speak to RCI today & confirmed if you do book an excursion online and pay with your credit card, they don't charge you extra for paying via credit card. Also this maybe of help, Abbey no longer are offering their zero credit card and are now charging customers to use their credit card abroad. I hope you have a fab holiday Laura, we are very much looking forward to ours. Thanks again everyone! Lisa.
Just to give you a slightly different take on this one, as some are trying to scare you off with'missing the ship' and queues etc. If you can make it into rome on your own on the train, try to time your visit to the vatican before or after the ship tour, as obviously the ships tour passengers just add to the queue. IF you get into Rome as early as you can, you should have plenty of time to see the key sights with some good forward planning. I am sure if you begin to head back around 3.30 to 4pm this will give you plenty of time to return to the ship. The ticket costs around 8 Euros and covers the train, tram, bus on a hop on hop off basis. Others have given much more detailed descriptions of how to do it on your own if you look back at previous Q&A ont his subject.