Real Cruisers Top Six Tips For Visiting Rome

September 25, 2014

Cruising to a port you’ve never been to before can be worrying.

What should you do?

What should you avoid?

This only becomes more worrying with a city like Rome when its port, Civitavecchia, is nearly 80km’s away from the actual city itself.

You can read as many guides to the city as you like but here at we believe there’s nothing quite as reassuring as speaking to someone who’s been before.

With that in mind we reached out to our cruise community and asked them what their top tips were for visiting Rome:


Watch out for pick pockets 

Several people warned about Rome’s famous Romany population and the associated risk of pick pockets.

Maxine B warnedWatch out for scam artists dropping a gold ring. It’s a scam. They will have an accomplice who will rob you or they will ask you to buy the ring as they need money for their family. It is NOT a gold ring just looks like it. This scam is going on in all major cities.

Roman columns


Avoid taking expensive cruise line shore excursions 

Lots of people spoke up to avoid paying out for expensive shore excursions. Given that it’s so far to travel a lot of people do just book with the ship but this is what our experienced cruisers said to that:

Andrea R – Don’t pay out for expensive excursions. Jump on the train from the port which takes you into the heart of the city and then walk around to get the full experience.

Adding a little more detail John H saidDon’t take the ships tour to Rome, train station just up the road to the right – hour trip – just a few euros 12 last time we used it – couple of years ago.

However as a rebuttal Philomena M wanted people to knowI would take the ships excursions one of the trips we were on the train broke down and twenty folk missed the ship.

roman fountain

What to do in Rome 

Obviously getting there is only half the battle though. Once you get to Rome what do you do?

Una G thinks – A definite must is a visit to the Vatican, out of this world experience xx

To which Maureen J repliedWorth paying for a guide to take you round the Vatican – you can jump the queue!

Finally Georgeanna J addedIf you do the Vatican Museums, take the express route through to the Cistene Chapel, as the normal route, although very interesting, takes forever. You only have so much time off the ship

Vera W was very critical of the Coliseumwaste of time, people paying 20 euro to have their photo taken with a gladiator.

However if you want your photo taken with a gladiator it may be a great trip!

coluseum interior


You need longer than a day

The overwhelming amount of comments was about how fantastic Rome was but lots of people pointed out you needed longer than a day.

The general gist was either make sure Rome was your embarkation port so you could go a day or two early or that you needed to go back as a separate holiday after your cruise (obviously we’re recommending the first tip!!!!!)

Jim MRome is a fantastic city which needs a week if you want to spend more than a few minutes each at the many places of interest. Not really a cruise excursion.

Anne WDon’t try to do everything. Rome needs several days. Be realistic and go back next time!

roman vespa


Getting around the city

There was lots of advice on the best way to navigate Rome once you were there:

Ellen JDon’t try to do Rome in a day in the heat on foot! We did while on a day trip and I ended up ill my legs swollen like balloons. The Vatican city is a long way from the Coliseum. Use a cab!

Gillian O was also a big fan of Roman taxisTaxis at the port offer fantastic tours at great value. Check them out.

Mary HWalk around or do the hop on, hop off bus. Depends on your mobility levels and the temperature!

Although Carol Anne T disagreedWhen you get there don’t use the Hop on Hop off bus or you will be stuck in traffic for hours.

Our penultimate piece of advice was certainly our most adventurous and came from Rob R – Jump on a bus and see where it goes, you will see amazing places as you go, cheap tour and you see the local view.



Our favourite travel tip for when in Rome however…

Our favourite piece of advice came from Kieran G and is so quintessentially British we feel it should be framed and hung in the National Gallery.

The best cup of tea in Rome is usually served in McDonalds.

Kieran G we salute you!