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Old September 26th, 2006, 02:22 PM
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Default Rome CruiseTour or Independent

Hi All,
We are sailing on Emerald Princess in Sept 07 doing a 12-day Med/Greek Isles cruise. I can hardly wait! Princess has a pre-cruise Rome CruiseTour package at the Marriott which sounds great but price for 2 days. Would it be more economical to plan our own 2-day pre-cruise or play it safe with Princess which includes transfers? I hear it's about $200.00 p.p for transportation to the port. We've never been to Italy so, any help would be appreciated. Thanks for your help.

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Old September 27th, 2006, 07:35 PM
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You might want to post this over at the destination board, under Europe to get more responses. Lots of info over there!
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Old September 28th, 2006, 08:49 AM
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Thanks Susie for your advise. I will move this to destination/Europe.

Terry
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Old September 28th, 2006, 08:10 PM
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Terry,

We are sailing on Emerald Princess in Sept 07 doing a 12-day Med/Greek Isles cruise. I can hardly wait! Princess has a pre-cruise Rome CruiseTour package at the Marriott which sounds great but price for 2 days. Would it be more economical to plan our own 2-day pre-cruise or play it safe with Princess which includes transfers? I hear it's about $200.00 p.p for transportation to the port. We've never been to Italy so, any help would be appreciated. Thanks for your help.

Roma is generaly expensive. You should expect to pay at least $200 per night for a htoel room for up to two people. Also, both the airport in Fiumicino and the pier in civitiavecchia are considerable distances from the city so transportation will not be cheap. Last year, I paid about $90 (cash only -- no credit cards!) for a taxi from the airport to my hotel, and the airport in Fiumicino is about midway between Roma and Civitavecchia so you can expect to pay twice that to go from the city to the pier. I doubt that you'll save much if you go by train, either, because you have to take taxis between the hotel and the train station in Roma and between the train station in Civitavecchia and the pier.

You may save a few dollars by arranging your own tour, but it really is not worth the hassle and the risk. Princess's pre-cruise or post-cruise hotel package (BTW, not tehcnically considered a 'crusie-tour") will be totally seamless.

>> 1. Princess's package includes the hotel and transportation between the hotel and the pier. If you also book your air through Princess, the air package will include transportaiton between the airport and the hotel. Note that Princess protects the transfers, so the ship will wait if they get delayed in traffic or whatever.

>> 2. Princess hires local representatives who speak Englsih fluently to staff a hospitality desk for guests who book the hotel through the cruise line. Those representatives will assist with any problem that you might have, even if it is not of Princess's making. If your ariline misplaces your luggage, for example, they will take care of tracking it down and getting it to you.

>> 3. The representatives at the hospitality desk aslo organize optional tours, with guides who are fluent in English, during the three days before and after the cruise for which Princess sells hotel packages. These tours leave from and return to the pre-cruise or post-cruise hotel just as shore excursions in the ports of call leave from and return to the pier, so you don't have to take a taxi across town to get to the place where a tour starts. These tours are restrcted to guests who book their stays at the hotel through the cruise line.

Pre-cruise and post-cruise hotel packages typically do not include meals, but many hotels now offer a complementary breakfast buffet for their guests.

BTW, I should warn you that the shore excursions in most European ports of call are very ambitious, leving the pier around 8:00 or 8:30 AM and returning around 5:30 to 6:00 PM, with lunch included. After several ports of call on consecutive days, there's usually a large collective sigh of relief when the cruise director announces that "Tomorrow, we have a nice relaxing day at sea so you all can sleep in...." after the show. Don't worry about an itinerary having too many days at ses because I guarantee that you will really welcome days at sea when they come!

Have a wonderful cruise!

Norm.
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