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Old July 1st, 2001, 09:09 AM
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Default Vatican-on our own or tour?

We can't decide what to do about Rome. We've never been there, want to see the Vatican and the Colosseum and not kill ourselves (or each other!) in the process. HAL's shore excursion booklet offers an all-day trip called Highlights of Rome plus private visit to the Vatican. It's $182 and includes lunch. Their cheapest excursion is about $60, which is basically a drop-off at the Colosseum and pick up in late afternoon at another point nowhere near the vatican. What should we do? Does private visit mean we don't stand in line with all the other tourists? If on our own, will we spend too much time getting around? Please help, we need to decide NOW! Thanks, Helen
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Old July 1st, 2001, 04:21 PM
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Default Re: Vatican-on our own or tour?

Friends just returned from Europe.. they had no problem finding a guide/driver at the pier and onto Rome for the day. He waited throughout the day wherever they went, brought them back to the ship, and it was still cheaper than cruise line excursions.
U have such limited times for touring European cities on a cruise, I hate to waste time on tours with lunch stops. U're stuck waiting for the entire group to finish lunch. usually waste 2 -3 hours of valuable time.
U can also pre arrange a private guide/driver if u dont want to have to worry about finding one when u get off the ship.
Try www.portpromotions.com .. or www.autoeurope.com

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Old August 7th, 2001, 12:15 AM
Cathy Kearns
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Default Re: Vatican-on our own or tour?

We took the HAL Vatican tour on our trip on the Rotterdam July 8th. The tour took you on a walking tour from the Trevi Fountain by the forum and other monuments to the Colusseum. Then they took you to a very nice lunch, and then to Saint Peters. After the Vatican Museums closed they took you there, including to the Sistine chapel. Admittedly, the Vatican Museums weren't crowded, but total time there was only about 1 1/2 hours.

Kuki makes a good suggestions. My only question is if the guides from the dock could get you past the lines. We were told (and this was confirmed by friend who were in Rome last April) that the lines for the Vatican Museums ran about an hour. The line for the Colusseum looked to be about that long too. None of the ships tours went inside the Colusseum because they couldn't get past the lines, and they didn't know exactly how long they needed to set aside.

One day is really not long enough for Rome. Throw a coin in the fountain. You need to come back.

Cathy
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Old August 11th, 2001, 04:26 PM
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Default Re: Vatican-on our own or tour?

We did the Med. Cruise in 1999 on Princess and stayed in Rome on our own for 4 days. We could walk to all of the sights( Parthenon, Spanish steps, Colloseum, etc) except the Vatican. Althoughnwe were centrally located for all other sites the Vatican would have been a stretch for walking. We took a cab both ways. If you are going to the Vatican plan a whole day. It is beautiful. We took no escorted tours while in Rome - No problem.

Ron
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