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We booked a full day small group, skip the line tour while visiting Rome on a cruise. They picked us up from our port and we were in a van with 5 other people. Unfortunately 2 of the other guests needed canes to walk and 15 minutes was spent discussing whether they could get a wheelchair to access the coliseum. The older gentleman decided not to do the tour and just meet us at the Pantheon but his wife still came and really held us up. We ended up only having 45 minutes of free time for lunch between the Pantheon and the Vatican, rather than the 1.5 hours we were supposed to have. Although I cannot blame the tour company they clearly advertise this is a strenuous walking tour, it was still very frustrating on our end as an active couple in our 30s in Rome for the first time. Plus, this couple was from the Oceania cruise line which departed 3 hours before our Royal Caribbean cruise so we couldnt even extend the excursion because they would have missed their ship. On a more positive note our tour guide Sarna?? was very knowledgeable and we had headsets that allowed up to hear her very clearly, even if we wandered off a bit to take pictures. Also, the skip the line access was so worth it! We walked past a ton of long lines and we were able to see a lot in our allotted time that we likely couldnt have done if we were not part of this group. Overall, it was a good tour that would have been a 5 star if we had been with the right group of people.
From the minute we met Judy at the outskirts of the Colosseum to our final parting at the gift shop outside St. Peter's Square, we enjoyed the warmth, intelligence, extreme knowledge and ultra-professionalism of a first-rate guide and tour. Our family of twelve felt as if we had known Judy forever and she became our friend for this day! She never ceased to amaze us with her knowledge of all of the highlights that we hit successfully during this whirlwind 9-hour tour of the highlights of the great Roma. But the brief time frame did not hinder Judy in any way, as she effortlessly navigated the crowds and gave us the most comprehensive experience of each highlight. She never stopped sharing integral and informative information about each and every historical moment that we passed, whether in the forum itself, or on the streets of Rome during our walking tour from the Forum to the Pantheon. She even personally escorted us to the Trevi Fountain from the Pantheon even though this was not part of the tour so that our group would not get lost and lose valuable time. She went above and beyond what we anticipated for a private tour guide and we cannot say enough about her skills, professionalism and warm personality. Although we are certain that other guides are similarly excellent, we suggest that any one considering this tour request Judy. You will, as we did, undoubtedly enjoy one of the best experiences of your vacation in Rome.
Unfortunately, our driver went to the wrong cruise ship causing us to wait for an hour after our scheduled pick up, so we were rushed throughout the day to try to keep to our schedule of 8 hours in Rome. Once in Rome, our guides were amazing and very knowledgable, so the tour part of our day was excellent.
This was truly miserable. Youll find yourself walking about 7 miles by the time its done. The guides were simply machines, not engaged with us at all. They broke the day up, with the Vatican in the afternoon. They neglected to tell us where to meet, so we spent a lot of useless time looking for them. They planned the day so poorly, we had to demand to be returned sooner in order to make the ships sail time.
Our guides were awesome!! I paid extra for the blue badge guides and it was a great decision. The only downside to this was due to the cruise ship time allowance we had to walk fast and snap pictures quickly. Rome is truly a place to be seen for all its history and beauty, unfortunately 8 hours of its beauty is too little of time. :
The car that was supposed to come at 8.00am came only around 8.45am. It was 9.00 am by the time we got going. The drive was bumpy as the tires need air. Ride back was good, perhaps they checked the tire pressure. The driver was excellent navigating thro' the Rome traffic.The tour was as advertised. But it is a lot to take in a day. We rushed all day long in order to cover all the places. Guide was excellent, friendly and professional. Rome deserves better. However We covered all the places within the time frame to return to the ship on time. One surprise was that we had to take a cab from the area of the Colosseum to the Vatican. Although it was only about 12 Euro's per cab, it was a surprise. Extra entrance fees are worth it. Well worth the money still, after all how many times will we go to Rome in our life.
We booked this excursion as an alternative to the large group tours to Rome available through the cruise line and we ended up being the only ones on this small group tour. We were picked up by a driver in a Mercedes next to the cruise ship in the port and were driven into Rome where we were met by our tour guide I believe her name was Francesca but it has been a couple weeks and I may be mistaken she was absolutely wonderful so this is no reflection on her where we skipped the line into the Colosseum and then walked the Roman Forum then through a portion of the city to the Pantheon. We then had our free time which we used to take a taxi over to near the Vatican 10 Euros and ate lunch at a restaurant recommended by our guide. You will need to plan for your own transportation from the Pantheon to the Vatican it is not included in the tour. We then met our tour guide for the Vatican Stefano and proceeded into the Vatican, through the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel and St. Peters Basilica. When the tour was finished we were again picked up by our driver and returned to the cruise ship. Both of our tour guides were archaeologists and this really made the Colosseum/Roman Forum portion of the tour especially interesting. This is an excellent alternative to the large group tours available through the cruise ship which did not offer entry into the Colosseum or the Vatican museums, and the personal attention and individualized interaction with the tour guides made it a day we will never forget.