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We had 8 in our tour party all family members so we filled out the mini-van and essentially got a private tour. Our tour guide was waiting for us patiently at the dock as we exited the cruise ship. Since it was a holiday, travel time to Rome was faster than expected due to lighter traffic - we got to the outskirts of Rome in just over an hour told typically 1.5 hours from the cruise port with expected traffic. That was both a good and bad thing since the Vatican museum was closed that day BUT a big plus was that we got to see the Pope! Suggest that you check ahead of time for major Rome holidays on the day you will be in Rome to avoid major disappointment on museum closings, etc. Even the Pantheon had limited hours that day. Colisseum was as busy as ever and open though. Our tour guide took us to an alternate ticketing office location just blocks away from the main Colisseum gate which saved us a LOT of time since the line was much, much shorter. Big benefit of having an experienced tour guide who was excellent in every way. Whole party very much enjoyed the tour and a large factor was our excellent guide who was flexible, easy going, and very knowledgeable.
Our private tour was excellent! The driver arrived at the designated area right on time and took us quickly into the city. We had a few sights that we wanted to see and he suggested others that we should also see. At each stop we were able to take our time and stay as long as we liked and met our driver when we were ready to move on to the next spot. This gave us the opportunity to have a truly personalized experience. By the end of the day we had seen more than we expected to and a number of things that we wouldn't have known to ask to see. A private excursion is a great way to get a lot into one day without having to wait for a lot of people, when going in a large group. Our driver/guide was great. He gave us a lot of background and was able to provide the color and history of every site we went to making each stop much more meaningful.
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