travel

Roaming Rome in 24 Hours

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Rome, one of the most iconic cities in the world.  A city at the tope of everyone’s bucket list.  Rome, the very first city I discovered in Europe has quickly is usually everyone’s first stop in Europe.  Depending on the type of traveler you, Rome could be visited by plane, cruise or train.  I’ve visited Rome every which way and it’s a different feeling each time.  

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            When Rome is discovered by land there’s usually more time to immerse yourself in the culture, in the sights, and let’s be real the food. Pasta in Italy just tastes better.  When you visit Rome by cruise ship there are few hours to visit the city.  The point of a cruise is to give you a little taste into a lot of destinations for you to decide if it’s a place you’d like to return. A cruise is also a great way to see a lot of places in in a short period of time and on a budget. 

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            There is no way you can see all of Rome thoroughly in 1 day I’ll tell you the fastest way to get all of the sights done quickly in 1 day. The port of Rome is called Civitavecchia, which is roughly an hour and a half from the city of Rome.  The most economical and fastest way to get there is by train.  The train from Civitavecchia drops you off right in front of the Collosseum.  There’s not enough time to walk into the Collosseum but you can admire it from the outside and take your picture and go take a walk through the Roman Forum.  

            From the Collosseum we took a walk to Pantheon. Fun fact about me this was my 4 visit to Rome and I had never visited the Pantheon before.  At the Pantheon, we decided to grab a bit to eat from a hidden restaurant & eat right on the steps while half of the group went in. 

            Next on the list was the Trevi Fountain, being the middle of November, which is considered off-season.  It made all of this fairly easy.  There weren’t many tourists doing the same things we were.  The streets weren’t as crowded, which made it all a lot easier to get around and the sites were more enjoyable than before.  The Fountain of Trevi was basically empty compared to my first visit there.  We were able to visit the fountain toss a coin and make our wish.  

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We also decided to make a quick stop at the Spanish Steps.  When I visited the first time, the Spanish Steps were so crowded you couldn’t even go up the steps.  There were people sitting literally all over the steps.  This time they were basically empty.  Perks of travelling during the off-season.  After this it was a rush to find a taxi to take us to the train station to get back to the port.  If you aren’t as rushed as we are I suggest the bus.  Public transportation is very reliable in Europe; we were actually waiting for the bus when we realized if we didn’t make it across the city in the next 30 minutes we were going to miss our cruise.  After that it was a seamless run through the train station to catch the last train back to Civitavecchia. 

Diving Into Costa Deliziosa

As I’ve mentioned before as travel agents we get some special perks.  In June of 2016 I got the actual dream trip.  At a conference I won a 7-day cruise along the Western Mediterranean (which I hadn’t been able to explore extensively) on a cruise line I had never used before.  We embarked on the cruise in Savona, Italy and sailed to Naples, Sicily, Ibiza, Palma de Mallorca and disembarked in Barcelona.  As usual, I run into my usual problem which is who to take with me? I of course took my travel buddy and long-time bestie, who had never been to Europe so off we set to explore Italy and Spain on the Costa Deliziosa!

            I will be writing more about my trip in other posts but this one is all about the ship!   Costa Cruise Lines is an Italian cruise line, they have just started exploring the North American market.  The food, the entertainment, the service and the crowd you can expect on a Costa Cruise. 

            Let’s start with the food that’s the real important part here.  The primary areas we ate were in the main dining room, buffet and the lunch bar by the pool. The dining room served mainly Italian dishes and seafood.  Let’s note that I spent a week in Italy before jumping on this cruise ship, as much as I love Italy and Italian dishes this girl was ready for more variety. The bar in the pool had more traditional “American dishes”, such as burgers and French fries.  The buffet mainly had pizza and more pastas.  We usually had lunch in the pool bar because the room Costa accommodated us with was a balcony suite right under the pool. Needless, to say we had lunch usually at port just because we enjoyed fully immersing ourselves in the culture and eating in local restaurants. 

            The entertainment, meaning the shows, put on by the cruise ship were nothing to rave about.  We went to the theatre the first 2 nights to see what how we would like it and we were honestly not impressed at all.  For the remainder of the cruise we would hang out on the main bar where we felt it was a lot more fun.  

            The crew members really make the trip a memorable experience.  It’s mentioned several times through their advertisements that the first language is English on the ship.  Yes, that’s true the main language is English; which means if you speak to the crew member in English they will understand or try their hardest to understand you, however, many of the guests on this ship were Europeans. Which if you board a European cruise line especially in Europe you need to keep this in mind.  If this is something that is a deal breaker for you I suggest you reconsider.  

            Our room was out of this world. I’ve sailed on everything from an interior cabin to a balcony suite.  On this cruise they gave us a balcony suite towards the end of the ship.  This means we had a bigger balcony than usual, to give you an idea we had 2 lounge chairs, 2 regular sitting chairs and a table which all fit comfortably.  We also had the best views from our very own balcony whenever we got to a new destination. We were treated like queens on the ship from everyone I honestly have no complaints on that end.  Another thing I like about Costa is that they are usually more economically priced than other cruise lines in that region.  Also, since they are European line they have ships in Europe year-round compared to American liners that come to North America in the fall and go back in the summer.  I also thoroughly enjoyed the ports.  These are ports I had been wanting to visit for awhile but never got around to because they were not convenient in my other trips, especially in Spain.  I was able to visit cities that had been on my list for a while that I never got around to seeing.  

            Costa Cruise lines is a line I will be considering using in the future.  I’ve had several clients on this line and they’ve thoroughly enjoyed themselves and haven’t given me any complaints.  They have a price point that is very enticing. One thing I forgot to mention earlier they have a system that you can start and end your cruise at whichever port you’d like instead of the traditional cruise that must start at one end and end in the other.  They also have ports that are very popular however aren’t accessible to all the cruise lines and that is a very attractive factor for them, including the fact that they sail throughout Europe year-round. Their destinations are not traditional, and I appreciate that.  Costa Cruise Lines has a unique way of cruising and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I look forward to my next trip aboard one of their ships.