Reviews of the Rome Port Adventures

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by rossjen2, Dec 12, 2012.

  1. rossjen2

    rossjen2 Mouseketeer

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    Hi! I’ve asked a little bit about this on our meets thread but thought I would ask here for a larger audience/more feedback.

    I am looking for some opinions on the various port adventures to Rome that Disney offers.

    We are going to do most of the ports on our own, but Rome seems to overwhelm me with the number of sights to see/distance from the port/and worries of traffic, lines and crowds.

    I was looking at the “Jumping Back to Eternal Rome” excursion because it seems to hit all of the big sites (Coliseum and St Peters Basilica are basically our two must-sees) and I really like that it takes the train to get to Rome rather than a tour bus.

    However, I was noticing that several other excursions offer a similar (but not quite as extensive) line up of sights and it isn’t super clear how long or indepth some of the stops are at various sites.

    A big consideration is our very active son – he will be 4 next summer. We are looking for an excursion where we can enjoy Rome together and not spend too much time lingering in museums or such – where, I’m guessing; my husband and I would be pulling our hair out trying to keep him contained.

    Also hoping that the Disney excursions will have some of the Disney *magic* to help make a rather long, not really child friendly day into a fun day for everyone.

    So I guess I am looking for opinions on the Jumping Back excursion as well as other good excursion options. Since this is our first Disney cruise, I know others will be able to book the port adventures before we can, so definitely thinking I should have my #2 and maybe #3 options picked out.

    Thanks for your help!
    -jen
     
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  3. SparklesofHope

    SparklesofHope Earning My Ears

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    Have you considered doing a private or semi-private excursion through an outside vendor? I am a Disney Cruise newbie myself--we will be on the June 8th, 2013 sailing. After LOTS of research we decided to go with Rome in Limo. I've read numerous positive reviews on this company. Check them out on TripAdvisor as well.

    We booked our Rome and Naples excursions through them.
     
  4. carpenta

    carpenta DIS Veteran

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    We had done the Jumping Back tour back in 2010. The train is a private train and only for Disney guests.It is a historic restored train with leather seats and done in a Roccocco style. The train really zips along quickly and is a great experience in itself.It drops you off right accross from the Vatican. Easy walk around Rome. We had lunch included and it was pretty good IMO. You then are picked up by bus and brought to the Collesium. Disney has "Roman Guards" in costume and you have your picture taken for free (I know it is included in the price) and then go tour. Everything is a quick oversight and the time is nice for I too had a nine year old and musuem would not be oue liking also. We had gellatto at the Trevi Fountain and my daughter said it "was the best". It is family friendly and IMO our guide took into account of the age spread and made it fun for all. On the way back when you get off the train you are picked up by bus and brought back to the ship. Hope it helps.
     
  5. mkmommy

    mkmommy DIS Veteran

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    I did Jumping back excursion in 2011, no Romans at the Coliseum for us, and not sure if lunch is included in the 2013 excursion.

    Really enjoyed the tour as we saw the highlights, but not much time at any of the sights to linger. Not as much walking as I thought, so I don't think it would be too much for a 4 year old.

    We had 1 family that had a little girl about 3 in a stroller. She did really well , but the family was glad it was the train and not the bus.
     
  6. jlwhitney

    jlwhitney DIS Veteran

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    Just do it on your own. It is actually easier than it first looks. Especially since you are doing other ports on your own. The train station is not to far and easy to fine. ONce you are in Rome it was not too bad to get around. Then you have the option of doing what you want and staying in each place as long or short as you want.
     
  7. tajz90

    tajz90 Mama D

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    This is true. Rome is super easy to navigate. All you have to do is follow the crowds. They are all going to the same place! ;)
     
  8. rossjen2

    rossjen2 Mouseketeer

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    Probably very true. I think I just find it a bit overwhelming because, yes, while it looks like everything isn't too far from the St Peters train station, it just seems like we would get more out of the short visit with a guide and/or excursion. And hopefully eliminate long wait times?
    I should give some more thought to the Limo in Rome option. Thanks! We are still awaiting the release of the port adventures for a few of the other ports so that may help me make up my mind pretty easy...

    Thanks everyone for your It certainly sounds like the Jumping Back excursion would be an good choice for us. Can anyone else recommend a child-friendly Rome excursion that they had a fun experience on with little kids?

    Thanks!
     
  9. tajz90

    tajz90 Mama D

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    If you change your mind, you can pre purchase your tickets.

    We didn't. We bought our tickets to the Colosseum on the Roman Forum / Palatine Hill side with little or no wait. Walked right into Colosseum.

    For the Vatican, we went to museum late in the day when crowds were thinning. To get into the Vatican, we went through the tomb entrance which was VERY interesting anyway, then up and around into the Vatican.
     
  10. jlwhitney

    jlwhitney DIS Veteran

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    That is what we did too. We bought our colosseum tickets ahead time, and went there first and we beat all the tour groups so it wasn't nearly as busy.

    For the vatican we played it by ear and had enough time and went in the afternoon, and waited no more than 5 mins to buy tickets and get in. We even had time to climb the dome, again no line.

    For doing Rome on your own, there are many people here that have done it that way. When we did there were a ton from our cruise going on thier own.

    You buy the BIRG ticket at the train station, something like 9 Euros maybe 11, I can't remember. IT gives you all day bus train and metro. The metro is easy since there are only two lines.

    What we did was train to Roma Termini, transfer to metro to Colosseum exit. Did Colosseum, Roman Forum, walked to trevi fountain, pantheon, Spanish Steps. At the Spanish steps took the metro to st. peters square area and did that and the vatican and then took the train back to port from there.

    It was great we saw more than on the tours, went at our own pace and saved a ton of money. We did rome for a littlle over 100 for 2 adults and the excursions are crazy pricey.
     
  11. stlouismickey

    stlouismickey Earning My Ears

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    We did Rome on our own and it was very easy. We pre-bought our Vatican tickets which eliminated a very long line. Took the train in from the port without any issue.

    We had the early seating and missed that. The next night our server and host told us that we should have just come to the dining room because they would have seated us. They are use to adjusting to people getting back late from Rome.
     
  12. tajz90

    tajz90 Mama D

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    We had early seating on ours and missed the time as well, but we went to the dining room and were seated. DCL is very accommodating.
     
  13. rossjen2

    rossjen2 Mouseketeer

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    Thanks everyone, you are really making me reconsider and think about doing Rome on our own.

    Were you able to prepurchase train tickets? I feel like I read about someone who bought the train tickets from port to St Peters station on a direct train.

    Also, while we aren't the type of folks who stroll through museums for hours reading ever sign or such....did you feel like you were able to get enough out of touring the places on your own without a guide? I've read and downloaded the Rick Steves audioguides and books...but I know with keeping our son occupied, we won't be able to leisurely tour through things with our ipods....I was wondering if maybe a tour guide would be helpful in that area...
     
  14. jlwhitney

    jlwhitney DIS Veteran

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    If you have rick steves rome book you will get plenty of info from there. Yes, you will get plenty out with out a guide. Personally guides can get boring, and there is no guarentee you will have a good one. For example, our guide for our sorrento and pompeii tour was terrible.

    You will have a more enjoyable experience being on your on schedule. If your son gets bored or hungry or whatever you are free to change your plans. With the book, you can read things out load to the family if you want. With the vast majority of guides everyone gets a little box with headphones that you listen to the guide through, which are very annoying.

    YOu can't pre purchase the train ticket, BIRG which is the best deal. But it only took like 5-10 mins to buy the ticket and when we did the vast majority of the line were people all from our cruise :). You can look up the train schedule ahead of time and write down the times of different trains you could take. There are a ton of trains going in both directions.
     
  15. carpenta

    carpenta DIS Veteran

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    The train station is a good walk from the pier. I think they did provide transport to and from the station but I can't be sure because I did not use the service. I suggest a sun stroller for the 4 year old if you plan to walk around Rome afterall those little legs wear out faster than adults. There are alot of cobblestoned streets and it does wear on your feet in some places. Also leave enough time to get back to the ship. On another cruise line we cruised we heard of some passengers who had missed the train and then ended up missing the ship. Lucky for them we were docking in Naples but it would cost a few bucks to get there and also the hassel.
     
  16. jlwhitney

    jlwhitney DIS Veteran

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    Disney is in port for so long that it is hard to be late. We took like a 5 something train back and had plenty of time.

    There is a shuttle from the ship to the end of the pier. The pier is super long. From where the shuttle drops you off its only a 5-10 min walk to the station, plus chances are there will be many going in the same direction so that is always nice.
     
  17. carpenta

    carpenta DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for the info.about the shuttle.....sometimes you remeber things but just are not sure....:)
     
  18. jlwhitney

    jlwhitney DIS Veteran

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    I hear ya, I remember the shuttle well since we got off the ship so fast the shuttle wasnt running yet...it started running about 5 mins after we started walking and it was a long long long walk down the pier. The shuttle passed us once going each way...lol
     
  19. carpenta

    carpenta DIS Veteran

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    I have the same problem with waiting myself......and when they pass you it really "rubs it in"....:sad1: :)
     
  20. rossjen2

    rossjen2 Mouseketeer

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    Very, very true point about the tour guide, …… I think you guys have just about convinced me that I need to figure this port out on our own too. Save our money for more gelato!

    I am still a bit nervous about the timing and distance…I know it is subject to change, but as of now, we are supposed to be in port 7:15 – 6:30 (followed by two sea days and then Athens, so no luck on a quick easy catchup if we are delayed for whatever reason). Is that about how long the Magic was in port on past cruises?
     
  21. carpenta

    carpenta DIS Veteran

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    On our 2010 cruise it was approx. the same time. One thing to check that if the port day falls on a Sunday? They still have different times for Sundays especially in St. Peters. But the train is about 50 minutes or so so leaving enough time is a good plan. One thing DCL offered "Rome on your own" type tour and basiccally just transports you back and forth from the ship.
     

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