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Old 03-26-2009, 08:17 AM
Hank Hank is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 751
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I am a bit hesitant to tell an inexperienced traveler to go off on their own, but let me lay out the financial realities. Keep in mind we have been traveling in Europe for over 30 years (cruises and driving trips) and are very comfortable anywhere on the continent. A private car/driver for Rome will probably cost you at least $500 for the day (usually about 350 Euros). If you wanted to go on your own you could take the free shuttle bus from the ship to the port entrance, walk 4 easy blocks to the Civitavecchia train station, pay 9 Euros (adult price) for a BIRG ticket which includes round trip train to Rome plus all day use of buses and subways, and than you would need a decent guide book (Rick Steves is good) to help you navigate Rome. In the end, you would save hundreds of dollars on just this one day. It is the same with every port. Doing your own thing can save you thousands of dollars and be a lot of fun. But, you need to spend a lot of time doing pre-trip homework, have some "travel smarts," and a spirit of adventure. Traveling in Europe is actually easier than the USA because they have excellent public transit and many folks do speak English (unlike some places in the USA). So, to sum up you have 3 options. You can book cruise line tours and spend a fortune. You could hire private cars and drivers and also spend a fortune. Or, you can do your research and do independent travel which saves you a lot of dollars, but does require lots of work. Only you folks know what will make you comfortable and what you can afford. Good luck and Bon Voyage.

Hank