Civitavecchia, Italy – 07:00 to 19:00
This morning we arrived in Civitavecchia, which is the first of four port days in a row. After the large number of initial sea days, this is quite a contrast, and all these ports is really putting a dent in our sea day routines. Civitavecchia is 50 miles from Rome, so this will be a long day as we visit the Vatican City, Trevi Fountain and the Coliseum. Once I get caught up with the photographs, I will do a separate blog post to cover the tour.
Temperature: High 35C/95F, Low 23C/73F, actual in Rome was in excess of 37C
Wind/Weather: Lt Airs, fine and clear
Clox: Z+2 (no change)
Sea Princess maintained generally N’ly courses until picking up the local pilot about 06:00. Once aboard, various courses and speeds were made good and the vessel docked alongside the port of Civitavecchia by 07:00.
Shortly after 19:00, the lines were let go and the Captain thrust the vessel off the berth, once the pilot disembarked initial, NW’ly and later N’ly courses were set towards our next port of call in Livorno.
Civitavecchia is a busy cruise and ferry port on the Tyrrhenian Sea and is known as the port for Rome, which is about 50 miles away, across the Mignone River. The name “Civitavecchia” means ancient town, as the original harbour was constructed early in the 2nd century.
Our tour meet time was 07:10, so it was up early and off to the Horizon Court for a quick breaky before heading down to the Princess Theatre. Yet again, another exceptional job of organising tours by the excellent Shore-Ex Manager and her staff.
While this should have been one of the highlight tours, visiting the Vatican, Trevi Fountain and the Coliseum, our guides were again rather poor. We had a young lady board the coach with us at the port and she provided about 5 minutes of info on the port then nothing until getting off the bus 90 minutes later. We then picked up another guide in Rome and he obviously had to be home early, as the entire day was a race. The tour through the Vatican was dangerously congested, with zero traffic control. The barging and pushing was ridiculous and resembled the big football matches I attended as a teenager, with crowds well in excess of 100,000. Lunch was excellent, then we walked to Trevi Fountain, which currently doesn’t exist, as it is ripped apart for renovations. At the end of the day we went to the Coliseum, but a quick 15 minute walk around the ground floor was all we got. Outside the guide took us to a stall trying to sell a book of photographs of Rome. My response, “I would much rather have spent the time looking at the sights than a stupid book, I can buy on Amazon for a fraction of the price”. This confirms my understanding that the Princess tours are all good to excellent itineraries, but the tour is only successful with good guides. On the return to the port we heard nothing more from the young lady.
Due to the really hot day in Rome, we were rather hot and sweaty on return to the ship, so we headed up to the pool for about a 1/2 hr soak, meeting and chatting with another great couple we have met on a few previous days. Totally refreshed, we got changed and headed to the Horizon Court for a quick dinner. Returning to the cabin, I uploaded all my photographs and got caught up with the blog posts.
As another day closes, we bid you farewell, till tomorrow and hope for fair skies and following seas.