Cruise Diary: Transatlantic Cruise To Italy and Beyond from Civitavecchia Port

Dawn arrival into Civitavecchia, the cruise port for Rome.

Dear Cruise Diary,

Well, finally it looks like my 14-day Holland America transatlantic cruise to Italy is drawing to a close. It’s been a fine Holland America experience. I’m so used to my usual 7-night back and forth passage between Southampton and NYC aboard Queen Mary 2, that at first, these 14 days seemed like an eternity.  And then sometimes not.

On any cruise with a long block of sea days, it usually takes 4-5 days to get into the rhythm of the voyage. Then suddenly you’re at the halfway point and the countdown begins.

Our Koningsdam crossing was smooth (I thought so, compared with the North Sea in December!) sunny almost every day.  After leaving lovely Alicante, Spain, the third and final port call on our itinerary, there was still one full sea day left until we were alongside the cement pier in the cruise port of Civitavecchia.

People scrambled about looking for last minute shopping bargains, settling their onboard account and trying to cram in as many musical shows as possible.  Throughout the crossing, Holland America’s Music Walk complex featured live music throughout the day and into the late at night.

From a classical ensemble at Lincoln Center and B. B. King’s Blues Club to the Billboard on Board piano lounge, you could find something that appealed to your musical preference. It was really pretty cool.

Eventually, it was time to put our suitcases outside of our doors, set an alarm clock and get ready to hit the ground running in Italy.  Actually, a slow walk would be more likely.  It was Easter weekend in Rome. and crowds were expected to be off the charts.

How to get to Rome from Civitavecchia cruise port

Getting from the port of Civitavecchia to Rome can be a challenge.  There aren’t many options.

3.  Buy your ship’s shore excursion into Rome.  You’ll be dropped off at a central, local piazza where there are supposed to be taxis waiting in a rank. You will then queue and wait in the taxi rank and along with all your luggage, drive to your hotel.  Rain or shine.  August heat or winter’s wind.

2.  Haul your luggage via Civitavecchia taxi to the train station.  Buy a cheap ticket.  From there you can be at Rome Termini station within an hour.  Then you’ll need a taxi from Termini to your hotel.  If you’ve never been to Termini, this is not the option I’d recommend. But if you do, the taxi rank is directly outside the front glass doors.  Be prepared for a long line.

And my first choice to go from Civitavecchia to Rome…

1.  The other option, and the one I always choose, is to arrange for a driver to meet me at the ship. It’s not cheap, but if I put a price tag on a convenient, safe, headache-free, stressless way to make your entrance into Rome, it’s a deal.  AND… rustle up others passengers on your cruise to share the limousine or van with you.  The 130 euro fee is suddenly a bargain if you share the ride.  

This time, I arranged a ride with Stefano Rome Tours – a family-owned limousine and tour company based in Rome.

Stefano Rome Tours from Civitavecchia to Rome

With my Stefano Rome Tours driver, Michelle.

I thought I’d try a new company Stefano Rome Tours. To my surprise, there was a female driver. Michelle was holding the sign with my name clearly printed in block letters.  Luggage claimed, she wheeled and loaded my bags into her car.  Seat belts buckled, we headed into the Eternal City.  

My annual European journey was about to begin.

READ MORE about my 14-night transatlantic crossing aboard Holland America Koningsdam.


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