RSSC Voyager Cruising Review

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Mediterranean - Barcelona to Rome

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Civitavecchia, Italy

Rome Monday, May 21, 2007
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Disembarkation Day - Departing RSSC Voyager for Rome

Leaving the ship is always a disappointing day. You've made new friends, just have started to relax, and want the vacation to continue. Disembarkation day is a stark contrast to embarkation day. This is the most stressful day for the ship staff, since they have to turn-around the ship in a matter of hours, for the next weeks cruise. My advice is to just pack one carry-on, it saves you time and hassle. You don't have to pre-pack the last evening to get your luggage out into the hallway, and everything stays with you. If you can, have some basic business cards printed up with your name and email address so you can give them out to fellow passengers you've met. You can then exchange stories and photos, and stay in touch. You don't always have to rely on the ship shore transportation. In general, you'll save money by sharing a taxi to the airport hotel. If you don't want the hassle to save money, just go with the ship transportation options.

Departing the Ship

Departing RSSC Regent Voyager

Regent has a fairly organized manner to leave the ship. It always amazes me how organized any embarkation is, but how frantic disembarkation goes. This is true over all the big cruisers. Basically, this is crunch day for the ship and personnel on the ship. They have to completely turn the ship around in a matter of hours, which actually begins in the wee hours of the morning. First, they pick up all your luggage the night before. As the ship docks, customs or port authority comes aboard, and once the ship is cleared, the fun begins. Hundreds of pieces of luggage are off-loaded into color coded areas. Passengers must vacate the cabins and wait in public areas until their departure time is called (in this case, identified by a color system). While this is happening, the ship is completely scrubbed down, and new provisions are taken on. The next cruise was a charter, for some scrapbook group.

(click to enlarge)

After departing the ship, I paid to have a bus take me to the Airport Hilton. If a few people are going to the same place, you could have easily take a Taxi, and it would have been cheaper if shared. All Taxi's must have the meter running, if not, you're getting ripped off.

It was about a 30-45 min. ride to the Hilton, which was crowded beyond believe. It took a while to check in, since the Voyager's next cruise passengers were checking out. The line was so long, I just stored my carry-on in the hotel storage room and checked in later. In the meantime, I took the hotel shuttle to downtown Rome. These are the Spanish Steps.

The shuttle bus provides a free, regular service to downtown Rome. It's a 15-30 minute ride, with lots of traffic jams.

I was really worried about crime in the downtown area. I wore a concealed money wallet with my passport. It was not really comfortable, but worked out fine.

Rome is full of beautiful statues and architecture. Be a smart tourist, do not walk alone, keep valuables hidden.

Right after this photo was taken, two men caught another local and beat him up, in the middle of the sidewalk. The police showed up a bit later, but just shows there is crime, in in broad daylight.

Trevi Fountain.

One of the many beautiful church domes.

Rome is like any big city - just a bit more scenic with beautiful streets.

Behind every corner is something new and wonderful to look at.

Statue outside one of the many basilicas.

Close-up of one of the interior domes of the church.

Piazza Navona.

Having a beer and some gelato at the Piazza.

Piazza Navona

Piazza Navona

This is one of the classic town squares in Roma. Sit down at Ristorante/Bar/Gelateria Tucci for a beer or some ice cream. This place is great for people watching, or just relaxing.

(click to enlarge)

RSSC Regent Voyager departure info.

(pdf link) 2007 RSSC Regent Voyager - Final Invoice - Example

Color coded exit times.

(pdf link) 2007 RSSC Regent Voyager - Disembarkation Information

Bar tab from having some goodies at the Piazza.

(pdf link) 2007 RSSC Regent Voyager Daily Newsletter - In Cabin

The room at the Airport Hilton (Rome) was your standard Hilton room - basic and clean.

(pdf link) 2007 RSSC Regent Voyager - Shore Tours - Listing

Reflections on Disembarkation Day

The last day of the cruise and departing the ship are always the low point of the vacation. Some people extend the vacation with land tours, or stays at hotels, but I opt to fly home after departing the ship. There are a few reasons for this, the biggest is that you were just pampered beyond belief, and you won't get the same service anywhere on shore. So, if you want to do a land tour with your next cruise, do it before. This way you have time to decompress, start to relax, and really enjoy all the features the ship has to offer. This is really important if you're flying across more than 5 time zones. You'll need to acclimate to the new time zone, so give you body a chance to adjust. The other reason for doing a pre-cruise stay versus a post cruise stay is that you need to to relax. If you cruise your first day into the vacation, it's a sure thing you won't be completely relaxed until the last few days. The beauty of cruises is that you unpack once, then travel to new destinations. You can't do this on a land based tour. So take advantage of your cruise, and what it has to offer you - do your off-ship adventures before the cruise. Finally, always be aware of your surroundings. I was prepared to see crime in Rome, but wasn't ready for the immediacy of it. In all my years of cruises, this is the first time I've seen any violence or crime. Big cities is where crime is, just be aware of it. While it's not always easy to dress as a local, you don't have to dress as a tourist. In many locations, especially in Europe, nobody wears shorts, it's pants, dresses, or skirts. If you want to do a pre-cruise for this area, I'd recommend something on the coast or in the alps.

Related Information

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