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Ventura 2010 – Rome

Today was Rome. We were doing our own thing in this port and the plan was to take the train up to Roma Termini and just walk around. We assumed that we would have to get a port shuttle to the dock gate. In the event that’s what we did, but it turned out that from where Ventura was berthed it was possible to walk to the harbour entrance (though it must have been about half-a-mile). This is what the day’s Horizon said about the shuttle service: “…there will be a limited complimentary shuttle bus service in operation for those passengers with limited mobility…… The port gate where this service terminates is just a 10 minute walk from Ventura and passengers are kindly requested to give priority to those with limited mobility for whom this service is intended.” So I took that as a strong hint that able-bodied passengers should at least consider walking, which surprised me as I had always thought that Civitavecchia port was one of those where passengers weren’t allowed to walk around. In the event, however, we had no trouble using the bus. There was a Disney ship in port, and I did notice that there were in fact two port shuttle buses in operation – one for Ventura and one for the Disney ship. They were labelled as such in the morning, though when we got back the labels read ‘All Ships’.

We got to Civitavecchia station at just before 9 o’clock, got two BIRG tickets for €9 each, and then found we’d just missed a train (08:57). The next train was advertised as being at 09:27, and indeed it arrived from Rome before that time (it terminated at Civitavecchia) but it didn’t depart until about 09:40. It must have made up some time because we were in Roma Termini at about 10:45. We used the excellent toilets there (€0.80 charge – small coins only), bought a map, and finally got out of the station area just after 11 o’clock. So it actually took us about two and a half hours from getting off the ship to getting out of Termini station. Next time we’re in Rome we may think about doing the ‘Rome on your own’ excursion, or perhaps taking a faster train – there was one at 09:13 or so, which got to Termini at about 10 o’clock. You can’t use the BIRG tickets on that train, but it would have given us an extra hour.

As for Rome itself, we mainly just walked around. We did visit one church, Santa Maria della Victoria, to see the Bernini sculpture of the Ecstasy of St Teresa, and to admire the whole baroque thing. Then we just walked and walked. We got to the top of the Spanish Steps, walked down them (and we still don’t understand the attraction, to be truthful), and then walked down Via Condotti. Here we were faced with the modern shopper’s dilemna: should one visit Gucci before Prada, or the other way round? And what about Dolce e Gabbana and Louis Vuitton? I was outlining this dilemna to Val when a lady in from of me gave me a glare, and I realised from her clothes and demeanour that she was probably someone for whom these were real choices….

We walked on, down via del Corso to the Victor Emmanuel monument, then on down to the river which we crossed into Trastavere where we found a little restaurant and had an enjoyable lunch. Then after that we just walked on to Trastavere station and got the train back to Civitavecchia. There was one thing missing from the day, however – we hadn’t had any gelatti. But we found a gelaterria artigianale – the sign of gelato excellence – right outside Civitavecchia station, so bought one each (pesca – peach – flavour) and ate them while sitting outside the gelatteria. Then we had just a gentle stroll to the dock gates, straight onto a shuttle bus, and we were back on the ship at about 5:45.

During yesterday evening the wind freshened considerably, and by the end of the evening the ship was moving about a lot. This continued overnight, getting significantly worse, and we had a considerably disturbed night. With 50 knot winds, and sea swells of around 4 metres, Ventura was definitely bouncing around, and on two occasions – at around 2am and again at 7am – she hit a wave at the wrong angle resulting each time in a considerable bang and loose objects in the cabins falling over. However, as the captain said this morning, he’s taken ships though much worse weather and the ship was never in any danger. This morning, however, all the deck level activities have been cancelled (the pools have all been drained, for example), and the sea-sickness bags have been placed on the stairwells and in the lifts. This may also affect our time of arrival at Gibraltar tomorrow.

3 Responses to “Ventura 2010 – Rome”

  1. novicecruisers says:

    I have enjoyed reading your blogs it is a good thing to have .We are on her on saturday and really looking forward to it as it is our first cruise .Hope the rocking does not continue for you val/steve

  2. Russ says:

    Excellent info about Rome & getting there from the port. I will be following in your tracks on 7th May.

  3. […] Here's my blog page from my last visit to Rome on a cruise – 2010, on Ventura. Reply With Quote […]

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