Before I go any further, I need to mention a few things from yesterday’s wonderful tour in Rome.
The traffic in Rome can be horrendous. Many of the streets are very narrow, made more so by double parking, and the motor bikes whip in and out of traffic. Our guide Guido said there are laws and regulations for the motor bikers, but it seemed that they had much more freedom than motorcycles in the U.S.A. Because of the traffic conditions, it is always wise to allow an extra amount of time to get to your destination.
The other thing to be to allow for is LINES! At the Vatican we had reservations, so we were in the shorter line to enter. Those who did not have reservations formed a line that went on for blocks. Our line was unusually long also, but Guido discovered that there had been a power outage and the Vatican museum was hours late opening, because they couldn’t use the metal detectors and screeners. We couldn’t get advance tickets for the Forum and Coliseum; but Guido stepped up in line for us and was able to get us through the line much more quickly.
Now, on to today… our luggage was picked up from our hotel room at 10 a.m., and we boarded a shuttle for the hour and a half ride to the port of Civitivecchia. We had taken several cruises before, so we were prepared for the long and slow process of checking in to get onboard the ship. We speeded up the process by having done the forms online for our stateroom, contact information, and credit card information, but we really were surprised by the Azamara procedures.
We walked in to the embarkation building, presented our documents, including passports, of course, and were boarding the ship within 15 minutes – which included going through the metal detectors. It was wonderful!
Azamara Club Cruises includes some wonderful amenities.
*All coffee, tea, soda, and water are complimentary, as is table wine at meals.
* There is complimentary self-service laundry. For two-week trips like this one, that is very helpful.
* Shuttle bus service in ports is complimentary (where applicable).
With approximately 800-passenger capacity, there is not the same feel of crowding that is sometimes found in the larger cruise ships. Even the required lifeboat drill was very organized and efficiently conducted.
The beautiful sunny climes of the Mediterranean have gone into hiding, unfortunately, and we are sailing on rough seas. Tomorrow’s tendering at Sorrento has been changed to docking at Naples. Hopefully the skies will improve, the wind will calm, and our scheduled sightseeing tour will be successful.