Cruises have become extremely popular in the last 10 years. In fact, they are a great way to see many interesting places across the Mediterranean and not have to do any of the planning. You float around in a familiar, safe and exciting environment with no need to carry cash and your pillow minutes away whenever you have had your fill.
The downside is some cruise companies, typically the lower cost ones, don’t leave you in peace from the moment you book to the moment you disembark for the last time; they are always trying to sell you something. Now you may just want to pick and mix from the cruise company’s shore activities, etc. but, if you want a degree of autonomy, a key item to look at is what they charge for transfers from the ship to the nearest train station or into town.
Big ships need deep ports and the nearest one to Rome is Civitavecchia, some 70 miles north. So the main issue for cruise passengers is the transfer in and out of Rome. The cheapest way to travel is a 1-day travel card on the train but factor in getting from the ship to the station. A limo will cost 140 Euro upwards each way and major hire car companies have offices in the port. The way to make the transfer an event is to combine it with a visit to an important Etruscan site on the way, like Cerveteri, and some great food, either turf or surf.
Celebrity Cruises www.celebritycruises.com
Compagnie du Ponant http://en.ponant.com//(pays)/88/(devise)/livre
Costa Cruises www.costacruise.com
Voyages to Antiquity www.voyagestoantiquity.com
P & O Cruises www.pocruises.com
Princess Cruises www.princess.com
Royal Caribbean www.royalcaribbean.com/home.do