“Rome wasn’t built in a day,” and you can’t see it in a day

That headline was my feeble attempt at humor and to explain why we decided to stay on the ship when Viking Sky arrived in Civitavecchia, the port for the city of Rome. We have been to Rome at least three times before, and as much as we love the city, the idea of leaving the port at 6:45 am, driving the 45 minutes to an hour into Rome and then just driving around looking at the sites from the outside is just not something we wanted to do.

So this post is about pretty much nothing. We did some laundry. Stop! Let’s talk about that—laundry on a ship. Most cruise lines no longer have laundry facilities on board or never did. Our long-time old favorite, Celebrity, never has. If you needed something washed, you either did it yourself in your stateroom sink, or you sent it out to their fairly expensive laundry. On our January Holland America cruise, we were in a Neptune Suite, so we had laundry included. But being newbies here on Viking, we weren’t sure how the whole laundry thing would work out.

Laundry

It turns out it works wonderfully. On each deck, there is a small “laundrette” with three washers and three dryers stacked on top of each other. There are also two ironing boards for passenger use. If you decide to use the machines, you drop in your load, push a button to add the free soap and softener and then start it up. A timer on the front of the machine tells you how long until it’s done. I set a SIRI timer on my Apple watch for that amount of time and then I come back to change the loads. Only a couple of times when we have tried to use the machines has there been anyone else using them.

It’s all about the timing. If you go in the evenings, I have heard it can be very crowded. But we have done laundry three times. First when we got on board because we had been traveling on land for six days, then in Rome two weeks later because we were running short on some items, and today we are doing a quick load while we are here in Marseilles. All three of those times have been during the day when most of the ship is on shore.

Another great thing we found that kept me away from the ironing boards is that the type of stateroom we are in (a Penthouse Verandah) has free pressing included. So I wash the shirts I have been wearing to dinner and then toss them in a bag, and they come back tomorrow ready to wear, hanging on hangers. I love it.

In case you are wondering, we both pretty much do our own laundry at home, but she does the linens and other household stuff, and I do most of the cooking. Onboard I have to do the laundry because the way the dryers are situated above the washers, she can’t see into them, let alone reach them. This surprised a couple of the women I have run into while washing clothes.

Lots of places to relax

Another thing I want to mention about the ship is that is VERY evident when you are on board in a port but still very true all of the time. This ship has a lot of great places just to sit and relax, to have a conversation, to play cards or games, to do just about anything you want to do. At first, I thought it was that way because they just built in those spaces, but then I realized that there is another HUGE reason all these great spaces exist—the Nos. About a week before we sailed, I wrote a post about all the reasons we were sailing on Viking Ocean for this cruise and not one of the other lines we had used before. You can check it out by clicking here.

In that list, you can see that Viking has:

  1. No children (which means there is no space for a kid’s club).
  2. No art auctions (which means that space is not needed).
  3. No casino (which means an extra room where a casino would go)
  4. No ship’s photographers (which means you can use that space as well).

When you add up all the space that is revenue producing for other cruise lines and take it off the table, no wonder they have such awesome areas all around the ship that are just for passengers to relax. Here are some quick picks of some of my favorite places on the ship. You can go ahead and look at these with your phone…they are just onboard photos of some of my favorite spots.

That just about concludes our Roman day onboard the ship. We probably ate in The World Cafe and watched Downton Abbey. It’s funny that someone on Cruise Critic asked us what the nightlife was like. We can’t tell anyone because that’s not us. We finish a long day touring, have dinner someplace, go back to our room and collapse. Between my getting up at 5:00 am to walk my miles on deck two and the lousy sleep we have been getting, that’s about all we can manage.

Rome was not built in one day.  —John Heywood
You can’t see Rome in one day.  —Jim Bellomo

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