Spring Transatlantic Crossing + CDV Week

Questions? See the FAQ below or send an email to info@cdvcruises.com

CDV has blocked off cabins for the April 22 sailing of the Royal Caribbean Odyssey of the Seas, scheduled to arrive in Rome on May 6th, when three CDV vacations begin. The cruise will also make stops in Malaga Spain, Alicante Spain, Palma de Mallorca Spain, Marseilles France, La Spezia Italy, and finally Rome.

Included in the Cruise/Tour price, we have arranged several special amenities to the cruise portion of the trip:

  • We will have a welcome cocktail reception aboard the ship
  • We will have two group dinners at the ship's specialty restaurants
  • We will have our own private CDV Street Food tour in Alicante, Spain
  • We will have our own private CDV winery visit with lunch in Provence, France
  • We will have our own private CDV tour of the Carrara Marble Quarry with lunch when we visit La Spezia, Italy
  • While we cannot guarantee it just yet, we are working on other events on board, such as meals with crew and behind the scenes tours of the ship.

Cruise Itinerary:

Date(s) Port Arrival Departure
Apr 22, 2023 Ft Lauderdale, FL - 5:00 PM
Apr 23-30 Cruising - -
May 01 Malaga, Spain 9:00 AM 6:00 PM
May 02 Alicante, Spain (CDV Street Food Tour included) 9:00 AM 6:00 PM
May 03 Palma De Mallorca, Spain 7:00 AM 4:00 PM
May 04 Marseilles, France (CDV tour to Provence Winery included) 9:00 AM 5:00 PM
May 05 La Spezia, Italy (CDV tour to Carrara Marble Quarry included) 7:00 AM 7:00 PM
May 06 Disembark in Civitavecchia, Italy

Once we arrive in Rome:

Upon arrival in Rome, there will be three CDV vacations starting. Depending on which (if any) of the CDV vacations you will start on that day, we will offer different services as follows:

  • If you choose the Soriano Alumni week, which will be an "everything new" trip in Soriano for CDV Alumni only, we will continue together to Soriano, where we will start a spectacular new Soriano week with new cooking classes, visits to new places, a morning of teaching English to Italian elementary school children, a visit to the Etruscan ruins of Sutri, the Italian "Hippy Town" of Calcata, A full day in Montepulciano with our "wannabe sommalier class, and our annual bottle ceremony" an art workshop in Soriano, a new "olive oil pairing" lunch and class at Madonna delle Macchie, A night in Rome with an exclusive after hours visit to the Vatican museums, our annual epic party at Villa Eddarella, a hike through the forest into the Santa Lucia ruins, and to cap it all off, we will take over the Soriano Castle, and have a period-correct medieval dinner in the castle while learning swordsmanship from Soriano's "Spadaccini".
  • If you choose The CDV Chianti or Bologna weeks, we will provide private transfer from the ship to the Rome train station, with 1st class tickets to Florence or Bologna, where the CDV host will await you to start your week.

Questions first? Read below, and if it is not answered, send an email to info@cdvcruises.com

Answers to Common Questions:

Why is CDV combining this cruise as part of its vacation package in April 2023?
Because we are all about friends and family, and we love spending time with guests, even when it is not part of a trip we specifically produce. Michael and Paola, the founders of CDV, spend their winters in the United States and Summers in Italy. This is how they go back and forth whenever possible. So we thought, why not block out space on some of the transatlantic cruises we are on, and invite people to come along for the ride, then hop on whatever CDV vacation is about to start once in Europe (and vice versa).

Why such a big ship, and why Royal Caribbean?
We personally like small and intimate ships, but this is a 14-day transatlantic.  The Odyssey of the Seas is a ~170,000 ton ship that has so much going on, that with all the sea days, you will never be bored.  Additionally, the Odyssey of the Seas has a very unique area of the ship called "270," which is just an amazing place for us to spend time together when we want to.  The ship also has a huge (and beautiful) outdoor area that is protected from the elements in case of bad weather.  Royal Caribbean is often considered more of a mid to slightly upscale cruise line with a family focus.  However, their transatlantic cruises cater to a different crowd, and they adapt for it.  For one thing, the transatlantic crossings are generally not nearly as crowded as normal cruises, and since they are repositioning, they are also moving lots of entertainers for cruises in Europe, so there is significantly more entertainment on the transatlantic crossings.  Finally, while crossing the Atlantic, you may have beautiful clear skies with calm seas, or you may have weather.  In case of weather, this ship has two major advantages:  (1) It has amazing indoor spaces that allow us to truly enjoy bad weather days (plus the huge protected Solarium area outside), and (2) the ship is so big, that you hardly feel rough seas.  Finally, we chose this ship because it disembarks in Civitavecchia on the same day that three of our vacations begin.

8 Days of cruising with no stops?
Yes! And if you get bored, come find us. Besides all of the stuff we will be doing together on the ship these days, there is so much going on all the time. Entertainment day and night, wonderful areas to be outdoors, amazing lounges, shows, bands, tons of music, activities, and so much more. For those of you that love to read a book and relax, it cannot be beat. For those that wanna party all night, something is always happening. This is one of the reasons we picked this ship.

Will there be a CDV host on the cruise?
Yes! This is like a big reunion on our way to Italy. Michael and Paola, the founders of CDV will be with you the whole way. This is their annual commute to Italy from their Florida home. For those coming on the Soriano Alumni week, we will all arrive in Soriano together!

What Special "CDV" experiences will be on the cruise?
For the moment, we cannot say that there will anything specifically CDV, although we are discussing possibilities with the cruise line, so stay tuned! The best incentive is price, the shore excursions that are not typical cruise excursions, and the added amenities. Most of all, CDV is a big family, any this will be a big CDV reunion experience for many! As for price, We have secured a low group rate, and we actually forfeit the commission a travel agency would normally get, so it is virtually impossible for you to find a better rate unless the cruise line itself radically lowers their rates, in which case we will lower the amount due accordingly. So if they lower rates, our rate will be even lower, since we are forfeiting the commission. With respect to convenience, we will provide the transfers from the ship to each of our locations at the end of the cruise.

How good is this pricing?
VERY GOOD! If you add up what the cruise lines charge with their best current sale prices for this category cabin, the cost of the added amenities we are including during the cruise portion, the transportation, and our land tour costs, here is what you are saving versus doing it all separately:

  • Cruise + Soriano week, you save ~$1,900.00 per person
  • Cruise + Bologna week, you save ~$1,450.00 per person
  • Cruise + Chianti week, you save ~$1,450.00 per person
  • Cruise Only: You save ~$655.00 per person

Am I getting a good price on the cruise portion?
Yes! An EXTREMELY good price. The cruise, port and taxes portion of the trip is $1,487.81 double occupancy (not including the cost of the extra excursions and specialty dinners).If you tried to book the same room as of the time of this writing, the cruise line is running a big special with $550 off, plus another 30% off their normal prices, and it would still cost $2,200 per person for the same reservation

How and Why Does CDV Do this at such a low price?
Remember, we are a tour operator. Travel agencies work on commission and fees. We block space on the ship and get a lower net rate, then simply pass that on without taking the commission or fees. We will still have our profit based on the portion in Italy, but we are simply passing on our costs for the first two weeks. But why? Honestly, because we think this is going to be fun. We would rather think of this as a big reunion in which we have no financial incentive. That is specifically why the Soriano week is so much less expensive. That part is 100% at cost for us. If you have known us long enough, you probably didn't even need this answer :-). But to be fully transparent, we are working toward doing more sea and land combos in the future, and we will build in a profit model for those. But for now, we are getting our sea legs!

What kind of cabins are part of the block of staterooms?
We have blocked off a guarantee of all Category 2D, midship outside staterooms with balconies. Our rooms are not pre-allocated, so as we get closer to the cruise date, the rooms will be assigned. Category 2D staterooms are 198 sq, foot rooms with Royal King bed (can be split to two twins), a private 60 sq. ft. balcony, sitting area with sofa, private bathroom with shower, vanity area. an interactive flat-screen TV, mini-safe, radio, telephone, tons of storage, multiple outlets and USB ports, a mini fridge and hairdryer. Note that as we get closer to the sail date, we may be able to give you the chance to pick from available staterooms.

What is included on the cruise?
Everything relating to the cruise will be between you and the cruise line. We provide the cruise fare, fees and taxes in our price, but all extras the cruise offers will be between you and the cruise line. In fact, we will pay the cruise line for your cruise on your behalf, and you will receive a separate invoice and confirmation from them for their portion. So if you want to pre-pay cruise tips, order special drink packages, etc., you can do that once you have your reservation for the cruise. We will be happy to help you with that, but payment for these things go straight to the cruise line.

What will be unique to the CDV group on the cruise portion?
Normally on our trips we are always together as a group, but on a two-week transatlantic cruise, we know that everyone has their own desires.  So the cruise portion is going to be up to all of us what we do an do not do together.  The 270 Lounge is a place where we will naturally tend to find one another when we want to chit chat or have a drink. With respect to dining, as it stands, we have blocked reservations such that all of us are automatically seated together for the main dining (late seating), but if anyone would like to change their dining preferences, we will make those changes.  Additionally, is will never be assumed that all of us will be dining together, and there are so many other dining options on the ship.  The two nights we will be at specialty restaurants, we will have reservations together. Overall, it is surely going to develop very dynamically, and we will come up with things we do together for whoever desires.  After all, we are a group with something big in common, aren't we?  But if all you wanna do is lay out at a pool and sleep, knock yourself out!

What if I want a higher or lower category stateroom?
No problem. Book the trip here, and let us know you want to change to a higher or lower category. We will not create your reservation (or charge your deposit) until you have settled on the room you like, and we have made sure their is availability. if you choose a higher category, we will simply adjust price based on the difference in our group rate for a higher category. If you want a lower category, we will adjust it down to match your desires. This will be at the best prevailing rate at the time you make your booking, compared to the pricing for the rooms we have blocked.

For example, the base rate (including taxes and port fees) for the rooms we have booked if $1,487.81 per person. This is a VERY LOW group rate. At the time of this writing, you would not be able to even get an inside room at this rate. But cabins open up over time, and if you want a suite, and one opens up for $3,000 per person, for example, we would add $1,512.20 per person to the cruise portion. when that change is made. That said, it is highly unlikely that a lower category stateroom will be at a lower rate. Our group rate is lower than the cheapest inside stateroom at this time, and prices tend to go up more often than down with time.

What if I suffer Motion Sickness?
All we can say is that we joke that Paola gets seasick when she sees a glass of water move.  She has done these with no problem at all.  She carries a Relief Band just in case, but hardly needs it even in rough weather.  Again, this is why we choose such a large ship.

Will there be Internet?
Royal offers two levels of Internet service.  One is slower, and one is fast enough for streaming.  They do charge for both, and you will have that available as an option before the cruise.  That said, if you know Michael, you know how he rolls. He will always have a wifi connection with him that you can connect to that offers the ships highest internet speeds.  So if you text Michael at any time on the ship, you can just go use his connection :-).

Which CDV vacations can be combined with this cruise?
All of our May 6th weeks.  That includes a special Alumni Only Soriano week with all new experiences, a Bologna week, and a Chianti week.

Why is the Soriano Week less Expensive?
Because this Soriano week is a very rare and special occasion for alumni guests that have a special affinity.   It is a trip to "get together again" and try new things. When we do these new weeks, we do them at cost with alumni only.

Can I do just the land portion of the trip and not the cruise?
For Bologna and Chianti, yes.  For the Soriano week, no.

Why not for the Soriano Week?
Partly because one of the trips needs to be combined with the cruise in order to meet a minimum to get the room block at that rate on the ship.  Additionally, the Soriano week has elements that make it truly a continuation of the cruise trip.  But the biggest reason is group dynamic.  A group dynamic always forms on a trip, and if half the group started out together and the other half joins in later on a trip that is so related, there will be parts of the land portion of the trip that won't make sense to people that just joined. For a special alumni week, it would take away too much of the feeling.

Can I do just the cruise, and not one of the CDV land weeks?
You bet!  Come along and hang out with us!  The price is $2,295.00 per person, based on double occupancy. It is more than the cruise rate, because we are adding the budget for the three shore excursions we operate, and the onboard amenities that we pay separately for. But consider that this is basically the same you would pay if you booked this cruise in any other way without the excursions or amenities! Additionally, any transfers you may have at the end of the cruise would be separate if you want us to handle them.

Can I do just the cruise with none of the excursions, amenities, or CDV tour at the end?
Sure. Just contact us and let us know. We have a large enough block at this rate that we are happy to simply pass it on. It would be $1,487.81, with a $450 per person deposit.

Can I book the cruise on my own and do the CDV trip?
Sure, but you will not be able to get the group rate, the excursions we are doing together, the specialty dining, or the group dining area.

I am a Travel Agent, and would like to get TA or FAM Rates
By looking at the numbers above, you surely see that our group rate is lower than Travel Agent rates offered by RCI.  But, if RCI ever offers you a special perk for this departure, just contact us and we will help work with your BDM to get you under the CDV umbrella for this departure. In such case, we would simply take off the cruise rate for you.

I have a Future Cruise Credit with Royal Caribbean that I would like to apply
Great!  As long as the departure date is within your limit for the credit, we can apply it for you with Royal Caribbean up to the net cruise fare minus taxes and port fees.

Can I bring friends that have never been on a CDV trip?
For Bologna and Chianti, absolutely!  For Soriano, since it is a special alumni-only week, send us an email so we can talk.  We want to make sure the trip is a good fit for them, and that they understand there is a different vibe with alumni trips. 

Still have questions? Send an email to info@cdvcruises.com