THURSDAY, DECEMBER 26
- Depart from your gateway city on a wide-bodied jet as you travel to ROME, ITALY!
- Fly overnight with a Varsity Spirit escort and other All-Americans and their families as you enjoy refreshments and on-board entertainment
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 27
- Once off the aircraft, pass through customs and immigration before hopping on a coach bus to your hotel.
- Upon arrival at your hotel, check into your room and attend an orientation meeting where you’ll meet your fellow All-Americans and learn all about the week ahead!
- Dinner at the hotel this evening.
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 28
- Enjoy a buffet breakfast in the morning at your hotel as you prepare to take on Rome!
- Board on the coach bus as we see the sights on a GUIDED TOUR of Rome. Then, take a stroll through the historic streets on our walking tour, where we’ll see such famous landmarks such as the TREVI FOUNTAIN, SPANISH STEPS, CIRCUS MAXIMUS, BATHS OF CARACELLA, and the PANTHEON.
- Lunch is at your leisure and then the afternoon will be open to sight see and shop with your chaperone groups. Don’t forget to satisfy that sweet tooth with some Italian gelato.
- After a busy day of exploring, enjoy dinner out at a local restaurant.
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 29
- Buffet breakfast in the morning will be at your hotel before we take a day trip by train to FLORENCE!
- Arrive in SANTA MARIA NOVELLA STATION where you begin a lovely day in Florence, with its incredible shopping and leather markets. Make sure to use your audio player as you see the sights to learn all about this historic and beautiful city.
- Use your museum pass to THE GALLERIA DELL’ACCADEMIA (with its display of Michelangelo’s “David” sculpture). Use your free time to enjoy THE UFFIZI GALLERY, THE MEDICI CHAPEL, SAN LORENZO CHURCH, DUOMO SQUARE, and PONTE VECCHIO
- Return to Rome by train for dinner at the hotel this evening.
MONDAY, DECEMBER 30
- Dine at the breakfast buffet before we set off to tour the VATICAN. See the famous Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel, St Peter’s Basilica, and much more.
- This afternoon, have lunch in Vatican city with some time to shop and see the sights and sounds.
- Parade rehearsals will take place this evening. Dinner will be at the hotel for participants. Non-participants will be taken to a restaurant with special entertainment.
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 31
- Enjoy a buffet breakfast in the morning before going on a COLOSSEUM & ROMAN FORUM TOUR. Tour the largest amphitheater built in the Roman Empire as well as the Arch of Titus, the Temple of Julius Caesar and the Temple of Castor.
- Lunch will be at your leisure, so take advantage of Rome’s world-renowned cuisine!
- Enjoy an afternoon walking audio tour of “Rome Revealed” with more free time for shopping with your chaperone.
- Return back to the hotel to the hotel for our NEW YEAR’S DINNER and PARTY.
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 1
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
- Enjoy buffet breakfast in your hotel then depart the hotel for the parade.
- A sack lunch will be provided in the parade assembly area for participants as you prepare for a once in a lifetime performance.
- Perform in the Rome New Year’s Day Parade starting in Piazza del Popolo and continuing 1.5-mile route to down Via del Corso onto Via Condotti and onto Via Babuino, before finishing back in Piazza del Popolo!
- End this exhilarating day by enjoying a festive final night dinner in Rome.
THURSDAY, JANUARY 2
- With your belongings and memories all packed, it’s time to board your coach bus and head to the airport for your return flight to the U.S.
- Complimentary refreshments and in-flight entertainment will also be provided as you travel home in comfort following what will have been an extraordinary week in Italy at the 2019-2020 Varsity Rome Tour!
Who gets to go:
- UDA Varsity All-Americans that tryout and are selected at camp
- NDA Varsity All-Americans and Varsity All-American Nominees that were selected at camp
- USA Varsity All-Americans that tryout and are selected at camp
**This event is for 9th- 12th grade VARSITY ALL AMERICANS** (An adult age 25 or older is required for 9th grade participants and participants 15 years of age or younger.)
Must have a current passport in order to be eligible for this trip. A copy of valid passport must be received in the Varsity office before October 1, 2019
NEW YORK JFK
LOS ANGELES LAX
NEW ORLEANS MSY
SAN FRANCISCO SFO
WASHINGTON, DC IAD
How will I know if my payments were received?
When we receive and process your initial deposit and completed reservation form, we will send an invoice confirming your reservation via mail. You should also receive an invoice after you have made a second payment via e-mail. A final invoice will be emailed reminding you of your last payment. It is your responsibility to make all payments by the due date indicated in the brochure regardless of when you receive the invoice.
Can someone make payments on my behalf?
YES. Please make sure that the check or Money Order is made out to “Varsity Spirit LLC Rome Tour” with your name and invoice number indicated on the check or Money Order. If you are collecting donations, please remind donors that Varsity will not accept any payments after NOVEMBER 5, 2019 or once your account is paid in full. Please ask donors to make checks payable to YOU – the participant AFTER this date.
Can I send cash?
NO. Under no circumstances should you send cash. Only personal checks, Cashier’s Checks or Money Orders are acceptable form of payment.
If I use my credit card for purchasing the airfare from my hometown to my Gateway, when can I expect to see that charge appear on my credit card statement?
After we issue the ticket, the charge will appear on your next statement depending on the closing date of your billing cycle.
If my check is returned by the bank, what is the procedure for making my payments?
You must make good the insufficient check by sending a Cashier’s Check or Money Order payable to “Varsity Spirit LLC Rome Tour” for the check amount plus $50.00 returned check fee within 10 days. Please include your name and invoice number on the Cashier’s Check or Money Order. No additional personal checks will be accepted by Varsity as payment for your tour. All further payments must be in the form of a Cashier’s Check or Money Order.
Where do I purchase a Cashier’s Check or Money Order?
You may purchase a Cashier’s Check or Money Order from a local bank or convenience store. We strongly suggest that you DO NOT purchase a cashier’s check or Money Order from the U.S. Post Office. In the event it is lost in the mail – it takes 3-6 months to be replaced and in the meantime, you are still responsible for the payments for your tour.
CANCELLATIONS AND REFUNDS
PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING SECTION CAREFULLY. PLEASE BE FAMILIAR WITH ALL CANCELLATION DATES AND PENALTIES. EXCEPTIONS CANNOT BE MADE.
How do I cancel and how strict are the cancellation penalties?
We adhere strictly to the cancellation penalties. Varsity must make non-refundable deposits on your behalf on or before the dates listed in the brochure and are, therefore, unable to offer refunds other than those outlined in the cancellation penalty information.
If you are sending a cancellation notice via US mail, please be advised that Varsity is not responsible for delayed or lost mail. We strongly suggest that you send your notice via fax or email in order to ensure prompt delivery.
If you do not receive a written confirmation from Varsity within 3 weeks after submitting your written cancellation, please contact our office immediately.
I want to send a payment via an overnight service. Which one should I use?
Although the US Post Office may be the cheaper way to send something overnight, it is rarely the best. We strongly recommend that you use FedEx or UPS to send any documents overnight to our office.
What documents do I need to travel?
YOU WILL NEED A VALID PASSPORT. APPLY NOW! You must send a copy of the picture page of your passport so it arrives in our office by October 1, 2019. If you live in a city with a passport office, you can apply there. In other localities the application form can be obtained from any post office. You may also obtain a passport application via the Internet at http://travel.state.gov. You must have a completed application, your official birth certificate (with raised seal), and two passport-sized photos along with the applicable passport fee. APPLY FOR YOUR PASSPORT IMMEDIATELY. During travel your passport must be readily available at all times. IF YOU HOLD A PASSPORT FROM ANOTHER COUNTRY, YOU MAY NEED A VISA TO ENTER ITALY. PLEASE CONTACT INTROPA TOURS IMMEDIATELY FOR INFORMATION REGARDING VISAS at 1-800-666-3838 ext. 203.
Do I need vaccinations to travel to Italy?
No vaccinations additional are required for travel to Italy.
Do I need to provide Varsity with my passport information?
YES. We must have a photocopy of the picture page in our office no later than October 1, 2019 in order to issue your trans-Atlantic ticket. If we do not receive your passport copy by this date, you may be removed from the tour. Do not fax your photocopied passport to our office, as they are not legible. Please send the copy via mail or courier. In addition, you should keep a copy of your passport at home and carry extra copies in your purse, suitcase and carry-on luggage. You will be required to give your Gateway Leader a copy upon arrival at the airport.
How much money should I send with my child to Rome?
We suggest $100.00 minimum per day for miscellaneous expenses such as snacks, soft drinks, meals not included, etc. Money for shopping is your individual discretion. Shops in Rome do accept most major credit cards, but they will not allow a child to use a parent’s credit card. Ask the credit card company if a temporary card can be issued in the child’s name. If you do give your child a credit card to use, have a clear understanding with your child as to the amount they may charge on the card as well as under what circumstances it may be used. In addition, most ATM cards are honored throughout Rome.
Can I send gift cards with my participant as spending money?
No. Gift cards are US Dollars are not accepted in Europe.
What is the exchange rate?
Please refer to your local newspaper, bank, or the Internet for up-to-date information prior to departure. Currency used in Italy is the Euro.
What is the weather like?
Normally the weather this time of year is mild to cold and sometimes it rains. Please refer to weather.com for up-to-date information prior to departure. We recommend a heavy winter coat, all weather comfortable shoes, gloves, scarf and a small umbrella.
Will there be a practice or rehearsal time?
YES. A rehearsal will be scheduled. A link of the routine will be sent with your contact email from Varsity. Please learn your routine prior to departure.
Is the parade televised?
NO. The parade is not televised in the US by any major station. Some cable companies may pick it up such as Skynews and Fox. If this changes, you will be notified. Varsity will share information if it becomes available.
Can relatives or friends visit me in Rome and how do I arrange this?
YES. Friends or relatives may visit you. Your parents must complete the “Visitor Permission Form” included in the back of this manual and return the signed form providing the visitor’s name, phone number and address, no later than NOVEMBER 5, 2019. This person should be prepared to show a picture ID when he/she checks-in with the Varsity Staff at the Hospitality desk. This permission slip must be in our office in advance; we will not accept hand-carried permission slips, phone calls or faxes in Rome for your protection. Must have for adults already on tour. Please explain this to your All Americans!
If I become ill during the trip, what will happen?
A signed Medical Release Form must be completed before traveling. A Varsity First-aider will be on duty at all times during the event. In addition, a Medical Doctor will be available to the participants at the hotel at various times of the day or evening. Participants and spectators are responsible for any medical costs incurred.
If I misbehave, will I be sent home?
ABSOLUTELY! You and your parents have signed a contract stating that you understand what is expected of you and that you agree to abide by the rules. You were initially selected to represent your school and then selected as an All American, therefore, we doubt that you will behave in a manner that would warrant your expulsion from the tour. However, you must be aware that if any infraction of the rules occurs, you will be sent home at your parents’ expense and there will be no refund for unused portions of the trip. In addition, your principal and advisor will be contacted.
How will I call home from Rome?
The most economical way to phone home is to have either a Sprint, MCI or AT&T calling card. Prepaid calling cards purchased in the U.S. will NOT work when calling home from Rome. Prepaid calling cards can be purchased in Rome, which will allow you to call home. The easiest way is to bring cell phone & check with provider about adding Rome, Italy for the week.
What is my Gateway City?
Your Gateway City is the city from which your flight will be departing for Italy. In most cases you will be assigned to the Gateway City you request. Please be aware that when you depart from one Gateway City, you must return to the same Gateway City. If we are not able to assign you the Gateway City of your choice we will attempt to accommodate you out of the next most economical city.
How do I travel to my Gateway City?
If you live within driving distance, you may travel to your Gateway City by car or bus. If you are traveling to your Gateway City by plane, you must book your domestic air reservations with VARSITY/INTROPA. We have secured special rates with the airlines for participants in this event. Please contact Intropa Tours air reservation (toll free) at 1-800-666-3838 at your earliest convenience after you have received your Gateway City assignment. YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR PAYMENT FOR DOMESTIC AIRLINE TICKETS TO AND FROM YOUR HOMETOWN TO YOUR GATEWAY CITY. Please note: Participants traveling alone under the age of 15 years old will be required to pay an additional minor fee in addition to the airline ticket price. Please ask your Intropa Tours air representative for exact prices and details when making your reservation.
Will Varsity Intropa Tours call me to book my domestic airlines reservation?
You will fill out the domestic flight request sheet. (Note: If you are driving to your gateway city you do not need to fill this out.)
Can I make domestic travel arrangements to my Gateway City through a local travel agent rather than VARSITY/INTROPA?
NO. You may not make your domestic travel arrangements with a local travel agent. No airline will allow Intropa Tours or any other travel agency access to any information regarding reservations booked by another agency. Second, if you purchase your airline ticket from another agency, Intropa Tours cannot assist you in re-routing or re-booking your reservation in the event of mechanical or weather delays. In most cases you will be traveling on a day when your local travel agent is closed, whereas Intropa Tours will be open on departure and return day and can assist in arranging an alternate schedule if necessary.
Can I use frequent flyer miles to purchase my domestic airline ticket?
YES. You must contact the airline with which you have accrued mileage and make the reservation directly with them. It is imperative that you supply VARSITY/INTROPA with a copy of your flight schedule. We cannot make any changes to your ticket if it is not booked with our office.
How do I pay for my domestic airline ticket?
You may pay by credit card at the time the reservation is made. WE DO NOT ACCEPT PERSONAL CHECKS, CASHIER’S CHECKS OR MONEY ORDERS FOR DOMESTIC AIRLINES TICKETS.
How do I collect frequent flyer miles on my domestic ticket and my international ticket?
For DOMESTIC FLIGHTS ONLY – prior to travel, please supply Varsity/Intropa Tours with your membership number and we will enter in your airline reservation. FOR INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS – you must give your membership number at the ticket counter upon check-in and save your boarding passes and flight coupon receipt.
Can I sit next to my friends/family on the airplane?
We will request that people traveling together be seated together. The airlines have final say on seat assignments.
Can I leave before December 26 or travel to other countries in Europe after the tour is over?
NO. The entire group will travel on the same days and no deviations are allowed due to the size of this tour.
What if the weather prevents me from reaching or departing from my Gateway City?
If you have concerns about possible weather delay. Please purchase travel insurance. This is the only way to protect your investment against weather delays, etc. Please call Intropa Tours immediately and we will do our best to assist you. Intropa Tours is not responsible for expenses incurred due to flight delays or cancellations. Any expenses incurred are the responsibility of the passenger. If you did not make your domestic airline reservations through Intropa Tours, please call our office to let us know you are delayed. VARSITY/INTROPA cannot rebook or reroute reservations that are not made with our office we highly suggest travel insurance.
Where is the hotel? What is it like?
The hotel is a deluxe facility reserved almost exclusively for this group. The hotel is very modern, large and lovely, however, the rooms are quite small as is typical throughout Europe. There is a television and hairdryer in every room.
What meals are included? What will be served?
A continental breakfast is provided each morning. Coffee and tea are available in each room. One other meal, usually dinner, is provided each day, either in restaurants or at the hotel. The menu is prepared with teenagers in mind and is not fancy or sophisticated. Generally, the meals will consist of grilled or baked meat, such as chicken or beef, pasta, vegetables, potatoes, salad, bread and butter and dessert. The meals are served buffet style and are quite plentiful. Soft drinks are not provided with meals but are usually available for purchase. Ice water will be provided.
If I have special dietary needs, i.e.; lactose intolerant, diabetic, vegetarian, gluten free how do I inform Varsity?
Due to the heavy volume or phone calls, we ask that you put any requests in writing and send by mail, by fax or by email to our office as soon as possible. Please send email requests to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Special requests made by phone will not be accepted. Any requests must be countersigned by parent or guardian. Requests must be received by October 1, 2019.
As a participant, how many roommates can I expect?
All hotel rooms are twins or triples with two or three persons per room. We do not allow single rooms for participants. The rooms are very small; some rooms have 1 double bed, 2 twin beds, or one double bed and a rollaway bed or sofa bed. Please be aware that if you are occupying a double or triple room, you may have to share a bed. We cannot guarantee bed types unless there is a particular situation such as a father traveling with a daughter who requires twin beds.
Can I choose a roommate?
YES. If you have a roommate request and did not indicate this on your Reservation Form, you may mail, fax, or email us a letter with his/her name.
(Please do not call with this information.) Be sure your roommate has signed up for the trip and has asked for you as a roommate as well. Request taken until NOVEMBER 5, 2019. No changes after November 7, 2019.
If I don’t have a roommate, who will assign me a roommate and when will I know who it is?
If you do not have a roommate request, we will try to assign a roommate from your area and within your age group. The name of your roommate will be included when you receive your final documents approximately 7 days prior to departure. If you prefer, you may room with your parents. All roommate requests should be received no later than NOVEMBER 5, 2019. (Absolutely no requests will be taken over the phone and no changes can be made after NOVEMBER 7, 2019)
Who are the chaperones?
The chaperones or escorts are UDA/NDA/USA staff, many of whom you will recognize or know from camp. These escorts have been carefully selected by Varsity. All escorts are at least 21 years of age with experience in chaperoning tour participants. Each escort is generally responsible for 12 to 15 participants.
Who will meet me at the Gateway City upon arrival?
When you arrive at your Gateway City, you must proceed on your own to the international flight ticket counter of your scheduled airline. After you check in you will make your way through security to your assigned international gate. There you will meet your escort, the gateway leader, and the rest of the All Americans. Escorting begins at the departure gate and ends in Customs on January 2, 2020 at the gateway city airport.
I have never traveled this far by myself! Will there be a Varsity staff person flying with me from my hometown to my gateway?
NO. Staff persons are not provided to fly with each participant from their hometown to the Gateway. However, it is very likely that there will be other participants on your flight, and Intropa Tours personnel may be able to provide you with this information when you book your reservation. You will also recognize other performers by their All American jackets when you board the flight.
Who is a spectator?
A spectator is anyone, other than a performer, who wants to accompany you on the trip and purchases the tour package. They must meet certain qualifications to be accepted as part of the tour. We will not accept anyone who is under 25 years of age unless they are accompanied by a parent or guardian.
As a spectator, will I have time to spend with the participant traveling with me?
YES. The schedule will allow you to spend all of your time (except rehearsal and performance) with the participant.
If I am a spectator and do not want to pay the single supplement, can I be guaranteed a double room if I request it?
NO. Varsity will not assign roommates for spectators. If a spectator does not have a roommate, they must pay the single supplement listed in the brochure.
As a spectator will I receive any special Parade/Event seating?
No, Varsity will do our best to secure a viewing area to watch the parade. The Rome parade does not offer special seating. Varsity staff will assist you to the viewing area.
What kind of clothing should I take?
Take jeans, sweaters, shirts, a warm all-weather coat, hat, gloves, scarf and comfortable shoes. Pack warm clothes as it can be cold in December. Layer dressing is the key to staying warm and comfortable.
Can I bring jewelry or valuables?
NO. The rule of thumb is NEVER bring jewelry or valuables when traveling. Intropa, Varsity and/or the hotel are not responsible for theft, loss or damage.
How much luggage can I take with me on the trip?
YOU ARE ALLOWED ONLY ONE (1) CHECKED PIECE OF LUGGAGE PER PERSON – NO EXCEPTIONS. If you bring more than one suitcase, you will be charged a very costly excess baggage fee, as there will not be room for excess baggage on the motor coach. In addition to your purse, you may bring one piece of carry-on luggage, which must fit under the seat in front of you. Porterage is not included in this tour, which means that you are responsible for carrying your luggage through the airport in Rome to the motor coach and to your hotel room. The hotel rooms in Italy are small compared to those in the United States and have very limited storage for clothing. Go to: www.tsa.gov for updates.
Can I use my hairdryer/curling iron or any other electrical appliance in Italy?
YES. European appliances run on a different current, 210-220 DC. In order to use your small appliances, you must have a converter to convert the electricity from 110-120 AC, as well as an adapter plug. These can be purchased from any good luggage or hardware store for between $10-$20. You can also purchase “universal” appliances that have a switch which converts to 210-220 DC, but you will need an adapter plug. Butane curling irons also work well, but you cannot carry them in your carry-on luggage; they must be packed in your checked luggage. Remember, there are hairdryers in the hotel rooms – so save the space in your luggage.
What type of clothes do I need for New Year’s Eve?
Plan to bring one nicer outfit for New Year’s Eve. This is not a formal occasion – something fun and for a party will be fine! Please wear appropriate style for high school type event!
When will I receive my final documents?
Your final documents will be sent to you by FedEx from Varsity within 5 days of departure. We must have a physical address for you where someone is available to sign for your package, since FedEx cannot deliver to a Post Office Box. The final documents will contain your domestic airline tickets (if purchased from Intropa Tours), international airline tickets, your name tag. Please remember, if you will not be at your home address the week prior to departure, it is your responsibility to provide Varsity, via letter, fax, or email, the address to which your final documents should be sent. Someone must be present at the address to sign for the package. We must have this information no later than NOVEMBER 5, 2019 or the delivery of your package could be delayed. Please remember to keep us informed of your current mailing address and phone number. NOTE: All emails received will be answered – if you do not receive a confirmation, your email was not received and/or processed.
When will I receive my uniform and my routine link?
Your uniform and video routine link will sent to you by Varsity prior to departure. Please learn your routine prior to the trip. If you have not received your uniform by December 6, 2019, please contact Ginger Hauser (1-800-238-0286 ext. 4363). This is very important! Included with your uniform will be the All American jacket for all participants. You MUST wear this on travel day to Rome.