View Full Version : Question re: Naples? HELP!

June 2nd, 2005, 02:01 PM
I'm going to be in Naples for 12 hours... I was trying to figure out what I should do. There just seems to be so much to do!

I am assuming that it would be too much to go to Capri, Pompeii, drive the Amalfi Coast and see Positano and Sorrento all in one day, right?

Keep in mind that I really want to see Pompeii. If this is the case what else should I include?

Is Capri worth visiting? If so, should I try and see the Blue Grotto? Is the Blue Grotto really that nice?

Is the Amalfi Coast drive better than spending the time to go to Capri?

Is Positano something I really should check out? Or should I just try and do Capri, Sorrento and Pompeii?

Is the Herculaneum really that nice? Is seeing Pompeii and the Herculaneum too much overkill for one day?

There just seems to be so many decisions to make here and such limited time.

For those of you who have been there, what itinerary would you do? What are the best things for a first-timer to see?

June 2nd, 2005, 04:45 PM
We went to Pompeii and the Amalfi coast when we were in Naples. Other posters have indicated that you can go to Capri also, but that might cut into your time at Pompeii.

June 2nd, 2005, 06:37 PM
We did Pompeii, Herculaneum and then the Museum of Archeology in Naples as well as a short tour of Naples that included a stop at a great overlook of the city, the Bay of Naples and Vesuvius. We did it with 3 other couples on a private tour with a "driver" not a guide.

We were going to do Pompeii and Herculaneum and the Amalfi coast but the driver explained the drive down the coast on a Sunday with all the traffic and then to go back would be on the same road and with lots and lots of traffic. We elected to do the Amalfi coast on a different trip sometime in the future.

I would think you can do a couple of the things you want but probably not all of them. Herculaneum and Pompeii are both worth seeing as is the Museum of Archeology if you are into history and are probably doable in the 12 hours you have.

Have a great next cruise.

Bruin Steve
June 2nd, 2005, 07:20 PM
It all depends HOW you plan on doing it...
If you do it with the cruise shore excursion, they plan the day, you just sign up and go...
If you do it with a private driver or guide, it's best to ask THEM what they think is the most doable...and they will know how to make sure you stay within your parameters...
But, if you do it yourself, be extra wary about biting off too much...
"Traffic" can be a problem...There are limitations getting to and from Capri in that you need a hovercraft...and the island is extremely popular...Traffic also is a problem as you venture down the coast...You don't want to be caught in Sorrento or Amalfi late in the day only to have trouble getting back to the ship...

My wife particularly loved Capri...It's a spectacularly scenic island with a lot of upscale shopping...Personally, I could do without it since the towns south are also nice...and no hovercraft required...but, we took the shore excursion, making the logistics simpler...If you must go there, go FIRST THING in the morning, before the crowds...

The only real "must" in my book is Pompei...there is simply not another archaeological site like it anywhere...Make sure to get a guide, even if you have to hire one at the gate...The site literally goes on for miles anbd is incredibly preserved - right down to the frescoes on the bordello wall...

If going on your own, you might consider heading to your most distant site first...and work your way back to the ship...Say you want to visit Pompei, Sorrento and Positano and maybe Herculaneum...Go first to Positano (the most distant of those points), then come back to Sorrento, then to Pompei...If you start running short on time, head straight back to the ship from their...If you're ahead of schedule, visit Herculaneum (the closest of those sites to Naples) at the end of your day...so you are close enough that traffic won't be a problem...

What you can reasonably fir in really depends on how long you may linger at any one place...

good luck...

June 2nd, 2005, 07:56 PM
thanks everyone for the advice.

thanks steve for your suggestions. i agree that a real must for me is pompeii as well. history like that just fascinates me. especially pompeii because its something i can remember reading about in my 6th great world history class.

anyhow, i think that this is one of those port cities that i definitely wouldn't do on my own. i think too much can go wrong here to do it on my own. i was thinking of taking a private guide.

although i keep saying that i need to find a place to do it on my own, and everytime i hear about other people's private tours, it makes me change my mind!

since you've been to the area steve, is there any of the cities that i'll be going to that you think i can actually do on my own?

Bruin Steve
June 2nd, 2005, 08:29 PM
since you've been to the area steve, is there any of the cities that i'll be going to that you think i can actually do on my own?
You're on the July 22, 2006 Brilliance, correct?
>>Barcelona, Spain; Villefranche (Nice), France; Livorno (Florence/Pisa), Italy; Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy; Mykonos, Greece; Kusadasi (Ephesus), Turkey; Santorini, Greece; Piraeus (Athens), Greece; Naples, Italy; Barcelona, Spain <<

On that itinerary, the easiest to do on your own would be Mykonos and Santorini - small islands, getting around is easy...Of course, I've not been to Mykonos myself, so that's hearsay...

For Santorini, you've got choices...
First, you need to get up and down the cliff...Take the cable car...Some will suggest the donkeys, but I can't see the allure...
The Akrotiri Museum is right there in the center of Thira (once you get up the mountain)...The town has shopping and restaurants...So does Oia...You can get to Oia by public bus...crowded but cheap...Or you can rent a jeep from a number of local places for $35 to $40 for the day and explore on your own...The actual Akrotiri archaeological dig is at the south tip of the island (Oia is the north tip)

Barcelona very easy to on your own (I hope you are staying an extra day or two at one end of the cruise or the other - Buy an AAA Spiral Guide of Barcelona)...

Rome can be done on one's own...but you need transportation from Civitavecchia and back...but one can walk and take public buses or taxis:

From the Central RR Station, turn left on Via Cavour to the Coliseum...Pop into the ruins of the Forum across the way...Then up Via dei Fori Imperiale top the Monument to Vittorio Emanuele...Then up Via del Corso, right on Via d. Muratte to the Trevi Fountain, then backtrack across Corso (left on Corso, right on Seminario) to the Pantheon...Take about any street about three blocks west of the Pantheon to the Piazza Navona...Probably take a cab across the river from there (or walk, if you're up to it) to the Vatican...Then get a cab back to the RR Station (you've walked a long way away) and back to the ship...That's a "basic" tour of Rome, mostly on foot and on your own...

Most of the other stops get alittle more difficult...

I've never been to Kusadasi, but it seems a tour is in order there...

Good luck...

June 2nd, 2005, 10:55 PM
Hi Just Ducky,
I'm a BRUIN too!!

Did Naples from Millennium in May 2003 and had the same quandary as you in planning for our day. We are "ruins" people and originally planned to spend the full day at Pompeii. But ended up arranging a private driver who took our group of 6 to Pompeii (2 hours with a guide) and then the amazing Amalfi Drive with stops at Positano and Ravello and lunch at a beautiful cliffside oceanview restaurant. We'd been reluctant to yield to the rest of our groups wishes to add Amalfi when the original plan was to do Pompeii the entire day...but we were glad we did. It was magnificent. One of our most memorable days.

We ended up going back this year on a cruise itinerary that had a day in Sorrento and a day in Amalfi (ended up we had to forego Amalfi and do Naples that day because of conditions). But it was ideal for us. We spent the two days doing Pompeii and Herculaneum and the archeological museum in Naples. It's still not enough- hoping next year to go and stay in Sorrento for a few weeks. Can't get enough of Pompeii and Herculaneum. (The bordellos were closed this year tho :( )

I agree with Steve- DON'T miss Pompeii- there is nothing else in the world like it!

June 2nd, 2005, 11:25 PM
Hi Jstducky,

I will agree with all of the above posters. Hands down for Pompeii. DO NOT MISS IT! It is an "experience" you won't want to miss. We went on Grand Princess Med cruise 5 years ago & I still talk about Pompeii.

We booked our tour through Princess at that time. I would suggest you do a ship's tour rather than worry about time constraints, etc. by doing it on your own. We went to Capri & spent quite a bit of time there, browsing, window shopping, etc. We had lunch in one of the restaurants (it was included in the tour price). Lovely! The view is amazing. It was one of my favorite places also. We were also supposed to visit Sorrento but were unable to because they had mud slides there. We then went to Pompeii & had the guided tour. We had an absolutely fantastic tour guide. He spoke very good English. Then we got back on the bus & they shuffled us to some cameo factory that was a total waste of time. I don't believe anyone bought anything! Viewed Mt. Vesuvius along the way. Back to the ship. It was a perfectly planned day.

Good luck & have a great cruise.


June 2nd, 2005, 11:42 PM
We are just back from the Milli. One thing no one has mentioned so far is the Italian propensity to strike. Through our travels there were several work stoppages that confounded our plans, including a workers strike at Pompeii for a portion of the day. I would strongly recommend that you use either the ships tour or one of the recommended drivers. Our driver was able to alter our day so that we arrived at Pompeii as our last stop rather than our first. It was very crowded and even our guide had difficulty maneuvering our group of 14. The bordello was closed last week as has been previously mentioned and will not reopen for an extended period. There was plenty to see so don't despair about missing one building.

June 3rd, 2005, 09:06 AM
I plan to take the circumvesuviana train from Naples to Herculaneum, then on to Pompeii and back. It is inexpensive and less than 1 hr. to Pompeii. If people on a private tour were having trouble getting back due to traffic couldn't the driver get you to the train station to get you back to Naples quicker? Is there a circumvesuviana train pass for the day? Debbie

June 3rd, 2005, 09:16 AM
I just got back from the Millie also, and did Pompeii on my own. We wanted to do Pompeii and Capri but the weather that thay wasnīt helping, so we decided to stay in Naples after Pompeii and then back to the Ship.

BEWARE of taxi drivers in Naples, at the terminal where you disembark we wanted a taxi to take us to the Circumvesuviana train station (where the train leaves for Pompeii Scavi) and he first said it would be 10 Euros, after that he insisted to taking us to Pompeii, wait for us and back to Naples, a short drive through Naples for 80 Euros. He also scared us of the transportation between th Pompeii station and the ruins, that it would be really hard to find a taxi or a bus and that will cost us 15 Euros. The he said that he will take us to Circumvesuviana train staton for 12 Euros, when he first said 10!! We didnīt want to spend that much money, nor listen to him all day so we walked out of the terminal and took a cab on the street, it charged us 7 Euros to Circumvesuviana train station, 2 tickets from Naples to Pompeii 9 Euros. The station for Pompeii is Pompeii Scavi and itīs just a 50 mts. walk to the entrance of the ruins. The entrance fee for that day was free because it was Italyīs cultur week, but I think it was around 10 Euros per person, we rented an audioguide and spent around 3 hours in Pompeii, INCEDIBLE, donīt miss it.
Back in Naples, taxi from Circumvesuviana train station to Pizerria Brandi (Near the ship wher we wanted to eat lunch) 9 Euros.

Total spending in Naples with lunch:
$50 Euros, instead of 80 without lunch.

June 3rd, 2005, 11:41 AM
Thanks everyone for your suggestions.

I guess that for sure I must see Pompeii. From there I will either do Sorrento and the hydrofoil to Capri. Or just do Pompeii and the Amalfi coast drive to Sorrento.

There are just too many decisions to make a long the way. But as I've said, I guess its a good excuse to go back to the area again sometime in the future!

Petoonya - always great to meet a fellow Bruin!

Steve - Thanks for your help. Question - in Santorini is it enough to see the Akotiri museum in Fira or should I try to take a bus out to the actual excavation? And as far as taking the bus out to Oia, is it pretty easy to figure these things out, or is public transportation and the language barrier a bit of a nightmare?

Lastly, Steve, I am definitely doing a day in Barcelona pre-cruise, and maybe an extra day post-cruise depending on flight schedules. If it comes down to it and I only have a day there, what do you think are the musts of Barcelona?

I am assuming Las Ramblas, Sagrada Familia, Baric Gotic? What about Casa Mila or the Olympic Stadium?

Thanks again for the help!

June 3rd, 2005, 11:57 AM
I have a few added suggestions:

Ephesus is a lot like Pompei, but has a lot of the marble on the facades and streets left. Fascinating place, and the two story library building is amazing.

We took the hop on/hop off bus in Barcelona. You can walk up Las Ramblas and catch it in the main square. Then you can ride around and decide what else you want to see. We rode once for the overview, and then around again and got off in a few places.

I agree with Steve about Santorini: I preferred the tram to soak up the unbelievable view. The donkey switchback path is unique, but you're paying too much attention to the donkey or your feet, and you don't concentrate on the view.

You will love your cruise!! We're going again this Fall.

June 3rd, 2005, 12:02 PM
Is there audio tours at Pompeii. ? If i have to get a guide are they standing there and how many euro's?

Bruin Steve
June 3rd, 2005, 12:10 PM
...Santorini is it enough to see the Akotiri museum in Fira or should I try to take a bus out to the actual excavation?
We never saw the excavation itself...they told us it was closed, though some folks on our cruise went on their own and said they were able to see it...From what I understand, it is now open again...The site itself should give you a better feeling for the place, the museum is merely a building which houses artifacts...I would have liked to have seen the excavations myself...

And as far as taking the bus out to Oia, is it pretty easy to figure these things out, or is public transportation and the language barrier a bit of a nightmare?
Picture the town as having a tourist street with shops and restaurants along the cliffs, then there is a block of shops between this and the first main north/south street...on the other side of that streetand a little more toward the second main n/s street is the main bus terminal...it's hard to miss as there's a lot of buses sitting on the lot...go there and they can direct you to the proper bus...In Oia, the bus drops you off in the main town square and picks you up at the same place...We didn't have a major problem, a lot of people seemed to be able to speak English...

I am definitely doing a day in Barcelona pre-cruise, and maybe an extra day post-cruise depending on flight schedules. If it comes down to it and I only have a day there, what do you think are the musts of Barcelona? I am assuming Las Ramblas, Sagrada Familia, Baric Gotic? What about Casa Mila or the Olympic Stadium?
I don't find the Olympic Stadium to be a "must"...
My first advice is to find a hotel near the Placa Catalunya...and to buy an AAA Spiral Guide for Barcelona...

My "musts" in order:
1. The Sagrada Familia
2. Park Guell
3. Casa Mila
4. Casa Batllo
5. Las Ramblas

"B" list:
Picasso Museum
Barri Gotic and old Cathedral
Montjuic/Olympic sites/Fundaccion Joan Miro

Here's the rundown:
The Sagrada Familia is simply the most fascinating building in Europe, perhaps the world...There is truly nothing else like it anywhere...

Park Guell is unlike any other park in the world...the genius of Antoni Gaudi is everywhere...It is an acid trip of a park...Fantasyland...

Casa Mila and Casa Batllo are only a couple of blocks apart on Passieg de Gracia, just a short walk north of Placa Catalunya...Both are Gaudi masterpieces and well worth touring (and tours are available). There is a Gaudi museum in Casa Mila (beware, the lines to get in are sometimes long, go early if you can)...

Las Ramblas is simply the heart of Barcelona - the great walking promenade...shops, restaurants and a lively street scene...Placa Catalunya is at the "head" of Las Ramblas...and it comes alive with nightlife...also all transportations systems use the Placa Catalunya as a hub...

Barri Gotic can be wandered into just to the East of Las Ramblas...Some folks will tell you not to wander in at night...

Montjuic is just a big hill with sweeping views of the city...the Miro museum and the Olympic Stadium and other facilities are located there - not really all as thrilling as it sounds...there is a gondola ride that takes you up there if you want...

One note: Check out the El Corte Ingles Department store, right on Placa Catalunya...it's massive...Down in the basement is a supermarket where you can find the best deals on bottled water, drinks and snacks...literally saving you 2-3 euros on every bottle of water...

Good luck...

June 3rd, 2005, 01:12 PM
Thanks Steve. I truly appreciate the help. I am sure that your insight will be invaluable. I am printing off your suggestions now and will file them away in my binder. I will also make sure to go to AAA and get a spiral guide for Barcelona.

June 3rd, 2005, 01:22 PM
Yes, they have audio tours available at the entrance to Pompeii. I don't know the cost, but if it's anything like Ephesus, they will probably have tour guides there, too, and you can hook up with one of them. I'll guess that the audios are around $8 Euros.

Thanks, Steve, about the department store in Barcelona! DH will get his Diet Coke there, hopefully. I've added it to my notes for our cruise this Fall.

June 3rd, 2005, 06:45 PM
Yes you can buy an all day pass for Circumvesuviana- it was 6 EU when we did it a few weeks ago.

The train was very crowded even tho it was early in the tourist season- lots of local commuters use this train.

June 4th, 2005, 01:56 AM
Thanks petoonya for the info. We plan to get on and off visiting Herculane & Pompeii. I hope to stop at the cameo shop. Do you know where to stop? We will be in Naples on a tuesday and the museum is closed in town, what is there to do in town. Debbie

June 5th, 2005, 11:23 AM
As you exit the port, accross the road on the right is a news shop. You can get the ticket for the bus and train here. Then walk back in to the island in the middle of the road, where you will see the bus stop. The bus (no 1) will take about 5 minutes to get to the train station. Validate your ticket on the bus.
When you get off the bus at the train station, walk over the car parks to the station entrance, the Circumvesuviana is on the right hand side and down the steps.
The trains can be busy, but then again can be quiet, it all depends on the time of day.
When you get off at Herculano, walk down the hill towards the scavi (ruins). At pompeii be sure to get off the train at Pompeii Scavi, the entrance is 50 m down the road from the station.
Entry is 10euros, and you can pick up a 2 hour guided tour by the entrance for 10 euros. These are the same guides as the private tours and ships tours use. the guides are all licenced and no one else is allowed to do the tours.


June 5th, 2005, 07:13 PM
Thanks andym, the info is exactly what I need to get to the ruins. I am glad you were able to go into detail on how to get to each location. Per chance did you stop in Cannes and made a trip to Monacco?

June 6th, 2005, 03:58 AM

We have always stopped in Villefranche sur Mer when on a cruise, but have stopped in St Tropez on a land holiday.
The train travels all the way up the riviera so if you get to the train station from the dock (which from the attached map is within walking distance) you will be able to get the train through to Monte Carlo.


June 6th, 2005, 03:51 PM
Great map, I think time wise we will be able to travel too Monte Carlo.