Airport to Civitavecchia/Ship Boarding Questions

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#1
Rhode Island
11 Posts
Joined Mar 2012
Hi Everyone,

This is my first post and my first Mediterranean Cruise! I am so excited- my husband is taking me on my dream trip for my upcoming 30th birthday. I have some questions (I have been doing research on these boards but couldn't find the exact answers I am looking for).

How far is FCO airport from the port? Our flight arrives on Friday August 3rd at 7:10 am. The Equinox leaves port at 5:00 pm. What time should we get to the ship? Is there anything to do at the port (bars, restaurants, etc?) This is only my second cruise ever and I am not sure exactly what the procedure is for embarkation. If we arrive early will they let us drop our luggage off and then go back to ship closer to the departure time? What time will they let us on the ship and get into our room? Or will let they let us onto the ship, but not let us into our room until later on? Supposedly through my travel agent we have priority embarkation/disembarkation- not exactly sure what that means. We had arranged transfers through celebrity, but I just checked and we are not getting picked up at the airport until 1:30pm. That means we have almost 6 hours to wander around the airport being jet lagged. I wasn't sure if it would be better to arrange our own transfer (through Romeinlimo or Romecabs) and get to the port earlier. Can anyone offer some recommendations for my above questions- sorry for so many questions..lol...I have been saving them up!

Thanks,
Becky
#4
Jensen Beach, FL
11,760 Posts
Joined Oct 2004
Originally posted by bv0725
Hi Everyone,

This is my first post and my first Mediterranean Cruise! I am so excited- my husband is taking me on my dream trip for my upcoming 30th birthday. I have some questions (I have been doing research on these boards but couldn't find the exact answers I am looking for).

How far is FCO airport from the port? Our flight arrives on Friday August 3rd at 7:10 am. The Equinox leaves port at 5:00 pm. What time should we get to the ship? Is there anything to do at the port (bars, restaurants, etc?) This is only my second cruise ever and I am not sure exactly what the procedure is for embarkation. If we arrive early will they let us drop our luggage off and then go back to ship closer to the departure time? What time will they let us on the ship and get into our room? Or will let they let us onto the ship, but not let us into our room until later on? Supposedly through my travel agent we have priority embarkation/disembarkation- not exactly sure what that means. We had arranged transfers through celebrity, but I just checked and we are not getting picked up at the airport until 1:30pm. That means we have almost 6 hours to wander around the airport being jet lagged. I wasn't sure if it would be better to arrange our own transfer (through Romeinlimo or Romecabs) and get to the port earlier. Can anyone offer some recommendations for my above questions- sorry for so many questions..lol...I have been saving them up!

Thanks,
Becky
With all that time I would take the train, see this website http://rometoolkit.com/airport/fiumi...vitavechia.htm
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#5
Central California
10,231 Posts
Joined Mar 2007
Yeow!!!! I would DEFINITELY get together with folks on your roll call and do a private tour/transfer. You do NOT want to be sitting around the airport all that time--can't think of any worse way to begin your great vacation. You already have the names of good companies who can pick you up about 8 and at least drive you around the major sights of Rome for a few hours before taking you to the ship. The airport is about 45 minutes from the center of Rome, and the port is just over an hour in a different direction (sort of). But if you went straight to the port (arriving about 9AM) you would have a long time to wait to board (maybe 11) with rooms opening between 1 and 1:30 in most cases. Then you are just hanging out on the ship. You CAN go and drop off your checked luggage and walk around with your hand luggage if it comes to that.

Civitavecchia is a nice little town but not much to do--you could have lunch and maybe pick up your two bottles of allowed wine but there's not anything special you could do in the time you have. If it was me I would much rather see a little of wonderous Rome! You could see the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, Piazza Navona and maybe have time for a quick stop at St. Peter's Basilica/Vatican City before heading to the ship.

Even if you can't find someone to share, a private driver won't be THAT much more than your X transfer and you will make way better use of your time--and not sit at the airport!!!

Good luck!
#6
Marietta, GA
113 Posts
Joined Mar 2010
I highly recommend arriving in Rome at least the day before sailing. On the day of the cruise, we hired a private car service who picked us up at the hotel around 8:00 a.m. We had previously arranged a private tour of the Vatican (no waiting in the long lines) for that morning before sailing. Seems like we left the Vatican around noon or 1:00 p.m. with our driver who made a few stops to allow for some picture-taking and some history lessons. We also stopped at a grocery to buy some wine for the cruise. We were at the ship about two hours before departure. All was smooth sailing (so to speak).
#7
Yorkshire, UK
6,916 Posts
Joined Aug 2009
We fly in for the cruise from Rome on the morning it goes - beware that the luggage usually takes about an hour there as they go at their speed.

The transfer is about 1 to 1.5 hours or get the train - get on your roll call and share a transfer with others

There is nothing at the port, it is in an industrial port - the terminal is a large marquee

7.10 arrival - 8.30 for bags, transfer, get there about 10 - they will be ready to start check in processes not long after
#8
San Diego
4,221 Posts
Joined Nov 2003
Remember if you take the train, you have to walk 20 minutes +/- with all your luggage to the free Port Shuttle. Since we are from San Diego, we always fly in a day early. That said, it's an hour or so to the pier by private driver. So once you get your bags, clear customs, passport control etc, you should be on your way by 9:00AM. The last few passengers from the previous cruise should be about out of the terminal by 10:00AM. You can drop off your bags then. Check-in for your cruise will begin around 11:30AM. There is nothing at the pier in the way of restaurants. You could drop off the bags and take the free shuttle out of the pier and go to town. The shuttle stops right in front of the Fort. There is not much in town. I would probably just wait and check-in as soon as it starts. Then eat lunch on the ship, go to your cabin by 1:30PM.
#9
South Padre Island, Texas
3,576 Posts
Joined Apr 2008
It's hard to predict what may happen, so if you are going to be in Rome you really should see part of it.
I join the group that says to go at least a day early. A week would give you time to see a lot more!
#10
Germantown, Maryland
212 Posts
Joined Oct 2009
Since you are arriving the day of the cruise, you should look at a realistic time-line for getting to the port. In the past 5 years, my wife and I have flown into FCO 3 times to catch cruises, so I have some experience with realistic time estimates.
It will take you 30-45 minutes to deplane and go thru Passport control – it could be an hour or more if your flight is late and other international flights arrive ahead or yours. So that means it will be 8:00 – 8:30AM (at the earliest) before you arrive in the luggage area.
It will probably take you another 30 minutes (or more) to collect you luggage, leave the luggage area and find your transportation. As other posters have suggested, you should arrange a private car service or hook up with others on the roll call of your cruise to share a van. It will now be 9:00 – 9:30AM.
The trip from FCO to Civitavecchia will take 60-90 minutes; so that means that you should arrive at the cruise check-in area in the 10:30 - 11:00AM time frame. Just about the time that check-in opens.
Hope this helps
vfr
#11
Waiheke Island, New Zealand
1,377 Posts
Joined Jun 2010
Originally posted by ShadowzBtlr
Since you are arriving the day of the cruise, you should look at a realistic time-line for getting to the port. In the past 5 years, my wife and I have flown into FCO 3 times to catch cruises, so I have some experience with realistic time estimates.
It will take you 30-45 minutes to deplane and go thru Passport control – it could be an hour or more if your flight is late and other international flights arrive ahead or yours. So that means it will be 8:00 – 8:30AM (at the earliest) before you arrive in the luggage area.
It will probably take you another 30 minutes (or more) to collect you luggage, leave the luggage area and find your transportation. As other posters have suggested, you should arrange a private car service or hook up with others on the roll call of your cruise to share a van. It will now be 9:00 – 9:30AM.
The trip from FCO to Civitavecchia will take 60-90 minutes; so that means that you should arrive at the cruise check-in area in the 10:30 - 11:00AM time frame. Just about the time that check-in opens.
Hope this helps
vfr
If you can not change your flight to a day or so earlier, then this is IMHO also your best bet.
The only waiting time then is to board.
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#12
Kelowna, BC, Canada
135 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
Originally posted by DonRobertoSanJuan
If you don't want to end up like 24 passengers on our E Med cruise from Civitavecchia, who missed the ship due to airline delays go a day early and stay a night in Rome. Have a great cruise!
We always do this and have never regretted it. So what if you have to pay an additional hotel night. It's great peace of mind AND you get to see a little of whatever town you embark from.

Richard
#13
Kelowna, BC, Canada
135 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
bv0725, for what it's worth, Civitavecchia isn't much of a town. It's a working port that has seen better days. We found it dirty and run down with very little to do there.

If you have the time, stay in Rome overnight and since you have all day, contact the concierge at the hotel to ask about local tours and such. They are a great resource though, no doubt they'll be getting a kickback from whomever they recommend.

Alternatively, contact your travel agent and get them to organize some something for you. That way, you get to take in some of Rome, have time to overcome jet lag, have a nice supper (dinner usually starts at about 21:00) and just enjoy being there. On the next day it will be a leisurely breakfast before heading to Chivvi (locals call it that). It's a 45 min. drive as I recall and before you take a cab, first establish the price, with or without the tip.

Have a great cruise.

Richard
#14
Indonesia
2,195 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
Dear Becky,

1. If you really want to see Rome, do come one day earlier and stay in Rome overnight. Then take the train (and drag your luggage from Civitavecchia train station to the port entrance as Fblack pointed out) or rent a car.

2. If you can't come a day earlier, you'd better come straight to your ship, either by X transfer (and wandering at the airport with nothing to do until the scheduled assembly time) or take a taxi (yes, you got the right address). As ShadowzBtlr said, if you take taxi from the airport directly to the ship, you'll be there around the boarding time anyway. So board your ship and give yourself a favor by start enjoying your cruise (lunch, unpack, browse the ship's facilities, or just relaxed from your jetlag. You come all the way to enjoy your cruise isn't t?). Trust me, once you're onboard, you'll enjoy so much you wouldn't care to go down to see Civitavecchia.

Be happy with whatever you decide. We can't always do what we'd love to do. But we can always love what we can do.
Bon voyage.
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#15
Chicago area
14,081 Posts
Joined Feb 2004
There are private transportation companies that will pick you up at the airport, take you on a short tour of Rome, and drop you off at the port.

You don't want to spend more than a few hours on this and since the airport is also far from Rome you'll only have 2 or 3 hours there - but if it is your only trip to Rome you might want to consider this. Also can do the reverse, with the cruise line or private transportation, on disembarkation day.

Try looking in the Italy port of call forum here on cruise critic for names of private tour companies that others recommend. Most of the private tour companies are really private drivers who drop you off at the different points of interest and they can do this trip for you.

As others have said the ships start check in and board at pretty much any port in the world around 11AM, or a little after. This can run behind if there were usual delays ending the prior cruise but this is less likely in Rome where I don't believe disembarking passengers have to pass through customs and immigration since most round trip cruises from Rome stay in the EU. The latest you'll want to get to the port to check in is about 2 or 2 1/2 hours before you scheduled departure time - double check with Celebrity for the latest you can check in and leave plenty of cushion in your schedule. We always find plenty to do on board the ship on embarkation day and like to be settled into our cabin, have the ship explored a little, and unpacked before sail away time.
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#16
New Cumberland,PA, USA
27,465 Posts
Joined May 2000
Lets deal with the OPs questions one at a time. It takes about 1:10 (under normal morning traffic conditions) to drive from FCO to the port. Using the train, as some have suggested, is a bit complicated since there are no direct trains. It means you must head towards Rome and then change trains to a regional train that takes you back towards Civitavecchia. This is not always easy when you have to drag luggage. It makes little sense to hang around the airport until 1 so you might want to arrange for private transfers (check on your CC Roll call to see if others have similar issues). There are several transfer companies that will normally charge you about 120 Euros (for 2) or you could take a taxi for about the same amount.

The Port city of Civitavecchia has actually improved to a nice little town in recent years. You could transfer to the ship in the morning and check your luggage. At that point there is a free shuttle bus that woud take you from your ship to the main port entrance from where you can easily explore Civitavecchia (only a few interesting streets) and perhaps enjoy one of the cafes in town.

We do agree with those who say it is wise to fly-in at least 1 day early. Given that you would be near Rome it makes more sense to fly-in at least 2 days early and go into Rome for some time before your cruise.

Not sure what your travel agent has to do with priority embarkation/debarkation. On X those with suites or frequent cruisers such as those who are Elite do get some priority but we have never heard of a TA changing the normal course of things. You should be able to check your luggage at the port in the morning...but would still be stuck with your carry-on since its unlikely you will be able to board before 11.

Hank
#17
Surrounded by oranges, grapes, and blueberries
745 Posts
Joined Mar 2011
Happy Sailing and Happy Birthday! Great information from Hlitner as always...we've learned a lot just by reading his advice. If it's your first time in Rome...and it's not too late to change your flight...perhaps you should fly in at least a day earlier. Rome is an absolutely wonderful city, so much history, so much to see...it will almost be a crime not seeing a few of the sights: Vatican, St. Peter's Square, Piazza Navona, Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, the Colosseum, Spanish Steps...

Another option: You arrive early, a Celebrity employee will welcome you at the airport...you may be able to give your luggages to them for direct transport to the ship. (RCCL conveniently took all our luggages when we arrived at the airport and transported them to our cabin.) If not, there's a "left luggage" at the airport. The train station is a short walk from FCO...down the hall, down the escalator, up the escalator, turn right and you're there. Essentially crossing the street but using the underground walkway. Take the train to Rome, walk and visit a few sights...and take the train back to FCO in time to take your pre-arranged transfer. That's way too much time sitting around at the airport.
#18
Arizona
2,064 Posts
Joined Nov 2010
Regarding the note above me that taxis are about the same price as private shuttles -- this is often true, but make sure you negotiate the price before getting in. I was in Rome for a regular land holiday and a few times got a little shocked at the taxi prices when I didn't ask ahead of time. They might say "meter, meter" but for transportation that far you can probably insist on a fixed price. For example, airport-to-city-hotels can be found for 45 euros fixed, but some want to use the meters.

I loved Rome, and barely scratched the surface in three days and nights, so I'm not sure how to recommend seeing any of it with any significance the day of -- I'd probably just go to the cruise terminal unless you can find a decent deal with your Roll Call for a private tour that knows your time constraints.
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#19
Rhode Island
11 Posts
Joined Mar 2012
Thanks everyone for your advice- it is much appreciated! We actually booked our flights through Celebrity (Choice Air) so I am stuck with the arrival flight- however we had already extended our vacation at the end of the cruise to stay in Rome When our ship gets back to Civitavecchia on 8/13 we are staying in a hotel in Rome for 2 nights so we have a chance to see all of the sights (it has always been at the top of my bucket list!) and then flying home on 8/15. I think I might take everyone's advice and look into a private transfer (through either Romecabs or Romeinlimo) that would pick us up between 9-9:30 at the airport and take us right to the port, instead of waiting around for the Celebrity transfer to pick us at 1:30 pm. I would MUCH RATHER just get to the ship, drop off luggage and unwind/relax. Thanks again for your insight and please feel free to give any other advice or suggestions- it is our first time visiting Europe and my hubbie's first cruise. I have been on Celebrity's Horizon from NYC to Bermuda- but that was over 10 years ago! Thanks again!
Becky
#20
Myrtle Beach
14,822 Posts
Joined Jul 2006
Originally posted by bv0725
Thanks everyone for your advice- it is much appreciated! We actually booked our flights through Celebrity (Choice Air) so I am stuck with the arrival flight- however we had already extended our vacation at the end of the cruise to stay in Rome When our ship gets back to Civitavecchia on 8/13 we are staying in a hotel in Rome for 2 nights so we have a chance to see all of the sights (it has always been at the top of my bucket list!) and then flying home on 8/15. I think I might take everyone's advice and look into a private transfer (through either Romecabs or Romeinlimo) that would pick us up between 9-9:30 at the airport and take us right to the port, instead of waiting around for the Celebrity transfer to pick us at 1:30 pm. I would MUCH RATHER just get to the ship, drop off luggage and unwind/relax. Thanks again for your insight and please feel free to give any other advice or suggestions- it is our first time visiting Europe and my hubbie's first cruise. I have been on Celebrity's Horizon from NYC to Bermuda- but that was over 10 years ago! Thanks again!
Becky
Good decision. I would also recommend you have your driver stop by a wine store, shop, or whatever, on the way to the port so you can pick up a couple of bottles of wine to enjoy in your stateroom during the cruise.