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euro cruiser

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  1. I have taken this train many times, it's a great deal. I don't know if they've upgraded the train stock recently but this used to be the only train in Italy that I bothered with first class, because it was a real upgrade from second.
  2. First thing to check with MSC is the port times, they sometimes have short stays so it's important to know the amount of time you have before you start planning. Also consider that in February you'll have many fewer hours of daylight to work with, although this won't be an issue for ports like Livorno (Florence) or Civitavecchia (Rome) where you have an hour or longer commute from the port to the city (by the time you get there it will be full daylight).
  3. Right now is probably not the time to be looking for a cooking class, with multiple people having their hands in the food that others will eat. There are so very many things to do and places to see within a short distance of the port at Naples, have you been there so many times that you've exhausted all of the possibilities?
  4. The traffic on and off the Sorrentine peninsula is awful year round. I've driven in the area several times, always off season, and it was still bad from local residents trying to get on with life. For most of the way from the autostrada to Sorrento it's one lane in each direction, winding through several small towns. Another part of the problem is that there is no back road alternative because of the mountains. There are roads that go up, then they end without connecting to anything else. It can be fun if you're out for a leisurely drive but frustrating if you're trying to ac
  5. These are the old IC trains and they are still on the schedule. There is one at 9:24 (arrives at 12:29) and another at 17:08, there is also an IC Notte (night) train at 5:00 but that won't work for a cruise passenger. When you factor in the time to change trains at Rome, the morning IC train gets you to Naples in not much more time than a regional train connecting to a high speed one in Rome (3 hours, 5 minutes vs. 2 hours, 41 minutes, best case). I like this option for several reasons. First, there is the ease of just getting on and off one train. Second, ICs are a
  6. Hank's description is true for the regional trains between Civitavecchia and Rome, which arrive to auxiliary tracks in Rome that are a full one third of a mile from the main track head, where the trains to Naples depart from. There are a few premium trains between Civitavecchia and Rome that arrive to the main track head. They cost quite a bit more than the regional train (12,90 euro vs. 4,60) and there are only a couple each morning in the current, reduced schedule (two between 6 AM and noon, vs. 14 regionals in the same time frame), but it does avoid that long schlep through Ter
  7. If you're not planning to spend any time in Italy after your cruise, and if you can get an open-jaw flight plan that doesn't break the bank (into Venice, depart Rome) that would make the most sense to me. In fact, you'd have to save an awful lot of money to make the hassle of traveling back to Venice for the return flight worth it. Odds are that you'd need to spend another night in Italy to fly home from Venice as flights to the States are typically in the morning and, even if you get off the ship extra early, the earliest you could get to Venice by train from Rome would be 11:30
  8. For three or four hours could be a challenge, drivers in the morning at the port are looking for full day fares. That said, eventually you will be able to find someone, you may just waste some time in the process. Booking in advance takes away the element of spontaneity but it also prevents wasting time and allows you to know in advance exactly what it will cost.
  9. No, there hasn't been regular ferry service between Naples and Positano in many years. Last year Alilauro offered one ferry per day from Naples to the Amalfi Coast in July and August but they didn't repeat it this year, whether due to low demand last year or covid this year I don't know. You could take a ferry to Capri, then another one from Capri to Positano but it would take quite a lot of time and effort with luggage.
  10. There is a left luggage office (deposito bagagli) at Roma Termini, on the lower level near the tracks on the south side of the station. They've recently redone the main station web sites and between bugs in the new sites and changes due to corona it's not clear if the KiPoint (the company that has the francise for the left luggage office) service is currently operating at Termini or not. The new web site does not post the prices as the old one did.
  11. One consideration if you decide to take the train is to take one to Napoli Afragola rather than Napoli Centrale. It's about the same distance and driving time but you get to Afragola first (about 15 minutes before Napoli Centrale) so you'll be on your way to Positano faster. Further, you avoid the traffic in downtown Naples so your drive will be easier. Finally, Afragola is a new station (opened in 2017) and it's not as busy nor as large as Centrale so it's easier to get around.
  12. If you don't want to go back to Rome for that one night you might try the waterfront area of Fiumicino or Lido di Ostia, about fifteen minutes by cab from the airport. More picturesque would be Santa Marinella (closer to Civitavecchia, about 45 minutes to one hour from the airport).
  13. The hotel's shuttle would be my first choice but if for some reason it isn't available when you want it there are public buses that run day and night a short walk away (less than half a mile) on Viale delle Medaglie d'Oro.
  14. Sorry I can't answer your question but for others reading, it is always better to get your tickets directly rather than through a middle man. It's not always true but for the most part an Italian web site, especially one associated with a government organization, will not end with .com, they will almost always be .it. That should be a big red flag. The official site for the Colosseum is here: https://www.coopculture.it/colosseo-e-shop.cfm
  15. Tourist coaches almost always have a toilet ... but they also ask you not to use it except in an extreme emergency. It's very possible that they'll make an autogrill stop along the way for a bathroom.
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