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EPIC- Barcelona vs "Rome" embarkation


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Hello:

Looking at Western Med. on Epic for next June. Does anyone have any thoughts on embarking in Rome vs Barcelona? Barcelona offers an extra $100 OBC and extra latitudes points, neither of which would be make or break for us.

 

Also- should I be posting this elsewhere?

 

Thank you

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We have always booked from Barcelona, mainly because it is a weekend departure which works better for us in the U.K. If you are from elsewhere then that probably isn't as relevant.

 

The Barcelona embarkation is the main one, so has some benefits like more cabin choice, and the itinerary fitting in better with regard to theme nights etc.

 

However, it's worth considering the logistics of embarkation. Which would you like the option of spending more time at, out of Rome or Barcelona?

 

It's easier to get from the airport to the cruise port in Barcelona. However, if you embark at Rome then you avoid the hassle getting there and back in a day as a port of call.

 

Finally, when does the sea day work best for you? I like to have it at the beginning, but others prefer it towards the end. A Rome departure also avoids those three busy ports in three days.

 

There's lots to consider, and many of them are personal preference. Unless one is easier than the other to get to I'd consider them as two itineraries and consider which one sounds nicer with regard to what you would like to do when in port and not getting too tired.

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Keith hit the nail on the head with his response. We chose Barcelona because it is a city I always wanted to visit since I was younger. My DH decided on the European cruise for our anniversary and I decided on Barcelona for the main reason of visiting the Black Madonna in Montserrat. We really enjoyed our time in Barcelona. We read about the airport etc in Rome but decided there was less in Rome we wished to see than Barcelona so that is why we made our choice. We enjoyed Rome but loved the days in Barcelona. Having the sea day the day after boarding gave us the second wind we needed after several days touring in Barcelona.

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First off, I would highly suggest spending a few days on each end unless totally impossible due to vacation.

 

As said, Barcelona is much easier to get to, from either your hotel or airport ( I would never fly in the same day as departure anyways).

 

I would board in Barcelona as it is easier. In Rome you are 90 minutes from the city, a bit less from the airport. Some people might be a bit concerned about getting from Rome (city) to the port, but way less concern going the other way.

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We did our Med cruise out of Barcelona, and we agree with previous posts. Barcelona was easy to get around, we arrived 2 days early and enjoyed all the city had to offer. The airfare price was slightly less than Rome at the time. The ship main embarkation was Barcelona, with Rome embarkation having much less passenger turnover. Of course, in Rome, we were rushed with our tours. You should determine which city you would prefer to spend more time in. If it's Rome, you should arrive a day or two early and you will have much more time to spend at all the sights. Once on the ship and muster completed, it really didn't matter which "order" your week's ports were in. We also added 5 days to the end of our cruise by flying from Barcelona to London, and spent the 5 days there. Many flights were available from London to JFK here in NYC and it let us have a few days to wind down at a more leisurely pace, as the Med cruise is very port intensive and fast paced.

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We chose the Rome embarkation spending a few days pre-cruise seeing the sights.

It worked great for us - we had chosen a hotel close to Rome Termini, and had pre-booked the train to Civitavecchia. From there we walked to the shuttle bus near the port - although in hindsight we should have caught the local bus as it was pretty hot walking.

Embarkation was quick, and the ship was quiet as most folks were in Rome.

Debarkation was also easy, and simple enough to get back to Rome, and then another train to the airport.

Enjoy!

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I have done Barcelona 4x's Keith is right it's easier. But I also have left from Rome & am doing it again in Sept. I love Rome embarkation but when I did it on Gem that was only port for embarkation. This is such an amazing itinerary I never see the same thing twice. Barcelona is easy port to get to. Rome is over 90 minutes to get to. Both are incredible

 

 

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In summary:

The port in Barcelona is easy (read doesn't cost much) to get to / from the airport. The port from Rome (Civi) is a lot more expensive if you use private transportation (say $100 up). Maybe not too bad if you use the train but that's more of a hassle.

 

Rome is a much more interesting city to see than Barcelona IMO. So if you're only going to spend a few days "extra" I would do it in Rome and pay the extra $$ for transportation to the port.

 

Embarking/debarking in Rome (Civi) is a lot less crowded because a lot fewer people do it.

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...Embarking/debarking in Rome (Civi) is a lot less crowded because a lot fewer people do it.

 

I think the OP and some of the follow on comments were talking about which port to START the cruise, meaning you END in the other.

 

Yes, there are some cruises that have only a partial embark/disembark in Rome. Based on our experience, most cruise lines do a full turnover in each port.

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I think the OP and some of the follow on comments were talking about which port to START the cruise, meaning you END in the other.

 

 

 

Yes, there are some cruises that have only a partial embark/disembark in Rome. Based on our experience, most cruise lines do a full turnover in each port.

 

 

 

The Epic has options to embark/disembark in either Barcelona or Rome. It's a 7 day round trip which the Epic does all through the Summer.

 

Other ships (usually the Spirit) have done alternate trips from Barcelona to Venice and then back again.

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Hello:

 

Looking at Western Med. on Epic for next June. Does anyone have any thoughts on embarking in Rome vs Barcelona? Barcelona offers an extra $100 OBC and extra latitudes points, neither of which would be make or break for us.

 

 

 

Also- should I be posting this elsewhere?

 

 

 

Thank you

 

 

I'm doing that itinerary next June too and honestly it came down to which city I wanted to spend more time in.... and that was Rome. So much I want to see there that I had to chose Rome. I'll figure out all the rest and transportation issues later.

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We chose Rome and spent 4 wonderful days there pre cruise. I was still so overwhelmed with everything I saw and learned.

 

It is really up to you on where you want to spend your pre and post cruise time. Yes logistics were a bit more difficult from Rome but that is part of the fun I have planning.

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We have done both and found it much easier to embark & disembark in Rome as there are fewer people doing this route. However, it also felt as if we joined mid-cruise (which I suppose we did) with no sail-away party or formal introduction as you get when departing from Barcelona.

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ROME-Hands down! There is soooo much more to see and do in Rome-All the history, Vatican etc. Other than Familia Sagrada, Barcelona was just another Big city-Crowed. The best part was in Rome`s port city(which was extra easy to get to + we did take the free bus) getting on and off was so quick for such a big ship. We also participated in 3 different CC threads and met 3 different groups of peeps-which was kinda neat!

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We have departed from both ports with NCL. If I were booking again I would choose Rome for a few reasons. First, because Barcelona is the main embarkation port, the port was a lot less crowded in Rome and we were able to embark quickly. Second, as a port of call Rome can be exhausting. It takes 90+ minutes from the ship to the city and you are constantly looking at your watch. Embarking from Rome allows more time to enjoy the city if you are able to go in advance or stay after your cruise. By comparison, Barcelona is a relatively easy port of call to manage, and you can easily make a few of the major stops in a day. For these reasons, I would go with Rome.

 

One other point that has not been mentioned is that when you embark at Rome, most of the fellow cruise passengers change in Barcelona. We had the odd experience of having a very mellow and quite group from Rome to Barcelona and then a rowdy group from Barcelona to Rome. It was just luck of the draw, but each group of cruiserers brings their own personality.

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We normally get on in Barcelona, it's closer to the airport and the city so you can get both in. We've done this 5 times and it works great but next time we're doing Rome. We did find that the ship has a lot less choice of cabins held for a Rome embarkation. The balconies were limited to forward and we prefer aft. I'd say it depends which you want to explore mid cruise. Docking for a day n Barcelona means we're in the city in 10 minutes and not 1.5 hours

 

 

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I keep seeing that it takes 90 minutes to get from Rome to the port...is this via train? I was on the Spirit last month, and I used 90 minutes as the guideline when planning our transportation since I read that over and over on CC. It took 45 minutes from our hotel near the Vatican to get to the port on a Thursday morning at 10:00. Upon disembarking the ship, it took 45 minutes to get from the port to the airport at 8:30 on a Sunday morning. We had private cars both trips. Our drivers didn't drive crazy, either [emoji2]. Did I luck out?

 

 

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45 minutes from downtown Rome to the ship is making very good time. You had a private car the entire way which helped, and apparently no traffic. 90 minutes is a bit long, but folks use that because time to get from ship to train (shuttle or cab), waiting for train departure time, maybe stops. Same with other modes... there are things that add to the time.

 

The airport is actually closer to the port than to Rome. See map

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Hello:

Looking at Western Med. on Epic for next June. Does anyone have any thoughts on embarking in Rome vs Barcelona? Barcelona offers an extra $100 OBC and extra latitudes points, neither of which would be make or break for us.

 

Also- should I be posting this elsewhere?

 

Thank you

 

Just got off this ship today... in Rome.

 

Here's my thoughts. For as easy as it was to get off/on (very quick, like stupid fast), it felt like we were getting on in the middle of everyone else's vacation. My daughter (13) felt like the teens had all made friends and she felt kind of weird, and never went to Entourage. And then, on Sunday when you're in Barcelona, it's the start of a new cruise, but you're halfway through your own. It was a little weird. You didn't get that same sense of excitement of it being the beginning, and while it was nice to not have to do the huge crazy muster (you just go to Epic Theater... and it was cool to be introduced to all of the heads of the departments) it felt a little weird. Would I do it again? Yes. But I wish I had known better what it would have felt like.

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