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Naples-How much should we try and do?

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We are doing the Epic western Mediterranean out of Rome so the Naples stop would be day 6 for us. We can’t decide if we should go see Pompeii and then back to Naples to explore or if we should do the Pompeii, Amalfi Coast, Sorrento, etc. tours and just be on the go all day. I would love to see it all but know it will be hard to do it all in one day.

 

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

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The Amalfi Coast and Sorrento will be a 5 - 6 hour drive more or less. You could probably fit Pompeii in on the same day, and both are a must even if you never go to Naples again. Capri is also an option, or Mount Vesuvius or Herculaneum I have my concerns about you walking the streets of Naples without the language and without making yourself a target for tourist crime.

 

But the traffic can be horrendous. This is one place that a ship excursion is preferable over a land booked one (which is considerably cheaper). If you miss your boarding time going to Amalfi/Sorrento your are in trouble if you haven't booked on the ship, and it's possible the bus will be delayed in its return.

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Reputable private tour companies can and do complete this itinerary regularly; only once in 12 years reading these boards have I heard of anyone on a private tour not making it back to the ship.

 

On the other hand, that's not to say I recommend cramming so much into a day. I feel you get a better sense of a place when you spend more than just a few minutes there. And with these full day itineraries you rarely get enough time in each place.

 

If nothing else, you can surely skip Sorrento. Compared with the other two sites, it doesn't offer much...

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We are often asked this type of question from friends who are not big time travelers. Our answer is always, "it depends on your own wants." There are some travelers that want to cram as much as possible into a short time. For those folks its about how much they can see...even if they see it so fast they cannot remember anything :) And then there are the travelers who truly like to "stop and smell the Roses." Rather then doing 20 things in a day they might prefer doing only 1 or 2 things and doing it well :).

 

Pompeii is generally a place where you would want a minimum of 2 hours. Doing it faster means you will miss a lot...and even in 2 hours you will miss much :). The Amalfi Coast is worth many days (we have vacationed on the Amalfi Coast for weeks) but crusiers must cram it into a few hours. One can certainly just drive along the Amalfi Drive and stare out the window (like many cruise line excursions) which, to me. is like watching a movie on TV. or One can book a small private tour that will give them time to actually go down into Positano, have a nice lunch, visit Amalfi and perhaps also spend at least 1-2 hours strolling around Ravello (a favorite town often skipped by excursions). It is possible to combine the Amalfi Coast with Pompeii in a long port day, but this is best done by a small vehicle private tour. The downside is that you will be somewhat rushed along....but it can be a very satisfying day.

 

Hank

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Thank you for the information. I know my DH would want more than just 2 hours at Pompeii but I don’t think that’s possible with tours if you add on Positano and Sorrento. My DS(15) and I are more about history and good scenery than we are about walking around quaint little towns and shopping. Our cruise isn’t until next June so I will do research and hopefully come up with something.

 

 

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I've been to Pompeii (via the funky Circumvesuviana (spelling?) train, Positano, been on a bus drive down the Amalfi coast, and visited Sorrento - but not from Naples, and not in one port day, of course. Pompeii, of course, is worthwhile, but the more I cruise, the more I prefer places other than famous ruins. However, others might love to see them all the time. Positano is nice, but often on a drive down the coast, it's just a quick glimpse at most that you get. A coastal drive is, well, thrilling. Sorrento was OK. I haven't been to Naples, but will visit there later this year. I haven't found anything truly unique that I have to see, although I hear it's nice that you can easily walk to the older part of the city. I've been looking at things that interest me, like the art in certain subway stations and the large gate-like "Fountain of the Giant" not terribly far from the port. I haven't been to Capri, and the ferries won't be running when I'm in Naples, so that's out. There is also Herculaneum from Naples (ruins, less famous, smaller, more manageable in terms of walking, seeing highlights, etc.) and Mount Vesuvius.

 

I'm in the "do all you can in one day" camp, am not a shopper, love photography, and generally do things on my own rather than take ship excursions. "On my own" can range from finding a tour from a private vendor to renting a car or taking public transportation. To do that successfully, though, you need to do quite a bit of researching. I usually research a lot, plan a bit, and then leave things rather open, as my feelings about what and how much to do might change before the cruise rolls around. I also keep in mind that we might be an hour late getting into a port or getting off the ship, and that we'll be required to be back on board at least a half hour pre-departure. If I book anything from a private vendor, I make sure they will give me a refund if the ship does not make port. Not making port, or changing the day you're there, doesn't happen often, but I don't want to be left holding the bag if it does.

 

These sites might give you a general overview, and a decent start for deciding what you want to do in June:

 

https://www.rometoolkit.com/visit/naples_port.html (try it without underlining; if unsuccessful, just google Rome Tool Kit)

and

Tom's Port Guide on Naples (I believe tomsportguides.com)

Edited by roothy123

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Pompeii is amazing we would do that then walk around Naples and get a pizza, capri is also a beautiful island

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We did a Amalfi coast, Sorrento, lunchin postiano, and Pompeii in one day we used Rome in limo, they are excellent and we had a tour guide for Pompeii. I would highly recommend using them (Rome in limo). We had a full day, no problems getting back to ship in plenty of time. Capris the ferries were on strike so we could no go to capris, we hear that happens a lot and Rome in limo adapted our tour in which we took the amalfi coats to postiano. Everything was amazing! Having a tour guide for Pompeii really helped I think we spent at lesat 2 hours there of course one can spend many hours there, we made sure we got there early and it was not crowded. I’m sure whatever you choose to do will be amazing.

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Capris the ferries were on strike so we could no go to capris, we hear that happens a lot and Rome in limo adapted our tour in which we took the amalfi coats to postiano.

 

It does not happen a lot. It's actually pretty rare but of course unfortunate that it happened on your particular visit -- luckily you could adapt your plans.

 

If we only did a trip to Pompeii what are the options for transportation? Bus? Train? What’s the easiest?

 

There is a bus that departs from close to the cruise terminal that is probably one of the easier and more comfortable ways to get to Pompeii on your own. There are details in many other threads here regarding the location. Only caveat is that the timing of the bus departures may not work for everyone.

 

There is also an express train option, about which I only know what has been posted here by others. It also has limited runs each day. Look for posts by euro cruiser on this particular train.

 

The fallback option is the old Circumvesuviana train which runs about every half hour from Naples and reaches Pompeii in about 40-45 minutes. Trams and buses stop on the busy road right outside the cruise port area that can take you to the Porta Nolana train station, the best place to board this train as it can get very crowded at later stops. Again, there are many posts here with step-by-stop info.

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We did this itinerary from Barcelona (same cruise) in May. I would try either Capri which is my favourite, or as we did this trip, Herculaneum which is better preserved than Pompeii and more than you can see in 2-3 hours.

 

Take the Circumvesuviana train about 15-20 mins from Naples to Ercolano Scavi station and it's an easy walk downhill to Herculaneum, we went on to Sorrento from there via the Circumvesuviana train again and took the boat back to Naples.

 

But if I were doing it again I would go back to Naples City from Herculaneum and sample some of the many museums there.

 

So many options in Naples... what ever you do enjoy the day and, as someone else said it is important to "stop and smell the Roses!"

 

Naples DIY is very easy, no need for expensive tours really.

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