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canadarocks

Same day flight to Europe? Am I crazy?

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Normally we would NEVER book a flight that lands on the same day as our cruise departure day. But in May 2020 we have a cruise that doesn't sail until 7:00pm out of Civitavecchia (Rome) Italy. The next port is Naples Italy and we are docked there the next day from 7:00am until 6:00pm. My intention is to book through HAL's Flight Ease (if the pricing is right) and I will likely book their transfer to the Civitavecchia port as well. I'm quite positive it will be an overnight flight, regardless if I book through Flight Ease or not.  I'm thinking that even if for some reason our flight is delayed by even up to a full day, we could start our cruise from Naples quite easily. We have been to Rome previously, so no desire to visit pre-cruise. If we don't encounter any delays, arriving on the same day as sail away would save us the cost of a hotel, meals, etc. 

 

So am I crazy to consider doing this? 

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I wouldn't do it, but that I just me!  I think the question you need to ask yourself is "how fast will you recover from Jet Lag?    Even though you aren't interested in Rome will you feel like doing anything if and when you arrive in Naples if for some reason your flight gets delayed a full day.  Only you can answer if saving on a hotel room and meals is a good trade off for the possibility of peace of mind that you will be there when the ship sails!   No matter what I hope you have a great cruise....

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I couldn't stand the stress of all the "maybes" and "what ifs".  And all the sniping and snarling between me and my DH because of the stress.

 

Based on that, I think you're being pretty optimistic with your plan (that is better than crazy 😉

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Is the main reason you are considering this plan the money savings?  I'd want to weigh the money savings ($200 or maybe $250) against the possible inconvenience of missing your ship and having to catch up with it.  And starting the cruise, at best, with jet lag even if you arrive on time.  

What time does your flight arrive?  I think I'd like to fly in the day before, stay in Civitavecchia, have a relaxed day, all ofr $125pp...., but that's just me and I can't answer your question, only you can.  Ciao! m--

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20 minutes ago, canadarocks said:

So am I crazy to consider doing this? 

In my opinion, yes. At least a bit.

The jet lag in and of itself will be tough to deal with. Add in the extra travel time to get to the port, get aboard, and all the stresses that go with that, and you will be exhausted for days. You will not get the most out of the first several days of the cruise and ports.

Unless there is some compelling reason you can't come a day early, then I would not come the same day as boarding.

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One thing you aren't considering is how you will feel.  The last time we flew to Europe, neither of us slept on the flight.  Do you really want to start your cruise jet lagged?  I know even arriving one day earlier will still mean some jet lag but it will be better.  

 

To me, the cost of the hotel and meals is cheap insurance.  I wouldn't do it.

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Posted (edited)

There is little downside if you really want to do this for whatever reason.  Other than perhaps a nights lodging a fairly short train journey to Naples if for some reason you do miss the ship in Civ.

 

If you are late getting into FCO simply buy a Naples rail ticket at the airport, jump on the train, switch at Termini and go on to Naples.   Spend the night in Naples and board the ship in the AM.  No problem.

Edited by iancal

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15 minutes ago, canadarocks said:

Normally we would NEVER book a flight that lands on the same day as our cruise departure day. But in May 2020 we have a cruise that doesn't sail until 7:00pm out of Civitavecchia (Rome) Italy. The next port is Naples Italy and we are docked there the next day from 7:00am until 6:00pm. My intention is to book through HAL's Flight Ease (if the pricing is right) and I will likely book their transfer to the Civitavecchia port as well. I'm quite positive it will be an overnight flight, regardless if I book through Flight Ease or not.  I'm thinking that even if for some reason our flight is delayed by even up to a full day, we could start our cruise from Naples quite easily. We have been to Rome previously, so no desire to visit pre-cruise. If we don't encounter any delays, arriving on the same day as sail away would save us the cost of a hotel, meals, etc. 

 

So am I crazy to consider doing this? 

You really want my answer? LOL your crazy! To me it is a 50/50 chance!! Money spent air travel weather you paid or on air miles I would not gamble! Even with it leaving at 7 pm. I would believe you need to be on board 1 hour prior to leaving. Here is a good example! I retired as a DDS in 2006! We had first class on British airways and looking forward to our 2 month trip! We were going on the WindStar out of Athens. Remember the terrorist attack London Hethrow? Well first all of our liquids were confiscated, we were searched our flight was 4 1/2 hours late leaving LA and our bags

never made it with us in Athens! Our bags came to us at Thanksgiving 3 months later because all the bags that were on transit were stuck on a tarmac in the rain!! Our trip was to start on the same day The Windstar was to leave Athens! We could not make it left with out us! We had to fly to Santorini

to catch the ship!! 

This was something that happened to us, and nothing might happen to you and smooth flying but now for us we travel 3-4 days prior to relax and enjoy!

Sorry for the long report! 

Denise😊

PS our trip was still wonderful and we bought new clothes, bags etc. My American Express was wonderful 

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I understand your reasoning, but I just couldn’t do it.  With all the variables of weather, equipment issues and labour disruptions on top of a 6 hour time change (for us) there are too many things that could go wrong.  Probably nothing will but it is a risk and only you can say how much risk you are willing to take.

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Posted (edited)

Thank you all. Your reasoning is very appreciated. I hadn't considered spending a night in Civitavecchia instead of in Rome. 

Edited by canadarocks

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I’ve done it twice and made the ship both times.  However I wouldn’t recommend it unless you are a pro at European travel and can take a train without help if Plan A doesn’t work.  We took a Barcelona to Athens cruise and flew in morning of to Barcelona and it all worked like it should no issues.  Since we’d been to Barcelona many times we were fine and had our back up plan set. Even hit duty free in the port for allow carry on bottles.  

 

However the other time was a stressful mess. Party of 4 cruising Rome round trip. One in party had accidental fall in departure airport - just little bloody but stressful.  Then bad flight delays in US due to stopped up toilets on plane caused missed connection in Germany.  Arrived a couple hours late in Rome.  That’s a long flight when you’re already stressed.  Got off flight and found out cruise departure was delayed.  That was our saving grace but because the ship was delayed our transfer was delayed. Very exhausting.  

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1 hour ago, canadarocks said:

Normally we would NEVER book a flight that lands on the same day as our cruise departure day. But in May 2020 we have a cruise that doesn't sail until 7:00pm out of Civitavecchia (Rome) Italy. The next port is Naples Italy and we are docked there the next day from 7:00am until 6:00pm. My intention is to book through HAL's Flight Ease (if the pricing is right) and I will likely book their transfer to the Civitavecchia port as well. I'm quite positive it will be an overnight flight, regardless if I book through Flight Ease or not.  I'm thinking that even if for some reason our flight is delayed by even up to a full day, we could start our cruise from Naples quite easily. We have been to Rome previously, so no desire to visit pre-cruise. If we don't encounter any delays, arriving on the same day as sail away would save us the cost of a hotel, meals, etc. 

 

So am I crazy to consider doing this? 

We did a similar scenario last March. Halifax to Montreal to Rome (arrived in Rome around 9am) and then with the cruise line transfer over to the port. It was pretty seemless for us but there is always the chance of a delay.  We overnighted on the way home so we had a little time to check out Rome.

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Well, we did do this.  But we were flying nonstop from NYC, so no risky connections.  We've been to Rome many times, preferred to spend days visiting family in NYC and then fly overnight, transfer to the ship, and just rest on the ship.  It went really well. But again, I wouldn't do it if there were connecting flights that could mess things up.  And I wouldn't do it if, for example, the ship was heading out for a transatlantic where we couldn't catch up to it.

Just sharing our experience. YMMV

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Posted (edited)

I have done it, but it's not the most comfortable feeling in the world. That said, you do have a game plan that is easily achievable (e.g., getting to Naples to board there) although unfortunately if that happens then you pretty much won't be able to do much in that port either since you will probably either be a) busy getting to the port via train and then checking in to the ship or b) dead tired from the travel and stress.

 

My game plan if everything went south would be to spend the night at one of the airport hotels in Rome to get a good night's sleep and then catch a train to Naples the next morning. (I'm assuming your arrival in Rome would be evening, but too late to get to Civi...)

 

It's also a matter of perspective. If it is Days 1 and 2 of a 24-day cruise, then you will still have plenty ahead of you. But if it's Days 1-2 of a 10-day cruise, I might be a bit unhappy at missing a fifth of my vacation!

 

Edited to add:  As a card-carrying Rome-o-phile, I also am contractually obligated to say that there is SO much to see and do in Rome. I've been probably more than a dozen times and yet each time I find new and fascinating things to see and do. Don't discount spending a few more days there.  (IMHO Civitavecchia is not a very charming place to spend any time...)

Edited by cruisemom42

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Posted (edited)

Oh, I'd add that when we did this, we did use HAL's Flight Ease and their transfers, so there was some extra measure of comfort in that.  (I know people say the ship still won't wait for you, but they might for some short time of delay.)

Edited by AncientWanderer

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12 minutes ago, AncientWanderer said:

Oh, I'd add that when we did this, we did use HAL's Flight Ease and their transfers, so there was some extra measure of comfort in that.  (I know people say the ship still won't wait for you, but they might for some short time of delay.)

 

Thanks for this positive note.

For us it would not be a money factor ... just had rather to go directly to the ship rather than spending to night before boarding the next day.  

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2 hours ago, VennDiagram said:

I think you're being pretty optimistic with your plan (that is better than crazy 😉

 

Why sugar coat it?... it's crazy, plain and simple. 😉

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Posted (edited)

OP:  Oh, I think this is very doable. ( How you will feel the day of arrival is another matter.  How good are you at flying overnight? )   Depends on the actual flight times.  If you were to arrive early in the morning, it would be a go, with a few hours to the port. I would definitely take the HAL transfer, easier than a do-it-yourself headache.

 

HAL isn't going to sell pax something that won't work within reason.  They also don't really want to have the fuss of getting pax to Naples. 

Edited by SilvertoGold

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2 hours ago, canadarocks said:

Thank you all. Your reasoning is very appreciated. I hadn't considered spending a night in Civitavecchia instead of in Rome. 

Last year before a TransAtlantic I stayed in Civitavecchia for a day. I found it to be a pleasant place to walk around and a nice way to recover from the overnight flight. I had a car service directly from FCO to my hotel, and the hotel provided a shuttle to the port. Everything went very smoothly.

 

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It's not that crazy of an idea, but only if it's a direct flight.  Those who always fly in a day early are doing it primarily so they have some wiggle room if things go wrong along the way.  In this situation, Naples is not far from Rome at all, and there are trains throughout the day, so it would be very easy to catch up to the ship on Day 2 should there be a delay on Day 1.  My bigger concern would also be with jet lag, but it's not like you're generally doing much of import on embarkation day.

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If you decide to spend the night in Civitavecchia,  a bus ride to Tarquinia is well worth the time to see the Etruscan museum and graves.

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Even with a direct flight and a fair weather forecast, things may not go according to plan.

 

Our table mates on a cruise out of Barcelona a few years ago almost missed the boat because of a late departure from Montreal due to a medical issue on board. Their story was enough to convince me to always allow at least an extra day before embarkation.

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I would say that the OP's idea is truly crazy.....and we just did it ourselves last August :).  In our case the cruise was departing from Copenhagen at 11pm and would be in Aarhus the following day (a short drive or train ride from Copenhagen).  Since DW and I had previously spent a lot of time in Copenhagen and had no desire to spend any more time in that city it made sense.  Your situation sounds similar....so perhaps you want to be "crazy" too :).

 

Hank

 

 

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