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canadarocks

Same day flight to Europe? Am I crazy?

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I give full credit to anyone who can fly in the day of.

 

I know how I feel after the overnight flight when we get to Europe and prefer some recovery time before I get on the ship.

 

No matter what city we are embarking from or how many times we have been there, I always find more things to explore and enjoy our pre-cruise stay and board the ship nearly feeling like my usual self 😉 

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I say it is up to you, do you have a direct non stop flight to Rome? The biggest problem if its not non stop is getting your luggage or a connection being delayed. Several years ago we were on a flight from Birmingham Alabama to Houston TX to catch a flight to Honolulu for a two week land vacation. The flight from Birmingham to Houston was delayed over 2 hours for a mechanical issue which left us about 20 minutes to catch our connection to Hawaii. There was an elderly couple behind us on the Houston flight with mobility issues and they were catching a NCL cruise that afternoon in Honolulu. The Houston to Honolulu flight was the last flight that day from Houston that arrived in time for their cruise. My wife and I ran through the Houston airport to catch our flight and as soon as we boarded they shut the cabin door behind us. I told the gate agent about the couple behind us and the agent told me sorry "we do not wait for anyone, this flight has to leave on time". I have no idea whether that couple ever made their cruise, but it taught us a lesson about flying the day of  overseas for a cruise. 

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My immediate thought  on reading OP's plan:  How much money is the cruise and flights costing you?  And how much money is one night's hotel room?  Doesn't make sense to me.

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Posted (edited)

We've flown in twice on sailing day and twice a day early. We aren't bothered much by jet lag, and the two times we flew on the same day they were direct flights from US to the departure ports.  We won't do it if a connection in Europe is required.

Edited by catl331

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Personally, it is not worth the risk for me. Even if you save some money, what if your flight comes in late and you have to spend extra money to catch up with the ship at the next port? Plus, all the stress of having to make these last-minute plans would be too much on top of the jet lag. 

 

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24 minutes ago, simplyrubies said:

... what if your flight comes in late and you have to spend extra money to catch up with the ship at the next port? Plus, all the stress of having to make these last-minute plans ...

If you use HAL Flight Ease they pay, and make any necessary reservations.

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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, Alberta Quilter said:

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.  

This.  When we flew to Europe, six months ago, our seats on our Delta transatlantic flight were in front of an emergency exit row.  Somehow that did not show up on the plane layout map.  The seats did not recline and that was not a nice surprise.  Even my DH, who can sleep through anything, could not sleep.  That flight was two days before our tour started.  We had time to recover.

 

And don't  count on plane layout maps, anyway.  We've had planes get swapped out, resulting in surprises with configuration/location of our seats.  It happens.  

 

Dont discount the potential for bad weather to cause flight delays or cancellations, nor any other type event these days that can close an airport.

Edited by Walfam

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Posted (edited)

JMHO, butI am another person who would not do it. We've had two close calls in the past and now consider at least one day in advance for all sailings.

 

Close Call #1 - First cruise ever in 1998. Flight out of Dulles delayed because crew went to wrong airport (Washington National). When we landed at Salt Lake City, we RAN through the terminal for our connection to Anchorage. I swear we felt the aircraft door close behind us! On our return, we ran into someone who did not make their connection and missed 3 days of her 7 day cruise as a result. We, on the other hand, fell in loved with cruising.

 

Close Call #2 - Early morning flight in 2009 out of Dulles to Laguardia delayed for cruise departing NYC the next day. We had even been seated on theircraft. And delayed. And delayed. Etc. All sorts of excuses/reasons given. Same aircraft that we were on in early am now deemed fit to fly late evening. After LGA arrival, we took the most terrifying cab ride into Manhattan with driver screaming into a cell phone in a language we didn't understand the whole time. Hilton looked like a palace. Finding an open restaurant in Midtown at 10:30pm (yes, in Midtown Manhattan!) was, ahem, challenging. I have never disparaged Olive Garden since. That night they were like a Michelin starred restaurant to us. BTW, it was a terrific Rotterdam cruise!

 

You just never know what will happen!

Edited by Ichiban Nekko

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I would only consider it if it was a direct flight.   Every single connecting flight (especially when I have more than one) has resulted in mis--routed or forgotten luggage.    My last trip to Oktoberfest was the first time I had a stop and the luggage arrived at the same time.  I even had a conference I was speaking at in Dusseldorf one year. The luggage arrived about 45 minutes after my speech.  I delivered my speech in a stinky white shirt, shorts and birkenstocks (My fault since I could have carried a suit in my carry on).  My last European cruise had me coming in two days early to explore Barcelona and my luggage arrived at 3:00 pm departure day (in fairness, the airline could have gotten me my luggage earlier that day but I told them just to deliver to the ship at that point).  

 

Jet lag really isn't an issue for me.  I have my oversees flight routine that works for me.  Basically popping an ambien on my longest flight segment.  

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Over 5,000 posts?  I think you definitely have enough experience to answer your own question.  You may not like the answer, but you know it by now. 😉

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Last October we did the 12 day Greek Odyssey. We left California basically the day before the cruise and flew to Dallas and then a non-stop flight to Rome arriving at 9 am local time, which was a 11 1/2 hour flight.  We did the HAL transfer to the port. We didn't have any jet lag and had the most wonderful trip.

That's just our experience.

Danny

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Glad you decided not to do it.

 

I could not stand the stress.  I don't like starting off a cruise like that.  Plus going over a couple of days early gives you the chance to rest and adjust to the new times.

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If you are trying to save money, try this:  Arrive Rome a day early, take the metro to Central Station, plenty of decent hotels in the vicinity for about $100, the next morning take the local train to Civitaveccia to meet the ship.  I'll bet that's comparable in price to the HAL transfer and you will have the peace of mind of a day's grace.

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We've flown to Spain, Italy (x3), and Greece a total of five times in the past six years and never had an issue but no way, no how would we fly in the day of the cruise.  All but one of the flights, the one to Spain that required a change in London, have all been direct from either Atlanta or Philadelphia but that included getting from San Antonio, TX to those cities.  One little hiccup and we're talking about missing or having to catch up  with the cruise not to mention potential missing or late baggage.  While it worked out and indeed we could have flown in the day of the cruise we would have been too stressed.  We don't do it for US departure ports and absolutely not for European flights.  We've actually go more than a day early but part of that is wanting to tour or walk around the departure port city so it serves more than one purpose.

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3 hours ago, kazu said:

I give full credit to anyone who can fly in the day of.

 

I know how I feel after the overnight flight when we get to Europe and prefer some recovery time before I get on the ship.

 

No matter what city we are embarking from or how many times we have been there, I always find more things to explore and enjoy our pre-cruise stay and board the ship nearly feeling like my usual self 😉 

If you saw my earlier post we recently did the same thing (same day flight) into Copenhagen to board the Regal Princess.  99.9% of the time we would totally agree with everything you say and we fly-in early (often many days early).  But our situation was the "perfect storm" scenario where it made sense to fly-in the same day (it sounds like the OP has a similar situation).  We were able to get a terrific one-way Business Class (with lay flat seats) deal/flight to CPH.   We also flew on Air Canada and had access to their new Signature Class Lounge at Toronto.  Given the flight scenario, the lounge use (this particular lounge is spectacular) we thought we could pull it off and arrive at CPH relatively rested.  It actually worked well and we would do it again, given the same circumstances.  In fact, the trip was actually a lot of fun.  I guess it just came down to our "adventurous side" and wanting to try something a bit different.  Catching up to the ship the following day (in Aarhus) would have been very easy...if necessary.   The OP has a similar situation in that if they have to catch-up in Naples that would be relatively simple.  I know it sounds crazy not to want to spend a few days in Copenhagen, but we had recently spent 4 days in that city  (not our first long visit) and honestly did not feel any desire for more time in the city or the surrounding region.  It sounds like the OP feels the same way about the Rome area.

 

As to Jet Lag we are normally in total agreement with you as we normally feel awful.  But in this case the Business Class thing really worked well.  We were both able to get a few hours sleep on the flight which easily got us through the embarkation day in Copenhagen.   DW and I have become big fans of lay flat seats  on long flights, although the cost can often be a deal breaker.  

 

Hank

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I risked it a few times on Cunard in the past due to time constraints, and always was OK. It helped that we had direct flights and lots of flight options (at 3 nearby airports) for Cunard to reschedule us as need be. But that was before I found cruise critic and read scary stories! I won't do it now, just too stressful.

 

And as I get more mature (😉), jet lag bothers me more. When we did a river cruise in the Netherlands, lots of people on the ship the first day were amazed at how alert we were and asked why we weren't falling asleep at lunch the way they were. We had spent 3 days in Amsterdam enjoying the city and getting ourselves settled into the new time zone, so when we boarded the boat we were ready to go.

 

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There is no risk, assuming the OP is fine with boarding in Naples and is fine with jumping on the train and handling his/her own bags.  This essentially provides that extra day of margin.     Not really much to miss either.  Dinner on the ship and a cruise from Civ. to Naples.   

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Last year....a last minute fast train from Rome to Naples was 99 euros for two.....(I had purchased our tickets for less...earlier)...

 

Finding a room in Naples on short notice could be a problem....I'd do some good research before leaving.....make sure your Plan B is a safe one....

 

And personally.....I wouldn't take the chance........I always go at least a day before........

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Posted (edited)

It is about two hours.  About the only challenge would be changing trains in Termini IF you had lots of luggage or were physically restricted.  You would have to get your bags off the train from FCO and on to the Naples train.   No different really from taking a the train from FCO to Civ in terms of changing trains.  Just an extra hour or so spent on a different train.

Edited by iancal

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1 hour ago, Hlitner said:

As to Jet Lag we are normally in total agreement with you as we normally feel awful.  But in this case the Business Class thing really worked well.  We were both able to get a few hours sleep on the flight which easily got us through the embarkation day in Copenhagen.   DW and I have become big fans of lay flat seats  on long flights, although the cost can often be a deal breaker.  

 

 

I’m glad it worked for you.  

 

We pretty much have lay flat seats as well when we are crossing the pond and while they help, with another connection after, we’re usually a tad weary for a day or 2.

 

As I said earlier, I give full credit to anyone who can do it.  It’s not something we want to risk to do.  There are too many risks for us with weather, etc.  We have to connect to get to an airport that goes to Europe and,  If our puddle hopper can’t get here or doesn’t go, we can’t get to the central hub for our flight, so we always allow time.  

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On 3/24/2019 at 10:14 PM, richwmn said:

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.

 

Can I ask if you would share the name of the hotel (and the car service)? 🙂 

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On 3/25/2019 at 1:40 PM, Tennessee Titan said:

Done it a number of times - never a problem.....

... said the Russian roulette player! :classic_wacko:

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16 minutes ago, canadarocks said:

Can I ask if you would share the name of the hotel (and the car service)? 🙂 

The hotel was Hotel Borgo del Mare and I used Rome Cabs for the transport.

I have used Rome Cabs 3 times, FCO to Rome, Rome to Civi, and FCO to Civi. Each time I had a clean car and very good driver (same driver for the two runs to Civi). The drivers were at the appointed spots earlier than necessary and had water available.

 

The hotel is a quaint, family owned hotel a bit away from the port. It has several things within walking distance. I had a ground level room with no view, but if you have a higher room you would have a view of the ocean. The run to the port was quick.

 

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