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EZ2CY

Confused! How Do HAL'S "Airport to Port" Transfers Work?

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We've purchased a Rome airport (FCO) to Port of Civitavecchia transfer from HAL and for the life of me I don't understand why we've received no information from HAL included in our booking on where and when to catch the shuttle. I finally called our HAL cruise consultant who at least gave me a window of 9am to 11am and a meeting place of "downstairs in Terminal 3 outside customs" as a meeting place. But we have no ticket and our only "proof" of having purchased the transfer is on our itinerary. Help! Is this normal? How will the shuttle driver know that we have, indeed,  already purchased the transfer to the port? I've checked the Italy boards and can't find anything on already purchased transfers from HAL. Anyone here actually taken the HAL transfer from FCO to Civitavecchia???? Am I missing something?

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Following.

I, too, have purchased HAL transfers from FCO to Civitavecchia for an August sailing.  I have no idea how they work nor have I gotten any sort of info.  I hope someone can help out.

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I can't speak to Civitavecchia, but we've used it twice in other cities. The HAL rep (holding a HAL logo sign) will meet you at your baggage carousel and give you directions. We were told to collect our luggage and go to a seating area, where we were then directed to our bus. We did have to get our luggage as far as the bus, but the driver took care of it at that point. 

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HAL hires local greeting companies that are aware of your arriving flight and will be holding signs in the luggage claim area.  You may see signs for other cruise lines if there are more than one ship in Civitavecchia that day.  If your first point of arrival in Europe is Rome, you must clear immigration and customs.  In that case, they will meet you at the exit from the customs clearance area.  They will direct you to drop your luggage in a specific area (make sure you have your HAL luggage tags on all bags, showing your name, ship and cabin number).   Then you will be directed to where the bus is waiting or a seating area while waiting for other arriving passengers.

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I will assume that the OP is already wedded to the HAL transfer.  But to others we offer a few facts.  The transfers at any port are handled by a local contractor (not the cruise line) and those companies can be great...or not.  The cost of cruise line transfers is sometimes competitive. but often costs more then simply grabbing a taxi!   Our own experience with cruise line transfers (and we have been at this  cruise game for over 40 years) has been hit and miss...and after a few missed we always try to avoid a cruise line transfer.  From FCO to Civitavecchia it will cost a couple about $130 to arrange a private transfer (we are talking about a private car/driver for just you!   With a cruise line transfer you might find yourself waiting around the airport for a period of time while they try to fill their mini-bus...with a private transfer your driver will be waiting to go...when you arrive.  

 

If you do not want to arrange a private transfer a taxi will cost around 110 Euros.  You simply grab your luggage, walk past customs, head outside to the taxi queue and you are on your way!   No delays, no waiting, etc.

 

If the cruise line is providing transfers for under $50 pp...this is a reasonable cost.  Otherwise, we would book a private transfer.

 

Hank

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We use the Holland America transfers very often from the airport to the cruise port.  When you receive your Boarding Documents, they usually will have a section that says, 

 

ARRIVAL INFORMATION 
 
TRANSFER INSTRUCTIONS:  Welcome to Seattle! If you have purchased your transfer to the ship through Holland America Line, a representative from Holland America Line (wear a read vest and white shirt) will meet you in the baggage claim area and direct you to your transfer vehicle. If you cannot locate a representative, please have one paged at the airport. In case of emergency, please call 1-206-939-6022. Please refer to your itinerary for specific instructions concerning your pre-packages or your transfer from the airport (if applicable).  

 

Hope this helps.

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Posted (edited)

We found similar arrival information for Fort Lauderdale. Our plane was delayed and arrived at 11 PM. No one there so we called the number and were told the transfer people had already gone home so take a taxi, get a receipt, and then take it to the front desk on board the ship. Same thing with our daughter who was arriving about the same time the next night. Took it to the Neptune concierge when we got on board, and a couple of days later she called, said the transfer agent was very apologetic and the two taxi fares showed up as OBC.

 

Second daughter arrived on another flight, found the agent, was loaded into a van with 3 couples from different ships and going to different hotels. Even though our hotel was closest, she was the last one off the van.

 

Edited by oceanmom

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Posted (edited)

http://www.adr.it/documents/10157/16175834/T3+arrivi_20190306.pdf/5bfce7fa-b982-4de9-93e6-b8495da10f74

I can’t speak to HAL, but if it’s like RCI, it was pretty easy last October. Assuming you have a shared/bus transfer.

Here’s a map of FCO terminal 3 arrivals. On the left you’ll see an icon of a guy w/ a hat holding a passport  that’s were you’ll go through customs/passport control. After you go through passport control you’ll head to the baggage carousels which are the boxes with suitcases numbers 3-11 on the map. After you’ve collected your luggage head to where it says T3 on the map by the little cafe area where there are people holding signs with your ship’s name. You can’t miss them. You check in with them, they check their list to mark you off & you just go where they direct you.

Note, I arrived the day before and stayed at the airport Hilton and just walked back over to the T3 arrivals area, so if you land in one of the other terminals you should be able to find your way over to Terminal 3.

Edited by sndral

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Thank you all for the info.  I've double checked and there's nothing on our docs about transfers.  Seems strange, especially for a European destination, for HAL not to provide transfer info.  Thank goodness for Cruise Critic and so many helpful fellow travelers! 

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, sndral said:

http://www.adr.it/documents/10157/16175834/T3+arrivi_20190306.pdf/5bfce7fa-b982-4de9-93e6-b8495da10f74

I can’t speak to HAL, but if it’s like RCI, it was pretty easy last October. Assuming you have a shared/bus transfer.

Here’s a map of FCO terminal 3 arrivals. On the left you’ll see an icon of a guy w/ a hat holding a passport  that’s were you’ll go through customs/passport control. After you go through passport control you’ll head to the baggage carousels which are the boxes with suitcases numbers 3-11 on the map. After you’ve collected your luggage head to where it says T3 on the map by the little cafe area where there are people holding signs with your ship’s name. You can’t miss them. You check in with them, they check their list to mark you off & you just go where they direct you.

Note, I arrived the day before and stayed at the airport Hilton and just walked back over to the T3 arrivals area, so if you land in one of the other terminals you should be able to find your way over to Terminal 3.

 

 sndral, we're also coming in a day early and staying at the airport Hilton and planned to walk back to Terminal 3 on Monday to catch the port shuttle.  Thanks for the map!!! I'm feeling better about the possibility of actually finding the HAL reps at the airport at this point!

Edited by EZ2CY

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I finally found this on the HAL site in the Transportation section of FAQ. Not sure why I couldn't find it before: Where Do I Meet My Airport Transfer?

On days of sailing, Holland America representatives will be stationed in the airport baggage claim area or outside the customs area (depending on local customs regulations), to greet guests and assist those who are eligible to be transferred to the pier. You will recognize our representatives by their Holland America signs. If you don't see our representatives, please have one paged. Please note: This service is available only on days of sailing.

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15 hours ago, Hlitner said:

With a cruise line transfer you might find yourself waiting around the airport for a period of time while they try to fill their mini-bus...with a private transfer your driver will be waiting to go...when you arrive.

Operative word being "might"...

...We purchased the HAL transfer from Schiphol to our (HAL) hotel and we had a private limo and driver (despite another couple who we met in the airport and who subsequently arrived at the same hotel).

Going the other direction will surely involve waiting for a filled bus but (depending on the cruise) there will likely be many buses that fill quickly.

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3 hours ago, grsnovi said:

Operative word being "might"...

...We purchased the HAL transfer from Schiphol to our (HAL) hotel and we had a private limo and driver (despite another couple who we met in the airport and who subsequently arrived at the same hotel).

Going the other direction will surely involve waiting for a filled bus but (depending on the cruise) there will likely be many buses that fill quickly.

The sad truth is that cruise lines totally rely on local contractors for services like transfers.   The last time we used cruise line transfers (and pre/post hotel packages) was on a Celebrity cruise out of Buenos Aires.  It was an absolute disaster (on many levels) and there was a lot of frustration because nobody wanted to accept responsibility.  I guess fifty+ years of extensive travel has taught me that the best solution is usually to handle things ourselves.   

 

Since the OP asked about Civitavecchia and FCO we focused on that one issue.   When it comes to Rome, travelers are fortunate to have many decent local tour/transfer providers who can be booked with a few clicks of the mouse.  If we find the need to book a transfer at FCO (we often just go off with a rental car) it is very easy to arrange for our own car/driver who will be waiting when we land.  No waiting for a group, no waiting when a transfer bus might go to multiple hotels, etc.  Lets face it, a private limo for 2 is not the norm for cruise line transfers :).  

 

Hank

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We have never been disappointed with HAL airport to port transfers.

Our Buenos Aires transfer was the very best, including a mini city tour on the way.

The security and peace of mind after long flight(s) and exhaustion is priceless.

The last time, we thought we could do better on our own in Sydney, Australia since we spoke the language.  Wrong.  Plan A did not work, so Plan B resulted in finding an unscrupulous taxi driver who overcharged us.

Barbara 

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On 4/25/2019 at 11:06 PM, EZ2CY said:

We've purchased a Rome airport (FCO) to Port of Civitavecchia transfer from HAL and for the life of me I don't understand why we've received no information from HAL included in our booking on where and when to catch the shuttle. I finally called our HAL cruise consultant who at least gave me a window of 9am to 11am and a meeting place of "downstairs in Terminal 3 outside customs" as a meeting place. But we have no ticket and our only "proof" of having purchased the transfer is on our itinerary. Help! Is this normal? How will the shuttle driver know that we have, indeed,  already purchased the transfer to the port? I've checked the Italy boards and can't find anything on already purchased transfers from HAL. Anyone here actually taken the HAL transfer from FCO to Civitavecchia???? Am I missing something?

We used it twice from Rome to Civitavecchia. In the arrival hall HAL representatives (see HAL logo boards) will direct you to a colleague with a passenger list for the transfer. Just mention your name.... May 2018 a separate car transported all the luggage to the Koningsdam and we saw them again in our stateroom. Trolley and other personal cabin luggage could be transported in the bus. Busses will leave when all places in a bus are occupied (passengers from different flights will arrive at different times).  Attach your HAL luggage labels before entering the arrival hall in a quiet spot (Rome is quite a busy airport) can be handy.  Enjoy your trip!   

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Posted (edited)
On 4/26/2019 at 9:10 AM, EZ2CY said:

 

 sndral, we're also coming in a day early and staying at the airport Hilton and planned to walk back to Terminal 3 on Monday to catch the port shuttle.  Thanks for the map!!! I'm feeling better about the possibility of actually finding the HAL reps at the airport at this point!

 

This is exactly what we did on our last trip out of Civitavecchia.  We walked through the easily navigated covered walkway to the hotel after an early arrival at the airport and quick immigration/customs line.  It seems to me this was about a half mile but it wasn't so far as to be discouraging.  It was nice to stretch our legs and walk.  The Hilton had our room available quite early and we enjoyed the day in Rome, came back to the hotel and enjoyed a nice night's sleep.  We had a nice breakfast and headed back to the terminal where we had exited the day before.  There, several people stood with a couple of cruise lines' signs.  Went to the HAL person and we were led to a person with a clipboard who had our names on the sheet.  We waited perhaps 30 minutes before boarding and leaving on our driving tour of Rome and to the port.  Eazy pleazy! 

 

I don't recall receiving any special instructions from HAL but it seemed all self-explanatory at the time and caused us no stress.  We'd seen the cruise line signs at many exits at airports and just figured that would be the place to start.

Edited by 0bnxshs

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4 hours ago, MAVIP said:

We used it twice from Rome to Civitavecchia. In the arrival hall HAL representatives (see HAL logo boards) will direct you to a colleague with a passenger list for the transfer. Just mention your name.... May 2018 a separate car transported all the luggage to the Koningsdam and we saw them again in our stateroom. Trolley and other personal cabin luggage could be transported in the bus. Busses will leave when all places in a bus are occupied (passengers from different flights will arrive at different times).  Attach your HAL luggage labels before entering the arrival hall in a quiet spot (Rome is quite a busy airport) can be handy.  Enjoy your trip!   

I would second this answer as that is how my transfer from the airport in Rome to Civitavecchia worked as well.  Once you claim your luggage and clear customs you are directed where to meet for your transfer to the port, and someone there has a clip board for you to check in with.  They handled the luggage and all I needed to worry about was my carry on bag.  The day we arrived, there were problems at the port that delayed our boarding so we were actually treated to a bus tour of Rome rather than being stuck in the airport or just sitting in the port for hours waiting to board the ship.  Very well done considering the circumstances.  

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