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NCL Reduced AIR-PHL to Barcelona or Rome?

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8 hours ago, Sailing12Away said:

We opted for the Rome embarkation point for the Mediterranean cruise we did last May. We flew in a few days early, then stayed a few days after the cruise as well. I didn't realize until after we were past the final payment date that this was a split cruise. Unless you're flying in early or staying late after the cruise, and that is why you prefer Barcelona over Rome, I would strongly suggest going in/out of Rome.


When we got on in Rome, we walked right on with no wait. Granted, it was late in the afternoon and most people were probably already on board, but there were no lines and no hassle. When we got off the ship in Barcelona for our tour, it was chaos. When we returned to the ship after our tour in Barcelona, it was chaos. I'm guessing it's at least a 70/30 split between people who embark in Barcelona vs Rome. So if you get on/off in Rome, you have much less crowds to deal with.


I guess I got lucky with flights, we found an amazing deal through Alitalia. JFK to Rome, nonstop was $500 each for the 3 of us. NCL didn't have the free airfare promo at the time, but with those prices and our 3rd passenger coming in our mini suite for 'free' it was a no brainer.


Not knowing your exact dates, but a quick search for flights from 6/24 - 7/1 from JFK to FCO shows a price of $835 on Alitalia for the ability to choose your seats with luggage included. For comparison, the best deal I see on Kayak out of Philly is for $1376 nonstop on American, but no bags or seat assignments included.


If NCL is offering you a flight from Philly to Rome for only $600.... I would jump on that. There's a very good chance it's the nonstop on American anyway. 

YIKES good to know! We went to Rome/Tuscany a few years back with the family so we were looking at Barcelona with the idea we would come in early and explore the city for a couple of nights. Might have to rethink that.  


THANK YOU to everyone who's posted-it's really helpful in making an informed decision.  With 11 of us (4 adult kids and their spouses & 2 grandkids) we think having control over the flights is the way to go.  We could get lucky like others have but there are lots of logistics with a group this size and potentially having connecting flights, long layovers etc and possibly not knowing what the travel schedule is until 30-45 days prior to flying is just way too stressful of a way to start a vacation.  If it was just DH and I would be alot more willing to chance it.  Thanks again to all for their input!

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