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Total time from disembarkation from Civitavecchia (Rome) to arrival time at FCO (Rome airport)


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Sailing 7/22/21 on RCCL Harmony of the Seas (Western Mediterranean) out of Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy.  The ship arrives back at the same port 7 am on 7/29/21.  The latest flight I can find leaves FCO airport (Rome) at 12:30 pm.  I've read that the ride to the airport can take 1 1/2 hours and to allow up to 3 hours for the check-in process once arriving at FCO airport.  I've cruised numerous times but always to Caribbean ports, never did European.  Please advise as to how comfortably we will be able to catch a 12:30 pm flight out of FCO on 7/29/21.  We are spending extra days in Rome pre-cruise and won't be able to stay any additional days post cruise.  Also, if I visit guest services on the ship, will they be able to ensure that we get an early disembarkation color group?  Any help is much appreciated, as this has me overly stressed out.  Thanks a million!

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3 minutes ago, MadamAdventure said:

Sailing 7/22/21 on RCCL Harmony of the Seas (Western Mediterranean) out of Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy.  The ship arrives back at the same port 7 am on 7/29/21.  The latest flight I can find leaves FCO airport (Rome) at 12:30 pm.  I've read that the ride to the airport can take 1 1/2 hours and to allow up to 3 hours for the check-in process once arriving at FCO airport.  I've cruised numerous times but always to Caribbean ports, never did European.  Please advise as to how comfortably we will be able to catch a 12:30 pm flight out of FCO on 7/29/21.  We are spending extra days in Rome pre-cruise and won't be able to stay any additional days post cruise.  Also, if I visit guest services on the ship, will they be able to ensure that we get an early disembarkation color group?  Any help is much appreciated, as this has me overly stressed out.  Thanks a million!

On Choice Air flights Royal suggests  flights departing after 12:15 so you should be fine. 

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Just letting you know that you might get some more advice from the Italy forum, so I don't want you to miss out on that. Personally, I feel pretty stressed out about your times, but I acknowledge some of my fears could be irrational, and I'm sure there are many who've made your situation work for them like cakewalk. But to me personally, there are several factors to which I could see this go wrong, and that includes the ship arriving late in port, a traffic jam on the freeway from Civitavecchia to Fiumicino, or something going all wrong at the airport (e.g. security, check-in, etc.) and I like that sense of cushion for myself in a place I'm not as familiar with.

 

So for port stuff:

If I remember correctly, there wasn't much immigration check at Civitavecchia's cruise port, but the facility itself wasn't anything to write home about and can get pretty crowded really quickly so it's crucial to be one of the first ones off (and have your luggage always with you or you'll be trying to find it through the mess). You'll also need to factor in needing to take a short (free) 5-10ish minute bus ride from the terminal you're getting off at to the entrance at the port as it's a working port. Not sure if other terminals at the port don't need this, so I'm hoping others can speak to it. You could try arranging a ride before you leave for the cruise or try out one of the many van and shuttle drivers (or taxis) there; some of them are nice even if they come off as pushy -- just know what you need and want (can't remember much about the pricing, though). If you take these, you're usually sharing it with maybe 2-3 other couples; just make sure you're not possibly sharing it with others who are going into the city and not the airport so things are easier that way. Do not rely on the train to Rome at all. As an aside, the van drivers do drive really fast on the freeway, so barring a possible jam, then hopefully you would make it to the airport fine. 

 

The airport:

I'm not a well-seasoned European traveler, but I do think FCO was one of the more complicated airports, both with check-in and security (particularly for US & also Israel-bound flights, if I remember correctly?) and also the airport's general layout. Check-in counters for all US airlines at Terminal 3 (unless you're flying Alitalia because then I'm not sure about Terminal 1) are all segregated from the rest and come with a little more inspection; lines can get long so be ready to be one of the first in line. The security checkpoint is also specifically designed for this specific cohort of passengers and is more congested with crowds (again YMMV). Once you move beyond that, you will soon realize the airport's massive size and you'll need to really pick up your pace to make your gate, which took a surprisingly long jaunt, especially for the US-bound flights (I think we also needed to take a train ride in the airport to get to another side of the terminal?). But this could've been a one-off, so again, things can change by the time you're there.

 

(And of course, if you're flying domestically or within the Schengen or to anywhere else besides the US, I apologize for making any assumptions! I just spoke on my personal experience, but it may not be the most applicable to you.)

 

So in conclusion, I might be remembering some details wrong or exaggerating in some places, but these were the moments that stuck out with me when it came time to leave Civitavecchia and go through Fiumicino. I do think Rome is really one of the more labor-intensive experiences when it comes to leaving the ship to getting on your plane, but again, others may have tricks up their sleeves to make it through in the window you've provided. I wasn't late for my flight by any means but I could see many possible chokepoints in my route that could've easily derailed my plans. My personal thoughts are just that you'd be much more at ease if you expanded the window you're giving yourself. Your first European cruise will be such an exciting one and I hope all goes well with your plans! 🙂 

Edited by snoozecrooze
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I would definitely pre book a private taxi just for your party.

 

If you book shared travel you could be waiting for ages and the pick ups then maybe from more than one ship.

 

I’d suggest you be off the ship and in a pre booked taxi by 08.00am and you should then be at the airport in approximately one hour.

 

 

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Our experience of Civitavecchia port in 2018 was that there are shuttle buses that run between the terminals, but they can be crowded.   It would be advisable to book a private taxi to transport your group to the airport, which is approx an hour away from the port.    Beware, though, that not all taxi companies are allowed through the security gate at the port, and they may have to pick you up outside the port entrance, it is better if you can find a company who has access into the port itself.  We were a party of 6, and I didn't organise the booking of our taxi to the airport, and I don't remember which company we used.

 

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We have done this twice, and used the cruiseline transportation both times.  It gave us priority departure, and we knew the bus would be there for us and would take us to the correct place.  Great for peace of mind.

I agree with the above, it is a huge airport, with lots of walking and lots of checkpoints.  Patience is required!

Your 12:30 time should be just fine.

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2 hours ago, Nado44 said:

You'll be fine. With a 7 am estimated port arrival, I would feel comfortable booking flights from FCO that departed from 1030 am onwards.

Port arrival time and disembarkation time are two different times. 12:30 flight is doable, 10:30 flight is insane. We done the return home twice and do to the size and complexity of the airport, I would get there at least two hours early. I think you have to check in at least an hour early for international flights. There isn’t that many other options if you miss your flight.

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11 hours ago, MadamAdventure said:

Sailing 7/22/21 on RCCL Harmony of the Seas (Western Mediterranean) out of Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy.  The ship arrives back at the same port 7 am on 7/29/21.  The latest flight I can find leaves FCO airport (Rome) at 12:30 pm.  I've read that the ride to the airport can take 1 1/2 hours and to allow up to 3 hours for the check-in process once arriving at FCO airport.  I've cruised numerous times but always to Caribbean ports, never did European.  Please advise as to how comfortably we will be able to catch a 12:30 pm flight out of FCO on 7/29/21.  We are spending extra days in Rome pre-cruise and won't be able to stay any additional days post cruise.  Also, if I visit guest services on the ship, will they be able to ensure that we get an early disembarkation color group?  Any help is much appreciated, as this has me overly stressed out.  Thanks a million!

If you self disembark IE carrying your own cases you will be first off the ship.

Book a private taxi who have authority to pick you up next to the ship because some can only pick up at the port entrance up to 1 mile from where the ship docks.

Transfer time is around 1 hour.

If the ship docks on time which in the summer is very likely you will be okay.

Graham.

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First, I'm not sure that you'll be flying internationally to cruise in June.  I think there will still be significant travel restrictions in place.

 

If your last stop was within the Schengen zone, you will just walk off the ship and go right to the taxi if you are able to carry your own bags off the ship.  You also got some good advice about the the taxi and port shuttles.  Pre-book a taxi with a company that can come inside the port and avoid the port shuttle.  We have used RomeinLimo a couple of times and are highly recommended for transfers as well as tours in Italy.  You will be at the airport in a little over an hour, but if your are flying back to the US, be prepared to wait awhile.  The international terminal is a remote site and you won't be able to check in until a couple of hours before your flight, so you will be waiting in the terminal lobby.  You will likely see the RCL transfer buses arrive while you are waiting in the lobby, so that option will also work.  

 

As I remember it when it's time for your flight, the first step is document check in the lobby where they check to see if you can actually enter the check-in area.  Then you will wait in another line to actually check in for your flight.  Then you will wait in another line to board the shuttle bus to the actual terminal and your boarding pass will be checked again.  You will then be at the actual airport terminal where your documents will be checked again before you board.  There are a lot of lines and a lot of waiting, but you have plenty of time for the 12:30 flight.

 

 

 

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At this point, I would not feel comfortable booking any flight prior to 6:00 PM or possibly not until the next day.  Until the new COVID procedures are finalized, and there have been a couple of months of sailings with reviews with actual experience, no one knows how long it will take to get off the ship or through the airport.  With scheduled, socially distanced disembarkation, possibly having to get a final Covid test, etc., the days of walking off the ship quickly with self-departure may be over (at least for a while).

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17 minutes ago, JT1962 said:

At this point, I would not feel comfortable booking any flight prior to 6:00 PM or possibly not until the next day.  Until the new COVID procedures are finalized, and there have been a couple of months of sailings with reviews with actual experience, no one knows how long it will take to get off the ship or through the airport.  With scheduled, socially distanced disembarkation, possibly having to get a final Covid test, etc., the days of walking off the ship quickly with self-departure may be over (at least for a while).

Exactly.  IF that ship sails, and IF OP is able to fly to Europe, no one knows what the procedures at the cruise port or airport will be next summer.   No way I'd book that same day 12:30 flight in a covid world 😞 

Edited by bouhunter
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We sailed from Civitavecchia in 2018. Our arrival time was scheduled for 7:00am so I booked a 12:30pm flight. I was sweating bullets, thinking that we would not make our flight. 
 

Even with self assist debarkation (we were second in line), and with pre-arranged private transportation waiting for us, we still didn’t make it to the gate until boarding had already begun. As mentioned before, FCO is a convoluted airport, with long, slow moving lines and several checkpoints before you make it to your gate. We witnessed people jumping the line at passport control because they were going to miss their flights, as well as the ensuing arguments and confrontations from other passengers who wouldn’t let them through. 
 

Other things contributed to the compressed time line. Even though our ship’s arrival was scheduled for 7:00am, we didn’t dock until closer to 8:00am (no explanation given). Also, our airline posted an early departure (by 10 minutes, but it still compressed the timeline further). 
 

Long story short, I will never try to catch a flight home from FCO right after a cruise with such a tight timeline. Stressing like I’ve never stressed about making a flight is not how I wanted to spend the last few hours of an otherwise wonderful vacation. 
 

With new Covid-related procedures in place, I probably wouldn’t even consider catching a same day flight home. 

Edited by Tapi
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  • 4 months later...

We've made this trek and I can tell you that everything would have to work perfectly for the 12:30 flight to be a viable option, in my experience.  One hiccup and you may have a missed flight.  I would recommend that if do this, carry your own luggage off and be one of the first to get off the ship.  Pre-book transportation and make sure when booking to ask if they will carry just you or if they will book additional people to fill their vehicle.  If that happens, you are at the mercy of the other individuals to get there ASAP.  Also, if they pick up another party, they may drop them at a different location which could again take more time.  Be very clear with the transportation service of your flight times and remind the driver of your restrictions before you get in their vehicle.

 

You could always put a thread on your cruise's forum asking if anyone wants to share transport to the airport for your flight.  You'll be sure to get someone with the same travel restrictions.  Also, be sure to pack your luggage so that there is nothing that will stop you for a security search.

 

Have you thought about spending one less day pre-cruise and adding a day to the end?   This way you wouldn't be so stressed.  Just a thought.  Good luck!

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Posted (edited)

We fly United and their computer systems went down at midnight EST which is the morning time in Italy. That delay is about 20 to 30+ minutes.

 

Don't forget immigration which will take 30 to 90 minutes. Mornings are buzy.

Edited by SonicShip
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Is the flight direct to US? There is also a special security check for passengers flying to USA from Europe which is normally a longer line.

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I agree with all the warnings but would like to add one more consideration.  My ship docked on time, 6AM,  and when I got on line shortly after there were already about a hundred people there ahead of me. We then waited in the corridor and on the stairs with the line constantly growing for over 2 hours while the Italian customs officers were on ship enjoying their morning coffee. Any plans for early planes or trains went out the window.

I would never plan anything before the afternoon.  Too much tension with the unexpected.

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  • 2 months later...

Thank you to all that replied to my posting.  Sadly our cruise was cancelled so I did a "lift and shift" and will now be taking the same cruise, but on Allure instead of Harmony, July 21, 2022.  Now that there is plenty of time for planning I am heeding all of your advice and adding an extra day onto the end of our travels.  You all have enlightened me in regards to international travel.  I can't thank you enough for all of the advice and tips you provided.  I appreciate it all so much.

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