I should ask you, why do you want to go to Sorrento, but I will not ask! Yes, there are some jetboats or hydrofoils that run directly from Naples to Sorrento (the tender pier is just to the left of the cruise line pier as you look inland), however, there are only a limited number scheduled per day. My suggestion would be that when you get off the ship just walk over to the ferry terminal (5 min walk) and check the daily schedules (posted over the ticket windows of the various boat companies). If you find a boat that works with your schedule than buy the ticket and have fun. If there are no boats for several hours, than take a taxi (or city bus) to the train station and catch the Circumvesuviania Line train that runs about twice an hour between Naples and Sorrento. Actually, if you get to Sorrento early enough in the day and get bored, you can grab a boat over to Capri (only 20 min from Sorrento) and from Capri you could take a jetboat all the way back to Naples (about 50 min ride).
The Amalfi coast area looks so pretty. Friends of ours have been many times and said it is gorgeous. Picture postcard stuff!
We won't be in Naples until 31st October so worried that hydrofoils won't be running. Don't really want to have to book ship excursion.
I agree with you about the Amalfi coast. In fact, last year we spent a week in a cliff-side hotel right on the Amalfi drive in a little town called Praiano which is a few miles East of Postiano. The problem is that Sorrento really isn't part of the Amalfi Coast. or at least most would consider that the so-called Amalfi coast begins when you leave Sorrento going East towards Amalfi on what it the Amalfi Drive. However, the views from Sorrento can also be quite stunning. To really enjoy the Amalfi Drive you have to literally drive on the road (from Sorrento to Amalfi) or be in a bus. Its also quite beautiful if you take a boat from Capri to Amalfi or Sorrento to Amalfi because than you see that coast line from sea....but it is not the same as driving along the cliffs.
I'm fascinated by your knowledge of these European ports. We will be celebrating our 25th anniv. in 08' and are leaning toward a 7 day cruise on RCC VOS. I'm reading all the message boards and trying to digest all the info(cruise excursions vs. on your own,etc.)We've done 6 caribbean cruises, so we know about ship excursions, but Europe is a 1st, which intimidates me with buses and trains on our own. My kids are 21 and 24 (girl and boy). Would you suggest late May-early June(less crowds, less heat)? We hoped to do the Amalfi coast by land but time won't permit it.The next best thing is the cruise to get our feet wet.I know most go for the history,the ruins, etc. but I know the kids will want to see other stuff as well, beaches, etc. Is a private driver the way to go in Naples to Capri, Amalfi? Another port will be Palermo, any suggestions would be helpful. Just trying to keep everyone happy....lol.
So many good questions. I started traveling, internationally, about 40 years ago (when a teen) and fell in love with travel. We took our first Med cruise about 25 years ago and got totally hooked on the area, so I would warn that your biggest problem with taking a Med cruise is that you might get addicted to the region. You will have fewer crowds in May, but you can never escape tourists in the Med. The good news is that its a huge area and it does very well absorbing the crowds. For years we had to travel in July (my wife was a teacher) and almost always enjoyed good weather. The only awful heat we experienced was in Greece during one summer when they had a major heat wave (temperatures soared to over 120). But, most of the Med enjoys excellent weather all summer with temperatures generally in the mid to high 80s (this year is hotter than average). We are big fans of RCI (Diamond members) but I really have a personal problem with 7 day cruises in the Med. I understand that time and money are usually major factors, but its a long way to travel for just a week (it takes 2 or 3 days to recover from jet lag). If you must take a 7 day, try to spare a few extra days pre and/or post cruise....Barcelona is a very tourist-friendly city. You mention the port of Naples. You cannot reasonably do the Amalfi coast and Capri on the same day (there is also Pompeii). If you want to do the Amalfi Coast (Sorrento, Positano, Amalfi, and Ravello) I do recommend a private car/driver over any ships tour. This is expensive (could cost $500). Capri is very easy to do on your own, but you need pretty much the entire day for that trip although its possible to combine Capri with a visit to Pompeii. Palermo is my least favorite port, but there is a very interesting place called the Cappuccini Catacombs. This city can also be done on your own with just a bit of homework. You are going to find that if you want to take tours in every port, it is going to add a lot of expense to your trip. Ship excursions in the Med are not the same as in the Caribbean because many are very long (somtimes 8 or 9 hours) and they can be very expensive. When it comes to cost I have been unhappy (not that anyone cares) with the pricing for Med cruises during the past 3 years. The demand has been high, and the cruise lines are now charging very high rates when compared to the Caribbean. Now that so many ships are repostioning for Med cruises, one can hope that the costs come more in line with what we expect in the Caribbean. I recently wrote a major "thread" on another site where I argued that it can now be cheaper to travel on land in the Med than on the sea.
Thanks for the quick response. My husband is self-employed and 10 days is probably the max. we can get away.With my kids, would you recommend Capri and Pompeii or private tour of
Sorrento, Positano, Amalfi, and Ravello?I know we're pressed ofr time but my hope is that my husband will fall in love w/ Italy on this rushed cruise and realize "life is too short to wait". Maybe our next trip will be on land in a villa on the Amalfi Coast
Would you suggest late May-early June(less crowds, less heat)? We hoped to do the Amalfi coast
welcome "on board".
Late May/ early June is a very fine time to go to Naples. As I know, Hank is an intimate connoisseur of this part of the world. I agree with him, that an excursion to the Amalfi coast with all the beautiful towns costs too much time. Take the circumvesuviana as Hank said and make a stopp at Ercolano (Herculaneum), than go to Pompeji Scavi for Pompeji (takes about two to three hours), than go by train to Sorrento and from there with the hydrofoil back to Naples. Make sure, that you can catch a ticket for the hydrofoil.
You can buy the tickets first at Molo Beverello (left of the Cruise terminal), than take the tram or the bus ore a taxi to te main rail station.
We have our 25th anniversary in 2009....