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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 08-27-2006, 09:49 PM
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Have you taken the train from the cruise port/Civa. to Rome? Would you pay the "excursion price 4Xs higher the train cost" for the NCL to take you on a bus to the city instead? We are trying to decide.
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Old 08-28-2006, 03:22 PM
 
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I think you have done a good job expressing the options. We have taken that train many times and it is cheaper and often somewhat faster than the bus (it has to deal with morning rush hour traffic). You need to give yourself an extra hour for the return (just in case the train is late) with your back-up plan being that you would have to grab a taxi (expensive). On all of our trips to Italy (more than a dozen) we have never had a problem with this train line. By the way, the local port authority now runs a free shuttle bus between the port entrance and the ships. This saves a lot of walking inside the huge port. Once you are at the port entrance, its a few block walk to the station.

Hank
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Old 08-31-2006, 04:35 AM
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I have a question regarding train tickets and ferry tickets in capri. I read in other posts that we should buy the return tickets once we get to destination. Are the tickets open for any departure (can we just use it any time we want to) or do we have to mention at what time we want to get back.

Thank you for your reply.
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Old 08-31-2006, 02:59 PM
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
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Great question. Unless they have changed the policy in the last 2 months (unlikely) the tickets are open tickets for any hydrofoil (or ferry) operated by a particular company. Since its first come first serve its a good idea to get to the pier 15 or 20 min early for your departure (you need to allow some extra time in case there is a line for the funicular down to the piers). Keep in mind that there are 2 companies (might actually be a third) that run boats...so you want to buy for the right company. Once you arrive on Capri, as you leave the pier the ticket office is on your right. Check the schedules and buy the appropriate return ticket so you avoid waiting in line when you come back down to Marina Grande.

Hank
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Old 09-01-2006, 04:43 AM
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Thank you Hank for your answer. So what it means is if you buy your ticket in advance, you are not garanteed a place on the ferry. It just means you don't have to wait to get your ticket. Am I right ?

What about train tickets in Rome or Florence, do they show the time or are they open tickets ?

?hanks again.
Jan
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Old 09-01-2006, 08:37 AM
 
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Jan, Both my wife and I have "racked our brains" and are not 100% sure, but we both recall (we have used both high speed ferries and hydrofoils many times) that they did have a specific time on the ticket. You could buy your ticket in advance and just get on any boat (remember that there is more than one company) for that company. Also keep in mind that they tickets for ferries will not work on the hydrofoils (they cost more). This all sounds a bit complicated but in practice its very easy and you will have no problem reading the schedules. Since we are getting into real details, here is one more fact often left off these boards. There are actually two ferry piers in Naples...and you want the boats from Capri that go to "Molo Beverello." This is the pier located next to the cruise ships. A few hydrofoils go to a different pier (about 1 mile from the cruise ships) called "Mergellina" from which you would probably need a taxi to get back to the ship. These piers will be identified on the schedules posted at the ticket office on Capri. As I said, in practice its really eary so don't worry and just have fun. Now, lets deal with the other trains. From Livorno to Florence (or Pisa or Lucca) you just buy your tickets (these are truly open tickets) and you do not need any reservations. You will get a seperate ticket for each direction of your trip (no savings on round trips) and you simply validate the appropriate ticket right before you get on the train. These tickets are truly "open" tickets and have no time on them until they are validated. There are small validation machines located either at the entrance to the platforms or on the platform (varies with each station) which are just time/date stamp machines. You insert your ticket into the slot and it will stamp your ticket. If you fail to validate your ticket, and if you get caught by a conductor (most of the time nobody ever asks to see your ticket) you are subject to a pretty big fine (assessed on the spot). I once forgot to validate a ticket and got caught...but the conductor let us off the hook when he realized we were "stupid tourists." This validation process is used throughout Europe. On most of the trains from Civatavechia to Rome its the same process. However, I believe there are a few high-speed trains on that route (called EC or IC) which would require a reservation and cost more money. These are the very modern intercity trains...but we have never run into those trains on the route (they probably only run a couple of times a day). When you get to the Civatavecchia station, those special trains would be clearly marked (on the schedule board) as "EC or "IC." By the way, you can buy your train tickets from a ticket agent, or you can now use self-service machines located in the station (great if there is a long line to get to the ticket agent). The self service machines take Euros or credit cards (so does the ticket agent). For the trains it makes sense to buy round trip (just say same-day return) so that you don't have to wait in line at the Rome Termini or Florence stazione. Also (very important) always check the return schedule when you arrive anywhere (Rome, Florence, etc) so that you are certain of the return schedule. We usually like to use trains that get us back to the port at least an hour early. In the event that something goes horribly wrong (unlikely) such as a strike, train real late, etc...you backup plan would be to grab a taxi back to the port (expensive but better than missing the ship). In the worst case (this has never happened to us be we always prepare) if you do miss the ship, you just have to make your way to the next port by train. Its good to have the name and phone number of the ships' local agent (they always provide you with this info on the ship) so that you could contact them in case you miss the ship. There are actually some passengers who will intentionally miss a ship because they want to spend a night on shore...but its always smart to let the cruise shop know your plans. Keep in mind that there will be plenty of other passengers on your cruise also using trains, so there is always help nearby if you need some "hand holding." To me, the biggest problem is getting from Livorno's port to the train station (you need a taxi) since it can be hard to get a taxi to take you the short distance (about 2 or 3 miles). On our last visit (this past May) there was a man on the pier who assigned taxis (this was something new and welcome) and we simply told him we wanted a taxi to the station (stazione). We had to wait about 5 min,,,but he found us a willing driver. Its good to share taxis (most hold 4) since it saves a few dollars. Ask the price before you get in the taxi. In Livorno some of the cruise lines run a shuttle into town...but you would still have to walk a few blocks to the station and the shuttles are not free. In Civatavecchia the port operates a very nice free shuttle bus from the ships to the port entrance,,, where you can easily walk to the station (its only a few blocks and its pretty flat).

Hank
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Old 09-01-2006, 10:27 AM
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Hank: I can't thank you enough for your explanations. Everything looks clear to me now.

We will be 2 couples on the cruise and at least one of us is fluent in either French, English or Italian. So that should help.

Thanks again.
 
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