Originally posted by anguschurchill:
okay thank you. Is lack of italian language skills an issue on the trains. can we buy the trains tix in advance?
Language skills (or lack thereof) should not be an issue. If you have the opportunity in Civitavecchia (or at FCO) prior to your cruise, buy your tickets ahead of time. Get your date correct because advance Eurostar tickets are date/time specific.
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Seems like a lot of stress getting to Rome.
what airline are you flying with?
Usually you can make the changes on the return flight for a reasonable fee.
If you cannot change the return flight then take the private car & chalk the expense up to "life experience"
Anyway you look at it you will have to pay $$ for your mistake.
It is not worth the stress if you will get the right train or if it will be on time, on strike etc...
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I have been giving this issue some thought and trying to think what we would do in this situation. Assuming you hire a private car/driver (or a rental car) the drive from Livorno to FCO would normally take a solid 3 1/2 hours. And this assumes no major delays such as an accident or road work. This means if you got off the ship and in a car by 7:30 you would probably be fine. Another alternative is to try and change your airline reservations, but I assume you have already explored the option. It is usually possible to change a return reservation with the payment of a change fee, but it does vary depending on the airline.
As to trains, we have traveled in Italy for many years and seldom had train problems, but it does happen (strikes, delays, etc). You would need a taxi to get you to the Livorno train station and with the best connections you might just make it to the airport on time, or Not. Keep in mind that your would have to change trains in Rome which can be a hike depending on the tracks (The Leonardo Express leaves from tracks at the far end of the Termini).
When all is considered, if you cannot change the airline reservation than you probably must use a car, and if you are not familiar with driving in Italy you would be advised to get a private car/driver. I would try very hard to work out a deal with the airline, and would probably call their reservations center and ask to speak with a supervisor. Even if you had to pay $200 per ticket to change, it would make sense when you consider the cost of getting from Livorno to FCO plus missing a day of the cruise.