I may be nuts but I have booked tickets through Rail Europe as follows-
Total price for this product for all passengers: USD 64.00 From Civitavecchia to Rome Freedom, 2nd class; 1 adult, 1 youth
[07:59 AM-09:20 AM] 5/3/08, train 7157
Civitavecchia to Roma Termini,
No rail protection plan included
Freedom, 2nd class; 1 adult, 1 youth
[05:46 PM-06:32 PM] 5/3/08, train 542
Roma Termini to Civitavecchia, Seat
No rail protection plan included
S&H: US 2-3 days USD 18.00
Grand Total: USD 82.00
Here are my questions---
Is the 7:59am to Rome train far too agressive of a time to make given that our ship arrives at 7a.m.? Myself and my son are fit and prepared to get up early and hustle to the train station which I understand is just a few blocks from the port entrance.
How early would we have to appear at the gangplank to disembark near the front of the line in order to make such an early train?
Is this scenario absolutely impossible and do I need to rebook the train?
Another question....I have heard comments that people have traveled into Rome from Port for around 10 Euro (2 years ago). Are there cheaper trains at the same Civitavecchia station?
Should I just purchase our rail tickets at the station?
Our morning train ticket purchase can be switched to a later train, per the terms of the purchase, if necessary.
Our evening train (which I purchased in error, had a little wine while booking and meant to arrive at 5:46 not depart, lol) I would assume is ridiculously agressive and we will have to buy another ticket to get back in time to get on the ship by 7pm.
I have researched this topics for hours on end and still have so many questions. Thank you in advance to those of you who help me fine tune our trip in this, the highlight port of our cruise.
Jessica & Andrew (mother and son)
P.S. Love this website and forum!
Jessica- Have you checked out the discussions on the Civ to Rome train in the Europe port chat? If not you should at least read it.
As far as the timing goes, it might be much less stressful to just wait and purchase your tickets at the station. Print out a copy of the schedule so you know what times you need to be at the station and play it by ear.
You can certainly make the train you have scheduled IF all goes well and you get off the ship in the first group (and customs clearance happens quickly but that could take time). But the port won't let you walk through the port area, they shuttle bus you to the port entrance and the train station is a couple of blocks from there. If you end up waiting for the shuttle to fill up and depart from the ship, that make take time too.
All said and done, its not worth the risk to prepurchase the tickets. You can also buy a combination ticket that provides the train (round trip) AND an all day Rome subway pass. That may work better for you.
The uncertainty of what time you will actually be able to get off the ship is concerning. I wouldn't risk it UNLESS the ticket can be used for any Civ to Rome train that day.
When a ship has an arrival time of 07:00 it will be at least 30 to 45 minutes before you can actually go down the gangway. And while the train station is only a few blocks from the port entrance, it is a good distance from where the ship actually ties up to the port entrance. How long 'till the next train? If it isin't too long a wait, you could try it and if you don't make it just take the next one. But it's a couple of hours, I would just relax on the ship and know I could make the next one.
Your return train definitely has to be rebooked; you need to be ONBOARD 30 minutes prior to sailing.
Thank you gentlemen for the advice. I've contacted Rail Europe and they advised that the ticket for the A.M. is a "regional" ticket which does not guarantee a seat. In other words I wasted $18 for the priviledge of paying in advance instead of standing in line at the ticket counter, however the train could be full forcing us to catch the next one. If I miss the 7:59 train I can simply board one of the next two "regional" trains at 8:41 or 9:41.
As for the return train I have simply wasted my money with my error. I will try to exchange it per the suggestion of the Rail Europe CSR, although I have been informed that this one is not exchangeable, or I will give the ticket to someone at the station. I will be able to purchase an earlier ticket at the station in order to return in time.
In closing I must share that I have spent hours daily for several weeks researching ports, transportation, sights, etc. I feel confident that I have armed myself with a lot of information in order to save a substantial amount of money otherwise spent on shore excursions. I feel really good about this and don't feel badly about losing the money from one $26 train fare. The $18 I spent to prepurchase will possibly allow us to board the earliest train by bypassing the ticket counter. An extra few moments in Rome will be worth it.
Again, thank you for the information. You both and this forum are worth their weight in gold. "Knowledge is Power". Happy cruising!!!
I checked with a private tour company for Rome and the cost is 600 euros for 8 people. I am checking the cost for six people. We are two people and are looking for four or six other people to share this excursion. We are sailing on the Emerald Princess on April 30th. The cost for the ship's excursion to Rome is $229.00 per person. I figured it to be approximately $115.00 per person taking the private van, plus the entrance ticket fee for the Vatican, which I am told is 14 euros. Let me know if you are interested. It would be great not to take a big bus with a lot of people. Lorraine