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Rome airport (instead of Barcelona), airline, city safety, etc


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Hello, Princess just cancelled our roundtrip cruise from Barcelona, to a Roundtrip ROME.

Wondering recommendations for Airport in Rome, which airline from US?

(Especially in covid times, we don't want to be packed like sardines.)

How far is airport to cruise embarkation Pier?

Do you suggest stay near the sights & taxi to Pier?

Hows the area for Safety?

We were familiar with Barcelona, that wasn't an issue.

But the rugs been pulled out on that itinerary, so now we have Lots of ROME questions.

Thank you

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We sailed a roundtrip Med cruise from Rome. Coming from the USA, you’ll most likely fly into FCO (Fiumicino). Most major airlines fly into FCO from hubs in the USA.

 

For our Cruise, we flew on Delta (nonstop from Atlanta, our hometown airport). Keep in mind that, at the current time, Delta is the only major airline still blocking seats which will guarantee that the seat next to you will be open. All the other major airlines are filling planes to capacity. The measure is effective until December, but they have already extended it a few times in the past. For our particular flight, we flew on a 767-400 aircraft which has (in my humble opinion) a better layout than other widebody aircraft. Instead of the 2-4-2 or 3-3-3 configuration found on some larger aircraft, it has a 2-3-2 configuration which makes it feel less crowded. 
 

The airport is a good 45 minutes from the pier in Civitavecchia. We chose to spend a few days in Rome and the Vatican first, and then arranged for private transportation to the port on embarkation day. We used Stefano’s Rome Cabs  (from airport to hotel, hotel to pier, pier to airport). They made everything SUPER easy. We made arrangements online in advance and prepaid as well. We were met by our courteous driver at a pre determined location at the airport (they even sent us a link to a YouTube video that showed specifically where to look once we cleared customs). We couldn’t be happier about their services. Top notch. 

 

 If you will be flying in a few days before the cruise, I’d recommend staying in Rome rather than Civitavecchia. Civitavecchia is a smaller town with not too many attractions. More like a place to spend the night before the cruise. In Rome, there are too many options to list as far as where to stay, or what to see. It truly boils down to your preferences, budget, and how many days you have to explore.

 

We were Rome rookies when we took this cruise. We were there for only two nights so we focused our sightseeing in The Vatican (we wanted to explore St Peter’s Basilica as well as attend the angelus with Pope Francis). We chose a hotel close to the Vatican, 5 minute walking distance, which was absolutely fantastic for our needs. It was located in a more residential area, but it turned out to be a plus since we got to eat and shop where locals go. There were tons of (non-touristy) restaurants and shops as we walked to the Vatican. We also took a cab to see other sights (The Colosseum and Trevi Fountain) which was very easy to do. 
 

Do a bit of research about Rome, pinpoint what you’d like to see, and that should help you narrow it down to a few hotels and areas. We LOVED our pre-cruise stay in Rome. Truly a wonderful way to begin our vacation! 

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Edited by Tapi
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Looking at your profile, it seems like you live in the San Francisco area. I do see that Alitalia operates a non stop fight from SFO to FCO. It doesn’t operate daily or year round, but it may be something to look into if you want to keep things simple. One of the reasons why we chose to sail from Civitavecchia was because we could fly nonstop to Rome from Atlanta, and it made a world of a difference to simplify our travels. Very easy to travel without having to make connections or long layovers. 

Edited by Tapi
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Have you looked on the Italy board, here:

 

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/forum/464-italy-ports/

 

Tons and tons of info on hotels, transport, port situation, etc. You can only fly long distance international into Fuimicino (FCO), and it is the closest to the port. But you want to spend some time in Rome. It is one of the most wonder cities in the world. Allow a couple of days before you board the ship.

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I went to Rome  3 times last years,     I always stay near Termini  at one of the small hotels, Guest Houses,  that is walkable from the station.  only a couple blocks.    I always take the public bus-  I use Teravision  mostly for getting from the FCO airport to Termini.     I then, usually take the the public bus to Civi,  but it is a little tricky needing to take the Metro to the pick up.    I frequently stay one night in Civi.    I also take the train, equally.  Pleasant 1 mile walk to the port/a hotel I like to stay at etc.       There is SO much to see and do in Rome.   I never use cabs,   always Metros, Tram, Buses.     

 

I have flown into both Rome airports,  Cia and Fco  but Cia I've only flown in from the UK or Europe.   Good transportation from there as well.     I would allow 90 minutPSmycityes if you are arriving the same day as the cruise to get to the port.     Of course add all the extra time,  I'd suggest.    I highly recommend Rick Steve's guide,  and GPSmycity   if your independent and enjoy the history.    I use it every day.   

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I would recommend booking your air through the cruise line. Inquiry from cruise line when it will be available to book.   It will show you airline/flights available to you..  You do not pay until final payment.  With Princess, you can modify if there is a cheaper price up to 45 days of flight to change with no $ penalty.

 

My Cruise was Athens- Rome.
For Rome, We wanted to see Rome.  I took Princess post excursion (a great excursion) with a drop off at the FCO airport or train station.  I had booked a room with Hilton Rome Airport.  This hotel is attached to the airport with a walkway from the airport to the hotel.  They say 5 minutes walk, we took longer, TAKE AN AIRPORT LUGGAGE TROLLEY when going. The hotel has a shuttle into Rome. We flew the next day home.  
 

The post excursion is a great way to have transportation, excursion with stops and being dropped off at the airport that has a hotel attached.

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We did a r/t Rome a couple of years ago.   Flying from PDX, we took American Airlines to Chicago and then direct to Rome (FCO).  And the same in reverse.   So if you're flying from the west coast, you might check American.

 

Yes, Rome itself if 45 minutes or so from the actual cruise port, Civitavecchia.   I think most people take a shuttle service between the two towns.  We used RomeCabs (airport to hotel, hotel to pier and back to airport) and they are highly recommended.   We stayed in Rome.  

 

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2 hours ago, kokopelli-az said:

We did a r/t Rome a couple of years ago.   Flying from PDX, we took American Airlines to Chicago and then direct to Rome (FCO).  And the same in reverse.   So if you're flying from the west coast, you might check American.

 

Or United.  Or Delta.  Or Air Canada.  Or Alitalia. Or Air France.  Or British airways.  Or Lufthansa.  Or KLM.  Or TAP.  Or Aer Lingus.  Or Finnair.  Or Iberia.  Or LOT.  Or SAS.  Or Swiss.  Or Turkish   Or some combination of carriers.

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3 hours ago, kokopelli-az said:

We did a r/t Rome a couple of years ago.   Flying from PDX, we took American Airlines to Chicago and then direct to Rome (FCO).  And the same in reverse.   So if you're flying from the west coast, you might check American.

 

 

Not that OP is traveling from PDX, but from PDX I personally would first look at Delta (given things such as price are similar) on the nonstop PDX-AMS flight. This has been debated round and round for years on this board, but grabbing the PDX-AMS flight allows you more flexibility should you misconnect in Amsterdam. There are multiple AMS-FCO flights per day that Delta/KLM could put you on, versus only one ORD-FCO flight...where if you missed it, the chances are high you would need to wait until the next day to get to Europe. 

 

Again, this has been a point of debate on here for years, but I am a big supporter of the "Get you Europe ASAP and sort the rest out there with more air AND land options" philosophy of flying. 

Edited by Zach1213
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56 minutes ago, kokopelli-az said:

The flight via Amsterdam is a good one but for us we didn't want any layovers in Europe.   

 

Not desiring to be argumentative -- but curious why you would not want to make a connection in Europe?  Asking to try to add additional "data points" to that side of the choice.  So other folks can make more informed decisions.

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13 minutes ago, FlyerTalker said:

 

Not desiring to be argumentative -- but curious why you would not want to make a connection in Europe?  Asking to try to add additional "data points" to that side of the choice.  So other folks can make more informed decisions.

Ha ha, I wondered if someone was going to ask about that.  

We have a handicapped person and it is easier, less stressful for him if our connections are in the US.  So it just makes things easier for us to fly that way, if possible. 

But we have cruised from European ports many times and they have all been wonderful cruises.  

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On 9/28/2020 at 4:06 PM, kokopelli-az said:

The flight via Amsterdam is a good one but for us we didn't want any layovers in Europe.    

But yes there are lots of flights to choose from to get to FCO.  

You're much better to have a layover in Europe than in the US.  

 

If flight 1 is late, and you miss your connection, there's going to be waaaay more options for an alternate AMS-FCO flight than there would be say a EWR/Newark-FCO/Rome or ORD/Chicago-FCO/Rome.  Most airports in the US that do have a flight to Rome, are just a single flight per day; most major european cities are going to have 10+/day

 

Edited by scottbee
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Go with the shortest time flying and on the ground.  Book at least Premium Economy for more space. 
 

I too suggest you stay in Rome and second Stefano's Rome cabs for transportation. It is possible to use buses and trains into Rome,  but with luggage and a handicapped person I suggest you book the transfer to the hotel and then a few days later to the port.  
Be aware that some of the more well known American chains are far from the action.   I would recommend staying near Campo di Fiori for example to really experience Rome without transportation concerns.  

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24 minutes ago, bennybear said:

Go with the shortest time flying and on the ground. 

 

Disagree.

 

First, on the ground:  Especially with a handicapped person, the last thing you want is to be making a tight connection with limited rebooking opportunities.

 

Better to have excess time at a connection point than to be rushing to make the next flight.  Plus, you will be at the vagaries of any assistance services that you have requested.  Which leads towards a European connection point.  Even though a booking engine may show you the shortest connection, remember that you don't have to take that first one.  You can build in a safer and more comfortable connection by forcing a later flight through a multi-city booking tool.

 

Second, in the air:  Shortest time is one consideration.  But that totally ignores the factors of onboard seating/amenities/comfort, aircraft choice, desirable/undesirable airports and many other factors, including price.  For example - would you rather fly on a 777 with 10 seats across or 9 seats?  Trust me - there is a difference you'll notice, unless you are Twiggy.

 

There are folks that absolutely focus in on the fastest way to get there.  IMO, they leave a lot of considerations behind and probably miss out on an overall better experience.

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I meant within reason, no sense having a six hour layover!  I agree about too short, especially in Heathrow where I have seen many panicked people trying and failing to make a too tight connection.  

 

Agree on the plane, I would go for a 787 for the better pressurization.  Personally, I prefer to do the long haul overnight and then the short haul. Flights that get you in early in the morning don’t work for me as that equates to the wee hours from the west.

 

i also suggest one stop not two!   

Edited by bennybear
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Everyone has generously spoken of your flight options to Rome. 

Returning home should be of equal concern. 

Transit time to FCO from the pier is 45 minutes minimum. Part of the journey is on the streets of Civitavecchia to the divided highway and on to FCO. Depending on the day of the week you could encounter work day traffic.

FCO is a large airport with long corridors and the potential for a bus gate as well. It is prudent to plan a generous 3 hours from check in to gate. The potential health checks in addition to the random carry on baggage checks are to be taken into consideration. Once you are at your gate be sure to monitor the flight information screens. Gate changes are not uncommon and if there are public announcements they are in Italian first and not always English follow ups. 

I know Budget Queen has given super advice forever on Cruise Critic but I would not follow her advice as a first time visitor to Rome to use the bus or train from Rome to Civitavecchia. Both can be a hassle with luggage especially to someone unfamiliar with Termini and its surroundings.

When you book your cruise be sure to join the Roll Call. More than likely you will find other to share transportation from Rome to the Port and from the port to FCO.

I hope you can plan extra time in Rome and have a wonderful cruise.

 

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On ‎9‎/‎28‎/‎2020 at 5:04 PM, phabric said:

 

The post excursion is a great way to have transportation, excursion with stops and being dropped off at the airport that has a hotel attached.

 

I like the idea but most of the times that means a rather early debarkation and we prefer to leave the ship as late as possible so for us that is not an option.

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17 hours ago, sverigecruiser said:

 

I like the idea but most of the times that means a rather early debarkation and we prefer to leave the ship as late as possible so for us that is not an option.

The post excursion is great, if leaving the next day and need a hotel.

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On 9/28/2020 at 1:47 PM, kokopelli-az said:

We did a r/t Rome a couple of years ago.   Flying from PDX, we took American Airlines to Chicago and then direct to Rome (FCO).  And the same in reverse.   So if you're flying from the west coast, you might check American.

 

 

From the west coast, or for that matter from almost anywhere in the US, one can find a multitude of options on all 3 of the big US airlines (AA, UA, DL) that will get them from their home airport to a major US hub and then nonstop from there to FCO.  Nothing particularly special about using AA to fly from the west coast to Europe.

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On 10/1/2020 at 11:56 PM, alcpa1 said:

It is prudent to plan a generous 3 hours from check in to gate.

I wholeheartedly agree with giving yourself plenty of time at the FCO airport. When I planned this trip, our ship was scheduled to return to Civitavecchia at 7:00am, so I thought that a 12:25pm flight back to Atlanta would be prudent. 
 

Well, first the airline changed our flight to 11:15am a few weeks prior to our cruise. Still, I thought I had plenty of time. But then our ship’s return time was changed to 8:00am. Now I barely had 3 hours for the 45 minute drive to the airport, check in, and go through security and customs.

 

We arrived at the airport shortly after 9:00am and we used every single minute to get to our gate. When we thought we had cleared a line, we’d have another checkpoint, and another line to stand in. At the painfully slow passport control checkpoint, we witnessed people jumping the line when they realized they would be missing their flights. And we watched the ensuing fights with other passengers blocking their way and having some choice words with them. We finally made it to our gate after boarding had already started with a few minutes to spare.
 

I spent the last 24 hours of the cruise grouchy and freaking out over the tight timeline. Not how I wanted to spent the last few hours of an otherwise wonderful vacation. I didn’t start breathing normally until I found myself boarding the airplane. Next time, I’ll definitely give myself more time, even consider a post cruise night or two before flying home. 

Edited by Tapi
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That is why I decided to take Princess Rome’s post cruise excursion and stay at the Hilton Garden that is attached to the airport and fly home the next day.  As we walked through the airport to get walkway for the hotel, we found where our airline desk was for the next day.

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11 hours ago, phabric said:

That is why I decided to take Princess Rome’s post cruise excursion and stay at the Hilton Garden that is attached to the airport and fly home the next day.  As we walked through the airport to get walkway for the hotel, we found where our airline desk was for the next day.

Its a Hilton in the airport. Not a Hilton Garden Inn. The Hilton Garden Inn is a couple miles away.

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