It's been almost 3 months since I jumped on here- my bad! A whirlwind of things have been keepin me from the bloggy blog. But I happened to be reading old trip posts and felt the urge to continue the travel memories. So let's get on to day 5 - departure day of our cruise!
If you ever do a cruise around the Mediterranean and Rome happens to be one of your stops, then what they don't tell you is that your boat actually docks in civitavecchia (to this day I still can't say it but it's "CHEE..V..TAA..VICKY.. AH") which is about an hour northwest of Rome. It's quite a trek! But it's a trek that tens of thousands of cruise tourists make every year.
This recap will be from rome to the port . The easiest way to get there is to take your cruise's transfer which is either from the airport to port or from hotel to port. Hassle free and your boat won't leave you if you book through the cruise ship. Downside? It's $100-$200 per person one way!
Here's what we did: From our hotel, we took a cab to St. Peters Station (Roma S. Pietro). You can view the schedules for the train on the trenitalia website ((Roma S. Pietro to Civitavecchia). I picked two times to catch the train and even though our hotel was close to the station it still took more than I planned so we just missed the first train. The second train came 20 minutes after (the next one would be an hour later so that was a big no-no). You can buy tickets using the kiosks but I still didn't trust myself and went to the ticket agent. He spoke NO ENGLISH. however, this is nothing new to them (tourists with suitcases going to civitavecchia? - cruise passengers!) So he sold us the 2 one-ways in 2nd class. It was around 5 euros each which was around $7!
First I looked for the yellow boxes to validate tickets. Make sure to follow the direction on how to place it into the box - i've heard and read stories of people who validated their ticket wrong and still got fined from an overzealous ticket collector. After validation, we then found the track (there are monitors saying which train arrives on what track) Be sure to pay attention. Once the train arrived (on time btw) we hopped on and found 2 seats and was on our way. Note: this is a regional commuter train - it gets packed as you start to leave rome and then gradually gets less and less as you get closer to civitavecchia. I kept an eye on our belongings but still enjoyed the scenic ride along the coast.
If you wonder where to get off, it's the last stop. There's a good chance there will be other cruise passengers on your train so take notice. If you can befriend them along the way or after you leave the train station there will be cabs waiting to take passengers. Funny how this cab to the ship costs more than the 1hour train trip. but hey, it is what it is - make friends so you can share the ride. I believed we paid 20 euros including tip since our cab driver didn't actually allow us to split the fare because he knew weren't traveling as one group. I'm sure you can get away splitting if you just act like you all are together. Just sayin... Another option is the free shuttle buses that take you to the different ships. We didn't take this until our return after the cruise and good thing we did. It's quite a walk (maybe 5-10min). When you exit the train station, make a right and travel along the sidewalks (the water will be on your left as you walk) until you get to the entrance to the port. the buses should be there. The good thing about being on a cruise is there's a really good chance that you aren't the only one taking this option. Watch other people who are going in your direction and don't be afraid to ask "are you going on the cruise?" sometimes there's safety and confidence in numbers.
After we got to the port, you check in and go through security. this all takes place in a big tent posing as a terminal (such a difference from the monstrosity in Ft. Lauderdale!) There is luggage dropoff, security, and check-in counters. Don't be alarmed - celebrity counter agents take your passports at check-in - you get your seapass cards in exchange. The cards serve as your passport/cash/keys/access/life (lol) so keep it on you and guard it with your life! once that's done, you're set to board the ship and ready to cruise the world!
Didn't forget: Outfit recap!
Day 5: similar to my day 2 outfit - different shirt! Jeans, biker boots, orange striped shirt, cardigan, leather jacket By the way, my bag is an MZ Wallace bag. Such a workhorse for traveling that withstands the elements. And it's in my favorite color!