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7 Day cruise + 4 days Rome/Venice or All Land Package?

7 Day cruise + 4 days Rome/Venice or All Land Package?

Old Jan 27th, 2010, 08:14 PM
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7 Day cruise + 4 days Rome/Venice or All Land Package?

My husband and I are planning our 1st trip to Italy and can not decide whether or not to do a land/Sea trip or just a land trip. The cruise is a sail cruise and docks in much smaller ports than the much larger ships but we dont want to miss anything along the way. My plan would be to stay 2 nights in Rome then take the 7 day cruise and then spend 2 more nights in Venice. Has anyone done this or recommend this?
Below is the cruise Itinerary.
We wanted to do the Amalfi coast, Rome, and Venice and thought this may be a good alternative rather than all land.

I appreciate any suggestions or advice!

May 30 Sunday Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy -- 5:00 PM
May 31 Monday Ischia, Italy 8:00 AM 5:00 PM
June 1 Tuesday Capri, Italy 8:00 AM 11:00 PM
June 2 Wednesday Amalfi, Italy 8:00 AM 12:00 PM
June 2 Wednesday Sorrento, Italy 3:00 PM 11:00 PM
June 3 Thursday At Sea -- --
June 4 Friday Ajaccio, Corsica 8:00 AM 4:00 PM
June 5 Saturday Livorno, Italy 8:00 AM 6:00 PM
June 6 Sunday Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy 7:00 AM
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Old Jan 27th, 2010, 09:25 PM
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I don't normally like the cruising concept, but this itinerary sounds appealing. As long as you realize you are in fact going to miss things along the way. That's just the nature of cruising. You're trading an in-depth visit anywhere for the leisure of being transported to your next destination, beautiful coastal scenery sliding by, with no packing/unpacking.

The times in each port do not necessarily reflect "feet on the ground." You'll likely have to board a smaller boat that will take you to a dock and later return you to your cruise boat. (I assume Amalfi is 8:00 am to midnight, not noon.)

But the destinations? All good, although it's a shame the itinerary skips Sardinia when you're so close.
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Old Jan 27th, 2010, 11:29 PM
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I agree w/Jean as I, too normally take land trips but recently returned from a Med Cruise because the ports were so interesting. And, since you are adding 2 days in Rome & Venice you will get more out of your trip...altho these 2 should be action-packed because both cities can take many more days to fully enjoy.
Let us know how you liked it when you return.
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Old Jan 28th, 2010, 06:54 PM
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Rhea. If you could do it again would you chose to do all land or would you do the cruise? We are really having a hard time making a decision on this.
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Old Jan 28th, 2010, 08:35 PM
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This looks like a nice cruise if you want to experience resort ports. I'm not sure that you will get that much variety, even with all the moving around by boat. For example, I don't think your afternoon visit to Sorrento will allow enough time to visit Pompeii if that was of interest to you. It really depends on the type of vacation you want. Your idea to add Rome and Venice at each end will provide more variety.

If you can, I suggest you add at least another night to both Rome and Venice. If you are traveling from North America (sorry if I have assumed incorrectly), you will probably be jet lagged you first day in Rome. And you will spend most of the day at the end of you cruise traveling from Civitavecchia to Venice. Taking into consideration these travel days, you won't have a lot of quality time in either place if you allow only two nights each.
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Old Jan 28th, 2010, 08:36 PM
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By the way, Jean, I believe this cruise is stopping in Amalfi in the morning only and then Sorrento that same afternoon.
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Old Jan 28th, 2010, 09:21 PM
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You're right, ellenem. I didn't catch the same date.

Based on ellenem's two specific observations (time in Amalfi and Sorrento), I change my mind about this cruise. Short-changing Amalfi and Sorrento, and skipping Sardinia...? I'm out!
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Old Jan 28th, 2010, 11:57 PM
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Jean; I think since this is your first trip you are making a wise decision. Actually this was my first European cruise after many land trips so I didn't need to see the Big 3
in Italy.
If you e-mail me directly ([email protected]) I can suggest a tour outfit I found that goes beyond the pale in
assisting their clients if you wish to travel in this fashion.
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Old Jan 29th, 2010, 03:56 AM
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Just to add my 2 cents worth for future readers of this thread: The cruise looks like a lot of daylight and evening hours spent sitting on a boat. What would one do during those hours? I don't mind a boat ride now and then looking at pretty scenery flowing by, but not a bunch of hours of it covering several days. I'd go stir crazy after the first day--I guess I would read books or play gin rummy, but I can do that for free at home.
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Old Jan 29th, 2010, 06:34 AM
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To each his own, but it would drive me absolutely nuts to be sitting on a boat passing by all those amazing, historic places and not be able to get my feet on the ground to see them. I don't find ports interesting at all. Sure, it's nice to come across a pretty little setting where boats are docked, but there's not much to be learned from gazing at boats. I would definitely do a land tour, but then again, that's just me. Plenty of people have enjoyed Europe from the deck of a boat.
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Old Jan 29th, 2010, 10:03 AM
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If you do the boat tour, I would mke it 4 nights in Rome before you embark, as there is so much to see.
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Old Jan 29th, 2010, 03:08 PM
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I'm going to make an assumption: If you are arriving in Rome from the US, the first day in Rome will be spent getting over jet lag - so you really will not have two days in Rome.

Likewise, when you get off the ship at the end of the cruise, you'll then need to get yourself to Venice, and lose part of that day also.

So, the cruise option doesn't really give you two good days in each city prior to sailing.

As far as cruise vs. land tour -- cruises are 'tasting menus' a little sample of what's available. I like cruising (and particularly on those small ships!) as a way to get introduced to the area, with the idea that I will return and spend more time. So I don't necessarily want to discourage you from your cruise.

If you really want to see Rome and Venice and you have 11 days, then do a land tour (fly into Venice, spend a few days, train to Rome and fly out of Rome; add in the Amalfi coast as time permits). If you want to do the cruise, though, I'd probably suggest dropping Venice. Fly into Rome a couple of days early (if for nothing else than to get over jet lag before embarking, so you don't try to spend days in port doing that), and spend a couple of days on the back end in Rome before returning home. If Venice is more important to you than Rome, find a cruise itinerary that departs from and returns to Venice.
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Old Jan 29th, 2010, 03:11 PM
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Thank you for all of your help. Yesterday I was pretty set on doing the cruise and then just doing 4 days in Rome and then skipping Venice this time...I agree that there wouldn't be enough time to do both Venice and Rome. Now after reading all of your post i am leaning towards doing all Land. Honestly I wish there was a 3-4 day cruise so we could do it all but I think we will do all Land. Now any suggestions on "Must Sees" and what should be the main visits? Venice and Rome for sure I am thinking 4 days Rome and 2 days Venice What about the other 4 days?

Again thank you so much for all of your help!

-Melissa
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Old Jan 29th, 2010, 04:39 PM
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If you only have 8 days, and you really want to see Venice and Rome, then I would split your time between the two places . . . Venice 3 nights, Rome 5 nights. This means you'll only change locations once, which is important when you have so few nights.

You'll waste most of a day traveling from Venice to Rome, checking in and out of hotels, traveling to and from hotels and train stations. ANY time you change hotels from one city to another, you end up losing at least half a day to all the busy-ness of changing hotels.

This does not mean that all you will be able to see will be Venice and Rome. If you find yourself feeling as if you've seen it all n either city, you can always choose to take a day trip from Venice or Rome to someplace nearby for a change of pace. In Venice you might take a day to travel to the out-islands of Burano and Torcello or take the train to Padua or Verona. In Rome you might daytrip to Tivoli, Ostia Antica, Florence, or even Pompeii depending on your interests. Most of these ideas are easy to do on the spur of the moment.

Another idea for another taste of Italy would be to break your train trip from Venice to Rome with a stop for part of the day in Florence, since train route goes right through Florence. A morning train from Venice would get you to Florence in time to check your bags at the station and have a nice lunch and give enough time to wander the city, visit some sights, do some shopping, whatever you like, before continuing on to Rome and arriving in time for dinner.
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