Italy a few days before the boat leaves

Old Nov 26th, 2008, 08:46 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 74
Italy a few days before the boat leaves

My in-laws have for Christmas booked a cruise for our famalies (11 of us)--my group is my wife and daughters aged 16,13, and 10--(might not be the trip i would pick but hey a gift --and very nice!)

The boat (MSC Cruise/new boat Fantasia) leaves from Genoa on Sunday March 22,2009 and returns a week later-the route is as follows:
Sun Genoa
Mon Naples
Tue Palermo
Wed La Goulette (Tunis)
Thu Palma de Mallorca
Fri Palma de Mallorca
Sat Barcelona
Sat Marseille
Sun Genoa

We are in ALabama (my job is flexibale--my wife is a Judge so not as flexible) BUT we are going to leave a few days early and see some of Italy

So my question -if we are to leave say Monday or Tuesday before the boat leaves--would you fly into Rome and spend a few days there before taking a train ride on Saturday (i bet quite pretty) from Rome to Genoa?

Or would you opt to fly into Milan (best flights as direct from Atlanta) and enjoy via a rental car maybe Florence and Bolgna winding up in Genoa Saturday before the train leaves?

This side trip will be the 5 of us (my immediate family only) --

My wife and I have been to Paris and to England twice but never Italy--girls are 16,13, and 10 and have never been to Europe--

Any suggestions are apreciated--
I wish we could stay longer but quite an adventure as is--they will miss one week of school which is fine/worth it (cruise is over our Spring break)

Hard to decide the pre-boat route!
thanks



alanf is offline  
Old Nov 26th, 2008, 09:20 AM
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Sounds like a great trip! I would certainly do those few days in Rome, then train to Genoa. There is a lot to see in Rome, and you're girls will love it.
TravMimi is offline  
Old Nov 26th, 2008, 09:37 AM
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A family of five plus luggage will not fit in a rental car. You would need to at least get a van.

I would fly into Rome (there are non-stop flights from Atlanta), spend a few days in Rome, train to Florence for a day or two and then onto Genoa.
kybourbon is online now  
Old Nov 26th, 2008, 10:11 AM
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If you leave on Mon or Tues prior to your cruise, you will have 4 or 5 days for your side trip - not counting travel time to Genoa.

If it were me, I would fly into Rome, spend all the time there, and then take a train from Rome to Genoa.

I took my 11 year-old granddaughter to Rome about a year ago and she absolutely loved Rome. We had four days there and could have spent much more time since there is so much to do. I wouldn't have wanted to have spent less time, however.

Lynn_Gibson is offline  
Old Nov 26th, 2008, 01:31 PM
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Posts: 240
MSC cruises are mostly for Italians altho it is very early in the season for holidays so your fellow passengers will be mostly Europeans, a good mix, as a lecturer aboard cruise ships I applaud you and am sure your family will love seeing the places on the itinerary...if you do some study first.
If you get to Italy beforehand check out the great sights in Rome . Print out some articles from www.elegantetruria.com by guidebook writer so you dont have to purchase the book (Eyewitness guide to Rome). If you drive up the coast from Rome to Genova you'll see some great Etruscan sites, medieval villages and eat some fantastic food.
I've lived in both Genova (1 yr) and Rome (35 yrs) but there is still so much to see, do. Whatever happens you'll enjoy more if you prepare (even the girls!!)
vetralla is offline  
Old Nov 26th, 2008, 01:36 PM
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hi alanf,

much closer to Genoa, and very nice that time of year, is Nice. you could fly into there, spend a few days exploring the riviera, [car probably not needed] and then have a relatively short train ride to Genoa.

otherwise, Rome or Florence. but I would stay put and forget about the car - you're going to be travelling around enoguh on the cruise.

regards, ann
annhig is online now  
Old Nov 26th, 2008, 01:41 PM
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My suggestion would be to leave Monday and stay the whole time in rome. there are tons of things to do and see. then train to Genoa.

I'd also suggest renting and apartment instead of a hotel stay. It will give you some more space and flexibility.

Also look for something with a washer. You can pack lighter and do one round of laundry before the cruise.
notbob is offline  
Old Nov 26th, 2008, 01:41 PM
  #8  
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I am a (well my pals say amateur travel agent) so believe me I will prepare--

This trip was just "sprung" on us so I am really trying to figure the stretch before boat route---

All appreciated--I am sure i will post many more ?'s

Not long until mid March really
alanf is offline  
Old Nov 26th, 2008, 02:18 PM
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Join Date: May 2003
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I think with kids Rome is your best bet. Not that the rest of Italy isn't fabulous but there is really nothing like the ancient sites. And if you are in Naples for a port, not that the city isn't worthwhile but again with a family I would say you must, must, must go to Pompeii.
laurie_ann is online now  
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