Italy by Cruise Ship or Airplane/Rail

Old Mar 6th, 2015, 09:05 AM
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Italy by Cruise Ship or Airplane/Rail


I am interested in traveling to Italy (Rome, Florence and Venice) but I am not sure which would be the best cost effective travel method. Should I fly to Italy and take a cruise to each area or should I fly to Italy, stay in a hotel and pay rail fees to each area. What are your thoughts? Share your thoughts if you have cruised NCL or Royal Carribbean or stayed at a hotel. Thanks
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Old Mar 6th, 2015, 09:27 AM
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Many of the things that most people want to see are inland and far from the ports. You have long travel times from the ship to places like Rome and Florence, so you have little time on land. Also, some of the best times in Italy are evenings where you can join locals for their evening walks and activities.

Some places like Rome, there is so much to see, you would want to stay three or four days. Other places, a day is fine. On a cruise, you usually have one day in each place.

I have done trips using local trains and I have done cruises. I love cruises, but for Italy, a cruise is not as good as being on land.
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Old Mar 6th, 2015, 09:31 AM
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Rome, Florence & Venice, especially, are best by land. The train between is fast and takes you from the center of Rome to the center of Florence to the center of Venice.

Plane between would take longer and be a pain.

So, no cruise, no plane - train is best.
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Old Mar 6th, 2015, 09:52 AM
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I agree with everything said above. Also,I don't think land travel would necessarily be more expensive. You can find lodging in each city at every price point. if you buy train tickets 60 days in advance, they are quite reasonable (usually 29E). I think it's worth it to have several days in each city, including the nights, to really get a true taste of Italy. Buon viaggio!
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Old Mar 6th, 2015, 09:55 AM
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Is the objective of this trip to have a cost effective trip or to visit Italy?

If you don't care about visiting anything in particular, this is more of an accounting exercise. For train fares, you can find at For hotel, just use any booking engines. Food cost, you can start with what you pay at home eating out beyond fast food places.
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Old Mar 6th, 2015, 11:31 AM
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I think that perhaps the OP is asking if it would be too (or more) expensive to travel to these three cities by train. Actually I have no idea, because I wouldn't visit these spots via a cruise ship.

However, I have stayed in all three cities multiple times, in both hotels and apartments, and traveled between them by train (as well as by car). I have found that I can do so fairly economically.

However, it takes more planning than signing up for a cruise and taking the planned excursions to each place.

I don't really think the cost is as much of a deciding factor as is your willingness to plan.

However, there are also land tours that cover all three cities. I wouldn't do that either, especially since you have found your way here.

People here will be willing to suggest hotels in each city, and to tell you how to use the train schedules.
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Old Mar 6th, 2015, 11:59 AM
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It seems to me that a cruise ship is best for those who like to cruise and the stops are for entertainment, rather than staying and absorbing. So if your desire is to BE in those cities, then the advice given above is good.

Having traveled by ship, once on an Atlantic crossing, once by freighter and a number of times on ferries, I find I'm not cruise material. So if, as it sounds, the cruise for you is a ferry from one to another place, then a train does exactly the same thing with the advantage of many more options for stops along the way.
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Old Mar 6th, 2015, 12:36 PM
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You cannot begin to see Italy from a cruise ship.
Fly into Venice and fly home from Rome, and take trains between.
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