does anyone have any thoughts about pros and cons of travelling from Naples to Sorrento by boat vs. train? ease of transferring to boat terminal vs. going downstairs to Circumvesuviana, cost, how long trip takes, overall enjoyment, etc. etc.
I have not gone by boat but the Circumvesuviana is very convenient and very cheap. Just make sure you know which stop you need in the Sorrento area. Sometimes hotels list their address as Sorrento but it is much easier to get off at another stop. Any transfer you make in Naples will eat time. Traffic is pretty congested.
Alibus is right outside the train station 10-15 minutes to the port 3 euro
Ferry take about an hour.
Took the Circumvesuviana train in 2004. I remember it being a little rickety/on the older side but easy and inexpensive(they may have upgraded the train cars by now). Felt like any other commuter train. Don't remember it taking long. Wouldn't hesitate to use again - it's probably the cheapest option by far and it's fun looking out the window at the suburbs. I took the same line to Pompeii (Scavi stop).