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Stupid Me

My husband and I just want to thank everyone for their kind responses. We leave Friday morning--wish us luck. In the meantime, we have tried to take all of your good advice. We have contacted Airport Connection and told them that if they can get us to the harbor on time we will sing their praises to Rick Steve's, give the driver a big tip, and (possibly) name our first child after the driver--but don't hold me to that! We are also going to talk to Alitalia directly and try to fly stand-by on an earlier flight. BTW, for all those people who wanted to know who I booked with, it was CHEAPOAIR.COM--really, that is their name. And to their credit (no pun intended)--our tickets were quite affordable. But I have spent hours talking to reps from CHEAPO and they are completely unwilling to do anything other than cancel our ticket if we miss our flight from Venice to Rome. The third or fourth representative that I spoke with told me that if I happened to be ill on the day we were scheduled to fly, lets say with an ear infection . . . and had to take the train instead of flying, then our return ticket would likely not be cancelled because they have certain policies regarding illness. So, I am thinking about pouring water into my ear with a funnel the night before we leave for Rome. Just kidding!--I am not even sure that would work . . . but I did (for a moment) seriously consider painting the inside of my ear red with iodine and trying to fake an ear infection. I suspect that Airport Connection might be a better option. :)

Posted by
1127 posts

What airline are you flying?

Is there an earlier flight the day you have your cruise? Maybe you can fly standby and take an earlier flight.

Posted by
81 posts

I assume you EMBARKING at Civitavecchia. Try RS recommended Airport Connection Service for a shuttle from Ciampino to the port--probably >100 euros. www.airportconnection.it/einterno.htm

Call the cruise line; perhaps you could get on at some other port of call. You can fly to a lot of places from Rome.

Who is packaging this tour? I don't believe in boycotts, but any company that treats its customers like this has earned one. Publishing their name would be a public service for consumers.

Posted by
24 posts

Was the website the AIRLINES website or was it one of those Priceline,Expedia type websites?
If it wasn't the airline website talk to the airline about changing your flight. They might be a little more helpful

Posted by
7209 posts

So take the flight to Rome, if you get there too late to get to the ship then catch it at some other port of call. Lastly, if you DO miss the ship and you CAN'T catch it at a different port then don't forget - you ARE in ROME and it IS your Honeymoon. So what, you miss the cruise, but you're still in Europe and there is a ton of things to do and see in Italy.

PS - some cruise ships have helipads for people who have to be delivered by helicopter.

Posted by
1127 posts

If money is an issue I doubt they want to spend money on a hotel in Rome when the cruise is already paid for - or for a helicopter ride to the ship.

Posted by
47 posts

You can fix this problem. What is your 1st stop on your cruise? I saw 2 itineraries on Holland Am. The Med. Enchantment stops in Florence the next day. If that is your cruise and you don't make your boarding in time, you can just take the train to Florence and catch up with the cruise. The ship departs florence 8pm, so you have 24hrs to make a 2hr trip; very easy. You could even beat the ship there... If you're on the Roman empire itinerary, the boat's 1st day is at sea. The next day is Dubrovnik; the next is Corfu. For this cruise book yourself a back-up flight to one of those two destinations. Since the boat is at sea the 1st full day, you have time to play with your departure booking. You could even fly out of Florence. Build a mini-trip out of your mistake. If you do make your sailing, all it costs you are two one way tickets. Remember, if you book a budget airline, understand the luggage restrictions. Also keep HolAm informed on your status; often.

Posted by
559 posts

If your flight to Italy and return to the USA tickets are not affected, could you consider taking the night train from Venice to Rome, arriving on the morning of your cruise departure? I checked Rail Europe and there is a train that leaves Venice around 8:00 PM and gets into Rome at 7:15 AM through Milan, and another that is direct to Rome that leaves around midnight and gets into Rome at 7:00. The first is 350 USD and the second is 280 USD for a first class double sleeping compartment.

As for the flights, I'd go directly to the airline, explain your deliemma and ask if you can get an earlier flight to Rome, or perhaps the same flight a day earlier without affecting your return flight home. It may cost you a ticket change fee, but certainly not as much as you were told. The cruise line may have some clout with the travel agency as well. Good luck.

Posted by
3112 posts

Do you fly into Rome Fiumicino (aka Leonardo di Vinci) airport? ViaMichelin website says it's about a 40 minute drive from the airport to Civitavecchia. Might be able to make it before 5:30 by taxi if baggage claim doesn't take too long. You're on a domestic flight, so customs won't be an issue. Call Holland America and explain your situation. Confirm you can catch the boat at the next port and find out how to contact the boat at the next port should there be a need. Consider renting a cell phone so you can be contacted, too. Finally, take the flight from Venice to Rome to keep your ticket valid. There are flights or trains from Rome Fiumicino to almost anywhere the boat might be going. Worst case scenario is probably that you'll miss a day or 2 of the cruise and it will cost you a little more money (but WAY less than $5,000). Post again if you need more suggestions. I'm sure everyone that uses this website wants you to have a great honeymoon and will offer what help they can.

Posted by
3112 posts

Melissa, Fiumicino airport website lists 2 shuttle services to Civitavecchia harbor. Airport Shuttle quotes EUR 125 for 2 people while Airport Connection Service (recommended in Rick's guidebook) requires they be contacted for a quote. While expensive, shuttle appears to be a private car that would be waiting for you at the airport and take you directly to the departure port. Might be worth looking into with only 1:50 between landing and gangblank closing.

Posted by
705 posts

I'd try the airline direct and see if they can get you on an earlier flight. Explain to them what you have above and hopefully you'll get a romantic who can do something for you. If not then I would perhaps book a car to meet you at the airport to take you to the terminal again explaining your situation when you book. If you type Citavechia into google a whole lot of companies come up. I used Jimmy tours to get me from the airport to Rome, don't know if they do one to the terminal but they were very good. Then if worst comes to worst see if you can join the cruise at the first port of call. I know this is the last thing you need now but I do think it is possible to resolve the situation. Good luck

Posted by
152 posts

Melissa,
Yours is a very sad story. We recently had an extra day because my wife got confused about dates for a red-eye flight.
It is hard to imagine that you could be told that if you miss your Venice-Rome flight, that your return ticket would be cancelled. People miss flights for all kinds of reasons: bad traffic, overslept, flat tire, etc. I always thought the only consequence is that you miss that flight.
Try talking with a supervisor wherever you booked, and don't confuse the issue by trying to get them to change your Venice-Rome flight. Find another way to get there (train to Rome, shuttle to the departure port), and get assurance that "missing" your Venice-Rome flight does not jeopardize the rest of the trip. Good luck.

Posted by
934 posts

I think that if you get to Rome on time and find a taxi and ask the fare and then offer100E extra if he makes it by 5:30 he will make it.If not then train to the next port of call.

Posted by
689 posts

Melissa,

First suggestion - calm down. You will find a way to fix it. You are newly weds!!! bask in the newness of it.

As others have said. Call your airline directly. They will charge you a change fee - but unless they are unscrupulous, they will change your ticket. If you decide taking the train to Rome is your best bet - do not ask for a refund. Only ask that your return to the US is still in place. But do not try to do it on any website. Voice to voice is the only way to get anywhere.

Good luck - and let us know how it comes out. We are all routing for you!!!