My husband and I are flying in London early Sunday morning and get on a cruise in Rome on Wednesday (June 2013). With us having luggage for a 2 weeks including a 7-day cruise (one shared suitcase ("checked" bag), one duffle bag or backpack ("carry on") each), we feel we are limited on what we can do and how we can get around town unless we are getting a hotel to We originally planned on taking the train from London to Paris on Monday afternoon, and then take Thello train on Tuesday afternoon from Paris to Rome, but the cabins on Thello are sold out for our travel date, we are not sure what other options are out there. We don't have to take trains for the entire trip, and we are also open to going to different cities in between. Hoping to spend around $500 getting from London to Rome in travel/hotel costs. Can this be done? Thanks in advance!
You can fly from London to Rome or Paris to Rome. Look for schedules and prices here: http://www.skyscanner.com/ Beware: Paris has 3 airports and London has 6 airports. Some of them cost much more in time and money to reach than others. This can easily eat up the money saved on airfare. If the airlines flying from the convenient airports have very expensive one way flights, don't overlook the option of buying a round trip ticket and just not using the second part (don't throw away the first part, or the rest will be voided). Heathrow, Gatwick, and London City are much more convenient than Luton, Stanstead or Southend. If you're planning to transfer airports on your day of arrival (for instance, you're flying into Heathrow and out of Stanstead on the same day) make SURE you allow enough time for this, as it can take hours, and if you miss this connection, you'll have to buy a whole new ticket (if there's even a seat available at the last minute). For Paris, Orly and Charles de Gaulle are fine and easy to get to from Gare du Nord (where the Eurostar arrives), but Beauvais is quite far from Paris.
Ya it can be done but it is crazy. It is long ways to Rome. And $500 is on the low if going to Paris first. You just don't have the time. You should fly directly to Rome but assume that is out. Stay in London and fly to Rome on Tuesday. Unless you are hiring a private driver or taxi, it will take at least three, maybe four hours to get from the airport to the port outside of Rome. It is risky to fly into Rome on Wednesday to catch a ship that is hour or so from Rome assuming you have to be on board by 3 till 4 pm.
Amy, I agree with the others. I'd suggest staying in London on Sunday and Monday nights, and then flying to Rome via one of the budget airlines on Tuesday. That will not only provide some time to recuperate from jet lag, but also get you to Rome the day prior to your cruise. Book hotels for two nights in London and one night in Rome. In that situation, my preference would be an EasyJet flight from LGW to FCO (flight time 3.5 hours). They appear to have four flights per day, and booking early will get you the best fares. Be sure to read their Terms & Conditions carefully, especially related to luggage. You'll have to pay for your checked bag, and if it's heavier than their allowable limit, it will be cheaper to pay for the extra weight at the time of booking rather than at the gate. Note that they usually only allow ONE carry-on item per passenger, and you'll have to pay extra if you want to ensure that you're seated together. For travel from FCO into Rome, the Leonardo Express is the quickest and easiest method. DON'T forget to validate your tickets prior to boarding the train or you could face hefty fines, which will be collected on the spot! For details on travel from Rome to the port of Civitavecchia, have a look at the excellent www.roninrome.com website. Happy travels!
These are great tips! I had no idea of a couple of things, like how far away some airports were, and I didn't realize how far the cruise port was from the airport in Rome! Our cruise leaves on Wednesday evening at 7pm, which allows us a little more time to board than most afternoon departures, but I will definitely keep these tips in mind as I look into these suggestions. Thanks!
You do need to look at a map. The port and airport are mostly on the same side of Rome but no direct transportation so you have to go into Rome and back to the port. There is a short cut but not sure I would recommend it to an inexperienced traveler. While your cruise may leave at 7, I am sure you will be required to be on board by 6 if not earlier. Why did you choice London for an entry point for a cruise from Rome and then such a short time between London and Rome?
It was much cheaper to fly into London, and then home from Rome at the end of the cruise. We figured we could make quick stops (think The Grand Canyon stop on "National Lampoon's Vacation") in London and Paris on the way to Rome. Right now, I'm looking at taking the Eurostar train from London to Paris (wander in Paris for a few hours up to overnight) and then take the Thello night train from Paris to Rome.
It really does not matter that it was cheaper to fly into London than into Rome. (Especially since you seem to have no real interest in London.) Where you need to fly into is Rome. You are going to spend a lot more getting from London to Paris and then to Rome than you "saved" on the airfare. You said, "Right now, I'm looking at taking the Eurostar train from London to Paris (wander in Paris for a few hours up to overnight) and then take the Thello night train from Paris to Rome." The Thello night train from Paris to Rome is one of the most horrible travel experience some travelers have ever had. My sister and I traveled that train, and found the sleeping compartment to be just larger than a phone booth, the beds are half as wide as an American twin bed. There is a flimsy metal ladder that gives you access to the top bunk; it is secured to nothing; it bangs back and forth all night long. You cannot lock the door to said sleeping compartment. Several strange men opened our door and looked in on us during the night. We didn't sleep a wink; arrived exhausted.
The price of the train travel you are describing will be more expensive than the price of a budget flight from UK (or Paris) to Rome.
A suggestion - try changing your first leg to fly directly into Rome (or Florence/Pisa/even Zurich would be better). Yes, there are change fees and probably a difference in fares, but trying to get to Rome from London By Land is costing you a lot of money - perhaps an equal amount to a change in air tickets. You are also losing a considerable amount of your vacation time :-( You'll never know unless you call your airline...
Ugh. Overnight trains in Europe are not the classy, romantic thing you might have in your head. Even if you reserve a private coach they sometimes stuff someone else in with you to fill all of the beds. Often they turn off the AC in the middle of the night and you are stuck with the smell of someone elses breath that you can't air out because the coach is sealed and it's 2AM and you are a sweaty, miserable mess. Enjoy London or Paris for an extra day or two and fly. It's cheaper, faster, and definitely more comfortable. Driving is really not recommended...it's not like the US where you can just get off the highway, easily park and see the sights. Often the roads bypass the more scenic places you want to see. I think it's also farther than you think it is. Paris to Rome is a HUGE distance... Just fly.
Thanks so much for all the great advice! We have been researching out different options based on these recommendations, and since I can't change my original flight, we are now looking at taking the Eurostar from London to Paris on the first night (Sunday), spending Monday and Tuesday in Paris, and flying either Tuesday night or possibly Wednesday morning (if you guys think I can make it work) into Rome. My cruise leaves Civitavecchia at 7pm, so I'll have to board around 4-5pm Wednesday afternoon.
I think getting two people from London to Paris, then Paris to Rome, plus hotel costs in Paris and Rome and doing it all for under USD500 might be a challenge, though with planning it is possible. What, I'm less sure about is your plan that seems now to include spending a few hours only in London on Sunday (with your luggage, unless you intend to pay to store it), then going over to Paris the same day. I'm not sure what you would really get out of that "mini-break" in London and by the time you arrive in Paris you might be exhausted (I certainly would be). If you really want to be in Paris, not London, I would just press on straight away and not hang around London at all. Which airport are you flying into at London?
I like to be in a departure city the night before leaving. Trains and planes do get delayed, I would be more comfortable being in Rome for a night before your cruise - Civitecchia isn't that close to Rome.
Be sure you know how to meet up with your cruise ship should you not make it to Rome in time.