The cruise ships dock at Civitavecchia which is approximately a one hour train ride from the Termini Station in Rome. After a spectacular summer thunderstorm in the morning we decided to take a cab to the station instead of walking uphill along via Cavour.
You should plan to arrive at the Termini station at least one our in advance even if you have pre-purchased your tickets online. The Termini station is very large and is difficult to navigate. We were unable to find an information desk to help point us in the right direction. The confusion exists because your train tickets are purchased to your destination (Civitavecchia) but the train you need to board is designated by the last stop. Unfortunately, the Trenitalia website doesn’t tell you this, nor is it printed on your ticket. In our case, we needed to board a train destined for Turin. The tickets were 12 Euro each including luggage.
After a little anxiety in finding the right track for our train, we were off to Civitavecchia and looking forward to boarding the cruise ship.
When you arrive in Civitavecchia, you must exit down a flight of stairs, walk under the tracks and then walk up a second flight of stairs to get to the sidewalk. This can be a slow process if you have a lot of bags or if the person in front of you has difficulty carrying their luggage up and down the stairs.
As you walk along the sidewalk towards the port entry (10 minutes) you will feel a little uneasy as you pass by the locals. Use this as your warning to know exactly where your wallet and passport are. We saw three teenage boys walking away from the dock with a wallet that was full of cash and was obviously not their own – someone is about to have a lousy start to their vacation!
There are shuttle buses that will take you from the port entry to the ship. They are free and clearly marked. If you choose to walk because you think it will take too long for the bus to leave beware, the walk is approximately 20-25 minutes and the bus passed us before we were halfway there! For the record, I was the one who suggested we walk the entire way. Ouch!!!
The check in process is very smooth with Princess and we were in our cabin within 15 minutes of arriving at the ship with our luggage.
Next stop (and story) – Monaco!