After spending two nights in Rome, Italy before our 12-Night Mediterranean and Greek Isles Cruise, it was time to head to Civitavecchia.
Hotel Sonya is within walking distance, about two or three blocks, to Rome's Termini Train Station. Local trains between the two cities depart every 30-40 minutes and the travel time is just over an hour. See schedule on Trenitalia's website.
We decided to have breakfast and then leave for the train station without actually reserving train tickets. Our goal was to arrive in Civitavecchia between noon and 1 PM. When we arrived at the train station in Rome, an agent assisted us with the purchase from one of the self-service kiosks. The machines will take credit cards or cash - we used our American Express card. The cost per person was 4,50 € . The agent told us the train would leave from track 25, so we started the long walk to the platform. He had wanted us to select an earlier train - we are glad we didn't attempt that - we would not have made it on time.
One of the key things you MUST do is validate your train ticket on the platform. The yellow validation machine shown in the picture above is what you are looking for. Failure to validate your ticket could be costly - up to 25 € per ticket, so you don't want to miss this important step.
The agent gave us the wrong platform number, and when it was getting close to our departure time, we began to wonder why there wasn't a train yet. One of us walked to some nearby tracks and saw that we were indeed in the wrong place. A local man helped us with the bags and got us settled on the train car. He piled our luggage in an open seat and waited for a tip. It was worth it because without his help, we would have missed the train completely.
The train ends in Civitavecchia, so there wasn't a need to watch for our stop. When the train came to a complete stop, it was time to get off.
Walk to the end of the platform and into the station. Once outside the station you have a decision to make - either walk to the pier or hire a taxi.
We decided to walk. It is several blocks from the train station to the shuttle bus near the pier which will take you the rest of the way to your ship. You'll need to navigate some stairs, cobblestones, and curbs, but if you walked from your hotel to the Roma Termini, you can most likely make it to the pier without much difficulty. It was quite warm, however, and we were certainly glad to see the shuttle bus at the end of the street.
There were porters there to take our checked baggage and direct us to the checkin lines. It didn't take long to embark and before we knew it we were onboard the ship and in our cabins. From there is was off to the buffet for some lunch - let the feeding begin.