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Old 07-31-2013, 03:12 PM   #1
Torontogal
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Pompeii/Sorrento help

We will be on the Disney Magic Med sailing in Aug. and had a question about docking in Naples. We would like to make our own way to Pompeii and then head to Sorrento before heading back to the ship. We are in Naples from 7:30-5:30. We also would like to see Pompeii first. Has anyone been to both places on their own and how did you do it? We prefer to not use a tour company but make our own way. Any tips? Thanks!
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Old 07-31-2013, 03:21 PM   #2
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It's doable I guess but that's a tight schedule! Years ago I went, and we took the train from Naples to Sorrento and I did the train to and from Pompeii. Personally, I worry too much about all the cruise ship timing to do that under pressure of missing the boat but I'm sure it's doable. If trains are in time a d you aren't planning on seeing much at either stop?
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Old 07-31-2013, 03:22 PM   #3
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I am a newbie to DCL, but did a Holland America cruise a few years ago with a stop in Naples. We did both Sorrento and Pompeii on our own. We walked to the train station in Naples and took the train all the way to Sorrento. We then hit Pompeii on the way back. We were told Pompeii was most crowded earlier in the day so we decided to do it later.

We were back to the ship in plenty of time. I think the ride to Sorrento was a bit less an hour. We did not sit and relax in Sorrento - just walked around to see it, had a snack and then on to Pompeii by about noon.

I do remember the walk to the train station being long. Maybe a mile? Naples was busy, felt like a big city, and there was a lot of road construction. No one really spoke English so we kind of winged it. The train station seems like it was at the end of a round about and we could not figure out how to cross the street!
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Old 07-31-2013, 03:24 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Torontogal View Post
We will be on the Disney Magic Med sailing in Aug. and had a question about docking in Naples. We would like to make our own way to Pompeii and then head to Sorrento before heading back to the ship. We are in Naples from 7:30-5:30. We also would like to see Pompeii first. Has anyone been to both places on their own and how did you do it? We prefer to not use a tour company but make our own way. Any tips? Thanks!
We did a Sorrento/Pompeii tour through DCL when we went. Trying to do both makes a really full day. The road to Sorrento is a very narrow (one lane each direction) road. You need to allow for any traffic getting there.

Pompeii can take a whole day unto itself, but you can do it as quickly as you wish.

Our tour departed at 8:45 am and we made it back to the ship about 6:00 pm. It's about 55 miles from Naples to Sorrento (about 1 - 1 1/2 hours)and about 30 miles from Naples to Pompeii (45 min - an hour).
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Old 07-31-2013, 03:51 PM   #5
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I've been to Naples several times. It's very easy to take the train to Pompeii and Sorrento.

Another option for returning from Sorrento to the ship is to take the ferry. It takes 35 minutes, and eliminates the walk from the Naples train station to the port.

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Old 07-31-2013, 07:03 PM   #6
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We went to Pompeii, but no Sorrento.

We took a taxi from the port to the train station. Really didn't need to, but it was quicker.

We only did Pompeii. A guide found us standing in line and had us join his group. He got us tickets into the grounds much quicker than standing in line and he was very good ... and I think we were lucky. We enjoyed his tour (3-4 hours if my memory is correct) and so we paid him at the end of the tour.

We then took the train back to Naples - would have loved to seen Sorrento but hard choices have to be made. Once back in Naples we took the subway to the archaeological museum that had a lot of the artifacts that they collected from Pompeii (including the "Adult" room)

Then we found a nice pizzeria and had pizza margherita on the sidewalk - it was awesome!! And then we walked downhill to the port and the ship. Was an awesome day.

I hope that you are able to pull off your plan while there.
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Old 07-31-2013, 08:26 PM   #7
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Highly recommend using a tour company. We did. It is a full day. The tour company we used included Amalfi Coast , Sorrento with a lunch stop (open air hillside restaraunt!) before going on to Pompeii. Good thing it was an hour drive between places because that limoncello nocked me on my behind!

http://www.rome-car-tours.com/tours.htm

This tour company was absolutely fantastic. We used them for two full days of touring in Italy.
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Old 07-31-2013, 09:41 PM   #8
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I wouldn't personally try to do both in one day without private transportation. The distance from Sorrento to Naples port is quite long.

We had major problems with the tour company we used (called See Amalfi Coast). Don't use them, they were bad and made us miss Sorrento.

I've heard great things about Rome in Limo. There's a bunch of ongoing TRs from this year's Med, and I'm sure lots of people have write ups on their Naples day. Good luck!!
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Old 08-01-2013, 02:20 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by cleophus12
I am sure Pompeii may be less crowded in the afternoon, but boy is it hot! No matter when you go, it's amazing.
And pay for a guide or you truely will have no idea what you are looking at. Our guide was worth every penny!
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Old 08-01-2013, 02:37 PM   #10
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I concur. If you aren't going with a tour you definitely need a guide. So interesting--for all ages. Dd was 14 and was fascinated by Pompeii. She'd never studied it and knew nothing about it but thoroughly enjoyed it--in spite of the heat.
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Old 08-01-2013, 03:43 PM   #11
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Personally, I'd pick one or the other. When we visited last Nov/Dec., we spent 4 days in Sorrento and 4 days in Pompei, and took day trips out from each (my avatar is a picture of me in front of the Temple of Apollo at Paestum in Nov). For the Pompeii ruins, we spent an entire day there, from morning till nightfall. That was actually the 3rd complete day I've spent in the ruins and I still haven't seen everything. Remember, it's an entire town, not just a few little houses and streets. You can find a ton of downloadable online guides, like Rick Steves, that are pretty helpful, and the map you can get at the entrance is very useful. With that said, a guide won't hurt anything either. FYI, the back entrance is usually MUCH less crowded than the main entrance.

Sorrento is a lovely town to walk through and shop and eat, but again, you can easily spend the entire day there. One thing you could do is hire someone to drive you down the coast through Sorrento to Amalfi and back to Naples. It's a nice drive and you can stop at a few of the factories and towns throughout.

One thing to note--I would NOT rely on the Circumvesuviana to get you anywhere. It sometimes runs on time, sometimes runs really late, and sometimes it just doesn't run at all (as we discovered after dinner one night, and when we tried to get to Herculaneum). Either hire someone to drive you (could combine a guide with this), take the ferry or a hydrofoil (if they're running) or take one of the actual trains. Also, I don't think I'd rent a car either, while it's not impossible to get around, unless you have time to kill, you'll probably get lost at some point and there are some weird restrictions on some of the roads both in Sorrento and Naples that can get you huge fines.
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Old 08-01-2013, 05:47 PM   #12
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You can easily do it in a day, but I would suggest doing a tour that makes sure you are back at the ship in time. Naples is chaotic and getting back to ship may cause you a problem.
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Old 08-01-2013, 07:04 PM   #13
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We did Pompeii on our own. We took the tram, located at the port entrance, to the train station. Get a ticket for tram and train at the newsstand at the port entrance. As you leave the ship, you will be bombarded by aggressive taxi drivers who will lie to you and try to make a deal with you. They told us the trains were not running and other lies. Just keep walking to the corner newsstand. The guy there was very helpful. We went early in the am. 40 min. train ride if on the local and shorter if you are lucky to get an express. It was not crowded in Pompeii at all the day we were there. We used Rick Steve's audio tour downloaded unto our iPhone and iPods. It was excellent and free!
We did not go to Sorrento, but had enough time to stop in Naples, get pizza and back on the ship with more than an hour to spare and we really took our time in Pompeii. We were there for about 3 hours I think.
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Old 08-02-2013, 02:30 PM   #14
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My experience from 2007

The area near Pompeii is unfortunately located in a very poor suburb or Naples. Just like in similar areas of America, these areas tend to be high in crime and gang related violence. When I rode the Circumvesuviana in 2007, I saw armed guards patrolling the carriages. Both the carriages and train stations were covered in spray paint graffiti, a reminder of the etymological origin of this word.

At the Circumvesuviana ticket widow, the attendant spoke only Italian. I struggled with the question, “andata e ritorno?” until the attendant drew a picture of two opposing arrows. At most other train stations in Europe, there was usually someone who spoke English.

While I never experienced or saw any crime, I was on high alert. Pompeii is worth the risk, but I would absolutely not go here after dark.

WARNING: Pompeii may not be appropriate for children because a highlight of the tour is a stop at several brothels around the city. Inside are frescos depicting available services. Although these areas can be bypassed, there is artwork scattered through the city that may not be appropriate for children. For adults, a good guide or audio tour is extremely informative of putting all this artwork into historical context, but it would not be understood by children.


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Old 08-02-2013, 03:27 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pjacobi View Post
WARNING: Pompeii may not be appropriate for children because a highlight of the tour is a stop at several brothels around the city. Inside are frescos depicting available services. Although these areas can be bypassed, there is artwork scattered through the city that may not be appropriate for children. For adults, a good guide or audio tour is extremely informative of putting all this artwork into historical context, but it would not be understood by children.
I must be a total spaz because we completely didn't understand the "artwork" in the tiling on the floor, and when told what it was elected to skip it just because the walk down toward the brothel was SO FAR.

My point is, it's really not that noticeable (IMO) unless you're looking for it. We went there not knowing what to look for, but we had a guide.
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