DAY 14: Naples, IT

13 July – Boat/Land Tour of Capri, Sorrento, and Pompeii

(Guide – Disney)

[On Shore times 0800 to 1800 (GMT+1]

SOME OF THE INFORMATION BELOW IS OUTDATED

NAPLES PORT HIGHLIGHTS: POMPEII, HERCULANEUM, SORRENTO, AMALFI COAST, CAPRI  

Distances

Naples (port) to Herculaneum – 14 km (19 minutes)

Herculaneum to Sorrento – 38 km (50 minutes)

Sorrento to Positano – 15 km (33 minutes)

Herculaneum to Positano – 50 km (1 hour 12 minutes)

Positano to Naples (port) 61 km (1 hour 20 minutes)

Naples (port) to Capri – 50-60 minute jet boat ride from one of two marinas in Naples (You can also get jet boat rides to Capri from Sorrento)

Amelia’s list of potential activities/sights

  • 27 minute drive 20 minute drive 
  • -The Hidden Treasures of Herculaneum (NP09) $108 Active/ Moderate 4-4.5 hours
  • Buy Cameos*
  • Hike Mount Vesuvius
  • San Gennaro Catacombs
  • Herculaneum (Less Crowded Pompeii)
  • Castel Nuovo (13th Century Castle)
  • Cappella Sansevero (Museum)
  • Castel dell-Ovo (Seaside Castle)
  • Piazza del Plebiscito (Square of People)
  • San Domenico Maggiore (Gothic Church and Monastery)
  • Cathedral
  • Santa Lucia District
  • Palazzo Reale (Royal Palace of Naples)
  • Capri

Naples FYI

 

However, at least one travel page suggested that Naples is no different than any other city regarding crime and said that normal precautions should suffice (don’t flash money or expensive things, keep bags close and secure, heads up around you, etc.)

Beware of the Riposo

Except for restaurants, many shops and museums close for the midafternoon for the riposo. Typically, they close at about 1 PM and remain closed for 90 minutes to two hours. Shops in tourist areas may not observe a riposo; however, it is a fact of life in Italy.

Sights, Sites, and Tours

Museums and Historical Sites

There are a variety of museums and historical sites in Naples. Three are relatively close to the Port area. There are other sights that are less crowded, outdoor spots, and suggestions on what to do if you only have one day in Naples.

Volcano Related Tours

Pompeii
Herculaneum
A path on Mount Vesuvius

Mount Vesuvius, or Italian Vesuvio, is a rockstar of volcanos. Known for its morbid and active past, the flanks of Vesuvius have become the archeological and tourist attraction because of what the volcano did in 79 AD. In that year, several small cities and villages on the southeast slope of the Vesuvius became the victims of a major eruption that buried them with little opportunity to escape. The most famous of the communities is Pompeii, but others such as Herculaneum also were lost. The volcano is still active and has erupted many times since 79 AD, the most recent was in 1944; however, none of the eruptions have matched the power and destruction of the 79 AD event.

It is notable that on 15 March 2019, 34 earthquakes struck in the volcano in one day; however, scientists dismissed them as part of the normal activity of the volcano. Also, in the Summer of 2017, much of the volcano was struck by a fire.

Fire on the Mount

Herculaneum

Amelia researched Naples and recommended that we visit Herculaneum rather than Pompeii. The following summary from Sedimentality.com compares the two ruins.  

Herculaneum was the richer of the two cities….there are more expansive houses, more impressive mosaics, and more lavish marble.. Although a much smaller city, its ruins are also more dense, better preserved, and offer more complete homes and mosaics….  When trying to decide between the two ancient cities, consider several factors: what you will see, the length of the trip, and the size of each city. A trip to smaller Herculaneum might be a better choice on a hot day–or for someone who is not able to walk very far–while Pompeii might be better for someone looking for an all-day excursion and a chance to explore an expansive, ancient city. If you are more interested in seeing well-preserved ruins, seriously consider Herculaneum: the homes and their marbles and mosaics are stunning and, since Herculaneum is smaller, you have much more time to explore and enjoy each “exhibit” in this “open museum.”

http://sedimentality.com/pompeii-or-herculaneum-how-to-choose-for-a-day-trip-from-naples-or-sorrento/

Pompeii

  • Pros: Larger, more recognizable, more plaster bodies to better understand Fiorelli’s method of preservation, more to explore, more impressive houses, the Forum, and amphitheater.
  • Cons: Heavily trafficked, very hot most of the year, difficult to walk around if you have problems walking for hours.

Herculaneum

  • Pros: Smaller, more intimate, better frescoes, less crowds, more shady areas during the heat, roads are easier to walk on, better preserved homes and mosaics.
  • Cons: Less recognizable, less plaster bodies, smaller city, much of the site has yet to be excavated.

The Amalfi Coast

When people think of the Mediterranean, they often think of quaint communities built on rock cliffs overlooking the water. That is essentially the Amalfi Coast. It is a major tourist attraction southeast of Naples along the Gulf of Salerno. Thirteen communities can be reached on land or sea from Naples.

Port Information

Other ships in port that day: Marella Discovery (6:00-20:00, up to 2100 passengers)

Most cruise ships berth at the Stazione Maritima (4-level terminal complex near Castel Nuovo). Berth 21 and Berth 22 (at the north pier) are also used, with a bus shuttle to the cruise terminal being provided. The cruise terminal also includes convention center, shopping mall and an office space.

Note from RomeInLimo: To find your driver you must walk across the cruise terminal and go down the stairs toward the exit. You will find him 200 meters in front of the exit door holding a sign with your name written on.

Recommendations from Amelia and Sara

Limo ride to Herculaneum. After exploring Herculaneum and buying cameos, drive to either Sorrento or Positano for lunch. Sara will reach out to the RomeInLimo contact for advice about which will feel most scenic and relaxing.

Disney Excursions:

Disney has about a dozen port adventures for Naples, but only one that includes Herculaneum. Several others include Pompeii, Sorrento, Positano, and Capri in varying combinations. Other excursions include a Fiat rally, a Vesuvius hike, rent a motorboat, and Naples by Segway.

https://disneycruise.disney.go.com/port-adventures/europe/list/naples-italy/

 

Amalfi Coast by Boat & Pompeii (NP74)

Prices: $205.00

Activity Level & Duration: Active/ 9-9.5 Hours

The Amalfi Coast provides a splendid prelude to a sobering tour of Pompeii. 

On this adventure you will… 

  • Board your motorcoach for a 45 minute drive, passing Mt. Vesuvius to Salerno. 
  • Board a private motor launch and enjoy spectacular views during a 45-minute cruise along the stunning Amalfi Coast. Note: This ride can be bumpy. Guests who suffer from motion sickness are advised to take precautions. 
  • View charming historic sites on a walking tour and take 60 minutes of free time at the white villages of Amalfi. 
  • Reboard the motor launch for the cruise back to Salemo, where you’ll transfer to a motorcoach for a 45-minute ride to Pompeii. 
  • Lunch at a local restaurant is included in the tour. Enjoy fresh tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, ham, pizza, vegetables, salad, french fries, pasta with tomato sauce, cannelloni with ricotta cheese and spinach. Dessert and a bottle of water or soft drink is also included. 
  • Next, continue to the uncovered ruins of the Roman city, Pompeii, for a 90-minute guided walking tour. Upon arrival to Pompeii, walk to the entrance gate, approximately 15-minutes where your tour begins. 
  • Enjoy some free time before you reboard the motor coach for the 30-minute return ride back to Naples and the pier.

 

The Hidden Treasures of Herculaneum (NP09)

Prices: $108.00 (ages 10 and up)

Activity Level & Duration: Active, Moderate/4 to 4.5 Hours

Explore the well-preserved remains of a city enshrouded by a volcano. Take a fascinating tour of the lesser known Herculaneum that was swallowed by Mt. Vesuvius on that same fateful day.

On this adventure you will…

  • Drive approximately 30 minutes to a place frozen in time—the ancient Roman city of Herculaneum. Nestled beneath Mt. Vesuvius when it erupted, Herculaneum was enshrouded in an explosive combination of hot gas, ash and rock, thereby better preserving it than its neighboring city Pompeii, which was buried in volcanic ash.
  • Embark on a 45-minute guided walking tour through the city’s many ruins.
  • Participate in a lively interactive family quiz during your tour of Herculaneum.
  • Enjoy a refreshing cold soda and receive a special gift for your participation in the quiz.
  • Make a 30 minute stop at a local cameo factory, shop and browse for souvenirs, such as handmade cameos, before you reboard your motorcoach for the drive back to Naples.
  • Wheelchairs (collapsible or electric) are not permitted. Tour operators will deny participation to Guests arriving in wheelchairs or electric scooters.
  • Each family will receive one complimentary treasure-hunt gift.
  • The ground is uneven and you’ll be walking approximately a mile during this tour. Wear comfortable shoes.
  • For security reasons, large bags, purses, backpacks and strollers are not allowed inside the Herculaneum excavations. It is recommended to leave them inside the motorcoach as lockers are not available.
  • Tour durations times are estimated and may vary considerably due to circumstances such as traffic or overcrowding of venues.
  • Headphones will be supplied for use during your visit to Herculaneum.
  • Due to the extremely limited availability of this shore excursion, Guests are encouraged to book early.

Value Package – Sorrento & Pompeii (NP37)

Prices: $124.00 (ages 10 and up)

Activity Level & Duration: Active, Moderate/8.5 to 9 Hours

Enjoy a guided stroll through the quaint village of Sorrento and then visit the ruins of ancient Pompeii. Discover the charming town of Sorrento where citrus grows abundant and Limoncello is the drink of choice.

On this adventure you will…

  • Take a 75-minute drive passing Mt. Vesuvius to the seaside town of Sorrento.
  • Enjoy an optional guided walking tour of the historical center. Wear comfortable shoes.
  • Spend approximately 2.5 hours of free time in Sorrento to explore the seaside town and have lunch (not included).
  • Stroll Corso Italia, the flower-lined main thoroughfare of the town and Correale Museum, home to antique furniture, porcelains and Neapolitan paintings.
  • Drive about an hour to the ancient Roman city of Pompeii, buried by volcanic ash from nearby Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD and then lost for 1,800 years. Upon arrival to Pompeii, walk to the entrance gate, approximately 15-minutes where your tour begins.
  • Enjoy a 90-minute guided walking tour in Pompeii.
  • Take a 30-minute drive back to Naples.
  • Wheelchairs (collapsible or electric) are not permitted. Tour operators will deny participation to Guests arriving in wheelchairs or electric scooters.
  • Guests—including children—wishing to visit churches must ensure that shoulders and knees remain covered. Guests can wear shorts that hang below the knee and tank tops, as long as you bring a sweater or scarf to wrap around your shoulders.
  • The order of tour sites may vary depending on traffic and overcrowding of venues.
  • For security reasons, large bags, purses, backpacks and strollers are not allowed inside the Pompeii excavations. It is recommended to leave them inside the motorcoach as lockers are not available.
  • The visit to Pompeii includes extensive walking across one and a half miles of flat, uneven and rough uphill terrain. In addition, you must descend 20-25 steps. Wear comfortable shoes.
  • All travel times and tour durations are estimated and may vary considerably due to circumstances such as traffic, weather or overcrowding of venues.
  • Headphones will be supplied for your time in Pompeii.
  • Due to the extremely limited availability of this shore excursion, Guests are encouraged to book early.

Naples by Private Vehicle – 8 Hour Mini Bus With Driver (NP59)

$1179.00 (All Ages) ($147/person sk)

Activity Level & Duration: Mild/8 Hours

Perfect for passengers who wish to tour privately—or want the flexibility of designing their own itinerary. Embark on an unforgettable excursion in your air-conditioned minibus with driver.

On this adventure you will… Embark on an unforgettable excursion throughout Naples and its neighboring region via private minibus and experience the freedom of following your own itinerary at your own pace. Note: Each vehicle can accommodate up to 16 Guests. Only one ticket (billed to one person) per vehicle should be booked.

Receive the following:

  • Private minibus is air-conditioned and comes with a driver, who speaks limited English. Drivers are able to take you to destinations of your choice, but they cannot make recommendations or suggestions.
  • The pricing listed is for 8 hours. Need extra hours? Complete the regular 8-hour booking online and email dcl.shore.excursions@disney.com with your name, cruise reservation number and the total number of hours you’d like.
  • All departures are set for an 8:30 AM meet time.
  • These items are not included: entrance fees, parking fees, meals, refreshments and gratuities.
  • Want to make your experience more complete? Private tour guides are also available at an additional cost. They will lead you on an eye-opening tour, providing insightful and relevant information designed with your entire family and personal preferences in mind. If you choose to add this service, please remember that the tour guide will require one of the seats in your vehicle. This option is also available on this website.
  • All private vehicle bookings are nonrefundable.
  • Actual vehicle type may vary depending on final number of passengers and availability.
  • Visiting more than one site often requires a full day.
  • This is a private arrangement; those accompanying you agree to share all costs. We do not match groups of passengers to form a private group for the vehicle.
  • These tours are ordered per vehicle. One person in your party places the order for the vehicle; the entire cost of the vehicle is charged to that person’s shipboard account and cannot be divided up among the party.
  • Vehicles and guides are extremely limited; reserve early to avoid disappointment.
  • Once onboard, you will receive a letter requesting details about your travel plans. Please complete this information and return it to the Port Adventures Desk as soon as possible.

Alternatives to Disney Excursion:

RomeInLimo Private Vehicle and Driver

Herculaneum, Sorrento and Positano (up to 9 hours)

http://www.romeinlimo.com/naples/herculaneum-sorrento.htm

The rate in Mercedes Minivan For your party of 8 is of Euro 600 (discounted from Euro 650)

Additional Pompeii or Herculaneum Guide is Euro 150

RomeInLimo Herculaneum, Sorrento and Positano(Amalfi Coast) Tour Description:

Once you have been greeted at the Port of Naples you will make your way to the city of Herculaneum, an archaeological site that was buried under, and preserved by volcanic ash from the 79 AD Mount Vesuvius eruption.  You will spend the duration of your morning exploring what remains of the ancient Roman city, before setting off for a scenic drive up the Almalfi Coast, and lunch along the way.

Your afternoon will be spent in the narrow, winding streets and seaside cafes of Positano before returing to the Port of Naples at the end of the day.

Please note Herculanum might be last stop on this itinerary coming in from the port of Naples.

Note: We can alter this; if we wanted a shorter day, we could remove Sorrento and/or Positano. Some Trip Advisor reviews indicated that they asked their driver to take them part way along the Amalfi coast, but not all they way to Positano. SK

* We do highly recommend a private licensed guide for Herculaneum

** Herculaneum is partly wheelchair accessible.

*** You can get the tickets to sites on the spot – Euro 11 per person for Herculaneum.

Children and students up to age of 18 have a free entrance, an ID is necessary then.

Early pick up recommend, 7.30 am

General Admission Prices and sundry costs:

Herculaneum 13 Euro per adult; under 18 free. Tickets can be purchased at site or online for a 2Euro fee.

Personal Notes

Note from Sara: I agree with Amelia about Herculaneum. It looks more manageable than Pompeii and just as interesting. I think the real difference will be scale. I have read that one of the amazing things about Pompeii is that it is much larger than people expect. I’m actually flexible and happy to visit either. I am intrigued by Sorrento and maybe the Amalfi coast. I don’t feel strongly about going all the way to Positano; it’s quite long drive. Like Amelia, I would like to shop for cameos because how many places can you really do that???? A perfect day for me would probably include a coffee, ice cream, wine, and/or lunch at a cafe overlooking the Mediterranean, Sorrento maybe? I rather like the idea of using the private van on this day because it gives us timing choices and control. However, if most other people want to take a Disney excursion, we can let the car go, and I can definitely find a Disney adventure that works for me.

Note from Tracie: This is a fairly long day in port so I think we are safe to use the car, then we can be flexible. I agree that we should go to Herculaneum and at least see some part of the Amalfi coast.