Finding the correct pickup time under your cruise ship is very important. The port of Civitavecchia does not offer much for the tourists who disembark there, there are no shops, bars or restaurants. So should you optimize your waiting time.
For our experience, guests with early flight departing from Fiumicino Rome Airport exit before guests that have to go to Rome City. Usually disembark procedures from the ship not begin before 6:00 AM.
If you have an early flight departing from Rome Airport (up to 10:30 AM, I consider it an early flight, cause I suggest staying at the airport at least 3 hours before your Intercontinental flight, or at least 2 hours if you have an International flight), book your cab for 6:30 to 7:30 AM: it is a drive of 45 minutes to reach FCO airport.
So, if you are going to Rome City (it is a drive of 1h30) you should be out of the ship not before 8:00 AM. For passengers going to Rome City I suggest 8:00 or 8:30 AM as pickup time. If you book by CivitavecchiaPort.org website (they operate with Fully Licensed Drivers and Vehicles with the permits to access Civitavecchia Port. The car will arrive under the ship), you can change this time for free untill 24hrs before by email, by phone, by SMS, and even by WhatsApp.
The cruise ship will, as you probably know if you’ve been on cruises before, ask you to fill-out an info sheet sometime during your cruise pertaining to your disembarkation plans. As you fill it out, specify that you will be meeting your privately-arranged limo right outside the ship at 8:30 AM (for example). THEN, stand in line at the purser’s desk and PERSONALLY hand them the info form and tell them verbally that you are going to meet your limo right outside the ship at 8:30 AM. That way they will give you the right color-coded exit luggage tag and you’ll be (literally) “on your way”.
If they give you an exit time of 7:00 AM. you can stay on the boat as long as you want after that and have your morning coffee. But if they give you an exit time of, say, 9:30 AM (since you are arranging your own post-cruise transfer) make sure you go to the pursers desk immediately and arrange for an earlier exit.
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