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04 Oct 2010
Jeni 08
Posts:2
PCS'ing to Naples and freaking out!!

Hello!

I just found out a few hours ago that I will be PCS'ing to Naples in May 2010. Im very excited, but i am also very nervous. i have a million questions! I have never lived abroad, and there are many things i would like to know.

I am an E4 single mother with a (soon to be) 3 year old. I want to know about housing. is it mandatory for me to live in base housing, or do i have the choice to live out in town? if i do have the choice, what would be best? also, i dont have much furniture, but i was wondering if i should buy it here and have it shipped, or just wait to buy it there?

phone service- how does this work? will i have a cell phone? house phone? how do i go about contacting my family without spending too much money?

daycare- how expensive is it? how long is the wait list, and is it preferable than getting a babysitter?

can i bring my car? and if i can, should i? or should i just buy a clunker down there?

and last (for now), how expensive is it to live there?

 

thank you!! 

Jenise

04 Oct 2010
Jeannie
More than 50 messages post
Posts:59
Re: PCS'ing to Naples and freaking out!!

Jenise:

Welcome to Naples! You have plenty of time to plan so good for you. I only had 3 weeks! You will hear different opinions from many people I am sure. Here is mine:

As a single mom of a young child, I highly encourage you to live on base. I know it's mandatory for most military, so you may not have a choice anyway. But being single with a small child, you will appreciate the support groups, activities, babysitters, playgrounds etc. that the base offers. Living off-base makes finding childcare more difficult, you can't walk to a playground, meet other moms for coffee etc. You will find yourself driving to base more than you want to. The Italian "neighborhoods" are not stroller-friendly or even nice to walk around for the most part, at least not the ones around base. Bummer but true.

Also, depending on where you are working, the shuttle bus runs between Capo and the SS, which may be an option for you.

As for a phone, most of us get a vodaphone pay-as-you go phone at the NEX. We use SKYPE to video chat with friends and family all over the world, and it's free! I also use 10-10-290 as a cheap phone call alternative.

I know there is a waiting list at the CDC, so you may want to call now and ask how soon you can get on the list. 

If you ship your car here for free, then I'd say to do so. If you are financing it you may have to get approval from your lender. Definitely bring extra maintenance items such as brake pads, rotors, tune up componants, wiper inserts etc. The Autoport here is limited and they have to order many parts via NAPA which can take 3-4 weeks and it's more expensive. So have your car tuned and ready to go before you have it shipped, and bring what you can to maintain it.  If you buy a car here, it's hit or miss on the quality and quantity of choices. You can get a feel for it by monitoring NAH. But with a little one, I'd bring your car if it's safe and reliable, and you comfortable driving it.

I hope that helps. I found many helping hands when I first arrived, and I'm sure you will too.

Ciao for now!

04 Oct 2010
sherlisa
Posts:27
Re: PCS'ing to Naples and freaking out!!

do you mean 2011. you will be "forced" to live on base. depending on rank and family size you will have a "selection" of housing apartments and parcos to "choose" from lol...as far as phone and internet you will be provided those services through housing affiliates. bring one car and by one here. i would recommend that you bring a car just big enough for your family to fit into comfortably for those road trips to germany, france, and other places. once you are here you can get a pay as  you go phone through the local cell phone company. it doesn't benefit us (americans) to have a cell phone plan from the states because of the added costs. i have been here four months now and did my first major PCS alone because my husband was currently deployed. it's not so overwhelming as some say. remember to get your families tourist passports ahead of your arrival because once here you will be wanting to travel here and there and ARE NOT ALLOWED TO LEGALLY TRAVEL OUT OF ITALY ON YOUR NO-FEE PASSPORT. if you have pets please make arrangements with your sponsor PRIOR to your travel date. the sponsor needs to inform the TLA that you will be needing a pet friendly room or apt. if you would like a little more information please feel free to look up NOSC (Naples Overseas Spouses Club) as well as Connect the Tots. those are some organizations that provide some great feedback. i can speak for connect the tots because i have friends who run the organization. i am a tell it like it is type of gal no bs. so if theres anything that you have heard or would like to know feel free to ask away. i want to be come part of our not so small naples community and i would love for you to enjoy the transition as much as possible. i know it can be a stressful time in your lives but i can say there are many up sides to being here.

05 Oct 2010
TCB
Posts:14
Re: PCS'ing to Naples and freaking out!!

Jeni, don't be so scared it is not all so bad here :)  Call Shannon Matthews at the CDC 39-081-811-4989 and see what you have to do to get on the wait list.  If you will be working at Capo you might want to try for the CDC over there, but it is your choice. Being a single military mom you will have top priority but the sooner you can show them your arriving the quicker you will get on the list.   The apts on base are pretty nice, the 2 bedrooms are quite spacious.  I agree with someone who said you would be better off living on base being a single mom.  You will be fine with one vehicle coming here,  the base is quite small, you can easily walk everywhere and saftely if your car has not arrived before you do.   You have everything on the base you will ever need, but definantly plan a few trips while in Europe, Npales is a wonderful foundation for the rest of Europe.  Ok! loads more to tell but must get ready for work :)

05 Oct 2010
TCB
Posts:14
Re: PCS'ing to Naples and freaking out!!

P.S. Forgot to mention, I know loads of super nice single mom's here I can put you in touch with, just drop me a note if you would like to maybe talk to some before coming out here.

05 Oct 2010
Lissa
Posts:8
Re: PCS'ing to Naples and freaking out!!

Hi and Welcome.  You will be ariving as my family and I will be departing Naples-lol!  Look, Naples is what it is.  You have to make the best of it.  Try not to make judgements based on what others have said.  The other post gave you very good info, that will definetly make your transition easier.  Depending on where you work and our hours, I had my now 5 year old at a very good, and afordable of base Italian daycare.  I would be more than happy to provide you their info if you would like.  The CDC is great and convenient too ;but it depends on the waiting list, so have a back plan. Take advantage and travel as much as you can here.  It is the best advise I can give you, or you will freak out in Naples. Best of luck to you and welcome again!

 

Lissa

05 Oct 2010
Cheryl
Posts:36
Re: PCS'ing to Naples and freaking out!!

Hi Jenise,


Congratulations on your new assignment. 

Cell Phones, if you are issued a cell phone by your command it will usually be serviced by TIM with free incoming calls. If not Vodafone is the way to go, they have prepaid and they also have plans. Being a mom of 3, I went with a plan (never wanted to be in a situation to run out of money on my phone), I pay 15c per minute with no monthly fee. 
Home phone works great from the support site, it is 4c a minute to call home (USA), many people also have Vonage, $15-$25 per month all the calls you want to make and a local call for your family and friends to call you is also an added bonus. Skype as someone said is also a great way to communicate.

We all live in apartments on base no more than 3 stories high, some have 6 in a building and others have 12. These are quite spacious for your size of a family, supplied with a microwave, washer, dryer and a fridge. Living of post can be quite expensive and utilities are quite high on the economy. I would suggest you bring your furniture from the USA, you may see somethings you want to buy here but (just my opinion) things can be more expensive here. Patio furniture is expensive so if you want a little table on your balcony I would say by in the sales now ;0) There are parks on every corner for your little one, a great place to meet friends. There is a bowling alley, movie theater, NEX, Commissary, food court, hospital, post office, auto port all at your door step and all within walking distance to the apartments. I really think it is a good choice to be here with a little one.

I strongly advise you to ship your own car if it is in good working condition. Buying a clunker here is usually (not always) priced well above what it is actually worth, however your car insurance will triple regardless of the vehicle. The military will ship one vehicle for you. You can buy gas coupons from the NEX to offset the high prices they charge here.

When it comes down to child care, take the advise and call the CDC, it is good to get your ducks in a row ahead of time. They will also have a list of home daycares (I believe) Also I know you mentioned your little one will turn 3 soon, at some point in your tour you will be eligible to apply for the Sure Start program at the Elementary school. Your Child has to turn 4 before Sep 1st in order to qualify so maybe you can keep that in mind for the following year. 

You will not be the only single mom here, you will have plenty of support and please do not hesitate to ask questions. This forum has some great people on it that give some great advise.

Ciao!


06 Oct 2010
jessica
Posts:9
Re: PCS'ing to Naples and freaking out!!

We just purchased a magic jack and had it mailed to us. It is like $13 a year and works really well. It seems everyone has given you some great information. I know my single friends here live out in town and really enjoy it. I know it would be harder to do with children.

06 Oct 2010
Jeni 08
Posts:2
Re: PCS'ing to Naples and freaking out!!

Thank you guys sooo much! i feel better already :)

Ok so i will definitely be living on base. How long does it usually take to ship a car? I would really like to have my car when i get there so i was thinking of shipping it before i left, i just need to know how far in advance i need to send it.

How is the weather like? im not really a fan of the cold, but i know it gets cold there, i just dont know how cold. i dont even know if it snows there :/

oh one other question, my mother is planning to keep my son for about two weeks while i transfer to Italy, so i can get settled before i bring him, what does she need to have to be able to bring him into the country? shes also been planning on staying here for about a month or so, until i can get aquainted with the daycares in the area (if i cant get the CDC on time).

Im gonna be working at the Naval Hospital (im a corpsman) so if anyone works there and can tell me more about the hospital, that would be great! :) Thank you soo much!

06 Oct 2010
kg
Posts:9
Re: PCS'ing to Naples and freaking out!!

It took our car about a month and a half to get here. It was shipped out of Flordia. They told us at most 60 days but that sometimes there are delays. My mom is planning on keeping my son for a couple weeks this March, I think you may have to type up a letter through legal for her to be able to travel with him abroad. I would also check with the airline they'll be flying with on what they require. 


I know that while you are staying in the TLA and going through area orientation they provide childcare if you end up bringing your son right away. 

I hope you end up liking Naples. It is a huge adjustment at first but as long as you make the best of it, its a great experience. 

06 Oct 2010
Cat
Posts:11
Re: PCS'ing to Naples and freaking out!!

Welcome to Naples...for info abt your mom bringing your son... 

  • Submit a notarized written statement or affidavit from both parents or guardians authorizing a third-party to apply for a passport
  • When the statement of affidavit is from only one parent/guardian, the third-party must present evidence of sole custody of the authorizing parent/guardian.  signed by you giving her permission to take your son from the states
  • is info. came directly from http://travel.state.gov/passport/get/minors/minors_834.html 

     

    I had to use the to allow my mom to take my kids out the country.  Hope this help.

    06 Oct 2010
    sherlisa
    Posts:27
    Re: PCS'ing to Naples and freaking out!!

    i can send you some contact info for some of the corpsmen i know. we shipped our car the day we got the plane to come here from va and we didn't get it until i think late may or early june. it will take a while. but if your going to be here working on base it shouldn't be much of an issue to get to and from work. there are alot of people who will help you out once your here. that's the naples community, because we all know what it's like to walk across base with a clangity clang clang shopping cart (that no one told you needed a euro coin in order to use) load to the max with groceries and exchange goods while managing a crying, sleeping or cranky child. lol we have all been through it at one time or another. get in contact with your no fee passport office asap and they will let you know what your son will need in order to travel with your mom and what your mom will need from you prior to coming here. the cdc here on support site is about average when it comes to cdc's lol. i will be honest with you. you have to be very diligent when dealing with them. they tend not to call you back or answer the phone past 1730. if you contact your local cdc they can provide you with the necessary paperwork for transferring priority here. i can tell you will be first priority upon your arrival. single active duty parents has the preference over EVERYONE so your wait shouldn't be too long. 

    11 Oct 2010
    Tim and Kristina
    Posts:31
    Re: PCS'ing to Naples and freaking out!!

    we shipped our car way before we got to naples so we know that it would be here so we got it three weeks after we got here it takes a while but its worth it. I have been here over a year and im liking it so far, to say i try and make the best of it as possible.

    12 Oct 2010
    Christina
    Posts:37
    Re: PCS'ing to Naples and freaking out!!

    Hi Jenise,


    You didn't say where you are coming from. If you are shipping

    your vehicle from Virginia 42 days is standard. Pay close attention to

    the RDD. This is the Required Delivery Date. It SHOULD be here on or before this date. See the following link for more information: https://www.whereismypov.com/index.asp

    Good luck on your PCS!

    Christina

    15 Oct 2010
    L.
    Posts:6
    Re: PCS'ing to Naples and freaking out!!

    Hello there... Well, welcome to Naples... well, soon to be here...  all the advice i can give that has not already been touched on is.... Don't forget to get your US passport Ahead of time!! Can't travel in Europe with out it... both you and your fam.... even your mom.
    If you have facebook, the hospital has a page and so does the base!
    so look up the Naples Naval hospital and us naval support activity naples, italy.  there is also the naples overseas spouse club. 

    Good luck!