Let me try to simplify your life. We are doing a TA from Civitavecchia in December of this year. I booked the cruise in early July 2006. Since then I have been researching every facet of the adventure for my group of ten (all siblings w/ spouses) and will be happy to share some of my findings. After reading literally hundreds of reviews, I settled on the following:
We have booked Revelation Tours for an 8 hour tour from Cannes. Michel LeGrand will be our driver/guide.
In Naples, it's Salvatore Lucibello of Drive Amalfi for an all-day tour of Pompeii and the Amalfi Coast.
In Livorno, we will be using Tuscany by Taxi for the day and will spend the time in Florence with a brief stop in Pisa. Two members of our party just returned from an extended stay in Florence so we felt comfortable without a formal guide. Tuscany by Taxi supplies a van and driver to be at your disposal for the day at a very reasonable price.
Here is a sampling of excerpts I assembled from this board relating to this topic:
A truly enjoyable time was afforded to us by Michel LeGrand
(pronounced Mee Shell) of Revelation Tours. Michel, a man, goes above and beyond the average tour guide for his clients. Each client in our party was given a presentation type file folder with details of Villefranche and all the stops on our tour. He had a cooler with water and soft drinks, a very nice touch. He even had hand wipes and candy to offer his clients.
We used Revelation Tours last year and would highly recommend. Michel was excellent tour guide, adapted the program to our desires. made great recommendations and provided free soft drinks, water throughout the day.
You can't go wrong.
> Highly recommend Revelation-Tours and Driver in Rome
Both Michel Legrand from www.revelation-tours.com
and Daniele Melaragno from www.driverinrome.com
were very professional, reliable, and had a good sense of humor. For VilleFranche, we had Michel himself but I heard his other guides were also very enthusiastic narraters...For Tuscany and Amalfi, we had Daniele (very charming) and Fabritzio (very funny) Melaragno. If you enjoy a guide who is very accommodating and hilarious, he would be the one. He even took us to this 5 star hotel on the Amalfi coast http://www.hotelsantacaterina.it/
at our request (a very beautiful place with fantastic views)... Both my mom and teenage daughter had a great time. Both Claudia and Driver in Rome were booked for Rome, so we had to use a different company in Rome, (whose owner we feel did not care much about taking care of their customers)...Enjoy the sight and sound of hotelsantacaterina, a prelude to your Med experience...
> Salvatore of DriveAmalfi (************************
) worked for around Twenty years at the Santa Caterina Hotel (hotelsantacaterina.it
) in Amalfi,it looks a great place to stay
> We just returned from our cruise to the Med aboard the Millinnuim. I cannot say enought about Michel Legrand of Revelation Tours
for your tour in France. He is a gentleman, he has a wonderful sense of humor, he is very informative and he was one of the highlights of our trip!!
In Naples we used Salvatore of DriveAmalfi
. After the traffic of "organized chaos" in Rome, Salvatore made us feel safe as he slowly drove the winding roads of the Amalfi Coast (where he lives) and guided us with the history & best views!! He took us to a restaraunt overlooking the sea that had the most fabulous food!!! It was quiet & reasonably priced, not to mention DELICIOUS!!
After all of the ports we visited, isn't it interesting that we want to revisit Nice, St. Paul, & Eze in France and the Amalfi Coast?? Could it be our guides that we were enchanted with?? Ha! Ha!
> French Riviera & Amalfi Coast
Kathy/Luvcrusin', glad to hear you've also really enjoyed the above regions of Italy and France...
Mike Andrews, Salvatore is a lucky man to have worked at the Santa Caterina hotel for that long...When I corresponded with him in the past, he was very polite, courteous, and replied quickly to my e-mails...We would not mind trying out his services in the future...We still have the 16 pages Hotel Santa Caterina color brochure with us to enjoy the spectacular breathtaking views!!!
> Kathy & Ed
Great to see you on the board. Gosh we miss seeing you guys!!! How was Venice post cruise?
Tony and I are still getting over the jet lag. Yes we agree the Amalfi Coast is a definate to return to - we were also head over heels in love with Santorini (especially Oia and Camari Beach). Oh I wish I was back on the Milennium!!! Whe do you think you'd do the Med again?
> Hi Becky,
I just booked Papillon. Who was your driver? How would you rate your day compared to your tour with Michel at Revelation or Salvatore of Drive Amalfi?
Thanks in advance for the info!!!
> My wife and I just returned from the Galaxy transatlantic. We used driverinrome and revelationstours
Both companies were outstanding in helping get things arranged. We had three people coordinating transfers and tours and the details got complex. Both of them performed flawlessly.
In Villefranche, there were two groups of us touring. One group wanted the full deal from Cannes, to Monte Carlo with 3-4 stops between. They had one van (and had Michele as their driver). They said the tour and Michele were both great. 16 of us decided to do a little less and cut out Cannes. We went to Nice, Eze and Monte Carlo/Monaco, taking about 6 hours. We had two vans and the drivers were informative and very nice.
I would recommend either company to anyone.
> You're right, CruisingCatherine. With yesterday's conversion rate, a 500 Euro excursion is $625 US. I think it is high also, but if you look at what you're paying for, it makes a little more sense.
The cost is covering a drive from the port to the city (Rome, Florence especially), which could be more than 90 minutes of driving. Then they are taking you around for the entire day. Most of these excursions last 8 to 9 hours with, from what I've heard on these boards, excellent narrations of the area you are visiting.
I have also done private excursions in the Caribbean for much less money, but I think there is no comparison of the Caribbean to the Mediterrean. At least IMHO.
BOS - October 15, 2005
> Catherine, the price you're quoting for Europe is per vehicle, not per person. It's worth it to advertise here on CC and get other people to join you. We were three couples per minivan on each excursion - which is roughly 80 Euros per person. On this subject, an equivalent ship's tour will cost in the vicinity of $135 each and trust me there's no comparison. They travel in huge busses which can't negotiate most of the streets in the cities, so one get's dropped off and has to walk in a huge group to view the various sites. Your private tour guide will take you whereever YOU want to go - and give you as much time as you need to shop and eat as well. Also there is absolutely no comparison between a tour in the Caribbean and a tour in Europe. Yes the distance to Florence for instance is 1 1/2 hours travel one way - the narration is amazing - (they're not merely talking on passing scenery) all the dates and historical facts are totally mind blowing (by the way we were there last month and gas was 8 Euro's a gallon!!) We felt we got more than our money's worth out of our tour guides - they were amazing. Anything I can answer for you - I'd be glad to.
> The good tour guides get booked a year in advance - so if you're interested in them I suggest you book soon.
If you are going to invest in private tours then I recommend that you invest in the best and I agree you will need to book early to ensure you get the he best. We have done most ports in the Mediterranean on our own but for somewhere like the Amalfi Coast the services of a private driver are almost essential to get the most out of your day and it is a place we have never tired of visiting. I recommend the services of Salvatore Lucibello of DriveAmalfi (************************
) for tours of Pompei and the Amalfi Coast out of Naples whom we have used twice and would say he is the best without question. We have also used Paola Migliorni of Florence Tour (firstname.lastname@example.org
) for an indepth Tour of Florence and Pisa and if there is a more knowledgeable guide in Florence then I would like to meet them.
> Tour guides in Italy
We just returned from a Med cruise on the Splendour. I researched and sort of got an idea who everyone was high on using as private guides. We settled on driverinrome for Florence (Pepe was our driver) and driverinrome for Rome (Remo). For Naples we decided to use Salvatore from driveamalphi. All were very good, gentlemen, excellent drivers and tour guides. All were very knowledgeable on the areas we toured. Never had to wait in any lines with any of them. When there was a traffic jam going to the Amalphi coast, Salvatore took an alternate route and hardly any time was lost. He was probably the most informative, I would highly recommend Salvator for Naples. Be sure to reserve him well in advance, we did about three months ahead and he guaranteed he would be our driver, my wife was happy about that. He was soft spoken, a great driver (you did not have to hold the seat while he was driving), and knew every detail about the area you were in. He took us to a small village (Pontone) for lunch, it was unforgettable, I guess you had to be there.
Pepe and Remo were also very excellent both had their own ways of touring, Remo more of a comedian, and musician. All spoke excellent english. Any other info you may want please email me at, email@example.com
John & Carol
> I echo your sentiments about Sylvie,she was first class also Salvatore of DriveAmalfi, *********************
out of Naples is a total professional as is Paola of Florence Tour, firstname.lastname@example.org
. We like to do our own thing in many of the ports but hiring knowledgeable local guides in selected ports gives you a greater insight into the areas you are visiting and is well worth the cost.
> Vilefranche driver
I can't say enough good things about Michel Legrand and Revelation Tours - we had a terrific tour from Cannes to Monte Carlo from our stop in Villefranche during the Galaxy Transatlantic cruise in May.
Michel and Revelation Tours are exceptional for many reasons.
We found out when we boarded the Galaxy that the itinerary had been changed and that we'd be in Villefranche a day earlier than originally planned. With less than 2 weeks notice and during their busy season, Michel was able to make this change for us.
Also, as word spread onboard about our Villefranche tour, we asked Michel to accommodate 16 more Cruise Critic folks in 2 minivans, and he did it for us. He had to sub-lease the vans from another company and arrange for these vans to have the same amenities as Revelation Tours vans, but he did it.
Another special note is that Michel/Revelation Tours did not mind if we changed the itinerary as the tour went along or if each of our vans - and we had 5 in total - had a different itinerary. Moreover, Michel went out of his way to draft other itineraries for us based on our interests, rather than demanding that we choose from the existing tours in the Revelation Tours brochure.
We all got an information kit with a copy of the itinerary for the day and historical information about the places being visited. While touring in the van, there was an audio presentation for each visit site and free non-alcoholic drinks were available too.
The weather was perfect, the scenery was divine and the service we received was outstanding. We probably had the best independent shore excursion we've ever had and thought it was a perfect day!
> We have Salvatore from DriveAmalfi Michel Legrand of Revellation Tours reserved but does anyone have any suggestions for Dubrovnik?
> full vans!
With Salvatore's assistance, it appears we've filled two vans of six each for the Amalfi drive on 5/19 - very much looking forward to it, as all CC reviews have been excellent for DriveAmalfi!
Jan T. in Harrisburg, PA
> Revelation Tours
I have read numerous reviews on this board about Revelation Tours in Villefranche, and recently contacted them to organize a group for our upcoming cruise. I am sure I won't be disappointed.
> Josie, last year we used driverinrome on two occassions. The first time we had Pepe. He was excellent, very freindly and talkative. He got us in to some sights without waiting. Good driver and informative. The second tour was with Daniels father Remo. He was VERY excellent. He was funny, talkative, informative, a very good singer and did I say he was funny? You will love him if you do get him. You may even request with Monia, she was just as great with our reservations. Make sure you ask him to play for you.
Our other tour was in Naples with Salvatore from driveamalphi. This was probably our best tour. All around I just cannot say enough about Salvatore and the tour through Amalphi and surrounding villages.
Hope you have a great trip and many memories. John
John & Carol
> Need advice on Guides/Drivers
Trying to book a private tour for my family in Naples. Wrote to Salvatore from Drive Amalfi- but he is already booked. He is recommending Roberto from his company. Would like to know if anyone can tell me how is he as a driver/guide?
> Drive Amalfi---Anyone Had Adriano?
I, too have tried to book Salvatore for our day. He is personally booked, but he has given us the name of Adriano. Has anyone had any past experiences...good or bad? I am especially concerned with driving abilities of our driver as our children are accompanying us. Thank you!
> Dr. Pam - While i was emailing Salvatore about my booking last fall another party confirmed with him so he offered me Adriano as well. He assured me that he is his number one driver, but I too would be interested to see if anyone else has toured with him. I'm sorry that its not Salvatore himself but we are really looking forward to the Amalfi coast.
> drivers and tours
I hope someone has more information and ideas for trips and drivers in Villefranche- everyone i have tried is booked..likewise trying to find someone for a civitavecchia trip ( estruscan towns).
tried RTCarbone@yahoo which someone recommended, but email doesn't exist.
> The two best Drivers and Guides we used were Michel Legrand of Revelation Tours from Villefranche and Salvatore Lucibello of DriveAmalfi out of Naples
Originally Posted by mert461
Thanks to everyone who replied to my original poll and questions. We've booked Villefranche and the Amalfi Coast.
I'm still trying to decide for Rome and Florence. It appears driverinrome might be the one to choose?
We just returned last week from the Liberty and were quite happy with using Tuscany by Taxi for our driving excursion to Florence. Our driver was Maximo (i'm not sure of the spelling), and although he did not speak much English he was a very nice and courteous man. The price was 320 E for the whole day for a van that sat our group of 8 plus Maximo
Good to hear that you like tuscanybytaxi. I am thinking of using them for our day in Florence. Did you book with them in advance and specify an 8 seater van?
The e-mail I got from stated that the taxis take up to 6 people. While there are only 4 in our group, it would be great to recruit 4 others to share and bring down the cost consdierably.
> Private tours in Italy and France
We were on the Carnival Liberty October 05 cruise, we used both driverinrome for Rome, Florence/Pisa and Naples. and Michel Legrand of Revelation Tours for the French coast tour. They are both excellent and provided a wonderful tour. I will recommend both for their tour services. They are the best.
> Salvatore and Nello were are drivers for the Amalfi Coast. We were a group of 16, so we needed 2 vans in some areas. We had lunch in a hillside cafe enjoying Italine cuisine and local wine. It was a perfect day.
In Nice we booked revelation-tours and had Michel Legrand. He was so professional and kept us on a schedule, so we could see the most in the 9 hours we were with him.We loved the village of Eze, St Paul, Tourettes, Monte Carlo, Flower Market of Nice.
These tours made this cruise on the Millennuim so memorable.
Our Emerald Princess group has a reservation for 2 vans with Salvatore's company. Salvatore is the driver of one of his vans and the other is Roberto of his company. I hope that this is not the same Roberto that others wrote about but it is in a different city. I have also asked Salvatore to get us a private licensed guide for Pompeii since we will be cramming it into 2 hours.
I am thrilled with Salvatore. Has anyone used Roberto of Drive Amalfi? If so, I would appreciate your feedback.
Bonnie from Atlanta
Bonnie and Joe from Atlanta
> CHECK OUT THIS WEB SITE
(for a great review with photos): http://www.europeportreviews.com/Nice1.htm
We had hoped to have Michel as well last October. We too had Isoline, and had a wonderful day. She did use a microphone in our van, and Revelation tours will provide folders with detailed info about each place you will visit. She also played CDs about the areas. You will have a wonderful day.
> We used Michel last October for our Villefranche tour. There were 16 that signed up for the tour so we had Michel and Isoline. I was in the van w/ Michel but those that were in Isoline's van loved her! She's very energetic and bouncy. Michel did use mikes while doing the tour as well as a cd presentation of the particular area we were visiting. It gave a nice overview of what we would be seeing.
I would definitely request that mikes be used if you have a group. It makes the tour so much nicer and everyone can hear.
Have a nice trip.
> Revelations Tours
We were a party of 7 people who used Revelation Tours when our ship, Voyager of the Seas, was docked in Villefranche on September 18th. Michel was our driver and he was fantastic! He responded promptly and courteously to all of our email requests prior to the cruise. He was waiting for us at the pier (with a hugh smile) and gave us a wonderful whirlwind tour of Nice, St. Paul, Monte Carlo, Monaco and Eze along with a stop at the Fragonard Perfume factory. He was able to keep all of us on a good schedule so that we could see everything we had requested and get us back to the ship on time. He seemed very educated in the hisotry of the areas we visited while also being alot of fun...we all certainly enjoyed his sense of humor and decided he was one of the best drivers we had while in Europe and would highly recommend his services at Revelation Tours.
We had no problem reaching him thru the website: revelation-tours.com
and email address: email@example.com
. Best of luck with your planning! The towns we visited were beautiful and fascinating!
> We had a tour with Michel Legrand from Revelation Tours. We started from Monte Carlo and visited St. Paul de Vence, Nice, Eze, Rothchild Villa and Monaco.
Michel is absolutely amazing guide, one of the best we ever had. Check his web site. There are some different itineraries there.
I have compiled what I call a "Mediterranean Resourch Guide" That is jam-packed with web sites, email addresses and other reasearch results. I posted it in the Roll Call for the Star Princess TA Rome to Ft. Lauderdale, but I'd be glad to send it to you the a Word file if you'd like. Send me a request at firstname.lastname@example.org
Good luck and enjoy!
Man, I wish someone had done this for me!