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I am in port on 29th October and would like to do a wine tour but can't seem to find any in the right price range that leave from Livorno. I was quoted 460euro for 4 people and just can't justify that kind of money.
So i think hiring a car and going for a drive to some wineries is best option maybe.
Looking at the car hire options I'm unsure of which depot to be picking a car up from. 2 are listed which sound like they could be near the Cruise ship terminal:
I am going to invite you to take a look at this link as you consider whether or not to rent a car in Livorno. It is my review from our cruise on the NCL Jade 8/23 of this year. Check out my post on the port of Livorno, and then read on to see other's comments regarding car rental in this port.
You can see that things did not go smoothly for us. However, some of that was due to circumstances beyond our control (i.e. our NCL shuttle to the city center getting lost, not docking in the commerical port, etc.). I would advise you to really do your research before committing to the car rental. First, I would NOT pay anything in advance- there are too many variables in this port and it would stink to be out money due to issues you could not help. Then, try and find out which berth you will be docked at and if your rental car company delivers to that pier. If they do not deliver to the pier, then you need to do your planning on how to get into the city center to pick up your car. Word of warning: if you take your ship's shuttle to do this, and they drop you off in the main square, it is still a bit of a hoof to get to the rental car offices- AND, the maps provided by the port authority's are awful....so use some google and get a good feel for where you need to go. As another aside, I had done all this research for our trip, and at the time I was doing it, the port website for Livorno said the Jade would be at the commercial port. That morning we woke up and clearly were at a more industrial port- and there was no heads up given at all....otherwise I would have done some last minute e-mailing or calling to try and get a better game plan.
I don't mean to discourage you from renting a car. At first thought, DH and I thought it was really our only option to see Pisa and the Cinque Terre- since no tours through the ship stopped at both, the train schedule was laborious with a lot of wasted time, and a private driver was out of our price range. So I feel where you're coming from. Just also know that the drunk driving laws there are WAY more strict than over here, which worried me as DH and I enjoy a glass of local wine- add that to not being familiar with road signs and driving style in Italy and in the end, I was kind of relieved our car rental fell through.
I will offer that we used Sifracar, as suggested by Hiltner on this site, and they were really easy to work/communicate with. They also offer pier delievery for certain berths. We were a little disappointed they did not send someone to our industrial port to meet my husband and I to take us into town to pick up our car, as we had to track down a port agent to call them for us. However, upon returning home and retrieving my voicemails off my cell phone, we found they had tried calling us to tell us they weren't going to be able to get the car to the pier and to come pick it up in town. Regardless, once we aborted our plan and took the train, they did not charge us anything for the car- not even a cancellation fee. For that we were grateful!
I'd be happy to answer any more questions you may have. Otherwise, do some searches using the advanced search tool on this board under car rental, Livorno. There have been quite a few other threads on it.
Good luck to you and have a great time- no matter what you decide to do! I wish I was going with you!
Thanks for taking the time to write such a detailed reply. I guess it depends on which port we end up docking at. I'm sure there's a website somewhere which tells you which cruise ships are due in port on a particular day. I guess if ours is the only one then we should be ok to assume we would be in the commercial port.
Still not sure about what to do. I am less worried about the driving in Italy as I have done it before. We stayed in Livorno for a long weekend a few years back and I drove us to Florence, leaving in rush hour That was hairy. About 5 (unmarked) lanes of traffic trying to navigate a miniscule roundabout with swarms of scooters flying in between the bumpers. Wise to top up any insurance if hiring in Italy!
Probably going to train it Lucca instead (as we did Pisa and Florence before) and chill out. That is unless i can bargain a better deal for a wine tour with guide.
My wife and I, along with several friends took the Celebrity Century out of Barcelona to Italy. When we got to Livornio we were going to take the train into Florence for the day. While on the ship the crew kept reminding us that the train schedules are not all that reliable and to leave enough time to find another mode of transportation back to the ship if needed, Needless to say this made us a little nervious. When we got off the ship in port we talked to a taxi driver with a van big enough to take seven of us to the train station. While talking to Roberto our driver we decided to hire him for the day to take us where we wanted. It cost us less than any of the ship excursions would have cost us per person and we got a personal tour guide for the day for Pisa and Florence. It was definatly worth the money. I know we may have gotten lucky by not getting ripped off, but with the experience we had I would do it again. There were plenty of taxis at the port for hire for the day. After seeing the roads (it will be easy to get lost) and the drivers (they are insane, no joke) in Italy I would leave the driving to someone else who knows their way around.
That is interesting about the train schedules. Did you happen to take the train into Rome?
If you don't mind me asking how much did you pay the taxi driver for the day?
We hired a car through Salacar in Livorno. It was dropped off right by the ship at the appointed time, and we paid the rep via credit card the balance of the amount due( deposit paid via web at booking) and we simply left it in the same place when we returned. We were given a free Satnav and the rep programmed the port into it for our return journey, which was a good thing as the port is not so easy to find!!
I think ,from memory we paid 80 euro (in August of this year) for a 5door mid size car.
I would have no hesitation in reccommending them. We went up to Lucca and some of the coastal resorts. Had a great day. Hope this helps.
Last edited by cruiser87654321; November 1st, 2009 at 02:05 PM.
Last May my hubby and I pulled into Livorno with the intent of taking the train to Florence for the day. Originally, I had wanted to rent a car and drive through Tuscany, but we seemed to have a problem setting it up. When we walked off the ship, there were several car rental kiosks including Hertz, and in less than 15 minutes we were in a compact, automatic with GPS heading out the port. Our route took us to San Gigiamano, Voltera, and Pisa. Having the GPS was a god-sent and would not do it without some maps or device. The days was amazing, fun and even though it was crowded because of a weekend and holiday, we found ourselves drinking in the views and wonderful food and smiling people. Good Luck!