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Florence/Pisa shore excursions?


PumpkinPatches
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Hi! I will be taking a Med cruise next year with my family of 4 (2 adults + 2 little kids). Just wondering who everyone recommends for transfers to Florence/Pisa. I don't really want a guided tour, but looking for recommendations on transfer services (shared or private).

 

Thanks in advance!

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There are the usual outfits, Romeinlimo.com and romecabs.com, that have long been recommended by many here on CC.   For just transfers you could also just make a deal with a local taxi although that is really hit/miss as to whether you get a driver that speaks some of your language.

 

I am being very cautious about any recommendations because the world came to a halt with COVID.  None of us can be sure that the quality of the tried and true outfits will still be the case after COVID.

 

You mention 2 "little kids" and I wonder how little?  Depending on the age it can really impact limitations and "what to do."  For example, there is a terrific little facility (I do not like to call it a Museum) called the Leonardo da Vinci Museum in Florence.  DW and I (we are in our 70s) really enjoyed this smallish place which is full of hands on devices that are perfect for children, teens and even we seniors.  Trying to drag two kids through an Art Museum can be difficult, but that Da Vinci place is lots of fun.  Another hit with kids is gelato and you can find it all over Florence.  No need to trek to the most famous places (where you wait in line and pay more) as you will see delicious gelato everywhere.   The problem with giving good gelato to children is what to do when you get them home and they still want good gelato.

 

Hank

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In the past there has been a bus/shuttle service from Livorno to Florence geared toward cruise passengers. You just would have to get yourselves to central Livorno:

 

https://www.tuscanybus.com/en/experience/livorno_firenze.aspx

 

It also is geared toward cruise departure times, so you may find (if you have a later departure) that the bus caters for whatever ship leaves first and it may cut into your time to enjoy Florence.

 

 

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11 hours ago, cruisemom42 said:

In the past there has been a bus/shuttle service from Livorno to Florence geared toward cruise passengers. You just would have to get yourselves to central Livorno:

 

https://www.tuscanybus.com/en/experience/livorno_firenze.aspx

 

It also is geared toward cruise departure times, so you may find (if you have a later departure) that the bus caters for whatever ship leaves first and it may cut into your time to enjoy Florence.

 

 

I thought this bus line/route was a fabulous idea until I looked into it to help others use the bus.  The logistics were a big problem for folks looking for a simple way to get to Florence.  First, folks needed to get the port shuttle bus into Livorno and that bus does not always run on a regular schedule.  But upon their return the bus dropped them at the train station where it can be very difficult to find a taxi and they still face the taxi fare...or they have to walk some distance to get to the bus stop for the shuttle bus back to the port.  I do not know why the bus company could not arrange for a pick-up/drop near the port (such as next to the old fort).   If folks need to go into town (and return from the station) it probably makes more sense to just take the train since there are usually at least 1 per hour.

 

Hank

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Posted (edited)

I don't know how Covid might impact future transfers but we used Tuscany by taxi for our r/t transfer to Florence. We got a group together (8) on our roll call and the price was reasonable, our excellent driver met us right at the ship, he made some great recommendations on where to eat and we enjoyed a wonderful day in Florence. They offer various options including both Florence and Pisa. You can check them out if interested:

http://www.tuscanybytaxi.it/

Edited by dogs4fun
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  • 4 weeks later...

with small children I would probably not go to Pisa. The walk from the parking area or bus-drop off to the Leaning tower and Cathedral is quite a long walk. When you get there it will just be a photo-op for you since I don't think you want to climb with small children up to the top of the tower. We did a Tuscany Tour Siena, San Gimignano, and Pisa and I skipped going up to the tower.

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  • 2 months later...

You can also rent a car. There is a rental company that delivers the car to the pier, programs the GPS for you with parking in Florence and Pisa and you drop the car at the pier in front of the ship. Did that twice and it always worked nicely. Livorno to Florence is mostly highway, if I remember it right. 

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 6/15/2021 at 12:38 PM, oliver67 said:

You can also rent a car. There is a rental company that delivers the car to the pier, programs the GPS for you with parking in Florence and Pisa and you drop the car at the pier in front of the ship. Did that twice and it always worked nicely. Livorno to Florence is mostly highway, if I remember it right. 

Do you happen to know the name of the company? And do they have car seats available?

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On 7/9/2021 at 8:51 PM, honeymooner16 said:

Do you happen to know the name of the company? And do they have car seats available?

Yes, here is the website: http://www.sifracar.com/home.htm?lingua=2

 

There is a link on the start page: "Rent a car right outside your cruiseship."

 

No idea if the offer seats. My passengers were a littel older 🙂 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'm bumping this topic because I am having a hard time trying to decide what to do from Livorno.  There are two of us.  I would prefer to spend as much time as possible in Florence but I do not want to rent a car.  There is a thread on TA about debt collectors coming after drivers years later trying to collect hundreds of Euros for traffic violations the driver never knew about.  I want to avoid that.

 

The issue is that we get into Livorno around 9-9:30.  There is a very expensive transfer to Florence through NCL that leaves around 9:30 but probably later.  That's not the real issue.  The issue I see is that the ship doesn't depart Livorno until 8 p.m. and most of the tours I see leave Florence around 3:30 or 4 p.m.  That seems like a waste of an hour or two that could be spent in Florence and still get back to the ship in plenty of time.  

 

The ship trip is ridiculously expensive given that it's merely transportation to and from.  For 2 of us, it's $228. 😮  There's gotta be a cheaper way.  

 

I saw this through getyourguide.com:  "Take the worry out of your transportation needs from Livorno to Florence with a round-trip transfer service from the port. Benefit from the services of an on-board multilingual assistant and get connected with the free Wi-Fi." https://www.getyourguide.com/florence-l32/bus-transfer-from-livorno-port-to-florence-city-center-t79797/?date_from=2021-10-03&date_to=2021-10-03

 

Seems very similar but only costs $82 for two.  However, there is no information regarding the company providing the trip to check to see if this is a legit outfit.  I understand Get Your Guide is just a go-between between the tourist and the tour operator.  

 

Does anyone have any advice on how to maximize the time spent in Florence?  I love Florence if you couldn't tell.  My friend hasn't been.  I would take the train but I hear that it's difficult to get a taxi from the port to the Livorno central station. 

 

Thanks for any advice!

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@JennJ99738

 

If you are on NCL, check to see if they still offer a shuttle to the train station. (You may even want to ask the question on the NCL board.) Pre-COVID, they were one of the only cruise lines to offer this, and it is really handy for taking the train. There was a small cost, but I agree with you that it can be hard to find a taxi portside that will agree to take you to the station on a short-hop because they are all hoping for full-day tours.

 

Given your timing, I really think the train is the way to go. Even if NCL doesn't offer the shuttle to the train station, they will probably offer one to the center of Livorno, from where you can catch a local bus to the train station. The extra transfer may cost you a few minutes in the morning but on the back end, as you said, you should be able to spend several more hours in Florence.

 

I know nothing about the vendor you asked about -- sorry.

 

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As cruisemom indicated, the NCL shuttle is a good option to get your day started. Hopefully it's still offered.

We used it on our visit, Sept 2019.  It was $25 and dropped us at the train station.  We were moving slow that morning and missed the train to Florence, so we flipped our schedule and make a quick visit to Pisa first.   When we disembarked the train we grabbed a taxi to see the Leaning Tower, then grabbed a cab back to the Pisa station and hopped on the train to Florence Santa Maria Novella stn.  From there it was about a 10 minute walk to the Duomo. 

Good luck with your plans !

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Thanks to both of you!  I did not see anything regarding a shuttle to the train station on the shore excursions page on the NCL website but I will ask on the NCL board.  

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2 hours ago, JennJ99738 said:

I'm bumping this topic because I am having a hard time trying to decide what to do from Livorno.  There are two of us.  I would prefer to spend as much time as possible in Florence but I do not want to rent a car.  There is a thread on TA about debt collectors coming after drivers years later trying to collect hundreds of Euros for traffic violations the driver never knew about.  I want to avoid that.

 

The issue is that we get into Livorno around 9-9:30.  There is a very expensive transfer to Florence through NCL that leaves around 9:30 but probably later.  That's not the real issue.  The issue I see is that the ship doesn't depart Livorno until 8 p.m. and most of the tours I see leave Florence around 3:30 or 4 p.m.  That seems like a waste of an hour or two that could be spent in Florence and still get back to the ship in plenty of time.  

 

The ship trip is ridiculously expensive given that it's merely transportation to and from.  For 2 of us, it's $228. 😮  There's gotta be a cheaper way.  

 

I saw this through getyourguide.com:  "Take the worry out of your transportation needs from Livorno to Florence with a round-trip transfer service from the port. Benefit from the services of an on-board multilingual assistant and get connected with the free Wi-Fi." https://www.getyourguide.com/florence-l32/bus-transfer-from-livorno-port-to-florence-city-center-t79797/?date_from=2021-10-03&date_to=2021-10-03

 

Seems very similar but only costs $82 for two.  However, there is no information regarding the company providing the trip to check to see if this is a legit outfit.  I understand Get Your Guide is just a go-between between the tourist and the tour operator.  

 

Does anyone have any advice on how to maximize the time spent in Florence?  I love Florence if you couldn't tell.  My friend hasn't been.  I would take the train but I hear that it's difficult to get a taxi from the port to the Livorno central station. 

 

Thanks for any advice!

 

I haven't used them personally but the company Rome In Limo gets great reviews on this board.  Despite their name they do offer tours from several ports including Livorno.  It's probably worth contacting them to see what they offer and/or if they can make a customized tour based on the time you have.

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  • 2 weeks later...

We took the Royal Caribbean shuttle bus (7:30AM) into Livorno town centre, then walked about 100m to the local bus stop where the bus took us directly to the main railway station.  We then purchased return train tickets to Florence.  Total cost for two adults less than 40 Euro.  Total time from walking off the ship until the train leaving Livorno about 50 minutes.  We arrived at Florence around 9:30AM.  The last shuttle back to the ship left Livorno town centre at 6PM.  We had a good 6 hours exploring Florence.  

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  • 3 weeks later...

We had a custom-designed day with Rome in Limo from Liverno.  Did exactly what we wanted and spent every hour we had on tour.  Very highly recommended. 

 

If Rome in Limo is in your budget, don't hesitate to use them.

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