Carnival's "Florence On Your Own Tour"...HELP PLEA
Ughh....hi everyone! I'm trying to book shore excursions for an upcoming cruise, Carnival's Grand Mediterranean on the Freedom, 10.01.08.
DH & I are struggling with the port of Livorno. We're looking at our options and for one reason or another (money, time constraints, physical limitations, etc) we're having difficulty finding an excursion that works for us!
Has anyone done Carnival's "Florence On Your Own" tour and if so, how far from the historic center of Florence does the Carnival bus park? What are transportation options (to maximize our time) for getting from the Carnival bus to the historic center of Florence (Duomo, Accademia, Uffizi, Ponte Vecchio, etc, etc.
I read somewhere that the Carnival tour bus (or any cruise line's tour bus) was UNABLE to get directly into the historic center of Florence due to size restrictions...is this so??
Hi there, can't help with the organised tours, as we've always used public transport, so onto the second part of your question - "other transport options".
It is quite feasible to use the train to get from Livorno to Florence (or Pisa or Lucca), BUT think carefully on the following instructions.
To get the most of the day, you want to get to Florence as early as possible. This means getting to the rail station & buying your ticket for the 09:11 train. To achieve this you need to get the shuttle bus from the ship to the main square, and get the number 1 bus (buy the ticket from the machines before you get on) as soon as you can. The next train leaves Livorno at 10:00 & gets into Florence (Firenze) at 12:03, with an enforced change & wait at Pisa !!
Then you have to do the same all over again, in reverse, to get back. Which means leaving Florence no later than the direct train at 15:27 (there is one at 15:57, but this has a change at Pisa again). Of course I am presuming that the ship sails at 18:00 with a last shuttle bus at 17:30.
Alan & Katrina, Kuki~~Thanks so much for the quick responses!
DH & I originally had few reservations about the Livorno port to Florence by train and all...but as Alan & Katrina point out, the time factor can be problematic.
Actually, I did a bit more digging and Kuki...you are SO right! Most "On Your Own" cruise ship excursions from port-of-Livorno to Florence drop folks of at Santa Croce Piazza and church, which is just a few blocks from the Ponte Vecchio and that end of Florence (the southern, south-eastern side). From there, as you stated Kuki, many things are within walking distance.
I had to laugh today because after I did a bit more digging, DH & I pulled out a Berlitz "Florence City GuideMap" that I bought sometime back (in preparation for the land trip we intended to do on our own...before we got smart and decided to try a cruise)!
Anyhow, the point where the buses drop off near Santa Croce to the tip of "historic Florence" is about 300 yards...the size of a football field. And one end of Florence to the next is not much more than 1200-1400 yards or so. DH stated, "Who the heck told you it was brutal and massive to walk Florence?" I said, "I dunno...I read it somewhere on CruiseCritic!!!"~~the OTHER board!