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  #1 (permalink)  
Old April 25th, 2001, 01:12 PM
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Default Golden Princess, May 28 - Grand Mediteranean Cruis

My wife and I will be on the Golden Princess sailing 5/28/01 from Barcelona to Istanbul. One of the ports, Livorno, Italy, is far away from main cities (e.g. Florence/Pisa), and people usually have to buy the ship excursions to visit popular attractions.

We have reserved a taxi van that can accomodate up to 6 people, for a whole day tour (approx. 8 hours), for a total of US$280. If you are interested in sharing the cost (which would be around $47 per person if we have six people), please email me. The places that we will visit during this 8-hour trip are:

In Florence: Cathedral, Ponte Vecchio, Piazza Della Signoria, Uffizi Museum, Pitti Palace, Academy Gallery (to see Statue of the David), Santa Croce Church, Piazzale Michelangelo.

In Pisa: Leaning Tower.

Compare this with those excursions that the ship offers and see how good and cheap it is.


- We won't pay the driver until he brings us back to the ship at the end of the tour.

- The driver is not a tour guide. He will take us to those places and we will be on our own to explore.

- We're looking for from 2 to 4 more people to share the cost. So the cost per person will depend on how many more people will join us.

Contact me if you have any questions.
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old April 27th, 2001, 10:30 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: New England
Posts: 2,417
Default Re: Golden Princess, May 28 - Grand Mediteranean C

Tho, your plan sounds great, but way too much to expect to see. The museums take hours to see and you must first buy tickets to enter (more waiting time)Suggestion; if you especially want to go into the Accedamia or the Uffizzi (I suggest only doing one of them), there is a web site to pre-purchase tickets for the day of your arrival. I did this and they didn't even require a credit card, it was just a hold. This worked out well for us as our tour into Florence was cancelled due to the fact we could not dock because of a storm. The driving time to and from Florence is well over an hour and another 1/2 hour from the Livorno to Pisa. It is possible to see Pisa and Florence in one day, but with going into the museums, it will be a very busy day. Good luck finding others to join you.
Bon Voyage
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old April 27th, 2001, 11:23 AM
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Default Re: Golden Princess, May 28 - Grand Mediteranean C

Thanks for your suggestion. I have asked the taxi driver (actually he offered to do this for me) to reserve the tickets to the Academy Museum ($1 more than regular price for this reservation). And your're right about visiting the museums. My brother-in-law also suggested me not to go to the Uffizzi to save more time for other places. He had this taxi driver last year and it went well for him (except the Uffizzi that he said was a waste of time). What month did you go that there's storm in Florence?

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Old May 2nd, 2001, 01:26 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Seattle
Posts: 321
Default Re: Golden Princess, May 28 - Grand Mediteranean C

We went on this cruise in June 2000. We had a great time! Everything on the ship was A-1, and this was our 12th cruise so we have a lot to compare it with. It is a small ship and very easy to find your way around. We booked late and wound up in an inside cabin (I am claustro-phobic), next to the laundromat, but it wasn't too bad. The service was extraordinary throughout the ship. We actually have nothing to complain about. We felt the tipping was fair and liked having it all done automatically.

As for the shore excursions we used a local travel agent for Istanbul and Kusadasi. Higly satisfied from their services and from the places they have taken us. In other ports we sticked up with the ship tours. They were well done and we did not feel they were very expensive except the one to the Vatican in Rome at $499.00 each. Needless to say we did not take that one. All the tours we went on were well-organized with comfortable buses and good guides. Our travel agent booked our airfare (5 days before we left) and we spent an extra day in Istanbul at the Crowne Plaza which was a beautiful, reasonably priced hotel. By that time we were exhausted so didn't do much there. That is one thing about this cruise...it is very port intensive and can be a bit tiring if you tour every day. We would have enjoyed more cruising at sea and less ports, but there was so much to see, it was worth being tired. All in all we would rate this as possibly our best cruise to date and will certainly cruise with Renaissance again, probably to Tahiti.
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