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Old March 21st, 2008, 09:47 AM
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Default Rome (Civitavecchia) and Florence (Livorno) Suggestions

I am sailing on the NCL Gem in June and the NCL shore excursions I want are NOT available. Since there are 4 of us, I think we are going to hire a private tour for the Rome stop but am not sure if it's worth the money for Florence/Pisa. Does anyone have suggestions to do these on their own or should we spend the 500Euro's for each stop?
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Old March 21st, 2008, 10:24 PM
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Florence is my 2 nd most favorite city that I've visited.

I would definitely get to Florence, rather than staying in the port of Livorno area.

For Rome...a private tour is actually a better option in my view. Book a private operator who will book times for your Vatican tour, rather than waiting in line.

Last visit we zipped right past the ship's excursions lined up waiting for entry, as we walked in for our booked time.
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Old March 23rd, 2008, 09:40 PM
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Thanks. I was 95% sure we are going to book the private tour anyway for Rome. Florence of course is a must but now would youtake the $109pp transfer from NCL to Florence or go through the hassle of buses, trains and taxis to save a few bucks? I have been to Pisa many years ago but the other 3 have not. Everone says the same thing..its not worth the time. Your thoughts?
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Old March 23rd, 2008, 09:55 PM
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I've used the ship's Florence On Your Own option.. where they just supply the transportation, and it's fine. You can book entrance to the Acadamia and the Uffizi Gallery on your own online pretty easily.

I don't think Pisa is worth missing time in Florence.

We'll be there in May on our transatlantic cruise. I've organized a private tour for our large group... and if we're short on time in Florence, we'll just drop the Pisa stop. It's just on the schedule as a photo op anyway.
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Old March 26th, 2008, 12:23 PM
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Last year on the Carnival Freedom Grand Med we looked at several shore excursions before leaving home. I really, really, really wanted to do Florence and to see the David, but hated to not at least see the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Carnival did not offer an excursion that allowed both. I posted a thread about this on another cruise site that I am active on, and where we were very actively involved in a roll call group for our cruise.

Two couples there had booked a private tour through Pappillion Tours and offered to share it with us. Their driver picked us up at the foot of the gangplank from the ship in Livorno in a nice, air conditioned mini-van. There were six of us and we spent the day with her. She stopped at a church (sorry, I am drawing a blank on the name) and we toured it and could look out over the hills and the city of Florence. She pre-arranged our tickets to see the David and we walked in right past the long line, she took us to a nice little local restaurant and introduced us to the owners who treated us great. We then had free time in Florence and she drove us to the Pisa on the way back to the ship, where we spent an hour (wish it had been longer).

She was very prompt and very nice. She had us back to the ship in plenty of time to sail and even gave each couple a gift of wine with biscotti. Our total price was less than 200 euros per couple, including the tickets to the Academia gallery to see the David. We paid for our own lunch, which was very reasonable.

Can I stow away with you? Please, please please
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Old April 6th, 2008, 09:36 AM
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I went to Florence with CCL last year. It was worth the price for a walk in to the Uffizi but I would have preferred lunch on the run and more time exploring. Now, I know better and I think I would use CCL transportation. We saw the Pisa tower from the highway on the way to Florence. IMHO, I would not short Florence to go there.

We did Rome on our own and it worked out well.
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Old April 22nd, 2008, 04:29 PM
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Would anyone of you suggest renting a car and doing Florence and Pisa on your own. I am thinking of doing it that way. Do you think we could squeeze Lucca in? Will be on Freedom as well!
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Old April 22nd, 2008, 05:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by venice2009
Would anyone of you suggest renting a car and doing Florence and Pisa on your own. I am thinking of doing it that way. Do you think we could squeeze Lucca in? Will be on Freedom as well!
It is my understanding that Florence is 1 1/2 hours one way from Livorno. I'm not certain if you should try and squeeze that much into a day trip. How long is your stop in port? Are you on Freedom 4/26/08 if so that I'm on that ship. I wouldn't try to squeeze Lucca in you would be run to fast to enjoy anything. But I haven't been here before so take my advice with a grain of salt.
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Old April 22nd, 2008, 10:14 PM
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Driving in Italy on the Autostrada is very similar to driving here on a freeway: you can even use a credit card for the tolls. Thing is, you could waste a lot of time in the cities looking for parking, finding your way. We drove in Florence when not on a cruise and found parking a pain. The signs are good and we had a big Guide Michelin bookmap to get around. If you choose to see smaller cities like Lucca and Pisa, should work out fine.
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