The ship will offer a bus to take you into downtown Livorno where you can take a taxi to the train station. The taxis waiting at the ship are reluctant to take anyone to the train station as they are looking for full day tours. It is no longer possible to walk out of the port and grab a taxi at the entrance. There is a nominal charge for the bus into downtown Livorno and there is a taxi stand just a block from the square that you are left at.
(Excuse me mani3kgm for popping into your conversation). Do you know if all the cruises are busing passengers to downtown Livorno? I'm on Princess and had planned on taking the train from there.
Thanks for the clarification, our trip is nearing quickly and I'm getting nurveous. Linda
I suspect that they all are. One usedc to be able to walk from the ship to the port entrance and then grab a taxi to the train station, but on my last visit there were "No Walking" signs everywhere and even a patrol guy that turned us back to the ship. Celebrity charged $5 each direction for the transfer. I am not sure if Princess will do the same or not.
It is still worth it though, as the train is so much faster than a moto coach to Florence and then when you are there, a driver is useless.
Times, they are a changing! When we docked in Livorno this past May on the Grand Princess, there was no shuttle service into town. It was not a problem since we were able to get a taxi to take us directly to the station. Why no shuttle? Well, years ago they had free shuttles,..than they had shuttles for about $5 each way. Now, why bother with shuttles when you can try to convince passengers their only real option is to book an overpriced ship's tour. After all, only a fool takes the train to Florence for about $20 round trip rather than pay $75 -$80 for a bus that actually takes longer than the train. A family of 4 will spend about $650 on cruise line sold tranfers(to Florence and Rome) if they dock in both Livorno and Civatavecchia. That same family would spend about $150 total on trains from both ports. Now why in the world would a cruise line want to help passengers with the lower cost options? Than again, why does RCI charge $31 for a bottle of Mondavi Woodbridge that they purchase for about $3?
Good point. I've decided to go with Tom Ogg's train tour idea vs. spending a small fortune on the Cruise excursions. Doing my research, it was amazing the difference in prices between private tours and ship tours. You would think that these big cruise ships could get us great deals on tours, but in actuality, they hike the price up. After spending a good chunk on the trip itself and the price of alcohol on the ships, you would think they could through they're passengers a bone and give us affordable tours. But sadly, no. Most folks are willing to pay for the security of a Sponsored guided tour and I guess it's up to them to let us and reap the rewards.
Thanks, I'd been dying to get that out. I will thoroughly enjoy my Princess cruise, simply becuase I'm being advertuous and doing it on my own, plus the money I save on excurstions, I can spend frivilously on trinkets. Linda
The "on your own" reviews are a great resource. Regarding the cruise lines and tours, I think its important to understand that the cruise lines view tours as just one more profit center (along with booze, bingo, casinos, art auctions, shops, etc) that feeds into their goal of "maximizing on-board revenue" Many do not understand that the tours are simply contracted from shore-bases companies and than marked-up by the ships. Its even worse with the port lecturers who, on many cruise lines, do not even work for the cruise line. On many lines the port lecturers are provided by a private contractor (who pays the cruise line for the rights) who makes their money by payments from the "recommended shops"). Like I said, times are a changing. As to pre-purchasing European train tickets...that is not necessary unless you are booking one of the IC or EC trains that require reservations (these are the "crack" high speed trains generally used for longer trips). The trains you would take to Rome or Florence do not even accept reservations...so no reason to pre-book. They sell an unlimited number of tickets for these trains and if the train happens to be overcrowded (this happened to us once on a train from the port to Rome) you might actually have to stand (very rare, but it can happen). Seating on these trains is simply first come-first serve similar to any commuter train. I would buy the ticket the day of your train...in fact, you can even buy tickets through electronic machines at the station or use the agent at the ticket window (your choice)