Instructions from Livorno port to take train to Florence
In August 2012 was on a Royal Caribbean and some info. you need to know -
We docked at 7:00 AM so we wanted to be able to get off early enough so we could get an early train to Florence. We were off by 7:20 am.
We were told we could get a shuttle bus from the ship to the Piazza Grande/Piazza del Municipio and then catch a bus from there (no. 1) to the train station. Train station name = Firenze S. M. Novella. However, little did we know that the shuttle only starts at 8:00 am and we have to wait till the whole bus is loaded. The ship really did not provide much information for this on your own. Alot of us stood around and then further down we could see a whole bunch of taxis. Alot of people started walking down towards them.
We were 3 people and we asked another group of 4 if they were going to train station and we could share the ride. So, do that....don't wait. Just talk to the folks in the crowd. It ended up costing us about 6 euros each. Way easier.
They say the taxi drivers don't want to take you but ours seemed happy to do so... they will try to sell you on taking them to Florence but you can just say no.
Trains run every hour and we had time to have a cappucino at the train station. Which was VERY good and REALLY cheap. Have one!
Cost for train was about 17 euro per person round trip. Don't forget to stamp/validate your ticket before you go to platform for the train in the machines. I think in Florence the machines were green but if not they are yellow and they are in a few places to do so.
When we arrived back we again bumped into a couple that were going back to the ship and we shared a taxi and split it between 5 of us vs. bus and then shuttle and I think was about 7 euros each (there was a charge for the shuttle - I think 5 euros each way?).
In all the ports found this one a bit of a pain to get to the train station so a taxi is well worth it if you can split with somoeone.
Shuttle bus is a no no
I want to add to the above post based on substantial experience. For those going to Florence by train, a taxi from the ship is the way to go! There will often be some resistance on the part of taxis that do not want to take the short haul (they do charge about 25 Euros for the taxi) but if you are politely assertive you will usually find a taxi to the station. If you get off the ship as soon as possible you have a good chance of making an early train (before 8am) thus giving you a longer day in Florence. The Shutt1le buses are a joke since (as mentioned above) they usually do not run before 8 (often not until at least 8:30) and will not take you near the train station. By the time you pay for the shuttle (most cruise lines charge) and use a taxi or bus in town it will cost you nearly as much as a taxi to get to the station. There are trains at 7:30. 7:43, 8:12, 8:29 (change at Pisa) and 9:11. If you use the shuttle you may not even make that 9:06 which means your next train is not until 10:10 and you would not get to Florence until 11:30. Meanwhile, those who grabbed an early taxi will probably be in Florence by 9:30. Enough said.
I agree with Hank. Upon previous advice from him, when we went to Florence, we got a taxi and did not wait for the shuttle. We DID take the shuttle back to the ship though.
Like the OP, we found another couple wanting to get to the train station and shared a taxi. it makes the cost easier to take if you split it 4 ways.
You want to get to Florence as soon as you can to beat the cruise ship crowds.
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