Florence (Livorno) City Tour Excursion Reviews
I booked this trip as it was cheaper than the same tour offered by NCL. We went from the ship on the shuttle to the outside of the port where we were picked up in mini buses and driven to Florence. We were taken to the Duomo and then given a time to be back there for the pick up. We had printed off a Walking tour from the internet and so we followed this route and viewed all the famous buildings. We did not have time to go inside the Duomo etc but we think that in a day, just seeing the main sights is adequate and the queues were long everywhere.
Most tours to Florence from the ship are on your own and I think it is because esp. during the summer it is hot and crowded and organized tours don't seem to get to skip the lines. The rowboat ride was kind of goofy. It was spartan and was pushed along the Arno River with sticks, much like a gondola but the pilot did not narrate anything so it was kind of pointless but did make for some photo ops. If you want to get into any of the museums call to reserve a time or book online because the lines for people without reservations were unreal. We didn't even attempt it. The tour bus got there at about ten and we had to meet back at four so pick your hour accordingly. Thought we were in line to see the Duomo (which was free) but no that line was unreal. Turns out we were in line to buy a combo ticket(10 euros pp) to the Duomo museum (which wound up being closed til 2015, the Bapistry, and Duomo tower which weren't open that day( Sunday). The only thing we could use that ticket for was another tower that had 414 dark, hot narrow, winding steps with no handrail. We gave the unused portion of the tickets to a family that would be there the next day. There is one ship's tour that was partially guided but was about $20 more that you may want to consider. Florence is just crazy in on a hot summer weekend. Tip: Prices for the tours go up a few dollars the closer to the voyage date and can get sold out but if you book in advance thru the voyage personalized you can't use your shipboard credit to pay for them
Our tour guide Danielle was wonderful and very accommodating for my mobility problems. I can walk but not for long, long ways without resting. We were dropped off several blocks from Santa Croce Church and that was our meeting place to return to the bus which again was quite a long ways away. He arranged for a taxi to take me to bus. While in Florence we went to all the places of interest including the Duomo and other piazzas etc. ate lunch at the same outdoor café we ate in 12 years ago and thoroughly enjoyed our day. We bought several leather items and clothing.
Went to the Medicis Chapel and loved it. Not crowded so you could get a sense of the majesty of it all. Additionally went to Santa Croce and loved the history there.
We took an excursion that dropped us off and picked us up from the City Center. Unfortunately for us the day that we were in Florence was the day that most of the museums were closed, but we still found it a fun city to walk around in and explore.