Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Port Change - Livorno, Italy

In case you missed it, according to the official Backstreet Cruise website, the ports have been changed from La Spezia, Italy to Livorno, Italy.  Here is the official announcement.

The BSB Cruise will be switching ports from La Spezia Italy to Livorno Italy. This port will be closer to both Pisa & Florence. Pisa will approximately be thirty minutes from the port, and Florence approximately an hour and fifteen to an hour & a half away. Travel time was previously one hour to Pisa & two hours to Florence. Excursions will be available for trips to both cities.

Personally I think this change will be for the best as it's closer to Pisa and Florence. Should make any day trips easier and give us more time in the port. Selfishly, I've already been to La Spezia, so I'm looking forward to exploring somewhere new. 

I think this change of port also serves as an important reminder to be very cautious with booking any excursions as the ports and days have been known to change in the past. Last year they kept the same port, but flipped the days on us, and we found out while on board. Thus I advise if you want to book an excursion, either go through the cruise line so it'll be covered in case of any changes, or make sure its refundable in circumstances like this. But I still advise to wait until we get the itinerary from Rose Tours just so you can plan accordingly.

Happy New Year to all cruisers around the world! See you next year ;)


  1. I'm hoping this means ample time for an excursion to both Pisa and Florence! I really want to go to both places. I want my BF to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa but personally I liked Florence better when I went last time.

    1. Agreed! I've been to both and i didnt need much time at the tower. You pretty much just take your pictures and go. Maybe they'll offer excursion packages that hit both.

  2. Hi Laura! Long time reader, first time cruiser :) Thank you so much for all your updates and advice, makes it soooo much easier to plan and manage expectations! Quick question, I'm sure I read it somewhere back when I first booked but now can't find - I'm trying to find suitable flight times. I know the current Rose Tours advice is to not book a flight that leaves earlier than 1pm when going home but, realistically what happens once the ship comes in. Does it come in as early as they state (7am), is it worth hanging around and getting a later flight or do the boys dash off?

    1. Hey girl! Yayyy for being a first time cruiser. Im super excited for you haha

      Great question..simply put, the boys dash off. They are the first off the ship. So there really isn't any reason to linger besides having a few extra minutes to sleep, grabbing a more leisurely breakfast, and saying goodbye to friends. That morning is so weird because you're so exhausted from the trip and coming off the high from the trip...but at the same time you dont want to get off the ship because then its really over haha

      The ship does get in as early as they say (7am) but it needs to clear customs and then they typically debark by zones. If you take your luggage off yourself, you can leave whenever. But if you have them take it off the ship for you - you have an assigned time to leave. They want to kick you off the ship by 10/10:30 so they can get the next round of passengers on board by noonish.
      So a 1pm flight is honestly a good target. No need to get a super late flight because you'll be off that ship by 10:30am. And I wouldn't go too much earlier...(maybe 12 noon) but i dont think you want to stress rushing off to the airport.

      Hope that helps!!

    2. Oh wow that is the super helpful, exactly what I needed to know, thank you so much!! I found a flight for 2pm, which means we would need to be at the airport at noon - I wasn't sure if Rose Tours had considered the two hours you need to be there before your flight when they advise to book for no earlier than 1pm! Then I thought what if I book the 2pm flight but the boys are still hanging around and I have to leave to catch the damn flight... argh the dilemmas! You have no idea how helpful your write ups are, I will be running through them all now that we're getting closer and have to start looking at what to pack, dress codes etc etc.
      P.S Super excited indeed!! Can't put it into words but I'm sure everyone here understands! I'm going with my hubby, we missed the last one as we were too late and so vowed to go on the next one, bit of a blessing that it's closer to us (we're travelling from the UK) and actually in my birthday month! I've been a fan since my early teens, am now 31. 2 years ago I saw them at their London IAWLT concert for the very first time (which converted my hubby!), then the following year we saw the movie with them and got the closest to them I ever thought I would when we waited for them to leave the theatre round the back, I didn't think I'd be able to top that but now it's the cruise! So from having never seen them to having all these experiences with them in my 30s with my hubby is just phenomenal, and it's going to be really awesome to be around people who are all in the same boat! (oops, pun not intended!)

      Thanks again, time to get those tickets!


    3. aww thanks Emily! So glad you find all the tips helpful. I just remember before my first cruise, I was clamoring for information that wasn't really there! I'm glad I can help prepare you, set realistic expectations, and most importantly get you excited for the trip :)

      A 2pm flight is perfect! You won't miss anything with the boys, and it'll give you just the right amount of time to get off the ship in the morning without feeling rushed nor having to waste too much time at the airport.

      And yes! Thats why I'm so excited for you. As much fun as I am going into round 5....there's just an extra magic about going on your first BSB cruise :) It's like your first concert...nothing will ever compare. It really is hard to put into words, and its so nice to share that feeling with others who get it. Thats part of the reason I enjoy writing this blog so much. I can talk to my family and 'non-bsb friends' until my face turns blue, but they dont get it. And what a great birthday present!!! This is going to be a hard birthday to top haha

      Feel free to email me anytime if you want to chat more or have any other questions :)

  3. I am a first time BSB cruiser and also going with my hubby!!! This was my 30th birthday gift... and let me tell you if someone told me 20 years ago my first BSB cruise would be with my husband, I never would have believed them! Lol. But I am SO excited I am literally counting the minutes.
    I have a few questions as far as the theme nights and dressing up... My husband not only gave me the cruise as my gift, but we are also going straight from the cruise to Italy for 11 days!!! Which is amazing but causing a bit of a dilemma as we are limited on luggage space. Does everyone dress up for the themes? I hate to not be a "joiner" but I'm afraid I will run out of space in my suit case?! Any input would be greatly appreciated!!! This blog is great, thank you! :)

    1. Hey Jackie!! I'm so happy that you and your husband are cruising for the first time :) You two are going to have an amazing time!!! And thanks for the kind words about my blog. Feel free to email me directly if you want to get more in depth and have any other questions :)

      So I find that most people do dress up, but there are certainly exceptions. And the other thing'll see people who go all out with the theme and others who do the bare minimum. I would suggest you do what you're comfortable with, or perhaps find a way to reuse outfits. I’m actually in the same position as you – I’m doing a land based tour in Spain after the cruise so I also need to pack light! A few things I’m doing….I'm thinking of wearing the same dress for casino royale night and leather & lace night which would save some suitcase space. For International Night – Ill likely wear a tshirt from a local sports team. The only theme Im really going all out for is Cinema Night. Thus I would suggest thinking about if there’s ways you can do repeat outfits or maybe just pick 1 theme you’re excited about. You don’t have to get dressed up if you don’t want to, but I do think its part of the fun so even something small would be perfectly appropriate.