I did the bus only option. I explored Pisa on my own after seeing what I wanted to see from the Leaning Tower and the Duomo. That was enough time to venture off on my own. Be careful of the romas, those pick pocketers are waiting for the tour groups to de-board the busses, and they work in pairs sometimes using umbrellas to steal from your backpacks/bags. They don't care if you're walking in a group, they pick their mark/target and will try and steal your valuables. I was walking behind two girls getting ready to pickpocket from a couple, as they opened their bag, I yelled loudly. The pickpocketers, walked away, but their victims were still clueless even after people near me told them what happened. Be aware and alert of your surroundings. This area is crawling with roma
Our tour guide was full of great information on our drive to Pisa. She also gave us great advice about dealing with the souvenir vendors in Pisa. This tour is basically a good way to get to Pisa and learn some things along the way. As far as Pisa itself goes, obviously the buildings are a must see but don't expect much more from the town. It is mainly restaurants and souvenir vendors. The one negative I would give to this tour is that they do not tell you up front about the amount of walking involved to get to the main square. The town doesn't allow tour buses to come into the town so it must park in a lot about 15-20 minutes away from the main square. For me this wasn't a huge issue but I can see it being an issue for older folks.
This tour package is awesome. The main reason we got this is to avoid the queue at the train station in SMN and the longer walk in Pisa. Our tour guide was also cheerful during the trip with lots of facts and tips.
The lady who checked the reservations is not efficient. She ignores the people in line and keep on helping other people around her until my husband complained.
Do not get an afternoon tour during summer it was so hot and you have to walk far from the bus parking lot. Our guide should be strict in giving rule for people to come back at the exact time. We wast d sometimes waiting.
The tour itself wasn't bad, a little disorganized at the meeting point but the transport and guide were great. There is just not much to see at Pisa other than the cathedral and tower. The free time you get is way more than enough.