I've read with great attention to your feedback and checked on my records when we delivered a private tour for 5 people recently: the last one was on the 4th Oct. This allowed me to find out also the driver that was on the tour as without knowing the day and driver I would not have been able to investigate further.
Assuming though that I did the right investigation, we actually had on 4th October a party of 5 people taking a private 5 terre day tour.
I read the report given by the driver advising that the tour started late as clients were not in the correct location and were found by another driver as was leaving florence with another little group of clients.
The tour is operated, as stated in the tour description, by a driver/tour escort ( that is an english speaking driver that gives general information on the area). We've always operated this tour the same way, that is:
When we arrive at 5 terre the driver gets the vouchers for the shared boat to Vernazza and then clients take the boat between the little fishing villlages, get off in Manarola to explore the little village and then board again the boat to reach Vernazza. The driver gives all information about the area prior to boarding the boat and after meeting again in Vernazza at a designated time. That day our driver reported a delay of 20 minutes at designated location and time.
In Vernazza all minivans with drivers have to park near the post office, abou 1km from Vernazza port and that’s the nearest location where touristic vehicles can park. We also do pay an annual fee to be allowed to drive through the cinque terre as far as it is possible to arrive by touristic vehicles used for touring.