We just came off the Norwegian Gem which started out in Barcelona, Spain and went to Malta, Naples, Rome, Livorno and Canne. This was our first time travelling to this area and we had an amazing time. It was like a true adventure - very different from our caribbean cruises that we usually go on. The Norwegian Gem was absolutely fabulous - the food was delicious, the cabin was beautiful, the beds were very comfortable and the staff were very friendly and willing to do anything for you.
I travelled with 7 people in our goup and decided to do private tours while we where in Italy and were thrilled that we did this. We used an agency called Romeinlimo.com which we found from the cruise boards and we were absolutely thrilled with them. It was such a pleasure to get off the ship and immediately find someone there waiting for you who spoke perfect English and wisked you away in a beautiful Mercedez Van without waiting for a ton of people to board a bus. All three ports in Italy we used them and they were absolutely fantastic. I cannot stress enough how much more you can see by using a private tour guide and we were so happy to have hired them. Carmine was our tour operator in Naples and he was just amazing - so if you can request him - you will be thrilled. He was so warm and friendly and just made us feel like he was a close cousin taking us on the tour.
All I can say is that the Norwegian Gem was an amazing vacation and I will definitely look into doing another cruise with them next summer.