Best advice I can give: go on the roll call for your ship and cruise date, share tours with others. Not only will you get better tours but you'll meet some wonderful like-minded travelers.
Day 1-Shared ride from Rome to Civitavecchia with fellow roll call members, Stefano from Romecabs was prompt, courteous and graciously stopped at a store so we could stock up on wine.Ride was 70 euros per couple, 3 couples.Could have taken train, but we were glad not to haul our luggage around after doing so for the previous week from Florence to Rome. After muster drill had one of two roll call parties,someone counted over 70 people. What a great group, made many new friends, hope to cruise again with some.Shared private tours or did our own at all of the ports. More personalized, smaller groups and great savings.
Port 7-Katakolon(Olympia) Greece-No need for transport, easy to walk from the dock to the small town of Katakolon, take a right, walk maybe 1/2 mile to the end of the town, where there's a train station. Get on the train, the conductor will come through and collect the money from you, I think it was less than 5 Euros per person round trip.45 min train ride each way, 3 trains a day, so plan carefully, we took the 8:30 AM train there and the 12:30 PM train back. Stay on train to the end of the line, which is Olympia. Get off train, cross over on walkway (there are signs)to go to the museum and ancient site, entrance was about 12 Euros per person.Ancient site is in more ruins than Pompeii or Ephesus, so you have to visualize.
Port 8- Corfu- Day started off with thunderstorms and high winds, ship had hard time docking.Cleared up around 11 AM so took shuttle into old Corfu town, walked around. Somewhat underwhelmed, back on ship by 2 PM.
Port 9-Dubrovnik, Croatia-What a beautiful city! Great weather. Very clean, stunning setting along the Adriatic Coast. Took Princess shuttle from port to town. Entrance fee to walk around the city walls, was definitely worth it for the views, took our time. Walked around shops, had lunch. Weather took a turn for the worse, so we took the shuttle back to the ship.
Port 10- Last stop Venice. Clear skies as we sailed into port, don't miss it.Docked at noon, but cruise included nite on ship before next AM departure. Princess delivers a vaporetto pass for $15 to your cabin good for the first day only. We were there for 2 days, so returned pass for credit on our account. Walked from dock to transport hub, bought 36 hour vaporetto pass, took vaporetto to Murano, watched brief glass blowing demo, bought some small pieces, walked around Venice, back on ship for dinner.
Departure day- Cool and rainy. Taxi from ship to Piazzale Roma, the main transport hub, left luggage for 4 Euro per bag. Met Diana from Venice with a Guide,(65 Euros per hour for up to 8 people) fellow CC'members and my nephew, who is studying in Torino, for a 2 hour walking tour of Venice in the rain. St. Mark's was slightly flooded, so the walkways were up.Walked and shopped, had a hot and filling lunch. Picked up our bags at Piazzale Roma. Took #5 bus to airport, cost included in vaporetto pass. I had asked bus driver to drop us off at our hotel,Courtyard by Marriott, right before airport stop, but he kept going so we caught the hotel shuttle back to the hotel. Marriott was clean, modern, with a free shuttle to the airport for our 6:20 AM flight home. We had a fabulous trip, experienced some of the greatest ancient and modern sites of the Western world, and made some great new friends on the ship. I can't wait to do it again. Australia-New Zealand in 2011!!!
Next Day our only sea day, had meet and greet with fellow cruise critic roll call members.