We started off in Barcelona. What a great city this is. The architecture on the buildings were spectacular. We spent two days before our cruise and two days after our cruise in this great city. We used the Hop on Hop Off bus and saw things that we could have never seen without doing this. It was a great way to see the city on a open top bus with great views. This city was so clean! We loved everything about it. Everywhere we ate was good. We rented a two bedroom apartment that was convenient to the buses and train.
On our first stop on the cruise was Toulon, France. We opted for the excursion through the ship to go to Cassis. We were going to try to get there on our own but decided it would be to hard to find the train stations. This is a neat town to visit, but we didn't have enough time there on the excursion.
Our 2ND stop was Villa France. We took the train on our own to Monaco and Monte Carlo which was a short train ride. We had no problems on our own. The only thing that happened when we tried to return on the train to Villa France was that the girl at the train station told us to stand at one end of the station for the train but the train always stopped in the middle of the station so we missed the first train and had to wait for the next one. This took us a total of 1 1/2 hrs waiting. Monaco and Monte Carlo was very nice. I would suggest to go to Monaco for lunch because it had more choices by the water and better prices. Villa France is also a neat place to explore. We stopped and had crepes before getting back on the ship.
Our third stop was Pisa/Florence. We did an excursion through the ship. We went to Pisa and had about 1 hr on our own and then to Florence and had about 3hrs or a little more to explore on our own.
Our forth stop was Citi Vecchi Rome so we decided to take the train on our own again. This time we took the fast train (45 min)and it left the train station at 9:30 am and returned at 4:40 pm. This was easy to do on your own. When we got to Rome we did the Hop on Hop Off bus and this was a great way to see all of the sites. This was a great stop.
On the fifth stop we were in Naples. We did the Amalfi Coast/Pompeii by motor launch. This was wonderful! We had a very nice boat ride to Amalfi and stopped for about an hour and back up the coast to Sorrento and then to a castle perched high on a hill for a wonderful view and lunch. Then back on the bus to Pompeii. All the way from Naples on the bus you could see trash everywhere. I have never seen so much trash in a city. Just don't be so surprised to see home made houses with trash all around. Naples is a very dirty city. I just wanted to get out of it and do an excursion. I'm sure it was a lot safer.
Then it was back to Barcelona off of the ship and another two days to enjoy this city.
Over all this was a wonderful vacation!!