1. Marseille, France -- we took a cab to the downtown harbor, took a boat www.frioul-if-express.com to Chateau du If. It was good for a few hours and you have beautiful views. This is good if you have kids who will just get Basillica'd out. Inexpensive too.
Livorno Italy (Pisa and Florence) -- We really wanted to climb the Tower of Pisa, then go to Florence. Cost of the cruise ship excursion to do this 206.99 x 4 = 1024.95(adults) + 196.99 (kid) = $1024.95usd for my family of 5 OUCH!!!!! We booked Rome in Limo tour, $500 Euro (@650 usd) for a private tour for the 5 of us. We got to Pisa before the tour busses and made Tuscany stops too. We used www.romeinlimo.com.
Rome is wonderful but far from where they dock. We did the RomeinLimo private tour here since we were a family of 5. Saved us a tremendous amount of money over the cruise line excursion. Be sure to pre-purchase your tickets to get into the Colosseum, it is a HUGE difference.
Dubrovnik -- hadn't planned anything to do this day. Was looking at the shore excursion that Carnival had for kayaking, just too much $$s. Went into town and got a 3+ hour kayak excursion for $34Euros per person. Total cost with child discount $154 Euro (@205 Euro). Carnival was charging $89 per person $445 usd. A big savings here as well. The Old City is beautiful, clean and very affordable. Restaurants are reasonably priced. It all looked so picture perfect, I could only compare it to a European Village at Epcot in Disney.
Venice -- We didn't plan anything. Just figured we'd walk around the city. Glad we didn't take the cruise ship transfer. At 16Euro per person each way to St. Mark's Square it would have cost my family 160Euro to go 2 miles each way. Honestly, if you enjoy walking, walk to St. Mark's Square. Walking is half the fun, going through all the little streets was what we found really fun. Navigating (we used the iphone) but there are lots of little signs with arrows just pointing you in the direction of St. Mark's. If you get lost, no big deal, that's part of the appeal. Really wanted to do a gondola ride but Carnival shore excursion was $99 per person x 5 = $495 OUCH!!!! They included the transfer to St. Mark's + free time and a 40 minute gondola ride. If you didn't have 6 people, they'd add people to your gondola as well. We just arranged with the gondola on the water, $100 Euros (@$134 usd) and a private 45 minute ride. It was perfect, saved a bunch of $$s again. We took the vaparetto (waterbus) back to Piazza di Roma for 7euro per person and then the 1euro people mover. Even though we didn't walk back it was still half the price of the cruise ship transfer.