Barcelona - Some people we met on the cruise were pickpocketed so watch your belongings! Liked the Hop On/Hop Off bus, aquarium and Gaudi architecture. Did not like the threat of the pickpockets so didn't feel as comfortable here. Also went to the Royal Barcelona Yacht club to exchange flags. Glad we got a welcoming email from them as the guard didn't want to let us in.
Naples - Hired a private driver, Mariano from pleasantravel.com. He was fabulous and took us Pompeii, Positano and Sorrento. (350 euro for the day for the three of us in a new Mercedes van. Could have saved money by sharing with others but decided to splurge and be flexible with just our family.) Tip - go to Pompeii right when it opens (8:30 am) and miss the heat of the day and all the tourists. You can actually get pictures without tons of people in it. Would not want to do this trip in an large bus. They can't make it to the tiny streets of Positano but make people walk down. A van is perfect.
Went with smartcruisetours.com for a full day tour of Rome. Much cheaper than NCL ($85 each)). NCL wanted $99 each just to drop us off for the day on our own. This company does not make you find others to share the van with which holds 8 people. Driver was said to be English speaking but wasn't. He did take us to each place described. We had been there for a week a few years ago so this was a nice, easy overview of Rome so we could see it again. Don't expect a tour guide which the drivers are not for this price. Rome in July is too hot and crowded. Enjoyed it much more in the spring.
Did a ships tour to Pisa for the leaning tower climb and loved it. An easy day and a fun climb of the tower. It is 294 steps but small so not too bad. We don't use the ships elevators so get exercise by using the stairs to all decks so we were ready for this climb. Pisa is beautiful and has amazing sites. We visited Florence before so did not go there.
Did this on our own. Found out ahead of time to book a tender ticket via the tv if you want to get off before 10:30 though if you are simply walking around you don't need to. Took the number 8 bus which is on the main street 5 minutes from the ship. Went to Palm Beach to the yacht club to exchange flags from our club. (We emailed ahead of time so they were expecting us.) Walked around the Film festival palace, marveled at the large yachts and walked up the hill around the old town for some great views. Beaches were crowded but farther from the port not so bad.
Booked a ship tour to Aix-en-Provence and was not disappointed. Had a lovely morning getting a walking tour and going through the markets. It was nice getting there early before all the tons of people showed up. I love Provence and lavender so got some nice things in the shops there. There are also some shops right next to the ship selling Provence items and souvenirs.