While not technically a port of call for this cruise as we got onboard here, we did spend 3-4 days prior to the cruise in Venice. Interesting place. While St. Marks and the square are worth a look, get away from the touristy area surrounding them. Lots of interesting places to discover here.
Granted it was on a Sunday, but absolutely nothing open other than the cathedral. Dirty. Lots of locals just "hanging out". Our tour guide seemed to be very apologetic about Bari..."but you should have seen it before everything was pillaged and moved to Naples". 6 of us on the trip and definitely the low point.
We booked this tour independently trying to avoid a huge crowd of people. The tour guide was phenomenal. Ancient art and history degrees. Lived in one of the small villages. Very flexible. Akrotiri has recently reopened after the roof collapse in 2005 and was incredible. Visited Sigalas Estate winery and sampled tons (bought tons too). Oia is very picturesque with the white walls and blue roofs. Ended in Fira with a walk down to the docks with the donkeys. Great day. Favorie port of call for most of our group.