Beautiful city. VERY Easy to navigate on your own. We bought roundtrip bus transportation when we got off the ship, it took us to main part of tourist area. Walked around and took bus back to the ship.
Very hot that day. Booked thru cruise line at the last minute. We were glad to ride the bus to Pisa, then transferred to a little trolley that took us around then dropped us very near the Leaning Tower. Stayed there for about 2 hrs. More than enough time for shopping and a gelato plus pictures. Trolley took us back to bus, 30 min ride back to ship.
5 adults and one 3 yr old in a private 7 passenger mercedes. They provided car seat as requested. Driver was very knowledgeable. Private tour was great because we toured at our own pace. Cruise line's rates were too high. A lot to do in one day. Went to Collesium first, we bought our tix online before we left home; no waiting in line. Lovely restaurant for lunch. Long lines (in the sun)to get into St. Peter's Basilica; well worth the wait. Huge crowds at every stop.
St. Peter's Basilica Rating:
Long hot wait for security line to get in. People need to be sure to have arms and knees covered; they will stop you. Some folks had scarves wrapped around their knees--funny!!
Bus to hotel for "tour" of "Cameo Museum"; bathroom stop and pick up water before Pompeii guided walking tour started. The Cameo Museum "tour" was just a thinly veiled push to get folks to buy something. Very hot and very crowded during tour. Guided tours take a lot of time because some one is always lagging behind. Guide was knowledgeable and entertaining. Long walk to bus parking lot for return trip.
Long walk from the ship to the vaporetto (water ferry) which cost 15 euro roundtrip to St Marks Square. Lovely city to explore on your own. If on your own, be sure to allow plenty of time to get back to the ship on time. Four people were within 5 min of getting left. Most areas were very crowded. Great shopping and gelato!!