VILLEFRANCHE: Got the train to Monaco & back. NOTE.. you can get a day ticket out of the machine on the platform, we ended up getting a family ticket, but you need to speak French or guess at what ticket you're buying :) (there was huge queues for one ticket booth in the station!) Spent the day wandering around. Nice place. Got the tourist train to take us around up by the Museum Oceanographic. The old part of Monaco is very cute, full of the usual tourist tat in the shops, but still entertaining. Villefranche is worth a walk around too, and as it was a holiday the day we turned up, lots of folk out on the beach, so if you want to do a bit of bathing, it's as good as anywhere!
LIVORNO: We had booked to climb up the tower of Pisa at 9:30 (it was the best time I could get as later on was too late, and we'd booked also to see the statue of David in Florence for 1pm.) Consequently it was a relief to see the car hire people as you got off the ship. We hired a car for 90$ for the day. It worked out very well for us, and we got the full benefit of seeing both Pisa and Florence in a relaxed fashion. It looked to me as if the public transport options were a bit long winded (bus from ship to main piazza, bus from piazza to train station.. train to destinations) Obviously RCI are not going to encourage people organizing their own trips by dropping them off at the train station in Livorno, as I'm sure they make a load on the excursions.
CIVITAVECCHIA: Easy option this one. Turn right once your dropped off at the port entrance by the port supplied bus. 5/8 min walk to the station. We were lucky, we noticed a stand with an American woman selling 'day' tickets for Rome and associated bus/metro for 9 euro. We bought 3. They worked fine for all transport. Seemed to be zones 1 - 5 if you're going to the ticket office. We went to Rome. I'd prebooked entry into Colosseum. Went straight in having caught the metro from the main train station. Then back down the metro over the the Spanish steps, and walked to Trevi fountain. Had a late lunch in the shade, then back. It was simply too hot to do anything else!
NAPLES: Hmm. Well it's not exactly the best here along the sea front. Though the shops at the port terminal mall are welcome with the cool air. We ended up walking up the street parallel inland from the coast road which was much better. You can catch the bus or tram to the train station however (number 1.. we caught it back - it is the on the opposite side of the piazza from the main train station). We caught the train to Pompeii Scavi (go to the info office to get a train map)... this goes to Sorrento - .make sure you don't catch the train to Pompeii as you'll have to walk about 20 mins to get to the archeological entrance. Again very hot. We walked through about half of the ruins. Had lunch. Came back. Bought a nice bag off a street vendor for cheap (D&G copy I think!)
BARCELONA: Got a taxi from the airport to the ship/port. Came to 32 euro. We opted to stay a day after the cruise. We'd already been here before, but this time we got on the tourist bus (Barcelona city tour) and did all 3 routes. It's pretty good. buses were regular (every 10 mins or so), and a great introduction to the city, so you'll know where to go back and visit. Got some coupons off the price at our hotel too!. One word of warning. The Ramblas, whilst being entertaining, is known far too well for the pick pocketing/mugging. As ever, I heard of someone getting robbed of their bag, losing all tickets/passports/driving license when we went to collect a hired car from the airport (we were going up to Andorra for a few days). My view? Be very aware. I simply didn't go to it this time, but instead spent a nice few hours in the evening, walking around the Gothic quarter and ate quite late there. No issues. Barcelona is one of my favourite cities.