We stayed in Jerusalem overnight at the Harmony Boutique Hotel, just outside the Old City walls. We used JJ Jonah, the Israel maven, as our guide. Find at email@example.com. The four of us agreed it was the perfect balance of education and fun. A full day in the Old City, rode a camel on the way to Masada, then floated in the Dead Sea on the way back to our floating luxury resort.
We pre arranged a guide with Ephesus Shuttle, found on Trip Advisor. On time. Comfortable car. Driver/guide spoke American. Ephesus will take your breath away. Turkey is beautiful and deserves additional ports of call instead of Cyprus.
I think we just got lucky since we just got off the ship, negotiated a day with an English speaking cab driver (Ronnie) who took us to Nazareth, the Jordan river for a great lunch near where John the Baptist baptized Jesus, then a drive back along the Sea of Gallilee. This was all at our pace.
Pompeii was worth the stop but can,t compare to Ephesus. Eat at Aroma on the main square in Sorrento. Superb food, crowded tables, slow service. The end of the day turned ugly as the cab driver said the fare quoted at the port was only for roundtrip to Pompeii and asked for double the amount because we eat in Sorrento. We split the difference but even in Italian we knew we had a curse put on us and our offspring.