We took a bus tour of Taormina & Mt. Etna which was vary interesting. I came to the conclusion that a Luxury Cruise bus tour is not much different from the main line large ship tours of the same sites. The advantage is they only put 25-30 people on a bus but the lack of leg room for taller people is the same plus you get a much nicer lunch. In turn you get to pay up to 2X.
Took a private tour with another couple booked separately from Crystal as we wanted to see Pisa and visit the museums in Florence and the ship did not offer such a tour. Our driver/guide drove us through the rolling hills of Sicily on the way to Pisa and explained the history, people and culture of the region. Pisa was exciting and much more beautiful than we expected. The museums in Florence we everything we expected and our guide did an outstanding job of getting us through the maze of entrances allowing us immediate access. In the end this personalized tour was no more expensive than the ship's bus tours.
Monte Carlo is the most opulent city we have ever been in. From the spectacular yachts in the harbor to exotic cars parked in the circle at the casino it just blows your mind. The city has beautiful parks and is the cleanest and safest place we have ever been. Visiting old Monte Carlo, "the Rock" is a must seeing the several winding alley way barely wide enough for a car to navigate with all roads leading to the palace where the views of the harbor are wonderful. Unless you are a gambler you can easily see everything in Monte Carlo in less than 1-day. It is worth it just to say you have been there!