Departing port of Venice was convenient and well organised by Carnival. We stayed 2 nights in Venice prior to embarking on the cruise which gave us time to explore this amazing port at our leisure. The Carnival Legend is a floating Las Vegas hotel. The buffet was good and similar to what we have had in Las Vegas. Plenty of food good variety. The main dinning was good quality and the waiters were very friendly and attentive. All crew on board were friendly and fun. We chose this cruise because of the ports of call and as first time visitors to Europe and first time cruisers loved the stress free way to see all wonderful ports we visited. We did a lot of research before we left and it really pays to read reviews etc before booking excursions. To reduce stress we booked excursions for places that were not close to the port. The 3 excursions we booked thru Carnival were great and well organised. We are quite independent travellers so only took the unguided excursions. Our guide on the bus to Pompeii was fun and she shared lots of local information with us. We took the private train to Rome and although this was expensive it really made our trip to Rome even more special. My advice with Rome is to accept you are not going to be able to see Rome in a day. We took the Hop on Hop off bus which gave us a good overview of the city. We lined up to get into St Peters. Note bags are checked and put thru X-ray before being permitted into St Peters but they are fast and we had no problems. Also ensure you are wearing appropriate clothing must have knees and shoulders covered or you will not be permitted into the church.
We were concerned about Athens after being warned that transport can be un reliable. We chose to take the Hop on Hop off bus from the port and it was fine. Drops you off at Plaka and you can walk to the acropolis from there. The buses leave regularly and we felt safe and had no issues. However there are plenty of cabs waiting at the port. Try and find people to share with to reduce costs.
Izmir turkey. We chose to wander around the Bazaar. If you have never been to a bazaar before this could be daunting. We loved it, try the fresh Turkish delight amazing. Sellers are trying to get you to buy their goods but we found that with a firm no they were fine. Remember they are trying to make a living.