Laulie, First welcome to cruising. I hope you enjoy it as much as us cruise addicts do. WOW what a first cruise, one of the largest ships in the world and the Mediterranean.
1. Europeans tend to dress a bit more then us Americans do. Lots of men in Tux on formal night and ladies in dresses.
2. Great time to be in Europe as the Euro is almost on par with the USD.
3. Be ready to be pampered a bit.
4. Check the Daily Compass paper for singles activities (it will be on your bed each night at turn down service)
5. If your like architecture the "Gaudi" tour in Barcelona is a must do. If you do not book an excursion in Barcelona it is nice to just get a cab to "La Rambla" to walk around and shop. (should be about 10 Euro)
6. Pack light so you have room in luggage for any clothing you may buy in Europe.
7. It is cheaper to drink wine at a European cafe then bottled water. (it is more fun also)
8. It is a long drive from the port of Civitavecchia to Rome. If your not on a ship excursion the train station is near the ship and drops you in Historic core of Rome. Share a cab to the train and travel with friends.
9. If your late back to the ship from port, the ship will leave without you!!! and you are on your own to get to the next port to get back on the ship. Make sure to set your watch to Ship time.
10. All ports will have Cafe's with free internet if your having lunch there.
11. Your in Europe, have lunch in port each day to try the local food, wine and beer.
12. Have a blast, I'm sure you will.
14. Watch your wallet and ID, lots and lots of pick pockets and purse picking in Spain and Italy. (yes, I skipped, did not want anything to tarnish your trip)
15. Down load the SHIP MATE app to your phone, it will give you ideas of what to do in port and excursions to book that the ship may not offer or at a better price. It also has a Roll call where you can post yoru traveling single and looking to meet other singles on the Cruise.
I hope you can extend your vacation with a few days to a week pre or post cruise. I did not think I would like Rome until I went, it is now one of my favorite places. Have a fun and safe trip.
P.S. Please review the Cruise when you get back.