We had booked a cruise ship excursion to Capri that was cancelled due to lack of enough English-speaking people signing up for the excursion (just keep this possibility in mind when you go). We are do-it-yourselfers so we figured we would just take the ferry across the bay to Capri and do it on our own, but the weather was too bad (too windy) for the ferries to run, so at the end of the day no one on the cruise ship got to Capri. As an alternative, we hired a taxi driver outside the port for 100 euros to take us to Pompeii and then travel around the city. I had seen Pompeii before, but was the first for my boyfriend. My advice is to try to book this tour with a guide because you get so much more out of the adventure.
We have both been to Barcelona before so we just booked on of those hop-on, hop-off buses to see some of the attractions we hadn't seen before. La Sagrada Familia cannot be missed...we also saw the Spanish Village, Las Ramblas, and the football (soccer) stadium where the football team plays.
Don't Miss: La Sagrada Familia, Las Ramblas (and its great street performers)
We booked the culteral and historial highlights of Tunis, which covered the ruins of Carthage, Sidi Bou Said house, and the Bardo museum, which I think are the three main attractions everyone should see while in this port. Do not attempt to do this on your own. The port is far from the city and we heard of a couple that turned around and went back to the ship after being harassed by taxi drivers offering to take them around.
Marseille (Provence), France
We hired another private tour for this port. We booked a half day tour of Marseilles with Tania from Provence Tours. For 55 euros each, she picked us up from our cruise ship and took us all over town to show us its highlights, namely the Notre Dame Cathedral, Old Port, Abbey (can't remember the formal name), History & Art Museums with their gorgeous marble carvings and fountains, and "the end of the world" a seaside point on the far south seaside of Marseilles.
Don't Miss: Notre Dame Cathedral on top of a hill overlooking the city
We booked a private Sicilian wine tour with Alessandro with Sicilian Wine Tours. He picked us up at the port and took us to two small wineriers outside of Palermo and ended the afternoon with lunch in a market of typical Sicilian foods. It was absolutely amazing and only cost 140 euros for my boyfriend and I for the entire day and it was just the two of us and the guide. By far one of our most favorite ports.
Palma De Mallorca, Balearic Islands
We did this port on our own and did a trip to the beach and dinner downtown across from the Cathedral. A great day indeed.
Don't Miss: The Cathedral - I wish we had seen it up close and gone inside. It looked fabulous.
Pros: The ports of call were absolutely fabulous and the reason we booked this cruise line and itinerary.
Cons: Lack of entertainment onboard for English-speaking guests
Recommends Costa Fortuna? Yes!