hey, thanks for all the info!!
i appreciate the pics (LibraLass) and all the advice (kandajones and Rev22:17) . . . i think that i just might take a cruise-arranged shuttle to Rome for the port-of-call Civitavecchia; that way, it doesn't cost as much as a private tour, i can explore the city myself and the cruise line still has some responsibility =P
happy cruising to all of you too!