We just returned from this cruise in October and the ports are fantastic. Epheses was our favorite and wished we had more time. We booked a tour with a local co (www.ekol.com
) and would HIGHLY recommend this. As far as money, we always just use our bank ATM at a local bank. Best exchange rate. When you arrive in Sorrento, there are many ATM's just at the top of the hill in the area of the square. But most all the ports and vendors accepted US dollars.
This was our dream trip as well in order to see the Pyramids. Unfortunately, we had a death in the family and had to fly home from Egypt. We had booked the overland excursion, so took the bus to Cairo, got to see the light show at the Pyramids and stayed at the hotel on the Nile. The reason I am mentioning this is to speak to the comment about the degree of safety in Egypt. The tour people were great and went out of their way to help get us to the airport, make arrangements for our special Visas, and complete all necessary departure information. The Egyptian goverment relies heavily on tourism and do everything possible to make tourists feel safe. We will hopefully return someday so we can touch the pyramids. Your passports will be taken from you by the cruise folks when you check in and they will keep them till after Egypt. The reason for this is that the Egyptian officials check all passports. The cruise ship will then have a day when all passports are returned. (We always copy our passports and carry copies in our suitcases as well as on our person.) You will receive a Visa from the cruise ship. There is no additional fee and they will pass them out as you depart the ship and collect them when you get back on the boat. This is for Turkey and Egypt.
There is no internet available in the cabins, but I did passengers using their personal laptops in the area just outside the Internet Cafe. You can buy packages but it is expensive.
Wishing you a wonderful trip!