Hi Trip, My gf and I are also on this sailing. I am so excited. We did a Med cruise 2 yrs ago with different ports. We got some euros from our local bank and then used a debit card as needed over there.you will get the best exchange rate this way. Croatia is the only place not on the euro system but I think most places accept them. We are planning to take the ship sposored bus to Florence but book our own tickets to the museum to see the David as it is much cheaper.Just google it for info. We have been to Rome before so we will do something else there. It has so much to offer it's hard to see it all in a day so some kind of tour is probably best for you. Keep in mind that public transportation in Italy can go on strike at any time. They do this often and can last a couple hours to all day. For this reason I avoid counting on it when planning excursions on my own when cruising. Have fun planning. I will try to stop in on chat Monday if you have more questions.