We are booked on the cruise and Egypt hopefully will be very exciting. We are a couple from CA and will be meeting some friends from Rhode Island who we met on a cruise in Nov 05 to Hawaii, in Rome. They will be a party of five. We have booked a 2 night pre-cruise at the InterContinental Hotel near the Spanish Steps in Rome. Much cheaper than what Princess offers. Our friends have booked a 3 night pre there also. Through a thread on another cruisers site we have already made arrangements for transportation from the hotel to the ship and from the ship to the airport. It appears up to now that there will be about 20 people bound for the cruise staying at the InterContinental.
We will be in Spain, France, Monte Carlo and Italy on a cruise in July where we have booked private tours with a driver/guide to many areas.
While there, we are going to be looking into tours for the Nov cruise; such as the Amalfi Coast and Sorrento out of Naples. Some of these private tours include Pompei and the Isle of Capri. The tours come highly recommended and can be cheaper than what Princess offers, without the structured shopping stops. We can keep you posted about our findings or answer any questions you may have if you like.
By the way you will love Mykonos in the Greek Islands and the ancient city of Ephesus out of Kusadasi is a must see. Athens is the Parthenon and the Acropolis as well as other ancient sites, but the city is very crowded.
Istanbul visit the Blue Mosgue, Saint Sophias, Topkapi Palce where the Sultans resided (with the Harem room), the Grand Bazzar (don't get lost) and the Spice Bazzar.
All in all it will be a very memorable cruise and you will enoy it.