dang i just typed this whole thing and it deleted UGH. here i go again
Ok, so were seriously interested in the 3C's cruise at 600 each (we get a 200 ship board credit so i deducted that) inside cabin. That is cheaper than airfare to Italy.
We visit st marteen, portugal, spain, livorno italy and then rome. We will be jumping ship in Livorno (TA said no problem) visit florence during hte day then train it to Venice for a 2 nights. Then from there we'll train it to Rome where we'll be staying in a convent (about 2/3 cheaper and always clean lol, lots of convents in rome, and most in great areas! you can get a room for 2 for under 100 euro's...cant do that in a flea bag hotel) we'll stay in Rome atleast 3 nights, more likely 4-5 with a side day trip into naples and pompeii.
Its a 3 week trip and it sounds like a doable itenerary and seeing all i want to see (except Greece...but i guess that will be another trip
The thing about Italy is its so expensive! If your just going with a girlfriend i suggest you check out the convents. they now except families, men etc now. They are all over italy...everywhere and on trip advisor seem to get great reviews. Most have breakfast almost all are under 100 euros per night for 2 people and a lot have curfews of 11pm or midnight (some are open 24/7) most of the people arent bothered by curfews. Pickpockets and purse snatchers are common and probably wont have a reason to be out past 11pm anyway. Also some convents dont have tv's in the rooms (some do) but ever only have italian tv or cnn in english. One word of warning...convents book up fast, i know a lot of them are booked thru the entire year already so book early.
Anyway a week in italy can be so expensive, so the cruise sounded even cheaper than just going by land. That being said im pretty sure my excursions in st marteen, portugal, spain will all be beach excursions/shopping, so im saving most of my money on Italy itself.
No matter what you decide, have a great time!!!