Im writing this on The Emeralds Venice to Rome cruise right now, today is May 1, 2007. Its a great ship and we are having a fantastic time. Be sure to be outside on deck when she sails out of Venice during the afternoon because it is one of the MOST beautiful and memorable experiences you will see. The Emerald is the largest ship to sail into and out of Venice and EVERYONE on shore comes out to see her off, its magical!
Crew is very good and helpful. Cabins are nice size, including inside cabins without windows. Entertainment is excellent and they even had several Tenors performing one night that were fantastic! And I dont even like opera music.
The excursions are fun but you can also go ashore alone on the major cities. Rhodes and Kusadasi for example are right near the ports and have tons of shops and vendors all within walking distance. Best to read up on each port before you decide.
We have booked an excursion with Princess in Turkey. I know of others on another board that have booked both with Princess and with other tours companies.
I am debating to either use the train for Pompei/Vesuvius so I can take my time or book a tour.
My husband and I will be on the Emerald on the 4th of July. We are looking for others to join us on a full day excrsion to Ephesus by private tour. Look at www.sammystravel.com to see tour code P03. It's $64 pp for 4 people and cheaper if there's more. Let me know if you are interested in booking as a small group.
My husband and I will be on the Emerald July 4th leaving from Venice. Venice is wonderful. We've done the sail away before; the music is playing and the people line the shores and wave and you are way above the city. Make sure you go up to the higher decks. We are taking some Princess tours and do some walking around on our own if the towns are near the ports. I would say we have 5 full day tours and 5 ports on our own.