I will begin this part of our journey by strongly suggesting that anyone who has a "critical" medical challenge should visit their doctor prior to taking your vacation. It is helpful to alert the Cruise line of any allergies or special needs with regard to your health. If you have drug allergies, it is helpful to either have a prescription for, or the actual pills. just in case you need them. Drugs can be expensive in the ports you visit and it takes time away from important sightseeing and shopping time. I didn't do this and, when I came down with a "bug" and couldn't access my usual medication, my simple infection turned into pneumonia. I spent most of the one of our cruises in bed or on severely limited excursions.
Luckily, I had been to both Florence and Pisa a few times so Darryl's mission was to take pictures to refresh my memories. A good tip before booking shore excursions is to read the comments that people have written. I discovered that all tour buses must park outside on the cities and, tourists must either walk or take a taxi to the centre of town. I decided that I was too ill to attempt any activity and thus stayed in my wonderfully comfortable bed and watched movies. He did get some pretty good pictures though.
Ever since I was a little girl, I had admired Grace Kelly, first for her fashion style, and then for her abdication of life as a movie star in favour of becoming the wife of the Prince of Monaco. I had always wanted to visit Monte Carlo, not because of the famous casino, but just to see "how the other half (those with unlimited wealth) lived. I did take the bus excursion which thrillingly drove us along the Grand Prix race course and explained that most of the new money in that country came from Russia. I could have gone inside the casino; however, a walk past the famous designer shops was more up my alley. I must say that I deferred my visit to the famous café there as a cup of coffee was $15.00! When I got back aboard the ship, I pulled out my binoculars and spied on the comings and goings at the yacht club, hoping to recognize some celebrities, royalty or moguls. As I have said before, there is always something to do on board a cruise ship.