Part 1 of this thread is located here
. To keep everything in one place, I locked the first one and ask everyone to continue in Part 2.
We had no language problems in most places, as English is understood in the tourist areas. Note that the main language of Barcelona is Catalan... still, our English was understood perfectly. The only issue we had was actually in, of all places, a McDonald's in the Madrid airport, but it was not due to language as I speak Spanish (at least enough to get by). I asked for a cup of milk for my son, in Spanish, and was given a cup of very hot milk. Apparently, this is customary. So, I made mental to note to ask for "leche frio" from then on.
I wore my trainers for walking, and was glad I did. You're right -- your feet may still yell at you later, yet it's temporary.
Interesting that you're embarking in Rome. We embarked in Barcelona. What will you be doing in your other ports?