Thank you, Hank. I know renting a car would be the best way to go (and also a beautiful drive along the coast), but my husband checked with AutoEurope and the cost was something like $500 or $700 (can't remember exactly) for the one-way drop off...an outrageous price. He's going to check again to find other car rental agencies. Also, we will be in Barcelona for 3 days prior to our cruise (renting an apartment), so maybe we will have a chance to find a better way.
After our cruise, we're spending 3 weeks in France visiting with family in Toulouse, Paris, Deauville and Tours. We were trying to arrive in Toulouse at a reasonable hour to at least enjoy part of Sunday (no work, no school) with the family. But, if necessary, we will take the train or bus--whichever has the best scenery.
We've traveled a lot in Europe over the last 35 years--mostly by car and always on our own. This is our 7th cruise (a new discovery since we now live in Florida!), but our first Med cruise and know it will be very different. (Thought it would be a good way to enjoy a week spending US $'s instead of Euros.) We'll be doing all but one port on our own--we decided to take the ship's excursion to Cinque Terre (since we've already spent a lot of time in Florence--our #2 favorite city...Paris #1 for us--like your wife!**) I know we will enjoy this cruise, taking each day at our own pace.
**You can see I've read many of your posts and I thank you very much for all the good information!!