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Help with a short post-cruise stay in (potentially) Sorrento

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We're currently planning to take a Mediterranean cruise from Barcelona to Rome in June 2015. I've been to Rome before, so going there post-cruise is not particularly what I want to do. But I've never been to Pompeii and really want to see that and some of the Amalfi coast. So here's where I could use some advice. I will add we love ancient Greek and Roman sites, that's a prime interest.

Assume we have 3-4 nights. We would be arriving at Civitavecchia fairly early on a Saturday morning. And we can fly home out of Naples or Rome. I'm willing to go by car or by train. And there would be 3 adults.

How would you use this time, if the main focus was to see Pompeii, some scenery and perhaps other ancient sites? My preliminary thinking is rent a car, drive to Sorrento with a stop at Ostia Antica (because it appears to be right on the way, and I've never been), and then base in Sorrento for a few days. We'd take one day for Pompeii, and possibly Herculanum, one day to see Positano and/or Amalfi, and then maybe head home.

How would you put an intinerary together? Is Sorrento the best base, or should I go stay in Postano? Is driving a good idea, or should I try to cobble together a train trip from Civitavecchia? If we have a car, and stay in Sorrento, should we drive to Pompeii, or is it better to take the train? Basically I'm open to all sorts of suggestions for how to structure it, what to see, where to stay....lay it on me.

Hotel suggestions would be most welcome. We are trying for a moderate budget, so under $200 a night would be great. Thanks!

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