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Planning first Trip to France, Spain, Italy etc. NEED HELP!!

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I am starting to plan a trip overseas as a graduation gift. I am needing help understanding where the best place to stay (we are on a slight budget) and how to use the metro to travel throughout France at this current time. We have decided based on tripadvisor to stay at Lux Hotel Picpus, since the rates are amazing and the reviews are outstanding. I am wanting to see the: Eiffel Tower, The Louvre, Versailles, Norte Dame Cathedrale, and then travel down to either Cannes or Nice (I have distant family in Nice but are most likely in the states during our trip.) We are planning on staying in Paris 5-6 nights and then traveling down to the coast (would love to hear which people prefer for the coast, and a great hotel to stay at for two nights). What is the best metro and Deal for us to purchase for the bang for our buck in Paris (and how in the world do you find the routes)? From there we are wanting to most likely go on a cruise that departs from Barcelona (R.C. or Disney Med. Cruise.) But we are not sure that is the best idea for site seeing in Italy, but we love the price and ability to visit the Greek Isle and other countries that the cruise has to offer.

We would love suggestions! We are planning this trip for next summer (end of may start of june) once I graduate before I head off to graduate school! We are on a budget and are wanting to stay in hotels that are nice (and not to pricey) that will provide a clean bed and shower.

Thanks in advanced for helping us out.
J&K

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