John & Connie Europe 2013 travel blog

San Marco Square, Venice Italy

John & Connie in the Gon dola

The Canals of Venice

Although we boarded the Cruise Ship on Sept 8 we really did not get underway until the afternoon of Sept. 9th.

While waiting for our departure time we had booked a shore excursion to San Marco Square where we would take a gondola ride through the narrow canals of Venice. At about 9:30 am we gathered in the theater area of the ship known as the “Liquid Lounge”, to await debarkment for our excursion. From there we boarded directly onto a tour boat that took us on a 20 minute ride to the square. As we approached the square it became evident that there were thousands of people gathering for the day in the area. This is quite common as this is the central hub of tourist activity for Venice. After docking close to the square we took a 15 minute walk to the boarding point for the Gondolas. Each Gondola held 4 people plus the oarsman. The four of us boarded the Gondola and enjoyed an interesting 40 minute ride through the old narrow canals of Venice passing apartment building and hotels only accessible by boat or sometimes on foot. At one point we were serenaded by a gondolier with a lovely operatic voice. It was also amusing to hear the chatter between the gondoliers (in Italian, of course) as they passed each other on the canals. Gondolas have remained the main mode of transportation through Venice for centuries. The noise and pollution from vehicles is absent from downtown Venice.

After the completion of the Gondola ride we did a bit of shopping before meeting to return to our Cruise Ship in time 2:00 pm sailing. We were quite surprised to learn our sailing would be delayed because we had to wait for four passengers who were late. It was actually around 4:00 pm before we got under way to our next destination of Dubrovnik, Croatia. The departure from the port of Venice takes you past the downtown area and directly through the city out through the passage way into the Adriatic Sea. Around 5:30 pm we headed for the main dining room for dinner.

One thing about cruising is that the dinners are fantastic and you are seldom disappointed with what you order. We enjoyed a lovely dinner the first evening and then took in the evening show in the “Liquid Lounge”. While we look forward to take in the evening show most evenings, we cringe at having to get to the lounge too early as the girl calling the preshow Bingo is quite annoying to listen to! After the show we enjoyed sitting on our adjoin balcony with Judy & Doug and tried to acclimatize to the humidity and evening temperatures that were still warmth enough to be wearing shorts.

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