Day 12 – Arriving in Venice
We arrived in Venice at around 8AM after steaming at almost full speed from Dubrovnik overnight as we had an earlier docking slot at than the original 1PM. Sailing into Venice canals to dock alongside the island of Venice was quite an experience. We sailed right past St Marks Square through the busy main canals with 2 tugboats attached (one at the front and one at the rear).
We docked at around 10AM and took the shuttle launch organised by Princess right through to St Marks Square. We ended up walking to the square and having a coffee (and a Campari) and watched the crowds and Pigeons. I took a Skype call from Michelle my sister while in the square which was quite surreal with her freezing at night in Christchurch winter all rugged up, while we were bathing in 29 degree sunshine in the middle of Venice! Marvels of technology!
Venice was really beautiful we had 2 nights there, one on the ship and then a night in a Bed and Breakfast (1st of many through AirBnB.com). Really got to see all the highlights of Venice – the really ancient St Marks Basilica with its golden domed mosaic ceilings. We also got great views of St Marks Square from the top of Basilica. We walked around the narrow lanes and bridges of Venice for quite a while before taking the shuttle boat back to the ship to pack and for our final dinner on board.
As always Princess were very efficient in disembarking all 3,000 of the passengers in an organised, orderly way the next day in Venice. We were off the boat very quickly, found our luggage (that was picked up the night before) and caught the People Mover (monorail) out of the dock area.
We had a bit of an adventure finding our Casa Mimma BnB (even with Google maps) we managed to walk right past the little gap in between 2 buildings a couple of times that was the entry into the street where it was. Phoning the owner, Valter, we had him come and find us and lead us back through an impossibly narrow alleyway.
Venice is interesting with twists and turns and narrow alleys. Everyone ends up getting lost at some stage. After getting lost trying to find the B n B we managed OK after that, and found our way around Venice pretty well.
We spent the rest of the day finishing up the sights and sounds of Venice going to the top of the Campanile tower in St Marks square (by elevator thank goodness) and the Doges Palace Museum, which included the Bridge of Sighs across to the old prison cells on the other side of the canal.
Then back over the Rialto bridge and we picked up a 40 minute Gondola ride in the evening. That turned out to be the highlight of our stay in Venice – the Gondolier even managed a few songs.