Azamara Quest Pictorial, Rome to Venice - September 2013

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#1
4,002 Posts
Joined Nov 2001
Friday, 13 September 2013 - Easy Jet flight from LGW-FCO

We left Dorchester at around 08.40, having a water softener salt delivery to make on the way. We had an excellent journey, arriving at Gatwick around 90 minutes early. We had arranged valet parking and an excellent service was offered, meeting us on floor 5 of the short stay car park, almost as soon as we arrived. We were soon at bag drop, but when we got to the front of the line, we were 20 minutes early!

We waited the 20 minutes, but were then able to join the ‘speedy boarding’ line, having paid for extra legroom seats. The normal line was almost as quick, such a good job the agents were doing.

We quickly got through security and found the No. 1 lounge, where we were able to enjoy hot and cold snacks, drinks, wine etc. and free Wi-Fi. The Wi-Fi was a nuisance, as each time you paused, you had to re-enter log in details.

Rosy had chilli and I a fish finger sarnie. We both had wine and I had a coffee with Bailey’s.

Rosy went shopping and discovered she had lost her purse, fortunately not credit cards, just a little money. Hopefully she dropped it in the car, so we’ll see on our return. The Easy Jet airside staff were very unhelpful leaving her waiting for 45 minutes, and then it was time for our flight. We’ll check lost property on our return.

The flight boarded on time and or pre-booked seats in row 1 offered plenty of space, but this gigantic lady behind seemed to use my seat as a drum!

The flight was announced as 2 hours, so we should get to Rome a little early.

Tonight we are staying at the 4* Hotel Cicerone, near San Pietro. We are being shuttled there and again to the port in the morning. I have requested a quiet room on the non-smoking floor, preferably with a king bed. We’ll see what they offer us.

A very good flight landed 15 minutes early, but then we were bussed to the terminal and joined various lines, eventually getting our bags at about 20.00, 45 minutes after landing. There were loads of chauffeurs with name boards, but alas none with our name. So after a quick call, during which we were told we’d have to wait 30 minutes. Then our name suddenly appeared hanging on a closed shutter, with no obvious driver or rep. Eventually a scruffy guy appeared, speaking no English. We were supposed to be taking another party to Rome, but they were unlucky as this driver was in a hurry! He marched off to his van and drove like a madman to our hotel.

We quickly settled in and then walked around the corner to our researched restaurant. It was well reviewed in Trip Advisor – Cuchina Romana. We had a lovely meal with copious amounts of a very good red house wine. The meal including tip came to 50 Euros.

Saturday, 14th September – Rome and Civitavecchia

We had a restless night’s sleep, having an early breakfast before walking the mile or so to the Vatican City, where we had an interesting experience in the local post office, buying some stamps. It’s a very confusing system, with no-one wanting to assist. I took on the role of customer services assistant, once I had worked the system out.

Next we climbed the 550 odd steps to the top of St Peter’s Dome. We could have paid an extra 2 Euros to use the lift, but needed the exercise. Wonderful views on a beautifully clear morning. Note – if you want to do this, do it early, as when we came down 45 minutes later, the line was like a snake right around St Peter’s Square!

View from St Peter's Basilica



St Peter's Square



Notice how few people there are at 08.30! One hour later, there were long, long lines.


Next we walked back to our hotel, the Cicerone, for a quick shower, before the shuttle arrived for Civitavecchia. It was a tedious route as it went via other hotels, one far out of central Rome. It took about 90 minutes to the port.

On the way back we saw some workmen setting up for the premiere of a Grand Prix film featuring a red Ferrari.

My next car



Lovely shop window displays





We were a little anxious about embarkation, as on our previous visit it was chaotic, but today, we were dropped off to no lines. Our baggage was taken straight to the ship. We signed a few papers, then walked straight on to the ship and were checked in immediately in the cabaret lounge. All completed in 5 minutes, so we were soon enjoying a marvellous buffet lunch.

The rest of the day was spent relaxing, until the safety drill, sail-away and the Cruise Critic M&M. It seems odd to hold the M&M at the same time as sail-away. We met many nice people, including those we were sharing a tour with. We all introduced ourselves and some Officers introduced themselves.

We had bought to bottles of Moet et Chandon Champagne at duty free and had one chilled for sail-away, but we didn’t drink much of it as we had so many drinks at the M&M! It was a waste and we probably won’t repeat this extravagance.

The safety drill is obviously very important and a legal requirement, but is tedious when you’ve been fortunate enough to go on so many cruises. We met a nice couple from USA (or we thought they were nice) and arranged to meet for dinner the following evening. They gave me their room number 7114 and we called them twice, as arranged, leaving messages, but they didn’t appear in the bar or answer the messages. In fact, we didn’t meet them again, so maybe they disappeared!

We opted for the Italian Buffet for dinner, in Windows, as it meant we could attend the welcome aboard show. We then had an early night as I was pretty tired.
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Tim

http://cruiseforums.cruisecritic.com/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=91091&dateline=133010  7011My photos

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Some cruise reviews
Seabourn Odyssey review - April 2013, with pictures
Azamara Journey All Inclusive Offering -June 2013, with pictures
Azamara Quest - Rome to Venice Sept 13 Pictorial review
Island Princess Panama Canal Transit 2013 Review
Celebrity Reflection Review Feb 1 2014
Seaboun Odyssey Review April 2015
Seabourn Sojourn Review January 2016
Scenic Sapphire - Rhone river cruise July 16
Regent Navigator - Mediterranean June 16
Rhone river cruise Scenic Sapphire
Crystal Symphony Bali-Singapore Feb 17



#2
4,002 Posts
Joined Nov 2001
Sunday, 15th September - Sorrento

We awoke at about 07.00, walked a few laps around the deck, had a quick breakfast and then we attended the stretch class. As usual there were a few there who had rubber bodies, as opposed to mine resembling a piece of wood!

After a shower, we went ashore and took the Jetfoil to Capri – 35 Euros return, each! Everything is very expensive here, apart from buses and trains. We took the bus to Capri town, then walked to Anna Capri, a long way up hill, then took the bus back to avoid the crowds.

Rosy waiting for the Capri Jetfoil



A picture of some of the workers who built the steep steps shortening the long walk from Capri to Anna Capri.



A view of the Bay of Naples from Anna Capri



Sea Dream Yacht Club, anchored nearby



We had a late grill lunch, which we didn’t repeat – very bland, which merged with afternoon tea - very nice sandwiches and cakes!

In the early evening, Rosy attended an enrichment lecture about Capri, while I started this review, followed by a recital by an Italian tenor. It was superb and earned a richly deserved, standing ovation. Sadly, it had to be timed at 6pm, just prior to sailing, which meant that many people missed it.

Then we had a drink (or three) in the Observation Lounge and here is what we observed!



That evening we decided on dinner in Discoveries. We always ask for a shared table, which usually means we jump the line and get to meet interesting people. We were very lucky with our table-mates, as one couple we had already met, Vivian and husband from California and an English couple from Somerset, not far from our home. They were both retired teachers. We had an excellent dinner, with copious amounts of wine. Vivien and John were joining us for an excursion from Kotor, a trip on Monty B, a sailing boat.
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Tim

http://cruiseforums.cruisecritic.com/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=91091&dateline=133010  7011My photos

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Some cruise reviews
Seabourn Odyssey review - April 2013, with pictures
Azamara Journey All Inclusive Offering -June 2013, with pictures
Azamara Quest - Rome to Venice Sept 13 Pictorial review
Island Princess Panama Canal Transit 2013 Review
Celebrity Reflection Review Feb 1 2014
Seaboun Odyssey Review April 2015
Seabourn Sojourn Review January 2016
Scenic Sapphire - Rhone river cruise July 16
Regent Navigator - Mediterranean June 16
Rhone river cruise Scenic Sapphire
Crystal Symphony Bali-Singapore Feb 17



#3
4,002 Posts
Joined Nov 2001
Monday, 16th September - Taormina

A view of Naxos Bay, as weather clears



We awoke to thunderstorms and torrential rain and the outlook was bleak, but we were told it was likely to clear for the afternoon and the Azamazing Evening. Sure enough, the afternoon was sunny and hot.



The ship docks at a small town called Naxos. It seemed to have a long esplanade, with many cafes and lodging accommodations - a typical seaside town. The ship advised everyone to take a ship shuttle to Taormina, which is a steep and long climb, but with a fare of $49pp, many chose alternatives. We were also advised that getting a taxi was difficult, but this didn’t seem to be the case. We elected to walk the 2 miles or so to the train station, all on flat ground, and then choose to either take a train along the scenic coastline, or take a bus, whichever seemed best. The trains are infrequent and we didn’t think it worth the risk of getting stranded, so we followed the locals and took a bus, which climbed the twisting roads to Taormina, fairly quickly. It cost 1 Euro each, so a considerable saving on the shuttle cost, and it was fun. Taormina was packed with tourists and so we took an alley and found some nice public gardens and other interesting sights.

Nice old buildings





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Tim

http://cruiseforums.cruisecritic.com/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=91091&dateline=133010  7011My photos

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Some cruise reviews
Seabourn Odyssey review - April 2013, with pictures
Azamara Journey All Inclusive Offering -June 2013, with pictures
Azamara Quest - Rome to Venice Sept 13 Pictorial review
Island Princess Panama Canal Transit 2013 Review
Celebrity Reflection Review Feb 1 2014
Seaboun Odyssey Review April 2015
Seabourn Sojourn Review January 2016
Scenic Sapphire - Rhone river cruise July 16
Regent Navigator - Mediterranean June 16
Rhone river cruise Scenic Sapphire
Crystal Symphony Bali-Singapore Feb 17



#4
Alesund, Norway
619 Posts
Joined Jun 2011
Thank you, Tim. Looking forward to the rest of the review. We are considering making a B2B with Azamara Quest in june 2014 and as we only have sailed with the Journey it could be interesting to know which ship you preferred.
#5
4,002 Posts
Joined Nov 2001
We found some beautiful gardens, overlooking the bay, where we could relax and enjoy the peace and tranquility.

Me, still reasonably slim!



My lovely wife



Beautiful Gardens







As our path seemed to be taking us downhill, we thought we’d walk to the bottom, taking in some fantastic sights, and get a bus back to the port.

Alas, to my horror, Rosy tripped and fell right in front of me and I could do nothing but watch, really scared for her. She has had more than her fair share of injuries, two recent shoulder operations and I feared the worst. She suffered a small cut above her left eye, which was bleeding quite a bit, grazes to her left shoulder and knee, broke her glasses, but amazingly was otherwise ok, although her ribs were sore. Some kind Italians stopped their cars and offered assistance, so after a brief bit of first aid, one couple took us back to the port, in their car – a very kind act.

Rosy took a shower to clean the wounds and I washed her blood-stained clothes. She was in surprisingly good spirits – looking forward to the evening trip out! This was to be the ship’s weekly signature event – An Azamazing Evening – 500 people being transported to an old castle – a conference and wedding reception venue. We were to have ‘Bubbly’ in the gardens, by a large inviting looking swimming pool, followed by dinner, with Sicilian music, in a marquee. Clearly the ship’s crew and their agents worked very hard, but there were just too many people and too little time to be comfortable. The meal was excellent, but we couldn’t hear the entertainment, as were in a side annexe, as opposed to the main tent.

After discussing this with Philip Herbert, Hotel Director, he arranged for some roving musicians, which went down very well with all the people in our section.

The meal service was clearly much slower than anticipated, as we were much later returning to the ship, which must have left later than scheduled. I believe everyone enjoyed the evening, but it might be better to have drinks and music, returning to the ship for dinner. Comparing it with the evening at Ephesus, in June, there we had drinks, snacks and a concert, in magical surroundings – here we could have been at a wedding reception, without the speeches.

At the time of departure, we had to line up for the coaches and this was very well organized and noisy trip to the ship ensued. Using the tenders in the dark, with slightly choppy seas provided a challenged to the physically challenged and also to those who’d enjoyed the liquid refreshment!

We slept soundly, at least I hope we both did, but Rosy may have been suffering in silence.
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Tim

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Some cruise reviews
Seabourn Odyssey review - April 2013, with pictures
Azamara Journey All Inclusive Offering -June 2013, with pictures
Azamara Quest - Rome to Venice Sept 13 Pictorial review
Island Princess Panama Canal Transit 2013 Review
Celebrity Reflection Review Feb 1 2014
Seaboun Odyssey Review April 2015
Seabourn Sojourn Review January 2016
Scenic Sapphire - Rhone river cruise July 16
Regent Navigator - Mediterranean June 16
Rhone river cruise Scenic Sapphire
Crystal Symphony Bali-Singapore Feb 17



#6
4,002 Posts
Joined Nov 2001
Tuesday, 17 September – at sea

This was our only sea day. I started it with a few laps walking around deck 10, followed by my usual light breakfast of the ginger energizer, orange juice and muesli, but today supplemented by waffles.
Rosy tends to skip breakfast, which is a shame as I’d like her to sit with me.

Next we went to a Jive class, which to say it was challenging (for me) is an understatement. The teachers were very late – perhaps they enjoyed the previous night, as well!

Rosy then did a line dance class, whilst I carried on with this review.
Next, the Officer’s BBQ in glorious sunny conditions, the earlier strong wind having eased.

After lunch, we relaxed on deck, before the Le Club Voyage cocktail party. I have been doing a roaring trade for Azamara, by introducing past guests to this program, to get their free internet, a very popular ‘perk’. I was really surprised that so many people didn’t know of the club’s existence.

We took an early dinner, with two other English couples and had another great meal, with much wine and banter, followed by comedy and magic from Mel Manners. Disappointing for me were the repeated attempts to up-sell liqueurs. I asked which ones were included and was told none, contrary to what is listed on the website! I had my Latte, with whisky!

We then had an early night, but Rosy was in a lot of pain after her fall, so she was restless, which probably affected me!

Wednesday, 18 September – Kotor

On our way to Kotor, we met and 'danced' with the Quest's sister ship, Azamara Journey in Kotor Bay. It was spectacular with horns blaring and echoing of the high mountain sides.The Journey turned full circle.



Video of ship reunion

The Journey had spend the previous day and night, moored at Kotor and the weather was foul, which is such a shame, as the area is of outstanding natural beauty.

It was a glorious morning and we had wonderful weather all day.

We started the day, by meeting Betsy, Mark, Vivien and Randall, for our eagerly awaited excursion on the Monty B, a 40 foot ketch. We had arranged this excursion through Cruise Critic, after reading excellent reviews on Trip Advisor. This would be a four hour trip around Kotor Bay, under a mixture of motor and sail power, but mostly motor, as the weather was glorious, with little breeze, which in many ways was quite fortunate, as I had omitted to pack any sweaters, so windy could have meant cold!

We were met near the ship by Tim, who co-owns the yacht with Katie, his charming, delightful wife. He took three of us at a time in his dinghy, over the short distance to Monty B, anchored in deeper water. There we met Katie, Molly and Louis (their two lovely dogs). We removed our shoes, and quickly relaxed after a brief safety briefing and introduction to the itinerary and the yacht’s facilities.

We were offered filtered water and various snacks during the voyage, along with gin and tonics at the end. We also took two bottles of champagne, which was well received by all.

We made two stops at beauty spots, where the brave among us went swimming. The water temperature should have been roughly the same as the air temperature, but due to recent heavy rainfall (enough to make the normally dry river run), the surface water was distinctly chilly, and so we didn’t stay in very long – long enough to earn a ‘shandy’!

The second stop, offered much warmer water and I swam and used the kayak, which was great fun and very relaxing in the warm sunshine.

It was such good fun, that we could have stayed all day, but another group from CC had booked the afternoon slot, so we reluctantly returned to the ship for a quick rest, before climbing the hillside for 1 hour. It was hot and hard going, but the three girls and I made it to the summit, whilst Mark and Randall waited at the church, part way up.

We had brilliant day followed by a chilly evening for the ‘White’ Party, which was poorly attended. Our previous White Party experience was at a balmy Rhodes, in June. Rosy and I opted for an early night, which I suspect the others also did.
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Tim

http://cruiseforums.cruisecritic.com/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=91091&dateline=133010  7011My photos

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Some cruise reviews
Seabourn Odyssey review - April 2013, with pictures
Azamara Journey All Inclusive Offering -June 2013, with pictures
Azamara Quest - Rome to Venice Sept 13 Pictorial review
Island Princess Panama Canal Transit 2013 Review
Celebrity Reflection Review Feb 1 2014
Seaboun Odyssey Review April 2015
Seabourn Sojourn Review January 2016
Scenic Sapphire - Rhone river cruise July 16
Regent Navigator - Mediterranean June 16
Rhone river cruise Scenic Sapphire
Crystal Symphony Bali-Singapore Feb 17



#7
415 Posts
Joined Mar 2009
[quote=English Tim;40084329]Monday, 16th September - Taormina

The ship docks at a small town called Naxos. It seemed to have a long esplanade, with many cafes and lodging accommodations - a typical seaside town. The ship advised everyone to take a ship shuttle to Taormina, which is a steep and long climb, but with a fare of $49pp, many chose alternatives. ) QUOTE

Thank you for taking the time to post your review. I always enjoy reading reviews, especially the ones with photos. I am very sorry to hear about Rosy's fall. I hope her shoulder has recovered.

I was on an Azamara cruise to Taormina in October, 2010. At that time, there was a free shuttle from the tender port to a parking garage on the hillside. From there , we took the elevator in the garage, and a short walk to the walled gate into Taormina. I am disappointed to hear that they are now charging for the shuttle.
#8
Edinburgh
11,412 Posts
Joined Aug 2004
[quote=cruisemuse13;40084807]
Originally posted by English Tim
Monday, 16th September - Taormina

The ship docks at a small town called Naxos. It seemed to have a long esplanade, with many cafes and lodging accommodations - a typical seaside town. The ship advised everyone to take a ship shuttle to Taormina, which is a steep and long climb, but with a fare of $49pp, many chose alternatives. ) QUOTE

Thank you for taking the time to post your review. I always enjoy reading reviews, especially the ones with photos. I am very sorry to hear about Rosy's fall. I hope her shoulder has recovered.

I was on an Azamara cruise to Taormina in October, 2010. At that time, there was a free shuttle from the tender port to a parking garage on the hillside. From there , we took the elevator in the garage, and a short walk to the walled gate into Taormina. I am disappointed to hear that they are now charging for the shuttle.
Indeed, I thought Azamara did not charge for shuttles, are you saying Tim that they do?
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536 days onboard Celebrity and Azamara 2000-2017 and 102 more days booked plus one river cruise
#9
4,002 Posts
Joined Nov 2001
Originally posted by oddjob16
Thank you, Tim. Looking forward to the rest of the review. We are considering making a B2B with Azamara Quest in june 2014 and as we only have sailed with the Journey it could be interesting to know which ship you preferred.
Clearly opinion is just that, but I thought that there was a bit more emphasis on up-selling on Quest and I preferred the food on Journey.
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Tim

http://cruiseforums.cruisecritic.com/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=91091&dateline=133010  7011My photos

email

Some cruise reviews
Seabourn Odyssey review - April 2013, with pictures
Azamara Journey All Inclusive Offering -June 2013, with pictures
Azamara Quest - Rome to Venice Sept 13 Pictorial review
Island Princess Panama Canal Transit 2013 Review
Celebrity Reflection Review Feb 1 2014
Seaboun Odyssey Review April 2015
Seabourn Sojourn Review January 2016
Scenic Sapphire - Rhone river cruise July 16
Regent Navigator - Mediterranean June 16
Rhone river cruise Scenic Sapphire
Crystal Symphony Bali-Singapore Feb 17



#10
4,002 Posts
Joined Nov 2001
The multi-quote function no longer seems to work, so in answer to the two questions about shuttles, clearly some are still included as at Sorrento, but at Taormina, we were all sent a 'flyer' stating that due to the limited number of taxis and difficulties with local buses, Azamara recommended guests to take their $49 transfer by coach.

Many people I spoke with either walked and then took the local bus from the train station, or shared taxis.

$49 was ridiculous!
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Tim

http://cruiseforums.cruisecritic.com/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=91091&dateline=133010  7011My photos

email

Some cruise reviews
Seabourn Odyssey review - April 2013, with pictures
Azamara Journey All Inclusive Offering -June 2013, with pictures
Azamara Quest - Rome to Venice Sept 13 Pictorial review
Island Princess Panama Canal Transit 2013 Review
Celebrity Reflection Review Feb 1 2014
Seaboun Odyssey Review April 2015
Seabourn Sojourn Review January 2016
Scenic Sapphire - Rhone river cruise July 16
Regent Navigator - Mediterranean June 16
Rhone river cruise Scenic Sapphire
Crystal Symphony Bali-Singapore Feb 17



#11
4,002 Posts
Joined Nov 2001
Thursday, 19 September – Dubrovnik

Azamara had reduced the time in this historic city from 8 hours to 6, restricting what could be achieved, so we had opted to stay within the old town and meander around.













With the weather looking dodgy we left the ship early, to walk around for an hour, before meeting CD Russ for a short walk to a bar, through a hole in the wall, which had lovely views, which would have been much better had the sun shone, but it started raining and there wasn't much shelter, so we decided to return to the ship.

We were informed by the ship’s doctor, that a visit has been arranged for Rosy to have an MRI on her shoulder, in Venice. Her shoulder and ribs had become very painful when lying down, so hopefully it’s not too serious.

I had a recurrence of an eye infection, but as we have no medicine I use Rosy’s teabags to soothe the area – it brings a new meaning to ‘red-eye’!

It rained most of the day and no extra activities were added, so we took the opportunity for a siesta!

Interestingly, whilst our ship was at anchor, very close to the old city, so using tenders, two other much bigger ships were berthed at the new cruise terminal, some considerable distance away and those poor people would have got soaked as we saw very few with umbrellas or coats. Of course, the taxi drivers could have been very busy!

We had pre-dinner drinks and canapés in the Observation Lounge, unwittingly gate-crashing a private party. They were on the other side of the lounge so we didn’t get in their way, but the crew were kind enough to provide us with the same ‘goodies’!

We joined new CC friends for a leisurely dinner, which I felt wasn’t up to their usual high standards, so maybe the chef was also unwell? After dinner, the crew were introduced to everyone and there was the standard ‘back-slapping’ about how good Azamara are. We felt the food was better on the Journey, but without doubt all the staff go the extra ‘mile’.
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Tim

http://cruiseforums.cruisecritic.com/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=91091&dateline=133010  7011My photos

email

Some cruise reviews
Seabourn Odyssey review - April 2013, with pictures
Azamara Journey All Inclusive Offering -June 2013, with pictures
Azamara Quest - Rome to Venice Sept 13 Pictorial review
Island Princess Panama Canal Transit 2013 Review
Celebrity Reflection Review Feb 1 2014
Seaboun Odyssey Review April 2015
Seabourn Sojourn Review January 2016
Scenic Sapphire - Rhone river cruise July 16
Regent Navigator - Mediterranean June 16
Rhone river cruise Scenic Sapphire
Crystal Symphony Bali-Singapore Feb 17



#12
4,002 Posts
Joined Nov 2001
Friday, 20 September – Venice

The cruise was nearly over, but we had one more night, on the ship in Venice.

Arrival past many of the sights, was quite spectacular, with the open decks very busy.

There were 12 cruise ships in port that day, mostly in the main cruise terminal, but were in San Basillio, a smaller more intimate terminal, but much older. It was a bit like an old dock warehouse.

Venice cruise ports - shipping movements video

Scenic Venice video

St Mark's Square



Entrance to Grand Canal



Azamara Journey



A Royal Caribbean Ship

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Tim

http://cruiseforums.cruisecritic.com/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=91091&dateline=133010  7011My photos

email

Some cruise reviews
Seabourn Odyssey review - April 2013, with pictures
Azamara Journey All Inclusive Offering -June 2013, with pictures
Azamara Quest - Rome to Venice Sept 13 Pictorial review
Island Princess Panama Canal Transit 2013 Review
Celebrity Reflection Review Feb 1 2014
Seaboun Odyssey Review April 2015
Seabourn Sojourn Review January 2016
Scenic Sapphire - Rhone river cruise July 16
Regent Navigator - Mediterranean June 16
Rhone river cruise Scenic Sapphire
Crystal Symphony Bali-Singapore Feb 17



#13
4,002 Posts
Joined Nov 2001
Venice continued





MSC Musica



Queen Victoria




We were all told to take photo id with us, but as usual many didn't listen or read 'Pursuits' and struggled to get through the local officials. I dropped my cruise card, so I faced a short delay, whilst they verified my identity.

I expect much of today will be taken up with the trip to the hospital, which is a shame on such a beautiful day in a wonderful city. We have now discovered that the taxi to and from the hospital will cost 240 Euros and we shall have to pay the clinic separately, but we have no idea how much and sadly, the ship’s medical department have been less than helpful. They have upset us with their bad attitude and lack of information, just when we needed help and re-assurance.

Our insurers haven’t been able to contact the ship and no information emailed, so we have to pay everything up-front and then claim it back. Hospitals often make arrangements to invoice the insurers direct.

When we found our chauffeur, he didn’t speak English and seemed to be saying that quoted fare was only one-way, so we had to find an interpreter and the original fare was confirmed. The journey to the clinic was very slow and on arrival, we found that they spoke very little English! Rosy had her scan, while I searched for an ATM, to pay the fee of 200 Euros. Then we discovered that the report wouldn’t be available until Monday, when we’d be back home, so a complete waste of time and money. Meanwhile my insurers telephoned me to say that all was in order and that the claim would be paid, so that was a relief. The journey back was much quicker and ended in smiles, until there was a problem with the card payment, so the driver came over to the fence between security and the car park. I used my AMEX card and away we went. We’ve no idea why Rosy’s card didn’t work!

We went straight back off the ship to walk around Venice, delighted to be in the open air on such a glorious afternoon. We walked for miles, via St Mark’s Square and various churches, etc, and then returned to the ship to sit in the observation lounge for cocktails. We stayed for over an hour, talking with friends and enjoying the fantastic panorama. Next we all went for a leisurely dinner, before placing our bags outside the room, for the collection in the terminal the next morning.
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Tim

http://cruiseforums.cruisecritic.com/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=91091&dateline=133010  7011My photos

email

Some cruise reviews
Seabourn Odyssey review - April 2013, with pictures
Azamara Journey All Inclusive Offering -June 2013, with pictures
Azamara Quest - Rome to Venice Sept 13 Pictorial review
Island Princess Panama Canal Transit 2013 Review
Celebrity Reflection Review Feb 1 2014
Seaboun Odyssey Review April 2015
Seabourn Sojourn Review January 2016
Scenic Sapphire - Rhone river cruise July 16
Regent Navigator - Mediterranean June 16
Rhone river cruise Scenic Sapphire
Crystal Symphony Bali-Singapore Feb 17



#14
4,002 Posts
Joined Nov 2001
Saturday, 21 September - Venice and Verona

We disembarked early the next day, Saturday. We had a smooth disembarkation and were met by a driver and after some heated conversations, in Italian, between our driver and someone else, we set off in a very plush car, for the short (15 minutes) transfer for a night in Mestre (just across the causeway), before flying home on Sunday morning.

We stayed a the supposedly 4* Hotel Delfino, but apart from having a decent sized room, with shower, the hotel was more like a hostel. Breakfast was awful and the Wi-Fi didn't work.

We had decided before leaving home, that as we had already been to Venice, we'd travel by train to see Verona, but had we known that we'd miss most of Friday, we'd have spent Saturday in Venice.

We had booked train tickets under an online offer for 2 tickets for the price of 1, but we had to book on specific trains. Alas we got to the station at Venice Mestre, much earlier than expected so we had a long wait. We decided to explore, but the part we saw was dirty and run-down.

The journey took an hour each way, only slightly spoiled by a badly behaved toddler, on the return, when we wanted to doze.

We took advantage of Verona's bike share scheme, where one pays 2 Euros rental fee, then travel between mapped docking stations, with no further charge if use was for less than 30 minutes for each section. It worked well, but Rosy was unhappy with some Italian drivers, so we kept to the bike paths. She must also have been in a fair bit of pain from her ribs.

We spent ages trying to find Romeo and Juliet's homes and did so eventually.










Our journey home on Sunday was uneventful, but I did meet our CD in the airport lounge. He looked exhausted and was returning to the USA.

The Easy Jet flight exceeded my expectations.
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Tim

http://cruiseforums.cruisecritic.com/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=91091&dateline=133010  7011My photos

email

Some cruise reviews
Seabourn Odyssey review - April 2013, with pictures
Azamara Journey All Inclusive Offering -June 2013, with pictures
Azamara Quest - Rome to Venice Sept 13 Pictorial review
Island Princess Panama Canal Transit 2013 Review
Celebrity Reflection Review Feb 1 2014
Seaboun Odyssey Review April 2015
Seabourn Sojourn Review January 2016
Scenic Sapphire - Rhone river cruise July 16
Regent Navigator - Mediterranean June 16
Rhone river cruise Scenic Sapphire
Crystal Symphony Bali-Singapore Feb 17



#15
cheshire
39 Posts
Joined Mar 2007
Hi Tim,
Really enjoy your various reviews/photos on your Azamara cruises having sailed on both Quest and Journey 4 times in past 2 years. Shocked to hear Azamara charging $49 per person from port to Taoramina town for such a short distance. Free transport between dock and town shown on itinerary was a big selling point for them when we last cruised with them. Thinking we may try Celebrity some time soon.
Ros
#16
4,002 Posts
Joined Nov 2001
Originally posted by rosyclare
Hi Tim,
Really enjoy your various reviews/photos on your Azamara cruises having sailed on both Quest and Journey 4 times in past 2 years. Shocked to hear Azamara charging $49 per person from port to Taoramina town for such a short distance. Free transport between dock and town shown on itinerary was a big selling point for them when we last cruised with them. Thinking we may try Celebrity some time soon.
Ros
Thanks Ros.

I believe most cruise lines are now upping their standards, realising that, particularly in Europe following several high profile disasters, new bookings are down and so they need to nurture existing customers.

We have had excellent recent cruises on Regent, Seabourn and Azamara and would book any of these again, if the price was right.

Indeed, I wouldn't stop there, as after staying loyal to one or two brands, we've been more adventurous and found some pretty good deals and new experiences.
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Tim

http://cruiseforums.cruisecritic.com/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=91091&dateline=133010  7011My photos

email

Some cruise reviews
Seabourn Odyssey review - April 2013, with pictures
Azamara Journey All Inclusive Offering -June 2013, with pictures
Azamara Quest - Rome to Venice Sept 13 Pictorial review
Island Princess Panama Canal Transit 2013 Review
Celebrity Reflection Review Feb 1 2014
Seaboun Odyssey Review April 2015
Seabourn Sojourn Review January 2016
Scenic Sapphire - Rhone river cruise July 16
Regent Navigator - Mediterranean June 16
Rhone river cruise Scenic Sapphire
Crystal Symphony Bali-Singapore Feb 17



#17
Rio Grande, NJ
1,130 Posts
Joined Jan 2005
Great review and pictures Tim. We have climbed to the top of the Dome at St. Peter's....the views were spectacular. I would not recommend the climb for those who are not in good shape.

Hope Rosy is feeling better.
Kathy
#18
4,002 Posts
Joined Nov 2001
Originally posted by kathy9
Great review and pictures Tim. We have climbed to the top of the Dome at St. Peter's....the views were spectacular. I would not recommend the climb for those who are not in good shape.

Hope Rosy is feeling better.
Kathy
Thanks Kathy. It's going to be a slow recovery for Rosy. but it could have been far worse.

Fortunately our climb was before the accident!

This is a lift for the first section, which costs 2 Euros extra, so the infirm are also able to get part way.
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Tim

http://cruiseforums.cruisecritic.com/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=91091&dateline=133010  7011My photos

email

Some cruise reviews
Seabourn Odyssey review - April 2013, with pictures
Azamara Journey All Inclusive Offering -June 2013, with pictures
Azamara Quest - Rome to Venice Sept 13 Pictorial review
Island Princess Panama Canal Transit 2013 Review
Celebrity Reflection Review Feb 1 2014
Seaboun Odyssey Review April 2015
Seabourn Sojourn Review January 2016
Scenic Sapphire - Rhone river cruise July 16
Regent Navigator - Mediterranean June 16
Rhone river cruise Scenic Sapphire
Crystal Symphony Bali-Singapore Feb 17



#19
278 Posts
Joined Jul 2006
Tim,
Really enjoyed your narrative and photos. Very disappointed that the medical department was less than helpful in assisting you with Rosy's treatment. Hope her full recovery will be sooner rather than later.
Marion
#20
4,002 Posts
Joined Nov 2001
Originally posted by Marion B
Tim,
Really enjoyed your narrative and photos. Very disappointed that the medical department was less than helpful in assisting you with Rosy's treatment. Hope her full recovery will be sooner rather than later.
Marion
Thanks Marion. I'm sure the ship's medical dept did what they thought was best, but I feel they need a customer liaison officer to guide guests at such difficult and stressful times. Once the GRM was involved, things improved tremendously, but the damage was already done.
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Tim

http://cruiseforums.cruisecritic.com/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=91091&dateline=133010  7011My photos

email

Some cruise reviews
Seabourn Odyssey review - April 2013, with pictures
Azamara Journey All Inclusive Offering -June 2013, with pictures
Azamara Quest - Rome to Venice Sept 13 Pictorial review
Island Princess Panama Canal Transit 2013 Review
Celebrity Reflection Review Feb 1 2014
Seaboun Odyssey Review April 2015
Seabourn Sojourn Review January 2016
Scenic Sapphire - Rhone river cruise July 16
Regent Navigator - Mediterranean June 16
Rhone river cruise Scenic Sapphire
Crystal Symphony Bali-Singapore Feb 17