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LitaArn

Cruise Review: Venice, Bari, Corfu, Athens, Mykonos, Dubrovnik - Splendour - Aug 2012

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After our Grand Canal Boat Tour which ended at around 6:30 pm, our next excursion was the Gondola Ride and Serenade Tour at 7:30 pm. Meeting place was at the gondolas’s mooring point at Santa Maria del Giglio Square. Earlier, the 3 of us walked over from St. Mark’s Square and tried to find the gondola mooring point to save time in finding our way later on. After a couple or so of turning into the wrong streets, we found the place. No problem, plenty of time for a leisurely walk and a for gelato stop later.

 

Re our gondola ride - it was a shared gondola ride. The other party in ours was another family of 3. We got to talking with them and they were also like us: a mom, dad, and their daughter on university break.

 

On this excursion, there were about 8 gondolas in our small flotilla. The two musicians, a singer and an accordion

player, were in another gondola. Both were good. Also, I still remember vividly my first gondola ride with Arn in 2006;

it was beautiful :)

 

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Traffic Jam...

Edited by Host Kewlguy

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After the gondola excursion, we walked over to the vaporetto station for a ride back to our hotel. Emily was still full from our delicious gelato stop just before the gondola ride and still felt jet lagged so she stayed back in our hotel to have an early night.

 

Arn and I then headed over to this very nice restaurant “Muro Venezia S. Stae” http://www.murovenezia.com/#

It took us less than 5 minutes to walk there from our hotel (this is one of the things I love about our hotel, so convenient to a lot of good things). He ordered beer (5 euros), and Viennese Pizza (8 e). Both were quite good he said. I had peach juice, good as always (3 e) and the Antipasto Muro (20 e). This was super good! There was also the “coperto” (service charge) of 2 e pp. We gave our attentive waitress a tip and she was very appreciative. All in all, we recommend this restaurant! Very good food and service!

 

 

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Edited by LitaArn

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I will continue with my review tomorrow... Thanks for tuning in... :)

 

Good Night all...

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hello

 

I still enjoyed to read your trip story.

 

you see that we are going to Venice next year for two days before our cruise which similar your...

 

We are deaf family apart from hearing son.

 

the reason I was reading your story and wonder where did you booked for Grand Canal Boat Tour and Gondola Ride and Serenade Tour ?

 

I see that the photos that you were sharing with another people for Gondola Ride and I wonder if that would be less expensive ? If we go 4 of us for Gondola - will it be expensive? or better share with anoher?

 

Scottishwee35

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Loving this review with all of the fabulous pictures, Lita. Thank you for taking the time to post all this.

 

We are on Serenade next year with stops in Venice and Dubrovnik so lots of interesting info for me to use...off to subscribe! :)

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Lita...thankyou so much for taking the time to share your photos and your stories with us. I know it takes a lot of time and work. It makes us want to book another cruise starting in Venice so we can have extra time. Your photos make me feel like I am traveling with you. Great photos of the 3 of you. What a special time for you and Arn to share with Emily.

 

Will be awaiting the next chapter

Mary:)

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We're on the Splendour in May so looking forward to your review of the ship and hopefully some pics as there's not a lot on these board for this ship!

 

Louise

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After our Grand Canal Boat Tour which ended at around 6:30 pm, our next excursion was the Gondola Ride and Serenade Tour at 7:30 pm. Meeting place was at the gondolas’s mooring point at Santa Maria del Giglio Square. Earlier, the 3 of us walked over from St. Mark’s Square and tried to find the gondola mooring point to save time in finding our way later on. After a couple or so of turning into the wrong streets, we found the place. No problem, plenty of time for a leisurely walk and a for gelato stop later.

 

Re our gondola ride - it was a shared gondola ride. The other party in ours was another family of 3. We got to talking with them and they were also like us: a mom, dad, and their daughter on university break.

 

On this excursion, there were about 8 gondolas in our small flotilla. The two musicians, a singer and an accordion

player, were in another gondola. Both were good. Also, I still remember vividly my first gondola ride with Arn in 2006;

it was beautiful :)

 

 

Thank You so much Tony (HostKewlguy) for editing my post as requested. Your help and consideration are very much appreciated.

Edited by LitaArn

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A million thanks for this very special review. You've brought back a flood of happy memories for me! Our very first cruise was on the Voyager out of Venice. Like you we stayed at the Hotel al Ponte Mocenigo. Isn't that a darling hotel? And the location is perfect. Just close enough to everything but out of the way of hordes of tourists. We found and owners and staff delightful. And Venice~ your photos capture Venice so well. It nearly brings tears to my eyes looking at them. You and your family obviously had a great time there, just like we did. Your photos and trip review make me happy.

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hello

 

I still enjoyed to read your trip story.

 

you see that we are going to Venice next year for two days before our cruise which similar your...

 

We are deaf family apart from hearing son.

 

the reason I was reading your story and wonder where did you booked for Grand Canal Boat Tour and Gondola Ride and Serenade Tour ?

 

I see that the photos that you were sharing with another people for Gondola Ride and I wonder if that would be less expensive ? If we go 4 of us for Gondola - will it be expensive? or better share with anoher?

 

Scottishwee35

 

Hello :)

 

I am very happy to know that you and your family will get to visit beautiful Venice next year. I am sure you'll have a fabulous time!

 

We booked with Viator. We've used them when we did a tour of Germany's Romantic Road two years ago, and we were very pleased with the tours we'd taken.

 

Here is the link for their Venice Grand Canal Boat Tour

 

http://www.viator.com/tours/Venice/Venice-Grand-Canal-Boat-Tour/d522-2635VENCAN

 

Here is the link for their Venice Gondola Ride and Serenade

 

http://www.viator.com/tours/Venice/Venice-Gondola-Ride-and-Serenade/d522-2495TOUR4

 

From what I understand, the price quoted on their website is for a group of 5 or 6 sharing a gondola. I'm sorry but I don't know how much it would cost for your family alone to ride in a gondola. Maybe your son can call the customer service of this tour company. Their phone number is (888) 651-9785. Hope you get a clear answer from them.

 

 

I'm glad that you're enjoying my review, and thanks for writing in :)

 

Lita

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Loving this review with all of the fabulous pictures, Lita. Thank you for taking the time to post all this.

 

We are on Serenade next year with stops in Venice and Dubrovnik so lots of interesting info for me to use...off to subscribe! :)

 

Oh, I have to learn how to "subscribe", will look into it.

 

Glad to be of help, and Thank You for writing in. :)

 

Lita

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Lita...thankyou so much for taking the time to share your photos and your stories with us. I know it takes a lot of time and work. It makes us want to book another cruise starting in Venice so we can have extra time. Your photos make me feel like I am traveling with you. Great photos of the 3 of you. What a special time for you and Arn to share with Emily.

 

Will be awaiting the next chapter

Mary:)

 

Thank You Mary for writing in. I'm glad that you're enjoying my review :)

 

Yes, we had the most special bonding time with Emily, wish with all my heart that we'll have Eileen with us next time...

 

About that cruise out of Venice you're planning on, I'll email you. I'm thinking of the same thing as well.

 

Hugs :)

 

Lita

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We're on the Splendour in May so looking forward to your review of the ship and hopefully some pics as there's not a lot on these board for this ship!

 

Louise

 

Hi Louise,

 

Lucky you! You'll love the beautiful Splendour! :)

 

I have to apologize ahead of time. I took some photos of the ship, but only of the dining room, the Schooner Bar, and the centrum. Also took several pics of our cabin. Oh, I also took photos of our tours on the Bridge and the Galley, and the Backstage Tour.

 

I found this link to a video of the "Splendour of the Seas Delivers the Wow - Revitalisations Provide More Innovation"

 

 

I think you'll find it interesting, and you'll see a lot of the inside of the beautiful Splendour.

 

Lita

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A million thanks for this very special review. You've brought back a flood of happy memories for me! Our very first cruise was on the Voyager out of Venice. Like you we stayed at the Hotel al Ponte Mocenigo. Isn't that a darling hotel? And the location is perfect. Just close enough to everything but out of the way of hordes of tourists. We found and owners and staff delightful. And Venice~ your photos capture Venice so well. It nearly brings tears to my eyes looking at them. You and your family obviously had a great time there, just like we did. Your photos and trip review make me happy.

 

Oh my! Very sweet of you to write those heartwarming comments. And I completely agree with you about Hotel al Ponte Mocenigo. Loved, loved it!

 

Thank You for writing in :)

 

Lita

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Our excursions for the day were St. Mark’s Basilica and the Doge’s Palace in the morning, then the Islands of Murano, Torcello, and Burano in the afternoon.

 

 

TOUR OF ST. MARK'S BASILICA & THE DOGE'S PALACE

 

Our tour meeting place was at the Winged Lion column (the Lion of St. Mark) in front of the Doge’s Palace. Highlighted on the confirmation of our tour was for us to wear clothing that covers the shoulders and the knees.

 

From our meeting place, I took this picture of the Church of San Giorgio Maggiore across the lagoon opposite St. Mark’s Square. I would like to visit this beautiful church when we (hopefully) visit Venice next time. You can view fantastic photos taken by Bill (PCWalton1) here on this link http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1638871 His review is excellent and his photos are awesome!

 

 

Church of San Giorgio Maggiore

 

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We met our guide Giussephina (I hope I spelled her name right), and we bypassed the long line to get inside this beautiful cathedral. She was excellent in her job, and quite feisty!

 

ST. MARK’s BASILICA is connected to the Doge’s Palace. Originally it was the chapel of the Doge, and has only been the city's cathedral since 1807, when it became the seat of the Archbishop of Venice.

 

 

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Edited by LitaArn

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INSIDE THE CATHEDRAL

 

The upper part of the Basilica’s interior is completely covered with bright mosaics containing gold, bronze, and many varieties of stones.

 

 

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12th century marble floor had undergone many restorations

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Edited by LitaArn

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Museum inside St. Mark’s - on the second floor of the Basilica

 

After a bit of time on the ground floor of the basilica, our guide took us to one of its museums. Just inside the basilica’s front doors, we climbed a long and steep staircase up to the Galleria but the artifacts inside and the stunning outdoor views were worth the pain (my arthritic right hip bothered me a bit after the climb).

 

 

St. Mark’s Horses

 

These original sculptures made from bronze and covered in gold date back from 4th century BC. I read that they were stolen from Egypt by Nero and brought to Rome, then brought to Constantinople by Constantine, then to Venice by the Crusaders. The horses had to be decapitated in order to fit them in the boats - the collars were added by the Venetians to cover the seam where they were reattached. In 1797, Napoleon had the horses forcibly removed from the basilica and carried off to Paris. In 1815, the horses were returned to Venice. They were getting weather damaged on the Basilica’s roof, so copies were made in the 1900s and the precious originals brought inside.

 

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Edited by LitaArn

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Bronze replicas of St. Mark’s horses

 

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More views outside the galleria in St. Mark’s

 

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The Doge’s Palace

 

The DOGE’s PALACE was the residence of the Doge of Venice, the chief magistrate and leader of the Republic of Venice for over a thousand years. Doges of Venice were elected for life by the city-state's aristocracy. The person selected as Doge was supposedly the wisest elder in the city. The new Gothic construction of the palace started around 1340. In 1923, it was designated as a museum.

 

Inside the palace, no cameras are allowed except for very few areas.

 

The lavishly decorated Golden Staircase of the palace

 

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Close up view of the window of the Bridge of Sighs, taken from inside the palace

 

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Entering the Prison Cells (I didn’t get a chance to take a photo of the prison entrance on this tour, so I used this one which was from our 2006 Italy land tour)

 

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Looking out from the window of the Bridge of Sighs

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Inside courtyard of the Doge’s Palace

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Edited by LitaArn

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Hello All,

 

I'm sorry but I will have to continue posting later on. I'll have to upload photos to my photo bucket account and the process is so very, very slow right right now :(

 

Good Night...

 

Lita

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This review is fantastic (and so are your pictures). I will be on the Splendour in November. What company did you use for your Grand Canal Boat Tour....I've been to Venice but that looks like fun.

 

Thanks

Dena

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This review is fantastic (and so are your pictures). I will be on the Splendour in November. What company did you use for your Grand Canal Boat Tour....I've been to Venice but that looks like fun.

 

Thanks

Dena

 

Hi...

 

Lita mentioned Viator in a previous post

 

http://www.viator.com/tours/Venice/V...522-2635VENCAN

 

 

http://www.viator.com/tours/Venice/V...d522-2495TOUR4

 

I'll be checking these out too!

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Oh, I have to learn how to "subscribe", will look into it.

 

Glad to be of help, and Thank You for writing in. :)

 

Lita

 

Hi Lita

 

If you scroll to the top of the page there is a link to 'Thread tools'...choose 'subscribe' from the drop down list and then you can select whether you get an email everytime someone posts...HTH :)

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Loving your review and photos, which has inspired me to do a trip report for our Western Med. cruise the Liberty which we just returned from. Loved it so much that I am looking at a Spendour cruise next summer!

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