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Sonora5

26 days on the Oosterdam-Venice to Fort Lauderdale-Report

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We just returned from a great cruise! 26 days on the Oosterdam, boarding in Venice October 15 and arriving in Fort Lauderdale Nov 10.

 

We actually arrived in Venice on October 12. Our flight was good, we had used miles to get business class seats. We water taxi'ed to our Hotel, the Danieli, Located right around the corner from St Mark's, just one building over from the Doge's Palace. It was a sunny day in Venice, fortunately we got there prior to the horrible flooding.

 

We walked around in the sun for a while, grabbed a little lunch and then collapsed to try to sleep off the jet lag.

 

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Our second day in Venice we woke up reasonably refreshed and headed for brunch on the rooftop terrace of our hotel. Panoramic view of Venice from the 5th floor. We were interested in the Tintoretto exhibition at the Doge's Palace so we checked out the lines there-too long!

 

We decided to wander-amazing how the day can fly by when you are just wandering around. We found a little fabric shop where we bought a bell pull for our servant buzzer in our living room. We do not have servants-at least, none have appeared to date-but this beautiful red and gold tassled pull makes a nice addition.

 

NB: We hung it last night and I am very happy with how nice it looks.

 

Off to find our friends, staying at the Hotel Kette. I am embarassed to recount how we wondered around unable to find the Hotel when it was just around the corner from where we stood and pondered several times.

 

Our friends had a great room on the 5th floor with a private terrace giving another wonderful view of Venice.

 

Dinner was great but we were falling asleep in our plates, so we headed to an early bedtime.

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Sounds like a wonderful pre-cruise stay.  Venice is always nice 😄 

 

Looking forward to more of your reports.

 

Thanks for taking the time and welcome home 😄

 

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Welcome Home

 

Oh, we love Venice.

 

Glad you had 2 wonderful days there before all the flooding began.

 

Looking forward to the rest of your report.

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3 hours ago, Sonora5 said:

Our second day in Venice we woke up reasonably refreshed and headed for brunch on the rooftop terrace of our hotel. Panoramic view of Venice from the 5th floor. We were interested in the Tintoretto exhibition at the Doge's Palace so we checked out the lines there-too long!

 

We decided to wander-amazing how the day can fly by when you are just wandering around. We found a little fabric shop where we bought a bell pull for our servant buzzer in our living room. We do not have servants-at least, none have appeared to date-but this beautiful red and gold tassled pull makes a nice addition.

 

NB: We hung it last night and I am very happy with how nice it looks.

 

Off to find our friends, staying at the Hotel Kette. I am embarassed to recount how we wondered around unable to find the Hotel when it was just around the corner from where we stood and pondered several times.

 

Our friends had a great room on the 5th floor with a private terrace giving another wonderful view of Venice.

 

Dinner was great but we were falling asleep in our plates, so we headed to an early bedtime.

Next time you go to Venice, go online prior to leaving home to reserve your tickets to several top Venice attractions.  The tickets allow you to skip the lines and walk right into the attraction.  We went to Venice (part of the 24-day Nieuw Amsterdam cruise in 2015) and never stood in a single line.  It was wonderful!

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Sunday in Venice:

 

We were actually starting to recover from our jet lag by Sunday. After another rooftop brunch, we set out to check out the Tintoretto line and ride the vaporetto. Since the line was still a little long, we headed to the vaporetto station to cruise leisurely and cheaply around Venice.

 

I had actually been dreaming about doing this again, since our last trip last year. The old buildings along the canals seem to have personalities. Some dissolute, some aging grandeur, all fighting time and nature to stay upright.

 

We were fortunate to bag outside seats on the vaporetto and went up the Grand Canal and back on the Guidecca. After a complete loop we hopped off and had lunch, then found that the Tintoretto line had magically vanished.

 

For one price we were able to see the exhibition, which was quite good, and stroll around the Doge's Palace.

 

Back on a different Vaporetto to see if we could see the cruise ship-I think Norwegian something-that was scheduled to sail out that night. We did manage to see it glide away all light up and gorgeous.

 

We were exhilarated but a little chilly and a lot tired, so we rode back to the Danieli and bed, with plans to get up early for our last rooftop brunch.

 

Next: Embarkation!

 

 

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Enjoyed reading your post, looking forward to reading about the rest of your cruise.

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Thanks, I am holding off with the next installment because my husband is going to try to post some pictures. He got some fabulous pics in Venice, including some of the Norwegian whatever sailing out at night, all light up and pretty.

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Embarkation:

 

We eagerly hopped into our water taxi and headed for the Oosterdam. One last cruise through Venice. We had totally forgotten about luggage tags, :classic_ohmy:, but fortunately the luggage handlers on the dock were prepared for the likes of us, and all we had to do was tell them our room number.

 

I was a little disappointed when we walked over to check in. There used to be priority check in for Suite guests, but I guess that is no more. We were told quite sharply that we could wait with the other unwashed masses with less than 4 stars.

 

Fortunately the line was quite short, and we were on the ship quite quickly.

 

Next: Our room (spoiler alert: A neptune suite!)

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The day before we boarded. The Vaporetto went past the cruise port. Six ship were there.

PA140952.JPG

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This is the NCL Star leaving the Giudecca Canal the night before we boarded the Oosterdam.

IMG_7051.JPG

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Enjoying your travelogue! We were last in Venice some 12 years ago and stayed at the Hotel Gabrielli a few steps further away from Plaza San Marco than your hotel. Seeing your photos brings back memories. Glad you missed the floods! When we were there I recall seeing all of these "tables" stacked around and thought that perhaps we had missed a performance or something. Turns out they are routinely used during high water as walkways! After looking at video of the recent floods I have to wonder how the locals deal with the frequency of high water (other than just having a pair of hip boots always at the ready).

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We love HAL's Neptune Suite product. The Neptune Lounge is unlike any other perk we have experienced on other lines. Free laundry and dry cleaning (the latter of which I would come to need), free mimosas with room service breakfast, breakfast in the Pinnacle Grill, are some of our favorite things. (Cue Julie Andrews).

 

Our cabin, #7058, was very handy to the lounge entrance. We had two stewards, Gede and Rafi, and we met Gede right away. Our room was set up very nicely with fresh flowers and fruit, free sparkling wine and three free bottles of water.

 

Having sailed on Princess the year before, the maintenance on HAL exhibited as a big improvement. The roomy balcony had two loungers and a table and chairs for four. No rust, and it had been recently cleaned.

 

We checked out the lounge and grabbed a snack or two. The Neptune Lounge has a rotating selections of nice snacks. You could really eat breakfast and lunch there-and some days, we did.

 

Our various paperwork items included an invitation to a Mariner's reception in the Crow's Nest. We are experienced enough to know to get there early, and to expect free drinks and appetizers.

 

Off we went.

 

Next: A Sea Day, and the Cruise Critic Meet and Greet

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On the ship looking a the location map. These are the ports on the first leg of the transatlantic. Very port intensive.

IMG_7118.JPG

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Here is a short shaky video of our room. I didn't show the bathroom but it had a tub, shower and two sinks.

 

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22 hours ago, Sonora5 said:

Embarkation:

 

I was a little disappointed when we walked over to check in. There used to be priority check in for Suite guests, but I guess that is no more. We were told quite sharply that we could wait with the other unwashed masses with less than 4 stars.

 

Fortunately the line was quite short, and we were on the ship quite quickly.

 

 

Sonora 5:  we too, embarked in Venice on the 15th.  When we were there, there was a Priority check-in and used it.  There weren't that many in the regular check in area so it didn't save much time.  We waited with the others for our group number to be called to walk onto the ship.

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The cocktail reception for whatever level of Mariners was nice. Drinks flowed freely. Mostly champagne and mimosas, but a couple at a nearby table fussed a little and got scotch.

 

There was also a reception in the Neptune for Suite guests. We liked the concierges, Karissa and Veerle right away, and we also met some very nice fellow cruisers at the reception. We made reservations for a couple of things and got ready for the first sea day.

 

NB: If you are hoping for a report on the entertainment, then we will be counting on our fellow cruisers to provide, as we did not go to one thing on the Mainstage the whole time.

 

We did go to Lincoln Center several times and very much enjoyed it, except for the ignorant monkeys who walk by chatting loudly during the performance. I don't care if you are wearing a dinner jacket if you cannot behave yourself!

 

We also skipped BB's. We did enjoy the trivia-more on that later.

 

Our first sea day was great. Anne and Eugene did an excellent job with the meet and greet, and we were all happy to meet folks we were doing excursions with. The ship provided minimal refreshments and there was no one present from the staff. I think HAL misses a chance to do a little guest relations here, but that's on them. It was a happy group.

 

We loafed around the rest of the day. With such a port intensive early part of the itinerary, we needed to rest up! We checked prices on the thermal suites-not worth it with so many ports, and tried to find out about the Retreat cabanas, but no one was around upstairs. (We later found out from the concierge that we could have booked a cabana for one day for about $60, but by that point we were no longer interested. I don't think those cabanas get a lot of use).

 

We hung the room service breakfast card and went to bed early.

 

Next: Dubrovnik

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