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SS Venezia 8/1/21


Killin Time
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We boarded the ship yesterday and had a pre cruise stay in Milan. We have been on two Viking River cruises but this is our first time on Uniworld. 
The ship looks beautiful after the recent renovation. The patterning in the cabins is very busy but I don’t spend too much time in my.cabin so that’s not a problem. 
THE GOOD 

Uniworld staff in Milan were on duty all day and incredibly helpful. When I asked for directions to a recommended restaurant we were actually walked there. The included tour was excellent. 35 years ago I missed seeing the  Last Supper as it had just been closed down for renovations so it was great to finally see it this time. Milan is not a must visit tourist destination but we enjoyed the vibrant local culture. 
Our day trip to Verona was fabulous. Such a beautiful city and so well preserved. We broke our trip at a winery and in addition to wine tasting had a lovely lunch. Red wine risotto was excellent and the braised veal was tasty as well. 
On boarding the boat we were greeted by friendly staff and had our rapid Covid test. Had some cocktails and listened to a short safety talk and a longer info talk about activities. We then had a pleasant and well cooked dinner. 
THINGS TO BE PREPARED FOR

We thought we were going to be on a fully vaccinated boat. That is not the case. On our bus trip to Venice we heard the couple in front of us say that they would probably be doing less traveling in the next few years because they didn’t want to get vaccinated. They did not wear masks on the bus even though you are supposed to wear masks indoors in Italy. We moved our seats. We were disappointed and surprised that Uniworld allowed unvaccinated passengers. Other passengers were under the same impression as we were that everyone would be vaccinated. We would not have booked the trip if we had known unvaccinated passengers would be allowed. Don’t want to start an argument here but wanted to make people aware. To be fair Uniworld is in compliance with all laws and regulations but this situation caused us (and others) some angst. 
Be prepared to figure out who you want to dine with and where you want to sit because that’s it fir the next seven days. We lucked out in joining a very nice couple but we did not get window seating and my husband’s seat backed up to a narrow walkway between tables. A bad table and it’s ours for the rest of the trip. 😢

Lots of storage in the cabin but strangely no drawers. I like to have an underwear drawer not a shelf. The bathroom is spacious but no toiletries storage. Fortunately I packed my makeup in a small case so I can move it back and forth but this is just weird. I will try to take a picture later but plan ahead in terms of bringing your own organizers. Also no q-tips or cotton ball dispenser as is usually provided. 
there is no fridge. 
I’ll post more later and hope this is helpful. 

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I thought for sure Uniworld was requiring all passengers to be vaccinated.  

 

Thank you for posting about your experience.  I hear ya about no storage space in the bathroom, even for a cosmetics bag.

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Thanks for the report, hope you have a great time.  Can't imagine not having a fridge, especially to help keep your drinks & snacks cold.  Just reading the threads about people travelling with medications that have to be refrigerated, that could be a problem.  Also no room around the vanity for any "extras" must be a bit awkward.

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Just now, Ritabob said:

None of the Uniworld ships we've been on have had fridges.  Maybe in the suites?  

OK, didn't realise that, Avalon has mini fridges in all staterooms, which we appreciated when it got hot - so nice to come back to a cold drink of water while getting ready for your meals.

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We booked on the august 25 trip.  We’re having second thoughts just for this reason. But as of August 13 Uniworld requires all passengers to be fully vaccinated. Well that’s what their website states today.   The rules seem to change everyday and country to country.  
We did this cruise in 2017 and loved it.  Thought we’d enjoy seeing others things this time.  
Im wondering if Venice crowded?  

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Thank you for your insight into Uniworld. I really couldn’t be doing without space in the bathroom and especially no fully stocked fridge I can see now how I have been completely spoilt by going Scenic. Regardless have a wonderful cruise with many super memories.

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Thank you so much for posting about your trip.  I’m scheduled for this trip in September and am so out-of-practice regarding packing, that any and all information is necessary.  Will have to think about the bathroom storage situation.

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Venice is not terribly crowded right now. I think we have about 90 passengers but need to double check on the exact number. Because they have to serve us our food meals are a slow process. A full ship would make things even more difficult but we appreciate that they are trying to keep us healthy. 
Our tours today were truly outstanding. We had early access to the Doge’s palace and got to experience it without crowds. This evening we had a special Uniworld entry in to Saint Mark’s after hours. In addition to the public parts of the church we were allowed into and behind the altar. We also were allowed in to the Crypt area. The church is even more beautiful than I remembered. Truly exquisite. 
Here are a few pictures of the bathroom. As you can see I repurposed one of the cups to hold makeup brushes and eye pencils. I put my makeup bag in what is a very deep drawer that isn’t terribly useful. The mirror is attached to the wall so there is no storage there. They do provide a very small hotel sized pack with a few q-tips and cotton pads.  I can understand that this is more hygenic during Covid times. 
Our faces and temperature are scanned each time we leave and return to the boat. 

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So you may notice from my first picture that there is a small hidden drawer on the left hand side above the deep cabinet. I was able to store foundation, mascara and two small palettes in this area. No room for my sunscreen or moisturizer but storage situation is not as bleak as my original post. But 2 women traveling together would probably be challenged to meet storage demands. 
Fun people on the cruise and we are enjoying Uniworld. My biggest concern has been that pretty much everyone I have talked to shared our misperception that the boat would be fully vaccinated. It’s great that future cruisers won’t have to deal with the same issue. It’s caused me some anxiety though. 

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What are the table sizes in the Dining Room?

 

How does the table selection process work on the first day?

 

 I will be part of a group in September and we are used to trading tables throughout the trip on Uniworld.  This will be a new experience for us and we are already trying to figure out “who will sit with whom and where” among our group.

 

I can’t imagine getting early morning access to the Doges Palace!  How exciting to not have to fight you way into it.

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People are allowed to walk around Ports as they choose. Tomorrow we will do a second rapid Covid test. 
The tables are mainly two tops though many of them are side by side with another two top which is what we have. There are two eight tops and two six tops groupings at the entrance to the dining room. I am the last person to ask about good seating because we ended up with lousy seats. However I would suggest talking to the hotel manager as soon as you get on Board to discuss your group’s preferences. At a minimum line up for dinner early so you have a chance to score a good table. They are not allowing people to change their seating but seem to turn a blind eye to people stopping by to chat briefly with friends. 
After talking with two ladies who are traveling together, they suggested bringing along a pair of shallow baskets to store toiletries more efficiently. That would allow for storing in either the deep side opening cabinet or one of the open shelves in the bathroom. 
I hope these tips are helpful. Cruising under the Covid environment is challenging all round but it is great to be traveling again even with these constraints. 

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We were given a couple sets of packing cubes when we were doing our first cruise.  They make small ones that would probably be great for "baskets" and if you don't use them for packing, they fold flat so no room in your luggage.  Not sure if you use them, but thinking of your lack of storage.

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Thanks so much for the information on the tables.  On our last Uniworld Cruise, our group scored an eight top and a six top and then several two tops.  We rotated seats and had two couples not from our group who joined the rotation.  Guess we won’t rotate, but at least we’ll be able to sit near each other.  (Our Travel Agent has joined three diverse groups for this cruise with different pre and post cruise options.  I’m not certain what the overall group size is but the tables sizes you’ve provided should accommodate everyone.)

 

Thanks also for the tip about the basket for the deep drawer.  Your posts are wonderful!

 

Stay Safe!  Enjoy the rest of your cruise!

 

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"We thought we were going to be on a fully vaccinated boat. That is not the case. On our bus trip to Venice we heard the couple in front of us say that they would probably be doing less traveling in the next few years because they didn’t want to get vaccinated. They did not wear masks on the bus even though you are supposed to wear masks indoors in Italy."

 

How did these people get into Europe?

 

Second seating

 

 

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Perhaps they are in Europe? I mean it could be expats of the Anglo-American language family. Then travelling to Italy would have been relatively easy. Up until now the Uniworld river cruises could have been easily booked by even a German, vaccinated or unvaccinated, as Uniworld has a German exclusive agent. So meeting an unvaccinated passenger is not unusual.

 

For me this would have been clear on embarkation, but I do not understand that Uniworld seems not to have made it clear to the US passengers. Would have been fair in my opinion.

 

notamermaid

 

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Thanks for all your updates. I did the Venice/Venice itinerary back in Oct 2019 and loved the private St Marks Cathedral tour.

 

I am surprised Uniworld allowed unvaxxed guests too.  And I sail solo........I enjoy dining with other folks and have to wonder if I would have sat alone for dinner the entire cruise😲.You never know who you are going to meet on the first day/night.  I want to sail with them again but will definitely wait till next year and hope those dinner restrictions will be lifted.

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2 hours ago, Lois R said:

Thanks for all your updates. I did the Venice/Venice itinerary back in Oct 2019 and loved the private St Marks Cathedral tour.

 

I am surprised Uniworld allowed unvaxxed guests too.  And I sail solo........I enjoy dining with other folks and have to wonder if I would have sat alone for dinner the entire cruise😲.You never know who you are going to meet on the first day/night.  I want to sail with them again but will definitely wait till next year and hope those dinner restrictions will be lifted.

I sail solo too and am now concerned about the dining.  It looks like Ama is doing the same thing.  I'm a seasoned cruiser but usual do ocean cruises.  Over the years, I have some great tablemates, some good, some ok and  twice pretty bad.  I now only do my time/freestyle dining.  On an ocean cruise, I don't mind eating my myself, but on a small boat (66 other passengers on my next river cruise) I'd want to sit with various people.

 

 

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On 8/2/2021 at 8:56 AM, Daisi said:

Thanks for the report, hope you have a great time.  Can't imagine not having a fridge, especially to help keep your drinks & snacks cold.  Just reading the threads about people travelling with medications that have to be refrigerated, that could be a problem.  Also no room around the vanity for any "extras" must be a bit awkward.

That was my thread about refrigerated meds.  This may be a deal breaker for my next cruise on the Mekong.  I will have to have my travel agent talk to Uni to see what I can do if there is no fridge.  

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