Venice, May 7, 2006

Remind me to never embark or disembark a cruise in Venice again!  The simple logistics of doing so is daunting.  We got up about 7; & had breakfast in the D.R.  We were to meet in the lounge at 8:40 in order to get off the ship w/ the last group at 9.  We were docked at the larger pier (Stazzione Maritima) rather then at the San Basilio terminal (which is closer to San Marco).  There was a short bus ride from the ship to the terminal to retrieve our luggage.  The good part about getting off the ship last is there's very little luggage left to search to find your own.  From there we walked about a block's length over to the water taxi platform.  Our luggage was going by separate boat.

                                Katie on the "landing stage"/patio at the Monaco & Grand Canal Hotel

Rather than schlep our bags on the water taxi or paying a hefty price for a private water taxi to our hotel, we purchased transfers from the ship.  The closest point to San Marco that would be transferred to was to the Europa & Regina (another hotel about a half block away).  But things are different in Venice.  To get from there to the Monaco & Grand Canal Hotel you had to walk a block to the left, then a block to the right & then another block toward the water.  To make a long story short, we had the other hotel's porter take our bags half way (over a bridge); & then we had to pull them the rest of the way ourselves.  It was not the ideal way to start the day.  But when we arrived at our beautiful hotel, we soon forgot about the ordeal (well, maybe not soon).

We were surprised that our room was ready at 10:30 am. Twin beds (although pushed together) & lots of antiques, red & gold brocades & beautiful Murano glass wall sconces.  By contrast, the lobby area is ultra modern w/ a lovely outdoor restaurant right on the Grand Canal. There's a cozy bar & a whole floor of sitting rooms, dining rooms & grand ballroom all in old Venetian style.  Gorgeous murals & frescoed ceilings.

After unpacking a few things, we went out to wander around.  Since the weather forecast doesn't look very good for the next 2 days, we decided to make the most of this beautiful, sunny & warm (about 70) day.

We walked a few blocks to the private water taxi stand that takes guests across the lagoon to the famous Hotel Cipriani. I can still hear Robin Leach talking about it years ago on Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous. We were told we should have lunch there. Even their water taxi is ridiculously plus!

 Pizza Slice

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