WELCOME TO VENICE, ITALY
Doris we have not visited the Synagogue but will try to on a future cruise. Thank you for the recommendation and your kind comments about the blog.
Last evening we enjoyed a pre-dinner drink at the Avenue Saloon with fellow guests Charles and Alice. It has been very nice to meet them on this cruise and we look forward to cruising with them again. They are a lovely couple. When Keith suggested where to get-together he didn't realize that Avenue Saloon Pianist Ged Scott was hosting Name That Tune which drew a good sized crowd. We thought that Ged Scott has an outstanding voice.
These are the dinner menus from Waterside.
We were invited to dinner at Prego by Hotel Director Scott Peterson.
We had a wonderful time with terrific service and cuisine and non-stop conversation. This was our first time dining with Scott by ourselves. Keith and Scott share a lot of passion for sports and for one team in particular and the three of us share a passion for cruising and travel.
The photos we posted include a lobster and octopus appetizer and an additional entree of Tuna. The lobster and octopus appetizer was prepared differently than we have had in the past and Keith really enjoyed it.
We slept well as Serenity sailed to our next port of call; Venice, Italy.
This is the last full day of this voyage which ends tomorrow morning.
We began our morning the way you are accustomed with. The morning started with a workout for Keith at the Fitness Center followed by coffee and breakfast in our room.
After breakfast Keith took an indoor cycling class while Anne Marie walked. This was the most athletic group taking the class since we boarded in December. Fitness Instructor Melanie asked if we wanted to extend the workout and most of us said yes.
There was lots on the program in the morning with a scheduled 2:00 PM arrival to Venice.
This included a talk by destination lecturer Marcus Sherwood on Venice and a talk by World Affairs Lecturer Ken Walsh who shared White House Photographs about several USA Presidents.
We dined at Marketplace for lunch and before we arrive to Venice Anne Marie walked and Keith played Paddle Tennis.
We first visited Venice, Italy in 1998 while on a twelve day Mediterranean cruise on-board the Grand Princess. We had an overnight in Venice and this was back in the day when the Princess ship was allowed to dock downtown. We remember that the ship looked larger than all of the downtown buildings.
Originally, we booked a 2005 Crystal Serenity twelve day cruise from Rome to Venice. Our plan was to spend a couple of nights in Venice following the cruise. When we considered the cost of the hotel, restaurants, and flying home from Venice we compared this to adding a second twelve day Crystal Serenity cruise from Venice to Athens and decided to book the back-to-back cruise which gave us three full days in Venice. This twenty-four day cruise was not only our introduction to Crystal Serenity but the longest cruise we had taken at that point in time.
We remember that cruise as if it was yesterday. The first cruise was Anne Marie's introduction to Rome. Keith had been there for business. One the first cruise we dined at a table for six people and had late seating. On most cruises with our family and by ourselves we had late seating and sat at large tables and on the Mediterranean cruises late seating was in great demand. On the second cruise we began at a six person table with late seating. To make a long story short on the third day we asked the Maitre d' if we could be moved to another table. In order to keep it very simple we moved to early dining and to a two person table as there was a lot of space in the early dining. This was the start of early dining for us. On some subsequent voyages we continued with tables for six people until evolving to a table for two.
We had such a good time on that cruise and realized that Serenity was an excellent fit for us and would work well for a long cruise. We had been wanting to do something special in 2007 to celebrate our thirtieth Wedding Anniversary and originally had booked a Seabourn Cruise of 30 days. It was on these back-to-back cruise when we met Ernie and Val. Over a lunch a dinner they walked us through the experience they had of World Cruise 2005 and between the information they provided and our enjoyment of Crystal Serenity we booked our first World Cruise for 2007 with former future sales consultant Nikki Andrew. As they say the rest is history.
We consider Venice to be one of the most unique cities of the world. Similar to San Francisco, we think of it as a city that comes from a story book. Venice is made up of 118 islands that are separated by canals and linked by 400 bridges. The islands are located in the Venetian Lagoon.
Major highlights include:
San Marco. The original church was built as a private chapel for the Doge and a shrine for the remains of St. Mark in 830 CE. Since the 11th century the church has been coined as "Church of Gold" for the design and gold around mosaics.
Palazzo Ducale. This is the large structure made up of three large blocks. One of the wings was built in 1340 and the other wing was built in its present form in 1424.
Gallerie dell Accademia. This historic gallery traces the development of Venetian art between the 14th and 18th centuries.
The Great School of San Rocco. The building was named after San Rocco who is known as the protector of the plague.
Rialto Bridge. This is a well known bridge to those visiting Venice. Until the 19th century it was the only bridge across the Grand Canal which becomes very wide in portions of the canal. It is lined with high-end boutiques and very popular with tourists.
Ca'Rezzonica is an example of what a Venetian home looked like in the 18th Century.
There are many other sites to see. One that we have visited it the Jewish Ghetto which today is still home to Synagogues and to some of the Jewish people who live in Venice or nearby.
A few photos and a short video we took from the ship as we arrived to Venice.
After the ship was cleared we went ashore. This was the first place in Italy that required us to carry our Passport with us.
We walked from the Cruise Ship Terminal into Venice and we made our way to the Jewish Ghetto. Along the way we went up and down various side streets and into some churches and to other sites. It was crowded as Venice usually is. In general, the quiet month(s) are November and part of December when it is cold and rainy.
We passed hundred of restaurants, cafes, bakeries, and stores. We saw about 100 children in grade school lined up to get Gelato and many people eating.
When we arrived to the Ghetto there were many locals out and about. Some students were getting out of school while others were waiting to visit the Jewish Museum.
As we walked the area we thought about what life might have been like for the people living in the Ghetto and all of the struggles during World War II. This is a reminder that no matter how bad people thinks it is today it was more challenging for tens of millions of people before, during and after World War II. Even after the war was over there were many hardships and challenges due to lack of fuel and food.
After spending a good deal of time at the Ghetto we went on another street for quite awhile. We then turned back to head towards the cruise ship terminal with several stops along the way.
The weather was a delight with a high of 67 degrees Fahrenheit.
During the course of this adventure we have had to carry our passport in port a few times including today. Upon our return to the ship when we entered the cruise ship terminal for the very first time we were asked to show our passport along with key card.
We enjoyed a lovely afternoon in Venice and are happy to return after fourteen years.
Following is the daily Reflections Program.
Anne Marie & Keith