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Venice, Italy (5/24/19) & (6/2/19)

We are so happy for the opportunity to visit Venice as we were scheduled to be there on the Carnival Breeze in October 2012, but we couldn't go due to flooding. There were a LOT of upset folks on that cruise! Many felt that the two day stop in Venice was to be the highlight of the cruise. Since that time there has been a lot of discussion about larger cruise ships being barred from Venice. So, I am really glad that our ship is not just visiting there, but will home port in Venice.

Some say the reason for keeping the large ships out of Venice is because they ruin the character of the city as they pass in and out of the port. Here is a video of a ship passing Saint Mark's Square and you can see how the ships tend to dwarf the buildings of this historic city.

I found the picture below that gives a great aerial view of Venice. In the background you can see the causeway leading to the mainland, you can also see a ship docked in the upper left corner of the island. What a fantastic port and we are so glad that we will finally get to check Venice off our bucket list.

Venice Panorama pic

As I pointed out, the ship docks in the South East corner of the island, far away from the main sights. I've read that that cruise lines offer a private shuttle boat service from the dock to San Marco. The service runs until midnight, but be sure to check the schedule. If Royal offers this service, you get the shuttle tickets on the ship, I expect it will be from the Shore Excursion desk. If you don't take that shuttle, you can take a People Mover from the cruise port to Piazzale Roma, a transportation hub near the train station. From there you can catch a vaporetto, or public water bus, to where ever you want to go in Venice. Here is a pdf file with Map of Vaporetto Routes.

EXPLORE THE PORT:

Venice Cruise Port Page - Cruise Critic port page for Venice.

Venice Attraction & Activities - Tripadvisor's Things to do in Venice, with a ranked list of attractions & activities.

Frommer's Venice - a well respected travel guide, has their take on Venice, with lots of links to explore.

Lonely Planet's Venice - Lonely Planet's list of things to do in Venice.

Venice for Visitors - From europeforvisitors.com website. They provide a very extensive online travel guide.

Tours by Locals Venice - Take a private Venice tour and see the city's famous sights and utterly charming neighbourhoods with a friendly local guide.

Viator's Venice Tour Offerings - Viator is a consolidator, meaning that they source tour companies and resell them. What is nice is that you can pay in USD with your credit card before you leave home. I've used them in a few places and was very pleased. If you can find the company they are using to book directly, you can save a bit.

Venice Port Guide - Tom Sheridan has created a series of Port Guides for ports around the world. They are in PDF format; thus, can be loaded on your tablet, or printed, to have handy. Tom's website is tomsportguides.com, where he gives travel tips and explains how to best use his guides

Top Things to Do in Venice - USA Today's info on attractions. It surprises me that there are only 4 sites listed with the top one being a Gondola ride. I use to think riding in a gondola with my wife would be a nice romantic gesture until I heard about gondola traffic jams, gondoliers taking on cell phones and having to share the gondola with 3 or 4 others. I realize that USA Today suggested the Grand Canal for your gondola ride, the picture below is not what they suggested. We might still do it, but with different expectations.

Godola Traffic Jam

Best Things To Do in Venice - U.S. News Travel's ranked list of 14 things to do in Venice.

Visit Venice - Two lovers and inhabitants of Venice sharing their vision of this magical city.

Tourism Video of Venice - A 7-min, professional, hi-def video with music and narration.

Visions of Venice - A 43-min, hi-def video with music and narration. A bit long, but well done.

Our Plans in Venice...

At present I am looking to use SmartCruiseTours.com for the excursions below. We are not sure if this will be done pre-cruise or post-cruise.

Part Day 1 - Full Day 2 Full Day 3
Debark ship Morning....Doge's Palace + St. Mark's Basilica Guided Tour Morning....3 Islands of Lagoon Guided Tour 9:30 AM
Morning....Check into hotel and find a place for lunch Lunch.......Eat around St. Mark's Square Lunch.......tour doesn't end until 2:30, so no clue
Afternoon..3:00 PM Shared Gondola Ride Afternoon..Guided Walking Tour Afternoon....
Dinner......Eat at the stalls around the Rialto Bridge, if still open Dinner.......TBD Dinner.......TBD
Evening....Secrets of Venice Evening WalkingTour Evening.....Enjoy nightlife around St. Mark's Sq. Evening......

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