Thursday, April 17, 2014

Venice, Italy Day 2

5/31/2012, Thursday, Venice, Italy and at Celebrity Solstice at Sea

This is day 2 of Venice, you can read about day 1 here. 

I can’t help but think of Andrea Bocelli’s “Time to Say Goodbye” (Con te Partiro, which became our "1st dance" song) when I think of Venice. This song has become an anthem in our household now. I catch people (cough cough Tyler cough cough) randomly singing it when they (he) think no one is listening, haha. We are now wannabe lovers of all things Italian music and S.Pellegrino; the 2 have become common in our household (Sams sells 'grino by the case!) We are such Americans, lol. Just wait until you hear about our cheesy “Europe Night” tradition we started. Stay tuned.

Moving forward with this report. When I started this trip report I had no idea it would be this long, I am already at 45 single-spaced Word Document! We still have to finish Venice, Croatia, sea days, and Paris left! Lots to cover still! And we still have the engagement, oh when, oh when is it going to happen? I know my parents we on their toes wondering!

Moving on with Venice…

Celebrity Solstice: The plan for today was to do some more shopping, take a gondola ride, and maybe head to Murano. We had room service breakfast this morning and headed out for Venice around 8:30am. We used the previously mentioned modes of transportation from this post.

Venice: Well, just so you know, nothing is open this early (9am) in Venice! All the shops and vendors are still closed. Therefore we enjoyed sleepy, peaceful Venice for a while until the shops opened up. Once they opened we went back to the cheaper places that we scouted out yesterday. We got some “Murano” glass, who knows if it really is… it does have the little blue “M” on it and it comes with some card of authenticity but even if it is not, I still bought it in Venice so that is good enough!

Rialto bridge

Venice, Italy

Next we took a gondola ride. It was 80 Euros total for our party of 4. Mom stayed on the ship today. It was nice, quiet, and peaceful. Our driver did not sing, but he told us a lot about the history of being a gondola driver, which was interesting to hear. It is a hard career to get into, usually it is passed down from father to son. We asked to go down the unpopular/non touristy canals.

Venice, Italy

We went searching for this pizza place for lunch I read about on the Cruise Critic message boards and trip advisor. But it was closed, not sure why, it was lunchtime but I was disappointed. We did more shopping, just enjoyed taking Venice in. I did record the shops started opening around 9:30 and almost all were open by 10am.

VIDEO: Venice in Action:

Back on the Solstice: We decided to head back to the ship and not go to Murano. We wanted to enjoy the Solstice as we feel we have not had a lot of time to appreciate the ship. Mom and I played trivia; it was REALLY hard! We played in the Ensemble Lounge. The Ensemble Lounge became a popular place for us. I was previously a figure skater and really enjoy classical music; I imagine skating routines (and Johnny Weir skating to them). We would visit the ensemble lounge to hear the amazing string quartet almost nightly.

Ensemble Lounge:
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We really enjoyed the relaxing parts of the ship, such as the Ensemble Lounge, Lawn Club, and Sky Lounge. A Med. cruise is port intensive. Meaning, lots of early mornings, walking, sun, etc. You will be pooped! A relaxing cruise is a real treat when you have the time to enjoy it. I know there are debates over the Lawn Club being for old people, we really enjoyed it and saw people of all ages enjoying it. (Maybe because I am secretly an old person; my family likes to joke that I am). However, the d├ęcor is pretty current/modern/swanky in the club and public spaces. We checked out the dance club a few times, it was never very busy; people watching was fun. We also enjoyed the activity of the bartenders and people watching at the Martini Bar.

After getting our behinds kicked in trivia, we had lunch at the buffet, which was not crowded. At 2:15 we went up to the Lawn Club to watch as we sail away from Venice.

Parting shots of Venice, notice the leaning towers:

Leaning buildings in Venice, Italy

Venice, Italy

I also learned today that the Lawn Club Shop is only open for limited hours on sea days. I have had my eye on this light pink Lawn Club t-shirt all trip. Stay tuned to see if I get it!

Sail-away, was again spectacular. I think I shed a tear (for the hundredth time). Famous tunes were piped in again as we waved goodbye to Venice… cue “Time to Say Goodbye” now!

here is a good tip, Tyler learned the hard way. Pack enough underwear! (and socks) Here’s the thing, I have a fear of running out of underwear anywhere I travel. I warned everyone before we left to make sure they had enough. I packed 30-something pairs, excessive I know, but hey, I was prepared for getting stranded in Europe! Well somebody didn’t take me seriously. Tyler ended up washing underwear in the shower! It was pretty amusing. He had to use the blow dryer to dry them. Ha, it was a good laugh. The underwear situation will come up again later in the trip.

Later we went to the Hot Glass Show, surprise, surprise! I told you we became groupies. I actually wrote in my journal we were groupies, how sad. We got ready for dinner and headed to the Sky Lounge for 2-4-1 drinks. This is the only time I bought a drink on the trip. They also had the strings playing up in the Sky Lounge. Very nice and relaxing as we sailed along the Adriatic Sea.

Corning Museum Hot Glass Show at Sea on Celebrity

CMOG at Sea

I also took a video of the seas. I could not believe how calm it was! I was really worried about the seas as I get sea sick easily (even though I am a water baby!) and I also have a slight fear of big waves in the open sea without land in sight. No need to worry on this cruise, check out the video, you have to see it to believe it! I think my fear goes back to the fear of flying- control type situations. But I felt completely calm on this trip! 1.) Captain Yannis was present (taps into my control thing) he always kept us up to date; and 2.) the seas were smooth as a pancake.

VIDEO: Unbelievably calm seas! You might ask “What seas?”

Every night at dinner we went around the table and shared our favorite (or few) activity of the day. Tyler and I often talked about the Hot Glass Show. We found out today they will have an auction on the last day since they cannot sell their pieces. We will not be able to afford anything but it will still be fun to go. We told the family about the auction on the last sea day (they still had not made it to a show). Today I also declared a “No Dessert for Ashley Day” I really need to lay off the sweets!

Today might be no dessert day but I can still take pictures!

The buffet:

Our deck, Deck 10!

After dinner we went to see Katy Sitterfield who performs impressions. She was very good but I only knew a few of the singers, such as Cher. We also got to enjoy the A Cappella group, the Neptune’s, they were spectacular.

After that there was a masquerade dance party. Apparently we missed the memo that tonight had a masquerade theme. People in the main dining room wore masks they bought in Venice. It was nice to see the beautiful masks. The dance party was awesome; they had a synchronized dance.

We also tried our luck at the slot machines with $5 each, all we had in our budget. No luck, it was fun though. We played nickle slots to make it last as long as we could. Tonight was an eventful night tonight! Oh just one more thing before I finish, we have a drag queen on the ship! We spotted him several times in a tight red dress. But he wasn’t a good drag queen, hairy face and lop-sided wig. We enjoyed seeing people over and over again, such as “Rod Stewart” and the drag queen. There was another couple that was obnoxious and almost got into a fight. They were with their parents, around my age, and were complaining about all the old people. Some people heard this and a fight almost broke out! I will refrain from telling you the name we gave them! (lets just say the name would be appropriate for Jersey Shore)

Ok, that is enough for this post! I miss the Solstice!

And I miss Captain Yannis saying “Ouutttt”
Ciao, Ciao!


 Other stops on our trip:
Barcelona Day 1 (exploring on foot)
Barcelona Day 2 (hop on/hop off bus)
Cote d'Azur and Monte Carlo, Monaco
Florence, Tuscany, & Pisa
Naples, Pompeii, Amalfi Coast, Sorrento, Positano
1st Sea Day
Kotor, Montenegro
Venice, Italy Day 1
Venice, Italy Day 2
Dubrovnik, Croatia

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