Sunday, April 26, 2015

Anthem of the Seas Review

I have previously been on two quantum cruises. Now I have booked 3 Nt. Royal Experience, Paris & Bruges April 30, 2015 to Le Havre and Zeebrugge.
I will post review on my blog. My primary focus is changes in Dynamic Dining, the shows and possible changes from Quantum.

Read my Quantum of the Seas review:
Maiden Transatlantic Voyage, November 2, 2014
12 Nt. Southern Caribbean Cruise, January 11, 2015

Link to the upcoming Anthem Review:
3 Nt. Royal Experience, Paris & Bruges, April 30, 2015

Picture from the float out of Anthem at the Seas at Meyer Werft (Ship yard), February 21, 2015

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Venice, Italy

Venice consists of 118 islands, located in the middle of a lagoon in the northwest end of the Adriatic Sea. From the rivers flowing into the sea, released large amounts of silt in the shallow water along the coast, and tidal and ocean current has led to the formation of a series of sand banks around the 51 km long and 14 km wide, serene lagoon.
The houses in Venice is built on wooden poles, and in many places, the buildings are no more than one meter above normal sea. The tide in the Mediterranean is weak, but especially at full moon there is a risk of flooding. there can be several centimeters of water at St. Mark's Square, so you put walking boards out. 

The unusual about the city is that it is very quiet. Pedestrians in the narrow streets are separated from traffic channels with few exceptions where the sidewalks goes along canals or streets going over the arched stone bridges.
Since the roads are water, are both the only motorized means of transport in the city.
Al transport by vaporetto motorboats or by gondola.
Below a short video from my Gondola ride at Canal grande and through the narrow canals:

The city has many places unusually picturesque. St. Mark's Square with the big church, the bell tower and the beautiful view out over the water, where the sun sparkles on the green lagoon, inspires many artists.
The city has many magnificent palaces, museums and churches which houses paintings by many famous artists. You can stroll around the narrow streets and observe the unusual surroundings. St. Mark's Square and the famous Rialto Bridge, which crosses the Grand Canal - the city's main road - the many gondolas that still floats on water.
There are many shops in the city is known for - lace and embroidery from lagune¯en Burano and beautiful crystal and glassware from Murano.

Traghetto means "ferry" in Italian and are large gondolas without bow decoration, brocaded chairs.
They are rowed by two oarsmen: one who stands behind the passengers like a traditional gondolier, the other closer to the bow.

There are only three bridges along the the Grand Canal, therefore there are 7 locatons between the railroad station and St. Mark's Basin, where you can cross the canal in a Traghetto. They are used by locals as a fast route across canal. Locals pay 70 cents while tourists pay 2 EUR (2015)
The routes are marked on any good street map of Venice and you will see yellow signs pointing toward the traghetto landings when you are walking along the Canal Grande.
At the end of the video you will find a map with the 7 routes marked

Sunday, April 12, 2015

JW Marriott Venice Resort and Spa

First weekend of April (Eastern) we did stay four nights at JW Marriott Venice Resort and Spa.
The hotel is located at the man-made Isola delle Rose (previously Sacca Sessola), one of the largest islands in the Venetian lagoon and covers an area of roughly 40 acres. After being established towards the end of the 19th century, 
it previously formed home to a series of hospitals. 

The island is 20 minutes by boat from the historic center of Venice, St Mark’s Square, and the city’s cultural gems.
The hotel is operating a complimentary shuttle service to St Mark’s Square.

Basically there is three ways to get to Isola delle Rose island from Venice Marco Polo Airport (VCE). Fastes and most expensive is a Water Taxi from the airport. Most convenient and slowest (2 hours) is the Alilaguna Waters Bus from the airport to St Mark’s Square.
See video from the Alilaguna tour:

... and then catch the shuttle boat to the hotel:

It’s also possible to take the public bus from airport to Venezia Piazzale Roma (Line 5) and the Waters bus to St Mark’s Square.

Marriott are operating some early shuttle boats from the resort to to Venezia Piazzale Roma. First shuttle boat to St Mark’s Square is at 9 am (per April 2015).

The buildings at Isola delle Rose are transformed into a luxury 5 star hotel and resort with a beautiful park.
See my short review video:

Unfortunately due to construction delays – some parts of Isola delle Rose was not be fully accessible.
Including the Spa and the Dopolavoro Dining Room (announced to open both soon)

I can really recommend this beautiful hotel for those who want to stay away from the crowded city of Venice.