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The Final Chapter

Disembarkation takes place early in the morning, with all passengers having to vacate their cabin by half 9. It is a simple checking out process, you will receive a final copy of your bill in your cabin at about midnight. You simply sign a copy of the bill and hand it to the water sports team in the Tropical Bar, provided you gave a copy of your credit card on embarkation. You also have the option to pay by cash. You also don’t have to worry about lugging your case off the ship, as long as you leave your case outside your cabin door by 4am then this is taken to the port terminal ready for you to collect it.
We said our farewells to the friendly crew and passengers, although always sad to leave the ship, Danielle & I were very excited for the next adventure in Venice.
We had no pre arranged transfer from the port to our hotel however we had been given some guidance by a colleague, we soon discovered it was very simple to use the public transport. Just a minutes walk from the ship was the bus stop where we hoped on the boat. It takes about 25 minutes to get to St Marco square and is only 8 Euros. Private water taxis are another way of transport however much more expensive but are quicker and more relaxing. We jumped off the public water bus and straight away saw our hotel, The Londra Palace, which was in an ideal location in front of the canal. We entered the cool, fresh lobby where we were greeted by friendly staff. First impressions of the hotel were great, and continued to impress as we were shown to our Deluxe Lagoon View room. The view from balcony was outstanding, we could see over the water for miles. I would highly recommend to anyone staying in Venice to opt for a room with a view of the canal. It is the floating city after all and a garden view doesn’t quite cut it here!
It was time to get lost in the city! We left our hotel at around 10:30am, in intense heat even at that early hour, and didn’t return until around 4:30pm. We almost instantly fell in love with this beautiful place. Every corner turned we entered another picture perfect scene, Venetian buildings, canal bridges, windy streets, all filled with tourists. It was lovely to not even touch a map and just take in every tiny street we came across, we actually ended up back near the port without knowing. We had the Royal Clipper in sight so we stopped and had lunch on a floating restaurant. Wanting to fit in everything as traditionally Italian as possible, we shared a pizza and enjoyed a glass of prosecco. After lunch, we continued our adventure, stopping at shops along the way and buying ice cream. We also found our way to the Rialto bridge for some photo opportunities, of which we took many.
As we headed in the direction of our hotel, and many others, we took this opportunity to visit some other properties that we sell in Venice. Firstly the Liassiddi Palace, a high end 3* option. This was quite hidden, away from the canal. The entrance led us through a pretty garden bar (although only open from 5pm for drinks) and into the main reception area. We saw the breakfast room which was indoors and fairly basic. Unfortunately we didn’t see any rooms at the hotel but believe them to be of a good 3* standard.
Our hotel, The Londra Palace is a 4* hotel so next on our list was a 5* boutique property, The Metropole. Again back on the front of the canal this property has a similar location to our hotel which is ideal. On first impressions this hotel steals the show. The typically Venetian decor and attention to detail was obvious. The whole hotel has a warm, spicy scent. All furnishings were finished to such a high standard. The bar area, the saloon area , the restaurant and the garden bar took form on the 1st floor of the hotel offering an oasis away from the busy streets for guests and non residents alike, who are welcome even for a drink. We were shown a variety of bedrooms all completely different in design, some with original marble, Gold bed frames and velvet walls, this hotel really took my breath away with its attention to detail. I wasn’t disappointed with any part of this hotel and I would recommend it to anyone for their stay in Venice.
We hurried back to our hotel to freshen up wanting to get straight back out onto the streets. Having only a total of 24 hours in Venice, we just had to try out the iconic Venetian activity – a gondola ride, and I am so glad we did. Each small canal we glided down, none looked familiar and all looked beautifully unique. Dusk was approaching and we left this was a magical time to experience this tourist must. At 40 Euros per person for a 30 minute journey, this isn’t exactly cheap, but so worth it.
We knew we wanted to have front row seats on the canal at about 7:45pm, so this we did. The Royal Clipper was due to sail from San Basillio Port at 7:30pm and in our direction she was headed. We sipped Bellini as we proudly watched her glide through the canal past St Marks Square with hoards of tourists excitedly taking pictures. The ship was so close we could even hear the music playing on board as we waved to the new passengers leaving for their own Adriatic journey.
It was time for dinner, so we headed to the famous piazza to dine al fresco. Of course dinner included more of Italy’s finest, prosecco, antipasti, pasta & pinot grigio. Venice by night was just as impressive as Venice by day. The lights reflecting on the water showing off the palaces and churches. Live bands in the square playing to an audience of tourists. this called for one final Bellini in the square enjoying the music and atmosphere.
I didn’t want the evening to come to an end, but of course it had to. This was my most memorable trip with Star Clippers yet. I was blown away by all the destinations and am already planning my next trip back to Venice.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my blog and that it’s given you an insight to the unique holiday we strive to offer.

 

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