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Piaa

Suggestions for Venice please

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Hi fellow Dreamers,

 

Does anyone have a few suggestions for Venice please.  First we arrive and should be at our hotel by around 1:30pm and as we are going to try to push through and stay up as long as we can (we will have had almost a 24 hour travel day) any suggestions for that afternoon please.  We do have a full day tour booked the following day that pretty much hits all of the most popular sights in Venice.  Then we have the day of departure (I believe we depart at night?) so we could do a tour in the morning through the afternoon so any suggestions for that day would be welcomed - I should say this is our first and probably only time to Venice.

 

Thanks everyone  you 

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If you're covering all the major tourist spots on a tour you could spend the first day walking around and checking out some of Venice's cafe, bars, and restaurants. Harry's is a bit on the touristy side but very fun. The rooftop at the Hotel Danieli is also quite nice for breakfast or dinner. The bar downstairs in the lobby also has alot of character. The Gritti Cafe at the Gritti Palace is a wonderful place for lunch overlooking the canal. I'm sure people will chime in with their favorites but those have been some of our highlights. 

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If you have any interest in glass artwork, take a vaporetto (water bus) to Murano.  You can spend a couple of hours walking through the studios, and the ride there and back is interesting.  The vaporetto is an easy, inexpensive way to get around.  Maybe the best (or only) bargain in Venice.

Also, visit the Peggy Guggenheim museum if that is not on your tour itinerary.

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Piaa, as usual Trapper's advice is spot on and I second them.  As this is your first visit, and possibly your only as you say, then I have to suggest a cliched, but signature activity for Venice.  I fess up we took a gondola ride on our first visit.  Paid too much but loved it.  The "driver" was very good and added lots of narrative to where we were.  There.  I said it...  Another memory maker is taking one of the beautiful water taxis to or from the airport.  Our first visit we took the Vaporetto (water bus) from the airport.  Took about 1.5 hours on the one we chose.  Vaporettos are very handy and, as mentioned the only bargain in Venice, but are no fun with your luggage.  After checkin at your hotel they are great for getting to the "out islands".   Venice is beautiful just about anywhere you walk with something picture worthy around every corner but is very expensive.  One of my English Cousins goes there at least twice a year and has told me there are two prices for everything.  Locals prices and tourist prices.  Still, there is no place on earth quite like Venice.  I am sure you will have a great time.🍸

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There are more than two prices, Jim.  There is the sitting price and the walking price.  Say you want to get a bottle of orange juice at a little place on St. Mark's Square.  They will ask you if you want to sit down.  If you do, expect that 2 euro bottle of juice to cost several times more.

 

Jim is right about using the water taxi (not the bus) if you are carrying luggage.  It is much more expensive, but worth generally worth it.  Hopefully, your hotel has a dock where you can get on and off the taxi.  People staying at hotels without docks can be seen wheeling their luggage up and down the bridges all over the city.  Our hotel had a dock and its own shuttle boat, and was directly across the canal from where our ship (SilverSea) was docked.  We could see the ship from our window.  But the only way to get across the canal, without having to schlep our luggage over the bridges, was to take the taxi.  Several years ago, that two minute trip cost 50 euros.  They have a monopoly, and the hotel was not permitted to shuttle us across the canal to the cruise dock.  I wanted to fling the bags across the canal from our balcony, but Zimmy didn't think it was a good idea.

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Right on, Trapper!  You must have been at the hilton — SD was docked just across the way — our transport did show and the hotel wouldn’t come get us.  I was not about to schlep bags up and down bridges (there are no ramps) so we paid something like 40 € to go 40 yards across the canal.  Also did the vaparetto around town — crowded but a great tour.  We took the water taxi at 4 am to the Airport — it was outrageously expensive but a beautiful ride.  There is a great jewelry store (well, actually lots of them) on St Marks Sq — this one does jewelry out of tiny glass beads — necklaces with multi strands that you can twist.  Wish I could remember the name!

also remember when SD left — we were standing on the wharf and Capt Bjarne was on the outside bridge waving a norwegian flag at us — great memories!

Heading to Barbados Sunday for the crossing!

Vandrefalk

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We stayed at the Hilton the last time we went to Venice.  It was fully booked and we were staying just one night before we headed to Florence and Rome, where we caught our last SeaDream cruise.  They ended up putting us in a king executive suite with a view.  It was AMAZING.  We had an incredible view of the canal!  And best of all, my husband paid with points, so it was basically free!

 

The first time I visited Venice, I was returning home from having been in the Peace Corps.  I was with friends and we were all broke, so we stayed in a hostel run by a convent.  They locked us out during the day.  What a huge contrast in experiences!  

 

I am due for another SeaDream and another trip to Venice!  It will have to wait until after our next whisky cruise.

IMG_1196.JPG

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Yes, Vandrefalk, it was the Hilton.  A nice hotel away from the hustle and bustle, but easily accessible.  And, like knothead said, it was free.

 

Have a wonderful and safe crossing.  Zimmy and I wish you and the Colonel a Happy Easter.

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May I strongly suggest you take part of that free day and go to Torcello and have lunch at the Locanda Cipriano. Torcello is the most beautiful and quiet of the outlying islands and well worth the ride.

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We were in Venice for the overnight transition on a BTB Eastern Med cruise on the StarBreeze.  Loved it!  I must admit, as Mr. Avery did, to indulging in that most touristy of activities - hiring a gondola...and it was magical.  Why? A few reasons - we went at night (full moon, no less!), just the two of us (no shared ride with photo-snapping chatty tourists), around 9pm, from a little wharf found down a stone-covered alley off the far-side of the Square rather than from the huge stable of gondoliers right off of St. Mark's.  Truly magical - delightful glimpses into restaurants and hotels, glimmering lights of the Grand Canal, moonlight shimmering everywhere.  Worth every penny.

 

Also, I second Torcello.  A glimpse of a Venice that few get to see with the added benefit of fantastic food and service!

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A few questions please.

 

What is the cost of hiring a gondola for a romantic tour? (I suspect I should be sitting down when I read the answer)

 

What is the approximate cost to take the Alilguna (is that the same as the vaporetto?) from the airport to the Hotel Danieli and about how long will it take.

 

Thanks

Jack

 

 

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Good morning, Jack.  Not only should you be sitting down to hear about the prices for gondolas, you should also have a large glass of vino in your hand.  Prices vary depending upon time of day.  Evenings, which are more romantic, can run you about 90 euros for 45 minutes.  Maybe 75 earlier in the day.  If you want to have the gondolier serenade Mrs. Dawson, expect to pay extra for that.  Depending upon supply and demand, you may be able to negotiate a better price.  But establish the price beforehand.  And tipping is expected, too.

 

I think the Alilguana is fairly new.  Go to their website alilguana.it to get the details.  They will take you from the airport to very close to the Danieli, but I think you might still have to go up and down a small bridge.  I'd probably compare it taking the Airporter from O'Hare as opposed to taking the Blue Line.  (Actually, the Alilguana that goes to the Danieli is the Blue Line).

 

btw, are you the guy I met on a plane who had the same SeaDream luggage tags that I had?

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I highly, highly recommend taking your own private water taxi from the Venice airport to Venice proper, especially if this is your first time to Venice or you are trying to impress your travel companion.  Yes it is pricey - several hundred dollars perhaps, as I recall, at least $150.   But it is so much more convenient, enjoyable and immersive in the Venice experience.  And, let’s be frank folks, if we can afford SeaDream and wonderful hotels such as the Danieli, we can afford to splurge on a private Venice water taxi!  You won’t regret it.  On the other hand, a Bellini at Harry’s is another story altogether, IMHO ... Safe travels to all regardless of your mode of transportation!

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9 minutes ago, JES4845 said:

Yes it is pricey - several hundred dollars perhaps, as I recall, at least $150.

We went from the airport taxi dock to the side door of the Danieli direct for about $120 all in maybe 2 years ago. Extremely convenient-- there were 4 of us. Original plan was to find some sort of public transportation option but then the effects of an overnight flight from the US set in that morning and all we wanted to do was get to the hotel quickly and comfortably. 

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Sounds about right on the price there Princeton.  I should have mentioned that there are at least two ways to arrange the private water taxi: (1) you can wait until arrival and just make your way from the baggage claim area over to the water taxi docks through the relatively new enclosed structure with moving walkways or (2) you can pay a bit more and reserve through a service that will meet you at baggage claim and help get you to the assigned pre-arranged taxi.  Option #2 is not as important now that the way to the water taxi dock has been vastly improved.  In the “old” days, one had to walk outside with luggage about a quarter mile or longer and the private service would drive you over after meeting you at baggage claim (now they walk you over there as I recall, so you walk either way).  The only advantage to the pre-arranged one is you won’t have to wait in line for one if there is a line at a busy time.

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Thanks TrapperZimmy. Actually, 75-90 euros is less than I expected, however, I will still take your advice and have that glass of wine. 

No, that was not me who had the SeaDream luggage tag. Before retiring 4 years ago I was Director of International sales for the company I worked for and spent considerable time on airplanes over that 27 year period. So it is likely we shared a flight somewhere. 

 

JES4845, thank you for your good advice as well. Perhaps I can return the favor here. Having seen The Hotel Danieli in the movie The Tourist, starring Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp, my wife and I have wanted to stay there if we ever visited Venice. While looking at their web site, I was surprised to see that it is owned by Marriott. So we were able to use Marriott points for our stay. 

 

Jack

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3 minutes ago, Jack E Dawson said:

I was surprised to see that it is owned by Marriott

Recent development since Marriott bought Starwood. For a long time it was part of the Starwood Luxury Collection. We've been offered an upgrade every time we've stayed there and a pro tip would be a non-suite overlooking the water at the front of the hotel is generally a better upgrade than to what they call "Executive Suites". The two times we were given the Executive Suites, they were basically a large single room with a wall annoyingly down the middle-- both the living room and bedroom are too small. Would have much preferred the non suite room with the view instead. We did get an upgrade to a full suite one time and they are spectacular. 

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princeton123211,

Thanks for the tip.

Having stayed there, your rooftop restaurant recommendation carries a lot of weight. We are looking for some place to organize a dinner for our group of 8 the night before the voyage begins. 

 

Thanks

Jack

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Don't know if it is the same with the Danieli, but the first time we stayed in Venice we were at the Europa.  We had a fantastic room facing the canal on the 1st (what we would call the 2nd) floor.  Our traveling companions were right above us and had a room the same size (for the same price).  Big difference, though.  We had really high ceilings and two little balconies.  They had a room.  Like many old European buildings, each floor up gets less impressive, until you get to what was the servants' quarters on the top floor.

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Posted (edited)
47 minutes ago, TrapperZimmy said:

Like many old European buildings, each floor up gets less impressive, until you get to what was the servants' quarters on the top floor.

Funnily enough this is actually not necessarily true in Venice-- the Europa of course could have been different. Most palazzos were originally owned by merchants and the bottom floors were for storage of goods, the middle floors were for offices and servants, and the upper floors were full or large, ornate rooms that were the residences. You put what was less important to you towards the bottom and the more important stuff away from the water up top. 

Edited by princeton123211

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That's why I love SeaDreamers on Cruise Critic.  Great to learn something new, Princeton.  Thanks.

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All very interesting and bringing back so many wonderful memories of Venice. We will be there next year on SeaDream on a back to back in July - first Rome to Venice and then continue on to Athens.

 

Several times over the years I’ve woken up before or at dawn the first day or so having not yet adjusted to the new time zone.  Each time, from different hotels, I’ve walked the canals and St. Mark’s Square with hardly anyone around as the sun slowly rises.  Once I was the only human in St. Mark’s (me and the pigeons).  It is breathtaking and truly memorable to see the light and sounds gradually unfold like a work of art in the making as Venice magically comes to life each day!

 

On the hotels, I actually worked for ITT Corp. when it owned Sheraton before the merger with Starwood, which as noted was recently purchased by Marriott.   ITT, through Sheraton, started the Luxury Collection with the purchase of a series of assets including those in Venice.  All or some of them were bought from the Aga Khan at the time, if memory serves.  While we haven’t stayed at the Danieli, we have stayed at the Europa & Regina several times.  Two years ago we stayed in a top floor suite with a rooftop patio overlooking the Grand Canal.  The views were amazing.  Great place to call room service to bring up some wine and bites - heaven.

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On 5/6/2019 at 5:57 PM, Jack E Dawson said:

A few questions please.

 

What is the cost of hiring a gondola for a romantic tour? (I suspect I should be sitting down when I read the answer)

 

What is the approximate cost to take the Alilguna (is that the same as the vaporetto?) from the airport to the Hotel Danieli and about how long will it take.

 

Thanks

Jack

 

 

 

Aliguna is not quite the same as the vaporetto but it’s still public transport.  DO take a water taxi - it’s a real treat and so, so worth it.  The Vaporetto and Aliguna gets crowded and you don’t want to but trying to negotiate it with luggage.  We paid about 80 euros from the airport to the Marriott last year.

 

Also, check out ‘Venice  Unica’  the official tourist info site for info on day tickets for the Vaporetto and more.

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