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cl.klink

“Live” trip report with pics, Celebrity Constellation, Venice-Barcelona, 8/25-9/03

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Posted (edited)

Made it to the other side!  Mostly good night sleep. They also gave us a nice little amenities kit. Made up my bed with several layers of bedding provided and a real pillow and slept most of the flight. Nice light breakfast with juice and coffee.  Service was formulaic but pleasant.

 

Feeling tired, but fairly rested and ready to take on the day. 

 

I’m glad we flew BA. Hearing non-American accented English or other languages as soon as we boarded really helped to make me feel we’re on a trip now. 

 

Here was was my meal last night. I asked for no entree so I could sample the food and enjoy something but not take too much time and not have something too heavy. Always seems more proper with real silverware, glass glasses, and china plates. 

 

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Edited by cl.klink

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Made it fairly effortlessly through yet another security check, and 30 minutes after the plane landed I was in the gates area of terminal. Came the BA galleries lounge, north side.

 

Busy place today. 

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Highpeaklad said:

 

You’ve chosen well there. Some people don’t like that arrangement but I love the lack of a foot “coffin”. Those seats are very comfortable. The weather in the U.K. today is warm and sunny so you should get a good view of Windsor castle just before landing as planes are landing from the west today and hopefully a smooth connection. 

 

Your Venice flight is on time so you should have time to relax in the lounge and freshen up using the showers. 

 

Just in case you’re in the business lounge, champagne is available but only on request so just ask a server and they will bring you a glass. In the first class lounge it’s help yourself. 

All other alcohol is self serve. 

 

Thanks for all the good information. Bright sunny day indeed, and I did see Windsor castle. It seems incongruous to see it right off the plane and so surrounded by urban creep. I always pictured it in a pastoral setting overlooking gentle rolling hills and horses and so on. Maybe that was once so, but now it’s an enclave encapsulated in a sprawling city-scape. 

 

Venice gate not assigned yet. Everything proceeding smoothly so far though. 

 

Edited by cl.klink

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4 hours ago, cinnamon said:

Flooring along. 

I live 13 miles from Heathrow and it’s a beautiful day here. In fact it’s due to be a glorious Bank Holiday weekend. 

 

Thanks. 

 
I did not know this was a bank holiday in England but have heard it referenced a few times already. I guess the American Labor Day holiday functions in a similar way, marking the end of the “functional” summer season.
 
- Joel

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On 8/23/2019 at 11:14 AM, Solution said:

Thank you and following.....

 

Thanks so much!

- Joel

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On 8/23/2019 at 1:36 PM, Cruisenouvelle said:

You'll be glad you flew business class. Looking forward to your thoughts and pictures,of course.

 

You were right!

- Joel

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16 hours ago, AppyAmmer said:

Looking forward to keeping up with this.

 

Thanks!

- Joel

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Posted (edited)

As I said, it’s a busy place in the Galleries lounge today

 

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Edited by cl.klink

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Still no gate assigned ... a common Heathrow frustration. 

 

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Posted (edited)

Your plane has just landed early from Sofia

 

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Edited by Highpeaklad

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7 hours ago, Highpeaklad said:

looks like it’ll probably be an A gate so no transit needed. 🤞🏻

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Yep. That was the gate. 

 

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Posted (edited)

Poor internet connections since London so can’t load pics. Will work on it. 

 

Here’s what’s happened. 

 

Plane in London to go to Venice finally had gate assigned, only 40 min before departure. When that happened, we showed up, and were ushered onboard right away because DW has a cane. 

 

Flight to Venice was quick and pleasant. BA’s business class section (no first class) for European flights uses regular seats but more legroom and middle seat is not sold. A tea time like food tray served, along with free drinks, hot towels to start, some nice words along the way. 

 

Handicap support in Venice turned out to be a boon. (BTW, never got it at Heathrow despite request.). At Venice, they were not only there with a wheelchair, but gave us front of line status and got us through places using  “secret” doors. This made for a very quick time through passport control and the rest.  If it weren’t for DW’s one checked bag (none for me, of course) we’d have been out of the airport 10 minutes after leaving the plane. Got some Euros before we caught the #5 bus, which got us to Piazza Romale quickly (20 minutes?).  

 

Staying tonight at Hotel Santa Chiara. Very pleased with this place. It is right on Grand Canal. But it’s in the area near Piazza romale. So you can actually drive to it. Not bad for an island where no cars are permitted to most areas. Very nicely maintained and updated, inside and out. When we arrived, happy to learn that we were given a surprising upgraded room looking onto the Grand Canal. Very nicely updated room, especially bathroom. My cousin and her husband were waiting in lobby when we arrived; had a nice visit then went to dinner. 

 

I so love the ambience of Venice. It’s everything I had been told, and seen online,  but more. We wandered into a restaurant with tables next to a little canal and had great food and wine. Like a movie set.

 

Came back and crashed in our room a bit after midnight. 

 

I am just so very happy. Thankful for this traveling stuff. I am so blessed to be able to do this.

 

Pics tomorrow. 

 

- Joel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by cl.klink

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An agreeable snack on One Europe BA business class 

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Our hotel is literally the drop off point at Piazzale Roma, from airport. Very impressed with this place, right across from the train station, as Grand Canal begins. 

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After checking in, a stroll from hotel along side canals at night. Dripping with atmosphere. Have to remind myself that this is a real place, not a movie set. Ona travel radio show recently I heard an anecdote from a tourist asking “What time does Venice close at night?” As if it were a Disney theme park. I can almost see the resemblance to a park, so distinct and emotive are the scenes I’m seeing. Old themes and stories of history seem ever present. Venice was the richest city in Europe for hundreds of years in the early 1000s, and still a dominant word city in the world until fairly recently in human history. Amazing to feel that I am walking in the steps of former Venetians and it’s awe struck or power broker visitors across all that time. The sound of the canal waters lapping against stone must have sounded the same. Visiting at night, as we’re doing on arrival, gives the city to us more than the horde of tourists, too. 

 

- Joel

 

 

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On 8/23/2019 at 1:33 PM, Highpeaklad said:

I’m on that cruise so it will be interesting to compare experiences. We don’t set off until Sunday morning though. 

Good move with the business class to London should be a lot more refreshed, are you staying in Venice Saturday night?

 

Hope you’ve made it in safely!  

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Posted (edited)

Early rise this morning. Slept great and ready to take on the day. My thought was we had very little time here and wanted to see the city late at night (last night) or early morning (today). I read that the invading masses of tourists are NOT mainly cruisers. They are people driving / training in from the mainland. The evening/night and early morning avoids more of them more, I read. So we caught a 7AM Vaporetto (water bus) from right in front of the hotel. It was almost totally empty. We got to sit in the open area in the front on the #2 line to Rialto and then got in a #1 line and got the open area in the back all the way to San Marco square. I used the Rick Steves app to have a blow by blow narrated tour. At St. Marks square there were very few people and no crowds. Got to hear the organ and choir conducting mass by standing just in front of the Basilica. Caught a Vaporetto on the #1 line all the way back to hotel, again not many people, snagging the coveted outdoor seating in back. Made it back to hotel by 10 AM with a peaceful uncrowded experience, feeling that we’ve had a great sampling of the city despite being unable to dwell for long, as we’d have liked, for a few days. 

 

This is was a tremendous quick hit of a stay and I’m very satisfied. St. Marks square was iconic. This was the symbolic site in the dominant city of Europe for hundreds of years, designed to inspire awe to foreigners. I could feel that feeling, or it’s remnants at least.  I also felt that sailing along the grand canal was a fascinating rich destination unto itself. I learned a lot sailing it. Merchants brought goods from Asia, sold them here, and Europeans came to buy them (after huge markups), fueling Venician rise in wealth and influence. The grand Canal is what made that possible, and what resulted. I need time to ponder.

 

Lots of pics when I have better internet.

 

Now to hotel, pack back up, have a nice Venetian lunch, and off to the ship!

 

- Joel

Edited by cl.klink

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Nice lunch in a cafe where little English spoken, able to communicate well enough to get the deed done. 

 

On People Mover now, heading to the ship!

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