We just returned from a 7 day cruise from Venice to Athens. Background information: we have been on 30 plus cruises on Princess, RC, Celebrity, Holland America, NCL and Carnival. We chose this cruise for its length and ports of Venice, Croatia and Istanbul.
We flew from NY to Venice the day before the cruise left. After landing in Venice, we took a water taxi to our hotel. It is a little expensive but the way to go. We booked it on-line, Viator, greet and meet option. They meet you once you arrive, take your luggage and walk you to the water taxi. The boat ride into the city is wonderful.
We stayed at the Violino D’ Oro hotel. It is a small hotel and our room was overlooking a small canal where there was a gondolier station. The hotel is centrally located, close to St. Mark’s Square. It was reasonably priced and listed as a 3 star hotel. We loved it as it gave us a flavor of Venice.
The next day, we boarded the ship late in the day as the cruise ships are about a half an hour from the city central. We checked out of our hotel, left our bags there and explored the city. We took bus boat for 8 euros to the cruise ship. The city was very crowded as 13 cruise ships were in port.
Check Inn was easy. The walk to the ship was quite a distance. We stayed overnight on board in Venice but did not go back into the City as we were leaving at 1 o’clock. Princess offers unlimited boat service to the city central for $15 per person which is automatically charged to your room. We didn’t use it and it was credited to our account.
Room: We had a balcony on the 10th floor which had an expanded balcony with 4 chairs and a table. We loved it.
Food: We were pleasantly surprised. The food was excellent and the buffet was one of the best we have seen. We enjoyed the food in the main dining room, we didn’t do any specialty restaurants.
Entertainment: We didn’t do much but what we did we liked. The comedian was very good, the deck party was fun, and the Venice strings were wonderful, offered lots of movies.
Ports: Venice-sailing out of Venice past the city was wonderful. Dubrovnik " we took a tour to Ston as we had been to the old city before. Croatia is absolutely beautiful. Corfu-nothing special-lots of shops selling the same stuff. Istanbul: We took an all day tour that went to the Blue Mosque, St. Sophia Church, the Palace and the Marketplace. It was very interesting. Mykonos: we went to the beach. Athens: we did early walk off the ship as we had a 12:30pm flight. It was very easy and there were tour vans and taxies waiting. We took a tour with VIP Mini Van of Athens and they dropped us at the airport. Our driver and tour guide was Tasos who was great. The company’s email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. We were able to go places the tour buses could not go. He took us to the highest peak overlooking the city. It was beautiful. Cost $250 euros for 4 people. Well worth it.
All in all, a great cruise.