This trip was to celebrate my wife's retirement from teaching, and for once, we were able to travel at a time when school was in session and the crowds a little less intense. The weather throughout our cruise could best be described as "pleasant," with daily highs in the mid-70s and lows around 60....just about perfect for the port excursions we took.
We arrived in Venice three days prior to sailing, and very much enjoyed our first trip there. It was crowded (on the weekend), but not overwhelmingly so. The food was great. Be prepared, Venice can be an exhausting city. If I had a dime for every stair I climbed and descended, it would have more than paid for the whole trip. We spend much of one day in San Marco Square, ascending the bell tower and taking an extensive tour of the Doge Palace. The other two days were spent walking all over the city. At night, my wife was able to find a symphony concert one night and an excellent program which featured arias from some of the most famous Italian operas on another night. We saw some flooding in San Marco Square, but nothing like what happened in November.
On Monday, we took a vaporetto to San Marco Square, where we were able to board a larger boat that took us to the cruise terminal at the far northwest part of the city. We were met by Princess personnel, who assisted us with getting our luggage checked through, and we headed (via shuttle van) for the embarkation facility. Since the ship did not leave Venice until Tuesday afternoon, it was a fairly relaxed scene getting checking in and to our cabin. The sail-away from Venice was truly spectacular, as the ship departed the cruise port and sailed just south of the city, through the Grand Canal. Since our cabin was on the port side, we were able to enjoy the view from the comfort of our balcony.