Back to Wales for a Couple of Days

Our transportation, accommodation, food and entertainment cost so far

Oct 13 ~ Day #156
Budget to date
Spent today
Total to date
Daily average
Total
$15600
$22.76
$13773.94
$88.29
Miles by Road
Miles by Sea
Miles by Air
Miles by Train
Total Miles
15097+93=15190
6378.9
5966+786=6752
119
28439.9

Current Location: Burry Port, Wales

Today’s Total Expenses: $22.76

Transportation: $13.39 (€10.00)
Food: $9.37 (pizza – €7.00)

Miles Traveled Today:
Road Miles: 93 (20 miles – Venice to Treviso + 73 miles – Bristol to Burry Port)
Air Miles: 786 (Treviso to Bristol)

Last Stop at Our Favorite Café

Before checking out of our hotel, we again had breakfast at the corner café. Although this was only our third time here, it was a ritual we were going to miss.

Our coffee of choice was, yet again, cappuccino. After perusing the available pastries we chose something that most certainly had to be bad for us but we slowly savored every bite.

Checking Out of Our Venice Hotel

Knowing that the reception area of the hotel was on the second floor (our room was actually in a different building) we knew better than to drag our luggage up two flights of stairs just to check out.

As the room cost had been paid in advance, all we really had to do was return the key. I waited with the luggage while Geoff did that.

Venice Bus Station

With our luggage in hand we headed for the Venice bus station. This was easy to find as we already knew where it was – just across a bridge from the Venice train station.

From our hotel we walked along the Grand Canal until we saw the train station. Then we took the large, wide, white bridge across – you guessed it – another canal.

After that it was just a matter of dodging some traffic (and, remember, I already said that Italian drivers are crazy!) to get to the ticket office.

We purchased our tickets and went to the designated area to wait for our bus to arrive.

In keeping with my usual nervousness about missing any transportation, we had arrived more than half an hour ahead of schedule. But I was happy to wait knowing that we wouldn’t “miss the bus”.

Overall Impression of Venice

Truth be told, we weren’t all that sad to be leaving Venice. Three days was plenty for us.

We know that lots of people see Venice as a romantic destinations, but we didn’t. Actually, we saw it as rather run down and dirty. Most places were in desperate need of a fresh coat of paint. There was graffiti everywhere and the streets were dirty. We noticed that the length of time it took to get dog poop cleared off the streets was determined by how many people had walked through the poop and whether or not the canal overflowed and rinsed it with dirty water. Yuck!

Apologies to all those who rave about Venice but it’s not a city that we’ll be visiting again.

European Bus Travel

There were two buses that day that went to the Treviso airport. One left in the morning and got to the airport hours and hours before our flight back to the UK and the other one arrived at the airport in the evening less than an hour before the flight.

We took the earlier bus for two reasons – we didn’t want to be dragging our luggage around Venice and – we didn’t want to take the change of being late for our flight.

We had packed a lunch, we both had good books to read, so were were good to go.

Our bus arrived and it was modern, comfortable and clean.

The towns along the route were much more prosperous looking as wells as cleaner and more modern. There was lots of open space and even some farming along the way.

The trip took about an hour, even though we only covered about 20 miles. However, it was a pleasant and relaxing journey.

Treviso Airport

We arrived at Treviso airport at about noon, which meant we had about and 8 hour wait for our flight.

We found ourselves some comfy seat, at least as comfy as you can get in an airport. We had our packed lunch and then cracked open our books and immersed ourselves in their pages.

What? Pizza Again?

Although we had packed a lunch for today we hadn’t packed anything for dinner.

Geoff checked out the small café in the airport and, like all airports, the food was hugely expensive and the selection was extremely limited.

Geoff decided to head out of the airport to see if he could find a take-away with a better selection and better prices.

To my surprise he returned with a pizza in hand!

I was a bit confused seeing that we were still in Italy and our track record with pizzas had not been great. But, once again, it was the best deal of what was available.

To our delight, it was actually the best pizza we had while in Italy. Geoff explained that the place he got it from was actually run by orientals. Hmmmm – could that have something to do with it?

We had the pizza with our last one liter tetrapak of the €0.70 red wine. It was actually a pretty good meal.

Reunited With Our Traveling Companions

Shortly after we’d finished our dinner our traveling companions showed up.

While we were waiting for our flight to be called we swapped stories of our adventures over the last three days.

RyanAir On Time – Again!

Our RyanAir flight boarded on time, took off on time and landed in Bristol on time.

It was an uneventful fligh, which is the kind we like to have.

Late Arrival Back in Wales

After arriving back in Bristol, T & E picked up their cars. T headed back to Coventry so he could be back at work the next day. We piled into E’s car for the two-hour drive back to Burry Port in Wales.

Our Last Full Day in Venice

Our transportation, accommodation, food and entertainment cost so far

Oct 12 ~ Day #155
Budget to date
Spent today
Total to date
Daily average
Total
$15500
$120.38
$13751.18
$88.72
Miles by Road
Miles by Sea
Miles by Air
Miles by Train
Total Miles
15097
6378.9
5966
119
27560.9

Current Location: Hotel Matre, Venice, Italy

Today’s Total Expenses: $120.38

Accommodation: $87.03 (€65.00)

Food: $33.35 (€24.91)
Consisting of:
Rotisserie chicken: €5.50
Groceries: €12.41
Cheeseburger Lunch: €7.00

Miles Traveled Today:
Nothing to record for today.

Today is our last full day in Venice. It’s off to Treviso tomorrow and then back to the UK for a couple of days. On Saturday, it’s back to the Bristol airport for our flight to Alicante, Spain.

Breakfast at the Café

We really enjoyed our pastry and cappuccino at the corner café yesterday and looked forward to going again this morning.

While we stuck with the cappuccino as our coffee of choice, we each picked a different pastry than we had yesterday. I selected one that hand some chocolate in it and Geoff chose one with an apricot filling. Both were lightly dusted with powdered sugar. Really bad for us but oh so good!

Deal at a Deli

We set out to continue exploring Venice and passed a deli that was selling whole rotisserie-cooked chickens for €5.50. Considering that a small piece of lasagna we had thought about buying was €7.00, this seemed like a really good deal.

We made note of the location and decided we’d pick one up on our way back to the hotel that day. It would make a good dinner.

However, just a few steps down the road we though better of that. It was quite likely that, if we didn’t buy the chicken now, we were running the risk of none being left later.

We retraced our steps, bought the chicken, took it back to our hotel room and stored it safely in the tiny fridge that was still stoically working.

Dinner assured, we again set out.

San Marco Basilica and Square

Our goal for today was to visit San Marco Square. The map we had helped guide us to this famous location.

After many turns, bridges and canals our path opened on to the huge Saint Mark’s (San Marcos) Square.

The square boats lots of outdoor cafés and, of course, throngs of tourists.

Keeping Our Feet Dry

Everyone knows that Venice is a series of canals and is surrounded by water. Not only that, Venice is slowly, and unevenly, sinking.

During our exploration of Venice we had noticed, at times, some of the canals overflowing their banks, including the canal right outside our hotel.

We had also seen stacks of things that looked like long, low tables. They had a plywood top screwed to a metal frame with legs about two feet tall. At first we thought they were tables for the street vendors but they’d seemed too low for such a purpose.

It wasn’t until we were in San Marco Square, and it was flooding, that we understood their purpose.

They were used as platforms to put over flooded section so you could walk on them and keep your feet dry!

That’s why we had seen stacks of them all over Venice. We now saw them in use in San Marco Square. We used them ourselves to walk over some flooded sections so we could get into San Marco Church for a tour.

Missing Our Camera

We wish we had photos to share of the ornate clock in San Marco Square, the tower that is under restoration and the church itself.

Cruise Ships in Venice

After touring the church we walked out to the ocean, just off the piazza, to watch a cruise ship entering Venice.

We then strolled along the water and crossed many canal bridges to find ourselves in a very wide street – very unusual for Venice.

Treating Ourselves to Lunch

This unusually wide street had several outdoor cafés and we decided to treat ourselves to lunch.

We began checking the various offerings and the related prices. We settled on a tiny café with just a few tables inside and couple of tables out in the warm sun.

We chose to sit outside because it was such a warm, sunny day. We did, though have to ask them to open the awning because it was actually a little too sunny. Once we had a bit of shade, it was perfect.

We had already checked the posted menu before we sat down, but we again looked over what was available before making our final choices.

As we have mentioned before, pasta dishes are very expensive in Italy and we’re not really sure why. So, we passed on a plate of spaghetti and both ordered fresh-made cheeseburgers and fries which were considerably less expensive. For the both of us, the bill came to just €7.00.

Murano Glass Jewelry

We used the map we had of Venice to get ourselves headed back toward our hotel, but by a different route.

We did hit a dead-end once and had to double back but mostly we made progress while getting to see even more of Venice.

Along the way I continued to ooh and aah at the beautiful glass jewelry that we’d seen in so many shops.

To my surprise, Geoff said, “You should get a set.” Meaning a set of earrings and a pendant.

I mentioned the budget but he said that we never waste money on cheap souvenirs and we will likely not return to Venice. And, what better place to buy glass jewelry but in Venice, a city that is famous for its Murano glass.

Isn’t he sweet? How could I say no?

Being the savvy shoppers that we are and also, given the fact that a lot of stores sold this kind of jewelry, we did look for the best price.

We found it at a tiny shop that sold nothing but the glass jewelry sets. After spending quite a bit of time looking at, I’m sure, everything they had in the store, I made my selection.

I chose a set that had an off-white flower in the center, tinged with a burnt orange accent and set against a black background. The pendant and earrings were tear-drop shaped.

Every time I wear them I will think of our time in Venice.

Another Grocery Run and Back to the Hotel

Yet another grocery run but not too much because we’re off to Treviso tomorrow so we’ll be checking out of our hotel in the morning and saying farewell to our tiny fridge.

Once back in our room we enjoyed the rotisserie chicken we had bough, with a small salad and more of our amazingly good, amazingly cheap, wine.

We had enough leftovers to pack ourselves a lunch for the bus ride from Venice to Treviso tomorrow.

All in all – a good day.

Our Second Day in Venice

Our transportation, accommodation, food and entertainment cost so far

Oct 11 ~ Day #154
Budget to date
Spent today
Total to date
Daily average
Total
$15400
$106.46
$13630.80
$88.51
Miles by Road
Miles by Sea
Miles by Air
Miles by Train
Total Miles
15097
6378.9
5966
119
27560.9

Current Location: Hotel Matre, Venice, Italy

Today’s Total Expenses: $106.46

Accommodation: $87.03 (€65.00)

Food: $19.43 (€14.51)

Miles Traveled Today:
Nothing to record for today.

Pastry and Cappuccino

As we mentioned yesterday, our hotel room rate included a continental breakfast. Actually, it included a pastry of our choice and a coffee of our choice at a tiny corner café near the hotel.

We each picked our pastry and ordered cappuccino. The delivered both to our bar-height table. Both were delicious and we enjoyed them slowly while doing some people-watching.

We again braved the maze that is Venice with map in hand in case we got totally lost.

At first we thought we might try to find the pizza/gelato take-away we had visited yesterday. But, with every turn, bridge and canal looking pretty much the same, we gave up the search and enjoyed finding new places.

More Groceries

Before getting more groceries we needed to stop at an ATM to get some cash. We were, of course, nervous that we might encounter the same problem we had in Greece, but it worked and we got enough Euros to buy more groceries.

I didn’t mention yesterday that the grocery stores actually charge €0.05 for each plastic bag, so today we were armed with the plastic bags from yesterday’s grocery run. I guess this is a good way to encourage recycling.

We were careful not to buy too much as our tiny fridge couldn’t hold very much.

but, as we enjoyed our €0.70 wine so much last night, today we splurged and bought the wine that was €1.40!

After dropping the groceries back at our room and having a bit of lunch, we again went exploring.

Beautiful Glass Jewelry

In several shop windows I kept noticing some unusual looking jewelry – pendants, earrings and sets.

After stopping to get a good look it finally dawned on me that these were made of glass. Many of them hand very intricate patterns blown into the glass such as flowers and geometric shapes. There were also all kinds of colors and color combinations to choose from.

With a sigh, I remembered our budget and tore myself away from the store window.

Expensive Pasta

I don’t know about you, but I’ve always thought of pasta as a fairly inexpensive dish. Well, not in Italy.

When we would look at some of the menus displayed outside of restaurants it always confused us when a plate of spaghetti was priced higher than a meat dish. And, lasagna seemed to be particularly expensive.

However, we stopped by a small deli that had a large selection of pasta dishes for take-away. We thought this might be a cheaper way to buy lasagna than at a restaurant. But, apparently a small piece, barely enough for the two of us, would be more than €7.00!

We said “no thanks” and headed home to make sandwiches and enjoy our wine.

Evening Constitutional

Once again we headed out for an evening stroll and enjoyed the sights and sounds and people.

On the way back we contemplated buying some strawberries from one of the street vendors but just couldn’t bring ourselves to pay the outrageous prices. Truly, we wouldn’t have paid those prices even if we weren’t on a budget.

Arriving in Venice, Italy

Our transportation, accommodation, food and entertainment cost so far

Oct 10 ~ Day #153
Budget to date
Spent today
Total to date
Daily average
Total
$15300
$108.02
$13524.34
$88.39
Miles by Road
Miles by Sea
Miles by Air
Miles by Train
Total Miles
15097
6030.2+348.7=6378.9
5966
119
27560.9

Current Location: Hotel Matre, Venice, Italy

Today’s Total Expenses: $108.02

Accommodation: $87.03 (€65.00)

Food: $23.33
Consisting of:
Pizza – $6.69 (€5.00)
Gelato – $4.69 (€3.50)
Groceries – $9.61 (€7.18)
Grapes – $2.34 (€1.75)

Miles Traveled Today:
Sea Miles: 348.7 (303 Nautical Miles – Dubrovnik to Venice)

On Our Own in Venice

Our traveling companions, T & E, decided that they wanted to spend some romantic time to themselves in Venice. So, we parted ways and agreed to meet at the airport in Treviso for our flight back to the UK on Wednesday, October 13th.

In the Heart of Venice

Amazing as it may seem, our cruise ship docked pretty much in the heart of Venice!

We had picked our hotel based on its proximity to the cruise port but we weren’t exactly sure where it was.

When we disembarked the ship we weren’t far from either the bus station or the train station. At the train station we spoke with a police officer and, if we were understanding her correctly, our hotel was just a couple of blocks away.

We set off to find our hotel following the directions the police officer had just given us.

We were walking beside the Grand Canal most of the way, then over a bridge (and there are lots of bridges in Venice) and sure enough, there was our hotel on a small canal just off the Grand Canal.

Upon seeing the hotel we realized that the photos we saw of it on the Internet were taken in more prosperous times.

But climbed the two flights of stairs up to the reception area. Apparently having reception that far from street level isn’t that unusual here.

This hotel was both a hotel and a hostel so there were some rooms that shared a communal bathroom and others that had en suites.

Our room, which did have an en suite bathroom, was old and kind of threadbare but clean. And, it had a view of the canal we were on and the Grand Canal as well.

The room rate was also, apparently, pretty reasonable – for Venice, anyway. And, the rate included a continental breakfast at a lovely corner café just steps from the hotel.

Time For Lunch

As we disembarked the cruise ship fairly early in the morning we were able to get to our hotel and get settled in well before lunchtime.

It was now time to start exploring Venice. The agenda for today was lunch, a grocery store and, with any luck, a laundromat.

Unlike on the Alaska cruise aboard Holland America’s Amsterdam, the MSC Musica did not have an onboard laundromat, only a very expensive laundry service. We actually ended up washing a few things in the bathroom sink and drying them on the balcony furniture when we were on the Musica.

We had a fair bit of laundry we wanted to get done during our three days in Venice.

Pizza in Venice

Actually, after the disappointing pizza we had at the restaurant on the Amalfi Coast, we should have been leery of buying another pizza in Italy.

However, as budget is always a consideration, we were also looking for the best deal for our money. Pizza seemed to be the best deal of the few places we looked at before making our choice.

Right next to the pizza place, well actually part of the same store, was a gelato shop. We treated ourselves to three scoops of three different flavors packed in a styrofoam box and accompanied by two plastic spoons. Dessert!

Oh, I forgot to mention that when we bought our pizza there was an additional €0.50 charge for the box! Wouldn’t you think they’d just include that in the price of the pizza?

Pizza in a Piazza

With pizza and gelato in hand we walked until we found a tiny piazza overlooking a canal and settled in to have our lunch.

The pizza was – well – okay. It was certainly better than the one we’d had before the cruise. It was, however, kind of greasy and we didn’t have nearly enough napkins. The napkins we did have were kind of flimsy and not very absorbent.

So, here we were, sitting on stone steps, overlooking a Venetian canal, right next to a very old church, eating our pizza hunched over the pizza box and trying not to get sauce and grease all over ourselves.

We were moderately successful at remaining relatively sauce-less. I, of course, got it all over my hands and fingers but actually managed not to get any on my clothes. That’s quite an accomplishment for me. Geoff just got a little on his fingers. He always manages to stay stainless in situations like this. I have no idea how.

Italian Gelato

Now it was time for dessert. I know we haven’t been very kind about pizza in Italy, but the gelato was excellent! We managed to scrape every last bit of it out of the styrofoam container with our tiny plastic spoons.

Cheap Wine

With lunch and dessert over, it was time to find a grocery store and get food in for dinner tonight and, perhaps, lunch tomorrow. As our hotel room rate included a continental breakfast, we didn’t need to worry about any breakfast stuff.

Although our room did not have any cooking facilities it did have a very tiny, very old bar fridge that was making a valiant, and sometimes noisy, effort to work. Without any way to cook anything supper would have to be, most likely, a sandwich and a salad.

With this in mind, we stopped in to a decent sized grocery store that wasn’t far from our hotel.

We purchased some lovely, crusty buns, some cheese, cold cuts (most cold cuts in Italy seem to be some configuration of ham, so even though there seem to be a lot of choices and a pretty wide price range, when all is said and done, it was still ham!), a bit of salad stuff – and – a couple of liters of tetrapak red wine at €0.70 each! I do believe that is the cheapest wine we have ever had.

When it comes to wine, we just know what we like and what we don’t like. We would certainly never call ourselves wine connoisseurs. We’ve had cheap wine that’s been terrible and some that’s been great. We’ve also had some expensive wines that have been amazing and some that have been amazingly bad.

Like I said, we get the wine we like and if it’s inexpensive, so much the better.

We returned to the hotel with our groceries and loaded up the tiny fridge which was actually getting pretty cold. It was still making odd noises from time to time, though.

Wash Day

Next item on the agenda was finding a laundromat. We were able to get directions to a laundromat from the hotel staff. It sounded simple enough but following directions for a city as maze-like as Venice can be a bit challenging.

The best part of the directions were the references to landmarks. The laundromat was just behind the church with the green dome, just across the bridge on your left, as you’re walking along the Grand Canal towards the train station.

As we already knew how to get to the train station from our hotel, we just needed to keep an eye out for the green dome and a bridge that would get us there.

As Venice is nothing but bridges and canals, this isn’t as easy as it sounds. It’s simple to pick a bridge that you THINK will get you where you want to go only to find that your destination is on the other side of yet another canal with no nearby bridge to get you there. You need to pick you path carefully.

We were also armed with a small, and somewhat cryptic, map. Without too much backtracking we did manage to find the laundromat.

Totally Automated Laundromat

This is the first time we’ve ever seen a totally automated laundromat. All washers and dryers are activated from a single access panel that accepts the money – bills, coins or both. You don’t need to save up your change to make sure you have enough of the right coins for each machine. The same access panel also dispenses single-use detergents and fabric softeners.

You do, however, need to be very careful how much money you put into this access panel. It will dispense a maximum change amount of €8.00 in coins, no more. So, if you put in a €20.00 bill and the machine and detergent costs only add up to €10.00, you’ll only get €8.00 back. And, there’s no one to complain to – it’s totally automated.

As we were trying to figure out what to do, what with the language barrier (although parts of it were in English), and this new concept for a laundromat, we spoke to and Australian group who were just finishing up their laundry.

They walked us through the procedure and even broke €20.00 bill for us so we wouldn’t get caught by the maximum change this. Thanks, Guys. Or, perhaps that should be – Thanks, mates!

We loaded up a couple of washers, selected them on the central control panel, bough some detergent and waited while the cycled through wash and rinse. We then did the same when it was time to use the dryers.

I think, though, that this was the most expensive laundromat we’ve ever used. Each wash load, and we did two loads, was €5.00. The detergent was €1.00, and we bought two. We managed to make do with just one dryer, as it was quite large, at a cost of €6.00. So that was a total of €18.00 (about $23.40) for two loads of laundry.

As we removed the clothes from the dryer we did our best to fold them without wrinkling them as we didn’t have any way to iron anything. Some items were still a bit damp but it wouldn’t take much for them to dry back at our hotel room.

Dinner Time

By the time we got back to the room with our laundry and got it hung up or folded neatly in drawers, it was time for supper.

As best we could without any utensils, we split open a couple of the buns and made ham and cheese sandwiches. We also make a small salad of lettuce and cherry tomatoes. It was actually a lovely meal.

To top it all off, we opened our €0.70 wine and poured it into a couple of plastic glasses. Tentatively we each took a sip. Actually, it was pretty good!

Venice in the Evening

To cap off our first day in Venice, after dinner we decided to go for an evening stroll.

There were lots of people out enjoying the night and this seemed to be the time for most of the street vendors to set up their stalls. Not just souvenir items, but fruit and vegetables stands as well.

We had a lovely evening strolling along the canals and looking at all the things the street vendors and shops had to offer.

On our way back to our room we purchased a couple of bunches of grapes from a street vendor, to have for our dessert.

Day One of the Greek Islands Cruise

Our transportation, accommodation, food and entertainment cost so far

Oct 04 ~ Day #147
Budget to date
Spent today
Total to date
Daily average
Total
$14700
$181.19
$12498.59
$85.02
Miles by Road
Miles by Sea
Miles by Air
Miles by Train
Total Miles
15079+18=15097
4515.8
5966
119
25697.8

Current Location: On Board the MSC Musica – Bari, Italy to Katakolon, Greece

Today’s Total Expenses: $181.19

Cruise: $178.51 (cruise cost includes transportation, accommodation, food and entertainment)

Food: $2.68 (€2.00 – coffee)
Miles Traveled Today:
Road Miles: 18 (Sammichelle to Bari)

Checking in at MSC Cruise Lines

As T & E needed to drop off the rental car, they dropped us, with all the luggage, at the entrance to the docks just after 9:00am. We planned to meet the back at the same place at about 11:00am.

We had seen, the day before, a sign for a laundromat at the dock entrance gate and assumed it was somewhere in the area. We all needed to do some laundry. The plan was for us to get the laundry started while T & E returned the rental car and grabbed some breakfast.

After several inquiries and, of course, a language barrier, we determined that the laundromat was nowhere near the docks. So much for the idea of doing some washing.

Rather than just wait around until T & E got back, we decided to find the check-in desk for MSC. It was a bit of a struggle as we had everyone’s luggage with us, but we made it. As we waited for the luggage check-in desk to open, 11:00am was fast approaching.

I didn’t want T & E to arrive at the agreed meeting point and not know where we were, so I left Geoff with all the bags intending to be back shortly with T & E.

Geoff was certain we’d be able to check the bags very soon and suggested I wait, but I was concerned that T & E would not know where we were. So I set out to meet them.

After waiting for almost half an hour, I decided to give up and head back to where Geoff was. I had just started back and there he was.

Just moments after I had left, MSC opened the luggage check-in counter and Geoff checked in everyone’s luggage.

We both headed back to the café at the corner, bought some coffee and waited for T & E.

They showed up well past noon, hot from a long walk in the sun. Apparently the train station was not where the rental car was supposed to be returned, so it took extra time to find the correct place. They then stopped for breakfast on the way back and opted to walk from there rather than take a bus or a taxi. All we managed to have for breakfast that morning was some stale pastries at the hotel and a cup of coffee while we waited for them.

It didn’t seem to occur to them that we might have been worried because they were so late. None of us were traveling with cell phones, so we had no way of knowing why they were delayed.

T also asked if I had gotten the laundry done. Well, I knew he didn’t mean it the way it sounded, but for a split second I kind of felt like staff. But, as I said, I’m sure he didn’t mean it that way, so I simply explained that the laundromat we were hoping to use was not even in the area.

Geoff then explained the balance of the check-in procedure at MSC and we all headed to the cruise terminal to get checked in and on the ship.

MSC Musica – A European Cruise Ship

Once through the check-in process we were able to board the ship.

The MSC Musica is a very large and really beautiful ship. Our stateroom, located at the back of the ship, or rather the stern, was fantastic. Quite large, with sliding glass doors onto a balcony!

Our luggage hadn’t been delivered to the room yet but we weren’t worried. We knew they had lots to delivery and we’d get ours eventually.

With a spirit of adventure we started to explore the ship.

At about 6:00pm the ship’s horns sounded and we were underway. Next stop – Katakolon, Greece!

Magic Show

As we had opted for the late dinner seating, which was at about 8:45pm, that meant we would go to the early entertainment at 7:00pm.

Tonight it was a magic show. We both enjoy magic shows so we were looking forward to tonight’s entertainment.

Unfortunately it wasn’t that impressive. Some pretty routine magic tricks, easy to figure out, performed by a scantily dressed female magician with equally scantily dressed female assistants.

Really, it was more about posing and waiting for applause than it was about illusions. Not the calibre of entertainment that we’ve seen on North American cruise ships. Hopefully tomorrow evening’s entertainment will be better.

On To Dinner

This evening’s dinner was lovely and had many, many courses. With several choices for each course it was easy to choose something we liked, right down to dessert.

What? No Coffee?

One of our first surprises at dinner was that you had to purchase bottled water if you wanted water with your dinner. We are used to cruise ships charging ridiculous amounts for wine with dinner, which we never get, but charging for water?

Fortunately our fare included coupons for bottled water (we were wondering why), enough for one bottle at each dinner. We just accepted that this was a “European thing”.

However, after dessert we asked for a cup of coffee and were told that if we wanted coffee we would have to go to one of the bars on board and pay for it.

This hit a sour note with us, as we enjoy a cup of coffee WITH our dessert.

Again, we couldn’t help but compare such things with what we expect, and receive, from North American cruise lines.