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Old July 5th, 2012, 04:17 AM
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Carnival Breeze Live - 1st day of 2 in Venice

After yet another dinner service that we found lacking, I made the decision this morning to call my contact onboard and request a switch for everyone at our dining table to “as you wish”/”anytime”/”your time”/ “didja ever eat when you want”-- whatever they call it.

I just felt it was better to take our chances with finding better service with that option, rather than continue to accept the below average service we were experiencing.

Plus, I am very interested in seeing if the service is better, or if what we were receiving is the standard on board, or anecdotal.

This morning the folks suffering from the “Chair Hog Virus” were very confused; walking around aimlessly for a time, towels in hand, not quite sure what to do.

You see, today is half sea day, and half port day. The ship’s scheduled arrival time at the pier in Venice was 2 P.M., with the beginning of the entrance into the Grand Canal in Venice beginning closer to 11:45.

They had to decide if it was worth “saving” their lounger, and not using it, for only half a day.

The sail into Venice, and down the Canal of Venice, to the ship’s berth is one of the most visually stunning moments one can enjoy on a cruise ship.

Most everyone was out on deck for he sail in, and then everyone wanted to eat lunch before the ship docked. This certainly put full stress on the various food outlets on board.

I managed to tolerate the lines for another round with Fat Jimmy’s C Side Grill, and it was really good!

I suppose, due to our afternoon arrival, the Carnival Breeze got the worst “parking spot” at the pier. I believe we were closer to the Genoa, than we were to the main cruise terminal (and people mover, and water taxi and water bus stations).

During his port talk, John Heald, had talked about a few hundred foot walk to the “people mover” tram, then on to using a water bus to St. Mark’s Plaza, for those choosing to tour independently. All of that turned out to be erroneous; likely because of our final berthing position.

,,The walk to the end of the pier, and indeed even to the location of the tour buses (for those booked on tours) was about a 15 - 25 minute walk, and certainly not easy for anyone with mobility problems.

I thought I should check at the Shore Excursion desk to see if they are offering a tour to the end of the pier for our second day here.

I and some friends did make it on to the water bus, headed to Plaza St. Marco. We began a walking trek there, that after many, many footsteps, over many, many bridges, on a very hot day, eventually led us back to the pier 4 hrs. later.

2 hours after that we made our way to the ship’s gangway (which of course was placed at the furthest point of the ship away).

If I wasn’t such an incredibly buff and fit individual I’m not sure I would have made it all the way back. It was not a task a lesser individual should attempt… or some such other B.S.! (Buff and fit would NEVER be used in any way if someone were trying to describe me).

The ship was very quiet this evening, with many passengers enjoy the evening tours, or dining in a café along one of the many canals of Venice. Shipboard activities were at a minimum, with some Karaoke, and a couple of solo entertainers in Ocean Plaza, and in the Red Frog Pub.

A group of us met pre-dinner at the Red Frog Pub to sample some of the appetizers served there. There is a charge of $3.33 for each of the appetizer plates. We sampled the Beef Sliders, Fiery Chicken Wings, and Coconut Shrimp. Each of them was excellent, and the latter two served with really tasty dipping sauces.

Not a lot of drinkers with us, so no one tested the 101 OZ. servings of Carnival’s own Thirsty Frog Red beer.

I’ve run into several people, who had been very active using their cell phones while out to sea. And using them liberally, as though they were home chatting to neighbors, friends, and family.

Some of them have checked their cell service provider billing online now, and the term livid doesn’t come close to covering their feelings. Some are seeing cell phone bills over $2000.

I’m not sure what they thought the result was going to be making half hour phone calls from the middle of the ocean, but…..

I do think the cruise line should do a better job in the Fun Times daily newsletter, making people more aware of the potential exorbitant costs of using your cell phones while at sea.
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