Yes, we want to do the tourist thing and take a gondola on the Grand Canal. We will be sailing with Celebrity in June but will spend two days in Venice pre cruise. It seems silly to book a gondola ride as a cruise excursion. Will we be able to do this through the conceirage at the Hotel? Or can we just go to St. Mark's square landing area ourselves and find a ride? Also (don't laugh) DH wants the "serenade" like the cruise excursion promises. Is that standard with gondola rides?
Thanks for any insights you can share.
By ALL MEANS do it !! We spent 3 days post-cruise in VENEZIA and did the gondo thing. You don't have to go to SAN MARCO to get a gondo either, they are thru out the canal area, there's groups of them hang'n out at almost every walk-over bridge it seems. They begin at around 100 bucks (ballpark) and like the OP said a serenade gondolier is mucho more.
Good Luck e CIAO,
GOLDEN PRIN~CLASSIC SO. CARIB.~4/05
GRAND PRIN~GRAND MEDITERRANEAN~5/06
NCL's~PRIDE OF HAWAII~HAWAIIAN ISL's~9/07
OCEANIA's INSIGNIA~more MEDITERRANEAN, part II~6/08
We did the gondola ride several year ago in Venice. You can just go down to the gondola area, no need to book through the hotel. However, be sure to check what the government regulated rate is, otherwise you will likely be overcharged (like we were).
I was in Venice several years ago, and it was easy to hire a gondola at St. Marks or walking along the Grand Canal. I will be there again this summer on a cruise and the price of the shore excursion is about three times what I paid, just walking up and hiring a gondola.