Sunday, 19 September 2004 – At sea, Arrival in Venice

Despite the previous late night, we woke up at 6:30 again. My throat was still sore, and I felt nauseated. I figured I was just hung over (again!) and hoped it would pass with breakfast and some coffee. At 7:30, we headed up to the breakfast buffet, where I had oatmeal to soothe my stomach. It didnít really work, and I was starting to think I was getting motion sickness.

I thought more sleep might help, so I headed back to the stateroom for a nap. Chris took her book back up to the deck to read. Unfortunately, the PA system around the pool was playing Tom Jones and disco music. She thought we must not be the real target generation for this cruise.

I never really got to sleep, so at 9:30, I took my laptop back to the Atrium to work on my journal. I went at it for about an hour, but I still felt lousy. I put the computer away and went for a walk on the deck, hoping to shake the motion sickness (if thatís what it was). I did feel a little better in the fresh air with a view of the horizon.

The night before, Vlad and Elena had mentioned that they were going to tour Murano and Burano islands on Monday. I checked by the tour desk to see if we could get onto that tour. We could, and I signed up. An added advantage of the tour was that our bags would be delivered to a hotel near San Marcos where we could claim them and go to our hotel.

At 11:00, still walking the deck, I found Chris napping in a deck chair. She had moved to the rear of the ship where the engines are louder, but the music wasnít playing there. I continued my walk, occasionally just standing at the rail watching the sea go by. By 12:30, I was hungry despite my queasiness. I rendezvoused with Chris and we got lunch at the buffet. I ate lightly, sure – by this time – that I was just seasick.

After lunch, we went back to our stateroom. The disembarkation instructions were there. We would have to have our bags packed and in the hallway by 11:30 that night. We would keep our overnight items and anything we would need the next day in our day for our carrying bags. Our suitcase had been retrieved from storage and left outside our door for us. We would need to vacate our room by 8:00, and we were to wait in one of the public lounges until our baggage tag color was called. Since we were on the tour, our tag color was "Salmon".

We spent a quiet afternoon on our balcony reading and watching the sea roll past. I felt better, but still not good. Around 4:00, we started packing, figuring to finish after dinner. An hour later, we started our entrance into the Venice lagoon. We went up to the deck to see the sights as we went by. We found Vlad and Elena at the forward rail and joined them. Vlad got drinks from the bar (I thought a beer might settle my stomach, and Chris opted for ginger ale) and we drank as the boat steered up Giuedecco Canale.

We passed the outer islands and tried to pick out the campanile at San Marcos from all of the towers around the city. Finally we could see the Doges Palace and knew which one it was. We ended up passing very close to Piazza San Marcos and sailing on to the Maritime, the pier where we docked for the night.

By the time we were entering the Maritime, it was 6:15. Vlad and Elena had signed up for a 7:00 tour, so they needed to get dinner quickly. We all headed down to the dining room where the waiters managed to get their dinners to them in time for their tour. I ate very lightly again, ordering the roast duck for my main course and sherbet for dessert.

Hoping to quell my seasickness, Chris and I left the boat. We had thought about taking the shuttle to San Marcos, but decided to just walk around on solid ground for a while. We walked around the docks area, but didnít leave for two reasons: 1) we didnít know what kind of neighborhood we were in and 2) we didnít know if the gates back in would be locked at some point.

We boarded the ship again around 8:00. There, we finished packing and put our bags in the hallway. My sinuses were starting to bother me. Maybe it hadnít been entirely seasickness or a hangover that had been bothering me all day. In any case, we were in bed early, and I was quickly asleep and, according to Chris, snoring like a rhinoceros!

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