Leaving Venice

Posted at 3:40 PM local time

With the exception of a few scattered dreams, I slept very well last night and when I finally woke up this morning, it was just about 7 AM. The skies around Venice were clear and blue and it was a bright, sunny morning.

I headed for a quick breakfast. I had scrambled eggs, bacon and some fruit, in preparation for a strength training workout. I also had orange juice and milk. The OJ was very sweet–almost too sweet, but I was thirsty. I didn’t like the milk. Maybe I’m used to American milk but this stuff, which looked as though it were in German packaging, tasted strange to me.

Shortly after breakfast, I headed up the the fitness center for my workout. I did a full arms and shoulders workout this morning, the whole thing taking me nearly an hour and a half. It was the best workout I’ve done in several weeks and I was very happy with how well I did and how I felt at the end. (Granted, I’ll probably be pretty sore tomorrow, but it just so happens that the first of my 4 massages are scheduled for tomorrow afternoon at 4 PM.) The fitness center is impressive. It is on the 16th deck of the ship, way up toward the front and is circular in shape. All around the outer edges, facing the floor-to-ceiling windows with spectacular views are the cardio machines, bikes, ellipticals and treadmills. They are all high-end machines with TVs on them, but who wants to watch TV with the view you’ve got right in front of you!

After my workout, I put on my swim suit and headed for one of the pools, Neptune’s Reef. I got there around 9:30 AM and found a perfect spot to sit. I brought along The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. I put on sunscreen and proceeded to relax, basking in the sun until noon. Deck waiters came by to take drink orders and during that time I had two “Ultimate” Mai-Tais. It was awesome. They were playing good music and it was totally relaxing.

The ship left Venice at 1 PM and we had to gather for muster at 12:30. We did that and then people were encouraged to gather on the port (left) side of the ship to watch as the shipped headed down the big canal, past Venice and out to sea. My plan was to sit by the pool some more while people watched. I got the best of both worlds. Jason found us deck chairs way a the top of the ship with a perfect view of Venice so we could lay there, catching rays which the ship departed. It really was spectacular. The ship is so tall that we towered over Venice as we left and we could see everything. Jason took pictures and I will post some of his when I have a chance, because it really is awesome to see.

I sat up there on the deck until 3 PM (drinking one more Mai Tai), at which point I decided I needed to head back to my cabin, shower, post these blog entries, and rest before our 6:15 PM dinner. Jason and I grabbed a quick hot dog and I headed back to my cabin, where I am right now. The view from my window is amazing, the sea rolling by, blue as can be, with no land in sight (I’m on the starboard–right–side of the ship). We dock in Dubrovnik, Croatia tomorrow and we are planning on getting off the ship and walking the city walls there.

I’ve got tons of pictures to post, but probably won’t get a chance until I am in Rome, a week and half from now, because the satellite internet connection on the ship is too slow and the cost/minute to too high. So you’ll have to wait a while for pictures but these blog entries will continue. I’ll post more later tonight and also try and reply to some of the comments that I’ve gotten.