Marty and I arrived in Venice on the evening before the conference started. Venice is a truly beautiful city but the beauty was masked by the fact that we couldn’t find our hotel. It was hot and humid and there were hundreds of people walking around the area we were trying to drag our suitcases through. Thankfully Marty was able to get in touch with Barbie, who had picked the hotel, to help give us some indication of where to find it. The hotel was beautiful.
Before going to the ship on Sunday morning, Marty, Barbie and I had breakfast overlooking the Grand Canal. We got to drink hot chocolate, watch people go by on gondalas and see Venice appear from the mist. Getting to the cruise ship wasn’t as relaxing. The first leg of the trip involved getting a water bus to Piazzale Roma where we spent some time trying to find out how to get to the cruise ship. Once we arrived at the terminal we met up with some old friends and Marty played “spot the geek” – which really isn’t too hard in a terminal full of cruise going travellers.
The Perl Whirl started with a cocktail party. We must have arrived late for this as we seemed to miss the registration bit at the start. At some point I snuck off with Casey to have a look at his room as he and Robert had quite a large balcony.
We found out that dinner would be served each night at 21:30! When we left the dining room it was nearly midnight. On this cruise we seemed to have been seated by nationality. Maybe Neil figured that this was the only way we would be able to understand each other so late in the evening.