DAY 1 AWAY
I departed at 9:30 p.m. on Delta Air Lines for the 12-hour journey that connects in Amsterdam and then goes on to Venice. The Voyages to Antiquity staff makes passengers’ air reservations for them and at a deeply discounted rate. Even my preferred seat selections were made for me (aisle, please) and all was as it should be upon my arrival at the airport. Seat selection within Europe (I connected in Amsterdam) are unavailable at initial booking, but appeared on my boarding pass upon download; aisle seat again.
DAY 2 VENICE
A little more than 12 hours later, and tired, I arrive at the Venice Marco Polo Airport and am met by the Voyages to Antiquity staff just outside baggage claim that escorts me to my ground transportation.
Following a 20-minute mini-van ride I arrive at the San Basilio pier where our ship is berthed. My bags are collected and delivered to my cabin for me, then a customs check, and I am escorted to the ship’s gangway. My first impression is that the MV Aegean Odysseyappears small and is dwarfed compared to the gargantuan ships that are currently in port (much to my pleasure), and looks well maintained with crisp white paint with blue trim.
I am guided to the ship’s attractive lobby and front desk where I am greeted by a well turned out and polite staff that checks me in and sees me to my cabin. First impressions are that this is no luxury ship. There are no three-story atriums or casinos here, and while the public areas are nicely furnished and laid out, cabin corridors are unadorned and straight.
My cabin is the same; plain beige walls with a single picture on the wall. But I’m too tired to investigate further; there will be time enough over the next 14 days. My cabin is hot but I collapse on the bed and gratefully fall asleep.