59 Replies Latest reply: Feb 12, 2013 5:46 AM by profchiara RSS

In Venice, back in history

profchiara Alumni Steward Silver 3 Reviews
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So that you don't mind that I'm talking about a non-Marriott, I will be staying at the Courtyard Venice Airport my last night here.  But I got 3 nights for $640.00 at the Pesaro Palace on booking.com and literally feel I've gone back in time.  I never expected the kind of room I got, though I wrote them in Italian in advance that I would like a canal view.  I have an enormous, antique-filled room on a high floor (4th is high here) with gold brocade wall coverings,  a spa bathroom and  three open-out windows on the Grand Canal.  It is magnificent, and literally right at the Ca' d'Oro vaporetto stop, and I can easily picture all the historical scenes I've read about and seen in Venetian history. Breakfast and wifi are free and the people are super friendly.  In fact had I got one of the 'lesser' rooms it would have looked out on the gardens of the Ca' d'Oro. WOW!!!

 

I will also duly report on my 2nd trip to the Airport Courtyard after I get back. WOW again.  (And I'm not THAT easily impressed.)

ProfChiara

(For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

Location Brand Hotel
Venice, Italy
  • Re: In Venice, back in history
    jerrycoin Alumni Steward Platinum 60 Reviews
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    Professor,

     

    Congratulations on the stunning room and report!  The Pesaro Palace sounds very special.

     

    How would others request a room like yours?

     

    Thanks for sharing this with us, and when you get back, pictures would also be wonderful.

     

    It sounds like you are having a wonderful trip!

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: In Venice, back in history
    pluto77 Alumni Steward Gold 25 Reviews
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    Yes, photos would be wonderful, and I too wish you a fantastic trip.

     

    I stayed at the Venice CY for all of about 5 hours last year (arrived at midnight, departed at 5am).  I guess you could say that I didn't get my moneys worth, but it was as good as any 5 hour stay can be, I suppose!  They were nice to me when I checked in, nice to me when I checked out.  Room was nice, not luxury, but smart and up-to-date, nice bathroom, floors in the room were wood laminate.  It was summer, and the A/C worked great.  Shuttle to/from airport.  Barely got the last CY shuttle leaving the airport, and took the first shuttle leaving the CY the next morning.  Needed the shuttle, since it was dark and late when we arrived at the vaporetto dock by the airport, and having never been to the CY, and being that it was dark, I would've never found the CY had I been tasked to walk there in the dark, even though I know it's not that far.  (and we had babies and strollers.  and in hind sight, I think that only a pluto would ever be cuckoo enough to take babies and a double stroller to venice.)

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: In Venice, back in history
      sg1974 Gold
      Currently Being Moderated

      I know what you mean about Venice and strollers. I was absolutely exhausted when we visited a few years ago!

      it was nice to visit Verona to provide a break from the constant steps.

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: In Venice, back in history
    tryt53 Alumni Steward Platinum 5 Reviews
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    profc,

    We always like hearing from you about any of these places, Marriott or not.  I'm with Jerry (sometimes I wish I was in his suitcase, to get a chance to go all the places he does ), in that we'd love to know how to get a room like that, how much it was, and did they somehow already know about how frequent of a traveler you are, and that is why you got that room?  Inquiring minds want to know....

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: In Venice, back in history
      jerrycoin Alumni Steward Platinum 60 Reviews
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      tryt,

       

      Thanks for the comment!

       

      That is so well put, you know how to "Make my day"!

       

      You can't imaging how much I learn from people like yourself from this site!

       

      Seriously, there are many places I am currently going to as a result of MRI!

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: In Venice, back in history
      profchiara Alumni Steward Silver 3 Reviews
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      Hi Tryt,

      I got it at a refundable price of $640 for three nights for a superior double, but now you've seen what that looks like.  I did it on booking, but you can go straight through the hotel's website and if you're doing it on short notice see and compare what they're offering.  Every travel site has it.  Now Carnavale was just starting, so I would probably have paid a lot more this week as I would during the festivals of San Marco.  But if you book in advance, you can get around a lot of that.  It's spectacular. And no, I have no reason to believe they knew I was a frequent traveler till they saw my Marriott Premier Card when I checked out.  I really think it was both making myself a real human being -- through writing in Italian, but maybe even in English -- that helped.  I do that when I check in for airlines too.  I NEVER ask for an upgrade.  (Mostly they don't happen since Economy Comfort came along on Delta.)  What I do is make myself known in some way to the gate agents (I even scope them out for the likeliest target ).  A name and number is one thing; a person who either communicates with you in writing or comes up and talks with you becomes a real living human being.

       

      If you get to go there, go for it.  Not the Gritti nor the Londra nor any of the other wildly famous and expensive hotels in Venice could offer me what PP did.

      Cheers, ProfC

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: In Venice, back in history
    kharada46 Alumni Steward Gold 10 Reviews
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    Prof,

     

    That sounds like an amazing and ideal way to experience Venice!  Congrats on getting the awesome room!   

     

    Please share pictures if you can/don't mind! 

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: In Venice, back in history
      profchiara Alumni Steward Silver 3 Reviews
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      Hi Kharada,

      I will as soon as I get home.  I have my netbook here so it doesn't have any capacity.  But since I have been to Venice many  times I have almost been taking as many photos of my room and the views as the rest of the city .

      Ciao, ProfC

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: In Venice, back in history
      profchiara Alumni Steward Silver 3 Reviews
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      Hi Kharada,

      Unfortunately in Venice, I couldn't connect except for once to the MRI site, even at the Courtyard, but am home now after a very eventful trip.  First of all, the Marriott Courtyard people were lovely, remembering it was my second visit (after about two years) and the shuttle worked very well going to the airport, though it seemed irregular coming from the airport (but perhaps not if you indicate your time of arrival).  Since I was arriving FROM Venice, not the airport, I ended up getting a cab. Had it not been driving rain, I would have walked .  The restaurant lunch menu is very limited so you may want to keep that in mind. Since I had to get up very early I didn't try dinner.  It said on the elevators, breakfast was 16,5 euros over the weekend, so I didn't get to test whether all European CYs give Platinums free breakfast.  Anyway, aside from that it was a typical CY, but with outstanding desk people.

       

      Back to the Pesaro Palace Hotel.  I don't want this to be a competing hotel description (not with the CY but the AC), so I've limited that part to tripadvisor.  I will tell you the only problem with this hotel is you don't want to leave your room.  BTW, breakfast is sumptuous and free, as is wifi.  But sitting at the two corner windows (of three total) at night from the 4th floor looking down on the Grand Canal made me think "I could live like this."

       

      Anyway, I'm attaching some photos of what a room in a typical 15th C. Venetian Renaissance palace would have looked like as well as some views.

      ProfChiaraIMG_0465_1.JPGIMG_0464_1.JPGIMG_0479_1.JPGIMG_0460_1.JPGIMG_0506_1.JPGIMG_0536_1.JPG

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

      • Re: In Venice, back in history
        profchiara Alumni Steward Silver 3 Reviews
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        PS - My flight home WAS eventful.  I was seated at 10H at the front of economy comfort on Delta and had great flight attendants.  I can't stand the boxed wine they serve (albeit free), so I always ask if I can get some of the real stuff and offered my vouchers that I never get to use. They kept it flowing and also let me use one of the business class restrooms near my seat.  I got to know the purser, the business class flight attendant and David, who handled EC -- all were great. Then the pilots came on the mike after announcing our descent into BOS.  They asked if any doctors were on board.  Now, trust me, it wasn't all the wine, but I got up immediately where they said.  Obviously one does not want to be in an emergent situation with a history Ph.D. treating you but there was also a doctor and either a nurse or med student.  The reason I went was because I worked 18 years at Mass. Gen. Hosp. in all kinds of positions during college, grad school and my first six years of teaching. So I was actually able to help.  NOW GET THIS.  We had made an emergency landing into Bangor, not Boston.  Judy, the lady, was taken off by EMTs, and then after they got her suitcase we flew back to Boston.  David kept commiserating with me, though since my car was at Portland it wouldn't have mattered. But Sharon, from business class, brought me a bottle of wine that looked not like something from the galley, but appeared to be one of their own since it was wrapped in tissue in a wrapping bag. Then David and John, the purser, asked whether I'd like miles or $150 voucher. I said it didn't matter because reverse adrenaline was kicking in by then.  But they were so, so nice.  I asked if they would let me know hows he did, and got an email from David this morning saying he was as worried about me as Judy, not to mention of the irony of her ending up in Bangor and me in Boston.  It was even funnier to watch, probably, because with my arthritic hips, knees and toe replacement, getting up from the floor is nearly impossible. They couldn't do it. I had to scrunch myself into my arm and one leg tripod position after getting on my knees first.  Should've been amusing to watch.  I also think the customs agent at Boston, who say me in reverse adrenaline and asked what happened, simply stamped by passport and said a heartfelt thank you.  But if it every happens to you and you learn a Ph.D. in history is helping to treat you, you better ask if they've ever worked at a hospital .  But Delta was amazing throughout!  So the hospitality industry can be alive and well, even if we sometimes complain.

        ProfChiara

        (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

        • Re: In Venice, back in history
          tryt53 Alumni Steward Platinum 5 Reviews
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          prof,

          That's quite an interesting story and flight home.  Glad you're back and home intact now.

          (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

          • Re: In Venice, back in history
            profchiara Alumni Steward Silver 3 Reviews
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            You can see by my spelling, Tryt, that I'm not quite intact -- fortunately I don't have to teach until Thursday though I have meetings tomorrow.

            (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

        • Re: In Venice, back in history
          kharada46 Alumni Steward Gold 10 Reviews
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          Prof,

           

          Wow!  Thank your for the wonderful images!  That does sound like an amazing place to stay!  But that flight home was even more amazing!  Thank you for sharing that amazing story!  Glad you had a great flight!  Unfortunately, whenever someone talks to me about Delta, it's always negative... So it's refreshing to hear a great experience like yours!  So what can't you do??  

           

          Anyhow, I'm going to add the Pesaro Palace to my list!  Glad to hear the CY treated you good too.  I've read many a bad review of that place as well, so hopefully it's getting better! 

           

          Thanks again Prof! 

          (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

          • Re: In Venice, back in history
            profchiara Alumni Steward Silver 3 Reviews
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            Dear Kharada,

            You should add Pesaro -- it is perfect in almost every respect.  (I even had to pause before adding almost -- I can't think of anything to qualify it.)  The room looked smaller than it was in the pictures because I only had four corners to take photos from. And the bathroom had a jacuzzi as well as a shower, an antique sink, marblelike tiling, and the usual bidet and toilet.  But their electrical outlet worked for my curling iron! Never happens, esp. in Europe.

             

            But besides the utterly spectacular room and views (I will never stay anywhere but the Grand Canal again, not even San Marco, it being right at a vaporetto stop, so gorgeous, so nice, great breakfast -- like I said, the hard part was leaving the room), there was a different feel to staying on the Grand Canal (especially for a historian) than the many other places I've stayed.  And Cannaregio is also quiet, two stops past Rialto.

             

            I'm a Deltanista.  I figured out early on I had to stay with one hotel chain and one airline to maximize everything (and GemPrincess knows the degree to which I've done that with Delta) so I could afford the trips on a prof's salary.  It's paid off many times, and while occasionally I get a disgruntled gate agent -- though now that I'm avoiding NYC airports they are few and far between -- I have the greatest respect for most of the veteran flight attendants who have always gone out of their way to get me the seemingly little perks that make all the difference even if they can't upgrade me to business.

             

            The CY Venice Airport is a standard CY. The only thing that stands out are the desk people who are lovely, and they obviously track guests since it was the first thing they said to me on arrival.  But I'd like to see it become more like the old CDG CY which then became a regular Marriott.  Normally, unless I have a very early flight, I try to stay in a city and then take a cab early in the morning. Obviously that would have meant a water taxi before 5am in Venice, so not an option.

             

            Do stay at the PP -- I've written on tripadvisor, and it should be up shortly, with a few added pics.

            ProfC

            (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

            • Re: In Venice, back in history
              kharada46 Alumni Steward Gold 10 Reviews
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              Prof,

               

              While we won't be visiting Venice this time around, we (hopefully) will in the future!  And when we do visit, I will be sure to stay at the Pesaro!  It's very hard for me to break away from Marriott, but I'll make an exception for this place, especially after the excellent photos and info you provided!  I think I'd have a hard time leaving the room too if I were in your place! 

               

              Deltanista huh?  You know, I feel the same way with regards to hotel and airlines.  I do try to stay exclusively at Marriott properties, with the exception of our Disney Vacation Club ownership.  I also will stick to one airline (and it's partners) as much as possible.  For me, though, that one airline is American.  Haven't travelled much in the past 10 years, so I really can't say what their service has been like, though I do know last year was quite problematic with the BK proceedings.  Nevertheless, been a member ever since I started flying and continue to be one!  It's actually quite unusual for Hawaii, as most residents are very loyal to Hawaiian Air.  I personally haven't seen the value in it, especially with their sky-high rewards redemption rates when  traveling internationally!  But that's another story... haha

               

              As for the CY, I swear service sometimes makes all the difference in the world.  The CY in Waikiki is in dire need of attention, with it's dated rooms and faulty/NOISY climate control and lack of amenities, but the people there are just so amazing!  You get better service there than at the Waikiki Beach Marriott at the other end of Waikiki... It would be nice, however, to see your recommendation come true and have the CY Venice Airport upgraded to a regular Marriott! 

              (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

      • Re: In Venice, back in history
        gm1 Gold 1 Reviews
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        Profchiara,

         

        Very nice pictures, especially those of the canal in the early evening.  I also enjoyed your "doctor" story.

        (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

      • Re: In Venice, back in history
        pluto77 Alumni Steward Gold 25 Reviews
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        Prof,

        Your travel story was informative and enjoyable.  Great photos.  Thanks for enriching us and showing us how to stay right on the Grand Canal.

         

        In the 4th and 5th photo down, what is that covered area, do you know?  Just Curious.

        (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

        • Re: In Venice, back in history
          profchiara Alumni Steward Silver 3 Reviews
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          Hi Pluto,

          That's the Pescheria, the main fish market near the Rialto Bridge.

           

          Condolences on the loss.  You know I can empathize .

          Cheers, ProfC

          (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: In Venice, back in history
    profchiara Alumni Steward Silver 3 Reviews
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    Hi all,

    For some reason, I have not been able to access this site only during my Venice stay.  Anyway, while I've got it I'll answer a few questions. First, when I get home I will post lots of photos of the Palazzo Pesaro Hotel (not to compete with Marriott, but as a perfect example of what a Rinascimento looked like inside, because since Venice was so austere, limited in geography on the outside, and caste-oriented, all attention went to interiors. I think they still do.  This is the first time I've ever stayed on the Grand Canal (past Rialto by two stops, right next to Ca' d'Oro, and directly at the Ca' d'Oro stop.  To quote Andrea Bocelli, Vivere!  Posso vivere qui (I could live here), in this particular hotel, top floor, corner windows plus another.  At home I always have TV on in the background to keep myself from a wandering mind.  Here I have turned it off entirely (despite actual American news, rare most places I've been lately) to sit at the corner windows and watch the vaporetti go by and the lights go off in Ca' d'Oro.  I have never felt so in love with Venice, and it's all about location -- not San Marco, not Sant'Elena, and alas not the AC.  Being on the Grand Canal (central part) makes it so wonderful.  When I send the pics you'll think 'what decadence!' but that is really what people did 500-600 years ago. They could not display wealth outdoors, so they kept it indoors for all to see whom they deigned to allow in.

     

    As for the other question, how did I get room 404? (Hint, I'm not putting that part on tripadvisor since I don't want to give the best parts up.)  I am certain that since the hotel had an email contact, and I emailed them a fairly long email in Italian saying I had been in Venice many times (I think this is the 9th), I had never been on the Grand Canal and was hoping for a room with at least a partial view of the Canal.  Well, Valentina came through for me and wrote a long email back in Italian. So I got in my room early, have this huge room with so many windows and all of them on the Grand Canal. The lady who greeted me was not Valentina, but she was effusive in greeting me.

     

    For those of you who don't know languages, google translate does a reasonable job these days, even though most people who are not native speakers would not use subjective and conditional.  For Italian, even if you don't know it or only a little, it's good to begin with Gentili Signori e Signore (My dear gentlemen and ladies) and sign off Saluti cordiali with your name. Put the google translation of what you'd like in between.

     

    Another thing. Praise the place you're going to, if you've been there. Flattery works wonders, especially when it's true.

     

    It's getting late (for me), so I must sign off, but I know I forgot something. I also wish Marriott had email contacts for all their hotels like most of the others I've stayed at do.  I think it would be a great thing for customer service to have a real person -- which I got for the first time ever at the JWNOLA -- so that you can express your basic requests and what you'd really like.

     

    BTW, I'm typing this looking over at Ca' Pesaro, which is actually on the opposite side from the hotel.  This is such a wonderful part of Venice, and I'm so glad I came before Carnevale. I probably couldn't have afforded it during, but it's not my kind of thing anyway.  But otherwise the weather's ok (better than Maine and much better than Venice in Nov/Dec), and the Cannareggio sestiera is lovely.

    Ciao, ProfChiara

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: In Venice, back in history
    jerrycoin Alumni Steward Platinum 60 Reviews
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    Professor,

     

    Am just getting over reading your story and seeing the wonderful pictures!

     

    I too am a Delta lover, and have ruled out going back to Berlin, too many connections.

     

    My question is do you think I would be happy taking Nancy to the PP this December?

     

    Would go from Saturday (Sunday arrival), and depart the following Saturday.  Should I cab it from the hotel to the airport, or stay at the CY?

     

    Will check Delta flights now, and I too avoid NYC airports.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: In Venice, back in history
      profchiara Alumni Steward Silver 3 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      Hi Jerry,

      The only thing to be wary of is the rain and high waters that can hit Venice in (mostly) November but also in December.  But under ALL circumstances take Nancy to the Pesaro Palace!  It has to be one of the romantic hotels around.  I 'only' asked for a double superior, but I think they have junior and full suites available. Although I booked through booking.com, they have rooms on all sites, including their own. If you go, tell me, and I'll recommend some restaurants nearby (and tell you which ones to avoid -- I had a spectacular experience and a terrible one dining in Cannaregio, plus one very good dinner in San Marco).

       

      From the hotel, if you're not leaving as early as I did (my flight was 6:35 through AMS), just stay the last night at PP and take the early vaporetto which is not even a minute walk away, straight walk, no bridge, and only 4 stops from Piazzale Roma, where you can get either a bus or regular taxi.  I suspect it would actually take longer to take a water taxi considering how conveniently located this hotel is.

       

      You will love it!  I would recommend, only because of the potential of rains in that season, to book on a refundable basis.  I had no problems, ironically, until the day I left when the rains started pouring down (they'd hit northern Europe earlier in the week and flying over the Netherlands looked like flying over lakes).  Write to Valentina in advance, though everyone else there was equally wonderful.

       

      Like I said, you only could get a small sense of how big my 'double superior' room was.  I once lived in a Latin Quarter apartment in Paris that was much smaller.  And the view, like I said, if only my cat were with me, I might never have left...  And you are two stops beyond Rialto, so while it's easily walkable, this section of Venice is quiet and lovely.  At times I couldn't bear to take myself from the adjacent windows (that had a similarly fashioned table and chairs underneath both to the rest of the room), but have since ordered Shutterfly wall art of some of the night photos I took, because I always want to remember.

       

      Enjoy, Jerry and Nancy! You'll love it.  (And I'm ProfT on tripadvisor, though if you just look under the hotel you'll see my review.)

      Cheers, ProfChiara

      ProfC

       

      PS -- There is also something really good about Venice in low season. You're taking a chance, which means go for refundable, but it can be stiflingly hot in summer even on the vaporetto routes, the prices are high, the tourists inundate the city, etc. In January, there was none of that. And I went to Murano one day and bought myself some beautiful jewelry.

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

      • Re: In Venice, back in history
        pluto77 Alumni Steward Gold 25 Reviews
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        ProfChiara and Jerry,

        Is travel by bus or car taxi cheaper and/or faster than travel by water?

         

        I once read that Venice is best approached by water, so we decided to try it last trip (the first trip was by train).  After having done so, I personally wouldn't do it any other way.  The Alilaguna boat ride was reasonably priced, fun, and both relaxing and exciting at the same time, and the drivers load and unload everyone's luggage.

         

        The Vaporetti - Venice water busses -  don't have lines to/from the airport, only the Alilaguna lines, orange or blue, and/or the water taxis (which are considered the limos of Venice).  The Alilaguna boats are inexpensive, but do take a long time (they're rather slow); almost 45 minutes from the airport dock to the first stop (Madonna del Orto), and then about another 10-15 minutes around the bend to the Grand Canal and the Rialto stop.  The Alilaguna boats hold about maybe 18 people.

         

        I loved the approach - and views - by water.

        IMAG0035.jpg

         

        In the photo below, the boat at the dock is an Alilaguna boat.

         

        DSC02786.JPG

         

        The water taxis are much more expensive, about 100€ from the airport to the hotel, and hold 4-8 people, so if you share a ride with a couple of other people, it's not quite as expensive.  The water taxis are much faster than the Alilaguna boats.  They are a nice way to treat oneself.

         

        Murano IMG_6082.JPG

        You can purchase the Alilaguna tickets either the airport dockside (might cost one extra euro) or inside the airport.

        The water taxis may be hired right at the dockside.  I don't think there is any benefit to pre-purchasing a water taxi prior to a trip.

        (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

        • Re: In Venice, back in history
          profchiara Alumni Steward Silver 3 Reviews
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          I always take the airport bus to Piazzale Roma, which is an express and takes about 20 minutes.  I wouldn't consider a taxi -- the bus is modern, clean, and the drivers helpful and friendly, and for 11 euros R/T you can't beat it -- I'd rather spend the money on the fine restaurants.  From P.Roma, you can walk to the vaporetto stop and I always buy either a 3 or a 7 day vaporetto pass, because they add up in cost individually, and it's worth it not to go through the hassle.  Plus I just love travelling on the water!  And Murano/Burano/Torcello cost the same as going one stop.

           

          Long live Venezia and keep it from sinking!

          (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

        • Re: In Venice, back in history
          jerrycoin Alumni Steward Platinum 60 Reviews
          Currently Being Moderated

          pluto,

           

          This question must be directed to The Professor!

           

          Having only been to Venice once, "She has forgot more than I can ever remember about Venice"!

           

          Am really thinking about going back, but I just can't do more than one change of planes.

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          • Re: In Venice, back in history
            pluto77 Alumni Steward Gold 25 Reviews
            Currently Being Moderated

            Hi Jerry, this is a curiosity.  Can you not fly to "Venezia" on more than one plane change?  Are you able to fly at least to somewhere in Europe non-stop from "Saint-Louis?"

             

            From the west coast, we can fly to Europe (though I'm guessing not Venice) non-stop from LA or SF easily.  Then one plane change to Venice.  

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            • Re: In Venice, back in history
              pluto77 Alumni Steward Gold 25 Reviews
              Currently Being Moderated

              Hi Jerry,

              I do recall that when we flew from CDG to VCE on Air France, we left out of one of the smaller terminals (2D) across the airport from the main terminal (2E).  One time flying to FRA, had to use terminal 2G, way out there.  When we flew home from Rome (on Air France), we had to change planes at CDG (the FCO - CDG leg was Alitalia I think).  We had to walk to another terminal (like maybe from Hall L to the far end of 2E or something).  It was a long walk, I won't lie.  I had to ask for directions at least once.  Once when flying to CDG via LHR, we had to switch terminals via shuttle at LHR, and it was very confusing (1st time at LHR), but Jerry, you can find your way around any major international airport in your sleep, I'm sure.

               

              I would ask your Amex concierge to sort out a flight for you that didn't require a plane change involving different terminals, to make it easier on yourselves.  Because I think Venice is in your future!

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              • Re: In Venice, back in history
                profchiara Alumni Steward Silver 3 Reviews
                Currently Being Moderated

                See if you can fly through AMS, which Delta seems to be favoring these days over CDG as its main European hub.  While it's still a distance between gates, everyone speaks fluent English and it's not as confusing as CDG or LHR. My only issue with AMS is the time it takes to get through customs, but if you're an elite member of Skyteam or flying business class it's been going faster lately.

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                • Re: In Venice, back in history
                  pluto77 Alumni Steward Gold 25 Reviews
                  Currently Being Moderated

                  My "just passing through" experiences at Schiphol have always been pleasant.

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                  • Re: In Venice, back in history
                    profchiara Alumni Steward Silver 3 Reviews
                    Currently Being Moderated

                    Hi Pluto,

                    I agree.  My only complaint is on short layovers or delayed incoming flights.  Customs in AMS takes things VERY seriously, almost (IMHO) too much so, in terms of examining passports and asking you questions for sometimes as long as several minutes as the lines build. Since Delta/KLM/Skyteam has instituted their priority lanes, things have improved a lot.  But you'll still usually land in Terminal E and return from Terminal E if you're flying Delta.  The connecting flights are often in C or B. Because I don't check luggage and yet I'm somewhat disabled because of my arthritis, that adds to my issues.  And the other thing with AMS is that you have to re-screen at your gate (the whole shebang) if you're going to the US.  Arriving this time and going to Venice was a piece of cake, but coming home was as usual, time consuming.  For that reason, sometimes CDG is easier for me.  I think they probably expect most Americans to avoid Paris (wrong!!! in the general sense - consider what I got an Air France person to do for me a few flights ago) so the screening is not as pervasive or invasive.  (However, I've been in front of the check-in gates more than once when they cleared the terminal to blow up an unclaimed suspicious bag.)  And all of you know me well enough by now to know that I have little confidence in screeners of whatever nationality to find what a really bad person brings on board (until after it happens). 

                     

                    Here's the irony.  At Boston when I left for Venice, the first level screener handed me a TSA PreCheck card (however, I have not figured out how to scan things on my Android phone since I mostly use it for calls, GPS, and browsing websites) saying I was certainly eligible.  Only problem is it is US only.  I would love to do Global Entry (and don't mind THAT kind of invasion of privacy, unlike groping), but after filling out the info, you have to make an appt at the closest airport for an interview.  For me that's Boston, 4 hours away, and getting there even earlier for an international flight is unthinkable even when possible (assuming they could accommodate me). And going down and coming back in one day means 2 hours bus each way, and 1-1/2 hours driving each way, plus busfare of $45 and car mileage.

                     

                    I still look back fondly on my most pleasant ever (since 9/11) security experience:  leaving Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Airport (even though I was on a Delta flight).  I was from cab through layers of security, to tax refund within 5-10 minutes, did not have to take off any item of clothing or shoes, did not have to take out my liquids, computer or cords, or cell phones, and was only asked if I had a book in the outside compartment of my 20" carry-on. When I said  yes, it was a travel guide, they didn't even ask to see it.  And when is the last time Ben Gurion was breached???

                     

                    I love flying, even though I don't enjoy trying to sleep on the way to Europe or the Middle East internationally, but I hate all these layers upon layers of supposed security which I, for one, don't think make us safer.

                     

                    Sorry for my tangent, but I am of the opinion that our screeners have caught few would-be terrorists, but treated most of us as if we are.  So give me Ben Gurion's security and swiftness through an airport any day.

                    ProfC

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                    • Re: In Venice, back in history
                      pluto77 Alumni Steward Gold 25 Reviews
                      Currently Being Moderated

                      Hi Prof,

                      I've never flown through AMS coming from the States, only returning to the States, so I've never had to endure their customs process.  I have been re-screened at the gate, however no long lines.  I like that it is an easy airport to navigate and everyone speaks English.

                       

                      I haven't ever been re-screened at CDG coming from another port on my way home.  Actually, most of the time so far, I've flown non-stop from Europe to either LAX or SFO, and haven't had to deal with too many connections abroad.

                       

                      I've always associated the Israelis with being the best in the world in the area of security.  I think probably the single most effective thing that has been implemented to combat terror in the air are the cockpit security doors.  But I do think that the passenger screening is also effective.  A lot of work, massive expense and tons of patience and frustration on the part of millions ever hour, every day, every airport, just to keep one plane with a few hundred souls from blowing up in the sky.  That still works for me.  I'm glad they're trying to make it easier for FF's and other low-risk fliers, as well as making security more cost effective.  Hopefully they are ever improving.

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                    • Re: In Venice, back in history
                      jerrycoin Alumni Steward Platinum 60 Reviews
                      Currently Being Moderated

                      Professor,

                       

                      Agree with you!

                       

                      Why does TSA check me for "Gunpowder Residue" all the time!

                       

                      I think it is "Quota's" and a lot of people, like myself are "Easy targets"!  This is just about "Job creation"!  (Don't get me started)!

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                      • Re: In Venice, back in history
                        profchiara Alumni Steward Silver 3 Reviews
                        Currently Being Moderated

                        Jerry, I couldn't agree more!

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                • Re: In Venice, back in history
                  jerrycoin Alumni Steward Platinum 60 Reviews
                  Currently Being Moderated

                  Professor,

                   

                  Connecting in AMS, has been "Harrowing" for me!  Especially when changing airlines.  Anytime I have to get on a "Shuttle bus", I am having a "Bad Day"!

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              • Re: In Venice, back in history
                jerrycoin Alumni Steward Platinum 60 Reviews
                Currently Being Moderated

                pluto,

                 

                I could not find any, and I settled for a nice flight, with one stop to Rome.

                 

                Now I am going to work on making "The Grand Flora" a great experience.

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              • Re: In Venice, back in history
                jerrycoin Alumni Steward Platinum 60 Reviews
                Currently Being Moderated

                pluto,

                 

                Thanks for the post, but I too have really had problems "Connecting flights" at CDG.  I try to avoid CDG, unless I am going/coming from Paris.  (Watching Rick Steve show about Paris, right now, on PBS!  You never know too much!)

                 

                pluto, the worse was trying to make a connection at Christmas time.  CDG was an absolute "Nightmare"!  There were lines everywhere and no one to ask directions.  Made the mistake of turning my rental car in at the WRONG Terminal!  It was terrible trying to get my family, bags and me to the correct terminal!

                 

                In closing, this is one reason I enjoy sharing experiences with others!  If I can prevent anyone else from making "The Mistakes", I have made I feel this is all worth it!.  (That might make a great post, "Mistakes made while traveling", I may just institute that one!  I would have the "Top Ten"}

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                • Re: In Venice, back in history
                  profchiara Alumni Steward Silver 3 Reviews
                  Currently Being Moderated

                  Hi Jerry,

                  I hear you about renting a car at CDG, which is what I have done the few times I've rented cars abroad.  But my worst was trying 1) to get it to turn on [I can only drive an automatic]; the woman who I signed the rental agreement with didn't know how to start an automatic; they had to fetch a guy from the terminal who did; and I had various problems throughout the trip -- it was an either/or manual/automatic, and you really needed to know what you were doing before turning it on or off.

                   

                  I've had better luck in CDG, but that's thanks to fluent French, even to the point of knowing the 'French attitude'.  I've never had the same problems getting through CDG others have (including many of my colleagues), but I do attribute it to the fluency.  I KNOW I only got on that earlier flight to AMS from CDG (had I not it would have meant missing all my connections because of weather) because I was able to keep bothering an Air France lounge attendant till she did it.  That notwithstanding, I really like not having to go through two levels of taking everything off and out like at AMS, not to mention the customs lines at the latter.  Yes, in theory I agree Schiphol is a better airport than CDG, but I can navigate CDG more easily.

                   

                  A more pressing problem is that AMS seems to be Delta's main hub in Europe outside the UK (if Virgin comes through, LHR might replace it, which I dread). So more and more Skyteam folks are flying through AMS and making the lines and security screening that much longer.

                   

                  If they ever make Global Entry an international thing, I may take a whole day to go down to Boston to do it.  But as things stand, unless four other foreign airliners come in at the same time, I'm usually toward the front of the plane.

                   

                  BTW, Jerry -- are you Skyteam, I assume?  Availability of Skyteam lounges, KLM or Air France, is automatic at high levels or if you have the reserve card. I've never had a problem getting in lounges, where they handle problems much better than at gates.  Most speak English, esp. KLM, but if you do speak French, as I found out, you can even untangle Air France rules on a Delta ticket.

                  Best, ProfC

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                  • Re: In Venice, back in history
                    gm1 Gold 1 Reviews
                    Currently Being Moderated

                    Profchiara & Jerrycoin,

                     

                    As veteran travelers, what airports would you consider the best for making connections and as destination entry points in Europe?    

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                    • Re: In Venice, back in history
                      jerrycoin Alumni Steward Platinum 60 Reviews
                      Currently Being Moderated

                      gm1,

                       

                      The sad truth is you really don't have a lot of choices, if you are connecting to another flight, and coming from the US.

                       

                      If you are not connecting, not really a problem at:

                       

                      CDG

                      LHR

                      LGW

                      Berlin

                      Zurich

                      Amsterdam

                       

                      If connecting, the best airports to go to would be Berlin, Munich or Zurich, but they are really not typically where you would connect from.

                      If you are connecting from any European airport be prepared and know for sure what Airport you are to make connections from.  I have had the displeasure (My fault) of flying into London Heathrow, only to learn my next flight was from Gatwick. (Another nightmare, and my luggage did not make it, and was pilfered, no fun)

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                      • Re: In Venice, back in history
                        gm1 Gold 1 Reviews
                        Currently Being Moderated

                        Jerrycoin,

                         

                        Thank You.  I enjoy traveling; however, I generally dread the airport experience.

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                        • Re: In Venice, back in history
                          jerrycoin Alumni Steward Platinum 60 Reviews
                          Currently Being Moderated

                          gm1,

                           

                          I'm with you!

                           

                          Until I get thru security and am on the plane, I have a "Stress test", and I know I get a "Failing grade!"

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                          • Re: In Venice, back in history
                            profchiara Alumni Steward Silver 3 Reviews
                            Currently Being Moderated

                            Same with me -- after going through the scanning machine, I automatically step to the side because I KNOW they are going to search me more.  Plus last time going through AMS to Venice, I had to take out not only my computer and small bottles, but my netbook and everything that had a cord.  That was absolutely ridiculous.

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                      • Re: In Venice, back in history
                        profchiara Alumni Steward Silver 3 Reviews
                        Currently Being Moderated

                        Jerry is exactly right, especially if you are part of one airline loyalty program. Since Delta is mine, considering the places I go, the only choices are AMS or CDG.  You can go through LHR but that is a real nightmare unless you're just going to London.

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                        • Re: In Venice, back in history
                          jerrycoin Alumni Steward Platinum 60 Reviews
                          Currently Being Moderated

                          Professor,

                           

                          Thanks for the "Support"!

                           

                          Connections, are not something that are "Fun" these days.  When going to Europe, my favorites are:

                           

                          Atlanta

                          Detroit

                          MSP

                           

                          I try never to have them be European cities.  And I just won't do it if there is more than one stop coming or going.

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                        • Re: In Venice, back in history
                          gm1 Gold 1 Reviews
                          Currently Being Moderated

                          Thank You Profchiara.

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                      • Re: In Venice, back in history
                        pluto77 Alumni Steward Gold 25 Reviews
                        Currently Being Moderated

                        I thought Zurich was very easy, but again not typical unless flying Swiss Air, which I will never do again, as they don't utilize long range wide bodied aircraft for flights to/from west coast.

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                  • Re: In Venice, back in history
                    jerrycoin Alumni Steward Platinum 60 Reviews
                    Currently Being Moderated

                    Professor,

                     

                    Good points!

                     

                    You won't imagine the problem I also had with a Hertz, BMW, in Munich over last Christmas.  The car was brand new, but kept "Dieing" at every stoplight.  Luckily, I had another Hertz location in Garmisch, and I took the car in.  The mechanic said this is "Normal" unless a "Switch" is turned off, that saves gas!

                    Had never heard of this, but he turned it off and I had no more problems.

                     

                    Can you imagine the frustration of having to re-start you car at every stop light?  Government in action! (Don't get me started". 

                     

                    Had another Hertz car, BMW, that the sensor indicated the tires were "Under-inflated", that was frustrating, over Christmas, because all of the local Hertz offices in Austria and Germany were closed for the holiday's (Except Munich airport).  You are "Scared to death" that you are going to have a tire "Blow" and be stuck!

                     

                    If I never have to rent a car in Europe, or anywhere, it will be too soon!

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                • Re: In Venice, back in history
                  pluto77 Alumni Steward Gold 25 Reviews
                  Currently Being Moderated

                  Jerry, yes that wrong terminal business at CDG is brutal.  It can also cost you a missed flight or connection.  You end up having to deal with the shuttle, and hoping you get off at the correct terminal.  2A, 2B, 2C, 2D, or 2G.  Deu Ah, Deu Bay, Deu Say, Deu Day, Due Gee (soft).  I always wonder if the driver understands me!

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      • Re: In Venice, back in history
        jerrycoin Alumni Steward Platinum 60 Reviews
        Currently Being Moderated

        Professor,

         

        Thanks so much for the wonderful information and pictures.

         

        My only concern is flights!  I just don't want to have more that one connection.  Will check out all the options.

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        • Re: In Venice, back in history
          profchiara Alumni Steward Silver 3 Reviews
          Currently Being Moderated

          Hi Jerry,

          Flying from Boston, depending on the season, it's usually direct or one stop in Amsterdam. If you're near a large city it usually isn't worse than that since Venice is a top tourist destination.

          ProfC

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          • Re: In Venice, back in history
            jerrycoin Alumni Steward Platinum 60 Reviews
            Currently Being Moderated

            Professor,

             

            The flights from STL to Venice are not good.  To many stops.

             

            Rome is a "One stop" and I am going for it, especially with the ability to use points at "Flora"!

             

            Thanks again for all of your help!

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    • Re: In Venice, back in history
      sg1974 Gold
      Currently Being Moderated

      Jerry,

       

      We visited a few years ago in late December. The main concern when visiting at that time of year is Aqua Alta, here is some data about the tides: http://www.comune.venezia.it/flex/cm/pages/ServeBLOB.php/L/EN/IDPagina/1748

      It was nowhere near as crowded or as expensive as visiting at some other times of the year. http://www.weather2travel.com/whentotravel/italy/venetian-riviera/venice.php

       

      SG

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      • Re: In Venice, back in history
        jerrycoin Alumni Steward Platinum 60 Reviews
        Currently Being Moderated

        sg,

         

        Thanks!

         

        Wonderful information!

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  • Re: In Venice, back in history
    profchiara Alumni Steward Silver 3 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Hi Jerry and GM,

    My favorite airport to go through en route to Europe is Detroit, which still seems to have kept most of the niceties of the NW lounges -- and the people are nice.  But rarely can I get routed that way from BOS.  So while I would always rather fly either through Portland or Bangor (then usually DTW), either the price is much higher or the total length of trip is much, much longer.

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    • Re: In Venice, back in history
      profchiara Alumni Steward Silver 3 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      PS -- There is another thing about AMS that annoys me  and which cost me.  While AMS is a nicer airport than CDG (as such, in the airport part itself), the difference between French and Dutch attitudes toward rules is striking.  I had to get a new passport a year early because I got yelled at -- seriously -- by a Dutch customs inspector that I didn't have enough places left in my passport.  Admittedly, I could have sent to the government for extra passport pages, but since I travel every month internationally that would have been almost as expensive (and potentially ruined my trips) as getting a new one.  I saw the same thing happen going through customs in AMS on the way home, when the man in front of me was taken to task seriously for not having enough spaces.  Apparently the man pointed out one and the inspector stamped it and let him go -- but after a hassle, like the one I had.

       

      Like it or not, things in France are different, and I cannot imagine a French douane officer doing that.  In fact, many times they have stamped over previous stamps or used corners.  For people worried about security, this is actually an improvement over the distant past when they waved you through.

       

      For me, I prefer the French way of doing things that involve rules and regulations.

      ProfC

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      • Re: In Venice, back in history
        gm1 Gold 1 Reviews
        Currently Being Moderated

        Profchiara,

         

        A very interesting insight into the differing attitudes of the customs officials at CDG and AMS.  If I should ever travel through AMS, I will certainly be sure to have plenty of blank space on a passport page.  I have often noticed some excellent Delta fares from Detroit to European cities; however, I usually fly out of Austin which would require an extra ticket for positioning and negate any potential savings.  Thank you for the information.

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        • Re: In Venice, back in history
          profchiara Alumni Steward Silver 3 Reviews
          Currently Being Moderated

          Hi GM,

          If you're a mileage junkie like me (I really prefer the miles to the hotel points, though since I stay mostly at Marriotts I do use their points for hotels), then why not fly Austin-DTW-Wherever.

           

          But it took a couple of your emails to job my memory about my nasty experience, especially since I saw the guy in front of me treated -- not badly -- but not nicely in AMS.  The French may ignore you, but they rarely give you trouble.

           

          And I apologize for everyone I probably have offended in this post.  But truly, if you're going through AMS you need available passport pages or be prepared for a hassle. Since they offended a Skyteam highest level FF like me, I have no doubt status matters at all.

          ProfC

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      • Re: In Venice, back in history
        pluto77 Alumni Steward Gold 25 Reviews
        Currently Being Moderated

        Professor,

        I have yet to have a French stamp in my passport that is legible.  Every stamp is practically inkless.  I keep threatening to gift the customs office with ink cartridges on my next trip, but somehow I don't think they would be amused by it.  Because you know, the passport stamps for me as a leisure and tourist traveler are my most prized souvenirs, and it's really annoying that I cannot read one French stamp in my passport.

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        • Re: In Venice, back in history
          profchiara Alumni Steward Silver 3 Reviews
          Currently Being Moderated

          Hi Pluto,

          But that's why I love the French!  I don't have to keep worrying about my passport pages expiring, because they don't care (nor do I).  Where I agree with you is that I love my visa stamps for Egypt and Turkey.  But since I had to get a new passport early, I still have all my old ones.

           

          And actually, to be fair, all my CDG customs stamps are legible, even when placed over other stamps.
          ProfC

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        • Re: In Venice, back in history
          pluto77 Alumni Steward Gold 25 Reviews
          Currently Being Moderated

          But I agree, the French are easy, and come to think of it, I have always been treated with great, respect, professionalism and impeccable service with the Air France personnel that I have dealt with, 100% in fact (so far, I've always flown Air France to Paris, and I don't know why... I'm not getting enough FF miles to ever amount to anything, but I love flying them out of LAX, especially if I can snag a seat on one of their A380's.  Like their fleet and the in air service is very good, and the pricing has also been pretty good.)

          (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

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