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VENICE Anyone? (part 2)

Checking out of the brand new 5 star Molino Stucky Hilton in Venice Italy, we were greeted by Luigi, our driver for the water taxi ride from the hotel to our cruise ship- Royal Caribbean's Splendour of the Seas.

We had pre-reserved this service and we were not disappointed at all. Let's just say it was the most unique and enjoyable way to get from a hotel to a ship.

We were picked up at the hotel's private pier and taken along a scenic, yet direct route to the ship terminal. Representatives of Royal Caribbean were there to take our luggage, and we had such an easy check in process that before we knew it were sipping a "Love Connection" frozen drink on the pool deck.

The sail away on the Splendour was filled with Kodak moments. From the vantage point of our aft end balcony, we were able to view port and starboard scenes as we cruised through the Guidecca canal past St. Mark's Square in Venice.

Our first full day on the ship was a sea day with no port of call. A great day to relax, soak up the sun, and enjoy the many options that the Splendour of the Seas had to offer.

The next day we sailed into the beautiful port on the Greek Island of Mykonos. This small island, with an area of 33 square miles, has about 5,000 people that call it home, yet host about 900,000 visitors annually. Based on some recommendations, we took a cab to Paradise Beach. We will just say- WOW, this is one party beach! Our 20 and 18 year old are telling all their friends that they MUST go here. Later in the afternoon, we took the bus into Mykonos Town. The whitewashed houses, maze of shops, outdoor tavernas and typical windmills form a perfect postcard setting. Keep in mind you will get lost in the maze of streets constructed to confuse attacking pirates, but what a place to get lost! We stumbled upon an outdoor taverna along the waterfront, which looked to be the perfect spot for dinner. It turns out that it was because while we dined, we experienced an incredible sunset, watching as the sun sank into the azure blue waters of the Aegean Sea. So glad we brought the 2 Gig card for the Nikon.

Conclusion in next column. The Cruise Store now buys and sells foreign currency, don't leave home without it. Call us at 1-413-525-9001. Visit CruiseStore.Com