Part of the thrill of each cruise we take is the “sail away” from the initial port. Last year, Istanbul’s departure down the Bosphorus and into the Sea of Marmara seemed hard to beat. And then this year...leaving Venice from the Giudecca canal into the Venetian lagoon, passing the Piazza San Marco, the Lido and here behind me, Palladio’s Chiesa del Santissimo Redentore, built as a votive church in the 16th century to thank God for sparing the city from a major outbreak of the plague. It’s difficult not to get emotional in the face of such majesty and beauty, in spite of the somewhat mawkish, brass-heavy musical selection played at full tilt over the ship’s sound system. As you can see from the sign, I decided to take refuge on the Star Deck.