It started out as a wonderful idea. Rent an apartment, for the 6 of us in Venice. We needed 2 nights before we went on our cruise. My sister and I are seasoned travelers and things like this should not be difficult. There have been minor issues, such as a hotel booking for the wrong night. But things like that are easily fixed.
We had a wonderful flight to Venice from London. It was short and crossing the Austrian Alps was one of the most amazing sites I have ever seen.
So far so good.
Off we go to our wonderful rental. We thought it was a short walk from the train station because this is what the ad implied. It turned out to be quite a few blocks. Pulling luggage and carrying backpacks made for a difficult trip. Anna and her bad feet, always a block behind the rest, and me behind, makes for a block long train. Quite a site to see.
We were suppose to be met by the person who had our keys. So we thought. No one was there, no one answered our many calls. When they did answer, they always told us the computer was broke or they couldn't hear us. We had a contact number for the person that was suppose to meet us, and she never answered. The other number was the rental company. My sister and one of my daughters decided to walk to the company to get some answers. While they were gone I received a call from our contact. But it was an entirely different person than the one on the rental agreement. She said she would be there soon. We had to call her a couple times because soon was not the same in Italian time. We ended up waiting in the street for 2 hours. Finally she comes riding up on a bicycle. This is how she delivers multiple keys to all the rentals. Then she has to sit and go over papers which takes another 20 minutes or so.
Finally we are in. But wait, it isn't over yet.
We discover there is no heat, no blankets, and no toilet paper. Six women and no toilet paper! It was in the low 50's at night. We froze and my sister and I slept with towels on top of our very thin cover. We all slept in double and triple layers of clothes and hoods if we had them. It was a horrible night. The next morning we called and told the agency our problem. We got heat and toilet paper. I guess 2 out of 3 isn't bad. That night was much warmer, so we were thrilled.
It was a very nice apartment. By that, I mean it was clean and large, but too far from the train station and Venice. But everything in travel is a lesson. If you can't learn from it, then you need to move on. I don't think you can ever be sure you are getting a great place to stay. Reviews are not always accurate. They are written by all kinds of people, with all different ideas. So research, but then expect that anything can happen.
And if your lucky, this is the kind of site that awaits you when you start your vacation.