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Venice - airport, cruise ship terminal, hotel, & airport taxi question

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I'm researching for my parents, who plan to visit Venice in October for 2 nights, before boarding a trans-atlantic cruise back to the US. We have all been to Venice before, but it's been many years for them. They are now older (70s & 80s) + luggage for the cruise, so Alilaguna & the water buses are not an option for them.

Here are my questions:
1) When they arrive at Marco Polo airport, do they just follow the signs to the water taxi pier and wait for the next taxi? Is there usually a long line? Or is there a "better" way, say, pre-arranging a taxi in advance (though in the event of flight delay, that can be a problem).

2) One of our relatives are flying separately and won't get into Marco Polo airport until close to midnight. Will they have trouble finding water taxis at that hour? Any other alternatives?

3) I'm pretty sure they will board the cruise ship from the main Marittima terminal. I'll ask them if the cruise line offers to arrange pick-up for them. If not, I assume water taxi is the best option for them to get there?

4) I haven't looked at hotels for them yet. I'm just wondering if I end up booking a hotel for them right next to the Santa Lucia train station, is it even a possibility for them to WALK to the cruise ship terminal? I know they'll have luggage with them, but it's something my dad WANTS to know.

What other things I haven't thought of/considered? They have entertained the idea of staying on the mainland instead of the island, which I suppose will be cheaper (both hotel & taxis - they can do land taxi instead of water taxi, right)? I've never stayed on the mainland so I don't know if it's worth doing that, ie, the trouble of getting INTO Venice for sightseeing for 2 days.

Thanks in advance for any input.

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