What to do after cruise ends in Venice?

Old Jan 20th, 2011, 05:01 AM
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What to do after cruise ends in Venice?

Four retirees from USA are planning to take the Princess cruise from Barcelona to Venice this September. We are booking two nights in a hotel in Barcelona. The itinerary says we dock in Venice at 1 pm, stay overnight on the ship, then desembark at 5am. We're thinking that's not much time to see Venice. We're considering a one night stay in a hotel in Venice but then realized our flight was to leave at 7:30 a.m. in Venice. So we're now thinking that we'd have to leave by at least 3:30 am. and would be paying over $300 for 1/2 night in the hotel. Is that right? What are the approximate costs to get to the airport?

If we changed our flight, is there a place to store luggage at the pier? Should we just forget about a hotel and take the ship transfer to the airport?
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Old Jan 20th, 2011, 05:17 AM
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If your ship is disembarking at 5am, assuming you were the first off, you are cutting it way too close to get to the airport for a 7:30 am flight.
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Old Jan 20th, 2011, 06:32 AM
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You are absolutely right. A few hours is not nearly enough time to see anything much of Venice. I am one of those people in the I love Venice Camp though.

If this is your first trip to Venice, I say, change your flight for a couple of days later and take advantage of the fact that you are already in Venice, even if it costs you a bit to do that. Just think how much it would cost to go back to Venice another time? If you do fall in love with Venice, you will be glad you had a couple of days there. If you don't, you will know and won't spend money to go again.

You are absolutely right. A few hours is not nearly enough
Was $300 for the fuor of you or each couple? If for each couple, you can certainly find something for less.
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Old Jan 20th, 2011, 06:44 AM
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Yes, it was $300 each couple for the hotel.

What exactly could we expect to see on the day the cruise ship gets into port at 1 pm?

I just phoned a friend who was in Venice last year and she said that the airport had practically no personnel working before 9 a.m. She nearly missed her 10:30 am flight and she had arrived there 3 hours early. So it seems in any case a 7:30 am flight could mean spending the night at the airport rather than leaving super early from a hotel.
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Old Jan 20th, 2011, 07:21 AM
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If you can, take Sassafrass' advice re changing your flight and staying a couple of extra days. I am going back to Venice for my third time this year and am contemplating including it in another trip in a year or so. I'm sure from that you can tell I love Venice, and there is no shortage of things to see.

If you stuck with your original plan of an afternoon and evening, you could at least see some of the things around Piazza San Marco such as the Basilica, Doge's Palace and Campanile (Bell Tower with a fabulous view of Venice from the top). There will likely be lines to access all 3.

If you are more into relaxation, you could sit and have drinks/snacks at one of the historic cafes on the Piazza such as Florian or Quadri; you could do this late afternoon or at night when the orchestras are playing. During the evening you could take a gondola ride, if so inclined (despite the expense, I wouldn't go to Venice without doing it at least once).

If you like art, you could visit the Accademia museum which has many fine paintings. The Accademia is on the same side of the Grand Canal as the magnificent church Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, which also has wonderful art. You probably wouldn't have time to visit the big 3 in San Marco and do the Accademia and Frari, so you would have to choose.

Also, if you decided against the gondola, you could ride the vaporetto down the Grand Canal and see the subdued grandeur of the crumbling palazzos and the Rialto bridge.
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Old Jan 20th, 2011, 08:27 AM
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If possible, I suggest you stay three nights in Venice.

There is no need to pay $300/night, depending on how nice a hotel you require. Well located Venice hotels range in price from $100 (shared bath, no AC) to $200 (en suite bath and basic furnishings) upwards to $1000 (swank!) and everything in between. It's all a matter of your priorities (location, price, services, square footage, level of luxury).

It cost 13€/person one way to take the Alilaguna from Venice to the airport.
http://www.alilaguna.it/index.en.html
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Old Jan 20th, 2011, 09:41 AM
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To answer some of your questions and offer some options:

If you were going to go from Venice to the airport, you almost certainly would want to take a water taxi, which could accommodate four of you and luggage. The cost is about 90 euros, and if you're staying at a hotel, they can make the arrangements for pickup. If you have lots of luggage and are in a hurry, I strongly recommend that you DO NOT take the Alilaguna. Not that there's anything wrong with it (I've used it myself) but I don't think it would be good for your circumstances. Besides, for four of you it would cost about 42 euros; spend the additional 48 euros and go in comfort.

The bus terminal has daily baggage storage areas.

If you want to stay near the airport, I recommend the Titian Inn. Very clean, spacious rooms; good breakfast (though you may not have time for it); friendly, accommodating staff. The hotel is about 5 minutes from the aiport and runs a shuttle bus. They charge 5 euros p/person for the bus, but the rooms are cheaper than most others near the aiport.
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Old Jan 20th, 2011, 01:28 PM
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Thanks for the advice thus far. Now here'a a new question. I heard from a neighbor who was in Venice last summer that she left the town and arrived at the Venice airport at 7:30 am for a 10:30 flight. She said there were practically NO employees until 9 am when a group arrived and opened positions for check in. Meantime the lines to get to the check ins were so long that she nearly missed her flight.

Is this a common occurence or did she encounter some special problem in staffing?

k9korps, is that 90 euros for the water taxi for 4 people or per person?
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Old Jan 20th, 2011, 01:37 PM
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Certainly for an 7:30am flight there is no need to arrive 3 hours ahead--the airport won't be open. For a 7:30am flight I would want to be waiting on line to check in at 6:30am.

If you extrapolate your friend's experience, the employees arrived 1.5 hours before departure time.

90 euros is the cost per taxi--the total amount 4 people would pay.
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Old Jan 21st, 2011, 03:28 AM
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ellen is right: 90 euros for the taxi, not p/p. Another reason to take it is that it's kind of a fun way to leave Venice, as the taxi weaves through small canals and then into the more open water on the way to the aiport. I mean, at that point, are you really going to try to save the +-$50 by making the haul on the Alilaguna and toting your own baggage?

I've been the Venice airport a few times, but not before 9am, so can't specifically answer your question. Still, arriving 3 hours prior to departure seems crazy. Ninety minutes should do it.
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Old Jan 21st, 2011, 04:51 AM
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Just booked on www.otel.com for $99

www.hotelpausania.it

Close to ship terminal in central venice at a good price.

Book one nite there enjoy Venice get up early for your flight

More time in Venice would be magical make more if u can.

Have fun,
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Old Jan 21st, 2011, 04:55 AM
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www.eurocheapo.com Venice for cheap ways to get to the airport

Bus works great from P. Roma leave very early for a euro or so
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Old Jan 21st, 2011, 05:14 AM
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Yes, by all means stay extra time in Venice! To go all the way there to just spend a few hours is IMO a sin!
Agree with the suggestion of taking a water taxi to airport. You'll get there in less than 30 mins. No need to get to the airport 3 hrs prior. It's a waste of time since staff will not be there yet! For a 7:30 flight I would get there no earlier than 6 AM.

After our cruise we stayed at a lovely small hotel called Al Ponte Mocenigo. If you go to Tripadvisor you'll see it is at the top. We paid 140 euros for a superior room which had a good size. No elevator but they will bring your suitcases up and down (eventhough we didn't ask them to). We took the vaporetto from Piazzale Roma to the St Stae stop ( I believe it's the 3rd stop), then walk a few steps (no bridges to cross!) to the hotel. It was really easy.
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Old Jan 21st, 2011, 12:17 PM
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The first airport buses (€3 per person) leave at 4:40am and 5:00am and frequently thereafter (http://www.actv.it/pdf/urbano/U-5.pdf and http://www.atvo.it/images_doc/linee/...6.03.2011).pdf), taking twenty minutes to the airport. There are many good quality hotels near Piazzale Roma (the easiest place to arrive from the cruise ship, and from whence both airport buses leave).
Were you to opt to share the water taxi (the fare would probably be closer to €100-110) the location of the hotel becomes less important, and many hotels have direct access to the water taxi either with an attached landing, or crossing a short sidewalk.
The Venice Marco Polo airport generally is active from a little before 5am, and depending on your flight and airline, 1.5-2 hours is prudent, though 1 hour *may* be sufficient. The story of 3 hours at 9am and no staff sounds like a partial protest/strike by one of the many unions; it definitely does not seem usual any time I have departed. You should check with your airline to confirm how much time you must budget in the airport before your flight so you don't have problems.
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Old Jan 21st, 2011, 03:20 PM
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Thanks everyone so far. We've been researching hotels and will book one tomorrow. Any moderate restaurants you'd recommend? Is the trip to Murano something we should try and fit in?
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Old Jan 21st, 2011, 03:41 PM
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There is so much more to see in Venice than just San Marco and Rialto. IMHO, unless you have several days, I wouldn't bother with Murano, and even than, I would go to Burano before Murano, but that is a longer trip.

We just took the bus from the airport to Piazzale Roma. Took only a few minutes and saved a heck of a lot of money. So, unless your hotel is a good ways from PR, the bus is great.
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Old Jan 21st, 2011, 09:07 PM
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I was in Venice for 5 nights and didn't have time to get to Murano or Burano. Too much to see in Venice itself!
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Old Jan 21st, 2011, 09:21 PM
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How can they possibly want you to disembark at 5 a.m? That's inhuman.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2011, 03:58 AM
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Restaurants: "Moderate" and "good" are hard to find in Venice.
Here's my trip report, which contains some restaurant recs:
http://www.fodors.com/community/fodo...ort-venice.cfm
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Old Jan 22nd, 2011, 05:01 AM
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cferrb,
This is a Princess cruise and I'm hoping the 5am refers to those needing to get to their return flights. We had a choice of flights at about 7:30 and 9:40 am if we did not extend our stay. So we're assuming we can leave the ship later, find our hotel and drop off our luggage. By then we hope to walk around. What time do museums open? Actually I just remembered it will be a Sunday so maybe none will be open???????

Any special information about things to do on a Sunday?

k9korps, you're being extremely helpful to a first time poster. Thank you.
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