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We are new to Cruise Critic and will be taking the 21 day cruise. We're arriving in Venice 3 days early and would like to know where to stay that is fairly close to everything. This is our first time to the Greek Isles and are very excited though a bit apprehensive about 21 day cruise, have never been on a cruise that long. It's our 7th cruise since retirement 2 years ago.
We stayed at the Hotel Bellini which is very close to the train station, right on the Grand Canal, with water buses and taxis right out the front. The hotel is not cheap (but then again nothing is in Venice) but the location is great and we really liked the place - stayed there at both ends of our cruise. There are not a huge number of options for getting to the port when you are embarking. We chose to go for a water taxi and do it in style! The hotel was able to arrange this, and the taxi driver came and collected us and our luggage from the hotel. Also not cheap at 70 euro, but a very pleasant hassle free way to get there. My tip would be don't rush to be there at noon, but leave it till around 1.30 when all the queues are done and you will just sail through the embarking process. Enjoy the cruise.
Pride of Aloha - Hawaii - October 2006
Norwegian Gem - Europe Mediterranean - June 2010
Rhapsody of The Sea - South Pacific - February 2011
Celebrity Solstice - New Zealand - January 2012
The above comment about not trying to get to the terminal too soon is correct - we got to the terminal a bit after 2 and sailed through embarkation - indeed, even expensive beer in Venice is usually cheaper than what you'll get on board. - anyway, We stayed at the Pension Guerrato http://www.pensioneguerrato.it/ which is in the Rialto Market area - very charming and _very_ typically Venecian - where as the ones around the Piazza Roma area seemed a bit more like anywhere europe. If you choose to stay towards the middle of Venice, especially areound the Zattere or San Marco area - the better way to get to the cruise terminal is to take the Vaporetto to San Marco ( or walk) and then take the separate alilaguna water bus, Line "M" to the cruise area. - very easy and cost effective. http://www.alilaguna.it/index.en.html - Final note - travel as light as you possibly can. Venice is so much more fun when you don't have to worry about excess baggage.
Barry and Susan Pasco - Arizona
First Cruise - 9/1994 Bahamas
Ecstacy - 4/1995 Bahamas
Sea Princess - 7/2000 alaska
grandeur of the seas - Mexico - 6/2002
Hawaii - Pride of Aloha - 12/2004
Grand Princess - Grand Mediterranean 7/27/06
Liberty of the Seas - 7/14/07
Norwegian Gem 6/26/10, from Venice
next vacation Norwegian Epic 6/26/11 from Barcelona
We stayed at the Hotel Arlecchino near Piazzale Roma in April for one night before and three nights after our cruise. We booked this hotel close to the Piazzale because we were arriving late from the airport via the airport express bus. What a comfort to be able to see the hotel and walk there in 2 minutes at 11 p.m.
There is a free shuttle from the Piazzale to the cruise ships, although it is close enough to walk with light baggage.
The rooms in the hotel are small, but comfortable and how can you beat a view of the canal. The staff are wonderful and the continental breakfast kept us going until late in the afternoon. We never felt the hotel was poorly located to see the sights, but we are walkers and found that walking to the main sights allowed us many wonderful surprise sights that are quiet, and wonderfully tourist free. Check out the Tripadvisor reviews if you are interested in the hotel.
Close to the hotel (5 minute walk) is lovely Campo Margherita, a great place for people watching, lunch or just wandering and viewing the outdoor market.
Venice is small, and you can easily walk anywhere within a half hour, you may get lost but as Rick Steves would say that is the best part. A hint - if you know the location of your hotel in relation to St. Mark's square or the train station, just watch for the yellow signs posted above you on the building walls, the arrows will direct you to either.
Try to do the Doge's Secret Itinerary tour - you will have to book online in advance though.
Have a great time - it is a truly wonderful city.
1989 HAL Westerdam Alaska,1992 Fair Princess Mex. Riviera, 1995 Legend of the Seas Panama
1998 Serenade of the Seas Transatlantic,1999 HAL Ryndam Eastern Caribb., 2000 Carnival Fascination Caribbean