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All you seasoned travelers, I have a question about transportation from the port in Venice to the airport. I found a company, limo service, that beats the cruise line cost by a bunch, 50 Euros total instead of $68/pp. The only difference I can see is we would have to struggle with luggage to the limo as opposed to the cruise line taking care of it.
My question is if we have a 11:30 a.m. flight and have to allow 2 hours at the airport, what time should I tell the limo service to be at the port? This would be on a Thursday so it borders on rush hour traffic.
If you decide to use the private service, I would advise you to e-mail Crystal's home office at CruiseQuestions@crystalcruises.com. I needed disembarcation times in Athens for the end of an upcoming cruise and contacted them. They responded within two hours giving me the info I needed.
Thank you for that hint on disembarkation time. I emailed Crystal and was wondering about that myself. I figured since we arrive in Venice the afternoon before we disembark, that it won't be a problem, but who knows. This is my first experience with this.
The price if the limo is 50 Euros total for 2 persons, still less than $68/pp from the cruise line even with the worst conversion rate. From what I've been told, it's a lot better than boarding a bus.
I didn't pick up that the 50E was the total fee. Then, of course as
you noted, it is far wiser than the bus transfer. On the whole,
cruise ship sponsored transfers cost more than pvt transportation.
We use them only when we are coming long distances [into London
or Rome] and don't want to chance pvt arrangements unless we
know the service.
Travelnut: We did what you propose, arranging a limo when disembarking from the Rotterdam last October in Venice. I think we told the limo company 8:30, but we were off the ship and had our luggage by 8. This was for the Delta flight to NYC, leaving at 11 something. Luggage handling was easy upon leaving the ship, and easier for us than for the folks going to the airport on the more expensive HAL bus. For HAL, and I bet for Crystal, they don't take your luggage from the cabin to the bus. It goes to a warehouse where you claim it when you disembark, then haul it to the bus yourself (or find a porter). By contrast, the Mercedes van limo arrived on time, just outside the door of the building where the luggage was claimed. We had booked ahead online. I don't remember the name of the company, but we researched it on Cruise Critic. On the odd chance the limo doesn't show up (never happened to us), there are cabs at the Venice port.
Karen, since the ship is doing an overnight in Venice you won't have to worry about what time passenger's can start disembarking the ship. We were in Venice last fall on the Crystal Serenity and it too had an overnight in Venice and some passenger's started disembarking as early as 4:30 AM to get to the airport to catch early flights.
I was looking at the departure times from Venice for those who used Crystal's transfer program on our cruise and it looks like they left the ship around 3 hours and 15 minutes before their flight. If it was me since I like to get places early when traveling I would have them pick you up at 8:00 AM at the latest and possibly 7:45 AM. There will be rush hour traffic around the pier and it is a busy day with so many people departing the ship and should something go wrong with the transportation picking you would at least have some time to react.
In my case I didn't depart the ship in Venice as we stayed for another cruise. But, what I remember is that after you disembark the ship then you need to either walk to the terminal building where you will claim your luggage or you can take the shuttle bus that Crystal provides from the ship to the terminal building. So, give yourself time to get over there and to get your luggage. Probably another 15 minutes.
I would verify with the car service where they will pick you up. If there is any confusion check with the concierge early on your cruise as they will know the specifics since they make private car arrangements for passenger's on board and then you can call your car service from one of the ports you stop at to give them the specifics. Again, I'm sure it's fairly straight forward for them but just in case it might be a good idea.