We are going to book Rotterdam sailing on 5 Nov for our honeymoon. The ship will embark at 2:00 pm that day. The only flight we could arrange will arrive at 11:30 pm on 4 Nov. As we don't want to hang out on the street to find a hotel in the midnight after a 17-hour flight, we should we do? We are thinking of the following options:
(1) Stay at the airport to wait till next morning and go directly to the port.
(2) Stay in the airport hotel.
(3) Stay in an hotel near the city area or port with transfer from airport to hotel and from hotel to port. We asked out T/A about the HAL pre-stay package and it costs over $500 for a room which we will only stay for a few hours. We don't think it worthwhile and would rather spend the same on upgrading our cabin. Are there any other hotels provide transfers (airport-hotel-port)? We are prepared to pay $80 per person for the room including transfers.
Which is the best (value)? Or there are other suggestions?
If a transfer could not be arranged, what transportation should we take to get to the port from the airport? And how long should it take?
One more thing, what is the meaning of embarking at 2:00 pm. Does it mean the counter will open at 2:00 pm or close at 2:00 pm? What is the appropriate time for us to appear at the port?
We are new cruisers, any feedback or advise will be much appreciated! Many thanks.
My recommendation would be to have your t/a get you a room at the airport for the night, then get yourself to the ship mid day. Staying at the airport??? not recommended... going into Venice... not too much sense at that hour. You'll have a whole day in Venice anyway, will you not? If he cannot get you a room at the airport, ask him to try a hotel in Mestre.
Don't know if you've been to Venice before, but we had a couple of days there last year. Use the vaporettos (water taxi) that the locals use. They make regular stops, just like a city bus back home. You buy your "bus" ticket at the stop and get on and off when you'd like. A day will give you plenty of time to enjoy San Marco square, Rialto bridge, and the Doge's Palace. Remember that if you want to go into the cathedral, no shorts or sleeveless tops. You can work in a gondola ride, just agree on the price and length of the ride BEFORE you get in the gondola. If you're so inclined, you can pop into one of the stores and they'll open a bottle of wine and give you a couple of glasses so you can enjoy the wine while you're riding. Don't miss the gelatto (ice cream). The shops bordering San Marco square are pricey, so head away from the square and you can find some Venetian lace and Murano glass. I loved it there...just don't miss the ship!