Since most ships leave Venice in the 4:00pm to 6:00pm, it really does depend on when your particular ship is scheduled to depart as to how close it would be.
But personally, I agree with Bernie - we NEVER fly in the same day the ship is scheduled to leave. Two major reasons for this; if you're flight is delayed for any reason, you could miss your cruise. Needless to say, that can be an expensive delay. But the second reason is that you need to keep in mind that there is a 6 hour time difference between the East Coast of the USA and Venice. Plus, if you're flying from the East Coast, you're normally talking about 14 to 20 hours of traveling to get there, depending on your routing. Don't know about you, but I don't sleep well on planes, so when you get there, you're probably going to be very tired. Doesn't make sense to get right on the ship and then go to sleep.
Whenever we're traveling long distances like this, we much prefer to get there at least two days early. This gives us one day to catch up on some much needed sleep, and then at least one day to do some sightseeing. Venice is an amazing place to visit, as is Murano and Burano, not to mention some of the other awesome islands. If you've never been there before, it would be a huge mistake not to spend some time there before the cruise.
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Splendor Of The Seas leaves Venice at 4:30pm for your cruise, and I see RCI says a 1:45pm flight arrival is the latest time to make it to the ship. Well, I wouldn't try it. Flying over 5000 miles (assuming you are coming from DFW), and giving myself a couple hours of wiggle room? No way!
Thanks for the replies. We will be flying in a few days early
I see you are on Splendour in Oct 15. This was a wonderful cruise ship. I sailed her on Greek Island out of Venice. Arriving in Venice a few days early is good idea. There is a lot to see and do and the weather should be great in oct.
It is best that you are arriving early. I also would never try to make a 1:45 arrival - because you are betting that everything goes exactly right.
Now - I would have bet that you made it, because the Venice airport, by passenger van, is not very far from the ship (don't take a water taxi - that would take almost an hour). But that is if the crowds are small and vans are available.
I have been in the Venice airport when it was a zoo - and it is not user-friendly, especially to those who do not speak Italian.
Arriving is easier than leaving. It is a small, regional airport so getting your luggage shouldn't take too long.