Taking the Bus from Venice Airport to Piazzale Roma was very easy.
When traveling on a cruise ship, whether to the Caribbean or to Europe, a decision has to be made on how to arrange the transportation to get to the ship from the airport. You have the choice of having the cruise line hold your hand and arrange this at a premium price, or you can be adventurous and plan ahead at a savings in both time and money. The added advantage is getting to know the new port in greater detail which will allow you to become more confident on doing your own tours at other ports you visit.
When we took our first cruise to Europe we decided to use the ships transfer. We needed to have our hands held. The ships transfer provides a representative from the cruise line that will meet you outside of customs, holding a sign listing your cruise ship. It’s easy, but you pay a high price for this convenience. We arrived in Barcelona, Spain in the early afternoon, from an overnight flight from the states. There was a six hour time zone change to adjust to, we arrived hungry, tired from listening to crying infants all night long. That is another story. We just wanted to get our vacation started. After gathering other folks who would be on the same ship, the cruise line representative walked us to the cruise line bus to sit and wait for almost an hour until the bus was full. The bus does not leave for the port until it is full. This impacts how long you wait on the bus. By the time we actually arrived on the ship, there were no lines to check in. You would think that this was a good thing, but it was not. There was no check in line due to the late arrival of the bus. We did not have time to explore the ship. We were able to grab a sandwich before the ship left the port and we had to get ready for the muster drill. We swore the next time to get our own transportation to the ship so we could enjoy more leisurely time exploring the boat and port before the ship was to depart.
On our next cruise to Europe we took the opportunity to make our own arrangements to get to the ship when we flew into Venice. After reading all the information I could gather from cruise critic and other blogs, I was confident that it would not be an issue to get our own transportation to the ship. Regardless of using the ships transfer or arranging your own transportation, the first stop after departing the plane is locating the ATM machines in the airport to withdraw the local currency. The ATM does not usually give you small bills. With that just stop off in an airport store and buy a bottle of water and ask for your change in small bills.
Outside the terminal the bus will be waiting at the curb. The bus driver will sell you a ticket (6 Euros per person) but when I handed him a 20, he did not have change. I was glad I had small bills from a previous trip to Europe.
TIP: Always have small bills when traveling in Europe, as this was not the only time we encountered someone who could not break a 20.
We purchased our ticket and proceeded to store our luggage, when a lady on the bus told us to validate our ticket to avoid a large fine. Sometimes people come on the bus and check to see if your ticket was validated but we did not encounter this. After waiting for more people to come out from the airport, the bus got underway. There were numerous stops with people getting off and on the bus. Piazzale Roma is the last stop on the route which took about 30 minutes to reach.
When we arrived at Piazzale Roma they announced that everyone must depart the bus. This area is crowded due to various buses departing from here. We walked around looking for the building with the People Mover sign and finally found it in the corner. It was not as noticeable as I thought it would be.
After we found the building we went in and purchased our tickets. The machines were to the left as you go inside. It costs one euro for a one way ticket. It was not busy when we purchased our tickets, but later in the day it was very crowded. We usually purchased two tickets so I would not have to stand in line when I returned. The machine takes credits cards or cash. But if you use Euros it only accepts up to a 10 Euro bill. After purchasing your ticket, proceed to the gate and insert your ticket.