I was in Venice for two days last week as part of a Uniworld Po River Cruise. I'm not going to review the cruise here, but if anyone has any questions about it, I'd be happy to share any info you need (FYI: I would NOT recommend this cruise).
Arrived in Venice at about 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, 11/9 with my mom and aunt (74 and 66, respectively). I had set up a pickup at the airport with Andrea, who can be reached at email@example.com. He was recommended by Rosa, and was absolutely wonderful. He met us as we in the airport after we picked up our luggage and took us to Piazzale Roma since we were staying one night at Hotel Olimpia. Prior to our trip, I had asked Andrea if he would help us get set up with the Trasbagagli porters at Piazzale Roma since my mom has some mobility problems and I was worried it would be too difficult to cross the bridge with luggage and find the hotel after dark. When we arrived at the Piazzale, the porters unfortunately were not there. But Andrea told us not to worry, parked his van and took my mom's suitcase and my aunt's suitcase not just across the bridge, but all the way into the hotel for us. It was about a five minute walk, and helped us out tremendously. I would very highly recommend him if you are in need of a land taxi transfer in Venice.
As mentioned, we stayed one night at Hotel Olimpia. I will do a separate review for them, but the hotel was in a very convenient location if you are staying prior to a cruise, very clean, good breakfast and great people at the front desk. On the negative side, the rooms were a bit small for two people, and were VERY hot. The air conditioning had been shut off for the season, so we had to open windows. Since it was a Saturday night and I think we were close to the university, there was quite a bit of noise from students having fun until about 3:00 in the morning - so we got very little sleep. Also, the shower (in room 405, at least) was quite tiny. The hotel stored our luggage after check-out the next morning and also arranged a taxi for us to the San Basilio dock. Overall, I would recommend this hotel if you are in Venice for a cruise - it would be too far away from city center to stay there otherwise, I think.
I really enjoyed Venice for the short time that we were there. It was not always easy to find our way around (even with maps!), but we enjoyed getting lost. We also got to enjoy the experience of acqua alta our last day there, which was fun. Since we ate mostly on the ship, we only went to Caffe Florian (12 euros for a hot chocolate...but we wanted the experience) and a restaurant called Antico Pignolo - good food, wine and service here.
We took a gondola ride and enjoyed it a lot (I still don't know how the boats don't tip over going under the low bridges - those gondoliers are very skilled!!). Also enjoyed seeing St. Mark's, Doge's Palace and just walking around all the side streets. I was surprised at how crowded Venice still was even in mid-November, but I guess all the humongous cruise ships coming in and out of port explains that.
Thanks to all the Venice DEs that helped me with their advice, especially Rosa! If anyone has any questions, please let me know.