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Just seen this change posted on another site. I guess the protesters last year has made an impact, thus another location to cruise from has been chosen.

"Dear Guest,

We’re really looking forward to welcoming you onboard Rhapsody of the Seas. Before we set sail, we have important itinerary information to share with you.

There have been increased concerns regarding the future of cruising in Venice, Italy due to port congestion and the ability to control port traffic. And, while it’s not yet clear how cruise operations will be affected there, it’s important to us that we continue to do everything we can to provide you with a great experience and plan ahead, whenever possible. We know how much time and effort go into planning your vacation, so we’ve proactively made the decision to change the homeport for Rhapsody of the Seas for the upcoming Summer 2021 season to ensure there’s minimal last-minute impact to your cruise.

As a result, instead of Venice, we’ve changed our departure and arrival ports to Ravenna, Italy – a city located just a couple hours south of our original cruise port. We’re terribly sorry for any inconvenience caused by this change. However, to ensure you have the smoothest experience possible and that you still get to experience Venice as planned – we’re providing complimentary shuttle services before and after your sailing. Below, please find our revised itinerary, as well as shuttle service information for your sailing.

Day Port of Call Arrive Depart
Sat Venice (Ravenna), Italy 6:00 PM
Sun Kotor, Montenegro 12:00 PM 8:00 PM
Mon Corfu, Greece 9:00 AM 3:00 PM
Tue Athens (Piraeus), Greece 12:00 PM 8:30 PM
Wed Mykonos, Greece 7:00 AM 5:00 PM
Thu Argostoli, Greece 11:00 AM 7:00 PM
Fri Cruising
Sat Venice (Ravenna), Italy 5:00 AM

Boarding Day:
• If you’ve booked flights to Venice, either independently or through our Air2Sea team, you’ll head to the complimentary shuttles waiting for you at the Arrivals area of the Venice Marco Polo Airport. Once you arrive, we’ll have teams waiting at the airport to help guide you. Shuttles headed to the ship will depart about every hour beginning at 8:00 AM, with the last one departing at 1:30 PM.
• If you pre-purchased transfers through us, you’ll board your transfer instead of the shuttle, and they’ll take you directly to the ship.

Departure Day:
• Once you’ve debarked and collected your luggage at the pier in Ravenna, proceed to Customs.
• Next, you’ll be directed to board either our complimentary shuttle bus headed to the Venice Marco Polo Airport, or to board your pre-purchased transfer headed directly to your next destination.
• Shuttle service will begin at around 7:00 AM and will depart about every 30 – 45 minutes based on guest departures from the ship, with the last one departing at 10:00 AM.

The drive will take us around 2 ½ hours, depending on local traffic, so be sure to dress in your most comfortable gear, and feel free to relax on the scenic drive over. If you or anyone in your party requires the use of an accessible shuttle, just let us know when you arrive to board the shuttle. We’ll take care of the rest! And remember, if you complete online check-in prior to your cruise, you’ll have a smoother boarding experience. This can be done starting 90 days prior to departure. Don’t worry though, we’ll send you a reminder to complete it closer to your sailing!

Your vacation time is important to us, and we want to make sure everything is perfect! Thanks for your cooperation and understanding. We look forward to welcoming you aboard!

Sincerely,

Aurora Yera-Rodriguez
AVP| Guest Experience
Royal Caribbean International"

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I worked a summer season in a coastal resort near Ravenna in the distant past. It's a looong way from Venice, as the transfer time testifies.

In case it might be helpful for anyone travelling independently and not able or willing to avail themselves of the shuttle services, there are several international airports closer to Ravenna than Venice Marco Polo.

The closest is Rimini at a distance of 34 miles. It is mostly a tourist gateway to the Adriatic coast, so the majority of flights will be European low-costs but it might work for some, especially Brits.

Next is Bologna at a distance of 46 miles, followed by Florence at 65 miles. These two will undoubtedly offer a wider range of "proper" international flights, so may work better for anyone coming from the States.

As a caveat, I have to say I don't know how easy (or difficult) it is to get from any of these airports to Ravenna. Things will certainly be very different from the days when I guided coach-loads of package holidaymakers up and down the coast too many years ago to mention! 

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No doubt that enterprising Italians will start offering more private transfer options from the alternate airports that FionaMG has mentioned. The train connections are good too, if you can squeeze a few extra days at the beginning. Bologna is an under appreciated destination IMO, Ravenna itself has unique Byzantine historical gems, and *any* excuse to spend extra time in Florence is a great excuse!

Given this change of home port, I’d seriously try to work more days into the trip, and openjaw the flights (with the outbound out of VCE, in combination with a OW booked ship transfer.)

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Just saw this. As far as RC is concerned, our cruise leaving Venice on 10/3/20, is still a go. Not for us though. Too many uncertainties still. We are going to move it till next year, which brings us to the Ravenna situation. I have asked myself, if the original cruise was leaving from Ravenna and not Venice, would we still be excited? Hell yes! It's still a cruise! Depending on the shuttle situation we might keep our original plan of spending two nights in Venice on the front end and taking the shuttle from the airport to the port in Ravenna. Lots to think about, but we now have another year to plan. Things could be worse and have been for so many others. 

 

Happy cruising!

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1 hour ago, FManke said:

Just saw this. As far as RC is concerned, our cruise leaving Venice on 10/3/20, is still a go. Not for us though. Too many uncertainties still. We are going to move it till next year, which brings us to the Ravenna situation. I have asked myself, if the original cruise was leaving from Ravenna and not Venice, would we still be excited? Hell yes! It's still a cruise! Depending on the shuttle situation we might keep our original plan of spending two nights in Venice on the front end and taking the shuttle from the airport to the port in Ravenna. Lots to think about, but we now have another year to plan. Things could be worse and have been for so many others. 

 

Happy cruising!

I think that's a really wise decision. Your reasoning is exactly why we moved our Allure cruise from Barcelona out to next year. In your case, if it's Rhapsody you're booked on, I don't think she's even over on this side of the pond anyway, so I'd say the chances of that cruise actually happening are slimmer than winning the lottery. ?

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  • 10 months later...

I am booked for July 16 sail on Rhapsody of the seas I will be in Venice the day before 7/15 and have a reservation to stay overnight at the Marriott courtyard at the Marco Polo airport my question to you is approximately how long is the ride to Raveena italy I would leave the hotel and take the shuttle back to the airport and pick up the cruise shuttle but am very concerned of the length of the ride please get back to me are the buses crowded and are they air conditioned.

 

Thank you

angela shenk 

 

 

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23 minutes ago, Angela Shenk said:

I am booked for July 16 sail on Rhapsody of the seas I will be in Venice the day before 7/15 and have a reservation to stay overnight at the Marriott courtyard at the Marco Polo airport my question to you is approximately how long is the ride to Raveena italy I would leave the hotel and take the shuttle back to the airport and pick up the cruise shuttle but am very concerned of the length of the ride please get back to me are the buses crowded and are they air conditioned.

 

Thank you

angela shenk 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Angela Shenk said:

I am booked for July 16 sail on Rhapsody of the seas I will be in Venice the day before 7/15 and have a reservation to stay overnight at the Marriott courtyard at the Marco Polo airport my question to you is approximately how long is the ride to Raveena italy I would leave the hotel and take the shuttle back to the airport and pick up the cruise shuttle but am very concerned of the length of the ride please get back to me are the buses crowded and are they air conditioned.

 

Thank you

angela shenk 

 

 

Marco Polo Airport to Ravenna is about 2 1/2 hours. I'm sure they will be your standard motorcoach so they will be airconditioned and as far as being crowded. I guess that would depend on which one you take. I think a standard motorcoach seats around 60? So, there won't be more than that on board.

Happy Cruising!

 

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