We left Florida one day prior to the cruise since the ship was spending an overnight in Venice and I felt sure we would not miss it.
We checked our bags in Orlando and they went through to Venice with no problems. I heard stories of luggage getting lost on flights to Italy but we were lucky it went without a glitch.
It was cold and rainy in Venice and we didn't go out the first day. We were tired and slept a bit when we got on the ship.