I cannot let the last post go by without a comment. Mestre is not Venice, in any way, any form, or whatever. If you want to stay in Venice, you do not want to be in Mestre. It would be similar to staying in Newark for a visit to New York City. That being said, Mestre is the best option for those on a very limited budget. If you are departing Venice on a cruise, you might want to look for a hotel located near the Piazzale Roma. This area can be accessed by an inexpensive bus from the airport and its also where they generally run a shuttle directly to the port terminal (pretty close to Piazzale Roma). As to your 69 year old mother, I know folks a lot older than 69 that can handle many travel issues, but I do not know the limitations of your Mom. Staying in Venice offers many rewards (we love walking in the city late at night) but it also had challenges unique to Venice. If money is no object, there are many very good options. But on a budget, its tough. We will be in Venice in late Sept for the Emerald Princess transatlantic, and have decided to stay at the Ca Doge Hotel near the Piazzale Roma. We would prefer to stay closer to St Marks Square, but we find this is a good compromise. But, keep in mind we will still need to walk a few blocks from bus to hotel.