I visited Venice on a day-trip boat excursion from where I was staying on holiday in Croatia, in Sept 2012.
Venice was a truly magnificent sight-seeing experience, and lived up to al my expectations. Upon coming into port, and walking along the quayside on approach to the Grand Canal, was like nothing I had experienced before. I had heard the stories, and seen video and TV footage, but it had to be seen to be believed.
Seeing the vast expanses of water and multiplicity of vessels, from gondolas to catamarans to canopied sight-seeing boats, etc., was a unique and magnificent experience, despite the fact that I visited on a dull, overcast day.
If you are ever in the vicinity of Venice, I would definitely recommend a visit to the Grand Canal.