Norwegian Gem was anchored outside the Venice Lido on Saturday morning. It then used several small motor boats to transport guests into the city.
However, some local business owners were worried about the impact the ban would have on income.
The plan by Norwegian Gem could become a new way for cruise lines to circumvent the tough ban.
Other cruise companies have dropped passengers in nearby Trieste or Ravenna where guests can travel to Venice on a two-hour bus.
Venice’s governors had no influence in the plan but one councillor said they hoped it wouldn’t set a precedent.
Simone Venturini told the local press in Venice: “It’s not the type of tourism we want for the city.”
Venice’s ban follows a warning from Unesco that the city was at risk of being put on the world heritage endangered list.
Francesco Galietti, director of the Italy unit for the Cruise Lines International Association said there was an “ongoing struggle.”
He said: “The Norwegian episode shows that there is an ongoing struggle for Venice to remain a home port.
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Day visitors generate far less income for Venice than tourists who choose to stay overnight in the city.
Overnight visitors already pay a tourist tax but around 80 percent of tourists only visit for the day.
Cruise companies are also under strain in other areas of Europe, including Majorca where mega ships have faced new limits.
Local residents worry about their impact on the environment while many think cruise passengers don’t spend much money in the destinations they visit.