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1 CroisiEurope Michelangelo Cruise Reviews for Senior Cruises to Cruise to Nowhere

When I booked this "cruise", I knew there would not be much cruising involved. However, if I'd known the boat would be completely stationery except for 8 hours during our whole stay, I would not have booked! When did ... Read More
When I booked this "cruise", I knew there would not be much cruising involved. However, if I'd known the boat would be completely stationery except for 8 hours during our whole stay, I would not have booked! When did the Michelangelo move? Once, for a short hop between our initial mooring at San Basilio and our main mooring at the Giardini Bienniale; once for a two hour meander around the North Lagoon (no stops, no commentary); and a short cruise down to Chiogga and back (two and a half hours each way). When we booked, the brochure said the ship sailed to Murano and Burano but apparently larger ships are no longer permitted to moor there. DINING AND BEVERAGES The Michelangelo is fully inclusive - all meals including unlimited beer, wine, spirits, soft drinks and water (including bottles of water to take on excursions). The bar is open most of the day and very late into the night. The meals are all a set menu with no choices. Helpings were generous but there was a weird disconnect between the published menus and what was served - for instance: - "orecchiette" on the menu became plain penne on the plate; - "roman piccata" was pork schnitzel with spaghetti and the wrong sauce; - "caprese" salad was made with mozzarella instead of bocconcini; ..and so on. It felt as though Head Office had created an Italian menu to suit the ship's Venetian location, but the chef had never tasted Italian cuisine and just made it up (I recommend he spends some time with Google to find the recipes, and eats a few meals at real Italian restaurants!). The British guests seemed happy with the food but the French passengers were critical and said it was well below what they expected from Croisieurope. We were disappointed with the standard but felt it must've been difficult for a kitchen of four people to cater for so many passengers, so if there was a tendency towards institutional cooking perhaps it was unavoidable. EXCURSIONS Some passengers had booked inclusive of all excursions - we had not. The Doge's Palace is walking distance from the ship's mooring at Giardini and the queue is short, so apart from the commentary (which was good), we felt we had wasted our money on this excursion and should have done it ourselves. The trip to Murano and Burano seemed expensive, considering that local excursion operators do a similar trip for 20 euros which includes Torcello (which is more interesting than Burano). The ship goes to Chioggia on the last full day, from where there's an excursion to Padua. Chioggia itself is a large town with a few old buildings on its main street, and is not worth a visit (the Michelangelo staff recommended the fish market "with lots of interesting fish" as the highlight of the town...). We chose not to go to Padua as the excursion sounded rushed. The cruise back along the edge of the lagoon was pleasant on a spectacularly sunny day, but it would've been far better with some basic commentary telling us what islands we were passing. ENTERTAINMENT We were concerned that the entertainment consisted of ONE local musician on two of the evenings, but we need not have worried as she was a brilliant clarinetist who also sang, played the piano and acted as DJ. The large lounge had ample space for all including a good dance floor. SUMMARY This is not a cruise! To be fair, it is not Croisieurope's fault - the Venetian authories have severely limited where larger ships can go in the Lagoon. However, perhaps that means it's time for Croisieurope to reconsider whether it's worth offering this "cruise" at all, or be more imaginative about the way they run it. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Michelangelo Ratings
Category Editor Member

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