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36 Venice to Europe - River Cruise Reviews

Had been on a number of Uniworld River Cruises and really enjoyed them but this was definitely not a cruise. The boat only moved about 4 times, and twice everyone had to be off the boat. Most of the time the boat was docked and sitting in ... Read More
Had been on a number of Uniworld River Cruises and really enjoyed them but this was definitely not a cruise. The boat only moved about 4 times, and twice everyone had to be off the boat. Most of the time the boat was docked and sitting in the swells provided by other traffic so the boat rocked around a lot which is not what happens on actual river cruises. Some of the shore trips were OK but most were not. They started early and there was no plan B for the extreme heat or if it rained. Two of the shore trips were on buses for at hour to hour and a half and we were shown a market and a church and then given "free time" for between 1.5 to 2.5 hours in 40 degree heat and no help in finding shelter. On one occasion people were told if it was too hot to walk the 20 minutes back to the bus they would get them a taxi which would cost them. It is quite usual for these cruises to have bus trips but our experience has been that the guides stay with the group unless people choose to "do their own thing" and that lunch has in the past been included. In this case it was "come back to this point after lunch" with no idea where was a good place to eat and if there were any air-conditioned cafes. I am sure some people want to shop all the time but most of us did not so the long free time was annoying. In the advertising nobody tell you that you will have to get off the boat twice while they move the boat. This occurs when the boat moves from the Venice Lagoon to the Po River and you then rejoin the boat at an isolated dock and proceed up the river for a couple of hours and dock at another isolated dock in an area full of mosquitos. The area you cruise is basically swamp with nothing much to see but river is apparently navigable for 100 miles up to a town called Polesella. It could have been that the river was too low for us to go too far but nothing was said at the time. I believe we only went to the end of the Po so they could call it a river cruise. The rest of the time the cruise involved moving from one wharf to another which took half an hour, sitting at the dock, a nice cruise up the lagoon for a couple of hours and then back to the wharf and then the short cruise up the Po. The rest of the time the ship did not move and we were transported by water taxis and a hired launch. Three of the tours were worthwhile. The two trips to St Marco, particularly the evening tour of the basilica and the optional tour of the Galleria and the launch trip to the island of Burano although the latter involved 2.5 hours in 40 degree heat and find your own lunch and no instructions of which cafes were good. We would definitely not go again and would advise people that if they wanted to see Venice they would be better off taking a tour which was based at a hotel and taking water taxis and the like to get around the lagoon. Give the mosquito infested Po a miss. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
I am just back from a fantastic holiday in Italy, and loved my experience with Uniworld and the River Countess. We started with the pre-cruise add-on in Milan, which was a great start to our vacation. The hotel was well located and ... Read More
I am just back from a fantastic holiday in Italy, and loved my experience with Uniworld and the River Countess. We started with the pre-cruise add-on in Milan, which was a great start to our vacation. The hotel was well located and comfortable, and the walking tour gave a nice introduction to the city. The transfer to Venice was excellent, with Verona being a hidden gem that ended up being our highlight of the trip - it is a beautiful town I would love to return to. Arriving in Venice, embarkation was smooth. The River Countess is a good looking ship for its type, and it has all the advertised features. It doesn't have the range of on-board options we've experienced in sea-based cruises, but I wasn't expecting it to. Food was uniformly good, with some meals being excellent - I am fussy with food and was very pleased with what we received. The best part of the River Countess experience was the staff - they were all consistently friendly and helpful. It truly seemed that nothing was ever too much trouble, and the small size of the ship (just over 100 guests the week we cruised) meant they started to get to know us and our preferences as the cruise progressed. I was particularly impressed by the mid-cruise request for feedback, as my feedback was acknowledged and implemented by the next day. The excursions were good, although some of the guides shared more information than I personally needed. This is a hard balance, as others seemed to love the stories about the art and churches etc. Having individual ear-pieces was great as it allowed me to wander away briefly and look at things of interest to me while others stayed with the guide. My only reservation about the experience was the 'river cruise" component. Cruising on the Po was unexciting, as there was little to see on either side of the river much of the time. Spending two days on the river felt forced, and the excursions were based on where we were rather than any particular tourist merit (not that all weren't charming in their own ways). For myself, I'd have been just as happy spending that time in Venice. Lastly, a note on my fellow cruisers. The week I cruised it was a family cruise, so there were a mix of ages. I liked that. I got the impression that other weeks the age profile for the average cruiser will be heavily 60 (if not 70)+. Passengers came from USA, Canada, UK, and a range of other countries. All were friendly. The small size of the ship meant you saw most people around the ship or on the included tours, and dining was communal (there were only two tables for two), so it was hard to stay anonymous. That will suit some people but not others. Overall, I gave this cruise 4 stars. It didn't get five because of my reservations about the river aspect, and because River Countess is a small ship with limited facilities. Other than those, it was a 5 star experience and something I would happily do again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Venice and a canal boat experience was on our bucket list therefore choosing Italy gem tour fitted these two points. Having a trip with all inclusive costs was appealing especially when considering budget. All of the staff on board were ... Read More
Venice and a canal boat experience was on our bucket list therefore choosing Italy gem tour fitted these two points. Having a trip with all inclusive costs was appealing especially when considering budget. All of the staff on board were amazing, exuded professional service and interactions at all times. They were happy to meet our needs and some went over and above to provide a specific and thoughtful service. There were interesting and a variety of excursion options offered. The guides provided by Uniworld were professional, knowledgable and aware of their group. It was appreciated that there was always a person at the end of the group ensuring no one was lost or left behind. However this was not always the case with the local guides. Dining on board was a pleasant experience, good food and drink, great service and helpful and friendly staff. We met people from different walks of life and enjoyed their company. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
My wife and I just returned from a last minute 8 day trip to Italy (bucket list checked). We were interested in both Venice and river cruise and happened upon Croisi. I checked the regular sites for reviews and found very little, but went ... Read More
My wife and I just returned from a last minute 8 day trip to Italy (bucket list checked). We were interested in both Venice and river cruise and happened upon Croisi. I checked the regular sites for reviews and found very little, but went ahead and booked. Very glad we did. We sailed on the Michelangelo in Venice April 4-8. First of all, the boat/hotel manager (Herve) is an excellent host. He could not have been more friendly, informative and organized. He is very customer service oriented indeed. The boat was spotlessly clean, the food very tasty, the tours exceptional and the overall experience delightful. We will definitely cruise on Croisi again. You board the boat very near the main cruise port, but on a very nice quay away from the hustle/bustle adjacent a typical Venice neighborhood. When all passengers are on board the first night, it then moves on to an even better location on a quay just a few minutes walk to St. Marks Square and all of Venice. We walked for hours each day directly from the boat in beautiful neighborhoods. The passenger mix on our cruise was perhaps 60% German and the remainder French (except the two Brits and two other Americans whom we shared a dining table with - they were all very nice and it was good to have companions to share with at meals). You will not go hungry or thirsty. The food is very good with a nice breakfast buffet and three course lunch and dinner. It is a French line, so lots of meat and sauces. Wine, beer and liquor flow freely. The rooms are small compared to cruise ship standards and the bathrooms even smaller, but for us this didn't matter as the location, ambiance, entertainment and tours were excellent. I read one review that complained about the lack of cruising the boat actually does, however it is exactly what is listed in the Croisi itinerary - but yes, its more of a floating hotel than what most are used to for a cruise. We went on to Florence and Rome, where we did day tours and there is no question that Venice and Croisi were the highlight. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We are so glad we did this cruise. This is a wonderful way to see Venice. The tours we took during this cruise were outstanding. We started the cruise with a land tour in Milan where Uniworld put us up in a nice hotel right downtown ... Read More
We are so glad we did this cruise. This is a wonderful way to see Venice. The tours we took during this cruise were outstanding. We started the cruise with a land tour in Milan where Uniworld put us up in a nice hotel right downtown in the middle of the action. They took us to see the "Last Supper", the Duomo, and a castle/fort. After 2 days in Milan we were loaded onto buses and transported to Venice and the River Countess with a walking tour and lunch at a winery on the way. The River Countess was very clean and in good shape for its age. Have to admit that our french balcony room was a lot smaller than what we expected but we made the most of it. The staff overall was friendly and service was good. Food overall was also good, with their soups some of the best I have ever eaten. Tours from the boat were good and we appreciated the grouping by physical ability for the tours. The only thing we did not particularly like was have to be off the boat for such a long time while cruised to and from the Po River. Other than that, Uniworld is very well organized with excellent tour guides. Because of this tour/cruise, we are now looking at Uniworld as another option in a Budapest to Amsterdam river cruise. Highly recommend this as a way to see Venice and surrounding areas. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
I had been on two river cruises before with AMA Waterways but this time chose Uniworld as it offered an Italian experience. The River Po is not itself particularly interesting although it does offer a change from the Venetian lagoon, ... Read More
I had been on two river cruises before with AMA Waterways but this time chose Uniworld as it offered an Italian experience. The River Po is not itself particularly interesting although it does offer a change from the Venetian lagoon, which in itself is spectacular. The ship, crew, captain were all excellent - clean, well managed, like a well-oiled machine. I was exceptionally lucky as the overall group seemed to be happy and well disposed. A highlight of the trip was an evening visit to St Mark's Venice with the eminent art historian Dr Steer, whose exposition of the cathedral was memorable and very entertaining. There is a daily choice of either on-board activity or tours and I chose (after Milan where we were for 1.5 days), Verona, Padua, Chioggia, Burano and Ferrara in addition to the days spent in Venice itself. Viewing the restoration of Da Vinci's Last Supper in Milan is also of interest to art lovers. Venice never disappoints and this time I booked a gondola ride, with a small group. The crew do everything in their power to make your stay enjoyable and deserve high commendation. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
This was our first Uniworld cruise and we have done Avalon & Viking. I am not impressed by the room size on the River Countess. We opted for the suite because we wanted more room. I loved the bathroom with the 2 sinks and large shower. ... Read More
This was our first Uniworld cruise and we have done Avalon & Viking. I am not impressed by the room size on the River Countess. We opted for the suite because we wanted more room. I loved the bathroom with the 2 sinks and large shower. The minibar was also a plus as was our butler. The biggest problem was the furnishings were way too large for the cabin. The table lamps were so large that you had little room to put anything on your night stand. Our friends who also had a suite had the butler take the shades off the lamps so they didn’t bump into them all the time. Also, the furnishings in the lounge we bulky and hard to move around to fit more people. A big plus was the fantastic crew. They were always happy to help with any request. The food was good most days and fair the rest of the time. I know it’s hard to cook for that many people but other lines do it and do it better. Also, there selections were very limited, especially on the Captain’s welcome and farewell nights when you had a fixed menu. Not everyone eats the same food all the time and they need to recognize this. To call this a river cruise is a stretch. Even if the Po River isn’t too low to cruise, the total time you cruise the river is maybe 3 hours. The only reason they run the ship up the Po is to make the drive to Ferrara and Bologna shorter. We didn’t make it to the Po River but instead the captain did an afternoon and evening cruise within the lagoon. These were probably much better than the river. Being all inclusive is great if you drink a lot of cocktails but not very good if you like good wines. Their wine selection was not very good. They did have a wine list where you could purchase wines but it didn’t seem right to buy wine when it was supposed to be included. Our group purchased wine when we were ashore and brought it to dinner. No corkage fees. The local tour guides were very knowledgeable but tended to be long winded and walked very slow. The biggest negative is the internet service. Their internet makes dial-up look good. With today’s technology, getting good internet service is not hard. Considering how much the cruise costs, Uniworld needs to step up to the plate here. What a great way to differentiate your cruise line from your competitors. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Was billed as a 7 day river cruise, but we really did not much cruising. 5 of the 7 nights we were docked at the cruise port in Venice. From the ship there several shore excursions offered in Venice, all of which were excellent, with ... Read More
Was billed as a 7 day river cruise, but we really did not much cruising. 5 of the 7 nights we were docked at the cruise port in Venice. From the ship there several shore excursions offered in Venice, all of which were excellent, with excellent guides. The ship itself was elegant and always very clean. Our cabin was in a good location, just a few steps from the dining room. The bed was probably the most comfortable one we have ever slept in away from home. The food in the dining was OK, but dinners were very disappointing. Breakfast and lunch were satisfactory, although the lunch selections could have had an egg salad or tuna salad offering. Most entrees were overcooked. Simple things like chocolate and oatmeal raisin cookies would have been nice at lunch.The crew was friendly and accommodating, in particular the hotel manager and the cruise director. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We chose a River Cruise as it was recommended to us by our Travel Agent. In addition to the river cruise, part of our vacation was a Land Tour before and after the cruise. Staying on the River Countess was the best part of the trip ... Read More
We chose a River Cruise as it was recommended to us by our Travel Agent. In addition to the river cruise, part of our vacation was a Land Tour before and after the cruise. Staying on the River Countess was the best part of the trip although we were unable to sail on the Po River due to low water levels. We actually only sailed the Venice Lagoon twice. The service by the staff was excellent namely Andreea, Crisitan and Tibor. On one of the sailing days, one of our tour guides, Tamara, described the lagoon and islands as we sailed. She also provided us with an educational wine tasting afterwards in the lounge. We were able to select and participate in many excursions based on our interest level. One of my favorite days was visiting Torcello, Burano and the Venissa Winery! The four hour round trip to Bologna was difficult for the short amount of time spent there. I did enjoy the pasta making workshop and appreciated the opportunity to participate in the making of the tortelloni. Embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly~the crew is well organized and professional. I would definitely book another River Cruise in the future! Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
This is our 5th river cruise and Uniworld by far exceeded all expectations. All inclusive gratuities, drinks, choice of daily excursions were all contributing factors for choosing Uniworld. With many other cruise lines you are constantly ... Read More
This is our 5th river cruise and Uniworld by far exceeded all expectations. All inclusive gratuities, drinks, choice of daily excursions were all contributing factors for choosing Uniworld. With many other cruise lines you are constantly being nickled and dimed with every step. Not so with Uniworld. Their local guides were extremley knowledgeable,friendly and made the daily excursions so much more interesting. Chiara in Milan just made our day with her upbeat personality. Susan, on our Venice excursions was extremely knowledgeable and her detailed descriptions of the Venetian artwork and landmarks were the best we have ever encountered. The staff on the ship were all personable and did everything they could to meet the customer expectations. The evening meals were first class and a large variety of options for lunch, including a pizza bar in the top deck lounge. We are seriously considering doing this trip again in the near future. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
My husband and I booked the Splendors of Italy cruise which has pre and post-cruise extensions in Milan, Florence, and Rome. We made the choice based on the exceptional/very good reviews of others and the itinerary. We are experienced ... Read More
My husband and I booked the Splendors of Italy cruise which has pre and post-cruise extensions in Milan, Florence, and Rome. We made the choice based on the exceptional/very good reviews of others and the itinerary. We are experienced with ocean cruises, but this was our first river cruise. We are not wealthy, but we splurged for a suite (#411 which was 1 of only 4). Overall, while the experience was very good as far as cuisine and drinks, it fell short on basic expectations. Would I recommend? If the itinerary and excursions are your #1 priority, there are better and far less expensive options to consider. For others for whom cuisine and liquor are priorities and who are impressed by a beautiful boat, and do not care where they are cruising, I would say "go for it." What do I mean by basic expectations not being met? The cabin had no working telephone for all 7 nights of the cruise. Suites include the services of a butler, but it is hard to utilize that benefit when there is no way to communicate. I can understand a technical problem for a day or two, but an entire week? More importantly, the issue was met with shrugs as if "it is what it is." No apologies. The sign up process for shore excursions was a one-time "dump" of details and first-come, first-served. There were typically 2 options per day; however, there was often a capacity of 25-30 people per excursion. There were about 110 people aboard. The math speaks for itself. If Plan A and Plan B were booked, you were on your own. I understand when a minimum number of people do not sign up that an excursion would be cancelled; this is about having too small capacity. Tip: Be prepared to elbow your way to the front of the line. Overall, a poor process. Excursions also can differ in reality from the on-line description and final documents. Details come late which is a big problem if planning private excursions during what you believe to be "free time." Many of the popular museums such as the Uffizi in Florence and Borghese in Rome require reservations at least weeks in advance. I even confirmed details with the Uniworld office before leaving home so I booked several private excursions with confidence only to be surprised with major changes that made our plans impossible. What they list as a 1/2-day tour is often only a 1.5 hr. walking tour with pointing at major sites. Many of the older, less mobile passengers were caught offguard when dropped at the center of town by bus or water taxi and not returned to the ship or hotel, requiring a walk of up to 3/4 mile. Not a problem for us, but hard for some in heat. Because the tour guide in Rome was not licensed in that city, she could only walk with the group and could not raise a flag or communicate by voice box, making it hard to hear and follow her in a crowd. Giving credit to the excellent food, I feel it important to point out that variety and choice are limited, especially at the Welcome and Farewell dinners when there is a set menu and no alternatives are printed on the menu. If asked, they will reluctantly provide alternatives, although they acted clearly unhappy about making accommodation even though a food allergy was documented at booking. In summary, Uniworld is excellent at some things, but not some of the things that are important to us. It was an expensive learning experience. Ratings do not always paint the entire picture. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
I have been on many, many cruises before, but this surpassed them all. We went to Milan as a pre-cruise program. We were met at the airport by a Mercedes which took us to the Hotel Rosa, situated a stone's throw from the Duomo, ... Read More
I have been on many, many cruises before, but this surpassed them all. We went to Milan as a pre-cruise program. We were met at the airport by a Mercedes which took us to the Hotel Rosa, situated a stone's throw from the Duomo, perfect location. A Uniworld desk was located in the lobby with announcements, suggestions for lunch and dinner and the activities of the day. We had an orientation walk to show just what an ideal location our hotel was. A recommendation for dinner was superb: family-owned, fresh food, excellent, friendly staff. We were on a walking tour the next day which included an early visit to the Last Supper. I am a slow walker and use a cane. Never was I left alone; there was always a Uniworld staff member in front and behind the group. In the afternoon, we visited La Scala at our own expense, and then we were treated to bellinis afterwards in a local cafe--splendid. Again, another excellent recommendation for dinner. On Sunday, we were on the move to Verona for a walking tour. Next, we visited a winery owned by Dante's family which paired our delicious lunch with various wines. It was here where I purchased excellent olive oil and balsamic vinegar. We arrived to the Countess in Venice. Orientation by Damiano who provided an overall discussion of what to expect on these next 7 days. Everything you see on the Uniworld promotional material is seen on the Countess: beautiful lobby, fresh flowers all over, good-size bar, friendly staff. My only complaint was how small the room, especially the bathroom. Meals were gourmet, wine and spirits flowed. Our waitstaff were friendly and very knowledgeable about all the items on the menu. They were very eager to please. On the evening when we went to St. Mark's, we returned to the ship and were treated to a magnificent buffet--lots of good, filling choices. Our tours were excellent, all conducted by experts in their field: Susan, an art historian, a woman who knew all about wine, and a woman who specialized in the outer islands from Venice. I had never been to Padua and Bologna so this was eye-opening for me. Chioggia is a gem: mussel harvesting up close and personal, followed by an outstanding lunch of these succulent, sweet mussels. On board, we had a tiramisu making workshop, an Italian singer and two opera singers. I can't wait to travel again on Uniworld; they are the BEST. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
This was our second Uniworld Cruise and we would definitely travel with them again. The staff were friendly & professional, the service was exceptional as was the food and the boat itself. The itinerary was well thought out & ... Read More
This was our second Uniworld Cruise and we would definitely travel with them again. The staff were friendly & professional, the service was exceptional as was the food and the boat itself. The itinerary was well thought out & executed and covered all highlights relevant to the areas visited. The cabins were well appointed as were the public areas of the boat. All excursions were well organised and the guides were excellent. We managed to gain access to St Mark's Basilica without the crowds which was highlight of the trip. The staff could not have been helpful or professional and we enjoyed our entire time on the cruise. There is no doubt that we would choose Uniworld if we were to indulge in another river cruise in the future as we have tried other providers and Uniworld definitely comes out on top. We would recommend Uniworld to anyone thinking about a river cruise in Europe. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
The Uniworld cruise in the lagoon of Venice turned upside down any preconceptions we had of the region. The number of islands, the extent of the waterway and it's environment was a revelation. The cruise itinerary was excellent ... Read More
The Uniworld cruise in the lagoon of Venice turned upside down any preconceptions we had of the region. The number of islands, the extent of the waterway and it's environment was a revelation. The cruise itinerary was excellent allowing us time to visit the historical sites around the Grand Canal (including some out of hours special tours) and to explore several of the islands and wetland areas that provide much of the history, culture, food and colour of Venice. The River Countess proved an excellent " home away from Home" with comfortable cabins, an excellent dining room, bar and lounge. Meals were excellent and there was a good choice of wines with each meal. The staff ensured all passengers needs were met and we had a Tour Manager well versed in the history and contemporary features of the region. As we have found with Uniworld cruises of the past they ensured that our local guides were well informed. Some of our on shore visits started reasonably early in the morning and occasionally out of hours when all other tourists had had left for the day. This was a bonus because even though our visit was out of peak season the crowds at the key sites were large. A visit to Venice is highly recommended and the best way surely is to stay on board a comfortable river cruiser. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
My wife and I chose this cruise because we had been to Venice in the past and we wanted to spend more time there and because we traveled on a Uniworld boat once before and found Uniworld to be so much better than their competition. ... Read More
My wife and I chose this cruise because we had been to Venice in the past and we wanted to spend more time there and because we traveled on a Uniworld boat once before and found Uniworld to be so much better than their competition. Just as our past experience, the staff was simply excellent. As a passenger, you never want for anything and never feel neglected. Everyone on the staff bends over backward to try to make your experience as good as it can be. The boat was beautiful and immaculate, just as before. The decor and the ambiance on the boat is incredible. I've never been any other boat that looks so good and is so well maintained. The excursions on the trip were very nice but didn't leave us much free time on this trip. My wife and I actually skipped one of the activities to spend some time just exploring Venice on our own. Uniworld seems to get very good, knowledgeable guides that make the excursions more enjoyable. Dining on a Uniworld boat is also a wonderful experience. No special times or seating requirements and every meal feels like you're in a 5 star restaurant. I really like their "all in" pricing. Everyone enjoys the experience without worrying about getting stuck with the bar tab. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
The Venice and the Gems of Northern Italy river cruise is as close to perfect as you can get. The journey began when we were picked up at the airport by Uniworld and whisked off to the ship for a delicious lunch while waiting a very short ... Read More
The Venice and the Gems of Northern Italy river cruise is as close to perfect as you can get. The journey began when we were picked up at the airport by Uniworld and whisked off to the ship for a delicious lunch while waiting a very short while for our rooms to be ready. Throughout the week, the staff was courteous and helpful going above and beyond our expectations. The rooms, though small, were beautifully decorated and very comfortable. There was always a full jar of candies welcoming us back from our shore excursions. The shore excursions were varied and interesting. The guides were great, especially Susan whose knowledge and delivery were outstanding. Venice is beautiful and we were able to experience her treasures while docked at her doorstep. Breakfast, lunch and dinner were culinary delights. We eagerly awaited each meal! Breakfast was served buffet style with an omelette station. The choices included fruits, pastries, cereals, juices, eggs, meats, pancakes and the most delicious French toast! Lunch, also served buffet style, consisted of a fresh made pasta station, carving station and an abundant variety of hot and cold choices native to the region. Desserts were great - tiramisu, gelato, pastries and every variety of mousse completed the meal. Dinner was a five-star dining delight. Fresh seafood and locally grown produce were especially delicious. Meats and vegetarian choices consisted of Italian favorites like osso bucco and lasagna a la Bolognese. The hotel manager, Damiano, was helpful and ever present. The head chef was so friendly and frequently came to the table to ask how we enjoyed the meal. He seemed to take great pride in our compliments which were effusive. The wait staff were all so friendly and made sure that we dining experience was enjoyable. One waitress, Timea, was particularly friendly - never without a smile. A special highlight of our trip was a visit to the markets at Chioggia with lunch on a mussel harvesting dock in the middle of the sea. The market stalls lined the streets and seemed to go on forever. The mussel and seafood lunch was freshly harvested and delicious. If I were to describe the Uniworld Venice cruise it would be Perfect - simply Perfect! Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
My 3cousins and I booked a Po River cruise on the Uniworld River Countess. It was my first river cruise but 1 cousin had booked with Uniworld in the past. She was given a room upgrade because she was a past passenger and there was an ... Read More
My 3cousins and I booked a Po River cruise on the Uniworld River Countess. It was my first river cruise but 1 cousin had booked with Uniworld in the past. She was given a room upgrade because she was a past passenger and there was an extra room available. Our cabin was immaculate and had all the amenities one would need. I can't say enough about this cruise! Down to the smallest detail, they thought of everything to make our trip very enjoyable. The staff and service were excellent. As was the food and excursions. Tours guides were personable and knowledgeable and spoke in English. As were the front desk staff. There was even accomodation for those who had difficulty walking with their "gentle walkers" group. I was pleasantly surprised to have entertainment scheduled at night and drinks were plentiful. The other passengers were very friendly. I would definitely recommend Uniworld and would like to try another of their cruises in the future. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
This was my 7th cruise with Uniworld and was by far the best -- and I did not think it was possible to get any better than my recent one in Bordeaux on the River Royale. Once you have sailed Uniworld, the other river lines pale in ... Read More
This was my 7th cruise with Uniworld and was by far the best -- and I did not think it was possible to get any better than my recent one in Bordeaux on the River Royale. Once you have sailed Uniworld, the other river lines pale in comparison, and I doubt I will do another with Viking, et al. Too mass market for me. We opted for the cruise which had a pre-extension tour to Milan and a drive to the boat via Verona and a stop for a delicious lunch at a winery on our way to the ship. The hotel was excellent and very central. We had an excellent walking tour of the city and a moving visit to the Last Supper. We paid for an optional tour to La Scala and it was terrific -- our guide knew a lot about music and her enthusiasm was infectious. Afterwards we stopped for a Bellini and some snacks. Befitting the sunny region, the ship colour scheme is attractive. As awals the quality of the Uniworld fittings was superb. I had sailed with many staff on previous cruises and I received a warm welcome. The food was uniformly excellent, esp. the marvellous soups and the wonderful array of salads at lunch. The excursions were all outstanding with the exception of oe to Padua which seemed ill-timed. It took place when mmost places were closed for a long lunch and many were frustrated at having to spend precious time just sitting at a café. I however wanted to arrange private itimerary and the tour director and local guide were terrific in sorting this out. I am booked for another cruise next April, but will repeat this same itinerary next fall Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
This was great. Everything was as advertised. The hotel in Milan, the Star, was excellent. The ground tours, included in the price, could not be bettered. We had excellent guides. They knew the geography and the history of the areas we ... Read More
This was great. Everything was as advertised. The hotel in Milan, the Star, was excellent. The ground tours, included in the price, could not be bettered. We had excellent guides. They knew the geography and the history of the areas we were in. We went to places we would not have seen but for this trip, e.g. Padua, Ravenna. The sights they took us too were top notch, e.g. Dante's tomb in Ravenna. The mosaics in Ravenna and elsewhere were startling. Again, but for this trip we would not have seen them. The ship was excellent. It was clean. The air conditioning worked, not a small consideration when the temperature was 30+C. The food was excellent as was the complementary wine. We have been on other cruises with "complementary" wine not as good as the wine we had on the Countess. The staff were excellent as well. Uniformly helpful. The trip included a transfer to the airport in Venice. As it is under construction the transfer was helpful. The guide took us to check-in and then to security. Cannot beat that sort of service. Uniworld is the best. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
When we booked this stay (30 June-4 July 2016) on the MS Michelangelo for the six of us (two seniors, two middle-agers and two teenagers), it was after a lot of research on Venice hotels and convenience. We wanted to be near the water, ... Read More
When we booked this stay (30 June-4 July 2016) on the MS Michelangelo for the six of us (two seniors, two middle-agers and two teenagers), it was after a lot of research on Venice hotels and convenience. We wanted to be near the water, close to St. Mark's Square and have convenient transfers to-from the airport. We knew the Michelangelo clientele would be predominantly European and that English would be a second-language rather than primary for shipboard activities. Also, the cuisine would be focused toward European versus American tastes. For us, these were plus factors. Embarkation-Debarkation. Coming from the airport our transfer driver was able to drive directly to the Michelangelo which was docked for embarkation-debarkation at a side quay (San Basilio) next to the main cruise terminal. We arrived at 11AM and dropped off our luggage. We then went on a walking tour along the main canal, stopping for lunch along the way at a sidewalk bistro. About 3PM we were back at the ship and got a quick nap before the ship left the San Basilio quay for the 30-minute trip to the primary docking site near the Arsenale vaporetto station. The ship remained here (except for a three-hour lagoon cruise) until the fourth-day trip to Chioggia. From Chioggia the ship sailed directly back to the San Basilio quay for final night and passenger debarkation the next morning. We skipped the scheduled excursion to Padua, opting instead for the tranquility of the Chioggia-to-Venice cruise. The Cabin - Small, to say the least. It was functional and spotlessly clean, which were the most important things to us. Time spent in the cabin was minimal at best, as Venice sightseeing filled most hours of the day. The cabin is 220VAC, so bringing a plug-in converter for 110VAC devices is a must. The beds were much more comfortable than I expected. Shipboard Activities - Very few entertainment activities, but none really needed. The draw is Venice, not shipboard entertainment, and the docking location made having access to Venice sights very convenient. Venice at night is beautiful and deserves some time to experience it. There were crew performances and a fabulous local entertainer (singer/clarinetist) for evening onboard entertainment. The Shipboard Food. Breakfast was a European-focused buffet, and Americans expecting piles of crispy bacon, American-style scrambled eggs and such are in for a culinary shock; as European breakfasts involve different items (cold cuts, cheeses, fruits, etc.) preferred by Europeans. The breakfast baked goods were superb, and my grand-daughters devoured the croissants and rolls. Lunch and dinner were set-menu three course affairs, and even if a person only ate two of the three courses (tastes and expectations vary), the food was good and plentiful. We can't complain about the shipboard food at all, but we also had a couple meals at Venetian restaurants for the sheer fun of it. Crew. The crew:passenger ratio is roughly 5:1. About half of the crew were fluent in English, with most having some basic English skills. The captain, purser and cruise director were personal, very accommodating and helpful, more so than I have experienced on the "big boat" cruises. The waitresses and bartenders were wonderful, always smiling (real smiles, not the phony industrial type!) and kind. They all seemed to really care about what they do and to do it well. Special note. Our group included two teenagers who were under the legal "alcohol" age. At both "captain's events" there were specially-made alcohol-free drinks already prepared and served to them (and a couple other youngsters onboard) which looked exactly like what the adults received, so when drinks were served the youngsters were not left standing there empty-handed. This attention-to-detail to insure all passengers regardless of age were fully considered and included is something I have not seen at "captain's events" on "big boat" cruses, and it was very appreciated. High marks to CroisiEurope for having this insight. Summary. Hindsight being 20:20, we would still have made the same choice. For folk who are relatively self-sufficient tourists the Michelangelo has all that's needed. For those non-Europeans who demand things (especially the food) be "exactly like back home" while supposedly experiencing Europe, they won't be happy. We (six Americans) came to Venice and the MS Michelangelo for a European-immersion vacation, and the CroisiEurope staff fulfilled every expectation. The Michelangelo is indeed a floating hotel which occasionally cruises the area. Despite the limited cruising, having the convenience of shipboard meals when we didn't want to dine "ashore" made things easier. The reception/concierge service was exceptionally efficient the couple of times we needed it, and the ship's primary docking location couldn't have been much better located. CroisiEurope has made us very satisfied, and probably repeat, customers. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
This was our second cruise on Uniworld. We loved the first one up the Rhine so much, we brought four more people with us this time! This cruise was as great if not better. Our room, which was kept nice and clean, was lovely, even ... Read More
This was our second cruise on Uniworld. We loved the first one up the Rhine so much, we brought four more people with us this time! This cruise was as great if not better. Our room, which was kept nice and clean, was lovely, even spacious. The service far exceeds anywhere we've ever been. Everyone on board from the room attendants through to the Captain, bent over backwards to fill every want and need, even, it seemed at times, the unspoken ones. The food had variety, and was delicious, the waiters were attentive and friendly, sometimes funny....We laughed and had fun every time we went to the dining room. Although we usually don't do the "bar science", we enjoyed the entertainment provided in the evening. I especially liked the opera singers (they sang some of my favorite arias) and the young lady who sang was very entertaining. The shore excursions were great. Loved every one, liked that we had choices, but also enjoyed some free time on our own and we had massages which were heavenly! The outdoor movie was a great idea and new to us...keep that! Lots of fun and so many good memories. Thanks to all on the River Countess, Sabine, Heidicha, Valentin, Gerry, and so many more for making our 50th wedding anniversary trip one we'll remember forever! Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
This is only our second river cruise, but, we are total converts. We may never set foot on a "big" ship again! The staff is well-trained, attentive, genuine and personable and the ports and excursions are exquisitely ... Read More
This is only our second river cruise, but, we are total converts. We may never set foot on a "big" ship again! The staff is well-trained, attentive, genuine and personable and the ports and excursions are exquisitely well-planned and executed. We had only 88 people on our cruise. No crushing rushes or long waits to get on and off the ship. Ages ranged from a honeymoon couple in their 20's to experienced senior travelers. Age, mobility and interests are all factored in to the planned excursions. We rode bikes twice: in Chioggia and in Ferrara. Others chose not to pursue the "active touring" options. We like the bike rides with tour guides because you can see so much more; you get "off the beaten path" and can cover so much more territory than you can on foot. You can see and experience more than if you are doing a "windshield" tour in a motor coach. Uniworld arranged coveted tickets for the entire group to visit Leonardo Da Vinci's The Last Supper in Milan and we had a private, evening trip to St. Mark's Basilica with an expert on the art, theology and history of this magnificent architectural structure. The three-island tour to Torcello, Mazzorbo and Burano was exceptionally well orchestrated, including our second exclusive wine tasting. The first was in Valpolicella where we visited the winery founded by the son of Dante Aligheiri (author of Dante's Inferno). This winery remains family owned today. Really amazing sights, sounds and tastes. On board, the Executive Chef, cooks, wait and bar staff were very professional and attentive, but never over-bearing. The quality of training is obvious! The house-keeping staff was quick, thorough and thoughtful. We celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary on our cruise, and the housekeeping staff transformed our stateroom while we were at dinner. Very memorable! Another thing we truly love about Uniworld is the payment policy. When you've booked and paid for your cruise, you're done. Everything is included. Food, drinks, excursions, tips -- everything. There is no debating about whether or not you want that second glass of $9 wine at dinner. They just pour it. There's no struggling over whether to take the $150 excursion or the $400 excursion or whether to try to explore on your own. They have it covered. It's included, and you don't disembark signing for an additional 2 grand on your credit card. We love that, and, did the math. It's "more expensive" up front, but, we believe that for what we saw and did, and the many private experiences we enjoyed, we would have paid more -- in a far more aggravating and annoying manner (swiping that cruise card 10 times a day every time you want a drink, or trying to keep up with a separate drink card, if you purchased a package) -- than we did booking and traveling with Uniworld. Love this! All in all, this is the way to travel. Small groups. Excellent tours of important locations and sites. Sufficient free time. Exquisite meals. Great people. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
My wife and I choose this cruise line based on our past experience with Uniworld and this particular cruise for the itinerary. We reviewed a description of the ports and wanted to discover new places. We stayed in Milan for a couple of ... Read More
My wife and I choose this cruise line based on our past experience with Uniworld and this particular cruise for the itinerary. We reviewed a description of the ports and wanted to discover new places. We stayed in Milan for a couple of days before the cruise and were hosted by the Uniworld representative, who was fabulous. We participated in the featured excursions, saw some fabulous attractions and got some shopping and dining tips. Embarkation in Venice was smooth and very quick. Staff was marvelous and attentive to your every need. The ship was well appointed with beautiful staterooms, dining room, cocktail lounge, sun deck, laundry facilities, coffee bar, on-board novelty store. Nothing you can want that is not addressed. The on-board entertainment was wonderful. But best of all was the service! the staff could not do enough to please us. We have been on over 50 cruises and this was our 4th river cruise, 3 with Uniworld. They are simply the best! Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
The cruise was recommended by friends; we are delighted that we took it. The crew was was wonderful, the cruise staff were outstanding - they were courteous, fun, helpful and very attentive. The shore excursions and tour guides were ... Read More
The cruise was recommended by friends; we are delighted that we took it. The crew was was wonderful, the cruise staff were outstanding - they were courteous, fun, helpful and very attentive. The shore excursions and tour guides were absolutely excellent - the guides were funny, personable and extremely knowledgeable. The cabins were clean with ample space for two; the bathrooms were accommodating for a cruise ship. There was always various types of candies and treats left for us by the room attendants. The food was absolutely delicious. The chef was marvelous and his nightly food selections were so very tasty. there was nightly entertainment on the ship and opera singers were even brought on to delight us with their voices and duets. Embarkations and disembarkations went very smoothly - we were always greeted back on board with warm towels and refreshing drinks. Our final disembarkation also went very smoothly with transfers to our respective airlines. We look forward to our next UniWorld River Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
CroisiEurope Riverboat Michelangelo, Venice Everyone we talked to told us how great the riverboat cruises are. We searched for cruises from Venice and came up with Croisieurope with stops at Padua, Verona and Bologna. Perfect! we ... Read More
CroisiEurope Riverboat Michelangelo, Venice Everyone we talked to told us how great the riverboat cruises are. We searched for cruises from Venice and came up with Croisieurope with stops at Padua, Verona and Bologna. Perfect! we said. We had no idea that the amount of time traveling on buses would exceed the time spent cruising on the river. With the exception of Venice, itself, we would spend a couple of hours to get to the site, about 2 hours on a tour and another couple of hours returning to the ship. Would we have paid $600 a day to spent 3 to 5 hours on a bus every day? If you count the time spent waiting for the bus we can stretch that out to 6 hours or more. Sitting on a cement curb breathing diesel fuel in a bus parking lot for 45 minutes wasn’t wasn't a solitary event. I guess we should have looked at a map. At two junctures everyone had to get off the boat and onto a bus while the boat traversed the Adriatic Sea. The Adriatic is too rough and the Michelangelo is too small to allow passengers. We got on and off a bus so much I started to think I was back at Girl Scout camp. Very little time was spent actually cruising. Most of the time we were tied up to a pier. The Food In a word, terrible. At breakfast the steam table eggs and sausage were cold, as was the coffee. After a few days I got up early so I could be in the dining room when it opened. But at 7:15 in the morning it was all as cold as it had been at 8:30 in the morning. Don’t think you’re going to dine on filet or lobster on Croisi. Veal shoulder and fish couscous is what you’ll get—the cheapest cuts of meat, fatty, stringy, tough or all of the above. After three days I was ravenous and ready to eat the napkin. The only other Americans on board wanted to leave the boat after the first dinner on board and they requested a refund (no way). At one meal we were served what appeared to be raw bacon. Our table mates, four Brits from the Midlands assured us it was cured meat, safe to eat and that they quite like fat. I switched to vegetarian, which seemed to cause some consternation. You’re supposed to make a declaration at the start of the cruise and to stick to it. But the plate of bright orange pureed sweet potatoes wasn’t much more appealing than the raw bacon. I ended up eating an inordinate amount of cheese and bread. I was always under the impression that the French ate well. I am revisiting that notion. They did serve very nice tomatoes. Amenities In a word, none. It has been in the high forties and low fifties with a brisk wind. Crossi did not supply lap robes on the sun deck. We managed to keep from freezing by sitting on towels. The last time I used towels like this was in 1976 in a Moscow hotel. The deck chairs are cheap and uncomfortable. There is a wastepaper basket in the bathroom but none in the cabin. I asked for one but no luck. I considered myself lucky to get a box of kleenex when I asked because it may well have been the only box of tissues on the boat. There is wifi, but you have to sit in the salon, where the receiver is, in order to connect and, of course, it is painfully slow. The Cabin I wouldn’t have thought it possible to fit a sink, toilet and shower in a space that small if I hadn’t experienced it up close and personal. No one expects ship cabins to be spacious. But I began to question my sanity when I thought about spending four grand to spend a week in a room the size of prison cell. What’s good about it? Free wine and plenty of it. (You’re gonna need it.) If I think of something else I’ll let you know. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016

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