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4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 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
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
CroisiEurope should be proud of the staff on board the Michelangelo, they were magnificent, very helpful friendly and pleasant at all times, they clearly worked hard. The ship was spotless and the food absolutely wonderful. The cabins ... Read More
CroisiEurope should be proud of the staff on board the Michelangelo, they were magnificent, very helpful friendly and pleasant at all times, they clearly worked hard. The ship was spotless and the food absolutely wonderful. The cabins were roomy with plenty of wardrobe space for two and there was a large window in each. Air con or heating was standard at the flick of a button and cabins were cleaned thoroughly each day. I would say that it was great value for money. I would definitely recommend to all my friends, a holiday with a special difference. The tours and the cruising was excellent, Michelangelo docked every night by the quayside in Venice not too far from the Doges Palace and St Marks Square. During the day when not on an organised tour its possible to see lots of Venice using the vaporettos to get around. The atmosphere on board Michelangelo was very convivial with some form of entertainment on every night. Read Less
27 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 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
21 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 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
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
Everyone we talked to said 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 ... Read More
Everyone we talked to said 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 time spent in 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 even unusual. 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 many times it reminded me of 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. You will not 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 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 meals, 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 had been in the high forties and low fifties with a brisk wind. Croisi 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 wifi, but you have to sit in the salon, where the receiver is, in order to connect. The Cabin 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. No one expects ship cabins to be spacious. But 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. 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 booze and plenty of it. (You’re gonna need it.) If I think of something else I’ll let you know. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
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
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
As promised my review of my floating hotel Michelangelo on the Venice Lagoon and River Po. First I shall talk about fellow passengers. Being a French ship most passengers were from France with a large French speaking Belgian group from ... Read More
As promised my review of my floating hotel Michelangelo on the Venice Lagoon and River Po. First I shall talk about fellow passengers. Being a French ship most passengers were from France with a large French speaking Belgian group from an organisation called Kwiani (hope I have the correct spelling). 6 Spanish speaking guests and the English speaking table consisting of 4 British and 2 Flemish speaking Belgians. French was the predominant language for announcements followed by English then Spanish. CroisiEurope do not have independent Cruise Directors but directly employed staff from Animation or entertainments as we know it perform this function. Sarah the senior of these came to the English and Spanish tables each night at dinner and went through the following days programme. Her English was very good and she was very helpful. Some of the French and Belgians spoke English and I was able to hold conversations including one in partial French with a lady who felt it unusual for such a young man to cruise on his own (I am 64)! The ship had an age range from around 5 years to I suspect around 80 years. There were 6 children on board the oldest traveling with a younger brother and grandmother was 15. This was one of CroisiEuropes dedicated Kids Club cruises where a member of the Animation team ran the kids activities which gave parents/guardians the chance to go on excursions knowing their children would be safe on board. Crew: The ships crew/hotel staff was a mix of French, Italian and Hungarians. The waiter/waitress staff are not allocated to tables and often would address us in French when first serving our table. Some did speak a fair amount of English and some had very little English. I do think they were getting worried for the trip following mine as only 10 French were on board the rest being English speakers. It does go to show how on these ships the crew do many jobs. I thought I had asked a deck hand a question before checking in. That night he had his full uniform on and was introduced as Chief Engineer. Food: Breakfast was the usual buffet with set meals for Lunch and Dinner. Menu was broadcast on the televison and if the meal was not suitable the chief would do his best to find an alternative. The chef was French so a good deal of French and Italian food was on offer. Sometimes it was a bit overpowering with a four course lunch and a four course dinner on the same day. As far as dressing for dinner then smart casual was the norm and on the gala night some chaps wore a tie about 6 wore suits and a few ladies were a little elegant. Actual Cruising and Excursions If you want a major river cruise this is not the trip for you. On the first night we cruised from one side of St. Marks Square to the other around 30 minutes. The following morning was a 2 hour cruise to Chioggia where all passengers had to disembark. There was and optional trip to Padua with a trip to SottoMarina for those not wishing to take this. The ship made its was to Cattelan Gas where we all re boarded. This section is at sea and we were told that for the past couple of years the Italian authorities will not allow either of the river boats to carry passengers over this section following the Costa Concordia disaster. During Dinner the ship cruised to Polesella which could not have been more than a couple of hours sorry I just cannot remember. Day 3 was a morning coach trip to Ferrara which was very nice. We had a tri-lingual guide and the Spanish and English speakers saw this town together. After lunch the choice was an excursion to Verona or stay on board while the ship sailed to Banchina Grandi when everyone was off again due to sailing at sea. We rejoined the ship at Chioggia again. 2 of the excursion coaches were delayed by a 3 car traffic accident getting back to the ship after the scheduled dinner time. However dinner was delayed but we only had 15 minutes from arrival to first course. Day 4 and we sailed back to Venice during breakfast in time for the optional excursion to the Doges Palace. That afternoon was free time in Venice and I took the opportunity to have a couple of hours sleep (first time I have ever done this on a cruising trip) as I was excursioned out! That night Uniworlds River Countess moored alongside and was there all of the following day. Day 5 was a boat excursion to the Islands of Murano and Burano. At Murano we were taken to a glass foundry and saw a demonstration of glass blowing. Of course this was followed by a visit to the shop. Burano was a very pretty island where one could relax or wander around at leisure. After lunch was free time and I wandered into St. Marks Square which took me about an hour at a very slow pace. The Ship: The Michelangelo is one the lines 2 cabin deck ships with a lounge and bar, restaurant and cabins on the upper deck and cabins only in steerage where I was. I had one of the two single cabins which was comfortable but compact but just right for me. Small double bed, desk, chair, T.V. and wardrobe space. Very small shower room with hand basin and w.c. On the sun deck was a small inflatable pool, loungers and chairs around tables. Conclusion: Certainly not a trip I could compare to any other being more excursion based rather than cruising based. However a great way to see Venice rather than being in a hotel. Even though I class myself as a Croisifile I do not think I would do this trip again. Next year I shall be looking towards one of their paddle boats if I can save up enough pennies. Please feel free to ask any questions and I will do my best to answer. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
Under the aegis of 'Acromas' this was the new trip offered by Saga. For three nights we were booked into the Paradiso Hotel - a Golf Resort, surrounded by links (but out-of-bounds to non-golfers). The restaurant opened in the ... Read More
Under the aegis of 'Acromas' this was the new trip offered by Saga. For three nights we were booked into the Paradiso Hotel - a Golf Resort, surrounded by links (but out-of-bounds to non-golfers). The restaurant opened in the evening but on our arrival only a frantically busy cafe was available for lunch. The rooms were clean and spacious and the toilet in my room was fixed quickly, but it would have been helpful if the hotel's Italian information had been also offered in English. The boat excursions on the Lake were essentially unplanned and meant long hours of wandering in crowded streets with virtually no guidance. Our saga Rep. did her best but struggled to get support from HQ when a booked coach never arrived and stopover venues were changed at the last minute. En route to the river boat in Venice there was a long stopover in Vicenza - again no guidance as to what the city had to offer - and (for this first-time tourist) a lesson in where/how to find a toilet! Our remaining 4 nights were spent on the river boat Michelangelo. I requested (and paid for) a double room/bed for single occupancy, which, prior to the trip I had confirmed twice by phone. What I got was a twin cabin/twin beds right next door to the restaurant...noisy and crowded. We arrived late afternoon but were not seated for a meal until almost 9pm. The medical service (for a badly blistered foot) was minimal. I felt the trip was poorly put together by the agents: the pace rushed and ill-suited for a group of 18 seniors. In fact, as a minority group, we appeared to be 'last served' on a ship holding 158 people. Read Less
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