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River Countess cruise review

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ABOVE: Executive Chef Daniel Triku takes a break on deck as River Countess approaches its Venice mooring. INSET BELOW: Mooring at Riva dei Sette Martiri, cruise manager Tony Campailla, a surprise birthday cake, a receptionist, and a sailor on the gangway.


Officers and crew

River Countess normally has a crew of 41 to serve a maximum of 132 passengers. The staff includes:

imageA first and second captain. A typical river vessel has two captains or river pilots who work alternating shifts. During our voyage, River Countess had three captains: First Captain Richard Martin, Second Captain Mario Polidoro, and Captain-in-training Thijs Van der Lee, who will command the ship in 2015.

A chief engineer and engine-room staff. These crew members work belowdecks, tending the ship's diesel engines and other mechanical systems.

A hotel manager. Mario Mirao, the dapper and personable hotel manager during our cruise, was in charge of the ship's hospitality operations.

imageA cruise manager. On a river ship, the cruise manager or cruise director is responsible for  shore excursions, transfers, and onboard passenger activities. Tony Campailla, the cruise manager during our voyage, brought a transatlantic sensibility and a firm grasp of American vernacular to the job: He lived in Los Angeles for eight years, running tours for Europeans on America's West Coast, before moving back to Italy and joining Uniworld.

imageKitchen, dining-room, and bar staff, including Executive Chef Daniel Triku, a restaurant manager, cooks, bartenders, and a team of cheerful, hard-working waiters (mostly from Eastern Europe).

imageReceptionists in the ship's lobby, who serve passengers and maintain security 24 hours a day.

Housekeeping staff--among them, Csaba, our suite attendant, who kept our room spotless and well-supplied with fruit, ice, drinks, and toiletries.

imageSailors who maintain the ship, operate winches for the mooring lines, deploy the gangway, and perform other maritime duties.

About tipping:

Uniworld includes all tips for onboard and onshore services (including shore excursions) in its European cruise fares, so tipping is neither encouraged nor expected.

Next page: Is River Countess right for you?


Uniworld River Countess cruise review:
Introduction
River Countess: the ship
Cruise itinerary
Cabins and suites
Dining and lounges
Other amenities
Shore excursions
Officers and crew
Is River Countess right for you?
Web links

Ship and shore photos:
River Countess day-by-day cruise photo diary

Also see:
River Countess itinerary map
Venice Santa Marta pier (with map)
Venice for Cruisers