River Countess cruise review
Officers and crew
River Countess normally has a crew of 41 to serve a maximum of 132 passengers. The staff includes:
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.
These crew members work belowdecks, tending the ship's diesel engines and other mechanical systems.
Mario Mirao, the dapper and personable hotel manager during our cruise, was in charge of the ship's hospitality operations.
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.
, including Executive Chef Daniel Triku, a restaurant manager, cooks, bartenders, and a team of cheerful, hard-working waiters (mostly from Eastern Europe).
in the ship's lobby, who serve passengers and maintain security 24 hours a day.
--among them, Csaba, our suite attendant, who kept our room spotless and well-supplied with fruit, ice, drinks, and toiletries.
who maintain the ship, operate winches for the mooring lines, deploy the gangway, and perform other maritime duties.
Uniworld includes all tips for onboard and onshore services (including shore excursions) in its European cruise fares, so tipping is neither encouraged nor expected.
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