Golden Princess Cruise Review by dobbs36: Disappointing South American Cruise
Overall Member Rating
Disappointing South American Cruise
Destination: South America
Embarkation: Buenos Aires
It is clear to me that Argentina does not welcome tourists, particularly Americans. I have never seen so many security lines--it took four hours from arriving in BA to the ship. And Americans have to pay a $160 reciprocity fee to get into the country. This is apparently because they are po'd that the U.S. requires Argentinians to get a visa. The website to pay the fee is abysmal. Some people reported spending three hours to get it to work. Then you are asked to show it a million times. God forbid you lose the stupid thing. And don't try to use your cell phone. Argentina and Chile are the only countries in the world that don't offer a discounted cell phone plan for travelers.
If you can get past all that, the trip was fine. Not wonderful, but fine. The Penguins were amazing. Definitely go to Puna Tomba and to Bluff Cove in the Falklands. The National Park at Ushaia was nothing special. Montevideo is a depressing city, but mildly interesting. Don't take the Princess tour to the More volcano and the waterfall. The waterfall had a million people and the stop is so rushed it's not worth it. In fact, don't take any Princess tours. You can get small-group tours easily online and they are much nicer and cheaper.
The ship was not up to the standards of Princess. We had virtually no information on where we were or what we were seeing. We even went to the "library" to see if they had a map, but no luck. The library was actually just an internet site with a few books. The weather report was always off. I always went online to get a real weather report--even though the wifi was horrible and expensive.
There were a lot of people who played duplicate bridge (more than 60), but the ship offered no support other than a room and some water. Oh, and they gave us cards that were cut down to fit the duplicate boards so you couldn't read the numbers. When a volunteer asked for free internet time to print out scorecards, they were told "no".
Staff very aggressive about selling everything. Bands were boring. Two bands played the same numbers after dinner every night and I think I heard one non-slow song the whole trip. The DJ was peppy but didn't start until 10 am and usually had about 5 people up there. Don't try to get a machine in the fitness center. Even at 7 am they are all booked.
On the positive side, the food was good, cabins fine. The tango shows were great. They had tango and ballroom dance classes that were excellent, but none of the bands played music you could practice to. They had one one-hour DJ ballroom thing at 10 pm. Less
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