On this trip was my husband and I, we have been on about 26 cruises and 4 river boats. We love to travel that way. We chose this particular cruise because of the itinerary. We left from Toronto on a snowy night. We arrive a day before as we always day to get acclimatize to time change and temperature. We stayed at the Sheraton and it was nice, right down town. Buenos Aires was much nicer city than expected. Very much like a European city, but cheaper. Our 2 days there were sunny and hot. Temps in the high 80's. Would recommend a good city tour. We plan on going back someday. We boarded the ship in Buenos Aires for 2 reason for us it was easier to get to and no hassle for Brazilian visas.
We were a bit surprised when we reached the port for boarding, there was one girl and she asked if our name was on our suitcases (they were) and so she took them and said we would see them next on the ship. Kind of scary but it worked. Then we hopped on the shuttle bus and went to the ship. Not much fuss about this embarkation, very relaxed. Our cabin was an inside one and standard for ships cabin if a bit small. Our cabin attendant was very good, we didn't see him for a couple of days, which is how we like it, efficient and not bothersome. Not like on other cruises where they are in your face all the time. We had late sitting at a table for 8, we lucked out with very nice people. The food was a bit of a conundrum. It was good but not great and the menu was misleading. It was a guess at what one would be getting they would use terms that we know like galette (French term for flat pastry) and what came was a piece of pie!!! Also it was not consistent sometime it was good and sometime not. Our table mates also complained of the small portions and after a while ordered 2 portions. I personally think that it was OK, nowadays we eat too much and the proportion were fine for me, less waste.The service was good and our server Ricco and his assistant did a good job. It seems that the cruise lines are reducing their dining room staff and therefore the service is slow. we noticed that on other line and it was the same here so I don't put the blame on Ricco but the company.
It's a very nice ship not too much ware and tare, it going to get refurbish in March. My biggest complaint would be that the lounges were cold and when you are in Antarctica that is not good. Our favorite room was the Explorer where the Internet was and the coffee bar it was nice and cozy. It is also the library which in well stocked with current books. The entertainment was good and interesting. We had a piano player, a violin player and an opera singer and they were all fabulous. Shore excursions were extremely expensive and a lot of people would wait to get to the port and book taxis. If you decide to go with the ship's one book early as they sell out real fast.Being that our cruise was real soon after Christmas we procrastinated and didn't book anything and regretted it, especially in the Falkland where there is tenders and by the time you get to shore all the taxis are taken. One note about the Falkland, they tell you that you can walk to Gipsy's cove but not really. It's windy and far but what they don't tell you is that there is a shuttle bus and for $20 US it will take you there and back. A very good deal.