We always arrive early - especially in spots we haven't yet visited - to savor the local culture. Booked 3 days in Santiago and 2 in Buenos Aires on NCL packages and were delighted with both places.
Embarkation in Valparaiso is a joke and it's not a cruise line issue. Very tight spaces for buses and the terminal and ships are at least a mile apart.
Once on board we we're charmed as usual by NCL's brand of hospitality. We book suites because of the perks - larger and nicer staterooms, a private dining room for breakfast and lunch, reserved seating in the theater and of course our concierge and butler - Karen and Roel are 2 of the best at what they do.
We chose South America - Santiago to Buenos Aires because we hadn't been there. Totally awesome scenery, extremes in weather - hot, cold, rainy, windy and bright sunshine - sometimes all in the same day. Still an excellent experience. The only disappointment was not being able to go ashore in the Falklands because of high winds.
We think NCL people are pretty great. Without exception, every crew member we met face-to-face smiled and greeted us warmly. There were so many gr4eat people that we probably did 30 positive comment cards. The people were funny, charming, witty and polite and worked hard to spoil us - and it worked.
The ship we clean and well maintained. We saw very little wear and tear. It was easy to get around. The entertainment was great to mediocre depending on your tastes. Jean Ann Ryan dances superb as usual. Juggler and magician were really good.
We ate in most of the restaurants - both speciality and main dining rooms - and found the service, selection and quality to be excellent in all venues. Especially great service and food in Le Bistro - Sushi was some of the best ever and Il Adagio, Pacific Heights and Seven Seas were always very good.
Was everything always perfect? Of course not. However, about the only thing worth complaints were some of the most inconsiderate, self-centered passengers who pushed and shoved in lines, on and off elevators and took others seats on the tours buses. Thankfully, these were not the majority.
All in all, a great trip to a part of the world we had not yest visited. We'll cruise with NCL again - booked on a transatlantic on the Epic and have 2 other opened bookings. We obviously like what they offer and sometimes wonder if we're on the same cruise as the people writing negative reviews.