We enjoyed the food in the Main Dining Room. Our waiter and assistant were the best we've ever had. They gave us a review of the menu nightly and their recommendations. They were correct every time. I've seen complaints about the food but we found it good . We ate in the United States restaurant once and the food there was excellent with wonderful service. We ate breakfast in either the Aqua Spa or the buffet on deck 10. The food was good in both places. We enjoyed the waffles and omelets in the buffet and the yogurt parfaits, oatmeal and fruit in the Aqua Spa. Lunch was either the buffet or the pool grill. The burgers and turkey burgers were good and the salads in the buffet were excellent.
We felt there could have been more activities on Sea days. They had cooking demonstrations, Talks by a South American expert Col. James Reid--who we felt was not that interesting, talks by Milos Radakovich, a naturalist who was excellent,Scrap-booking, wine tastings, bingo sometimes and trivia contests sometimes and Art Auctions. We thoroughly enjoyed the A Capella singers SoulD Out who performed some nights in various locations and the Production Shows. The band Vital Sign was also excellent--they played in the lounge before and after dinner.
The ports were all good. We planned and booked our own shore excursions--so we didn't use the ship excursions except for Punta Arenas. We are sorry to say that the excursion to Magdelena Island was a disaster. All tenders to shore were cancelled shortly after our tender. The seas were too rough--60mph winds with 100-120mph gusts. We unfortunately were put on a ferry boat for the island. We disembarked at the island and were in gale force winds--the sand burnt our faces and it was hard to stand up in the gusts. Cameras were ruined because sand got into the mechanism. Most people huddled together near or in a small garage. Many of the penguins were under neath this structure. The ferry was supposed to leave us there for an hour but it came back early for us. We assume because they could see everyone was uncomfortable. Getting back to the port took close to three hours. The ferry boat pitched and rolled 90 degrees to one side and then 90 degrees back to the other. We were afraid it would turn over ---it had a flat bottom. Safety precautions on this ferry were questionable. The safety video was not working,part of a railing on the upper deck was missing, the life preservers were threadbare. The crew told one of the passengers that they did not want to go out and Celebrity had forced them to go. The guides on the tour gave a running commentary on the microphone trying to keep people calm. One of the many things they were saying was that if we turned over the helicopters would come and get us! Many people were sea sick and others were crying. It was a nightmare experience which Celebrity has brushed under the rug. They say the ferry has been out in worse conditions and we did have a shore excursion. No money has been refunded--we paid $159 per person for this tour. Many people complained as soon as we returned to the ship but they will assume no responsibility for our nightmare.I have called since returning home and have had no response to my complaints. In spite of this excursion, we really enjoyed the other ports especially Ushuaia and Punta delEste. We also loved Puerto Madryn with the penguins at Punta Tombo. As I said we booked our own vendors not the ship excursions for these ports.
The South American Experience was overall a good one .We enjoyed the friends we made on the cruise and through cruise critic. We did all of our tours with a cruise critic group and had a great time.with this group.