We had a fantastic time on our trip,which we chose because we had 'done' all the regular cruises. Flight was uneventful, very far, but no complaints, except the return flight to BWI was cancelled, and Delta routed us through Minneapolis, which made the trip longer. Buenos Aires was very European. We had the warmest welcome ever at the Marriott, where we were allowed to check in to our room at 9 am, and were upgraded to the executive level (I am a Gold member). We walked extensively, and enjoyed exploring. The Recoleta cemetery was amazing. The weather was very warm too. The concierge recommended a great restaurant where we had a fabulous steak dinner and wine for less than $100.
The Veendam was great. We had a problem with the a/c in our room that took them six days to fix. Other than that, the ship was just about perfect, with the best food and service that we have had on any of our 14+ cruises. Montevideo was disappointing, dirty and run down. We hit a big storm in the Atlantic - 40 foot waves and force 10 gale for 2 days which stopped us from disembarking in the Falklands, which was very disappointing. However, the storm was very exciting, and I guess that was what we wanted to see! When we reached Cape Horn the sun came out and it was a flat calm. The Chilean pilot said that he had never seen such a lovely day there! Ushuaia was awesome. The sun shone (very rare) and we took a trip on a small boat ride in the Beagle Channel to see seals and birds. It was a great day out! The Beagle Channel and glaciers were unbelievable. We had a perfect sunny day, and it was just spectacular! Punta Arenas was a cool town. We took a taxi on our own to see the penguins at Otway Bay. That was great! Others went to see the penguins at Magdalena Island, and we wished that we had done that, but no big deal. Puerto Montt was a great place to take a $30 van trip to see the lake, volcano and waterfalls. We had a really lovely day out.
Disembarking in Valparaiso was the easiest that we have ever experienced. We had booked a trip (our only one with HAL) and were glad that we did. We left our bags outside our room at night, and the next time we saw them was at the airport the following evening (where they had been sorted and placed on a trolley!). We took a bus tour of Santiago with lunch and a tour of a winery. It was well worth it. Such a shame that today we are watching the earthquake coverage of this beautiful country, where everyone we met was friendly and helpful. We used US$$ everywhere we went, and had no trouble with paying for anything.
Overall it was a "5 Star" trip and we are already thinking where next!