Our trip began with a week in southern Patagonia near Puerto Montt for some fly fishing and sigh-seeing. We booked the fishing through Jack Trout Fishing. he is an American, married to a Chilean, with guiding business in California in our summer, and SA in their summer. Overall the fishing was mediocre, but my husband can still say he has fished in Patagonia! From here we flew back to Santiago to spend an extra 4 nights prior to embarkation. We met up with the rest of our group there, 8 couples in all.
We got to our room easily, dropped off the carry-ons and headed for a lunch. Our embarkation was between 1 and 2 PM, so we had waited to eat lunch onboard. Our luggage had showed up at our rooms by the time we returned from lunch, so the rest of the time we spent unpacking and getting settled. The ship was due to sail at 5PM. However, we were delayed a few hours due to a pre-land excursion being late getting back.
Our group had early seating for their dinner in the main dining room. This worked out well for all of us. We ate every meal there with only one exception, which was to go to the Crown Grill one night as a group. The surcharge for this was $25 per person, however we felt it was well worth the extra money for the special treatment you receive. There is no set menu, and you can still order anything and all you want. Most of us had lobster and steak, which was excellent. I did make these reservations immediately when we got onboard since there was a large number of us wanting this night, but had no problem getting the time or date reserving that early.
Entertainment on the ship was fairly good. Due to rough seas the second night, the Princess dancers and singers were not able to perform, so a substitute performer took the stage (piano player). Other entertainment venues included a magician, mind reader, and comedian, who was very good. Movies under the Stars were shown, but a couple of the nights were just too cold to be outside watching.
Our stateroom was very nice, and our room steward wonderful. Raymond was always available for us to accomplish any need we had.
Most of us did use the laundry onboard. It was $4 per load to wash, and the same to dry. However, the convenience was great, and there are laundry areas on most floors so we never really waited for a machine.
The food onboard the Star was excellant in the main dining room, some of the best we have ever had on a cruise. The buffets left a bit to be desired, but there was always pizza, burgers, and the international cafe to fill in those voids.
Once we had set sail, we had 3 days at sea. The first two days were a bit rocky, however nothing too bad. A few people needed some sea-sick meds, but did not experience anything drastic. The weather did not cooperate (mostly due to the wind) for sunning by the pool much after the first morning at sea. And of course, we were heading south to cooler temps! Our third day at sea we entered the Chilean fiords. Very beautiful. Lots of waterfalls and great scenery, but cool temps once again. We docked in Punta Arenas and Ushuaia next.
Our day sailling around Cape Horn, early in the morning, was spectacular The weather was wonderful, and though chilly, our views and the sailing were calm, picturesque, and enjoyable.
Following Port Stanley we had more sea days, but now were heading north and the weather was getting warmer each day. Enjoying time outside by the pool, the movie under the stars, and enjoying our balconies were all possible once again.
Post cruise we all flew back to Buenos Aires for a few extra days before heading home, staying at the BA Hilton. Location was great as there were many restaurants and shopping nearby. Sunday we had went to the estancia La Alameda for the day, approximately 1 1/2 hours outside of BA. We enjoyed a typical asado meal, including wine and beer, plus entertainment of the Argentine dancers as horsemanship show.
On Monday, four of the guys had a guide for Golden Dorado fishing in the San Pedro river. They had a great time and even caught the famed dorado as well as piranha! A tango show was also arranged by the hotel concierge for us, which was also enjoyable.
Tuesday found all of us checking out of the hotel and relaxing before the long flight back to the states.