94 Buenos Aires Luxury Cruise Reviews

I chose this cruise 2 years ago as I thought if I was going to the Antarctic I would do it in style and comfort. I chose what was supposed to be the second season so issues could be ironed out but because of delays it became the first ... Read More
I chose this cruise 2 years ago as I thought if I was going to the Antarctic I would do it in style and comfort. I chose what was supposed to be the second season so issues could be ironed out but because of delays it became the first season. Firstly we only became aware of our early transfer from Buenos Airies to Ushuaia less than 2 weeks prior to departure no time to arrange alternate despite my travel agent trying to find out sooner. On arrival at Airport in BA from Melbourne for our 2 night extension found we where not on the transfer list was supposed to have a private car. This was not the only lack of communication to occur. Embarkation once we arrived at the ship was fast but there was a lot of waiting on buses prior to leaving the airport and then at the wharf. The food was okay but I wouldn’t say six star unless you went to the Chefs Table. Service on the first night was appalling but picked up when we mentioned it. Wines were hit and miss in quality and can’t comment on the whiskey bar as I don’t drink it. Our butler was fantastic and organised drinks and food for a special celebration in our suite and our room steward was also great always happy to help. The discovery team was extremely knowledgeable and tried their hardest to find exiting places to visit despite the weather at times. The Helicopter was the highlight but only able to go up once due to weather. The parkas they supply I didn’t feel warm in even with 3 layers underneath would bring my own Canada Goose next time in Antartica. The last thing I would like to say is this ship felt like it was rushed in the end to be finished and because of that has not reached 6 stars. I would not like to travel on it in the future without major upgrades as it will become rather shabby soon continuing as it is. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Ultra expedition to Antarctica.Experience of a lifetime. Expedition staff is one of the best in the industry. If you book your entire trip, including your flights, you will be well taken care with shuttle and minimum baggage handling on ... Read More
Ultra expedition to Antarctica.Experience of a lifetime. Expedition staff is one of the best in the industry. If you book your entire trip, including your flights, you will be well taken care with shuttle and minimum baggage handling on your part.Tours could be pricey, but well worth to enjoy the visits to all the scenic ports. Staff on ship will pamper you, meals are five stars and the program on board will enlighten you with their individual experience on the ice cap. The Antarctica landings will enlightened your experience with the dolphins, icebergs, PENGUINS, and seals. Sightings of whales and numerous inner channels will bring you with closeup to the landscape and tons of glaciers. No tourist shopping on the peninsula, but colonies of various penguins and graveyard of icebergs. All landings on the peninsula are by zodiacs (inflated special craft with outboard motor ) and will surely be wet. Kayaking is also provided for an added price. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Other reviews have quite adequately covered the cruise portion of South America & the Chilean Fjords on Viking Jupiter. My only comment would be to support the exceptional ratings given and echo the compliments given to the crew for ... Read More
Other reviews have quite adequately covered the cruise portion of South America & the Chilean Fjords on Viking Jupiter. My only comment would be to support the exceptional ratings given and echo the compliments given to the crew for their performance. I would add that on our cruise, we were not able to go ashore in the Falkland Islands nor were we able to go ashore on Magdalena Island (from Punta Arenas). The costs for our optional excursions were immediately refunded to our accounts and the money will be refunded after the cruise. While disappointing, safety was the highest concern of the Captain and he made decisions with that in mind. Rough seas and high winds are always a risk in that part of the world and he did the best he could to maximize our experience. With others covering the actual cruise portion, I wanted to address our pre and post cruise extensions as they do not seem to be mentioned in other reviews. We elected to go to Rio de Janeiro and Iguazú Falls before joining the ship in Buenos Aires. From the first time I saw pictures of Iguazú Falls on a TV special, I have had a visit to Iguazú Falls on my personal “bucket list.” A visit to the Galápagos Islands provided the post cruise extension. The Viking extension begins in Rio de Janeiro where Viking books you into the Belmont Copacabana Palace, a classic hotel right on the beach. The included tour of Rio was on the next day so on the first day, we hired a driver from the hotel to take us to places we wanted to see and knew would not be part of the next-day’s tour. I had several places I knew I wanted to see but then left it up to Mario Marino, our driver, to take us to places we didn’t even know about. His car enabled us to get to places that would be impossible with the bus the next day. He was great as a guide and added immensely to our understanding and appreciation of Rio. The included tour the next day took us to the iconic locations of Rio, e.g., Christ the Redeemer statue and Sugarloaf Mountain. With the tour arranged by Viking, we avoided long lines but still had the inevitable crowds at Christ the King. The views and experience made up for any slight inconvenience of the crowds. From Rio, we flew to Iguazú on the Brazilian side of the falls and stayed in the Hotel Belmont das Cataratas, actually inside the national park boundaries. Our hotel’s location facilitated our visit since we were already inside the park. One day visiting the Brazilian side of the falls and the next day from the Argentinian side provided spectacular views of the falls but did require some amount of walking. We also took the opportunity to see the falls from an optional boat experience on the river. You had “wet” or “dry” options depending on whether you wanted to pass by the falls or actually go through the water cascading from above. Even with the “dry” option, you can depend on getting a bit wet from the spray. After our visit to the falls, we flew from the Argentinian side of the falls to Buenos Aires where we joined our ship. As I said, the cruise portion has been adequately reviewed so I will jump forward to the end of the cruise where we arrived in Valparaiso. We did take the included tour in Valparaiso before packing up in preparation for the next part of the trip and that was the post extension to the Galápagos Islands. The included tour in Valparaiso was mostly a bus tour with a few stops for photographs. The next day, however, as part of the extension, we would have a more extensive tour of Valparaiso and much more before arriving in Santiago for our flight to Guayaquil, Ecuador. One note regarding luggage. The trip to the Galápagos only allowed one checked bag and a carry-on. Because of the length of the cruise and extensions, most of the people had two carry-on bags. Viking made sure we were aware that only one bag would go to the Galápagos and that a second bag (if there was one) would be transported by Viking from Guayaquil to Quito where we would find the second bag in our hotel room in Quito when we arrived from our time in the Galápagos. That took place as advertised. After we departed the ship, we began a walking tour of Valparaiso that provided an in depth look at some of the different areas of the city. It was a much better tour than the day before and covered many of the same locations but with more time to explore and take photographs. On leaving Valparaiso, we headed out of the city and to a vineyard where we would have a short tour and tasting and then a fabulous lunch on a terrace overlooking the vineyards, complete with wine pairings suitable for each course. After lunch, we continued to Santiago and our flight to Guayaquil. One night in the Hilton Colon Guayaquil and the next morning we took another flight to Baltra Island in the Galápagos. As soon as we landed in the Galápagos, we began an extraordinary visit to see wildlife of many varieties. We traveled by bus, small boats, zodiacs, and a yacht to experience the flora and fauna offered by these islands. For two days, we traveled by yacht to two separate uninhabited islands where we would have the opportunity to see and discover the particular species of birds and other animals on the islands. One word of caution is necessary here. Getting to the islands required leaving the yacht, getting into a zodiac, and then getting from the zodiac to the somewhat primitive stairs on the shore. The guides we had were excellent in helping with the transitions but if someone had significant difficulty walking, this would be quite difficult and the walks along the trails problematic. I cannot say enough good things about the time spent in the Galápagos. We stayed in the Finch Bay Galápagos Hotel and our host, Franco Pesantez, did an outstanding job of taking care of us (note that there were 18 on the extension from the cruise). From the Galápagos, we flew to Quito and then back home. Cabin - Penthouse Junior Suite. Lots of space to store clothes and other items. Dual sinks in bathroom with heated floor and towel rack. For a longer cruise, this was exceptional with plenty of room for relaxation and watching the playoffs of the NFL. They were also telecast in the theater but we watched some of them in the room. Two large screen TVs. Dining. We took advantage of the opportunity to eat in the specialty restaurants (no additional cost) and they were excellent. For the Chef's Table, the menu changed every three days but if there was something on the menu you really didn't like (but wanted the rest of the meal) they would make a substitution for you. Normally the Chef's Table is a fixed meal but they are flexible. Manfredi's is always good and don't miss the waffles in Mamsen's. Also, the grill by the pool provides an excellent opportunity for a light meal. World Cafe always provides a wide range of offerings to satisfy any taste. The staff is always ready to provide drinks and whatever else you need. Public rooms are quite pleasing, open and decorated in Norwegian style. Easy to find a place to just relax or talk with others. Service is excellent across the board. The rooms are services several times each day. Shore excursions provide opportunities to see and experience a wide variety of wildlife, landscapes and the cities. The included tours are mostly a bus tour and to get more in-depth opportunities, I recommend taking a careful look at the optional tours. My two favorites during the cruise were in Puerto Madryn where we visited the Punta Tomb Penguin Colony. The excursion requires a long bus ride (about 2.5 hours each way) but the ride is worth it when you are able to walk through the colony and observe literally thousands of penguins. My other favorite was in Puerto Montt, Chile, where we did the Osorno Volcano, Petrohué Falls and Puerto Varas. We visited the falls and had incredible views of the falls and volcano. The falls are not as spectacular as Iguazú Falls but few are even close. We observed the volcano from across the lake and then drove to about 4000 feet on the volcano to be able to see even more spectacular views of the area. The excursion is long but again very worth the time and expense. One note: During this cruise, we were not able to go ashore in the Falklands and we could not go ashore on Magdalena Island from Punta Arenas. Viking refunded our payment for the tours we missed. On-board experience. Viking provides elegant ships excellent service. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Had booked this cruise as a surprise for my husband's 60th birthday although he had to wait about 18 months till he recieved it, it was well worth the wait. We really looked forward to visiting the Falklands and the Chilean Fijords. ... Read More
Had booked this cruise as a surprise for my husband's 60th birthday although he had to wait about 18 months till he recieved it, it was well worth the wait. We really looked forward to visiting the Falklands and the Chilean Fijords. Travel arrangements were fine, we had a long time to wait for our connecting flight but that was our choice as the original time given was less than an hour turnaround and thought that would cause us stress. Upon arrival in Buenos Aries we were transported to a hotel in a nice part of the city where we were provided with breakfast before transferring to the ship. We could not get to our room for a couple of hours so we relaxed on deck with a light lunch and a drink. We wish we had sunscreen in our hand luggage as the sun was extremely strong. Our cabin (Deluxe veranda) was excellent as usual, we had binoculars, fresh water, coffee machine and a fridge which was stocked with soft drinks, nuts and minisize toblerone each day. Hairdryer and toiletries provided. There was plenty of space for clothing and cases just slotted under the bed. Good movie choice and 24 hour room service available. Our cabin staff were 2 lovely guys, Christopher and "Mr". The dining facilities are wonderful, The world cafe for self service, restaurant for beautiful served meals, chef's table for taster menu with matching wine (we did the mexican and asian nights), Mandredi's for italian (portions are large), Mamsens for Norwegian type fayre, open sandwich/waffles etc, winter garden for afternoon tea, pool bar for burgers/salads and the living room bar for sandwiches, cookies and muffins. You will never be hungry! If you want a really lively ship this may not be the trip for you. It suits us fine, there are educational talks, quizzes, movies, variety shows, surprise staff performances and interesting port talks and more. Minky G was amazing, she sang, played piano, ukelele and guitar, every entertainer was entertaining! Torshaven is where you can have a dance with a wonderful duo providing the music. Good quality drinks are provided in all the bars but there are more premium drinks in Torshaven. We like a drink so we paid for the silver package which worked out about £30 per couple per day which we thought excellent value. If you are a light drinker, no need to buy this as drinks are included with the meals and glasses are quickly refilled if required. With Viking, I think they can be most proud of their staff, everyone is happy and seem genuinely so, nothing is too much trouble. Gratuities were included with our trip, staff deserve every penny they receive. The included tours were mostly good, the odd one was not to their usual standard but did not detract from the trip overall. We were disappointed not to be able to visit the Falklands, the sea was too rough to tender us in. It did not look too rough at the time but the wind soon picked up and it was plain to see the captain may have got some of us ashore but certainly would not have been able to get us back on board. The seas were rough for a couple of days. Some of the additional tours looked amazing but seemed quite pricey. There is a lot of social unrest in Argentina, and Chile at the moment and this was evident by the grafitti and boarded up windows and evidence of the demonstrations, although we always felt safe. Overall we preferred Chile. Be prepared for all types of weather, we had scorching sun, rain and wind that took you off your feet if you weren't careful, all within an hour. Fellow guests were mainly Americans and we talked to some lovely, interesting people of differing nationalities We book Viking because we don't like to have to dress up or wear suits, but found this to be the most casual of all our Viking trips and some evenings did feel slightly overdressed. We love the fact there are no photo shots, we laughed one day whilst docked and another cruise ship came in, the passengers were coming off the ship holding onto their hats in gale force winds and there was a photographer at the bottom of the gangway and some passengers actually stopped and posed, so funny. This was our 6th time travelling with Viking (2 ocean, 4 river cruises) and every trip is always going to be our last as they are quite pricey and we are not wealthy, but yet again we have booked another for next summer, which just might be our last, watch this space! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
On the positive side, the Viking Ocean ship was great and a nice size, only about 800 passengers. But it had high quality entertainment, great enrichment lectures, a great fitness area, and super public spaces. The food, like the river ... Read More
On the positive side, the Viking Ocean ship was great and a nice size, only about 800 passengers. But it had high quality entertainment, great enrichment lectures, a great fitness area, and super public spaces. The food, like the river cruises, was great, maybe even better than the Viking Long Ship in Europe. Service in all areas was superb, especially guest services, which I used a lot to get advice on all the tours. I again was so impressed with all the pleasant greetings every day reflecting just how good Viking training is in customer service. Visitors should take into account that this cruise is a little riskier than other Viking cruises because Cape Horn has some of the most turbulent seas in the world. Half the ports in Chile and Santiago were quite cool, mainly in the 50's, and one of the port visits was canceled due to high winds, resulting in four straight days in rough seas. The guides we had in two of the eight ports did not speak very good English and were not very polished. These were in two smaller cities in the southern parts of Chile and Argentina, challenging places to find good tour guides. The good ones we had, such as in Ushuaia, were from Buenos Aires. The guides in the bigger cities like Buenos Aires were fine. The port visits in the first half of the cruise, mainly Uruguay and Argentina, were boring, except for Buenos Aires and beautiful Ushuaia. There was just not that much of interest. If I were doing it again, I would cruise just the Pacific side of South America. The cruising in the Chilean Fjords and other areas such as the Puerto Montt area were gorgeous, and Valparaiso was the best larger size city on the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Unbelievably poor communication from start to finish. Even our travel agent got so terribly frustrated with either poor or wrong information. This was a discovery cruise to Antartica including the Falkland Islands and South Georgia ... Read More
Unbelievably poor communication from start to finish. Even our travel agent got so terribly frustrated with either poor or wrong information. This was a discovery cruise to Antartica including the Falkland Islands and South Georgia Island. No maps were provided to let us know where we were during the cruise; the TV info page map was illegible. Maps were provided at the end of the cruise if you asked for them. We were often given about 10 minutes notice when our excursion was to occur (very difficult b/c of having to put on so much clothing.) The submarine that was highly promoted could not be used because of software problems; one big reason many of us chose this very expensive cruise line. When completed this all inclusive cruise line cost us over $58,000. We expected so much more than we got. This was to be our last grand cruise. With the helicopters, once we were in the air we were told we could not go inland because of rescue concerns; seeing the typography of Antartica is something that was important to me. I was duped into going on another helicopter ride which covered the same area as before; we were told it would be a different locale-it wasn't. Total cost for my wife and me - $2780.00. The price was listed as $585 per person and we were charged $695.00/pp. There was no info on the price change onboard . I asked for a price adjustment on the helicopter rides to no avail. This was deceitful. Service personnel were fantastic, were personable, and worked so hard for passengers. Their problem was lack of proper training. The dining establishments provided meals which were of much less quality than other luxury cruise lines. The observation lounge only provided tea and coffee and the seating was uncomfortable. The main lounge also had very uncomfortable seating. The lounge piano and singer were terrific, but there was not much else provided of any professionalism for the entire 19 days. Michelle in the lounge bar was delightful, professional, and competent. The sites were amazing and the young Discovery team members were professional, educated and informed about their subjects. The penguins, seals, whales and birds were such a treat to see in their habitat. We are experienced cruisers on luxury cruise lines (over 13) with Scenic being the most expensive, by far. We expected so much more and did not receive it. We will certainly recommend to our travel agent and the country-wide association that she belongs to to not recommend Scenic to their clients. Seabourn, Silversea, and Regent are far better choices; they, at least, are able to communicate the issues you need to know. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Due to the delays this trip was a long time coming. We are to disembark in 4 days at the end of what will have been a fantastic 3 week trip to the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and Antarctica and wanted to share our experience as ... Read More
Due to the delays this trip was a long time coming. We are to disembark in 4 days at the end of what will have been a fantastic 3 week trip to the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and Antarctica and wanted to share our experience as there were very few reviews available for us, GREAT THINGS ABOUT THE SHIP AND TRIP The expedition staff could not have been more helpful or knowledgeable, the landings carefully chosen and executed extremely professionally. Lectures very good. The food everywhere was superb and often imaginative. Only buffet at lunch and sensible portions otherwise, The wine and drinks offerings excellent Lots of space onboard the ship. The staff in every area without exception were superb, friendly, courteous without being obsequious, and professional at all times. Cabin well equipped with every type of socket (adapters not required) Quality of furnishings, however......... NOT SUCH GREAT THINGS ABOUT THE SHIP AND TRIP No Parkas when we loaded - apparently stuck in customs! Many people did not have a warm jacket (myself included) we were issued with macs, no warmth then after a few days an assortment of different ski jackets arrived, - to be fair the staff had ‘bust a gut’ to get these but there were so many complaints and compromises on sizes etc. No Sub, not told until half way through voyage that a part or software was not working and sub grounded despite best efforts. This was a HUGE disappointment to a lot of people. Design, there are some aspects of the ship not easily rectifiable that do detract from the voyage enjoyment. These design aspects defy logic and have been mentioned in previous reviews. The observation lounge - kitted out with very comfortable furniture and coffee machine where you can observe nothing but the bow outside decking area! Despite being a library and quiet reading area there is dreadful piped music 24/7 that apparently cannot be switched off, this is true of music throughout the ship, hey guys expedition yacht with people, exploring nature please not jingly music everywhere. Also mentioned in previous posts but unless you have been onboard hard to Believe the swimming pool really is in the middle of the restaurant with 2 showers next to dining tables. It is the joke among all staff and guest and apparently nobody very uses is, as one guest said why would you walk between the tables in your sluggos. It isn’t however a joke as a guest as a swim and relax would have been very nice and cannot imagine if you were on a warm weather cruise, the pool and hot tub was emptied shortly after sailing for most of the voyage as apparently the water slops out too much! As the steam and saunas are segregated there is nowhere you could have a dip and then relax as a couple. The main lounge is vast and as such never has an intimate feel. All of the seating along the sides is fixed faces in and incredibly uncomfortable. Extremely deep seats so you either perch or sit back with legs off floor but whichever you cannot look out (of an expedition yacht) the tables are huge and fixed so no conversation across tables or flexibility, Sharp edges everywhere, glass edges at the head of every stairs, square chrome handrails, doors from loos open into corridors? No floor numbers as you walk up the stairs and despite the ‘millions’ spent on art no colour anywhere. The ship is grey and brown, all very high quality fittings but why not put some nice artwork up as you walk up and down the stairs or in the lounge instead of black and dark glass and chrome everywhere, or splashes of colour with some soft furnishings, it appears the ship is waiting to be dressed. OVERALL A great ship and staff (that in our experience that could not be improved upon) but a couple of the design decisions greatly detract from the experience- observation deck and (lack of) pool Easily rectified would be to ditch the music in certain areas and to select some more appropriate music when applicable, Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This is a difficult review to write, as some parts of the cruise were excellent and others extremely disappointing. My bottom line is that Scenic ultimately failed to deliver the “6-star” experience they promoted. I am limiting the ... Read More
This is a difficult review to write, as some parts of the cruise were excellent and others extremely disappointing. My bottom line is that Scenic ultimately failed to deliver the “6-star” experience they promoted. I am limiting the review to those aspects of the trip specific to Scenic and the Scenic Eclipse. The destinations themselves, the Falklands, South Georgia, and the Antarctic Peninsula, will be enjoyed by anyone who likes wildlife or unique scenery, but there are many ships that offer this itinerary. On the positive side, the ship’s staff was excellent. Everyone in housekeeping, food and beverage, customer relations, and the expedition team (called the Discovery team by Scenic) was friendly and went out of their way to be helpful. This was consistent with our previous river cruise on Scenic and one of the reasons we chose Scenic for this voyage. On our cruise, there were actually more staff members than passengers. The expedition team deserves special commendation. Its members were knowledgeable in oceanography, marine biology, glaciology, geology, and ornithology. They were careful to protect passenger safety and the safety of the environment. Another positive feature was the open bridge, where the ship’s officers were willing to talk about the ship or simply let you stay there to observe the surroundings. The cabins were a mixture of good and bad. Shortly before our voyage we received word through our travel agent that the cabin we had booked (along with a number of others) was not as big as advertised. While Scenic offered to reimburse the premium paid for a larger cabin, we had deliberately chosen a large cabin for a cruise of this length and were quite disappointed. A better solution would have been to move us to a cabin of the size we had booked, but they did not offer this. It is also disturbing that we were told of this only shortly before the cruise, after final payment had been made. They claimed that they had only learned of the size discrepancy recently and, in fact, the next season catalog we had just received showed the cabin as larger than it is. But the failure to meet the cabin specifications should have been noted during quality inspections when the ship was built and probably reflects on all of the construction issues faced by the Scenic Eclipse. Our cabin was very noisy with loud creaking whenever the ship moved. Maintenance tried to fix this but couldn’t, and we were led to understand that the problem related to the various ceiling and wall panels not being properly joined or separated, when necessary, by gaskets, again reflecting on ship construction. On the good side, the bed was very comfortable. Negatives, many mentioned in other reviews, were minimal storage space for clothing, absence of shelf space in the bathroom with a sink that looked great but was not very functional, and a TV behind a reflective surface so it was difficult to see. Food service ranged from just okay to very good. Lumiere was most consistently good, but we also had some enjoyable meals at Elements and at the sushi bar. There was lack of coordination between the expedition team and food service, so if you had an early zodiac departure the main restaurants were not open early enough and you were limited to a continental breakfast, where there was limited seating and often a line for service. The wines offered at meals were generally good but not exceptional, with limited choices so good pairing was not always possible. The most unique features of the Scenic Eclipse are undoubtedly the onboard helicopters and submarine, and these were the main reasons we waited an extra year for the Eclipse after our initial voyage was cancelled because the ship was not ready. It turned out that the submarine was not functional and not used during our trip, allegedly because of a software incompatibility with some of the parts. I find it disturbing that, knowing they were operating in isolated areas without ready service facilities, they did not carry spare parts that had already been tested. The helicopters worked well and, due to good weather, everyone had a chance to get a helicopter trip and more than one if they wanted. It is important to know that helicopter and submarine rides are not guaranteed, so you should know this in advance if this is your reason for choosing the Eclipse. Although it was never explicitly stated, it appeared that your best chance of getting these excursions was to book one of the most expensive suites or have top standing in the Scenic loyalty program. Entertainment was minimal. A very good singer-piano duo entertained during the pre-dinner cocktail hour, where hors d’oeuvres and cocktails were provided. The theater was not designed with good sight lines, due to not all rows being tiered. Seating was quite comfortable, however. The theater was not big enough to hold all passengers at once. The ship itself appeared quite seaworthy. We were fortunate in that we never had extreme weather. There was a slight roll in moderate waves, but it was never necessary to curtail activities. The ship’s ice hull and maneuverability allowed us to get well into fjords and bays. The interior design was striking but failed to follow the principle of “form follows function.” The lobby bench seating had overly deep couches, so you were unable to lean back or, if you were not tall, sit with your feet on the floor. Restaurant seating was also on the uncomfortable side. Finally, Scenic did not seem to have their logistics under control. The polar parkas that were promised had not arrived when we departed, and they eventually had to make do by getting a variety of jackets resembling ski parkas We like to arrive a day early just in case of travel issues and so booked the “optional” extra night in the beginning, which turned out not to be so optional as we were asked to depart the Buenos Aires hotel at 4:00 AM so there was really no way to make this if you arrived on the day of departure. On the way home we were told not to book flights before 8:00 PM, but they had us back to the Buenos Aires airport around noon, well before you could check in for flights. By way of apology for this they did offer a local city tour, but most of us had already seen Buenos Aires so this was just a time filler. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We had sailed on the Scenic Pearl river cruise and it was wonderful so we were anxious to try the Scenic Eclipse. We were scheduled for the cruise in 2018 but the ship did not get built in time. We then rebooked for the 2019 cruise. As on ... Read More
We had sailed on the Scenic Pearl river cruise and it was wonderful so we were anxious to try the Scenic Eclipse. We were scheduled for the cruise in 2018 but the ship did not get built in time. We then rebooked for the 2019 cruise. As on the river cruise the staff was professional and friendly. The discovery team (expedition team) did a great job of educating us about the areas we were visiting and the animals and birds we saw. . But the ship lacked certain basics any expedition ship should have: there was no bow camera so that you could see where the ship was headed from your cabin. The lectures were not taped so if you had a conflict you could not watch the lectures at another time from your cabin. Lastly you could not see out of the observation lounge unless you were standing at the window. Knowing about this cruise for 2 years Scenic did not have our parkas when we arrived on the ship. We never did get the official parkas but instead when we reached the Falklands they managed to have gathered a selection of ski parkas in various sizes and colors. They were further disorganize on the timeline. We chose to arrive in Buenos Aries a day early to get adjusted to the time change. As it turned out we needed to leave at 5am to catch the flight for the ship.If we didn’t book a day ahead we would not have made the flight. We weren’t aware of this until we got to Argentina. Our departure too was disorganized. We were told to book our return flight after 8:30 at night. Yet they had us back at the airport at noon. Too make up for this we got an abbreviated city tour and then dropped off back at the airport at 5. We couldn’t even check into our flight until 7pm. We also had a noise issue in our cabin which they could not fix because the carpenter told us it was built wrong. The bed was extremely comfortable and the space was adequate but not what we had booked. Three weeks before the cruise we were told that Scenic just realized that some of the cabins were smaller than they realized. Scenic refunded the difference in the cost for the smaller cabin but again no apology. The most disappointing thing was the submarine was not operational . Most of us had booked this trip for the experience of seeing Antarctica from the submarine and the helicopter. We were not told of this problem until half way into our trip. There was never an apology from the company or an offer to compensate us . Other reviewers have discussed the entertainment and dining experiences. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We are a family of four cruising with Azamara for the first time. In the past, our family has cruised with Celebrity Cruises for over 15 years and has experienced every holiday itinerary that they’ve offered. But, we wanted to try ... Read More
We are a family of four cruising with Azamara for the first time. In the past, our family has cruised with Celebrity Cruises for over 15 years and has experienced every holiday itinerary that they’ve offered. But, we wanted to try something new and Azamara’s 15 night voyage celebrating New Year’s in Rio de Janeiro attracted our attention. We brought our 17 and 20 years old kids to this cruise. We worried they may not like it because of older crowd. But, our kids actually like it and had a great time. The ship is clean and well maintained, but it does not feel luxury. We really like the white night, BBQ brunch served by the officers, and special breakfast at one of the specialty restaurants that we were invited to. I am pleasantly surprised that people dress very nice during the evenings even if there are no formal nights. Because this is a holiday cruise, there are some younger passengers on the ship. We also like the fact that the hot tub and pool are never too busy. You always can find a chair and a spot in the hot tub, so we ended up spending more time in the hot tub than we would have on other mega ships. We will cruise with Azmara again. I also want to give our kudos and high praises to Azamara’s ability in helping us avoid a disastrous holiday. One of our family members holds a non-US passport with a US green card. Once aboard, the guest relations manager informed us that this family member would need a Brazilian visa or he would have to leave the ship. After paying tens of thousands of dollars on the cruise fare, flights, and hotels, this horrible news hit us like a ton of bricks. But, luckily, the Guest Relations Manager, Wresly Fernandes, came to our rescue. Wresly met us and recommended that, when the ship landed in Montevideo, Uruguay, we should try to obtain a Brazilian visa at the Montevideo Brazil Consulate, which gave us a ray of hope. Wresly gathered us in his office and personally helped us fill out the Brazilian online visa application. Throughout the entire process, Wresly was very thorough. For example, he had the photo shop staff take a visa photo and crop it precisely to the size. He was also very knowledgeable about the visa process and its requirement. First, we had to download a bank statement, which Wresly kindly had his staff print out for us. He then arranged the transportation and Amazara’s port agent to meet us the next day at 8:45am to accompany us to the Montevideo Brazilian Consulate. We were very impressed by Wresly’s attention to detail. Not only did he stress to the Azamara port agent to be with us all the time but he also took the port agent’s cell phone number and told us that he would call us every two hours to get a status update. At the Brazilian Consulate, we had a very smooth process. It was obvious that the Azamara port agent knew everybody at the consulate. We got the visa in 3 hours, which relieved our entire family. Overall, Wresly and his team demonstrated great care, efficiency and hard work in solving the issue for us. We are extremely impressed with Wresly’s calmness, his resolve under pressure, and of course, Azamara’s client first attitude. Thanks to Wresly’s leadership we were assured that his entire team was working collectively to assist us with this visa process. Azamara has done an amazing job. Because of our recent experience with Wresly and his team, we will definitely cruise with Azamara again. We have also shared our story with friends and have encouraged them to try Azamara. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We have been wanting to do a South America cruise for some time now and this holiday cruise was a perfect time for us. This was our 15th cruise with Celebrity. The cruise director, Alejandro from Argentina, was an absolute riot. We loved ... Read More
We have been wanting to do a South America cruise for some time now and this holiday cruise was a perfect time for us. This was our 15th cruise with Celebrity. The cruise director, Alejandro from Argentina, was an absolute riot. We loved this guy. The entertainment was excellent too as was our dining room service with David from Kenya. His assistant Alvin was also outstanding. We loved the itinerary and were overwhelmed by the beauty of Patagonia and especially the scenery as we sailed through the Beagle Channel. In Punta Arenas we took the ferry out to Magdelana Island to see the Magellanic penguins and their newborn chicks. You can get to Magdelena Island by zodiac or ferry. We opted for the slower ferry in case of rough seas. Fortunately the seas were calm and the ride out - though slow - was uneventful. The ferry looks like a Higgins Landing Craft that hit the beaches in WW2 at Normandy. You are inside however and go down into the bottom just before landing on the island. They drop the ramp and off you go. We had an hour on the island and saw thousands of penguins, their chicks and seagulls and their chicks - who also nest there. The place that really surprised us was Uruguay. We spent a day in Montevideo with an outstanding tour guide and the next day went to Punta del Este, Uruguay which is a magnificent resort area. Beautiful homes, beaches, condos, restaurants, a busy harbor area with all the yachts and sailboats you would see in Miami. It was very classy. We ate at a nice restaurant on the water and had excellent food and service. Uruguay is a very progressive country, very secular which surprised us. The cruise through the Chilean fjords was beautiful and dramatic as you might imagine. Overall, we loved this cruise, The eclipse was showing its age in a few places but the food, service and itinerary made up for this. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We chose this trip for a few reasons: 1) the itinerary - to sail around Cape Horn/southern ocean 2) Timing - wanted a trip over the holidays (this one was from Dec 19-Jan 4) 3) Friends had sailed on the Oceania Marina ship To the ... Read More
We chose this trip for a few reasons: 1) the itinerary - to sail around Cape Horn/southern ocean 2) Timing - wanted a trip over the holidays (this one was from Dec 19-Jan 4) 3) Friends had sailed on the Oceania Marina ship To the Baltic a couple of summers ago - and had raved about their experience SERVICE: Overall, the service was fantastic - ratio of Crew to Passengers is 1.56:1 - - with 1250 passengers I think. We were told there are146 chefs on board and can see that this must be true. This makes sense, as the food on Oceania is ranked as one of their big selling points. All of the day to day crew on board couldn’t have been nicer/more pleasant/professional - from housekeeping, butler, waitstaff. Not such great marks for the Reception Desk, Concierge, Destination Services and Reservations desks - we were never greeted with enthusiasm or smiles - and were made to feel as if we were bothering them. NOTE TO OCEANIA: Those desks are your first face to the customer - would recommend that you staff them with pleasant and accommodating people. We never saw the Officers - who made themselves scarce - with the exception of the “Meet the Bridge” cocktail reception and the Captain who said Farewell at the end during the “Crew Salute”. We would have liked to have heard and seen the Bridge Officers more often. FOOD: There were four Specialty restaurants - NO UPCHARGE for any of the Specialty restaurants which was great- and you were able to book One reservation at each restaurant in advance of departure. Because we had a PH1 suite, we were able to reserve as of Oct 5th. The food in all was very good, but service at their signature Jacques, was less than stellar. Don’t overlook the Grand Dining Room which had a different menu every night and fantastic service! And the Terrace Cafe (amazing breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets!). SPA: Used the Spa for Acupuncture (3 sessions) and a manicure - - those were all great - however, I didn’t like the hustle/upsell for products or additional sessions - it was fairly high pressure. Did Pilates and Yoga classes - they were OK - they guy leading the classes is really more of an intense “Bootcamp” guy - used the equipment in the gym - plenty of it - water bottles, towels, mats, well equipped gym. Because we had a Penthouse suite, we had access to the private Spa Deck, which to us, was such a nice perk. It was super quiet, soothing music, right on the bow of the ship - in nice weather, it was a perfect place to be - watching the ocean in front of you, sitting in lovely cabana seating, and also had two hot tubs up there. Spent time reading and relaxing there. Being our first Oceania cruise, we were favorably impressed, but others we met who have done numerous (Oceania) cruises - mentioned that the ship/food were not as up to snuff as it used to be before Norwegian acquired them. To us, It was a beautiful ship, everything very clean - and the food was fantastic. However, you can see that materials/carpets/furnishings could use a touch up - and from what we heard, they are planning a refurb in April/May 2020. ITINERARY: overall, the ports of call were nothing to write home about - but we were on this cruise for Cape Horn, Falkland islands, Ushuaia, Chilean Fjords - and we were IN AWE and not disappointed. 1) Started in Buenos Aires - recommend that you arrive in BA early. We gave ourselves two full days there and it was perfect. Oceania had us in the Alvear Art Hotel which was really nice and modern - big rooms, lots of USB ports, great shower, bedding, etc - the contemporary sister to the more lush Alvear Palace. Did a Tango show one night (booked it through Viator - $156 for two of us - at Piazola (?) - fantastic two hour show, plus dinner, plus option to take a 30 minute tango lesson - which we did and it was a lot of fun. Day 1 (arrival in AM) Walked around the city - walked to the Recoletta Cemetary (Eva Peron burial site) - we used the Tour Guide who shows up there every day at 3pm for a two hour tour, and so glad we did - we would have missed so much otherwise. Had dinner at hotel because we were exhausted. Day 2 - full day of walking to The Obelisk and to Plaza de Mayo. (FYI, pronouncing “y’s” is the sound of “je”. So, Plaza de Mayo sounds like Plaza de Majoh). Gorgeous architecture all over BA - very French - The Paris of South America as it’s called. Plaza de Mayo is the home of banking and federal buildings including the Catedral Metropolitana de Buenos Aires (gorgeous! Make sure you walk through and spend time) and the Casa Rosado (Pink House) where Eva Peron stood on the balcony to address the people of Argentina. Returned to hotel mid-day and had a delightful lunch buffet and iced teas and included a glass of wine! - Total of $33 (!) for Two people! Prices in BA very good. 2) Montevideo (Uruguay) - felt like you needed to be on your guard a bit - the market area was interesting and felt safe enough - but you probably don’t want to wander off too much more without a guide. not much to see there. 3) Puerto d’Este (Uruguay) - ended up skipping this due to incoming inclement weather and the Captain wanted to keep moving to stay in front of the system - which was appreciated - (we still had very uncomfortable seas for a 12+ hours, but subsided. 4) Puerto Madryn - nothing to write home about - We had an excursion planned to see the Penguins at Punto Tombo - but ended up bailing on it - because it was going to be a THREE HOUR drive each way - and then only one hour of seeing penguins. Didn’t feel like doing the 6 hour drive for penguins. We were glad we cancelled - and there were plenty of other opportunities to see Penguins in other portions of the trip. Instead, we got off the ship and walked for an hour or so into/around town - nice little beachy town, clean, civilized and didn’t seem so poor, like Montevideo did (nor as sketchy). Huge tide comes in and out of there. And the sea seemed dirty, especially close to shore, like sewery... (Smelly for sure). 5) Falkland Islands - very cool that we were able to even get there. Many cruises cannot make it in there if there is rough weather. We arrived on Christmas morning, thus, not much open, but it was great to walk around and look at the charming British homes/shops. 6) Ushuaia - WOW FACTOR all the way - this was where the trip REALLY took off. Woke up to a brilliant, clear, sunny crisp morning - and a gorgeous harbor filled with sailboats and dramatic snow-capped mountains all around us. EXCURSION: Boarded a high speed catamaran for 90 minutes - packed with people, stopped for about 90 minutes at Estancia Haberton (oldest farm in Argentina) and then took a two hour bus ride back which had spectacular scenery (and a few moments of good naptime!) Sailed the Beagle Channel for about 90 minutes - saw Terns, Sea Lions, Lighthouse, Mountains 7) Cruising CAPE HORN & BEagle Channel - AWESOME! SO EXCITED that we got to circumnavigate the Cape Hornas Islands - truly the last slice of land before you get to Antartica. There was talk that we were going to skip it - due to what looked like poor weather conditions, but the weather-gods were with us, and Captain decided (after much prodding from us and fellow passengers) to do Cape Horn - - after all, THIS is the reason we chose this itinerary! In addition to seeing the infamous Cape Horn, we also Enjoyed a full day of Glacier after Glacier - magnificent!! EXCURSION: Estancia Fitzroy - sheep farm - About a 90 minute bus ride each way - to a very cool sheep ranch - saw tons of old artifacts - old plane, trucks, dishwashers, stoves, demonstration on sheering sheep, little calves that I got to nurse with milk, baby lambs, big bull and cows and llamas and herding dogs - watching them corral the sheep. 
Wonderful Lamb BBQ lunch - with salads, wine, dessert 8) Cruising the Chilean Fjords (two days) - beautiful as well - tucked into the archipegleo (thus better/smooth sea conditions) and saw islands after islands going by. (We LOVE the sea days - getting into the rhythym of the sea, having time to relax, read, exercise, spa - and think we had more Sea Days than land days on this itinerary which was perfect for us. 9) Puerto Charabuco - as we started heading north on the Pacific side of South America - EXCURSION: did a Wellness Excursion on New Years Day - a 90 minute catamaran ride through beautiful fjords, mountains to Thermal Hot Springs where we relaxed/rejuvinated in three different thermal pools - they served us drinks, waters, snacks - and then another catamaran ride back - volcanos, and gorgeous scenery! 10) Puerto Montt - Disappointing and Dirty. (This is a place where you SHOULD have an excursion planned!) We did not have an excursion, so got off the ship and walked to “the Markets” - little shanties with trinkets for sale - didn’t buy anything - crossed over the street and were going to walk into the Centro (center of town) but as we proceeded, lots of homeless, urinating/deficating in the streets, graffiti all over - it was gross - so we cut our walk short and went back to the “Civilization” of Oceania Marina. 11) Cruising Pacific Ocean to San Antonio (Santiago disembarkation) - at sea for a day EMBARKATION: Good and smooth DISEMBARKATION: Fubar - could have been better organized process ENRICHMENT ACTIVITIES ONBOARD: 1) They had a few speakers - but our favorite was Greg Wheeler, a retired (10 year) professor from Cal State Poly. As a Geologist, he taught us a lot about the earth, ice ages, volcanos, glaciers, etc - we always looked forward to his lectures and tried not to miss them. 2) Hands on Cooking Classes with “Chef Steph” (Stephanie Hirsch - who used to work with Julia Childs for many years). THESE CLASSES WERE EXCELLENT!! $69 per class - you work in pairs - my husband REALLY loved these classes as well. Really cool clean kitchen - we watched and listened up close while Chef explained what we were cooking, doing, how to prepare - and then she sent us back to our workstations to do it. Then you get to eat your cooking and everything was Fabulous! (We did our classes at 4pm - 6pm - - SUGGESTION: Try to book for 10-Noon classes - because then you can eat your food without guilt - especially if you have dinner plans, you will be too full to eat dinner if you do the 4pm class!) 3) The head chef - French guy can’t remember his name, brought along a side kick each time - either the Italian Pastry Chef, etc - and it was a like a comedy show - - very entertaining yet also instructive. (Not to be considered a substitute for Chef Steph classes, though!!) ENTERTAINMENT: While some of the entertainers were not top notch, what made it worse was the lame audience. Passengers just sit there - don’t show any energy - didn’t clap or inspire the performers. C’mon people - lighten up, have some fun, show the entertainers you appreciate their efforts, at least. - There was a group of singers/dancers who were sweet young things, seems that they are getting their start. Not necessarily top notch Broadway talent, but you have to start somewhere and they had great energy and were fun to watch. They performed three or four nights. - Salvatore Hasard - multi-faceted musician and singer who performed on two nights - FANTASTIC - plays multiple instruments and great voice. - Paul Hughes - also FANTASTIC - singer, crooner, does standards - i.e. Frank Sinatra, Michael Buble - really great - Nicole Sasser - female trumpet player and singer - very personable and a good musician- but to her credit, she plowed through despite a Dead Audience. - Comedian and Magician - who we did not go to see CRUISE DIRECTOR: Speaking of Comedian, Peter Roberts always had a good joke or two each day -but he was a bit of a flamboyant clown. I think Oceania would do better to be represented with a more upscale professional tone - not stuffy - but someone who epitomizes the class and service of Oceania. WOULD DEFINITELY DO THIS TRIP AGAIN. And will go with Oceania again. Very impressed overall with the quality and service we experienced. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Short attention span version - Fabulous! The itinerary was Buenos Aires - Miami 34-day "Grand Voyage", AKA B2B. Captain - Luci Manzi General Manager - Dominique Nicolle Cruise Director - Peter Roberts First ... Read More
Short attention span version - Fabulous! The itinerary was Buenos Aires - Miami 34-day "Grand Voyage", AKA B2B. Captain - Luci Manzi General Manager - Dominique Nicolle Cruise Director - Peter Roberts First impression: Marina is in outstanding condition. DW and I didn't observe any unsatisfactory issues as some have described. Excellent dining in GDR, Wave Grill and specify restaurants. We didn't dine in Terrace. Speaking of specialty restaurants, we had no problem obtaining additional reservations than allowed for our B3 cabin. Due to rough seas and last minute cancellations, we obtained reservations for 2 alone on 23 of 34 days. Average age of passengers Buenos Aires - Santiago de Chile was 60s - 70s. In addition, there were 27 young children. Average age of passengers Santiago - Miami was late 60s - early 80s. In addition, there were 2 young children and 2 teenagers. Zero behavioral issues due to parental control. Dress code was only enforced on a random basis. "Dressy" (sarcasm) Levis or Wranglers were allowed in GDR and specialty restaurants unless they were faded. Minimum age guideline for specialty restaurants were also ignored. For example, there were 5 - 6 children, approximate age of 5, dining in Toscana that had no interest in the food but enjoyed a lively game of hide-and-go-seek around the tables. Jumping on their chairs was also acceptable. Parents were oblivious to it all. Vero water - excellent. Sparkling and still were available. Passengers don't have access to a refilling station. Cabin attendants don't refill partially used bottles. They are replaced twice - daily in the morning and at turndown by new bottles. Additional bottles were available on request. New 4X water filtration system takes the "odd" taste out of desalinated water. In addition, most of the time the tap water was cool instead of warm. Announcements - Peter kept his 10:00 am announcements to around ten minutes most of the time, except on shore days. If you wanted more detailed info, it would be broadcast on cannel 10. The captains 12:00noon announcement was also informative but short. No problem. Noro issue first half of cruise - During Peter's announcements, he would mention that Marina was a "healthy ship" and we would do our best to keep it that way. The usual direction, wash hands often and use the sanitizers. Noro precautions second half of cruise - Pater warned that the area was notorious for noro, Extra steps were taken to prevent a potential outbreak. There were spray sanitizers provided in the cabins. Passengers using board games were instructed to return them to the front desk. Books were to be left on the tables rather than returned to the bookshelves. There we no outbreaks that we heard of. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We used Azamara for a South American cruise. The Pursuit is much smaller than the HAL ships we are used to but still had everything we wanted. The service was incredible, although that may have been partly because there were only about 500 ... Read More
We used Azamara for a South American cruise. The Pursuit is much smaller than the HAL ships we are used to but still had everything we wanted. The service was incredible, although that may have been partly because there were only about 500 passengers and capacity is 777 but there was still a full crew on board and so we got more attention than if it had been full. We thought the food was excellent and there was a lot of choice. We don't typically buy a beverage package on HAL so having drinks included was a definite plus. There were always several choices of wine at meals as well as the chance to have a pre-dinner drink in addition to being able to go to any bar at any time (or simply wait for a waiter) and have a drink. It was especially nice to get something ice cold, such as a frozen margarita, when returning from a tour where the weather was 38 degree centigrade and humid! (And no worries about a bar bill at the end of the cruise.) The other nice plus was having gratuities included, which can add up over the course of a two week cruise. Our cabin, an oceanview, was quite nice and the bathrooms were reasonable. I have seen other reviews that said that the showers were tiny and too low -- I am 6'3" tall and I had no problems whatsoever. Having an oceanview was good and, since we weren't on the promenade deck, we could leave the curtains open if we wanted. (Our room steward gave us a tour of the Copenhagen Suite, since it wasn't in use and I would have to say that their suites are amazing but, unfortunately out of our price range.) The cruise itself and the ports included was good. We did not use the ship's excursions but arranged our own. The 'White Night' and the 'Azamazing Evening' were also very well done and we quite enjoyed them. We took in some of the entertainment in the evenings and made good use of the fitness centre. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Buenos Aries to Rio de Janeiro 10 night cruise. We arrived 2 days before departure to explore Buenos Aries. The ship put us up at the Alvear Palace Hotel. Wow! What a spectacular hotel. Highly recommend it. We booked a walking tour ... Read More
Buenos Aries to Rio de Janeiro 10 night cruise. We arrived 2 days before departure to explore Buenos Aries. The ship put us up at the Alvear Palace Hotel. Wow! What a spectacular hotel. Highly recommend it. We booked a walking tour guide through the hotel. Great way to see part of the city and hear the interesting history. The cemetery "village" is a must. If you enjoy steak and a hip evening scene, book dinner at Parrilla Don Julio's. Short taxi ride from the hotel in an adorable neighborhood with lots of small shops and a ton of night life. They serve champagne while waiting for tables. We had a lovely time on the Mariner. While it isn't nearly has luxurious as the Explorer, it's still a luxury liner. Other than the bathroom and closet space being quite small compared to the Explorer, it was basically the same Concierge cabin and amenities. The staff for the most part were awesome. Very professional, friendly and attentive. The downsides were some of the excursions and the mediocre onboard entertainment and food choices. There was no cultural aspects to the entertainment or the food on board. When we travel, we like to experience that. The food in the Compass Rose dinning room was fine but not all that interesting. The Italian restaurant (loved loved loved the appetizer bar) and Prime 7 steakhouse offered more interesting food so we ate there most nights. The first few excursions were a let down, but they did get better. The Montevideo Old Town walking tour was listed as strenuous but was anything but that. We were on a bus most of the time and the little walking we did was to a very small shopping mall where we did have delicious churros. The Juanico Winery excursion is a not to miss in Montevideo. Next stop - Punta del Este, Uruguay - excursions were good and interesting. I did the bike tour and my husband id the Sea Wolves Island tour. We enjoyed both. The biking group included a range of abilities. The guide let us more experienced riders bike ahead at our pace which was great. In the afternoon, we walked from the pier to one of the beautiful beaches in town to experience the scene. Worth the walk. Rio Grande, Brazil - a required passport stop. We signed up for afternoon walking tour but the folks who went in the morning came back to the ship with awful reviews so we bagged it. Guess there isn't anything to see here. It's just a big ugly port. Porto Belo, Brazil - The cable car excursion is lovely. The walk through the "rain forest" (a park with pictures of animals and birds) wasn't but it goes with the cable car ride to the top so a necessary piece. We also spent time on our own walking to the beach. Santos, Brazil - a large city and a long ride from the pier. We did the Best of Santos and Guarja excursion. The "largest aquarium" is quite small and for kids. Not worth the stop. Lunch together was a real treat, as was the excursion to the beach. Wish we had had more time there. Some shopped. We walked the beach. What a fun scene. Parati, Brazil - Now we're talking. This is a gorgeously preserved Portuguese colonial an Brazilian Imperial town, dotted with tropical islands. The historic area right off the pier is traffic-free, cobblestone-paved streets with horse drawn carts everywhere. The small buildings have brightly painted doors decorating the historic buildings. Definitely not to miss. We walked around on our own for a few hours then did a short historic walking tour with a guide then an afternoon 4-Wheel/Land Rover drive into the rain forest through the country, to waterfalls and a rum distillery. One of the best excursions of the trip. Ilha Grande, Brazil - We did a morning Schooner/snorkeling trip. It is a beautiful sail around the coast. The swimming was a treat but not really a snorkeling excursion. Yes there are fish but no reef so not what we are used to when snorkeling and all the boats came to the same cover so it was very crowded. I'd still recommend this excursion for the sail. In the afternoon, we walked to a beautiful beach in the bay and ate on the beach at Lua Mar (recommended to us by the our local schooner captain) - fabulous. Have the seafood stew. It's amazing. Buzios, Brazil - Absolutely beautiful beach town, popular spot for the Rio de Janeiro crowd. In the morning, we walked on our own out to a beautiful cove beach past the white church on the hill with the statute of Mother Teresa. You can walk or take a cute little water taxi over. We walked but the water taxis looked like fund. We were supposed to take another schooner ride around the coast in the afternoon but ended up staying at the beach all day. On our walk back to the pier, we stopped for drinks and Accai and the Bardot restaurant right on the water overlooking bay dotted with sail bots. A perfect end to a fun beach day. Rio de Janiero, Brazil - disembark ship in the morning. Ship transfer to our hotel - JW Marriott right on Copacabana Beach! Book through the ship so you are guaranteed a room overlooking the beach. Rooms weren't ready when we arrived so they put us in a conference room. We checked our luggage and headed out to walk the beach. This is the largest and beautiful beach. Not too too crowded when we were there. Lots to see and do. And they serve food and Caipirinhas on the beach!! We returned to the hotel in the afternoon, moved our luggage into our room and left for city tour, which we booked through the hotel. The trip to Sugar Loaf Mountain and the Corcovado/Christ the Redeemer are not to miss. the next day we explored on our own walking from our hotel over to Ipanema beach and shopping. A fun day trip. Seemed much quieter on Ipanema than Copacabana beach so glad we stayed at Copacabana. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This cruise was 3 years in the making for us, and at a not inconsiderable cost, I am thrilled to say it was worth every cent. If there was a 6 star option I would choose it. Firstly, sorry for the lengthy descriptions below. Before we ... Read More
This cruise was 3 years in the making for us, and at a not inconsiderable cost, I am thrilled to say it was worth every cent. If there was a 6 star option I would choose it. Firstly, sorry for the lengthy descriptions below. Before we booked this cruise there was little to no information available, so I’ve gone a bit over the top with the detail in case you’re like me and prefer to know what to expect, to be able to plan appropriately. We did the 12 day Antarctica in Depth from Ushuaia departing on 7 Dec 2019. Return internal flights from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia were included in the Scenic quote, but we wanted to have a few days in Ushuaia before the cruise, so Scenic happily refunded our inbound flight portion, and we booked our own one-way flight with Aerolineas Argentinus. I urge you to do this – we did a half day Tierra Del Fuego National Park tour from Ushuaia with Canal Fun and Nature, and really it’s not to be missed. I was also slightly nervous that AA would cancel the inbound flight on the cruise departure day, so wanted to give us a few days buffer. (And ps, the Scenic flight is VERY early in the morning, 7am or so. Ugh, not for me). Ushuaia is a small and walkable town with an interesting history. The “Blue Bus” 1 hr city tour was fun (in a Fawlty Towers kind of way), with steamed up windows and cramped seats, but we had a bit of a laugh, and enjoyed touring through the suburbs and local beauty spots. Embarkation - walking along the Ushuaia pier to Scenic Eclipse was a little bit emotional – we were amongst those impacted by the building delays, so to finally board the ship 12 months on from the original departure date was quite surreal. Boarding was quick (even for us who forgot to attach our luggage tags to the luggage, duh), and we were in our cabin within 15 minutes of arriving – the luggage arrived just a minute later. Cabin - #627 was a Deluxe Verandah (almost the “middle of the middle” of the ship – booked to minimize sea sickness) on the starboard side, and was plenty big enough for the 2 of us. It had a king size bed (like sleeping on a cloud), a little seating area, heaps of storage, usb charging points next to the bed (yes!), dyson hairdryer (whoa!), unlimited free wifi (sometimes with drop outs, but well … Antarctica !), excellent block out blinds, and an adequate verandah with table and two chairs. Everything was fresh and new. This particular cabin had the bed facing “backwards” ie. When lying in bed you’re looking towards the back of the ship, not forwards to what’s coming up in front. I found this a little disconcerting, but not a major drama. Don’t worry about whether port or starboard is better – there will be 360 degrees of stunning scenery, and the ship often turns to cater for the sub, so either side will afford mind-blowing views. The shower-room was well-lit with a storage mirror above the vanity, drawer space, and open shelving to the side. Others have commented on the lack of towel hanging space with only two hooks, but ours also had a large towel rail next to the vanity; perhaps this has since been incorporated. Large pump-packs of Espa toiletries – shampoo, conditioner, bodywash, handwash and moisturiser were provided. I found the shampoo very drying, but perhaps this was due to the overall very dry air in Antarctica. I found the all-in-one vanity unit slightly annoying because I like to put my makeup bag on the vanity itself, but there was no dry space to do this. Just a slight niggle. There is one MAJOR pain in both Verandah and Deluxe Verandah cabin styles – the large “opening outwards” wardrobe doors. We often crashed into each other if the wardrobe door and bathroom door were open at the same time. This was compounded by the swaying of the ship, which often meant being wacked on the head or back trying to get clothes out of the wardrobe (remember you’ll be accessing the wardrobes several times a day going to and from excursions). Successfully making a coffee with the amenities door and fridge door open, crashing into you while holding boiling hot water, was at times a super-human effort! We would most definitely upgrade to a Grand Deluxe cabin with the walk in wardrobe if cruising again on this ship. Yes we would cruise on this ship again. Sliding doors with strong magnets on Scenic Eclipse 2 please. OK that’s the not so good out of the way. In every other aspect, this cruise was SPECTACULAR ! Common areas – luxurious, comfortable, immaculate, spacious. The Discovery Lounge was the go to place at the end of each day to swap photos and have a nightly cocktail (or 4) with other cruisers. The Theatre was very comfortable – a handful of seats though faced a structural column, so get there 10 minutes before the lectures to nab a good seat. Fellow Passengers - There were 199 Passengers on-board – 50% Aussies, 20% each US/UK, with the remainder being a small mix of Canadians, Germans and Asians. There were a handful of very well behaved teenagers on this cruise; it's not a cruise for young children, and there were none on-board. Butler, Cabin Steward and Restaurant Staff – always a smile and nothing too much trouble. When I tried on my Scenic supplied jacket on day one I found it a little snug … a quick call to Steve our Butler, and within one minute (yes one minute !), he was at the door with a larger size. Was he sitting in the coat storage cupboard ? I have no idea, but his response time to any issue was really quite incredible. Restaurant bookings were organised without a hitch, and Richard kept our cabin immaculately clean and complimentary items always stocked. Again, always with a friendly greeting when we met in the hallway. Expedition Team and Excursions – this is where we learnt that a Zodiac Driver is not just a Zodiac Driver! While being transported onshore, more often than not Chris the Marine Biologist, or Sarah the Geomorphologist, or Pepe the Ornithologist would be sharing their knowledge of the local environment or fauna. Simply incredible knowledge and experience has been brought together on this cruise. There were daily enrichment lectures in the theatre (or simulcast on the cabin tv) by the Team. Danny the Expedition Leader was inspirational and seemed to be everywhere at once, keeping an eye on proceedings and making sure Passengers and Crew were safe. Danny honestly deserves an 11/10 (and perhaps cloning?). Kayaking was our favourite excursion – silently gliding amongst icebergs while penguins are porpoising next to (and under) you while the snow drifts gently down … OMG this was the epitome of the million pinch me moments of this cruise. Sub and Helicopter – Having a lower category cabin may have affected our ability to get onto “the list” for these activities. My husband desperately wanted to go on the sub - each day he dutifully checked the list at reception. It wasn’t until the last day that he was offered a ride. We put our names down for the helicopter but never made it on. I didn’t really care either way, but this was our only negative activity feedback to Scenic - the lack of communication around these extra activities and having to keep checking if you were one of ‘the chosen ones’. It got a bit tedious. I expect those booking the higher cabin categories were given preference, though we found out later that other people in the same cabin category were offered 2 helicopter rides, so go figure. A few weeks before we cruised, Scenic emailed an ‘expression of interest’ for these activities - my husband put down the sub, but we didn’t put down the helicopter, and we didn’t attend the helicopter briefing session on the ship - maybe that affected our chances, even though we filled out the helicopter form on the ship twice. So express interest, attend briefing sessions, and fill out the form on the ship - this should give you a better chance. My husband’s sub was around 30 minutes all up and cost USD$295 pp (worth every cent he said). The Helicopter was around USD$795 pp for 20 minutes, Yikes. Others we spoke to raved about it, so probably worth it in the grand scheme of things. Dining – Wow ! Beautifully presented and always fresh – incredible given there are no provisioning stops during the cruise. The Lumiere degustation is something not to be missed – ask your Butler to book it when you arrive. The menu changes every four days, so going back a second or third time is recommended. The Teppanyaki also needs to be booked in advance if you’re interested. You can simply turn up at any of the other restaurants. Our favourites were Kokos Asian Fusion and Azure Café (healthy options always available). Tips (Antarctica Specific) - • If arriving from Australia, stay at least 5 days in Buenos Aires (beautiful city) to settle into the new time zone and to get over the long flights (I suffered jet-lag for the first 4 days). Also 2 days in Ushuaia before the cruise. • The Scenic chartered flights have a 23kg baggage limit. Be careful of Aerolineas Argentinus which has 15kgs. We paid an extra $15 to have 2 x 15kg bags instead. And no, they won’t let you put it all in one 23kg bag, very inflexible. If you receive the opportunity to upgrade to Business Class … DO IT ! We received an email a couple of days before the flight, paid $50USD pp, and were blown away by the spacious comfortable leather seat, plus a 23kg bag limit, score. It was the best $50 I’ve ever spent - Economy was certainly cramped on the way back to Buenos Aires. • During the cruise you’ll cop a bit of spray in the zodiacs, and if the wind is up it’s bitterly cold, so you most definitely need waterproof pants and gloves (both glove liners with smartphone touchpads, plus waterproof ski type gloves). Scenic will supply the double layered waterproof jacket and knee-high rubber boots to keep you snug and stable on the snow. A neck gaiter/warm scarf and beanie/furry hat are also mandatory. The Scenic website now has a comprehensive “Polar Packing List” – check it out. • You can get away with just two sets of thermals – the ship has 3 large (i.e can do two loads of washing at once) commercial self- service washers and dryers, so it is very easy to throw washing in at the end of the day. We washed 3 times during the 12 days and never had an issue with availability in the laundry. • An good SLR camera with a 300mm zoom and sports mode will get you incredible wildlife photos. See penguin shot taken from our cabin verandah. • You don’t need super-dressy clothes, most Passengers were quite casual. My husband brought a nice dress jacket that he never used, and it took up considerable space (and weight!) in his bag. At night it was more smart casual, I wore black trousers and a nice top. The ship stays warm (perhaps a tad too warm at times), so we wore t-shirts and chinos/slacks/jeans during the day. • Pack Kwells or other sea-sickness tablets - the Drake Passage can be rocky (duh). Waves were only 3-4 meters during our 36 hour journeys to/from the Peninsula, but probably 20% of the Passengers were unwell and stayed in their cabins. I took a Kwell as soon as we rounded Cape Horn (about midnight day one) and had no issues from then on. Same for the return trip. It’s smooth sailing for the 9 days in Antarctica. • Take a few moments to sit down with the penguins. There’s a 5 meter exclusion zone for the penguins – but they don’t have to abide by it ! Have your camera ready because the Adelies are very curious and will come right up to you for a good look. The penguins were nesting on their eggs during our visit, which started hatching around 20 December. Would I cruise again on Scenic Eclipse ? Unreservedly YES. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We have been with Regent over 100 nights. In general we were treated like children and pushed around for tours, dining, the Mariner is poorly run in general. The management doesn't care and is openly hostile. This is the culture on ... Read More
We have been with Regent over 100 nights. In general we were treated like children and pushed around for tours, dining, the Mariner is poorly run in general. The management doesn't care and is openly hostile. This is the culture on this ship now and has never been the culture in the past. Our cruise was tremendously expensive and we did not have the advertised 6****** experience. Trouble on board this ship, BEWARE before you spend your hard earned $$$$. The gym and spas are dirty, hot and not ventilated!!!! The spa hounds you to buy packages when you cannot use them and the spa is very expensive. The spa is very small on this ship and has one bathroom. During our stay the spa bathroom was filthy. Service at the pool is dicy, sporadic and inconsistent. We are tired of having to flag down the help to get a drink, etc. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Overall the cruise and vacation in totality was a dream vacation. The ship is new and sleek. It's beautiful appointed. The staff are all well trained, friendly and utterly professional. The itinerary was amazing. The problems in ... Read More
Overall the cruise and vacation in totality was a dream vacation. The ship is new and sleek. It's beautiful appointed. The staff are all well trained, friendly and utterly professional. The itinerary was amazing. The problems in Chile are not Viking's fault, but the social unrest did curb our activities in Porte Montt, Valparaiso and Santiago. That said, there was an excursion for everyone. We enjoyed ours. There was a mass of people at the Buenos Aires ship terminal, but there was a Viking representative on hand to walk us through the crowds straight to the front of the line. Viking confidently took possession of our baggage at curbside. Our stateroom really could have been a wee bit bigger. Compared to Cunard, the room was too small. The area between he wall and the end of the king size bed was really just too tight, and there is no tub like Oceana offers. Some luxury lines offer tubs, some offer bigger rooms, Viking didn't do either. Other than the size of our stateroom our only other complaint, except for the last day in Santiago (See below), is about the dress code. Viking either needs to change the dress code and all their advertising including videos - or enforce it. Some of the people showed up to dinner in t-shirts. Flip flops with rhinestones on them aren't "smart casual". Many of the people had on hiking sandals and cargo, baggy shorts/capris in the evening at least at the beginning of the cruise. The food was wonderful. We enjoyed the Chef's Table and Manfredis, but frankly the quality, service and variety of food available in The Resturant was sufficient that we only ate at in the speciality restaurants a few times outside our initial bookings in them. We ate breakfast occasionally in the Explorer's Lounge's little, unknown resturant called Mamsum's (sp). The waffles are to die for! The afternoon sandwiches are delicate and much lighter than the ones in The World Cafe. The World Cafe, the buffet, was delicious. We ate there for breakfast and lunch. The omelettes were full of yummies and the salad bar was extensive and superb. Weird though, the water glasses in the World Cafe were plastic. I didn't care for that. We bought the drink package so we can't speak to the drink prices or complementary wines/beer at lunch or dinner. They gym was clean and well equipped. All the cardio machines were always stocked with water and a towel and the weight area had an ample supply of water and towels. I also joined an add on package for $50 for Pilates, yoga, cardio, guided meditation, etc. It got me out of bed and a nice little workout. I highly recommend it. I discovered that program by reading the Daily Viking. We both had 80 minute massages which are superb. I had a facial, mani and pedi. All were top notch. The ship's astronomer, geologists and historian were all excellent speakers. There is a planetarium above the Explorer's Lounge that the astronomer gave private talks (12 people or so) which was fun. The stairwells also had life-size renditions of the Bayeux Tapestry that the historian gave limited tours/talks about which was a wonderful time. NOTE: You have to go to the talks to find out about these add-ons. The Viking Daily doesn't advertise them. The ports of call were all wonderful. Just note, your activities will be curbed in parts of Chile due to the repeated warnings from excursion guide. And then there was the last day...F- all the way.... We were going to stay on in Chile for a few days, but we cancelled that after the civil unrest really started popping off. Viking offered a package where they'd take us to Santiago, give us a tour of the city, and then take us to a hotel's lounge where there would be a place to rest, eat, etc. to await our late-night airline departures back to the States. The bus ride to Santiago had one bathroom break. Once we made it to Santiago, we went our a several hour tour with NO WATER, NO BATHROOM BREAKS, NO FOOD AND NO WARNING THAT WE'D BE DOING THAT BEFORE THE HOTEL. Consequently, no one was prepared for the tour BEFORE the hotel. We finally revolted and told the tour guide to take us to the hotel. At the hotel it was an utter mess. Mind you we hadn't eaten since 7:30 a.m. or so and it was ow 2:30 p.m. All the "free" food had been eaten up. We ate in the resturant which we had to pay extra for. Then there was no place to sit except on the floor in the courtesy area - unacceptable and we did not sit on the floor. There was no water except for two, one gallon jugs of water that we had to nag them to fill. There was no real clear way to tell what was a clean glass and what wasn't because the hotel didn't pick up the dirty glasses/dishes from "lunch". Just a total, utter, disgusting mess. Save your money. Go to the airport hotel. Check in for a day. Take a nap. And get yourself to the terminal for your late night flight on your own. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Booked this trip to see and navigate Cape Horn. Stopping at the Falklands was an added bonus and the best part of the trip. Embarkation experience was somewhat stressful. Clearing immigration in Buenos Aires took about two hours (not ... Read More
Booked this trip to see and navigate Cape Horn. Stopping at the Falklands was an added bonus and the best part of the trip. Embarkation experience was somewhat stressful. Clearing immigration in Buenos Aires took about two hours (not Viking's responsibility though) due to long lines. After that, someone had picked up my wife's suitcase by mistake. Fortunately it was another Viking cruiser and it all worked out but did cause a lot of angst. Getting to the Viking staging area to the bus was somewhat chaotic. They stopped you in the middle of a busy terminal to further direct you to another line for luggage drop off to yet another line for bus transportation. The ship was new (in service Spring 2019) and clean. No complaints there. Included shore excursions were ok but generally a lot of bus riding. In Montevideo, time allowed us to purchase another excursion advertising the tango dance. Most the trip was revisiting what the included tour did in the morning and the tango dancing was at a bar with limited stage and seating facilities. The dancers were excellent though. The best tango exhibit occurred on ship in Argentina when a dance troupe (Junior Cervila) came on board- absolutely fantastic. In the Falklands, we added the Bluff Cove excursion to see penguins and was well worthwhile and significantly shorter than a full day excursion that did essentially the same at a different location. Included excursion at Puerto Madryn was a very long bus ride to a Welch Tea House. The tea service was very nice: but for me, not worth the long bus ride. Fortunately we had great weather for the Cape Horn segment, from what I hear, most people are not so lucky. The largest disappointment on this trip was the food. It seemed very repetitious and not as much flavor or taste as my last Viking trip. My consolation was the crab legs on the buffet line! Service in the World Café was not like the last ship either. The staff did not seem to have clear direction on what table they had to reset or provide beverages to. The staff did provide excellent service when something was requested. The steak in Manfredi's is highly recommended. Also, the coffee encrusted steak was very good. In Chile, get used to toting the Chilean Declaration Form that nobody cares about until the last day. The included excursion to Puerto Varas was very nice. Unfortunately our weather precluded us from seeing the volcano. Chilean dancers came on the ship and were very entertaining. If you like dance, Maria, from the ship's entertainment squad, gave fun salsa lessons during the day. Enrichment sessions were included but sometimes the schedules seemed awkward, typically next to dinner when the whole day was at sea with not much else to do. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This cruise was chosen by friends and they asked us to go along. They had cruised Viking before; we hadn't. From the minute I boarded the ship I knew I was "home". It was beautifully appointed and had so many small areas ... Read More
This cruise was chosen by friends and they asked us to go along. They had cruised Viking before; we hadn't. From the minute I boarded the ship I knew I was "home". It was beautifully appointed and had so many small areas where people could sit and read, do puzzles, look at the scenery, converse...etc. Our cabin also was well appointed. Though the balcony was small, it accommodated two comfortable chairs and a table large enough to eat breakfast on. Room service was free. There were several dining options and the two specialty dining venues were at no additional cost to us. My husband needs gluten-free and his needs were met at every meal. He actually got to choose, ahead of time, what he wanted them to cook. He was spoiled! Entertainment in the evenings ranged from excellent to, a couple of nights, mediocre, but the real treats for us were the lectures. There were many and the topics were varied. We learned so much! The ones that were so different from our other ship experiences were the "Port Talks". On the other ships they were all about "where to buy diamonds, etc. in port". These were really talks and a power point presentation about the port - some history, what to see, how to go on your own if you wished, what money to use, etc. And, yes, it also included information about the included tour plus the optional ones. Port Talks were excellent! Service on the ship was excellent - all the time. We were treated like royalty! Another thing we enjoyed immensely was no passengers under the age of 18. And, honestly, the ship would not have appealed to children. It was specially made for older people who enjoyed the amenities above, and wanted to do so in a quiet atmosphere. Would we go again, you ask? We have already signed up for one Viking ocean trip next year and are in the process of signing up for another. We discovered a home away from home...and it is Viking. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Our cabin was just fine. We've realized that we don't need a huge cabin as we are not in it much of the time. Dining and food options were the best we've ever had on a cruise ship. Food was outstanding and the two ... Read More
Our cabin was just fine. We've realized that we don't need a huge cabin as we are not in it much of the time. Dining and food options were the best we've ever had on a cruise ship. Food was outstanding and the two specialty restaurants were fabulous. We enjoyed the Italian restaurant so much that we went 4 times! Best part of the day was going to the bar before dinner and having Eugene make us very innovative drinks. He was a pleasure to see every day. Highlights for us were seeing the penguins on the Falkland Islands and kayaking in the Straits of Magellan. Some of the excursions that were included were not what we like - sitting on a bus for a city tour. That said, most all the local guides were very knowledgable and made the outings interesting. We enjoy more active excursions but all of those were paid excursions. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We will only sail with Viking. The longer the cruise the more opportunities for things to happen beyond anyone's control. We had a couple of those happen (missed port to due weather) but Viking is well prepared to adjust and ... Read More
We will only sail with Viking. The longer the cruise the more opportunities for things to happen beyond anyone's control. We had a couple of those happen (missed port to due weather) but Viking is well prepared to adjust and compensate for those changes. The consistent effort by all Viking employees to make the passengers feel appreciated and important was evident here. We love the specialty restaurants. Manfredis' is a sure thing for great food; the Chef's table is always an adventure. Dining there introduced me to food I never would have tried or for that matter, encountered, and probably never will again, but we were SO glad we had the opportunity...delicious and amazing!. The poolside grill does a great hamburger and the gelato at the World Cafe is the most popular place on the ship. We are not an especially social pair and we find we can join any number of activities when we desire, yet have all the privacy we want.(without spending all day in the cabin) Lastly, the shore excursions. Some are better than others...but some locations are better than others. We find the variety of opportunities to be excellent, the included tours are always worthwhile, but caution reservations for excursions are made by cabin class and Viking is not always able to "just add another excursion" as some suggested. They are limited to what is available locally. Sailing with Viking is easy. So easy we have three more cruises planned with them. ALWAYS check on board for deals on future cruises...the deals are worth it! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We flew from Miami to Buenos Aires. We where lined up in an orderly fashion to go through customs when suddenly a mass of passengers from another area of the airport poured into the area and totally disrupted the line. It was chaos. It ... Read More
We flew from Miami to Buenos Aires. We where lined up in an orderly fashion to go through customs when suddenly a mass of passengers from another area of the airport poured into the area and totally disrupted the line. It was chaos. It took over two and one half hours to get through customs. Embarkation went smoothly once we got through Argentina customs. Viking representatives gathered our luggage and got on buses to the ship very quickly. We have traveled on Viking ocean ships in the past and are familiar with the layout of the ship and cabins. We had a jr. suite on deck 8 which was a good location. We like the size of the suite and the fact that Viking stocks the refrigerator at no extra charge.We were close to the pool deck, reading areas, the Winter Garden restaurant and the pool grill. Dining on Viking is a great experience. The food preparation is excellent and there are many different restaurant to chose from. Our favorites were the Winter Garden, grill and more formal The Restaurant. We enjoyed the variety and professionalism of the lecturers, Viking Band, singers dancers and theater staff. The cruise director Vicky was terrific. She was easy to get to know and accessible. She is a talent proformer. Service was excellent. What a friendly and professional staff. Many of the staff knew our names and went out of their way to be helpful. We hope to see them again on our next cruise with Viking. As always the ports and Shore excursions were designed for almost everyone tastes and abilities. We disembarked in Los Angeles and Viking went over above expectations. We had a late night flight back to Orlando, FL and we had to be off the ship by 9:00 am. Viking provided a free tour of La that lasted until early afternoon. Then provide a large room for guests awaiting their flights from LA at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. Food and beverages were provided gratis. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Wanted the itinerary that it offered and the price was right as it included r/t air. The Viking Cruise ships are furnished with blonde wood throughout; comfortable nooks and crannies are found around the ship and all have curated ... Read More
Wanted the itinerary that it offered and the price was right as it included r/t air. The Viking Cruise ships are furnished with blonde wood throughout; comfortable nooks and crannies are found around the ship and all have curated libraries -- amazing book collections abound; contemporary art work hangs on most public space walls, including interesting photo collections; there is an emphasis on Nordic culture and history in displays throughout the ship; the cultural amenities include a cellist and piano duo playing music each evening while a huge screen displays photographs of the work of the Norwegian artist Edvard Munch. On board pianist and guitarist also play at various times and venues thoughout the ship. The staff are friendly, accommodating, and well-trained. The food is good to excellent depending on the choice of dining venue. Two speciality restaurants are available for no extra charge. The Spa is also available with no extrs charge for the sauna, steam bath, whirlpool and hot tub. There is even a snow room to get the Scandinavian thing going after a stop at the sauna. The shore excursions are generally well thought out and there is always one free excursion at each port stop. We signed up for two additional cruises while on board -- we were quite taken with this introductory Viking cruise. We have previously cruised on Oceania and Star Clipper. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
My name is Michael J (Mike) Murphy and I do the background research on Viking Cruises for my wife, Sheri and I, so we can make informed choices regarding our cruises. We decided on this particular cruise for several reason: The timing was ... Read More
My name is Michael J (Mike) Murphy and I do the background research on Viking Cruises for my wife, Sheri and I, so we can make informed choices regarding our cruises. We decided on this particular cruise for several reason: The timing was right for us as I had been laid up for the past 2 years due to several surgeries; The route interested us very much, going from Buenos Aires, Argentina to Santiago, Chile; several family members (younger the us) had very serious health problems and so we decided to travel while we still could as I am 73 and Sheri is 72; and lastly, we have now been on 3 cruises, 1 River and 2 Ocean, all with Viking and enjoyed them so much we didn't see any reason to look at any other company. A wonderful young man at Viking booking in California, has helped us arrange all 3 tours and has been marvelous to work with. His help and suggestions really made our voyages enjoyable. I have some difficulty walking distances so he arranged our cabins so that they were very convenient for me to get around. The Viking Sun was fantastic, clean, quiet, convenient, with the staff from the Captain down went out of their way to make the trip enjoyable for all aboard. The Captain did make 2 adjustments to our itinerary due to inclement (dangerous) weather and we appreciated his actions. Our cabin was great, with everything we needed. We took most meals at the World Café as we preferred the casual atmosphere and the food and service there is great. The entertainment & activities were to our taste and we really enjoyed the shore excursions. We are trying to plan several more Viking Cruises. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019

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