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670 Buenos Aires to South America Cruise Reviews

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
We chose this cruise because we wanted a short year end cruise. It was very convenient for us as it sailed from Buenos Aires to Rio and we could us the ship as a hotel in Rio for the night of December 30th to December 31st, 2019. The ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted a short year end cruise. It was very convenient for us as it sailed from Buenos Aires to Rio and we could us the ship as a hotel in Rio for the night of December 30th to December 31st, 2019. The ship is nice like any Costa ship made by Fincantieri. We embarked in Buenos Aires after a two days stay in this amazing city. Embarkation procedures were quick and efficient. We had two cabins; my wife and I were in balcony cabin 6420 and my daughter and son in law were in interior cabin 7224. Our balcony cabin was quite nice, similar to the one that we had two years ago in Costa Diadema. My daughter said their interior premium cabin was pretty nice too. We enjoyed the many bars and the entertainment of this ship. It is a ship with great ambiance and with lots of music to choose from. The entertainment people were fantastic. The food at the restaurant New York New York was just ok not great like in other ships like Luminosa or Diadema, maybe because the menu is better on Mediterranean cruises. Here the menu was a mix of Italian, Brasilian and Argentinian dishes to please their South American guests.Some dishes were great like the Caprese salad made with the mozzarella made on the ship, or the roasted prime rib or the pasta dishes.Our waiter Marlon was just correct. Regarding our cabin steward, we never met him. He did not make any of the nice animals they usually make with towels.We had to ask through the virtual concierge for soap, shampoo, body cream and additional pillows. The room was cleaned and the bed made in the morning, never at night like in other cruises. We thought , we deserved a better service being level Perla Costa Club members. We must say that the shows at the theater were very nice, we loved the Christmas show and the Lyric show with a great tenor. Service at the bars was good. We did not take any excursion. 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
Ship is beautiful and cabin was fine. Service was good in restaurants and bars. Cabin attendant was excellent. But from there it was mostly disappointing. The food was bland and frequently tastless, despite a "gourmet" ... Read More
Ship is beautiful and cabin was fine. Service was good in restaurants and bars. Cabin attendant was excellent. But from there it was mostly disappointing. The food was bland and frequently tastless, despite a "gourmet" presentation on the plate. We dined 20 times for lunch and dinner so our assessment was formed over a long period. The cruise was over the holidays and was beyond full, so the buffet dining room was a mob scene and the specialty restaurants were booked. Our only choice was Moonlight Sonata which was very attractive and good service, but as mentioned the meals were far from memorable. We have cruised Princess, Silversea and Norwegian and even on Norwegian (a cheaper cruise line) the food was more tasty. The entertainment was heavily skewed toward rock and roll - alright for the kids but not very varied or entertaining for most of the adults. We noticed the theatre was frequently half full, so we were not the only ones bored (or tired of blaring music and loud drums). The bands by the pool and in the atrium were similarily blaring rock. Perhaps Celebrity thinks if you can't hear yourself think you must be having a good time! The excurions were way overpriced. We invariably found the same identical excursions offered on the dock by other local companies for a third of the price! The ship was beyond full in the sense that there were so many families who were doubled up with their children; the ship was way beyond its advertised 2850 capacity. This caused several problems: already mentioned like the chaotic buffet restaurant, packs of unsupervised children running (not walking) in the restaurants and public areas, and long waits for tenders to get back on the ship (several were over an hour). And the children including teens ignored all hand cleansing offers from ship staff. Not surprisingly there was rampant hacking and coughing around the ship by the end of the cruise. We will not cruise with Celebrity again. 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
We have cruised on different cruise lines and are Princess platinum members. We are celebrating a special anniversary and based on the Oceania marketing decided to spend twice as much money as any other cruise line would charge to ... Read More
We have cruised on different cruise lines and are Princess platinum members. We are celebrating a special anniversary and based on the Oceania marketing decided to spend twice as much money as any other cruise line would charge to experience the “above and beyond” the Oceania offers. And in my mind the first thing would be exceptional service and attention from the cruise staff. So, here is what we experienced: 1. Disorganized boarding. Partially due to the necessity to rely on the locals. You have to be transported from the check in to the ship by a small bus. That bus has been waiting until it was bursting at the seams with passengers and carry on luggage until it took you to the ship. However, one would expect that there will be a cruise staff helping organize those bus transfers. There were none. You were on your own, all those who paid lots for suites and those who paid a lot less for insides. We were neither, but I am giving this as an example of the promise of pampering the guests. 2. Ok, finally on the ship. If you expect ANYTHING different from any other cruise line, lower your expectations. NOTHING is different. Oh, yeah, the exception and the claim to fame is that you get free soft drinks that we haven’t touched. And free water and coffee throughout. But after doing a simple math and assuming you pay for every bottle of water and specialty coffee cup on any other cruise line, it will not amount to thousands you have to pay for an Oceania ticket. 3. The “real” breakfast, not continental, is ceased by 10 am. So, if you are a late sleeper, you have to have an alarm wake you up to make it to the same boring and limited menu in the dining room before 9.30am. Or, you can run up to the Terrace Cafe before 10 where you can find more and better variety. Of course, it’s completely crowded, but the service is very nice. But wait... The Terrace Cafe has doors to the outside that are kept open and from the moment you step out of the elevator until you get inside the cafe, you are propelled by drafts. Of course, Oceania has no control over the weather outside, but they have total control of the inside conditions and assuring that every minute you spend on board their “ luxurious “ vessel is comfortable and you are not exposed to the horrible condition when the wind is blowing into your face and back because they don’t keep the doors outside closed. You call it caring for your guests’ well being, comfort and health? So, if you don’t want to get sick, you can exclude the Terrace Cafe from your itinerary and become prisoner of the dining room if you want to eat. 5. Exceptional food and specialty restaurants. The only memorable occasion was not the exceptional food ( because it was not), but ordering decaf cappuccino that lead to my husband’s sleepless night, that leads me to believe it was caff and not decaf. Aside from that, don’t expect above ordinary. Very unimaginative and boring average food. 6. They give you free WiFi for ONE device only. But don’t worry, it works very, very poorly anyway. 4. No activities to speak of, laughable so called “ entertainment “ 5. Disorganized disembarkation. Having said that, this is MY experience and the conclusion that Oceania Marina may not be for everyone, but may satisfy those who love smaller vessels ( 1300 passengers) who are not interested in entertainment and simply don’t like a lot of people. Case in point: lots of tables for two ( that’s a good thing, though, if you want to be on your own). Many tables for 2 along the windows that differentiates Marina from other cruise lines tables for 2 that are practically next to each other. Bottom line: no matter how you look at it, it’s highly overrated and overpriced. They don’t offer ANYTHING above and beyond. I found better and much more organized service at Holland and Princess. The Oceania advertising is not just exaggerated, it’s simply not true. Not true at all... Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We are just about to disembark Scenic Eclipse at Ushuaia and are very sad to be leaving this stunning, well thought out ship with cutting edge interior design and technology and it’s magnificent crew. We did the 12 day Antarctic in Depth ... Read More
We are just about to disembark Scenic Eclipse at Ushuaia and are very sad to be leaving this stunning, well thought out ship with cutting edge interior design and technology and it’s magnificent crew. We did the 12 day Antarctic in Depth and found it perfect with zodiac landings usually twice a day. Discovery team was knowledgeable and excellent. Our flight over the Antarctic was a ‘pinch me’ moment. Prices for the chopper and sub have nearly doubled compared to what they promoted them as. The helicopter is now UD$695pp for 30min. I think the sub had gone over US$800 for 40min only, no 20min as it takes a long time to get to about 190m.We didn’t get to do the sub. It is very limited by weather conditions and we were in group Sierra we were way down the list. In general everything on the ship is in order of the price you paid for a cabin. Those on deck 8 & 9 had preferential treatment for everything and missed nothing. The restaurant and spa booking system is a joke. They need to start again with that. The hairdresser couldn’t even tell you what time your booking was for the next day. We found the food to be below par and not even close to that on Seaborne or Celebrity. In general it was bland but our biggest disappointment was no Christmas fare on Christmas Day. Who made that decision for passengers that were mostly Aussies, Kiwis, Americans and English. Not a turkey, ham or pork in sight but oddly some of that appeared for Boxing Day. So strange. The main bar area is superb and we’ve made some lovely new friends. We enjoyed the Trivia games down there. We didn’t get to many lectures and it’s a pity that you can’t watch their recordings on demand later. They only show them live. All in all, we have enjoyed our best cruise ever and will definitely book on Scenic Eclipse again. Might wait for Eclipse 2,3 or 4 that have now officially been commissioned. Thanks Scenic and your fantastic crew Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
we are black/ diamond member's with this there is supposed to be numerous privileges like free dining art a specialty restaurant for 2 PER membership card this was disputed by the management of the restaurant stating that it is ... Read More
we are black/ diamond member's with this there is supposed to be numerous privileges like free dining art a specialty restaurant for 2 PER membership card this was disputed by the management of the restaurant stating that it is only one per cabin eventually the concierge of diamond voyagers club got it through middle managements think heads that its per card, that was the first of many trips to diamond concierge. from the beginning when we went for dinner in the main dining room they tried to charge for water stating that you must buy it by the bottle "well we had the evidence to prove they were wrong again(screen shots from MSC actual website that as of may 2018 they were providing free water at the main dining area and lunch time dining) they soon back tracked on this demand for us but it was quite obvious that many new cruisers were still being charged which we found to be very dishonest. because the cruise had only 8 westerners on board there were virtually no announcements in English ,(only on the first day for safety drill) Now lets get to the buffet TERRIBLE if you like breads , cakes sliced fruits and other dishes that we can only describe as slop well then this ship will be right up your alley , the main dining room food was of such poor quality that it was an insult to a well seasoned cruiser, we didn't bother going for 4 nights as nothing ever came out correct , the alleged steak was cut from a piece of roast beef which was quite obvious , fish dry , chicken dry and stringy. we did eventually get out second complementary specialty dining after numerous conversations with the head of guest services who knew that it was per card , the hotel manager also agreed and amazingly when I stated to him that he needs to get the entire food and beverage team together to once and for all get it through their thick heads what diamond members are entitled to "he said that's a great idea" ( as a foot note there were only 8 diamond members on board so we think they are just not use to providing service to top tier customers) priority boarding worked well when they were made aware of our level cant complain about that, the balcony room on deck 9 was spacious and well laid out bathroom was a decent size. this ship dedicates an entire deck (16) to people who want to pay 35 euros extra for the privilege as you can imagen not too many people were there, then they had the cheek to close off another nice place to sun bake and set the same charge to enter this area this was a complete joke and designed as a money grab. the bar / wait staff were pleasant as most were Indonesian or from other countries , we noted that there were no Italian bar staff and were told by numerous bar persons that they were not put behind bars as they had the wrong attitude and were easily agitated. the ports were nice (tendered 3 of them and that went pretty smooth only because we had priority boarding diamond) but some people we knew waited hours to go ashore and were not happy. overall the ship is nice and well laid out certain staff bar / wait were a breeze to deal with but that's where it ends management have no idea ,food terrible , and if this is how they treat diamond members then the rest have got no hope. We wont be back, have already booked 2 more cruses with royal and celeberity where they do know how to treat top tier guests the only person who knew their job was the diamond concierge lady with out her nothing would have gotten sorted , msc should stick to shipping containers not try to be smoothing they are clearly not able to be. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
I really wanted to go to Antarctica, I booked this entire cruise with the plan to do the excursion. It ended up getting canceled due to insurance problems and Holland America gave us (everyone on the excursion) future cruise credit. I ... Read More
I really wanted to go to Antarctica, I booked this entire cruise with the plan to do the excursion. It ended up getting canceled due to insurance problems and Holland America gave us (everyone on the excursion) future cruise credit. I think I'm going to let mine go to waste, I have no desire to ever go on another cruise and certainly not a Holland America one. Aside from that: my shower was super tiny and I say that as a 5'3 small woman, I have no idea how a bigger person would shower in there. The bathroom and room were some of the largest I've seen on a ship, so I'm not quite sure why the shower is so tiny. I do know these cabins are getting renovated April 2020. They serve almost the same food every day and after the first week, I just wanted off. The talks were pretty good but they seemed to be all or nothing, there were either a whole bunch all day or none for days. I went to the comedy and the one show was pretty good but the other one was not good at all. Of note, I went in the hot tub a handful of times and was mostly okay. My friend however developed a horrible infection and had to have surgery once we returned to the states to get his leg cleaned out. I'm glad we skipped Puerto Montt, I traded in my plane ticket and got a sooner plane ticket home. I just wish they had said sooner they were going to skip Puerto Montt and I could have canceled my excursion sooner. On that line, I noticed talking to people most of the Holland America shore excursions were the same prices as other ones and the other ones usually went to more places, saw more things, were smaller groups, etc. Essentially,, don't book excursions through the ship for most things. Also the casino and shops were tiny and usually empty. Everything onboard closes at midnight, so don't bank on drinking or going to a midnight buffet or midnight show if that's your thing. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Chose this cruise on a whim, as we saw an advertisement from a consolidator, contacted our agent to see what she could do, and then jumped. It gave me bragging rights, whatever that means, to say I was on all seven continents before I ... Read More
Chose this cruise on a whim, as we saw an advertisement from a consolidator, contacted our agent to see what she could do, and then jumped. It gave me bragging rights, whatever that means, to say I was on all seven continents before I turned 70. (Okay, I didn't 'touch' Antarctica, but it touched me, so close enough.) We also had kids who had other plans for Christmas so we were free to travel. We flew into Buenos Aires a couple days early and explored. I suggest this because of the long flight from the US, particularly the Pacific Northwest. We stayed in the city so were able to walk to the Recoleta area, a ten minute cab ride to the ship. The cemetery where Eva Peron was buried was a highlight, as was the Teatro Colon'. Great walking city, with some taxi work. Enjoyed Buenos Aires, knew nothing about the rest of the itinerary except Antarctica and the Falkland Islands, but was willing to learn. And learn we did. This cruise is an education, with loads of lectures from specialists. The ports are touch and go because of the weather, as is the route in the Antarctica, so for totally uptight, obsessed with "what I was told" folks might want to rethink this. Montevideo, Uruguay is a large, poor city that gives an interesting counterpoint to Buenos Aires. Puerto Madryn had an amazing boardwalk, so it was a great Sunday stroll, watching the locals play on a beautiful beach. Stanley, in the Falklands, was a reminder that wars are occasionally fought for stupid reasons. This bleak, but beautiful bunch of small islands, was a great visit and our first penguin experience. From there it was six days at sea, one to Antarctica, four in Antarctica, one back to South America. The weather cooperated, which isn't necessarily normal, so we were able to be outside, watching ice flows, animals, wind, water, and all the rest. We had to adjust our route constantly so our experience will not necessarily the same for others. We dreaded Drake Passage, but it wasn't bad. The other ports, Ushuaia, Puenta Arenas, Chacabuco, and Castro were small, unique, and really needed one to take an excursion. We missed Puerto Montt because of weather, arriving at Santiago early. HAL did a great job of adjusting and taking precautions, so it was all good. The dining room was exceptional. We enjoyed the entertainment, both around the ship and on the main stage. Scheduling that must be a nightmare as opinions vary so much. We spent most of our time in the Mix bar listening to Dan, the piano man. The Lido was fine, not a real buffet fan, but the Asian food and the salad bar were exceptional. Omelettes to order are not to be missed. We were comped a meal at the Canaletto, one of the upscale restaurants, and we were not that impressed. It was fine, but not if we were paying. In fact, we turned down another comp meal there as we preferred the Main Dining Room, mostly because of our wonderful server, Eka and his crew. Actually the crew is the highlight. Our dining room group was amazing as were our four cabin stewards (yes, four-to be explained). Our one negative would be our room, actually an issue with the room and the initial way in which the problem was handled. We ended up moving half way through the cruise, which worked out, but we felt it would not have been necessary if words moved to action, rather than just being words. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Azamara Pursuit does not, imho, meet the standards that frequent cruisers with Azamara are used to. This was my 10th cruise with an Azamara ship within 10 years. In a way it was special to me because Azamara was one of my favorite ... Read More
Azamara Pursuit does not, imho, meet the standards that frequent cruisers with Azamara are used to. This was my 10th cruise with an Azamara ship within 10 years. In a way it was special to me because Azamara was one of my favorite cruise lines, and having cruised 10 times between 2009 and 2019, made me feel like celebrating a milestone. Well, nothing was really special about this cruise with the Pursuit. There were positive aspects. One of them was the itinerary. As a matter of fact I have chosen this cruise due to the itinerary. My cruise was from Buenos Aires to Buenos Aires cruising in Uruguay (Montevideo and Punta Del Este) and in Brazil (Santos, Para Ti, Buzios and Rio de Janeiro). It was a 13 night cruise. I have been in those ports many times with Azamara and other cruise lines, and I like them. I just enjoy walking around and discovering new things each time we dock or tender at those ports. I do see changes happening, for example In Buzios, but the ports are still worth a visit for me and I would not hesitate to cruise again in the area. Another positive observation is that my cabin attendants and the managers and waiters from the main restaurant were as usual friendly and efficient. Thank you! Also positive was from my point of view, the white night in which samba dancers and capoeira performers came to the ship to do the entertainment. I have also enjoyed the Azamazing evening in Montevideo, because I have learned something new about the culture of Carnival in Uruguay. I would not like to repeat though. Other entertainment, like lecturers or solo performers were not to my liking. In room entertainment on the TV was bad. No interactive TV, repeating series on house improvements or ghost... I have found several negative aspects during this cruise, which have contributed to my overall impression. First the cabin. As I was traveling solo, I have chosen an ocean view cabin since the balcony cabins were out of question in terms of pricing. I wanted to ensure a Midship cabin and they were some ocean views there which were described as having restricted views. This, I have thought would not be a problem. I was WRONG! My ocean view cabin did not have a restricted view, but it was totally obstructed. In front of the cabin there was a tender boat, which not only blocked completely the view but which had permanent somebody working on the boat, so that I could not keep my window curtains open if I wanted privacy. So my ocean view turned to be an inside cabin. Besides this it was a small cabin that had a TV placed in such a way that in order to look at it I had to lay with my head at the end of the bed, becoming a pain in my neck for the unconventional position. I would never book such a cabin again. I would prefer an inside cabin if price is an issue. I had received a guest feedback survey from the Hotel Director on the second day of the cruise and I have mentioned the problems I had with the cabin. The ship was not fully booked. On day 9th the guest relation manager offered me to move to another ocean view cabin on the 4th floor. Since there were only 4 more nights to go, I have declined. The guest relation manager gracefully treated me for dinner at Aqualina. Thanks for that. The ship itself, although it is the same category from the other Azamara ships, did not have the same charm. I am not sure what is the reason. It looks quite rundown and somehow cold in the atmosphere. I have felt this cold atmosphere, which does not have to do with the ship temperature, many times on the ship. I felt that something or someone is influencing the atmosphere. The crew members do not look very happy to me. Difficult to see smiles. The interaction with officers was rather limited around the ship. I have missed the warm and friendly atmosphere from the Journey and the Quest, which contributes so much to the on board experience. The food onboard the Azamara Pursuit was comparable to the food at the Royal Caribbean Ships. I have always considered Azamara, as the premium line from Royal, to be around five stars, Celebrity cruises about 4 stars and Royal Caribbean ships and experience about 3 stars. Well, I would give the food on the main restaurant at the Pursuit with a lot of effort, 4 stars. The special buffet brunch was many points below what it used to be before (I remember very well the dim sum that used to be included in the buffet brunch). The buffet restaurant not more than 3 stars at any time of the day. Breakfast was a disappointment with cold waffles and pancakes. Only eggs to order were Ok. No regional food was served. Frozen pizza... (I had looked with envy at the Italian MSC ship anchored next to us in Buzios, knowing how good their fresh made pizza is). Food at Aqualina was also a disappointment. The Branzino (one of the finest fish in Italy) tasted like a simple tilapia. Overall I did not feel that the food on this ship was meeting the Azamara standards. I have drank the included wines. There were fine for me. However, there was also a difference in comparison with other Azamara cruises. In previous cruises if you liked a particular wine of the included wines, let’s say a Riesling, you could repeat it on other days. This was not possible on the Pursuit. You had to take the wine of the day or buy a wine package if you wanted a different wine. The LCV experience had the usual things: internet free minutes according to your level of membership, a free laundry bag per cruise and invitations to some cocktail parties and events. I have received two small astromelia flowers for the whole length of the cruise which were dead after 7 days. No new flowers were brought. I have the feeling that the LCV representative is still facing the challenge to learn how to interact with Azamara guests and special with frequent cruisers from Azamara and from Celebrity. She would kind of contemptuously mention that there were many higher tier onboard that “came from Celebrity “. Being myself a “discoverer plus” member with 10 cruises with Azamara, I have asked her how many other discoverer plus members were there. She refused to give me the information saying this is confidential. Well, I wonder why. I have been at so many presentations in which the LCV told us the numbers of all frequent cruises in public without exposing any information which was confidential. Overall I have enjoyed myself because I love to cruise. Unfortunately I did not have the wow effect, that I always had before at an Azamara ship. It was the first time in all my cruising time that I have debarked without booking another cruise or even buying a next cruise certificate. I would try to cruise again with the Journey or Quest in order to see if my observations are similar. Being a fan of Azamara for so many years, I do not want to judge its performance just based on my last experience with the Pursuit. 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
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
Viking Jupiter was a beautiful ship. Exquisite in every detail of the ship. Our cabin was excellent. We received an upgrade however would still have preferred our original booked cabin. Our cabin attendants were excellent. Very attentive ... Read More
Viking Jupiter was a beautiful ship. Exquisite in every detail of the ship. Our cabin was excellent. We received an upgrade however would still have preferred our original booked cabin. Our cabin attendants were excellent. Very attentive and gracious at all times. Took care of us perfectly. Dining in World Cafe most meals and days was good however the dining room attendants did not seem quite to Viking standards. They were not always quick to remove dirty dishes and the tines we asked for something we waited too long to the point we got up and tended to it ourselves. Food was great. We especially liked our service and food in The Restaurant. Music. Entertainment on the first floor atrium was wonderful as for the other shows we saw in the auditorium. Loved the lectures and port talks as well. All the presenters were extremely educated and knowledgeable. Our excursions on the whole were not worth the money. Some of the guides were very difficult to understand with their accents. Our speedboat ride to see penguins was very rough rider for only one hour to see penguins. Water to rough so we didn't get to or=ther island to see sea lions. Definetley not work the money. Overall this was our first ocean cruise and we did enjoy the trip but our heart is with river cruising where we got more for our money in terms of food, staff, closeness of the people and excursions. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
WE like the size of Viking ships + no children, no casino, excellent food, comfortable cabins, FRIENDLY staff, & always an educational component. Cabins...always a great view & "patio", so spoiled by Cabin ... Read More
WE like the size of Viking ships + no children, no casino, excellent food, comfortable cabins, FRIENDLY staff, & always an educational component. Cabins...always a great view & "patio", so spoiled by Cabin stewards...clean towels 2x daily, bed turned down nightly, knew our names and greeted us as we came & went. FOod- Enjoyed variety of menus & venues- Wait & bar staff are very efficient & personable. Interesting to meet staff from different countries, remembered special requests. Pool deck was favorite for lunch, dining room for dinner, World Cafe for breakfast - always good food. ENtertainment...both educational & enjoyable. CAnt say enough about our wonderful Cruise Director, Heather...so efficient and entertaining..and so talented,herself. We learned from "our" professor, the history, culture, geography of each Country we visited. We learned and experienced opera...an unusual treat. Ports/shore excursions..again, wel managed and efficient. We did the included (bus trip) tour at most places, which were usually ok. Enjoyed Falkland Islands. Not included, but extra cost, Ushuaia End of the World Train....interesting & scenic, but felt like we were in cattle cars...too crowded, not worth the expense. One of our high latest was the post trip in Santiago, Chile....Andes bus trip to Portillo Ski Resort, City walking tour ( very special, only 6 of us). The company in charge of "us" in Santiago did a great job. 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
Service is outstanding as always. Manfredi's the onboard Italian restaurant is excellent. Chef Table is a bit disappointing at times. World Cafe is consistently very good. The Restaurant is also very good. The wines are not as ... Read More
Service is outstanding as always. Manfredi's the onboard Italian restaurant is excellent. Chef Table is a bit disappointing at times. World Cafe is consistently very good. The Restaurant is also very good. The wines are not as good as the selections for the River Cruises in Europe, which is a bit surprising given both Argentina and Chile produce excellent wines at a very reasonable cost. The beers are very good in contrast. I have to give a shout out to the bar staff for hosting many wonderful tastings including Single Malts, Bourbons, Gin, Vodka Armagnac and Cognac. There was even a Martini tasing which unfortunately I missed. I wish they would expand to include tequila next time. I learned a lot! The Spa and the gym are among the best I have been. The enrichment lectures were quite informative, Most of the shows were outstanding and a couple were not quite our taste. We had to skip two ports because of weather concerns which is a pity. However, we were rewarded with perhaps the best weather ever for Falklands, Cape Horn and Ushuaia. Extending Ushuaia by one day does not make up losing one day in Falklands and Puerto Madryn. We also lost one day at Puerto Montt because the swells were too rough for the tenders. We noticed another cruise ship able to discharge its passengers because it's anchored closer to shore. Our ship had to give up out initial spot to the other cruise ship and move out further despite getting to port before them. It seems they had a higher pecking order than us. It also seems we spend extra days at sea going no where quick. While cruising the fjord and viewing the glaciers is fascinating, I think we could have easily cut out three sea days. Given the unpredictable weather in this part of the world, I was hoping for a little better contingency planning where we could visit a backup location. I do understand how much work is required to visit a port and arrange for excursions but it would be better than just adding more sea days. The Shore Excursions did have a few rough spots and is local guide dependent. When we compared notes with other passengers, the experience can be quite varied. Some guides spoke much better English and were informative, others not so much and some even skipped stops. While you can't complain too much with the included panoramic tours, one might expect the optional tours to have gone through better due diligence and guide selection. There is some room for improvement here compared to other Viking River Cruises. The Volunteer Point optional tour in Falklands got sold out very quickly and we had to find a local tour ourselves. The Captain did not inform us of his plans to skip Puerto Madryn and proceed directly to Falklands two days earlier than schedule until very late. Our local tour guide actually informed us two days before so we were lucky to be able to plan ahead and make adjustments. Overall we enjoyed the trip very much despite some of issues which were not easy to plan around. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We chose this cruise because of its 23 night itinerary of very varied destinations, covering South America through to Europe, we had previously cruised with MSC on the Opera, based in Cuba, which we really enjoyed. Sadly this cruise ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of its 23 night itinerary of very varied destinations, covering South America through to Europe, we had previously cruised with MSC on the Opera, based in Cuba, which we really enjoyed. Sadly this cruise turned our to be the worst possible nightmare! - We booked the Top Grade Aurea package as this includes "My Choice" dining, where you can dine anytime between 7.30 and 10.45pm, and at a table size of 'your choice' either on a large shared table or an individual table for 2, it's all based on "My Choice" - The Aurera Class also includes the 'Inclusive Drinks Package' and provides a priority boarding procedure. After a smooth embarkation, we found our cabin on deck 15, to be superb, after the usual Safety Drill, we went to a bar for a drink so that we could settle into our new home for the next three weeks... Little did we realise the horrors that were to follow! At the bar we were told, Sorry you cant have a drink on this Cruise Card Code, this is only valid for a drink whilst eating in the restaurant or buffet during meal times, we told him that we had paid for The Aurea Class etc, he merely told us to go to reception and see what they have to say about it... We went down to Reception only to find dozens of people all queuing up with various complaints, we waited very nearly an hour before we reach a receptionist, on explaining what had happened, we got the impression that he thought we were just trying to get something extra for nothing! eventually after making some phone calls he said that he would change the cruise card and code, this worked at the bar and we got our two drinks, and we then felt more relaxed about this unsettling incident! At around 8pm we went to the Aurea Restaurant and asked for a Table for Two, only to be told that they did not have enough Tables for Two, also they were full and had no further room until after 10pm, which would be on a large shared table, we declined this and left, we did not eat anything this first night, as there were no free seats in the buffet either... The next morning we telephoned the Restaurant to make a reservation for a Table for 2, at around 8pm, the Restaurant Supervisor told us that he could not promise to do this as there are not enough small tables, he suggested that we arrive at the restaurant at 7.30pm right at the opening time and he would 'try' to get us a 2, he then said that if he did manage to do this, we would have to agree to keep this particular table and time for the whole duration of the cruise, we agreed to this, and he did get us seated on a table for 4, but for our use only, on the strict understanding that we vacated the table by 9.45, so they could get it set up for the second sitting... We carried on like this for the remaining 22 nights, which is certainly not what MSC promote in their "My Choice" dining options, another annoying thing is that the ships photographers would come around the restaurant 'whilst you are eating' and virtually insist on taking your photograph sometimes even by sitting with you or cuddling you!!! We gave up even trying to get a lunch in the dining room, as they only have 3 Tables for 2, in the entire restaurant! - In most cases we tried to eat ashore as much as we could to relieve some of the stress of dining on-board... With the Aurea Inclusive Drinks Package, we were unable to choose a wine either in the bar or restaurant, we could only request a Red or White wine, we were not looking for the Premium Brands, just basic drinks, could not select type of wine, or get an Irish Coffee or even a Bloody Mary, you were may to feel that you were trying to cheat the system! In addition to the dining saga, we found the theatre shows to be rather poor and repetitious, the Cruise Director seemed to get most enjoyment from his pre-show introductions, which he delighted in giving out at high speed in several different languages, apparently for his own amusement. Relaxing in the various Bars was often spoilt by the fact that sales staff would set up tables along side the seating, to sell Watches and Perfumes etc, it was at times like sitting in a Market Place! We appreciated most of the shore excursions that we did, particularly as they got us off the ship! - We actually tried to fly home to the UK from Brazil after just four days on board, sadly this was the Easter Holiday weekend and most of the flights were either full or very expensive, we reluctantly decided to stick it out until the bitter end! As a result of this very distressing cruise we have now decided to cancel our 2020 cruise, as there is no way we could go through this dreadful experience again, which is a great shame as we have enjoyed many cruises in the past on various shipping lines, including MSC, but NEVER AGAIN with them! In all fairness, we must mention that we found the ship itself to be clean and smart and all the staff were extremely pleasant and helpful... Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
It was our second time with MSC. The first one was with MSC Fantasy and was very good. To start, embarkation lasted three hours, very stressful. We had to buy soap at the first port we arrived because the soap dispenser did not work. ... Read More
It was our second time with MSC. The first one was with MSC Fantasy and was very good. To start, embarkation lasted three hours, very stressful. We had to buy soap at the first port we arrived because the soap dispenser did not work. The menu at buffet and restaurants did not have many options, specially if you do not want to eat meat. They take a lot of time to refill food and coffee, when they do. Napkins at the buffet were dark blue fabric, dirty and smelly as well as the plastic glasses to drink water. Dining tables at the buffet were usually dirty, they did not remove the dirty dishes and stuff very fast. No enough tables at the buffet, it takes some time to find a place to seat. No shows at the theater for several days, even at sea days. However, one night there was the best show we ever enjoyed at cruises, with an Argentinian singer, Guillermo Guido. Great show. Instructions to connect to the Internet were not given to the rooms. After some time, we finally found the instructions on a blackboard near the Reception office. We wasted a lot of time with long lines everywhere because there were just a few officers to help you. It seems that they did not have bilingual crew. The library was very limited, not only the quantity of books available but also its schedule. The person in charge of the library did not speak or understand basic Spanish, in spite of most of the passengers were Argentinian. The crew looked very tense and did not smile at any moment, they just did the minimum required with a tired face. Finally, they charged for water and everything, even for the only scale they had at the gym, $9!!! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This was a tailor made holiday to Brazil and ended with the cruise from Bueno Aries to Santiago. The facilities were fine. Food in buffet was excellant but in restaurant I was underwhelmed. Tendering was a shambles. Missed my private ... Read More
This was a tailor made holiday to Brazil and ended with the cruise from Bueno Aries to Santiago. The facilities were fine. Food in buffet was excellant but in restaurant I was underwhelmed. Tendering was a shambles. Missed my private pre booked trip because the steward would not allow me off the ship although I explained I needed to leave to meet my tour. Even when I booked a ship tour I had to ask permission to leave to make tour. Also price of tours are now so expensive . Not good value. Entertainment on main stage was O.K. Some shows were excellant ,others were not suitable for the main entertainment. Staff were friendly but there was not many on dockside to help when going ashore for trips. This was my second cruise with Holland America , I chose them because last cruise I was very happy with them. This time I felt the standard had fallen slightly, However I would cruise with them again if cruise itinerary was what I required Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Tried to put new adventure into the cruise life but the main reason was to sail Cspe Horn and see Ushuaua. And..... weather canceled so we went to some backwater ports of little interstate not history. Sad. Do not let yourselves get ... Read More
Tried to put new adventure into the cruise life but the main reason was to sail Cspe Horn and see Ushuaua. And..... weather canceled so we went to some backwater ports of little interstate not history. Sad. Do not let yourselves get booked into cabin 1964. A loud, smelly place really unfit for habitation. Ship was nice for relaxing, cards, stage shows. Happy hours were really necessary to keep the spirits up. Food was amply provided and the variety made for good sets. Guest services was helpful when our room issue was unbearable. Made many acquaintances on the cruise which helped us deal with missing the 2 key planned highlights. Room 1833 was available and a much better quality than that other nightmare. Lots of people caught the a/c hack and remained for the whole cruise. This critique is more or less to ensure that I save someone from the misery called 1964 Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
I wanted to write this review because I saw a number of poor ratings for Holland America and since we had a good experience, I thought it would be fair to write a good one. This was our first cruise with HAL and we were on the Zaandam. ... Read More
I wanted to write this review because I saw a number of poor ratings for Holland America and since we had a good experience, I thought it would be fair to write a good one. This was our first cruise with HAL and we were on the Zaandam. This is a beautiful ship with a musical theme. We liked the baroque organ. We ran into two storms on the Pacific Ocean with 6.5 meter waves and the Captain changed our port of call from Ushuaia to Castro and also gave us the beautiful Brujo glacier. We were good with the decision since it was a bit of a rough ride that day. We had booked mostly private excursions since we like the smaller groups. Except for the tendering ports, all the ports of call on our cruise were well managed. We have travelled with at least 4 other cruise lines and we found the food selection to be good better than some of the others. We liked having less choices but better quality. Cabin crew were good. Enrichment activities were good. Entertainment were okay. Embarkation and Disembarkation were spot on. All in all, we liked Holland America and have already booked another cruise with them on the Westerdam. Hoping to be able to have the same level of service or better. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019

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