• TRAVEL NOTICE: Learn more about COVID-19
  • Newsletter
  • Write a Review
  • Boards
  • Find a Cruise
  • Reviews
  • Cruise Tips
  • News
  • Deals

Balmoral Review

4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating
227 reviews
31 Awards

South America with MS 'Balmoral'

Review for Balmoral to South America
User Avatar
tankengine
2-5 Cruises • Age 70s

Rating by category

Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Cabin

Additional details

Sail Date: Feb 2012
Cabin: Outside

Our cruise began with a charter flight from Gatwick to Santiago which was an unpleasant experience for all concerned: a long flight was made even more uncomfortable and protracted by the refuelling stop in Teneriffe during which all passengers were confined to their seats with no air conditioning operating. There was a serious lack of toilet accommodation on board because of a malfunction which was not rectified during the refuelling stop: consequently long queues formed throughout the night to use the facilities.

On arrival in Santiago the transfer from airport to the ship in Valparaiso involved a fascinating tour past some Chilean vineyards and seaside resorts with a well informed escort on board.

The itinerary followed by 'Balmoral' for the next three weeks was an attractive and interesting one. The shore excursions were well organised, informative and varied. Two of the advertised ports of call were not available because of industrial action in Chile on the one hand, and the refusal of the Argentinian authorities to allow entry to Buenos Aires by a vessel which had previously called at Port Stanley in the Falkland Islands on the other. Alternative venues and excursions were provided at short notice.Our cabin was reasonably well appointed although we had to specifically ask the stewardess for a supply of toiletries as these had been overlooked. The dining arrangements were disappointing: during open seating sessions the service was inconsistent and at times poor. The menus were rather tired and unimaginative and the food quality was on occasions mediocre (for instance, Yorkshire puddings only half cooked, greasy and inedible).

Cabin Review

Outside

Port Reviews

Puerto Montt

Excellent excursion to the Chilean lake distict (arranged at short notice because this was not one of the originally advertised ports of call). Fascinating visit to the local fish market area on our return to port.

Stanley

Morning excursion to penguin colony at Kidney Cove (via Sparrow Cove) which was a memorable experience. We spent the afternoon independently sightseeing in Port Stanley which was also fascinating and worthwhile.

Montevideo

City tour with two guides (whose command of English was somewhat limited). The tour was interesting and focused chiefly on local architecture.

Find a Balmoral Cruise

Want to cruise smarter?
Get expert advice, insider tips and more.
By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy and Cookies Statement and Terms of Use.