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Friends who might be taking the Valparaiso to BA cruise asked me for my notes and suggestions. We left Valparaiso January 18, 2015 on Celebrity Infinity South American Trip: Here are some of my thoughts regarding our trip: * * Find the thread on Cruise Critic for your cruise. Passengers on your trip will be putting together private tours and have lots of information on reciprocity fees and visas if needed. See what Merrell and Alan have to say – they were great! the January 18, 2015 thread. If you think you want to take a future Celebrity Cruise, research it in advance and go to the Future Cruises area on the ship at the start of the cruise to get prices and promotions. 1. BEYOND THE PODIUM!!!!! Absolutely go to Mickey Live’s talks in Celebrity Theater. Beyond the Podium began on the first full sea day on the ship. His input and information will totally enhance your experience on this trip. Do NOT miss it! BEYOND THE PODIUM Snap Shot Rally – find out about and do this! Also BEYOND THE PODIUM with Milos is great. AND Mickey’s wife Jelena is also full of information. 2. The ILearn Classes about Ipad, Iphone etc. were fabulous. On most sea days. They were free. They were popular so get there early! 3. Penguins- MUCH IN ADVANCE – check the Piratour in Ushuaia. The experience is phenomenal. They only allow 20 people per group and 5 groups a day to go to this special island where we saw King, Gentoo, and Magellan penguins. Only 1 or 2 of their times will work with the ship schedule. Our guide was incredibly good! Check them out on line AND find out about their cancellation policy as ships do not always make it into port in Ushuaia. Celebrity was able to dock, but the Princess ship did not. Your backup to see penguins is to go to Tombo out of Puerto Madryn. See below Ushuaia. 4. Clothing: It was COLD on deck when on the water – even near Valparaiso. We had beautiful weather – but I wore a polartec jacket at least 10 of the days of the cruise. You need a totally waterproof jacket (with a hood), gloves, baseliner (silk undershirt) and long sleeve shirts. I never used my linen pants nor my sleeveless linen tops. Windy and cool/cold on deck until Punta Del Este. 5. Flights: we flew LAN non-stop from Miami to Santiago and returned home from BA to Sao Paulo to Miami on TAM. BOTH airlines were great. They have a nice Business Class Lounge at Miami Airport., BA airport and Sao Paulo. Santiago/Valparaiso Pre-cruise: I WOULD ONLY GO IN 1 OR 2 DAYS EARLY and investigate STAYING IN VINA DEL MAR. We were 3 couples and we had a guide pick us up at airport, give a walking tour of old Santiago, stop at Emiliana Organic Vineyard (our favorite was the COYAM). Michael then took us to our hotels in Valparaiso. The next day he picked us up and we went down the coast to Quintay and ate at Miramar restaurant. Fresh fish was great. We wanted to go to Neruda’s house, but it was too crowded. We stopped at Casa Bosque Vineyard in Casablanca Valley for a tasting, we toured Vina Del Mar, had dinner at La Concepcion in Valparaiso sitting at a 2nd floor table overlooking the view. The next day Michael gave us a walking tour of Valparaiso then shuttled us and our bags to the port for check-in for the cruise. Our impressions were that Santiago and Valparaiso are not exceptionally safe, not easy to walk around at night, and we would have been happy with our visit to the Casablanca Valley and a brief tour of the cities – could easily happen on arrival day of the flight and the next day before boarding the ship. Only 1 hotel night in the area. Check out Merrell’s tour from airport to ship on the January 18, 2015 thread. We had a terrible experience at Gran Hotel Gervasoni in Valpo. 6. Shore Excursions: check out the January 18, 2015 Cruise Critic thread for posts from Princess Lucy - Merrell put together tours and you could read what she and her groups did which were not ship tours. Sunday January 18, boarding the ship Valparaiso: Concierge and Elite lines were longer than regular checkin. Luggage was slow to be delivered to the room. Over 2 hours for Concierge. Monday January 19 at sea. SHOW: Broadway was really good – singers and dancers –“Stars of the Infinity- one of the best of the entire trip. There were Tango Dancers teaching the tango during the day. Do not miss Mickey Live. Andres has a fun Aerobics around the pool. I found the Fitness Center classes to be very crowded, the space very small, and they charged for Zumba, Yoga and several others. Tuesday January 20 Puerto Montt Chile. We went with 2 other couples on a “tours by locals “ see their website- to Frutillar, Puerto Varas and Puerto Montt. It was OK. Better choice would have been Puerto Montt, Puerto Varas, Petrohue Falls, Osorno Volcano in the National Park. Wednesday January 21 Cruise the Fjords - remember I Learn classes and Mickey Live on the sea days.** Thursday January 22 Strait of Magellan - BEYOND THE PODIUM: Snap Shot Rally Photo Collection with MickeyLive – check this out! Friday January 23 Punta Arenas We took the ship tour by Ferry to Magdalena Island. It was a about a 2 hr. boat ride, starting at about 7 AM we had 1 hour on the island. There were about 60,000 breeding pairs with their chicks. There is a roped walkway, but the penguins cross it and walk around you. You are “with” the penguins. Take a warm hat, gloves, and warm coat! A group did the inflatable boats with SOLO tours and were able to go and had a great time. The ships do not always make port in Punta Arenas and if too windy, SOLO tours can not go, so find out their cancellation policy. ABBA Sing Along was terrific – 10:15 PM Constellation Lounge get there early! Saturday January 24 Ushuaia: This was our favorite TOWN, and our favorite tour! You are docked “in town” There is post office on the dock for mailing postcards. Buy a Beagle Beer in one of the gift shops, it is local and good. We did Pira Tours trip to Harberton Ranch and it was fabulous! Ranch is 50,000 acres, with private island of Martillo penguin colony and the Marine Mammal museum and research facility. Reserve FAR in advance- timing is limited for the cruise ships and only 20 people per visit to the island. It was VERY windy and Princess Ship did not make port. People who went on the ship Beagle Canal tour were sick because it was so rough. People who went to the National park said it was VERY disappointing. Sunday January 25 Cape Horn: we were up at 5:30 AM for sunrise around Cape Horn. Passenger John Meyer, from Fairbanks Alaska played his bagpipes at sun rise and around the horn. It was great! Beyond the Podium, ILearn class, Snap Shot Rally Monday January 26 At Sea Beyond the Podium, ILearn class, Snap Shot Rally Tuesday January 27th Puerto Madryn: two choices here – Peninsula Valdez or Punta Tombo Penguin Colony. Research says this is a good place to see the penguins. We did Peninsula Valdez with Nievmar Tours. I think a Better choice would have been Tombo unless you were “penguined out”. I asked to go to Punta Norte on Valdez and guide would not take us, but others went and saw many elephant seals and sea lion breeding colonies and much more wildlife. SHOW: The Pampas Devils Gaucho show with tango etc was good. Wednesday January 28 at Sea: SHOW: Boogie Wonderland with the Stars of the Infinity was good. ILearn Class, Beyond the Podium Snap Shot Rally. The Infinity’s Got Talent Show was pretty good. Thursday January 29th Montevideo, Uruguay. We did a private tour with Ryan Hamilton “The Wine-Experience”. Email: Ryan@unlocksouthamerica.com. We visited Castel Pujol, Bodegas Carrau. Reallyl liked 2013 Bodegas Carrau Sauvignon Blanc Sur Lie. Then went to town to the Mercado del Puerto and El Peregrino restaurant for amazing BEEF. Absolutely have to have the Crepe with Dulce De Leche filling for dessert!!!!!!! If not a big wine fan, do a city tour and eat at the Mercado del Puerto before going back to the ship. Friday January 30 Punta Del Este, Uruguay; Finally warm!!!! Resort Town totally upscale and surprising. Some people took a bike trip around the island and really liked it. There is a beach – do not know who you contact to use it, but it was pretty. We went with Ryan Hamilton – The-Wine-Experience and visited NARBONA Vineyard and tasted the Narbonna Savignon Blanc 2012 AND the Tannant Roble 2011 Michel Rolland wine 2011 Roble won world award for best 2011 Tannant. 2011 Narbona Luz de Luna Tannat was good had lunch at Playa VIK - amazing hotel. Saturday January 31 Arrive BA Spent night on the ship: We did a Buenos Tours walking guided trip with DON from North Carolina of the Old Town. Gran Café Tortoni – the one coffee place you must visit. Founded in 1858 I had hot chocolate with Churros others had medialunas (yumm) and coffee with milk. Bit touristy but historic and fun to see. We went to Silvia and Mario leather shop where we purchased with dollars but at a very favorable rate. www.silviaymario.com Sunday February 1: Disembark: It was a zoo! Get off the ship as early as possible if staying in BA. We used Buenos Tours who picked up 3 couples plus luggage and took us to the Intercontinental Hotel on Moreno. The Intercontinental was nice, but in an OLD part of town and we did not go out at night. I would see about staying in the Recoleta or Palmero area with cafes, parks and night life. We had a Buenos Tours walking tour with Jessica (from New Jersey) of La Boca and San Telmo with the Sunday market. We stopped at Bar El Federal for a rest –the restaurant was OK and very slow. We lost a lot of time there. Best Thing we did in Buenos Aires! The Teatro Colón (Colón Theatre) is the main opera house in Buenos Aires, Argentina, acoustically considered to be amongst the five best concert venues in the world. They have English guided tours starting at 9 am on the hour. FANTASTIC! One of the best things we saw in BA. Our guide even sang “Don’t Cry for me Argentina “ to demonstrate the acoustics! Private Driver: Buenos Aires We had a private driver who picked us up at the hotel and drove us to the airport. He also gave us a brief tour of Recoleta, Palmero and areas on the way to the airport. Gabriel Lazzari used to live in Miami and was very knowledgeable and arrived early to meet us. If I were going from the ship to the airport and had extra time, I would consider hiring him for several hours OR a day of touring before going to the airport.  

South American Santiago/Valparaiso to Buenos Aires cruise notes and th

Celebrity Infinity Cruise Review by goapps

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: January 2015
  • Destination: South America
  • Cabin Type: Concierge Class 2
Friends who might be taking the Valparaiso to BA cruise asked me for my notes and suggestions. We left Valparaiso January 18, 2015 on Celebrity Infinity South American Trip: Here are some of my thoughts regarding our trip:
* * Find the thread on Cruise Critic for your cruise. Passengers on your trip will be putting together private tours and have lots of information on reciprocity fees and visas if needed. See what Merrell and Alan have to say – they were great! the January 18, 2015 thread.
If you think you want to take a future Celebrity Cruise, research it in advance and go to the Future Cruises area on the ship at the start of the cruise to get prices and promotions.
1. BEYOND THE PODIUM!!!!! Absolutely go to Mickey Live’s talks in Celebrity Theater. Beyond the Podium began on the first full sea day on the ship. His input and information will totally enhance your experience on this trip. Do NOT miss it! BEYOND THE PODIUM Snap Shot Rally – find out about and do this! Also BEYOND THE PODIUM with Milos is great. AND Mickey’s wife Jelena is also full of information.
2. The ILearn Classes about Ipad, Iphone etc. were fabulous. On most sea days. They were free. They were popular so get there early!
3. Penguins- MUCH IN ADVANCE – check the Piratour in Ushuaia. The experience is phenomenal. They only allow 20 people per group and 5 groups a day to go to this special island where we saw King, Gentoo, and Magellan penguins. Only 1 or 2 of their times will work with the ship schedule. Our guide was incredibly good! Check them out on line AND find out about their cancellation policy as ships do not always make it into port in Ushuaia. Celebrity was able to dock, but the Princess ship did not. Your backup to see penguins is to go to Tombo out of Puerto Madryn. See below Ushuaia.
4. Clothing: It was COLD on deck when on the water – even near Valparaiso. We had beautiful weather – but I wore a polartec jacket at least 10 of the days of the cruise. You need a totally waterproof jacket (with a hood), gloves, baseliner (silk undershirt) and long sleeve shirts. I never used my linen pants nor my sleeveless linen tops. Windy and cool/cold on deck until Punta Del Este.
5. Flights: we flew LAN non-stop from Miami to Santiago and returned home from BA to Sao Paulo to Miami on TAM. BOTH airlines were great. They have a nice Business Class Lounge at Miami Airport., BA airport and Sao Paulo.
Santiago/Valparaiso Pre-cruise: I WOULD ONLY GO IN 1 OR 2 DAYS EARLY and investigate STAYING IN VINA DEL MAR. We were 3 couples and we had a guide pick us up at airport, give a walking tour of old Santiago, stop at Emiliana Organic Vineyard (our favorite was the COYAM). Michael then took us to our hotels in Valparaiso. The next day he picked us up and we went down the coast to Quintay and ate at Miramar restaurant. Fresh fish was great. We wanted to go to Neruda’s house, but it was too crowded. We stopped at Casa Bosque Vineyard in Casablanca Valley for a tasting, we toured Vina Del Mar, had dinner at La Concepcion in Valparaiso sitting at a 2nd floor table overlooking the view. The next day Michael gave us a walking tour of Valparaiso then shuttled us and our bags to the port for check-in for the cruise. Our impressions were that Santiago and Valparaiso are not exceptionally safe, not easy to walk around at night, and we would have been happy with our visit to the Casablanca Valley and a brief tour of the cities – could easily happen on arrival day of the flight and the next day before boarding the ship. Only 1 hotel night in the area. Check out Merrell’s tour from airport to ship on the January 18, 2015 thread. We had a terrible experience at Gran Hotel Gervasoni in Valpo.
6. Shore Excursions: check out the January 18, 2015 Cruise Critic thread for posts from Princess Lucy - Merrell put together tours and you could read what she and her groups did which were not ship tours.
Sunday January 18, boarding the ship Valparaiso: Concierge and Elite lines were longer than regular checkin. Luggage was slow to be delivered to the room. Over 2 hours for Concierge.
Monday January 19 at sea. SHOW: Broadway was really good – singers and dancers –“Stars of the Infinity- one of the best of the entire trip. There were Tango Dancers teaching the tango during the day. Do not miss Mickey Live. Andres has a fun Aerobics around the pool. I found the Fitness Center classes to be very crowded, the space very small, and they charged for Zumba, Yoga and several others.
Tuesday January 20 Puerto Montt Chile. We went with 2 other couples on a “tours by locals “ see their website- to Frutillar, Puerto Varas and Puerto Montt. It was OK. Better choice would have been Puerto Montt, Puerto Varas, Petrohue Falls, Osorno Volcano in the National Park.
Wednesday January 21 Cruise the Fjords - remember I Learn classes and Mickey Live on the sea days.**
Thursday January 22 Strait of Magellan - BEYOND THE PODIUM: Snap Shot Rally Photo Collection with MickeyLive – check this out!
Friday January 23 Punta Arenas We took the ship tour by Ferry to Magdalena Island. It was a about a 2 hr. boat ride, starting at about 7 AM we had 1 hour on the island. There were about 60,000 breeding pairs with their chicks. There is a roped walkway, but the penguins cross it and walk around you. You are “with” the penguins. Take a warm hat, gloves, and warm coat! A group did the inflatable boats with SOLO tours and were able to go and had a great time. The ships do not always make port in Punta Arenas and if too windy, SOLO tours can not go, so find out their cancellation policy. ABBA Sing Along was terrific – 10:15 PM Constellation Lounge get there early!
Saturday January 24 Ushuaia: This was our favorite TOWN, and our favorite tour! You are docked “in town” There is post office on the dock for mailing postcards. Buy a Beagle Beer in one of the gift shops, it is local and good. We did Pira Tours trip to Harberton Ranch and it was fabulous! Ranch is 50,000 acres, with private island of Martillo penguin colony and the Marine Mammal museum and research facility. Reserve FAR in advance- timing is limited for the cruise ships and only 20 people per visit to the island. It was VERY windy and Princess Ship did not make port. People who went on the ship Beagle Canal tour were sick because it was so rough. People who went to the National park said it was VERY disappointing.
Sunday January 25 Cape Horn: we were up at 5:30 AM for sunrise around Cape Horn. Passenger John Meyer, from Fairbanks Alaska played his bagpipes at sun rise and around the horn. It was great! Beyond the Podium, ILearn class, Snap Shot Rally
Monday January 26 At Sea Beyond the Podium, ILearn class, Snap Shot Rally
Tuesday January 27th Puerto Madryn: two choices here – Peninsula Valdez or Punta Tombo Penguin Colony. Research says this is a good place to see the penguins. We did Peninsula Valdez with Nievmar Tours. I think a Better choice would have been Tombo unless you were “penguined out”. I asked to go to Punta Norte on Valdez and guide would not take us, but others went and saw many elephant seals and sea lion breeding colonies and much more wildlife. SHOW: The Pampas Devils Gaucho show with tango etc was good.
Wednesday January 28 at Sea: SHOW: Boogie Wonderland with the Stars of the Infinity was good. ILearn Class, Beyond the Podium Snap Shot Rally. The Infinity’s Got Talent Show was pretty good.
Thursday January 29th Montevideo, Uruguay. We did a private tour with Ryan Hamilton “The Wine-Experience”. Email: Ryan@unlocksouthamerica.com. We visited Castel Pujol, Bodegas Carrau. Reallyl liked 2013 Bodegas Carrau Sauvignon Blanc Sur Lie. Then went to town to the Mercado del Puerto and El Peregrino restaurant for amazing BEEF. Absolutely have to have the Crepe with Dulce De Leche filling for dessert!!!!!!! If not a big wine fan, do a city tour and eat at the Mercado del Puerto before going back to the ship.
Friday January 30 Punta Del Este, Uruguay; Finally warm!!!! Resort Town totally upscale and surprising. Some people took a bike trip around the island and really liked it. There is a beach – do not know who you contact to use it, but it was pretty. We went with Ryan Hamilton – The-Wine-Experience and visited NARBONA Vineyard and tasted the Narbonna Savignon Blanc 2012 AND the Tannant Roble 2011
Michel Rolland wine 2011 Roble won world award for best 2011 Tannant. 2011 Narbona Luz de Luna Tannat was good had lunch at Playa VIK - amazing hotel.
Saturday January 31 Arrive BA Spent night on the ship: We did a Buenos Tours walking guided trip with DON from North Carolina of the Old Town. Gran Café Tortoni – the one coffee place you must visit. Founded in 1858 I had hot chocolate with Churros others had medialunas (yumm) and coffee with milk. Bit touristy but historic and fun to see. We went to Silvia and Mario leather shop where we purchased with dollars but at a very favorable rate. www.silviaymario.com
Sunday February 1: Disembark: It was a zoo! Get off the ship as early as possible if staying in BA. We used Buenos Tours who picked up 3 couples plus luggage and took us to the Intercontinental Hotel on Moreno. The Intercontinental was nice, but in an OLD part of town and we did not go out at night. I would see about staying in the Recoleta or Palmero area with cafes, parks and night life. We had a Buenos Tours walking tour with Jessica (from New Jersey) of La Boca and San Telmo with the Sunday market. We stopped at Bar El Federal for a rest –the restaurant was OK and very slow. We lost a lot of time there.
Best Thing we did in Buenos Aires! The Teatro Colón (Colón Theatre) is the main opera house in Buenos Aires, Argentina, acoustically considered to be amongst the five best concert venues in the world. They have English guided tours starting at 9 am on the hour. FANTASTIC! One of the best things we saw in BA. Our guide even sang “Don’t Cry for me Argentina “ to demonstrate the acoustics!
Private Driver: Buenos Aires We had a private driver who picked us up at the hotel and drove us to the airport. He also gave us a brief tour of Recoleta, Palmero and areas on the way to the airport. Gabriel Lazzari used to live in Miami and was very knowledgeable and arrived early to meet us. If I were going from the ship to the airport and had extra time, I would consider hiring him for several hours OR a day of touring before going to the airport.
 
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Cabin Review

Concierge Class 2
Cabin C2
Afternoon appetizers were not worth waiting for. There was good storage. Room was relatively quiet and easy to get to Concierge in the library who was a big help. Our cabin attendants were very food. It was cold on the ocean so we rarely used the veranda.
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