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I had a choice of going on Royal Caribbean's Radiance or NCL's Norwegian Sun. We have cruised on a spectrum of lines, from Carnival to Windstar, Princess and Crystal. I had the impression that NCL had a somewhat spotty reputation, but the itinerary going around the Horn was so much better than going down to Ushuaia and making a U turn up to Brazil that I chose NCL. And was delighted by the choice. The Sun overall provided an excellent voyage, and the variety of ports and Chilean fjords was even better than expected. The previous review gave a lot of good details about the ship and ports, so I'll limit myself to areas not covered.

First of all, if at all possible, get to Buenos Aires early. Very early. Tango is the national pastime, and we went to the obligatory tourist tango show at Esquina Homero - just so so. But we went to a milonga at Salon Canning. That was great. Lessons until 11 pm, then people start filtering in. At midnight the band arrives, and the party goes on until the wee hours. All LOCALS dance...some extremely well, some like me. There was a wonderful couple in their eighties that looked gorgeous dancing together. And a little old guy who happily buried his face in the bosoms of his much taller and younger partners. In BA, we took a cab and covered all the key sights in two hours - for $19 BUT while the taxi driver was a licensed tour guide, he only spoke Spanish. My Spanish was good enough to understand most of what he said, but would limit this recommendation. MOST importantly, we spent two nights at Iguazu Falls. This is a two hour plane flight from BA, and I had serious doubts about the wisdom of leaving BA to go there. But if you can possibly go, GO. Stupendous.

We stayed at the Sheraton - expensive, but a fabulous view of the Falls from the room. The best single highlight of our three weeks in South America. The food in BA is very reasonable and simply delicious. I don't often eat steak at home, but steak and a salad in BA was our evening meal every night,and never disappointed. Don Julio in Soho is a great example, but there are a ton of good restaurants in the city. Definitely not a place to be a vegetarian. And don't miss MALBA, the art museum. I'm not a major museum aficionado, but it's small enough to be enjoyable with enough good art for the art lover. Shopping in Soho made my wife very happy.

Viva South America

Norwegian Sun Cruise Review by Montecitoharve

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: December 2008
  • Destination: South America
  • Cabin Type: Mid-Ship Balcony
I had a choice of going on Royal Caribbean's Radiance or NCL's Norwegian Sun. We have cruised on a spectrum of lines, from Carnival to Windstar, Princess and Crystal. I had the impression that NCL had a somewhat spotty reputation, but the itinerary going around the Horn was so much better than going down to Ushuaia and making a U turn up to Brazil that I chose NCL. And was delighted by the choice. The Sun overall provided an excellent voyage, and the variety of ports and Chilean fjords was even better than expected. The previous review gave a lot of good details about the ship and ports, so I'll limit myself to areas not covered.

First of all, if at all possible, get to Buenos Aires early. Very early. Tango is the national pastime, and we went to the obligatory tourist tango show at Esquina Homero - just so so. But we went to a milonga at Salon Canning. That was great. Lessons until 11 pm, then people start filtering in. At midnight the band arrives, and the party goes on until the wee hours. All LOCALS dance...some extremely well, some like me. There was a wonderful couple in their eighties that looked gorgeous dancing together. And a little old guy who happily buried his face in the bosoms of his much taller and younger partners. In BA, we took a cab and covered all the key sights in two hours - for $19 BUT while the taxi driver was a licensed tour guide, he only spoke Spanish. My Spanish was good enough to understand most of what he said, but would limit this recommendation. MOST importantly, we spent two nights at Iguazu Falls. This is a two hour plane flight from BA, and I had serious doubts about the wisdom of leaving BA to go there. But if you can possibly go, GO. Stupendous.

We stayed at the Sheraton - expensive, but a fabulous view of the Falls from the room. The best single highlight of our three weeks in South America. The food in BA is very reasonable and simply delicious. I don't often eat steak at home, but steak and a salad in BA was our evening meal every night,and never disappointed. Don Julio in Soho is a great example, but there are a ton of good restaurants in the city. Definitely not a place to be a vegetarian. And don't miss MALBA, the art museum. I'm not a major museum aficionado, but it's small enough to be enjoyable with enough good art for the art lover. Shopping in Soho made my wife very happy.

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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Montevideo
    The leather stores have a lot of standard jackets, but if you shop around you can find some lovely articles. Prices are definitely "adjustable". I think Montevideo had the best quality leather of all the ports on the trip. When we walked out of the store a tourist policeman accompanied us for the six block walk back to the ship, so I was impressed with security.

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  • Puerto Montt
    I don't see a spot for Puerto Madryn or Punta Arenas, so will mention them here. For the former, GO to see the penguins at Punta Tombo. The road is now 90% paved, and the trip is much less onerous than we were led to believe. We were with Francesca tours, and they did a good job. Modern 8 person van very comfortable. The penguins here have to be seen. Punta Arenas has a huge fair in the central square when cruise ships come in. The quality and price of the goods is excellent, better quality than anywhere else we were in Chile. But the setting was very very pleasant. You can skip the penguins at Punta Arenas. Puerto Montt has a huge lake at Puerta Varas and tourist town there. Also famous volcanoes. It's ok. The Falls at Petrohue, after seeing Iguazu, were very forgettable, but we had taken a cab which stopped for a delicious lakeside lunch of lamb. The ride along the lake is pleasant. Take lots of antibug spray if you go to Petrohue. The flies are vicious.

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  • Santiago (Valparaiso)
    Santiago would be a two star rating, but we didn't stay there. The ship ended at Valparaiso, and we took a cab for 15 minutes to Vina del Mar. Stayed at the Sheraton which is right on the ocean, and was simply gorgeous. VdM has a gorgeous arena - Madonna had just been there - and a casino for those inclined. We loved the food - El Gaucho restaurant, Peccado Divino - probably lots of others just as good. Delicious steak and stunningly good Chilean wine. The town of VdM is lots of fun. We live in Santa Barbara, and VdM reminded me of SB with ocean, climate, wine. There is a mercado in town where all the locals shop - and had 95% of all the treasures that we had seen in all the other ports, at similar prices. But you should be comfortable bargaining in Spanish, or in some universal language. Santiago is a big city. Had a good lunch at the top of of a restaurant which turned around 360 degrees. (Namestarted with a G - only one in town). Santiago was hotter and smoggier than VdM - reminded me of Los Angeles - not a favorable recommendation

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  • Stanley
    Didn't take any tour, and didn't feel we missed anything.

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  • Ushuaia
    As the previous review said, simply gorgeous. We took a catamaran at the dock, and enjoyed the trip. It was not as cold as I had feared - in the 50s. Great day
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