Seeking Penguins: Amsterdam Cruise Review by spider767

Amsterdam 4
Member Since 2008
7 Forum Posts

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Seeking Penguins

Sail Date: January 2009
Destination: South America
Embarkation: Buenos Aires
On this trip was my husband and I, we have been on about 26 cruises and 4 river boats. We love to travel that way. We chose this particular cruise because of the itinerary. We left from Toronto on a snowy night. We arrive a day before as we always day to get acclimatize to time change and temperature. We stayed at the Sheraton and it was nice, right down town. Buenos Aires was much nicer city than expected. Very much like a European city, but cheaper. Our 2 days there were sunny and hot. Temps in the high 80's. Would recommend a good city tour. We plan on going back someday. We boarded the ship in Buenos Aires for 2 reason for us it was easier to get to and no hassle for Brazilian visas.

We were a bit surprised when we reached the port for boarding, there was one girl and she asked if our name was on our suitcases (they were) and so she took them and said we would see them next on the ship. Kind of scary but it worked. Then we hopped on the shuttle bus and went to the ship. More Not much fuss about this embarkation, very relaxed. Our cabin was an inside one and standard for ships cabin if a bit small. Our cabin attendant was very good, we didn't see him for a couple of days, which is how we like it, efficient and not bothersome. Not like on other cruises where they are in your face all the time. We had late sitting at a table for 8, we lucked out with very nice people. The food was a bit of a conundrum. It was good but not great and the menu was misleading. It was a guess at what one would be getting they would use terms that we know like galette (French term for flat pastry) and what came was a piece of pie!!! Also it was not consistent sometime it was good and sometime not. Our table mates also complained of the small portions and after a while ordered 2 portions. I personally think that it was OK, nowadays we eat too much and the proportion were fine for me, less waste.The service was good and our server Ricco and his assistant did a good job. It seems that the cruise lines are reducing their dining room staff and therefore the service is slow. we noticed that on other line and it was the same here so I don't put the blame on Ricco but the company.

It's a very nice ship not too much ware and tare, it going to get refurbish in March. My biggest complaint would be that the lounges were cold and when you are in Antarctica that is not good. Our favorite room was the Explorer where the Internet was and the coffee bar it was nice and cozy. It is also the library which in well stocked with current books. The entertainment was good and interesting. We had a piano player, a violin player and an opera singer and they were all fabulous. Shore excursions were extremely expensive and a lot of people would wait to get to the port and book taxis. If you decide to go with the ship's one book early as they sell out real fast.Being that our cruise was real soon after Christmas we procrastinated and didn't book anything and regretted it, especially in the Falkland where there is tenders and by the time you get to shore all the taxis are taken. One note about the Falkland, they tell you that you can walk to Gipsy's cove but not really. It's windy and far but what they don't tell you is that there is a shuttle bus and for $20 US it will take you there and back. A very good deal. Less

Published 02/18/09

Cabin review: L Large Interior Stateroom

our cabin was inside, next to the laundry. We sometime heard the dryer going around,but fairly quiet. It was very convenient on laundry days. The cabin was small not enough closet space. Quiet hallway.

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Port and Shore Excursions

Montevideo: Not quite as nice as BA. Slightly cooler and not as big. We didn't get out to the beaches, but they are supposed to be excellent. Forget the leather shop that advertises aggressively on the ship and ashore. Too expensive and not the best quality. We did take their shuttle to the shop which got us half way to the downtown area. Easy walk from the ship to the Independence Square where there is lots of shopping. Prices are very good. On the 2 day trip to the Falklands, we should have put on sun screen!!

Puerto Montt: Here we did an all day tour to the Petrohue Cascades and Osorno Volcano. The Cascades are very photogenic but there are just too many people in a small area. The Osorno Volcano (which is dormant) is a dominating mountain over the entire valley. Looks like Mt Fuji. Our tour took us half way up the mountain to the chair lift. We didn’t go up the lift as the view was quite spectacular from the ski lodge. Our camera was far too small to take decent pictures of the valley below us (or any of the icebergs, whales, penguins etc we’d been seeing all week). We stopped for a lunch at a local hotel and had some nice salmon. On the mountain, the temperature was quite pleasant. We only needed a sweater, but we had a gorgeous day without a cloud in the sky. Very long drive back down the mountain and then a little (far too little) time in Punta Veras a very nice beach town on a lake.

Ushuaia: Kind of a frontier town like the Alaskan cruise ports, but a bit poorer. through boggy forests with a guide that walked too fast and explained little. I took the cormorant and sea lion boat tour that is just an extended harbor cruise. Saw plenty of birds and sea lions up close. Of course Joanne took the camera and got virtually nothing and then couldn’t figure out how to change the battery. But I’m not bitter. Male sea lions proclaiming their territory are very large and menacing. We met for lunch at a restaurant called l’Estancia and I had the local lamb which was excellent and Joanne had a crab dish she enjoyed. Very nice meal and a break from the ships food. Weather here was excellent with a few high clouds and the usual wind. Temps in the high 50’s.

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Member Since 2008
7 Forum Posts
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