Veendam S America - Best Cruise Ever!: Veendam Cruise Review by pwilkinson18

Veendam 5
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Veendam S America - Best Cruise Ever!

Sail Date: February 2010
Destination: South America
Embarkation: Buenos Aires
We had a fantastic time on our trip,which we chose because we had 'done' all the regular cruises. Flight was uneventful, very far, but no complaints, except the return flight to BWI was cancelled, and Delta routed us through Minneapolis, which made the trip longer. Buenos Aires was very European. We had the warmest welcome ever at the Marriott, where we were allowed to check in to our room at 9 am, and were upgraded to the executive level (I am a Gold member). We walked extensively, and enjoyed exploring. The Recoleta cemetery was amazing. The weather was very warm too. The concierge recommended a great restaurant where we had a fabulous steak dinner and wine for less than $100.

The Veendam was great. We had a problem with the a/c in our room that took them six days to fix. Other than that, the ship was just about perfect, with the best food and service that we have had on any of our 14+ cruises. Montevideo was disappointing, dirty and run down. We hit a big storm in the More Atlantic - 40 foot waves and force 10 gale for 2 days which stopped us from disembarking in the Falklands, which was very disappointing. However, the storm was very exciting, and I guess that was what we wanted to see! When we reached Cape Horn the sun came out and it was a flat calm. The Chilean pilot said that he had never seen such a lovely day there! Ushuaia was awesome. The sun shone (very rare) and we took a trip on a small boat ride in the Beagle Channel to see seals and birds. It was a great day out! The Beagle Channel and glaciers were unbelievable. We had a perfect sunny day, and it was just spectacular! Punta Arenas was a cool town. We took a taxi on our own to see the penguins at Otway Bay. That was great! Others went to see the penguins at Magdalena Island, and we wished that we had done that, but no big deal. Puerto Montt was a great place to take a $30 van trip to see the lake, volcano and waterfalls. We had a really lovely day out.

Disembarking in Valparaiso was the easiest that we have ever experienced. We had booked a trip (our only one with HAL) and were glad that we did. We left our bags outside our room at night, and the next time we saw them was at the airport the following evening (where they had been sorted and placed on a trolley!). We took a bus tour of Santiago with lunch and a tour of a winery. It was well worth it. Such a shame that today we are watching the earthquake coverage of this beautiful country, where everyone we met was friendly and helpful. We used US$$ everywhere we went, and had no trouble with paying for anything.

Overall it was a "5 Star" trip and we are already thinking where next! Less

Published 02/28/10

Cabin review:

Port and Shore Excursions

Disappointing port, except for the Port Market. Did not meet any others who had a positive experience here. My wife did not feel safe here.

Don't miss the fish market (turn left out of the port, walk 1/2 mile past a thousand fascinating market stalls). Lots of very affordable independent tours at the dockside. Probably the best value trip we have ever taken. 6 hour van ride to scenic Lake District for $30. Also, be sure to buy local wine and/or Pisco sour at the stall where you get back on the tender!

Take the ferry to Magdalena Island, thousands of penguins up close! The town is nice to wander. People are very friendly.

Take advantage of the ship tours to make good use of the day before your flight home! Check your bags on board and do not see them again until you get to the airport! Absolutely the best way to disembark!

Awesome city at the end of the world. Lots of opportunities ashore for independent trips.

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Member Since 2009
6 Forum Posts
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