We chose this cruise because we wanted to get a first impression of South America and go round Cape Horn. It was also one of the few cruises that took in Rio de Janeiro too.
What was good
1. The captain was very good and, to my mind, made the right decision to leave out Puerto Montt becuase of the bad weather and so try and get ahead of even worse weather.
2. Kevin, the entertainment director from Buenos Aires was also very good.
What was bad
1. The ship's target audience is obviously the 80+. Entertainment for younger people was virutally non-existent. We were totally bored on the many sea days. Too many of the things on offer were about health issues. We had the feeling we were in a sanatorium rather than on a holiday cruise.
2. The food was not good. I love fish and, apart from salmon and the fish offered on the Asian stand that was always in some kind of sauce, all the fish was in batter or breadcrumbs and overcooked. One day they had fresh tuna in the dining room so I ordered it rare. It came totally cooked to hell and not a sign of a pink colour. Awful. In general I would say that the quality of the meat and fish was good but it was cooked badly. What a shame! The desserts also had too much sugar in them.
3. The staff in the jewellery shops were too pushy for Europeans. I love jewellery and regularly buy pieces on holiday. This time I was looking for something for our daughter's birthday. On the first evening I looked at some of the window display cases but every time I stopped to look, I was pounced on by a salesman who wanted to get something out and work out the price and make me an offer. This happened 5 times in succession and so I left. They didn't understand the phrase "I'm just looking". Three days later I tried again and the experience was the same so I left it. HAL you lost a sale because I actually loved your jewellery.
4. The tender tickets for the Falkland Islands were only available to queue for on the day we arrived there from 8 a.m. onwards despite the fact that the day before was a sea day and everybody could easily have queued then. This meant that some people not on HAL excursions got off the ship late and had not enough time on the Falklands. The whole process could have been organised better.
5. The prices of the drinks were too high as were the prices for the excursions.
The cabin was fine and the cabin attendants were great.