This was to be our exploration of coastal South America from the safe and comfortable base of a quality small ship. And so it proved, for the first four of the nine ports as well as up-close appreciation of two huge glaciers in the Chilean fjords. But the final five ports including destination Lima were progressively denied our ship as Covid19 hit South America, despite the vessel being free of the virus. Eventually Azamara/RCCL had no option but to bring Pursuit back to Miami home base with all guests, staff and crew. Throughout the days of worrisome uncertainty, the cruise extension from three to four weeks, difficulty of resupply at anchor and two medevacs (non virus), Captain Carl Smith showed exemplary leadership and judgement through his honest timely communications, his visibility and his positive reassuring manner. This, despite, we suspect, him getting little rest during the critical week of negotiations with shore authorities and head office in Florida. We were aware that his diplomatic skills with local authorities were tested at times, but all he said was “read the full story in my autobiography”. In all of this Captain Smith was very ably supported by Cruise Director Tony Markey, all the other officers and the whole crew. They worked overtime and creatively to ensure that the quality of our on-board experience was seamlessly maintained, which it certainly was. The wonderful commitment to customer care was demonstrated again when Azamara/RCCL, aided by the ship’s Guest Relations, organised our homeward travel from Miami. At a time when international flights were greatly reduced, the corporation funded and coordinated the smooth return of the 70 Australians on board to our home cities. We thank and congratulate Azamara/RCCL for this considerate and generous act.
Ideal size for a long cruise. Spacious bathroom. Located under the Patio cafe area which generated intrusive noise in the morning and evening. Not a really big deal, but we suggest avoiding suite 8059 if you have a choice.