We were excited to return to Antarctica, S Georgia and the Falklands, with the added bonus of the eclipse, on this relatively new ship (2019), after having really enjoyed our 2007 trip on Orlova (old Russian ship) to the same destinations.
A lot has changed since 2007 in terms of being able to get to shore, walk where you'd like without disturbing the wildlife, and the attitudes and skills of some of the key people on this ship were very poor.
In 2007 we had 4 zodiak rides landings/day whenever we were near land and the skills of the zodiak drivers was very high--further, we were able to ride with drivers who shared our interests, such as photography, birds, mammels, geology, etc., and go where we liked once ashore as long as we stayed at least a meter from the wildlife. On this cruise, we were limited to a maximum of 2 trips/day, assigned one of 4 color groups, had to go when group was called, no choice of driver, and the team put out red poles on the few landings we did have that we had to follow and could not cross, no matter what happened with the conditions and wildlife ashore. Some of the expedition team were poor/inexperienced or hotdog-style drivers, and this was dangerous and uncomfortable for those in their boats. In addition, we were stuck twice for over an hour when the outboard engine of one of the boats failed (same engine both times). Drivers weren't keeping safety switches on their arms, excessively bouncing the boats on purpose while people in the front were being tossed and claiming they were great drivers (I fell and got a mild concussion from hitting my head on the camera of the man next to me and the woman who'd had back surgery was in severe pain after our last trip ashore), falling in the boats while trying to get us on and off, calling "go" when it wasn't the right time to board the ship (my friend had to reach up 2 feet and hurt her back). Some of the expedition staff were condescending, lewd and rude, as was the hotel manager. Many of the expedition staff seemed much more concerned about getting their own (copyrighted) photos and time at landings and zodiac rides than ensuring we had a good trip. They said out loud that they were going to be extremely strict with us so that we wouldn't get hurt and ruin their trip.
Response from FranklinB, Marketing Team
We were immediately disappointed to find our cabins had a 60% obstructed view- we politely asked the hotel manager to move the gangways or move us to another cabin, but all of this was impossible, despite the fact that they were holding at least 5 rooms for any COVID cases and some of the staff were sharing quarters in client cabins. DO NOT BOOK 401, 403, 405 or 407 if you want to be able to see the horizon (important with rough seas) or marine life, or take photos from your room. All the other 400 cabins are very nice and conveniently located, with full views.