After a very rocky embarkment in Buenos Aires, our cruise around South America on the Oosterdam was excellent. The principal reason for this was the extraordinary service provided by the Oosterdam crew and service personnel. Our every need was attended to and in many ways above and beyond all expectations. One of us was traveling with a mobility scooter rented from Holland America's vendor, Special Needs at Sea. The vendor could only guarantee an inappropriately large scooter for the trip. To our delight, Holland America had a much more appropriately sized scooter on board ship and was able to swap the two. When the battery on the new scooter proved weak, they swapped it out for a fresh battery. When the key broke, they supplied a replacement. I would never have expected such service. We were upgraded to a Neptune Suite, and while the experience in this cabin was not typical for most cruise guests, we must praise the concierge in the Neptune lounge for their immediate response to our every need. Toward the end of this cruise (one of us continued on the Oosterdam in a back-to-back booking) one of us tested positive for Covid-19. This would normally have been a disaster. But the Oosterdam crew amazingly found another sleeping cabin for the one of us who was still negative. The medical staff attended to the one of us who was positive on a daily basis. The ship allowed room service with menu selections from the main dining room instead of the more limited room service menu, and a special team came in to clean daily. This made the quarantine bearable, and even minimally pleasant. We cannot thank the Oosterdam crew enough for their extraordinary care and attentiveness to our needs.
Food on the cruise was generally excellent. Despite the fact that there were only two specialty restaurants on board, the general dining options had many delicious items, several special menu evenings and appropriate portion sizes. Despite being very well fed, to our surprise we actually lost weight on the cruise.
The dining room staff was superb. They were continually cheerful, responsive, efficient and highly professional.
We were upgraded to a Neptune Suite on the starboard side of the ship. This was unexpected good luck and we felt very fortunate to be in this excellent cabin. The cabin was roomy, exceptionally comfortable, and with a wonderful balcony from which we could see the spectacular scenery. The rooms all have a very large video screen, and the Neptune suites have a coffee maker which we used regularly. People in Neptune Suites also have access to the nearby Neptune lounge with a dedicated concierge and both breakfast and afternoon snacks. I have no doubt that some of the excellent service we received on the cruise was due to our booking in this suite, but in the second half of the cruise one of us was in a Signature suite (Class SY) and despite not having access to the Neptune Lounge, experienced excellent service and attentive care.
Buenos Aires was exciting and fun. We went to a tango show and excellent lunch, toured the historical sights of the city, and also a suburban area outside of the city. It was an excellent experience. We arrived a day early and also attended a concert held by the Teatro Colon in a large pavilion in a "State Fair" pavilion.
It was very exciting to round Cape Horn with spectacular scenery. The ship provided a certificate for having made this passage.
Some of the most spectacular scenery on the planet, including glaciers, wildlife, and exciting views.
A most charming city with lovely urban vistas. We visited the Mardi Gras museum, which should not be missed with its fantastic costumes not seen anywhere else. We also had a memorable lunch near the port with fantastic food.
We took a very successful boat tour to see the wildlife in the Beagle Channel which was very enjoyable. We also saw the "lighthouse at the end of the world." This was one of the high points of the trip. The town of Ushuaia was not very accessible for people with mobility difficulties.
We were very privileged to visit Stanley, as weather often does not permit docking there. We were tendered to the town port and enjoyed exploring the community. One of us went off to a penguin preserve, which was also great fun.
We primarily visited the town of Punta Arenas. The town is beautiful and well laid-out. We had lunch on shore and enjoyed the sights of the town.