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859 South America Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise due to both the itinerary and the ship. We enjoy the large ships and had sailed on the Regal Princess previously so were especially happy to reserve space on this voyage. We flew to Fort Lauderdale on the day the ship ... Read More
We chose this cruise due to both the itinerary and the ship. We enjoy the large ships and had sailed on the Regal Princess previously so were especially happy to reserve space on this voyage. We flew to Fort Lauderdale on the day the ship was to sail. This was the first time we had flown on the day of departure. All went well with this and we were on board the ship a little before 2 PM. The lines to enter the terminal were extremely long. We had "priority" boarding but the line to reach the door was so long it was not especially useful. Once on board, we stopped at the international cafe for sandwiches before heading to our cabin. The ship is lovely looking with good flow between areas. The piazza is very attractive. We noticed lots of colorful flags throughout the atrium. These flags changed according to the ports we were in. The ship is large with lots of smaller sitting areas scattered about. The only area where improvement is needed is the library. The library is too small for the size of the clientele. On the second day of the cruise there were only 4 books in the library all in Russian. I had polio as a child and require an accessible cabin. We selected an inside, Dolphin 319, for this journey. This room had a wide entry door and an excellent bathroom with raised toilet, hand rails, and an integrated shower seat. The wash basin allowed for a wheelchair to be pulled underneath. The shower head could be adjusted in height as well as hand held. The room itself was very poor. There was insufficient turning space in the cabin. Primarily this was because the double bedside table was fixed in place. With no space between the beds (about 12 or so inches with the beds separated) it became very difficult to turn my scooter around. We reported this to guest services but there were unable to make any changes and for forty-nine days we struggled with attempting to turn my scooter. In my opinion, this room should NOT be sold as an accessible cabin. Another problem with this cabin was the placement of the flat screen TV. The TV is not across from the beds but on a side wall. This made viewing and changing the channels difficult. We spent much more time in our cabin on this cruise than we had ever done before. I fell twice in the room and ended up being diagnosed with pneumonia. Although the medical care I received was excellent I basically stayed in the room except for forays to the medical center for intravenous fluids and antibiotics. I had three days of twice a day IV's and another seven days of oral antibiotics. During this time I watched a lot of TV. The news channels of CNBC, MSNBC, FOX, BBC, and two ESPN stations were less than enthralling. Soccer and politics with the occasional stock market news were all that was shown. Thank goodness for on-demand programming of relative new movies and very old TV shows. We had anytime dining for this cruise. We never waited for a table. We always shared with others. The dining room food was very good with excellent service. We did find a few evening menus to be less than inspiring. On those evening we went to the expansive buffet where we also found the food to be very good. The buffet stewards always offered to bring us drinks, whether coffee and juice at breakfast or water at dinner. We found the service here to be excellent. I wish there were a few tables that had seating with arms. I prefer to transfer to a seat for meals but find rising difficult when the chair does not have arms. All chairs in the buffet are armless. We really enjoyed the cruise director an his staff on this cruise. For the first 2/3 of the cruise we had Ron Goodman as the entertainment director. He instituted an early show time of 4:45 PM as well as 7:30 and 9:30 PM. This worked very well and accessible seating was available at every early show. The early shows were very well attended. On the last 1/3 of the cruise Billy Hygate was the entertainment director. He did not schedule any early shows and the seating at the earlier of the two remaining times became a problem with the accessible seats being taken over 30 minutes before the show was scheduled. The cruise director, Matt O'Brien was outstanding. He was everywhere and very personable. He did trivia and line dancing as well as introducing the production shows. We especially enjoyed his "Wake Show" on TV. Service on this cruise was excellent. Our room steward I Wayan from Bali was outstanding. Even when I was in the cabin he was able to keep everything clean and neat. He was also personable and seem genuinely interested in us. This cruise visited many ports. First, we cruised in the Caribbean. We especially enjoyed stopping in Trinidad where we took a taxi tour of the island. We also greatly enjoyed Montevideo, Uruguay where we took a bus tour. We had trouble leaving Montevideo as one couple who did not have an Argentina visa (required because of their nationality) hid rather than leaving the ship. This caused us to be late leaving so we lost our scheduled arrival slot in Buenos Aires. This caused a cascade of problems as the people who were scheduled to leave the ship were too late to make their flights home. All excursions were cancelled in Buenos Aires including the over night ones to Iguazu Falls. We had repeated problems with late arrivals and departures from ports, usually because there were stores to be loaded. Other favorites for us included the Falkland Islands where only my husband was able to go ashore to see the penguins as this was a tender port, Rio to see Christ the Redeemer and Ushuaia. We enjoyed this cruise immensely even though there were challenges, especially my illness. The medical staff were outstanding. Cuan, from South Africa a paramedic who helped me when I fell, Dr. Belton who diagnosed and treated me and also my nurse Dingaan, also from South Africa who was excellent with placing my intravenous needle. We had an outstanding destination lecturer Vickie Bowne who provided the necessary information for our ports without being a shopping tout. We also enjoyed the enrichment lecturers, especially the aviation expert. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
This trip had always been on my bucket list. We flew to Buenos Aires and explored the city for two days. BA has been called the Paris of the South. It is a beautiful and elegant city. We were impressed by the Norwegian Sun's ... Read More
This trip had always been on my bucket list. We flew to Buenos Aires and explored the city for two days. BA has been called the Paris of the South. It is a beautiful and elegant city. We were impressed by the Norwegian Sun's renovations. The ship looked beautiful, clean and brand new. Our first stop was beautiful Montevideo, Uruguay, a historical lovely city. Our second stop was Punta del Este, Uruguay, a beautiful resort destination. Then, we cruised to Puerto Madryn, Argentina, which was originally settled by the Welsh. We could have taken the Welsh city tour. However, we chose to take the Valdes Wildlife refuge tour instead. We saw amazing animals such as sea lions, elephant seals and Magellanian penguins. Our next stop was Stanley in the Falklands. That was also an amazing center for wildlife viewing. We walked with the penguins on Bertha's Beach which was one of our most amazing lifetime experiences. Stanley itself looks so very British and charming. We only stayed half a day in Stanley and had to leave a bit early due to a bad weather forecast. That's typical for the geographic area. In fact, a cruiser who had taken the same trip 14 times told us that many times, ships can't dock in certain ports in that area due to weather conditions. We were lucky, because we only had one rocky morning. Otherwise, the ship was as smooth as glass. The sail around Cape Horn brought back memories of history lessons at school. I remembered hearing about Magellan sailing around the Cape in the 16th century. I remembered reading James Michener's Hawaii and visualizing the trip around the Horn. Actually Cape Horn is just an island, but it was memorable. Our next stop was Ushuaia, the most Southern city in the world. It reminded me of ports in Alaska and is the gateway to the Beagle Channel. We went to the gorgeous Terra del Fuego National Park. However, with the wind chill factor, it was in the 30s with freezing rain. This was summer no less. We visited Punta Arenas, the most Southern port in Chile. Then, we sailed through the Chilean Fjords and the Straight of Magellan. Imagine being surrounded by snowy mountains and glaciers as you sail through the strait. We saw penguins and sea lions on a small island right in the middle of the Straight. The views were breathtaking. When we arrived in Puerto Montt, we saw Puerto Vayas, a city founded by the Germans. However, there was nothing very German about it. However, we went to the marvelous cowboy dancing and rodeo demonstration followed by a wonderful late lunch of unlimited grilled meat, fruit and vegetables. Sadly, our cruise ended in San Antonio, Chile. It was a wonderful experience. The ship itself was newly outfitted and gorgeous. The food was for the most part decent. However, we ordered steak in the dining room, and it was tough. The steak at Cagney's Steak House however, was delicious. The 11th floor was almost always crowded, especially on tour days. One maître' D told me that was nothing. "You should see the buffet crowds on the bigger ships," he joked. The one thing I didn't like was the price of the tours, but the tour package was a bargain. Even company tours outside of Norwegian had expensive tours. Prepare to shell out about $150 per person for most tours, onboard ship or off. Some may be less, but they are far and few between for what I could tell. We also heard that not many captains like to take this route, because it is treacherous, but Captain Teo did an amazing job. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Fantastic cruise. Friendly staff. Excellent food in buffet. Dining rooms service could be better with respect to service and delivery times. Entertainment was fabulous because of the excellent and friendly cruise director and his ... Read More
Fantastic cruise. Friendly staff. Excellent food in buffet. Dining rooms service could be better with respect to service and delivery times. Entertainment was fabulous because of the excellent and friendly cruise director and his wonderful crew who always seemed to know what the passengers wanted. The production shows were great and I always heard the people who were coming out of the theatre say that the shows were great. The dance bands were great and responded to requests that the people wanted to hear. Royal Princess should be awarded the BEST ENTERTAINMENT SHIP FOR 2019. The Captain had a wonderful sense of humour. The crew ranging from the housekeeping attendants to servers in the restaurants and bars were always friendly and they always smiled while working. If I seemed lost they always were quick to ask if I needed help. I have done several cruises and this cruise was by far the best cruise and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Itinerary: leave out Caribbean islands except for Trinidad/Tobago; Fortaleza Brazil NOT worth visit/ exclude. Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires are wonderfully memorable stops. But disembarking at BA was the worse experience we’ve ever ... Read More
Itinerary: leave out Caribbean islands except for Trinidad/Tobago; Fortaleza Brazil NOT worth visit/ exclude. Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires are wonderfully memorable stops. But disembarking at BA was the worse experience we’ve ever had. Taxis are scarce ( though not expensive) and we spent 2 hours in bad heat/ humidity on line of at least 100 people for few taxis. I advise you pre-book private pickup at any price ($75??). Cruise director Matt O’ was best in the business. Buffet food was also best we’ve ever had, especially dinner. Room service and stewards were excellent. Entertainment top notch. Deluxe Balcony cabin D148 was fine with good AC ( tiny balcony but not important). PLEASE improve Shore Excursions and ask for evaluations right afterwards. The vans on all Caribbean islands were I poor condition with poor AC and very cramped. Guide’s ok. Trinidad/Tobago was Best island stop with great guide and van. Shore excursion of Monastery in hills with homemade breads/cakes, tea was SO lovely. Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires are unforgettable and worth money of cruise to see! Ship Captain excellent. Others were doing longer 49 day segments. We were happy and ready to disembark at 19 days in Buenos Aires. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
This was our first cruise and first time to south america we stayed in Buenos Aries for 3 days prior to departure,went on hop on hop off bus.. wonderful city full of interesting architectural wonders....buildings, statues.. old and ... Read More
This was our first cruise and first time to south america we stayed in Buenos Aries for 3 days prior to departure,went on hop on hop off bus.. wonderful city full of interesting architectural wonders....buildings, statues.. old and new..the ship had easy embarkation... friendly knowledgeable and helpful staff..stayed in partial porthole cabin it exceeded our expectations for size of cabin and view out of porthole ..dining was great and did not have a disappointing meal in 2 weeks..we had the drink package and dining package ..part of the free at sea promotions..although "free" is a bit of a stretch..$700.00 in gratuities for drink package ...good entertainment..service was friendly and helpful at every turn..a bit unorganized for shore excursions...would have been helpful to have more information on ports of call as well as prior information on excursions.. the tender boats were a bit crowded and unorganized but only needed them at a couple ports our cabin steward Milos did a wonderful job every day and was most friendly and helpful...disembarkation was easy and stress free..not really a trip for young children although there were some onboard...once in a lifetime trip... highly recommend it Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We were very excited to be on this 14 night Buenos Aires to Santiago (via Cape Horn) sailing, and particularly pleased when our upgrade bid moved us from a Mini-Suite to a Forward Facing Penthouse with Balcony (SH). As there is lots of ... Read More
We were very excited to be on this 14 night Buenos Aires to Santiago (via Cape Horn) sailing, and particularly pleased when our upgrade bid moved us from a Mini-Suite to a Forward Facing Penthouse with Balcony (SH). As there is lots of good information about this amazing itinerary, I will focus on the experience of being a suite guest. As NCL embarkation was actually on the ship (because of port restrictions), there wasn't really any special treatment through this process, although we were in the first group through immigration and we were quickly checked in. Our room was already ready which was great and our bags arrived soon after (Room description below and photos attached). We were able to go to Cagney's for lunch - and this was an option every day, along with every morning for breakfast. We didn't often go for lunch, as we prefer something pretty light if it is a sea day, so normally just grabbed some fruit and cheese from the Garden Cafe and ate in our room. But breakfast in Cagney's was one of the highlights of the suite perks. Breakfast included a buffet and the option of cooked dishes (which we indulged in occasionally) I have attached photos of the menu and pictures of the buffet. We loved starting the day with some peace and quiet, along with exceptional service, and also enjoyed the morning stroll from forward to aft in the crisp morning air. There was never more than 10 people at Cagney's, and by the end of the 14 days everyone was friends - passengers and staff alike. The other reason you didn't need lunch was that your Butler brought you snacks twice per day, savoury treats around mid-afternoon and sweet treats before bedtime. Luckily we had some friends to share these with, otherwise we would have come home a few pounds heavier. You could also get room service with no delivery charge, and we did this once. We did though make good use of the Nespresso coffee machine and great tea bags on offer in the room. On port days it was certainly nice to be able to "jump the queue", particularly as there were a number of tender ports on this itinerary. It was also very helpful to jump the queue the day Chilean immigration decided to board and check everyone's passport and visa, the normal queue went forever. And on the final day it was nice to get off when we wished. There was supposedly reserved seating in the theatre, but I believed it was upstairs in a less than prime spot. One other Suite party asked for reserved seats downstairs, and that was arranged for them. We just went early to get the seats we wanted. Overall I'm not sure I would pay "full price" to sail Suite. We aren't very demanding, and like to be independent, so didn't maximise our use of the Concierge or our Butler. But the extra room size, and that quiet breakfast could tempt me again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We are a retired couple in our active 60’s and needed an expedition that combined moderate activity level in a new to us part of the world with better than average comfort care. This was that trip. One week in the Galapagos Islands. ... Read More
We are a retired couple in our active 60’s and needed an expedition that combined moderate activity level in a new to us part of the world with better than average comfort care. This was that trip. One week in the Galapagos Islands. Endeavour II carries 96 passengers and a crew of more than 60 including Galapagos naturalists. Staff is very organized with constant communication on board via daily sheets and announcements. The ship has three levels with zodiac landing, restaurant, cabins, group lounge, small library, shop, photo sharing workspace. No elevators. There is also an open air top deck with lounging chairs and bar area for special events (like equator crossing) and sunset viewing parties. Rooms are small but efficient. There is plenty of storage space for swimwear and active clothing and a small desk area. We were in their “basic” level which was very comfortable with a large picture window. The en suite bath has a sufficient shower with lots of hot water and a clothesline cord. All meals are included. Wine and beer flow easily at lunch and dinner. Local foods are served daily with fun explanations of what we’re eating. A different cultural food is featured each day. Plenty of fresh food including salads, vegetables, meats and desserts. Breakfast and lunch are buffet style. Dinner is table service in group settings. Entertainment is basic in consideration of the size of the ship and staff. Every evening includes cocktail hour in the lounge with appetizers like fish skewers and chips and guacamole. This includes a recap and pics of the day’s activities and a preview of the next day’s plans. After dinner entertainment includes local performers or a nature film. There is lots of interaction with other passengers and staff. Children are welcome and the crew have a special activity just for them each day. Lindblad Expeditions addresses every detail. The pre trip packet has a very explanatory itinerary, personnel bios, and a very good packing list of recommended special gear. Our only recommendation is to add shirts etc with sun protection in addition to sunscreen lotion. After all, this is right on the equator. The crew covers their hands and faces. There are usually three activities per day. 1) One to two mile hikes. 2) Water activities include ocean swimming, snorkeling, kayaking and 3) zodiac and glass bottom boat tours. All entrance and exit from the ship is via zodiac – even to and from the airport. All drivers and guides are very safety and care conscious. But one must feel confident getting in and out of the zodiac and riding over ocean waves motorboat style. Special zodiac lifejackets become second nature. Shore landings might be dry on sand or wading thru low tide. They must be hands free for assistance sake so cameras and gear are best on neck straps. Hiking excursions are across volcanic rock which is sometimes slippery. So hiking shoes for uneven terrain are absolutely necessary. Trekking poles are helpful. Treks are less than two miles at a low to moderate climb rate. Water activities include shore swimming. Snorkeling is deep water style straight off the zodiac. The staff takes great care helping passengers choose the best shortie wet suits, masks, snorkels and vests. Snorkeling experience is recommended but not required. Zodiac tours move slowly with unbelievable photo ops at the water level and close to shore for animal and bird viewing. Galapagos National Park maintains a very strict itinerary for visitors. Naturalist guides are extremely knowledgeable and helpful with photo shots, zodiacs and hiking. They know history, geology, geography and animal habitat notes free on a professor level. Wildlife spotting is beyond words. All are easy to spot, unafraid of us and easy to photo. We saw sand crabs, marine iguanas, pelicans, egrets, herons, sea turtles, sea lions, Galapagos penguins, blue footed boobies, cormorants, land tortoises, land iguanas, cattle, red footed boobies and many varieties of Darwin finches. Trip includes a couple of village visits including a tortoise research station and town walk. The trip is expensive but there are minimal additional costs once on board – laundry, crew tips, and cocktails (wine/beer at meals is covered). Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We arrived in Buenos Aires 3 days before setting sail which gave us ample time to enjoy this fascinating city. We stayed in a very lovely little hotel in Palermo Soho. The location turned out to be quite a distance from the city centre, ... Read More
We arrived in Buenos Aires 3 days before setting sail which gave us ample time to enjoy this fascinating city. We stayed in a very lovely little hotel in Palermo Soho. The location turned out to be quite a distance from the city centre, but the inexpensive cost of taxis made the trip downtown less of an annoyance. Take some time to spend in Buenos Aires if you haven't been there before. It's multi faceted and interesting. On the day we embarked the ship, traffic from downtown to the pier was absolutely painful. We finally got there and were very quickly processed and boarded Star Princess in no time. Although the ship is by no means new, it has been kept in good repair and provides an attractive,elegent environment for the 14 day cruise. I am continually surprised by the nit picking that some reviewers use to criticize any minor issues that they encounter aboard ship. Their lives on land must be absolutely perfect. Our cabin, B621, inside, was tight but had ample storage space. The shower was a bit of a joke in size. The most amazing thing about our cabin and about all Princess cabins was the absolute luxury of the bed and bedding. Kudos to Princess!! Service aboard the Star was extremely good everywhere. We purchased the Coffee Card and bottled water prior to leaving home. Both good moves. We tried Sabattinis and the Crown Grill. Liked them both. Wonderful service in both. Food in the main dining room on the other 12 nights was good if not exceptional. But if you have 12 restaurant meals at home will you have 12 exceptional meals? It's the service in the main restaurant that makes a less stellar meal feel quite acceptable. And they were able to handle anytime dining quite efficiently with very little wait especially if you were prepared to share a table with others (we were). Activities during the day were sparse, but a big thank you to Princess for providing the equipment for duplicate bridge and a bigger thank you to the individuals who organized the games. 2.5 afternoon hours nicely spent. Evening entertainment was good. Enjoyed the commedian and singers. Almost forgot to praise the port speaker who was both very informative and extremely humerous. Played to a full house in the Princess theatre each time he spoke. Ports great and varried. When in Puerto Mott, go to Puerto Veras. You might think this lakeside town is in Switzerland. Ended up in San Antonio and took the public bus to downtown to Santiago. Comfortable and cost effective. Did not take any ship tours. Absolutely loved Santiago. Spend some time in this glamerous safe city. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
This is our second cruise on the Star Princess - 14 years apart. Cabins need refurbishing. The couch in our mini-suite would be a rummage sale reject. The balcony handrails need revarnishing. The ship in general has been spruced up in ... Read More
This is our second cruise on the Star Princess - 14 years apart. Cabins need refurbishing. The couch in our mini-suite would be a rummage sale reject. The balcony handrails need revarnishing. The ship in general has been spruced up in areas but overhaul is more needed. For example in public areas “under maintenance” signs were common. Steam room not operational often. Didn’t feel entertainment staff was as visible as it could be. Food is typical Princess fare and if u have been on as many Princess cruises as we have, you can practically recite the menus. Of course dining staff and cabin stewards were top notch. Itinerary was awesome. Each port - different and scenery incredible. We were blessed with good seas and weather, even made it to the windy Falkland Islands. Private tours we booked through Cruise Critic roll call were great- so much more comprehensive and reasonable, usual by half, of Princess excursions. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We selected this cruise because of the itinerary: South America (from Chile to Argentina), with sailing around Cape Horn and then along the Antarctic Peninsula. The itinerary did not disappoint us. Except for being unable to dock at Puerto ... Read More
We selected this cruise because of the itinerary: South America (from Chile to Argentina), with sailing around Cape Horn and then along the Antarctic Peninsula. The itinerary did not disappoint us. Except for being unable to dock at Puerto Montt (Chile) due to strong winds, everywhere else the weather was excellent and docking (if applicable) went without any issues. Even notorious Drake Passage felt more like a lake. Every port was different and we did not regret that actually we did not set foot on Antarctica (only sailing along). The scenery was magnificent and diverse, wildlife was plentiful to see and to enjoy. The enrichment lectures by the experts led by Scott were excellent; all of them had real Antarctic experience. We even had a visit by the members of the US team from the Palmer Station who boarded the ship for a few hours and gave us another dimension what it means to work as a researcher in Antarctica. The onboard experts were equally good who had skills in public speaking, did not trivialize subjects and were always available to answer additional queries. You appreciated the scenery even more with this background. Shore excursions: overall good but clearly overpriced. The excursion staff very nice and helpful. Nonetheless, you can do yourself a big favor booking ahead of time the same or better tours at 50% discount price via independent tour operators (we did this in the Falklands, Montevideo, and Buenos Aires)--you have more intimate experience at much lower cost. HA should also consider adding more active (strenuous) options on shore and in smaller groups. Some specifics about the tours: don't waste your money on the flight to Antarctica, most of the time flights are canceled and you will see more from the ship. Do not take an excursion in Puerto Madryn to Valdez Peninsula, unless you like to seat on the bus for 6 hours and see for 20 min (and from the distance) colonies of sea lions. Dinning experience/food: of course, HA experience is not the same as cruising with some boutique lines catering to culinary experiences. Nevertheless, we found food plentiful, very good selections at any time of day or night, and the service always pleasant. The dinning staff was above expectations, personal, attentive, and at your service. We dined couple of times in Canaletto, nice and more intimate experience, though you will not be tired of the Main Dinning Room. Overall ambiance/entertainment: HA cruises cater to mature customers. I found enjoyable not to see hordes of children running around the pool or in the Lido. Zaandam is tastefully arranged and easy to get around. If you like the glitz and phony party atmosphere, this will not be the cruise for you. The entertainment was good (except for comedian/magician), the selection of movies was well arranged, consistent with South American and Antarctic itinerary. The cruise director (Bruce) deserves thumbs up, tactful and understated, on the top of everything in his line of duty. Staff: overall, we had excellent impressions, comparing to past experiences on HA and other lines. From the captain to our cabin steward we felt being treated with courtesy and professionalism. Overall, this was one of the best cruising experiences. Those who are interested in this itinerary should invest in right clothing (layers, layers, layers) to enjoy the sights of Antarctica from the deck and the Falklands on land. Take advantage of every port, see natural beauty and appreciate culture. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
My sister and I chose this cruise because it was someplace we had always wanted to see but never thought we would have that opportunity. Lindblad/National Geo came highly reccommended and we were not disappointed - our room was roomy and ... Read More
My sister and I chose this cruise because it was someplace we had always wanted to see but never thought we would have that opportunity. Lindblad/National Geo came highly reccommended and we were not disappointed - our room was roomy and comfortable and the food was local and delicious. Everything from the immaculate ship, the friendly crew and fantastic excursions made this a trip we will never forget. The local naturalists were a highlight- their stories of and knowledge about the islands was an inspiration. It is wonderful that these young men and women have taken the opportunity to be educated about their island and have chosen to make a career out of educating other people. Amongst all the fabulous sights and activiities the he ability to snorkel with sea lions was my favorite thing My lasting gift from this trip is to see that there is sill someplace on earth where people value the natural beauty in which they live and have prioritized its preservation. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
The usual high standards about all aspects of the expedition were quite evident. The ship and the facilities were top class. The food and drink were of high quality and highly varied. The dining room was informal and it was always nice to ... Read More
The usual high standards about all aspects of the expedition were quite evident. The ship and the facilities were top class. The food and drink were of high quality and highly varied. The dining room was informal and it was always nice to find different people to eat meals with. The hotel manager and his staff were outstanding. The naturalists were all qualified, well experienced and most importantly local. They were approachable and took pride in explaining the biology and geology of the islands. The excursions were very well planned and executed in an impeccable manner without any hitches. As in our past journey, the logistics were managed outstandingly well. This is our second trip with Lindblad/ NatGeo and it fully met our expectations (which were very high after our first trip to Antarctica on the NG Explorer). We covered the older islands and didn’t go to the two western-most – Isabella and Fernandina. However, we had seen all the wildlife that we ever wanted to see – the finches, the mocking birds, the boobies (all three types), frigate birds, tropic birds, Galapagos penguins, the giant tortoises, marine and land iguanas, barn owls, Flamingos, Shearwaters, Herons, Egrets, and many other animals. We went snorkeling in the crystal-clear waters, went kayaking (and some others did paddle boards), rode in glass bottom boat and had our fill of marine life that included numerous fish species, rays, sea turtles, sea lions, etc. We also went to a white tipped shark nursery among the mangroves on northern side of Santa Cruz island. On the last day of the voyage we went across the equator to the island of Genovesa which was a paradise for birds with mangroves abound. A visit to the Darwin Foundation was special. The National Geographic photographer on board – Todd Gippstein was special. He gave a presentation nearly every day on how to shoot better, sharing his vast experience in a very accessible manner. And, he was very hands on in terms of help with cameras and shooting in the field. He was a great magician too, so entertainment came alongside learning! Overall, the people of Lindblad and National Geographic made the trip very special. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
I chose this cruise as a surprise Christmas present for my wife. We had been away from cruising for a couple years, and I remembered our Antarctic cruise with Crystal - just how great it was. Never been to Brazil, and now to see the ... Read More
I chose this cruise as a surprise Christmas present for my wife. We had been away from cruising for a couple years, and I remembered our Antarctic cruise with Crystal - just how great it was. Never been to Brazil, and now to see the refurbished Symphony - this was almost a "no brainer." I'm still a fan of traditional dining (not "any time"), and Crystal did that very well in the past. I'm afraid that is a thing of the past, unfortunately. I miss the friendships developed over the dining table, but replaced that with friendships made on Cruise Critic's Roll Call. Ports are nothing to get too excited about. Snorkeling at Buzios was wonderful (although the sea is a bit rough getting to the snorkeling site). Had a great time horseback riding in the Argentine pampas. Days at sea are always wonderful on Crystal - so busy with educational lectures, shows, dancing, spa appointments, and (of course) eating - the ports are not necessarily all that important. The staff is top-notch, and everyone seems to be enjoying himself while serving the guests. Can't wait to go on another Crustal Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
As a 20+ times cruisers, my husband and I had never been on Azamara or to South America and that is precisely why I booked this cruise. A great decision! Azamara went out of their way to make this a cruise to remember and they ... Read More
As a 20+ times cruisers, my husband and I had never been on Azamara or to South America and that is precisely why I booked this cruise. A great decision! Azamara went out of their way to make this a cruise to remember and they defintely succeeded. We had wonderful on-board speakers. The food was incredible. The service was impeccable. The ports were fascinating. The Amazing evening in Montevideo was really amazing! A total surprise performance in an historic theatre by a variety of local singers and dancers explaining the history of Carnival. Revealed the wonderful spirit and sounds of the local peoples. AS if that wasn't good enough, we had beautiful clear weather sailing the Beagle Channel and fjords. On a whim, the captain took us up super close to a glacier so we could all bask in its' magnificence. A true once in a lifetime experience! Last but not least, when I asked the cruise director if they would be showing the Super Bowl on ship, he said they were looking into the possibility. (Remember we were at the southernmost tip of South America by now.) Not only did they show the game but they catered an incredible Super Bowl party complete with an ice sculpture! Who does that? We football fans were bowled over. Literally, super bowled over. During the first quarter I looked at a gentleman next to me consuming a yummy pretzel dog and saw that he was smiling like a kid. I thought, if a cruise line can make someone this happy it's done a great job. So, yes, I would highly recommend the cruise. Any cruise line can take you to the same desinations but Azamara created a total experience. Expect the unexpected from Azamara and have a great time. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Relaxation in luxury. Although far more expensive than some of its competitors I believe this cruise line gives value for money. Its detail tp the design of the cabins are well thought out with loads of space even for the most discerning ... Read More
Relaxation in luxury. Although far more expensive than some of its competitors I believe this cruise line gives value for money. Its detail tp the design of the cabins are well thought out with loads of space even for the most discerning traveller. The entertainment was first class and was viewed in total comfort of individual seats, if one so wished. Tables around the seats allowed for your drinks to be within easy reach. The theatre offered good views of the stage no matter where you sat. The specialty restaurants were diverse and true to their character. Swimming pool of a reasonable size for a cruise ship. On the top deck there was a mini golf and various other ways to entertain oneself if not desiring to sunbath. An amazing amount of sunbeds which well cared for by diligent willing staff. Personally, would travel with Regent Cruise line again should the opportunity present itself. I have no reservation recommending this cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
This was our first ocean cruise, but I am sure that it cannot get any better than this cruise experience on Regent Explorer. We stayed in a Penthouse A suite (917), which is beautiful and very functional room, with a huge balcony. The ... Read More
This was our first ocean cruise, but I am sure that it cannot get any better than this cruise experience on Regent Explorer. We stayed in a Penthouse A suite (917), which is beautiful and very functional room, with a huge balcony. The walk-in closet in the Penthouse suite is a bit small, but we still managed to fit the contents of two big suitcases into to it without any problem. The empty suitcases can conveniently be stored under the bed. The shower cabin is absolutely fantastic and so is the quality of the bed. We arrived at the pier in Rio de Janeiro for embarkation at around 1:30pm and we were onboard 15 minutes later. Everything was so well organised, and it continued like that throughout the cruise. The cruise was fully booked, but the only time it felt crowded was upon embarkation when everyone was having lunch in the Veranda/Pool restaurants, but after the suites became available, it never felt crowded again. We initially didn't really know what to use the butler for, but he turned out to be extremely helpful and useful. He really made us feel special and pampered. He served a couple of breakfast on our terrace, which was a wonderful way to start the day. We were generally totally amazed by the service, which is very attentive and rather personal. During our 12 nights cruise from Rio de Janeiro to Buenos Aires, we had three dinners in each of the restaurants Compass Rose, Prime 7, Pacific Rim and Chartreuse. We also had several lunches in the speciality restaurants. The food was generally very good to excellent. We were not fans of Sette Mare/La Veranda, as the place looks a bit like a canteen. Furthermore, we were not impressed by the breakfast, which was exactly the same every day and some of products were rather cheap/industrial, and the fruit was often unripe. We are in our early fifties and were surprised to be among a relatively young crowd without a single wheelchair or rollator onboard, perhaps because the cruise included many anchor ports. Some of the ports of call were great, while some were very forgettable. The same goes for the excursions. We had two fantastic biking trips. We don't really care about the shows, lecturers etc., so I will not comment on that. We used the gym daily, which was really great, spacious and lots of equipment. I also had two nice massages in the spa. The weather was hot and sunny throughout the cruise, but it was surprisingly easy to get sun-loungers around the pool. Only on our single sea day, it became rather busy. The ship is absolutely gorgeous and in perfect condition. The all-inclusive concept is really great, but also a little dangerous as we definitely ended up eating and drinking too ;-) We loved our first ocean cruise experience and now look forward to the next on Regent Splendor. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Sailing to and from the same port of call is a great advantage to me. This time from beautiful and cosmopolitan Buenos Aires is a plus to this cruise. I live there! The celebrity Eclipse is a luxury ship with plenty is amenities for all ... Read More
Sailing to and from the same port of call is a great advantage to me. This time from beautiful and cosmopolitan Buenos Aires is a plus to this cruise. I live there! The celebrity Eclipse is a luxury ship with plenty is amenities for all tastes: fitness center spacious with many elements and sea view from all corners, live music all the day long in different locations, matinee shows on sea days and evening shows every night with international artists, indoor and outdoor pools and whirl pools, spa and Lersian garden to relax. Food is fantastic in all restaurants, main one Moonlight Sonata is huge. We had access to Blu the exclusive restaurant for Aqua Class passengers which was cozy and well attended by Nelly and all Blu staff. Buy sailing along Paradise Bay in Antarctica is the most fantastic experience I have had in my entire life! Put it in your bucket list!! The views are outstanding with a few huge whales and tiny penguins swimming along the ship. Ports of call are also worth visiting Ushuaia southern most city in the world, Falkland/Malvinas Islands, Puerto Madryn , Montevideo and Buenos Aires. Each has it beauty and charm. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
This cruise provides unusual and interesting ports of call. You will experience everything from topical weather to cold, breezy blasts!! Our trip around Cape Horn was unbelievable. Sunny and calm seas. Very unusual. Glacier and ... Read More
This cruise provides unusual and interesting ports of call. You will experience everything from topical weather to cold, breezy blasts!! Our trip around Cape Horn was unbelievable. Sunny and calm seas. Very unusual. Glacier and penguin viewing was another great plus to this cruise. Some days we experienced very rough seas with 70 per mile winds and 14 foot sea swells. The ship was really rockin' and rollin'! All outside decks were off-limits, but that occurred on only two days. Our stateroom was on Plaza deck forward and was very noisy when coming into and leaving the ports of call. Check room location next time!!! Ship's shore excursions are way over-priced. I did a bit of research before leaving and was able to get exact same excursions for half the price that ship was offering. In fact, the excursion bus followed us to the Penguin Reserve and the only difference we found was that the Ship's box lunch had a piece of fresh fruit that we didn't get and the cost was about double of our cost!!! Outstanding staff on the Star. Some of the best service I have ever received with any cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Bucket list cruise to see the Amazon River. The whole experience far exceeded all expectations. First time with Fred Olsen Right from the start everything was very well organised. The staff were all very attentive and it was service with ... Read More
Bucket list cruise to see the Amazon River. The whole experience far exceeded all expectations. First time with Fred Olsen Right from the start everything was very well organised. The staff were all very attentive and it was service with a smile through out the whole cruise. Nightmare journey home not good having to fly from Manaus to Barbados to chance crew and refuel as we couldn't get off plane and then more delays because of lack of paper work! I didn't consider this to be Fred Olens fault or even the airline! I felt the size of the ship was just perfect I have been on larger ships but much prefer the size of Braemar. One thing I particularly liked was that there were no problems on deck finding a sunbed especially on sea days it never felt crowded. Dining in the Grampian Restaurant was perfect, a great atmosphere and great service. Good choice of food perfectly cooked and presented. The pool restaurant was also a favourite for lunch time. We used all the restaurants and found them all equally as good. we did not use the grill, felt the extra charge was excessive when the other restaurants were so good. Entertainment was excellent, something for everyone. The ports of call were all very interesting and the tours we went on were all good value for money and exceptionally well organised. Presentations regarding ports of call prior to arriving were particularly good and very imformative. If you didn't get to see it live you could catch up on tv in cabin. A great cruise and would definately book with Fred Olsen again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
My first ever cruise which was a trip with my parents and brother as a special family trip and despite my reservations I really enjoyed cruising. Infact I would go again. We had an inside cabin which was actually not too bad. I missed ... Read More
My first ever cruise which was a trip with my parents and brother as a special family trip and despite my reservations I really enjoyed cruising. Infact I would go again. We had an inside cabin which was actually not too bad. I missed having no natural light but storage was fine and beds very comfortable. The ship, crew and trips were all excellent and I found very little to criticise. The food was fabulous and so much of it you feel compelled to eat far too much. We were looked after extremely well by all the staff. There was a good choice of entertainment throughout the day and the Daily News was great as you could see in advance what was on and pick and choose your activities. The ship (Braemar)was great and the excursions was a real amazing experience. What we saw on the excursions was fabulous even though a few of the trips were perhaps a little contrived and too busy. Fred Olsen runs a very smooth operation and when the inbound flight from Manchester was delayed and we had an extra day on the ship (what a hardship for us) they handled it extremely well and we were all kept informed and able to enjoy the extra day in Manaus. The treatments in the spa were amazing. I even tried to learn bridge. The games room down below with no windows was not ideal though. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
I gave this a 5 star rating based upon the experience that we had in the middle of nowhere, in the Amazon. Not a 5 star experience for a mainline cruise nor standard river cruise but this was nothing like that. Prior to the cruise we ... Read More
I gave this a 5 star rating based upon the experience that we had in the middle of nowhere, in the Amazon. Not a 5 star experience for a mainline cruise nor standard river cruise but this was nothing like that. Prior to the cruise we spent 6 nights in a jungle lodge. I strongly suggest doing both as we did. The Defin 3 is a very pretty boat and the staff are spectacular. Rooms are large with huge windows overlooking the river. The air conditioning quite strong and it was a relief after our time in the jungle. Unlike at the lodge the Delfin trip is almost exclusively on the rivers. While we did do one 3 hour jungle walk/hike, everything else in a skiff exploring along the waterways. The guides were extremely knowledgeable and willing to assist with any questions that we could ask. Food on board, for most, was great. Breakfast buffet was perfect. Lunch and dinner were served at the table and there really was not any option. They did ask if you had any specific requests but they were not great in following up. I personally don't eat most vegetables and it was tough to get pasta, potatoes or anything else to go with the main dish. If you did not like the main dish you were pretty much out of luck. It would be better if they posted the menu in the morning so that there would be an opportunity to ask for something different. The other strange thing is that they seem to try and be a 5 start ship. At meals the waiters wear white gloves, hold their hand behind their back as they serve, etc. They are trying to mimic a very upscale restaurant. In most cases they do accomplish this but it would be far better if they embraced the "rustic" adventure travel area that they are in and skip trying to impress. Food presentations were fantastic and photo worthy. There are few enrichment/entertainment activities. One couple on board were PhD in two various marine science disciplines. They did a great talk on river dolphins but some other talks, like this one, would have been great. Very happy we did this cruise and would recommend it highly. If you are expecting a jungle experience you really need to combine the cruise with a real jungle lodge. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
This was a value for money proposition and we were not disappointed in the slightest. Booked our cruise through Sunwing from Toronto, and paid the extra $60 for the premium package. Well worth it, especially if you travel often: ... Read More
This was a value for money proposition and we were not disappointed in the slightest. Booked our cruise through Sunwing from Toronto, and paid the extra $60 for the premium package. Well worth it, especially if you travel often: priority check-in and boarding at both Pearson and Sangster, advance choice of seats, and a $5o future travel certificate. As only one of us really drinks alcohol, the drinks packages on other lines have never been worth it to us. But on the D2, beyond the booze, we were able to enjoy great espresso, cappuccino, and fancy mocktails galore. The all-inclusive drinks package was perfect for us, great beer selection (Peroni, Corona, Guinness etc), Cosmos, Raspberry Collins, Harvey Wallbangers, Stolichnaya vodka, Tanqueray gin...nice enough wines with supper. The food for us was fine, but nothing special. My Beef Wellington on Dress to Impress night was waaay under, and my dessert was forgotten. But the company at our shared table more than made up for it. We had a better experience at the Italian 47'. Another shared table, great conversation, and good food. Our waiter Jayson whipped out his guitar and serenaded our table and a few others nearby. He was spectacular. We also saw him in the crew show, and at breakfast in 47. You won't regret asking to be seated in his section. Islands buffet was busy but fine. Never went hungry. Indoors we chose a table for 2 near the bow windows. Outdoors we got a shady table with a breeze. Snack shack worked for a quick bite, especially when we had an early excursion. We booked Surf&Turf for our anniversary. Attentive service, wonderful ambience and good food/presentation. They did a special centerpiece and provided a surprise anniversary cake for us. Very nice. Glass house was ok but the vibrations got to me. We tried the late-night foods and also had lunch here once while we were sitting on the Verandah (do check out this space if not traveling with kids. Aft deck 9). We enjoyed the onboard entertainment. Paul Greenwood and his guitar were great. The showteam was pretty good, with the gentlemen being superior to the ladies. We saw all the shows and enjoyed. The actor hosts were fun. Katie and Adam were our favourites. We enjoyed playing archery, darts, indoor curling and carpet boules with them, even karaoke and name that tune. The bartenders did not neglect, especially Tijana and Moka in the live room! By day 3 they knew it was coffee time when we popped in mid-afternoon and made us excellent espressos and cappuccinos. And of course Phillip "beep beep no card no charge spread the love" up on deck! Also tried a few topshelf cocktails in Bar11, well worth their £2.50 upcharge. And we never went thirsty in the atrium nor on the Verandah. The deck party with the Caribbean band can't be beat, such a fun night. Dancing in the atrium, playing moonlit minigolf, bandjam, sunsets on the decks outside bar11... all great memories. At Santa Marta we took a cab to Taganga beach and ate at TaCo beach bar. Good food, ok beach, expensive cab (he waited for us so we paid by the hour, but did not negotiate well). Sailing away from Cartegena, keep an eye out for the island castle! Also take time to explore the wildlife area right at the port, lots of toucans and other birds. We did a private tour with Dora the Explorer, highly recommended. In Colon Panama we did a ship tour including a boat on Gatun Lake where we saw wildlife from afar, and the new locks. Also option to do a nature walk at locks, but we watched a huge cargo ship go through. In Costa Rica we just walked around near the Port and saw more wildlife at the park nearby than we did on our organized tours. A momma and baby sloth, three owls, monkeys etc. Nice market, less industrial than the other ports on itinerary. Sunwing guests note you need to transport your luggage between airport and cruiseport, unlike our UK friends. Overall, we enjoyed ourselves immensely and would sail on D2 again in a heartbeat! Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Where do u start? While searching for a first cruise for my husband and I , I stumbled on marella discovery 2 through Sunwing. We choose Marella mostly because of price point .. all inclusive and the ports for pride of panama. ... Read More
Where do u start? While searching for a first cruise for my husband and I , I stumbled on marella discovery 2 through Sunwing. We choose Marella mostly because of price point .. all inclusive and the ports for pride of panama. Everything lived up to our expectations, had a balcony room mid ship and was great, I loved the tea kettle in room instead of the usual coffee pot! Lots of tea bags, coffee, milk and sugar. We had tea and coffee every morning on the balcony. The food was good never had anything we didn’t like. ( well except for black pudding) I will leave that for the brits. Buffet had something for everyone. The snack shack was my favourite I like the fast food . I had the fish and chips everyday, so good! My husband loved the chicken wings and the burgers. STAFF.. ALL AMAZING!! Never waited for drinks long , served fast everywhere and all so friendly. I work in bar/ restaurant industry so I recognize good service when I see it! I know when they are busy and what drinks are a little more time consuming. I’ve been to many resorts and the staff are great.. but guess what they are they way because they want you to tip them. The staff on Marella are not being nice for that reason, as tips are included. They just like their jobs! I would Seriously say the staff on marella discovery 2 are the best I’ve seen. ENTERTAINMENT.. AWESOME .. this team works so hard to entertain the audience. They are all so talented and we enjoyed the shows so much. I really hope sunwing remains offering this package to us Canadians , we will definitely do another cruise with Marella. Oh and we did really enjoy meeting so many great people. So nice haveing a drink talking and learning about each other’s countries.made for some very interesting conversations. I could go on and on about our trip! Any questions you have , I can try to help Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We were keen to visit Antarctica but did not cherish the idea of being tossed around in the Drake passage aboard a small vessel. We therefore chose HAL Zaandam although it did mean no setting foot on Antarctica. It was the best decision ... Read More
We were keen to visit Antarctica but did not cherish the idea of being tossed around in the Drake passage aboard a small vessel. We therefore chose HAL Zaandam although it did mean no setting foot on Antarctica. It was the best decision that we made and right from the word go, the cruise was just great. The sights, especially during the 4 days in Antarctica were unforgettable. Living on board for 22 days was every bit comfortable with great food, service and stateroom no 3365. Talks by expedition team leaders were highly informative. Other entertainment activities were also good but perhaps not great.. Getting off the ship for shore excursions was very well managed with no one getting rushed even at the tender ports. Disembarkation and luggage handling was efficient. Only somewhat unsatisfactory experience was the late embarkation process at Buenos Aires. The HAL transfer person simply left us at the kerb outside the port building. We had to ask around for directions to get to the ship, carrying our bags and it was some distance away. Overall, it was a memorable holiday trip Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
My wife and I had put off too long a trip to Antarctica and finally took that long awaited itinerary. I wish we had done so earlier!! The entire experience (with one small exception) went off without a hitch and, as usual, we enjoyed the ... Read More
My wife and I had put off too long a trip to Antarctica and finally took that long awaited itinerary. I wish we had done so earlier!! The entire experience (with one small exception) went off without a hitch and, as usual, we enjoyed the family-like Azamara experience. This being our 10th Azamara cruise we had a pretty good idea of what to expect, though The Pursuit is a recent addition to the Quest and Journey. The layouts are identical so it was just like returning home. A number of the crew were familiar transfers from the other ships so it really did feel like family. The ship was renovated before being put into Azamara service with the new Deck 5 layout sans Casino. Honestly, on this size ship, the casino was little more than a nice diversion and the extra space in the newly converted "Den" was put to good use. Though we had a 7 day stretch where we were limited to staying on the ship, it seemed to pass quickly with the interesting "cruise by" itinerary of the Alaskan peninsula. Passing a number of HUGE icebergs was also a favorite of all onboard. Best of all, we were lucky to have pretty calm seas passing through the Drake Passage twice and the horror stories some people told us about never came to pass. Entertainment was varied, though by necessity it is limited to guest entertainers and a small ensemble of singers and band. Still, they were excellent, professional, and interactive. The stops were all interesting and fun, and the AZAMAZING EVENING in Montevideo was a presentation of the Urguayan Carnivale and was one of the top two AZAMAZING EVENINGS we have experienced! Read Less
Sail Date January 2019

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