46 Santiago (Valparaiso) Family Cruise Reviews

We were on a combined visit to Easter Island (which was superb) and then a cruise from Chile to San Diego. We were very happy with our stateroom, which was spacious, very comfortable and had an excellent balcony and bathroom.The ship - ... Read More
We were on a combined visit to Easter Island (which was superb) and then a cruise from Chile to San Diego. We were very happy with our stateroom, which was spacious, very comfortable and had an excellent balcony and bathroom.The ship - Celebrity Eclipse - is a good size has an attractive range of amenities while never seeming too big. We always felt the ship had plenty of space. Embarkation was quite straightforward as we had stayed in Santiago the day before and it was a simple coach ride to the port at San Antonio. In the dining room we chose to dine with other guests and the eight of us got on really well. In fact we spent quite a bit of leisure time together. We just clicked as a group. The quality of of food in the main dining room was generally poor - much worse than on Princess ships we have used in the past. We had a very nice waiter, but he got used to saying :'If there is anything you don't like I will change it,' when bringing dishes to our table. The food was sometimes cold, often unappetisingly presented and just not what we expected. The others on our table - regulars on Celebrity - said the standard of food on their ships had declined markedly in recent years. In contrast, the Ocean Cafe food was usually very good, with a terrific selection to choose from. Lunch was especially good. We also had one lunch in the dining room, which was a pleasant experience. We always enjoyed a drink in the evenings before dinner and often a nightcap afterwards. We soon realised that service in the bars was very poor - everyone seemed to be going to the bar and getting drinks themselves. We resorted to this - again, not what we expected. We complained about paying an 18% service charge when drinks service was basically do-it-yourself but they refused to remove it. If anything, service round the pool was even worse, with seldom a waiter in sight. The grill bar and ice cream bar were very good. We did not try the speciality restaurants as they were very expensive. Someone came round on a couple of nights offering us $20 per head discount if six of us went to eat there, but we declined. We found the speciality restaurants and drinks very expensive compared with Princess. We took the very expensive trip to Machu Picchu which was brilliant. I think it was contracted to another firm who really knew what they were doing, even though it was a very tiring experience. We thought this might be our one chance to go there and it was well worth doing. Evening entertainment was par for the course on cruise ships. The cruise director (entertainments director) was especially aggravating, referring to the captain all the time as 'Super Capitan.' He wasn't that super as he twice told us we were in the South Atlantic when we were in the South Pacific. There was a brilliant speaker on all kinds of wild life topics - she was one of the best we had heard. Disembarkation was very smooth and hassle free. Would we travel with Celebrity again? Probably not, as other shipping lines we have tried in the same sector of the market are cheaper and much better. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
+++++Value. I Love Celebrity and the Infinity is an older ship but so comfortable for us! Let's start from the beginning: March 14th: We choose to break up our trip and fly from Fort Lauderdale to Bogota, Columbia. It was a 5 ... Read More
+++++Value. I Love Celebrity and the Infinity is an older ship but so comfortable for us! Let's start from the beginning: March 14th: We choose to break up our trip and fly from Fort Lauderdale to Bogota, Columbia. It was a 5 hour flight on Avianca Airlines (an airline we haven't traveled). The flight was great, I would definately fly with them again. We booked the Marriott Bogota Airport. It was a good choice with shuttle service to and from the airport. The rooms were nice and it had a restaurant on the premesis with good food. March 15th: We book a full day tour with Bogota Travel tours. They were great and we had a fun day in Bogota! I would recommend them! March 16th: Flight to Santiago was 6 hours and we were met at the airport by our driver. We stayed at the Santiago Marriott Hotel in an Executive room with a Mountain and City View. It was beautiful ! The sunsets were some of the best I have seen. We had Lounge access and used it for our dinner that evening. It was nice enough to have the tapa's, wine , and desert. March 17th: We had a tour the next day of Santiago and had lunch in Maipo Valley. Maipo Valley was beautiful with lots to do. They had river rafting, hiking, and a great Zip line with a beautiful waterfall! That evening we did the lounge again since we had a big lunch. We all had our St Patrick day garb on and had some fun with that as well! March 18th: We were picked up at the hotel for our transfer to the ship which was in San Antonio, Chile. On the way to the ship we stopped in Casablanca Valley for wine tasting. The wine was good, but the tasting experience was expensive. I would probably leave that out the next time. My brother bought wine at the winery to take on the ship, and later we found he could have bought the same quality of wine for half of what he paid!! We should have known better when our tour guide called it a boutique winery!! The name of the winery was Casa Marin. We boarded the ship around 2pm. The process was very smooth both for my husband and I who were Concierge and our fellow travelers my bother and sister-in-law and friends were in a balcony and they boarded just about 20 minutes after us and said the process was good. Our room was nice with a slightly bigger room and balcony then our fellow travelers. I was surprised that we had a bigger room because I thought they were the same size as the balcony rooms. We met our room steward whose name was Arthur! He was wonderful! In a Concierge cabin you get a bottle of Champagne the morning after boarding and canapé's daily. I have not been fond of some of the canapé's I have had on other voyages, so I asked Arthur if he could just have them send Cheese and crackers daily. I also asked him to send a bottle of red wine in lieu of the Champagne. No problem done!!!! He was fantastic attending cheerfully to our every need! I miss my friend Arthur as I write this review! We ate the early dinner (6pm) and enjoyed all the many meals. They are so accomodating on Celebrity. My brother who has Celiac Disease has to have a gluten free diet, and the staff and chef went our of their way to prepare his meals. We went to the Ocean View several times and the food was great there as well! We did not go to any of the specility restaurants this trip!! We figured why when the food in the main dinning room was so good!! The Martini bar was lots of fun we had cocktails there on a couple of occasions and the staff was fun! We had several sea days and they went by quickly with all the activities offered. We enjoyed 2 scavenger hunts, several trivia sessions, some afternoon shows and of course a few swims in the Thelasothearpy pool! So relaxing! March 21: Our first port of call was Arica, Chile. We had a tour with South Excursions. We saw some very interesting things such as the ex customs building and St. Marks Cathedral which were both built by Eiffel. We saw beautiful panels of Geoglyphs. We visited San Miguel de Azapa Archaeological Museum to see the Mummies of the Chinchorro culture! Who knew they date back earlier (10,000 years) than the Egypian Mummies!!! The boys were fansinated with the 9 hole golf course with the greens being black sand! It was a great day and we were glad we had a private tour with just the six of us! March 23: Pisco, Peru was our next port and we were met at the Arica pier by South American Secrets for a six hour tour. We first rode a bus with several other passengers and our six person group to the port where we boarded a boat to what they called "The Peruvian Galapagos" it was fantastic with close up encounters with lots of bird species and sea otter and penguins. It lasted a couple of hours and was a blast! From there we visited the Paracas National Reserve. We had a little discrepency in the amount of money we owed the company, but it was settled pretty quickly. I would advise e-mailing until the price is settled to your satisfaction. The tour guide apologized to me for the misunderstanding and the tour was good so I would recommend them with the stipulation noted above. March 24th: Lima Peru was our next port and we again booked a private tour, this time with Monica tours. She is the bomb!!! She drove and Natalie was our tour guide. The traffic in Lima is really incredible with cars zooming in and out! You would think there were no lanes!! Fantastic tour With a fun visit to Love Park and several museums into the night with the final hour taking us to Parque De La Reserve and the Magic Water Circuit. It was a park with 13 fountains with a light, Lazar and water show that was magical!!! I would again recommend Monica Tours if you want to do a private tour! March 27th Our next stop was Manta, Ecuador. We did this port on our own. We took the shuttle to the Market and shopped. Some of us bought a Panama hat!! March 29th Full Panama Canal transit! Very interesting. We had a person on board giving us all the details of the transit. Celebrity did a good job. It was especially fun watching Holland Americas cruise ship going through the canal to our right! We met some of the passengers in Grand Cayman a few days later and we laughed about watching each other go through the locke. March 31: Grand Cayman and our only tour booked with Celebrity was a great time. We saw Dolphins and Stingray up close and swam in the Ocean. We had a lot of Sea days, but I was not bored for a second!! Would recommend this cruise !! Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We just got off the Celebrity Infinity on her re-position cruise from South America to Fort Lauderdale. Considering she was limping on only one good engine, her support staff and Captain sure did an excellent job getting us from Chile to ... Read More
We just got off the Celebrity Infinity on her re-position cruise from South America to Fort Lauderdale. Considering she was limping on only one good engine, her support staff and Captain sure did an excellent job getting us from Chile to Florida, and through the Panama Canal, with as least an interruption to our schedule as they could manage. We didn't miss any ports of call as planned and the weather and seas were fantastic. While the boat is looking a bit long in the tooth, the staff, food (Tuscan gill included) and nightly shows made up for any shortcomings and all were all amazing. i would have given the cruise a perfect score except for the horrendous debarkation that most of us went through. Three hours in line for US customs in Fort Lauderdale. A total fiasco. However, if you were a US citizen you did get priority and were probably off in under two hours. We were not, and waited with most of the other people for over three hours and there were others behind us who probably waited even longer. What a way to end a glorious cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We chose this cruise because we did not want to go around the horn but wanted to visit S. Am. We have sailed on Princess several times in the past and like to book our next cruise prior to leaving the ship. Princess always seems to have ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we did not want to go around the horn but wanted to visit S. Am. We have sailed on Princess several times in the past and like to book our next cruise prior to leaving the ship. Princess always seems to have excellent entertainment, food, and services. The one downside members of our group mentioned this trip was the lack of Happy Hour at the Wheel House. That has always been a gathering place of many in the past and we were sorry to find it was not included on this trip. Also the wine package was listed as being available prior to sailing and upon sailing they found this also was not available and many wines listed on the wine list they did not have. This did not affect myself or wife as a rule but I did hear other passengers growling about these issues. Overall this was a great cruise again this year. If you ever see Dinesh, tell him hi from the group of 8 from the area of Wyoming. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
It’s not what you want to think about. But it is really important. Our 10 year old developed acute appendicitis in Nicuragua ( of all places ) the onboard medics did an amazing job and assisted us in getting our sick child to a hospital ... Read More
It’s not what you want to think about. But it is really important. Our 10 year old developed acute appendicitis in Nicuragua ( of all places ) the onboard medics did an amazing job and assisted us in getting our sick child to a hospital where she had surgery that night Their quick thinking and ability to make decesions quickly meant our doctor was diagnosed disembarked and taken to hospital quickly. The quick response resulted in a quick recovery. Our cruise was amazing but the crews response in a crises was amazing Before that we found the ship very comfortable. There were only 13 kids onboard but our three kids were entertained at all times My only complaint ( so minor) is that 16 days without decent coffee is a long time However the rest of the food and dining options were great. We were expecting long lines but we had no problem finding tables Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
It seems like Princess has decided not to prioritize customer service. This trip felt more like working with an airline than a cruise line. The guest relations staff was not empowered to do anything when a problem arose. The food was ... Read More
It seems like Princess has decided not to prioritize customer service. This trip felt more like working with an airline than a cruise line. The guest relations staff was not empowered to do anything when a problem arose. The food was mediocre. The entertainment, with a few exceptions, was terrible. The director of dining was abrasive. The decor was dated. The tendering was poor. Some of the scheduled events did not occur because the cruise director staff did not show. There was virtually nothing in the way of activities for our children. (Ages teen through young adult.) It was also odd that they had a series of enrichment lectures about serial killers. Why would that be a topic at all, never mind almost every day. On top of it all, you had the usual high pressure sales tactics (spa products, health products, art). Because of the poor training and customer service, the ship was simply not designed to give even the suite passengers anything extra. We made the most of our trip mainly by creating our own fun, designing our own excursions, etc. We also found out during the trip that numerous passengers were upgraded to Platinum, which was good for them, but further diluted the benefits of being Platinum, Elite, or Suite. For example, the evening cocktail party did not offer any complimentary drinks and snacks that were no better than what could be obtained elsewhere. Even the staff who helped suite guests with disembarking was rude. Christmas/New Year's is always a little hectic, but this was unbelievable. Also note that despite the cold weather, there is NO INDOOR POOL. The outdoor areas were almost unusable for the majority of the trip. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
The overall cruise can be regarded as average. Positive points : Entertainment : excellent shows, presentations and overall activities throughout the cruise Cabin service : the cabin steward kept very clean all the time. ... Read More
The overall cruise can be regarded as average. Positive points : Entertainment : excellent shows, presentations and overall activities throughout the cruise Cabin service : the cabin steward kept very clean all the time. Overall cleaning Excellent waiters in main dining Free style Onboard treasury and cashier service Internet café service Duty free shores : good prices and large variety of products Jogging track on 6th deck Desembarkation in San Francisco Average points : Cruise price Food and beverage Age of the ship : probably she needs some update and replenishment of some old furniture Guest service information center Fitness center Negative points : Embarkation in San Antonio : although there was a strike in Valparaiso and the embarkation port was transferred to San Antonio the day before departure, NCL failed in not assigning enough people to assist the most needed passengers mostly senior citizens and some of them in wheelchairs. Shore excursions Price of shore excursions Shore excursion information service Concierge : lack of politeness of the main concierge in dealing with passengers. Return of passports : messy service Cost to have internet service onboard Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
The itinerary and entertainment was great. Everything else was awful...condition of Ship and cabin, food, service. The Infinity is not being kept up. Do not go on any Celebrity Ship that is not newer! We had a horrible time. Nothing was ... Read More
The itinerary and entertainment was great. Everything else was awful...condition of Ship and cabin, food, service. The Infinity is not being kept up. Do not go on any Celebrity Ship that is not newer! We had a horrible time. Nothing was kept up and no one cared. The crew were not properly trained. The phone service did not work. So much was dirty. There was norovirus for months and months. There were floods and constant wet floors and the ceiling was leaking. So many of the Officers were so snooty. I'm not sure I will do on Celebrity again, but if I do, it will be on a new Ship. They made promises that were not kept. The loungers at the poo, were uncomfortable. We really did not like a thing about the Cruise Ship itself exceoy a few of the crew. I would stay far far away from this Ship or any Millenium class ships from Celebrity. Oh, the HVAC system did not work properly the entire time! Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
This ship seemed to have been refurbished but could not find anything about this new refurbishment. We have sailed on this ship before some years ago but nothing new could be found that attracts attention.Very disappointed with the ... Read More
This ship seemed to have been refurbished but could not find anything about this new refurbishment. We have sailed on this ship before some years ago but nothing new could be found that attracts attention.Very disappointed with the entertainment, food and the on board activities. The only good thing was that we enjoyed, was the cruise ports and the glorious weather. The ship itinerary was good and we made our own way to the ports. Before we went, my daughter had arranged with people sailing on the ship,through Roll Call on Cruise Critic for meeting and greeting as well as private excursions. Our stateroom steward was extremely polite and efficient. The rest of the crew in the bars and staff restaurants were equally good but seemed stressed due to long hours on their feet. I hope the NCL improve their staff by providing them with training in customers service. They seem to be more interested in their own welfare than that of the customers needs. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We are a couple from the Mid-west (age 53 & 62), no kids, retired and Platinum latitude members. When we booked this cruise as our winter getaway, we did not have much knowledge of South America. We arrived in Santiago 2 days ... Read More
We are a couple from the Mid-west (age 53 & 62), no kids, retired and Platinum latitude members. When we booked this cruise as our winter getaway, we did not have much knowledge of South America. We arrived in Santiago 2 days early, a city we really enjoyed; easy to get around and very nice honest people. We booked a private transfer tour from Santiago to Valparaiso and stopped for wine tasting in the Casablanca Valley. Embarkation was long; you stop in a terminal building and then get assigned a number to ride a shuttle bus to the ship, on the ship you then complete the process on board the ship. We were pulled out of line and taken to the concierge desk and assigned VIP status, we never really found out why this happened? I coordinated the CC Meet & Greet for the first time, so this may have had something to do with it? Anyway it was GREAT, the ships crew were extremely accommodating and helpful to our CC group during the whole cruise. Yahira the concierge and Shi the group coordinator went above & beyond for us! Our luggage was in our room by the time we got there. No rest for the weary though, we delivered invitations for the CC activities to everyone and finally sat down for a lunch at 7:00pm. Food- We ate in the buffet, both main dining rooms, LaCucina, LeBistro & Moderno and all were very good. The nice thing about the Sun is that there a lot of space around the buffet that they open during the day, the sports bar, Moderno, etc.. Cabin- we were in an Aft balcony 9277, very adequate for the two of us, I continue to detest the shower curtains on this ship as they stick to you in the shower. We had a few minor issues with the cabin and they were fixed as soon as we reported them. Our stateroom attendant Chris was wonderful! The view can't be beat! Activities: We had our Meet & Greet on the first sea day, NCL arranged a room, refreshments and sent senior officers to give a short talk. As a group we decided against a gift exchange, I had an icebreaker bingo game for people to get to know each other and had purchased a small prize from the gift shop, when more than 1 person won, Shi threw in a 2 bottles of wine! There was a CC mid-cruise dinner, the group was given a private dining room and NCL threw in wine! I am detecting a theme.... We had the beverage plan for the first time and loved it! It was fun trying cocktails we normally wouldn't try. Ports & Shore excursions; after we booked this cruise we did our research and discovered there was a 50 / 50 chance of making some ports due to rough sea's, so we were prepared for this. Fortunately it became quickly clear that this was not Captain Ronny Borg's first rodeo- we made it to all ports. The scenery on this itinerary is just stunning. We used NCL for all our shore excursions and for the most part they were excellent. My favorite ports were the Falkland Islands & Puerto Montt Chile. Disembarkation- the ship had an overnight in Buenos Aires, we had a private a walking tour of the city which I highly recommend. We booked an NCL transfer / tour to the airport and while tour part was good.. there were issues at the airport. As part of our tour our luggage went directly to the airport, it was raining and we were dropped to pick up our luggage at Terminal 1, which is where our guide told us "most flights leave from". Well not this day, we had claim our luggage in the rain and then walk 2 blocks to terminal 3- it was covered. People were dropping like flies- the line to check into Delta was beyond long- after an hour or so they started bringing out wheelchairs for people about to collapse- not a good way to end a fabulous trip. Summary- this really turned into a trip of a lifetime; we really enjoyed meeting people from all over the world that we traveled with, the crew of this ship is outstanding, and the itinerary can't be beat! Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
I was in a party of four people in their early-mid sixties. We all have a lot of travel miles behind us, both on land and on cruise ships.We decided to take this trip for the itinerary and historic value.My wife and I stayed for two days ... Read More
I was in a party of four people in their early-mid sixties. We all have a lot of travel miles behind us, both on land and on cruise ships.We decided to take this trip for the itinerary and historic value.My wife and I stayed for two days in Santiago at Hotel Ismael 312 in the Bellas Artes barrio. It was a perfect choice of location and hotel.We then took the drive to Valparaiso for one night and stayed at the Hotel Ibis .My reviews for these locations can be found on Tripadvisor. The Crown Princess is an easy ship to navigate. There are plenty of lounging areas and bars.The swimming pools were open most of the time, except when the sear were too high for the pools to be safe. It was fun trying to body-surf in a pool when the waves and motion got a good swell going in the pools. Because of the hiking and walking on our port stops, we tended to go to bed early,without using the lounges at night. There really isn't much available to do if you have a later dinner. . As always, the Princess wait staff was excellent. The food was very good at night. The Horizon Court was our go-to breakfast and lunch stop. It would be nice if Princess had more enclosed dining at this venue as on sea days it was mostly too crowded for us to eat indoors. The ports were fantastic for their beauty and historic value. Our cabin was TERRIBLE for two barely seniors Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
This cruise was part of a longer trip with tours at the beginning and the end "organised" by Wendy Wu and booked through Cruise.co.uk. The tour parts of the trip were a disappointing shambles so the cruise became a very ... Read More
This cruise was part of a longer trip with tours at the beginning and the end "organised" by Wendy Wu and booked through Cruise.co.uk. The tour parts of the trip were a disappointing shambles so the cruise became a very important aspect of the trip. We sailed from Valpraiso around the Horn and up to Buenos Aires. Luckily for us the weather was reasonable most of the time so we were able to make all of the scheduled ports including the Falklands. As going around the Horn was quite chilly the majority of the over 3000 guests chose to stay inside the ship most of the time. This led to the ship feeling very crowded at times. Getting a seat in Horizon Court and in the bars was very difficult at times. Some of the ports of call were more interesting than others, but at most taxis were available at the quay, although many of the drivers only spoke Spanish. The entertainment on the ship was not to a very high standard. Music played in the bars was very good but the main entertainment was very hit and miss .... sadly mostly miss. There were an awful lot of "shopping opportunities" available. Food was mainly good but I found that any time I chose chicken, however it was cooked apart from in a sauce, it was always very dry. Our cabin was ok although very rocky at times as we were at the top and at the back of the ship. Luckily we soon got used to it. As the trip was around South America there were lots of Spanish speaking guests, so a lot of time was spent on translations. In conclusion I would say that entertainment has definitely deteriorated on Princess as has the food slightly, but on the whole the trip was good. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We usually try to go on a new itinerary each time as such we decided to go on this cruise around Cape Horn. Transfer to Valparaiso and boarding was a breeze. As the passengers not from the US markets do not get the luggage tags with glue, ... Read More
We usually try to go on a new itinerary each time as such we decided to go on this cruise around Cape Horn. Transfer to Valparaiso and boarding was a breeze. As the passengers not from the US markets do not get the luggage tags with glue, only print the ones you staple together, one of the tags got off the suit case after we dropped it off and it was a real hassle to get this suite case delivered. Otherwise the boarding and first day was without problems. Our cabin, 9160 is a concierge class facing aft with a large balcony, nice. Joel, our stateroom attendant was great. We like this cabin, only issue this time was a smell from the bathroom that they were not able to fix during this cruise. This is the third Millenium class ship we were on, and this time the Infinity looked a bit worse for the wear. We saw rust stains, worn paint and more wear and tear than we have seen on the previous trips on Millenium and Constellation. We tried the bars all good, MDG - Trellis great food and wonderful serving staff, thanks to Jorge, Heston Chris and Lobo, Tuscan Grille again very good, and La Bachio with a great team of servers, Phyo, Bianca and Jenisa. In Oceanview cafe they started to serve us due to problems with Norovirus, that affected the variety and the speed but given the circumstances I suppose this could not be helped. One area that was hit and miss was the Guest Relations counter, some very good people Robie from the Netherlands, the documentation people, Josue and his colleagues to mention some. Others were bordering on rude, not very good at handling complaints and customers. We found also on this trip they had a difficulty to deliver voice mails or notes on the door when they needed our attention. Delaying our departure for one thing. The Gym and the Sauna; fitness crew were very good, the gym and lockers - Sauna as well. The entertainment we found to be good, off course choosing the shows we thought looked interesting. Live music on board was good. There were enough activities to keep us entertained. We really enjoyed the shore excursion we went on, in Puerto Madryn so see Sealions and Penguins, and we did enjoy most of the ports. If we could have a choice we would have spend the overnight in Montevideo in stead of Buenos Aires were some locals attempted to rob us. We really hope that Celebrity will take better care of the Millenium class ships as we really like them. And yes we will be back for more cruises to interesting parts of the world with Celebrity Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
I have done this cruise with Celebrity before and this second time around was a bit disappointing. However, embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly, the Cabin was clean, dining room service and menu good (our cabin staff and dining ... Read More
I have done this cruise with Celebrity before and this second time around was a bit disappointing. However, embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly, the Cabin was clean, dining room service and menu good (our cabin staff and dining room waiters were excellent) . The free dining is not desirable, should be able to accommodate passengers' request of their choice of sitting. Buffet menu needs to improve with more variety, presentation and how the staff serve the food. Needs full implementation of regulations and monitoring such as smoking, dress code, hygiene behavior of fellow passengers and noise from children. Better organized tender service. Consider full commentary over the PA system when we cruise through the fjords and scenic areas, more info available (e.g. local transport, cost, map etc) prior to each port call. The evening show were excellent though other activities were not, consider better coordination with schedules so announcements from the Captain and cruise director do not clash with the event (e.g. the cinema continue to paly throughout the Captain's speech which could easily be put on pause and start again). I should praise and thank the medical staff, who were all very efficient dealing with my daughter's emergency evacuation for an appendicitis operation at Puerto Madryn, also the assistance from Michelle, while the local agent was not at all helpful. My overall impression is the standard has lowered, expecially compared to my last cruise on the Solstise in NZ. That said, I would certainly cruise with Celebrity again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
One of the older Princess ships in need of a major refurb. The casino is still smoking! If you can believe that and you can smell the smoke outside the doors, very unpleasant. The theatre only holds 850 people and many shows there were ... Read More
One of the older Princess ships in need of a major refurb. The casino is still smoking! If you can believe that and you can smell the smoke outside the doors, very unpleasant. The theatre only holds 850 people and many shows there were standing room only and a fire hazard. Some folks were very unpleasant and aggresive toward the staff when told no more room. Over all the quality of the entertainers has dropped another knotch to "so-so" Most Princess Show bands are good to even better, this one was in the "so-so" group. Food was very good in the dining rooms and international cafe. As for the Horizon Grill, what a disaster, not so much with the food, its the whole lay out of gates getting in and out. Plus small lines at a time allowed in the serving area. I believe the mood of the ship is set by the Captain and was only fair on the Crown. While there were some wait staff that went above and beyond, they were few and far between. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We chose this cruise to see penguins. We have 3 penguin loving boys and we like to take a big trip at Christmas rather than give them toys they don't need. We had 2 adjoining Ocean View rooms on Deck 2. Our rooms were decent sized ... Read More
We chose this cruise to see penguins. We have 3 penguin loving boys and we like to take a big trip at Christmas rather than give them toys they don't need. We had 2 adjoining Ocean View rooms on Deck 2. Our rooms were decent sized for what they were. My only complaint about the room was the bathroom. It was dated. Everything else about the room was fine and our room steward was fantastic. I would highly recommend this trip to anyone looking to see penguins and experience Antarctica. I'm still going through our photos but I can't even choose my top 1000 pictures because we have so many great shots. We only booked a couple excursion through HAL. We did mostly private excursions. We booked private guides for the stops in Chile (except Punta Arenas). We saw many of the same sits as the HAL tours but I feel like we really got a better flavor for the region and culture by have our own personal guide and driver and frankly, it with 5 of us it was cheaper than than the HAL excursions. In Punta Arenas we booked the Magellanic penguin tour through HAL. That tour was fantastic. It was amazing to be up close and personal with so many penguins. I'm glad we booked the slow boat tour vs. the speed boat tour as the speed boat was cancelled due to high winds and there was no space for those folks on the slow boat so they missed out the penguins. Next stop was Ushuaia. What an interesting town! We had booked the Wildlife Boat tour through HAL but it was cancelled because of high winds. We explored the port and had the most amazing "submarinos" (hot chocolate) at a local chocolate shop. Our journey around Cape Horn and Drake's Passage was smooth and we got to Antarctica early. What an amazing experience. The sights were breath taking. Even when we weren't out of deck looking, we would sit in the Lido Pool area and watch out both sides. The Falklands were amazing. I absolutely loved our time there. We did a private tour with Patrick Watts to Volunteer Point. We got some amazing pictures of penguins but oh my that bog ride was so much fun and quite the adventure. Because we were 5 we had two drivers. All of us thought we had the best driver. We learned a lot about the island and the war from our drivers and even just daily life. I would highly recommend the Volunteer Point excursion. Next stop was Puerto Madryn. I probably could have skipped this port. We did the Penisula Valdes tour through HAL. After having private guides in Chile this one was a bit of a let down. Yes we saw a lot of seals, but it wasn't very close (on cliff overlooking the beach). It was a lot of time on bus and not a lot of time actually on foot exploring. Next stop was Montevideo. I wasn't all that impressed with this stop. It could have been because at this point I was just getting tired. We had been on board for 18 days. We didn't book at tour in Montevideo thinking we could just walk around. Well we stopped in Montevideo on a Sunday and there wasn't much open. We couldn't find a bank ATM to get local currency and the stores that were open for the most part didn't accept credit cards. We ended up heading back to the boat and enjoying the afternoon swimming in the pool lido which had opened roof. One nice thing about Montevideo was HAL did a great bar-b-que as we were leaving port at the Lido Pool. I wish they done more regional meals like this during the cruise. It was fantastic. When we arrived in BA I was excited because I was ready to go home, but first we had 2 days in BA. We did our own excursions. The first day we did a 1/2 day bike tour through Biking BA. It was fantastic. Our guides were great and also it was an intimate way to see the city. Much better than in a tour bus but also able to see more than if we were on foot. After our bike tour we came back to the boat for our "siesta". For dinner that night we booked the "Argentine Experience". We took a cab from the boat. that was an experience. A storm popped up. It was incredibly fast and severe with tree limbs falling and localized flooding, but our cab driver got us there. The actual Argentine experience was great. It was full of laughs and good foods. My kids loved learning how to make Empanadas and how to use their hands like an Argentine. Our 2d day in BA was also Disembarkation day. The disembarkation was incredibly smooth. We were purple 2 and were off the boat by 9:15. We booked a van and guide through VIP tours for the 2d day as we needed a place for our luggage and a way to get to the airport. Our guide was great. He showed us all the different parts of BA that we didn't see on bike and was really informative. When preparing for BA, I didn't quite get what was the big deal about the Recoleta cemetery, but we went there and it is definitely not to be missed. The kids club program was fantastic and my kids really enjoyed going and making friends with the other kids on the boat. It was great that there were other kids in the same age bracket as mine onboard (8-11) This is definitely a bucket list trip and I can't recommend it enough. I loved the Zaandam's size. It felt just right for the trip. Last year we did the caribbean on a princess ship and it just felt like a floating hotel the Zaandam even though it is a little dated was perfect. I would highly recommend this trip to anyone but pick your excursions well as I do think that made a difference for us. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We were encouraged to join my sister and brother-in-law of their 25th wedding anniversary trip to the Galapagos. They were considering a much smaller ship, but after I saw Celebrity offered on of the biggest ships in the region I suggested ... Read More
We were encouraged to join my sister and brother-in-law of their 25th wedding anniversary trip to the Galapagos. They were considering a much smaller ship, but after I saw Celebrity offered on of the biggest ships in the region I suggested Celebrity and we joined them. We had been on their larger ship before in the Greek Islands. 1. We were immediately whisked from the airport in Quito into a van within 2 minutes and on our way to the wonderful Marriott ( very similar to the one I had stayed at in Palm springs). The hotel had a marvellous included large scale breakfast, and also a farewell dinner in their terrific Hacienda steak house. 2. Next day Quito city tour with guide and armed guard ( must be necessary) was very good, and included lunch at a local restaurant was top quality. 3. Pre-checked luggage at our hotel before heading off to the airport for their charter flight to the Galapagos , and short wait in a private lounge at the airport made life wonderful. The food was very good on the ship, lots of variety. Alcohol included, and we soon discovered if you asked the better bottle were kept below the bar in a cabinet. Bombay Saphire gin martinis! The nature walks and snorkels were wonderful. We are in our early 50's and did the harder (longer version) of all the walks. I did the snorkels from shore and saw tons of amazing fish, sea turtle etc. Did not do the deep water snorkels since I was not that comfortable. Saw tons of sea lions, crabs, birds, iguanas etc. Didn't disappoint in the amount of creatures we saw. They entertainment was basic but we met a lot of nice people and had dinner/drinks with them every evening. One night the naturalists put on a small music show, another night music in the lounge or karaoke . The overall experience was wonderful and the staff were very accommodating and friendly. A fabulous experience . Celebrity hit the spot. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Choose for NCL reputation and itinerary. This cruise did not come close to my prior experiences. Terrible smell which Captain first denied and then admitted was from sewage tank that sprang a leak and ran down elevator shaft. Smell was ... Read More
Choose for NCL reputation and itinerary. This cruise did not come close to my prior experiences. Terrible smell which Captain first denied and then admitted was from sewage tank that sprang a leak and ran down elevator shaft. Smell was terrible for 5 days and then improved but came back. Was repaired, I think, on day 19 in La as we were 7 hours late leaving and smell was gone. Also "dry dock" started with arrival of at least 150 foreign workers on days 14 with more every port who were placed in cabins all over the shop. They were greasy and carried cables all over and removed many ceiling tiles. They basically worked in front of all passengers 8 hours each day. NCL crew were all polite and happy and hard working. Food was edible but seemed of a lower standard than my 4 other NCL cruises and RC. Mostly ate in the two "free dining rooms for breakfast and dinner. Drink package was fine and I thought the choices were good enough for me. Servers were very polite about the use of the drink package. The crew entertainers were very good and Peter the travel speaker was excellent. Liked the singer from Sri Lanka but the comedians and jugglers were true odd balls who seemed like the cheapest entertainer NCL could fly in for 2-3 days. All were hell bent on selling cd's after the show and not funny and not talented. I will be careful to not get on a ship again that is headed to dry dock as there was a total distraction for all employees and guests. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We chose this cruise because of the Itinerary. With the end point being Brazil, this offered us an opportunity to extend our vacation and see some additional sights (i.e.: Rio De Janeiro, Iguazu Falls. The logistics for getting to the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the Itinerary. With the end point being Brazil, this offered us an opportunity to extend our vacation and see some additional sights (i.e.: Rio De Janeiro, Iguazu Falls. The logistics for getting to the embarkation and disembarkation points can be very expensive. A shuttle trip of 1 1/2-2hrs is needed in Valparaiso Chile and Santos, Brazil. Overall Rhapsody staff did very well accommodating language differences. The Food in the Windjammer was acceptable, although at times impossible to obtain seating. The main dining room cuisine was great with a variety of choices. The portions were acceptable. Sometimes trying to obtain a second bread roll was met with a funny look. We Americans love our bread :) Chops Grille steakhouse was extraordinary. The entertainment could have included a little more variety. I am not an opera or piano, violin aficionado so to have the entire evening performance with one discipline was a little trying for me. The disembarkation at ports was at time extremely difficult with my elderly parents. The were many ways of emptying into the small lower decks which made it impossible to know where the end of the lines were. Tempers were often an issue. Plus if a Royal employee with an excursion crowded in, all bets are off you will thrown off. Perhaps an earlier Excursion only exit would be more amenable to everyone. My guest room was unfortunately to close to the Centrum. Even though the solid door is closed at 10pm, people going to their cabins open the door and leave it opened. I had to get up and close the door several times. Shore excursions were extremely expensive through Royal. I would say a small mark up would be acceptable but at time the excursion price was %100 more than any independently reserved. Overall a good deal for the price paid. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
WE made it home after our trip: Santiago, Chile (arrived 03-10-16) Valparaiso, Chile (Spent 3 days) Star Princess (Embarked 04-14-16) La Serna, Chile Pisco, Peru Machu Picchu, Peru Lima, Peru Quito, Ecuador ... Read More
WE made it home after our trip: Santiago, Chile (arrived 03-10-16) Valparaiso, Chile (Spent 3 days) Star Princess (Embarked 04-14-16) La Serna, Chile Pisco, Peru Machu Picchu, Peru Lima, Peru Quito, Ecuador Manta, Ecuador Puntarenas, Costa Rica San Juan del Sur, Nicarago Cabo San Lucas, Mexico Los Angeles, CA Victoria, BC Vancouver, BC Hilo, Hawaii Honolulu, Oahu Nawiliwili, Kauai Lahaina, Maui Vancouver, BC (Disembarked 04/19/16) Sea/Tac Airport (40 days - over all) So we got on the Star Princess in Valparaiso, Chile and sailed to La Serena, Chile, then three days later to Pisco, Peru where we disembarked and took a 5 hour Bus ride North to Lima. Got on a plane (Peru Airlines – 737) and flew 1.5 hours to Cusco, Peru @ 13,000 feet. Some people had a hard time with the altitude. Got on another Bus to our Hotel, ( ARANWA Hotel & Wellness, Sacred Valley), about 1.5 hours away.. below 10,000 feet. Spent the night - Becky & I had a river suite that was over 2000 sq/feet. Amazing! Then again took a 1.5 hour Bus ride to the Train Station. Train ride was almost 1.5 hours long. Arriving in a small town where we boarded another special Bus that took us UP the trail to Machu Picchu. Totally Amazing,... no rain Clear Sky's and about 65 degrees... we could have not ordered better weather. We spent the day at the site... Returning by Special Bus to train Station, then on another Bus to our Hotel. The suite! In the morning we took another Bus to Cusco Airport ... stopping along the way at several other Inca Sites. Our luggage was sent ahead and was put on a plane with the 'first group' that flew out at 10AM. Our flight was at 1:30PM as we had the extra stops along the way. So we boarder our (Peru Airline 737)... Row 3 C&D. Started our takeoff... were at takeoff speed at middle of runway. Nose wheel lifted off... followed by main wheels. Plane approx 20 feet in air.... THEN the right engine exploded and caught on fire. At 13,000 feet with half power and very thin air.... we dropped back on the runway (Crashed is a better term) the planes tires all popped and we sailed down what was left of the runway....and off onto grass/ dirt and sunk into the soil. Engine and grass under the plane were on fire. Fire trucks stationed at end of runway started spraying engine and grass. Some confusion as to which side of the plane the slides were to be deployed, but after some yelling of the Captain over the PA system... the correct slides were deployed (away from the side where the engine was still on fire.) What they do not tell you is that the first 4 feet of the slide is over the fuselage. So when Becky jumped on it she got a bruise the size of a small plate on her butt. Also, you can take NOTHING off the plane. (People were trying to get stuff from the overhead and passengers were yelling at them.) We jumped onto the slide – shoes and all and landed on the ground. We got as far from the plane as we could, but a ditch limited how far we could go. So we all wandered in the grass alongside the runway waiting for someone to come, but no one did for about 30 minutes, then a pick-up truck came and put the tail gate down and loaded the 'handicap people', then they left. 15 minutes later private cars came and took us back two & three at a time. About 8 cars were used as they were owned for airport employees. The Airport was closed for 24 hours as the investigation ensued. We were taken to a Hotel in the middle of town for the night. Princess & Akorn were fantastic.. Providing every form of accommodation. However, since no-one knew when we would be able to get a flight to Lima, the Ship left. Lots of speculation on the cause of the engine failure…. It may never be determined – poor maintenance, bird, something on runway, etc etc. The next day we were taken back to the Airport and boarded another 'Peru Airline 737' same seats. Everything went OK to Lima... where we boarded a LAN jet to Quito, Equator. The ship was to meet us at Manta, Ecuador the next day. Arrived Quito Airport - then a 1 hour Bus ride to JW Marriott Hotel in Quito. Nice - we were on the 19th floor in another suite. Then next morning we boarded a Bus for another 5 hour ride to the Port in Manta, Ecuador. Arrived in the Port, but were held at the gate because we were not on the manifest the gate guard had???? Took another 30 minutes... we were only 500 feet from the ship!!! As we pulled up to the ship.. the entire ships company were out in a receiving line to greet us.. with cold towels and DRINKS... shook everyone's hand and went to our room where we found flowers and Champagne... Very Nice! so now you have our adventure... then we had another three weeks of cruise to go.... PS. Our luggage made it to our cabin two days before we did.... Ecuador had a 8.0 earth quake within the last week... guess which town was destroyed??? Yep.. The port city of Manta, Ecuador! Over 600 killed and 10’s of thousands injured. I guess we are very lucky... Not enough can be said about Princess Cruises and their Operator of the “Overland Manchu Picchu Tour”. Professional, informative, and accommodating! Thank You – “Akorn Destination Management Team” in Cusco, Peru. Especially: Juan Manuel aka(Manny) & Layla Aucca (Thanks again Manny your paper folding skills are fantastic!) Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We are not so-called 'veteran' cruisers. This is our fourth trip, and the first aboard Celebrity. Before we booked this cruise - from Valparaiso, Chile through the Canal to Miami, I read a number of the Cruise Critic reviews of ... Read More
We are not so-called 'veteran' cruisers. This is our fourth trip, and the first aboard Celebrity. Before we booked this cruise - from Valparaiso, Chile through the Canal to Miami, I read a number of the Cruise Critic reviews of Celebrity and of the Infinity. And, I'm confused. Some have been very enthusiastic, but a fair number have been critical of the Infinity experience --- and our cruise was a delight. I've read that some felt the ship was not in good shape after it's renovation lay-up last fall. We found the ship spotless - on the decks, the pool area, the dining rooms/buffets, the cabins - everywhere we went! A number have been critical of the cabins. Ours was a delight. Granted we were in 'ocean view' on deck 2, and you'd think we might have something to criticize. But, our cabin was spotless, efficiently laid-out, easy to get around in, and our attendants did a great job and always responded to our needs. We found the entertainment very good, both in the theater and in the other venues throughout the ship. We did NOT find that the ship appeared 'crowded' as mentioned in some reviews. There were a lot of folks around the pools, but we always found a spot. The food was good! In the Ocean View grill/buffet, in Trellis dining room, in the Tuscan Grille (altho they need to be more Italian cuisine driven-rather than steakhouse driven) and at the pool grill. The staff throughout the ship was efficient, pleasant, helpful and always responded quickly to our requests. One criticism I do have is that the ship's shore excursions are usually over-priced (common to all cruise lines) and we booked several excursions - 'off-ship' which were great and cheaper. And, as a part of that... Celebrity has to find another port in Ecuador other than Manta, which we felt was a very disappointing stop. But...we found a number of fellow passengers who have sailed a dozen or more cruises and who have sailed with Celebrity before. They have all been very happy with that experience. And, so are we! The ship with 2-thousand passengers (and we sailed full) was a perfect size and a perfect experience. So, I'm still confused by some of the comments. But, we would sail on the Infinity again, in a heart-beat! Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
This was our first P&O cruise, and we had high expectations. Our cabin was good and activities, including entertainment and daytime talks, were all good to excellent. I particularly enjoyed the daily cricket matches run by Adam - ... Read More
This was our first P&O cruise, and we had high expectations. Our cabin was good and activities, including entertainment and daytime talks, were all good to excellent. I particularly enjoyed the daily cricket matches run by Adam - excellent. Most staff were polite and helpful, but we found some Reception staff unhelpful and slow to get back to us. My biggest problem was with the food. I am vegetarian, and found the choices limited and often poorly presented. We opted for set dining in the Meridian Restaurant. We have enjoyed this set type if dining on other cruises and as one of our party had mobility issues restaurant service was preferable. Examples of food I was offered included a potato sandwich (not even any butter, and I was told it was a vegetable sandwich) and risotto that was a solid lump of rice with very little else added! I asked for brown bread sandwiches and was told brown bread is only used for fish! The meat eaters in my party were bored with very similar choices day after day, and some of the meat was very tough and unedible. We all found the pseudo language which regularly had to be interpreted for us very tiresome, and strange dishes and combinations of flavours odd and off putting. The lunchtime buffet in the Belvedere Restaurant was much better and had a wide variety of choices. Waiters and restaurant staff were helpful and always polite. It was such a shame they had to serve such poor quality food. One other thing that caused us problems - my husband has severe migraine if there are bright flashes, and he always finds the presence of photographers a challenge, particularly on formal nights. There must be other people who are affected by this? All in all, we enjoyed the cruise, but would have struggled with more than 3 weeks of the food! Labelling of the decks and venues on the ship is poor. Why does each deck have a name, a number and a letter? Simplify this P&O! I was really pleased that the pools had fresh water, as opposed to sea water on some other ships. The gym was well equipped but there were often no wipes or towels. The Palladium Theatre is excellent. The only concern we had was the obsessive use of the smoke machine, regardless of its relevance! One other thing that caused us problems - my husband has severe migraine if there are bright flashes, and he always finds the presence of photographers a challenge, particularly on formal nights. There must be other people who are affected by this? All in all, we enjoyed the cruise, but would have struggled with more than 3 weeks of the food! We expected better from P&O. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We took a 15 night cruise from Santiago -> Buenos Aires with a family of 5. Pros: 1. Great itinerary even though we weren't able to make a few stops due to inclement weather. Chile has a long coastline and most parts south ... Read More
We took a 15 night cruise from Santiago -> Buenos Aires with a family of 5. Pros: 1. Great itinerary even though we weren't able to make a few stops due to inclement weather. Chile has a long coastline and most parts south of Puerto Montt are not accessible to cars, so this cruise was the best way to see this pristine part of Patagonia. 2. Food: Dinner at the main dining were great. Lunch at main dining was slow, but had much better food than the buffet. Service was warm but slow. They were very friendly towards our family of 5, which included a toddler. 3. International crowd. Mostly older, sophisticated people from around the world: Many South Americans, Germans, Brits, Americans, Australians, Asians, etc.. Few first-time cruisers and we were one of about 12 families who brought their little kids. 4. Entertainment programs were great. It helped that many of the organizers were Brazilians and they knew how to have fun and engage the crowd. 5. Other amenities: Sauna was great, fitness room was adequate, running deck was nice. There were enough activities to do on a small-sized ship. Cons: 1. Smoking. Smoking was allowed in the indoor casino and the ventilation system was non-existent. The Casino was in a central location on deck 5 and smoke would reek throughout deck 5 to the floors above and below. We had to either walk outside or go several decks below just to get from one end of the ship to the other. One night, they banned smoking in the Casino after 1800 and it made a huge difference. 2. Embarkment/Disembarkment: The security people, especially the bag scanners were generally quite rude for no good reason. The process was very slow at times. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
Excellent service. All activities inside the ship where excellent also the food. I went with my family and we joined friends from the cruise to do a tour. We did part of the tour with the cruiseship line in the South of Patagonia by a ... Read More
Excellent service. All activities inside the ship where excellent also the food. I went with my family and we joined friends from the cruise to do a tour. We did part of the tour with the cruiseship line in the South of Patagonia by a company Tango Tour around Beagle Channel. And we did a lovely stop in Buenos Aires with a local lady that helps entrepreneurs so we experience the huge city of Buenos Aires in a very professional way and more out of the commercial issues. Private Groups done by LIZ Andrea. Our nights were fantastic ans they also have shows at night. They also explained all history before our getting off each port in order to know what we will going to watch and to learn. That was very intersting! Good report: Tango Tour-Patagonia Liz Andrea-Buenos Aires (liz2arg@yahoo.com or www.lizflor2.blogspot.com Certificated of excellence in Trip Advisor for many years!) Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
We loved the cruise. After 5 nights in Santiago, we took turbus for $8 each to Valporaiso for 3 nights before our embarkation. ( hotels were Galerias and Cirilo Armstrong respectively. Wonderful stays) Embarkation was easy, but ... Read More
We loved the cruise. After 5 nights in Santiago, we took turbus for $8 each to Valporaiso for 3 nights before our embarkation. ( hotels were Galerias and Cirilo Armstrong respectively. Wonderful stays) Embarkation was easy, but involves going to the passenger terminal a few miles from the ship. Then once you are checked in, Princess transports you to the ship which is docked at the container port. We were able to enter cabin immediately upon hoarding. Lunch at horizon court and then got to know the ship. Princess Star is very well maintained and beautiful. We had a balcony cabin aft port side on deck 10, caribe. Extra large balcony with 2 chairs that recline with footrests and a table. We enjoyed the balcony to the fullest, even when the weather turned cooler as we went farther south. We just put on our jackets and brought out our coffees our cocktails/ wine. The entertainment was fabulous. Both cultural events and historical lectures were held almost everyday. Tango lessons, tango orchestras, line dancing south of the border style, port lectures, historical/cultural lectures, you name it, these activities abounded. And we went to almost all. The movie entertainment was top notch. Under the stars got chilly a few nights, but blankets were brought out. And movies were also shown in the Vista Lounge. Dancing music was throughout the ship at several venues everyday. We love the Piazza. And the International Cafe. That brings me to food. Delicious!!! We had anytime and were able to get a table for 2 every night. Loved it. Great wait staff throughout. Great choices on the menus. We also used room service frequently for coffee, juice in morning on our balcony. Excursions were enriching and lots of fun. We chose Princess for every stop except Stanley, and Montevideo In Stanley we took the public bus to gypsy cove for $20 each to see a few penguins. In Montevideo we walked the ciudad vieja on our own and had lunch in Puerto Mercado/great grilled steaks. Beautiful beach and we even saw a few emperor penguins. We felt that value wise, Princess delivered a great excursion at every stop. Punto Arenas had to be skipped because of the weather. We disembarked easily, feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, and culturally enriched. We remained In Buenos Aires for a week more in a condo I found on flip key. Great place, "Hollywood condo." Then went to Colonia in Uruguay for 3 nights on buquebus. Stayed at Poada Don Antonio and loved every minute. Ended trip with 5 days back in Montevideo at My Suites Boutique hotel in Pocitos. Great little hotel We loved our whole trip and the Princess Star cruise made it all the better. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016

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