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230 South America Family Cruise Reviews

sorry for my English ! I’m from Brazil . the cabin was the best thing! it looked like a hotel room. the food at the buffet was better than at the social restaurant. everything is paid, there are no activities for 5000 people, ... Read More
sorry for my English ! I’m from Brazil . the cabin was the best thing! it looked like a hotel room. the food at the buffet was better than at the social restaurant. everything is paid, there are no activities for 5000 people, the cleanliness of my room was horrible. I bought a wifi package on the last day they already canceled before the trip ended. It is my sixth cruiser (msc, costa, pullmantur) but the service of this ship was horrible.I do not recommend and I will not go on a “famous” ship anymore BR - Eu não recomendo esse navio a ninguém , de todos que eu fiz esse foi o mais desorganizado! Fiquei a viagem toda no tédio ! A equipe de animação péssima sempre as mesmas coisas: alongamento, aula de língua e dança ! 7 dias foi o suficiente para querer sair do navio ! Tudo era pago , a pista de boliche era só 2 para 5 mil pessoas ! Sempre lotada e fechada durante o dia ! A limpeza da minha cabine meu deus , foi a pior das viagens , tive que buscar toalha de piscina para tomar banho pois o camareiro não ia. Fora o wifi que comprei e me roubaram um dia a menos (pois o pacote era até o final da viagem ). Enfim eu paguei 10 mil reais , meu dinheiro não dá em árvore e não volto mais a esse tipo de navio! O buffet estava bom e tinha variedades ! A cabine por ser nova também era boa , as lojas também eram .... Enfim achei ruim pelo valor que paguei fora que os elevadores sempre estavam lotados... imagina todo mundo querendo se mover ?! Esse navio não tem estrutura para o número de passageiros para prestar o serviço com qualidade Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
I have been on eight cruises and have cruised with Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, Carnival, Costa, and Viking River. All have been great. This MSC cruise, however, would turn anyone against cruising. I chose this cruise because it began in ... Read More
I have been on eight cruises and have cruised with Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, Carnival, Costa, and Viking River. All have been great. This MSC cruise, however, would turn anyone against cruising. I chose this cruise because it began in Buenos Aires and featured two days in Rio de Janeiro, the two places I most wanted to see in South America. What MSC does not tell you is that this ship is operated like a hop on, hop off bus, allowing people to check in and out all along the route. This meant that the ship was in a constant state of upheaval, with passengers who were embarking and disembarking competing with cruisers trying to get on and off the ship for excursions. I don't know what went wrong on the second day in Rio, but those embarking passengers were packed into the terminal for several hours waiting to board. Other issues with this ship: It was nearly impossible to get a drink. There were not enough cocktail waitresses in the lounge areas and if you tried to get a drink at the bar the bartender ignored you in favor of filling orders for the waitresses. Also, many of the lounge bars were closed on sea days so if you wanted to relax with a book and drink in one of them you had to wander around looking for an open bar. The food in the dining room was mediocre and unvaried. Every salad sat in a bath of watery dressing because the lettuce hadn't been dried properly after rinsing. Two elevators were broken during the entire cruise. The buffet area was always crowded; my guess is the short-term passengers were determined to make the most of their brief stay by eating as much as humanly possible. There were lovely lounges on one deck -- with all the views completely blocked by lifeboats. In short, I would warn anyone off this particular cruise and, personally, I'd be afraid to trust MSC again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Regrettable or treat that an MSC is giving its passengers. The ship was absolutely full. Believe that they have enlarged or cabins in a renovation, but not widening the common area. The buffet restaurants, a shopping area and a pool ... Read More
Regrettable or treat that an MSC is giving its passengers. The ship was absolutely full. Believe that they have enlarged or cabins in a renovation, but not widening the common area. The buffet restaurants, a shopping area and a pool area did not accommodate the number of passengers. It is not possible to move through the theater to a restaurant without being used by people. We had to hold like children by the hand for fear of them getting lost and not finding us quickly. The size of the pools is ridiculous and the amount of tables did not support 10% of the passengers. As well as the pool bar attendants, besides being grumpy, they couldn't handle the service. It was all chaos, without communication and without respect. Little variety of food in the buffet restaurants. In 07 days there was variation of 3 dishes. At dinner the tables were almost glued to each other and not enough food, and the taste was not worthy of a caveat. Several staying after dinner or buffet restaurant to eat something else. The only highlight is the shows, which are really very good as artists. It's unfortunate, but a cruise with the MSC is never repeated. I had already done another one in 2010 and it was fantastic, so repeated, but they are second to none. The first a dream and this now a nightmare. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We chose this cruise because we wanted a short year end cruise. It was very convenient for us as it sailed from Buenos Aires to Rio and we could us the ship as a hotel in Rio for the night of December 30th to December 31st, 2019. The ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted a short year end cruise. It was very convenient for us as it sailed from Buenos Aires to Rio and we could us the ship as a hotel in Rio for the night of December 30th to December 31st, 2019. The ship is nice like any Costa ship made by Fincantieri. We embarked in Buenos Aires after a two days stay in this amazing city. Embarkation procedures were quick and efficient. We had two cabins; my wife and I were in balcony cabin 6420 and my daughter and son in law were in interior cabin 7224. Our balcony cabin was quite nice, similar to the one that we had two years ago in Costa Diadema. My daughter said their interior premium cabin was pretty nice too. We enjoyed the many bars and the entertainment of this ship. It is a ship with great ambiance and with lots of music to choose from. The entertainment people were fantastic. The food at the restaurant New York New York was just ok not great like in other ships like Luminosa or Diadema, maybe because the menu is better on Mediterranean cruises. Here the menu was a mix of Italian, Brasilian and Argentinian dishes to please their South American guests.Some dishes were great like the Caprese salad made with the mozzarella made on the ship, or the roasted prime rib or the pasta dishes.Our waiter Marlon was just correct. Regarding our cabin steward, we never met him. He did not make any of the nice animals they usually make with towels.We had to ask through the virtual concierge for soap, shampoo, body cream and additional pillows. The room was cleaned and the bed made in the morning, never at night like in other cruises. We thought , we deserved a better service being level Perla Costa Club members. We must say that the shows at the theater were very nice, we loved the Christmas show and the Lyric show with a great tenor. Service at the bars was good. We did not take any excursion. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Thankfully the NCL Star didn't break down until we reached the Falkland Islands(cruise day 11), but who wants to plan their 1 cruise to South America on a ship that is mechanically this unreliable? One year ago when I saw this cruise ... Read More
Thankfully the NCL Star didn't break down until we reached the Falkland Islands(cruise day 11), but who wants to plan their 1 cruise to South America on a ship that is mechanically this unreliable? One year ago when I saw this cruise choice my only hesitation was the ship, not the cruise line, as my family had cruised on the Star previously in 2014. Knowing that the ship died in the Tasman Sea in 2015, and that there have been further problems since, I was trying to be optimistic knowing the ship had been refurbished in 2018. I mistakenly presumed this update included the engine compartment. While our 7 hour engine delay caused us to now miss Puerto Madryn, we knew from our own research around Thanksgiving that there had been a significant engine explosion on the ship while in Europe around November 1st, and that the ship was limping along ever since. I then discovered that our trip insurance didn't cover engine explosions as a reason to cancel the trip I had been so diligently planning for 1 year. Reading the reviews on Cruise Critic helped fill in the information gaps NCL failed to provide. NCL's response to those unfortunate passengers confirmed their pattern of inadequacy to us, their customers. What has happened to the NCL that made us want to return to the point where we are presently Latitude Gold status? I have spent over 200 days on cruise ships, from Princess to Royal Caribbean, Disney to NCL, so we obviously love what they offer. That said, I am not condemning the Star itself here. No, the ship has been nicely redone as a result of its update in 2018. Specifically, we like the updated lobby, pool area and dining rooms, and the fact that they kept the large bathrooms in our ocean view cabins. One of the best redo's I've seen. Clearly, the Star has plenty to offer. I actually like the ship itself now, unlike in 2014, which just confirms that even my opinion can be changed. Also, the staff and crew worked very hard and were eager to help. But lurking in the back of the mind are the reliability questions- are we going to make the destinations? Is it going to break down in the middle of the Atlantic? Are we going to miss my prized stop because of the ship? Are we going to miss our non refundable flights home because of a problem? All of these are legitimate concerns one shouldn't have especially before our cruise even begins. While we always know there are other factors that can affect the schedule, we don't want the major issue up front to be the reliability of the ship, and worse, another corporate failure confirming that NCL isn't putting the passenger first when such an event happens, which is exactly what we have witnessed with this recent history. Let me be very clear- this is not an instance where we missed a port because of high winds, lightning, bad weather or local strikes, as these obviously are things beyond NCL's control. No, these delays and missed ports occurred because of ongoing mechanical problems with their ship, and these were and are completely within the control of NCL management. For the record, before the Falkland breakdown, I did purchase 2 future cruise credits during this trip. Yes, I was being hopeful. Obviously NCL must fix their problems- first mechanically with the Star and second, in their treatment of passengers who experienced the explosion, as well as those who missed ports because of continuing mechanical problems with the Star. Both of these, unlike the weather, were well under the control of NCL, which is why they should accept full responsibility for them. I have never taken the time to pen my cruise review before I even got off the ship, but feel compelled to do so to keep my fellow cruise enthusiasts informed in their decision making. NCL should guarantee their scheduled cruise stops won't be missed based upon a mechanical malfunction with the Star, and when they do miss one, refund that value to their customers. Additionally, to more accurately reflect the current status of the Star, the future ship disclosures should include the terms "Mechanically Unreliable", "Hoping to stop at the following ports...", "Not sure if we're gonna get there but we're trying", and price their product accordingly so consumers can make an informed decision before their Star cruise purchase. I am not sure I want to give my cruise dollars to a line that is unable to own up to significant ship problems that can so greatly affect my family's cruise experience. We feel fortunate that our breakdown occurred late in our cruise schedule, but you may not be so fortunate. At this point I am happy to know that our next 2 cruises are in Europe this summer on RCCL. Good thing the future cruise credits are good for 4 years, but I am optimistic that NCL will give us reason to return well before then. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Le Champlain is a lovely ship with only ninety-two cabins, 165 passengers and 115 crew members. We felt the on-board experience was excellent in almost every respect and were impressed that most crew members knew us by name, or at least by ... Read More
Le Champlain is a lovely ship with only ninety-two cabins, 165 passengers and 115 crew members. We felt the on-board experience was excellent in almost every respect and were impressed that most crew members knew us by name, or at least by cabin number and preferences midway through the cruise. Ponant has had difficulties with the local Mexican government and they have been unable to embark from Puerto Morelos. We were notified only a few days in advance that the embarkation had been moved to Cozumel -- too late to change our hotel reservations (and of course of flights). Had we known just a week in advance, we could have booked a hotel in Cozumel and perhaps even flown there, saving us lots of time. On the good side, Le Champlain's crew handled this as well as I would have expected. Ponant had arranged for us to meet at the Playa del Carmen Hyatt and chartered a private ferry to Cozumel. It was clear that the crew members were working hard to make sure this unexpected transfer went well. the ferry let us off at Le Champlain, so we had only a short walk to board. We were adjacent to an RCL ship and that highlighted exactly how small Le Champlain is. On board, Mexican emigration formalities took more than an hour -- but we were plied with Champaign and canapés, so there was little complaining from us. This was a Christmas cruise, so that had its own positives and negatives -- everything on board was festive and Kamel the Cruise Director could be seen everywhere throughout the cruise leading various activities. He occupied all the kids and teens each afternoon with various activities, including working with the ship's dancers to train them to do their own Christmas dance. Our teen loved it and meeting kids from around the world. Activities on board ranged from musical shows, which we thought extremely impressive, given they were performed by three dancers, two singers and one piano player -- to local dance troupes performing Garafuna dances -- to even the crew performing for the Christmas Eve show. In the afternoon, we played trivia and bingo in the main lounge and made Christmas ornaments and cards with Kamel. We thought the food was excellent, for the most part and only noted that the kitchen was perhaps "trying too hard" on the Gala Night and Christmas Eve Dinner and some of the courses felt overly experimental (Christmas Eve was the only evening where the more relaxed outdoor dining room was closed). The restaurant manager may have felt this would be an issue, as he found all of the kids the day before and asked them what they would like to have for dinner. The formal dining room is capable of seating all passengers at once and we were able to eat alone or with others as we chose. We also tried the 24-hour room service -- the menu was limited (basically burger, steak, grilled salmon or salad) but our order was delivered promptly and it tasted good. Drinks at the bar were good. The main bar was open from 6 or 7an until about 11 or midnight. The library lounge and the amazing Blue Eye lounge had a bartender present for an hour at a time for one or two hours each day. For 20 EUR per person more, there was a premium alcohol menu. If I wanted whiskey, it would definitely be worth it. Otherwise, all drinks, including those in the stateroom, were complementary. All announcements were made in French & English. I speak both and noted that the translations weren't exact and interestingly to me (at least), sometimes one language's announcement was much more detailed than the other (but sometimes English was more detailed than French). On the downside, there wasn't necessarily much to do at the ports. High rollers flew to Copan or Tikal for the day and the rest of us either stayed on the ship, took the local excursions or explored locally on our own. Puerto Cortés -- we did not take an excursion here, but reception suggested we take a Taxi into town. It cost $5 and was just a mile away. The town is not at all touristy, but we had a nice walk around "El Centro," enjoyed the Christmas decorations and visited a hardware and grocery store before walking back. Santo Tomás de Castilla -- we took the excursion to the Las Escobas Nature Trail (where some of us swam around the waterfalls), followed by a visit to a local community, where we made tortillas and ate our own tacos). Everyone on the bus was English speaking and it was not full. There were two busses of French passengers on the same tour and it looked as though their busses were more full. Our guide was local, endearing and gave us all small gifts from Guatemala. Livingston -- Christmas Day and pretty much everything was closed. We took a boat ride up the Rio Dulce and experienced the hot springs and caverns. Interesting. The boat picked us up from the back of Le Champlain and the nine of us went on our way with the same guide as the day before. Belize City -- those of us who went scuba diving had a great time with Sea Sports Scuba and Ponant's Divemaster Franck (and Captain Simon, who came with us). The member of our party who went on the river cruise in hopes of seeing the manatees was disappointed -- the boat was full, there was no shade and there was lots of waiting around with no communication. After the dives, we went into Belize City, but aside from the cruise ship terminal, the entire city was completely closed for Boxing Day. The one thing that we did enjoy was there was absolutely no line for the tender back to our ship. RCL was also in town and the line for their tenders were hundreds of passengers deep. Half Moon Cay / Great Blue Hole / Lighthouse Reef -- for those of us diving, this was an awesome day with spectacular diving in the GBH and alone the reef. Our member went snorkeling and thought it was fine. The ship was only there until noon, so it was a very abbreviated beach day for those who wanted that. Overall, we really enjoyed the ship, and felt the crew made every effort to ensure we had a great cruise. We loved that everything was small, that we could meet pretty much every passenger and crew member and that nothing was ever, ever crowded. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
The worst cruise ever!!. This was our 4th cruise, 1st and last with Norwegian. Most services were poor/terrible. Very expensive compare with the poor service given in return. Cabin small, toilet smaller than an airplane toilet and ... Read More
The worst cruise ever!!. This was our 4th cruise, 1st and last with Norwegian. Most services were poor/terrible. Very expensive compare with the poor service given in return. Cabin small, toilet smaller than an airplane toilet and smelly, smell like sewerage Food: tasteless, nil variety menu, unless you pay for the expensive options Internet: extremely expensive compare to other cruises Tendering: a disaster exercise Ports: the Capitan decided to skip some ports without apologies/ explanations Ports: time to spent in ports very limited due to cruise ship disorganization Customer service: terrible, and I do not care attitude Long queues for everything even at freezing port cities, a total disorganization Value for money: nil, very poor service and expensive bills. The only positive thing was the cruise director motivation, housekeeping staff and some waiters/ restaurant staff. We do not recommend this cruise ship to anyone, there are very options services out there!!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Pros: Itinerary (prior to the changes) Best haircut on a ship Decent food Excellent special bar activities (Martini Tasting, Margarita Tasting, Black Glass Wine Tasting) Good cabin stewardess Decent bathroom/shower ... Read More
Pros: Itinerary (prior to the changes) Best haircut on a ship Decent food Excellent special bar activities (Martini Tasting, Margarita Tasting, Black Glass Wine Tasting) Good cabin stewardess Decent bathroom/shower Tango/Gaucho show was excellent Smaller portion sizes so less food waste Cons: Inconsistent handling of tenders (poor to very poor) Inconsistent service in the Versailles (did not appear to have assigned staff to our table for 10 - had up to 5 attendants per meal) Missed ports/Cape Horn for unclear reasons Limited wine options on the Beverage plan (when the ships own label beats most offerings, that says a lot) Short stays in ports Slow embarkation process Poor staff to cruiser ratios Same restaurant lunch menu each day This was our 25th cruise - and 3rd (and last) with NCL. We picked this itinerary over a year ago and it was a true bucket list trip. There were 10 of us (5 cabins). However, with short port stays, a missed port, and missed Cape Horn, it was disappointing. The ship has been having issues, and really should be fixed before continuing on cruises, as the itinerary was changing up until departure due to the engine issues. With limited staff, service was overall poor - however, we had excellent service in Gatsby's bar, where the staff was knowledgeable and excellent. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Norwegian Star Review. We have cruised with Princess, RC, Carnival, and Celebrity. This was our first cruise with NCL. We were very impressed with this cruise line. This cruise was from Dec 21, 2019 in San Antonio to Jan 4, 2020 in ... Read More
Norwegian Star Review. We have cruised with Princess, RC, Carnival, and Celebrity. This was our first cruise with NCL. We were very impressed with this cruise line. This cruise was from Dec 21, 2019 in San Antonio to Jan 4, 2020 in Buenos Aires. Embarking The embarking and debarking process are very slow. You make line after line. The terminals are in cargo piers and have to take a shuttle bus from the terminal to the ship. Dining Food at the Buffet was well stocked and organized. Food did not stand for long and they were restocking as needed. The staff was always cleaning and checking the tables at the buffet. Be advised that in this particular itinerary, especially on sea days, many passengers choose to use the buffet as lounge, going for breakfast, staying over for Wi-Fi, reading, playing cards, and go on for lunch and dinner. This makes difficult finding a place to eat at the buffet. O ’Sheehan’s gets packed during the day, many guests lounge there after dining, you may want to go early for lunch. Soft Serve Ice Cream at the buffet may be better. It melts too fast! Service at the Main Dining Room was quick and good. Best times for the MDR are before 7:00 PM. The Oriental Restaurant fills up very fast and has a 45min-1 hour wait time. If you want to dine right away, be there at 5:30 PM sharp. After that, you make the waiting list. If you do not want to make lines for dinner, the Buffet prepared themed dinners nightly with very good menu choices. Itinerary This itinerary has a comfortable pace. It allows you to rest a day before the next port. Due to the ongoing engine trouble, the ship was traveling first at 19 knots, then at 13. Our cruise shortened some port times to leave early and arrive late. The glacier scenic cruising was outstanding. The best glacier views are in the north side. Strong winds and high waves made us miss circling Cape Horn. Engine trouble delayed leaving the Falkland Islands nine hours late. The call at Puerto Madryn was canceled and it became another sea day. We only got the port fees reimbursed. Tendering is a pain. If you are not in a ship tour, or are Priority Tender, you have to run to the Bliss Lounge to get a ticket for an early tender wait in your cabin for your tender number to be called. Then walk a downstairs line to the tender. In some ports, the tender trip takes 30 minutes. Holiday Events The Christmas worship service was very good. Crewmembers organized, performed, directed, and also attended alongside the guests. One crewmember led the songs and also preached the Word as good as an ordained minister. There were Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve celebrations in various ship venues. For safety reasons, they did not shoot fireworks. When we arrived, the ship was fully decorated for the holidays and everything was removed before we disembarked. There were special menus for both Christmas and New Year holidays. Theater The shows at the theater were very good. You have to get in early to get a good seat. Even though there is a no-seat-saving policy, many guests disregarded it and saved seats for their parties. Shore Tours The San Antonio Port is two hours away from Santiago. The best way to get to and from San Antonio is to take a tour that takes you to Vina del Mar and Valparaiso in the way there. We mostly used shore tours advertised with Trip Advisor. They were better priced, have smaller groups and offered more personalized service than the ship-sponsored tours. They stick to the ship’s schedule and ensure you’re back on time. The only two ship-sponsored tours we took were at Port Chacabuco and the Iguazu Falls tour upon debarking. Climate Even though is summertime in South America, please plan for layering. Santiago, Montevideo, and Buenos Aires have summer weather. Ushaia, Punta Arenas, and The Falklands have winter weather. The other ports have Fall to Winter weather. Many guests were buying coats and sweaters on ship to bear the cold temperatures outside. Final Our experience with this NCL cruise was outstanding. We loved the “Freestyle Cruising” when you can wear anything anywhere, saving valuable suitcase space. We noticed passengers from all over the world, and from all age groups. Overall service by everyone was outstanding. We will certainly consider NCL as a future cruise option. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Chose this cruise on a whim, as we saw an advertisement from a consolidator, contacted our agent to see what she could do, and then jumped. It gave me bragging rights, whatever that means, to say I was on all seven continents before I ... Read More
Chose this cruise on a whim, as we saw an advertisement from a consolidator, contacted our agent to see what she could do, and then jumped. It gave me bragging rights, whatever that means, to say I was on all seven continents before I turned 70. (Okay, I didn't 'touch' Antarctica, but it touched me, so close enough.) We also had kids who had other plans for Christmas so we were free to travel. We flew into Buenos Aires a couple days early and explored. I suggest this because of the long flight from the US, particularly the Pacific Northwest. We stayed in the city so were able to walk to the Recoleta area, a ten minute cab ride to the ship. The cemetery where Eva Peron was buried was a highlight, as was the Teatro Colon'. Great walking city, with some taxi work. Enjoyed Buenos Aires, knew nothing about the rest of the itinerary except Antarctica and the Falkland Islands, but was willing to learn. And learn we did. This cruise is an education, with loads of lectures from specialists. The ports are touch and go because of the weather, as is the route in the Antarctica, so for totally uptight, obsessed with "what I was told" folks might want to rethink this. Montevideo, Uruguay is a large, poor city that gives an interesting counterpoint to Buenos Aires. Puerto Madryn had an amazing boardwalk, so it was a great Sunday stroll, watching the locals play on a beautiful beach. Stanley, in the Falklands, was a reminder that wars are occasionally fought for stupid reasons. This bleak, but beautiful bunch of small islands, was a great visit and our first penguin experience. From there it was six days at sea, one to Antarctica, four in Antarctica, one back to South America. The weather cooperated, which isn't necessarily normal, so we were able to be outside, watching ice flows, animals, wind, water, and all the rest. We had to adjust our route constantly so our experience will not necessarily the same for others. We dreaded Drake Passage, but it wasn't bad. The other ports, Ushuaia, Puenta Arenas, Chacabuco, and Castro were small, unique, and really needed one to take an excursion. We missed Puerto Montt because of weather, arriving at Santiago early. HAL did a great job of adjusting and taking precautions, so it was all good. The dining room was exceptional. We enjoyed the entertainment, both around the ship and on the main stage. Scheduling that must be a nightmare as opinions vary so much. We spent most of our time in the Mix bar listening to Dan, the piano man. The Lido was fine, not a real buffet fan, but the Asian food and the salad bar were exceptional. Omelettes to order are not to be missed. We were comped a meal at the Canaletto, one of the upscale restaurants, and we were not that impressed. It was fine, but not if we were paying. In fact, we turned down another comp meal there as we preferred the Main Dining Room, mostly because of our wonderful server, Eka and his crew. Actually the crew is the highlight. Our dining room group was amazing as were our four cabin stewards (yes, four-to be explained). Our one negative would be our room, actually an issue with the room and the initial way in which the problem was handled. We ended up moving half way through the cruise, which worked out, but we felt it would not have been necessary if words moved to action, rather than just being words. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We wanted to visit the Amazon. It was worth the price of many sea days (which we normally try to minimize). We just returned, arriving in Miami Jan 6, 2020. It was a solid 4 star experience, based on 20 cruises on 12 cruise lines. The ... Read More
We wanted to visit the Amazon. It was worth the price of many sea days (which we normally try to minimize). We just returned, arriving in Miami Jan 6, 2020. It was a solid 4 star experience, based on 20 cruises on 12 cruise lines. The all-inclusive feature is nice, although for those of us who don’t drink, free alcohol is not a benefit. Not being nickel-dimed is worth it, unlike certain cruise brands. Check-in/boarding was ‘different’ in Rio, where we waited in a hangar like terminal until boarding time, then walked up the ramp into the ship where check-in tables were set up in the reception/atrium area. We’re used to the photos taken - boarding cards prepared etc. check-in process being done in the terminal; however, it was relatively painless and efficient. Our concierge cabin on deck 9 was fine, if a little small. Bathroom (bathtub/shower etc.) was nice, nothing special but no issues (toilet plumbing acted up in our section of cabins several times during the 3 week cruise, but fairly quickly repaired). Food was good, comparable and maybe somewhat better than Oceania, our previous standard. All the restaurants provided fine dining, good ‘everyday selections’ and several new items on the menu each evening. Service was in general very good. The Veranda buffet offered very good selections every day, with fresh fruit, pastries, a breakfast special every morning and eggs cooked to order. Cold cuts, salmon, and such were available every day, along with many kinds of bread/bagels/muffins etc. The dessert selections were very good, along with cookies (everywhere on the ship, all day, beside the cappuccino/Latte machines - a definite self discipline challenge). Lunch selections were varied and also very good. One complaint about the Veranda buffet is that it is only open for breakfast and lunch. If you don’t want to dress up and spend the time to ‘dine’ every night, the grill on the pool deck is your only option. The food there is mostly good and you can order chicken wings, burgers and such, but it is somewhat limited. Entertainment was good. Some excellent guest performers were on board, along with a very good naturalist/Amazonia speaker and an Apollo 9 astronaut. The ships dancers were excellent. The 5 piece band was outstanding. The singers were decent. One show was performed at 9:30 PM, on most days. Excursions: very good. We had no trouble booking excursions (free). Some were booked in advance, a few were booked only days before (our biggest excursion was booked privately, our usual MO when wanting to see a particular attraction(s) without having to compromise, nor wait for a busload of other passengers). Service/hotel staff were very good, with very few exceptions. Reading the small percentage of 1 and 2 star reviews of the Mariner highlights an issue of the passenger demographic that book the 6 star lines; specifically, a good percentage of high-worth individuals, many of whom are getting on in years and have mobility issues; some have airs of entitlement to go with very high expectations. Consideration for others can sometimes be lacking. Example: walking slowly down a narrow ramp with a walker, one old gentleman was overheard saying to his wife (who was trying to move out of the way for those behind), “don’t try to make room, they can just wait”. Another example is getting on and off tenders. Regent does not enforce their own rules about who can and can not ride, consequently, boarding/debarking tenders behind physically impaired passengers can be an exercise in patience – (I am in my late 70’s). To recap, nice interesting cruise. Would we book Regent again? Certainly, given a desirable itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
I chose this cruise because I have traveled with NG/Lindblad before and wanted to see Costa Rica with this group of naturalists etc. The timing was right for my daughter and I to travel together. we were looking forward to seeing the ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I have traveled with NG/Lindblad before and wanted to see Costa Rica with this group of naturalists etc. The timing was right for my daughter and I to travel together. we were looking forward to seeing the wildlife primarily. Unfortunately, the brochure which specifically promotes seeing sloths in the wild was a total misrepresentation. I was told by the naturalists that sloths are not in the areas that we were visiting on this itinerary! A public relations move according to the staff, not accurate. We were also not going to see the Toucans, which were on the front of the brochure! Very disappointing. We did see some monkeys, iguana, birds, etc but one of the reasons we chose this itinerary was for the sloths specifically. The staff aboard and the naturalists were amazing, helpful and knowledgeable. The activities were geared to a cross section of interests and the naturalists on the hikes did a great job teaching us about the biodiversity of the region, Good communication by everyone. Dining area was clean and the staff was very accommodating. Food was average, nothing spectacular. Clean and quiet cabins with lovely fellow travelers. We did have one woman on the trip who had suffered a stroke a year prior which left her with a disability (right sided weakness.) She went on a difficult hike and had to be personally, PHYSICALLY assisted by the naturalist to manage the trail. This became an issue for the rest of the group as we were all slowing down to wait and assist, I even physically helped her to urinate on the side of the trail as she insisted it was an emergency.... She clearly did not have a realistic view of her physical limitations...and also went on the horseback riding excursion! Due to her disability this was very unsafe again, she ended up having to be removed from the horse and be "retrieved" by support staff coming out to our location and loading her in a vehicle. Again, this was a time consuming and concerning event for the rest of us. I suggest you devise someway to assess for the participators actual ability to participate as it effects the other paid travelers experience. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This is a review of a family Christmas trip to a bucket list location, the Galapagos Islands of Ecuador. My family consists of me and my wife, Maryanne and my adult daughter Lindsay. It is no co-incidence that she was with us as she holds ... Read More
This is a review of a family Christmas trip to a bucket list location, the Galapagos Islands of Ecuador. My family consists of me and my wife, Maryanne and my adult daughter Lindsay. It is no co-incidence that she was with us as she holds a PhD in Marine Biology and she would not have let us forget it if we went without her. Quick Summation: Although expensive, it was a great experience, The Flora is great and Celebrity did a superb job from start to finish. The whole experience was 5/5-stars. Now the details. Ship: Both the Celebrity Flora and the Celebrity Edge were built roughly at the same time and used the same engineering/design concepts. Many, including myself, have commented that Celebrity missed the mark in a few areas on the Edge. I am pleased to report that the Flora is spot-on in design, comfort and amenities. A perfect ship for exploring the Galapagos. All rooms are categorized as suites so even the cheapest room is large and sunny with a great bathroom. Entry level suites are like a sky suite with full balcony. Next level up is the same basic room but with the infinite balcony. It is slightly larger as the balcony space is added back into the room. My daughter had a balcony and we had an Infinite balcony. So clients can have their choice and not scrimp on anything. Plenty of storage, beautiful views and a nice roomy walk-in shower. Some cruise critic reviews comment about water on the floor from the shower but we did not see that. Yes, there is a window from the bathroom into the main cabin but the design is such that you can’t really view anything so no issue there. Just very nicely designed and sized cabins. A travel tip would be to bring a night light. I did not see the larger suites but can only assume the are equally beautiful, functional and even more expensive. One negative is that Celebrity only allows two to a cabin. In my case, that meant two cabins to handle the three of us. In talking to staff, it appears that there were no exceptions on our cruise even though there were several family groups of 3 or more on the cruise. Capacity is 100 people with crew of 90. Our cruise had 95 passengers. Very close to a 1:1 crew-passenger ratio. Cruise demographics on our cruise was a nice mix of younger/older/North American and Asian and several families from South Africa. I would guess about 5/6 guests between 15-21. Average age was probably 50-60. Public areas consist of the top outer deck that featured an outside grill for lunch/dinner. Deck four featured the main dining room and lounge area. This reminded me of the usual river cruise set-up where you meet before dinner in the lounge for cocktails, discuss the next day’s actives and adjourn for dinner after. Entertainment was sparce but not missed. Usually live music outside for lunch. Inside at the lounge pre-dinner and last night in the main dinning room. All quite pleasant. Celebrity tried to hold some activities after dinner (Silent disco was the most successful) but to be honest everyone was so tired from the day’s activities it was usually off to bed after dinner. Food was not your usual American menu which made the trip even more special. Celebrity and Ecuador make a point that most things are locally sourced. So menu options where high in seafood content. Lobster tails were available anytime as well as fresh fish, shrimp and local beef/chicken. Cerveche was something new to me and it was quite good. Most if not all of the wait staff are Ecuatorian and go out of there way to provide good service. The Matdre’d was exceptional and tried to fulfill your every want. Special food requests were meet with a smile and usually fulfilled quickly. All in all the food/dining room/lounge and entertainment felt like a fine country club. There is NO cellular service in the Galapagos but you do have fairly good wifi on the ship. So you can stay connected to the outside world if you desire. The Flora never docks and never anchors. The Captain explained that the next actual docking will be in two years in Panama for Dry Dock and the ship uses a GPS dynamic position system instead of an anchor. They plug location in the computer and GPS/Thrusters and Azipods take over keeping the ship on location. Just amazing and no anchoring is great for the Coral. The Galapagos Experience: I and my family truly did not know what to expect and where nervous that maybe I was too old to enjoy it. I am pleased to say that all went well and that I feel in hindsight that I experienced most everything that was offered and would rate the whole experience great. It will live in memory for a long time. I would recommend to guests to do the 10-day Celebrity Package. Sometimes they offer this with air credits thru Choice-air which when they do that is a great time to book as Celebrity has you covered from start to finish. We arrive in Quito on American from Miami at 10:30PM. After getting luggage we were quickly greeted by a Celebrity host who guided us to a bus that took us to the JW Marriott (About 45 minutes from the airport). Quito airport is new and modern and the JW Marriott is top shelf. We had a nice two room suite to collapse in when we arrive. The next day we went on a tour of Quito and the equator including lunch and dinner. A nice full day to see a city of 3-million people who live at 9,000 feet. Pretty amazing. Language is English/Spanish and currency is the US$. Next morning you take a charter flight to Galapagos arriving about noon. You get on a bus, go down a small beat-up road to a dock area. It is there you meet your Ecudorian Naturalist and learn about your new best friend the Celebrity Zodiac Tender. These zodiacs are like none that you have ever seen. They hold about 12/14 people and have pneumatic ramp/stairs in the bow to make getting on/off easy. For all those wondering if the can handle the tenders the answer is yes. Next we head off to the amazing boat that I described above. The routine is you pick your tours the night before for the next day. There is usually a morning set, an afternoon set and a snorkel option. Yes, can do all three if you are up for it. My daughter often did that. I did a morning walk or snorkel and an afternoon tender ride and felt it a full day. OH to be young again. So guests can choose just how much they want to do. The easiest is the afternoon tender ride. You just get in the tender and drive around with friends and a guide and see nature. If you did nothing else but that for the trip, you would see about 90% of what Galapagos is about. What is Galapagos about? It is seeing nature in an unspoiled environment as it was 100’s of years ago. From sharks to whales, dolphins to manta rays, penguins to giant tortises. Sea lions as well as unusual birds such a Boobys, both red-footed and blue-footed. Crabs, pelicans and Coumarants are abundant as well as various unspoiled geological landscapes. Each taken by itself you can see in a zoo or in the back yard or the US Park System, but all together in one place surrounded by beautiful water and a luxury floating hotel guided by knowledgeable guides, That is the Galapagos experience. After a week, you repeat the process back to Quito arriving back at the Marriott around 4PM. Celebrity hosts a nice farewell dinner in the hotel Steakhouse complete with some great live entertainment. A first class way to end a first class trip. Some went on to Machu Pichou (Another Bucket List item yet to come) while we returned home for the Holidays the next day. So don't hesitate as this is amazing from start to finish! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This cruise was 3 years in the making for us, and at a not inconsiderable cost, I am thrilled to say it was worth every cent. If there was a 6 star option I would choose it. Firstly, sorry for the lengthy descriptions below. Before we ... Read More
This cruise was 3 years in the making for us, and at a not inconsiderable cost, I am thrilled to say it was worth every cent. If there was a 6 star option I would choose it. Firstly, sorry for the lengthy descriptions below. Before we booked this cruise there was little to no information available, so I’ve gone a bit over the top with the detail in case you’re like me and prefer to know what to expect, to be able to plan appropriately. We did the 12 day Antarctica in Depth from Ushuaia departing on 7 Dec 2019. Return internal flights from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia were included in the Scenic quote, but we wanted to have a few days in Ushuaia before the cruise, so Scenic happily refunded our inbound flight portion, and we booked our own one-way flight with Aerolineas Argentinus. I urge you to do this – we did a half day Tierra Del Fuego National Park tour from Ushuaia with Canal Fun and Nature, and really it’s not to be missed. I was also slightly nervous that AA would cancel the inbound flight on the cruise departure day, so wanted to give us a few days buffer. (And ps, the Scenic flight is VERY early in the morning, 7am or so. Ugh, not for me). Ushuaia is a small and walkable town with an interesting history. The “Blue Bus” 1 hr city tour was fun (in a Fawlty Towers kind of way), with steamed up windows and cramped seats, but we had a bit of a laugh, and enjoyed touring through the suburbs and local beauty spots. Embarkation - walking along the Ushuaia pier to Scenic Eclipse was a little bit emotional – we were amongst those impacted by the building delays, so to finally board the ship 12 months on from the original departure date was quite surreal. Boarding was quick (even for us who forgot to attach our luggage tags to the luggage, duh), and we were in our cabin within 15 minutes of arriving – the luggage arrived just a minute later. Cabin - #627 was a Deluxe Verandah (almost the “middle of the middle” of the ship – booked to minimize sea sickness) on the starboard side, and was plenty big enough for the 2 of us. It had a king size bed (like sleeping on a cloud), a little seating area, heaps of storage, usb charging points next to the bed (yes!), dyson hairdryer (whoa!), unlimited free wifi (sometimes with drop outs, but well … Antarctica !), excellent block out blinds, and an adequate verandah with table and two chairs. Everything was fresh and new. This particular cabin had the bed facing “backwards” ie. When lying in bed you’re looking towards the back of the ship, not forwards to what’s coming up in front. I found this a little disconcerting, but not a major drama. Don’t worry about whether port or starboard is better – there will be 360 degrees of stunning scenery, and the ship often turns to cater for the sub, so either side will afford mind-blowing views. The shower-room was well-lit with a storage mirror above the vanity, drawer space, and open shelving to the side. Others have commented on the lack of towel hanging space with only two hooks, but ours also had a large towel rail next to the vanity; perhaps this has since been incorporated. Large pump-packs of Espa toiletries – shampoo, conditioner, bodywash, handwash and moisturiser were provided. I found the shampoo very drying, but perhaps this was due to the overall very dry air in Antarctica. I found the all-in-one vanity unit slightly annoying because I like to put my makeup bag on the vanity itself, but there was no dry space to do this. Just a slight niggle. There is one MAJOR pain in both Verandah and Deluxe Verandah cabin styles – the large “opening outwards” wardrobe doors. We often crashed into each other if the wardrobe door and bathroom door were open at the same time. This was compounded by the swaying of the ship, which often meant being wacked on the head or back trying to get clothes out of the wardrobe (remember you’ll be accessing the wardrobes several times a day going to and from excursions). Successfully making a coffee with the amenities door and fridge door open, crashing into you while holding boiling hot water, was at times a super-human effort! We would most definitely upgrade to a Grand Deluxe cabin with the walk in wardrobe if cruising again on this ship. Yes we would cruise on this ship again. Sliding doors with strong magnets on Scenic Eclipse 2 please. OK that’s the not so good out of the way. In every other aspect, this cruise was SPECTACULAR ! Common areas – luxurious, comfortable, immaculate, spacious. The Discovery Lounge was the go to place at the end of each day to swap photos and have a nightly cocktail (or 4) with other cruisers. The Theatre was very comfortable – a handful of seats though faced a structural column, so get there 10 minutes before the lectures to nab a good seat. Fellow Passengers - There were 199 Passengers on-board – 50% Aussies, 20% each US/UK, with the remainder being a small mix of Canadians, Germans and Asians. There were a handful of very well behaved teenagers on this cruise; it's not a cruise for young children, and there were none on-board. Butler, Cabin Steward and Restaurant Staff – always a smile and nothing too much trouble. When I tried on my Scenic supplied jacket on day one I found it a little snug … a quick call to Steve our Butler, and within one minute (yes one minute !), he was at the door with a larger size. Was he sitting in the coat storage cupboard ? I have no idea, but his response time to any issue was really quite incredible. Restaurant bookings were organised without a hitch, and Richard kept our cabin immaculately clean and complimentary items always stocked. Again, always with a friendly greeting when we met in the hallway. Expedition Team and Excursions – this is where we learnt that a Zodiac Driver is not just a Zodiac Driver! While being transported onshore, more often than not Chris the Marine Biologist, or Sarah the Geomorphologist, or Pepe the Ornithologist would be sharing their knowledge of the local environment or fauna. Simply incredible knowledge and experience has been brought together on this cruise. There were daily enrichment lectures in the theatre (or simulcast on the cabin tv) by the Team. Danny the Expedition Leader was inspirational and seemed to be everywhere at once, keeping an eye on proceedings and making sure Passengers and Crew were safe. Danny honestly deserves an 11/10 (and perhaps cloning?). Kayaking was our favourite excursion – silently gliding amongst icebergs while penguins are porpoising next to (and under) you while the snow drifts gently down … OMG this was the epitome of the million pinch me moments of this cruise. Sub and Helicopter – Having a lower category cabin may have affected our ability to get onto “the list” for these activities. My husband desperately wanted to go on the sub - each day he dutifully checked the list at reception. It wasn’t until the last day that he was offered a ride. We put our names down for the helicopter but never made it on. I didn’t really care either way, but this was our only negative activity feedback to Scenic - the lack of communication around these extra activities and having to keep checking if you were one of ‘the chosen ones’. It got a bit tedious. I expect those booking the higher cabin categories were given preference, though we found out later that other people in the same cabin category were offered 2 helicopter rides, so go figure. A few weeks before we cruised, Scenic emailed an ‘expression of interest’ for these activities - my husband put down the sub, but we didn’t put down the helicopter, and we didn’t attend the helicopter briefing session on the ship - maybe that affected our chances, even though we filled out the helicopter form on the ship twice. So express interest, attend briefing sessions, and fill out the form on the ship - this should give you a better chance. My husband’s sub was around 30 minutes all up and cost USD$295 pp (worth every cent he said). The Helicopter was around USD$795 pp for 20 minutes, Yikes. Others we spoke to raved about it, so probably worth it in the grand scheme of things. Dining – Wow ! Beautifully presented and always fresh – incredible given there are no provisioning stops during the cruise. The Lumiere degustation is something not to be missed – ask your Butler to book it when you arrive. The menu changes every four days, so going back a second or third time is recommended. The Teppanyaki also needs to be booked in advance if you’re interested. You can simply turn up at any of the other restaurants. Our favourites were Kokos Asian Fusion and Azure Café (healthy options always available). Tips (Antarctica Specific) - • If arriving from Australia, stay at least 5 days in Buenos Aires (beautiful city) to settle into the new time zone and to get over the long flights (I suffered jet-lag for the first 4 days). Also 2 days in Ushuaia before the cruise. • The Scenic chartered flights have a 23kg baggage limit. Be careful of Aerolineas Argentinus which has 15kgs. We paid an extra $15 to have 2 x 15kg bags instead. And no, they won’t let you put it all in one 23kg bag, very inflexible. If you receive the opportunity to upgrade to Business Class … DO IT ! We received an email a couple of days before the flight, paid $50USD pp, and were blown away by the spacious comfortable leather seat, plus a 23kg bag limit, score. It was the best $50 I’ve ever spent - Economy was certainly cramped on the way back to Buenos Aires. • During the cruise you’ll cop a bit of spray in the zodiacs, and if the wind is up it’s bitterly cold, so you most definitely need waterproof pants and gloves (both glove liners with smartphone touchpads, plus waterproof ski type gloves). Scenic will supply the double layered waterproof jacket and knee-high rubber boots to keep you snug and stable on the snow. A neck gaiter/warm scarf and beanie/furry hat are also mandatory. The Scenic website now has a comprehensive “Polar Packing List” – check it out. • You can get away with just two sets of thermals – the ship has 3 large (i.e can do two loads of washing at once) commercial self- service washers and dryers, so it is very easy to throw washing in at the end of the day. We washed 3 times during the 12 days and never had an issue with availability in the laundry. • An good SLR camera with a 300mm zoom and sports mode will get you incredible wildlife photos. See penguin shot taken from our cabin verandah. • You don’t need super-dressy clothes, most Passengers were quite casual. My husband brought a nice dress jacket that he never used, and it took up considerable space (and weight!) in his bag. At night it was more smart casual, I wore black trousers and a nice top. The ship stays warm (perhaps a tad too warm at times), so we wore t-shirts and chinos/slacks/jeans during the day. • Pack Kwells or other sea-sickness tablets - the Drake Passage can be rocky (duh). Waves were only 3-4 meters during our 36 hour journeys to/from the Peninsula, but probably 20% of the Passengers were unwell and stayed in their cabins. I took a Kwell as soon as we rounded Cape Horn (about midnight day one) and had no issues from then on. Same for the return trip. It’s smooth sailing for the 9 days in Antarctica. • Take a few moments to sit down with the penguins. There’s a 5 meter exclusion zone for the penguins – but they don’t have to abide by it ! Have your camera ready because the Adelies are very curious and will come right up to you for a good look. The penguins were nesting on their eggs during our visit, which started hatching around 20 December. Would I cruise again on Scenic Eclipse ? Unreservedly YES. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We did the back to back Norwegian cruise, leaving Miami and ending in Buenos Aires. The restaurant, cabin and cruise director staff was AMAZING. The on and off cruise systems were horrible. Causing hours and hours of waiting in line ... Read More
We did the back to back Norwegian cruise, leaving Miami and ending in Buenos Aires. The restaurant, cabin and cruise director staff was AMAZING. The on and off cruise systems were horrible. Causing hours and hours of waiting in line on ship, and being out money. ADMINISTRATION WAS A NIGHTMARE. Things I wish I knew as a cruiser. * Keep all receipts and if any concern email vs. wait in line. I had over 8 hours of lines... I recouped the money I paid for things like excursions, bad restaurant bills &spa. Net/Net - they don't care about your money and their systems don't connect. I did have all the receipts, but still had to wait line after line after line... just to 'prove' I prepaid or was misbilled. * Have a plan b for Norwegian air and transfers. Although I booked my husband and daughter's air and transfers through Norwegian, Norwegian lost all records for transfers and airline. The American airlines flight was delayed by 5 hours, so they missed their flight. My nineteen year hold daughter was stranded in Chile airport.I am out over $1k due to this. Multiple emails. * Remember the minute you embark on the ship, the systems you used before you onboarded do not connect to the ship. I had to get the General Manager on the ship involved, so my husband and son could board. I'll cruise again, but I will budget additional money for all the snafus. I thought with travel insurance and booking everything through Norwegian, I would be covered. They just sent me a very negative email saying "I received chocolate strawberries and pepsi", and here is $100 credit for another cruise. I thought this is incredibly rude given what myself and many others dealt with. Beyond the over $1k,, we missed missing 2 attractions, my family being delayed by 3 days and me spending 8 hours in line after after line. For my travel insurance I submitted all of my receipts... and now they are saying I have to "prove" the flight was delayed... even though I already sent that information. It is sad to me that their administrative issues clouds the really fun workers that work on the ship. The cruise director, restaurant and cabin staff were exceptional. I am a seasoned travel and was taken aback by the apathy, system issues and outright regard for my families safety and budget. Hope this helps for someone that is cruising. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
The Delfin III had good sized cabins and bathrooms that had all the amenities one could expect of a river cruise. There are only 20 cabins on board and the crew to guest ratio is almost 1:1. Staff on board was exceptional and extremely ... Read More
The Delfin III had good sized cabins and bathrooms that had all the amenities one could expect of a river cruise. There are only 20 cabins on board and the crew to guest ratio is almost 1:1. Staff on board was exceptional and extremely attentive. On our sailing we had only 4 English speaking guests and the rest were from Lima. In particular we had one large family celebrating the life of a lost loved one. I loved watching the family of play in the pool or playing chess in the lounge. The patriarch had loved the jungle and thus was the perfect place to celebrate his life. The lounge area is where we would meet at night to discuss the next days activities. During the day we had a little pool and sun deck. There were also various classes or activates offered in the afternoon, The lounge was also where we were treated to unlimited pisco sours. While I speak no Spanish our fellow guests wanted to learn more about us, so she invited us for a drink at the bar. The bartender translated back and forth for us over pisco sours questions of what does your family eat at home, to how many children do you have. The same questions we had as we were just beginning to learn about Peru. The one thing about river cruises, regardless if they are in Europe, South East Asia, Africa or South America is that those on board crave making connections with other like minded travelers. The food on board the Delfin was wonderful and represented foods readily available in the Amazon. We had fish, beef tenderloin, chicken and even pork. Food was exceptional as the Delfin is affiliated with Relais and Chateaux. Each time we sat down for lunch or dinner there was another delicious dish. Our maitre d eager explained each of the dishes we ate at meals. He was also an excellent singer and guitar player as we learned on our last full day on board. Visiting the Amazon in Peru is a bit like an African safari, except much of the wildlife you will see will be in the form of birds. I am not a birder, but by day two I was actively searching for the Macaws, hawks and king fishers. You hear the Macaws before you see them, so you have to use your ears as well as your eyes. Ah but to see those beautiful birds in the wild is a sight most won’t see. By day 2 we had also started to spot monkeys (there are over 13 different varieties in the Peruvian Amazon) sloths, bats, rats and Caiman (medium size crocodiles). We went fishing for piranha and had breakfast in the jungle. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We sailed on the Eclipse about 8 years ago and knew the ship was due for refurbishment next year so we were concerned it may be a bit worn about the edges but to our surprise it was very well maintained. We had a balcony and it was a 16 ... Read More
We sailed on the Eclipse about 8 years ago and knew the ship was due for refurbishment next year so we were concerned it may be a bit worn about the edges but to our surprise it was very well maintained. We had a balcony and it was a 16 night cruise and felt there was not enough storage. Entertainment on the ship was good, one poor act, some not so great, some really good, overall very enjoyable. Most of the staff were very good especially in the dinning areas, in the bar staff could be a bit elusive at times. Then menus were varied and would suit a lot of people but for us they lacked variety of vegetarian dishes, there was too heavy a reliance on mushrooms. The cost of drinks were very expensive and it was criminal what they charged for a small bottle of still water ($4 plus 20%). We took several excursions and the quality was mixed, some were good some poor and one in particular was shocking. The later involved what was described as a trip in a "comfortable catamaran" which turned out to be a trip on a catamaran using cheep untethered plastic seating and open slatted side benches, I complained to the Celebrity rep before boarding but her grasp of English surprisingly deserted her, This is not the first time we have had transportation on an Celebrity excursion that has fallen below acceptable standard but complains often fall on deaf ears. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
This is by far the worst cruise line I have ever sailed with. It was like travelling on a free holiday where you have to go to a few lectures about time share apartments and be sold the whole story about buying into it, except that this ... Read More
This is by far the worst cruise line I have ever sailed with. It was like travelling on a free holiday where you have to go to a few lectures about time share apartments and be sold the whole story about buying into it, except that this holiday wasn't free and you couldn't get away from it. I wasn't alone in my thinking either as there were so many agreived passengers on board that it was ridiculous. Managers would come around the tables in the evening trying to persuade you to go to the specialist restaurants on board - extra cost. Food at the standard restaurant was mediocre - same things over and over. This was I assume to make you want to cave in and go to the Specialist restaurants. If you've ever been on a Cunard cruise you will realise that it doesn't have to be like this to get decent food on board included. Waiters always offered you bottled water - pay more. After dinner 'would you like a cappuccino'- pay more. (Standard coffee was free). This takes us on to the other annoying thing. There was almost nothing to do on board. The quality of entertainment was poor. The first performer summed it up, advertised as America's best unknown comedian and talks during the day were almost 100% biased towards selling something - come and learn about dancing diamonds - oh now we have a 60% sale on. How irritating! During the trip I wanted 3 shirts laundered - oh yes sir we have a package for laundry. Let's see, unlimited laundry on 16 day cruise that's over $100. But I only wanted 3 shirts done.... A lady wanted a lipstick -, sorry mam we only sell them in packs of 3 - $100 'Next destination' talks were only held once on the main stage area which was small and held around a third of the passengers who, naturally all wanted to go. Films shown in the theatre were only held once in a small theatre. We decided to go to learn the Tango - held on a tiny dance floor of one of the bars. About 30 wanted to go but it was so ridiculous that we gave up. I could go on and on. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
My brother, who had taken previous Viking Ocean cruises, talked me into it because my wife and I had taken several river cruises on Viking and had enjoyed them. The four of us had cruised before and enjoyed each others company. We ... Read More
My brother, who had taken previous Viking Ocean cruises, talked me into it because my wife and I had taken several river cruises on Viking and had enjoyed them. The four of us had cruised before and enjoyed each others company. We very much enjoyed and were impressed with the Amazon River experience. I would have greatly appreciated wider WI-FI coverage. We had to very frequently rejoin the wi-fi because of lost signal. Perhaps some wi-fi repeaters placed strategically throughout the sip would help. I was very unimpressed with the pancakes and waffles on the breakfast buffet. An improved batter recipe is needed! The disembarkation in Buenos Aires amounted to a completely wasted day. We had to get out of our cabins before 8:00 and had nothing to do until leaving the ship at 10;30. Upon arrival at the Hilton, we were unable to get our rooms until 1500 and the luggage wasn't available until 1800. An entire day spent waiting. Perhaps a four to five hour shore excursion beginning at disembarkation and ending at the hotel.could be arranged. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
The Galapagos is a bucket list destination for my family of 4 (spouse + two college age adults). I've been planning this trip for a while and when I saw last year's announcement of the Celebrity Flora coming in 2019, I decided ... Read More
The Galapagos is a bucket list destination for my family of 4 (spouse + two college age adults). I've been planning this trip for a while and when I saw last year's announcement of the Celebrity Flora coming in 2019, I decided to wait to make the trip on this new Ship designed specifically for these islands. I have to say that I am glad I did and the cruise exceeded all of my extremely high expectations. We chose the Penthouse Suite 625 because it looked completely amazing with its sweeping 270 degree views and awesome family area to play games and hangout (inside and outside). We're glad we chose and got 625 over 525 because we prefer the split balcony vs the single wrap around balcony. The balcony advantages include being able to see on both sides of the boat (vs limited to one side). In addition, the alcove-like side balcony allows for reading or napping in privacy while the larger main balcony is large enough for all of us to hang out together if we want ... the best of both worlds. 625 is also preferred because it is slightly higher and feels more private. We also reserved 624 which is the cabin right next to 625 for our children. I highly recommend this configuration for a family of 4 travelling. For those wondering whether getting the Penthouse suite is worth it, i would say the following: If you can afford it, do it. The Penthouse suite is unlike any other Suite I have ever seen on any boat. The panoramic views are spectacular and the extra space allows you to do things as family together (like playing board games which we love). The huge jacuzzi tub is another totally crazy amenity. Lastly, as a penthouse suite guest we made all our excursion requests through the Chief Naturalist directly after the briefing each day. Our family has been on many cruises before on Princess, RCCL and Disney and were struck by how different our experience was on the Flora vs previous MegaShips ... in a good way. The personal service and attention were superb throughout our cruise from the time we boarded to the time we disembarked. Each day was packed with shore excursions in the morning and afternoon with extremely knowledgeable Naturalists. Groups size varied from 4 - 11 for our excursions which was fantastic. The animals, plant life and landscape were extraordinary. We did not know whether to take the outer loop (our trip) or the inner loop itinerary so we chose blind on reserving. It turns out that it doesn't matter a lot since the key things we missed out on were the red-footed boobies and the iconic landscape view you always see when you search for Galapagos on Google. Don't fret, the iconic views on the outer loop are just as jaw-dropping and you get to see the waved Albatross which you can't get in the inner loop. The snorkeling excursions were amazing and wet-suits were provided to help you stay in the water longer. The food for the cruise was excellent for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The room service menu was limited but was still good enough. Andrea was in charge of Hotel Services and did a excellent job of making sure all her guest were having a good time and enjoying. She even arranged a visit for us to see the Bridge and have Captain Vladimir explain how the Flora operated. Service throughout the ship was excellent. Hymena was our cabin attendant and she always made our room clean, neat and comfy. The waitstaff in the dinning room knew your favorites/preferences after your first day and provided terrific service as well. Last but not least, were the team of Naturalist who took us on all the excursions. They were super knowledgeable, friendly and answered all the questions we through at them. Even though this is a new boat, Celebrity staffed the Flora with their best Galapagos Naturalists to get this new boat off to a good start. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Just completed an extraordinary trip 8 person family trip with our grown children and their loved ones. Trip was to celebrate my wife's 70th birthday with the family, but the Galapagos and Silversea provided the perfect backdrop. Many ... Read More
Just completed an extraordinary trip 8 person family trip with our grown children and their loved ones. Trip was to celebrate my wife's 70th birthday with the family, but the Galapagos and Silversea provided the perfect backdrop. Many of the other reviews have mentioned the magnificence of the islands and the fauna and flora. I'll only add that words can not adequately express what one will experience either in the water or on the land. We have lived and traveled in many countries, but never have we experienced the wonders of snorkeling up close (sometimes inches away)with sea lions, manta rays, sharks, galapagos penguins, sea turtles, and more all within the same ecosystem. Bottom line-the western Galapagos is everything and more than you've read. The ship itself is dated, but certainly very acceptable for a Silversea cruise.In fairness the new Silversea Galapagos ship arrives in 2020. Rooms were very good, but somewhat short on storage space. We loved the location of our room # 345 as it was central to the meeting room, exit to the Zodiaks, dining room. The crew from wait staff to expedition were fabulous. The young chef (Andrea) was amazing in the preparation of her lunch and dinner menus-fish lovers will marvel at what can be prepared. The expedition crew/guides were extremely engaging and knowledgeable, and I'd be surprised if there was a better group of guides in the Galapagos. Finally a note of caution on the activities in general. This is not a sit back and relax cruise. If you are not on a hike (sometimes quite challenging), then you're in the water snorkeling. In other words one is very active during the day, and after dinner did you rarely see anyone on deck after 10pm because people were in bed and exhausted. If mobility is a concern, then I would carefully consider if this is the right trip. This trip will always have a very special memories for my family. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We are just returning from our 18 day adventure as a family of five ,two adults three children age 7, 13 ,15 we have previously sailed with RCI , NCL ,PRINCESS AND CUNARD and after reading some of the reviews of MSC had very low ... Read More
We are just returning from our 18 day adventure as a family of five ,two adults three children age 7, 13 ,15 we have previously sailed with RCI , NCL ,PRINCESS AND CUNARD and after reading some of the reviews of MSC had very low expectations but they do a loyalty match to our diamond plus level with RCL so we gave it a go and this is honestly the best cruise line we have sailed with happiest ship , friendliest crew , most gorgeous ship and child friendly ship, any child not enjoying this cruise I would say their parents have got real problems because it has everything kids love everything adults love really superb peace and quiet , loud and bouncing and all inbetween . We had a whirlpool suite cabin 14211 ,gorgeous , space,technology ,walk in wardrobe .Erica our room steward was amazing as was lokesh and Anand our anytime dining staff so helpful and obliging,although portion sizes were small in the dining room we were constantly offered more so it was never an issue. We were on the aurea package and used the thermal suite a lot (gorgeous ) we also had our complementary massages (no catch) Ship is very smooth and incredible with technology everywhere, we purchased nearly every package before we boarded and it was cheaper and so easy for f1 simulator, zip line ,4d cinema ,air hockey, waterslides ,bowling ,washing package was great and next cruise I will definitely pack less and have more washed and pressed ,brilliant . Just 1 small complaint MSC what on earth is going on with your embarcation process ???? NOT GOOD stood like sheep in sao Paulo in scorching temperatures appears no organisation or communication it was almost a crush a bit frightening to be honest ,fix this and we have found our perfect cruise line by the way disembarking was a breeze so you can do it Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Celebrity Eclipse Trip San Antonio Chile to San Diego California March 24 2019 Embarkation poor. Had people lined up for hours waiting to be processed. There was no place for anyone to sit. Other cruise lines issue a number and have ... Read More
Celebrity Eclipse Trip San Antonio Chile to San Diego California March 24 2019 Embarkation poor. Had people lined up for hours waiting to be processed. There was no place for anyone to sit. Other cruise lines issue a number and have passengers sit to wait for their number to be called. The gangplank to the ship was very steep so the staff had to strain to push wheelchair passengers on the ship. Room 9402 very nice and good location, efficient room design with the exception of no electric plug next to or near bed. I called Crucon prior to sailing and requested distilled water for a piece of medical equipment. It was not there. I am sure that there are many people who use a CPAP machine at this present time. Our room attendant Kam, came and introduced himself. He was pleasant and carried out requests. There were no extra special touches in the room, ie cotton buds, shower caps, razors or emery boards in fact you could not even purchase an emery board aboard the ship. There was only soap, shampoo, conditioner and lotion. We were not served a complimentary bottle of champagne as we were served on prior cruises,We had to ask for ice to be present in our room in the evening. There is no folder in the room to describe anything about the ship or contain a list of room service foods. I still don't know if room service is available for meals other than breakfast. There was a sheet for us to fill out every evening for breakfast. We had coffee in our room every day and twice they delivered without cups and milk. The towels and sheets had a funky unpleasant odor, perhaps it was their detergent or not enough detergent. The air conditioner/heat control was not predictable, one time it would be very cold on a setting and the next time it would be uncomfortable at that same setting. The room would become warm while we were in port. The bed was not wonderful, there was no pillow top softness but I am like the princess and the pea. The pillows were OK. Trip route- It was a relocation cruise and the stops were not earth shaking. The prices for ship trips to essentially nothing locations were very expensive. We only did two trips, one to Lima and the other in Punta Arenas Costa Rica. Both were interesting. The other ports did not have anything that looked like we needed to explore further or sounded uninteresting. Entertainment- Stale and according to passengers who previously sailed on the ship it was a repeat of the same performances. The songs were dull and uninspiring. The entertainment was aimed at old people and I am older than god. They need to update their performances. The Eclipse Orchestra was the highlight of the performances. They need to continue with “Live Orchestras” not a digital replacement that is being contemplate by the company. All of our table mates refused to attend the performances because of them being so boring and repetitive. Service-The staff were very positive, smiling and caring throughout the ship. The Captain was a pseudo comedian. Alejandro the master of ceremony was great. Jose P and Edwin our staff in the dining room were caring and attentive they get a 10 out of 10! Food- Terrible!! On previous trips the many tasty main courses offered were wonderful, one had to make a decision of choosing from all the very appealing meals offered most every evening. On this cruise trying to find even one was a difficult task, in fact there were many nights we only had appetizers for our meal because the selection was so poor. On the dress up nights there was nothing special offered except on the last dress up night and another regular evening soft shell lobster not New England lobster. The breakfast and lunch buffets were OK. The salad dressing were horrible. There were people stationed at the entry of cafeteria dispensing hand sanitizing solution but there are no hand washing places there. Hand washing is the only way to truly prevent novovirus. Passengers complained that there was a respiratory illness spreading aboard the ship toward the end of the cruise. Disembarkation-A nightmare! Directions printed for passengers to follow were not written by an English speaking person and were very confusing. Other passengers stated the same regarding the poorly written directions. No one knew where they were to go or wait. There were lines all over the ship. Exiting from the ship was down a very steep gangplank. If I had my luggage I would have been propelled down the gangplank. Being in a wheelchair would have been very scary. Summary We are not gung-ho cruisers but have enjoyed our previous 7 cruises because the food was outstanding, the entertainment fun, but this trip left a bad taste in our mouth. I am not sure we will cruise again anytime soon. Is Celebrity trying to drive people do the specialty dining?? I refuse to pay additional money that probably amount to $100+ for each night to get a decent meal. If this is their object the staff will be shortchanged and service will suffer. The staff in the dining room depend on their tips to supplement their income. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
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
This was a tailor made holiday to Brazil and ended with the cruise from Bueno Aries to Santiago. The facilities were fine. Food in buffet was excellant but in restaurant I was underwhelmed. Tendering was a shambles. Missed my private ... Read More
This was a tailor made holiday to Brazil and ended with the cruise from Bueno Aries to Santiago. The facilities were fine. Food in buffet was excellant but in restaurant I was underwhelmed. Tendering was a shambles. Missed my private pre booked trip because the steward would not allow me off the ship although I explained I needed to leave to meet my tour. Even when I booked a ship tour I had to ask permission to leave to make tour. Also price of tours are now so expensive . Not good value. Entertainment on main stage was O.K. Some shows were excellant ,others were not suitable for the main entertainment. Staff were friendly but there was not many on dockside to help when going ashore for trips. This was my second cruise with Holland America , I chose them because last cruise I was very happy with them. This time I felt the standard had fallen slightly, However I would cruise with them again if cruise itinerary was what I required Read Less
Sail Date March 2019

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