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dileep
April 5th, 2006, 02:50 PM
I found some discussion on the Roll Call for one of the future South America cruises about weather and missed ports making South America an unattractive destination.

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showpost.php?p=6285685&postcount=109

As someone who really enjoyed our recent cruise, I thought it might be good to get the opinions of other people who have also cruised South America recently.

Would be hear from people whose cruise may have missed a port or two as well as people who were as lucky as we were.

let's hear the good and the bad and the overall impression. Would you recommend going to South America on a cruise?

serendipity1499
April 5th, 2006, 04:37 PM
Would go again in a Heartbeat..We did SA on HAL's "Amsterdam" in Dec 2004 & thoroughly enjoyed the entire cruise & experience..We were fortunate to have good weather & never missed a port...Even if we had missed one or two ports, there are so many others that are just as interesting..I can't believe that someone would think it was not worth the experience..

We would love to do this cruise again, & next time go down into Antartica... Only disappointment for my DH & my friends DH was it was TOO CALM going around the Horn...They are both sailors & would have enjoyed more sea & weather action! ;) LOL... :)

xpcdoojk
April 5th, 2006, 04:38 PM
We didn't miss a single port on our cruise. We had 13 plane flights adding in our self planned and booked pre and post excursions and we made every flight. In every place where someone was to meet us for an excursion there was a person standing there with my name on a sign of which there were 6 of those. When I purchased tickets for the train to Machhu Picchu and had to have my bank wire the funds to the train company in order to pay for the tickets because we arrived on a national holiday in Cuzco, Peru, and couldn't pick them up in person the day before the train trip as required, an employee of the train company personally took the tickets to our hotel, the Liberatador. The weather in 16 days at sea was never bad. It never rained significantly, more than a few showers or snow squalls. We had 6 hours of very rough seas out of 16 days. Not too bad. Honestly, I knew the seas could be rough, as the lore of Cape Horn is legendary. Anyone watch the movie Master and Commander. We walked on our own in the streets in Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paolo, Iguasso, Montevideo, Buenos Aires, Ushuaia, Santiago, and Cusco. I felt like a person needed to be very aware of their surroundings only in Rio and Lima. The other places were just another big city and to practice standard big city routines. The trip was one of the best vacations of my life. I loved the sea days and the trips to unbelieveable places. It was the best cruise vacation we have taken along with a similar trip to New Zealand and Tahiti.

jc

Aussie Gal
April 6th, 2006, 06:54 AM
We spent 6 and a half weeks in South America through all of January and a couple of weeks in February.

We went to the Iguazu Falls, Machu Pichu, we did a 5 day cruise around the Galapagos Islands and we did a 21 day cruise on the Regal Princess that went from Rio down to Antarctica and finished in Valpariso.

We loved the cruise though we did miss 3 ports due to bad weather. These were Puerto Madryn, Stanley and Chocabuco, but to compensate for the bad weather we had brilliant sunshine down in Antarctica with hardly any wind, wonderful weather going around Cape Horn and through the Chilean Fjords and a brilliant day of sunshine in Puerto Montt. We ended up spending 11 days straight on board the Regal which some cruisers found a bit hard to take but we had great lecturers and there was always plenty to keep us occupied.

We did have a 24 hour period of Force 10-11 gales and a lot of the passengers and crew were affected by the rough weather. This was just after we left the Falklands and on our way to Antarctica.

To have this wonderful experience, one has to take the good with the bad.

We also had a lot of flights throughout South America - 12 in all. Occasionally our planes were running late but that is part of the charm of a different culture. We also walked the streets in every city we visited including Rio, Buenos Aries, Montevideo, Santiago and Quito plus Cusco, Ushuaia and Punta Arenas. We never felt threatened but we did not wear extravagant jewellery or carry much money.

I booked every one of our trips on the net and we were met in every city. I used a Peruvian Agency for Peru and an Ecudorian Agency for Quito and the Galapagos Islands. I cannot speak too highly of both these agencies. Everything ran to clockwork.

South America is a wonderful adventure and I definitely recommend it to anyone who is thinking about going there.

Jennie

Jane110
April 6th, 2006, 09:26 AM
We cruised South America last year, Buenos Aires to Rio and didn't miss a single port.

The year before, on a Baltic cruise, one port visit was shortened by 5 hours due to bad weather - so you can never tell what will happen weatherwise.

I think that SA is a great cruise itinerary.

sultan_sfo
April 6th, 2006, 01:11 PM
xpcdookj and aussie_gal have mentioned taking many internal flights. A very brief response (I don't want the topic of this thread to change) -- what luggage requirements were enforced -- 22kg / 33 kg / int'l 2 pieces checked-in? Thanks. /Sultan

Aussie Gal
April 6th, 2006, 06:46 PM
Sultan Sfo,

When we went up to Iguazu, we just took an overnight bag for the two nights and left the rest of our luggage at our hotel in Rio.

After we disembarked the ship in Valpariso, we spent one night in Santiago and then flew from Santiago to Lima and Lima to Cusco.

We had to take all our luggage with us and on the first leg, which was an international flight we were fine. We had 70kgs altogether and because we showed them our tickets from the U.S. which were Business and 1st Class, we didn't have to pay any excess.

On the flight from Lima to Cusco, we had to pay $20US for overweight.

On the return flight from Cusco to Lima and Lima to Quito, we somehow managed to avoid the $20US and were able to get all the luggage through without any excess.

We then flew from Quito out to the Galapagos Islands but again we rearranged our luggage and only took one suitcase to the islands and left the other luggage back at the hotel.

Leaving Quito was easy as we were once again in Business Class.

I think we managed very well with our luggage as we had to take clothes for hot weather, mild weather and freezing cold weather plus my husband's dinner suit etc. for formal wear and we did all this with only 70kgs between us.

Jennie

Druke I
April 7th, 2006, 03:24 AM
We are just off Regal Princess, 'round the Horn, Buenos Aires to Valparaiso (Santiago), 3-9/22-06.

We had very good weather and calm seas, except for one 30 or so hours stretch Northbound along the Chilean coast, where we did have some moderate roll. It was quite smooth at Cape Horn.

We made all our ports. At Puerto Mont, Chile, it was very windy, and we had a tug pushing us against the pier all day long, as there was some concern that the winds might push us away from the buoys anchoring the ship.

For me (and my British background), Port Stanley in the Falklands was a highlight. I went on an excellent tour of the '82 UK/Argentinian battlefields, conducted by a retired Sergeant Major of the British Army. What a logistical nightmare for the triumphant British forces (Hail Britannia!).

We did miss the scheduled Chilean Glaciers due to wind/sea state, but did pass an alternate (and pretty) glacier farther up another fjord.

We thought the itinerary very good - and would recommend South America to those travellers looking for something "off the beaten track".

xpcdoojk
April 7th, 2006, 10:15 AM
xpcdookj and aussie_gal have mentioned taking many internal flights. A very brief response (I don't want the topic of this thread to change) -- what luggage requirements were enforced -- 22kg / 33 kg / int'l 2 pieces checked-in? Thanks. /Sultan

We like Jennie, left our suitcases in Rio. My wife and I each had a small backpack, and that was it. We flew TAM and it was the best economy flying experience, I had ever had, that was until we flew LAN Peru from Santiago to Lima and back and forth from Lima to Cuzco. There we had the same wonderful flight attendants (imagine pictures from the 60s with Pan Am, young cute flight attendants hair perfectly quaffed in a bun, red lipstick, red fingernails, perfectly matching and snappy uniforms with sharp dressy high heeled shoes) (OK, so it was sort of a Dean Martin moment for me, but flying in the USA is not much like the good old days;) ), they provided the local Inca Kola (wierd, but fun) and red and white wines, Scotch or Bourbon and other drinks included on all flights along with very edible food for free. All flights had videos or movies. OK, I digressed again. There we made sure that we kept all of our bags under 50# or about 22KG. We each had two suitcases and our backpacks. On one TAM flight they made me check my backpack, which irratated me at the time, and I had to take my cameras and binoculars and stuff out of the bag, and put them in my wife's slightly smaller small backpack. We bought at magellan.com a small scale that accurately weighs suitcases and now carry it on all our trips that involve flying.

The funny thing was I truly expected the airplane experience in SA to be more third world and the airlines in SA are definitely more first world than in the USA in my opinion. Very similar to flying Easy Jet in Europe which is the bad reputation airline in England, but which has a modern fleet of one design planes and is a very efficient airline like Southwest in the USA.

JC

Aussie Gal
April 8th, 2006, 03:14 AM
The funny thing was I truly expected the airplane experience in SA to be more third world and the airlines in SA are definitely more first world than in the USA in my opinion. Very similar to flying Easy Jet in Europe which is the bad reputation airline in England, but which has a modern fleet of one design planes and is a very efficient airline like Southwest in the USA. JC

I agree with JC. We flew Lan Chile or Lan Peru on four legs and we had new planes, wonderful service and good food. I too love the Inca Kola, it reminded us of Creamy Soda which have here at home. :)

Our biggest shock was flying American Airlines across the U.S. and to and from South America. The planes were so old, no service from the flight attendants and no videos in the back of the seats!! We were flying both Business and First Class so I just wonder what economy is like. :(

We are very spoilt down here with the wonderful airlines that fly in and out of Australia. I expected the same in the U.S.

Jennie

coo359a2
April 9th, 2006, 08:23 AM
Druke I - How did you arrange your tour of the Falklands? My DH would be interested in that.

Suzy Q
April 10th, 2006, 09:12 AM
Quick addition--we also had a GREAT guide in the Falklands. Also, I think Druke is thinking of Punta Arenas with the tug pushing our shp towards the pier. Puerto Montt is a tender port. (We were on the same cruise.)

We flew out to Iguazu from Buenos Aires. Took only small bags and no problem with weight. Aerolineas Argentinas. I have a great guide in both those locations too.

All in all we were blessed with sunny calm weather. A few hours of rather rough swells at one point. Would do this again in a minute. Loved it all. Even the rainy cold weather in Punta Arenas. Ths sun came out later in the AM. Although the wind persisted, the locals smiled and said it was "normal"!

SQ

xpcdoojk
April 11th, 2006, 07:34 PM
I agree with JC. We flew Lan Chile or Lan Peru on four legs and we had new planes, wonderful service and good food. I too love the Inca Kola, it reminded us of Creamy Soda which have here at home. :)

Our biggest shock was flying American Airlines across the U.S. and to and from South America. The planes were so old, no service from the flight attendants and no videos in the back of the seats!! We were flying both Business and First Class so I just wonder what economy is like. :(

We are very spoilt down here with the wonderful airlines that fly in and out of Australia. I expected the same in the U.S.

Jennie

All of the big American airlines are in chapter 11 or one press release from being in chapter 11 (bankruptcy). A lot of the small airlines are profitable, but not the big ones. It is just an example of what happens when you have huge committments of money to pay for benefits an aging fleet and unions. JMHO

America is still a great place, but we are trying to be European and that is not a good thing!

jc

Keith1010
April 27th, 2006, 06:56 AM
Let me first start off by saying that South America is a wonderful place to cruise. We cruised there in January/Feburary, 2005 from Vaparaiso, Chile to Buenos Aires, Argentina. The scenery is spectacular. We have cruised in many places around the world, so when I say the scenery was spectacular I am comparing it to other locations.

Yes, just like other places the weather can be tricky, particularly around the horn. We did stop off in all ports that the ship was scheduled to see and had no problems with the weather at the ports. The key is to dress properly for this trip which is a combination of summer like clothing for places such as Valparaiso and Bueno Aires, and then winter like clothing for places that are closest to the Horn.

The seas did get choppy around the horn for about 18-24 hours and the odds say that will happen. Yes, some cruises won't have choppy seas around the horn but the majority will. But, we always felt very safe.

Bottom line, is that South America is a wonderful place to visit. The ports were great and far less crowded than many other ports around the world. The views of the coast line from the ship are magnificent along with the scenery that you will see on the excursions. We enjoyed Bueno Aires a great deal (my second time there) as it has a eurpopean feel to it.

Our cruise next year will also include South America.

Keith

Jane110
April 27th, 2006, 10:52 AM
The funny thing was I truly expected the airplane experience in SA to be more third world and the airlines in SA are definitely more first world than in the USA in my opinion. Very similar to flying Easy Jet in Europe which is the bad reputation airline in England, but which has a modern fleet of one design planes and is a very efficient airline like Southwest in the USA.

JC

Sadly you're right. It's the United States that's becoming a thrid world country in terms of our travel!

In Australia, I've flown Qantas coach for a number of one hour flights and served a very nice complimentary snack. On my first and last Virgin Blue flight, (an awful Oz airline inspite of it fabulous service on it's parent line Virgin) is looking to copy the American "third world" model of flying. They give you nothing - even sell the water - and the FA's stand in the middle of the one and only aisle hawking their wares, including Branson's book, making it hard to get to the lav's in the back.

In Brazil last year we flew from Rio to Sao Paulo on Varig coach (about an hour in the air) and were served a complimentary delicious hot sandwich lunch with dessert.

sultan_sfo
April 30th, 2006, 03:59 PM
Today's (Apr 30, 2006) Sunday San Francisco Chronicle Travel Section has a small item that VARIG is in financial trouble, is cancelling many flights, and may file for bankruptcy! The independent Air/Land Tour combination with Princess cruise that I was exploring uses VARIG! /Sultan

dileep
April 30th, 2006, 06:35 PM
Today's (Apr 30, 2006) Sunday San Francisco Chronicle Travel Section has a small item that VARIG is in financial trouble, is cancelling many flights, and may file for bankruptcy! The independent Air/Land Tour combination with Princess cruise that I was exploring uses VARIG! /Sultan

Varig has been in financial trouble for a while and we were afraid that our return flight from Sao Paolo would be cancelled this past January. Looks like things have worsened for Varig.

Aussie Gal
April 30th, 2006, 06:37 PM
That would be a great pity if Varig goes under as we had two great flights on their planes in January. In fact one of the planes was very new.

We too were served a boxed snack and a drink which was great.

Jennie

xpcdoojk
May 1st, 2006, 11:01 AM
Today's (Apr 30, 2006) Sunday San Francisco Chronicle Travel Section has a small item that VARIG is in financial trouble, is cancelling many flights, and may file for bankruptcy! The independent Air/Land Tour combination with Princess cruise that I was exploring uses VARIG! /Sultan

Yeah, when I was booking flights a year ago, Varig was noted as being in deep financial trouble at the time, which is another reason I booked with TAM, not to mention they were 1/2 the price.

jc

petlover
May 9th, 2006, 05:09 PM
I would highly recommend going to South America! Guess we were fortunate as we didn't have to skip one single port. We were on the 62 day Radisson (now Regent) Mariner ship and did the entire circumnavigation of South America starting and ending in Ft. Lauderdale. The itinerary, the ship, the fellow passengers, the crew, the food....the entire experience was beyond fabulous! I'd go again in a heartbeat!

crazy4cruisn
May 12th, 2006, 10:56 PM
You both mentioned walking around in Rio. Where did you walk? Did you take taxis? You do feel that with precautions it is okay to walk there? Did you take private tours the last day of the cruise in Rio? We are concerned about what to do with our luggage. One private guide wrote back that he didn't want to leave it in his van. We go this January.

dileep
May 13th, 2006, 12:05 AM
You both mentioned walking around in Rio. Where did you walk? Did you take taxis? You do feel that with precautions it is okay to walk there? Did you take private tours the last day of the cruise in Rio? We are concerned about what to do with our luggage. One private guide wrote back that he didn't want to leave it in his van. We go this January.

I was in Rio on business 2 years ago. I took a cab one morning to Sugarloaf and back and walked around Copacabana Beach in the afternoon. I felt safe.

I also walked down the promenade one evening to a restaurant and it was well lit. Other than young prostitutes offering their services, there was nothing to be concerned about.

Our South America cruise was from Buenos Aires to Valparaiso.

Aussie Gal
May 13th, 2006, 01:58 AM
crazy4cruisn,

We stayed at the Sofitel in Copacubana for 2 nights, then we went to the Iguazu Falls for another 2 nights, and then returned to the Sofitel for 1 night before boarding the Regal Princess.

After being picked up from the airport on the first morning which was a Tuesday, we went on a tour of Sugar loaf and the city sights in the afternoon. That night we went to bed at 7pm as we had just flown from Hong Kong via L.A. and Miami, a huge amount of flying so we were very tired.

Next morning we did the tour of Corcovado Mountain with Christ the Redeemer Statue. That afternoon we went for a long walk along the promenade in Copacabana.

We then left for the falls on Thursday morning and returned to Rio two days later, Saturday, during the afternoon. That night we went to the Samba Show with some of our Roll Call members.

The next morning, the day of embarkation, we again went for a long walk through Copacabana. It was a Sunday morning and everyone was out and about. At no time, did we feel at all threatened whilst we were staying in Rio.

Rio was everything that I had expected and more. It has a natural beauty and is a very exciting place and we did enjoy our time there.

At all times we were very careful. I did not wear any jewellery and did not carry a purse or handbag whilst out walking. I am sure we were taken for tourists as I am fair haired but no-one bothered us.

Jennie

Verystormy
May 14th, 2006, 06:24 AM
I cant comment on the cruising SA, but have visited several times and will be living / working in either Peru or Chile this summer. I have never had a safety concern and when on holiday have never in my life done a organised excusion - nore will i.
The cities in SA have their problems, the same as any city in the world does, and as long as you remember to behave reasonably you should have no problems. Yes, dont walk around with lots of visable jewellery and expensive cameras, but hey, i wouldnt walk around New York with one either.
For those more independant, you can do all of the sites in SA without a "tour", just buy a plane / bus / train ticket and go!
The only exception i would say are battlefield tours in the Falkland's as the islands are still covered in mines.
Come to SA and love the cultures and sites and the people will love to see you

Druke I
May 15th, 2006, 04:22 AM
The question was asked (sorry, forgot who asked) about the excellent Battlefields Tour out of Port Stanley, Falklands. For one interested in modern military history, it was fascinating.

The tour was one of several offered by Princess - I had signed up for it on the Princess Personalizer when they first announced the tours. My wife did another tour there - it is not at all unusual for us to go on separate tours - we often have different interests.

That particular cruise, on Regal Princess, 3-9/22-06 was our first venture that far South in South America. We did the Amazon way back in '91, on the original Pacific Princess. In 3-98, we did a South America/Europe repositioning on the late great Royal Princess, Buenos Aires to Barcelona
Spain, with in-transit stops in Uruguay,Brazil, Senegal, Morocco, and Gibralter (a great itinerary).