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der110

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About der110

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

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    Baltimore
  1. Thanks for the feedback.
  2. der110

    Flight and Hotel Recommendations?

    Just to follow up, we are currently leaning to the Holiday Inn Express, though the Hilton is still in the running. This is partly driven by risk-averseness and partly by a desire to accumulate and/or use points. I have points with both. Puerto Madero also looked like a good place to stay. Are minds are still open, however. We will be in BA 12/18-12/20.
  3. My girlfriend and I are going on Seabourn in December, Buenos Aires to Santiago. Anyone who has gone with Seabourn, we would be grateful for any Seabourn-specific tips. I imagine clothing is going to be a challenge. It will be hot in BA, where we plan to spend a few days, but presumably less so in Antarctica. I have not checked yet what clothing Seabourn supplies for going ashore, but any tips in this regard would be appreciated. I am sure this has been asked a million times, but these forums tend to have terrible search engines.
  4. der110

    Flight and Hotel Recommendations?

    Many thanks. What is 1-2-1?
  5. der110

    Flight and Hotel Recommendations?

    Thanks, Russ. We will definitely arrive early to be safe. We have not yet figured out how early. Work issues is squeezing us on both sides of the cruise. But arriving on the 18th seems like a good idea.
  6. der110

    Flight and Hotel Recommendations?

    Thanks. I think I found an answer to my seat question at seatguru.com, apparently part of Trip Advisor.
  7. We are going with Seabourn, which leaves on 12/20. We likely will fly into Buenos Aires on 12/19 to be safe. Maybe even a little earlier so we can see some of the city. It looks like we will fly out of Miami. We will fly at least business class. Is there any way to know on what planes the seats lay flat? I have a bad back, so it is a big deal to me. Our plan is to probably fly into Miami in the morning, get a day room at the hotel, and then take the night flight out. Seabourn apparently only works with hyper-expensive hotels in Buenos Aires, as in around $900 per night. Can anyone recommend a good, safe hotel say in the $250 range per night? Thanks.
  8. der110

    Ranking of Antarctica Cruise Lines

    I don't know if that post was encouraging or discouraging. I have never used nurofen sticks, but bring a heating pad with me. I have a Therastem machine, sort of a massage machine, but have never tried Tens machines much. What kind do you use? We ended up booking on Seabourn. It was a mix of price, timing of the trip, bigger stateroom, and the ability to see more of Chile which offsets somewhat less time ashore in Antarctica. I found a German expedition ship that has a trip at the right time, but the trip is conducted in German, which I speak, but my girlfriend does not. Also, quite expensive.
  9. der110

    Ponant v Seabourn

    Well, my girl friend vetoed the tiny rooms on Ponant, so it looks like we are going with Seabourn. As Chairsin said and Seabourn confirmed, we will only get to go ashore once a day for about an hour. But Seabourn spends about 6 days in Antarctica, so hopefully we will get our fill. Seabourn is also about $6000 cheaper for the two of us for more time on the boat and a 40% bigger room. Also, Ponant requires a 25% nonrefundable deposit, while Seabourn is 12%, fully refundable up to around 100 days before the trip starts. We will miss the Falklands, but will get to see the Chilean Fjords and the Straight of Magellan. Either line probably gives you a great trip.
  10. der110

    Ponant v Seabourn

    I did on CruiseCritic. Both Ponant and Seabourn have vastly more excellent and very good ratings than those lower than that. Specifically for Antarctica, Ponant was even better. As I recall, there were 15, almost all excellent. There were only two for Seabourn on Antarctica, but at least there were strong. That said, when I read the negative reviews, they mostly seemed reasonable, i.e. people seemed to have fair objections and were not just being whiny. I have only been on one cruise, but my sense is that all of these outfits blow it once and a while. We have to hope it does not happen while we are cruising. We can't expect any cruise line to only get perfect scores. Still, I can understand why the reviews made your nervous. When I researched Ponant, they seemed to get more complaints for non-Antarctica cruises, FWIW.
  11. der110

    Ponant v Seabourn

    Thanks, Chairsin. How much time did you get ashore? Larger number of passangers an issue in this regard?
  12. der110

    Ponant v Seabourn

    Via trip advisor, I found some fairly cryptic info on these two lines. Both are luxurious. Seabourn is the bigger boat, probably a bit more comfortable when underway. Ponant is smaller, can perhaps get in closer, perhaps more time ashore. Also, more expensive. Ponant goes to the Falkland islands, Seabourn does not but cruises some Chilean waterways. Both apparently have massage therapists, a bid deal for me. More airplane time with Ponant, more boat time with Seabourn. Any words of wisdom?
  13. der110

    Ranking of Antarctica Cruise Lines

    Thanks for all of the feedback. I have back issues, hence the massage query.
  14. Not counting Semester at Sea in the 1970s, it was the first cruise for my girl friend and me. We were with two other couples who were experienced cruisers. The two other couples said they would never again go on a Princess cruise. That is probably a little harsh, but there were some issues. The itinerary was quite good. Originally, I thought I would think that the Panama Canal transit was just okay, and that the highlight would be the other ports of call. But it turned out to be just the opposite. The transit was amazing, though I liked the ports we visited and the Princess excursions we did, though the time in each port was quite brief. I thought Mexico at the end would be a bit of a let down. But we liked the ports. The dolphin experience in Mexico was fantastic. The staff on the boat was very friendly. I liked my massage therapist. Apparently, due to American withholding taxes, Princess hires almost no Americans. We did a pricy, but fascinating behind the scenes tour. It kind of goes downhill from there. The food was just okay in the regular restaurant and the buffet. We ate one meal in a specialty restaurant that was much better. The wine was overpriced. There was a flu outbreak and my girlfriend got quarantined for two days, missing one port. She then got quarantined again for the last day for a noncontagious GI issue which was just irrational. It made one not want to see the doctor, which big-picture would make the health situation worse. There was a regular press to find ways to upcharge us. The cultural programs were few and just okay. The shows were also just okay, though my girlfriend and I are somewhat picky about singers and dancers (I have a good ear for music, and my girlfriend was once a professional ballet dancer.) And the internet was abysmal, but still expensive. It did not work at all about 1/4 of the time, and the rest of the time was very slow. Experienced cruisers told us that the internet is much better and more economical on other lines. We probably will not go on Princess again because of the internet. Our work situations require better access than we had. But we would strongly encourage people to do a Panama Canal transit.
  15. der110

    Ranking of Antarctica Cruise Lines

    I hear that. I went to the Seabourn section of this site. People were mostly very positive.
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