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Ranking of Antarctica Cruise Lines

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We want to do a cruise where we can fly 1st class to departure point, and probably prefer Buenos Aires to Santiago or vice versa. We also would like a December to January trip. We were thinking in terms of Seabourne but saw that it had mixed reviews. Perhaps unfair? A massage person on board is a must. We are old enough to want a fair amount of luxury, but are not super fussy either. Suggestions?

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I am surprised that you thought that Seabourn had mixed reviews.

 

I would highly recommend them if you want a luxurious experience.

 

Keith

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Thanks, Keith. That is what I found on one site, but I wondered how reliable it was. Is there a place on this site where cruise lines are generally rated?

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Thanks, Keith. That is what I found on one site, but I wondered how reliable it was. Is there a place on this site where cruise lines are generally rated?

 

You are very welcome.

 

Cruise Critic does do ratings but a good thing is to read member reviews.

 

The challenge is take three different people on the same cruise and you can get three different opinions.

 

Keith

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

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In addition to Seabourn, Silversea, Ponant, National Geographic, and at least one of the Hapag Lloyd expedition ships all offer massage.

 

You'll find more Antarctica trip reviews on TripAdvisor

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We want to do a cruise where we can fly 1st class to departure point, and probably prefer Buenos Aires to Santiago or vice versa. We also would like a December to January trip. We were thinking in terms of Seabourne but saw that it had mixed reviews. Perhaps unfair? A massage person on board is a must. We are old enough to want a fair amount of luxury, but are not super fussy either. Suggestions?

 

Check out the newly revamped Silver Cloud (Silversea). We are booked for February.

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We LOVE being on Le Boreal (Ponant) ... all balcony suites, luxurious and well appointed, great food, spa and massage - best part is the excursions. Off the ship twice a day, in cold weather gear to be ashore in that magnificent place.

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I can't add to the massage query. Never had time to think about needing one on any of my voyages.

I have definitely thought about it after a couple of landings where we opted into some high-energy steep hill climbs in deep snow!

 

But since anything higher than "Medium" luxury level feels too fancy for my expedition tastes, I'm pretty sure I'd be uncomfortable on any ship that offered them! I'll save my luxe cruising for other parts of the world where I can use my luggage allowance for my evening gowns instead of for my GoreTex and thermals!

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Thanks for all of the feedback. I have back issues, hence the massage query.

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Thanks for all of the feedback. I have back issues, hence the massage query.

 

I have done 4 Antarctica expeditions complete with 2 bulging discs. Never had or needed a massage in my life - not a fan of strangers touching me - personally. Just not something I am into.

BUT!

I take serious medication and I pack plenty of it. I also pack the nurofen stick on heat patches that last 8 hours. So after a physical day of zodiacs and expeditions I have a long hot shower and slap the stick on patches, pop the pills - and head to bed. I pack my travel sized TENS machine too - slap it on for 30 - 60 minutes once I am in bed or if I am sitting at the desk doing photo sorting. Let it do its job.

I also use spare pillows to prop around my back when I sleep - first trip I didnt and I rolled around in rough seas too much and popped the disc. (Thank you to the ship dr who did the morphine shot straight into my spine - kept me mobile for the next few landings). So next trips I used extra pillows and it stopped me from moving too much in bed when the sea was rough.

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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.

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I have used TENS machines since the 80s - mine is just a small hand held unit about the size of an iphone 6 plus and 1.5cm thick, with multiple small pads and also a big spinal pad. Runs off battery or powerpoint. Current one is about 10 years old so I cant remember where I bought it. Chemist Warehouse has a fairly small one that would be good for travel http://www.chemistwarehouse.com.au/buy/47607/Omron-Tens-Unit-HVF-128

 

If I am doing a carry-on only style holiday I take this type http://painmate.com.au

 

The stick on therapeutic heat pads I use are https://www.aussiehealthproducts.com.au/hotteeze-stick-on-heat-pads-pk-10.php?

And the deep heat ones are pretty good too https://www.deepheat.com.au/product/deep-heat-back-patches/

The Nurofen ones are good and last longer than the promised 8 hours http://www.chemistwarehouse.com.au/buy/51509/Nurofen-Back-Pain-Heat-2-Pack

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We want to do a cruise where we can fly 1st class to departure point, and probably prefer Buenos Aires to Santiago or vice versa. We also would like a December to January trip. We were thinking in terms of Seabourne but saw that it had mixed reviews. Perhaps unfair? A massage person on board is a must. We are old enough to want a fair amount of luxury, but are not super fussy either. Suggestions?

 

A key point of difference in Antarctica is the size of the ship. Abercrombie & Kent limits Ponant ships to less than 200 guests for the largest choice of landing sites. We went ashore at least twice daily and sometimes there was also a Zodiac cruise to see icebergs or wildlife. A great learning experience with University type briefings by members of the Expedition Team.

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