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TahoeTraveler

Live from the Scenic Eclipse to Antarctica, 8 November to 7 December

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4 hours ago, Fletcher said:

Rather frustrating today.  I was hoping for a spectacular live view of the Scenic Eclipse on the webcam at Ushuaia but the ship is completely hidden by the Viking Sun!  Hoping the latter will move out sometime soon . . . 

 

https://www.skylinewebcams.com/en/webcam/argentina/tierra-del-fuego/ushuaia/ushuaia.html

Yes, it has been a bit frustrating for us as well, as their tour buses kept following ours around and crowding up the venues!!! Kind of ironic that we didn’t run into a single other ship our entire trek down the west coast of Chile and then we hit the very small town of Ushuaia and here is this giant ship next to us. I hope they are not going to follow us to Antarctica but fear they will.  

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Ah . . . I see the Viking Sun has gone and I can see the Eclipse.  Fear not about the Viking ship, it's far too big and will be just on a cruise-by trip.  However, I did count 17 expedition-style cruise ships on and around the Antarctic peninsula today.

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5 hours ago, TahoeTraveler said:

Yes, it has been a bit frustrating for us as well, as their tour buses kept following ours around and crowding up the venues!!! Kind of ironic that we didn’t run into a single other ship our entire trek down the west coast of Chile and then we hit the very small town of Ushuaia and here is this giant ship next to us. I hope they are not going to follow us to Antarctica but fear they will.  

 

The Viking Sun is currently on a 244 day world cruise, so highly doubt it will be an issue for you. 

Im getting very excited to see this leg of your journey, so expect a few questions form me (if you don’t mind)

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15 hours ago, Fletcher said:

Ah . . . I see the Viking Sun has gone and I can see the Eclipse.  Fear not about the Viking ship, it's far too big and will be just on a cruise-by trip.  However, I did count 17 expedition-style cruise ships on and around the Antarctic peninsula today.

Given how beautifully the crew has managed to deconflict us with others and ensure we have the best experience possible, I believe it won’t be any different when we hit Antarctica.  And you lucked out in your sighting of the Eclipse...not too long after the Viking Sun left, a large cargo ship turned up in its place.

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12 hours ago, czardas said:

 

The Viking Sun is currently on a 244 day world cruise, so highly doubt it will be an issue for you. 

Im getting very excited to see this leg of your journey, so expect a few questions form me (if you don’t mind)

Ask away!!!  I’m thrilled to be in a position to be able to answer questions about Antarctica!!

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7 hours ago, TahoeTraveler said:

Ask away!!!  I’m thrilled to be in a position to be able to answer questions about Antarctica!!

 

Question One - How did the Eclipse handle the Drake Passage? Or did you have the Drake Lake?

Question Two - what is the ships temperature like indoors? Long sleeve, short sleeve or jacket required?

Question Three - we are in an upper cabin that has complimentary laundry service, however in the brochure it does have an * stating that this service Is limited in polar areas. Does this mean that even the guest self service laundry can’t be used? Any info on this, will help me with my packing 😀

thanks

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Oh one more question - for the new passengers joining the cruise, were they taken straight to the ship from the airport or did they have a small tour of Ushuaia first? I’ve read other cruise lines do the small tour to kill time on the turnaround before boarding. I’d love to have some time to see Ushuaia's shops etc but highly doubt I’ll be able too. Fingers crossed

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I will be boarding the Antarctica cruise as you disembark so of course am so interested in how everything goes.  First of all did they get more diet coke and champagne?  I am also interested in your tips for packing as you are experiencing everything right now.  We are also worried about whether the flight between Buenos Aires and Ushuaia allows for more than the 50 pound bag and a backpack.  I guess you will find that out too late for us as we will be on our way in one week.  Thank you for all your information so far.  It has been so helpful.

 

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4 hours ago, czardas said:

 

Question One - How did the Eclipse handle the Drake Passage? Or did you have the Drake Lake?

Question Two - what is the ships temperature like indoors? Long sleeve, short sleeve or jacket required?

Question Three - we are in an upper cabin that has complimentary laundry service, however in the brochure it does have an * stating that this service Is limited in polar areas. Does this mean that even the guest self service laundry can’t be used? Any info on this, will help me with my packing 😀

thanks

 

4 hours ago, czardas said:

Oh one more question - for the new passengers joining the cruise, were they taken straight to the ship from the airport or did they have a small tour of Ushuaia first? I’ve read other cruise lines do the small tour to kill time on the turnaround before boarding. I’d love to have some time to see Ushuaia's shops etc but highly doubt I’ll be able too. Fingers crossed

We are in Drake’s Passage as I type this.  The crew are shocked, as we are experiencing unbelievably “calm” seas (several people have gotten sick, so it’s not exactly “calm,” but it is not what any of us expected).  We have been so very lucky apparently (I will try to post more when I can, but we managed to make a landing on Cape Horn, which is basically unheard of).  

 

The temps in the ship are very comfortable.  I cannot recommend short or long sleeves, as I am very cold natured so have been wearing long sleeves onboard.  However, I could probably just as easily wear short sleeves and just put a jacket on when I want to go on deck.  I had a very lightweight blouse on this evening for dinner and was very comfortable.  

 

We also asked about the laundry service, as we had the same notice in our paperwork.  We were told that if it gets really rough, as Drake’s Passage can at times, they might close the launderette.  But so far, we’ve gotten full use of the launderette (and I assume the laundry as well). I think they are warning for the worst case scenario, and so far, we haven’t encountered that.

 

My understanding is that the oncoming passengers had a small tour of the Ushuaia area, but, honestly, talking to them, it sounded like a bit of a joke (they were pretty much just bussed to the wooden “Ushuaia” sign north of town for pictures, and then brought back).  I would guess that you could ask them to drop you off in town, rather than at the ship, for shopping, as the walk from the downtown area is literally 5 minutes to the port/ship (we did it yesterday).  But I don’t want to give you bad information, so you probably need to listen to that annoying voice and call Scenic directly to make sure!!!

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14 minutes ago, TahoeTraveler said:

 But I don’t want to give you bad information, so you probably need to listen to that annoying voice and call Scenic directly to make sure!!!

 

Nooooo anything but that annoying voice on hold lol. 

 

Thanks for for the answers, it’s appreciated.

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4 hours ago, ruff mom said:

I will be boarding the Antarctica cruise as you disembark so of course am so interested in how everything goes.  First of all did they get more diet coke and champagne?  I am also interested in your tips for packing as you are experiencing everything right now.  We are also worried about whether the flight between Buenos Aires and Ushuaia allows for more than the 50 pound bag and a backpack.  I guess you will find that out too late for us as we will be on our way in one week.  Thank you for all your information so far.  It has been so helpful.

 

Coke Light is on board.  What we call “proper” Diet Coke is not, as it is an American product and since it wasn’t loaded in Miami before the ship left, there has not been available since we ran out several days ago.  There is plenty of sparkling wine...just no actual champagne (ie...French champagne).  They have had to deal with some serious logistical issues, and my understanding is that the reprovisioning at Ushuaia when you board will fix all that.  Keeping fingers crossed for you, but honestly, this crew is so awesome you won’t mind the minor inconveniences!!!

 

As for packing, I’m probably the worst person to ask, as I always overpack.  I assume you’re doing an 11 day cruise, so I would highly recommend not going overboard on the “fancy” clothes.  Some folks are wearing jeans or even yoga pants to dinner...it’s that casual.  I personally won’t do that (this is my one time to be able to “dress up”) but you most certainly can cut down on the fancy duds.  I would suggest just packing things that all go with each other (as in, a blouse that goes with all the pants you bring, and vice versa), and you’ll be fine.  As for the winter gear, thermal underwear, waterproof pants, waterproof gloves, a warm “hat” of some sort, and non-cotton (ie...Merino wool or fleece) garments for your layering are critical.  The parka they provide is exceptional.  

 

We called the airline directly, as we were completely unable to get any information from Scenic about the flight from Ushuaia to BA (sorry for all you Scenic fans, but their communication to us passengers regarding luggage requirements was woefully lacking).  Apparently there is some rule or law or something, that doesn’t allow the airline to take ANY bag over 50 pounds within Argentina.  It simply is not allowed.  So we just packed a third bag and plan on paying the overage fee for it (which is only something like $14).  I highly suggest you get on the airline’s website to see their limits...the Scenic backpack which they provided us is too big to be considered a “personal item” and is instead considered a carry on.  I fear that some passengers are going to be surprised, and not in a good way, when they get to the airport and realize they have “too much” luggage according to the airline’s rules.  Again, Scenic, quite frankly, sucked when it came to telling us the whole story regarding baggage limitations.  But...we may very well have a chartered flight from Ushuaia to BA, and it is very possible that they won’t enforce the normal baggage limitations.  I just don’t know at this point.  

 

And you just brought me back down to Earth.  One week and you’re headed this way??? Dang it...this cruise is going by way too fast!!

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3 minutes ago, czardas said:

 

Nooooo anything but that annoying voice on hold lol. 

 

Thanks for for the answers, it’s appreciated.

We are quite happy that Annoying Voice has left the ship!!!!!!  Nothing against her or her crew, but it felt very strange to be part of a promo cruise.

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So we have just gotten our first glimpse of Antarctica.  Technically, it is the South Shetland Islands which is not Antarctica proper...but the islands are part of the Antarctic Treaty and are considered part of Antarctica.

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We did indeed step foot on Cape Horn two days ago.  We were only the 7th group to go ashore this year.  It’s been a good year; the lighthouse keeper told us the average is five landings per year.

 

The weather was beautiful and warmer than we expected.  We had to get out early though, as the weather was predicted to deteriorate quickly and dramatically...which it did.  In fact, when we came back to the ship on the Zodiak, the sea was significantly rougher than when we went out.  But what a day!!!  And we are now a part of a very select group, as more people have stepped foot on Antarctica than have on Cape Horn (one crewmember on board has been cruising past the Cape for 15 years and has never been able to step ashore, until now!).  The trek involved a steep climb up 300 steps, but it was well worth it.  Especially since there was another small expedition ship there as well, who had a ramp they allowed us to use too, so we didn’t have to do a wet landing onto slick rocks (which would have been very dangerous, truthfully).

 

After getting back on the ship, we rounded back around the Cape, on our way to Ushuaia.  We actually docked in Ushuaia that night around 10:00pm and a lot of the crew were happy to be able to get off the ship for a bit.  

 

Ushuaia is actually a very quaint little town which has multiplied in size by 10 times since the 1980s, thanks to a significant tax break that the Argentinian government gave to anyone who moved there.  We took a city tour that also took us up to an overlook to see two big lakes (the tour description said we were going TO the lakes, so we all had to laugh when we realized we were only going to take a 5 minute look from afar).  The bus was in pretty poor shape, and when the windows all fogged up and we asked the bus driver to turn on the air conditioning to defrost them, he had to actually pull over, take a screwdriver and open up the air conditioning panel in the ceiling, and do something to it to turn it on!!!  The whole bus was laughing!  

 

After the “view of the lakes” we went to a lovely restaurant and Husky farm, for a lamb lunch.  I don’t eat lamb, so they gave me chicken, but everyone told me the lamb was delicious.  A man dressed like a gaucho serenaded us and played his guitar (and we were treated to Jorge, one of the Discover Team members, singing along...truth be told, Jorge has a better voice than the gaucho did!!!).  There was a warm fire in the middle of the room, and wine was included.  It was all just so lovely and was truly the highlight of the day.  I wasn’t so fond of the Husky farm part...the dogs all seem happy enough but seeing them all chained up to poles saddened me.  I’m hoping that they let them run loose, in the fenced yard, when people are not around...but I doubt it somehow.

 

Then we headed south to the Drake Passage (I always thought it was “Drake’s Passage” but apparently I was wrong).  Everyone was very concerned about the crossing, as it can often be very, very rough.  Yesterday was amazingly calm, and even though a few people seemed to feel ill, it was not bad at all.  However, this morning around 4 or 5, it became more Drake-like and became much rougher.  It’s gotten better as we’re approaching the South Shetland Islands, but the winds are tremendous and we are hoping they don’t prevent us from kayaking this afternoon when we hit Half Moon Island.

 

We did lose around 80 passengers in Ushuaia, and picked up around 135.  We are now at 197 passengers and 199 crew.  And the difference is marked.  The dining venues are now much more crowded (it was impossible to get into the sushi bar last night) and the whole ship just feels so much more “busy.”  Can’t say I like the change.  And I think when they have the full 228 passengers on board, it’s going to be almost uncomfortable.  I hope someone will report back on their experience when they cruise with the full 228, so others will know what to expect.  

 

Speaking of dining, our initial impression of the food on the ship has unfortunately dimmed.  The lobster at Lumiere the second time we had it was no where near as good as the first time.  Yesterday we had lunch and dinner at Elements...the pulled pork appetizer was actually cold (it was supposed to be, apparently, although no one told us) and was served with hot French fries (why????) and the scallops in the evening were also served with French fries.  Not only were the scallops completely under-seared, but the combination of scallops and fries was just weird.  We were absolutely unimpressed. It’s a shame, but perhaps it was just an off day.  However, a few nights ago we were served risotto that was completely inedible (it was no where near cooked enough), so it does seem to be a trend.  We will see.

 

We are now fully in the South Shetland Islands, and Grace, the Entertainment Director, is almost moved to tears.  It is just so exciting to be here!!!!!

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Thank you so much for all your information and the answers to my questions...we will just see how things go...I hope they get back on top of their dining game.  What time does everyone tend to eat dinner?  Perhaps everywhere would not be as crowded if the times were more spread out.

 

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Thank you for the detailed posting.  We are really enjoying hearing about all your adventures.  One question.  Did you pack heavy winter boots or just use the ones provided by the ship?  

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19 hours ago, TahoeTraveler said:

 

But...we may very well have a chartered flight from Ushuaia to BA, and it is very possible that they won’t enforce the normal baggage limitations.  I just don’t know at this point.  

 

A few weeks ago I phoned Scenic to see if we could upgrade from an economy seat on the flights from Buenos Aires & Ushuaia. I was doing this hoping that by upgrading, our luggage limit would be increased and it would be more comfortable.  I was told it’s definitely a chartered flight, so only one seat class and 20kg luggage weight + carry on. 

 

Without seeming snobby, it seems odd that it’s a luxury cruise line and you have to fly “cattle class” for a 3 hour + flight. 

Edited by czardas

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11 hours ago, ruff mom said:

Thank you so much for all your information and the answers to my questions...we will just see how things go...I hope they get back on top of their dining game.  What time does everyone tend to eat dinner?  Perhaps everywhere would not be as crowded if the times were more spread out.

 

It appears that most hit the restaurants right at opening (which was 7:30 when we first boarded, and now is 7:00pm).  But if you think about it, if you go in for dinner at 7, and dine with friends, it could very well go to 9pm.  So the tables are pretty much tied up all night once people sit down at 7 or 7:30.  It’s all good and trust me...you will not go hungry!!!  As for the dinners, Mike told me that his tuna steak last night was just fantastic, so perhaps my review of the food was premature...I was just very disappointed in the scallops and so assumed it all was bad.  And for the record (and I will post this again on the page)...Chef Tom provided a special Thanksgiving meal for us Americans (and anyone else who wanted it) tonight and it was exceptional.  I mean, truly incredible.  I cannot begin to describe #1:  how much that meant to us, and #2: how incredibly delicious it was.  Beyond amazing.  

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9 hours ago, Boston Gal said:

Thank you for the detailed posting.  We are really enjoying hearing about all your adventures.  One question.  Did you pack heavy winter boots or just use the ones provided by the ship?  

The boots they provide are great.  I wouldn’t pack your own unless you absolutely must have them and you don’t care if you have to run them through a wash device (think heavy brush and lots of water) and the disinfectant you absolutely must walk through, both off the ship and then back on.  I certainly would not use anything but the boots they provide.  Kind of a pain, but well worth it.

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4 hours ago, czardas said:

 

A few weeks ago I phoned Scenic to see if we could upgrade from an economy seat on the flights from Buenos Aires & Ushuaia. I was doing this hoping that by upgrading, our luggage limit would be increased and it would be more comfortable.  I was told it’s definitely a chartered flight, so only one seat class and 20kg luggage weight + carry on. 

 

Without seeming snobby, it seems odd that it’s a luxury cruise line and you have to fly “cattle class” for a 3 hour + flight. 

I absolutely agree.  Aerolineas is part of the Sky Team, and thus, belongs under the Delta umbrella.  Mike is a Platinum member with Delta, and we called ahead of time to see if we could get a discount on the extra luggage or even get it for free (as he gets that perk on all other partner airlines when he flies).  We were told that it was chartered and without a specific confirmation number (which of course we cannot provide, as we don’t have a separate reservation), they couldn’t do anything.  This is ridiculous.  It is an airline that Mike has status on (albeit, through a different airline), we would be given free luggage at any other given time, and we would also be upgraded without question.  He has a bad leg, thanks to a blood clot that destroyed the valves in the veins in his leg after he broke his femur, and he cannot sit for 3 plus hours on a flight in an economy seat.  I would gladly pay for an upgrade...but they will not allow that either.  He’s going to suffer the effects of this flight for months.  I may sound snobby as well, but this is certainly NOT the way a supposed luxury line should end such a trip.  But we have been disappointed in their handling of this cruise already...some 60 of us booked the entire trip from Lima all the way to Antarctica.  But Scenic chose to break our bookings up into two...Lima to Ushuaia and then Ushuaia to Antarctica.  Meaning that those of us on the long leg have been dumped right back to the bottom of the list for kayaking, helicopters, Chef’s Table, etc.  We got on 20 days ago, paid much more than those who just joined in Ushuaia, and should be treated as such.  But Scenic has other ideas, and has broken our cruise up into two segments (even though we in no way booked the cruise that way) so that we lose any benefits that we may have otherwise gotten.  I am beyond disappointed in the handling of this and I’m not the only one. You don’t have people pay $60,000 US for the cheapest seat in the house (which we don’t have, by the way), and then tell them that once they hit Ushuaia, the clock is reset and everyone is “equal” again, even though those who are now boarding have paid far less for their cruise.  We have so enjoyed this cruise, and are so hoping to actually step foot on the Antarctic peninsula tomorrow...but some aspects of the way Scenic does things just befuddles us.  None of this is going to ruin this trip for us...but it certainly may determine if we cruise with Scenic again. 

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On 11/27/2019 at 1:42 PM, czardas said:

 

Question One - How did the Eclipse handle the Drake Passage? Or did you have the Drake Lake?

Question Two - what is the ships temperature like indoors? Long sleeve, short sleeve or jacket required?

Question Three - we are in an upper cabin that has complimentary laundry service, however in the brochure it does have an * stating that this service Is limited in polar areas. Does this mean that even the guest self service laundry can’t be used? Any info on this, will help me with my packing 😀

thanks

Not the one you asked....but the Drake Passage is unpredictable. We went to Antarctica on another expedition cruise line (Silversea) in February, 2018.  On the way down we had the Drake Lake and on the way back we had the Drake Shake. On Silversea all the furniture in the restaurants is chained down to keep it from sliding because it can get very rough. If you are prone to motion sickness (like me) it's best to pre-plan for the worst case scenario.  Many on our cruise got very ill on the way back to Ushuaia. I have to use the "patch" for seasickness.  It's the only thing that works for me.  I had no problem whatsoever even with the very rough seas.

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On 11/28/2019 at 6:48 AM, TahoeTraveler said:

We did indeed step foot on Cape Horn two days ago.  We were only the 7th group to go ashore this year.  It’s been a good year; the lighthouse keeper told us the average is five landings per year.

 

The weather was beautiful and warmer than we expected.  We had to get out early though, as the weather was predicted to deteriorate quickly and dramatically...which it did.  In fact, when we came back to the ship on the Zodiak, the sea was significantly rougher than when we went out.  But what a day!!!  And we are now a part of a very select group, as more people have stepped foot on Antarctica than have on Cape Horn (one crewmember on board has been cruising past the Cape for 15 years and has never been able to step ashore, until now!).  The trek involved a steep climb up 300 steps, but it was well worth it.  Especially since there was another small expedition ship there as well, who had a ramp they allowed us to use too, so we didn’t have to do a wet landing onto slick rocks (which would have been very dangerous, truthfully).

 

After getting back on the ship, we rounded back around the Cape, on our way to Ushuaia.  We actually docked in Ushuaia that night around 10:00pm and a lot of the crew were happy to be able to get off the ship for a bit.  

 

Ushuaia is actually a very quaint little town which has multiplied in size by 10 times since the 1980s, thanks to a significant tax break that the Argentinian government gave to anyone who moved there.  We took a city tour that also took us up to an overlook to see two big lakes (the tour description said we were going TO the lakes, so we all had to laugh when we realized we were only going to take a 5 minute look from afar).  The bus was in pretty poor shape, and when the windows all fogged up and we asked the bus driver to turn on the air conditioning to defrost them, he had to actually pull over, take a screwdriver and open up the air conditioning panel in the ceiling, and do something to it to turn it on!!!  The whole bus was laughing!  

 

After the “view of the lakes” we went to a lovely restaurant and Husky farm, for a lamb lunch.  I don’t eat lamb, so they gave me chicken, but everyone told me the lamb was delicious.  A man dressed like a gaucho serenaded us and played his guitar (and we were treated to Jorge, one of the Discover Team members, singing along...truth be told, Jorge has a better voice than the gaucho did!!!).  There was a warm fire in the middle of the room, and wine was included.  It was all just so lovely and was truly the highlight of the day.  I wasn’t so fond of the Husky farm part...the dogs all seem happy enough but seeing them all chained up to poles saddened me.  I’m hoping that they let them run loose, in the fenced yard, when people are not around...but I doubt it somehow.

 

Then we headed south to the Drake Passage (I always thought it was “Drake’s Passage” but apparently I was wrong).  Everyone was very concerned about the crossing, as it can often be very, very rough.  Yesterday was amazingly calm, and even though a few people seemed to feel ill, it was not bad at all.  However, this morning around 4 or 5, it became more Drake-like and became much rougher.  It’s gotten better as we’re approaching the South Shetland Islands, but the winds are tremendous and we are hoping they don’t prevent us from kayaking this afternoon when we hit Half Moon Island.

 

We did lose around 80 passengers in Ushuaia, and picked up around 135.  We are now at 197 passengers and 199 crew.  And the difference is marked.  The dining venues are now much more crowded (it was impossible to get into the sushi bar last night) and the whole ship just feels so much more “busy.”  Can’t say I like the change.  And I think when they have the full 228 passengers on board, it’s going to be almost uncomfortable.  I hope someone will report back on their experience when they cruise with the full 228, so others will know what to expect.  

 

Speaking of dining, our initial impression of the food on the ship has unfortunately dimmed.  The lobster at Lumiere the second time we had it was no where near as good as the first time.  Yesterday we had lunch and dinner at Elements...the pulled pork appetizer was actually cold (it was supposed to be, apparently, although no one told us) and was served with hot French fries (why????) and the scallops in the evening were also served with French fries.  Not only were the scallops completely under-seared, but the combination of scallops and fries was just weird.  We were absolutely unimpressed. It’s a shame, but perhaps it was just an off day.  However, a few nights ago we were served risotto that was completely inedible (it was no where near cooked enough), so it does seem to be a trend.  We will see.

 

We are now fully in the South Shetland Islands, and Grace, the Entertainment Director, is almost moved to tears.  It is just so exciting to be here!!!!!

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Regarding your comment on the number of passengers, in Antarctica they limit the number of passengers to 200 guests.  At least this was the case on our Silversea Expedition cruise to Antarctica. Although the ship holds more than that, Antarctica limits the number of passengers on land at the same time to 100. We were able to get off the ship twice per day to do the landings. I assume this is the same situation for Scenic. 

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2 hours ago, Carol From California said:

 

Regarding your comment on the number of passengers, in Antarctica they limit the number of passengers to 200 guests.  At least this was the case on our Silversea Expedition cruise to Antarctica. Although the ship holds more than that, Antarctica limits the number of passengers on land at the same time to 100. We were able to get off the ship twice per day to do the landings. I assume this is the same situation for Scenic. 

Yes, only 100 people can land at any one time but some ships have more than 200 passengers, such as Seabourn Quest (400) and the new Hurtigruten Roald Amundsen (500).

Edited by Fletcher

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2 minutes ago, Fletcher said:

Yes, only 100 people can land at any one time but some ships have more than 200 passengers, such as Seabourn Quest (400) and the new Hurtigruten Roald Amundsen (500).

I don't think those are expedition ships are they? If they are I can't imagine being able to do two landings a day in Antarctica. The Silversea Cloud for example has a maximum of 200 passengers in Antarctica (even though it holds more) and I would imagine the Eclipse has the same situation.

Edited by Carol From California

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We are officially in Antarctica.  Not only that, but we stepped foot on the continent this morning at Brown Bluff, an amazing volcanic formation teeming with gentoo and adelie penguins.  We have just accomplished everything I hoped for on this cruise.

 

Yesterday we visited Half Moon Island in the South Shetlands.  The crew kept saying, “Welcome to Antarctica,” but 7E3AD9A7-591E-4FA4-9B99-18C999DE94C7.thumb.jpeg.f63c329107bd85ba498aa276ba6a72f5.jpeg7E3AD9A7-591E-4FA4-9B99-18C999DE94C7.thumb.jpeg.f63c329107bd85ba498aa276ba6a72f5.jpeg

technically the South Shetlands are NOT part of Antarctica (although they are part of the Treaty).  I think they did that in case we couldn’t make a continental landing (which is apparently not as readily available as one might think...it all depends on the ice).  But we did make a landing on the continent, and it was amazing (although Half Moon Island wasn’t much to speak of, but the chinstrap penguins were very, very cute...stinky, but cute!!!!).

 

All I can say to you all who are booked on an Antarctica cruise is Oh. My. God.  There are no words.  There simply are no words.  We are currently cruising through an ice field and the ship just broke some of it up as we sailed through.  So we have officially done ice breaking.  We have also sailed past the most magnificent, huge icebergs you could imagine.  Truth be told, the sailing around the ice has been better than the actual landing.  Penguins are cute and amazing.  Ice fields are breathtaking.  Again, no words can describe it.  I so wish I could.

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