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SM77

Live from Jupiter - Buenos Aires to Santiago

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3 hours ago, Pat FT said:

Thank you for all your great posts.  We are boarding on Jan 7th and I am finding all your posts to be extremely helpful in planning our trip.  

We are boarding January 7th also!

Can anyone tell me how the library is on the Jupiter? I am one of those old fashioned gals who still likes books in hand.

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22 minutes ago, Tsunami74 said:

We are boarding January 7th also!

Can anyone tell me how the library is on the Jupiter? I am one of those old fashioned gals who still likes books in hand.

There is an assortment of books.  I’m not a book reader but my husband is a nonfiction history reader & he found two scholarly works that he enjoyed.  

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We left a stack of books in our cabin after we got off the ship.  DH went through a bunch when we were on Trade Routes last fall.  It seemed to me that there was a lot of history, autobiographies, mostly nonfiction in the selections.  I don’t remember seeing anything by more of the popular authors.  However, I’m ok with my Kindle and didn’t look too much.

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We have finally hit some rough weather.  After sailing to the Amalia Glacier, with the weather not cooperating (despite the rain), it was a spectacular sight to see a glacier of that size so close.  Since last evening, we have been out in the open sea with precipitation.  It has not been comfortable.  We are suppose to be sailing through the Chilean fjords right now but visibility is poor & we are still bouncing around.  

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Today we were in Puerto Montt - with lots of rain.  We did the included tour up to Puerto Varas.  It was not the best day but it was interesting to learn that the Pan American Highway ended in Puerto Montt & that we were traveling on it to get to Puerto Varas.  Puerto Montt is pretty grim & industrial.  Traffic is heavy.  Puerto Varas is much nicer but not pretty on a rainy day.  Our guide did tell us that it rains over 200 days out of the year in this region.  I’m glad that we did the included tour & that it was brief.  Hopefully the next group will have better weather here.  When we were sailing out of Puerto Montt, the skies cleared and we’ve had sunshine!  Tonight Heather hopefully will be performing, she’s been fighting a chest cold.  I did learn from her that she is going home Jan 8th. Tomorrow is another sea day and then we will be in Valparaiso.  It’s been a really great experience sailing around the tip of South America and I think Viking has done a great job.  Considering that this was a new itinerary for Viking, things seemed to have run pretty smoothly.  I know that Manuel Sarmiento, the Shore Excursion manager, was setting a low bar for the guides & buses, but we had excellent guides with the exception of one and the buses & bus drivers have been fine.  In fact, I think the bus drivers we have had have been very helpful with passengers getting off the buses.  

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15 minutes ago, SM77 said:

Today we were in Puerto Montt - with lots of rain.  We did the included tour up to Puerto Varas.  It was not the best day but it was interesting to learn that the Pan American Highway ended in Puerto Montt & that we were traveling on it to get to Puerto Varas.  Puerto Montt is pretty grim & industrial.  Traffic is heavy.  Puerto Varas is much nicer but not pretty on a rainy day.  Our guide did tell us that it rains over 200 days out of the year in this region.  I’m glad that we did the included tour & that it was brief.  Hopefully the next group will have better weather here.  When we were sailing out of Puerto Montt, the skies cleared and we’ve had sunshine!  Tonight Heather hopefully will be performing, she’s been fighting a chest cold.  I did learn from her that she is going home Jan 8th. Tomorrow is another sea day and then we will be in Valparaiso.  It’s been a really great experience sailing around the tip of South America and I think Viking has done a great job.  Considering that this was a new itinerary for Viking, things seemed to have run pretty smoothly.  I know that Manuel Sarmiento, the Shore Excursion manager, was setting a low bar for the guides & buses, but we had excellent guides with the exception of one and the buses & bus drivers have been fine.  In fact, I think the bus drivers we have had have been very helpful with passengers getting off the buses.  

Thank you for your updates.

Any talk of deviating from Valparaiso or Santiago?

I saw on Trip Advisor forum that Celebrity Cruises deviated from Chile due to the protests and violence.

 

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1 minute ago, Tsunami74 said:

Thank you for your updates.

Any talk of deviating from Valparaiso or Santiago?

I saw on Trip Advisor forum that Celebrity Cruises deviated from Chile due to the protests and violence.

 

Nothing at all.  In fact, those of us w/ a late flight will have an opportunity to do a Santiago city tour before we head to the airport.  Will post if there are changes.

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27 minutes ago, SM77 said:

Nothing at all.  In fact, those of us w/ a late flight will have an opportunity to do a Santiago city tour before we head to the airport.  Will post if there are changes.

We’ve been in Santiago the past 5 days and have had no issues.  Most we spoke with agreed that things have died down a bit and could lessen more with summer vacation beginning.  March and April will be the telling months and many expect a return to “the situation” as we heard many call it.

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We are scheduled on the ship excursion to osorno volcano etc in Puerto Montt and we are also supposed to get lots of rain that day. Debating whether to try to cancel when on board - hate to pay for a full day if we won't be able to do or see much. Have you heard any feedback from anyone on your cruise who does or does not regret going on that excursion in rainy weather?

Edited by mobmog

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18 minutes ago, mobmog said:

We are scheduled on the ship excursion to osorno volcano etc in Puerto Montt and we are also supposed to get lots of rain that day. Debating whether to try to cancel when on board - hate to pay for a full day if we won't be able to do or see much. Have you heard any feedback from anyone on your cruise who does or does not regret going on that excursion in rainy weather?

The Sun missed Puerto Montt due to crummy weather.  A tender port.

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57 minutes ago, mobmog said:

We are scheduled on the ship excursion to osorno volcano etc in Puerto Montt and we are also supposed to get lots of rain that day. Debating whether to try to cancel when on board - hate to pay for a full day if we won't be able to do or see much. Have you heard any feedback from anyone on your cruise who does or does not regret going on that excursion in rainy weather?

I personally haven’t heard anything - maybe someone will post here or on the roll call(some folks were posting there).  To give you our perspective, we couldn’t see anything from lakeside in Puerto Varas.  You can always ask Manuel Sarmiento of any feedback they got from folks who went on the excursion.  Viking has been pretty upfront about expectations for the tours.  BTW, originally we were suppose to tender in for Puerto Montt but we wound up dockside. I’m not so sure if I would have tendered in for a two hour bus ride in crummy weather.  
 

Update - I just checked the roll call & someone reported that their husband did the volcano & that it was disappointing given the weather.  

Edited by SM77

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Hi. Welcome to those coming on Dec. 21st.  I am Bruce's wife, Penny.  We will be continuing on and Bruce will be teaching bridge again.  We will have a beginning and intermediate class each morning on sea days and a sanctioned ACBL duplicate game in the afternoon.  We will be departing on Jan 7th.  Most of the above lecturers are leaving before the 21st but I don't know who will be coming on.

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Thanks everyone, this has been a great thread! We are on the Jan 7 departure. Fingers crossed for good weather.

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Hi, we are back home and with the holidays, I didn't get a chance to post.  We did the included tour of Valparaiso and Vina del Mar. Had great weather that day - It was a very good bus tour and gave us a good introduction to the area.  Traffic was extremely heavy in Valparaiso and I was surprised at the amount of graffiti everywhere.   Such a beautiful day, we sat outside at the Aquavit Terrace overlooking the Bay in the afternoon.   

 

On disembarkation day, we were up very early - meeting in the atrium @ 6:45 AM, getting off the ship and departing by 7:15 AM for a tour.  Well, the good news is that Viking broke up the departures by buses.  Over 500 passengers had evening flights so most were headed out for an included Santiago City tour, the hotel and then the airport.  Your bags were collected the night before, you got off the ship for the last time, rode the port shuttle to the terminal, were directed to the area where your color-coded luggage was being held, you identified them, & a porter took them away to be trucked separately to the airport.  And you got on your bus.   The bad news is if you have someone assigned to your bus who doesn't show up.  We waited for one couple who hadn't identified their luggage & were MIA. Eventually we left by 8:00 AM for our tour.  So it was a good hour & a half to drive to Santiago - minimal traffic since it was Saturday, once we hit Santiago, tons of traffic.  Good bus tour of Santiago, we drove up into the hills into a very expensive area to see the view of the city from above.  Lots of graffiti and damage from protestors (though we didn't encounter any issues that day) - they even marked up the walls of one of the major museums, spray painted historic monuments & statues - it was very sad to see.  We stopped at Centro Artesanal Los Dominicos where there are some fine quality handicrafts, restaurants, etc.  It was an excellent place to do some souvenir shopping.  And then we were dropped off at the hotel.  I can understand since it was the holidays, that Viking may have had some difficulties finding hotel space to accommodate 500 but it was very crowded in the conference rooms, with limited refreshments.  They did set up a ballroom for lunch if you wanted to pay for a meal.  Otherwise, it was coffee, tea, water, some juices, cookies, and some  snacks.  We asked one of the Viking reps if we could go on an earlier bus to the airport and she said that it was fine.  We figured we could check in a little earlier and go to the AA Lounge since we were flying business.  Well, AA doesn't open the counter until 6 PM.  Delta, United, Latam had counters open to check in @ 4:30 PM.   There is no place to sit in the public areas outside of security at SCL(unless you go to a restaurant).  It was easy to pick up the luggage, they were organized by color and they had Viking staff help you identify your bags.  Finally we checked in and since AA doesn't have a lounge, we went to Latam's.  It was fine.  Not the best lounge but it was clean, had alcohol, and some snacks, places to sit.  So I hope that give you some idea of what to expect when disembarking.  Flights home were fine; only issue one of our bags didn't make it on the flight (even though we check in first & the bag was marked priority since we were flying business).  We eventually got the bag by Christmas Eve.  It had to be driven from Reagan National Airport to Williamsburg VA - a three hour drive on a good day.  

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Heather was on our entire World Cruise and she was beyond great!!!  I would love to cruise with her again. Do you think she will do another contract after her time off?  or she may be off t the next phase of her life!!! 

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On 12/19/2019 at 6:46 AM, SM77 said:

I personally haven’t heard anything - maybe someone will post here or on the roll call(some folks were posting there).  To give you our perspective, we couldn’t see anything from lakeside in Puerto Varas.  You can always ask Manuel Sarmiento of any feedback they got from folks who went on the excursion.  Viking has been pretty upfront about expectations for the tours.  BTW, originally we were suppose to tender in for Puerto Montt but we wound up dockside. I’m not so sure if I would have tendered in for a two hour bus ride in crummy weather.  
 

Update - I just checked the roll call & someone reported that their husband did the volcano & that it was disappointing given the weather.  

 

My wife and I spent several days in Puerto Varas in 2000 as part of a 6-week land trip around South America.  We thoroughly enjoyed the town (much nicer than nearby Puerto Montt).  PV enjoys a reputation as a "foodie" destination, and we ate some wonderful meals there.  Great place to rent a car and explore the Germanic/Swiss towns around the nearby lakes.

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48 minutes ago, deec said:

Heather was on our entire World Cruise and she was beyond great!!!  I would love to cruise with her again. Do you think she will do another contract after her time off?  or she may be off t the next phase of her life!!! 

Dee - we are fortunate to have Heather on our 12/21 SA cruise!  She is fantastic!  The perfect blend of professionalism, humor, and experience!   If the opportunity presents itself, we’ll carefully probe what might be next for her when she leaves us January 7.

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4 hours ago, deec said:

Heather was on our entire World Cruise and she was beyond great!!!  I would love to cruise with her again. Do you think she will do another contract after her time off?  or she may be off t the next phase of her life!!! 

 

I think Heather is a long term Viking employee.  We did talk to her and asked when she was going home.  Since she has been on Jupiter for six months, she's going home for vacation after January 7th.  Then she will be on another ship(don't remember which one).  Her plan is to do the next World Cruise starting in late 2020 or early 2021 - not sure which one.

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10 hours ago, SM77 said:

 

I think Heather is a long term Viking employee.  We did talk to her and asked when she was going home.  Since she has been on Jupiter for six months, she's going home for vacation after January 7th.  Then she will be on another ship(don't remember which one).  Her plan is to do the next World Cruise starting in late 2020 or early 2021 - not sure which one.

 

The 2020-2021 world cruise starts December 14 with the first leg being Miami to Los Angeles.  Hoping she does that cruise  as we are booked on it!

 

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1 hour ago, CCWineLover said:

 

The 2020-2021 world cruise starts December 14 with the first leg being Miami to Los Angeles.  Hoping she does that cruise  as we are booked on it!

 

We get to see Heather perform tonight, after our morning rounding windy Cape Horn!  The write up in the Viking Daily.

 

54B70771-C49B-4642-8990-C7536FCBE891.thumb.jpeg.078cca87e605647026ef4dc831f77863.jpeg

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4 minutes ago, CCWineLover said:

We get to see Heather perform tonight, after our morning rounding windy Cape Horn!  The write up in the Viking Daily.

 

54B70771-C49B-4642-8990-C7536FCBE891.thumb.jpeg.078cca87e605647026ef4dc831f77863.jpeg


We saw her give this show on Trade Routes in Oct., but will be seeing it again.  She has a great voice. 

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Enjoyed reading about "our ship" and what happened with the ports after we disembarked 12/4. Wished we could have stayed on another 18 days. I heard that most did disembark with only 20 left on board. So glad I found this topic! We were on the Barcelona to Buenos Aires,  22 day leg of the trip which started 11/13. It was totally awesome & so was Heather, as well as all the lectures & instructors. She had to also double as the excursion tour director for the last part of trip. We loved all the sea days and the seas were very calm for the most part...think only one day a little rolling. Can't wait to find another cruise, for our #6 Viking adventure!

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On 12/28/2019 at 4:25 PM, SM77 said:

Hi, we are back home and with the holidays, I didn't get a chance to post.  We did the included tour of Valparaiso and Vina del Mar. Had great weather that day - It was a very good bus tour and gave us a good introduction to the area.  Traffic was extremely heavy in Valparaiso and I was surprised at the amount of graffiti everywhere.   Such a beautiful day, we sat outside at the Aquavit Terrace overlooking the Bay in the afternoon.   

 

On disembarkation day, we were up very early - meeting in the atrium @ 6:45 AM, getting off the ship and departing by 7:15 AM for a tour.  Well, the good news is that Viking broke up the departures by buses.  Over 500 passengers had evening flights so most were headed out for an included Santiago City tour, the hotel and then the airport.  Your bags were collected the night before, you got off the ship for the last time, rode the port shuttle to the terminal, were directed to the area where your color-coded luggage was being held, you identified them, & a porter took them away to be trucked separately to the airport.  And you got on your bus.   The bad news is if you have someone assigned to your bus who doesn't show up.  We waited for one couple who hadn't identified their luggage & were MIA. Eventually we left by 8:00 AM for our tour.  So it was a good hour & a half to drive to Santiago - minimal traffic since it was Saturday, once we hit Santiago, tons of traffic.  Good bus tour of Santiago, we drove up into the hills into a very expensive area to see the view of the city from above.  Lots of graffiti and damage from protestors (though we didn't encounter any issues that day) - they even marked up the walls of one of the major museums, spray painted historic monuments & statues - it was very sad to see.  We stopped at Centro Artesanal Los Dominicos where there are some fine quality handicrafts, restaurants, etc.  It was an excellent place to do some souvenir shopping.  And then we were dropped off at the hotel.  I can understand since it was the holidays, that Viking may have had some difficulties finding hotel space to accommodate 500 but it was very crowded in the conference rooms, with limited refreshments.  They did set up a ballroom for lunch if you wanted to pay for a meal.  Otherwise, it was coffee, tea, water, some juices, cookies, and some  snacks.  We asked one of the Viking reps if we could go on an earlier bus to the airport and she said that it was fine.  We figured we could check in a little earlier and go to the AA Lounge since we were flying business.  Well, AA doesn't open the counter until 6 PM.  Delta, United, Latam had counters open to check in @ 4:30 PM.   There is no place to sit in the public areas outside of security at SCL(unless you go to a restaurant).  It was easy to pick up the luggage, they were organized by color and they had Viking staff help you identify your bags.  Finally we checked in and since AA doesn't have a lounge, we went to Latam's.  It was fine.  Not the best lounge but it was clean, had alcohol, and some snacks, places to sit.  So I hope that give you some idea of what to expect when disembarking.  Flights home were fine; only issue one of our bags didn't make it on the flight (even though we check in first & the bag was marked priority since we were flying business).  We eventually got the bag by Christmas Eve.  It had to be driven from Reagan National Airport to Williamsburg VA - a three hour drive on a good day.  

Thanks for the disembarkation information for folks on late flights.  I'm surprised they made you get off the ship so early -- I would have thought you would be among the last off.  One question - were you able to take carry-on luggage with you on the tour bus and to the hotel, or did you have to check it as well?  I like to keep mine with me if possible.  Thanks again for this and all your earlier information.  We board on the 7th! 

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48 minutes ago, cocopico said:

Thanks for the disembarkation information for folks on late flights.  I'm surprised they made you get off the ship so early -- I would have thought you would be among the last off.  One question - were you able to take carry-on luggage with you on the tour bus and to the hotel, or did you have to check it as well?  I like to keep mine with me if possible.  Thanks again for this and all your earlier information.  We board on the 7th! 

Yes, you can take carryon luggage on the bus, it is stowed in the cargo area.  I am not surprised that we had to leave so early; there were a lot of folks to get off the ship, go through port security, claim their luggage at the port terminal and turn it over to the porter for the luggage to be trucked to the airport, and get on your assigned tour bus.  Viking needs us off the ship as they are preparing for another set of passengers.  I suggest keeping a bottle of water to take w/ you for the bus ride.  There is no water being distributed when you are leaving the ship for the last time and there is no water provided on the tour bus.  It's a long drive to Santiago and a long day if you are doing the included City tour.  We were very appreciative of Viking handling the transfer from the port to Santiago, including a City tour, providing a hotel space (though it was not very comfortable), transferring us by bus to the airport, and handling the transfer of the luggage from the port to the airport.  There were porters to help you w/ your luggage at the airport.  It was a lot of logistics to do all of this and for the most part, went very well.  Unfortunately we had the usual stragglers, 'lost' spouses, people thinking the meeting time back on the bus was a half hour later, etc.  so patience was in short supply by the end of the day; not the fault of Viking.  Have a great cruise - it was a wonderful experience!

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