Just back from the Mercury, Rio to Valpariaso. They are working on installing internet access computers in several locations around the ship, but they are not active yet.
Mercury is a great ship with a teriffic crew. We were delighted with our experience.
I know I'm piggybacking on the Computer message, but I'm very curious to know how your cruise went. The weather websites all seem to highlight WIND on the southern leg of the trip. How were the seas? What should the suitcase definitely include? How much rain gear? Any favorite shore excursions? Any feedback would be appreciated on what to expect in Buenos Aires. We're spendind a few days there prior sailing on Feb. !7th.
Our weather was great. One rough day south of Puerto Madryn with 12' swells, but otherwise just fine. Temps in the 90's in Rio and BA, 40's near Cape Horn. Some light rain, but nothing major. Layer your clothing, be sure to have sweater or sweatshirt and a windbreaker or raincoat. Some foggy days, but overall very nice. I guess we lucked out. Ushuaia is a gem. We took the Teirra Major trekking excursion from Celebrity-- a real highlight if you can do a moderate hike for 2.5 hours. Be sure to have the king crab at one of the restaurants in town. Penguins at Punto Tomba were amazing, but it is a 3.5 hour drive each way on dusty roads, some unpaved. We were lucky to see the five glaciers in the Strait of Magellan with good weather--an awesome site! Osorno volcano at Puerto Montt is quite wonderful. The shore excursions from Celebrity seemed to be a bit overpriced, but we did take them. Most could have been shortened by an hour or two by deleting the stops at all of the shopping areas. Santiago, Chile is a gem.
Also just returned from South America Rio to Valparaiso ...amazing!! Really- the scenery is the most amazing and beautiful i have ever seen - this cruise is a must.Also read some very scary articles about rough seas - we had mush worse conditions on a baltic cruise last year.All i can add to the above message is that approx 7 days (half the cruise ) will have coldish to very cold (1 day around the horn) weather and the other (first 7) will be extremely,extremely hot. Lovely ship , very good service and i would go again today if i had the oppurtunity:Must seeenguis,sea lions etc in puerto madryn , take a city tour in Buenos Aires - worth the price to see everything! and be sure to get a good vantage point and warm clothes for rounding the horn! Ushuaia is probable the most beautiful and understated of the whole itinerary.
To answer your question, when i left Mercury in November 2001 there were no computers for guest use (that is internet) there is a computer in the library, but as far as i know that one does not have a burner.
An internet Cafe has been planned, but opening date is not certain yet....
Mercury has no computer use of any kind anywhere on ship. It has a TV system with no info of anykind, ask immediately or you will never find the channels. There is too much time at sea on the SA intinerary with nothing planned for passengers, bring books. The splendid opportunity to do port talks and lectures on the very special environment here was never approached. Unless you looked at the map each day you would not have known you were in SA. Buy a guide for flora, fauna and weather. You will get no info on ship. The library has no mags, no papers and picks up none. The globe is broken and there are no maps. This a a good trip for pool rats and a bore for those who thought they would see SA. Very important - do some research, come aboard informed. Bring cash in small bills, pesos no good anywhere. Large bills will get you peso change. This ship charges for water - bring a water bottle or you will get angry here. 5.50 for large bottle of water. Captain's wife wrote a bad book and sells it all over the ship. Bring books, water bottles, info on stops, and Spanish guide. Little English anywhere except airports. Don't fly Varig. Varig lands anywhere it pleases and you will lose your day in Rio - we did.
WE are off and running 3/17 for 32 days from Rio to San Diego.
Do you recall whether you took the ships PUnta TOmbo Penguin Rookery tour or was it private or some other tour and also
which other specific tours do you recall and recommend?
Another post 'gripes' that without your own maps one would never know where you are etc. no shipboard lectures on environment and no port talks. Any validity???