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Old March 26th, 2002, 12:22 PM
Join Date: Oct 2000
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Default Just back from Mercury cruise around South America

Just got back home to Miami on March 18th from our Mercury cruise. It was really wonderful. The itenerary was great, and we were fairly lucky that the weather was clear most of the time. Service was excellent, and the fitness directors, Cookie and Becki, are fabulous.

The downside was that the coffee is truely undrinkable, and the food is nothing to write home about either (except for the desserts in the Palm Springs Cafe). But, I never go on cruises for the food anyway.

A special note to those of you who plan to make this trip in the future; several people on our ship were mugged in Santiago. My son-in-law is from Chile, and when we were trying to decide where to stay on the night prior to the ship's departure, he recommeded Vina del Mar. It's about 5 miles from Valparaiso (a $3 cab ride), and a very nice city. We took a local airport bus into the main bus terminal in Santiago, and then another bus to Vina for a total cost per person of about $6. It's about a 2 1/2 hour trip from Santiago. The buses are comfortable and have luggage storage underneath, and you are given a claim ticket for each piece. We did all of this with the aid of a small Spanish/English dictionary. The Chileans we encountered were are all very patient, polite and helpful.
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Old March 26th, 2002, 07:14 PM
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Default Re: Just back from Mercury cruise around South America

Hi Peggy,

Glad you had a good cruise and also thanks for the tips for those who may be cruising on this ship soon.


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Old March 27th, 2002, 08:12 AM
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Default Re: Just back from Mercury cruise around South America

We will be leavig on Saturday for our Mercury 17 day cruise. We fly into Santiago and cruise from Valparaiso to San Diego. It will be just my Mom and I. I am a little worried about the muggings! Were these people actually assaulted, or just pick pocketed? Do you know if you had to go to a racetrack to be processed for the cruise and then bussed to the ship after the racetrack? I was told this my someone, but Celebrity couldn't tell me anything?
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Old March 27th, 2002, 10:21 AM
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 72
Default Re: Re: Just back from Mercury cruise around South America

We went directly to the docks, but individuals who had made their travel arrangements through Celebrity did go to the race track to check in. An important reminder is to keep your police report which you receive when you enter Chile at the airport in Santiago. I threw mine away, but fortunately found out the morning we were leaving that I needed it in order to leave the country, so I had it replaced at a police station in Vina del Mar. (The police were very nice, and very professional.)
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Old March 27th, 2002, 10:27 AM
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Default Re: Re: Just back from Mercury cruise around South America

One person was attacked in Santiago when he chased the guy who had stolen the contents of his front pants pocket (wallet, keys, change purse). Fortunately, he was not badly hurt when he was thrown into a tree by the pickpockets' partner,r who stepped out from an alley as the guy chased the pickpocket. Others I heard about were not hurt, only surprised when their wallet turned up missing. All of the people that I heard had their pockets picked were on organized tours in Santiago when the incidents occurred.
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Old March 30th, 2002, 08:20 AM
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Default Re: Just back from Mercury cruise around South America

We are Santiago getting ready to sail on the Mercury. I am surprised to
hear about the muggings. I cannot imagine a safer city then this one.
We have been all over the city, using the metro >(which is great) and taxis.
The people are extremely friendly and helpful. We do not use organized
tours. When you are in any large city you have to be vigilant and use common
sense. Donīt flash money, wear expensive jewelry.
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