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cruisecrazy April 6th, 2004 04:33 AM

Which Ship & Itinerary?
Hi All - We are seniors just starting our 'homework' for a SA trip for later 2005 or early 2006 (or what is considred the best time frame?) and wld like a roundtrip from US although suspect this is unlikely. That said, what do u suggest with regards that plus cruiseline & ship? Not interested in going too far south but then again maybe that wld be great...I am interested in Peru & the Amazon esp. A 10 - 16 day is preferred - no longer. Do u recommend a balcony or wld a window cabin be sufficient? Any and all experiences & recommendations most gratefully received. Many thanks in advance & happy cruisin'!!

ricktalcott May 13th, 2004 06:40 PM

Re: Which Ship & Itinerary?
Maybe I'm the worng one to jump in with an answer to your question, but here goes...

Nancy & I went on Celebirty Infinity from Buenos Aires to Santiago last February. Pictures are at if you want to save reading a thousand words or so. The best part of our cruise was the Beagle Channel and the Chilean Fjords. It was a fabulous trip, scenery wise.

We picked Celebrity Infinity because my wife is prone to seasickness, and we thought that a large ship of ~2000 pax would mean that the ship had less rocking. In that we were right. If I were doing it all over again, I'd spend some time in Buenos Aires and then fly on to Ushuaia and take a smaller ship for the cruise portion of our journey. The three days at sea getting to Tierra del Fuego and the three days after the fjords were just "days at sea." Nothing special to that.

Nancy has been to Machu Pichu, and she wouldn't recommend taking a shore excursion from the ship to Machu Pichu. You would be going from zero elevation to 12,500 feet, and the chances for altitude sickness are quite high. Ideally, you need a day or two to acclimate to changes in altitude.

I wouldn't go to South America for the glaciers. Glacier Bay in Alaska was far better.

Celebrity really had its act together when it came to entertainment in the evening. Tango and gacho shows etc. Lectures were good, but not great. The food did NOT connect with the destination. All in all, the cruise could have used the services of an editor.

Our best shore excursion was for the penguins. Make sure you see those. Other stops, such as Puerto Madryn in Argentina and Puerto Montt weren't worth throwing money at.

If I go back, I will make sure to spend some days at Torre del Paine in southern Chile. One of the disappointments we had was that we simply didn't have enough time to fit that in on either end of the trip.

Let me know if you have any questions.


ricktalcott May 13th, 2004 06:49 PM

Re: Which Ship & Itinerary?
One other thought on cruise preparation.

The absolute best thing that we did for crusie preparation was to buy a Tivo for our TV. I programed it in May (easier than a VCR) to look for any travel shows on Argentina and Chile. For the next 9 months the thing searched the odd channels at the odd times and found a bunch of programs for us.

That really got us in the mood.


Chuck Palm June 5th, 2004 09:10 AM

Re: Which Ship & Itinerary?
We were very pleased with our S.A. trip. Buenos Aires is amazing and the Tango show/dinner at "Senor Tabgo" is a once in a lifetime experience. We loved the penguin rookeries all be it a pain to get to them. Our ship review is on this site. Just look for the Celebrity Zenith review by me 12-22-02. There may be some information that will help you.

As for ships, I think any of the mainstream carriers do a pretty good job. The ships that are sailing will depend greatly on your sailing dates. There aren't nearly the numbers of ships sailing around S.A. as there are Mexico, the Caribbean, etc.

We only had two choices for our trip. Our choices were the N.C.L. Dream and the Celebrity Zenith. We had been on the Dream in Europe and weren't pleased with the ship, so we opted for the Zenith. We usually sail Celebrity, Princess, and H.A.L. We also would look favorably at an Oceania cruise. I hope this helps your decision.

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