by Roy Calhoun
November 12, 2002
The Good - Ship is in good shape - a little rust here and you can find it in the cabins. The crew is quite diligent in maintaining the vessel.
The Staff - mostly our experience was very good with the exception of having to take our waiter aside after the first evening meal and explain to him our expectations - no cold food. After that everything worked out well.
Our cabin was maintained several times a day - great service but others on the cruise did not receive the same service. We were on deck 4 w/outside cabin - the cheap but most comfortable seats.
Food - the dinners were predictable and got so boring that many folks, we included, eat ashore the last night. Breakfast was european and lunch was about the same - not bad, not great.
Entertainment was very good, lounge shows and a couple of the bands.
The BAD! Do not get sick on this vessel as it will cost you major money. My wife got some bug the first night out and went to the enfirmary the next day - was given the same over the counter pills she had brought with her - did not help - three days later the doctor provided an antibodic that cured the problem. 4 visits to the doc - $649.00 US. Other stories - a 23 yr old woman became ill - $900.00 US including a $200.00 pregancy test - not needed. A Brit had a bad tooth and they charged him $100.00 as a referal fee for a dentist in Punta Arenas Chile where the Dentist charged $41.00 to pull the tooth and included the drugs in the fee.
Customer Relations: This is a JOKE! Many people had problems with this group. They are trained to ignore customer complaints and were very rude in doing so. I asked who the director of Customer Relations reported to and she told me no one. I attempted to get an meeting with the Hotel Manager but for some reason, he was all ways unavailable.
Shore Excursions - we took one from the ship and it was OK but could have been booked ashore for a lot less money. We heard many complaints about some of the excursions booked on the ship.
Did we have a good time? Yes inspite of the bad things that occured but we wanted to sail around the "Horn" and we did - it was flatter than an pancake - no wind, seas or rain.
If going plan to spend a few days at both ends of the trip. It made the holiday for us. Vina Del Mar was a great experience - I drove - Don't! Buenas Aires is a great, beautiful european city. Try to see a production at the Teatro Colon - what a treat we sat in row 14, center isle for $2.60 US. Yes, two dollars and sixty cents - for two for a preformance of the Argentine National Symphony Orchestra.