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Around the Horn South American cruise on NCL Sun - pictorial review


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Glad you got your Around the Horn certificate! We got one with RCCL last year. Also thanks for the TV channel information. I will go to Guest Svcs, to get the program guide, I didn't know about that, so it's very helpful.

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Thank you for this wonderful thread! We are going on this exact trip in January of 2019 so I have a little time to plan :) I am curious if there was one thing that you would absolutely recommend doing and one thing you would not do again? We will also be traveling with a 5yo DS so I will be looking for cool kids things to do... like penguins! :)

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Glad you got your Around the Horn certificate! We got one with RCCL last year. Also thanks for the TV channel information. I will go to Guest Svcs, to get the program guide, I didn't know about that, so it's very helpful.

 

I got the tip about the tv info from here. They quickly provided it and did not act like it was a rare request.

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Thank you for this wonderful thread! We are going on this exact trip in January of 2019 so I have a little time to plan :) I am curious if there was one thing that you would absolutely recommend doing and one thing you would not do again? We will also be traveling with a 5yo DS so I will be looking for cool kids things to do... like penguins! :)

 

The penguins were the best. Not really a would not do again, but more a would have rather have done -- it would have been nice to see the different types of penguins (kings and I believe gentoo too) in the Falklands if I wanted to brave the 4x4 rough drive. I wish we had gotten to take the ski lift up the mountain in Puerto Montt and the brewery tour in Punta Arenas to work.

 

For your little guy, agree he would like the penguins. Another option from Puerto Madryn, if you find penguins at another stop, is Valdes (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valdes_Peninsula), which is also good for wildlife. He would probably also enjoy the funicular in Santiago; there is a zoo part of the way up. There is a beach in Vina del Mar.

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March 22, 2017 - Montevideo, Uruguay

 

A quick back track that I remembered. On our previous day, there was a time slot to pick up our passports. I remembered our passport claim form this time (vs when we took it to Ushuaia). Others did not and were filling out the form there. The process was slower and had a longer line than I expected. I went while my husband went to the trivia. I expected to be back in time to join him, but did not get back until they were done. The other odd thing was that we had not been stamped into Uruguay yet. I guess they do not required it...; we found out potentially more about that later.

We planned to join the free walking tour for tips: http://www.freewalkingtour.com.uy/ at 11am.

This was a dock port. Right off the ship

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Walking to the walking tour meeting place. Montevideo was very walkable.

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I liked the flowers in this tree.

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At first, we stopped at the wrong park thinking it was the meeting place. We waited a bit; husband got the wi-fi to work on his phone. With his google maps, we realized that we were in the wrong place and continued in the right direction. Arrived --

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The tour gathered, and then split into an English and Spanish group. Our tour guide had his matte cup and thermos ready for the tour.

 

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This is the presidential building. Our guide noted that the President did not have body guards because no one knew who he was. He asked us if we knew who their President was. We did not, but I expect them too :).

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There is a weekly parade on Wednesday. I think he said it used to be Friday, but that was not convenient for the city, so they made them move it to Wednesdays. They did not seem like very happy paraders. It was cool that we got to see it.

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More Montevideo tomorrow -- I had too much work to finish tonight...

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The penguins were the best. Not really a would not do again, but more a would have rather have done -- it would have been nice to see the different types of penguins (kings and I believe gentoo too) in the Falklands if I wanted to brave the 4x4 rough drive. I wish we had gotten to take the ski lift up the mountain in Puerto Montt and the brewery tour in Punta Arenas to work.

 

For your little guy, agree he would like the penguins. Another option from Puerto Madryn, if you find penguins at another stop, is Valdes (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valdes_Peninsula), which is also good for wildlife. He would probably also enjoy the funicular in Santiago; there is a zoo part of the way up. There is a beach in Vina del Mar.

 

Great to know! Thanks for the input :):)

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Continuing on the tour and back to the no passport stamp. The tour guide tells us that everyone is an Uruguayan; that we could all be Uruguayan. He noted their economy is fueled by Venezuelan immigrants who maintain a credit card balance. Versus the Uruguayans who pay off credit cards at the end of each month. They seem very open to immigration, and so maybe why they did not stamp our passports because they did not care if we left or not. Just a guess; does any one know for sure? I'm still sure the cruise ship would alert authorities if they left anyone behind.

We were told they are atheist, so they have churches but they are barred up and are only used like 3 days out of the year.

 

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We stopped for a break in this park where we could walk to the Burger King or McDonalds for restrooms and/or a snack. This is the park where we first stopped earlier thinking the tour started here.

We learned about the matte tradition. They say they practice with the thermos before having a child. If they can keep up with the thermos and not drop/dent it, they are ready for a child. One couple in our group asked if he would share a sip of matte.

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I liked this architecture on the building.

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Here is another church example. That is our tour guide. If you look above his head, in the top row of windows, and above the exposed pink brick, you see a tree growing out of the church.

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Our tour guide noted that Uruguay had more cows than people, and that we had to do our part and eat some. It was on our list, and conveniently our tour ended at the Estancia del Puerto market. We tipped our guide and went to look for lunch. This place had several meat places. We picked one and sat at the bar. We ordered. Husband got his beer, and we got our bread. Then we waited and waited and waited without them acknowledging us sitting there. The tables were getting better service. Two ladies sat beside us. We had not had luck with the wi-fi. They got her on; I think my husband eventually got on. They ordered. I think they got food first. Then ours came. I was not impressed; maybe we ordered the wrong thing. It was fatter than I liked. We needed to have gotten a better cut of meat, but hard to tell in Spanish. The sauce was good. It was warm by these fires, but cool to watch. We both got our bills; ours had an interesting extra charge...hum. So, I had read about this being meat heaven, so was disappointed.

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There was an empanada stand here; my husband tried to get a dulce de leche one. They did not have any made. He went for candy at a store instead. It was reasonably priced. We paid in USD and got come Uruguayan coins for my collection in change. This clock was cool. Our tour guide said the building was a train station that the British build. Uruguay did not see the need for a train station, so it became this market.

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After, we headed back to the ship. One more picture from near the port that had someone else posing in front of it earlier.

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Back on the ship, we went back to the room. No around the Horn certificates; fingers still crossed. We changed and then watched the sail away from the gym.

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Lots of very interesting information here! We were also very disappointed in the Estancia del Puerto lunch. We saw it on Anthony Bourdain's program and were really looking forward to it. It was very expensive and the meat was tough and almost inedible. Our worst meal of the whole trip! Interesting place, but bad food.

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March 23, 2017 - Buenos Aires - Day 1

 

We were now officially docked for disembarkation but were overnighting here. No more being rocked to sleep by the ship movement tonight. They allowed those that wanted to disembark this morning do so; they had instructions in the disembarkation documents.

Today, we planned another walking tour. We enjoy them; you see a lot and get great local information. We planned http://www.buenosairesfreewalks.com/#morning starting at 10:30 am at Plaza Estado del Vaticano (Corner of Libertad and Viamonte), next to Teatro Colón.

We got of the ship. Like Valpo, this is in the container shipping area, so we had a path to walk and then got on a coach. They were operating multiple shuttles between the dock and the terminal. It looked like a much nicer terminal to embark from than the one in Valpo.

Out of the terminal, we read the port area could be dangerous and that the mafia ran the taxis near the port so they were overpriced. It was a little shady; after enough feeling uncomfortable on one street we turned. Our feeling of safety improved after that. We did leave most valuables and jewelry on the ship and watched our backpack carefully.

Walking to meet the tour.

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This clock tower was a gift from the British.

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Though probably famous, I did not remember what the statue was. My google goggles says La Rioja, but that does not sound right. Maybe it is the square's name.

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European style architecture

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I liked the arch

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Seeing your photos it hits me that I know so little about our South American neighbors. Looking forward to learning lots while cruising later this year.

 

Sent from my SM-G900W8 using Tapatalk

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We arrived at the meeting point for the walking tour early. We sat down for a bit and used the wi-fi, and then walked around a little more.

 

When it was time to meet, we went back. As people gathering; the tour guide sent everyone over to sit on the steps of Teatro Colón in the shade to wait. They waited until after the starting time for gathering.

 

View from the waiting spot

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Building with Eva

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"BA" bushes

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Starting the tour, we moved over and had a good view of Teatro Colón

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We were a large group in a very trafficked city; this made crossing streets hard, where we had to go over multiple light cycles at times.

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Av. 9 de Julio was the biggest street.

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Here our guide noted the doors were on the wrong sides of the buses, so they have them drive on the other sides of the roads at this bus stop.

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This was a rich BA citizens home. The story was that she did not think her son's girlfriend was high enough status for her son, so she sent her son away to Europe to separate them.

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Then she was building or commissioning this church. It was a project that she very important to her.

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The girlfriend got the land right beside it and built this building to block the view of the church. Her name is on the side: Corina.

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At one stop, the tour guide went into detail about the economy. They have and have had very high inflation. He told a story of being a child, and he and his mother filling a basket full of groceries at the store, knowing tomorrow with inflation they would not be able to afford them. Currently, they have 41% year over year inflation.

 

We stopped for a restroom break and snack. We walked to a less crowded store nearby and found some candy and I got a packaged ice cream.

 

Back on the tour, we stopped at the Argentinian Malvinas (Falklands) War memorial. We learned about the untrained and unprepared Argentinian army and that it was a rash political decision to go to war by Argentinian and British leadership who had never been to the Falklands.

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View of the big buildings

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This was a florist with a speakeasy bar underneath.

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An Israeli embassy that was mysteriously bombed -- without finding the guilty party; he noted the govt may have been involved.

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Then we arrived at the famous cemetery. There is also a restroom available here.

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We learned the full story of Eva Peron. She worked for the working class and was loved by them. She came to BA to be an actress. She married the president. She got cancer and died very young at 33. The long part of the story is moving and hiding of her body after she died. She is now buried here with her family, instead of the Peron family.

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Her family: Duarte

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Entrance / Exit

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The tour ended here. We tipped and thanked our tour guide. It was a longer tour than I expected -- very good and informative, but I was tired! Some got to sit while we were at the cemetery, but there was not enough seats for everyone. I leaned on a tree.

We had written down a recommended steak place, but I was deterred after the day before. We had some recommended ice cream on the walk back instead.

There was a lot of traffic here! I did not get a good picture of all the traffic. We took some video too. We learned on our tour that tomorrow was a holiday. Oh no, not good for traffic when we need to get to airport tomorrow. It turned out that the holiday greatly improved the traffic. So, we got to experience crazy busy city BA, and the second day have a calmer experience.

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We made it back to the port with our tired feet and legs. An airplane near the port.

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I don't have any notes on what we did our last night on the ship. We definitely packed and got our luggage put out for pick up as our last day was upon us.

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March 24, 2017 - Buenos Aires - Day 2

 

We got up at the crack of dawn because ship tours start early, and today they were extra eager to get us off the ship :). We gathered the rest of our stuff, packed our money belt and under shirt neckless storage, had breakfast in Moderno, and went to the theater for our tour meeting time. There were multiple tours meeting. Our group had someone missing, and someone really confused. They were looking at her ticket because she was not sure where she should be. Or, maybe she was missing her traveling companion. Too early for her too. So, we had to wait. We then walked in a line to scan our key cards for the last time. It was not on the grand entrance deck 5; we had to go out deck 3. It was nice; they had crew from different depts saying goodbye. As far as I recall, we got through customs and found luggage quickly. We then had trouble with me losing my water. We found it and boarded the coach.

I got a picture before leaving the room of the navigation showing us having sailed 4000 nm.

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Discovering the very light traffic. We went by the flower art. It opens and closes each day.

 

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This was part of the holiday. It was a remembrance for the 30,000 people killed; called Day of Remembrance for Truth and Justice. They were setting up for a demonstration at our first stop. We had some time to walk around.

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Demonstration signs on the church

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The current Pope previously worked at this church.

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At this stop, we walked over to the Casa Rosada Building -- executive mansion and office of the President. There were police here (unlike Uruguay).

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Banco Patagonia

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After this stop, we passed the Russian style onion dome church

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Eva and obelisk together

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One more of the Teatro Colón

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Light up signs like NYC

 

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Next stop, the cemetery. This was the only duplication from the day before. We were trying to compare when planning.

Stained glass to display for those inside.

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Looking at how it looks inside from a window.

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We did not stay here as long today.

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The picture was not behaving, but I could not do a South American review without showing a fútbol stadium.

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Our third stop -- La Boca. After they told us not to come to this area without a tour guide, then let us have free time to roam around on our own.

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Noted as the typical materials used in these immigrant dock workers housing, where multiple families live together.

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In La Boca, we stopped at a locals grocery store, and you guessed it -- got some candy for the plane ride later. There was also some neat art for sale, but we did not have enough Argentinian cash left. We also needed to find our older son a souvenir still.

Our tour group reconnected, and we would get an extra stop today due to the light traffic putting us ahead of schedule and too early for the lunch stop.

 

I liked the colorful sidewalk.

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I liked this area; I'm glad we got to spend some time here since I had wore out the day before. I had seen others' pictures of it.

 

Woman Bridge

 

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We also saw some row boats in the water.

 

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We were rejoined by the other buses from NCL shore excursions. When the restaurant was ready for us, we had a group of tables assigned. Lunch was at an Italian restaurant. It had a big salad bar, some pastas, a meat grill like Montevideo's, and a pizza stone oven. They came around and provided sodas, in a glass bottle, and bottled water to drink and breads. Other food was buffet style. Dessert was a chocolate fountain; good but a slow line. (On chocolate fountains, there is normally one on the cruise ship next to the ice cream and crepe station in the evening, but it was missing this time.)

 

After lunch, it was off to the airport. I only have one more picture, which is not strong :) -- it is an apartment building where that I liked the sky bridges. Oh well.

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We rode the countryside some to get to the airport. We did get to the airport very early. Normally, the tour should get there around 2:30 pm. We had an American flight around 7:30 pm; it was direct to DFW. Their desk was not open yet... We ran into this in Vancouver too. American has a hub in DFW, so I'm not used to the idea of them being not open. We found a seat (though was not easy) and got as comfortable as possible.

Stopping here for tonight. I'll try to do a closing summary (longer trip -- harder to summarize :)).

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