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TahoeTraveler

Live from the Scenic Eclipse to Antarctica, 8 November to 7 December

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A question if I may

 

This cruise will be the first stop on our round-the-world trip.  We will be heading to the arctic afterwards and will be skiing in Finland.  How warm is the expedition parka? Is it a waterproof outer shell? Down?

 

Just wondering if we can get away with not packing our ski jackets!

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6 hours ago, k_sheep said:

A question if I may

 

This cruise will be the first stop on our round-the-world trip.  We will be heading to the arctic afterwards and will be skiing in Finland.  How warm is the expedition parka? Is it a waterproof outer shell? Down?

 

Just wondering if we can get away with not packing our ski jackets!

I cannot answer regarding the Arctic or Finland, but I can say that the parka was more than sufficient for the Chilean Fjords and Antarctica, when we layered.  The outer shell is quite waterproof...the water would literally shed right off it when shaken.  The inner liner on the women's parka is not down (it is a thin fleece of some sort with a smooth outer layer). The one on the men's parka is more like a bubble jacket, but I do not know if it is down or not (I tend to think not).  However, again, when layering, both parkas were excellent at keeping us warm, even when we were sailing through rainy, stormy and very windy conditions (as we of course just had to head to the bow of the ship outside the Observation Lounge for pictures!!!).  I personally would not waste the space or weight to pack a ski jacket.

 

Have a great trip!!!  Round-the-world?  I am quite jealous!!!

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34 minutes ago, Vpilon said:

How was that flight from  Ushuaia to BuenosAires   

  

About as one would expect. I've already posted how utterly disorganized the whole "get your baggage and check in" process at the airport was, but again, I would imagine it will improve over time as Scenic becomes more familiar with the procedures there in Ushuaia. 

 

The flight itself was about 3 hours long, and we had no say in the seats we got. There seemed to be no rhyme or reason as to how the seats were assigned...people on Deck 7 were in the last row in front of the bathrooms (and they could apparently hear everything through the walls!!) and a handicapped man was actually assigned the exit row!!!  Mike and I switched with him and his wife (we were behind them), so our flight was much more comfortable than others'.   But I would have thought that the higher level cabins would have been placed closer to the front of the plane; it just didn't make a lot of sense how the seats were assigned. There was a small business class section (I think it had 8 seats), and it was obvious the really high payers were in those.

 

We all laughed about "Oh  how the mighty have fallen" when the flight attendants came by with the "lunch." It was an absolutely horrible ham and cheese sandwich that was so dry it was inedible. It was just a funny way to end such a luxury cruise.

 

It took probably 45 minutes to get our bags in BA.  I have no idea what the hold up was, but it seemed like it took forever for our bags to arrive in the baggage claim area. The transfer to the hotel was a bit of a mess as well.  Everyone was just milling around and there wasn't a lot of direction. We ended up being in the very last group to board a bus, which was fine by us...we didn't have anything planned that afternoon and had no desire to get in the mad rush to get checked in at the hotel. But again, it was kind of a sad way to end everything.

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Hopefully somebody reads  this and takes notes. - scenic is truly amazing but if your last impression is not good - then it goes down from there- if I was in the bis - I would make sure people would go out with a bang!   I’m very much looking forward to my second cruise with them next year. Thank you again for your time.  Hopefully somebody will take over !!

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5 minutes ago, Vpilon said:

Hopefully somebody reads  this and takes notes. - scenic is truly amazing but if your last impression is not good - then it goes down from there- if I was in the bis - I would make sure people would go out with a bang!   I’m very much looking forward to my second cruise with them next year. Thank you again for your time.  Hopefully somebody will take over !!

It was a sad ending, but honestly, it didn't really diminish the absolute wonder of the cruise for us. But we try to find the positive in everything, and again, I'm sure a lot of it was due to it being the second time they'd done this (the first was when we lost some passengers from the first leg of the cruise at our first time in Ushuaia, and I have no idea how their flight was to BA). Time will tell if Scenic can make the ending a bit better for the passengers.  And yes, I do hope others will pass along their impressions and experiences on the Eclipse!!!

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On 12/23/2019 at 10:13 AM, TahoeTraveler said:

There was a small business class section (I think it had 8 seats), and it was obvious the really high payers were in those.

 

 

 

We have booked the owners penthouse and I rang Scenic to see if we could upgrade to business class and was told charter flights are only one class, so I’m not going to be happy if this information isn’t correct. 

Looks like I’ll be be back on hold with “annoying voice” again, straight after the holidays. 

 

 

 

 

On 12/23/2019 at 10:13 AM, TahoeTraveler said:

 

 

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6 minutes ago, czardas said:

 

We have booked the owners penthouse and I rang Scenic to see if we could upgrade to business class and was told charter flights are only one class, so I’m not going to be happy if this information isn’t correct. 

Looks like I’ll be be back on hold with “annoying voice” again, straight after the holidays. 

 

 

 

 

 

You crack me up every time you talk about "Annoying Voice" you know!!!  I cannot imagine that you are in the Owners Penthouse and they won't put you in business class (I think Argentenia Aerolineas calls it "Premium Economy" but it was what we Americans would call Business Class). I wish I had taken a picture of that cabin, so I could have posted it and you could have used it for your argument that you should be given that class of seats. Feel free to quote me and this blog if you want to when you call them though...I know Scenic most definitely was reading it while we were sailing, so it shouldn't come as a surprise to them that TahoeTraveler is stirring up the pot again!!!!!

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On 12/23/2019 at 3:14 AM, TahoeTraveler said:

 I personally would not waste the space or weight to pack a ski jacket.

 

Have a great trip!!!  Round-the-world?  I am quite jealous!!!

Thank you for the reply!  As long as it's waterproof then it'll be fine, got plenty of layers on underneath. If not, then time to go shopping 😄

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6 hours ago, k_sheep said:

Thank you for the reply!  As long as it's waterproof then it'll be fine, got plenty of layers on underneath. If not, then time to go shopping 😄

I will say that even though the boutique onboard the ship is rather small, it was very well stocked with items people might need on a polar cruise...wool caps, sweaters, gloves, etc. So if you did forget something, or realize, as I did, that the headgear you brought just wouldn't cut it on those zodiac rides, you can most likely depend on the boutique for having something that will work for you.  Not cheap...but not outrageous either.

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On 12/25/2019 at 8:32 AM, TahoeTraveler said:

I will say that even though the boutique onboard the ship is rather small, it was very well stocked with items people might need on a polar cruise...wool caps, sweaters, gloves, etc. So if you did forget something, or realize, as I did, that the headgear you brought just wouldn't cut it on those zodiac rides, you can most likely depend on the boutique for having something that will work for you.  Not cheap...but not outrageous either.

Tahoe Traveler were the boots which scenic provided lined for warmth?  Also were trekking poles onboard?

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In catching up on some of the postings on scenic eclipse cruisers on Facebook and here on Cruise Critic we are getting inconsistent messages about what is and is not provided for the Antarctic cruisers. Are trekking poles provided For use during the cruise? Or do you need to bring your own? Also are the boots which are provided for use during the cruise insulated or lined or are they just rubber boots? Any clarification would very much be appreciated.

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9 hours ago, RockyandMoose said:

In catching up on some of the postings on scenic eclipse cruisers on Facebook and here on Cruise Critic we are getting inconsistent messages about what is and is not provided for the Antarctic cruisers. Are trekking poles provided For use during the cruise? Or do you need to bring your own? Also are the boots which are provided for use during the cruise insulated or lined or are they just rubber boots? Any clarification would very much be appreciated.

You have to remember that we were on the very first cruise to Antarctica, so things may have changed somewhat since we were on the ship.  The polar boots were insulated...I wore ski socks and my feet and legs were  never, ever cold. As for the trekking poles, I would highly recommend that you bring your own. The ship did have some for people to borrow at each landing, but unfortunately, some people apparently felt that meant they were free and clear to just take them with them back on the ship and hold onto them, so others could not use them. There were certainly not enough for 100 people at one time. Plus, they were getting pretty beat up, and it was just the first cruise. Depending on the condition they are in  now, they may or may not be worth using. It is in no way the ship's crew's fault...there are just some very inconsiderate people in the world, sadly.  Had I thought about it, I would have brought ours with us.

 

I hope this helps!  And again, the trekking pole situation may have changed since we was on board. The boots will most likely be the same ones used over and over again for many seasons...but they were quite sufficient.  Czardas is boarding the ship today, and hopefully will start a new thread to keep us advised...it might be a good idea to ask her any questions as she'll have the most updated info.

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Hi - about to leave tomorrow!  Just wondering about the quality of wifi - any problems uploading photos, for eg?  Thanks 

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5 minutes ago, Amber66 said:

Hi - about to leave tomorrow!  Just wondering about the quality of wifi - any problems uploading photos, for eg?  Thanks 

WiFi was great...best we've had on any ship. No problems at all uploading photos.

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RockyandMoose, May I offer some answers to your questions?  I was on the Dec 29, 2019 - Jan 16, 2020 Antarctica cruise (included Falkland Islands and South Georgia).  The boots provided by Scenic are waterproof Muck boots (long boots which end below knees).  I wore two pairs of merino wool socks (one long pair and one short, below ankle pair) underneath.  The layering kept my feet comfortably warm for a 2-hr excursion on land or in zodiac cruising.  Some people found it helpful to wear 2 pairs of socks, so their small feet could fit comfortably inside boots.

In terms of trekking poles, Scenic provided plenty onshore.  I brought my own, but used it only once in the beginning, but found it cumbersome boarding and disembarking the zodiac.  Scenic’s trekking poles are good quality kind.  There is no need to bring your own.  Save your luggage room.

Agree entirely with TahoeTraveler about the parka.  I never wore the provided parka, because I did not need warm jackets.  Instead, I wore the orange rain jacket provided by Scenic.  The multi, thin merino layering was sufficient to keep me warm.  The rain jacket or parka was good for waterproofing and wind proofing purposes.  What I found necessary to bring are waterproof or water-repellent pants, head/neck coverings, and waterproof gloves.  I wore thin waterproof pants in Falkland Islands and the northern-most parts of South Georgia, and insulated Gortex pants in Antarctica, both with merino baselayer pants underneath.

Scenic did a good job guiding us to/from airport (from hotel and ship).  Any long wait problems had to do with Argentina airport system.  For example, it took us three hours to go through immigration when landing Buenos Aires from US.  Expect 45-min to an hour’s wait for luggage in Ushuaia, if you are lucky to find your luggage arrived on the same flight.

Do not worry about any minor problems.  Just relax and enjoy.  My expedition cruise was on the top of my list of wonderful and memorable trips, thanks to Scenic.  Attention to details is evidenced in Scenic’s excursions, which focus on safety and enjoyment (with pampering and enrichment).  Kayaking in Antarctica waters filled with frozen ice pieces surrounded by serene, snow/iced covered shores/hills was an amazing experience.  Helicopter ride provided a different perspective of viewing ice landscape and whales from above.  Lastly, the many visits to colonies of penguins (various species) were amazing.  I kept using the word “amazing”, just like my fellow Scenic guests.

Lastly, I want to thank TahoeTraveler for her fantastic, detailed review.  I kept referencing her thread to prepare for my trip.

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49 minutes ago, dreamercruise said:

RockyandMoose, May I offer some answers to your questions?  I was on the Dec 29, 2019 - Jan 16, 2020 Antarctica cruise (included Falkland Islands and South Georgia).  The boots provided by Scenic are waterproof Muck boots (long boots which end below knees).  I wore two pairs of merino wool socks (one long pair and one short, below ankle pair) underneath.  The layering kept my feet comfortably warm for a 2-hr excursion on land or in zodiac cruising.  Some people found it helpful to wear 2 pairs of socks, so their small feet could fit comfortably inside boots.

In terms of trekking poles, Scenic provided plenty onshore.  I brought my own, but used it only once in the beginning, but found it cumbersome boarding and disembarking the zodiac.  Scenic’s trekking poles are good quality kind.  There is no need to bring your own.  Save your luggage room.

Agree entirely with TahoeTraveler about the parka.  I never wore the provided parka, because I did not need warm jackets.  Instead, I wore the orange rain jacket provided by Scenic.  The multi, thin merino layering was sufficient to keep me warm.  The rain jacket or parka was good for waterproofing and wind proofing purposes.  What I found necessary to bring are waterproof or water-repellent pants, head/neck coverings, and waterproof gloves.  I wore thin waterproof pants in Falkland Islands and the northern-most parts of South Georgia, and insulated Gortex pants in Antarctica, both with merino baselayer pants underneath.

Scenic did a good job guiding us to/from airport (from hotel and ship).  Any long wait problems had to do with Argentina airport system.  For example, it took us three hours to go through immigration when landing Buenos Aires from US.  Expect 45-min to an hour’s wait for luggage in Ushuaia, if you are lucky to find your luggage arrived on the same flight.

Do not worry about any minor problems.  Just relax and enjoy.  My expedition cruise was on the top of my list of wonderful and memorable trips, thanks to Scenic.  Attention to details is evidenced in Scenic’s excursions, which focus on safety and enjoyment (with pampering and enrichment).  Kayaking in Antarctica waters filled with frozen ice pieces surrounded by serene, snow/iced covered shores/hills was an amazing experience.  Helicopter ride provided a different perspective of viewing ice landscape and whales from above.  Lastly, the many visits to colonies of penguins (various species) were amazing.  I kept using the word “amazing”, just like my fellow Scenic guests.

Lastly, I want to thank TahoeTraveler for her fantastic, detailed review.  I kept referencing her thread to prepare for my trip.

Thank you for the kind words. I thoroughly enjoyed sharing our experiences with everyone.  And yes, "amazing" is a word we used a lot as well. But I have to ask...what orange rain jacket?????  Sounds like after our cruise, Scenic figured out that the heavy parka was too much for many days, and added a rain jacket.  Sure wish they'd had that on our cruise!!!  Did they let you keep it, or was it just "borrowed," like the boots?

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We did not get to keep the orange rain jacket.  It was loaned to us, because our parkas were stuck at Customs.  Scenic diligently tried and later succeeded in obtaining replacement parka for us to wear and keep.  I do not care much about the replacement parka, because I prefer the original one that probably has the Scenic Eclipse logo (and may be of higher quality material).  I prefer the rain jacket, because I do not need another winter jacket, and the rain jacket s suitable for the expedition weather.  The cut of the rain jacket is not tailored fit, so there is room for me to tug my binoculars and iPhone inside the zippered jacket, thereby shielding them from water droplets while doing zodiac cruising.

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One more comment about the boots.  We were on an Antarctic cruise in 2018 with a different cruise line. We bought the boots that were the same type you could loan, and the same type that Scenic is using. We were concerned about our feet getting cold so we brought along some foot warmers but never even needed to use them.   The boots are well-insulated. We wore one pair of thick wool socks and our feet were never cold. 

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8 hours ago, dreamercruise said:

RockyandMoose, May I offer some answers to your questions?  I was on the Dec 29, 2019 - Jan 16, 2020 Antarctica cruise (included Falkland Islands and South Georgia).  The boots provided by Scenic are waterproof Muck boots (long boots which end below knees).  I wore two pairs of merino wool socks (one long pair and one short, below ankle pair) underneath.  The layering kept my feet comfortably warm for a 2-hr excursion on land or in zodiac cruising.  Some people found it helpful to wear 2 pairs of socks, so their small feet could fit comfortably inside boots.

In terms of trekking poles, Scenic provided plenty onshore.  I brought my own, but used it only once in the beginning, but found it cumbersome boarding and disembarking the zodiac.  Scenic’s trekking poles are good quality kind.  There is no need to bring your own.  Save your luggage room.

Agree entirely with TahoeTraveler about the parka.  I never wore the provided parka, because I did not need warm jackets.  Instead, I wore the orange rain jacket provided by Scenic.  The multi, thin merino layering was sufficient to keep me warm.  The rain jacket or parka was good for waterproofing and wind proofing purposes.  What I found necessary to bring are waterproof or water-repellent pants, head/neck coverings, and waterproof gloves.  I wore thin waterproof pants in Falkland Islands and the northern-most parts of South Georgia, and insulated Gortex pants in Antarctica, both with merino baselayer pants underneath.

Scenic did a good job guiding us to/from airport (from hotel and ship).  Any long wait problems had to do with Argentina airport system.  For example, it took us three hours to go through immigration when landing Buenos Aires from US.  Expect 45-min to an hour’s wait for luggage in Ushuaia, if you are lucky to find your luggage arrived on the same flight.

Do not worry about any minor problems.  Just relax and enjoy.  My expedition cruise was on the top of my list of wonderful and memorable trips, thanks to Scenic.  Attention to details is evidenced in Scenic’s excursions, which focus on safety and enjoyment (with pampering and enrichment).  Kayaking in Antarctica waters filled with frozen ice pieces surrounded by serene, snow/iced covered shores/hills was an amazing experience.  Helicopter ride provided a different perspective of viewing ice landscape and whales from above.  Lastly, the many visits to colonies of penguins (various species) were amazing.  I kept using the word “amazing”, just like my fellow Scenic guests.

Lastly, I want to thank TahoeTraveler for her fantastic, detailed review.  I kept referencing her thread to prepare for my trip.

Thank you for taking the time to provide such a thorough answer. It sounds like you had a wonderful time which does not surprise us and the least. Remember we were on board on September 10 for the cruise from New York to Halifax so we saw the ship before it was completely rigged out And it sounds like things have just gotten better and better. We have four more scenic eclipse cruises planned over the next 18 months and can’t wait though we will have to.  And it sounds like things have just gotten better and better. We have four more scenic eclipse cruises planned over the next 18 months and can’t wait though we will have to.But I would be remiss if I did not note how invaluable it is that fellow members of this board post information about their cruise experiences as we learn a little more about the various touches, refinements and new things added since we were last on board the ship  Thank you for taking the time and sharing your experience and advice all of which both of us appreciate.

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21 hours ago, dreamercruise said:

We did not get to keep the orange rain jacket.  It was loaned to us, because our parkas were stuck at Customs.  Scenic diligently tried and later succeeded in obtaining replacement parka for us to wear and keep.  I do not care much about the replacement parka, because I prefer the original one that probably has the Scenic Eclipse logo (and may be of higher quality material).  I prefer the rain jacket, because I do not need another winter jacket, and the rain jacket s suitable for the expedition weather.  The cut of the rain jacket is not tailored fit, so there is room for me to tug my binoculars and iPhone inside the zippered jacket, thereby shielding them from water droplets while doing zodiac cruising.

Oh  no, it sounds as if Scenic is still having reprovisioning issues.  We had hoped that with the problems we had getting items delivered to the ship, the logistics would have been worked out on the following cruises.  Sounds like there are still problems. Most likely not Scenic's fault...as I mentioned in my posts, the Chilean government apparently created massive issues for Scenic getting provisions and support, and it sounds as if it's not much better with Argentina.  I will say that Scenic did a great job of trying to "make up" for any lack of supplies they were expecting on our cruise...and apparently they did the same with you on yours. And yes, our parkas have been stored in our closet ever since we got home, and we live in Northern Nevada where it gets extremely cold in the winter (it was 4 degrees Farenheit when we woke up yesterday!!!)...I just don't see us using them again.

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21 hours ago, dreamercruise said:

We did not get to keep the orange rain jacket.  It was loaned to us, because our parkas were stuck at Customs.  Scenic diligently tried and later succeeded in obtaining replacement parka for us to wear and keep.  I do not care much about the replacement parka, because I prefer the original one that probably has the Scenic Eclipse logo (and may be of higher quality material).  I prefer the rain jacket, because I do not need another winter jacket, and the rain jacket s suitable for the expedition weather.  The cut of the rain jacket is not tailored fit, so there is room for me to tug my binoculars and iPhone inside the zippered jacket, thereby shielding them from water droplets while doing zodiac cruising.

Oh  no, it sounds as if Scenic is still having reprovisioning issues.  We had hoped that with the problems we had getting items delivered to the ship, the logistics would have been worked out on the following cruises.  Sounds like there are still problems. Most likely not Scenic's fault...as I mentioned in my posts, the Chilean government apparently created massive issues for Scenic getting provisions and support, and it sounds as if it's not much better with Argentina.  I will say that Scenic did a great job of trying to "make up" for any lack of supplies they were expecting on our cruise...and apparently they did the same with you on yours. And yes, our parkas have been stored in our closet ever since we got home, and we live in Northern Nevada where it gets extremely cold in the winter (it was 4 degrees Farenheit when we woke up yesterday!!!)...I just don't see us using them again.

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