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Advice on cruise for South America please

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Hello - I have a lucky opportunity that has just come up.  My employer is giving me a South America cruise (14 day) in 2021.  I know that means Jan/Feb/Mar and I think Feb may be the best option.  I can go on Celebrity Silhouette (2/14/21) in Aqua Class or Coral Princess (2/18/21) in a suite.  I have cruised with Celebrity but not Princess. I have to choose by the end of this month so I don't have a lot of time for research.  The itineraries are similar with Princess getting the nudge, I think, because they include Falkland.  I have never done any ports or traveled in SA.  Mostly sail on RCCL (25+cruises) so not a newbie to cruising. I'd love some feedback to help me decide, I will cross post this on Princess as well.  Last bit of info that might be useful we are in our 60's, not drinkers, enjoy sea days and ports with peak interest in nature/scenery.

Thank you for any info or suggestion you can share 😀

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I've done SA with Celebrity and was a really nice cruise.   Probably my favorite.   I haven't done it on Princess but would expect the experience to be similar.  I's sure others with experience on both lines will chime in.    I really don't think you will be disappointed with Celebrity as a selection.

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Thank you Jim_Iain - I'm certainly getting more answers from the Princess crowd.  All very helpful though.  Now I have a friend saying look at Azamara so that is the final option :).

 

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We just got off Celebrity Eclipse two days ago after going San Antonio, Chile to Buenos Aires for 14 nights.  Do you have any specific questions?

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We did Princess Star for Around the Horn 14 day cruise and Celebrity Infinity for Antarctica, both about 10 years ago.  Both were great cruises overall.  I would look at Itinerary too.  We got to Falklands on first cruise, Princess and missed Falklands on second one on Celebrity.   Falklands is a tender port.  If penguins are real important to you, check out where you can see all the different types of penguins at all of your ports of call.   Beyond penguins, Falklands is limited as it has a small port town and much of island is off limits due to  mines from the Falklands war many years ago.

 

 

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We did the Eclipse from Buenos Aires to San Antonio in March 2019. Our itinerary did not include the Falklands but we had booked a private tour to see them out of Puerto Madryn. Unfortunately, roads to Peninsula Valdes and to Punta Tomba were flooded and all tour providers including Celebrity had to cancel tours to those sights. We missed penguins on that cruise b.c. we'd booked something else in Ushuaia, which was our last opportunity for penguins. Punta del Este in Uruguay was also aborted because the harbor was closed due to high winds. Despite these glitches, that cruise is one of our favorites.

 

So if penguins are your thing, I suggest booking tours to see them in more than one port, J.I.C. And to help guide your choice of Princess or Celebrity, check out each line's shorex offerings & pricing. Also look at the roll calls for each cruise- we joined other members for private tours that they'd organized in addition to ones that I coordinated. The more active the roll call the better the opportunities  available!

 

 

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We really enjoyed our Celebrity Infinity Buenos Aires RT/ Antarctica in Feb 2018. This one did include Falklands which we really enjoyed ( Volunteer Point is incredible). The cruise before ours however missed Falklands due to weather and we were told that this is not uncommon 

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My vote is for Celebrity.  Did Infinity Buenos Aires/Antarctica and missed Falklands due to weather.  Loved the penguins.  I find Celebrity much more to my liking but to be honest have not sailed Princess since Carnival bought Princess.  Whatever you decide, enjoy your cruise. 

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There are some things that I enjoy about Princess, others that I enjoy about Celebrity.  I view them as similiars.

 

We are on the Coral Princess Christmas cruise.  That itinerary goes down further south to Antartica (16 days).

 

I would choose which ever itinerary you like best.

 

There is also a difference in ships.  About 2850 vs 1970 cruisers.  I have a preference for the smaller ships.

Edited by NMTraveller

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17 hours ago, TMLAalum said:

We did the Eclipse from Buenos Aires to San Antonio in March 2019. Our itinerary did not include the Falklands but we had booked a private tour to see them out of Puerto Madryn. Unfortunately, roads to Peninsula Valdes and to Punta Tomba were flooded and all tour providers including Celebrity had to cancel tours to those sights. We missed penguins on that cruise b.c. we'd booked something else in Ushuaia, which was our last opportunity for penguins. Punta del Este in Uruguay was also aborted because the harbor was closed due to high winds. Despite these glitches, that cruise is one of our favorites.

 

So if penguins are your thing, I suggest booking tours to see them in more than one port, J.I.C. And to help guide your choice of Princess or Celebrity, check out each line's shorex offerings & pricing. Also look at the roll calls for each cruise- we joined other members for private tours that they'd organized in addition to ones that I coordinated. The more active the roll call the better the opportunities  available!

 

 

On our just completed round the Horn cruise on Eclipse, we missed two ports.  Punta Arenas (and penguins) and Punta Del Este.  High winds and seas.  These south american itineraries have a lot of tender ports.  It is a decent risk that you will miss ports due to their location in the world and unpredictable weather.  We did get our chance in Puerto Madryn to get out on the Peninsula Valdes to see penguins, elephant seals and sea lions.  But it was a brutal drive to get there over unpaved roads.  If you can choose an itinerary with fewer tender ports (if that is even possible) that would be my advice.

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On 1/21/2020 at 9:52 AM, bbfgator said:

Hello - I have a lucky opportunity that has just come up.  My employer is giving me a South America cruise (14 day) in 2021.  I know that means Jan/Feb/Mar and I think Feb may be the best option.  I can go on Celebrity Silhouette (2/14/21) in Aqua Class or Coral Princess (2/18/21) in a suite.  I have cruised with Celebrity but not Princess. I have to choose by the end of this month so I don't have a lot of time for research.  The itineraries are similar with Princess getting the nudge, I think, because they include Falkland.  I have never done any ports or traveled in SA.  Mostly sail on RCCL (25+cruises) so not a newbie to cruising. I'd love some feedback to help me decide, I will cross post this on Princess as well.  Last bit of info that might be useful we are in our 60's, not drinkers, enjoy sea days and ports with peak interest in nature/scenery.

Thank you for any info or suggestion you can share 😀

 

I don't know enough about the differences to give you any insightful advice.  If you have a peak interest in nature/scenery, you are in for a treat no matter which one you choose.  Cape Horn archipelago, glaciers, beautiful conical volcanoes, sea lions, fjords, penguins, Patagonia, whales, etc etc.

 

6F02ED0A-BD35-47B0-B1AA-95BE45DE583D.jpeg

Edited by mahdnc

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19 hours ago, bbfgator said:

Thank you Jim_Iain - I'm certainly getting more answers from the Princess crowd.  All very helpful though.  Now I have a friend saying look at Azamara so that is the final option :).

 

If you’re looking at Azamara you should take a look at Viking.  Remember they include a lot and if you find a good Travel Agent, they will provide sufficient OBC to cover what isn’t!

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We missed puerto madryn the last time we were there and did not get to see Punta Tombo.   We did not stop at Falkland so missed our chance for penguins entirely.  Almost every SA cruise misses a port or two.  The seas are rough especially around the horn.

 

We enjoyed our cruise on X.  Been on Princess as well but not via South America.  If you truly want to see penguins,   The next time you go to that section book an expedition to Antarctica or South Georgia or both.  Can’t miss them there.  Truly an incredible experience.

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I did a South America cruise with Norwegian.  I'd highly recommend it.  We made it in to Falkland Islands and saw penguins.  It was one of the best parts of the cruise.  Beautiful scenery in SA.

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You must be elite or maybe elite plus on celebrity if you have 25 plus cruises on RC. I would look at the perks you get along with the which cabin you like better. You will see pretty much the same thing on both cruises. The elite benefits including priority tendering were worth it for us.  I am not sure what suite benefits you get with Princess they may be even better. 

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23 hours ago, bbfgator said:

Thank you Jim_Iain - I'm certainly getting more answers from the Princess crowd.  All very helpful though.  Now I have a friend saying look at Azamara so that is the final option :).

 


Just be aware Azamara has much smaller ships, and the room sizes are smaller, too.  Azamara stays in port longer, which is an advantage, and disembarking, especially at tender ports, is easier because there are fewer than 700 passengers.  Azamara also includes an Azamazing Evening, which is usually some type of cultural performance, that is often a highlight of the trip.

You're lucky to be gifted such a fantastic trip, and lucky to have so many choices!

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I did the Celebrity around the horn cruise in 2011 and loved it.  I did a HAL around the horn plus the Falklands and Antarctic in 2018 and loved it too.  I do prefer Celebrity over Princess, but not by much.  Being Elite + helps a lot.  But having said that, seeing the King Penguins on the Falklands was one of the biggest thrills we ever had on a cruise.  But, you can never be certain that you will be able to get into the Falklands.

 

When we took the Celebrity SA cruise in 2011, I had to decide if we would do the around the horn or the Antarctica/Falklands itinerary.  I was concerned about not getting to Antarctica, especially since they were only there 2 days.  So we did the around the horn and was able to see lovely Chile.  It was the correct choice that year, since the date I would have gone wasn't able to get to Antarctica due to weather.  With the HAL SA cruise, they spend 3 days in Antarctica, which greatly improves the odds of getting there; which is why I picked it.  With the Princess cruise only able to be there on the one day, you need to decide if it is worth the risk to do it.  Having been there, I would.  You can see lots of photos from our two cruises on my website that is linked to in my signature; or you can find it by Googling "Mike and Carol's Cruise Reviews".  Here are a couple of King Penguin pics.  There are a couple videos of them in the review.

 

  

Ant_Mike-1281.jpg

 

Ant_Mike-1360.jpg

Edited by MVPinBoynton

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Thank you all for your input.  It was a very hard decision but we've picked Celebrity Silhouette for 2/14/21.  I'm not going to look back or regret this or that as I know it will be a wonderful cruise.  Thanks again for thoughts & suggestions.

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15 minutes ago, bbfgator said:

Thank you all for your input.  It was a very hard decision but we've picked Celebrity Silhouette for 2/14/21.  I'm not going to look back or regret this or that as I know it will be a wonderful cruise.  Thanks again for thoughts & suggestions.


The nice thing about your decision is that their is no wrong choice. The are both good cruises. 

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The Silhouette is a wonderful ship.  I hope you choose to eat one night  (or two) at the Lawn Club Grill.  If they are not heavily booked, you might just get a discount just for asking.  Enjoy your cruise.

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33 minutes ago, bbfgator said:

Thank you all for your input.  It was a very hard decision but we've picked Celebrity Silhouette for 2/14/21.  I'm not going to look back or regret this or that as I know it will be a wonderful cruise.  Thanks again for thoughts & suggestions.

Have a great cruise!  

 

 

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43 minutes ago, bbfgator said:

Thank you all for your input.  It was a very hard decision but we've picked Celebrity Silhouette for 2/14/21.  I'm not going to look back or regret this or that as I know it will be a wonderful cruise.  Thanks again for thoughts & suggestions.

 

Have an awesome cruise--the wait will be worth it.

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We did Celebrity Infinity Around the Horn from Buenos Aires to Chile in January 2014.  It was a wonderful cruise.  We did five days pre-cruise in Buenos Aires and a couple of days in Chile after.  I think January is better than March.

Never did a Princess cruise, but from what I hear they are on the same level as Celebrity.  Celebrity probably has the edge on dining.

Still, is your suite really a suite or similar to a mini suite on NCL?  Check the size of the suite and what that gives you.  Does Princess have a special dining venue for suite passengers like Celebrity?

Aqua Class is great, but not a suite sized cabin.

 

Here is my detailed review of our cruise.

http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=248878

 

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We are sailing from Buenos Aires to San Antonio on Eclipse in 5 weeks time, really looking forward to the cruise as Ive never been to South America. We have excursions booked in every port except Puntas Arenas, any ideas much appreciated.

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