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Live from Southern Atlantic Crossing - Barcelona to Buenos Aires


milling73
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Currently sailing off coast of Morocco. It is November 21 2023 - but temps outside are mid 70’s at 8:19 am. We have had gorgeous sunny days at Barcelona, Malaga, and Casablanca. Light sweater in morning, short sleeves later. 
Notes:

If want shop Casablanca - the included tour goes basically to 1 store. Extremely Crowded and goods were not great selection. Leather jackets - black or navy - limited sizes. Souvenirs lot of dime store quality. Tangier shopping much much better. Tour does not go to Medina - It may have been because Viking was trying protect passengers from either getting lost, or in safer area from pickpockets, etc. 

On board - ship is gorgeous. We were given complimentary upgrade to penthouse balcony. While room is super nice and larger, I would not have paid $3k more to have extra drawer space and full size couch which we have yet to use. Balcony size is simlar. We have a weird configuration - glass window, wall, then fairly narrow glass door onto balcony. I think some are all glass with window / sliding doors, but nearly half our wall is solid. unless positive our room have full glass wall with sliding doors I certainly would not pay more for this category selection.  

Meals - we mostly eat world cafe for convenience and selection, plus we are not gourmet diners. So that a matter of choice. Also love all windows sea views, and seating choice. Inside or out. 
Note - if a salt lover as we are. Pack couple those picnic salt packs from grocery. The shakers here are self grind sea salt. And with humidity or use- Most either do not work to grind fine or you get salt chunks. We have tried numerous and Mostly we get nothing at all. So far that been our only complaint on dining. The buffet often follows main dining room on choices. 
we are loving this cruise. And highly recommend 

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It’s a wonderful cruise. We did this in reverse in March of this year and were blessed with beautiful weather and calm seas all the way. The guest lecturers were all really interesting and we loved the sea days.  We were on the Jupiter. Which ship are you on?

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Looks nice!

 

We just booked our first TA ( "West Indies & The Iberian Peninsula") from San Juan to Barcelona.  Sailing is March 27th, 2024.  One thing I realized is that since it starts in San Juan, we won't have to deal with massive jet lag at the beginning of the cruise!

 

Apparently "West Indies & The Iberian Peninsula" is a "new itinerary".  Looking forward to it!

 

 

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9 hours ago, susiebobtail said:

It’s a wonderful cruise. We did this in reverse in March of this year and were blessed with beautiful weather and calm seas all the way. The guest lecturers were all really interesting and we loved the sea days.  We were on the Jupiter. Which ship are you on?

We are doing the direction you did when the Jupiter returns to the Mediterranean after our South America & Chilean Fjords cruise. 

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The Village of Mijas excursion at Malaga is wonderful! Pretty white village with great shopping and views. The highlight was tapas at a local outdoor cafe in absolutely gorgeous setting. The tapas were best we had in Spain. 

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At Cape Verde we opted for the 4x4 excursion. We had a bit of misconception on that tour. We thought it would be open top jeeps going off road. Tour does go off- road, is by 4x4,- but via fairly new 4 seater trucks - plush interior, comfy seats that absorbed much of the bounce. So not sure why tour listed as “demanding”...the scenery is both desolate and gorgeous, sand, broken lava  rock, mountains with almost no vegetation. A Mars landscape to an astonishingly beautiful turquoise sea. If looking for an island with deserted beaches - this is it. 
We have mixed feelings on the tour. We were disappointed that it was not by “open top jeep” as the excursion description implies. It does go through gulleys, dry creek beds, but again via enclosed truck with driver. 2 passengers per truck sitting in back seat (us). Had we known this, we would not have booked. But again that is preference- others might jump at it. 
There was no shopping stop on tour. 
We heard from others thst the included free tour is excellent. It is by open window local shuttle bus. The island is windy with cool breeze that helps tremendously. 
Viking does offer a shuttle into town, but again this island is too new to tourism to offer souvenirs. Shops are what locals may need. Actually we found the island refreshing in its poor but pure island life, so far unspoiled by t-shirt shops. 
 

 

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Viking Jupiter entertainment: we have found most of the lectures to be very interesting. 
The Viking singers are simply wonderful-extremely talented in a wide range of songs, young, and personable. Each performance is packed. 
The on-board games are fun to play or observe. Corn toss contest between passengers and crew is a particular favorite. So far crew is ahead - but then they have a local game play advantage!

The tour listed learn maj-jong or bridge. Another slight misrepresentation. Both are offered, but unhosted. There are no lessons - only a few who know how to play are there. There is also craft time - but u have to have brought a craft. None are supplied. 
Video game tables are popular and used, as is scrabble boards, and I think passengers are working on 4th jigsaw puzzle now. 
Dancing Under The Stars night by main pool was huge hit with Viking band and singers. 
Enjoyed immensely by all. As you can interpret- we are loving this cruise - food, staff, ship all superb. Only thing we miss is salty snacks - cookies, ice cream, cakes galore. But No Salt. The pringle can in gift shop surprisingly tasteless.
Note to self - next time pack salt shaker, and some chips and popcorn!!!

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Weather is a variable every year - but for this cruise I packed way too many, too warm items. And not nearly enough summer cotton clothing. Barcelona was only cool port we had - 60-73. (Novemer). 
Following that each day has been warmer, mid to upper 80’s, humid, with bright and intense sun. 
 

I never dreamed crossing the Atlantic in November that it would be this warm. Even at night it is short sleeve, sleeveless dress warm. I am in sweat by 3rd lap of jogging track. And soaked by 2 miles. 
We live in Florida, and it is warmer here on ocean than there. 

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3 hours ago, milling73 said:

At Cape Verde we opted for the 4x4 excursion. We had a bit of misconception on that tour. We thought it would be open top jeeps going off road. Tour does go off- road, is by 4x4,- but via fairly new 4 seater trucks - plush interior, comfy seats that absorbed much of the bounce. So not sure why tour listed as “demanding”...the scenery is both desolate and gorgeous, sand, broken lava  rock, mountains with almost no vegetation. A Mars landscape to an astonishingly beautiful turquoise sea. If looking for an island with deserted beaches - this is it. 
We have mixed feelings on the tour. We were disappointed that it was not by “open top jeep” as the excursion description implies. It does go through gulleys, dry creek beds, but again via enclosed truck with driver. 2 passengers per truck sitting in back seat (us). Had we known this, we would not have booked. But again that is preference- others might jump at it. 
There was no shopping stop on tour. 
We heard from others thst the included free tour is excellent. It is by open window local shuttle bus. The island is windy with cool breeze that helps tremendously. 
Viking does offer a shuttle into town, but again this island is too new to tourism to offer souvenirs. Shops are what locals may need. Actually we found the island refreshing in its poor but pure island life, so far unspoiled by t-shirt shops. 
 

 

This was our experience two years ago with the 4x4.  Viking really needs to sync their descriptions with the reality.  We’ve grown frustrated with the misleading and sometimes down right misrepresentation of optional tours.  We’ve complained via the questionnaires to please, please accurately represent what you are buying.  They’ve called twice and offered $50 vouchers but we reiterated that accurate descriptions would go much further in customer satisfaction.

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Thanks for your posts  about  your crossing.

 My friends are on the Viking Sky currently heading from Barcelona to  Fort Lauderdale. They too said it is warm in the mid  70's. They are loving each and every sea day.

On my last cruise in June, I too craved some salty potato chips. None board except those Pringles which was not what I had in mind. Yes,,next Viking cruise I will pick up some chips before I get  on board. 

 

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1 hour ago, Azulann said:

Thanks for your posts  about  your crossing.

 My friends are on the Viking Sky currently heading from Barcelona to  Fort Lauderdale. They too said it is warm in the mid  70's. They are loving each and every sea day.

On my last cruise in June, I too craved some salty potato chips. None board except those Pringles which was not what I had in mind. Yes,,next Viking cruise I will pick up some chips before I get  on board. 

 

Actually, on the Madeira stop where you get a chance to sample a local beverage at a little bar, they had Lay’s salt and vinegar chips.  Unknown to me, DH bought 2 bags on his way out of the bar (big bags).  Since then, these chips have been a running joke between us.  We wiped out the stock on the shelves in the grocery store at the mall attached to the dock in Singapore.  We also found them in Isafjordur, Iceland.  
We found them at a few other stops on the world cruise, and usually in the most unexpected places.

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when we did the west to eat TA on the Jupiter there was an artist who had sessions many days and the participants produced some lovely paintings...they even had a show on deck three!   another cruise had many crafts that were lead by staff member.  Maybe they could not entice anyone for your cruise!

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2 hours ago, Mich3554 said:

Actually, on the Madeira stop where you get a chance to sample a local beverage at a little bar, they had Lay’s salt and vinegar chips.  Unknown to me, DH bought 2 bags on his way out of the bar (big bags).  Since then, these chips have been a running joke between us.  We wiped out the stock on the shelves in the grocery store at the mall attached to the dock in Singapore.  We also found them in Isafjordur, Iceland.  
We found them at a few other stops on the world cruise, and usually in the most unexpected places.

We agree with everyone saying they crave some salty snacks after all that sugar desserts available.  And pringles don't cut it.

 

We make a concerted attempt to buy chips/crisps in the ports!  It's also fun to try the local country brands too.    Ha - we also found them Isafjordur last June!    Maybe a good thing we aren't competing.  We did buy several bags of  chips in the grocery store in Valparaiso, Chile while in our Airbnb ahead of the S.American cruise that we were both on (Dec 19)  -  (And wine bottles of course!)

 

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39 minutes ago, CCWineLover said:

We agree with everyone saying they crave some salty snacks after all that sugar desserts available.  And pringles don't cut it.

 

We make a concerted attempt to buy chips/crisps in the ports!  It's also fun to try the local country brands too.    Ha - we also found them Isafjordur last June!    Maybe a good thing we aren't competing.  We did buy several bags of  chips in the grocery store in Valparaiso, Chile while in our Airbnb ahead of the S.American cruise that we were both on (Dec 19)  -  (And wine bottles of course!)

 

We bought Marks and Spencer’s salt and vinegar in Dublin.  They were just ok, very mild vinegar flavor.  We ate them, but they weren’t a good substitute.  
 

I think you were going the opposite direction from us in June, so they got a chance to restock in Isafjordur before the second party hit the grocery store.  We must have screwed up their inventory that month!

 

When we boarded for the last time in Hawaii before leaving on the world cruise, I noticed a lot of staff boarding the ship with shopping bags full of chips.  I get it now!  

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3 hours ago, deec said:

when we did the west to eat TA on the Jupiter there was an artist who had sessions many days and the participants produced some lovely paintings...they even had a show on deck three!   another cruise had many crafts that were lead by staff member.  Maybe they could not entice anyone for your cruise!

My husband really enjoyed that art show and we still have some of his paintings displayed in the Wintergarten.  We’re on again in March so hoping they will offer art classes again.

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We are cruising today. Tomorrow Rio. 
we have mixed reviews on Recife, Brazil. Our excursion was river catamaran cruise. River is more brackish backwater than river…parts smelty and dirty to be honest. It did have city / building views and we saw local fisherman gathering mussels and then washing off mud off in a similar manner as panning for gold - shaking basket alongside boat with feet. Seeing them was fascinating. 
We had no idea Recife as large of city as it is..many skyscrapers. On the bus tour probably through older section - we saw so many old buildings that could be truly lovely with a coat of paint and some TLC.  Poverty is apparent. 

The city tour highlight was visit to absndoned prison  left pretty much as it was, but cells turned into individual vender stalls selling crafts. What a cool idea and Wish we had been given more time there. I kept thinking how much Alcatraz would benefit from that idea. 

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Following your crossing with great interest. We did Buenos Aires to Barcelona in March 2022 and would actually like to repeat this trip sometime soon, as Brazil, Senegal and Morocco were not open for business at the time, we missed Punta del Este (a replacement for the Brazilian ports) because of high winds, and we spent the first 10 days in quarantine! So please keep reporting on your experiences!

 

Regarding the use of former prisons, we’ve experienced a few good examples over the years - Dornoch Jail in Scotland was also turned into shops selling clothes and arty gifts in 2000, in Ribe (Denmark) we spent a couple of nights in Den Gamle Arrest, the former prison, in a very small cell, and a while ago I attended a meeting in the Stirling Old Town Jail (also Scotland). Great idea turning these old buildings into something useful and attractive.

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1 hour ago, Berlin Bear said:

Following your crossing with great interest. We did Buenos Aires to Barcelona in March 2022 and would actually like to repeat this trip sometime soon, as Brazil, Senegal and Morocco were not open for business at the time, we missed Punta del Este (a replacement for the Brazilian ports) because of high winds, and we spent the first 10 days in quarantine! So please keep reporting on your experiences!

 

Regarding the use of former prisons, we’ve experienced a few good examples over the years - Dornoch Jail in Scotland was also turned into shops selling clothes and arty gifts in 2000, in Ribe (Denmark) we spent a couple of nights in Den Gamle Arrest, the former prison, in a very small cell, and a while ago I attended a meeting in the Stirling Old Town Jail (also Scotland). Great idea turning these old buildings into something useful and attractive.

We were on that crossing with you!  We too will one day probably repeat that TA.  We had done the Souht America cruise before the TA and it was wonderful.

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1 hour ago, Berlin Bear said:

Following your crossing with great interest. We did Buenos Aires to Barcelona in March 2022 and would actually like to repeat this trip sometime soon, as Brazil, Senegal and Morocco were not open for business at the time, we missed Punta del Este (a replacement for the Brazilian ports) because of high winds, and we spent the first 10 days in quarantine! So please keep reporting on your experiences!

 

Regarding the use of former prisons, we’ve experienced a few good examples over the years - Dornoch Jail in Scotland was also turned into shops selling clothes and arty gifts in 2000, in Ribe (Denmark) we spent a couple of nights in Den Gamle Arrest, the former prison, in a very small cell, and a while ago I attended a meeting in the Stirling Old Town Jail (also Scotland). Great idea turning these old buildings into something useful and attractive.

 

12 minutes ago, deec said:

We were on that crossing with you!  We too will one day probably repeat that TA.  We had done the Souht America cruise before the TA and it was wonderful.

Due to the missed ports on that cruise, we have booked to do it again (hopefully with the publicised ports) in March ‘25

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Our lovely cruise on Viking Jupiter is fast coming to an end… all too soon. A sea day today, Montevido, Uraguay tomorrow, Buenos Aires Tuesday, and Wed morning flight to orlando. 

Entertainment on ship has been superb. Talented, young and personable singers / dancers. Stage quality production sets. Couple of nice bars with music/dancing. informative or historical lectures. Games of corn toss passengers vs crew. Trivia contests etc. All rooms ocean side with balcony. For us perfection. 
But this not a cruise ship of 5,000 with casino, numerous restaurants, kids (adults only), rock walls etc. 900 is max passengers and with a crew of about 400. (Our cruise has about 650 passengers.) Service is superb. Just look up and someone is there. 

Now to watch for sales on cruises on our wish list and book our next cruise - hopefully in april. And again next fall. 

Wifi on ship unbelievable. From Barcelona across ocean to S america - miles from shore or anywhere - we never lost connection.  We barely have cell signal at our house half mile from town. Verizon — can u hear me now??? what the????
 

as a final note on excursions: in Rio we took the Highlights of Rio at I think $199 each. An 8 hour all day tour. Again rather disappointing (imo) for the price. We thought there would be in depth drive through city/beaches and onto the highlights of Christ statue, and Mountain. In reality the only city tour was to The mountain where we took the sky trams (wonderful views). Then drive to the Statue where we took tram up (fun) but then well over hour at statue. Which was hour too long. Seriously after taking snapshot of statue and scenery there is nothing else to do. Not much seating or shops. We wasted so much time there. Then onto Brazilian steakhouse for 2 hours plus lunch. If not into eating that much food or meat (which we thought very tough) - more wasted hours. So basically for $400 we saw 2 things, and a lunch that was wasted on us, and then straight back to ship. Very little sightseeing and limited shopping. 
 

our next cruise - we will look at independent excursions. There were tons of taxis offering city tours, including the statue starting at $25. In my opinion Viking either needs lower the price of optional excursions or give far better descriptions of exactly what we will receive and be accurate. Because our excursions have fallen short or been outright misleading. 

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