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scubacruiserx2

Thinking of going to South America and Antarctica on Celebrit ?

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While eating breakfast in the lounge we saw MSC ship pulling into port.

 

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It backed in near the Zaandam who had spent the night

 

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In the front of the hotel were a number of flags .  Conspicuously absent were the British and American flags

 

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We were planning to go to the mall for some shopping and then have lunch but we saw some fast moving clouds that made us wait for a little .

 

 

 

 

Here's the mall that we went to Galerias Pacifico

 

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They have some interesting paintings on the ceilings and a great Christmas tree

 

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Edited by scubacruiserx2

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From our eye in the sky perch we could see the green life jackets on the Promenade deck preparing the next cruise for the safety drill

 

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The Costa Favolosa was out the port before the Zaandam

 

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Away she goes

 

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on her next adventure in Antarctica 

 

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All that was left of our trip was to fly home . This trip was our favorite trip and cruise . We had 2 previous visits which we all enjoyed . Our first trip was mainly Chile in 2007 and we developed a nice small group which we met on Cruise Critic that we toured with . There were 3 Americans , 2 from the Isle of Man , 1 from Belgium , and 1 from Chile .

 

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We found that this is truly an international cruise with people from all around the world that shared a joy of travel and cruising . On our second trip in 2013 we rounded the Horn and met folks from Moscow and Sydney that we toured with . It seems like the trips ended in " If you're ever in ______ look us up which we have done on several occasions . Perhaps our closest bond was with Karen and Ron who would meet us in London for dinner or the theater . In 2011 we planned to visit and stay Germany , Russia and Ireland  and we asked Karen and Ron if we could meet . We had rented apartments in St. Petersburg and Munich and were going to take a bus tour around Ireland which missed a few of the places that we had hoped to see and we told K&R about our plans . Karen's response on the phone was " My tour goes there " . What she proposed was to meet in Dublin and she and Ron would bring their car by ferry and we would tour together . It was a brilliant plan and showed their caring and giving nature . She booked all of the apartments and B&Bs and did all of the driving . We had a ball for 10 days ! 

 

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We spent our last 2 nights here .

 

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I will always remember her outgoing personality and infectious laughter and the good times that we spent with them .

 

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When we visited the Baltic in 2016 with our grandson , Karen's health prohibited a trip to London so we met them in the Isle of Man where they lived which they toured us around . The island was the inspiration for Thomas the train which was our grandson's favorite when he was a child .

 

 

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Now he got to ride that train

 

 

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We had asked if we could meet in April when we have a TA  cruise that goes to Ireland but we didn't hear back from them . Karen passed away last week and we will remember her when we visit , but that trip and our lives will never be the same .

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An amazing and wonderful review from start to finish!  We head to Santiago Chile in less than a month.

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49 minutes ago, TeeRick said:

An amazing and wonderful review from start to finish!  We head to Santiago Chile in less than a month.

 

Super , we hope that you have a fantastic trip ! We doing a little packing for our next cruise on Tuesday but I did want to share some issues that we had with cash , cabs and cons to help people be aware and avoid some of the same problems .

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18 minutes ago, MicCanberra said:

So sorry to hear of Karen's Passing.

Thanks for the review, great work.

 

Thanks Mic . Karen was a great lady . She was only a month older than Pat so it hits close to home .

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We booked a cab twice from Premium Taxi based on a tip from CC . They were a no show both times and didn't answer the phone . We found out later that they are closed on weekends a fact that they didn't bother telling us . We should have gotten a taxi at the kiosk in the airport but we went outside . We agreed to a price in pesos and he didn't tell us that we had to pay tolls . The streets were blocked to our hotel so we had to lug our luggage uphill about 3-4 blocks  at about 10 pm . He refused payment in pesos saying that they were no good ( We changed money at a bank in the airport because all of the ATM's were empty on weekends ) . The maximum withdrawal at ATM's is about $100 with about a 10% fee .

 In Santiago we also missed our guide who later said that he was there . We went to the taxi kiosk and a guy with an ID card around his neck approached us saying that he would get us a cab . We asked if he would call our guide and he spoke to someone in Spanish who told us that he was our guide and he could't be there until 2 pm . We were told that the fee to the port would be about a hundred dollars in pesos for the hour and a half ride which we could pay at the office on the way . The office was a gas station with our helper and a third man there . They now wanted $300 which we could get at the ATM inside . We said $150 max and  I stayed with the cab and luggage while my wife tried 2 ATM's inside which didn't work . He then tried his scanner which he said didn't work . I had to dig into out suitcase to get the cash in pesos and we we're off on a white knuckle ride to the port . As soon as we checked in we went to the concierge to check our bank account and sure enough , they had tapped $150 which our bank agreed to put a hold on . 

 We would recommend using dollars and check the conversion daily . A scam that also go on is telling you that your pesos are counterfeit and switching your good peso for their counterfeit ones which they return to you . Except for this we loved our cruise just be careful at the airport . The taxis that we called at the hotels were legit with no problems . 

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15 hours ago, scubacruiserx2 said:

We booked a cab twice from Premium Taxi based on a tip from CC . They were a no show both times and didn't answer the phone . We found out later that they are closed on weekends a fact that they didn't bother telling us . We should have gotten a taxi at the kiosk in the airport but we went outside . We agreed to a price in pesos and he didn't tell us that we had to pay tolls . The streets were blocked to our hotel so we had to lug our luggage uphill about 3-4 blocks  at about 10 pm . He refused payment in pesos saying that they were no good ( We changed money at a bank in the airport because all of the ATM's were empty on weekends ) . The maximum withdrawal at ATM's is about $100 with about a 10% fee .

 In Santiago we also missed our guide who later said that he was there . We went to the taxi kiosk and a guy with an ID card around his neck approached us saying that he would get us a cab . We asked if he would call our guide and he spoke to someone in Spanish who told us that he was our guide and he could't be there until 2 pm . We were told that the fee to the port would be about a hundred dollars in pesos for the hour and a half ride which we could pay at the office on the way . The office was a gas station with our helper and a third man there . They now wanted $300 which we could get at the ATM inside . We said $150 max and  I stayed with the cab and luggage while my wife tried 2 ATM's inside which didn't work . He then tried his scanner which he said didn't work . I had to dig into out suitcase to get the cash in pesos and we we're off on a white knuckle ride to the port . As soon as we checked in we went to the concierge to check our bank account and sure enough , they had tapped $150 which our bank agreed to put a hold on . 

 We would recommend using dollars and check the conversion daily . A scam that also go on is telling you that your pesos are counterfeit and switching your good peso for their counterfeit ones which they return to you . Except for this we loved our cruise just be careful at the airport . The taxis that we called at the hotels were legit with no problems . 

Thank you for this info.  We have booked transportation from Santiago to the ship with a reputable (we hope) tour guide.  My son goes to Santiago on business and told us to avoid taxis.  So we are either using the shuttle from our hotel or a private car service to go from the airport to our hotel.

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10 minutes ago, TeeRick said:

Thank you for this info.  We have booked transportation from Santiago to the ship with a reputable (we hope) tour guide.  My son goes to Santiago on business and told us to avoid taxis.  So we are either using the shuttle from our hotel or a private car service to go from the airport to our hotel.

 

Sounds like a great choice . We're off on the Zuiderdam tomorrow going near South America to the ABCs .

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2 minutes ago, scubacruiserx2 said:

 

Sounds like a great choice . We're off on the Zuiderdam tomorrow going near South America to the ABCs .

Yes thank you and have a wonderful cruise!

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5 hours ago, scubacruiserx2 said:

 

Sounds like a great choice . We're off on the Zuiderdam tomorrow going near South America to the ABCs .

Have a great trip, I am envious.

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Hello scubacruiserx2, your pictures are amazing and have totally enjoyed the information you have provided.  We are going to South America in January for a few months and have added El Calafate to our list.  How long should we plan on in this area  ?  At the end of our trip is a 21 days Azamara cruise from Buenos Aries to Lima.  We plan to follow you trip and rent a car.  What hotels did you stay?   Thank you.  Susan & Kevin  susan t McNally @ g mail . com (no spaces)

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