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erber

Live-ish -- Dec 20 Thru Jan 5 South America/Antarctica on Coral Princess

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Here we are on the Coral Princess with an unexpected sea day due to high winds. We embarked yesterday in Buenos Aires after a long day and night of travel. We used Princess EZAir and were booked on LATAM Airlines. We read good and bad reviews so we were nervous when we boarded in Miami. The plane was a 767, and we got the worst seats, but it was tolerable. We were in the middle section almost at the back. There were two young kids behind us who were a bit annoying with occasional seat kicking but there was a lot of turbulence so often we could not tell. They served dinner and hot breakfast that was fine. There were tons of movies etc to choose from. But we slept maybe two hours or so overall. I'm not a fan of long flights, but we survived! We landed around 8:00 a.m. and dealt with a long line at immigration. After that we collected our checked bag and found the Princess representatives. We were on the Princess transfer bus by 10:30 or so.

 

Somewhat sleep deprived, yet excited to arrive in Buenos Aires, we boarded the ship quite early. We were mostly unpacked and eating lunch in the dining room by 12:30. The weather was cloudy and rainy. We were advised last night via announcement by the Captain that we might not be able to dock at Montevideo due to high winds expected. A little after 7:00 this morning we had another announcement by the Captain that we could not dock. The high winds did indeed materialize so we have a sea day. Winds are quite strong and doors to the Promenade deck are all shut with no passenger access to that deck. We went outside on the Lido deck and it is extremely windy and drizzly today. Fortunately we can enjoy the view from the balcony and take a quick step outside occasionally.

 

We are hopeful we will be able to make our scheduled stop in the Falkland Islands on Dec. 24th. Keeping fingers crossed. I am so excited to see penguins on our tour to Bluff Cove.

 

Today we are just relaxing and of course...eating. Breakfast in the buffet was good. The smoked salmon was delicious and choices of items was plentiful. My only complaint is the roasted potatoes were not hot. But, that is a minor inconvenience. I miss the real brewed coffee from the Royal Class ships in the buffet, and the vast selection on those ships (we were on the Sky in early December and the buffet was enormous), but the selection of items on the Coral was more than satisfactory.

 

We switched out our elite mini-bar for coffee packages. They added the packages to our cruise cards, but we have the charges for the packages on our folio. Hoping today to see that reversed before I go to the purser's desk to inquire.

 

We are told laundry is a 72 hour turn around. We submitted a small amount this morning, so we will see how it goes.

 

We tend to eat in the buffet mostly, and pizza or outdoor grill, so I cannot comment on specialty restaurants on this voyage. Happy to answer questions, but will not be checking all the time. We are sharing a one device unlimited package (with the elite discount taken the first day it was $112.00). It is nice not worrying about minutes, but I have to allow hubby some computer time too.

 

Time for lunch....

 

 

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We were on Coral a cruise or two before you for the Panama cruise. We found the food in the MDR's to be very good, the current EC on her is very good. Curious as to why you don't have some of your meals in the MDR's? We ate on occasion in the buffet but not the quality of the MDR's.

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We occasionally eat in MDR.  We look at menus to decide and often do go on formal nights. But, we like the speed and convenience of buffet. MDR often takes a long time. I agree it is more elegant and food can be superior to buffet but on the whole we like the low key ease of the buffet. 

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Am looking forward to following you on your trip. The Coral is our favorite! We are taking same itinerary in Feb 2021, so will eagerly be taking notes. Have a wonderful time and thanks for sharing! 

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The ship is decorated beautifully for the holiday season. Christmas trees all over and the piazza is particularly lovely. They had carolers on board yesterday singing.  

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Bon voyage! Looking forward to reading about your cruise. It's an itinerary that interests me.

Edited by geoherb

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Sorry you are missing Montevideo.

I know Falklands and the other tender ports can be questionable with winds or seas but had not heard of missing docked ports on this itinerary.

Is this common?

Enjoy the rest of your cruise, we are looking forward to Coral in February.

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I don't know how common it is. The captain  informed everyone this afternoon to expect  48 hours of these swells. Apparently there is a large area of weather across Patagonia and the swells on the Pacific side are even higher than our side. He did say, however, the Falkland Islands are looking good for tendering! He also said latest forecast bodes well the Drake Passage crossing. So that is good news. 

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I was hoping that someone would do a live from since I'm on the cruise right after your's.

 

Sorry that you have to miss Montevideo.  There aren't many ports on this itinerary to begin with so to lose one isn't starting off well.  I can imagine that the storm is worse on the Pacific side.  We experienced some of the largest waves that we've ever had on a prior cruise off the coast of Chile, so much so that Captain Perrin said he was going to "tuck into a fjord for a while so as not to damage the ship".  Then we got to Cape Horn and the water was like glass.

 

Hope you do make the Falklands.  We enjoyed Bluff Cove so much on our first South American cruise that we are doing it again.  There's a lot less jostling than on the trip out to Volunteer Point and we were pleased with the variety of penguins, sea lions, and birds we saw, plus the homemade complementary baked goods from the locals were an unexpected treat.

 

Enjoy your cruise and take good care of the Coral!

 

Julie

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Julie, 

I promise to take good care of the ship. We selected Bluff Cove for all the reasons you listed. I am very excited that it looks like we will get to go to the Falklands. I'm a literacy teacher and one of the books I do in a reading group is Mr. Popper's Penguins. My students really want to see photos from my penguin  excursion ! 

 

While I'm disappointed we didn't make it to Montevideo, a day of rest has been good for us to recover from the night flight. 

 

Tomorrow will be exciting. We have several lectures on different aspects of Antarctica and then for my husband... Sunday football games on MUTS. 

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8 hours ago, erber said:

 I miss the real brewed coffee from the Royal Class ships in the buffet,

Thanks for posting live from your Coral cruise.

 

I am curious did they remove the Amuleto Coffee bar from the Corals buffet?

 

 

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Actually tonight  I think I saw fancy coffee machines and a small bar in the buffet area near the desserts. I will check to see if you can get lattes, etc at that location. If so, I will get a latte to tomorrow morning with breakfast.  By the way, they reversed the charge for the coffee packages we got by switching our the mini bar. 

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Thanks, Eber, for this thread. I'll be boarding the Coral in Santiago de Chile on Jan 5th to do the same itinerary on reverse so I am really happy to be able to read about your voyage.

If it's not too much asking, can you post the Princess Patter for embarkation day?

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I am so excited to see your thread. I’m doing the same one in January’21 with a good friend. Looking forward to your posts.  I will be platinum, so will wait to get internet til I’m on board. Have a great cruise!

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If I had to miss a port on this itinerary, Montevideo would certainly be my first choice!  I did not find much to recommend it, and I'm sure you are better off to have had the day to recover from the overnight flight.

 

I will keep my fingers crossed for good weather for tendering into the Falkland Islands.  It was everything I had hoped it would be!  Have a great cruise.

 

 

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I'm happy to see this thread, as I am doing the same cruise in January. I'm looking forward to following along.

It's a shame you had to miss Montevideo, I hope that you will be able to make it to the Falkland Islands.

Enjoy the rest of your cruise!

 

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10 hours ago, cecimar said:

Thanks, Eber, for this thread. I'll be boarding the Coral in Santiago de Chile on Jan 5th to do the same itinerary on reverse so I am really happy to be able to read about your voyage.

If it's not too much asking, can you post the Princess Patter for embarkation day?

So sorry, we haven't  saved any patters. I do plan to upload some photos from Falkland Islands and Antarctica if the internet cooperates! 

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We, too, are on the cruise from Santiago right after yours, so we'll be following your journey.  Very glad to hear that there are lectures on Antarctica.  After your days cruising Antarctica, can you give us a run down on what clothes you found useful?  Yes, I know...layers; but I'd love a first hand account from someone who is actually there around the same time of year we'll be there.  Would be very appreciated!

 

One more think, can you tell us who is the cruise director?  

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I'm uploading the patter for today. Let's see how long it takes to upload! Wow. It took 4 minutes. Much faster than uploading a photo. Or maybe less people are online now? Who knows. 

 

We are about to start our day. First lecture starts in 10 minutes. All lectures will be in the theater, simulcast in Universe Lounge, and recorded for viewing on channel 48 by later today. 

 

We heard that many crew whose contracts were up were unable to disembark yesterday. So they will not be able to spend Christmas with their families  They have had contracts extended. That is sad to hear, especially as it's Christmas. 

 

I'll post more later today.

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We are also on this cruise on Jan 5. Glad to see there are naturalists on board.  Thanks for posting.  Lynne

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Cruise director is Fernando Cunha. There is fancy coffee up on deck 14, although I got mine this morning at international cafe when we were looking around the ship before breakfast. 

 

We are breakfast in the buffet and had delicious eggs Benedict and also some gravlax. 

 

The theater was packed for the first lecture but the Universe Lounge had ample seating and many seats were still available at the beginning of the lecture. We opted to watch the lectures later in our stateroom. 

 

The seas are calmer but it is still a bit tricky occasionally when walking around. 

 

It is 55 degrees Fahrenheit and very windy. So it's cold on deck. 

 

As for clothing ( aside from a couple of nice outfits for dinner), I brought long pants, leggings, long sleeved shirts and long sleeved t shirts. I brought a sweatshirt, warm hat and gloves, a neck scarf, windbreaker, one sweater, and a packable down jacket.  I also brought one pair of long underwear bottoms. I also brought a pair of duck boots for Falkland island penguin excursion in particular. I'll let you know what combination of layers I end up wearing. 

 

 

Edited by erber

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Sounds like Medallion Net is a bit slow in that part of the world.  I was expecting that but a 4 minute upload is a bit lengthy.

 

Thank you for posting the Patter!  It's nice to see a little preview of what we will experience very soon.

 

Hoping the seas stay on the calm side for the rest of your voyage!

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In case anyone is interested, we have a standard balcony cabin. We are on Emerald deck near front stairway. Excellent location. Very quiet and easy to get around from this location. No barrel chair in the room, but that doesn't bother us as we never do room service. We do have bar soap and I did get the little elite bag of bathroom amenities ( No more  bar soap or elite bag on our  December 1st Getaway cruise on the Sky Princess). 

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Thank you so much for these posts!  We will be doing same trip Jan 21.  Looking forward to seeing more!

 

Hope you have calm seas and an enjoyable rest of your voyage!

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Following along. I'm really looking forward to reading your semi live. We were booked on a now cancelled Enchanted Transatlantic for '21 and am searching for a replacement since none of the other TAs work for us. We were on the Coral in Alaska and so far it is my favorite ship. We were in a standard balcony on the Emerald deck as well - the last one all the way aft, port side. 

Edited by hllwdcruiser

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