Number of Cruises: 8
Cruise Line: Norwegian
Ship: Norwegian Dream
Sailing Date: January 21st, 2001
Itinerary: South America
January 21st, 2001
My husband and I really didn't know what to expect of S. America but enjoyed it very much. For early booking, NCL offered us two free days either before or after the cruise. Since we did our own air fare, we chose two nights in Santiago. We stayed at the Crowne Plaza Hotel which was very good and centrally located for exploring the city on foot.
Valparaiso was about an hour's ride from Santiago, checked into the boat and enjoyed lunch by 1 pm, but understand that later on, people had a much longer wait for check in.
Both our waiters and our room steward were excellent and seating at dinner was still at an assigned table rather than the freestyle which NCL is switching to. We prefer assigned seating and get to know the waiters better. On the whole the food was good but the rolls and bread were outstanding.
We have sailed on the Wind before and Dream is identical so had no problem in getting around the boat. We also like the Atlantic Deck (6th) cabins with their picture windows but this cabin, 6065, near the rear did have a problem with the engine vibrations.
As suggested by NCL, we signed up for shore excursions ahead of time and even then one of them was full. Some people did not and then there was a line at the Shore excursion desk of these people complaining. Think the best shore excursion was Penguins at Otway Sound in Punta Arenas, Chile, one got really up close to them. Some ports we had to tender in, but didn't seem to be a problem in getting a tender. The scenery in this part of the world was fantastic and more spectacular than the Inside Passage of Alaska.
However due to bad weather, we didn't get to go to the Falkland Islands but these waters are some of the roughest in the world but on the day we sailed by Cape Horn, the waters were very smooth.
There was a very good lecturer on board, Larry Rudner, who talked about South America, explorers and navigators and gave hands-on lessons in sextant operation.
We enjoy dancing of an evening and there was a great Argentina professional couple - Duo Mira - on board who did shows of an evening but also gave Argentina tango lessons, they were great.
On the whole the entertainment was very good and a lot of single acts on a 14 day cruise. There was a female comedienne by the name of Monique who people thought was either great or terrible, I am among the latter.
On the whole, we enjoyed the cruise very much but if we were to do this itinerary again, we would reverse the itinerary and start off in Buenos Aires.