Subject: South American cruise
We recently took a 14 day cruise on the NCL Norwegian Dream from Buenos Aires to Valparaiso. This being our 29th cruise, we feel we can be critical of the ship. It was a beautiful vessel, clean, lovely cabin with picture window BUT disorganized when it came to getting people to various places. I changed their name to the Norwegian Cruise LINES as we did nothing but stand on line, sometimes for over an hour either to board or to disembark, etc.

The ports were very lovely; particularly liked Puerto Madryn - a lovely beach resort. We visited Port Stanley in the Falklands. It is a bleak and barren place but we took the ride to see the penguins and they were charming and nesting in little hollows. The walking there was particularly difficult on gravel and hilly roads.

We were apprehensive about the rounding of Cape Horn as we had heard many horror stories of rough seas. However, it was smooth and no rolling at all. The worst storm we encountered was just south of Buenos Aires.

An interesting stop was Ushuaia at the Bottom of the world Very charming area. I must say that the South American people we met were the friendliest and more cheerful than in any other countries we have visited.

In each port, we would hire a cab or van to do our sightseeing which was far cheaper than the ship tours. I speak limited Spanish but was able to communicate quite well with the drivers and it was fun.

Two other points of interest were Punta Arenas, Chile as well as Puerto Montt. and the scenery as we sailed along the fjords was breathtaking. We had beautiful but chilly weather throughout.

Chile was outstanding. We debarked in Valparaiso where I had earlier (on the internet) hired two taxis and drivers (there were four of us with loads of luggage) and these remarkable men took us all over Valparaiso, Vina del Mar, and finally to Santiago. We were with them about 9 hours and we stopped for lunch at a remarkable seafood place in Valparaiso (El Membrillo) where the gulls and pelicans joined us for lunch.

Seeing the snow on the Andes was beautiful and we also visited the home of Pablo Neruda.

The worst part of this entire trip was the long long plane rides and the inept employees at the airports where we had tight connections. Also, La Cucaracha on my dinner platter on American Airlines was quite disgusting.

I am afraid we are getting too old (I never thought I would say this) for such long travel. We love cruises but will have to find some that leave closer to home.

Rosaly