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A once in a lifetime amazing cruise

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Galaxy Cruise Director and me (wearing the T-shirt bought to embarrass my children...)

Submitted byNattriss, Reading

Galaxy Cruise Director and me (wearing the T-shirt bought to embarrass my children...)
Island Sky - Poole Dorset UK 29 April 2013 I was tempted to buy this in the tiny village of Ulvik - it is so me! A cheekie chappie enjoying his walk in Oslo Viking Biking! One way to get around beautiful Oslo I always find parkering difficult... Stavanger didnt drive me up the wall,it was lovely The Wonderful of this set of photos.Early morning calm on a Norwegian fjord Island Sky - Poole Dorset UK 29 April 2013 A tugboat welcome for Quest for Adventure to Sept Îles, Quebec
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Submitted byTaylor, lee on the solent

Oceana at St Barts 19th Jan 2014 After a showery start the sun came out to give a magical rainbow halo over Castries Harbor in St Lucia on this wonderful Christmas cruise Azura Skjolden Norway Allure of the Seas - Front Ship Azura alongside in Olden Norway Azura Skjolden Norway One of the crew QM2 in Southampton
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A once in a lifetime amazing cruise

Reviewed By: on
We have done many cruises before but this one surpassed them all. 20 nights over Christmas and New Year from Chile to Brazil via Antarctica

Our Holland America cruise set sail from VALPARAISO then called at PUERTO MOTT, PUNTA ARENAS, USHUAIA passing many glaciers en route.

We rounded the Horn (amazingly calm) and headed off through the notorious Drake Passage to spend the next few days cruising in ANTARCTICA. The ice bergs stole the show and sitting having breakfast whilst we went through ice berg alley was amazing.

There was a great naturalist on board who set up in the crows nest bar where you had a panoramic view. Walking the promenade deck got you closer to the action and once you got cold there was always a hot drink waiting inside.

We were lucky enough to dock on the FALKLAND ISLAND which is often missed as rough seas mean the ship cannot dock. Our next port of call was BUENOS AIRES where you dock right in the centre of the city. It is easy to hop on an open top bus to get a good overview.

Leaving that night was surreal as they had set up sun loungers on the top deck and a big screen showing Evita as we sailed off into the sunset.

The following morning we should have docked at MONTEVIDEO but due to rough seas on the River Plate this was not possible. Two days later we had the spectacular vision of sailing into RIO DE JANEIRO. It is everything the photographs show it to be but you still have to pinch yourself to believe you are there. The ship docks here overnight as customs formalities can take some time. This enables you to use the cruise ship as a floating hotel whilst you get out and see the sights.

The Veendam is a lovely ship, big enough to have most things you might need on board but small enough to be personal. The extra special meals and entertainment over Christmas and New Year were fantastic. This is one cruise we will never forget and would highly recommend as a taster of South America and a great chance to visit the Antarctic.
Review useful?

Cruise Line: Holland America Line
Times cruised before: 10+
Cruise Ship: -
Sailed: December, 2009
Destination: South America
Age: 56-65
Cabin: Outside

Quality of Food
The food was excellent with special meals for the Christmas and New Year celebrations

Entertainment was really varied and they even flew artists in from the UK to perform some of the shows. Many times we were spoilt for choice as to what to do. Lots of on board games were organised including a mini Olympics that ran over several days enabling us to get to know many more passengers. Celeste Francis and her husband John from England made a fantastic duo with John playing the piano and Celeste singing and telling jokes.

Shore Excursions
We disliked Valparaiso as I was mugged there and my husband attacked with a knife. It seems this is not uncommon and Valparaiso is notorious for crime. We are well travelled people and I had my bag across my body and clutched under my hand so we were not easy targets. We really liked Rio de Janeiro as it lived up to all expectations and more, we were backpacking round South America and spent 10 days after the cruise in that area and a further week at the end of our trip and never ran out of things to do

No one stands out as they were all so very good at their jobs

Children's Facilities

Onboard Activities
All the staff who organised quizzes and games seemed to go out of their way to find something to suit everyone and to plan it all very well. There were so many activities we were often spoilt for choice

Spacious, comfortable and well appointed. Love having a bath in the bathroom. Only thing missing was a kettle to make drinks in the room

Overall Rating
, Dundee - Commented about this Review
Why wait until now to produce your review. I am sure many people like me would have found it more informative, had you posted it on your return in 2009.
30 Mar 13 15:47 - Reply - Was this comment useful?

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