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My worse Cruise Terminal

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    My worse Cruise Terminal

    Without any doubt the worse 'Cruise Terminal' that I have experienced is the one at Buenos Aires, Argentina.

    My wife and I had the misfortune to both embark and disembark at Buenos Aires on our recent Celebrity Infinity cruise to Antarctic and the Falkland Islands.

    So what was the problem? The first problem is that the cruise terminal at Buenos Aires does not offer direct access to the cruise ships as one would expect - or it certainly didn't on the day we either embarked and disembarked. There were three cruise ships in port, all doing a change over of passengers: Celebrity Eclipse, Costa Serena and a Seabourn ship that I still haven't seen.

    There is only one entrance to the terminal and all passengers enter by the same entrance whether or not your embarkation is proceeding or not. Prior to entering the terminal tickets are inspected, again irrespective of your ship. The queues were horrendous.

    Once inside there was a degree of order and, to be fair to Celebrity, those with priority boarding were weeded out reasonably quickly and their 'check-in' expedited. This was the scene at that stage...

    ...

    ...thankfully from there on it was a celebrity show.

    Unfortunately once check-in was completed passengers then have to proceed to Argentinian emigration counters and once through can wait patiently for a bus, which will take the passengers to whichever jetty their ship is berthed at. In our case the Celebrity Infinity was berthed 20 minutes away, a journey that necessitated a 20 minute bus ride and actually leaving one port area and entering another.

    Disembarkation was a similar exercise but without the queue outside the terminal. Those passengers travelling independently though are not going to have an easy taxi pick-up.

    It certainly appears that there is a neat cartel in operation at the terminal for the services of taxis. Once outside the Terminal there is minimal space and those wishing to take a taxi are literally funnelled down a ramp where a form of 'taxi master' will ascertain your destination, pluck a figure - in American Dollars- out of the air, to be paid immediately, and before you are actually taken to a waiting taxi.

    There ain't much option folks, that is how it is. Buenos Aires is a great city to visit (review coming shortly) but a very poor port to depart and arrive at.

    What is your experience?

    #2
    A great city indeed ,but any review I could write would be over 50 years old shortly after the demise of Eva Peron.
    The cinemas up Corrientiesnwould open for late showing at about 2330 hours.

    Jim

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      #3
      My worst without doubt was Los Angeles for a Carnival cruise.

      I complained that much, we had free wine in the MDR one night plus a further two bottles waiting in the cabin on our return.

      That was about 10 years ago so things may have improved since................Wilba
      Wilba

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        #4
        Originally posted by Wilba View Post
        My worst without doubt was Los Angeles for a Carnival cruise.

        I complained that much, we had free wine in the MDR one night plus a further two bottles waiting in the cabin on our return.

        That was about 10 years ago so things may have improved since................Wilba

        Your complaints must have worked Wilba - we embarked Celebrity Summit from LA 7 years ago and got through in less than 30 minutes.

        Our worst was from Miami in 2005 boarding Navigator of the Seas. We queued for two hours thanks to having to go through security twice, the second time to give our "eye prints" to a machine. Happily that's no longer required.

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          #5
          For once i agree with Richard. We embarked on Star Princess in Buenos Aires last month and it was without doubt the worst embarkation experience we have ever had. It took three hours from arrival at the terminal (at the time we were allotted by Princess) to actually boarding the ship. We were travelling with friends who we given a later boarding time, but have mobility problems, so I called them and advised them of the delay. They asked for a wheelchair, and we were surprised to see them passing us in the queue. I didn't grudge them the speedy boarding because there was certainly no way they could stand for three hours as we did.

          We disembarked in Valparaiso with no problems and were in a taxi to our hotel in half an hour. When it comes to disembarkation, Fort Lauderdale is really bad, especially after a TransAtlantic cruise.

          Sheila

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            #6
            RCCL Grandeur ots in Marseille was hell. Took two hours and there were only 500 odd boarding as it was a second day start on a seven day cruise, making ours a six day.

            My Wife was physically assaulted by another passenger who insisted they had priority, we waited two hours in a new terminal building while the staff tried to find the on switch for the computers!

            Staff were useless, management were less than useless, a total, unorganised shambles!
            Naff start to a great holiday though, if you take out the 2 hour wait in line for the tender at one of the ports, Malta. Lovely island, needs a bigger harbour though!

            :-)

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              #7
              I have to agree with you Richard Buenos Airies cruise terminal was a real bun fight and no better when you got outside to try and board the coaches, luckily [on the advice of friends] we were able to board the minibus supplied by Sterns the jewellere which took us into BA, we used this service in quite a few places on our world cruise, they were most obliging! CG
              sigpic

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                #8
                Leith, Edinburgh. Couldn't arrange a drinks party in a distillery!

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by Cooke, Ashby View Post
                  Leith, Edinburgh. Couldn't arrange a drinks party in a distillery!
                  I do agree that the Leith cruise terminal was and still maybe a disgrace but compared to the old cruise terminal in Liverpool it was heaven.

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                    #10
                    Well, well.

                    I have just had a phone call from the wife of a good friend.

                    He is the on board Port Lecturer on Saga Ruby.

                    They are positioned some 20 minutes from the Terminal and are not happy.

                    There is also some doubt about their scheduled visit to The Falklands.

                    Shame that because I sent Jeff a load of my recent pictures.

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                      #11
                      We were on the same cruise as Richard and Buenos Aires was as eloquently described. However absolutely nothing prepares you for boarding ships in South Africa. Pride of place goes to the beautifully named N Shed in Durban which serves as the terminal for visiting cruise ships. Queues form down the dock road to hand over luggage to be x-rayed in a mobile facility. Further queuing then finally allows entrance to the Shed where a sea of ancient plastic chairs await, if you are lucky to get one. Then comes the shambles that is emigration. All this may be done in great heat (no aircon, at least Buenos Aires had that). We have spent many happy hours in the N Shed waiting with hope but little expectation. Then there is Cape Town. That such a lovely city (and our worldwide favourite) has such appalling facilities is beyond belief. Smaller ships used to go into the V&A Waterfront where there were modest facilities, but the Provincial Government stopped that two years ago. Now cruisers have to contend with facilities in E dock which similar to Durban. Trust me Buenos Aires was an orderly piece of cake in comparison!

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                        #12
                        Whilst I think that Liverpool is a lovely city and the new £21m cruise terminal is in a superb location I'm afraid that the facilities qualify for "My worst cruise terminal".



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