Best S. America cruise in 2003???


May 5th, 2002, 12:38 PM
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Best S. America cruise in 2003???

I have checked several websites and it seems that the choices for South America cruises that sail around the Cape in Feb 2003 are: HAL Ryndym, Royal Princess, Celebrity Zenith, Crystal Symphony, and Norwegian Dream. Does anyone have opinions about which ship would be best product considering price/poerformance. I know Crystal and Radisson offer superior product but also have much higher price. I am looking for price/performance advice.

Is Royal Princess as worn out as I have heard? Are the standard balcony staterooms too small?

How is the Ryndam? That ship offers the best itinerary from my point of view - over nights in both Rio and Buenos Aires. Never sailed Holland America, so I don't know what to expect.

Sailed the Radisson Diamond last September (10 days after 9/11 attacks) and it was the best of all 9 cruises I have taken. Also most expensive, but not far behind the RCCL Baltic trip we took almost 5 years ago. It will be hard to go back to the nickel and diming of most other cruise lines.

Thanks for your help with this. I am most concerned at quality of food, service and staterooms.

Thanks in advance!
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May 6th, 2002, 10:57 PM
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Adelle, Royal Olympic are doing a 55-day cruise next year starting in Los Angeles adn ending in Ft. Lauderdale on their new Explorer. The information will come out in June they told me. Orient Lines also have an itinerary as well as Norwegian. (both shorter trips)
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May 7th, 2002, 11:07 AM
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We sailed the Ryndam from San Diego to Rio last fall. Nice shipk, good, (but after 32 days got monotonous--lots of repeat menus), seems they have cut back on staff--log waits for your dinner in dining room, ) and the shore excursions were pretty hectic, long waits in lounge to announce your number, waits for the proper bus, wait to get lunch, see sights, etc. just too many people to handle. And we never really did get to mix with any locals, probably due to increase security concerns. Excursions, with one or two exceptions,were over expensive by our judgement...lots of feeling of being 'herded' about. However, the ship was very nice, rooms were nice (we had an outside room with balcony which was fine for us). Casino slots paid very, very little--only a few 'die hards' came every evening. Personally, I have had a better time on Princess--I liked the Royal..We sailed here up the coast of Norway two years ago. I didn't notice any actual 'decay' altho the ship was older. Guess I could say I prefer Princess, for these and other reasons.
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May 8th, 2002, 08:52 PM
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We sailed the Ryndam this February. The trip was great, but long. Rough seas prevented a stop in the Falklands, so we were on the ship five straight days; first day was beautiful, then 25 - 30 foot seas for two days, and cold rainy weather the other two. Fortunately our cabin was the largest we ever had on a cruise.The shore excursions were expensive, but the penguins,tango show, and winery tour were highlights of the trip and worth the price. Some people we met took a taxi to the penguins, but it's a two hour drive, and they said it was uncomfortable in the taxi for that long. We also ran into some people who went to a tango show offered on land; they didn't enjoy their show as much as most people enjoyed ours. We added on the Inca ruins post cruise trip, and it was a must do. HAL had a great tour company handling that trip. The slots did not pay at all; very few people in the casino. For 17 night trip, the menu varied, but had some sameness at times. We did enjoy the service in dining rooms and bars.
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