February 2016 - Star Princess to South America
This was only the 2nd cruise that my wife and I have taken, and the first one was the Alaskan cruise where the water is very calm. This cruise was very rough and nearly everyone we spoke with, including veterans of 25 or more cruises, said this one was their roughest yet. We were pleasantly surprised to discover that once we got around Cape Horn and started up the Atlantic side the ocean calmed down considerably.
We agreed that we were very glad that we started the cruise in Valparaiso and ended in Buenos Aires, saving the best for last. Had we started with Buenos Aires, then Montevideo, then the Falklands, we would have felt like we were on a downward spiral in terms of ports visited and the second half of the cruise would have been pretty boring.
As for the at sea part of the cruise and our satisfaction with Princess, we think they did a marvelous job. The food was consistently outstanding in the buffets, and the specialty restaurant, Sabatini's, was a special experience. The Crown Grill, on the other hand, was nice but hardly worth the extra $50 we spent to eat there that night. I have had better steak at a Texas Longhorn. The only other things that we found overpriced were the bottled water and the internet. Two passengers shouldn't have to spend $8.63 per day just to have decent water to drink. And even though we barely used the internet café, we ended up spending over $80 just to check for messages from home.
We were very pleased with our cabin and our stateroom steward, Eli. And the young lady who brought us coffee every morning, Katherine, was very pleasant. The only downside to our cabin E415, was that there is an air duct or something that leads directly from the Crooner's Bar to that room. We were crooned to sleep every night. Fortunately it was the kind of music that one could go to sleep by.
My wife felt that the ladies' restrooms could have been kept in better repair. It seemed that invariably one stall was out of order, and one stall was for handicapped, leaving one stall for a throng of women to share.
We took several excursions and found that on the trip to Stanley there was not nearly enough time allotted for the museum. Our favorite excursion was the evening meal with a family in Buenos Aires. They were such gracious hosts and it was so interesting. The last day of the trip we did a debarkation excursion and went to a tango show in a huge underground restaurant. The whole experience was totally awesome. The food, the service, the wine, the show... I remember the place was called "La Ventana, Barrio del Tango." That place must be worth its weight in gold! The excursion ended with Princess taking us directly to the airport which was much appreciated.
So, a great trip overall. Got off to a bit of a rough start, but finished on high.