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Sunday, 14 July 2013

Disappointing cruise to South America (finite)......

Itinerary:   We were supposed to go around Cape Horn, make some stops in Patagonia "at the end of the world" and proceed up the west coast of South America, through the Panama Canal and end in Ft. Lauderdale.  Instead, we entered the Straights of Magellan (which are north of Cape Horn) and maneuvered through the interconnected fjords to the west side of South America. 

 Some of the most interesting stops on the trip (southern Patagonia) were not made.  There was a possibility of stopping at the Falklands, but that did not happen either because of rough seas.

Some shore excursions were very good, but generally they were significantly overpriced.  There was a lack of substance to justify the prices charged.  In one case, the tour operator did not perform the entire tour so HAL gave everyone a partial refund - only after enough people complained.  There was also poor communication regarding the in-progress status of excursions.

When we docked in Ft. Lauderdale, after my departure time was already half an hour behind schedule, they announced they were holding all announcements on departures because the US Customs only had one agent on duty to save money. This is exactly the wording they used.  After the announcement, I left my cabin, walked to the departure exit and parked myself as close to the exit as possible - and waited and waited.  After an hour, they announced that they were trying to get more custom agents. After another hour, nothing had happened.  I started out with about five hours to make my flight, and now was down to about 2 ½ hours.  I told an attendant how much time I had left to make my flight, and she allowed me to leave the ship.  

When I got to the customs area, there were three agents on duty, and it was slow-going. After getting through customs, I went out to the airport buses.  More slow-going once I was on the bus because the bus was not full enough to leave immediately. When I got to the airport, the line for security was long, and when I got to the gate, boarding began two minutes later.  I began with five hours and ended with two minutes.  A lot of people must have missed their flight - I would also have missed mine if I had not done what I did.

So, do I take a chance on HAL and go on another cruise with them?   I am undecided......

Keep on  reading this blog - this cruiser is going on Memories of Mandalay in September, 2014, and we will follow this cruise with him.


  1. There are other cruises I would take rather than
    this one, it does not appeal to me.

  2. Thanks for commenting - I never get any. But why has your comment come in as Anonymous - on Hotmail, I see it is you, Fetinia, but I wonder why....

  3. I can't remember commenting, this is the first time I see your blog on the cruise.