The biggest take-away from this cruise is to say that if you do take medications, take an extra seven days worth with you. We were lucky and did, which we have done on previous cruises. You never know what may happen. After you read the rest of this you'll understand.
We chose this cruise for the itinerary. This was a Buenos Aires to Lima cruise around Cape Horn. We were also looking forward to the Oceania post-cruise tour to Machu PIcchu. We arrived a day early and opted for the pre-cruise hotel offered by Oceania. The hotel was very nice. The check-in was quite awkward and individual rooms were doled out one at a time. The only status was that everyone would get into their rooms by 3:00 PM.
The cruise started out as all the other Oceania cruises that we have been on. This was the first time we have been on the larger ship in quite some time, so it took a bit to get re-oriented. We opted for a PH2 cabin category. The cabin was appointed nicely and had ample storage and closet space. Our butler and stateroom attendant were there quickly to introduce themselves and so see if there was anything that we would require. Our butler was great throughout the cruise and was able to get additional dinner reservations in the specialty restaurants, which he did with us asking.The ship departed on time and we headed off to our first port. We selected some some of the Oceania tours off the ship. They were all preformed well and we especially enjoyed the Falkland Islands Penguin Safari. I never thought that we would be on a privately owned sheep ranch that had an entire penguin colony resident on the beach. Walking very close to the penguins in the wild was a real treat. From there we continued on to cruise around Cape Horn. The Captain did a 360 degree turn around the island so that we had a great view of the farthest point south of the continent.
That was the point that there was more and more reports on the Coronavirus started coming in. The staff made sure that they would try to do everything possible to ensure that we were kept as sanitary as possible, including restaurants, common amenities, and individual cabins. We departed San Antonio, Chile to next port was Pisco, Peru. That morning I thought we were cruising along at a good speed and we were due to be in port. I turned on the TV and checked the cruise map and saw that we had passed Pisco and it looked like we were headed to Lima. Shortly thereafter, the Captain came on the PA and indicated that they had just received word that Peru closed their ports of entry. He said that we would turn around and got back to Chile. After then cruising back south for a few hours, We were informed that Chile had closed their ports of entry and the Captain indicated we would turn around again and head to Panama. The next morning as we were cruising on our way to Panama, the Captain informed us that we would anchor off the Canal, wait for a slot to transit the Canal. After the transit we would head to Miami. We were also informed things Oceania would do to help ease the extra length on the ship. These included free ship to shore telephone calls, additional laundry services, open bar for happy hour for two nights, reimbursing portion of any airline change fees because of the changes, refund of excursion cost, for ports missed post-cruise extension, free port transfer to the airport, and offering 50% off on a future cruise. We were supposed to have completed the cruise on 03/15, but with the additional time required to get to Miami, we didn't get off the ship until 03/23. Except for missing the two ports the rest of the cruise went fine. It did not appear that there were shortages of anything on the ship except for a couple of minor things. One outstanding item we saw was that we were kept informed, by the Captain and staff, all long the way of the status and any changes. The cruise line and Captain deserve strong kudos for that. It did give us time to react to inform family, house sitters, and our travel agent of changes in our arrival at home. Our debarkation was handled well, just as other Oceania cruises. We felt that Oceania did a very good job with the changes and adjustments that had to be made as a result of the Coronavirus.
Some additional things to mention include having a featured speaker, Sportscaster Verne Lundquist have a few talks about his career and stories of different sports players. He also added a couple of Q&A sessions when the cruise extended. Also, there was a speaker that narrated some of the events that took place, going around Cape Horn and also the canal transit. The chef's demonstrations were also very good and the head chef made them quite entertaining.The specialty restaurants were very good and the menu selections at Toscana were excellent. The Terrace Cafe was, as always, very good for breakfast and lunch. We did not use the Cafe for dinner. Service in all the restaurants throughout the cruise was excellent. One new venture we tried was a dinner at La Reserve wine pairing dinner. This was an excellent and enjoyable evening. We also participated in a wine tasting, whiskey tasting, and single malt tasting. We enjoyed all of those. We don't usually go to any of the shows. We prefer to just have an after dinner glass of wine and do some reading.
To sum up the cruise, we really enjoyed it, even with the unexpected additional time. We thought the ports on this cruise were good choices and we enjoyed the tours we took. Cabin staff was very good along with the dining venues. We would recommend Oceania for additional cruises and do have additional cruises booked.
Our butler, Ismail, was excellent. He did go above and beyond doing things that we didn't ask to be done. He made sure we were kept informed with all cruise info and reminded us of activities.. Merlin and Christian, our cabin attendants, were excellent also. Very friendly always having a greeting for us in the corridor.
Nao Victoria outdoor museum was great with being able to get close and climb aboard the Victoria and Beagle replicas.View All 24 City Tour Reviews
Beautiful park "at the end of the world".
Cute train trip.View All 32 Train to the End of the World Reviews
Excellent. One of the best tours we've taken on Oceania.
Nice intro to Montevideo
Very nice visit to a private park with waterfall and river views.