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Cruises - South American in particular
Old 06-01-2008, 03:53 PM   #1
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Cruises - South American in particular

My wife an I will be celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary in December. We are considering a couple of different cruises around South America. One is a 12 day cruise that stays on the Atlantic Coast and primarily visits ports in Brazil and Argentina. The other is a 15 day cruise from Buenos Aires, around Cape Horn and ending up in Valparaiso, Chile with lots of interesting ports and cruising in between.

My only cruising experience is with ships that are painted grey, launch and recover fighter jets and don't have swimming pools or bars.

As a general question, for any experienced cruisers: is there a rule of thumb that one can use to determine how much you'll spend over and above the cost of the airfare to/from the ports and the cost of the cruise? For example, if you spend $4,000 per person overall for the basics, how much are you likely to spend on shore excursions, drinks and other extras on board? (I know this is highly personal based on how many trips you take, to where and how many martinis you drink, but I'm jut looking for something very general. For example, the second cruise I mention has an option for a quick air trip to Antarctica which is "only" $2,500 p/p. I certainly wouldn't be looking to do that sort of thing, but kayaking trips in the Chilean fjords wouldn't definitely appeal at, perhaps, $100 p/p.)

As a more specific question, has anyone had any experiences with the type of SA cruise I describe and, if so, do you have any feedback, recommendations, warnings, etc.

Thank you.
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Old 06-01-2008, 05:22 PM   #2
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We recently did Ft. Lauderdale to Panama Canal with stops in Costa Rica and a small cruise-ship-island. It was a 10 day deal, very reasonably priced, Holland America.

Don't have price info available at the moment, but as you will discover they are all over the board depending on season, cruise line, cabin type. I do like the sound of the Argentina to Chile itinerary...
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Old 06-01-2008, 10:50 PM   #3
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We did a Meditterean cruise last summer - each port we either did an excursion or rented a car for a day. Was a nice "mix" of planned and freestyle.

The prices of excursions is probably on your cruise website. The car was around $60/day. However, South America scares me - I don't think I'd drive there - I'd stay with cruise excursions.
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Sample drink & excursion prices
Old 06-02-2008, 03:38 PM   #4
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Sample drink & excursion prices

Some sample per drink prices with my recent experiences on NCL:

Soft drinks - ~ $2
Beer - ~ $5-7 (depending on size/variety)
Frou frou drink - ~ $7-12 (depending on size and special of the day)
Water, iced tea, lemonade, coffee, hot tea - free/included

Excursion prices are hugely variable. Simple short tours might be $49 per person, submarine or helicopter experiences can run $150-200 per person. Usually you can find these out ahead of time on the cruiselines' website. Another option is, in safer ports, you can arrange your own tours with private companies - just be careful monitoring departure times! Try the cruisecritic.com messageboards for reference links to reputable local companies.

Have fun planning!

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Old 06-03-2008, 07:32 AM   #5
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As has already been said, it can depend greatly on what you like to do with your time. We have taken many 7 day cruises, spending as little as a few hundred $ on board and as much as $2500 (12 day Alaska cruise/tour). Some people cruise because they just enjoy cruising and getting away for a period of time - they just want to be there - these are the same people that tend to book balcony or mini-suite cabins. Others view the cruise ship as a 'taxi' to take them to places they want to visit/shop, etc. and may perfer the least expensive inside cabin. On any given cruise you will see a lot of both as well as some that don't fit into either category.

However, to answer your original question, just look at the prices given by others above and estiamte how many drinks you will purchase a day, add whatever you feel you will need to purchase for souvienors, etc. for the grandkids, then finally add the per person charges for a shore excursion each day in port (can range from $50 - $250+PP) to get your grand total. Oh yes, don't forget the tips for the ships staff and possibly pre or post-cruise hotel costs as well as parking at the cruise terminal or airport, if applicable.
P.S. - what you spend on board does not necessarily correlate with the cost of the cruise. For example, depending on the cabin selected, a 7 day cruise could cost anywhere from $500 - $10,000 per person !!
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Cruise Cost
Old 06-17-2008, 07:25 AM   #6
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Cruise Cost

In April my DW and I tooj a 13 day trans-Atlantic cruise with two nights on London. We had an upper deck balcony cabin on the Celebrity Constellation. I calculate that total cost was $8,500 to $9,000 for 16-17 days of travel overall.

We've traveled to South America (Argentina mainly with side trips into Uruguay and Brazil), and know that it's more reasonably priced for American visitors than is W. Europe.

To get the best answers to your cruise questions, go to CruiseCritic.com. A great info site and includes many forums.
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Old 07-08-2008, 07:27 PM   #7
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Doug, We are looking at the same cruise (trans atlantic with 2 days in London onboard Constellation. Any helpful hints (sightseeing in London, money exchanging, rough north atlantic ?)......tom
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Old 07-18-2008, 11:14 AM   #8
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FYI, I just received an email from Norwegian about a sale they are having on South American cruises. Second passenger is 1/2 off. This is the specific cruise listed: NCL - South America

Request Promotion Code: DMLAT1

The email says offer ends July 28th.
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Old 07-18-2008, 11:22 AM   #9
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FYI, I just received an email from Norwegian about a sale they are having on South American cruises. Second passenger is 1/2 off. .
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Old 07-18-2008, 11:33 AM   #10
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FYI, I just received an email from Norwegian about a sale they are having on South American cruises. Second passenger is 1/2 off. This is the specific cruise listed: NCL - South America
I got that e-mail too-- they sound desperate! Is that because it's the depth of winter down there?

We've enjoyed our NCL cruises, especially the option to dine "traditional cruise" or to just hang out in the sports-bar buffet. Diehard cruisers can bring extra luggage and play dress-up to their heart's content while us surf bums are able to maintain our t-shirt & shorts wardrobe with a roller bag and a backpack. I'd recommend the cheapest cabin you can get because you'll be spending your time in other areas of the ship. The Hawaiian island cruises pack the schedule with shows, presentations, crafts, and other activities to the point where it becomes nice to just sit in a corner of an unoccupied lounge or theater with a good book.

As for the drink prices, I recommend the free wine at the art auction. At least I think there was art and they were auctioning something... my main impression is that there was free wine.
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Old 07-18-2008, 01:08 PM   #11
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An open-jaw ticket for the SA cruise can exceed the cost of the cruise itself. Winter time means rough sailing weather. Thus NCL has cabins to fill.

Spending-wise, onboard, I find 90% of the cruise experience can be had with the smallest of cabins and a few bottles packed in the luggage bag.

Onshore, you can often create an equal or better experience on your own vs booking the ship's excursions.

For everything you wanted to know about cruising: Cruise Forums - Cruise Message Boards - Cruise Critic
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Old 07-18-2008, 01:16 PM   #12
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Old 07-19-2008, 12:19 AM   #13
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as For The Drink Prices, I Recommend The Free Wine At The Art Auction. At Least I Think There Was Art And They Were Auctioning Something... My Main Impression Is That There Was Free Wine.
LOL! I am going to develop an appreciation for art!
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