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23 December 2012 / leggypeggy

Our Antarctic cabin—room to swing a cat and dry laundry

Ocean Diamond, triple cabin

A surprisingly spacious triple cabin

Ship cabins are supposed to be the size of a battery hen’s cage—right? That’s what I always thought, so I was pleasantly surprised when we took possession of our budget cabin for a 10-day expedition to Antarctica.

I don’t know exact measurements for our space (maybe 7 x 2.5 metres), but I shared it with Poor John and Olivia (a fellow overlander who joined us in a triple room on the Ocean Diamond that we got for a last-minute bargain price).

I expected to have to walk in sideways and change clothes standing on the bed, but we had three narrow (but comfy) single beds—two on the floor and one that pulled down from the wall. There was adequate floor space, a built-in desk, a chair, plenty of drawers and cupboards, a couple of portholes, a little sofa and a small, but efficient bathroom.

laundry

Drying laundry in Antarctica. Plenty of room to do clothes as well as our waterproof gear

The TV (wrong plug) and DVD player (no plug) didn’t work, but that didn’t matter because there was so much else to keep us busy without those distractions.

What did work—and worked very well—was our rigged-up clothesline. We managed to do plenty of laundry in our tiny bathroom sink. The water was warm, and we’d brought our laundry soap, clothesline and pegs! Olivia had to get good at shinnying under the line when she got out of her bunk, but otherwise, it was pretty easy to work around.

Antarctica is called the driest continent, and it’s true. We strung our line across the room and each batch of laundry dried quick-smart. I reckon we saved $50–$100 on laundry services, which I promptly spent on an outrageously-priced internet connection.

Hey, it’s all about setting your priorities. I wish the room had had an extra powerpoint or two, but we managed.

15 Comments

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  1. Sy S. / Dec 24 2012 10:41 am

    Wow, what a big room for a cruise ship… amazing. And I see that you had the window open a little and some snowflakes got into your room. LOL

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    • leggypeggy / Dec 24 2012 11:32 am

      Hi Sy! I thought the room was huge. And we closed the window before the snow got too deep. hehehe

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  2. Mario A. Ramirez / Dec 24 2012 2:54 pm

    Hi, Leggypeggy. I´m a 62 professor at University of Costa Rica. Since five years ago, I´m looking for a cruise to Antarctica with price according with our level of living in the Third World. Following your blog, I realized that you got for a last-minute passanger ticket for a bargain price. Would you please share with me how you could make that. For us, in Latin America, is very difficult to have bargain prices, because apparently all the companies selling tickets operate from outside LA. I was in Ushuaia six year ago, and I felt that the local turist agencies didn´t sell the tickets for the Antarctic Cruises. I was checking the ads in the web, and the maximun they offer is 20% off 3 weeks before the shipping day, but as I have to pay by card, they say charge 3% additional. Would you please give some tips? Thank you for your time.
    I have a blog but just for academic purposes (marioaramirez.wordpress.com), and the web of my university is http://www.ucr.ac.cr. For my travels, I use caminatas.ecologicas@gmail.com, but my main address is mramirezboza@gmail.com

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    • leggypeggy / Dec 24 2012 9:56 pm

      Hello Mario
      Thank you for your question about cheaper tickets to the Antarctic.
      On our way to Ushuaia, people told us to check there about last-minute deals. These deals are only for ships leaving within one or two days, so you have to be in Ushuaia to take advantage of these prices, which are discounted by 20-25 per cent. We checked with various travel agencies, but we got the best price by going to the port office and asking them which agent to visit. I think the best agent varies, depending on which company’s ship is about to depart.
      We had an advantage because we were three people, so could book a triple, which is already cheaper.
      When we were on the ship, we learned that many people had received a similar discount by booking their tickets very early—about 10 months before the start of the journey.
      So you can try booking early, or late, but I don’t think you will ever save more than 25 per cent.
      Also, we were told that it is harder to get last-minute tickets as the season goes on. We left Ushuaia on 30 November.
      Hope this helps.
      Peggy

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      • marioramirezboza / Dec 25 2012 3:09 pm

        Thank you for your advice. I am planning to travel to Argentina on January the 8th, to be there on time for the MV Plancius on January 16 th. Many people think that while being in Ushuaia and seeking to travel to Antarctica, it’s better to take the 20 days cruise, which visits the Antarctic islands like the Falklands, Orkney and South Shetland. If you remember the name of the travel agencies you visited, please let me know. By the way, if you plan to visit Central America and Yucatan, I’ll be pleased to give you information. Best Regards.

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      • leggypeggy / Dec 25 2012 9:00 pm

        Hello again. I hope the advice helps. A 20-day cruise is probably best, bu there was nothing like that available when we were there. A crew member on our trip told me that South Georgia is a must-see destination. He didn’t mention the Falkland (Malvinas) and Orkney Islands. We did get to stop in the South Shetlands on our last day—Deception Island. The travel agent was two blocks up and three blocks to the left from the port office. I have a card with the name on it, but it’s not with me. I’ll come back an add it in a couple of days, when I leave the Pantanal (wetlands) in Brazil. And thanks so much for your offer regarding Central America. I’m sure we’ll get there one day. 🙂

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  3. Mary / Dec 25 2012 6:38 am

    Love the photos Peggy 🙂 Have a Merry Christmas and a wonderful new year!

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    • leggypeggy / Dec 25 2012 8:15 am

      Thanks Mary! 🙂 Hope your Christmas and New Year are wonderful too. Look forward to catching up in 2013.

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  4. Myriam Lozano / Dec 25 2012 12:21 pm

    Hi Peggy have a happy Christmas and new year. I was in Ushuaia two years ago and i remember this nice place. The Glacial Perito Moreno!!. I have a question: where go the w.c water and the garbage? Does it throw in the clean glace of Antartide?

    kind regards
    Myriam Hostal Campobello-Bogotá-Colombia

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    • leggypeggy / Dec 25 2012 9:09 pm

      Hi Myriam! Happy Christmas and New Year to you too.
      I agree. The Perito Moreno is beautiful.
      As for the WC water and garbage—it is all emptied back in Ushuaia. I’m not sure how, but it is definitely NOT left in Antarctica or in the water. Tourists are NOT allowed to leave anything behind t6here. For example, if a person is on a landing in the Antarctic (whether on an island on the mainland) and needs to go to the toilet, they MUST be taken back to the ship.
      I was impressed by the standards observed.

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  5. John / Oct 28 2014 1:44 pm

    Hi, do you by chance remember your cabin number? We just booked an Iceland cruise on the Ocean Diamond and were assigned a triple #337 on the Lower Deck. It’s the closest cabin to the restaurant and lift other than #332. The spa is also nearby. Trying to figure out if it’s hellishly noisy, especially since the deck plan shows some white space next to #337 which I can’t identify. Thanks.

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    • leggypeggy / Oct 29 2014 12:15 pm

      Hi John, we were a little further down the corridor on the same deck, and I don’t remember it being at all noisy. There is quite a large foyer in front of the dining area, but people never seemed to congregate there. I’ll check the plan and see if I can figure out which room we had.

      Back again. We were in room 327, I think, and most of the crew were in the rooms beyond that.

      As for the white spaces next to 337, I know exactly what they are and they shouldn’t present a problem. That is one of two places where passengers have access to the stairs to the Zodiac. It is also where gear for kayakers is stored. So those rooms will be open only when passengers are going down to the Zodiacs or for kayaking. I assume you’ll be doing either or both too, so the only time it’s busy, you’ll be part of the busyness.

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      • John / Oct 30 2014 6:08 am

        Thanks, Peggy. I ended up moving our cabin down the hall to mid ship, so that location should be a little quieter (I hope). Cabin 337 was not only near the dining hall, but it was also close to where they drop the passenger ramp, which can be a noisy activity in the morning. Of course, all of this is guesswork on my part, since I’ve never travelled on the Ocean Diamond. All the best, Joh

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      • leggypeggy / Oct 30 2014 8:42 am

        Hope you have a wonderful trip. We thought the ship and crew were great. Oh. and the library is fantastic.

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