Posted June 29th, 2005, 09:25 PM
I'm new to this board because, being a dedicated HAL cruiser (somewhere around 20-22 cruises aboard HAL ships - S class only, you couldn't get me aboard the new Vista class - too many passengers), I've always been curious about Crystal and got to thinking "you've got the money why not use it?", so I started out by checking out your board. I'm sorry to see that some posters, on other threads, are lamenting the changes taking place on Crystal but then HAL and all the other lines are experiencing the same thing. The world is changing and we just have to learn to live with it.
Anyway, my late husband and I "did" the San Diego to Rio 35-day cruise a few years ago - down the west coast of South America and around Cape Horn, not through the Canal. I, too, am one of those people who doesn't care for Rio. It's a beautiful city, although even the most expensive areas are "decorated" with grafitti (some of it dated and the dates stretched back five years or more and the graffiti was still there!). However, we took a ship sponsored shore excursion and I must say that I never felt threatened while ashore, unlike Panama City last year where I did feel threatened. I wore my Gucci watch and a simple pair of pearl stud earrings (pierced) and nobody even gave them a second look (maybe not expensive enough?
). Rio was hot and humid but the statue of Christ the Redeemer was very impressive and the view from the Corcovado was amazing. We did take the Sugar Loaf mountain trip but could see nothing from the top because of the fog. The trip ended up, naturally, at Sterns Jewellers where the prices were out of sight, to put it mildly, but there was no pressure to buy and their "Folklorico" area has some very reasonably priced items for souvenirs or presents for the folks back home. I certainly wouldn't forego a trip just because Rio is one of the ports.
On to Buenos Aires - oh, one of my favorite cities in the world. It is extremely cosmopolitan and certainly deserves it's nickname "Paris of the South". It's a beautiful city with wonderfully friendly inhabitants. I would most certainly love to go back there anytime.
I see now JusttheTwoofUs that maybe my post is too late for you to read before you left on the Symphony for Norway but I hope that you decided to go for the trip. I too love the sea days and I'm thinking that I may even be on the same cruise