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mj_holiday

Rhythm of the Amazon Nov 26-Dec 19, 2018

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GOARMY -- how could anyone in their right mind combine a "Recovery Zoo" and an Opera House in one tour??  I would love to see the Opera house AND an opera there but not those snakes!!!   I suppose though one could opt out.   In my 10 years in Africa I saw enough of the beasts to last me a lifetime!  (Including a cobra that lived in an ant hill outside our kitchen ...)

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Hi MJ and Sharle!!

 

Just found this thread after getting back from Christmas vacation.

 

I also was on the cruise (in fact next door neighbors to MJ and her wonderful husband with whom I competed each night for sunset pictures from the balcony).

 

One thing I didn't see mentioned on the thread (and I know future cruisers will be reading everything they can find on the Amazon) is the Visa for Brazil.  E-visa is the way to go (for U.S. citizens)!  Only $45, and good for 2 years.  If you go for a regular visa, it would be good for 5 years, but costs several hundred dollars, and requires sending in your passport, etc.  2018 was the first year that e-visas were acceptable.

 

As far as weather, we were blessed with rainy cool weather on the trip.  After reading all Jackie had to say about the heat last year, I was really worried, but someone forgot to tell God it wasn't the rainy season this year, so we got quite a bit of rain.  The hottest I got was on the islands.  One hint that helped me was to take along my hand towel from the ship, because I sweat a lot! During the big deck bbq in the evening, we got to dance in the rain!  Another hint is to get shoe covers (ordered from Amazon the store for about $15).  Kept my feet nice and dry on several tours, and protected my new walking shoes in the mud.

 

MJ, we did see lots of pink dolphins one morning (will check with Gretchen to see what day it was).  We were doing our walk late that morning and it was the slowest mile I ever did because we kept stopping to watch for dolphins!  We too tried to get pictures, but those little rascals were just too quick, so all I have is memories!  Gretchen cheated and took a picture off the TV.

 

In Manaus, we did the city highlights tour, which included the Indian museum, the Opera House, and the Military Zoo.  Highly recommend this tour!  As previously mentioned, traffic around the port was a bear that morning, so our guide switched around the order of our stops.  He planned it so that we would be able to see a live rehearsal of "The Messiah" by choir and orchestra while we were there!!!!  One of the highlights of the trip for me.  Indian museum was really interesting and definitely worth a visit.  Military zoo we did in the rain, but after all we are in a rain forest!  The Zoo is run by the Military and the animals are used to train the Military in handling animals that they might come across in the Amazon.  Remember, the majority of Brazilians have never even visited there.

 

In Trinidad and Tobago, we went on the Pan Concert tour.  It was fantastic.  Open air (but covered) auditorium.  They played for about an hour, and there was time for the audience to try out the pans.

 

Boi Boca was exceptional, just as everyone has said.  A couple years ago, a new performance center was built that is fully air conditioned, so older reports of heat during the performance no longer apply.  Only problem with the new building is that it is not as tall as the previous venue, so the really large floats can't be used.

 

Cruise Meet and Mingle was really fun.  Somehow, when I checked in at port in Miami, I had been named the Host for this event!  So they handed me the list of everyone who had signed up.  The list only had last names on it, so during the event I went around and got first names and then distributed the list to everyone.  I should have also added screen names!  As well as the officers, F&B manager, Executive Concierge, the head chef was also there.  Really a nice turn out on Regent's part.

 

As Terry Breen said a couple of times, "This will either be your best cruise or worst cruise." For me it was "BEST"!

 

Please feel free to ask more questions.

 

Martha

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Posted (edited)


 

Here is a photo of a pink dolphin in the waters of the Amazon (hopefully better than what was on television).  I accidentally uploaded the image twice:-(

IMG_0234.jpg

IMG_0234.jpg

Edited by Travelcat2

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Wonderful postings. We'll be on the Amazon cruise December 2019. I think that's a good time to go. I'm keeping track of all things we'll need like shoe covers, etc. I'm glad we can now get e-visa for Brazil. We have done two safaris and never took malaria pills. We used the wipes and they worked fine. Passengers who took the malaria pills were sick and said they wished they had never taken it. Again, it all depends on one's medical situation. I'm waiting to see about yellow fever shots. We have a different itinerary which won't be going to Devil's Island. I've really enjoyed reading all the postings and seeing the pictures. Thank you.

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Hambagahle:

 

As I grow ever-older, folks are beginning to question my state of mind.  A later posting on this Thread was "on point" as to tour events at Manaus.  Yes, our visit was to the Military Zoo.  It is run by an element of the Brazilian Army responsible for Special Operations in vast areas of that gigantic country where a jungle environment can either be an ally, or enemy--depending on training.  That entry also mentioned being able to observe a live performance while at the Opera House.  Great timing! 

 

Reminds me of a similar lucky experience spouse and I had while touring the Sydney Opera House.  The Orchestra was rehearsing  Brahms' First Symphony.  What a treat to sit-in, for about 20 minutes. The acoustics from our seats were spectacular.   

 

And, as to Brazilian Visas--great information as to another option.  Ours were obtained eight years ago for a Regent cruise under the then-only available process.  So, two more years before they expire.  Don't think we will be using these again. 

 

Regards,

 

GOARMY!

 

   

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The Messiah rehearsal at the Opera House sounds amazing.  What a great guide!!

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Could those of you that were on this cruise please identify the category of suite you booked and maybe a few comments about the suite, please? 

 

Also, OP mentioned "mapping system" and that you didn't like the one on Explorer.  What are the differences? 

 

I want to thank everyone on this cruise who posted about their experiences.  We are booked for this same cruise in 2020 and your insights are really valuable to me.  We're scheduled for almost the same set of ports (not doing Devil's Island but adding Havana) so your comments about ports and excursions are really helpful.

 

Again, thanks for all the wonderful information,

Greg

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35 minutes ago, gdlamberth said:

Could those of you that were on this cruise please identify the category of suite you booked and maybe a few comments about the suite, please? 

 

Also, OP mentioned "mapping system" and that you didn't like the one on Explorer.  What are the differences? 

 

I want to thank everyone on this cruise who posted about their experiences.  We are booked for this same cruise in 2020 and your insights are really valuable to me.  We're scheduled for almost the same set of ports (not doing Devil's Island but adding Havana) so your comments about ports and excursions are really helpful.

 

Again, thanks for all the wonderful information,

Greg

 

We will also be on this sailing so are devouring every bit of information posted. Thanks to all who are willing to share experiences.  

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52 minutes ago, Ep010835 said:

 

We will also be on this sailing so are devouring every bit of information posted. Thanks to all who are willing to share experiences.  

There is a roll call started if you'd like to join.

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I thought I did that. Just looked. Apparently I must not have hit all the right buttons. 

Ill try again. Thanks for the reminder!

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I was in 617 on Navigator which is either an E or F category.  Loved the location.  Our internet worked pretty well, and getting to coffee connection and the theater was a snap.

 

Ask any other questions you might have.

 

One of the couples we met had been on this cruise 4 times!

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Some more follow up.

 

All of our vaccines (except YF) were administered by our PCP and were paid for by insurance.  The YF vaccine was done at Passport Health and they do not submit to insurance.  I filled a claim with Medicare and this was rejected and I filed an appeal which was given a second review and again denied.  It was only time and a stamp to do this, not appealing any further.

 

Regarding the different mapping display on the TV between the Navigator and the Explorer.  I prefer the map display on the Navigator - it is older technology but easier to see where you are.  I take pictures of the maps to have in my pictures to help explain where we are on a given day.  I did not like the map display on the Explorer .  The map was displayed showing some contour which made it difficult to read.  And the display showed an icon of the Explorer with a name plate saying SS Explorer located at our position on the map.  With this icon on the map, it didn't show the name of the location we were at.  So I couldn't use pictures of the maps to help introduce locations in my album of photos of the trip.

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Thanks for the explanation of the maps.  I, too,  like to take photos of the maps to go with my album.  I suspect the Navigator will have the new, improved system by the time we sail.  Oh well.

Greg

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