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live Island Princess 59 day Circle South America Ja 9 -Mr 7


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3 minutes ago, Waynetor said:

 

To answer some questions

- the Island Princess has 2 indoor ping pong tables.  They get a good workout on sea days.  Equipment is available starting at 8am.  There is also outdoor Pickle ball court, basketball court and shuffleboard.  You can play any time but in the Patter there are time to meet if wanting to meet others.

-  The library is large but very poorly stocked – more empty shelves than full.  The library includes some boxed games and game tables.  There are various daily puzzles available there.

- On sea days the officer of the watch gives a noon position and others detail update.  On most port days the Captain will have comments around departure time.  Unlike some of the Caribbean cruise we did last year, the CD does not do many announcements – usually 1 per day so it is important to follow the Patter if you want to participate in anything that is out of the ordinary such as special lunches.  Effy Jewelry offers enough special events every sea day that includes champagne or cocktails that one could get away without needing a drink package.  There are art auctions but I have only heard a single announcement about them.

- there has been a fair amount of sickness on board.  Numbers for Noro are not high enough to implement major measures but they are being stricter on washing before entering the buffet.  Colds and flu have hit many passengers but that is not uncommon.  We have a group of Chinese passengers on board since day 1.  No issue with them re the issues in China.

- we have no issue with the length of this voyage as we have done similar or longer a few times.  I have not heard of anyone wishing this voyage could go faster.  I met 1 passenger doing his first voyage and is so happy, he booked next years world cruise.  Despite the problems in the last segment, the mood on the ship seems very good.  We have a 5-day sea day stretch coming up with just a bit of scenic cruising.  This may bother some passengers as there is no great highlight at the end, but we all knew the itinerary to start.  The CD is doing an excellent job.

 

I'm speechless given the speedy response to my questions, Weyneter.  Thank you!  When I was doing my research for my November cruise on Grand Princess, I kept reading about it being an old ship, tattered this, and stained that, and I wondered what I was buying into.  When I boarded I found nothing of the sort and, overall, Grand met my expectations.  I think many of the fusses and complaints come from people who seldom find perfection and never is it  'good enough' anywhere.  They become quality inspectors never to be satisfied.

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14 minutes ago, Waynetor said:

Day 40 Monday, Montevideo, Uruguay 8 – 7pm

In the US, today is Presidents Day and/or Washington's Birthday (actual birthday is the 22nd) and in parts of Canada today is Family Day - observed in Alberta, Ontario and Saskatchewan.  For those of you having a winter long weekend, hope it is nice and not too cold.  In British Columbia it was last Monday.

 

Overnight we had 14 hours to sail only 114.7nm (213.1km/132.4mi).  Part of the time is used manoeuvring in and out of the ports but basically going about half speed.  There are ferries going between the 2 cities twice a day each way and they take 3 hours one way.

 

We were here in 2008 on the cruise ending in BA and in 2009 going the other way ending in Rio.  For 2008 we did a tour that covered much of the cities highlights and then in 2009 we did our own tour around the port area.

 

Today was solid cloud which helped keep the heat down but no rain until after we were out to sea,

 

The view from the ship has not changed much since we were last here – there are only a couple tall, modern office towers.

 

Montevideo's port is actually in a terrific tourist location, just next to the historic center at the southern tip of the city.  We were docked in an industrial port and we docked next to containers and cranes.  It depends on which dock your ship is at if you need to shuttle out to the port exit – today we had to use shuttles that could not take wheelchairs unless the person could climb the shuttle steps.  Although a MSC ship came in after us it docked where no shuttle was needed.  An Azamra and another small ship also were able to by-pass shuttles.  There is no terminal but inside the gate were taxis and tour operators.  More tour operators were outside the gate.  Passengers can walk right from their ship into the heart of the old town in just a few minutes.  U.S.$ are accepted nearly everywhere, including in taxis.  I was told that Argentinian currency could also be used - good for anyone with leftovers.  English is not common, but it is spoken by many serving tourist.

 

You can grab a walking map from the people at the Tourist Information Centre as you are walking out of the port exit.  There was a free shuttle to a leather shop in the middle of town (not wheelchair accessible).  Many people get a map in port, take the shuttle and walk back using the map

 

A popular DIY tour is to take a long walk on La Rambla which is the longest continuous sidewalk in the world.  It runs along the Rio de la Plata and continues along the entire coast of Montevideo for 22km (13.7mi).

 

A lot of shops close between noon and 2pm.

 

I passed on doing a tour and instead just did a 1.5 hour walk around the nearby colonial area.  I like to walk through Montevideo's Mercado del Puerto close to the port.  It consist of many stalls preparing wonderful wood BBQ meat feast meals.  It was a bit too early for the lunch crowd when I was there but the BBQs were in full operation in preparation for lunch.   

 

One more note re my long hike yesterday – I was twice warned by locals to be careful of my camera so there must be a well-known issue with thefts there.  I usually had the camera strap wrapped twice around my wrist and my hand on the camera body.  I also unused an older camera I brought along on this voyage.  I have not heard of any passenger having a problem.

 

We had our lunch today taking advantage of the grill area that was not very busy.  Did you know the first French fries weren't actually cooked in France?  They were cooked in ‘Greece’.

 

Today’s thought of the day - Decide how you want to feel, and go wherever it takes to feel that way.  -Andy Hayes

 

 

A fellow traveler came back to our river boat minus his camera on one of my trips to Italy.  He asked a walk-by young man to take a picture of him and his wife.  The guy stopped, took the picture, and took the camera, too.  It didn't help that he and his wife were standing knee-deep in water and barefoot when the camera disappeared in a back street.

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Since your posts reveal your vast knowledge of so many cultural details...I thought you might like to know that today in British Columbia we had our Family Day holiday!  Originally, a few years ago, our  family day did not coincide with the rest of our country. However, today, BC is now in the loop! 

Thank you for all of the great reports.

I was happy to read about your approval of CD, Matt O'Brien. Please pass along my warm regards. I sailed with him on the Royal last May, California coastal to Vancouver. Thank you!

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Day 41 Tuesday, Feb 18, at sea

Couple more notes on my walk around town yesterday – I saw 2 business near the port that did bike rentals – could be a good option to see lots and get exercise.  – Internet or local tourist rep should be able to help if interested.  Also, the map that was handed out by the tourist rep shows quite a few museums in the area – good for those that like that kind of thing.  I did not go to any so not sure about price or anything in English.

 

Today we had our third and last roll call meet and greet gathering.  Another well attend meeting with several officers attending.

 

As we head northly up the east coast of South America we are looking forward to warmer conditions.  Today was overcast with winds up to 25 knots.  We had sea swells up to 2m – (6-7ft.) with waves on top at a different angle so there was a bit of ship movement but no real issue.  At noon the water depth under the kneel was only 15-20m (50-75ft) so if we sank without turning over, we could all just go to the upper decks.  By this evening the average depth will double and be around a 100m tomorrow.

 

Tried to go to the production show tonight 40 minutes early but all wheelchair spots taken – at least not a must see show for us.

 

At some chairs near us in the lounge tonight was a man and his wife.  The husband kept staring at a drunken lady swigging her gin as she sat alone at a nearby table.  The wife asks, “Do you know her?”  “Yes,” sighed the husband, “I’m surprised she is on the same cruise as us, but she’s my ex-wife.  I understand she took to drinking right after we divorced 7 years ago, and I hear she hasn’t been sober since.”  “My God!” says the wife, “Who would think a person could go on celebrating that long?”

 

Today’s thought of the day - And the ideal travel writer is consumed not just with a will to know. He is also moved by a powerful will to teach.  - Paul Fussell

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Day 42 Wednesday, Feb 19, at sea

Today was much like yesterday weather wise, just a bit less cloud.  We had a few brief glimpses of some costal hills but certainly not scenic cruising.

 

A normal rather quite day for us – 3 trivia games (2 special and 1 general), some reading and a hypnotist show wrapped around some good eating.

 

I’ll make a few observations on how I see passenger spending rates which is critical to Princess and stock holders.  I don’t have proof of any of these, just my guess based on observations.

 

Compared to a typical 7 or 10-day Caribbean cruise I believe overall liquor consumption per day is way down.  I have not seen anyone asking for refills on a soda package.  I do see wine at dinner similar to shorter cruises.  Coffee card purchases seem to be going very well especially with the cooler weather we had.  People spending near 2 months on board are not spending 2 months worth of short cruise purchases in art or Effy purchases, same for the Princess shops but likely not as bad as at the art and Effy.  My gut tells me per day sales of photos would be also much lower on this voyage.  Not sure about casino and speciality restaurant.  The Sanctuary has been a ghost town on many days.  The big difference for this cruise over shorter Caribbean cruises is excursions – I don’t have any stats, but it sure seems that Princess is doing a very good excursion business (quantity and price) which will make up for lower expenditures in other areas.

 

Tonight, at dinner one of our tablemates was telling us that before retiring she worked at the local unemployment office – she said at times it was tense knowing that if she got laid off, she would still have to come into the office the next day.

 

Today’s thought of the day - Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart – Confucius

Day 42 Wednesday, Feb 19, at sea

Today was much like yesterday weather wise, just a bit less cloud.  We had a few brief glimpses of some coastal hills but certainly not scenic cruising.

 

A normal rather quite day for us – 3 trivia games (2 special and 1 general), some reading and a hypnotist show wrapped around some good eating.

 

I’ll make a few observations on how I see passenger spending rates which is critical to Princess and stock holders.  I don’t have proof of any of these, just my guess based on observations.

 

Compared to a typical 7 or 10-day Caribbean cruise I believe overall liquor consumption per day is way down.  I have not seen anyone asking for refills on a soda package.  I do see wine at dinner similar to shorter cruises.  Coffee card purchases seem to be going very well especially with the cooler weather we had.  People spending near 2 months on board are not spending 2 months worth of short cruise purchases in art or Effy purchases, same for the Princess shops but likely not as bad as at the art and Effy.  My gut tells me per day sales of photos would be also much lower on this voyage.  Not sure about casino and speciality restaurant.  The Sanctuary has been a ghost town on many days.  The big difference for this cruise over shorter Caribbean cruises is excursions – I don’t have any stats, but it sure seems that Princess is doing a very good excursion business (quantity and price) which will make up for lower expenditures in other areas.

 

Tonight, at dinner one of our tablemates was telling us that before retiring she worked at the local unemployment office – she said at times it was tense knowing that if she got laid off, she would still have to come into the office the next day.

 

Today’s thought of the day - Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart – Confucius

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Feb 20 Ilhabela, Brazil intro

Ilhabela is Brazil's largest island.  The island and some smaller nearby ones cover in total 347.52km2 (134.18mi2).

 

A mountain ridge runs down the middle of the island.  Much of the island is covered in rainforest. 

 

The first European here was Americo Vespucio in 1502.

 

Ilhabela is known for being Brazil's sailing capital was founded in 1806.  With its beautiful beaches, waterfalls and unspoiled Atlantic rainforest Ilhabela is a popular get-away destination for Rio residents.  This archipelago, situated on the western side of the gorgeous Litoral Norte coastline, is beautiful even in name (ilha bela is Portuguese for ‘beautiful island’).

 

The population is 32,197 (2015 est.).

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Day 43 Thursday, Ilhabela, Brazil 7 – 6pm  

We were already anchored by the time we got up this morning so no enjoying the approach to the island.  Tendering to shore took about 6 minutes.  For a change the Island P had a better position than another ship.  The Holland America ship that was in BA with us, was also here and they had to do the longer tender ride.  We were anchored half way between the island and mainland so there were good views of the mountainous areas on both sides of the ship.

 

Where passengers got off of the tender there is a tourist booth offering info and maps and other vendors at booths selling historic area or tours to see the waterfall and offering car or bike rentals. Some taxis were also nearby.

 

The tender pier is near a marina – some nice boats there but no large yachts.

 

The town where the tender stops is not very large.  Workers were busy setting up viewing stand, lights over the streets and loud speakers for a big carnival celebration.  I walked around town a bit checking things a bit – there was a small open-air market area and a museum that you could walk into free.  I only did part of the museum - 2 rooms giving the history of shipping in this area.  Part of the info was in English.  There was elegant to basic street vendor food options and everything in between.

 

Off the pier to the left are a number of nice looking, small resort hotels.  To the right it was only a short distance to a beach.  It looked fine but only a few people in the water.  Probably better beaches to go to if water activities were on your to-do list.  The beach I saw did have an area of table and chairs with an umbrella plus an area to get cold beverages.

 

There are a lot of nice homes around town and up on lower parts of the nearby mountains.

 

I heard people that went to the waterfall say it was great.

 

Ferries leave every 30 minutes to the mainland town of São Sebastião and the trip is short (approx. 6km (4mi)) and free of charge for passengers on foot.

 

I read about small black flies that wreak havoc on beachgoers here during the summer months.  They are not known for carrying diseases though the bites themselves can be painful and very itchy.  Tourists are likely to come back from the island with a few bites on their feet and legs unless they are very vigilant about applying repellant.  The island offers many beaches - the more popular the beach, the less the problem with the flies.  So far have not heard about anyone having a problem.

 

Many shops here closed from 12 – 2 for an extended lunch.

 

Later back on the Island P I was looking over the edge of deck 15 and a pleasure boat came by us so close I could have spit at it and made a hit – no security around the ship.

 

The last couple night I have seen quite a few large dragonflies up on deck 14 around the lights.  Today I noticed several dead ones but now saw a large green praying mantis clinging to a wall.

 

Today started very sunny and hot with some humidity.  Clouds just covered the tops of the mountains but it slowly became cloudier and we had a downpour around 4pm.  This is the first time we have had rain between our breakfast and dinner time.

 

As we sail up the coast of Brazil we are heading in a mainly north-east direction as Brazil sticks further and further out into the Atlantic Ocean.

 

In the buffet today they had cured ham, I suddenly felt sick thinking of the ham I had last week.

 

Today’s thought of the day - Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colours. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.

 

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Feb 21 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil intro

On January 1st, 1502, Portuguese explorer, Gonçalo Coelho and his ships reached a break in the seaside that seemed to be the entrance to an enormous river - they named it the "January River," or Rio de Janeiro.

 

The inlet at Rio de Janeiro isn't actually the beginning of a great river but a huge balloon-shaped bay (Guanabara Bay) that stretches 32km (20mi) inland.  The harbour is surrounded by giant mountains and at the entrance of the bay is a lopsided peak of bare granite standing 396m (1,299ft) tall that the Portuguese named Pão de Açúcar, ("Sugarloaf").  The largest mountain near the harbour rises 700m (2,300ft) above the water and is named Corcovado ("The Hunchback") because of its mounded shape.  The bay itself is studded with 130 islands, many of which are the peaks of smaller hills with their bases underwater.

 

In 1555, 500 French colonists built a Fort on one of the Bay's islands they named for their leader, Admiral Nicolas Durand de Villegaignon.  Five years later the citadel, Fort Coligny, fell to a siege by Portugal's navy.  The location, now called The Isle of Villegaignon, is home to the Brazilian Naval School.

 

By 1749 the city's population had expanded to 24,000 and soon it became the capital of the Portuguese colony.  Though sugar and gold declined in importance as exports in the 19th century, they were replaced by coffee.  Later, cotton and rubber also began to be shipped overseas.  The city remained the capital when Brazil became an independent kingdom in 1816 and a republic in 1889.  In 1960 the capital was moved to a more central location, the city of Brasília.  Rio is the third largest metropolitan area in South America.

 

The city and the harbour are well known for their scenic beauty.  There are a number of spectacular beaches including the famous Copacabana and Ipanema. 

 

A statue, completed in 1931, known as "Christ the Redeemer," was erected on the peak of Corcovado.  The statue, composed of reinforced concrete and faced with soapstone, stands 40m (130ft) tall and the outstretched arms are 30m (98ft) across and weighs in at 576 metric tons (635 tons).  Overlooking the harbour, it is accessible by road and has become a major attraction in the region and a symbol of the city.

 

The harbour has been called one of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World.

 

The average high temperature in February is 31C (85F) with 105mm, (about 4in) of rain for the month.

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Day 44 Friday, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil arr 7am

We docked this morning around 7 in the inner harbour and it would have been closer to 6am when we entered the bay – I hear there were quite a few up in time to watch Island Princess’s slow sailing by Sugar Loaf mountain.  Sunrise was 5:44am.  Fortunately, we have done it before.  For those onboard experiencing Rio for the first time, it is unfortunate as we leave after dark tomorrow.

 

We are in a commercial port at Pier Maua.  The downtown business district including much of the colonial area is within walking distance of the port.  Depending which dock your ship is at, a shuttle may be necessary.  Today we were in the ‘need shuttle’ position.  There was a small cruise ship where no shuttle was needed.  Of the shuttles used, 1 had a wheelchair lift so passengers who could not climb stairs had an option, it just may take time.

 

Today did not start well.  We were docked at 7am and local officials came on board to do their regular clearance.  They did not clear the ship until 11:45am which backed up most ship tours and disrupted plans for many others.  The captain had made a couple announcements along the way noting he was hoping to have the clearance done soon, but time kept on ticking.  I heard an officer explaining that it was unusual as this is not our first Brazil port and that all normal information had been sent ahead but there was nothing the staff could do but wait for the inspectors to do what ever they wanted.  

 

The weather started out quite nice – on the hot, humid side but sunny near the port area but some cloud over the peaks.  The cloud slowly grew and by 4pm there was light drizzle, heavy rain by 5, brief pause and then much more rain.

 

In the terminal were several shops and a tourist booth with good maps.  Vendors were offering tours, especially for the opening event for Carnival tonight.  Tours were also available outside as were taxis. 

 

Unfortunately, Rio has the reputation of being a very dangerous place for tourist - most of the crime is non-violent but robbery is very common.  It is not the only place on this voyage where caution must be taken, but it is worth being extra careful on what you do and where you go.  I brought with me an old camera that has not been used in several years to use in ports like this - doesn't take as good photos but less of a loss if something happens.  Don't wear ANY jewelry, don't carry a lot of money, don’t bring your passport and keep credit cards in one of those travel pouches that you wear under your shirt/blouse.

 

We have been here twice before on cruises and added a couple days post cruise once so have done the normal highlights.  It is about 20 minutes by taxi to the Copacabana Beach.

 

Rio has gone through a lot of improvements since we were last here, especially in the way of transportation as a result of preparations for the 2016 summer Olympics.  The dockland area has been the focus of a major regeneration project by the city council and is now safer with more options to visit.

 

The landmark Christ the Redeemer statue is not wheelchair accessible.  It was visible (very small) from the ship in the morning.  Sugar Loaf Mountain cable cars are fully wheelchair accessible and there is accessible washroom at 2 locations.  Most of the viewing area at the end is fine for wheelchairs but some areas would not be.  The waterfront areas around the main beaches are also wheelchair friendly.  For getting around the city for someone with a folding wheelchair, taxis are about the only way to get around.  Accessible washrooms are rare.

 

Based on some information I found there are no wheelchair accessible taxis in Rio.  Most taxis were small cars that Freda could not get into.  The were some vans that could be used.

 

I thought of going to the Botanical Gardens that were inaugurated in 1808: 15 minutes from Ipanema and Copacabana.  It is located on 350 acres area.  Visitors can spend great leisure time and exploring over 6,000 different trees and plants.  Visitors will see more than 138 species of birds, including the symbol of the garden – “Caxinguelês”.  There are lakes with many exotic and native fish species.  We had a leisurely walk through the gardens, the orchid house and among the 90ft royal palms.  This property is half natural jungle and half gardens.  Be aware of meeting snakes and lizards.  Due to the heat, and transportation issues with the large number of tourist in town, Freda decided not to go to. Our dinner mates tonight went there and had an enjoyable tour – their taxi driver stayed with them and used a translation app to give info.  They gave me their garden map and it shows several accessible washrooms.  They said there were steps in some areas, but to them the garden seemed mostly accessible.

 

I did get off the ship after lunch for about 2.5 hours doing a walk along the port area (left from the terminal) which lead to areas with many colonial buildings.  There were vendors set up selling a range of goods in the port area.

 

There are several museums in the area including the "Museum of Tomorrow".  This science museum was opened in December 2015, and is located right next to Pier Maua's waterfront.  It closed at 3 today – probably due to Carnival.  There were a lot of people in the area other than cruise ship passengers. 

 

I ended up at some square where a lot of people were starting to gather including a band.  I did not see anyone dress up in what I would call carnival outfits, but did see many people in that area dress more like Halloween outfits.  If I had the time to stay longer, it likely would have gotten interesting (and wet).

 

Many of the colonial buildings in the area are in rough shape.  They have no windows and the interior seems to be cleared out just leaving a shell.

 

Tonight the dinning room was very quite and the show was less than half full - First time this cruise not full.  Many people had a special event planned tonight.  They went to the Carnival preliminary Samba Parade which has been promoted as the ‘The biggest show on Earth’ at the Sambodrome.  Princess offered grandstand and box seat tours.  Near 100 roll call passengers did this as a group.  I will try to get a report for tomorrow and see how the rain affected the show.

 

Today’s thought of the day - "Cruising has two pleasures. One is to go out in wider waters from a sheltered place. The other is to go into a sheltered place from wider waters." - Howard Bloomfield

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@Waynetor, I am enjoying reading some of your port experiences and recalling what we did in 2018.  In catching up, I noticed you posted about President's Day (USA) and Family Day (CAN) several days back.  The 3rd Monday in Feb is actually a holiday in more places than you mentioned, although a couple of provinces have their own name for the holiday.  

 

"Family Day is not a national statutory holiday, it is only observed in New Brunswick, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Saskatchewan and in British Columbia. Two other provinces have holidays in February: In PEI Islander Day is celebrated on the 3rd Monday in February and in Manitoba the 3rd Monday in February is the Louis Riel Day holiday."

 

And a pet peeve of mine is that we eat dinner in the dining room - not the dinning room.  😉  

Hope you get better weather experiences for the last days of the voyage.

 

Edited by Steelers36
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1 hour ago, Steelers36 said:

@Waynetor, I am enjoying reading some of your port experiences and recalling what we did in 2018.  In catching up, I noticed you posted about President's Day (USA) and Family Day (CAN) several days back.  The 3rd Monday in Feb is actually a holiday in more places than you mentioned, although a couple of provinces have their own name for the holiday.  

 

"Family Day is not a national statutory holiday, it is only observed in New Brunswick, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Saskatchewan and in British Columbia. Two other provinces have holidays in February: In PEI Islander Day is celebrated on the 3rd Monday in February and in Manitoba the 3rd Monday in February is the Louis Riel Day holiday."

 

And a pet peeve of mine is that we eat dinner in the dining room - not the dinning room.  😉  

Hope you get better weather experiences for the last days of the voyage.

 

 

Trust me that few of us really need to know the different holiday names.  Weyneter probably quoted what Patter reported on the area and passed it on to us.  He likely wrote what he saw in print.  I have to agree with you, Steelers, his reporting is powerful stuff and enjoyed by so many on or will be on the good ship, Island.  Few are willing to sit for hours and work up in depth reporting.  I do the same on my cruises as shown in my below attachment.  

 

JacK

 

1a_HAWAII WITH KIDS.pdf

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Day 45 Saturday, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil dep 10pm

Todays weather was mostly cloudy, hot but not as much as yesterday.  It looked like it could rain almost any time but did not until late afternoon and then on and off all evening.

 

Rio is expecting around a quarter million cruise ship passengers this season which will be ending in a few weeks.

 

During Carnival all the museums, art galleries etc. are closed all week.  Many of the shopping districts will also be closed.

 

I talked to some that went to the Samba Parade last night.  It rained heavy up until near start time at 10:30pm.  Overall it was very impressive despite the weather.  Some complained that most people stood and danced at their seats making it necessary for others to stand to see.  This was hard on those with some mobility issues and they left early.

 

With the threat of rain and the large crowds in the city, we decided not to do the botanical garden and stayed on the ship.

 

We were joined in port today by 3 other cruise ships.  The same Holland America and MSC ships that we have seen at other recent ports plus a Pullmantur ship.  It was fun watching the Pullmantur ship do a great parallel parking job fitting into a tight space between the other 2.

 

Between 2 and 3:30pm we could see many parade floats going along the road by the ship.  I think they were being moved from 1 staging area to another.  Some of the floats had been modified from parade condition to make it easier to move.  At the same time there was a fire a few blocks from the ship.  Most of the 4 or 5 storey buildings view was blocked by other buildings but large flames could be seen coming through the roof.

 

One of the CD staff said the reason for the long delay yesterday was partly due to a medical evacuation but mainly due to a new requirement in large cities to inspect cruise ships more carefully going though all medical records.  We had no such issue in San Antonia the port for Santiago which is a bigger city or for BA.  It did not appear that the other ships in port today had any major delays getting cleared.  I’m wondering if we will have any major delay in Ft L. after being away from the US so long.

 

I mentioned earlier that we celebrated our 500th day on Princess during the 1st segment and got various goodies.  Today, just like on the 2nd segment, we received a bouquet of flowers.  These extras were a surprise as I had not heard of that before.  It would have been nicer to get extra champagne instead but anything is nice.

 

Today’s quote of the day - Yesterday is experience.  Tomorrow is hope.  Today is getting from one to the other as best we can.

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4 hours ago, Waynetor said:

Day 45 Saturday, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil dep 10pm

Todays weather was mostly cloudy, hot but not as much as yesterday.  It looked like it could rain almost any time but did not until late afternoon and then on and off all evening.

 

Rio is expecting around a quarter million cruise ship passengers this season which will be ending in a few weeks.

 

During Carnival all the museums, art galleries etc. are closed all week.  Many of the shopping districts will also be closed.

 

I talked to some that went to the Samba Parade last night.  It rained heavy up until near start time at 10:30pm.  Overall it was very impressive despite the weather.  Some complained that most people stood and danced at their seats making it necessary for others to stand to see.  This was hard on those with some mobility issues and they left early.

 

With the threat of rain and the large crowds in the city, we decided not to do the botanical garden and stayed on the ship.

 

We were joined in port today by 3 other cruise ships.  The same Holland America and MSC ships that we have seen at other recent ports plus a Pullmantur ship.  It was fun watching the Pullmantur ship do a great parallel parking job fitting into a tight space between the other 2.

 

Between 2 and 3:30pm we could see many parade floats going along the road by the ship.  I think they were being moved from 1 staging area to another.  Some of the floats had been modified from parade condition to make it easier to move.  At the same time there was a fire a few blocks from the ship.  Most of the 4 or 5 storey buildings view was blocked by other buildings but large flames could be seen coming through the roof.

 

One of the CD staff said the reason for the long delay yesterday was partly due to a medical evacuation but mainly due to a new requirement in large cities to inspect cruise ships more carefully going though all medical records.  We had no such issue in San Antonia the port for Santiago which is a bigger city or for BA.  It did not appear that the other ships in port today had any major delays getting cleared.  I’m wondering if we will have any major delay in Ft L. after being away from the US so long.

 

I mentioned earlier that we celebrated our 500th day on Princess during the 1st segment and got various goodies.  Today, just like on the 2nd segment, we received a bouquet of flowers.  These extras were a surprise as I had not heard of that before.  It would have been nicer to get extra champagne instead but anything is nice.

 

Today’s quote of the day - Yesterday is experience.  Tomorrow is hope.  Today is getting from one to the other as best we can.

 

I really enjoy your quotes, Weynetor.  A nice touch!  A real writer does quality touches like that.  I must remember the impact they have on me in my own writing.  Especially this one on navigating from yesterday through to tomorrow.  Getting back into your observations in this one above composition, I might have argued a bit with the flower vase, too.  Even a half-bottle of bubbly would be appropriate (for 500 days)and much better than a dozen of any kind of flower.

 

Your photos are the best.  Active people, fire among the buildings, cruise ships squeezing into tight places, and then your wonderful stories for each of the days.  You're too much great coverage to believe.  Very few of us, relatively writing, are thanking you for what you are doing.  You have my appreciation loud and clear.

 

I sincerely hope to meet you one day.  May it be on another Princess, ships that you and I truly like.  Jack 

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Thank you, Waynetor for your fascinating accounts of your trip.

 

May I ask a question?

 

We are visiting Rio on the Coral Princess in a few weeks, followed by St Kitts and Martinique,( where a YF certificate or exemption is needed if travelling from YF area). We have secured a Yellow Fever waiver due to medical reasons and age (64 and 68). We were told to wear long trousers and long sleeved shirts, along with liberal supplies of something containing DEET (50% or more)...any comments please ?

 

Thanks. Enjoy the remainder of your trip.

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Feb 23 Armacao dos Buzios, Brazil intro

Armacao dos Buzios often referred to as just Búzios. 

 

In 2012 its population consisted of 23,463 inhabitants and its area of 69km² (26.6 mi²).  Located on a peninsula 8km (5mi) long that offers over 23 beaches Búzios is a popular getaway from Rio and a worldwide tourist site, especially among Brazilians and Argentinians.  Located about 110km (68mi) from Rio, it often is nicknamed “Brazil’s St Tropez” because of its famous amazing beaches.

 

Much of Búzios rise in popularity can be traced to Brigitte Bardot, the French actress who spent time here in the mid 1960’s and declared her admiration.  She has been honoured for bringing the areas name to the rest of the world with a life-size bronze statue along the oceanfront path.

 

The average high temperature in February is 32C (82F) with 108mm (4.3 in) of rain.

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Day 46 Sunday, Armacao dos Buzios, Brazil 7 – 5pm    

Cruise ship business has grown over the past few years with most business in the Dec. to March period – ships are here 13 days this month.

 

Today started sunny but ended up being mostly cloudy.  The temp was already 28C (82F) by 8am but did not go much higher.

 

Another tender port today.  We were joined by the same MSC as yesterday.  Each ship used a different pier for tendering – they were about a 15-minute walk apart.  I’m not sure, but my guess is if only 1 ship was here, the pier used by MSC would be the pier used.  There is no port terminal here.  Our 5-minute tender ride dropped passengers off near the centre of town.  Lots of shopping opportunities nearby.  The shopping/restaurant area goes a few blocks deep.  There was a tourist booth a block into town – they had an area map but no maps to hand out and no English spoken.  Going to the right off the pier is not very good as the shop/restaurant and homes all block the sea view.

 

Off the pier to the left is a waterfront walkway with shops and restaurants across the road.  There is a por beach in this area.  Passing the statue of Brigitte Bardot there was a line of about 15 couples waiting to do selfies.  Further on was a similar statue of a former Brazilian President and no wait to get his photo.  Just passed the MSC pier there was a chapel and around a corner from it was a very nice beach – crowded but chair/umbrella rentals were available.  As this was a Sunday, there were lots of Brazilian people in town- a lot more than passengers from the 2 ships.  On the way back it was easier to get Brigitte’s photo.

 

The majority of sidewalks and roads were made of flagstone with some areas in bricks – lots of gaps between pieces.  This would very bumpy for wheelchairs.

 

If one is interested in beach life, it is good to investigate before picking one.  From peace and tranquility to maximum party and adrenaline Armacao dos Buzios has a top-notch beach to match.  There is a nudist beach (Praia Olho de Boi), beaches good for kite surfing, water sports, sunbathing, swimming, strong waves, surfing, night life, and restaurants.  The beaches on the protected west side are the calmest.

 

Trolley tours and water taxis were 2 of the ways to get around and see some of the sites.  I saw several of the open-air trolley doing tours but not sure of the price.  There were other tours being offered near the pier.  I did not notice any taxis.  Renting dune-buggy type vehicles seemed very popular.

 

The buildings here are mostly tile-roofed villas and small hotels – no high-rises.

 

Today’s quote of the day - A lie gets half way around the world before the truth gets a chance to get its pants on.

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