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3 days pre-cruise Rio de Janeiro


Bruin Steve
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We will be doing a 13 night Rio to Lisbon cruise on Celebrity Summit, followed by a second cruise in the Western Med on Symphony of the seas...The start of all this will be 3 days in Rio--a city we know little about.  So, I have lots of questions...

 

We arrive in Rio at 8:15 am, Monday April 10…after leaving LAX around 1:00 pm Pacific time on Sunday and changing planes in Houston.  Staying for three nights at the Hilton Copacabana (INCLUDES breakfast) before boarding Celebrity Infinity on April 13.

 

So…

Day 1:  Arriving 8:15 am sounds great…until you realize that this is 3:15 am Pacific time and we will have been traveling about 18 hours including Uber, airport time and two flights…We will be dead tired…and our body clocks will be off by five hours…So, we are not planning on doing much that day other than relaxing and eating.

Questions:  

Best way to get from GIG to the Hilton?  Taxi?  Uber?  Something else?  How do we find it after baggage claim?

We will likely venture out for lunch and, later, for dinner…We don’t need fancy or gourmet.  Usually, we just want CASUAL, inexpensive, easy.  Any recommendations near Hilton?  Anything–Sandwiches, pizza, burgers, local food–will do.  Same for dinner.

We don’t know Rio.  Never been there.  We feel safe enough most places we’ve traveled but everyone tells us to be careful in Rio.  Should we plan on doing dinner EARLY to avoid walking at night?  Any other tips?

 

Day 2:  We have a tour booked:  “VIP A day in Rio” with City Rio Turismo…hotel pickup at 8:55 am.  Christ the Redeemer by Corcovado Train, the Maracanã (outside area), the Sambódromo, the São Sebastião Cathedral of Rio de Janeiro, the Selarón Staircase and the Sugarloaf Mountain by cable car, lunch at Rodizio Steakhouse.  I figure this is a pretty packed day…and covers most of what we need to see in Rio.  So, for this day, I am only concerned with finding an option for dinner.

 

Day 3:  The open day.  Haven’t planned anything.  Any ideas?  

 

Day 4:  Checking out and heading to the ship.  Taxi?  Uber?

 

Anything else we should really know?

Thanks in advance...

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  • 3 weeks later...

We feel safe enough most places we’ve traveled but everyone tells us to be careful in Rio.  Should we plan on doing dinner EARLY to avoid walking at night?

 

Unfortunately there is still a risk of DAYTIME robbery/pickpocketing in Rio and when you first asked about this several months ago, you were advised of that.   It was also suggested that you dine in your hotel. Here is your previous thread with replies:

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2846897-rio-april-2023/#comment-63064142

 

Not every tourist in Rio will be targeted of course, but that doesn't  mean you can walk about expecting not to be targeted, and the less walking you do outside of your hotel, the more you reduce the risk to yourselves. Ask hotel staff to recommend a nearby eatery

 

Noting your US location, what does current US Govt travel advice state?

 

The UK travel advisory says this in part:

.

If threatened, hand over your valuables without resistance. Attackers may be armed and under the influence of drugs. Do not attempt to resist attackers – this increases the risk of injury or worse.

You should:

  • avoid wearing expensive jewellery and watches
  • avoid carrying large sums of money - consider wearing a money belt
  • avoid using a mobile phone in the street
  • keep cameras out of sight when not in use
  • leave your passport and other valuables in a safe place, but carry a copy and another form of photo ID, if you have one, with you at all times.

 

And you are wise to have booked a private tour.  Expect the driver/guide to keep all vehicle windows closed and doors locked when you are inside it as this is what locals do in their own vehicles.

 

And remember that if it is cloudy or misty on your day 1 private tour to the top sights, try switching to day 2 plans  instead and try for your main sights the following day in the hope that  it would have better views.  As in your previous thread, could still recommend Petroplois for your free day, plus the modern cathedral in the city as it is very different, plus/or whatever your guide suggests or what you yourselves would like to visit.

 

Despite the concerns about possible  theft, it is a wonderful city to visit.

Edited by edinburgher
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5 hours ago, edinburgher said:

...and when you first asked about this several months ago, you were advised of that.  ... Here is your previous thread with replies:

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2846897-rio-april-2023/#comment-63064142

 

Thanks...

About that earlier thread:  I forgot to refer back to that...but also figured that, from that time many months ago to today, our plans are much more concrete and structured.  At that time, we had no ide how many days we would spend there or where we would stay...neither did we have plans as to any organized tours.  We were looking for recommendations as to hotels and tour providers.  Now that we have those in place, my questions are a little more focused. I probably should have appended this to that thread rather than starting a new one.  Mea culpa.

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Mea culpa.

 

No worries. 

 

Perhaps others will come in with recommended options for your transfer to the ship.  We had booked the 3 day hotel add on through the cruiseline, so there were many fellow pax staying there, and although we didn't go on their excursions, we did use their coach transfer from the hotel to the port.

 

Maybe reading some of the previous threads about Rio (in particular transport related threads) might be helpful to you.  Simply use the SEARCH option under your username to bring them up ready for reading as that is usually easier than back paging.

 

Rio is amazing to visit, although we definitely missed the freedom to walk around that we have enjoyed in other cities around the world.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I guess we're pretty well settled on most of what we do...and may stick to the hotel after dark...

My last big questiuon is this:

We are pretty much looking at day one as a "kick back and relax" day to recover from a long day of travel and time zone changes.  Day two, we have that full day Rio tour.  That leaves day three.  Original thought was to play it by ear, perhaps go visit sights around town on our own.  The new thought occurred that it may feel safer to go with another organized tour--tour provider/driver/guide who know what they are doing and where they are going...maybe another small group with 4-6 others--safety in numbers.  

So, the question is, after doing the full day seemingly "complete" Rio tour on day two, is there another different tour--either full or half day--that would be very worthwhile to take???

 

Thanks...

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16 hours ago, Bruin Steve said:

I guess we're pretty well settled on most of what we do...and may stick to the hotel after dark...

My last big questiuon is this:

We are pretty much looking at day one as a "kick back and relax" day to recover from a long day of travel and time zone changes.  Day two, we have that full day Rio tour.  That leaves day three.  Original thought was to play it by ear, perhaps go visit sights around town on our own.  The new thought occurred that it may feel safer to go with another organized tour--tour provider/driver/guide who know what they are doing and where they are going...maybe another small group with 4-6 others--safety in numbers.  

So, the question is, after doing the full day seemingly "complete" Rio tour on day two, is there another different tour--either full or half day--that would be very worthwhile to take???

 

Thanks...

Private guide..you can tell him what you already have planned and he can suggest other stuff.   We had our guide for 2 days. He did all the basic stuff. But he also took us to this fantastic library. Also a famous coffee house called Confiteria Colombo. Place was amazing.  Also we rode on an old style train for a few stops....he dropped us off and met us at our get off stop. Then we walked across the street to a typical Brazilian restaurant. For lunch. We were the only ones who spoke English.   With a private guide you can customize.

Edited by Mrs f.
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  • 1 month later...
On 3/14/2023 at 6:58 AM, Mrs f. said:

Private guide..you can tell him what you already have planned and he can suggest other stuff.   We had our guide for 2 days. He did all the basic stuff. But he also took us to this fantastic library. Also a famous coffee house called Confiteria Colombo. Place was amazing.  Also we rode on an old style train for a few stops....he dropped us off and met us at our get off stop. Then we walked across the street to a typical Brazilian restaurant. For lunch. We were the only ones who spoke English.   With a private guide you can customize.

Would you please share who you hired for a private guide?  We are sailing from Lisbon to Rio in November and will be spending 2 nights post cruise in Rio.

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15 minutes ago, Dgoddess61 said:

Would you please share who you hired for a private guide?  We are sailing from Lisbon to Rio in November and will be spending 2 nights post cruise in Rio.

Augusto "Gus" Guimares.....I'll look up his contact information in the morning. Very good English.  Lovely man.  We paid "overtime" and asked him to take us to a restaurant for supper and then onto the airport for our almost midnight flight back to NY. 

Edited by Mrs f.
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8 hours ago, Mrs f. said:

Augusto "Gus" Guimares.....I'll look up his contact information in the morning. Very good English.  Lovely man.  We paid "overtime" and asked him to take us to a restaurant for supper and then onto the airport for our almost midnight flight back to NY. 

gusguideathotmaildotcom

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Just to follow up...We are now on Infinity but here's how we ended up spending our stay in Rio:

We arrived at 8:00 am on the 10th and, surprisingly, the Hilton had a room for us immediately upon arrivl at the hotel.  We were very tired and just lounged around for the day...ate pizza and beer for lunch at Taberna Atlantica-- along the beach right at the side of the Hilton (there are five restaurants right there, all with outdoor tables).  Large sausage pizza and two beers, shockingly $18 and change in US dollars!  Went to nearby market to pick up snacks.  Had dinner at the Hilton rooftop restaurant--great view.

Second day--full day Rio VIP tour with City Rio Tourism--included Sugarloaf by aerial gondola, Christ the Redeemer by train, Celeron Stairs, Cathedral, lunch at a Brazilian steakhouse with lots of sushi and unlimited steak.  19 tourists in a minivan.  Pretty good overview.

Day three:  We booked a private tour for four of us through the tour company with a desk at the Hilton.  We were going to use them for a group tour but that was sold out...so they set us up with a private tour for four for LESS money (680 Real total for four people).  Was supposed to be four hours but they went for six hours with no additional charge.  Went to Santa Theresa as well as another visit to Celeron Stairs but this time walked down the entire length...also another visit to the Cathedral--but guide, Joao, was even better, did a lunch/dessert at an old "confectionary" that was wonderful.

Day 4:  Check out, taxi to the ship...

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Thanks for the follow up on how your Rio visit went. I have been following this thread as we plan to be in Rio next March.  It is so helpful to hear back after you were actually there.  

Happy cruising. Enjoy the rest of your trip

 

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  • 5 months later...
On 4/22/2023 at 4:11 PM, Bruin Steve said:

Just to follow up...We are now on Infinity but here's how we ended up spending our stay in Rio:

We arrived at 8:00 am on the 10th and, surprisingly, the Hilton had a room for us immediately upon arrivl at the hotel.  We were very tired and just lounged around for the day...ate pizza and beer for lunch at Taberna Atlantica-- along the beach right at the side of the Hilton (there are five restaurants right there, all with outdoor tables).  Large sausage pizza and two beers, shockingly $18 and change in US dollars!  Went to nearby market to pick up snacks.  Had dinner at the Hilton rooftop restaurant--great view.

Second day--full day Rio VIP tour with City Rio Tourism--included Sugarloaf by aerial gondola, Christ the Redeemer by train, Celeron Stairs, Cathedral, lunch at a Brazilian steakhouse with lots of sushi and unlimited steak.  19 tourists in a minivan.  Pretty good overview.

Day three:  We booked a private tour for four of us through the tour company with a desk at the Hilton.  We were going to use them for a group tour but that was sold out...so they set us up with a private tour for four for LESS money (680 Real total for four people).  Was supposed to be four hours but they went for six hours with no additional charge.  Went to Santa Theresa as well as another visit to Celeron Stairs but this time walked down the entire length...also another visit to the Cathedral--but guide, Joao, was even better, did a lunch/dessert at an old "confectionary" that was wonderful.

Day 4:  Check out, taxi to the ship...

What is the name of the company you used for the private tour? Thank you

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21 hours ago, cashmeremypuppydog said:

What is the name of the company you used for the private tour? Thank you

I don't recall right now...but it was booked AT the Hilton Copacabana concierge desk in the lobby...They seemed to have an exclusive deal between this provider and the Hilton.

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1 hour ago, Bruin Steve said:

I don't recall right now...but it was booked AT the Hilton Copacabana concierge desk in the lobby...They seemed to have an exclusive deal between this provider and the Hilton.

Thank you

I found another driver through my research. I will post on CC after using him. I am big in using private drivers..  

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 4/22/2023 at 11:11 PM, Bruin Steve said:

Just to follow up...We are now on Infinity but here's how we ended up spending our stay in Rio:

We arrived at 8:00 am on the 10th and, surprisingly, the Hilton had a room for us immediately upon arrivl at the hotel.  We were very tired and just lounged around for the day...ate pizza and beer for lunch at Taberna Atlantica-- along the beach right at the side of the Hilton (there are five restaurants right there, all with outdoor tables).  Large sausage pizza and two beers, shockingly $18 and change in US dollars!  Went to nearby market to pick up snacks.  Had dinner at the Hilton rooftop restaurant--great view.

Second day--full day Rio VIP tour with City Rio Tourism--included Sugarloaf by aerial gondola, Christ the Redeemer by train, Celeron Stairs, Cathedral, lunch at a Brazilian steakhouse with lots of sushi and unlimited steak.  19 tourists in a minivan.  Pretty good overview.

Day three:  We booked a private tour for four of us through the tour company with a desk at the Hilton.  We were going to use them for a group tour but that was sold out...so they set us up with a private tour for four for LESS money (680 Real total for four people).  Was supposed to be four hours but they went for six hours with no additional charge.  Went to Santa Theresa as well as another visit to Celeron Stairs but this time walked down the entire length...also another visit to the Cathedral--but guide, Joao, was even better, did a lunch/dessert at an old "confectionary" that was wonderful.

Day 4:  Check out, taxi to the ship...

Hi Steve 

Can I ask how did you get to the hotel from the airport, did you grab a cab or did you pre-book a transfer. Who did you use if so. 

Many thanks, Jo

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