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If anyone has some questions about Brazilian Ports


msclover

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Thank you so much, brazilgirl!! I would really appreciate the feedback. :) I pushed my mother too hard in Europe earlier this year, and I really need to make sure she can experience everything without it being too taxing.

 

It's so funny - I've never considered visiting South America before I found this board. Then I read somebody's trip review and now I can't even think of anyplace else I'd like to go more!!

 

 

 

Have a great trip!!

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Alter Ego-

 

I have 3 kids , one of whom is 5 . We´ve traveled extensively in the last year and half (the Med , the US , the Baltic region , the Caribbean ) and next on our list is our own back door-Patagonia/Antarctica.

 

I am very aware of the importance of planning trips according to "energy" levels , as well as respecting physical limitations.If I overplan , the enjoyment level plummets! It is great you are traveling with your mom and South America will be a wonderful destination for you both.

 

My mom just arrived Friday and we are having a great time -both my grandmas (one is 93 now!) have visited me and loved Brazil. My maternal grandma had never traveled outside the US (she´s from a town in Iowa-pop.800!) and everyone here pampered her so much. People in SA tend to be very friendly and warm and love to talk to visitors.

 

I´ll give you a full report next week-if you have any further questions , feel free to ask.

 

Kim

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latebloomercruiser -- We were on the Carnival Splendor in February. It parked in an area that was within a brisk walk from the old commercial center, where the synagogue is located.

I liked Recife which consists of several difference neighborhoods. Closest to the port is the old Jewish quarter and old government and business center which is kind of weather-beaten but has great potential for renovation. Some distance away, on the other side of a river with old Dutch-style houses on the banks, is another retail center. And then, of course, there is the beach area.

A representative of H. Stern, the Rio de Janeiro-based jewelry chain, traveled with us from Barbados to Buenos Aires. In each of our South African ports -- Fortaleza, Recife, Salvador, Rio and Buenos Aires -- H. Stern offered a free shuttle van service to its local store. We shamelessly took advantage of this service, which whisked us free of charge to the center of the city from where we could branch out. On return, we would go to the H. Stern store and get a ride back to the ship.

Finally in Rio, on a rainy day, we visited the H.Stern store which is the chain's headquarters. They offered an audio tour in 27 languages!

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I am just in the starting stages for all these ports and would love any input. We will be there in March. Here's all the one day stops...

 

Armacao Dos Buzio

Paraty

Santos (longest day 7 am to 11 pm- must be special)

Paranaqua

Ilhabela/Sao Sabastiao

Ilha Grande/Abraao

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Salvador is in fact two cities. Along the water front is the lower city, the old commercial center with architecturally interesting buildings and warehouses, many now vacant or in the midst of restoration. If that's where your ship ties up, its a short walk to a big passenger elevator that takes you to the upper city. We took it back and forth and loved its covenience and low cost. On the way to the elevator is an old shopping arcade that may hve the city's best souvenir offerings.

On the street running alongside the elevator terminal in the lower city you may kinds of interesting stores. I found a very well equipped fishing store and a shop specializing in carnival regalia and materials (we visited in February).

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Alter Ego-

 

I am back from a lovely visit to Rio. We visited Corcovado (Christ Statue) and here are the comments about mobility issues.

 

If you take the tram ride (which is very nice , going up the mountain through the jungle) , upon arrival you can go straight to the elevators. However , there may be a bit of a line. Once you exit the elevators , you can get the escalator to the top .

 

Sadly , we had quite a cloud cover....if you see a cloud cover from below , the view is badly affected. Sugar Loaf doesn´t have this problem nearly as often.

 

I´ll post some photos later.

 

Chrismch- I´ll post later with info about your ports. Have to go to the supermarket and such , as have been away for a few days.

 

Kim

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Santarem I did the ship's piranha fishing trip

Paratins we did the bike ride for much cheaper than the ship's tour then just walked around

Boca da Valeria we took school supplies to donate to the one room school

 

there are good photo galleries and blogs (holland America) if you use the search feature on cruise critic

Love your idea of donating supplies where they are needed. How can we do the same?

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Love your idea of donating supplies where they are needed. How can we do the same?

 

our roll call for the Veendam, October 2008, discussed ahead bringing school supplies for the one room school at Boca da Valeria (about 30 kids K-6). We went to Pic N Save etc and bought crayons, craft supplies etc. The crew on the ship donated old clothes. Our group organized with the ship to be on the first tender ashore. Several cruise ships stop there over the winter so I do think the teacher (very nice man) must pass on supplies to other nearby schools.

Try googling "school Boca da Valeria" and you will find lots of links, photos and comments.

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AlterEgo, I use a small electric mobility scooter and I made it to the top of both Sugarloaf and Corcovado. Sugarloaf has a w/c lift to bypass the front steps. I used a small ramp to bridge the gap into the cable car. The view was spectacular. At Corcovado I took the elevator and then transferred to a dilapidated park wheelchair and a park staffer took me up the two escalators to the top. My two friends tipped my scooter on the rear wheels and aided it up the escalators. We did the reverse on the way down. I did not attemp the cog train but took a taxi to the site. It was a rainy day, but the rain stopped for both visits and we had crystal clear viewing! I hope you are as lucky!

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I would like to know what the conditions are like in Parintins and if I would be able to see much on my own with my mobility scooter. Is it possible to attend the Boi Bumba Festival without booking it through the ship?

 

Thanks for any insight.

 

Ruth

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I would like to know what the conditions are like in Parintins and if I would be able to see much on my own with my mobility scooter. Is it possible to attend the Boi Bumba Festival without booking it through the ship?

 

Thanks for any insight.

 

Ruth

 

Last October (low water) we had to tender in to Paratins. We had to climb off the tender and through a riverboat to get to the pier ...the crew might help you with all this. Then it was a wide concrete but steep ramp up to the city. You are right in the city then. There is not much to see. The sidewalks are very narrow and uneven with cross streets and no ramp access to cross.

There are many guys offering "bicycle" rides around the city. They pedal and there is a shaded kind of 2 person cart attached. This would be the best option if you could transfer to it. (But someone would have to watch your scooter).

We didn't go to the Bom Bumba festival but we did stop on the bicycle tour and see the preparations. I would say it is specially put on for the ship. Paratins is a small place and not much visited by ships.

All in all I'd say you are better off with a ship's tour of some kind.

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ScottisMaid...thanks for your reply. My guess is that if a riverboat has to be used as a pass-through to get to the dock, the captain might not permit wheelcjairs and scooters on the tender. The ship-sponsored Parimtins tour is waitlisted ... only the $99 Boi Bumba tour is available. I read from another poster that this rehearsal show was actually put on free by the city of Parintins. However, I have no idea as to the validity of that. I do have an inquiry in to the shore excursion desk as to which tours can accommodate my scooter.

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  • 2 weeks later...
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Hi msclover

 

I'm about to book the MSC Orchestra from Santos to Dover. Never been to Brazil before and have never been on the Musica class ships, so new experiences all round.

 

We only have 4 ports in Brazil; Santos; Rio de Janeiro (9hrs); Salvadoe de Bahia (8 hrs) & Recife (5 hrs).

 

I'll arrive in sao paolo on an overnight flight from the UK and we sail from Santos at 18.00. I have the option of spending 1 or 2 nights in Santos pre cruise. Is there much to see and do in Santos? Do you think it would be worth a pre cruise stay?

 

Also any info you can provide on the must do/see in the other 3 ports would be greatly appreciated. I'll be travelling solo, so i'd appreciate your advice on which ports are safe to go ashore on my own and which I'd be better sticking to a shore excursion (don't really like them but use them, if it is not safe to venture out on my own)

 

Thanks

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AmoMondo - We've just recently returned from a marvelous cruise on Regent Seven Seas Voyager from Rio to Ft.Lauderdale. We spent four days pre-cruise in Rio (and wished it had been much longer). As you have only the day in Rio, you can make much more efficient use of your time on a tour, either a ship's tour (not my first choice) or with a private guide (we can recommend a couple of fantastic private guides, if you are thinking of using one). Indeed, if you can get a couple of other people to share the guide with you, it is no more expensive than a ship's tour and vastly more flexible.

 

If you have the time, a helicopter tour over Rio is marvelous and gives one a much better sense of the magnificent geography & topography of the city. As I mentioned in a post on another thread, the Cariocas say something like, "Paris is the most beautiful city designed by men; and Rio is the most beautiful city designed by God."

 

When you visit Salvador da Bahia, if there is a tour that includes a performance of the Bale Folclorico da Bahia, I would strongly urge you to take that tour. The performance, in a pleasant, modern, and well air-conditioned theatre in the old city, is simply outstanding, easily one of the best folkloric dance performances I've seen anywhere in the world. The rhythms and passion are remarkable. Here's a link to the website for the foundation that operates the troupe: http://www.balefolcloricodabahia.com.br/

 

Have fun. Cheers, Fred

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Thanks so much for all those great suggestions Fred. Really pleased to here that you enjoyed your cruise so much. Thinking of being in that wonderful Brazilian sunshine in just over 3 months, is really helping me to put up with all this snow we have in the UK just now!

 

Thanks again

 

Mairi

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Somewhere in this thread I read that the BoiBumba festival in Parintins is actually for free and the shows are put up whenever there is a cruise ship in town, is there any thruth to that notion?

Thanks for any information.

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Somewhere in this thread I read that the BoiBumba festival in Parintins is actually for free and the shows are put up whenever there is a cruise ship in town, is there any thruth to that notion?

Thanks for any information.

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Some truth, and not. It is true that a condensed version of Boi Bumba is put on in Parintins when cruise ships stop there. It is true that when RSSC (Regent Seven Seas) ships have stopped in Parintins that Boi Bumba has been a free shipwide excursion. BUT, most cruise lines charge the passengers that want to attend the Boi Bumba show. Sorry. We did not love the Boi Bumba experience that we had complimentary on our RSSC visit. Also, that said, there is not a lot else to see in Parintins. Below is a blog link from our day there.

http://circle-south-america-2008-aboard.blogspot.com/2008/02/day-51-february-23-2008-parintins.html

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Somewhere in this thread I read that the BoiBumba festival in Parintins is actually for free and the shows are put up whenever there is a cruise ship in town, is there any thruth to that notion?

Thanks for any information.

 

We have been to Parintins twice with Holland America, once in October in the dry season and once in April in the wet season. The first time it was hot and the second time raining steadily but cool enough to walk around.

As of the second time, 2010, they have built an air conditioned hall near the tender dock for the Boi Bumba show and it was $99 for the one hour show. We did not go either time. It is true there is not much to "see" there because few tourists go and the only access is by river. The first time in fall 2008 there were very few souvenir stalls whereas 18 months later there is a purpose built store which takes visa. We enjoyed just walking the streets and observing an Amazon river town.

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