Destination: The Amazon is an AMAZing place to visit. You need to see it for yourself.
The P&O Adonia is the friendliest ship I have sailed on. The passengers and crew rapidly created a true community atmosphere, particularly values as I am a solo traveller. Adonia's size makes everything conveniently accessible, with sufficient space and good temperature control.
Staff: VERY courteous and friendly staff, whose smile reached their eyes. The best I have encountered on 6 cruises in 12 months. Cruise director: EXCELLENT.
Cabin: Good space, comfortable bed and bedding, White Company toiletries. Tea, coffee and biscuits facilities. Free bottled water on arrival. Fridge convenient.
Dining: Table stewards EXCELLENT. Head waiter: very helpful. Wine waiter: good sense of humour. Meals six courses, good range (frequent steak, excellently cooked), portions rather too large to have all courses. Petits fours with the coffee. Informal dining facility good with set tables and More
service. Range of informal buffets Indian, Thai, International, British, Italian. Select dining Marco Pierre White and Sorrento (Italian). Dress code of formal, informal and casual nights.
Room service: Breakfast reliably delivered at the early part of the selected half hour slot. Other meals limited choice but mostly free of charge.
Entertainment: Good range of the usual quizzes, line dancing, deck sports - winners' points cumulative for better prizes (incl DAB radio) - shows and cabarets, lounge music, lectures and recent films as well as TV. News, crossword and sudoku (too easy), jigsaws and games. Good library. Plus ongoing bridge, dancing and art courses. Sailaways from every port. Deck parties. Crossing the Equator. Village Fete: 15 events involving staff from all the ship's departments with top prize of Marco Pierre White dinner for 2 and visit to the bridge for 2.
Photographers: Ran courses to enhance our skills, accessible and helpful. 'Stock photos' and video (high quality souvenir representative of ship life and ports) very affordable but individual photos Â£9.95 each.
Shore visits: Resort information on all 12 ports visited handed out at the start of the sector to give you plenty of time to explore/compare excursions versus independent exploration. Information generally good (a few inaccuracies). Talks on each port by speakers and by excursion staff repeated on loop on TV. Excursions varied - in some places I felt they were contrived, but many passengers expected something to be arranged for them, either because of reduced mobility or because they did not have the confidence to explore independently. My three (Manaus forest and river, Boi Bamba show, Rio full day) were excellent. It was Carnival in Brazil which added to the special atmosphere but it caused some closures of churches etc.
Services for singles: Coffees, and 'Travelling alone together' meetings on each shore day to ensure no one had to go ashore alone who did not want to.
Facilities: Laundry good. I never had to wait - but may have chosen good times.
Gratuities very reasonable Â£3.10, no expectation of extra and no gratuities on drinks
Embarkation/Disembarkation Very well handled. On departure day there was a free tour and dinner for those who were due at the airport at 9pm.
Value for money: The solo supplement is always a problem, but with the 'getaway fare' I achieved good value for money. At couples' rates it's a steal!
Downsides: INTERNET EXPENSIVE AND SLOW and inadequate lighting for jigsaw table. Less
Family & Children
Fitness & Recreation
Value for Money
- Cabin located on Deck 6 aft. Very quiet. Approx 214 sq ft, including balcony. Air conditioned. Two lower beds convertible to a king-size bed, vanity/writing desk and chair, plenty of wardrobe and drawer space. Two seater settee and table.
- Refrigerator and safe, tea/coffee making facilities with biscuits, mineral water on arrival [two small bottles in fridge]
- Bathroom with shower and WC, good storage space. Powerful hairdryer, pamper pack [The White Company shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, soap and shower gel]
- TV [Sky, BBC World News, Australian News TV?, three TV channels, 3 Film channels, Broadcast of on board lectures, view from the bridge, excursion films], radio [three music channels] and telephone
- Floor to ceiling sliding glass doors leading to balcony with table and reclining chairs
- Daily steward service. Chocolate at turn down service. Flower and boiled sweets on arrival.
Although the local customs inspector was horrified at the thought, I chose to ignore the taxis and walk into town and take a local bus to Bathsheba on the other side of the island. I chatted with a lady at the bus station and a gentleman sitting next to me on the bus provided insights into the island and its lifestyle from his perspective (rather than a tour guide script). The botanical gardens were exceptional, worth allowing a good hour. Don't just photograph the two buildings comprising the parliament: visit the exhibition inside. Note the national pledge on the bridge. I am not a beach person, but they were spectacular.
Three of us shared a private taxi and Felix not only spoke good English but shared his obvious love of the island. He made numerous stops to point out places, plants and animals of interest and arranged a private tour of the spice factory (rather than in a group of 40). The Grand Etang was the highlight, offering views of the crater lake on one side and the Atlantic from the other. Fort George gives a view of the island's features from the Caribbean, St Georges, beaches, yachting harbour, lush vegetation and the Atlantic.
Loads of variety, interesting and attractive. Lots of affordable excursions available locally but nothing beasts just walking around and local transport to catch the local flavour and meet the residents - at cut price rates! Don't miss the painted front doors along the Rua Sta Maria. Camara del Lobos well worth visiting.
We arrived on a Sunday and at the cruise terminal representatives of two jewellery companies urged us to take their shuttle to a hotel to see their wares on the basis that 'everything is closed'. This was not true. Don't miss the way of the cross on the walls leading up to the cathedral as well as the cathedral itself. The street markets are colourful and appealing. I was particularly delighted to find that I was not being perpetually harassed by vendors. They were happy to help if you expressed an interest but otherwise left you alone. Some fellow travellers were fortunate enough to visit the Opera House and find the symphony orchestra rehearsing, thus enjoying a free concert! The heat and humidity somewhat curtailed my explorations.
The next day I took an excursion along the river to the Meeting of the Waters, to a local village and to the local wetlands to see the birds an the Victoria lilies (Victoria amazonica) with leaves of three metres wide. Again, I was fortunate to have a guide with good English and a love for his country.
It was carnaval and the place was heaving. Therefore our excursion left early (7.30) and took us up to Corcovado. Sit on the LEFT hand side of the funiculare (when facing the front of the train) to get the best views. Don't expect to get a photo of the Statue of Christ which does not include numerous other tourists! The morning mist obscured the city below, but this added a magic atmosphere. Two girls were singing in the chapel within the pedestal of the statue when I visited, in worship not as a concert for visitors.
We visited Copacabana twice, once in the morning and again before dinner. In the morning people were swimming, sunbathing and playing volleyball. In the evening they were strolling in carnival gear - some sporting a hat and mask, others full-blown costumes ranging from brides to devils - in readiness for the evening's parade. Don't miss the tesselated pavements.
Sugar Loaf mountain offered spectacular views over the city and close up views of iguanas and monkeys.