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Home > Member Reviews > fijntjes's Port Reviews of Madeira (Funchal), Barbados, Grenada, Manaus, Rio de Janeiro

fijntjes's Port Reviews of Madeira (Funchal), Barbados, Grenada, Manaus, Rio de Janeiro
Adonia cruise in January 2013
Member Name: fijntjes
Cruise Date: January 2013
Embarkation: other
Destination: South America
Member Review: fijntjes's Adonia Review
Madeira (Funchal)
Port Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
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.

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Port Rating: 4.0 out of 5+
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.
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Port Rating: 4.0 out of 5+
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.

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Port Rating: 4.0 out of 5+
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.

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Rio de Janeiro
Port Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
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.

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