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Home > Member Reviews > Wendy The Wanderer's Port Reviews of Rio de Janeiro, Barbados, San Juan

Wendy The Wanderer's Port Reviews of Rio de Janeiro, Barbados, San Juan
Seven Seas Voyager cruise in December 2009
Member Name: Wendy The Wanderer
Cruise Date: December 2009
Embarkation: Rio de Janeiro
Destination: South America & Antarctica
Member Review: Wendy The Wanderer's Seven Seas Voyager Review
Rio de Janeiro
Port Rating: 5+ out of 5+
We spent 4 days in Rio before the cruise, one on the ship while overnighting. Rio is amazing and I recommend it to all. We did have a private guide for two days, and I also recommend this since it's a bit daunting, what with the stories about safety and poverty, the language, and the traffic. We stayed in Ipanema, an area that I highly recommend. It is a bustling, comfortable residential area that felt very safe, but is also lots of fun. We went to a tiny club playing Bossa Nova music one night, which was awesome, and made up for our less than stellar experience at Cidade de Samba (Samba City), which was less than stellar.

I'll mention the other Brazilian ports here as well. Salvador de Bahia is a beautiful old crumbling place. It's been made a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and I can see why. But I think they may have left it too late--buildings really are crumbling and many seem beyond compare. And the hot, humid climate makes upkeep a constant activity. I will watch and see if they manage to restore this city, but probably would not go back.

Fortaleza was a brief stop, with just a bus shuttle into the market to shop for a while. So did not see much. It also is very hot and humid, but seemed less so than Salvador. The beaches looked beautiful, and there is lots of money flowing into this town with many new luxury condos and hotels.



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Barbados
Port Rating: 3.0 out of 5+
The Barbados is a beautiful island, and I've often wanted to visit. Not sure I would now--the tourist infrastructure seems very well developed, let's say. Lots of luxury resorts. I prefer a bit homier atmosphere. But after one day there, I am probably pre-judging. Beautiful beaches and water.


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San Juan
Port Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
Old San Juan is a very nice place. We had good weather, and went on a tour that included the Bacardi distillery tour. I wouldn't recommend this despite the free booze--it's a very touristy, Disney-like tour, and not like other distillery tours we have taken. But the old city had many charms otherwise, and I would certainly go back there any time.



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