Rio de Janeiro
RIO IS DEFINITELY WORTH A VISIT
Rio is a pretty fabulous city!
We stayed in Ipanema at the 'Best Western Sol Ipanema'. I was very pleased with our hotel selection as it had a *fabulous* view of the beach and was very close to shops and restaurants. The staff was also very helpful when we were dealing with lost luggage. I had read that it's slightly safer in Ipanema vs. Copacabana as it's more of a locals beach. Indeed, all the crime we heard about from other passengers was in Copacabana. Of course we may have just been lucky, but we did wander around the streets and beach without any problems.
We took a day tour on Grayline of Corcovado, Sugarloaf and city streets which included an excellent lunch in Ipanema.
I recommend a visit to the hippi fair/market on Sunday.
The beaches get packed and are lined with bright umbrellas and juice bars along the boardwalk. We expected everyone to be 'perfect', but this definitely was not the case!
Make sure to try the Brazilian drink Caprihina!
The weather was warm enough to go on the beach and we wore shorts, T-shirts and flip flops.
Embarkation in Rio took a long time (we were there 3.5 hours), but this was mostly due to the fact the ship was late arriving that day due to weather. I wasn't bothered by it, but many passengers were.