Buenos Aries to Rio de Janeiro 10 night cruise. We arrived 2 days before departure to explore Buenos Aries. The ship put us up at the Alvear Palace Hotel. Wow! What a spectacular hotel. Highly recommend it. We booked a walking tour guide through the hotel. Great way to see part of the city and hear the interesting history. The cemetery "village" is a must. If you enjoy steak and a hip evening scene, book dinner at Parrilla Don Julio's. Short taxi ride from the hotel in an adorable neighborhood with lots of small shops and a ton of night life. They serve champagne while waiting for tables.
We had a lovely time on the Mariner. While it isn't nearly has luxurious as the Explorer, it's still a luxury liner. Other than the bathroom and closet space being quite small compared to the Explorer, it was basically the same Concierge cabin and amenities.
The staff for the most part were awesome. Very professional, friendly and attentive. The downsides were some of the excursions and the mediocre onboard entertainment and food choices. There was no cultural aspects to the entertainment or the food on board. When we travel, we like to experience that. The food in the Compass Rose dinning room was fine but not all that interesting. The Italian restaurant (loved loved loved the appetizer bar) and Prime 7 steakhouse offered more interesting food so we ate there most nights.
Cabins are same size as on Explorer but closet and bathroom are much smaller. We missed those.
excursions were good and interesting. I did the bike tour and my husband did the Sea Wolves Island tour. We enjoyed both. The biking group included a range of abilities. The guide let us more experienced riders bike ahead at our pace which was great. In the afternoon, we walked from the pier to one of the beautiful beaches in town to experience the scene. Worth the walk.
We did a morning Schooner/snorkeling trip. It is a beautiful sail around the coast. The swimming was a treat but not really a snorkeling excursion. Yes there are fish but no reef so not what we are used to when snorkeling and all the boats came to the same cover so it was very crowded. I'd still recommend this excursion for the sail. In the afternoon, we walked to a beautiful beach in the bay and ate on the beach at Lua Mar (recommended to us by the our local schooner captain) - fabulous. Have the seafood stew. It's amazing.
Absolutely beautiful beach town, popular spot for the Rio de Janeiro crowd. In the morning, we walked on our own out to a beautiful cove beach past the white church on the hill with the statute of Mother Teresa. You can walk or take a cute little water taxi over. We walked but the water taxis looked like fund. We were supposed to take another schooner ride around the coast in the afternoon but ended up staying at the beach all day. On our walk back to the pier, we stopped for drinks and Accai and the Bardot restaurant right on the water overlooking bay dotted with sail bots. A perfect end to a fun beach day.
Well worth a guided tour since we didn't have a lot of time here.