Thinking you could use an escape from the wintertime blahs, maybe even that dream holiday you’ve been thinking about for years? A Caribbean cruise vacation is the answer! What makes a cruise your dream holiday, you ask? Well, put simply, a cruise combines all the elements of a dream vacation into one blissful trip.
There is ALWAYS something to do, no matter your age or interests. Whether you’re on your honeymoon, vacationing with the family, or spending quality time reuniting old friends, a cruise is guaranteed to fulfill your dreams.
Picture yourself riding on a beautiful cruise ship, looking over the railing to see brilliant blue waters, idyllic sunsets, and dolphins playing in the white-capped waves. Do you feel dreamy already?
This fantasy can be your reality if you choose a cruise for your next vacation. With multiple poolside decks to lay out in the sunshine while enjoying the sights and sounds of the ocean, along with reggae music and fruity island beverages, daytime on the cruise ship can be very relaxing. If you prefer to be more active, most ships are fully equipped with activities. Take a jog around the boat-top track, or spend the day in aerobics and yoga classes followed by a massage and facial at the spa.
If shopping is your one true love, you’ll be in heaven with all the shops on the ships, ranging from inexpensive trinkets to fancy wine and fine clothing. As if there isn’t enough to do aboard the boat, don’t forget about island excursions! As the ship makes stops at various tropical paradises, you can take in the local culture or fulfill your need for adventure. Locals await you to take you to their favourite coral to swim with the dolphins or on a waterfall climb. Also, there is unlimited shopping on the islands, so you can really add to your art collection or your wardrobe.
Try the native food of the islands, and maybe learn a new word or two. By the time you climb back aboard your ship you’ll truly feel like you’ve visited another world. Now it’s time to hop in the shower to prepare for the evening. Every night on a cruise ship is magical. Start out with a five-course meal in the fine dining room (that’s already paid for!!). Enjoy drinks, piano music, cover bands, dancing and more in one of the several bars, or try your luck at black jack or poker in the casino. There are always cruise-wide games to play on the decks if you want to meet new people or just be silly with your friends and family.
No matter what you are looking for in a holiday vacation, a cruise is sure to fulfill your dreams!
The Rio Carnival is an event of mere days, but the result of months of preparation. The most giving and hardworking hands during the months before are often the ones most overlooked by outside eyes. These are the people who make the Carnival what it is, they add an ingredient that couldn’t possibly be replicated by the largest tourist operator, most experienced guide or multi million dollar sponsor. They are the people from Rio de Janeiro’s poorest neighbourhoods, the so called favelas or shanty towns.
So where did you think all the magic and thrill Carnival is famous for started? From the production of the elaborate costumes to the performance and choreography of the costume bearers, residents of the favelas are deeply involved with every aspect of the Carnival. More often than not, this is done through their participation and membership to a local samba school.
The samba schools, with members reaching the thousands, will get together on a regular basis throughout the year for rehearsals and samba nights. All the samba schools have rehearsal spaces, called samba courts, or locally known as quadras de samba. They open, in most cases, at weekends for anyone, including tourists like you and me, as long as you pay the small fee at the door. To anyone who’s not been to one of these places they can only be described as nightclubs with samba.
This is the best way to make contact with the real samba and people of Rio de Janeiro. The nights are totally informal, and members of all ages including many old people can go to the party of any school. Most are quite far out of from the main parts of Rio de Janeiro and some of the areas they are situated in can be rough. To this end I would recommend going with a group in a package including a local escort, and round-trip transportation. Once you’re inside, it’s very safe. I would recommend not going flashy or having anything valuable with you except of course your camera. This is only due to the high density and energetic atmosphere of these events and you are more likely to lose or damage such items rather than have them stolen.
So maybe you are planning to come to the Rio carnival, or maybe not and you just want to sample some of the rich carnival energy that lasts all year round in this city. Either way, visiting a Samba school is a great pre-Carnival excursion.
The best hotels, especially around Copacabana and Ipanema, are booked up early, so it’s advisable to make your hotel reservations as soon as you have decided to attend this spectacular event. Luxury brazil travel packages which include carnival cruise discount and all the amenities mentioned before are available, so get ready and make the travel to Brazil.