8-Day Iberostar Grand Amazon Cruise Review
Our trip on Iberostar Grand Amazon was a wonderful experience, and we would recommend it to many people. The ship itself is excellent. The staff were amazingly talented and hard-working and well-informed. For the second part of the trip my wife and I were the only English-speaking passengers. At first we were intimidated by that fact, but it worked out well. The staff gave us much personal attention. Also, many nice Brazilian people who speak a little English went out of their way to befriend us. We got to meet Brazilian people who would not have talked with us, I am sure, if we had other English speakers to associate with.
I am a bird-watcher, and I managed to identify about 60 species of birds, mostly South American endemics that never come to the United States. My favorites were the hoatzin and the common potoo. We also saw spider monkeys, a howler monkey, three species of caiman, two species of river dolphin, and tarantulas (which our guides enticed out of their hiding places so we could see them).
Contrary to what we had been told, we did not need canteens. The ship provided bottled water on all outings. We did not need rain boots, although it might be different at other seasons of the year. It was easy to wash clothes in the sink, hang them to dry on a rack, and find them dry in a day or two. The cabin was well air-conditioned. We had feared seeing mosquitos everywhere, and several people whom we encouraged to join us on the trip refused because of a fear of mosquitos. But we saw maybe one mosquito on the whole trip, and I wasn't sure that insect was a mosquito. Again, the situation is probably different at other times of year. Although my wife and I dutifully wore long pants, long-sleeve shirts, and boots on most of the outings, most of the Brazilians went around in shorts, short-sleeved shirts, and flip-flops or similar footwear! In short, the pleasures were great, and the dangers were almost non-existent.
The food aboard ship was far better than we had been led to expect. Three buffet meals per day, with abundant choices that included local specialties as well as other foods. I remember one fish that my wife and I disliked, but everything else was good. I am confident that even a picky eater would find something to enjoy at every meal.
For anyone contemplating a Brazilian Amazon cruise, I would strongly urge Iberostar. It was easily worth every cent we paid, and more.