Manaus and the trip to the Royal Princess


The Royal Princess docked in Manaus.


Manaus - a city of about 2 million.
It boomed in the late 19th C and then went bust when the rubber industry moved to Asia where there were fewer bugs to destroy the crops and the land was easier to clear.

April 20, 2005 - it was a very early morning pick up by the limo. Sounds fancy, but our coastside taxi service is not reliable and the limo service is very reliable. Besides, the price is about the same. Flight to Atlanta and from Atlanta to Ft Lauderdale was fortunately quite unremarkable. However, it was a 767 so Will had no leg room and we felt like sardines. Little did we know.

The bus driver took us via the water so we did see a bit of the area and the Ft. Lauderdale beaches on our way to the hotel.


The Amazon is their freeway so everyone has a boat.


Industry sustains Manaus. Flour, soy and electrical/mechanical parts are brought in by container ship, assembled and shipped out to Miami or S. America. It is a "free" city.

The hotel in Ft Lauderdale was a Westin and I have a Starwood account. They upgraded us to a mini-suite. Now I remember why I loved staying at Westin's as a business traveler. Unfortunately the food was lousy and overpriced.

At the hotel we checked our big bags for the next days flight to Manaus via World Airway. We also were able to do the pre-cruise checkin for Princess. By doing this immigration/customs in Brazil was very smooth.


3 gas stations on the water for all the water craft. You can also see the storm following us back to the ship. The lightening and thunder was tremendous and then it poured. No really, it came down in buckets for about 20 minutes and then let up. Of course that was just when we were getting back from the day trip. As one person said "Rain in the rain forest. Who would have 'thunk' it?"

Our bus has a tour guide for the 30 + minute trip to the ship. He was very knowledgable and it was a good introducation to the Amazon area. The Amazon is a river and there are several states along it. The largest state is also called Amazon. So around here you need to be specific.

He also gave us so info about the Rio Negro. It seems that the river height changes 36-45' between the water from the rainy season and the snow melt in Columbia (where it orginates). The river floods areas that have grasses and is farmed the other 6 months of the year. The flooding causes rotting of the vegetation. The river becomes black from all the rot and the PH level is around 4.3-4.6. It is a natural tannic acid dye (I've been doing a lot of tannic acid dyeing lately at home. I could have saved myself the trouble :).

Up early for breakfast and the bus back to the airport. The charter was 394 people on a 400 person plane (MD-11). There were 2 flights and we were on the 1 pm flight. One of the flight attendants was very nice and moved us to the exit row seat so Will could stretch his legs. We still were shoehorned into our seats, but we had a bit of room to breath. Smooth flight - barely edible food and 2 movies including The Incedibles. We arrived at 6 pm local time and began the move to the ship.

Our cabin is tiny - about 10' x 12'. It looked larger in the brochure. It has a window, but as we are on the Promonade deck we will have the sheers closed most of the time. Also since we have the bed in a queen configuration we have only the 2 chairs for sitting - one small stuffed and the desk chair. How small is the room -- well... Will and I have to dress in a 5'x7' section. Good thing we like each other.


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All photos and text copyright Robin Berry and William Ringer 2005.