Brazil tips wanted

Old Aug 10, 99, 2:51 pm
  #1  
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Brazil tips wanted

Iím visiting Brazil for the first time the 17th through the 28th starting with 5 days in
Maceio visiting friends and finishing with 5 in Rio. Strictly tourism.

Iíve already printed out the location of the Diners Lounge in GIG and hope to make use of
the Limo service -thanks Rudi for the report. Flights will be on Delta, Varig (yes, Iíve read your comments about it), TAM, Delta. Delta Upgrades using the Systemwide Upgrades are not available but can be waitlisted (weíve heard _this one_ before!). I'll be at the Sheraton Rio and I do have a Starwood PG number tho' I haven't yet received the membership card. Did I read anything about Sheraton upgrade certificates?

Iíll post any Crown Room visits when my itinerary is finalized.

Appreciate any and all tips and tricks.!

Jim
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Old Aug 10, 99, 6:36 pm
  #2  
 
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I just returned from RIO for a (very short) one night stay at the Caesar Park. It is a great location, but extremely expensive and therefore overrated, in my book. You will need to use a car to go anywhere from the Sheraton, but I've heard it's quite nice. Anyway, a car with driver goes for only $R40,00 per hour....about $22.00!!! Make sure to ask for a Chevrolet Omega..it's the most comfortable and is generally the same price.

For an outsanding Churascurria experience, try Porcao...lot's of meat, but also seafood, salad, and sushi. The best sushi, however, is at Sushinaka right on the Lagoa. Rio is great this time of year (I was there last week.) I can also recommend a great english speaking driver, if you need one.

With respect to the airline/airports, I flew from CGH to SDU on Ponte Varig/Rio Sul. That is the Varig shuttle between SAO/RIO. Great service and saftey...Varig is a world class carier. On the return from GIG to GRU, I flew Varig (connecting to AA GRU-DFW). Again, a great flight with newspapers and a hot snack for every passenger. My UA PremEx card secured admission to the domestic C Class Lounge at GIG...small but lots of complimentary beer and cheesebread (the Brazilian specialty). I believe that every US carrier could learn from Varig...if they heeded the example (food, legroom, service) domestic First Class could definitely be eliminated in the U.S. as well.

It's good you're on Delta. AA's first class was a huge joke. I will write Don Carty a letter, but the service and amenities, including the GRU Admirals Club were pathetic. I flew AA biz class in 1993 and it was better...DL first class in 1997 was outstanding!!! I thought DL was implementing MD-11 service on the route, but the 767-3 still appears on the flight schedules...perhaps the 777 fiasco has kept the MD-11 deployed on its current routings.

I believe that DL uses the Luftansa Senator Lounge at GRU for First (BizElite) Class pax. Very nice...but a somewhat spartan interior design job. Don't expect any plush loungers here. Nice selection of food and bev, though. I assume that DL uses the LH lounge at GIG as well. The Diners lounge may be outside passport control or in a different terminal, so the DL provision could be more convenient. By the way, acceptance of Diners Club has increased dramatically in Brazil. Almost every retail establishment, not to mention restaurant, seems to accept Diners Club now. It's great! Beware of establishments that accept Mastercard and not Visa, however. They are marketed quite distinctly in Brazil. Shopping/eating/services are great right now due to winter sales (Liquidacao) and the great exchange rate $R 1,00 = USD $0.55.

I advise you to skip the Diners Club shuttle (van) it runs only every two hours between GIG and the Rio Palace hotel (I think) a taxi is only USD$22.00.

------------------
SD Flyer



[This message has been edited by SD Flyer (edited 08-10-1999).]
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Old Aug 10, 99, 8:11 pm
  #3  
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Thanks SD Flyer! I'll lift a beer and some cheesebread in your honor.

Jim
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Old Aug 10, 99, 10:08 pm
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I too have just returned from a weeks holiday in RIO. It was great! I saw no evidence at all of the crime I had read about and was wary of. The Brazilian people I saw in Copacabana (where I stayed at a great apartment), Ipanema, Leblon, Leme, downtown, Botofago, Gloria, Santa Theresa, etc., etc. were a happy, wonderful lot. The Diners Club van will let you off in the centre of Copacabana at the Rio Othon Palace. It isn't very close to the Sheraton, which is closer to Leblon, but the Sheraton itself has a shuttle that offers service to most parts of RIO. Perhaps you can arrange, (or find the schedule) to have it pick you up from where the Diners van lets you off.
The Sheraton is a lovely property, but it is a little too far off the beaten track for my taste. I love Copacabana. The water was warm, the beaches much less crowded and I now know a new definition for the word "dental floss".
Booze is dirt cheap in Brazil. It costs less than a loaf of bread in many instances. Do try a caipirinha. It's great. And don't forget the cafezinho (coffee). It's almost as potent.
The buses are easy to decipher. Destinations are displayed on the front. They are driven fast, often and with little regard for the cars around them. They are a blast, and at 0.85 R, can get you to Sugarloaf, Corcovada or anywhere you want to go. You're not at the mercy of a taxi driver and his creative routings.
Have fun, and if you want some more info, please e-mail.
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Old Aug 12, 99, 3:00 pm
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I have not been in Rio, but I spent about two months on business in Brazil over the last four years and can recommend a couple of Brazilian things.

Try Guarana. Antartica is the favorite brand. Ask the locals about its properties.

Head to a churrascaria. This is a southern Brazilian style steakhouse. Most of them follow this concept: waiters dressed as Brazilian gauchos slow-roast skewers of beef, lamb, pork and chicken over open flames, then march around the dining room serving the meat tableside--you point at something and they slice it off for you. I know they are popular in the south and there are at least a couple in Sao Paulo. Again, something that has very limited exposure in the states.

I would agree that the Admiral's Club at GRU is lame.
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Old Aug 12, 99, 10:57 pm
  #6  
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Thanks all - some very nice postings. I read your AA FC thread as well SD Flyer. Great! I'll be sure to take a printout of this post with me.

My Visa got back in two days. I wised up and used a commercial service. No ulcers for me dealing with the consulate!

We recently got a 'Rodizio Grill' in Salt Lake City. That's like a Churrascurria (sp?), right?

SD Flyer, I only flew Delta International FC once but enjoyed it immensely. The cabin crew was terrific. Hope I get the chance to try BizElite.

Jim (wondering if Timchen is around)
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Old Aug 15, 99, 1:31 am
  #7  
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Too bad you won't have time to get to Iguacu Falls. When I was there with a youth group in '72 (long story), half the girls decided that was where they wanted to spend their honeymoon.
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Old Aug 15, 99, 8:55 am
  #8  
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Jimquan,

Yep... a churrascaria (pronounced she-has-caria in Portuguese) traditionally serves their beef in the rodizio style. If you're in Vegas, try Yolie's Brazilian Steakhouse... outstanding!


------------------
AlphaSigOU
Causa latet vis est notissima - the cause is hidden, the results are well-known.


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Old Aug 16, 99, 2:11 pm
  #9  
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I will be in Rio next week. (21-27)...

Let me know if you would like to meetup...

regards.....redrock....

[This message has been edited by redrock (edited 08-16-1999).]
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Old Aug 16, 99, 6:58 pm
  #10  
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I'll be at the Sheraton Rio 22-27 Aug. Tel 55-21-2741122. If we meet up we can call it the PIB = Party in Brazil!

Jim Quan
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Old Aug 19, 99, 8:48 pm
  #11  
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Ok... I will be at the Sofitel Rio Palace in Copacabana. I arrive Sunday 22 on UA 991.

PIB!!! Party in Brazil.

My first real time in Rio, too bad its for business though. I was in Rio once, but only for like 4 hours, and flew back to SP.

Where are the Caipirinhas

A funny thing with languages.... Caipirinha is made out of a liquor called Cacaca (pronounced kashasa) or also known as "pinga". In most of Spanish speaking South America "pinga" is a very bad word for the male reproductive organ!!

Here is page about Cacaca:
http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/JohnCell/

cheers... redrock....



[This message has been edited by redrock (edited 08-19-1999).]
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