This was the first time I would travel via cruise, which I was, quite honestly, very excited about being that we were spending six nights sailing along the Amazon River’s vast tributaries. The Queen Violeta was a comfortable and cozy riverboat offering large, clean rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows and plenty of space on the upper and middle decks to laze with a book, or just relax while soaking in the ethereal landscape.
The food was excellent; local ingredients were used in preparing healthful, balanced dishes that reminded me of the kind of comforting home-cooked meals made from hours of tirelessly chopping, sautéing and stirring.
By the end of our trip, most of us looked at the staff as good friends we had met along the way. It was the little acts of thoughtfulness, such as when Milton (a member of the cleaning staff) made a point to apologize for not being able to get the (irremovable) rust stains out of a shirt I had soiled while walking across suspension bridges. He expressed that he spent a lot of time trying different soaps to loosen the stains, but none seemed to do the trick. The only other person I know who would have taken the time to do something so kind was my stubborn Italian grandmother…
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