I'm not trying to take sides in this unhappy passenger vs.RCCL feud but--
let me say this:
I've been to Rio a couple of times and not just a one or two day stop on a cruise ship. When they tell you it's dangerous, believe it. There's no way I would go there and go out unless it was an organized tour. With regards to the cabs, unless it's changed in the last couple of years, many of the drivers won't or don't want to stop at traffic lights after dark--they may hesitate, then take their chances by blowing on through--they don't want to chance being robbed or worse. You're much safer in a crowd on a tour bus than in a cab. You very well may have had security and not been aware of it. Regarding feeling like you had been ripped off on the cost of the parade at RCCL's price vs the approx. $150. U.S. cost, you would need to know exactly what you would have gotten for the $ 150. Was transportation to and from included in the $150, or would you have been left to fend for yourself as to getting there and back, and once there, would you have had a section to sit in or just dropped and left to fend for yourself in a huge crowd, ripe for the plucking by the muggers and pickpockets. I highly suspect what you saw was a flier basically aimed at locals advertising getting them through the gate and nothing more. What else was or was not included vs. the RCCL tour? Would you have been left standing in a throng of people somewhere, sticking out like a sore thumb, easy prey for the taking by the muggers, pickpockets, etc. for the $ 150., or would you have had decent seats from which to watch? Many unanswered questions here, besides just the price.
If you enjoyed the show, made it there safely to and from the ship, I would consider it a success and not be overly upset about what you perceive as being a rip-off by RCCL.
As I said before, when someone tells you Rio is dangerous, you need to take heed. And too,as I said before, I'm not trying to condone RCCL's prices--just looking at this thing based on my having being to Rio twice and my understanding of ship tours vs. doing your own thing in a very large and dangerous city.