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Everything posted by CassNJ

  1. Mike thanks for taking the time to post. We leave on Thursday and I can't wait!!! Packing today. Thanks again for sharing your experience. Cassie
  2. Hi leaving on 7/22 cruise from Athens. Appreciate any info on the monetary situation in Athens. How was it?
  3. Mike so appreciate the posts here's hoping no more demonstrations with rocks and tears gas. Thanks for the boots on the ground info. Realized this am I am one month from leaving and can't wait! Cassie
  4. Thanks so much!!!!! Will check out those threads!
  5. Hi We (My husband and two teenage kids are headed out on our 3rd Star Clipper trip on 8/22 Greece and Turkey. This time we are being joined by my in-laws. While I am not worried in the least about our time on the ship, I am worried about pre-cruise (Athens) and post Cruise (Santorini). If anyone is sailing from Greece this summer I would love to hear how you managed the Money situation on land. Are restaurants and museums still accepting credit cards? Where did you need cash? I am assuming Greece still wants Euros (vs. Dollars). I know the news is reporting that tourists can take out unlimited amounts of Euros from the ATMs but do the ATMs even have any Euros in them? What are the lines like for the ATMs? Any boots on the ground info would be really useful.
  6. Hi SmokingMike, I think we met on a Star Clipper Caribean Cruise 3-4 years ago. I hope you enjoy your trip. We are doing Greece Turkey on 8/20 with my teenage kids and In-laws. Got the call from the in-laws today wondering how best to handle the money situation in Greece. They are coming in a few days early to explore Athens and then I had booked us to fly to Santorini for 3 days post the cruise. Would you mind posting when you get back with any tips regarding who is accepting credit cards (restaurants hotels etc). We are assuming ATMs won't be working and are trying to figure how much Euros we will need on hand. I am assuming while on the Clipper we are fine since everything can be charged to shipboard account. Love to hear what you experienced. Enjoy! Cassie
  7. Safe travels Smokinmike! We will see you on the 10th have fun on the first leg!
  8. Looking forward to seeing you there!:) Only two more weeks!
  9. I just came back from Costco to buy one more snorkel set for our time in Saint Martin. Didn't want to pay to rent in Saint Martin. Just have to get us all packed- can't wait! See you then!:)
  10. Hi we did Costa Rica to Panama on the Flyer last year and we did a cat 4 and cat 6 across the hall from each other. The 6 was the inside cabin. It was perfect for my two kids ages 9, 11 but for adults it might be roughing it. It has no TV, no marble bathroom and has bunk beds with very little room. We joked with the kids it was part vacation part scared straight. We also noticed that the kids neighbors in the 6's where all crew members so I don't know how often they get booked. The 4 was great with a double bed, nice bathroom and TV and DVD player. Like everyone else we spent most of our time up on deck. The only exception was when the kids where tired and all 4 of us went into the cat 4 and watched DVDs of the Pirates of the Caribbean. We where cozy but comfortable. Have fun! The panama canal was truly one of the coolest experiences of my life. We got off in Panama but we where in lake Gatun visiting the smithsonion tropical research station when the Flyer sailed by us. later that week we tranisted the canal and it was really cool. Have fun!
  11. Hi, We did this cruise last year and it was great. You are in for a treat! We did it with 2 kids in tow and 2 cabins. What you pack probably depends on what shore excursions you are planning. We had a great time doing the white water rafting, hiking Corcovado National park and hanging out on the beaches. Avoid the animal rescue center in Golfito. Not worth the money and pretty depressing. We heard the horse backing riding was great. We did the Zip-lining on the land package to Monteverde and it was awesome!!!!! Not everyone got to climb the crows nest. Demand exceeded availability due to some rough seas so if you want to do that get there quick. First night when you sign up for the shore excursions position yourself near the library because that is where the sign up sheets will be. Most landings where wet landings so you probably want some water shoes. The boat is pretty casual. Most people dressed in nice slacks and a collared shirt for dinner. Pirate night about 30% of people dressed up. They don't supply any costumes so depending on if you want to participate you may want to pack your eye patch. Insect repellent is good if you are going into the rain forest. The sun is brutal my daughter got sun sick on Isla de Coiba. Once you get to Panama if you have a few days to hang out its really great. Highly recommend spending the $100 to transit the canal. Beers in panama also go for about $0.30 its fun. Definitely try to see the Mira Flores locks at a minimum. Really cool. Have fun!!! :)
  12. Just got our tickets we are drooling!!!!!:)
  13. Thanks so much Mike. great suggestion to do the book/pool work at home. I will look into it. Cassie
  14. Hi has any one done the Scuba certification. Would you recommend it? How much extra was it? Do you know the minimum age requirement?
  15. 2bamboo and Smokinmike- Thanks so much for all the Tips! I just booked Little Divi. Got a good price! Its snowing outside right now so can't wait! For those of you on the 3/10 sailing see you then! :)
  16. Hi anyone who has done the Star Clipper Leeward Islands trip before have any advice or thoughts on best shore excursions? Ditto any advice on moderatley priced (I hear that's an Oxymoron) hotels in St. Martin?
  17. Hi Just booked 3/10 as well for my kids spring break. My family did the Costa Rica to Panama cruise last year and we had a ball. Can't wait to do a repeat! Anyone have any advice on hotels. Flying in 3/9 and flying out 3/19. Don't want to spend a bundle? Any advice would be appreciated.
  18. Thanks John- will do. I would hate to book caribean because I thought Greece was off the table only to have Greece come back.
  19. Hi does anyone know/explain why only the star clipper's itineraries for 2012 are posted after the month of March and no itineraries at all are posted for April? Is the Royal and Flyer going in for maintenance or is it just to early to post all itineraries? We did Costa Rica last year and had a blast and was interested in Mediterranean next summer or Caribbean next March. Found all 3 ships itineraries for March, but nothing in April at all and only the Star Clipper in May thru August. Just curious?:confused: Thanks, Cassie
  20. Our experience on March 13th Star Flyer was the same, corona, bud, heinekan, guiness- nothing to get excited about if you are a craft beer lover. (Not even Sam Adams):mad:
  21. When booking our first ever cruise, I was nervous about what I had read on the boards regarding kids on Star Clipper. So I thought I would share our experience which can be summoned up in a single word- Great!!!!! I have 9 year old son and a daughter who actually turned 12 on our trip. My husband is a Scientist who despises crowds, shopping casinos, & cheesy Broadway reviews. When my daughter asked us if we could go on a cruise for our annual family vacation I was in a bit of pickle given that her Dad's idea of a vacation is not a big traditional cruise ship. He loves nature, adventure, history and science. After months of research we had zeroed in on Star Clipper. We signed up for the 6 night repositioning cruise from Costa Rica to Panama and booked the 2 day pre-land package in Monteverde cloud forest. The land package was fabulous. From the moment we landed we where taken care of. Our transfer driver showed us all sorts of things on the way to Monteverde, including stopping for lunch, monkeys and other wildlife. The visit to Selvatura park was lots of fun and we where able to add in Zip-lining which was heart stopping action adventure. The hummingbirds where amazing and the coatis just wandered all around the hummingbird garden. My family was entranced. The Hotel Fonda Vela had a lovey hot tub and pools with a gorgeous view. A real highlight for my daughter was eating a big bowl of Ice cream made locally at the Monteverde dairy, which the hotel brought to her in the hot tub. Pura Vida!!!! On the last Morning the Hotel helped me book a tour at Monteverde National Park and we where lucky enough to see a female Quetzal and a toucanette plus Coatis, agoutis and trogans. The guide was great! After a terrific lunch we headed to Puerta Caldera. We got to Puerta Caldera about an hour before the embarkation which was a bit boring as the terminal is minimal but the line did have some apple juice and a nice plate of fruit for us. We killed the time watching the Star Flyer being moved further down the dock to make way for huge container ship so even that was interesting. Embarkation was easy and we where greeted with a nice fruit drink and music. Since there was 4 of us we booked 2 cabins a cat 6 and a cat 4 that where across the hall from each other. The cat 6 is tiny and no frills We joked with the kids it was a combination vacation and "scared straight"., but the kids did like the bunk beds. The cabin across the way was just fine with a port hole, DVD player and between the two we never felt cramped. When we first got on board my daughter said to me mom I think people are staring at us we are the ONLY family. Looking around I think we where attracting some looks. As it turns out we weren't the only family as a set of grandparents where traveling with their 14 year old grandson. The next day at the Captain's welcome speech he made a point to note how happy Star Flyer was to have a family aboard and to publicly welcome us. It was a nice feeling. At dinner Godwin and Herman went out of their way to make sure my super picky 9 year old eater knew that he could always have pasta or steak and french fries. The bar tender also made a point to tell the kids he could make them special fun fruit cocktails just for them. Pretty soon my kids where entranced with ship and the grand adventure. Our first stop was Quepos. We wanted to do the horseback riding but not enough people signed up. Ximena managed to switch us to white water rafting. Our guide was great. Just as we arrived the heavens opened up and drenched us. My son who had a cough was soon shivering. Our guide noticed his discomfort and quickly made him a plastic raincoat from a plastic bag which was very kind. The weather soon cleared and our guide was terrific. Helped us spot all sorts of wildlife and picked a perfect line through every rapid. After white water rafting back on board the kids hit the pools and tried out the bow net both of which where big hits! My son especially enjoyed diving down into the bottom of the pool and waving through the windows down there at the tropical bar. The next few days passed by a in a whirl. Tour of Corvacado National Park, Climbing the crows nest, even my 9 year old, plus raising the sails and swimming. The only tour that was a disappointment was the wildlife rescue center and orchid garden. Definitely not worth 80 E. Our best day was at Isla de Coiba in Panama. The most gorgeous beach I have ever seen. My 12 year old enjoyed the beach while my husband, son and I snorkeled. The snorkeling was fabulous. The highlight for my son was finding a harmless white tipped reef shark while snorkeling. He was so excited it was amazing to watch. The sports team nick named him shark boy after that. Our last stop at Isla Iguana was canceled because the seas where too rough to safely get us off the boat and instead we had a day at sea. While disappointed I appreciated the crews concern for our safety. The kids also had a blast with the evening entertainment. My daughter loved making us pirate costumes out of our daily bulletins (hats) tying our red t-shirts on our heads, dressing us in stripes, and making herself an eye patch from mom's band aids. The frog races where also a highlight for them followed by dancing. The night of the crew talent show my guys where too exhausted to stay up so it was just us girls. We laughed our selves silly a the funny corny talent show and we topped the evening off with the Macarana. Another funny thing happened as folks began to realize our kids weren't going to be badly behaved or rude they became so friendly it was great. People we didn't even know cheered us as we climbed the crows nest. People called us aside to show us pictures of the kids at pirate night, frog races etc that they had taken. The atmosphere was just wonderful. Apart from that first day we never felt anything but warmth and acceptance. All too soon it was over and we sadly disembarked but then spent another great week touring the Panama Canal zone. As we booked the Star Clipper, what our cruise agent was most worried about was "will the kids be board?" The truth of the matter was they where actually exhausted by the end of every day because there was a lot of fun things to do. However, I do have to caveat a few things. Our kids are used to vacations in the US National parks where there is no TV and a fun time is a ranger lead campfire. We also came prepared, our own DVDs and a Nintendo DS for each kid with plenty of games. Also I wouldn't want to be chasing after a toddler as the tours require a degree of mobility and a kid screaming in the dinning room would not be good, but for a family with tweens (7-13). It was great. If your family loves adventure- its a blast! My daughter is already scheming to do one of their Mediterranean cruises. :)
  22. Thanks We will position close to the library! Kids know that they are mostly likely the only ones. So they are prepared. They are also use to vacations = remote adventures with no TV/Internet etc. Though my 12 year old is threatening to get on board and loudly proclaim but Mom I thought it was a Disney cruise where are the mickey mouse shaped chicken nuggets?? Hopefully she is kidding:)
  23. Wow- it sounds great. We have started packing and will remember feces. We got next years schedule in the mail and it looks like they are officially giving Isla de coiba a pass. But your trip sounds great! We are so excited to do the zip lining. Also thanks so much for the rescue center and the Corvacdos info. We want to sign up for both of those. manual Antonio is closed the day we are there but will do the horse riding instead. I will let you know how it goes. Thanks again for the report out. Cant wait. 9 days and counting.......
  24. Hi Robbie- Thanks for the info I m 3 weeks away from the cruise and wondering where my tickets are. I will call the cruise agency tomorrow. Thanks for letting em know I need to do that. (My cruise agent left the company so I am kind of orphaned!) Thanks Cassie:)
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