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leostar

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About leostar

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    Cool Cruiser

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  • Location
    Perth, West Australia
  • Interests
    Bowling
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Sun Princess 2011-13
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Anywhere

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  1. leostar

    Machu Picchu excursion?

    This review of our tour of Macchu Picchu. I discovered [email]Jaimeliebrecht@gmail.com[/email] ww.patagoniashorex.com from Cruise Critic, trip advisor and a couple of other sites, and everyone spoke so highly of him that I booked him for a party of 25. Jaime lived up to his reputation, We all came back rested after 5 days, we left the ship at Quito and rejoined at Lima. If you decide to do this trip, we had to get a Deviation form from Princess through your agent, it is advisable to hand them in as a group to the pursor. Only take a small airflight case and a back-pack with you to put your jacket in. Quito –Thursday 6th Aug. 6:00 – Lima Mon.10th Aug.16:00 Jaime has taken care of everything, he came highly recommended by friends and Trip Advisor. We just had to be off the ship ASAP as the bus had to take us to Guayaquil which is the largest and the most populous city in Ecquador with around 2.69 million people in the metropolitan area, as well as the nation’s main port. We had to be up at 5am as Customs were going to be downstairs at 6:00 and Princess wanted our group to be there first and we were off at 6:40am. Jamie was waiting at the ship for us with with a lovely guide named Felix. The trip up to Guayaquil was very interesting, we passed through quite a few towns and stopped at one for a toilet stop and a snack, they country grows rice, bananas, mangoes and pawpaws; oil was their main export, tourism is taking over. We arrived at Guayaquil around 8am and given a tour around the City, then a walking tour to see the Metropolitan Cathedral, opposite the Cathedral, there were plenty of Iguanas in a Park. We then walked to a restaurant and had a lovely light 3 course lunch with two lemon drinks for US $7 each, then we had another walk back to the bus and driven to the airport, it was an international flight so we had to be early. Jaime was great, we had a slight hiccup with one of the names on the ticket, he took control and made sure everything was O'K. (so remember to check yor names are the same spelling as your passport) It was around 8:45pm when we landed in Lima then we met our guide Cecilia who was also very informative, she gave us information about Lima and the bus and arrived at our Hotel in Milifores and we were in our rooms around 10:15pm, we had to be up at 4:30 for our flight to Cusco. Cusco Friday 7th:The airoplane ride over the Andies was amazing, it was huge, there were pockets of valley's with houses in them Then you get to the end and you see Cusco, what a sight as you fly in, the plane is flying so low, it is the best sight I have ever seen from a plane. We have Luis as our guide in Cusco, he had great reviews on trip advisor as well, he is an Archeologist but has studied Anthropology as well. We had a bus ride through the town, then driven to the old part of town, where buses cannot go so we walked a short distance to San Pedro Plaza where all the art craft places are and continued to our Hotel Casa San Blas. Those that did not want to walk he always had a small transport car to take them. Carlos was the Hotel owner and it was such a lovely Hotel, the views up the mountains all lit up were magic. The Hotel has oxygen in case anyone needed it, it is adviseable to get altitude pills Dexmethsone before you go, Cusco is the highest point and this is where you may need it, Jaime made us all walk very slowly, and the Hotel had Coca tea waiting for us. In the afternoon we went sightseeing with our expert guides Luis and Jaime, the houses have a small statue on the roofs, depicting two Bulls and a Cross, the Cross is saying they are Catholics and the Bulls may they always have work. We drove around Korikancha the Cathedral, we have never seen so much gold on an altar, as it went from the ceiling to the floor and filled to the sides. Outside the boys of the town were doing their local traditional dances which we watched for awhile, it was lovely. Cuzco has a stately and historic city center filled with cobblestone streets, colonial churches and building foundations laid by the Incas more than 500 years ago.* We visited the Temple of the Sun, the main religious center of the Incas and dedicated to the Sun Cult. According to the chroniclers, the walls of this temple were entirely covered with gold. They were farmers and believed in Mother Earth, the Gold was the Sun that represented the sweat the silver was the moon represented by tears. We then continued to the impressive fortress of Sacsayhuaman, built by ancient people using massive boulders some weighing 120 tons and seemingly superhuman skill, the site retains an aura of elusive mystery. We then drove through*Saqsayhuaman Park. Known as the "archeological capital of the Americas," the views from here were so beautiful. Then we were dropped back at San Blas Square to browse around, have dinner and go back to our Hotel. Saturday 8th Aug: The next day we were up early at 4:30am with our luggage and after Breakfast we visited the “Sacred Valley of the Incas", where the agricultural cattlemen and beautiful towns were concentrated since Inca Time, The Valley is characterized to have special conditions as an excellent climate, very fertile lands and the waters of the Vilcanota River. We visited Pisaq market, Lamay, Yucay and Urubamba where we had a beautiful buffet lunch at Tarunda. The MilkyWay in December is situated over the middle of the Sacred Valley and the Incas believed it was a reflection of the valley, and that is why they say it is sacred. You can see the Llama, a sheep, a man, and a snake on the milky way. We then visited Ollantaytambo fortress and town, what a place this was, Then we went we went to Tambomach, it was great just looking up at the mountains and the terraces that they built, they were great farmers to workout where the sun comes at a certain time so they knew when to plant. We then caught a train up to Aguas Calientes and stayed at the Hotel El Mapi where we had dinner at 9:45pm and then we went to bed as we had to be up at 4:30 for our trip to Machu Picchu. Sunday: Today another early call at 4:30. After breakfast we left at 6am and when we got outside, we were amazed at how many people were waiting to board the bus to get to the station to go to Machu Picchu, we had to walk about 300 metres to the end of the line, Jaime and Luis have been absolutely wonderful, everyone is so happy. The bus took us on a 25 minute winding road through the Andies, there were 25 buses shuttling people to reach Machu Picchu. All our admission fees including bus , train and lunch were all organised by Jaime, we could not have done this without him, we spent 4-1/2 hours there. The climax of the day, however, is the timeless wonder and grandeur of Machu Picchu, the "Lost City of the Incas." Exploring the terraces and aqueducts leading to the Temple of the Three Windows. We saw the Sacred Plaza and visited the curious stone block believed to be a solar clock. The Inca retreat perched between Huayna Picchu (Young Peak) and Machu Picchu (Old Peak), you can't help but be moved by the wonder of the place. Carved from the granite of the mountain top, many of the building blocks weigh 50 tons or more yet are so precisely sculpted and fitted that the mortar-less joints will not permit the insertion of even a thin knife blade. Lunch was at the Sanctuary Lodge, then we caught the Train Vistadome: Aguas Calientes Poroy (Transfer to Cusco) we arrived back at our Hotel "Casa San Blas" around 9pm. The Maximum elevation during train journey - 13,300 feet. Cuzco - 11,200 feet Machu Picchu - 8,400 feet. Luis told us that Cusco is 3,200 feet and Machu Picchu is 2,500 feet above sea level, and the length of the Andies is 7,500 kms. It was in 1912 that archiologist Mr Hiram Bingham, first discovered Machu Picchu I was so glad he did as it felt so spiritual it made me cry when I saw it. The age group would have been 55-79 years, a couple had problems, but Jaime stayed with them and got them so far, I cannot praise this man enough, his attention to detail, organising all flights, accommodations, tour guides, Hotels, tips was more than can be expected we just had to relax and enjoy. We had a buffet lunch at the Sanctuary Lodge at noon, then we lined up to get the bus back to town around 2:30 which gave us time to look around at the stalls before we caught the train back to Cusco. On the train the staff gave us a light snack and drinks, and gave us entertainment and a Fashion Parade. We were back in our Hotel in Cusco at around 10:15 after a long but memorable beautiful day, winding through the Andies with the Alps either side of you is spectacular. Monday 10th Aug: Up again early at 5:30 for breakfast and then we were transferred to the airport for our flight from Cusco to Lima. Arriving in Lima approximarely 11:15 Jaime had our tour guide Cecilia and driver waiting for us. We had a tour of the City, Jaime surprised us by taking us to a restaurant to see how the national drink Pisco Sour is made and we were treated to a light lunch, then we had another tour with Cecilia around Colonial Lima before been taken back to the ship around 14:45. The last boarding was 16:00.
  2. leostar

    Lima, Peru

    This review of our tour of Macchu Picchu. I discovered [email]Jaimeliebrecht@gmail.com[/email] ww.patagoniashorex.com from Cruise Critic, trip advisor and a couple of other sites, and everyone spoke so highly of him that I booked him for a party of 25. Jaime lived up to his reputation, We all came back rested after 5 days, we left the ship at Quito and rejoined at Lima. If you decide to do this trip, we had to get a Deviation form from Princess through your agent, it is advisable to hand them in as a group to the pursor. Only take a small airflight case and a back-pack with you to put your jacket in. Quito –Thursday 6th Aug. 6:00 – Lima Mon.10th Aug.16:00 Jaime has taken care of everything, he came highly recommended by friends and Trip Advisor. We just had to be off the ship ASAP as the bus had to take us to Guayaquil which is the largest and the most populous city in Ecquador with around 2.69 million people in the metropolitan area, as well as the nation’s main port. We had to be up at 5am as Customs were going to be downstairs at 6:00 and Princess wanted our group to be there first and we were off at 6:40am. Jamie was waiting at the ship for us with with a lovely guide named Felix. The trip up to Guayaquil was very interesting, we passed through quite a few towns and stopped at one for a toilet stop and a snack, they country grows rice, bananas, mangoes and pawpaws; oil was their main export, tourism is taking over. We arrived at Guayaquil around 8am and given a tour around the City, then a walking tour to see the Metropolitan Cathedral, opposite the Cathedral, there were plenty of Iguanas in a Park. We then walked to a restaurant and had a lovely light 3 course lunch with two lemon drinks for US $7 each, then we had another walk back to the bus and driven to the airport, it was an international flight so we had to be early. Jaime was great, we had a slight hiccup with one of the names on the ticket, he took control and made sure everything was O'K. (so remember to check yor names are the same spelling as your passport) It was around 8:45pm when we landed in Lima then we met our guide Cecilia who was also very informative, she gave us information about Lima and the bus and arrived at our Hotel in Milifores and we were in our rooms around 10:15pm, we had to be up at 4:30 for our flight to Cusco. Cusco Friday 7th:The airoplane ride over the Andies was amazing, it was huge, there were pockets of valley's with houses in them Then you get to the end and you see Cusco, what a sight as you fly in, the plane is flying so low, it is the best sight I have ever seen from a plane. We have Luis as our guide in Cusco, he had great reviews on trip advisor as well, he is an Archeologist but has studied Anthropology as well. We had a bus ride through the town, then driven to the old part of town, where buses cannot go so we walked a short distance to San Pedro Plaza where all the art craft places are and continued to our Hotel Casa San Blas. Those that did not want to walk he always had a small transport car to take them. Carlos was the Hotel owner and it was such a lovely Hotel, the views up the mountains all lit up were magic. The Hotel has oxygen in case anyone needed it, it is adviseable to get altitude pills Dexmethsone before you go, Cusco is the highest point and this is where you may need it, Jaime made us all walk very slowly, and the Hotel had Coca tea waiting for us. In the afternoon we went sightseeing with our expert guides Luis and Jaime, the houses have a small statue on the roofs, depicting two Bulls and a Cross, the Cross is saying they are Catholics and the Bulls may they always have work. We drove around Korikancha the Cathedral, we have never seen so much gold on an altar, as it went from the ceiling to the floor and filled to the sides. Outside the boys of the town were doing their local traditional dances which we watched for awhile, it was lovely. Cuzco has a stately and historic city center filled with cobblestone streets, colonial churches and building foundations laid by the Incas more than 500 years ago.* We visited the Temple of the Sun, the main religious center of the Incas and dedicated to the Sun Cult. According to the chroniclers, the walls of this temple were entirely covered with gold. They were farmers and believed in Mother Earth, the Gold was the Sun that represented the sweat the silver was the moon represented by tears. We then continued to the impressive fortress of Sacsayhuaman, built by ancient people using massive boulders some weighing 120 tons and seemingly superhuman skill, the site retains an aura of elusive mystery. We then drove through*Saqsayhuaman Park. Known as the "archeological capital of the Americas," the views from here were so beautiful. Then we were dropped back at San Blas Square to browse around, have dinner and go back to our Hotel. Saturday 8th Aug: The next day we were up early at 4:30am with our luggage and after Breakfast we visited the “Sacred Valley of the Incas", where the agricultural cattlemen and beautiful towns were concentrated since Inca Time, The Valley is characterized to have special conditions as an excellent climate, very fertile lands and the waters of the Vilcanota River. We visited Pisaq market, Lamay, Yucay and Urubamba where we had a beautiful buffet lunch at Tarunda. The MilkyWay in December is situated over the middle of the Sacred Valley and the Incas believed it was a reflection of the valley, and that is why they say it is sacred. You can see the Llama, a sheep, a man, and a snake on the milky way. We then visited Ollantaytambo fortress and town, what a place this was, Then we went we went to Tambomach, it was great just looking up at the mountains and the terraces that they built, they were great farmers to workout where the sun comes at a certain time so they knew when to plant. We then caught a train up to Aguas Calientes and stayed at the Hotel El Mapi where we had dinner at 9:45pm and then we went to bed as we had to be up at 4:30 for our trip to Machu Picchu. Sunday: Today another early call at 4:30. After breakfast we left at 6am and when we got outside, we were amazed at how many people were waiting to board the bus to get to the station to go to Machu Picchu, we had to walk about 300 metres to the end of the line, Jaime and Luis have been absolutely wonderful, everyone is so happy. The bus took us on a 25 minute winding road through the Andies, there were 25 buses shuttling people to reach Machu Picchu. All our admission fees including bus , train and lunch were all organised by Jaime, we could not have done this without him, we spent 4-1/2 hours there. The climax of the day, however, is the timeless wonder and grandeur of Machu Picchu, the "Lost City of the Incas." Exploring the terraces and aqueducts leading to the Temple of the Three Windows. We saw the Sacred Plaza and visited the curious stone block believed to be a solar clock. The Inca retreat perched between Huayna Picchu (Young Peak) and Machu Picchu (Old Peak), you can't help but be moved by the wonder of the place. Carved from the granite of the mountain top, many of the building blocks weigh 50 tons or more yet are so precisely sculpted and fitted that the mortar-less joints will not permit the insertion of even a thin knife blade. Lunch was at the Sanctuary Lodge, then we caught the Train Vistadome: Aguas Calientes Poroy (Transfer to Cusco) we arrived back at our Hotel "Casa San Blas" around 9pm. The Maximum elevation during train journey - 13,300 feet. Cuzco - 11,200 feet Machu Picchu - 8,400 feet. Luis told us that Cusco is 3,200 feet and Machu Picchu is 2,500 feet above sea level, and the length of the Andies is 7,500 kms. It was in 1912 that archiologist Mr Hiram Bingham, first discovered Machu Picchu I was so glad he did as it felt so spiritual it made me cry when I saw it. The age group would have been 55-79 years, a couple had problems, but Jaime stayed with them and got them so far, I cannot praise this man enough, his attention to detail, organising all flights, accommodations, tour guides, Hotels, tips was more than can be expected we just had to relax and enjoy. We had a buffet lunch at the Sanctuary Lodge at noon, then we lined up to get the bus back to town around 2:30 which gave us time to look around at the stalls before we caught the train back to Cusco. On the train the staff gave us a light snack and drinks, and gave us entertainment and a Fashion Parade. We were back in our Hotel in Cusco at around 10:15 after a long but memorable beautiful day, winding through the Andies with the Alps either side of you is spectacular. Monday 10th Aug: Up again early at 5:30 for breakfast and then we were transferred to the airport for our flight from Cusco to Lima. Arriving in Lima approximarely 11:15 Jaime had our tour guide Cecilia and driver waiting for us. We had a tour of the City, Jaime surprised us by taking us to a restaurant to see how the national drink Pisco Sour is made and we were treated to a light lunch, then we had another tour with Cecilia around Colonial Lima before been taken back to the ship around 14:45. The last boarding was 16:00.
  3. leostar

    ujung pandang, indonesia

    Can anyone give me a tour operator that can take six passengers for a few hours while our ship is in port.
  4. leostar

    Sihanoukville

    Hi, my husband and I were there last year, we just got the shuttle into town, from there we walked up the street to the market, not much lighting, but terrific gear at a great price. We then got a tuk tuk and drove around to the Beaches and then back to town and called into the Orange shop and bought our liquor, it was the cheapest we have ever seen.
  5. leostar

    Ultimate Packing List for the Newbies....

    I take my own shampoo and conditioner, I find the ones on the ship a bit harsh.:)
  6. leostar

    Ultimate Packing List for the Newbies....

    Thanks Janet, what a wonderful lot of tips you have put on there for people. See you on board. Mary & Norman
  7. leostar

    Shanghai; Busan; Nagasaki; Osaka; Yokohama

    Thanks Paul, public transport seems the way to go anywhere in Japan, appreciate the reply. Mary:)
  8. leostar

    Shanghai; Busan; Nagasaki; Osaka; Yokohama

    I have listed what I have found out in Cruise Critic under Roll Call with Sea Princess, it was the first time I had used it and did not realise that a thread was for the one ship destination, I put up leo star and Jaws already had a thread, so there are two, I have asked for mine to be deleted and have put all that I found out under the under the Jaws thread. Hope it helps someone!:)
  9. leostar

    Shanghai; Busan; Nagasaki; Osaka; Yokohama

    If you check out the Roll call for Sea Princess under Cherry Blossom Leostar I have listed some information that I have found in my research that may interest people wanting to do their own thing in Ports. :D
  10. leostar

    Shanghai; Busan; Nagasaki; Osaka; Yokohama

    Found out how to get to Tokyo from Yokohama by train, going to Asakusa and back, looks like it will only cost under A$50pp all up, Train from Yokohama to Shinagawa Stn, then subway to Asakusa, which is one of the oldest villages and a lovely temple, some Geisha girls are in this area as well. return via Ueno and hopefully see Cherry Blosssoms. The rail system is fantastic. Hope to do this in the morning and catch the 2pm train back to Yokohama in the arvo (1/2 hr trip). In Busan, Nagasaki & Osaka just taking local transport everywhere, found some great sites on the web. If you want to know what I have found let me know.:)
  11. leostar

    Shanghai

    I am going on the Sea Princess next year and have been doing a bit of research, If you google [url]http://urbanrailnet/as/shan/shanghai.htm[/url] you can get a map of the rail systems and the city. I believe that the Line 2 would be near the wharf and that would take you near Peoples palace and museum. The new Shanghai Port Int. Cruise Terminal at the North Bund Area can accommodate 3 luxurious liners at the same time. I have also noted their is Wusongkou Int. Terminal and Bao Shan Terminal, apparently a transfer shuttle bus will take you to the Bund if it is one of them.
  12. leostar

    Shanghai; Busan; Nagasaki; Osaka; Yokohama

    Thanks Mary Ann, appreciate the reply.:)
  13. Going on a Sea Princess Cruise in March, 2012. Anyone got any info on the above Ports, Others are Guam and Rabaul.
  14. leostar

    Your "Must See" list in Bangkok

    Private and Family Tour (Thailand) Co.Ltd. If you google them, they have english speaking drivers. We just came off our cruise yesterday, this company charged six of us A$85each, we went to the markets in the morning and a gold & jewellery shop before lunch, then after lunch we went to the Grand Palace and a ride on Chao Phraya River. They will organise something for you and you can do what you want. That price included lunch, entrance into Grand Palace and the river cruise. Make sure you give yourself two and a half hours to get back to the ship. Traffic can get hectic, and ship will not wait.:)
  15. leostar

    Currency for Vietnam

    Thanks for the tip of the $1 bills
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