Posted March 1st, 2011, 12:51 PM
Just returned from our trip. You will love the Mont. Cloud Forest. It took us four hours from the airport to the Hotel. The last 2 hours were on the bad road. It was the bumpiest road we had ever been on. Be prepared!!
We arrived right at dusk so didn't get to see the birds being fed at the pool bar.
Saturday morning all of the pre-cruise guest(14 including us) were picked up at 7:30 a.m. and taken to the forest for about a 3 hours tour over the 8 bridges and through the forest seeing the hummingbird station. This was all great. It misted some. Wore long pants, long sleeve, fleece vest, and rain jacket. They had lunch there for us. Then went to the butterfly house. I have never seen so many butterflies. The hotel had made reservations for those of us who wanted to zip line at 2:. The zip line was something else. There were 13 runs, some short, the last about 2/3's of a mile which had to be done in pairs. The weather was good until the last run where it poured rain. They had you go with an instructor instead of your partner because it was raining so hard. Couldn't see anything. Some people in the group ahead didn't like it. You can't go back so they went taxi ( with an instructor) the rest of the time. I am glad I did it, but don't have to do it again. You can't take pictures as you go since you have no free hand. We wished that one of us had gone taxi on one run to take video so you might want to do that. It rained the rest of the evening so we didn't get to see the birds at the pool bar.
Sunday you are free to walk around the hotel areas. We saw many birds, animals, etc. then. After lunch, all of the pre-cruise people were bussed to the ship which took about 2 hours.
We did the back to back. I see that you are doing 6 nights. Quepos was on our trip. It is the most developed place we went to . We did the Manuel Antonio Nat. Park excursion. It was great. The guide has a telescope that he uses to spot birds, animals, etc. ( You also stop for about 30 min. at a beach that is beautiful. Your kids might want to get in.) Then he will take pictures through it for you with your camera. After the tour, we went to ship for lunch and waited until later in the evening to go back into town to shop. We had a band that night on the ship from there so we didn't sail away until midnight.
At Drake Bay they had changed the schedule earlier in Nov. so that you were only there for the afternoon and didn't go to Isla del Cano at all. At Drake Bay we did the Corcovado Nat. Park tour. It was very good. Some friends did the Mongrove tour and also the horseback riding and enjoyed those.
Be sure to sign up early for the excursions. Some times they fill up early, and some times they don't have enough signing up.
At Golfito, we did the rescue center and orchid gardens. It was very interesting. Ron, the owner of the orchid gardens, just happened to stop and talk to us, and ended up showing us all the orchids around. Be sure to see the cannonball tree.
They changed early on the stop at Isla de Coiba, and had been stopping at Isla Gamez in Panama. This is where we had the beach bar b que. The island was beautiful, and water so clear. No one was there, but the ship. We were there all day. They had all the beach toys out there.
We didn't have Isla Iguana that is listed on your week.
On our first week in the northern section we did miss a port because of sea swells.
The weather on the southern part was very warm(HOT) and very humid. Our clothes would be all wet after an excursion, but won't complain because it was not our usual cold and snow.
The food was great. Only complaint of trip was that after sailing on the Clippers four times before, we had never had any tour groups. Both weeks there were two tour groups each time making up about 68 people. Many were very elderly and shouldn't have been there. Many other individuals like us felt the same way.
Have a great trip. If you have any other questions, let me know. The pre-cruise package was the BEST part of the trip. We did snorkel at one of the places that you don't go to, but it was murky and not like what we had been used to.
They did offer zip line excursions from the ship, but the one at Mont. Cloud forest was the best one. Some on the ship didn't have enough people sign up.