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daynalv

Won a trip on Star Flyer

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We are booked to go in December! So - since we didn't really research much, since we won it, I have a few questions. I have since researched but I still have some--- can you help :)

 

Someone asked if we need to get "shots" before we go there. (we are coming from the U.S. flying out of LAX)

 

Is it really going to rain every day since it's December?

 

What is a MUST HAVE - what must I bring (something I may not think of)

 

How expensive are drinks?

 

Can you charge everything or should I exchange money somehow?

 

Am I going to have fun and be relaxed? (he he)

 

Are there a lot of bugs? (I'm a baby when it comes to bugs!)

 

I know my questions might be funny-- but really-- these are some things on my mind! We feel so lucky to go! Anyone else going in December?

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Congratulations!!! We are sailing dec 7 and can't wait..can't really answer your questions as we haven't been yet..except..you don't need shots.

Are you on our trip?

Sherry

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We're going out December 10 - Singapore to Phuket. We're interested in some of the answers to your questions.

 

Speaking of "shots" - we both got the influenza shot, typhoid, and updated Hepatitis A and B. We both took Dukoral for E. Coli/Cholera. We travel regularly to Mexico as well, so felt it was important to be up-to-date. We were advised by our local Travel Clinic that we didn't need Malaria.

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Sherry- yes, we are going on Dec. 7th -- my husband and I -- how exciting to meet someone else who is... we are looking forward to it... but we are not avid sailors or scuba divers... so hopefully we will enjoy relaxing and sightseeing! :) I think we'll enjoy it overall. Are you flying out of LA?

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Someone asked if we need to get "shots" before we go there. (we are coming from the U.S. flying out of LAX) -- you don't need any special shots for French Polynesia (they do have a few diseases that would be no fun to catch but no tourists ever seem to get them -- elephantitus, bone break fever, etc.

 

Is it really going to rain every day since it's December? It rains almost every day in French Polynesia. In the dry season, it rains a little less than in the wet season. If you get wet from the rain, you'll dry off quickly because it's quite warm. The temp usually ranges from 85 to 87 for the high and cools off to 72 or 73 at night. If you're worried about the rain, bring a poncho. However, you will find this to be similar to a slow cooker.

 

What is a MUST HAVE - what must I bring (something I may not think of) -- You will need some surf sox to protect your feet from sharp pieces of coral and stone fish (nasty spines). You need to bring some resort casual wear (long pants & nice shirt for men; long pants or dress for women). Bring some shorts, flipflops and tee shirts. They do laundry on board but it's not cheap. Bring your old undies and just throw them away (why pay?). Bring lots of sun blocker or you can really get fried.

 

How expensive are drinks? -- fairly expensive for mixed drinks. Wine starts at about $30 a bottle on up on the ship. Bring your own and there's a corkage charge ($15?). In theory the ship doesn't allow you to bring aboard any booze (except wine). They say they will confiscate it should you try but they'll return it to you at the end of the cruise. On the island of Moorea, there is a brandy factory that's open to the public. They have all kinds of flavored brandies that you can sample. They also sell a very nice mixed fruit n booze drink by the liter carton (also available on other islands in grocery stores). I understand they don't challenge this.

 

Can you charge everything or should I exchange money somehow? You'll be issued a ship board credit card and can also exchange dollars for CFPs (I hear they offer a reasonable rate). Anything you charge on board (tips, drinks, purchases, tours, etc.) is connected with your personal credit card (although you can pay this off in cash if you want at the end of the trip). There are banks and ATMs in the airport where you can get money. ATMs are readily available on the islands. The hotels also offer this service but some will only do this for guests.

 

Am I going to have fun and be relaxed? (he he) Yes -- unless you demand too much in the way of formal entertainment. You're pretty much on your own but your fellow passengers will undoubtedly be a fun and well traveled group. The ship will have a piano player, crab races, fashion show, and a passenger/crew amateur nite. During the days there are tours of the islands, at least one beach bbq, etc.

 

Are there a lot of bugs? (I'm a baby when it comes to bugs!) This is the tropics and there will be bugs. Some very big bugs that you could probably put a saddle on. Nothing much that will hurt you except for the millipedes (don't play with them or feed them). Bring deet because there will be lots of mosquitos and noseeums. The ship itself should be free of bugs. That said, when you return home immediately take all your suitcases outside and empty them. Wash everything. Leave the suitcases outside for a few days.

 

Don't worry as French Polynesia is beyond description for its beauty. You will have an experience you'll never forget. You'll find that you'll come down with what is known as the French Polynesian Flu. You don't ever get over it and will have to return to the islands again and again.

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Roger..thank you..your tips are very helpful!

Daynalv..we are flying out of LAX but on 12/2 so we have extra days before the trip. We have friends coming too from Mexico to meet up with us. Our names are Sherry & Kimber and they are Barbi and Dick. We have not been on Star Flyer before but have seen her in ports and loved her. Barbi and Dick have sailed her before and loved her. We are not big scuba divers either but are looking forward to some relaxing and lovely days in these Islands. This is an area we have always wanted to go to! We leave a week from Friday for LAX to visit our son out there. How did you win your trip? That is wonderful!

Sherry

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Our CFP's (XPF's) arrived today at our Bank of America branch. We ordered them ahead of time so we didn't have to worry. You can order small bills and they come in 1-2 days..We do have a snorkel and mask and ocean shoes that we will bring with us.

S.

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You are in for a treat! This will be our second cruise on Star Clippers and our second cruise in Tahiti. The first one was on Windstar. I expect this cruise will be even better based on our first Star Clipper experience which was fantastic.

 

We will be on the Air Tahiti Nui flight LAX/PPT on Dec. 7, See you there. You're going to have a blast.

 

 

Bon Voyage:D

 

Pat + Mindy

 

Don + Diane

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Wow - great to connect with all of you! We will be on the Dec. 7th LAX flight too! It will be the longest flight we have ever taken, I hope we make it! I'm sure it's worth it!

 

Okay- I'll have to buy those "socks" for the water... Thanks Roger for all your tips! Good stuff! I will make sure to empty my luggage and leave it outside when I get back, ha ha.

 

We won our trip through a contest in Redbook magazine! My husband got picked "America's Hottest Husband" - so funny! We have had a ball with it.. and hey the cruise is an extra bonus!

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Oh, Wow!! America's hottest Husband on our ship!!! Well, we are newlyweds (1 1/2 years) so I am happy with mine!! We are also seniors!!

It is sounding like a fun group with all of us!

Sherry & kimber

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Just back from Star Flyer Tahiti 11 day Nov 16-27 so a couple more comments.

 

Wine prices - their lower end house wines start at 14 euros a bottle, a glass runs 3.25 euros. You can also find 1 litre box wine in grocery stores in ports for around $7. The policy on reboarding refers to bringing on "bottled liquor" so I'm not sure whether this is a loophole or whether it was illegal!!

 

Beer prices - Hinano draft 3.50 euros and it is more tasty than we expected, a bit like Heineken with the dry hop. 1/2 litre draft beer in ports at local pub was around $5.50 and very cold & refreshing. Buying 1/2 litre bottle in grocery stores was around $3.00

 

We didn't have mixed drinks so can't comment on that.

 

Extra things to bring :

 

1) find a lanyard to take for your boarding card, it's easy to lose. Just punch a hole in it and you can wear it around your neck when needed.

 

2) sunscreen - be sure and bring, prices for sunscreen are crazy in FP. We made the mistake of leaving our big one in our carry-on travelling from Honolulu so needed to purchase. Also, the ship store had run out so couldn't find any on board. Same thing for any toiletries items, those run expensive in FP.

 

3) Hand sanitizer - keep it with you on the way to the dining room as there is none available in dining area. You can wash your hands before leaving the cabin but you will likely need to handle several railings & doors before sitting down to eat

 

4) Guide book - if you want to travel independently and not do ship tours, you will need to figure out the logistics on your own, they encourage tours and are not well versed in other options. On the other hand, the ship tours seemed to be to most people's liking and were not excessively overpriced.

 

5) Snorkel gear - if you have a mask & snorkel bring them along. The ship has gear on board but some people complained about leaky masks & snorkels. Also, I'm not sure they get cleaned really well after use. The fins provided were fine.

 

6) Language - you will struggle with just English for most local non-touristy things off ship so think about bringing a French-English phrase book along if you like to venture out on your own. Fortunately I can communicate in French and did have fun trying to access my 40 year old data base.

 

7) Coffee - unfortunately we are coffee snobs so brought our own pound of coffee on board along with a couple of Melita 1-cup filters & holder. Even if you don't go to this extent, you may want to consider bringing a take-away coffee cup with you, you'll have a lid for no spills and the coffee mugs on board are tiny. Ship board coffee got bad reviews from people we talked to. Coffee & hot water available 24 hours a day, we used the ice bucket to transport the hot water back to the room to make our own.

 

Hit an ATM for some CFPs, lots of ATMs near port in Papeete and Papeete is not nearly as scary as most people make out. You may be able to exchange on board but we didn't so I'm not sure of exchange rate or ease of doing so. Pursers office has regular business hours so be sure to take care of any money issues during that time.

 

Weather - was awesome, a few showers the last couple of days in Tahiti after we disembarked

 

Bugs - not a problem for us but if you're really sensitive, there were a few around altho we never wore any bug juice & nothing bit us

 

Be prepared to chill out for dinner!! We regularly eat early in the evening so this was a bit of a problem for us. You can sit at 7:30 but you will not get your main meal until after 8:30pm. We usually finished eating after 9:00pm and tend to rise and set with the sun so this was a bit of an inconvenience to us. Food, however, is definitely worth waiting for.

 

Lots of Euros on board which is mostly fun except for some of the French, just don't bother trying to say bonjour or interact!! A lot of smoking areas are available which is a pain if you are a non-smoker. If you like to get up early and be on deck to watch the sunrise, the very front part of the ship is non-smoking so pull a mat out from the back and you can sit & enjoy in the fresher air.

 

Just in case this is sounding negative, we had a FANTASTIC time!! Would travel again with the Star Clippers in a heartbeat. The crew was fantastic (cruise director was new so not extremely helpful), they did their jobs professionally and were also very friendly & helpful. Food was plentiful & excellent quality. Snorkelling & diving was convenient & fabulous. Ship tours got good reviews but we didn't take any so no first hand knowledge on that. French Polynesians were mostly friendly and welcoming in most places but the Tuamotu's were less so. Huahine was the best for friendliness, we rented a scooter there and rode around both islands, everyone waved and said Bonjour with big smiles.

 

Any other questions, please ask away.

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