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ISLANDS LOVER

FAR EAST route & problems in Bangkok airports

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Does anybody know something about it?:confused:

 

It looks like problems in Bangkok are not finishing yet.

Star clipper have your departure point from Phuket, and also fortunately we have a direct flight from Munich to Phuket, (next january) but what happens for most of travelers that are arriving to phuket via Bangkok?

 

is there somebody going on Star Clipper on next departure?

has Star Clipper tell something or send some advise about it?

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IslandsLover:

Right now we are in the airport in Hong Kong, changing planes, on our return to the US from Phuket. This was not the planned flight or vacation. When we got off the Star Clipper last Saturday, the airport in Bangkok was already closed. We were supposed to fly to Cambodia via Bangkok. For 6 days we were stranded in Phuket. We could not get a flight to anywhere until 2 days ago, Friday. We had to fly to Kuala Lumpur (and pay $250 each one way), spend the night there, then our ticket home was changed to KL-Hong Kong-Tokyo on Saturday, spend the night at the Tokyo airport, then home to the US on the original flights

We never got to Cambodia.

 

If I were you I'd change my flights now to fly to Phuket direct or thropugh some other city. The protestors in Thailand may shut the airport down again in the next few weeks if they don't like the next Prime Minister. I'd stay away from Bangkoko whatever you do. I know we will never go near Thailand again.

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Sorry, the airport computer kicked me off. I will write a longer report about the cruise when I get home. With all of the travel problems in Thailand, the staff on the ship were no help at all to those of us who did not do our air through them. We were left completely on our own with no way to call while at sea.

 

Susie

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Please tell us more! I am booked on Star Clipper 12/27. I booked my own air and am flying via Bangkok! I know when I tried to cancel when the airport mess happened that Starclipper said I was on my own - they were sailing from Phuket and would not refund!

 

I would be VERY interested to hear about your trip!

 

Thanks!

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Please tell us more! I am booked on Star Clipper 12/27. I booked my own air and am flying via Bangkok! I know when I tried to cancel when the airport mess happened that Starclipper said I was on my own - they were sailing from Phuket and would not refund!

 

I would be VERY interested to hear about your trip!

 

Thanks!

 

Can you change your air ticket to fly straight to Phuket without transiting Bangkok? Dragonair flies there from HK, MA from KL, and SN from Singapore. Just be aware that if the s**t hits the fan again the Star Clipper people will do nothing to help you. They won't even give you current accurate info-you'll have to get it off the TV or internet. Your cell won't work on the Andaman sea and you won't be able to make calls until you are either in Malaysia or back to Phuket. I wouldn't cancel the cruise, just change your plane tickets if you can.

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Thanks but it is way too late to change the flights. I am flying first on Thai and cannot lost the 6K on this ticket. I have been keeping up on the Bangkok news and so far it looks like the new PM has issues but hoping the airports don't close. I am also going to Bangkok after the cruise for 3 days - but I already know to be very careful!

 

Can you give us any details about the cruise? I thought the ship had internet and phone service available? I do have an two international GSM phones and am planning on bringing a laptop? I know once you are remote at sea even the GSM won't really work - but what about the internet on the ship? Their website advertises it?

 

Thanks for any help?

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You might want to read this:

 

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081220/ap_on_re_as/as_thailand_politics_4

 

There could easily be more protests that shut the airport down again. Before you leave for the cruise I'd suggest you do some research on alternate flights out of Phuket just in case the same thing happens while you are there.

 

There is no cell phone service once you leave the Patong area. The internet on the ship is very expensive and so slow that those who tried to use it said it was worthless. You could check the web at any place you stop where there is a town (Penang or Langkawi) but other than there you will be out of communication with the world for a week.

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Thanks - I do understand the political issue in finite detail :eek:

 

I guess the good news is that if something does happen I am in Phuket for a night and Bangkok for 3 nights and can will be able to have phones and internet.

 

I seriously thought about NOT making this trip! However, it is what it is, and I am looking forward to sailing on a TALL SHIP AGAIN - especially on this itinerary!!!!

 

So - look for me on CNN:D I leave LAX tuesday...this may be the biggest mistake I have ever made...guess I will know soon enough?

 

Did you at least enjoy the cruise?

 

xoxo

:)A

Edited by badgirl#1inaz

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Never during the time we were stranded in Thailand were we at all feeling unsafe. All the protesting was in Bangkok. If they start up again at the Government House, just stay away from there. But be aware you might not make it back to Bangkok like we didn't. Have a plan B in place which we had to come up with on the spot. I called this our "make it up as we go along" vacation.

 

As to the cruise, I was disappointed as it wasn't what I was expecting. Only one of the port stops involved an actual town, Penang, where there was something to see. All the other places were uninhabited islands with beaches. 2 of them we were the only people there, but 2 had hordes of other tourists. The snorkeling was okay, but having snorkeled the Great Barrier reef it doesn't come close.

 

The passenger mix on our sailing was 140 total, 110 Europeans and 30 others. There were 13 Americans. Consequently with all the Europeans, half of them German, there was a lot of smoking on the ship. Even though it was only allowed on deck, it was hard to get away from. I could never sit at or neat the bar area because of it. The smoking is a big turnoff and will make me think about Star Clippers again.

 

The food varied from average to inedible. The meats and fish were were disappointing. Service was fine in the dining room and cabins. Drinks are expensive for us because everything is in Euros. Overall, the cruise was just okay. We did have fun in what we did, but it did not live up to the marketing/hype.

 

I was contemplating cruising Star Clipper in the Med in Oct. 2009 but after this trip I booked a Viking River cruise in France. For the price of this cruise per day, I'll take another cruise line where I feel the value is better (like Azamara). I'd consider Star Clipper in the Caribbean to be able to go to the small ports that I haven't been to yet. Otherwise, I'd give Windstar a try if I want another sailing ship experience.

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Hmmmm- Ok well not that flattering of a report and sounds like you didn't have a great time.

 

I guess the really good news here is that I am a smoker and I am German (technically Austrian) so sounds like I should fit right in. Also - I love the fact that there are no towns and this is a beach trip - that is EXACTLY what I am looking for!

 

Actually, the Euro is in a better place than it was when I was in Italy in June - and I am not a big drinker so I can live with that.

 

Curious, I am guessing the crowd was older and all couples? I am young and single but figure I will be pretty bored...and please tell me there were no KIDS!!!!

 

Thanks for all your help -- I will look into a Plan B just in case I don't make it to Bangkok - best to be a bit prepared...?

 

Thanks!

:)A

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There was one Aussie family on board with two teenage boys. That's it for the kids. The Dad of the family was more of a kid than the teens. There were no singles-all couples. But nit older. The average age of the Germans appeared to be in their 30's. Everyone else 50's. because of the emphasis on snorkeling and beaches and the getting in and out of the tenders everywhere (the ship doesn't dock at all), this isn't a cruise for older unhealthy unfit people.

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Thanks again for all the info!!! Really appreciate it!!!!

 

Figured it would be all couples -- am cool with that if they are cool with me! Sounds like lots of people were in their 30s - hope that holds true on my sailing?

 

I hear you about the "unfit" launch situation. I am a longtime WJBC'er and I often wondered why they would let some of those people aboard as it is the same situation! I also could never figure out why anyone would bring a kid (I mean under the age of 10) but every trip there were some unless it was an adult only sailing!

 

Well, I have to pack as I am leaving tuesday...it also looks like I am on a different route. Looks like you were on Southern and I am on Northern.

 

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

 

:)A

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Hope you have a great cruise. you probably know this already but...Star Clippers clientele is waaaay different from WJBC!! Parts of that were a good thing, but parts not such a good thing. We spent 5 weeks total on WJBC over the years and really sad they are no longer operating. You actually could bring a kid on Star Clippers, everything is rated GP !!

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....and kids there were! At least 11 of them and one as young as three years old? It wasn't an issue as most of the older ones were really fine and no problem. However, I could have done without the three year old. When will people learn - must they disrupt others vacations?

 

That all aside, the trip was fabulous! I had a great time! Patong I could have done without - mainly because I was travelling alone and it was a little scary! I was unaware of the whole "sex tourist" concept in Thailand...call me naive?

 

However, once I got on Star Clipper all was good with the world. It was an interesting passenger mix - I was the only American. There were single people although they tended to travel with families and friends - I was truly the only solo. I met wonderful people and had a great time. The trip was just what I wanted...lots of beach stops!!!! The James Bond excursion was FABULOUS and I now own lots of new pearls!

 

The bar was not pricey?? My total bill for the week and I was a lush, dinner wines, drinks, tips, a polo shirt, massage and excursion was 700 US$.

 

For the RECORD...my cell phones worked everywhere - no problem at all! I found the internet did not work unless you were near a port. I did not find the food bad at all...in fact, it was just fine. Loved the fact I could get a cappuchino at the bar - big plus! Smoking was limited to two areas of the ship and did not appear to be an issue??????

 

I would absolutely recommend this route and Star Clippers!!!

 

xoxo

 

:)A

Edited by badgirl#1inaz

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Badgirl,

Interested to hear that you were the only American on board. What was the split of nationalities. We were on Star Clipper 10 years ago, and have since been on Windsurf 3 times and the last time we were on Windsurf (Last July) there were only about 4 other couples that were Brits.

 

On the small islands are there BBQ lunches, and do I need to bring lots of books to read or is the library well stocked. Finally, what was the weather like, will I need to bring sea sickness remedies.

 

Thanks for any info.

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Badgirl,

Interested to hear that you were the only American on board. What was the split of nationalities. We were on Star Clipper 10 years ago, and have since been on Windsurf 3 times and the last time we were on Windsurf (Last July) there were only about 4 other couples that were Brits.

 

On the small islands are there BBQ lunches, and do I need to bring lots of books to read or is the library well stocked. Finally, what was the weather like, will I need to bring sea sickness remedies.

 

Thanks for any info.

 

There are no lunches on the small islands. They sell drinks and bottled water so bring an empty bottle that you can fill with water on the ship. You can bring some fruit from the ship for a snack. The library is very small and pathetic. bring your own books.

SE Asia is really hot and humid-be prepared with light clothing. On the lifeboats that take you to the islands it is like a steambath if you are under cover, very hot. You will be sweating a lot!

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We were on the Star Clipper also and were wondering if Sue was on the same ship as we were. We found the food to be varied but generaly good. The smoking was confined to the bar area . We are non-smokers so we sat up wind from the smokers. We got off in Goa so can't comment on the rest of the trip. We only saw one teen-age person on board and she was a total delight to talk with. WE areplaning to sail again and go all the way to Phuket next time.:)

 

Ed/Sue

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