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Statendam - Oct 22 - Puntarenas, Costa Rica

Krazy Kruizers

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During the night we had storms - vivid lightning and rain - I slept through it. DH told me about it in the morning.

We arrived at Puntarenas late, as usual. We got here at 8:25 and were cleared at 9 (we were suppose to be here at 8). The Veendam pulled in ahead of us - wonder if she is bringing those parts we need that everybody keeps talking about? It rained off and on most of the morning. In the afternoon we had storms and heavy rains. We had booked a tour for the morning and part of the afternoon but decided not to go on it due to the rain and heavy fog in places. We did manage to walk ashore and browse through the vendor booths and get back to the ship between rains. They did have a little train to take passengers back and forth from the ships to the end of the pier. You could tip them if you wanted to. We didn't use the train so we can't tell you if a lot of people tipped. Because we arrived late, many of the tours didn't start until an hour late. Some people said that they were soaked on a couple of the tours.

Things not inproving at the Pinnacle or Salon. Got another notice from them. For the women: "Facial, shampoo, hair styling and a make-up treatment from the salon. Dinner with complimentary champagne cocktail and chocolate covered strawberries at the Pinnacle - a $203 value for $95." For the men: "deep tissue sports massage, complimentary champagne cocktail for both, signature flaming brandy, and hand crafted dark chocolate truffles. A $136 value for $95."

We were scheduled to leave at 7 PM. At 7:30 the last 4 buses from the Countryside & Coffee Plantation tour got back for both ships. By the time we cleared the gangway, we didn't leave until 8. There were a lot of people missing from the 5:45 and 6:15 dinner times. As the Lido closes at 7:30, and they weren't expecting a lot of tours getting back late, no arrangements had been made for the dinners. So they just squeezed them into the 8 and 8:30 dinner times.

Another indication that things are bad in the bar areas - when we went to the Piano Bar to have our after dinner cocktail, the girl who usually serves us told us that she was being moved to the Ocean Bar tomorrow. Some of the servers are complaining because they haven't been selling any drinks. A couple of bars are doing well as certain times and others are doing poorly. She told us that all of the servers had a meeting and all were going to be moved around. Only the bar tenders would remain where they were assigned. Even late in the evenings the drink sales are way off.

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Sorry about the weather - hoping our January cruise is truly in their "dry season". Did you speak to anyone who took this mangrove river cruise? Wondered about needing to be on anti-malaria pills if we plan to go on the river. Did you get a feel for whether many people got shots, pills, etc. for this cruise?

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Being as we weren't really going into the deep jungle of Costa Rica like we did several years ago, we did not bother to get the malaria pills. When we did the Tortuguero Canal boat ride in 2003 on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica we didn't bother with the pills then either. We did get a chance to talk to some who did go on the boat ride (and got wet) and they also did not bother getting and taking the pills before they left home. Unless you are going to walk into the deep jungles, the pills are really necessary.

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