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budaman

Let's talk Costa Rica

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Happy New Year Mike!!!

 

I just sent you an email, so you may want to check your spam if it doesn't appear in your inbox.... Subject: Costa Rica

 

Peggy

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Got it & back at ya!

 

Getting close & we're actually packed.

 

Here's to good weather & sailing!!!!!!

 

Mike

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star_flyer_sunset_1_small.jpg

 

My partner and I were on the northern (Nicaragua) itinerary with Gail and stayed aboard for the southern (Panama) itinerary. (You should have continued on with us, Gail. The party crowd showed up, dancing til the wee hours every night. We missed you. I agree with you on the wine. Being on board for two weeks, we tried all of Danny's reds. Very drinkable and reasonably priced. One small correction - the Spanish Marine Biologist is named Yago.)

 

The northern and southern experiences are surprisingly different. Much hotter and much more humid in the south. In the north, I never felt like I was in the jungle, but in the south I always did. It only rained once, a great tropical downpour which lasted an hour while we were ashore in Golfito. Luckily, the rain started after the zipline tour. (The Golfito canopy tour is the one excursion I recommend without reservation, but be aware that the lines are high, long and fast.) I found the water in the south perfect (certainly compared to northern California), but I wasn't snorkeling, just swimming and kayaking. A high point of the southern itinerary was a barbecue on a lovely, tiny island which we had to ourselves except for a few Costa Ricans from small private boats.

 

For my partner and me, it's about the sailing. Shore excursions and food are secondary. The winds were reliable on both itineraries and we had little need for the engine. When the crew raised the square sails for the photo tender, the Star Flyer picked up such speed that the tender couldn't keep up with her, and the captain had to drop the square sails.

 

Along with two other couples whom we met on the Cruise Critic Roll Call, we hired Odyssey Tours for transportation from San Jose to Puerto Caldera and back. In both directions, we had a leisurely drive with time for sightseeing and dining. If you need transportation to Caldera or a guide before or after the cruise, I highly recommend the brothers Alvaro and Diego at Odyssey. You can Google the Odyssey Tours website or check the reviews on TripAdvisor.

 

Cheers...Alvis

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Thanks for the positive report Alvis!

 

Two more working days & we're off.

 

One question.....what was it like on deck in the evenings. The temp reports for the region are highly suspect & all over the map.

 

Glad to here Alvaro & Diego took good care of you. We also have them scheduled for all our transfers.

 

Ok...maybe a couple of more questions:D

 

How long did it take you to clear the airport when you landed?

 

And, did you notice any liquor stores in the area & were they checking bags when you boarded the ship. They never have any tequila aboard.

 

Thanks!

 

Mike

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Wow, long time coming--you are almost there! Take good notes, I see this cruise in the next year (I hope)!

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It seemed like it was so far away.....booked last February when I first heard about the reposition to Costa Rica. And now we're scurrying around tying up loose ends. But, we're all packed and I have a massage scheduled for Friday night, so all is well!

 

Mike

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Regarding the weather, I was on deck after midnight many a windy night and the temperature was always balmy. I don't recall wearing a jacket at any time in Costa Rica, not even at Poas volcano.

 

We landed in San Jose the early evening, took about one minute to clear customs and five more minutes to get our luggage from the carousel. Small airport, and our American Airlines flight seemed to be the only flight at the moment. If you're taking a taxi, go to the indoor taxi window, don't dive right into the driver scrum oudoors. If Odyssey is meeting you, they should be right there. The taxis have meters, and the fare is reasonable.

 

There was at least one bottle of tequila in the Tropical Bar. After climbing the mast the second week, several of us celebrated with tequila shots. No Star Flyer personnel checked our carry-on, and the luggage that the crew wrangled was locked. (The Flyer was anchored our first time in Caldera and docked our second time.)

 

If you want to buy tequila, I'm sure Alvaro or Diego can make a provisioning stop. All merchants seem to accept both colones and USD and give a fair exchange rate of 500 colones for one USD.

 

Odyssey drove six of us from San Jose to Caldera with no fixed itinerary. Our goal was to arrive at Caldera around dark and see as much as possible along the way. The trip was a great success, and we were the last six passengers to arrive, about two hours before the crew hoisted anchor.

 

Pura vida...Alvis

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Hey Al!

 

May I consider myself to count among the party crowd on the trip south? The dancing was great!

 

So pleased to have cruised with you! And the tequila shot after mast climbing is one of my favorite memories. Teaching the Irishman how to do a proper shot was fun, yes?

 

I will second your hearty endorsement of the zip lining and Odyssey tours. I used Odyssey for land tour on Saturday to Poas, etc. and down to Puerta Calderas on Sunday. They were great.

 

Pura Vida!

Bev

 

P.S. I 'stole' your excellent shot of the ship at sunset for my wallpaper. You can reach me via email directly at bevschrage@gmail.com

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