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Rosaslovian

Star Flyer Tahiti Transpacific to Caribbean 02/14/2010

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Hi all,, Terry and Jean, I am booked at Radisson Decapolis is Panama, after hours of research (found same as you, some raves, some horrible on same hotel), picked Radisson Decapolis as they had no negatives, and did for a FAIRLY reasonable price, free breakfast, spa discount and 20.00 bar credit per day, and sushi restaurant in the lobby, as well as a swimming pool. It is downtown, but I figure early flight on Tues AM better to stay in town instead of Balboa, for traffic reasons (and i want the apa, pool, etc that b&b does not offer),

 

Liquor in Tahiti, we did not buy any hard liquor that I remember, but did see wine fairly reasonably priced (it is associated with France, after all, so the French wine is good and even in restaurants reasonably priced. I did not go to the Carefour (??) but heard it was good place to buy reasonably priced wine. Maybe we get our 4x4 driver to stop there at the end of our tour?? I am not exactly sure where it is but I think close to town.

 

And I think everything in Marquesas comes from Tahiti,, so there ya go, I would not expect any bargains there!!

 

On Moorea, I highly recommend Woody for Pearls, he has a lovely little shop fairly sitting by the water, close to the Intercontinental and will come pick you up,, I sat on a picnic table in the sun and picked out my pearls from trays of them, he drilled what I wanted to string on a chain I had, put a nice pendant drop on another one, and is an all around good guy, from Hawaii maybe and very personable and low keyed. He also plays sometimes in a band with some other musicians we met while in Moorea (definitely seems like a small island sort of thing, everyone knows everyone). He does some lovely custom design work also, with pearls, and does wood sculpture as well. So in a place where there are pearls at every turn, and it can be somewhat overwhelming, I recommend Woody. Later in Papeete we bought some more pearls (hey, surrounded by them), in the downtown cluster of shops that they advertise as Pearl Museum (not sure I saw the Museum part) and they were quite high priced, and not near as scenic, personal or fun as dealing with Woody. Just found Woody's card, web is Blackpearlparadise.com and email is blackpearlparadise@gmail.com. I think I recall him saying they have a motu that they harvest their pearls from. Nice guy.

 

Careful of the women who sell on tables next to where the ship anchors in Moorea (forget if that was Cook Inlet of the other spot), I picked out a little black cord type bracelet iwth a pearl on it, asked them to change the clasp, whcih they happily did, and I ended up with a plastic bead on a cord,, sort of feel like taking it back to them!! Also you will see Chinese fresh water pearls in lots of the less expensive or vendor type jewlery (which are fine, and if you ask, they will generally be identified as such,, but you have to ask, don't assume you are getting Tahitian pearls in some of these places).

 

I have heard from Claudia from Argentina and I am asking her to join our tour in Tahiti and/or dinner! She is at the Meridian from the 10th, so if anyone at the Meridian, look for Claudia! I will also give her tour infor for Embara as she is staying on I believe.

 

Everyone fly safe!! Gail

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Hi Gail and fellow Austinite!

 

Just noticed your post about Carrefour Market & realized I got my trips confused. Chadreau is in Cozumel( we are planning a trip back this summer).

Carrefour is indeed the store in Papeete...doh!

 

Good tip on the Pearls & the dock sellers. We only felt comfortable with the one I mentioned because she has a large shop there. We just did the transaction at the pier. She has actually opened up a location in Hawaii now and her daughter is running the store in Moorea. Don't remember the store name though....Black Pearl something:confused:

 

Have a great trip......now back to the Cozumel planning since we can't get any hard info on Costa Rica yet. Kinda weird to have the cruise paid for without any details other than Jan.9 -16th, 2011.

 

Mike

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Fair warning, I have downloaded ukelele music (years ago knew how to play Mack the Knife,,,) and plan on buying Ukelele in Tahiti prior to boarding, and have packed a harmonica I also cannot play!! But never fear, the sound of the waves will cover my practice!!! Anyone else ready to make a musical fool of themselves??

 

Also, packing several stretchy elastic rubber exercise bands for water aerobics while sloshing across the packfic,,,

 

Woody's pearl website seems to not be his, but I still recommend him, with or without the website,,

 

and Budaman,, will you drive up I35 please and pack these bags for me?, sounds like you are good at traveling light?? want to be travel butler for the day?? I booked Costa Rica Dec 5 and have found the listing of ports, and have researched (under destinations) and on travel sites,, found a DoubleTree all inclusive down there close to Caldera Port where the ship leaves from,, good prices for a few days prior (and saving those Hilton points to use too). Have not figured best way to travel from San Jose to Puertarenas, Caldera area, someone recommended just pay 80 bucks for a taxi, or I guess there are buses if you don't want to rent a car,, so maybe when I get back we start a thread on Costa Rica and see what hits we can gather,, I know Sue and Ed are going there post Panama, and have been before, so will be talking to them over cocktails!!

 

Gail (Austin,, )

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Gail,

One thing I am going to ask for is a rope for the swimming pool. I did this on the Athens -Phuket trip. The bosun made a loop in the rope, covered it with garden hose, so your swim suit would stay in one piece and would tie the other end to the swimming pool. You just put the loop over your head and you can swim for miles, and still getting nowhere! Together with the Tai Chi, your elastic bands, my garden hose, I fear that my health will improve dramatically! Don't know if that is the purpose of this vacation! I still need time for reading, talking to people, having one hand free for my cocktail(s) and the other hand for I don't know yet. Busy, busy!

Oh, I love to sing, can't, but still do, so hopefully a lot of people have noise reduction ear phones with them. I playbacked Tina Turner in the talent show last time with ÿou're the best" and got the Captain embarrassed. Very funny. I was dressed in green, red and white garbage bags, Fabrice the artist, made my dress. Add a black wig, high heels, the legs of Tina, multiplied by ten in size, and there you are! The more I think about the talent show, the more I am looking forward to it. I promiss, I won't sing live! On the Phuket trip I sang live, Hotel California, but my voice was not too bad at that time. Perhaps we can start a shanty choir. I can't read music, so I have to play it by ear.

Oh, does anybody know what Ed and Sue mean with dark M&M's. Have never heard of them. Are they nice? I love chocolate, so perhaps I will take some with me.

Gail, the last time I was in Costa Rica I did a boat trip. One of the best excursions I have ever had. It started with a bus drive to a national park, passing by a pineapple plantation. Then going by boat and made a trip of about 1 1/2 hour (I think). Just beautiful. Many animals. Worthwhile.

I'll have a look if I still have some info and will let you know.

Have a nice weekend and see you Saturday.

Ineke

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How exciting for those of you who will soon be on your way to Tahiti!

 

For anyone interested, I located a tour company for the mud volcano in Cartegena, Columbia. They will pick us up at the port after we arrive on March 24th at 0900. The cost each is U.S. $125. Four of us are going on this tour so far. To pay in advance, they need a copy of the credit card holder's passport and the credit card number and expiration date. Contact information is: Nazly Munoz G. representing Mar y Mar Ltd. touring company. email: marymarcartegena@yahoo.es

Nazly describes the tour as follows: A tour of 5 hours using a van with air conditioning, beginning at the neighborhood of Manga, passing in front of the San Felipe Fort (photo stop), continue to the volcano. Climb up and get into the mud volcano in swim suits. The mud is dense and you end up floating in it while getting a massage. Then down to the nearby lake to wash off. Then we continue to a fishing village, named La Boquilla, to have lunch (not included in cost), then return to Cartagena to the port. Tour includes transportation, English speaking guide, port tax, and entrance fee to the mud volcano. It does not include lunch. It is suggested to give a tip to the providers at the mud volcano and I'm sure it would be nice to tip the driver.

BonVoyage!

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It's probably too late to communicate with anyone going to Tahiti. We leave tomorrow to drive to LA, then HNL, then Friday to Tahiti. Aloha-oe!

 

I found that a car (4x4 is best with high clearance) rented in San Jose was expensive. We are flying Sansa air to Quepos for $75 and renting a car there, which is cheap. I recommend flying, if the schedule is good for you. Otherwise, maybe a taxi is best.

 

Ineki mentioned making a fool of oneself. It reminded me that I intended to bring my water colors to make a mess of some good quality art paper. I though retirement would bring long days of piddling around with art, but in fact I've done only one pathetic picture and have forgotten most of what I ever knew. But I got my travel art kit out and will soldier on.

 

Cheers everybody, and it looks like the talent show will be memorable.

 

Sue & Ed

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Aloha,

 

Never too late to communicate! Am in LAX waiting for my flight to Honolulu and then onto another paradise, Tahiti. Had a great time in LA. Now, the sailing fun begins soon! Will hopefully see Ed & Sue in Honolulu. Will look for some excited folks waiting to board.:D

 

Bon Voyage to all! See you in Papeete.:p Aloha, Walt

 

 

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Have been home from the Tahiti to Panama leg since this past Tuesday, Mar 23rd, the rocking has subsided for the most part, still kicks in if I am in small or dark spaces. For those of you not with us on the venture, we had a strangely wonderful and fun time, but with sorrow as well. Here is a posting I sent to my friends the night I disembarked from the ship, as it sums it up and I don't want to write it again,,,,,

**************************************************

Have arrived in Panama today at 6:30 AM after a long strange trip,, 34 days with 121 other passengers and 78 crew or so,, a close but somewhat dysfunctional family with events that brought us all together.

 

For the first time on my sailings we had a death, I think on March 6 or so Ann, an 80 year old woman from Ft Meyers, Fla, travelling with her husband Bud, both lifelong sailors, died very rapidly of either a blood clot in the leg or infection, and kidney failure (we don't know other than it was fast as we ate dinner with her husband the night before, and I toured with just them and the driver in the Marquesas a few days before she fell ill) and she was buried at sea at 4:00 AM with the officers of the ship and doctor attending and our old guest captain playing the bagpipes. We became aware she was dying in the afternoon it happened and the captain called us to the deck that evening and made the announcement. It was shockingly sad and her husband has spent the last 2 weeks mourning with us, he got off the ship today, with only his bag. I painted the sea the afternoon he died and gave it to him, he said he was very greatful. We all cried with him

over

many days, but he is strong and her wish was to have her ashes scattered in the sea when she died.

 

Yesterday in the Perlas Islands, the first real civilization we have seen since we left the Marquesas Islands many many days ago, another woman was placed on a stretcher and taken to shore on the zodiac, with Roland, the strong crewman from St Lucia carrying her through the surf and to the airstrip to get on a plane, she is German, I sailed with her and her husband from Athens to Phuket in 2007, and apparently it is cancer and her death was anticipated the day before but we have not heard if she made it or not, they airlifted her to Panama City.

 

We have been told some people go on long trips to die at sea. I am not sure either of these women had that intent, but you don't know. Needless to say the death and near death of 2 passengers made us all realize how lucky we are to wake up healthy and usually happy, and surrounded by old and new found friends.

 

During captains dinner and talent show 3 nights ago, then last night for our last sail from Perlas Islands and this morning as many of us disembarked, there were many laughs, hugs and tears because you cannot help but be close to people you have spent 34 days with, even though you may never see some again, and hope to see much much more of many others in the future. This is not my usual happy trip report, but it was a happy and fun trip, but we all got a lesson in how fast life can pass and how much we all were in the same boat, which becomes a small self contained community at sea.

 

**********************************************

On the sailing side, we did fairly well, lots of head winds and rocking seas out of the Marquesas during our 18 days at sea, only saw 1 ship on the horizon during that period, and only after we crossed the equator did we get into some gray, flat days, but as fate would have it, our last few days before disembarking in Panama were wonderful weather with blue skies. Only one really bad day of rain (maybe 2) during crossing, so that was nice. Widow's net was generally open, and after the swells calmed down the pool on mid-deck was generally with water (unless someone complained they were getting wet with the wash as the ship rolled).

 

Ship was NOT in great condition, as usual lots of painting and scraping, but we had plumbing problems that flooded the Commodore port cabins as we were heeled over quite a bit during the 18 days,, some of us had to change cabins, other cabins torn apart and cleaned once the problem was fixed. Lots of issues with the tenders engines (scarey thought,, thankfully it was on Cocos Island where problems occurred, or we were not aware of them before, during the 18 days), and apparently lots of maintenance will be done in Europe, crew mentioned that containers were too expensive to get shipped into Fr Polynesia, etc. and lots of ripped sails, etc.

 

Captain Brunon, Chief mate Dominique, 2nd mate Actiem (now I probably spelled that wrong) and 3rd mate Oleg all were friendly and doing fine, though Dominique not speaking so much. Guest captain Claus was on hand for lectures and bagpipe playing. Muslym was head of cabins, Kemick in restaurant, lots of familiar faces on bar team and cabin, restaurant and ABS, deck hand teams, made for a fine sail. The old cruise director apparently resigned at the last minute, so replacement Saskia had her hands full learning about the ship, itinerary, our style if you will, etc. And Mateo was our Hotel Manager, quite friendly. Peter as head engineer also there. As always, the crew makes the sail and these folks did wonderfully!!!

 

The Marquesas were wonderful, although we could not land on the first one (Hiva Oa??) due to choppy seas and we had no protected mooring. Nuku Hiva was lovely, nice tour there, and then 18 days later we made Cocos Island, where we had a fine first day and were kicked off early the second morning by Govt Officials! Which of course led to a really bad song being written to the tune of Bloody Mary Mornin,, Leaving Cocos without Warning,, to be performed at Captain's dinner talent show by the newly formed singing group, Los Cocos Boobies! Pearlas were lovely, we were in Contadora our last day before disembarking. Beer was like 1.00 US, so some of us were happy to indulge in some onshore. Of course Moorea, BoraBora and Rangiarora were fine,, had been to most of those before, and more distant in my mind, but lovely. We did not feel the tidal wave from Chilean earthquake, but were informed of it by the captain.

 

I think 47 or 48 or so folks are still on the ship from this crossing, continuing on to St Martin and some on to Lisbon and Monte Carlo. I am of couse, envious and waiting for their reports and blogs. Walt has a good blog going, which you can find if you search Rosaslovian blogspot and Ineke also has one that comes up there. They have more day to day descriptions of our trip and lots of pics as well, if you all want to check on them.

 

Ed and Sue, are you back yet? Talk to me on yahoo about Costa Rica.

 

To everyone else reading (who was not on our sail),, please treat this info with care, I know many hearts will be hurting from the losses we incurred. Gail

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Thank you to you, and Walt, and Ineke, for your reports on the trip. I will be on the Star Flyer in the fall when she goes through the canal in the other direction...

 

I am so touched by you and Walt writing about Ann and Bud..., and all the other events of the trip as well. Thank you.

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We are back from a trip of a life time. I echo Gail's thoughts on the trip. Friends were made on this trip i hope will last. We got off in Panama and flew to Costa Rica for 10 days. a week on the beach in Quepos(HOT/Humid) in an apartrment. We had to cook for ourselves and everything. We think that the couple from Jersey Is. got put on standby to Miami. Richard/Betty. Anyknow?? That's all for this adventure.:eek:

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Gail: Thank you for your report. I so wanted to be on thie crossing, but had unavoidable conflicts. You made me feel like I was there. Kathy

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Hi All:

 

Had a fabulous voyage and have recovered enough to write this follow-up note. I want to thank everyone that contributed to this posted thread. All comments were very helpful. I very much enjoyed meeting new friends from this site in person, too. You know who you are! :)

 

If you are interested in a full account of my daily journal, with over 500 pictures & a few movies, please check out my travel blog:

 

http://www.travelpod.com/travel-blog/rosaslovian/1/tpod.html

 

Please make comments. I enjoy all comments!

 

Also of interest, you may find the following link fun if you want to watch us on the Star Flyer going through the Panama Canal Miraflores Locks in slow motion. The Star Flyer appears about 40 seconds into the movie, in the left lock behind a small freighter:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Bmp603LfOo

 

Please reply to this thread if you have additional questions that I did not address in my travel blog.

 

I wish you Bon Voyage in your future. Thank you! - Walt

 

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Also of interest, you may find the following link fun if you want to watch us on the Star Flyer going through the Panama Canal Miraflores Locks in slow motion. The Star Flyer appears about 40 seconds into the movie, in the left lock behind a small freighter:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Bmp603LfOo

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks so much for posting this link. It is really a kick to watch. I am so excited about our upcoming trip through in the opposite direction this fall!:)

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