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About RemPuck

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Chicago - United States
  • Interests
    Travel, cooking and reading
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Galapagos, Panama Canal

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  1. In Quepos, we used Manuel’s Tours http://www.manuelstours.com/. The cost was $79/pp and Manuel himself was our guide (he has a crew). He met us at the pier and we were off. The tour lasted about 4.5 hours, included the ride to/from the park, admission in and a stop for the obligatory smoothie at a local restaurant near the park at the end. I found him via TripAdvisor and he had great reviews. Enjoy the trip!
  2. Agree with Manuel Antonio Park...easy transfer from Quepos. We arranged a private guide (two of us, one guide, about 3.5-4 hours). The hike is doable on your own (easy path to follow), but a guide helped us see things we never would have seen on our own. And we saw several groups (including the likely WS group) with 20 people crowding around a scope trying to see a bird high up in the trees. Well worth the trip. (From Star Breeze, December 2018)
  3. Yes - that's what I meant. The pop-up BBQs would be "formalized" into a permanent casual BBQ dining option.
  4. I believe that the new BBQ restaurant WILL be casual post-stretch, based on the note from the website. And I can't imagine that the vibe of the party itself will be changed.
  5. Thanks again sb44! We aren’t looking to go true back country hiking but a chance to get out of the bus and do some walking. Did the bus make stops for photos (views, wildlife, etc)? I know now the mountain can hide a lot and it’s great she came out for you during your Talkeetna stop! I had a great view many years ago on a flight to Tokyo...I opened my window shade at just the right minute! Lots of thinking to come. Thanks again.
  6. Thanks sb44! It's great to get the first hand feedback about the cruise tour. When you were in the park, did you have a chance to do any hiking on your own, either as part of the big group or during some "free time"? We're not looking to "climb Denali," but would like an opportunity to at least get on a trail for an hour or two. I've also seen some flight-seeing tours, from both Denali and Talkeetna that look really enticing. Was there any "free time" to do something like that (90 minutes to 2 hours)? I agree that the plus of getting a great over view of what we're seeing, and experiencing, is not to be discounted. And if I were driving, I know I'd miss everything that's "just over there..." as my husband keeps pointing things out. Much to think about! Thanks.
  7. Thanks ridethetide. It's good to hear that people who did the cruise tour found it enjoyable. There's definitely the benefit of having everything taken care of and not needing to worry about the bits and pieces of making connections work. And thanks, too, for the comment about the Windstar arranged bus from Anchorage to Seward. An 11AM departure is definitely better than the 6:45 AM departure on the train if we do that from Anchorage (on our own). And yes, I do hope that next year is both cooler and less fire-prone.
  8. Thanks Ski Mom. Did you do a one-way rental on your van (Anchorage to Fairbanks)? I'm seeing that the drop off charges can be really steep. Doing a round-trip drive from Anchorage up to Denali and back will eat a lot of time in the short window we're looking at. (We'd love to do longer, but we still work and the cruise itself is 11 days; 4-5 days will be the limit.) I've seen some flight-seeing options at Denali and it's definitely on the "must" list. Did you only have the half-day inside the park itself? Was it enough?
  9. The regular BBQ (party) was indeed casual, with many (most?) in shorts in December. There was also the pop-up BBQ space near Star Bar (2 or 3 evenings during the trip) which was billed as casual as well. (We went one night, for the "casual" part of it, but chose not to return as the food was nothing special.) As part of Star Plus, there will a new "casual" BBQ space near Star Bar (https://www.windstarcruises.com/starplus/). Star Grill by Steven Raichlen — our upcoming casual outdoor restaurant brought to you in partnership with the man who reinvented barbecue.
  10. We are strongly considering an Alaska trip in summer 2020, likely the Seward to Vancouver sailing on 2 August. The Denali pre-cruise, departing on 29 July from Anchorage, is also tempting as we’d really like to do some time inland. However, this is not an inexpensive addition ($2900, no matter the suite category) and appears to be heavy on bus time. Questions: Has anyone taken the Windstar Cruise Tour? Any comments/feedback to share? Has anyone done something similar independently? Also, when looking at doing this on our own, travel from Anchorage to Seward seems to be either the train (leaving before 7:00 AM, arriving late morning) or buses offering “mid-afternoon” arrivals. How have others travelled to Seward (especially on the day of sailing)? I assume boarding starts at 13:00 as on other Windstar sailings. Per the itinerary, sailing is at 18:00. Thanks for any guidance you may have about Alaska with Windstar. We’re looking forward to getting back on Star Breeze.
  11. When we were on Breeze in December (Costa Rica), Candles required real pants but there were a few nights where a "deck bbq" was offered, adjacent to the Star Bar. This was deemed the "casual" location. It looks like the BBQ area will be formalized after the stretching.
  12. She finally sailed about 2:30. Big to do on the Breeze as she left (lots of big waves from our crew) but no one could (would?) tell us what caused the delay. We just finished the safety drill and the captain announced that due to delays in loading provisions, our sail out is delayed from 5:00 until about 7:15. I wonder if Windstar had loading delays too.
  13. At 8:30 this morning, both Star and Breeze are docked in Aruba. Star is in a different berth - perhaps you caught her moving when you saw her on vessel finder. We have a very full port in Aruba- 6 ships.
  14. I’m in Aruba to board Star Breeze on Wednesday. Our hotel locks at the cruise terminal. It’s 21:00 local and Wind Star is still docked. Any news on status? Hope is well.
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