About Our Destination
The official currency of Costa Rica is the colón (“colónes” is the plural) and the official currency of Panama is the balboa. However, there are no balboa paper notes, all are U.S. federal reserve notes, i.e. U.S. dollars. Cents are known as “centavos”. U.S. dollars are accepted in both Costa Rica and Panama. We recommend that you travel with small U.S. bills.
In both Costa Rica and Panama, Spanish and English are widely spoken.
The climate in both Costa Rica and Panama will range between 85°F–95°F (29°C–35°C) during the day and 70°F–75°F (21°C–24°C) at night.
- Saturday, January 12 — Puerto Caldera, Costa Rica
- Sunday, January 13 — Quepos, Costa Rica
- Monday, January 14 — Puerto Jimenez / Golfito, Costa Rica
- Tuesday, January 15 — Isla Parida, Panama
- Wednesday, January 16 — At Sea
- Thursday, January 17 — Balboa / Fuerte Amador, Panama
- Friday, January 18 — Transit Panama Canal
- Saturday, January 19 — Colon, Panama
See our Vacation Stretchers tab for information regarding our pre-cruise and post cruise vacation stretchers.
Before Your Trip
What’s not included?
- Accommodations for 8 days/7 nights on the elegant Windstar's ms Wind Star
- All meals onboard the ship’s restaurant, which feature gourmet fares
- 24-hour room Service
- All non-alcoholic beverages:bottled water, sparkling water, sodas, fresh juices, tea, coffee, cappuccinos, lattes, mochas, and espresso
- Airport transfers on January 12 from the San José Airport (SJO) to the host hotel and from the host hotel to the ship (for arrivals prior to 11:45 am)
- Airport transfers on January 19 from the ship to the Panama City Airport (PTY) (for departures after 12 pm)
- Onboard Naturalist
- Gratuity to ship’s staff
- All port changes and service taxes (covered in NDA fees)
- Olivia’s signature entertainment and programming
- Olivia staff assistance throughout
Travel documentation and identification
You will need a passport that is valid for six months past the date of the trip. If you are not a U.S. citizen, please check with both your country’s consulate and the consulates of the countries we will be visiting to make sure that you do not need an entry visa or other additional documentation.
If you are a U.S. citizen, you DO NOT need to get a visa ahead of time. If you are not a U.S. citizen, please check with both your country’s consulate and the consulates of the countries we will be visiting to make sure that you do not need an entry visa or other additional documentation.
Please check with your local Public Health Department or personal physician regarding immunization requirements for all countries on your itinerary. You may also check the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention’s website at: www.cdc.gov. Just click on “Traveler’s Health” and then "Vaccinations".
Unexpected events can cause you to cancel your vacation. Because we are committed to this charter, we must strictly adhere to our cancellation policy as outlined in our Olivia Terms & Conditions.
- Ship services and incidentals such as boutique purchases, casino, spa services, and alcohol
- Internet and Wi-Fi access
- Optional excursions in all ports of call, and gratuities to excursion guides and staff
Olivia recommends that you purchase a travel protection plan to protect yourself and your trip investment from the unexpected. Now more than ever, it’s extremely important to think about the unexpected. It is important to purchase the travel protection within 21 days of your initial invoice date in order to receive the most comprehensive coverage. Consider travel protection for trip cancellation/trip interruption, emergency medical and emergency evacuation, trip delay, baggage delay, and more.
For a travel insurance quote, more information, or to purchase a protection plan, please call Olivia at 800-631-6277 and select option 1 for a travel consultant.
Olivia’s preferred travel agency
2019 COSTA RICA & PANAMA CANAL LUXURY CRUISE
|Cancellation Fee 270 days or more prior to trip date
||$500 per person
|Cancellation Fee 210-269 days prior to trip date
||25% of trip cost
|Cancellation Fee 150-209 days prior to trip date
||50% of trip cost
|Cancellation Fee 120-149 days prior to trip date
||75% of trip cost
Cancellation Fee 0-119 days prior to trip date
||100% of trip cost
We are pleased to announce Olivia’s new partnership with Conlin Travel.
Conlin Travel is one of the “Top 50” Travel Agencies in the country ranked alongside some of the globe’s largest agencies. In business for almost 60 years, Conlin Travel’s core belief is aligned with Olivia in delivering that personal concierge service to each and every traveler, every time. A full-service, LGBTQ-friendly agency with staff located across the country, Conlin Travel looks forward to assisting you with your air travel and hotel reservations for stays outside of Olivia’s pre- and post-trip packages. For air and hotel bookings, a small fee will be applied to your overall cost.
For assistance in making a reservation, please call Conlin Travel: 888-278-1698 (Monday–Friday: 8:30 am to 5:30 pm EST)
If you already have a reservation with Conlin and need emergency after-hours service, please call 800-823-1189.
Joining the Olivia.com and Facebook trip groups
If you'd like to chat with people who are going on the trip, sign up for the official Olivia trip group, Olivia's Costa Rica & Panama Canal Luxury Cruise Official Trip Group on our connect page. You can also join Olivia’s Costa Rica & Panama Canal Luxury Cruise 2019 Group on Facebook.
If you have any celebrations and birthdays during the trip that you have not already advised your travel consultant about, please let us know of this information as soon as possible, but no less than 90 days prior to the trip.
Olivia Honeymoons and Celebrations
Register at Olivia Honeymoon Wishes for your honeymoon, anniversary or other special celebration; browse through the selections and let your friends know just how easy it is for them to purchase a gift for you.
Olivia Travel Gear Store
To help you get ready for your next vacation, we’ve partnered with New Headings to create Olivia Travel Gear, our own online gear and apparel store, featuring items from leading brands, including Craghoppers, Patagonia, Teva, Outdoor Research, and Eagle Creek. Visit olivia.newheadings.com for more information!
Travel and arrival
Where to fly into/out of
You will need to fly into San José, Costa Rica (SJO). We encourage all passengers to arrive at least a day early to avoid the stress of unexpected delays.
You will need to fly out of Panama City, Panama (PTY).
Suggested arrival/departure times
If arriving on the day of the trip, please arrive no later than 11:45 am on January 12. Your departing flight on January 19 should be after 12 pm. Please DO NOT book arrivals after 11:45 am on January 12 or prior to 12 pm on January 19! If your flight times are close to these cutoff times, please call (800) 631-6277 to confirm that they are okay. These group transfers are only included if within the above guidelines. Flights that arrive or depart outside of these timelines may be subject to the guest hiring their own taxi transfers, which are very expensive, or risk missing the ship/flight.
Transfer time from the San José host hotel to the ship in Puerto Caldera is 2–2½ hours, and will depart from the host hotel between 1–2 pm.
Transfer time from the ship in Colon to the PTY airport is 1½ hours, and will depart the ship upon clearance from customs, usually 1–2 hours after arrival.
Airfare discountsSave up to 15% on your airfare through our partner airlines. Please visit our airfare discount page for the most up-to-date information. Luggage allowances
While there is no luggage limit on the cruise itself, airlines often restrict (or charge) for excess baggage. Because each airline is different, and the regulations change over time, please check with your airline for baggage allowances.
Transfers and meeting up with Olivia
Your transfer to the ship is included on the day of embarkation. Transfers will be provided from the San José, Costa Rica Airport (SJO) to the host hotel (TBA) to the ship on January 12 only. Transfer will depart hotel at between 1–2 pm, January 12. The final confirmation of the name of hotel will be in your final documents. The transfer to the ship can take 1½–2½ hours or more from the hotel, depending on traffic.
Puerto Caldera, Costa Rica
Embarkation and check-in will be available after 1 pm.
During your trip
Windstar's ms Wind Star Ship Amenities
The Windstar’s ms Wind Star is a beautifully designed, intimate 146-passenger ship and boasts the following:
All rooms are comfortable appointed with:
- The Yacht Club
- Compass Rose Bar
- Small pool and whirlpool
- Fitness Center
- Star Bar
- Signature shops
- Library/Business area
- AmphorA Restaurant
- Photo Gallery
Dining and service
World Class Culinary Experience
Delectable cuisine, delightful surroundings, inspired wine pairings...Create the most delicious memories while you are on a Windstar yacht. Whether your pleasure is dinner in the exquisite AmphorA fine dining restaurant, lunch alfresco at Veranda, or an indulgent dessert delivered to your room from our 24-hour room service menu, you always get to choose where to dine, no reservation required. The freshest local ingredients, seasonal produce, and amazing ingenuity go into each dish, made to order just for you.
- Queen-size bed with Luxurious Linens
- Waffle Weave robe and slippers
- Flat screen TV with DVD player
- Fully-stocked mini bar/refrigerator
- Hair dryer
- Direct dial phone
- L’Occitane bath amenities
- Wi-Fi (internet cards can be purchased at reception)
- Fresh flowers
- Fresh fruit
- Bathroom with granite countertop and shower
- 110/220 outlets
Here, the dining room manager seats you at the location of your choice. When you dine and with whom are entirely up to you. Each delightful dish is prepared exactly to your liking—an exquisite dinner served course-by-course with a fine selection of vintage wines.
Here’s the perfect place for a romantic tête-a-tête under the stars in Candles, Windstar’s signature outdoor restaurant transformed by night into a dreamlike paradise. Delectable cuisine, memorable surroundings, inspired wine pairings.
Special mobility and dietary needs
If you have any medical, mobility needs, or specific dietary requirements that you have not already advised your travel consultant about, please visit the travel preferences page to update your personal needs information. Please advise us of this information as soon as possible, but no less than 180 days prior to the trip.
Cabins are equipped with one standard U.S. 110 and one European 220-volt outlet.
Gratuities are included in the cost of the cruise. Gratuities are provided for your cabin steward, dining room steward, bus person, maître d’ and other-behind-the-scenes crew members. Tips to your local guides on excursions are not included, and are recommended.
Each cabin has a phone. There is an additional fee to use this phone; cost is available on board.
Internet / e-mail / fax
There is an internet center on board; minute plans are available. Pricing will be posted on board. Guests may also bring their own laptops and purchase an internet wireless plan on board.
Laundry and pressing service are available on board. Dry cleaning is not available. Check on board for pricing.
There is an onboard infirmary. Medical services entail an additional fee.
There is a spa on board, and massages and other services are available for an additional fee.
Money: Paying for things on board
On board, the currency is U.S. dollars. All purchases made on the ship will be charged to your onboard account, which you create when you first check in. Please check with the front office on board for further details.
A special 24-hour room service menu is available for all guests. Menu items from the Veranda are available only during their opening times for breakfast and lunch. Dinner menu items from the AmphorA Restaurant are also available for room service during the opening hours only. Tips for room service are not included and always appreciated.
Smoking is prohibited in all indoor public spaces, cabins and the starboard (right) side of all outside decks. Smoking is allowed only in designated outdoor areas on the port (left) side of the ship.
We will have a solos program on board, led by a solos coordinator who will ensure you have a great time. You can start to meet other solos and travelers online in the Olivia’s Costa Rica & Panama Canal Luxury Cruise 2019 Group.
Excursions may be booked online up to 30 days in advance. A booking number will be assigned to you and detailed instructions regarding shore excursions and activities will be sent approximately four weeks prior to the trip.
It’s breakfast and lunch alfresco! Either order off the menu or pick from the delights of the seemingly endless buffet. You will find that the choices are many in the Veranda.
After Your Trip
Transfers to the airport
Transfers from the ship to the Panama City Airport (PTY) are included on January 19, 2019.
Costa Rica one-, two- and three-night pre-trip packages, and Panama one- and two-night post-trip packages will be available approximately 11 months prior to the trip. Please refer to the Vacation Stretcher page for more information. Please check back to the Vacation Stretchers for more information, approximately 9–11 months from the trip dates.
Didn’t find what you are looking for? Check out our Olivia travel FAQ or call us at 800-631-6277 (inside the U.S. & Canada) or 415-962-5700 (Outside the U.S. & Canada) and select option 2.