This was our first "cruise" experience, chosen not for cruising as such but because it was a sailing ship and seemed infinitely more exciting.
Although a cheaper cabin, ours was well fitted out with plenty of storage, a safe, 2 hairdryers and clean linen as needed and enough sockets to keep our technology charged. We took our own adapters. The shower room was a bit small but quite sufficient.
Food was to a high standard although there is rather a lot of choice and not all of it is enjoyable. For me the fruit variety for breakfast was a bit boring, no strawberries, raspberries, blueberries but lots of melon varieties, oranges and prunes, bananas only twice. The cooked breakfast was a bit disappointing, bacon rather solid, sausages - less said the better, scrambled eggs cooked to standstill and beans not the tomato sauce variety. Fresh omelettes though. It wasn't too difficult to find something.
Lunch was probably the best meal, lots of variety, most well done and tasty, lovely roast beef, lamb and pork. Dinner, served formally and usually pretty good but not really enough vegetables. If you don't eat carbs then you're stuck a little. Rather too much food but if you're strong willed you'd be ok.
The trips can be changed if the weather prevents the Clipper from docking anywhere and this happened twice on our trip. The places varied but generally included ruins, shops and bars. Beach time happened only once which was a shame, I'd have like more opportunity to swim in the sea.
The staff are all delightful, the entertainment is varied and none of it professional but all the more fun for that. The ships talent contest was hilarious.
The niggles? Well the same as others have noted, the sunbed hoggers were well in evidence (and an all British clientele) and although saving a bed is against the "rules", it went on and the staff turned a blind eye, unlucky for those of us who went on excursions and were looking forward to resting in the sun, we rested in our cabins instead. The dress code for dinner was also breached by passengers in shorts and this was also ignored, disappointing when most made the effort to be smart.
A real occasion was made of setting off under sail and I found this really uplifting, watching the sails unfurl to the music of Vangelis and flying along. The sail time though is often curtailed by the weather and takes place mainly at night, if at all. Still, lovely to see the ship when it did happen.
Dining with the captain, you had to pay and as he only appeared once not much chance really as this seemed to have been an option paid for in advance and thus not really open to most of us.
All in all, I was glad to have sailed on The Clipper, just for the experience, I don't desire to "cruise" with hordes of people and children and eat bland food.
I enjoyed it, loved it even. The weather was kind, never less than 30c and often hotter. No rain, yippee, pity you can't book the weather wherever you go.
The one downside was the reports that there had been two and maybe three incidences of theft, almost certainly crew related. I am also against having to tip up for gratuities, in this day and age the crew should not have to rely on them for a decent wage. I know they are "voluntary" but who wouldn't feel obliged, especially when envelopes are provided for you do so. Who knows if the crew even receive the tips?