We chose this cruise for our sixtieth birthday celebration because we enjoy sailing and because we love the Grenadines. We are not experienced cruisers having only cruised once before with NCL and we didn't warm to that style of travel.......too much organisation for our liking. We had high hopes for our trip on the Royal Clipper. We stayed one night pre cruise and three nights post cruise at the beautiful Tamarind Cove hotel in Barbados.
Embarcation was a bit of a faff with everyone arriving at the same time which resulted in long queues to check in. We were pleasantly surprised with our cabin, it was well laid out with lots of storage for our luggage. the bathroom, whilst tiny, had a great shower with loads of instant hot water. The cabin steward did a great job keeping the room spotless. Towels were changed and a turn down service was provided while were at dinner.
We were bemused by the introduction of the crew in the tropical bar. We did not really need this and the young crew members looked awkward and embarrassed. Talking of young cruise members, the cruise director was extremely young and inexperienced. Nice girl but she was not familiar with the ports of call and the attractions available. She could have spent the repositioning cruise reading up from the guide books which were piled up on the excursion desk. As for the sports team, they really just Wanted to play in the beautiful blue waters! Again they were totally inexperienced and were not prepared to put out the equipment
That was available on board. Star Clippers need to address this staffing policy, youth does not have the experience to deal with the customers who are in the main extremely well travelled intelligent clients.
Food on board was mediocre and a disappointment. Breakfast and lunch were better than dinner which was often served luke warm. The exception to this was the captain's dinner which was very enjoyable.
The great parts of this trip were the sailing and the ports of call. The sail always are spectacular
With the sails up and the music blaring out! We sailed at least ninety percent of the time under sail with the engine off!!!
Thankfully we were familiar with the islands on the itinery having visited the area before. The highlight for us is swimming with the turtles at Tobago Cays. Give the water taxis on the beach ten dollars us and they will take you round to the sanctuary. The cruise staff did not know this existed so many passengers missed out on this wonderful attraction. The water taxis are strictly regulated because it is a state park. We loved Bequia and only wished we had a full day there to explore. We only went on one organised tour from Grenada. A fabulous catamaran trip with snorkelling and a champagne lobster lunch, we can highly recommend it.
Would we sail on Royal Clipper again? Possibly yes because we loved the sailing, the ports of call and our cabin! Next time, if there is a next time, we would know what to expect. Do not go expecting fine dining and evening entertainment because you will be disappointed. Go for the sailing experience and the ports of call because the clipper can get to places large cruise liners cannot.