Having spent the previous four months planning our honeymoon and dreaming about it every minute of every day, I was sure that the SPV Royal Clipper could not live up to my very high expectations. Three days later I still have a high (as well as sea legs!) We spent our final night in the Executive Suite at the Barbados Hilton, and all we did was wish we were still on the ship. (P.S.The Hilton is very nice, though. I do recommend them as well.)
Before I left, I had some concerns, so I'll address them as I imagine many of you reading this are in a similar age group or circumstance:
Average age: Since my wife and I are 25 and 31 years old, we feared getting on a ship where the average age is (at least) 65. Truth be told, it was the best thing we could have done. There were several young couples on the ship and we formed close bonds, but we also found that we very much enjoyed hanging out with the older couples. They had much more in the way of interesting life stories, More
and all of them had very healthy marriages and very positive outlooks on marriage. You don't notice how down most people are on marriage until you're around people who treasure their own. It was very encouraging. These people are also not your standard cruisers. Each were adventure travelers and had no interest in being trough-fed on a huge floating Las Vegas.
Eating with others: See above. We LOVED sitting with our new friends that were our age, but hearing about the adventures of our older counterparts and getting good solid advice from people who have made marriages work left us dreaming about what stories we'd have to tell when we reached retirement.Not to mention - older people like to buy younger people drinks.
Sea sickness: On a scale from 1 to 10, I'd say most people at some point reached at least a 3, a few people got to a 5 or 6, and some people were full-blown 10s. HOWEVER, I would bet a lot of money that even the people who got the most sick would not even mention it in the conversation when asked about the cruise. It just wasn't a big deal at all. Make sure to bring some over the counter seasickness pills (NOT the prescription kind, which are gel bandages you put on your neck. They fall of when swimming.)
Drinking/Nightlife: About 30% of the people on board are Brits, and we made quick friends as we defended our countries' honor by trying to hang with them. (We did.) You won't have any 3:00 AM parties, but I'd say there are at least 15 people out in the Tropical Bar until after midnight.
Shopping: There weren't as many opportunities to shop as my wife would have liked. Most of the time we anchored off of a remote shore - most of the good shopping in located near major ports.
Adventure/activities: Adventure is built into the ship. You can't help but feel like Jack Sparrow when the sails are up. Beach activities were great. Most people just laid there sunbathing, but many others went exploring (very remote beaches) or snorkeling either by themselves or with the resident Marine Biologist, Mariano. That was great because even an ordinary day of snorkeling was fascinating when he explained the details of seemingly trivial ocean creatures. Snorkeling on most days was fantastic, though!
There were many other wonderful features of the honeymoon on-board the Royal Clipper in the Windward Islands, but I can't write about them all. Please contact me if you have any questions. Less
Porthole is close enough to waterline that sometimes you actually go underwater - what a thrill!!! At night, it is amazing to watch waves crashing into the ship, and it is wonderful to wake up with a new island in view!
The rooms were average size for a cruise ship. But seriously, if you spend any time in your room and you aren't sleeping or making love, you've wasted your money! Just put your luggage wherever you can fit it and get up to the deck!!!
Close to the dining room too, so that was a bonus.
Very very busy port. On the Royal Clipper Windward Islands itinerary, you only go to 2 actual ports, so it was a culture shock. Shops everywhere. Barbados is fantastic, but don't go there on a cruise... stay a while!
We LOVED Dominica, and were glad we visited this less popular island. However, we recommend that you not take an excursion and instead go into town. The locals here are not as influenced by European culture, so it is a good chance to try truly unique foods and meet locals who aren't as accustomed to tourists.
The Royal Clipper anchors off a remote shore that is full of shells! So remote, in fact, that I found a conch shell just lying on the beach. Snorkeling here is fantastic, with a 15 foot drop-off about 50 yards off shore. The beach is made even more spectacular by the Royal Clipper anchored so close to shore.