Star Flyer Cabins
The majority of staterooms are outside cabins, ranging from 118 to 129 square ft., each with a small porthole window and decorated in nautical style with paintings of ships. These standard cabins are located on the Commodore and Clipper Decks. On the smaller side, a handful of 97 square ft. inside cabins offer bunk beds.
Standard cabins feature two twin beds that can be pushed together into one double bed, a nightstand, desk with two shelves, a three-sectioned closet with both hanging and shelf space, TV (offering two channels) and DVD player, telephone, hairdryer and a safe. A small stool under the desk and small banquette are more useful for storing extra belongings -- and the life jackets -- than for sitting. Look for the somewhat hard-to-find extra drawers under the nightstand and banquette, and a 110 Volt outlet under the desk.
More so than on most cruises, the cabins are tight on maneuvering space. Separating the beds makes this worse, and even in our 129-square-ft. room, we kept trapping each other in corners and being forced to climb over beds to get around. Several cabins can sleep a third person in a bunkbed that folds down from the wall -- before you embrace this option, make sure you're all very good friends and good at keeping your things neat.
The bedding, while perfectly fine, was fairly substandard for an upscale cruise line such as Star Clippers. The mattresses were firm, but not especially plush, and the sheets did not have an especially high thread count.
The small bathrooms have adequate storage space, mostly in the shelves behind the mirror. A small basket holds shampoo, body wash, lotion, soap, a sewing kit and shower caps -- no conditioner. The toilets didn't always have the suction strength I'd like, causing the need for multiple flushes even of simple paper. The handheld shower is located in one corner of the bathroom with just a flimsy curtain -- essentially you drench the entire bathroom when you shower, but drains are ingeniously placed on either side of the room. The general consensus was that it's difficult to get the right water temperature -- it was always either too hot or too cold. The one soap dish in the shower can't hold more than a few items, so I found myself stashing my razor and comb on the toilet seat and reaching around the curtain when I needed them.
The nicest cabins on the ship are the eight category one staterooms on the Main Deck and the Aft Sun Deck. These have generally the same amenities as the standard outsides, but are much more spacious with picture windows, a mini-bar and a larger bathroom with a Jacuzzi tub. The downside to these cabins is that windows open on to public thoroughfares rather than the sea.
The Owner's Suite is supposed to be the nicest cabin on the ship, but it only earns this designation if you're quite small. The cabin is located at the very aft end of the Clipper Deck, and so its aft wall is curved with multiple portholes. However, the ceiling is quite low -- as a tall woman, I had to duck to get from one part of the room to another -- and that's while the ship was docked and not rocking. The bathroom does have a Jacuzzi tub, but no shower, and even with a handheld shower attachment, you'd still have to be seated in the bath to wash your hair. So unless you're shorter than 5'6" and really like baths, I'd recommend saving the splurge for the category one cabins instead.
Next: Star Flyer Dining
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