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98 Star Clippers Royal Clipper Cruise Reviews

We heard from other people how nice it was and we dislike the idea of cruises with thousands on one ship. We wanted something more intimate and that is what we got. Most things were great. The only thing we need to mention is that our ... Read More
We heard from other people how nice it was and we dislike the idea of cruises with thousands on one ship. We wanted something more intimate and that is what we got. Most things were great. The only thing we need to mention is that our shower was never hot. Just lukewarm. We slept well every night and woke refreshed. The meals were great. So much variety. The crew was always helpful and courteous. We went up the mast and on the hammock. That was so much fun! The excursions were very interesting and informative. We got a true picture of life on all the islands we went to because we asked the local people so many questions. The weather was interesting as well. Rain almost every day, but it did not last for very long. Beautiful weather, beautiful scenery and we met some interesting people on the cruise. Thank you Scolopamine!!!! We highly recommend this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We chose this cruise because we were kind of "burnt out" on the big ship cruises. The idea of sailing - really sailing - as well as a smaller group of passengers (175) was really appealing to us. The food was fantastic. The crew ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we were kind of "burnt out" on the big ship cruises. The idea of sailing - really sailing - as well as a smaller group of passengers (175) was really appealing to us. The food was fantastic. The crew members were attentive without being smothering and the service was impeccable. I was amazed that the crew knew us by face/name by the second day. We were not constantly hounded to purchase something which was our experience on the big ships. There was definitely more of a family feel to this trip. There are no elevators so this is not a ship for those with mobility issues. The public rooms are beautifully appointed and comfortable. It was so easy to lose track of time and really disconnect from the world. WiFi onboard is a bit spotty but that was OK with us. When we were in port, there was generally free WiFi available to send quick updates to families and friends. The evening meal is an opportunity to get together with new friends and also to be placed at a table with people you haven't met yet. There were several "singles" taking the cruise and because this is such a small group of passengers, they didn't seem to feel left out or lonely at all. Just about all of the tables are 6-8 seats so this makes for nice mixing of new people. If you need a casino or lots of shopping on board, this is not the cruise for you. The last day almost felt like the last day of a really fun summer camp, everyone exchanging emails with new friends, many people taking the same cruises each year and meeting up. This was without a doubt the most fun I've ever had on a vacation. We will be back! Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
We stayed for a week in Barbados before boarding, which we found to be better rather than rushing straight onto the boat. We stayed post cruise also. We arrived at the cruise port about an hour before 4.00pm (boarding time) and found ... Read More
We stayed for a week in Barbados before boarding, which we found to be better rather than rushing straight onto the boat. We stayed post cruise also. We arrived at the cruise port about an hour before 4.00pm (boarding time) and found the line for checking in. We were given a temporary card and then could board from 4.00pm. When we boarded we had to queue to get our proper cards and do the financials etc. Our bags came within an hour. Before we sailed we had to go the safety briefing with our life jackets. This was repeated the next day in the morning (without life jackets). The boat is very interesting - great if you love sailing. If you get sea sick then it won't be for you! it moves all the time so everyone is staggering around constantly but that's part of the charm. You also move in bed a lot! when going up and down decks the stairways are narrow with sprung doors at the end - it's quite amusing watching people being eaten by the doors (especially when they've had a drink or two...). It's not a luxury cruise - it is a replica of a sailing ship and is just that with some nice touches. Cabins aren't big like you get on a normal cruise ship but adequate for 2. We were able to stow our bags under the bed and were able to put all our clothes away. The bathroom had a good shower, with toiletries but no hair conditioner (not sure why!) It was kept immaculate by our steward Sonny. Dining is communal so you always sit on a table with other people. We met some interesting people. Breakfast and lunch are buffet style. There are sandwiches and snacks (sort of afternoon tea) at 5.00pm daily. Dinner starts at 7.30pm. There was a good menu choice about 6 courses (if you wanted). there are standard choices of a pasta dish or steak if you don't want any of the daily main courses. There are no 'formal' nights as its not that type of cruise. you could wear anything except shorts in the evening. Entertainment is a bit ad hoc, but fun. We had a crew and passenger talent show, passenger fashion show (modelling clothes from the shop), a music quiz night. Otherwise there was someone playing and singing on the piano or playing music to dance to. We didn't use the gym (neither did anyone else when we went down there). Didn't use the spa either. shore excursions are a bit expensive -we just sorted ourselves out when we got ashore. You can get snorkelling equipment on the second day which you keep for the duration of the cruise. They have the marina platform with paddle boards, kayaks etc and these were taken ashore a couple of times when we had 'beach days'. Drinks are fairly cheap (in comparison to normal cruise liners) and you don't get a 'service' charge added on. A cocktail was about 5 euros, beer about 4. The staff on the ship are the best - they are a small team so you get to know them and they you. It's all very informal and they seem to enjoy working on the boat. There are plenty of sun loungers for everyone (they were never full anyway) as you don't have any 'sea days'. You stop somewhere every day (sometimes 2 places a day - which can be a bit of a rush). Our best day was in Tobago Cays as this was our beach bbq. They took everything off the ship and took it to the beach (bar as well!). Getting on and off the ship was nearly all by tender bar one place. Fellow guests tended to be on the more mature side but there were some younger people but no kids. Passengers were mainly from the UK, USA and Germany. My one gripe was that the tv channels were all in French (don' t know why as there were hardly any French people on the ship!). I like to have the tv on when getting ready etc, so it got a bit annoying after a while. But hey - if that's my only gripe then it's not too bad! they raise the sails every time you depart somewhere so they are up and down all the time and they play the Vangelis music so it's quite stirring! They have you helping with the ropes on the odd occasion. You can go up the mast - they did that about 4 times (weather permitting of course). we didn't go in the plunge pools - the water seemed very cold when I stuck my hand in and I didn't really see anyone in them. The sea was warmer! In comparison, we have sailed on the Wind Surf which is more luxurious as it's modern, however it is like comparing apples and oranges.... You are going on a sailing ship not a luxury yacht so you are going for the experience. If you are happy staggering around like you are drunk for a week (which is quite funny as everyone does it) then it's the cruise for you! Would we go again - of course! Am off to book it now..... Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
My second Clipper cruise...first was Star Clipper and that was so unique and amazing that I wanted to spend Christmas on the Royal Clipper out of Barbados and tour the Grenadine islands. As I was alone I booked a smaller stateroom and ... Read More
My second Clipper cruise...first was Star Clipper and that was so unique and amazing that I wanted to spend Christmas on the Royal Clipper out of Barbados and tour the Grenadine islands. As I was alone I booked a smaller stateroom and while they do sell it for two I found it perfect for one ... well designed with wood paneling, great bed, lots of mirrors and quite a large bathroom...all marble. I was very forward so I did hear the anchor but I didn't care much. There is a lot of stairs going up and then down a bit and up some more but you get used to it. The grand dinning room, at the lowest deck was a touch of Paris with an Atrium up to the top deck and the sky light is actually the bottom of the pool. A white grand piano sits like Juliet on a special balcony so it can be heard at all levels and he had another on deck for the after noon buffet. There is a piano bar, a shop, a library, top deck bar and plenty of sun beds....no need to HOG and reserve them. The tenders to shore are great and the back of the Royal drops down to the ocean like a draw bridge and you can swim off it and they have lots of fun water toys. They feed you four times a day and I mean really feed you. Great buffet breakfast with Egg station...Buffet Lunch...both in main dinning room and then the on deck Buffet they set up everyday on deck at 5 p.m. The bars are great on deck and inside the Piano Bar. The Christmas decor was wonderful with trees and garlands...music and ginger bread houses and Yule logs....l ate so much I felt like ballast. There are a lot of shore excursions to choose from but I felt those on excursions were always at the foreground...we would stop at, not very nice ports so they could board a bus while we had nothing to see in port....I didn't like the split days...a stop in the morning and then move to someplace else in the after noon. Too rushed....some stops you could do without (except to board a bus) others Like Martinique we had too little time and had to rush to see anything. One fabulous beach day they dragged everything from the ship and had a huge BBQ on shore while we swam and sunned...all delicious...they even bring the desert. Each time we leave port and they start raising the sail they play the most magnificent music...classical with a Male choir ... WOW...it is so moving and makes you feel like a Viking off to war...I wanted to throw a spear at somebody. The mail pool of three where bar patrons can see you through under water windows was very nice. We could even climb the mast for the most amazing photo Op. Then there are nets at the front figure head you can just lay there like a fish in a net with the water rushing below. Now for the best feature....THE CREW...I have never seen such a hard working group and always pleasant, smiling and helpful, and remember everything has to be lugged up and down countless flights of stairs...from the kitchen which is somewhere underwater and all the way to the top deck...up and down...My room attendant was fabulous and I felt very pampered...everything perfect always. As the tips are based on Per Person they get a bit cheated when there was so many solo travelers it literally cuts they tips in half...so as I was alone I doubled my tip (not much ) and ensured he would earn the same as if it were two. The sing songs, the talent show, the Christmas Carols, the Steel Band who came aboard for a couple of hours...the Campaign party...the Lobster, the Turkey, and all the specialties to eat...you can't go wrong and as I said....This is NOT Disney Land at sea. This is a fabulous, luxurious, unique cruise under sail and you need this in your memory for every. Thanks to all on the Royal. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Star Clippers has many repeat customers including ourselves. That said, there are still many things that they could easily fix that would much improve the passenger experience. Boarding was a chaotic event. We arrived about an hour ... Read More
Star Clippers has many repeat customers including ourselves. That said, there are still many things that they could easily fix that would much improve the passenger experience. Boarding was a chaotic event. We arrived about an hour before boarding time (4 PM), and saw empty tables in the terminal and people waiting on the few seats. There was a pile of luggage blocking about half of the tables with two chairs behind them. My husband decided to sit in one of the seats behind the tables and I chose to stand, because I correctly anticipated a chaotic boarding process. At 4 PM, they began the boarding by issuing a temporary card to the ship. Then we went on the ship and got a permanent card and gave a credit card. For us it was a smooth process, because we were second in line, but for others, it meant standing in line a long time. Another example of organizational deficiency (and lack of organizational memory) was getting the snorkeling equipment the next morning. Snorkeling gear was to be given out from 11 AM to noon. I paused to ask the tour director a question and got in the queue right at 11 AM. It snaked around the room at the stern of the ship and down a stair and out of sight. Much of the time, I was standing in the sun. By noon, I was in the stairwell in the queue and saw one of the sports team that was distributing the equipment leave. When I finally made it to the desk, I realized that the Swedish woman at the counter didn't understand the conversions between US, English and metric shoe sizes. I was given fins that were meant to be used with booties and asked for others. They were out of mediums and fortunately, I got the last size small that was the correct size and type for me. The woman two place in line behind me said that they shut down operations right after her and told the remaining people to come back the next day!!! In all, I stood in line to get the fins for an hour and 20 minutes. The excuse was that the sports team had just joined the boat, but obviously Star Clippers doesn't provide the team with adequate information to do their job. That said, the sports team did a good job of offering kayaks and standup paddleboards on the beach. When I was getting set to try paddleboarding for the first time, the Swedish woman alerted me to the fact that I still had my waist pouch on (which contained my cell phone). The process for returning the snorkeling equipment was also flawed. The time listed in the program to do so was in the middle of our time on an excursion. When my husband returned the fins for me the prior day, he gave them to the tour director, who didn't give us a receipt, even though I had been required to sign for the fins and told that there would be an 80 Euro charge if they were not returned. A sane way to handle the snorkeling equipment would have been to ask people prior to sailing what equipment they wanted and have it waiting in their cabin. Then only those who needed to exchange the equipment would have had to go to the sports team pickup counter. The tour director was hard to find outside of announced meetings (to which she was often quite late). The process for signing up for the excursions was also last century and uncomputerized. On prior Star Clippers Cruises, I think the tour director posted a list of excursion participants the night prior after the sign-up sheets had been collected. In this case, no lists were posted and we were told that we had to make note of which excursion we picked and the time (which often changed). Again, there should have been an option to prebook excursions. The tour director's talks on the port stops were erratic. I didn't discern a pattern as to when a port talk was provided and when one wasn't. However, since she was so hard to find, I found it ironic that she kept the English-language passengers waiting for 15 to 20 minutes, because she was elsewhere answering some passenger's question, when she was scheduled to be giving the disembarkation talk. The daily program often had unused space that could have been employed to provide useful information. Also, many of us were unaware that the Captain's dinner was that night, because it was listed on the front page with a dark picture of the ship on top of it making it very difficult to see the word "Captain's". The last night when we were eager to pack and get to sleep, we were kept waiting 70 minutes after we were seated at dinner before we were served our first course. In hindsight, they were trying to keep everyone there and in their seats until the hotel captain gave his infomercial. With no alternative place to eat, we were unhappy hungry and tired captives. In general, the table service at dinner was erratic with long waits to order wine and/or to get the remains of a bottle of wine. In some cases, we were eating our second course before we got the wine. Even though the excursions were booked right up to the evening before, the tour descriptions had significant errors and omissions. On one tour, we should have been warned that besides the main guide and driver, there were guides at several stops, who were working solely for tips. On another tour, one of the prime attractions was going to the sulfur springs and taking a mud bath. We were given 25 minutes, which with the queue to get to the mud was much too short. Then we were driven for 20 minutes each way to a crafts village that the entire tour group refused to visit. It we have been given an hour at the sulfur springs, the group would have been much happier. Internet access for 1 hour was offered for 6 euros and 4 hours for 18 euros. If you went on and off the internet much of the time was taken up by getting in and out. Also, except at odd hours (early morning, late night, meal times), the internet speed was painfully slow. I'm accustomed to ships offering a news summary daily. Star Clippers offered news summaries in English, German and French, but the English version was so European-centric that no news was reported on the attempted bombing of the NY Port Authority and only one mention was made of the huge wildfires in California. At least one day, the news files were not updated. On many ships, English news is provided both for the US and for the UK. Between meals there was a nice selection of teas and brewed coffee, but no decaffinated coffee. Except for two mornings, when I was told they were out of decaf coffee, I was able to get it at breakfast. Bathroom toiletries included shower caps, and narrow vials of shampoo, bath gel, and hand lotion and small round bars of soap. The vials tended to fall out of the soap dish in the shower and had to be shaken hard to get the contents. Large refillable containers on the wall would have been preferable and more ecological. Also, with numerous beach stops, I really, really wanted hair conditioner. None was available at the ship store, so two of the staff volunteered to let me have some of theirs. The star clippers people who decide on the toiletries for a tropical cruise with numerous beach stops, must be bald! This was our 4th time to use Star Clippers and our 5th week on one of their cruises. It always takes a while for the memories of the deficiencies to fade before we are enticed to try them again. This crusie was much better than two of the others that we took. Notably, when we were in the Mediterranean, I picked a cruise, because I wanted to see Stromboli. I had to skip the Captains dinner (and dinner itself), because the sail-by was scheduled during that dinner. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
You travel on these ships for the romance of sailing child-free, and the barque Royal Clipper is indeed a beautiful ship. You don't choose these cruises if you are someone who needs constant professional entertainment or you want to ... Read More
You travel on these ships for the romance of sailing child-free, and the barque Royal Clipper is indeed a beautiful ship. You don't choose these cruises if you are someone who needs constant professional entertainment or you want to be chatting continuously on 'anti-social' media. In 2001 we sailed the Greek Islands on the same cruise line's barquentine Star Flyer and had a wonderful trip. We wanted to try to recapture that experience on the Clipper, a larger fully square-rigged tall ship. Unfortunately that didn't quite happen. At the beginning we were caught for two days in a violent Mediterranean storm (force 10) and some people were injured. Broken glass and crockery everywhere. This took the edge off the cruise for some fair weather sailors like us. The crew did their best but passengers should have been told to remain in their cabins until it passed. They weren't, hence some injuries, a couple of them quite nasty. There was a skilled professional nurse on board but no doctor. The rest of the 12 day cruise was uneventful weather-wise. However, except for the last night the ship had to motor to maintain schedule. There was precious little sailing. Some officers seemed to take passenger comments offered in a spirit of co-operation as criticism. There was an edge of defensiveness. This was explained by repeat travellers who suggested the owners are very tough on staff about passenger complaints. If so that would certainly affect crew morale. The stewards, waiters and staff with whom we had regular contact were all very kind and attentive. The food, which is all important, was the key disappointment on the Clipper. I was reminded of an upmarket version of the plant canteen buffet lunches experienced during my career. Breakfast and lunch were the best meals. The exception was the Captain's Dinner. The main courses offered that night were lobster and a fillet steak. Those at our table ate the lobster as a starter and the steak as our main. A steak on any other night was of the 'minute' variety. (Pronounce that as you will.) Another passenger, a chef who owned restaurants in Europe, gave his spin on this circumstance. He said the food problem was not the skill of those in the galley but that they had an insufficient budget to prepare anything really first class other than on the night of the Captain's Dinner. That made sense, but if it is so it represents a dramatic change of policy from the experience we had enjoyed previously on the Star Flyer, where every meal was a culinary delight. It seems the management is cutting corners on a key item. For the money we expected Captain's Dinner quality every night. We thought the house wines were low-end, and costly for their quality. Let's face it, eating and drinking are still mankinds' second greatest pleasures. That said, the highlight of the on-board cruise for us was definitely the many nice people we met and the kindness of the staff with whom we had direct contact. We were satisfied with the excursions we took. They fulfilled our expectations. There was no opportunity on this cruise for water sports, a function of the weather and the itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
I booked this cruise one year ahead for our special anniversary, I told the UK agents and my own travel agent told them that it was a special time, yet it was forgotten about. No mention of it in spite of others having the waiters sing ... Read More
I booked this cruise one year ahead for our special anniversary, I told the UK agents and my own travel agent told them that it was a special time, yet it was forgotten about. No mention of it in spite of others having the waiters sing happy birthday and such. Also we do not eat meat and ordered vegetarian food. On arrival the restaurant had no idea of our request and could only offer frozen items of poor quality. They did try their best but did not understand any menu that was not pre planned. Your passports are withheld until you pay any extra's although they have your credit card and landing in France without ID was very risky as everyone was asking for ID prior to entry. Beware they take your money and promise a lot yet deliver very little. The ship really sails by motor and the sails are for effect, when they go up they offer Champagne at €7.50 per glass. Everything was for the ships benefit and very little customer comfort. The cabin air condition does not turn off and the air is very stale, I was told that the whole ship was like that and nothing could be done. The towels were so small it would not cover your embarrassment. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We just returned from a Cannes to Cannes cruise which stopped at ports in Italy, Corsica and Sardinia with excursions to Pisa and Mt. Carbonne in Elba among other offerings. This was our 1st Clipper cruise but we will sign up for ... Read More
We just returned from a Cannes to Cannes cruise which stopped at ports in Italy, Corsica and Sardinia with excursions to Pisa and Mt. Carbonne in Elba among other offerings. This was our 1st Clipper cruise but we will sign up for another without a doubt. With about 200 passengers, a 3rd from the US and the rest from Europe mainly, it was easy and comfortable meeting each other especially with the open seating policy for dinner which we particularly appreciated. Due to minimal winds, we motored for the most part but when leaving a port, all the sails are down, the send off music plays and the magic is felt. We found the food very good and the room sizes quite adequate and comfortable. The staff from program director, waitstaff, cabin crew to the chef and captain could not have been more professional, friendly and attentive. We recommend this ship in particular but the Star Clipper line without reservation. The whole experience left me nostalgic and yearning to return even 2 weeks after it ended. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
This was a Bare Necessities cruise, and I can't think of a better way to spend a couple of weeks in July then cruising the Mediterranean on a beautiful ship with friendly crew and NO DRESS CODE! Only (minor )short comings were: ... Read More
This was a Bare Necessities cruise, and I can't think of a better way to spend a couple of weeks in July then cruising the Mediterranean on a beautiful ship with friendly crew and NO DRESS CODE! Only (minor )short comings were: 1) Food was good, but not excellent. Maybe I've become jaded, having recently come off a Crystal World Cruise, but I thought the food was a little better two years ago when we were on the Royal Clipper. 2) Our Cruise director, Monja, was a very nice person, but her pronunciation of English, when speaking generally over the microphone, was completely unintelligible. Talking to her face-to-face was fine, and when she gave a canned safety announcement she was readable. But when she was just talking none of the passengers could understand her. She helped us out one day when my wife was ill, so I hate to knock her, but the lack of communication really was a downer. Other than those two minor points the cruise was wonderful and we look forward to coming back. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
This cruise was a gift from my parents, otherwise we wouldn't have gone. However, we are so glad we did and we will do it again, and again, and again! My husband and I took our 4 yr old son on the cruise and he had a blast. He ... Read More
This cruise was a gift from my parents, otherwise we wouldn't have gone. However, we are so glad we did and we will do it again, and again, and again! My husband and I took our 4 yr old son on the cruise and he had a blast. He was the only child on the ship, but he didn't even notice because he was having so much fun. This cruise was so much better than staying at a resort. The food was delicious and the staff and crew were very accommodating and attentive. Mr. J was even able to arrange a bottle of Dom, chocolate strawberries, and other delicacies as a thank you for my parents, which isn't easy when you don't have access to Amazon. Also, we didn't feel overwhelmed by the activities/excursions and felt perfectly happy either staying on the ship or strolling through town. I only have one very minor suggestion. It seems very petty and I hesitate to mention it, but it would be nice if they would lower the price of chocolate milk. I think 1/3 of the bar bill belonged to my son, and that includes the bottle of Dom! Once we realized that the chocolate milk cost more than beer and wine, we had to limit him to just one a day. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
Our Cruise was the Windward Islands. We had never been cruising before. It was a very different experience. We were some of the youngest passengers in our late 50s and early 60s and many of the passengers were over 80! The evening ... Read More
Our Cruise was the Windward Islands. We had never been cruising before. It was a very different experience. We were some of the youngest passengers in our late 50s and early 60s and many of the passengers were over 80! The evening entertainment was limited and over most nights by 11, after that most went to bed. However, do not be put off the food and attention to detail will stay with us for ever. The cabins, ship, dining, ports and excursions were amazing. The majority of staff could not do enough to help you. Standards were very high. You may be seasick, where the Atlantic and Caribbean meet, it can be rocky. Please take your seasick tablets and bands. The first morning we could not wait to arrive at St Lucia, but after that most of the time we seemed to get "sea legs." Many people looked green around the gills! The unfurling of the sail as we left port will stay with me for ever. There is so much space. Do not forget she is an ocean going vessel and you can really feel her move. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We chose this cruise as it was a small ship sailing out of Barbados where we winter. Having always cruised on larger ships with all the usual entertainment we thought we would be at a loss for things to do, however not so. Sail aways ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was a small ship sailing out of Barbados where we winter. Having always cruised on larger ships with all the usual entertainment we thought we would be at a loss for things to do, however not so. Sail aways before dusk was always spectacular and shouldn't be missed. The marina platform at the back of the ship offered many water sport activities which we enjoyed daily. The crew could not have been more helpful than they were. The cabins although small were well appointed with more than enough storage and the beds very comfortable. Ports of call met expectations except Martinique and that was personal as we could have gone snorkelling or diving which we don't do, but we did a short hike into the hills which only gave us some exercise, no views. If there was one disappointment it was that my diet provided a bit of a challenge at dinner, breakfast and lunch buffets not a problem. The fact that we were under sail the majority of the voyage puts this ship over the top for me. I will definitely cruise with Star Clippers again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
After 27 cruises on mainstream cruise lines we decided to try something a bit different. With only 200 passengers, our Grenadines cruise was a welcome breath of air after the mega ships that are becoming more and more prevalent in the ... Read More
After 27 cruises on mainstream cruise lines we decided to try something a bit different. With only 200 passengers, our Grenadines cruise was a welcome breath of air after the mega ships that are becoming more and more prevalent in the industry. The passenger breakdown was about half US and half European, with the average age probably being a VERY active 65. (But with a health sprinkling of 30 somethings thrown in) What struck us was how friendly and outgoing the passengers were. Far more gregarious than we have encountered on any other cruise line, and absolutely no "airs" that you sometimes encounter on upscale cruises. If you are looking for "entertainment" on board, this is not you cruise. In this case the ship and experience ARE the entertainment. To expand on that, this company gives you far more "freedoms" than we have ever experienced. You want to lay on the bow sprint? great. Curious about the bridge? Come on in. Curious about what the captain does on departure or arrival? Stand next to him while he works (Just dont talk to him then, he is busy!) Want to climb the mast? go for it. Cabins were absolutely beautiful, if not a bit small, and drawer/closet space is limited for anything more than a one week cruise. I understand that the higher category cabins are a bit larger, but our (mid line category 3) cabin fine for our needs. Food..... Well, we are not "foodies", but we found the food as good (if not better and more varied) than in the main dining room of any mass market cruise line. The most notable difference is that breakfast and lunch are always buffets, and dinner is a single 7:30 sitting. (With a 5:30 lite spread offered at the main bar for those who would starve before 7:30) Crew... "Efficient and happy"..... Being a small ship you see more of the crew than you normally do, and they always seemed to have a smile and a nod for you when you cross paths. Speaking of crew, the "senior management" is always around and VERY approachable. Makes resolving any issues a lot easier than normal. All in all, a very enjoyable experience, one that we will repeat in different parts of the world. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
We have never been on a Cruise before and I don't think we would go on the big ships but we would go on one of the star clippers again as we were captivated by the experience. I can't compare it to other cruises in terms of cabin ... Read More
We have never been on a Cruise before and I don't think we would go on the big ships but we would go on one of the star clippers again as we were captivated by the experience. I can't compare it to other cruises in terms of cabin or food or condition of the boat but somehow I think these are immaterial when compared to the elegance and romanticism of being under sail on such a lovely boat. However, to my mine the cabins were great, comfortable and rather elegant, the food and general dining experience was wonderfully classy without being stuffy and formal and we loved it. The ports of call were well thought out. One issue would be that there was little or no information about most of the ports of call. If you planned a trip that would be fine but if just going ashore a simple information sheet with that small map would have been useful. We are thinking of another cruise shortly but no more than 200 passengers and the gentle swaying of the ship under the starlit sky is just about right so it will have to be one of the star clippers. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
The Royal Clipper is a beautiful sailing ship. What excited us the most was the chance to see the five masted fully rigged ship from one of our excursions. Unfortunately, Captain Mariusz Szalek sailed the tall ship using mostly the ... Read More
The Royal Clipper is a beautiful sailing ship. What excited us the most was the chance to see the five masted fully rigged ship from one of our excursions. Unfortunately, Captain Mariusz Szalek sailed the tall ship using mostly the engine during the entire seven days in the Caribbean. We motored our way from Saint Maarten's to Barbados sometimes navigating in bad weather. Unfortunately, we succumbed to a lot of rain. When we took the tender to an island beach, either it was Antigua or Dominica, the beach was narrow and the water was murky. We were expecting white sands with turquoise beaches. Perhaps our expectation was a bit unrealistic. We don't fault the captain or the cruise director for the 4 days of bad weather. However, the cruise director, Gabor did not offer us opportunities to learn about the islands that we could not visit on those rainy days. We think it would have been very educational if they had films about the islands in the lounge. We could have learned about the culture, economy, history and what influenced The Royal Clipper to choose these islands to visit. Upon many occasions as we motored in the rain, clear skies and sunshine were only a few miles away, If weather reports showed socked-in conditions at the next port-of-call, a leisurely sail under sunny skies would be monumentally favorable to hovering under the rain tarps provided. When this alliterative was put to the captain, the response was that he was strictly prohibited from deviating his course. Is it more important to stay on a rainy track or to make the passengers happy and comfortable? One of the islands that we did visit was called Saint Barts. Unfortunately, it was Sunday and most of the stores were closed. It would have been great if we had some kind of tour guide to direct us to different landmarks on this island to see. To make matters worse, the captain on the ship wasn't very accessible to many of the guests when asked questions. We would think some public relations officer would be at hand here. Towards the end of the cruise, there was a gentleman walking around with a petition to sign complaining about the excursions and the poor communications between the captain and the guests. We found that very troubling. Overall, the food was very good. The dining room waiters and the cabin stewards worked very hard to help make our trip comfortable. They are the backbone of the Royal Clipper. There is always a possibility on any cruise, that inclement weather will put a damper on the journey. We think it's in the ship owner's interests to anticipate the possibility of inclement weather and provide alternatives to make the trip more enjoyable. After all, we are cooped up on a ship with no alternate activities. Most of the passengers like ourselves were bored and the only highlight of our trip was eating. You could go on any big ship for that! We did not feel we got our moneys worth. Lastly, the intercom system was very poor. Some of the speakers were inaudible, because the intercom system is only in the hallways. Having an effective intercom system allows the passengers to hear important information. Perhaps a closed caption line could be added to the TV to facilitate hearing announcement while in the room. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Vacation date: November 26, 2016-December 3, 2016 St. Maarten - Barbados The Royal Clipper is a beautiful sailing ship. What excited us the most was the chance to see the five masted fully rigged ship from one of our excursions. ... Read More
Vacation date: November 26, 2016-December 3, 2016 St. Maarten - Barbados The Royal Clipper is a beautiful sailing ship. What excited us the most was the chance to see the five masted fully rigged ship from one of our excursions. Unfortunately, Captain Mariusz Szalek sailed the tall ship using mostly the engine during the entire seven days in the Caribbean. We motored our way from Saint Maarten's to Barbados sometimes navigating in bad weather. Unfortunately, we succumbed to a lot of rain. When we took the tender to an island beach, either it was Antigua or Dominica, the beach was narrow and the water was murky. We were expecting white sands with turquoise beaches. Perhaps our expectation was a bit unrealistic. We don't fault the captain or the cruise director for the 4 days of bad weather. However, the cruise director, Gabor did not offer us opportunities to learn about the islands that we could not visit on those rainy days. We think it would have been very educational if they had films about the islands in the lounge. We could have learned about the culture, economy, history and what influenced The Royal Clipper to choose these islands to visit. Upon many occasions as we motored in the rain, clear skies and sunshine were only a few miles away, If weather reports showed socked-in conditions at the next port-of-call, a leisurely sail under sunny skies would be monumentally favorable to hovering under the rain tarps provided. When this alliterative was put to the captain, the response was that he was strictly prohibited from deviating his course. Is it more important to stay on a rainy track or to make the passengers happy and comfortable? One of the islands that we did visit was called Saint Barts. Unfortunately, it was Sunday and most of the stores were closed. It would have been great if we had some kind of tour guide to direct us to different landmarks on this island to see. To make matters worse, the captain on the ship wasn't very accessible to many of the guests when asked questions. We would think some public relations officer would be at hand here. Towards the end of the cruise, there was a gentleman walking around with a petition to sign complaining about the excursions and the poor communications between the captain and the guests. We found that very troubling. Overall, the food was very good. The dining room waiters and the cabin stewards worked very hard to help make our trip comfortable. They are the backbone of the Royal Clipper. There is always a possibility on any cruise, that inclement weather will put a damper on the journey. We think it's in the ship owner's interests to anticipate the possibility of inclement weather and provide alternatives to make the trip more enjoyable. After all, we are cooped up on a ship with no alternate activities. Most of the passengers like ourselves were bored and the only highlight of our trip was eating. You could go on any big ship for that! We did not feel we got our moneys worth. Lastly, the intercom system was very poor. Some of the speakers were inaudible, because the intercom system is only in the hallways. Having an effective intercom system allows the passengers to hear important information. Perhaps a closed caption line could be added to the TV to facilitate hearing announcement while in the room. I would give this particular trip a 5 out of 10. UPDATE: We did receive a response back from the manager of passenger services. Unfortunately, the answers provided were unsatisfactory. Here it is for your information.: I am sorry the cruise didn’t meet your expectation. We try to use wind power as much as possible but when the wind is not sufficient or the Captains feels we need to use the engines to get to the next port of call, it is ultimately his decision to make sure we arrive on time. You mentioned why we didn’t veer off course to encounter more favorable weather, I know the Captain has his orders and he will do what he can in his means but at times he will need to stay the course. When it rains in the Caribbean and depending on how rough the seas are in that area it can stir up the silt and other marine material at the bottom of the sea which will make the water cloudy at the different ports. Usually these places have blue seas with white sandy beaches but weather can disrupt this and we do not have control over that. We have a small staff onboard so we do not have any type of elaborate production like the larger lines. I know you were not looking for much but more than what was offered. I have forwarded your comments to my director regarding activities onboard the ship, especially on rainy days, and to include more information about the different ports of call. In regards to the stores closed in St. Barts on Sunday, this is the norm in most Caribbean islands to close shops on Sundays. Unfortunately it was St. Barts but I can assure you since our sailings are 7 days or longer regardless of which sailing we do in the Caribbean the port we call on on a Sunday is usually slow. You will also find this to be true in Europe especially when you are in Spain or the Balearic islands. I have forwarded your comments about the intercom system and will have the ship look into this. By any chance did you mention the intercom issues with any staff member? I am glad you enjoyed the food but I understand you didn’t come for the food, you came for the sailing experience. The weather didn’t help and the lack of activities due to the weather really dampened your vacation. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
The Royal Clipper is the best ship to sail across the Ocean to Barbados. This was my second crossing and it was great that Captain Marius was onboard again. Great to see so many crew I knew and Manolito was back. Gabor was brilliant as ... Read More
The Royal Clipper is the best ship to sail across the Ocean to Barbados. This was my second crossing and it was great that Captain Marius was onboard again. Great to see so many crew I knew and Manolito was back. Gabor was brilliant as cruise director, Franjo makes dinner fun for the second year I am still in touch with fellow sailors I met on the table he sat us at. Anita our hotel manager greeted everyone with a lovely smile as we descended the stairs to dinner. Jonathan remembered how I liked the iced coffee how does he manage that I had not seen him for a year!! I love the low key entertainment our team won the music quiz and came third in the Crossing Olympics. The days at sea went by far too quickly cannot wait to do it again. There is nothing like being up on deck at night under the stars sails up listening to the ocean and he wind in the sails. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Looking for a unusual island hopping experience in the Aegean and stumbled across the stunningly beautiful Royal Clipper. The holiday was arranged through travel who arranged flights to Athens and from Istanbul. Because of the situation ... Read More
Looking for a unusual island hopping experience in the Aegean and stumbled across the stunningly beautiful Royal Clipper. The holiday was arranged through travel who arranged flights to Athens and from Istanbul. Because of the situation in Syria/Turkey the boat was uncrowded, in fact more staff than passengers so we were looked after with great efficiency. The Sail Away each evening as we moved to our next destination was memorable - sometimes enjoyed with a sunset and always with the cocktail of the day. The boat was incredibly quiet especially when under sail when all you can hear are the waves and lapping water. The tour trips were, on the whole, well managed but were not up to the luxurious feeling of being spoilt on board the Royal Clipper. Not a cruise if you are looking for endless restaurants, dressing up and entertainment. But if you want to spend time visiting exotic places, enjoying good food in a relaxed and informal atmosphere then this will be right up your street. Not for children, not for the infirm or those unable to cope with stairs or coils of loose ropes, not for teenagers or those looking for a riotous time. But for the rest of us... pure heaven. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
I initially planned to be onboard for one week for the cruise to the Windward Islands. I have been on many regular cruises, and I have been on sailing vacations on 50 - 60 foot yachts. This was completely different from either. What a ... Read More
I initially planned to be onboard for one week for the cruise to the Windward Islands. I have been on many regular cruises, and I have been on sailing vacations on 50 - 60 foot yachts. This was completely different from either. What a special experience! The Royal Clipper is a true sailing ship, and the captain had her sailing without the diesel engine running, as much as possible. To see the sails unfurled each time we weighed anchor as the Vangelis music from 1492 played -- it was powerful. How much did I like being on the Royal Clipper? By mid-week, I knew I was not ready to return home. One call to my travel agent, and I was on for the second week to the Grenadines. Practical Things: As many have mentioned, you need to be physically fit to be a passenger on the Royal Clipper. There are many stairs and no elevators. You will feel the water. The ship moves -- she's supposed to -- that's the point. You are sailing. Then at almost every port, you will tender to the shore. If you are unsteady on your feet, this is not the cruise for you. Seasickness: the ship moves a lot. I have had problems with seasickness in the past. I simply brought tablets, and I used them. I was fine. I had no problems, and would simply say, go prepared. The ship is in fine condition. It looked like carpet in many places was new. Someone onboard mentioned seeing the Royal Clipper in dry dock last year, so some freshening was probably done at that point. Embarkation was easy and well organized. I was in two different cabins (since the second week was a last minute addition). Cabin 206, week 1, was wider than cabin 201. This makes sense of course, because the clipper tapers towards the bow. I was by myself, and the cabins were very comfortable for one person. For two people, I would recommend staying away from the narrower cabins -- 201 and 202, and corresponding cabins on the deck below. Several couples that I met on the the cruise were in the luxury cabins one floor up, and said they were very spacious. I was quite happy with my cabins. The food onboard was outstanding. Our chef, Devon, was from Jamaica, and his staff produced amazing meals from what I am sure is a fairly small galley. Dinner entrees between the two weeks did not repeat, with the exception of the lobster, which is served for the Captain's dinner. The bar staff was equally fine -- friendly, funny. And they may make the best mojito I've ever tasted. Ports and excursions: okay, this is different from what I was accustomed to on a large ship. I took 2 - 3 excursions from the ship each week, and they were all well done. On all cruises in the past, I have made arrangements myself through local vendors. This is more difficult to do on Star Clippers, for two reasons. One, she rarely docks where the big ships go (a wonderful thing) so meeting other excursion people can be difficult. Two, you are often not in port as long as you would be on a regular ship. I would tell you that over my two weeks on the Royal Clipper, I am very content with the way this works. We were in some small, amazing places. They sent us on tenders into lovely beaches . . . excursion? who needs an excursion? I borrowed a mask and fins each week from the water crew onboard the ship, would hit the beach, snorkel, have a drink at the beach bar . . . Places that I strongly recommend taking an excursion: Fort de France, Martinique. Lovely island, gorgeous gardens. The city of Fort de France -- um, no. Get out of the town, and you will like Martinique. Soufriere in St. Lucia: this is a great stop because the Pitons, the most photographed mountains in St. Lucia, are right there. But the town is not wonderful. I have been to St. Lucia a number of times, and the perfect thing to do is to take a water taxi from Soufriere to the beautiful beach between the two Pitons. It's perhaps a fifteen/twenty minute ride. Two resorts share the white sand beach. Water is gorgeous, and there is snorkeling along the right side (right side, as you stand on the beach and look out to sea). Lovely bar and restaurant. What can I say? I loved my experience with Star Clippers. I am not sure that I will ever be able to return to a large ship. The sailing experience is the heart of a cruise on the Royal Clipper. Doing things like crawling out onto the net along the bowsprit as the ship sails -- transformative. I am obviously a convert -- and I would say, with great enthusiasm, if my description sounds appealing to you, you will have a wonderful time. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
We sailed on Royal Clipper from Venice to visit the Dalmation coast. Following a day at sea we visited Kotor, Dubrovnik, Hvar, Rovinj and Piran before returning to Venice. Leaving Venice on a ship such as this, especially as the sun is ... Read More
We sailed on Royal Clipper from Venice to visit the Dalmation coast. Following a day at sea we visited Kotor, Dubrovnik, Hvar, Rovinj and Piran before returning to Venice. Leaving Venice on a ship such as this, especially as the sun is setting, is a splendid experience, passing the famous sights as you head for the open sea. Returning at dawn is also pretty special. Life on board Royal Clipper is a succession of sumptuous meals. Unfortunately the dining room, though opulent, is poorly designed. The buffet arrangements for breakfast and lunch are not ideal as the buffet itself is subject to logjams of people due to poor access. Dinner is served at your table. The tables are arranged on three levels and the low ceiling height on the uppermost level resulted in the overall noise level being uncomfortably high. The service itself was a little erratic, the first courses being served fairly slowly while the cheese, dessert and coffee came all in a rush. Entertainment on board is very low-key. There is a resident "musician" who "serenades" you during the afternoon snack and again before dinner. His singing leaves a lot to be desired and he managed to reduce every song to the same dreary tempo. One evening we had a visit from a local traditional signing group who were very good, but otherwise the evening entertainment was provided by the crew, whether it be a fashion show (to encourage purchases from the on-board shop) or a "talent" show. Cabins are comfortable but, certainly in our case, of minimal size. The crew were, in general, excellent at their jobs but not necessarily as friendly as you might expect. In the past we have sailed on both the smaller ships in the fleet, and our feeling is that they provide a more intimate and generally better experience, especially with regard to the dining arrangements. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Embarkation was fairly smooth. We managed to get an upgrade to a deluxe cabin, which was lucky as we were late bookers. We found the welcome tedious as the girl repeated everything in four languages. The cabin was fine with a shower ... Read More
Embarkation was fairly smooth. We managed to get an upgrade to a deluxe cabin, which was lucky as we were late bookers. We found the welcome tedious as the girl repeated everything in four languages. The cabin was fine with a shower and a balcony. The steward was good. We met some interesting people from various countries. Most of the excursions we went on were good, particularly the first one in Montenegro, which was a gastronomy trip to a lovely lady's house, where we had a choice of aperitifs, made by her husband. The wine was also produced by him. The lady was a well known cook locally and produced a feast for us to sample the local food. The description said the evening meal time was from 7.30 to 10.30 and to arrive when you want to and sit where you want. However the reality was far from this relaxed attitude. We arrive some time after 8.30 to be greeted by a disgruntled head waiter, telling us off for being late and saying we had to sit in an overspill area with the other sinners!! Breakfast was as bad, we arrived a quarter of an hour before finishing time, as we only wanted cereal and coffee, to be greeted again by this awful man, saying "last in dinner, last in breakfast, WHY???" We have sailed on the QE2, the Canberra and the Norway and never had such rudeness. If late sittings aren't allowed then it should be stated in the brochure or two sittings arranged. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
As this was our fourth cruise with Star Clippers it would seem obvious we were fans of this line. Unfortunately this latest experience will not encourage us to return. Yes Royal Clipper is starting to show her age but the actual sailing ... Read More
As this was our fourth cruise with Star Clippers it would seem obvious we were fans of this line. Unfortunately this latest experience will not encourage us to return. Yes Royal Clipper is starting to show her age but the actual sailing is still a special event. However with a cruise priced at something around £3000 per head for a grade 2 cabin the overall experience was disappointing. The food and dining room service was still very good as was the cabin stewards attention to detail in the tired cabin but the real problem was the attitude of the senior personnel. From the cruise director, hotel manager, restaurant manager and other ranking officers, passengers were basically ignored or treated as if they were a nuisance for any kind of request or help on different issues which were small but escalated as the cruise progressed. Unable to guarantee a table for our family of 7 people for dinner unless we were first in queue at the start of service. In fact these people were more interested in telling us to observe the rules and their own importance than trying to ensure people were happy. Having taken the trouble to write to Star Clippers - Mr. M. Krafft Owner - to try and explain some of the shortcomings - and without the courtesy of a reply I can only presume the line does not care about return bookings. Great Pity! Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
good: - excellent service of the stuarts and very friendly service people - very friendly and urbanity Capt'n and Officers poor to absolutely inaceptable: Ship & interieur & equipment is 15 years old with year ... Read More
good: - excellent service of the stuarts and very friendly service people - very friendly and urbanity Capt'n and Officers poor to absolutely inaceptable: Ship & interieur & equipment is 15 years old with year round refurbishing during the cruises! -> means: lots of noise the whole day and you get much more of it when you paid much more = for a luxury cabin. So be sure that you won't get anny rest. At least once a day is the toilet not working (on the whole ship). Pool was (except the last day) the whole cruise under construction. Restaurant manager is unfriendly. Backslapper cruise manager is unprofessional and telling more private stories than informative stuff. Hotel Manager ist super rude without any acceptable manners and not helpful at all (just two examples: our toilet was leaking, over night the half cabin/ carpet was wet and after a while stinky but we had to stay in this cabin for 2 more nights even there was another free luxury cabin; 8h before an excursion he wasn't able to tell us if that will take place or nit but was asling on the next morning to the money and so on) Seemt like cruise and hotel manager are low budget stuff - you get what you paid for. We did not get any apology - not for the noise, not for the stinky cabin ... Everything there is third rate but the price is higher than for any other cruise. Incredible! Equipment at the gym is old enough to open up a musem. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
Ship was contracted out so majority of passengers were from UK. The embarkation could have been a better experience as it was very hot and we didn't see the drinks on offer in tent until it was too late. Once om board the queuing and ... Read More
Ship was contracted out so majority of passengers were from UK. The embarkation could have been a better experience as it was very hot and we didn't see the drinks on offer in tent until it was too late. Once om board the queuing and processing of cards meant we stood in line for a long time and when they tried to take photos the uSB wouldn't work. We helped them reboot the laptop. cant fault the service and as always the ship was sparkling clean. Lots of choice for breakfast, lunches and main meals. All were well cooked and presented. good choice of desserts as well at lunch, but those involving pastry or cake I felt lacked a good flavour - perhaps they had used cheaper margarine. Lovely touch of the late afternoon food on the deck. Great to swim off the platform when we were moored and the chance to kayak. good aquarobics class at the swimming pool - shame they have cut down on the number of qualified sports crew, but they did their best. I even joined the 0700 yogalates class run by the excellent cruise director. Climbing the crows nest was great fun, but the booking process was a bit chaotic. Cabins are compact but have everything you need and air conditioning relatively quiet. Tours arranged by ship were a bit overpriced but well organised. All in all still a great cruise- just felt standards had slipped - you don't hose down a zodiac above the route for passengers going ashore! Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
This was our first clothing optional cruise, but definitely not our last. The boat was full of nothing but cheerful people. I guess it's hard to be crabby when your not wearing pants! This was truly a clothing OPTIONAL cruise. ... Read More
This was our first clothing optional cruise, but definitely not our last. The boat was full of nothing but cheerful people. I guess it's hard to be crabby when your not wearing pants! This was truly a clothing OPTIONAL cruise. Most folks chose to take full advantage of the sun and ocean breezes, but some preferred full or partial covering and that was OK. I can't recommend the Bare Necessities folks and organization highly enough. there were 16 first time couples, and we all said we'd come back in a heartbeat. The ship, meanwhile is great. When the wind blew the Captain shut off the engine and hoisted all 42 sails. Stunning! There isn't much choice of activities on this 200+ passenger ship, but all we wanted to do was lounge around on deck, with occasional (and voluntary) sail hoisting and mast climbing. One day he raised all the sails in a very light breeze, and launched two tenders full of photographers to circle the ship. She is a BEAUTIFUL ship! There is a minuscule library, comprised solely of donated books in many different languages. And the entertainment is very low key. Shoe excursions were very reasonably priced, with a good variety. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Royal Clipper Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.3
Dining 4.0 4.2
Entertainment 3.0 3.2
Public Rooms 4.0 4.5
Fitness Recreation 2.0 3.4
Family 1.0 3.4
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.9
Enrichment 2.0 3.5
Service 4.0 4.7
Value For Money 4.0 4.0
Rates 4.0 3.6

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