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98 Star Clippers Royal Clipper Cruise Reviews

5th time traveling with an old friendy crew. While the ship holds 220 we only had 155 guests on board with a crew of 110. On this ship you are special, as other cruise ship passengers photograph the majesty of this ship. But being the ... Read More
5th time traveling with an old friendy crew. While the ship holds 220 we only had 155 guests on board with a crew of 110. On this ship you are special, as other cruise ship passengers photograph the majesty of this ship. But being the worlds largest sailing ship offers many challenges. There are no elevators. The ship moves and rocks. You need to be fit and able to climb stairs and manuver thru bulkheads. Children don't fit this ship. Most of the guests are 45 and older, well traveled and educated. Of the 155 guest 66 were repeat customers. But on this ship the accomodations are first class. You get to know the crew, the captain and even the owner if he is on board. Don't be afraid to ask the captain aquestion as he is eating lunch, dinner or breakfast at the table next to you. Take a tour of the ships engine room and see the marvels that keep this a five star experience. Then sports team keeps you busy, climb the mast to the crow nest, or lounge out on the front nets. This ship gets to go where the big ships don't go. When you go ashore you are welcomed as opposed to the shore drops of 6-7,000 people invding the shore excursion. This is a life experience unlike the boring "big Box" cruises... Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
Have never sailed on a ship like this. Have been on much larger cruises and smaller sailing ships. The Royal Clipper was just fabulous. The cabins are very nice ( ours was grade 3 with a nice bathroom and shower, TV, good hairdryer and ... Read More
Have never sailed on a ship like this. Have been on much larger cruises and smaller sailing ships. The Royal Clipper was just fabulous. The cabins are very nice ( ours was grade 3 with a nice bathroom and shower, TV, good hairdryer and comfy bed) but we saw the luxury ones which had a private veranda and whirlpool bath which looked very nice indeed. It's got a nice gym and 3 small pools on the top deck. There loads of room to wander about and never any shortage of sun beds. The crew are marvellous, from the cruise director Anna, Hotel manager Steve to the waiters , bar staff and cabin stewards. The food is fantastic with sit down a la carte for lunch and dinner and the tour excursions really well planned. They even have lobster on the menu. Only breakfast was a buffet. Drinks are very reasonably priced with house wine at € 15 and a great wine selection. Also as this ship uses Euros, its a really good deal at the moment for Brits. The guests were mainly Brits Americans and Canadians and a few French and German. The only Russian ( actually Estonian ) was the Captain, Sergei who was amazing and very visible. I cannot recommend this ship highly enough. You need to be pretty mobile as there are no lifts and lots of stairs and it's a sailing ship so it does list and roll at times. The entertainment programme is basic so if you want dancing girls and bingo, this ship is not for you. To see it in full sail (which it does at every opportunity) is just awesome Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
First the good stuff: The service staff (waiters and barmen) were consistently excellent. The sailing experience was great especially when you could see the spectacular stars at night. The food was surprisingly good given the galley ... Read More
First the good stuff: The service staff (waiters and barmen) were consistently excellent. The sailing experience was great especially when you could see the spectacular stars at night. The food was surprisingly good given the galley conditions and a difficult dining room but the second week was a repeat of the first and while the quality was the same it got a little repetitive, on balance no more than adequate. It is obvious that The Royal Clipper is in the throes of extensive cost cutting the general condition of the ship showed signs of lack of maintenance, staff uniforms often tatty, the sun loungers were dirty, paint stained and often broken and just to show how bad it was they frequently reused cardboard beer coasters. Staff member comments confirmed this. Apparently the ship is going into dry dock soon and the planning for important repairs has been cut back extensively. Either the Star Clipper company is in deep financial trouble or they are attempting to dress up the P&L accounts for a sale. More seriously standards of customer service have declined considerably. When things are going well all is sweetness and light. Try and complain and the management's first tactic is to tell you that you are wrong as others have not complained. The second tactic is to ignore you from then on, hardly an adequate customer management strategy. The first instance was on the second half of the cruise when a Snorkelling trip was planned. At the Marina because of the sea state we asked the skipper of the catamaran Shadowfax was he going to go ahead with the trip. The answer was yes and we would see what the reef was like when we got there. Towards the end of a rough and wet trip, but before we got to the reef, it was announced that the snorkelling was off due to adverse conditions. When we got to the beach where the post snorkelling BBQ was to be held 14 of us requested to get back to the Royal Clipper as we had had enough. After a bit of wrangling this was organised and we did get home. When my wife tried to complain to the cruise director she was told that there had no other complaints with the strong implication that we were in the wrong. During the night we received a form letter that despite the inclement weather only the snorkelling was not possible and the rest of the trip was satisfactorily completed. Given that the primary reason to go on the trip was to snorkel this seemed extremely disingenuous. We were told that we would be refunded 50% of the cost. What is so galling is that had the issue been handled competently it could have been a win for Star Clippers. In disgust I wrote to the Captain with my issues but got no reply. I did get a note from the Hotel Manager letting me know he would investigate and get back to me. After 2 days I found him at the bar and I had to initiate the discussion which gave no satisfaction. Another customer service issue was when we were on a tender to return to the ship from the marina at Bequia and over the open radio we heard the cruise director and captain tell the tender crew to wait for a ferry bringing a tour back. the tender was scheduled to run every 30 minutes. we complained but, as is obvious above, customer service is not a priority. Had they taken us back on schedule the arriving tour group would have had to wait 4 minutes for the next scheduled tender while we had to cool our heels for almost half an hour. Perhaps more upsetting was an incident the day after the failed attempt to snorkel. We were scheduled on another tour and taken to the catamaran taking us to a reef. The sea state was poor and it proved impossible to effect the tender to catamaran transfer safely and the tour was called off. However while we heaved around the catamaran an extremely obese and unsteady couple, who had missed the tender, were placed in a Zodiac to get them out to join us. Well the crew of the Zodiac were literally in tears and the whole effort was botched as the passengers in the Zodiac were completely incapable of getting from the Zodiac to the tender. We later heard that one of them fell badly trying to get back on board the ship. Apparently the two passengers desperately wanted to come on the trip but no one would stop them even though it was so obviously dangerous. If this callous disregard for what were very real dangers for these folk are repeated there will be a serious accident or death at the door of Star Clipper . It is all so disappointing. We chose the Royal Clipper for our first visit to the Caribbean because of a previous fabulous experience on the Star Flyer around Tahiti and the Society Islands. Had we have known how we were to be treated and the general lack of care we would have given up on the romance of a tall ship and gone to an alternative. Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
I had done extensive research on the Star Clipper website, YouTube, and Cruise Critic prior to deciding on the Royal Clipper Grenadine Islands itinerary as my husband was looking to visit smaller ports not available on the regular cruise ... Read More
I had done extensive research on the Star Clipper website, YouTube, and Cruise Critic prior to deciding on the Royal Clipper Grenadine Islands itinerary as my husband was looking to visit smaller ports not available on the regular cruise ships. We had visited all the islands (Grenada, Martinique, St. Lucia and Barbados) other than the Grenadines (Union Island, Tobago Cays, St. Vincent and Bequia) and wanted to return to them. We are avid snorkelers and water sports are a big part of Star Clippers in addition to the sailing aspect. My previous 20 cruises had been on the usual cruise lines (Celebrity, Princess, Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Azamara and Norwegian), usually on smaller or medium size ships, to the Caribbean, Mediterranean, Alaska and South America. When booking our cat 3 cabin, I was informed that most cabins are somewhat small, but adequate. We were on the Clipper Deck overlooking the atrium area (including the dining room) after entering an access door at the bottom of the stairs to the cabin corridor. This was an ideal location due to its availability to all points forward and aft. There are many gateway cities for included air and although Pittsburgh was not one of them, our agent was able to give us comp air due to connecting at Charlotte, NC directly to Barbados. After meeting the SC (Star Clipper) rep at the airport, we were accompanied to the small van (taxi) for our ride to the ship. The driver was very pleasant and in fact tried to get us to commit to a private tour upon our return to Barbados the following Saturday. Upon arrival at the ship, there was a large P&O ship and the Windstar sailing ship berthed as well. There is no embarkation procedure prior to boarding due to the ship's small size. We climbed the gangway and were greeted by the hotel director and a cold towel at the tropical bar and guided to the embarkation desk inside the piano bar area around the atrium. This took approximately 5 minutes and we then went to our cabin down one flight of stairs. We then took a short walk around the ship to get our bearings and returned to the tropical bar (location for many activities including the life boat drill at 6:45 pm as it is where the two muster stations are. Dinner was served from 7:30-11:00 pm every evening where guests can choose how large a table to be seated at and where. We therefore met many different guests mostly from the US and the UK, but some also from Canada. There were others from France, Germany, Italy and other European countries we learned later as we met them on excursions. All announcements were given in three languages (English-primary, German and French). Sailaway was at 10 pm and there was a moonlit sky, but little wind not necessarily from the direction needed so only a few sails were unfurled and the engines assisted. Breakfast buffet was served from 8-10 am everyday, with early bird coffee and hot tea, pastries and breads available at the piano bar from 6:30-10:30. Buffet lunch was from noon to 2 pm with a different emphasis (i.e.,seafood, international, Italian, Caribbean, Oriental) daily. Afternoon snacks were available from 5-6 pm at the tropical bar as well as midnight snack at the piano bar which we never saw due to our retiring prior, from 11:45 pm to 1 a.m. daily. Iced tea was only available during dinner. Beverages such as soda and all alcoholic drinks were charged to your onboard account which uses Euros, not dollars. We prepaid our gratuities in dollars. A second life boat drill was conducted while at sea on the first day, followed by introduction of the officers and crew. The ship anchored at every port except Fort-de-France, Martinique and therefore tenders were needed to go ashore. The Sports Team would always get the water activities set up at the onboard marina or take the equipment ashore to the beaches when we anchored at a beach (all the Grenadine islands). General info on the ship: There are no elevators and negotiation of steps is required throughout the ship and it is therefore not for those who are not ambient. There is no theater (therefore no production shows) but there was an excellent Steel Band on board for an hour prior to sailing from Grenada, no casino, no professional photographer and no manned excursion desk. There are signup sheets with descriptions in the 3 languages for excursions and the Cruise Director Anna previewed them as well as you can preview descriptions online. Some activities such as a fashion show, line dancing, pirate night and a talent show encouraged guests (189 on our sailing) to participate. No special facilities or activities for children (none on our cruise in late January). The crew of 100+ is multinational with a majority of European nationalities (the ship sails in the Med in summer). There is a beautiful relatively large library, three small pools, several bars, an observation lounge which we learned was partially removed to load supplies and food on pallets on embarkation day, and a small gym and spa which I was too busy to utilize. There are two lifeboats, two tenders (with ramps for wet landings) and multiple zodiacs which seemed to be used only by crew on our cruise. Royal Clipper provides complimentary use of all water sports including snorkeling gear which is issued the first day for the use of the cruise. The Sloop Shop has an extensive SC line of clothing/accessories and the shop doubles as the Purser's Office. This sailing ship does offer opportunities (usually more than once to participate in sailing activities including unfurling the sails, enjoying the bowsprit net, and climbing the crows nest. I thoroughly enjoyed my time up on the Crows Nest as we were beginning to sail from St. Vincent to Bequia and this afforded me great views of all the nearby islands (though it was very windy). Excursions booked through SC: Grenada - Shadowfax Sailing/Snorkeling/BBQ lunch - we were disappointed with this excursion as the catamaran sailing was very rough which was normal around the southern point (thought the excursion should not have gone). Lunch was OK - it included Lobster and champagne, but the beach was shaded by trees and we were cold from the windy sailing. The snorkeling was also not in a tranquil location. Tobago Cays - Snorkeling was a bit rough as well (around the back side of the island where the SC beach BBQ was held). St. Vincent - Reef life tour -- excellent snorkeling at two locations (one was black sand beach). Almost all of the snorkeling on our excursions including the complimentary ones from the ship requires a bit of experience - not for newbies. The final three days of our cruise involved two ports at each island (St. Vincent/Bequia, Martinique and St. Lucia) and since we were involved in snorkeling every day, we did not get the chance to "see the ports" as time was just too limited (3-4 hrs each). I enjoyed seeing many sunsets and on our last day sailing from Soufriere, St. Lucia, saw porpoises as well. This occurred after our awesome, amazing "Full Sail Sailaway" viewing the Royal Clipper unfurling her sails from a tender with the Pitons in the background - a superb way to end our cruise. Thanks to Capt. Sergey Utitsyn of Estonia, Hotel Manager Steve Adamson, Cruise Director Anna Alice Langstrom of Switzerland and all the crew for a special unforgettable sailing cruise. We took an island discovery excursion after disembarking in Barbados which included driving through Holetown and Speightstown, stopping at Farley Hill National Park with its Great House ruins and views of the East Coast, driving through St. John's Parish and ending at Sunbury Plantation where we also had a buffet lunch. The Great House has extensive antiques and the tour gave insight into the life of a wealthy planter 300 years ago. Last stop was the airport where we picked up our luggage around 1:15 pm. Return flight was through Charlotte as well. Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
It was a different way to cruise the Caribbean. Just the sight of all the sails flying above the ship peaked our interest in going on this unique type of vessel. We had cruised about 15 times prior on the typical cruise ships (Carnival, ... Read More
It was a different way to cruise the Caribbean. Just the sight of all the sails flying above the ship peaked our interest in going on this unique type of vessel. We had cruised about 15 times prior on the typical cruise ships (Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Princess) and not-so-typical types of ships (Delta Queen river boat on the Mississippi, river boat for 7 nights on the Amazon, another on the Nile), so we certainly had many points of reference. After reading their brochure and website and many reviews, we were excited and looking forward to sailing on a clipper ship. It promised to visit the smaller ports and towns which were otherwise not accessible to the larger cruise ships. Well, it was a funny outcome in some ways. We were not disappointed, yet we found the trip lacking in many important ways. First the positives: The dinner food was one of the best we had on any trip. It was always delicious. Even the daily soup garnered rave reviews from our two older children (age 15 & 16) who usually do not like too many soups. For breakfast and lunch there were buffets daily. Unfortunately, the breakfast, while consistently good, lacked variety and each day very little was changed, leaving one a bit bored at the end of the week. Ordering for example, an “eggs benedict”, or even a “boiled egg”, was not available and never appeared on the buffet. The ship itself was lovely and majestic when in full sale. The setting of the sails were, in itself, an inspiring event. Rooms were small yet comfortable with enough room for two people to move about without consistently bumping into themselves. The itinerary was great with often two ports per day, so you were always busy. Getting into some smaller ports of call was also something to enjoy. As well, the on-shore excursions were terrific. Note that if you are prone to getting sea-sick, give this one a pass or at the least, use the sea-sick ear tab or Gravol. The smaller size of the ship, when compared to the typical cruise ships, often makes for rocky times while eating dinner or getting to sleep. We all used the tab as insurance and that neutralized the sea’s effects. That being said, it is a great experience to find yourself on such a vessel and really experience what it is like to be at sea. You can let your imagination run wild and pretend, like our toddler son did, that you are on a pirate ship! Now, unfortunately, while the ship was positioned as being a “high-end” cruise with correspondingly high-end service, etc., it failed to measure up in several ways. I am listing them all below because there were many areas which needed improvement. Keep in-mind, while these seem like many points, none-the-less, the trip was enjoyed by all and would still be an experience which would be appreciated by most travellers. 1. You would have expected that on such a small ship, the crew would be extremely friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful. This was definitely not the case. While the crew hands were always smiling, the ship’s mid-level officers, (with the exception of its “hotel manager” and “captain”) were usually without smiles or greetings, and when questioned about some ship timings or activities failed to know the answer (e.g. What are the lunch buffet times? What time do we get in port tomorrow?). Even at the information desk on-board, the junior office could not answer these simple questions. The ships tour director would not often be able to provide information about tours and excursions, or details about debarking. Once our toddler dropped some pasta on the floor en-route to his table. Three crew passed by stepping over the spill without any offer to help, or to clean it up; but instead we did. 2. This trip is really not recommended for young children. Prior to leaving we spoke to the “Star Clipper booking agent” about taking this with our almost 3-year old. She said it was welcomed and, while there would be no child facilities on board, there would be no issues. We were surprised to learn upon arrival that we could not even get a booster seat or high-chair for dining. We spoke to a senior officer about this and were told, “the owner board are old and conservative, and do not like to change things they have been doing for years.” He had offered to go ashore on a previous trip to buy a toddler chair for $40, and was told by the owners, “definitely not because we do not cater to young children”. He admitted they had no interest in targeting a “family” clientele. On that previous trip there were 3 young toddlers. On the positive side they did prepare special meals for our son at dinner … after the third night. 3. While still on the ship situation, this would not be a ship recommended to anyone with a physical disability. The stairs are long, very steep and narrow. There are no elevators. With the frequent rocking, this would make for a dangerous situation for handicapped or frail travellers. 4. While the cabins were cleaned daily, and there was a nightly turn-down service, no cleaning or refreshing was done throughout the day. So, if you came back from a tour in the morning and took a shower, you would be left with damp towels for your pre-dinner shower. The same lack of daily cleaning was evident when we noticed some dirty plates outside someone’s cabin early morning. They stayed there for TWO days. Not what you would consider first-class service. 5. There is an odd practice on this ship which allows crew officers to eat at the same time and place as the clients. Now by itself this would not seem to be a problem if not for the fact we experienced them jumping in-line to get their food, or eating the last portions of some foods, leaving passengers who paid significant amounts lacking their food. When this point was observed frequently, we brought it up to another senior officer who said again it was the policy of the “older owners”. Even the First Mate just shrugged his shoulders and said “that is the way it is on this ship”! 6. The Clipper should introduce a practice of having some food available to its passengers all throughout the day. The current practice is only to have the three meal times and midnight food available. There is also a small snack laid out at 5pm for one hour. That 5pm snack is very small and usually is taken quickly as passengers are hungry by then. So, if you are not there quickly you may find all the food gone and you have to wait until 7:30 for dinner. (This issue is further compounded as crew usually come and get their “snack” as well even though there is usually not enough for the passengers!) Even having some cookies or pound cake laid out in the lounge would work to take the edge of your appetite. 7. The above practice often sees passengers very hungry by the time dinner comes around – which is at 7:30pm. Normally such a late time for dinner is not an issue but given it is somewhat late to eat dinner for many people, the firm should change the policy and begin dinner a bit earlier, say at 6:30pm. Those who wish to eat later can still arrive at 7:30pm. 8. The ship does not have a “wine” package whereby you can buy bottles at a discount if you agree to purchase 8, 9, etc. This is common practice among other cruise ships and one which we find very client focused. Having to pay top dollar for wine with dinner can add up very fast. Similarly, there is not a soft-drink package for teens, and we know how much they can drink pop (at the price charged by the Clipper, that too adds up quickly). 9. When the Ship sails out on the first night, all passengers are invited on deck to see the opening of the sails. This is a great event to see. However, they invite you there to have a glass of champagne to celebrate this event. The word “invite” is misleading as they charge you 10 euros for that glass. It should be free as part of their welcome. 10. While this ship is relatively new, you can see signs that a retrofit is needed. In our washroom much of the marble on the floor has yellowed. Other areas you can see carpet showing wear. It is just starting to look a bid “old”. Perhaps this is intended by the owners to add character. 11. There is a “safety” speech given on the first day. Such a practice is also done on other cruise lines. However, it was longer than should be and was repeated the second evening. The tone was also very condescending as passengers were, for over 5-10 minutes, reminded there was unique plumbing on the ship and only the ship’s toilet paper should go in the toilet otherwise the entire system could block. This point seemed to go on forever on both evenings. Added to the length of this briefing is the fact it was given in three languages (English, German, French) so it took seemingly forever. I believe one such safety briefing to be sufficient. Now, you may think some of these points are too critical or trivial, perhaps so, but we did expect a 5-star trip and we feel we received a 3-star one. If the Star Clipper firm is to measure up to 5-stars, or even 4, none of the above should be evident in our opinion. We had the luck of meeting a couple who had just returned from a similar “sailing ship” with Oceania Cruises. They raved about it, the ship, and crew. Similarly none of our above issues were noticed by them. They did consider it 5-star. We would suggest anyone considering a clipper ship trip to consider that cruise line. We picked Star Clipper above them based on the fact they did take children (Oceania Cruises does not take children but does state that up-front). Little did we know those were just words and did not reflect anything on the ship. Too bad they are missing on a large market of family clients. Overall, let me restate we all had a terrific time for the week and would recommend it to others (and also to consider the other sail line options), however keeping in-mind the above limitations. We heard they are launching a new ship next year. You may be advised to wait for that one.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
This was our sixth Star Clipper cruise but the first that included our grown kids, their spouses and our grandchildren. Every minute of every day was wonderful. The kids had a great time. The crew went to great lengths to make sure the ... Read More
This was our sixth Star Clipper cruise but the first that included our grown kids, their spouses and our grandchildren. Every minute of every day was wonderful. The kids had a great time. The crew went to great lengths to make sure the grandchildren had fun, even though there were no official activities for children. On how many cruise ship would the captain (Sergie) know all their names and let the steer his ship? On past cruises, we've enjoyed dining with other passengers from all over the world--Europe, South Africa, Australia--but on this cruise there were too many of us. We had our own table and waiter, Rio. The latter was as kind and attentive as anyone I've ever met. My daughter in law has a peanut allergy and my son in law can't eat certain spices. Rio always took care of them. The kids loved him. We all did. The rest of the crew was equally as attentive. My eight-year-old granddaughter had the run of the ship; she reminded us of Eloise at the Plaza. The excursions in the Caribbean are not as interesting as the ones Europe, which has much more architecture and history. We mostly went to the beach to sun, snorkel and sail lasers. Now, in the middle of winter, that seems like such a hardship! Finally, the most enjoyable aspect to the Star Clipper cruises is the sailing, the trades blow reliably strong in winter and the ship sailed every night, all night. Typically the ship would set sails off its anchor, without the engine.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
It was a different way to cruise the Caribbean. Just the sight of all the sails flying above the ship peaked our interest in going on this unique type of vessel. We had cruised about 15 times prior on the typical cruise ships (Carnival, ... Read More
It was a different way to cruise the Caribbean. Just the sight of all the sails flying above the ship peaked our interest in going on this unique type of vessel. We had cruised about 15 times prior on the typical cruise ships (Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Princess) and not-so-typical types of ships (Delta Queen river boat on the Mississippi, river boat for 7 nights on the Amazon, another on the Nile), so we certainly had many points of reference. After reading their brochure and website and many reviews, we were excited and looking forward to sailing on a clipper ship. It promised to visit the smaller ports and towns which were otherwise not accessible to the larger cruise ships. Well, it was a funny outcome in some ways. We were not disappointed, yet we found the trip lacking in many important ways. First the positives: The dinner food was one of the best we had on any trip. It was always delicious. Even the daily soup garnered rave reviews from our two older children (age 15 & 16) who usually do not like too many soups. For breakfast and lunch there were buffets daily. Unfortunately, the breakfast, while consistently good, lacked variety and each day very little was changed, leaving one a bit bored at the end of the week. Ordering for example, an “eggs benedict”, or even a “boiled egg”, was not available and never appeared on the buffet. The ship itself was lovely and majestic when in full sale. The setting of the sails were, in itself, an inspiring event. Rooms were small yet comfortable with enough room for two people to move about without consistently bumping into themselves. The itinerary was great with often two ports per day, so you were always busy. Getting into some smaller ports of call was also something to enjoy. As well, the on-shore excursions were terrific. Note that if you are prone to getting sea-sick, give this one a pass or at the least, use the sea-sick ear tab or Gravol. The smaller size of the ship, when compared to the typical cruise ships, often makes for rocky times while eating dinner or getting to sleep. We all used the tab as insurance and that neutralized the sea’s effects. That being said, it is a great experience to find yourself on such a vessel and really experience what it is like to be at sea. You can let your imagination run wild and pretend, like our toddler son did, that you are on a pirate ship! Now, unfortunately, while the ship was positioned as being a “high-end” cruise with correspondingly high-end service, etc., it failed to measure up in several ways. I am listing them all below because there were many areas which needed improvement. Keep in-mind, while these seem like many points, none-the-less, the trip was enjoyed by all and would still be an experience which would be appreciated by most travellers. 1. You would have expected that on such a small ship, the crew would be extremely friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful. This was definitely not the case. While the crew hands were always smiling, the ship’s mid-level officers, (with the exception of its “hotel manager” and “captain”) were usually without smiles or greetings, and when questioned about some ship timings or activities failed to know the answer (e.g. What are the lunch buffet times? What time do we get in port tomorrow?). Even at the information desk on-board, the junior office could not answer these simple questions. The ships tour director would not often be able to provide information about tours and excursions, or details about debarking. Once our toddler dropped some pasta on the floor en-route to his table. Three crew passed by stepping over the spill without any offer to help, or to clean it up; but instead we did. 2. This trip is really not recommended for young children. Prior to leaving we spoke to the “Star Clipper booking agent” about taking this with our almost 3-year old. She said it was welcomed and, while there would be no child facilities on board, there would be no issues. We were surprised to learn upon arrival that we could not even get a booster seat or high-chair for dining. We spoke to a senior officer about this and were told, “the owner board are old and conservative, and do not like to change things they have been doing for years.” He had offered to go ashore on a previous trip to buy a toddler chair for $40, and was told by the owners, “definitely not because we do not cater to young children”. He admitted they had no interest in targeting a “family” clientele. On that previous trip there were 3 young toddlers. On the positive side they did prepare special meals for our son at dinner … after the third night. 3. While still on the ship situation, this would not be a ship recommended to anyone with a physical disability. The stairs are long, very steep and narrow. There are no elevators. With the frequent rocking, this would make for a dangerous situation for handicapped or frail travellers. 4. While the cabins were cleaned daily, and there was a nightly turn-down service, no cleaning or refreshing was done throughout the day. So, if you came back from a tour in the morning and took a shower, you would be left with damp towels for your pre-dinner shower. The same lack of daily cleaning was evident when we noticed some dirty plates outside someone’s cabin early morning. They stayed there for TWO days. Not what you would consider first-class service. 5. There is an odd practice on this ship which allows crew officers to eat at the same time and place as the clients. Now by itself this would not seem to be a problem if not for the fact we experienced them jumping in-line to get their food, or eating the last portions of some foods, leaving passengers who paid significant amounts lacking their food. When this point was observed frequently, we brought it up to another senior officer who said again it was the policy of the “older owners”. Even the First Mate just shrugged his shoulders and said “that is the way it is on this ship”! 6. The Clipper should introduce a practice of having some food available to its passengers all throughout the day. The current practice is only to have the three meal times and midnight food available. There is also a small snack laid out at 5pm for one hour. That 5pm snack is very small and usually is taken quickly as passengers are hungry by then. So, if you are not there quickly you may find all the food gone and you have to wait until 7:30 for dinner. (This issue is further compounded as crew usually come and get their “snack” as well even though there is usually not enough for the passengers!) Even having some cookies or pound cake laid out in the lounge would work to take the edge of your appetite. 7. The above practice often sees passengers very hungry by the time dinner comes around – which is at 7:30pm. Normally such a late time for dinner is not an issue but given it is somewhat late to eat dinner for many people, the firm should change the policy and begin dinner a bit earlier, say at 6:30pm. Those who wish to eat later can still arrive at 7:30pm. 8. The ship does not have a “wine” package whereby you can buy bottles at a discount if you agree to purchase 8, 9, etc. This is common practice among other cruise ships and one which we find very client focused. Having to pay top dollar for wine with dinner can add up very fast. Similarly, there is not a soft-drink package for teens, and we know how much they can drink pop (at the price charged by the Clipper, that too adds up quickly). 9. When the Ship sails out on the first night, all passengers are invited on deck to see the opening of the sails. This is a great event to see. However, they invite you there to have a glass of champagne to celebrate this event. The word “invite” is misleading as they charge you 10 euros for that glass. It should be free as part of their welcome. 10. While this ship is relatively new, you can see signs that a retrofit is needed. In our washroom much of the marble on the floor has yellowed. Other areas you can see carpet showing wear. It is just starting to look a bid “old”. Perhaps this is intended by the owners to add character. 11. There is a “safety” speech given on the first day. Such a practice is also done on other cruise lines. However, it was longer than should be and was repeated the second evening. The tone was also very condescending as passengers were, for over 5-10 minutes, reminded there was unique plumbing on the ship and only the ship’s toilet paper should go in the toilet otherwise the entire system could block. This point seemed to go on forever on both evenings. Added to the length of this briefing is the fact it was given in three languages (English, German, French) so it took seemingly forever. I believe one such safety briefing to be sufficient. Now, you may think some of these points are too critical or trivial, perhaps so, but we did expect a 5-star trip and we feel we received a 3-star one. If the Star Clipper firm is to measure up to 5-stars, or even 4, none of the above should be evident in our opinion. We had the luck of meeting a couple who had just returned from a similar “sailing ship” with Oceania Cruises. They raved about it, the ship, and crew. Similarly none of our above issues were noticed by them. They did consider it 5-star. We would suggest anyone considering a clipper ship trip to consider that cruise line. We picked Star Clipper above them based on the fact they did take children (Oceania Cruises does not take children but does state that up-front). Little did we know those were just words and did not reflect anything on the ship. Too bad they are missing on a large market of family clients. Overall, let me restate we all had a terrific time for the week and would recommend it to others (and also to consider the other sail line options), however keeping in-mind the above limitations. We heard they are launching a new ship next year. You may be advised to wait for that one.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
I'm ordering photos online to make Christmas gifts and am reliving the experience all over again. I've been on a few cruises, mainly as a child with my grandparents on big cruise lines (Alaska and Hawaii). My family likes to ... Read More
I'm ordering photos online to make Christmas gifts and am reliving the experience all over again. I've been on a few cruises, mainly as a child with my grandparents on big cruise lines (Alaska and Hawaii). My family likes to travel and we normally don't choose cruising because we like to spend more time in a location. We have traveled all over the world and have had some extraordinary vacations. My mother informed me that my stepdad's lodge had chosen to go on this cruise and I was fortunate enough to be able to make it work. Where do I start. Being used to the extremely large cruising ships, this was the antithesis of those. More of a sailing ship, it is an absolute sight to behold. Anytime I show someone the picture of it, they are absolutely blown away. It's amazing. You may read that there are certain downsides to choosing a smaller ship and I agree that there were a few areas that left room for improvement but I did not care one bit. The experience was amazing. Amazing is not even the right word to describe it. I think of our trip, and I'm filled with an overwhelming sense of nostalgia. I know this sounds a bit over the top but it's true. The places we visited were stunning (Italy, Sicily, Greece, Montenegro, Croatia, and Slovenia). We read reviews and saw that this was not a trip to choose for families with small children but my nephews were coming either way (ages 8 and 11). Pros: Mainly European passengers so we were able to meet people from a variety of places The people who worked in the bar/restaurant/room care treated my nephews like they were VIP's. I know that they will NEVER forget it. You actually get to know the people on your boat because there were only about 150 of us. We had a reunion after our cruise ended in Venice afterwards and many of us still keep in touch. The people who work on the boat love their job and it shows. The food was really delicious. There were a few misses but overall, wonderful The stops were beyond amazing. While I heard of bad tours, ours were FABULOUS (sea kayaking in Dubrovnik and wine tasting/truffle hunting in Slovenia) Cons: The musician on our trip (Gabor) was pretty bad. But we never let it ruin our trip. He WAS passionate about music and we just rolled with it. There were times that he sang during meals and it was way too loud. But honestly, it never put a damper into our trip. He seemed like a really nice guy. Our Activity Director (I don't even know if that's her title), Anna, was a bit aloof. But she was great for a whole group information sessions. There were times that we saw her when we we stopped and were in the cities and you got the impression that she did not want to interact when she was "off the clock". Again, it never put a damper on our trip. There are no set activities for children like on the big ships. This was never a problem as they swam and entertained themselves. We were also at the ports of call all day where we kept them very busy. They were incredibly happy on this trip and there were hardly any kids. Anyway, our entire family (all 7 of us--my mom and stepdad, me, and my brother and sister-in-law and my 2 nephews) view this trip as a trip of a lifetime. I keep a picture of the boat as my screensaver and anyone who sees it is always incredibly impressed.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
The best part of the cruise was the fabulous staff. The food and the staff were wonderful. I thought we were in trouble when check was a terrible experience. All other ships had signs and staff to organize the incoming passengers. Star ... Read More
The best part of the cruise was the fabulous staff. The food and the staff were wonderful. I thought we were in trouble when check was a terrible experience. All other ships had signs and staff to organize the incoming passengers. Star Clippers...nothing. Several stops at ports the tender left us at a sport and we had to figure out how to get to town. Taxis took full advantage and we were told it would be perhaps 5 euros a person and it would be 10-15. Also disappointing was most of the off shore excursions. For about half of them the review by the passengers was that they were very expensive and not quite what was advertised. I will note that one of the biggest disappointments was that we only sailed twice (while I was awake) After several days I asked when we would sail and I was told that perfect conditions were required. Not TOO windy and windy enough. For a sailing experience I recommend a MUCH smaller ship. Looking at other reviews I see others had a different experience; however, I would not go again and would not recommend them. For the money, I would look elsewhere. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
Boarding the Royal Clipper in Venice, we knew we were in for a voyage of a lifetime, such a magnificent sailing ship with its 5 masts standing tall and erect. Champagne to welcome us as we made our way to our cabin on level 3. If you can ... Read More
Boarding the Royal Clipper in Venice, we knew we were in for a voyage of a lifetime, such a magnificent sailing ship with its 5 masts standing tall and erect. Champagne to welcome us as we made our way to our cabin on level 3. If you can afford it get the best cabins which are on this deck as it gives you private balconies with chairs and table. The cabin was superbly fitted out and a bottle of champagne and petite fours awaited us while unpacking. The Lounge, Dining area, Library and Bar areas are superb. The staff were great and always willing to help and put on a smile. The food was excellent and you were never left wanting. Sailing out of Venice down the Grand Canal to the sounds of The Conquest of Paradise by Vangellis taken from the soundtrack of the film Vangellis 1492 was itself a memorable experience conjuring up all sorts of emotions within the passengers. From thereon a journey of a lifetime saw us sailing to various destinations in the Istrian Peninsular, Croatia, Montenegro, Italy, Scicily, Capri, and Sorrento eventually arriving in Rome. During the sail we raced the sister ship Star Clipper in the Med for 2 hrs with 42 sails against her 8, no contest really but nevertheless exciting. Travelling up the Kotor fiord whilst climbing the rigging to the first cows nest - brilliant. The ship does roll with a swell if about 2 metres but normally nothing that upsets you. This is not a ship for the disabled however as it is all stairs, obstructions such as ropes and sail mending but you are on a real ship as opposed to those large, sterilised containers called cruise ships. Captain Sergiey Utitsyn and his crew are to be congratulated on their provision to their guests. Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
In booking our cruise aboard the Royal Clipper, I searched for any family reviews and found very few, prompting this review. Our cruising family including myself and DH, 2 girls ages 8 and 10 (turned 11 aboard the ship), parents (mid ... Read More
In booking our cruise aboard the Royal Clipper, I searched for any family reviews and found very few, prompting this review. Our cruising family including myself and DH, 2 girls ages 8 and 10 (turned 11 aboard the ship), parents (mid 60's, active) and brother- 36. We are seasoned cruisers- many trips aboard RCL, NCL, Celebrity and most recently the Galapagos aboard the SS MaryAnne, a 12 Pax sailboat. The Royal Clipper is gorgeous at full sail and inside. Deck chairs and pools could be improved in our opinion, but when outside, most of the time we could be found relaxing in the bow net, climbing the mast, playing off the marine platform or sailing the ship! The girls loved these sailboat specific activities. While there is not the variety of activities that a large cruise ship offers, our Italy itinerary was port intensive with just 1 day at sea. We loved the ability to tender in at a close distance and visit smaller ports of call. Rooms are small (max 3 pax) but efficient. Bathrooms are all Marble and surprisingly beautiful. My 10 year old daughter celebrated her 11th birthday aboard the ship and said that it was her very best birthday ever! All the staff aboard the ship sincerely enjoyed having our girls on board and everyone knew their names....something not found on a large cruise ship. Children are a rarity on the Royal Clipper- most of the passengers were 50 plus. So, I would only consider bringing your children if they are comfortable around adults and able to amuse themselves. There is certainly no kids program, but the on board sports activities were all kid friendly....Kyaking, Mast climbing, Paddle Boarding. Our girls loved the sail by the active Stromboli Volcano where we were treated to amazing eruptions several hundred feet in the air under cover of darkness...(the perfect end to DD's birthday). Waiters and staff were very accomodating of DD's peanut allergy as well. Captain is wonderful and invited the girls to sail the ship- something they each did for about 30 minutes under supervision of the Captain and Professor....a highlight for them! Ship was small enough that we felt comfortable letting the kids explore/walkabout together on their own- something we won't let them do on the mega cruise lines. We had one morning only of rough seas which prompted a port of call change. Otherwise, smooth as glass sailing and fantastic weather the entire week. Cruise Director Lidija is spunky, and amazing! The best measure of a cruise ship and line...would you do it again? All in our party said, absolutely YES! Kids included. Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
It is important to remember that this is not a cruise ship, but a superbly equipped five-masted yacht, albeit a rather bigger yacht than one might expect to find. We sailed from Barbados at 10pm, when it was dark. The sky was clear with ... Read More
It is important to remember that this is not a cruise ship, but a superbly equipped five-masted yacht, albeit a rather bigger yacht than one might expect to find. We sailed from Barbados at 10pm, when it was dark. The sky was clear with bright stars, a full moon, and with the mast lights on as the Clipper moved away from the dockside, the sails started to unfurl, and the music of Vangelis' Conquest of Paradise 1492 started to play. If anyone had any doubts about moving away from the big ship cruise experience, the early feelings evoked by just leaving the port were positive. After eight cruises before Royal Clipper with P&O (2), Cunard (2), and Celebrity (4), this was a brave departure from the norm. At less than half the length of a typical ship, and maybe 1/20th or less of the weight, some movement is to be expected, but it was not troubling - apart from the last day when a few passengers were perhaps a bit off colour, owing to the larger swells between Martinique and Barbados as the Captain picked up speed for the 18 hour sail to Barbados. Like the other review made in February this year, we had the cabin on the port side at the back near the aft deck. It has an outside window (covered by a horizontal blind), so it was kept 'slatted' to prevent folk passing by from looking in. It was also advisable to keep the door locked, as other passengers often thought it was door to the inside of the yacht. On the occasion we forgot I reckon the wayward passenger was the most embarassed.The bathroom had a bath, which is unusual when cruising, unless paying a lot of money, with a jacuzzi. And whilst the cabin is smaller than what can be found for similar cost on a larger cruise ship, it was not intrusive to the point where the extra space was missed. The cabin steward, meanwhile, was an expert at making animals out of towels, and one was always waiting on the bed, with chocolates, by the time we were ready to settle down for another night. And speaking of the Captain, never has a man been so visible. He seemed to be everywhere, always smiling and interacting with the passengers, who numbered only 204 on this trip. The crew were also amongst the most friendly we have met, especially the Cruise Director, Lidija, who had so much energy I wish I knew what vitamins she took. Was there a downside? Not really, or nothing that caused such concern that it detracted from the experience, at least for me. Maybe I was fortunate, because my wife was one of those who were off-colour on the final day, so potential sea-sickness apart, nothing to worry about. Getting on and off was a doddle, whether by tender or quayside, and the Clipper never once felt crowded. Entertainment? Generally make your own and get to know other passengers more easily in a relaxed and informal setting. There was a crab race, which was funny, and a talent (sic) night, which we missed, but were assured as being hilarious - the crew apparently were not shy to entertain! Food was more limited than the bigger ships, but only from the number of choices available, and the quality was never in doubt. I was never left hungry, put it that way. The most important part, I feel, about making any review is - would we do it again? Absolutely! Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
Just back from a week onboard the Royal Clipper, a 5 masted square rigged sailing ship [ apparently the largest in the world ]. It was an amazing experience to be on deck when the sails were unfurled each evening to the background sound of ... Read More
Just back from a week onboard the Royal Clipper, a 5 masted square rigged sailing ship [ apparently the largest in the world ]. It was an amazing experience to be on deck when the sails were unfurled each evening to the background sound of stirring classical music. The cabin, one of only 2 at deck level, a the stern end was very well appointed, all wood veneer pannelling and a huge bed. Although it was a bit of a tight squeeze and access to the bed was from one side only, so night time ventures to the loo involved clambering to the end of the bed to try and not disturb my good lady. The bathroom was quite large and well appointed with a big jacuzzi bath, a smaller bathroom and larger cabin might have worked better. Lots of soaps and lotions provided and a good sized cabinet for all our bathroom bits and bobs. The cabin had plenty of storage space for clothes and suitcases [ placed under the bed ], and access was from the deck so people would walk by throughout the trip, but we soon got used to this and it was nice to have the privacy of a cabin away from all the other accomodation. Cabin No.315. The food was excellent and the service first class, seating was as youplease so you get to meet different folks every meal if you choose. It was a very eclectic mix of passengers, Usa, Brits, Canadians, German and French made up the majority of the 220 onboard. A nice mix and most seemed friendly and happy to socialise. One thing to note, this is a sailing vessel NOT a mega liner so it moves about quite a bit. So if you suffer from sea sickness come prepared, my wife suffered quite a lot because of it, and we noticed that a few passengers had sea sickness patches on, worth considering. This was evident on the first night when our room steward raised a panel at the side of the bed to help prevent us falling out during the night. The voyage itself was great because, as this is a smaller vessel, it can get into places where the large vessels can't venture. Such as Ille Des Saintes a beautifull tiny French island. Apart from mooring at Martinique all other stops involve using the small tenders to get to and from the shore, these were well organised and seemed to run all day. Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
It has been a little over a month since our return and I just keep telling people about our cruise. We had an amazing time on our cruise. My husband and I will never cruise on a large ship again. The experience on a clipper ship is so ... Read More
It has been a little over a month since our return and I just keep telling people about our cruise. We had an amazing time on our cruise. My husband and I will never cruise on a large ship again. The experience on a clipper ship is so intimate and so much more fun. The cabin was just big enough. The bathroom was even a little bigger than the big cruise ships. The crew and staff were wonderful from beginning to end. My husband and I are seniors ( 72 and 65). I'm not in the best shape but I had no problem getting around the ship. There were people from all over the world so it was really interesting meeting people. Because the ship only holds 227 passengers it was real easy meeting people and getting to know them. When we came into a port we were able to get right in to the beaches on tenders.. Except for Antigua we were able to swim at pretty much deserted beaches. We couldn't dock on the side of the Fort at Antigua so we had to dock where the big cruise ships go. It was amazing to compare the ships. My husband said our masts were as high as the gigantic cruise ships but the town was mobbed and very commercial. We took two tours, one in St Lucia and one in St Kitts. Both were very nice, informative and personal. The accommodations were very comfortable. The food was superb. On the big cruise ships the desserts look great but are tasteless not on this ship. There are no elevators but the stairs are not steep and I got added extra exercise. Breakfast and lunch are both buffets. Dinner is sit down. There are no shows and casinos but many would meet in the bar area for fun . One night was pirate night and there were hermit crab races to bet on . The cruise directors and their helpers were in charge. All were very young and enthusiastic. One of the many things I was impressed with was when we went to a beach snorkels and gear,beach games sunfishes, and kayaks were provided free of charge. Also dress is casual. My husband was so pleased he didn't have to bring a tie. Some of the down sides were poor internet reception so I would use the wifi when on land. We booked our airfare with Star Clipper and they certainly didn't leave enough time between connections and don't stay at the Miami Airport hotel( it smells of old cigarettes). We are saving up for our next trip (maybe the Greek Isles) Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
I can’t stop thinking about my wonderful holiday aboard the Royal Clipper in the Grenadines. I have travelled a lot, but this ranks as one of the best holidays ever. The ship is beautiful with its mahogany and brass, and the cabins are ... Read More
I can’t stop thinking about my wonderful holiday aboard the Royal Clipper in the Grenadines. I have travelled a lot, but this ranks as one of the best holidays ever. The ship is beautiful with its mahogany and brass, and the cabins are comfortable, if a little small, with enough storage for everything we took. The only thing I would advise is to shower when the ship is in port, otherwise water sloshes everywhere if you are at sea. The entertainment was good – this is not like the entertainment on the big cruise ships, it is very much in-house with audience participation. A steel band came onboard one night and provided excellent entertainment. The resident singer and musician were very good, providing a range of music, and there was dancing every evening, (not always easy when the sea got a bit choppy). One night there was a quiz with a bottle of champagne as the prize. The talent show was great, with crew members showing us what they could do –the highlight being the puppet show, which was hilarious, I haven’t laughed so much in years. I think I could sum it up as luxury with fun. The food was very good, I have no complaints. The waiters were lovely and so helpful, in fact all the crew were great. Steve, the hotel manager, and Tanje, the Cruise Director, were particularly accommodating to all our requests, and Prabhakar, the bosun, giving us a lesson on knot tying was lovely. With only 188 passengers on board it was easy to get to know other people very quickly, and this added to the fun of the holiday. The sail away from every port was always special. Standing on the bridge watching the sails unfurl and flap in the wind to the sound of Conquest of Paradise music was just magical. This cruise is about the beautiful ship as much as everything else, but the crew and the other passengers we met made it a lot of fun. I can't wait to do it again.   Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
We were excited about going to ports of call that the big cruise lines couldn't. Who wants to compete with 2000+ people at each stop. The lines to get off/on the big cruisers are much longer than on this @200 person clipper. The ports ... Read More
We were excited about going to ports of call that the big cruise lines couldn't. Who wants to compete with 2000+ people at each stop. The lines to get off/on the big cruisers are much longer than on this @200 person clipper. The ports visited were usually quaint villages favored by the sailing crowd. We got some awesome pictures from the tender which circled the Royal Clipper in the early evening with the sails slowly opening. We were blessed with a double rainbow behind the boat! Breakfast and lunch were served buffet style and we made an effort to sit with different people each meal. Dinner was slow and awesome with other new friends. Overall the food was very good served with a European flair. Husband was pleased to see a cheese plate as a desert option. The grazing-between-meals was limited to various different items each day at 5 at the open air Tropical Bar. Dinner was at 7pm. Entertainment was either local or the crew and considering it all happened at the bar it was great. The crew were great and their skits and crab races a hoot. NOTE that this boat does not have an elevator and there are plenty of steps to go anywhere. The infirm and unsteady probably shouldn't consider this cruise as some of the nights at the bar were really rocking and rolling in several ways. So glad I got motion sickness patches and started them a few days in advance. First night the rolling interrupted my sleep; subsequent nights sleeping pills helped tremendously. One disappointment was not being able to use all the scuba gear on board because they couldn't find a local guide. Check availability for air fare before you choose. Coming from Seattle and unwilling to do a red eye, we had to spend a night in Miami both ways. All the flights we wanted were booked FIVE months out. Perhaps the cruise lines booked all the good flights and hadn't released them yet. Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
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 ... Read More
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.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
We recently sailed on the Royal Clipper on their Eastern Med cruise starting at Venice and finishing in Rome having visited Croatia, Montenegro, Sicily, Corfu and Capri, This was a truly wonderful experience and without a doubt the most ... Read More
We recently sailed on the Royal Clipper on their Eastern Med cruise starting at Venice and finishing in Rome having visited Croatia, Montenegro, Sicily, Corfu and Capri, This was a truly wonderful experience and without a doubt the most unique experience I have had cruising. It was a truly magical and our fellow passengers were the most interesting I have met on the 15 cruises I have been on before. The ports of call were excellent and the suite we had ( owners suite) was luxurious. The crew were friendly and most helpful and the food was excellent. If you like to have others passengers who speak English then I would advise you to book through Riviera Travel as they charter several of the clippers ships throughout the year and sell them exclusively in the UK. Also if you book through Riviera they include quite a few of the excursions in the price so very good value and the couriers were excellent. This cruise should not be compared with the huge gin palaces on the sea it is very much more select and stylish so don't expect children running around and flash cabarets. The Royal Clipper has a library and a small spa and a couple of bars and cabins have a DVD and BBC World. It also has three plunge pools on the deck and a marina at the back where you can swim from and do water sports. It was a great experience travelling under sail and we had no turbulence at all throughout the entire cruise. If there is no wind it travels under engine power. Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
In my opinion this ship made too many beach stops and spent nowhere near enough time at the towns we visited, it is ridiculous to have a 3-4 hour stop in at a town in the morning and then 4-5 hours on the beach, I really do not think there ... Read More
In my opinion this ship made too many beach stops and spent nowhere near enough time at the towns we visited, it is ridiculous to have a 3-4 hour stop in at a town in the morning and then 4-5 hours on the beach, I really do not think there is any need to have a beach stop every day, even we did make a beach stop most of the beaches were just that, beaches with little or no shade or anything to do, what is the point, Staff and crew were in the main excellent with very few exceptions, the one exception being the cruise director Renate, she had to re-arrange the shore excursions one day,resulting in a change of time for one we had booked, this was originally horse riding through a plantation in the morning, which was changed to the afternoon and we decided we did not want the sun on our backs when it was at its height. When we spoke to Renate she was rude and defensive saying we had to go as we had booked it, she finally accepted our reasons for cancelling but not util quite a bit of discussion, on this occasion she was outright rude, but at other times, especially when things were going well she was fine Our cruise was fully booked and somewhat spoiled buy a large group of Americans on a tour of some-kind from BoatUS, most were loud and drunk way too much, As expected our cabin was small(tiny actually) cabins 101-104 are sold as double cabins in reality they are more like single cabins, true they have a double bed but in order to fit them in the cabin they have a corner cut of the bottom of the bed making it a strange shape and not easy to get comfy Overall an enjoyable experience but not sure I would do it again Read Less
Sail Date March 2013
From the moment you first walk up the gangway and the Captain welcomes you aboard you know this cruise is going to be different. The ship is something else, surely no more ropes are left for the rest of the world as this ship must have ... Read More
From the moment you first walk up the gangway and the Captain welcomes you aboard you know this cruise is going to be different. The ship is something else, surely no more ropes are left for the rest of the world as this ship must have used them all. For a vessel 12 years old it is kept in fantastic shape. The crew was great and having only 200 passengers was totally different from a regular cruise. Now understand, it is a sailing ship, and you will lay in bed and feel it rocking. You will indeed sail on this ship. As soon as you push away from the dock they sales start going up (with great fanfare), even while you are still in the harbor. Also don't bring any small children as you would not feel comfortable. Lots of rope to step over and several "gaps" in the railing around the life boats where there is no railing (only a single rope). There are no elevators and some of the outside doorways you have to sort of squeeze through as they can become water tight doors. Our cabin, although small, was the most beautiful, wood everywhere. Bathroom is nice but the shower size sucks (like stand up without moving you arms, heaven forbid you drop the soap). Ports, mostly beach stops which were nice. The little out of the way towns were nothing much. Don't go to expecting any great port stops. Would I go again, yes. Will I go again, yes. This ship is a "only one in the world" experience. Sitting on deck at night looking at the sails and the stars was worth every penny and moments we will remember forever. Read Less
Sail Date March 2013
Hello every one, We are a couple of 33 and 34years and we've done our first cruise on the Royal Clipper, the 26th January to 2nd february in the Grenadines islands. We do not regret the expensive ticket because the cruise has been ... Read More
Hello every one, We are a couple of 33 and 34years and we've done our first cruise on the Royal Clipper, the 26th January to 2nd february in the Grenadines islands. We do not regret the expensive ticket because the cruise has been wonderfull. FOOD : ++ The food quality is excellent and various. You will find something new for every breakfast first example. We can tell that the food is a concern for Star Clipper by the number of time that you can eat on board : 6 time per day!! * Early breakfast on the piano bar * Breakfast buffet on the dinning room (fruit, sweets, eggs, bacon, pancakes, vegetable,... and a egg bar where the chef will make for you the eggs you want) * Lunch buffet at the dinning room with one thematic per day. Wonderful desserts and a meal "a la decoupe" (a full salmon, sucking pig, ...) * Cocktail and Collation at Tropical Bar around 5PM. Again sweets and salty thing, different every day. * Dinner at the dinning room. You are placed by the "Maitre d'hotel" and you can change your table every night if you want. The menu have 2 appetisers and 1 soup; 2 main dishes (one fish one meat) and a vege dish and a more local suggestion; salad and cheese and 2 dessert. * Midnight lunch at the Piano Bar Food are more european/french style than really local. Very good and nice presentation but I would like the local suggestion to be more "local". You will not really taste the local products like grilled fishes, sweet potatoes, yam, colombo, plantain and all the wonderful fruits of the Caribbean. If you want to taste local food you will have to go in ports but, for dinner, you will have time only at Grenada. Wines and cocktails are at reasonable price, count 5.50euro for a cocktail. The cocktail of the day is a little bit cheaper. EXCURSIONS : + One of my biggest fear was the excursions. Previous review were pretty bad about the cruise director. I have to say that the new one, Renata, is more than efficient and friendly. Inside documentation we get by mail before the cruise we've found all the excursions proposed with hours, description, prices, ... And during the week Renata stick to the programm. she even add one more trips due to passenger demand as snorkeling in Santa Lucia. She's speaking English, German, french and also Spanish. You will see her everywhere, at the boat tender to check departure of people for excursions, at evening to animation the shows, explaining the disembarkation or giving more information about the excursions, ... When is she sleeping?? So she's doing a very good job. Excursion themselves are more oriented to 60s people with 4x4 travel. No big hiking or physical activities. Also on many island we stay 4 hours (morning or afternoon). that is a small amount of time if you want to do something by yourself except beach or shopping on the touristic front beach. SHIP : +++ It is a real sailing ship and the captain does not miss any occasion to remind you that. So yes, the boat is rocking (and yes I can confirm that I'm seasick). The Royal Clipper is a pretty lady and you will always seen crew member painting, cleaning, repairing,... every beat of it. It is really something to sail in this ship and to see other cruise ship passenger looking at the Royal Clipper! The dinner room is just amazing. Look at the Titanic, shrink it a little bit and you get it. For a ship of this size it is really impressive To be honest it has been one of our criteria to select the royal Clipper over Star Flyer. *Sun Deck, you will find 2 small pools (hot-tub size) and one big enough for 5 people. A lot of sun chair and roof for the shadow. There are also 2 steering wheel (real ones, you can drive the ship with them if the bridge decide so) and all the sails and rope. Note that thanks to electrical helping plots one sailor is able to rise a sail (he wind the rope around it at that help him to pull). There is also the bridge and the forward nest where you can go, except the night. Very good place to see the sunshine! * Main Deck, the heart of the ship : the Tropical Bar, open both side to the sea in the middle of the ship. It is the real meeting point for everyone. Inside you have also the Piano Bar and the impressive light shaft to the dinning room. There is also the library, the cabins with balcony and the forward lounge used for conferences. * clipper Deck is the cabin deck with the continuation of the light shaft, the reception and sloo shop. * Commodore Deck is again the cabins and the luxurious Dinning room. There is also a well equipped gym room and the spa (used none of them as we were to busy!!) PASSANGERS : ++ We were the youngest. 2 or 3 other couples in the 30s-40s but majority of passenger are couples of 50s and more. A lot of american, german, some canadien also. Usually people are repeaters of the Star Clipper and are seasoned travelers. English is the main language. However all official communication were made in english, german and french. Don't except to have party every night with dance after midnight! In the other hand, if you prefer to enjoy the stars/moon at the sun deck and discuss with crew members it is perfect. SATURDAY, Embarkation at Barbados arrived at 1pm, it is a little bit too early but we've been part of the first to get inside the boat. 1 or 2 hours to explore the ship and wonder if we are inside a dream or not. Followed by the drill exercise then the diner. We skipped the desert to assist to the sail and departure at 10PM. SUNDAY, Captain's choice Union Island Quiet day at the beach, a little bit raining. It was one of my favorite place for the beach background : forest, not to many people, 1 or 2 bars made from wood and really local. MONDAY, Grenada Muddy and slippery hiking to the Seven sister falls. It is not very difficult or long... for young people. The waterfalls are very nice and it stay as one of my favorite place of the cruise. Imagine to swim in the water-pool in the middle of the rain forest... Never think I will be able to do that one day! We've also see some monkeys very quickly. If you want to eat local that's the day because the boat leave at 11PM. TUESDAY, Tobago Cay An other post card place. Very nice beach and good snorkeling place. For the lunch it a a BBQ on the beach. The only problem : maybe too many people (almost all the boat) on the beach... WEDNESDAY, St Vincent The morning at Kingston, the capital. It is a NOT touristic place. Then I will not say beautiful but interesting to see what can be the real world behind the post card of touristic pace. Afternoon at Bequia, this one is a real touristic place in front of the beach. Lot of gift shops (twice the price compare to Kingston). The boat tender can also bring you to the beach, seem to be nice. THIRSDAY, MARTINIQUE Morning at Fort de France. It is a little bit of France in the middle of Caribbean, very surprising. Bring euros here to buy something! The rum is excellent and cheap. :-) Afternon at Anse d'Arlet. Many people love this place but it was my less favorite one. First there is no shadow at all and we've already get sun burned from the previous days, second the beach is narrow and full of constructions. The worse of "Cote d'Azur"! FRIDAY, St Lucia Again, one place in the morning (Marigo Bay) and one the afternoon (Soufriere). The bay is funny to see all the expensive yachts. The Soufriere is a beautiful place. The zip-line excursion is good but the highlight of the day is the photo-tender : at the sunset the 2 boat tender will turn around the ship, all sails out, and you can do amazing picture of the Royal Clipper. SATURDAY, Barbados The end of the cruise, sadly. You can have some excursion (beach or island tour) that will bring you at the airport. As usual the organization is serious and efficient! Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
We absolutely loved the ship - having sailed on big ones before. The atmosphere is very en famille, no silly entertainment or slot machines and you get to places the other big ships cannot get to. Sail Away is totally fabulous with all ... Read More
We absolutely loved the ship - having sailed on big ones before. The atmosphere is very en famille, no silly entertainment or slot machines and you get to places the other big ships cannot get to. Sail Away is totally fabulous with all those sails unfolding and Captain Sergey is a star, he really loves to use the sails as much as possible, for turning the ship or to sail shorter distances. And he talks to people, explains patiently - very much appreciated. The problem sometimes is the wind - if you are going North and the wind comes from there you cannot sail but they do what they can and it worked for us. We had a cat 2 cabin midships right down which was good in terms of stability - but the waves kept banging against it so it was a bit noisy when there was water action. Which there is a lot of - you DO notice that you are on a ship, it moves all the time and even if you do not get seasick which we did not it is unusual if you are not a sailor. There were lots of those on boards who just laughed at our worries. Having said that it really was not too bad but when the ship sails from and to Barbados you notice that you are out at sea and not under land any more. Cabin is small but well appointed but I would not like one of the others which have two sqm less. Already with this you have to be very organised if you are sharing a cabin. Food was the only downside - really not in line with expectations and partially re-heated potatoes, same salad every day, meat overdone and the bbq on the beach which is a good idea in theory turned out to be lukewarm overcooked stuff in reality. Not nice. And they use far too much butter. The ship is not really appropriate for persons with handicaps - lots of stairs and getting from the ship to a tenderboat is not easy especially when there are waves. Having said that we had a blind person on board who we all admired greatly - he did not miss a single trip - and the staff went out of their way to help. Also there were some elderly people who also made it. Great excursions, lots of beach and snorkeling - we enjoyed it, would come again - but get some seasickness plasters instead of just having tablets after the fact! And please note - this ship is also not good for kids either. There is nothing for them and with all the cables going around and open spaces it would be downright dangerous. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
My online search last fall happen upon Star Clipper and everything about it fit what my wife and I wanted: size, region, ports and accommodations. After all is said and none we feel like we achieved our goal of "adventure in ... Read More
My online search last fall happen upon Star Clipper and everything about it fit what my wife and I wanted: size, region, ports and accommodations. After all is said and none we feel like we achieved our goal of "adventure in smaller ports of call without having to do it with 3,000 of our closest friends". ON A REAL SAILING SHIP! PROS: * The Ship and Officers - All first class. Clean, well taken care of (almost to an extreme). Thank you Julian (First Mate) for having dinner at our table one evening. * Ports of Call - At every port we were the ONLY ship to be actually docked in the port, no mega liner in site. Each port an adventure for us and loved the people. Limited shore excursions which suited us just find. * Staff - All well trained and friendly (minus one or two that had not got the memo, more later). * Meals/Food - The Dinner menu and for the most part the Lunch menu were always different with new options and themes each day. Dinner presentation was always a highlight. Open seating which we love; did I say we love open seating?? * Drinks - Wine selections was very good; of course one would expect this while touring Italy! Thanks to Peter and Rachel for keeping our glasses full. * Rooms - We stayed in the Deluxe Suites (do this no matter what) where we had room service and a room attendant (One Million Shout Outs goes to Jun; thank you for every thing and all your work to keep ice and drinks in the suite). * Fellow Passengers - What a wide difference in nationalities. We met some great people from many different places. The ship at full passenger capacity is 225-227. We were told by one of the officers that the ship was only about 65% full.......What a deal. I could go on and on; but you get the idea. However, I must point a a few of the CONS that the line should address and could. CONS: * If you spend anytime on the company web site you will see that in very professional terms they communicate that if one has a "transferring issue and needs handicap support" that this ship is not equipped to handle this need. Additionally, they clearly state none of ships have "children program". PEOPLE! Do yourself a favor do not bring your children under the age of 15 or so on this ship. They will be bored out their mind by the second day.....no inter-net, no game boys, no TV and no else to play with. We had 3 or 4 couples that did not get the message and had 6 & 7 year old little girls with nothing to do but run wild through out the ship........and one couple that had a 2 year, OMG!!! Choose RCCL;you will be happier and so will all the other passengers on Clipper ships. * Breakfast - You got to improve this area. The same selection 7 days in a row; not good. If you can do it at lunch and dinner????? * Cruise Director - A Staff of ONE. Monja needs help in many areas first would be her "professional appearance, it simply does not match with other officers board ship.But she can speak 3 or 4 languages, fluently. Come on Mr/Ms Head of Marketing and PR for Star Clipper give it a look into. We thought it was just us; but one day we met a couple on Capri from the ship and we shared a bottle wine at an outside Cafe. Seems they were Star Clipper "repeaters" and were able to give us insight from other voyages. When I inquired as to the biggest difference (good or bad) about this ship and others the reply was the "Cruise Director" was a disappointment. My second point on this subject: Monja main concern was making the shore excursions (very limited number) happen each morning. If you were just going a shore on your on the ability to get good quality data from her on transportation, taxis, places to see was very limited or simply wrong. My wife and several other ladies inquired about transportation to the center city, at one port to be told " taxis will meet tenders or you can walk 800 meters to the first bus stop"....OMG. Not good! * And the Tenders - Please do not attempt this ship if you have "Transferring" issues. Going up and down the small stairs to a waiting tender in water that is bobbing up and down while being secured by one or two deck hands (not to mention that everything is wet)........if an accident has not happen I will be very surprised or will in the near future. My wife and I are in very good physical shape (not overweight) and we found it a challenge at times; with my wife getting one big large bruise on her leg from one session coming on board. Its a trade off- smaller ports and no mega ships. In the end I will take the tenders; but many older travelers need to know this "speed bump". * Entertainment on Ship- While not a big deal to us we found many of our fellow passengers voicing concern over the weak duo that was the sole option the entire 7 days. It did catch my ear as we initially boarded a Bee Gees disco tune would be being throw out at the welcome reception......I thought this was an Italian cruise; you can do better. If nothing else get the soundtrack from Moonstruck! In the end it gets our 4 STARS+ and we would go again; but the next time we would throw the kids overboard, DAY 1. Happy Sailing! Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
After reading some great reviews (especially from Budaman) for Royal Clipper nearly 12 months ago we decided to book the 10 day Christmas cruise from Barbados to the BVI's. Thanks to all for the advice given in the forums, the best of ... Read More
After reading some great reviews (especially from Budaman) for Royal Clipper nearly 12 months ago we decided to book the 10 day Christmas cruise from Barbados to the BVI's. Thanks to all for the advice given in the forums, the best of which was to go with the flow. This was our first cruise and while a little apprehensive we were really looking forward to it. Sorry if this is a little long winded but we have tried to answer the questions we wanted to know. Overall the cruise exceeded high expectations. Pre-cruise We were concerned that weather could delay us so we headed off from Dublin via Gatwick on the 15th December. After a pleasant flight with BA we arrived in Barbados and within an hour, we had our bags and were on our way to Bougainvillea Resort near St. Laurence Gap for 2 nights. We had never been to the Caribbean before and were very pleasantly surprised by the welcome and particularly the beach. 2 very relaxing and quite reasonable nights followed (€130 a night) and can definitely recommend. Friday night in Oistins was great fun and memorable. Best fish I have ever had. First Day - 17th Dec On advice from others, we arrived for check in at about 3.30 or so. The check in was done inside the terminal building by the sports team and was quite efficient as we were on the ship at about 4.30pm where we were welcomed by a drink and some bites. After a while we were brought down to our cabin with our bags arriving soon afterwards. We then took a tour of the boat (library, gym, restaurant, deck etc..) and then went to the tropical bar for a drink where we got talking to a few of our fellow travelers. At this stage there was an orientation done by the cruise director who warned us of heavy seas that night (in the end they were ok) and the offer of seasick tablets at the pursers desk). We had dinner at 7.30 and then went on deck for sailaway which was memorable we recommend to go on deck for all of these . Day 2 -- At sea Relaxing and pleasant day at sea. Great to get to explore the ship a bit more, enjoy the great food and get to know some of our fellow guests. Did the compulsory lifeboat drill in the morning. Climbing the mast was offered in the afternoon and snorkelling gear was given out before dinner. Would recommend taking your own mask and snorkel but use their fins Entertainment was a fashion show from the sports team which highlighted what was on offer in the shop. Light hearted fun. After a few after dinner drinks, had a good night's sleep as had got my sea legs at that stage. Day 3 -- St. Barth After a pleasant breakfast the ship arrived in St.Barth at about 11am. We had lunch on board and then went into town for a wander around and buying a few souvenirs. Gustavia is a pretty town but a lot of the shops were closed. Also had to deal with our first experience of feeling nauseous on land -- weird experience. We came back and did the organised snorkelling safari. Saw a few nice fish but the compulsory life jacket was awkward. The ship should invest in better buoyancy aids given the prices paid -- one of very few criticisms. We did not do any of the organised excursions. If we were back we would recommend renting a car and seeing some of the island -- there are some notable beaches on the other side. That night, there was bingo in the bar which was a good laugh although the cruise director should learn some of the bingo sayings to make it a bit more fun. As on other nights we enjoyed the company of our fellow guests with a few drinks in the Tropical Bar. Day 4 -- BVIs -- Norman Island and Sopers Hole (Tortola) Sailing up to the BVIs is memorable and can highly recommending as much time on deck as you can. It is incredible scenery with all those little islands. We went over to the beach on Norman Island as early as we could. It was a fun place to snorkel and we had a few beers over in Pirates before making our way back to the ship for lunch. This was one of our favourite beaches -- had a real isolated feel about the place and one you will never experience on a big cruise ship. After arriving back for lunch, we had a relaxing afternoon as we set sail for Sopers hole where we would be docked for the night. After another pleasant dinner we got the tender into Sopers Hole to go to a local bar. A lot of the crew were there, and after dancing and drinking we got back to the ship about 2am (even the midnight snack was gone) Day 5 -- Jost Van Dyke and Virgin Gorda Similar to the previous day, we (tenderly) went over to the beach which was pretty cool with the soggy dollar bar and one love. We did some snorkelling, walked the beach, bought a t shirt and headed back for lunch...perfect!! It is hard to describe these places but paradise comes to mind. Afternoon was again similar, reading on deck, having a beer, and enjoying the scenery as we sailed the short but very scenic distance to Virgin Gorda where we arrived at about 6.30. We did not go over to Virgin Gorda (Bitter end) as we would be there the next morning -- we were told it was pretty quiet so no regrets. After dinner the music quiz was held which was surprisingly competitive for some -- men v women. Might have been better to have teams but so be it. Day 6 -- Virgin gorda Had an early start for breakfast as we wanted to do the mast climb which was good fun, and is for all ages. We are in our 30's but a fellow guest in his mid 80's went up in about half the time I did. After that we went over to the Bitter End yacht club in Virgin Gorda. Unfortunately due to rough seas the trip to the baths was cancelled but this was a pleasant place to spend a few hours, and an excuse to come back. We walked some of the trails and got t shirts and Christmas decorations plus some props for the Pirate evening. Came back to the ship for lunch on the deck and then chilled for the afternoon particularly as we sailed off from the BVIs on our way to St. Kitts. Unfortunately we soon hot some very rough weather. While I did get a little ill, with the help of a sea sick tablet and plenty of bread I was ok for dinner but at least half the guests did not make it. Unfortunately Pirates night was cancelled but still had a very memorable meal and a good laugh. Surprisingly I slept very well -- was getting used to this living on a ship!!. Day 7 -- St Kitts We arrived at breakfast time in Basseterre but only the people for excursions got off the boat here. We then sailed to South friar's Bay and tenders went off at 11am. We (and our crew) decided that we would visit the ship wreak bar which is a ten minutes walk up from where the tender lets you off where we would sunbathe, snorkel and have lunch. Had a really enjoyable day with a few Caribs and a burger before heading back to the ship. That night was Captains Dinner so as all the women got dolled up for dinner, we had a nice pre dinner drink and a very enjoyable meal, followed by the excellent talent show. Who knew there was so much talent on the ship, especially the captain!! Day 8 -- Antigua -- Christmas Eve Arrived fairly early in Falmouth Harbour with tenders to the beach and the marina. We walked over to Normans dockyard which is very dinky. Admired the buildings and the boats, before having a nice beer and then heading over (15 mins walk) to the beach for the beach BBQ. Went back to the ship early afternoon as we had an unscheduled stop in St. Johns to pick up water supplies. While unscheduled the ship arranged for taxis to bring guests to Christmas eve mass in the local church. This was a welcome surprise for many, there was also a special afternoon tea with nice Christmas treats on board. Another nice dinner was followed by the excellent steel band in the tropical bar. This was a great experience to see local culture and everyone enjoyed themselves immensely. We had a very special sail away at 12.30 which followed stories by the captain on deck. We were led out by the pilot and bonfires were burning in St john to mark Christmas. A very special experience. Day 9 -- Ils des Saintes -- Christmas Day Unfortunately it was raining in les Saintes when we got over there but it was a pleasant wander around the town, visited the nice little church, bought a few bits in the shops and then went back to the ship for lunch. After lunch we took the tender over to the beach, which was on a small island. Did some snorkelling and kayaking and then back to the ship. Very pleasant time on deck watching the kite surfers and the boats. Christmas evening was great fun. Started off with Irish Coffees in the bar, followed by a lovely meal and then adjourned to the bar with our friends for what ended up being a late night. I was also talking to the owner's daughter who works for the company and was on board for her holidays. She was interested in the guests and their experiences, was down to earth and showed exactly why this ship differentiates itself from the floating vegas ships. Certainly very different to normal Christmas days!! Day 10 -- St Lucia Unfortunately our last day and the atmosphere was changing a little as people realised that we would have to start packing. The morning stop was in Marigot Bay -- it was not the most exciting but one thing to note is that there is free wifi if you want to email/skype home. Over lunch we sailed to Soufriere where were to do the zip lining excursion. This was good fun and suits all ages. Only regret was that it clashed with what we were told was the best snorkelling of the trip. After getting back to the ship, we were back on a tender within 15 mins while we got the opportunity to see the ship in full sail. All I can say is wow. Back on board, we did our packing and then went to dinner where everyone was a little sad to see the trip coming to an end. One of our friends had her birthday so we had a nice cake and sang happy birthday. A few post dinner drinks was followed by star gazing on deck and then an earlyish night. Day 11 -- Barbados The ship arrived into Barbados early. We spent the morning saying our goodbyes, had our breakfast, settled the bill and were off the ship at 9.30. there are excursions for those who have late flights (a tour or a beach day). We were staying 2 more nights in barbados so we headed off to get a taxi. After messing from a driver at the rank where he wanted to stick 2 more people into the taxi when we clearly would not fit we decided get our bags and walked outside the port. Here we got a taxi for less and no messing. While the next 2 days were pleasant it was a little bit of an anti-climax so next time we will just leave for home that day. Food Generally the food was excellent, with Early bird Breakfast from 6 -- 1030 in the paino bar Main breakfast from 8 -- 10 Lunch from 12 -- 2pm Afternoon snack from 5 -- 6pm in the tropical bar Dinner from 7.30pm to 10pm Midnight snack from 11.45 pm to 1am n the piano bar Early breakfast was usually fruit and some pastries. Main breakfast was buffet style in the dining room. There was a good choice of cooked breakfast, cheeses, omelette station and fruits. Lunch was also a buffet and had different selections everyday and sometimes themes like seafood, international, Italian etc. The desserts at lunchtime were generally better than at dinner as you could try more than one. Afternoon tea involved fruit and snacks such as chicken wings, goujons etc.. We tried to stick to the fruit to save our appetite for dinner. Dinner was a la carte and the food was generally of an excellent standard with soup, starter, sorbet, main, salad, cheese, dessert. There was also the option to have Steak and Chips every night. This sometimes made a change from the richer foods served. Overall very happy with the food, and dinner was usually a 2 hour affair. Midnight snack was fruit and something hot like chicken goujons, tacos, spring rolls etc. Tea (good selection) and coffee was always available in the Piano Room. This was great although sometimes the bar staff had to be reminded to top up the kettle. No big deal. Drinks Beers started at 3 euros including service. Cocktail of the day is 4.50. Others are 5.50. Wines ranged from 13.50 for the house wines (white was wine, red was not), to 18 for a bottle of prosecco to early 20's for decent wines to 30 for very decent wines. If you don't finish your wine, it can be stored or they will bring it up to the bar for you. Staff All the staff were great from the captain to the bar staff to the rigger. Special mention to Vira, Sylbert and Peter in the Bar, Manny and the omelette chef in the restaurant, and to Sunny the chief engineer who we hope to see again. Excursions We only did ziplining as the baths were cancelled. Others mentioned the swimming with rays as a highlight. Highlights The Sailaways Looking at the stars as we sailed Fun dinners Nice beach stops Interesting people Great staff You can do as little or as much as you want The Ship itself Things to improve Better instruction from the watersports team. Some also said the snorkelling was not as good as before. We will definitely do this again and don't think that a regular cruise ship would suit us. The people on board are very interesting with a mix of backgrounds and ages. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
The experience was great. Passengers all Americans as it was a charter by Vantage Travel. Good mix of generally experienced travellers. Loved the open sun deck, including being able to stand around during port entries and departures, ... Read More
The experience was great. Passengers all Americans as it was a charter by Vantage Travel. Good mix of generally experienced travellers. Loved the open sun deck, including being able to stand around during port entries and departures, watching captain, first mate and pilot (when there was one). The atmosphere is laid back but the decor is not glitzy and has a touch of glamor. The ports were wonderful--Capri, Corfu, Taormina, Ravello, Kotor (spectacular), Dubrovnik, Hvar, Rovinj and Venice. One day at sea. There was one spell of weather that had the ship rocking quite a bit but it didn't stop most folks from activities. Embarkation was slower than I'd expect on that size vessel. The staff were overall helpful, particularly the purser who couldn't do enough for pax. Bought their wifi option and it was worth it at 20 Euro for 3 hours. The raising of sails is a real treat--though the weather wasn't condusive to having a lot of sail up a lot of the time. The 'entertainment' was not particularly to my taste--I could have done without the goofy 'pirate night'. But you don't go on this ship for entertainment. The atrium extends through two decks, topped by the bottom of the sun deck swimming pool--disconcerting to see bodies bobbing about above you. Restaurant well laid out with very good dinners and an excellent lunch buffet. If you are looking for something other than the standard 'big ship' experience, this may be for you. Cabins small--I did fine but was travelling solo. I can see that two people would have had to be organized. The climbing the mast experience was great fun--what a view from up there! Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
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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