1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Star Clippers
  4. Royal Clipper Review
  5. Royal Clipper Cruise Reviews
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
I have been on Star Flyer twice and when the no solo supplement was offered last year I decided to try this larger ship knowing that the routine would be familiar. I am not a sailor but I think we all tire of the large cruise ships and ... Read More
I have been on Star Flyer twice and when the no solo supplement was offered last year I decided to try this larger ship knowing that the routine would be familiar. I am not a sailor but I think we all tire of the large cruise ships and the usual ports so getting in private small towns and beaches appealed to me. Once on board I found the large expanse of upper deck appealing with more shade available and more room to relax compared to the Star Flyer. I had inside cabin (216) and it is small with only one closet with another drawer under the bed but for one person adequate. Ship is beautiful with brass, beautiful wood work and library has fireplace that glows for ambiance altho few people go into library. Food is very good to my tastes and I am no food critic but the fish they offer is excellent, only tip I have is to avoid 2 hour meals asked to be seated at smaller table than 8 to avoid this altho some enjoy their wine and the ambiance of the dining experience. Breakfast and lunch are buffet with different theme and one day they did a beach BBQ on Tobago cay which was amazing. Only negative is the buffet is in smaller area than on Star Flyer which makes for a traffic jam between the hot dishes and salads and fruit. They also set out some snacks at 5-6 PM which is welcome since dinner does not start until 7:30 PM. Joanna and Jerry provided music in afternoon and at night and were great, I really enjoyed them and listened a lot to their music. Crew is wonderful and ready to help at all times. Bar prices are reasonable and I am a beer drinker and was surprised to find they had Carib as the last two Flyer cruises I was on in the Caribbean did not have any island beers and altho they ran out half way thru the cruise I was hoping this will be a change on their cruises in Caribbean next year. Most days we made two stops in morning and afternoon it seems to let excursions go out and then a beach type stop in the afternoon. I found the morning stops less than exciting as I did no excursions but truly loved each afternoon stop and wanted to stay longer. The ship does move but I guess I am getting used to the motion and only two nights did I notice more movement. Passengers were a mix of UK, Canada, US, and others but most were very friendly and welcomed me at dinner as a solo which is appreciated. I was asked which ship I prefer since I had now sailed both and that is truly hard to say, I guess my first experience is important and think if I was on a 7 day trip I prefer Star Flyer and if I was on 14 day trip I would prefer Royal Clipper especially is you had days at sea like the Panama Canal trip. I enjoyed this cruise again and I finally saw the Green Flash which makes this a special cruise to me. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose this ship as we are avid sailors, and if you want to sail in a tall ship, this is probably the best. However, this comes with some compromises that have to be accepted. The ship is small, at 4400 gross tonnes. It is a sailing ... Read More
We chose this ship as we are avid sailors, and if you want to sail in a tall ship, this is probably the best. However, this comes with some compromises that have to be accepted. The ship is small, at 4400 gross tonnes. It is a sailing ship so will heel gently to the wind and have a genteel motion. There are no elevators, no climbing walls, no casino, One restaurant and no constant tannoy announcements. The cabins are small (it's a tall ship). What you do get is some special sailing on a beautiful ship with traditional mahogany and brass interiors, all scrupulously clean and maintained. A library and piano bar, a high crew to passenger ratio, an open bridge policy, good food and helpful crew. There are only c200 guests and 105 crew. The bar staff will know you by name in the first day. The ship uses the sails for about 60% of the time, using the engine only to make the eta at next port or when the wind is in the wrong direction. It was never noticeable in our cabin which was ver quiet. The prices for extras such as wine and cocktails, laundry etc are not outrageous. Entertainment is very much passenger led, costume evenings, quizzes and the like. It all hails from a previous age and is very stress free and relaxing. This is not a high octane thrill seekers trip, if you want that then you're on the wrong ship. It's not suitable for people with reduced mobility as there are no lifts and access doors have large cills and are very heavy. There would not be much for young children to do. The paid shore excursions are uniformly poor. We took three and they were all very bad with late pick ups, dirty venues and it was obvious nobody from the company has tested them for years. We loved it. Some passengers complained about the ships motion, small cabins and lack of elevators? Did they read the brochure? Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
We are sailors, and Star Clipper actually spends some time under sail - we were told about 25% on our cruise. Some 'sailing' cruise ships use their sails only for photo-ops.The ship was tidy and squared away, the food excellent, ... Read More
We are sailors, and Star Clipper actually spends some time under sail - we were told about 25% on our cruise. Some 'sailing' cruise ships use their sails only for photo-ops.The ship was tidy and squared away, the food excellent, and the crew lovely - with the exception of the officers. Our cabin was quite comfortable, although one sleeper was against the hull. This didn't bother us at all but if you expect a 'walk-around' bed you might be disappointed. There may be a Stateroom upgrade with a bit more room? There was a small but excellent buffet for breakfast and lunch, with sit-down dining in the evening. There was a small library, and I believe TV in each cabin. No theatre. No casino. If that's what you are looking for, sail on a larger ship. In the evenings we met around the covered deck, near the bar, and had 'discussions' with the Cruise Director as moderator. Subjects could involve travel, steam vs sailing ships, 21st century piracy, etc. The talks could become a bit contentious as the Cruise Director, a German gentleman, was quite unhappy with the roll the USA plays in the modern world, and he wasn't afraid to express his opinions. Of the 60+ passengers, perhaps a half-dozen were Americans (which we usually enjoy) and we were outnumbered by French, British, German and other EU citizens. The other passengers were generally very nice, and seemed a little embarrassed at times by the Director's distaste for all things American. And the officers? Russian, and from the captain on down arrogant and stand-offish to the passengers. The crew on the other hand - the folks that actually did the work - were lovely to a fault. Our ports of call were often smaller than a big ship could handle, and we enjoyed that immensely. Sailing, especially at night, was beautiful. In the end this was one of our favorite cruises ever, and we would do it again if the cruise line could get a handle on the snooty attitude of the officers, etc. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We have sailed a number of lines including Princess,Disney,Norwegian, Costa,Silversea and Celebrity which is the one we sailed most of the time. We were looking forward to this trip as it was a true sailing ship.We brought my son and ... Read More
We have sailed a number of lines including Princess,Disney,Norwegian, Costa,Silversea and Celebrity which is the one we sailed most of the time. We were looking forward to this trip as it was a true sailing ship.We brought my son and nephew with us both in their 20's. Our cruise was to Croatia with stops in Montenegro and Slovenia. The ship is beautiful and our cabin while small was adequate. We did 2 excursions through the ship and our favorite was in Piren where we had lunch at a small family winery. There were only 8 of us and the excursion was wonderful. Due to the weather we did not have much sailing which was a disappointment but not anything star clipper could change. I thought they could improve on somethings. I knew that this was not a ship with many activities and was prepared for that but really there was nothing outside of the ports we visited. I think if they had a trivia once a day at the bar would have helped. The muster drill was awful. Two days, the first day was not bad but the second day of the mandatory drill of over an hour was just to long. The food was pretty good. I would not say it was better than Celebrity cruises and some nights were better than others. Would I travel on a star clipper again? Only if I really liked the ports of call and since this ship can make some smaller ports I would consider another cruise in the future. Service: Excellent from our cabin steward who had our room made up by the time we returned from breakfast, to the matrie at the restaurant who always found seats for 4 of us when arriving at anytime to a great bar staff.This was an excellent team who worked very hard.I do wish the cruise director did some on board activities; I felt she was lacking in this area Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
First of all - the trip was on 5/5/18 French Riviera - Portofino & Monaco Timing & destinations were reason for the choice. Also size - though we prefer small yachts - this was a whole different adventure & great! We ... Read More
First of all - the trip was on 5/5/18 French Riviera - Portofino & Monaco Timing & destinations were reason for the choice. Also size - though we prefer small yachts - this was a whole different adventure & great! We did not plan on doing any of the excursions and researched adventure type days for ourselves.The ship itself, as the size of room and patio were awesome. The ports were awesome, as were the crew and events. Here are the downsides -- for your future reference The beds were uncomfortable & comparable to the mattress at Phantom Ranch at the bottom of the grand canyon. The pillows were lumpy and the shades did not provide protection from light coming in. Additionally - anchor was pulled every night between midnight & 1am -- and it was impossible to think about sleeping thru that. Therefore, my sleep experience was awful - I slept between 3 & 5 hours every night. Paying close to $8k for our cruise - I would have expected at least comfortable sleep arrangements & they were not. On a plus side of the room - the cabin steward was great - the room was huge - the bath had a jacuzzi, medicine cabinet and was large -- plenty of storage everywhere. The choice of ports was phenomenal. Changes I'd recommend for the ship - new mattresses and shades for the rooms. Since all of our sails were short - they should be pulling anchor at 10:30 or 11PM latest - as everyone was on the ship & there was no reason not to. Or in the morning - as we didn't get into port until between 10-12PM most days -- so they could have easily been sensitive to sleep time. The dinners were mediocre - the desserts or veges were the highlight. Everywhere that we ate outside of the boat was excellent -- so they most definitely could have done a better job with their chef. The smaller yachts I've been on were sensitive to sleep and also the food was a 10. Plus the price was less. Harmony V (Greece) & Integrity (Galapagos) Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
We stayed for a week in Barbados before boarding, which we found to be better rather than rushing straight onto the boat. We stayed post cruise also. We arrived at the cruise port about an hour before 4.00pm (boarding time) and found ... Read More
We stayed for a week in Barbados before boarding, which we found to be better rather than rushing straight onto the boat. We stayed post cruise also. We arrived at the cruise port about an hour before 4.00pm (boarding time) and found the line for checking in. We were given a temporary card and then could board from 4.00pm. When we boarded we had to queue to get our proper cards and do the financials etc. Our bags came within an hour. Before we sailed we had to go the safety briefing with our life jackets. This was repeated the next day in the morning (without life jackets). The boat is very interesting - great if you love sailing. If you get sea sick then it won't be for you! it moves all the time so everyone is staggering around constantly but that's part of the charm. You also move in bed a lot! when going up and down decks the stairways are narrow with sprung doors at the end - it's quite amusing watching people being eaten by the doors (especially when they've had a drink or two...). It's not a luxury cruise - it is a replica of a sailing ship and is just that with some nice touches. Cabins aren't big like you get on a normal cruise ship but adequate for 2. We were able to stow our bags under the bed and were able to put all our clothes away. The bathroom had a good shower, with toiletries but no hair conditioner (not sure why!) It was kept immaculate by our steward Sonny. Dining is communal so you always sit on a table with other people. We met some interesting people. Breakfast and lunch are buffet style. There are sandwiches and snacks (sort of afternoon tea) at 5.00pm daily. Dinner starts at 7.30pm. There was a good menu choice about 6 courses (if you wanted). there are standard choices of a pasta dish or steak if you don't want any of the daily main courses. There are no 'formal' nights as its not that type of cruise. you could wear anything except shorts in the evening. Entertainment is a bit ad hoc, but fun. We had a crew and passenger talent show, passenger fashion show (modelling clothes from the shop), a music quiz night. Otherwise there was someone playing and singing on the piano or playing music to dance to. We didn't use the gym (neither did anyone else when we went down there). Didn't use the spa either. shore excursions are a bit expensive -we just sorted ourselves out when we got ashore. You can get snorkelling equipment on the second day which you keep for the duration of the cruise. They have the marina platform with paddle boards, kayaks etc and these were taken ashore a couple of times when we had 'beach days'. Drinks are fairly cheap (in comparison to normal cruise liners) and you don't get a 'service' charge added on. A cocktail was about 5 euros, beer about 4. The staff on the ship are the best - they are a small team so you get to know them and they you. It's all very informal and they seem to enjoy working on the boat. There are plenty of sun loungers for everyone (they were never full anyway) as you don't have any 'sea days'. You stop somewhere every day (sometimes 2 places a day - which can be a bit of a rush). Our best day was in Tobago Cays as this was our beach bbq. They took everything off the ship and took it to the beach (bar as well!). Getting on and off the ship was nearly all by tender bar one place. Fellow guests tended to be on the more mature side but there were some younger people but no kids. Passengers were mainly from the UK, USA and Germany. My one gripe was that the tv channels were all in French (don' t know why as there were hardly any French people on the ship!). I like to have the tv on when getting ready etc, so it got a bit annoying after a while. But hey - if that's my only gripe then it's not too bad! they raise the sails every time you depart somewhere so they are up and down all the time and they play the Vangelis music so it's quite stirring! They have you helping with the ropes on the odd occasion. You can go up the mast - they did that about 4 times (weather permitting of course). we didn't go in the plunge pools - the water seemed very cold when I stuck my hand in and I didn't really see anyone in them. The sea was warmer! In comparison, we have sailed on the Wind Surf which is more luxurious as it's modern, however it is like comparing apples and oranges.... You are going on a sailing ship not a luxury yacht so you are going for the experience. If you are happy staggering around like you are drunk for a week (which is quite funny as everyone does it) then it's the cruise for you! Would we go again - of course! Am off to book it now..... Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
This was a Bare Necessities cruise, and I can't think of a better way to spend a couple of weeks in July then cruising the Mediterranean on a beautiful ship with friendly crew and NO DRESS CODE! Only (minor )short comings were: ... Read More
This was a Bare Necessities cruise, and I can't think of a better way to spend a couple of weeks in July then cruising the Mediterranean on a beautiful ship with friendly crew and NO DRESS CODE! Only (minor )short comings were: 1) Food was good, but not excellent. Maybe I've become jaded, having recently come off a Crystal World Cruise, but I thought the food was a little better two years ago when we were on the Royal Clipper. 2) Our Cruise director, Monja, was a very nice person, but her pronunciation of English, when speaking generally over the microphone, was completely unintelligible. Talking to her face-to-face was fine, and when she gave a canned safety announcement she was readable. But when she was just talking none of the passengers could understand her. She helped us out one day when my wife was ill, so I hate to knock her, but the lack of communication really was a downer. Other than those two minor points the cruise was wonderful and we look forward to coming back. Read Less
31 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
Our Cruise was the Windward Islands. We had never been cruising before. It was a very different experience. We were some of the youngest passengers in our late 50s and early 60s and many of the passengers were over 80! The evening ... Read More
Our Cruise was the Windward Islands. We had never been cruising before. It was a very different experience. We were some of the youngest passengers in our late 50s and early 60s and many of the passengers were over 80! The evening entertainment was limited and over most nights by 11, after that most went to bed. However, do not be put off the food and attention to detail will stay with us for ever. The cabins, ship, dining, ports and excursions were amazing. The majority of staff could not do enough to help you. Standards were very high. You may be seasick, where the Atlantic and Caribbean meet, it can be rocky. Please take your seasick tablets and bands. The first morning we could not wait to arrive at St Lucia, but after that most of the time we seemed to get "sea legs." Many people looked green around the gills! The unfurling of the sail as we left port will stay with me for ever. There is so much space. Do not forget she is an ocean going vessel and you can really feel her move. Read Less
23 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
We chose this cruise as it was a small ship sailing out of Barbados where we winter. Having always cruised on larger ships with all the usual entertainment we thought we would be at a loss for things to do, however not so. Sail aways ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was a small ship sailing out of Barbados where we winter. Having always cruised on larger ships with all the usual entertainment we thought we would be at a loss for things to do, however not so. Sail aways before dusk was always spectacular and shouldn't be missed. The marina platform at the back of the ship offered many water sport activities which we enjoyed daily. The crew could not have been more helpful than they were. The cabins although small were well appointed with more than enough storage and the beds very comfortable. Ports of call met expectations except Martinique and that was personal as we could have gone snorkelling or diving which we don't do, but we did a short hike into the hills which only gave us some exercise, no views. If there was one disappointment it was that my diet provided a bit of a challenge at dinner, breakfast and lunch buffets not a problem. The fact that we were under sail the majority of the voyage puts this ship over the top for me. I will definitely cruise with Star Clippers again. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
We have never been on a Cruise before and I don't think we would go on the big ships but we would go on one of the star clippers again as we were captivated by the experience. I can't compare it to other cruises in terms of cabin ... Read More
We have never been on a Cruise before and I don't think we would go on the big ships but we would go on one of the star clippers again as we were captivated by the experience. I can't compare it to other cruises in terms of cabin or food or condition of the boat but somehow I think these are immaterial when compared to the elegance and romanticism of being under sail on such a lovely boat. However, to my mine the cabins were great, comfortable and rather elegant, the food and general dining experience was wonderfully classy without being stuffy and formal and we loved it. The ports of call were well thought out. One issue would be that there was little or no information about most of the ports of call. If you planned a trip that would be fine but if just going ashore a simple information sheet with that small map would have been useful. We are thinking of another cruise shortly but no more than 200 passengers and the gentle swaying of the ship under the starlit sky is just about right so it will have to be one of the star clippers. Read Less
24 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
We sailed on Royal Clipper from Venice to visit the Dalmation coast. Following a day at sea we visited Kotor, Dubrovnik, Hvar, Rovinj and Piran before returning to Venice. Leaving Venice on a ship such as this, especially as the sun is ... Read More
We sailed on Royal Clipper from Venice to visit the Dalmation coast. Following a day at sea we visited Kotor, Dubrovnik, Hvar, Rovinj and Piran before returning to Venice. Leaving Venice on a ship such as this, especially as the sun is setting, is a splendid experience, passing the famous sights as you head for the open sea. Returning at dawn is also pretty special. Life on board Royal Clipper is a succession of sumptuous meals. Unfortunately the dining room, though opulent, is poorly designed. The buffet arrangements for breakfast and lunch are not ideal as the buffet itself is subject to logjams of people due to poor access. Dinner is served at your table. The tables are arranged on three levels and the low ceiling height on the uppermost level resulted in the overall noise level being uncomfortably high. The service itself was a little erratic, the first courses being served fairly slowly while the cheese, dessert and coffee came all in a rush. Entertainment on board is very low-key. There is a resident "musician" who "serenades" you during the afternoon snack and again before dinner. His singing leaves a lot to be desired and he managed to reduce every song to the same dreary tempo. One evening we had a visit from a local traditional signing group who were very good, but otherwise the evening entertainment was provided by the crew, whether it be a fashion show (to encourage purchases from the on-board shop) or a "talent" show. Cabins are comfortable but, certainly in our case, of minimal size. The crew were, in general, excellent at their jobs but not necessarily as friendly as you might expect. In the past we have sailed on both the smaller ships in the fleet, and our feeling is that they provide a more intimate and generally better experience, especially with regard to the dining arrangements. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2015
Ship was contracted out so majority of passengers were from UK. The embarkation could have been a better experience as it was very hot and we didn't see the drinks on offer in tent until it was too late. Once om board the queuing and ... Read More
Ship was contracted out so majority of passengers were from UK. The embarkation could have been a better experience as it was very hot and we didn't see the drinks on offer in tent until it was too late. Once om board the queuing and processing of cards meant we stood in line for a long time and when they tried to take photos the uSB wouldn't work. We helped them reboot the laptop. cant fault the service and as always the ship was sparkling clean. Lots of choice for breakfast, lunches and main meals. All were well cooked and presented. good choice of desserts as well at lunch, but those involving pastry or cake I felt lacked a good flavour - perhaps they had used cheaper margarine. Lovely touch of the late afternoon food on the deck. Great to swim off the platform when we were moored and the chance to kayak. good aquarobics class at the swimming pool - shame they have cut down on the number of qualified sports crew, but they did their best. I even joined the 0700 yogalates class run by the excellent cruise director. Climbing the crows nest was great fun, but the booking process was a bit chaotic. Cabins are compact but have everything you need and air conditioning relatively quiet. Tours arranged by ship were a bit overpriced but well organised. All in all still a great cruise- just felt standards had slipped - you don't hose down a zodiac above the route for passengers going ashore! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2013
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: March 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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2012
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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2009
INTRODUCTION My wife and I sailed on the January 17, 2009 voyage of the Royal Clipper round-trip from Barbados. This was our second cruise with Star Clippers, having also sailed on the Star Clipper in 2006. Our previous cruises were on ... Read More
INTRODUCTION My wife and I sailed on the January 17, 2009 voyage of the Royal Clipper round-trip from Barbados. This was our second cruise with Star Clippers, having also sailed on the Star Clipper in 2006. Our previous cruises were on Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Carnival and NCL. We had grown tired of the larger ships and wanted to try a sailing cruise for a change. After sailing on the Star Clipper and Royal Clipper, we have no desire to return to the mass market cruise ships. ARRIVAL We took a taxi from the airport and arrived at the pier in Barbados around 4:00, and the check-in process had already begun. Check-in consisted of receiving our ID cards (which doubled as our room keys), dropping off our passports and leaving an imprint of our credit card for purchases on the ship. We finished with the process and were taken to the ship via a very short shuttle ride. As we boarded the ship, we were met by the Captain and Hotel Manager and given complementary cold drinks and light snacks on deck. We then were escorted to our cabin and our luggage was delivered to our room shortly after our arrival. SHIP The Royal Clipper is a fabulous ship. It is a sailing vessel, not a cruise ship. The ship is very elegant and sophisticated with none of the pseudo-glitz of the large ships. There are no casinos, ship's photographers, show lounges or elevators. There are three bars on board: the outside Tropical Bar; the inside Piano Bar and a Pool Bar. All of the nightly entertainment occurs at the Tropical Bar. The ship has plenty of teak and mahogany wood, all varnished to a high gloss. Additionally, there is lots of brass, which is also kept polished. The crew was working every day doing routine maintenance around the ship. The ship's passenger capacity is 220, and this week it seemed filled. The breakdown of passengers was international - from the United States, Canada and Europe. About one-half of the passengers had previously sailed with Star Clippers. There were several passengers on board for two weeks, combining the Grenadine Islands itinerary of this sailing with the Windward Islands sailing the week immediately prior to or after our sailing. The crew members were from 25 different countries. The ship offers several features not found on cruise ships: passengers could climb the main mast to the first level crow's nest (with appropriate safety equipment) on two separate occasions during the week; we could relax on the widow's netting at the bow of the ship anytime the crew was not operating the sails; there was an open bridge policy throughout the week; the crew lowered tenders one day during the week to give the passengers the opportunity to photograph the Royal Clipper at sea under full sails; and passengers were given the opportunity to steer the ship while at sea. Each day as the sails were raised as we were leaving a port, the ship would play the Vangelis soundtrack, "1492: Conquest of Paradise" over the sound system. The passengers would congregate on deck to watch the crew raising the sails and to listen to the music. The sailing during certain periods throughout the week was rough. We heard that some passengers were ill at points during the week due to the ship's movement. However, we did not feel any discomfort during the week. CABIN We booked a Category 6 (Inside) room, cabin 228. In retrospect, we would have booked a higher category (Outside) room to give us a little more space. The room had a fixed double bed. The bathroom had a shower, toilet, sink and a two-door medicine cabinet with plenty of shelving for storing toiletries. While most of the electrical outlets in the cabin are 220 volts, there are two outlets in the bathroom for 110 volts, which I used for charging our digital camera's battery. These outlets could also be used for electric razors or charging cell phones. There was a hair dryer attached to the wall in the bathroom. The cabin had just enough storage and closet space for the two of us. A safe with a programmable lock was located in one of the cabinets. There was a TV in the room, which received a few English speaking programs, including CNN International. A DVD player was also in the room, and video disks could be borrowed from the ship's collection. Our cabin attendant was excellent. Towels were exchanged each morning and evening. MEALS All meals were served in the main dining room. Like the rest of the ship, the main dining room was very elegant. It was very common for the ship's officers, including the captain, to join a group of diners at each meal. All dining is open seating, with service between 8:00 and 10:00 for breakfast, 12:00 and 2:00 for lunch and 7:30 and 10:00 for dinner. There are no formal nights - dress for dinner is resort casual for men and women. Buffet meals were served for breakfast and lunch. For breakfast, there was an assortment of cereal, yogurts, pastries and fruits, along with scrambled eggs, French toast or pancakes, bacon, sausage or ham and potatoes. There was also a station for fresh omelets and eggs each morning. Lunchtime had a nice assortment of salads, cold cuts, cheeses, fruits and homemade soups, plus one or two hot entrEes. There was also a carving station each day with either fish or meat. The breakfasts and lunches were all very good. An afternoon snack would be served daily between 5:00 and 6:00 at the Tropical Bar. Like the breakfasts and lunches, the afternoon snack was very good. The snack would consist of items such as finger sandwiches, fruit, a hot dish and dessert. The dinners have improved since our last cruise on the Star Clipper. On our prior cruise, we were disappointed in the dinners served, both in the nightly selection and quality of food. We were much more pleased with the dinners on this cruise. Dinner would feature four choices for the main course: a seafood entree; a vegetarian entree; a meat entrEe and a Caribbean chef's special. Lobster Tail was served on Thursday night, which is the Captain's Dinner. One nice thing about the dinner food on this cruise (and on the prior Star Clipper cruise) was that each night, the various entrEes would be displayed in the piano bar for the passengers to get an idea of what would be served that evening. An early morning breakfast of croissants and pastries was also available in the Piano Bar from 6:00 to 8:00 in the mornings. Many mornings, we would be up early and grab a croissant and coffee and tea and sit on the deck as the ship sailed to the next stop. Coffee, tea and fresh fruit are available 24 hours a day in the Piano Bar. The coffee on the ship is barely drinkable. I think that they must let it brew too long and leave it on the heat after it has finished brewing. The best thing I found was to grab a fresh cup as soon as the brew cycle finished or to mix the coffee with hot water to dilute it somewhat. SERVICE The service in the main dining room and throughout the ship was good. However, with the ship filled to capacity, the service seemed slower than three years ago. We often had to ask for refills on water or coffee. Bar service was mainly at the bars, with no bar waiters hounding you to purchase drinks every few minutes. The guys (and one young lady) on the sports crew were excellent. As noted above, our cabin steward was excellent. The crew that worked the sails was also very good, showing great patience as the passengers were on deck as the crew was trying to raise or lower the sails. They were also very helpful with any information that the passengers asked them for. ENTERTAINMENT Entertainment on the clipper ships is very limited - this is one area that could use improvement by Star Clippers. There was one entertainer on board who sang and played the keyboard during the afternoon snack period. He also played the piano in the Piano Bar during the dinner hours and served as the deejay for nighttime dancing. The music selection for nighttime dancing seemed strange and hardly anyone danced after the organized entertainment ended each evening. It would have been much nicer to have a talented duo or trio providing the dancing music in the evenings. There were organized entertainment activities each night at 10:00 at the Tropical Bar. The first night was a Welcome Aboard party. Other nights featured crab races, a musical trivia quiz contest and a fashion show. A crew and passenger talent show was held on another night, which was very funny and enjoyable. While we were docked Monday night in Grenada, a very good steel drum band came aboard to play for us. Other forms of entertainment centered around the cruise director's daily talk on the upcoming port and the captain's story time. Every morning before we reached a port, the cruise director would hold a briefing on the bridge. He would explain the history of the island and places of interest to visit. He detailed what times the tenders would operate to the town or to the beach, and what time the last tender would return to the ship at the end of the day. The captain held two story times. The first session lasted about one hour and consisted of the captain narrating a slide show of sailing ships and then answering questions from the passengers regarding the ship and sailing in general. He also held another story time later in the week, demonstrating sailing maneuvers from the bridge area. ITINERARY This is not a typical cruise ship itinerary. Because of its small size, the ship can fit into ports that the larger ships cannot. The stops are in remote islands and harbors. The focus on the stops is on sailing and enjoying the natural beauty of the islands. There is not a lot of activity going on in most of the ports. At most stops, the ship would run two tenders, one to the town for limited shopping and to meet the shore excursions and the second one to a beach. For each beach stop, the sports crew would take water ski equipment, a wave board (similar to a snow board), a windsurf board, sea kayaks, and small sailboats. All of these beach activities were provided with no additional charge. Snorkeling gear was also issued at the beginning of the week for use throughout the cruise, again at no additional charge. After departing Barbados on Saturday, Sunday we stopped at uninhabited Young Island for a full beach day. On Monday the ship called at Grenada and spent all day docked at the pier in St. Georges. Several excursions were offered by the ship but we opted to walk into town in the morning and stopped at a public library to use the Internet connection. During the afternoon, we took a private taxi tour of the island, stopping at a spice plantation, Annandale Falls and a scenic point overlooking the harbor. On Tuesday the ship stopped at an uninhabited island in the Tobago Cays for a full day. This was probably the most beautiful beach we have ever been on. In addition to the beautiful beach, the natural harbor was filled with sailboats in the area for the day. You could take a short walk to the other side of the island where more sailboats were anchored offshore. There was good snorkeling right off of the beach. The ship's crew provided a full beach barbecue for lunch at this island stop. On Wednesday morning, we stopped in St. Vincent at the capital city of Kingstown. This was by far the worst stop of the week. No one could understand why the ship stops at this island. The pier area is crowded and dirty. Once you leave the protected area of the pier, you are hounded by taxi drivers. We did not feel comfortable walking through the city and headed back to the ship. Fortunately, we left St. Vincent around noon and sailed to Port Elizabeth, Bequia. As bad as St. Vincent was, Bequia was just as good. It is a beautiful island. The beach area is wide and sandy, without any rocks. There is a small town at the pier with many charming shops, restaurants and pubs. I know that many passengers made suggestions that St. Vincent should be dropped and the whole day should be spent in Bequia. There were two stops on Thursday on Martinique. During the morning, we stopped at the capital city, Fort de France. We spent the morning walking the city streets. During the afternoon, we anchored off of Grand Anse Beach. While on the beach, the sports crew led a snorkeling excursion to another part of the island on their Zodiac boats. Two excursions were offered, each with a capacity of eight persons. I was fortunate enough to go on the first excursion, and it was simply the best snorkeling I have ever done. Our excursion stopped at the same site as the local scuba dive tours. The water was incredibly clear, as we were able to see the ocean floor at least 70 feet below us. The coral formations living on the rocks were fabulous. During our time in the water, we saw two eels and an octopus, along with many other colorful fish. The best part of the snorkeling excursion was that it was free - no additional charge for the side trip. After snorkeling, we stayed on the beach until the last tender at 6:00 and witnessed a beautiful sunset on the tender ride back to the ship. The final stops on Friday were St. Lucia. In the morning, we stopped at Marigot Bay. A tender service was offered into a small marina, which turned out to be a very pleasant surprise. There was a coffee shop with nice patio seating along with several small specialty stores. There were several beautiful sailboats and yachts docked at the marina. A very nice resort hotel with beautiful grounds, Discovery at Marigot Bay, was located at the end of the marina. In the afternoon, we sailed to Soufriere Bay, where the sports team offered another snorkeling excursion - this time a one Euro fee was charged as we snorkeled at a St. Lucia national park, and the one Euro fee was the entrance fee to the park. During this snorkeling excursion, we saw and swam with a sea turtle for 10 or 15 minutes. The ship also offered shore excursions and a tender service to the town of La Soufriere. The passengers who went into the town were very disappointed, as they were harassed by local youths begging for money. SUMMARY This was another great week with Star Clippers, and we would definitely love to sail with them in the future. Read Less
Royal Clipper Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 4.0 4.2
Entertainment 3.0 3.1
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 4.6
Value For Money 4.0 3.9
Rates 4.0 3.6

Find a Royal Clipper Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click
Compare and book excursions for your next cruise