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Sailed from Cienfuegos, 3 hours south of Havana, there is no such port of embarkation on the list above! Departed on 11 Jan 2015. All very smooth. Lovely weather, ship beautiful, Captain jolly, crew friendly and very efficient. Food excellent. Spent the first day at sea sailing up and down......there is nowhere else to go, and get the impression Cuban officials are very firm about where they go. Each time they anchor to go ashore, or tie along side officials board and there is paperwork to trawl through. It must be very tedious to do every week. The day was Ok as new arrivals found their sea legs, and old timers relaxed after the dirty, noisy frantic city that is Havana. Its a pity SC cannot anchor in the bay, its enormous, and Cienfuegos would be an interesting city to tour. Most people arrived for the cruise and did not get to see the colonial French buildings (falling down, like much of Cuba). Day 2 At anchor off Ancona beach for Trinidad, we had already 'done' Trinidad so just went to the beach. Swimming good, watersports team there, so sail board, canoe, dinghy. Cuban style loungers free and shadefrom thatched umbrellas, a typical Cuban bar, and a loo. We had an hour there for a walk and went back to relax on the Flyer. There is a soviet era looking hotel, we did not venture in. After a week in Cuba we were happy to look but not enter! Days 3 and 4 to the Caymans......Cayman Brac first, an overnight sail, smooth and calm sea. Swimming off gangway good. Also snorkling good off beach in a small lagoon, and a wreck, though sea quite lumpy in the midday breeze. Entering the water from the tender not easy unless you are a competent snorkler, I am not. Island looked very nice, clean and British! Some people took taxis to sandy beaches on the far side. Taxis not cheap. Day 4 we were at Grand Cayman, along side the port, so easy access to the town. They take on food and drink here, there is none in Cuba. We went on the stingray trip plus turtle farm, by coach, it was worth every penny. Interesting guide, tour of Island and swimming with the rays memorable. You leave the Island at 3.30, could do with another day here maybe to see it properly, though some who did not do the tour said the beach was nothing special. We were lucky only 2 huge cruise ships at anchor with us, sometimes they have 5. Day 5 overnight to Cayo Largo, amazing white soft sand beach..bar if needed, and restaurant, also you can swim with dolphins if you like. A fairly long transfer as its shallow, so 40 mins in a tender, there is no other way ashore. Did not move anchorage for last day at Cayo Rico next door. Day 6 Beach BBQ, amazing work for the waiters and cooks, transferring lunch plus BBQ ashore. Tables and benches there and loungers and shade. In super covered bar, but beach only for paddling, some lay on mats in the water! Sea bright blue and amazing clear water. However transfers long....its too shallow even for tenders at the end, so local boats used. It took an hour to get to the beach so some complaints about this, but SC trying hard. Day 7 back to Cienfuegos and time to disembark. Sad to say bye to the ship, crew, staff and fellow passengers, a super cruise again, our 4th. Each time we anchored, or went into port in Cuba, had 4 doctors out to take temps of everyone on board (Ebola) plus loads of people checking papers again and again. All before Ship was cleared...so 6.30 to 7.30am! Paperwork is a career in Cuba. Overall it was lovely, a respite from Cuba which is terribly poor, the food terrible, hygene worse (11 people confined to cabins at first as had bad stomachs after eating Cuban food).the people seem friendly but only as long as tipped frequently, 2 people on our ship had been mugged in Havana in daylight. . We were 111 passengers, the next week there were only 70. Star Clippers are trying hard, but unless the US visitors are allowed I cannot see this continuing as an option. Pleased we did it, but as a cruise you do not sail far, and Cuba fairly limiting as a destination. We preferred the leewards and windwards. And Europe. As a luxury week in the middle of a Cuban holiday though it was ideal. Will not return to Cuba, but will return to Star Clippers!

Cuba

Star Flyer Cruise Review by Ional

5 people found this helpful
Trip Details
Sailed from Cienfuegos, 3 hours south of Havana, there is no such port of embarkation on the list above!
Departed on 11 Jan 2015. All very smooth. Lovely weather, ship beautiful, Captain jolly, crew friendly and very efficient. Food excellent.
Spent the first day at sea sailing up and down......there is nowhere else to go, and get the impression Cuban officials are very firm about where they go. Each time they anchor to go ashore, or tie along side officials board and there is paperwork to trawl through. It must be very tedious to do every week. The day was Ok as new arrivals found their sea legs, and old timers relaxed after the dirty, noisy frantic city that is Havana. Its a pity SC cannot anchor in the bay, its enormous, and Cienfuegos would be an interesting city to tour. Most people arrived for the cruise and did not get to see the colonial French buildings (falling down, like much of Cuba).
Day 2 At anchor off Ancona beach for Trinidad, we had already 'done' Trinidad so just went to the beach. Swimming good, watersports team there, so sail board, canoe, dinghy. Cuban style loungers free and shadefrom thatched umbrellas, a typical Cuban bar, and a loo. We had an hour there for a walk and went back to relax on the Flyer. There is a soviet era looking hotel, we did not venture in. After a week in Cuba we were happy to look but not enter!
Days 3 and 4 to the Caymans......Cayman Brac first, an overnight sail, smooth and calm sea. Swimming off gangway good. Also snorkling good off beach in a small lagoon, and a wreck, though sea quite lumpy in the midday breeze. Entering the water from the tender not easy unless you are a competent snorkler, I am not. Island looked very nice, clean and British! Some people took taxis to sandy beaches on the far side. Taxis not cheap.
Day 4 we were at Grand Cayman, along side the port, so easy access to the town. They take on food and drink here, there is none in Cuba. We went on the stingray trip plus turtle farm, by coach, it was worth every penny. Interesting guide, tour of Island and swimming with the rays memorable. You leave the Island at 3.30, could do with another day here maybe to see it properly, though some who did not do the tour said the beach was nothing special. We were lucky only 2 huge cruise ships at anchor with us, sometimes they have 5.
Day 5 overnight to Cayo Largo, amazing white soft sand beach..bar if needed, and restaurant, also you can swim with dolphins if you like. A fairly long transfer as its shallow, so 40 mins in a tender, there is no other way ashore. Did not move anchorage for last day at Cayo Rico next door.
Day 6 Beach BBQ, amazing work for the waiters and cooks, transferring lunch plus BBQ ashore. Tables and benches there and loungers and shade. In super covered bar, but beach only for paddling, some lay on mats in the water! Sea bright blue and amazing clear water. However transfers long....its too shallow even for tenders at the end, so local boats used. It took an hour to get to the beach so some complaints about this, but SC trying hard.
Day 7 back to Cienfuegos and time to disembark. Sad to say bye to the ship, crew, staff and fellow passengers, a super cruise again, our 4th.
Each time we anchored, or went into port in Cuba, had 4 doctors out to take temps of everyone on board (Ebola) plus loads of people checking papers again and again. All before Ship was cleared...so 6.30 to 7.30am! Paperwork is a career in Cuba.
Overall it was lovely, a respite from Cuba which is terribly poor, the food terrible, hygene worse (11 people confined to cabins at first as had bad stomachs after eating Cuban food).the people seem friendly but only as long as tipped frequently, 2 people on our ship had been mugged in Havana in daylight. . We were 111 passengers, the next week there were only 70. Star Clippers are trying hard, but unless the US visitors are allowed I cannot see this continuing as an option. Pleased we did it, but as a cruise you do not sail far, and Cuba fairly limiting as a destination. We preferred the leewards and windwards. And Europe. As a luxury week in the middle of a Cuban holiday though it was ideal. Will not return to Cuba, but will return to Star Clippers!
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Cabin Review

Cabin 305
Excellent size and comfort. Quiet too.
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