This is a very hard one to score. The vessel is a sailing cruise ship (barquentine) which takes a maximum of 170 guests. It is extremely well-appointed and the crew are enthusiastic and attentive. We would particularly comment on the outstanding food which was served throughout our 7-day cruise. So far, it rates 5 stars.
The problem was that it failed to deliver us to several of the destinations advertised. Some while before our holiday, we were informed that the Cuban authorities had revoked cruise ship licences to two of the islands and, instead, we would have to spend an additional night in each of Havana and Cienfuegos. (There was no evidence that the company had tried to substitute some different islands). Neither Havana nor Cienfuegos were appealing to us as we had already built more than enough time in those locations into our itinerary but, by then, it was too late to change our other travel plans. So, before the holiday starts, we have effectively lost two days. We embarked on Saturday afternoon, sailed Monday evening and were due to visit our first stop, Punta Francis, on the Tuesday morning. On arrival at Punta Francis, we were advised that the Port Authorities were unable to clear us in as their car had broken down. The company was unable to resolve this problem so we had now lost the third of our five stops. The company blames the Cuban authorities, but we now understand that this is quite common (we were told by staff that this was the third time in the last four visits to Punta Francis that guests were unable to go ashore) yet we were never warned of this possibility. The company needs to understand that travelling on the Star Flyer is an experience but not the end in itself. And it needs to come clean about the likelihood that they will not be able to deliver what they advertise in their brochure. The whole point for us was to visit some outlying parts of Cuba in addition to the main towns and cities. Instead, we sailed from Havana to Cienfuegos, stopping in one position which allowed us to visit just two different beaches. Overall, a hugely expensive disappointment.