Since this forum helped me decide to travel with Star Clippers, I feel obligated to report on the marvelous experience I have just completed, March 25-April 1 on the Star Flyer, Treasure Islands itinerary, and to counter the mutterings and nitpicking of some disgruntled previous posters.
Most importantly, this is a far different experience than traveling on a behemoth cruise ship with thousands of passengers. Harking to the bygone days of clipper ships, it replicates a much quieter, more intimate, more collegial journey. You get to know your fellow passengers (there were 155 of us, and 70 crew, total) far better, since you see each other frequently. Most are veteran travelers, with stories and advice to generously share, both with previous Star Clippers trips, and with other cruise lines. On my trip they were a pleasant mix of Americans and Europeans (British, German, Swiss, and French), although most nationalities tended to keep to themselves. All shipboard announcements were made in English, German, and French. I traveled solo, and found several other passengers who were as well. This presents no problem at all, as seating at meals and participation in on-ship and on-shore events allow constant mingling; I never felt like a fifth wheel, and was always welcomed to a table or to a social group. I was able to form some delightful friendships.
The ship’s entire staff and crew, top to bottom, deserve the highest praise for their unremitting professionalism, courtesy, and efficiency. It must take a special kind of crew to work amidst a bunch of always-in-your-way passengers, asking you questions, but every one of them handled their duties with aplomb and patience, every, every minute. Meriting special commendation is the cruise director, Steffi, who was worth her weight in gold! She was always on top of everything, giving clear information, and exhibiting a wonderful combination of enthusiasm, patience, and efficiency. Captain Yuriy, too, was a welcome, knowledgeable, reassuring presence (and many of us appreciated his early request that we eschew any talk of politics or religion!)