Taking a Star Clippers cruise is about being on a true sailing vessel. If you like to sail, this is your ship. Our trip to Italy and Greece was amazing. We spent a day exploring Rome on our own and then took the train to Civitavecchia (make sure you take the bus from the train station....walking doesn't work) where we boarded our ship. It is breathtaking because it's a sailing ship that is well loved and taken care of. After we did all the check-in's, drills, unpacked, etc. we had a delicious dinner and met new friends. Our stops were Ponza, Palmarola, Sorrento, Lipari, Syracuse (Italy), and Pilos, Elafonisos, Hydra, and Athens (Greece). All of our stops were beautiful. Every day, there is a talk and a sheet of paper that explains destination, tours, opportunities to explore. Do some research on your own too. Many people did the tours but some explored on their own and had a fabulous time. One couple would find a cafe with a beautiful view and spend the day painting. We love seeing their pictures. Because this is a sailing vessel that can transport you to smaller ports, sometimes the ship cannot dock right at port. In that case, you will take a tender to the port. Embarking and disembarking the tender is only as easy as the calmness of the ocean. For 95% of people, this was fine, but there were some that struggled. Also, don't take the first tender in the morning. The first one is too packed with people, it gets hot and they're figuring out how to work with the ocean and waves. The tenders go back and forth regularly so you can have short or long excursions....whatever floats your boat. The cabin size was perfect for us. They are small, but we don't sit in our cabin, we love the ship and spend as much time out on the deck as possible. One of our favorite activities before dinner is to enjoy a glass of wine at the back of the ship watching the rolling waves and the scenery and then going into dinner a little later. You can sit wherever you like at meal times. If you have a preference (i.e., english-speaking table or if you have a group of people, they will seat you together). The food is delicious. You probably get fancier stuff on big ships but this is trip is about sailing. I ate fish almost every night and loved it! Their soup is delicious too. Cocktails are very reasonably priced. We enjoyed their house rose too. We had a category 2 cabin/bathroom and the shower is small....but it feels delightful after a full-day of excursions. I would choose this cruise over a big cruise any day because the crew is fantastic, the ship is beautiful and it's a fabulous experience. There were some issues with night-time entertainment on our ship because the piano player had a medical emergency and could not be on our boat, but we were so tired at the end of the day, we couldn't stay up anyhow. If dancing/music are important to you, bring a phone with your favorite playlist and they will make a party/dance club on the tropical deck. Category 1 (500 level) rooms can hear some of the action on the deck (pounding/repairing sails, music from the dance club, etc). Category 5/6 (100) level rooms can hear the engines. Not much you can do about that other than bring earplugs. Star Clippers vacations are fabulous.
Perfect for us. We enjoy being on the sailing ship. Shower is basically the whole bathroom. It feels great at the end of the day. We really like the category 2 near the dining room. Less noise than most and convenient to breakfast/dinner.