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8 Star Clippers Phuket Cruise Reviews

Some will love this unique sailing ship experience. For us it was interesting and had its good moments with some great scenery in the Andaman Sea, but was spoiled by a very noisy cabin (due to the ship's generator running 24/7), and ... Read More
Some will love this unique sailing ship experience. For us it was interesting and had its good moments with some great scenery in the Andaman Sea, but was spoiled by a very noisy cabin (due to the ship's generator running 24/7), and an overall lack of personal space. We will not repeat the experience, as we prefer a private balcony cabin and an evening buffet meal option. The ship never docks, even for the embarkation day in Phuket, and some of the beach transfers were quite scary and somewhat dangerous - rather at odds with the two fastidious and lengthy safety briefings we were given. The clientele was almost entirely northern European, and tri-lingual announcements and bi-lingual briefings and talks became irritating. The food was quite good and reasonably varied, but unexciting. Dinner was a la carte only, beginning at 7.30 p.m. The Asian crew members were mostly pleasant and friendly. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Choose the cruise to get some sun after the European winter and because of a recommendation from cruising friends. Star Clipper herself is becoming tired and in some areas is looking her age but you very quickly forget this as the ... Read More
Choose the cruise to get some sun after the European winter and because of a recommendation from cruising friends. Star Clipper herself is becoming tired and in some areas is looking her age but you very quickly forget this as the experience gets better and better by the day. We boarded in Phuket and cruised the Thai islands and Penang. The crew generally were tireless in making things work. The food on board was good to excellent given the limited opportunities that they have to stock the galleys. Drinks prices were realistic particularly as a reasonable bottle of house wine was only €16. The excursions were good particularly the Orang Utan island near Penang (but was there really nothing other than a charcoal factory to show us in Malaysia?). The trip to James Bond island is perhaps mistitled as the better parts were the local islands (similar to Ha Lang bay in Vietnam), the floating village and the mangrove areas. Beach and snorkelling opportunities were many and well organised with good locations and an excellent beach bbc on one day - the bread and butter pudding being an excellent treat. The cruise director Peter was extremely knowledgeable and entertaining. The musician Jerby was a very special part of making the trip so good. It is perhaps unfair to pick out individual as all the crew from the captain to the sports team to the pursers, nurse, cabin staff, waiters etc. were brilliant. You can always find faults but we simply had an excellent holiday Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
A trip on Star Clippers was on our bucket list but this just did not meet our expectations. Sailing on a clipper ship requires compromises. This is not a 90,000 ton behemoth and you have to accept the space limitations that are to be ... Read More
A trip on Star Clippers was on our bucket list but this just did not meet our expectations. Sailing on a clipper ship requires compromises. This is not a 90,000 ton behemoth and you have to accept the space limitations that are to be expected on a 164 passenger 360 foot Barquentine. The cabins are tiny, the dining room feels cramped. There are not many public rooms. Shaded deck space is at a premium. If the sailing experience is poor, those compromises become sacrifices. The captain did say that the winds had not been favourable and that they had to motor 60% of the time but apart from engine noise I really could not feel much of a difference between sail and power. It mostly felt like a slow cruise ship. No heeling, no real ship's motion as you ride the waves. They made a big deal of raising the sails while playing Vangelis's Conquest of Paradise on the ship's speakers. But without wind, it's just some washing hanging out to dry and the whole shtick gets tiresome very fast. It felt like they'd put up the sails and sit there until it was time to turn on the engines to make it to the next port on schedule. Our first impression of the ship was very positive. Teak decks, 4 elegant masts and plenty of brightwork but taking a closer look, there is a lot of rust covered in white paint. There were missing and broken lights. Various parts of the hull has been painted at different times with slightly different shades of white paint. It looked splotchy. The cabin showed signs of hard use with damage to the ceiling and the whole space looking tired. The single porthole was tiny and had paint on the glass from a sloppy paint job. The noise from the engine was loud enough to wake us in the night and there was a distinct smell of diesel fuel in the cabin when the engine was running. There was no temperature control for the air conditioning that I could find, just a lever to control the amount of air that blows into the cabin. The flat screen TV sits in a corner of the room near the ceiling and is partially blocked by a post. The bathroom was not bad but the shower area was very small and the water that came out of the tap was rusty. It actually discoloured the white face cloths that we used. They provided a bottle of water on the first day but you have to purchase additional water for the rest of the cruise. Given what came out of the taps, you'd have thought that a daily litre of water would be provided. The dining room mostly consists of banquettes for 6 and tables for 8 with not much room between the seats. By 8:00 PM, when all of the passengers are seated, the noise is deafening and the room is very warm. One of our fellow passengers was on the ship the previous week with fewer passengers and said it was much more comfortable. The food quality is variable. Some is very good but I found a lot of the fish dishes were overdone and their vegetarian options uninteresting. They were more successful with their meat dishes. Nice lamb, good pepper steak. Their desserts were quite good but there was never a sugar-free option available. Service was a bit slap-dash with orders occasionally getting confused and presented to the wrong guest. Entertainment consisted of a pianist making an appearance during the cocktail hour and in the evening as well as the occasional enrichment lectures and a crew talent show. You don't take a Star Clipper cruise for their production values or for the casino. There were a couple of shore excursions to port cities which were fine but the stops at various beaches were a bit of a fiasco. With one exception, the beaches were crowded and dirty with difficult access through the surf. Not exactly a south-east Asia tropical paradise. My favourite part of the cruise and the best entertainment was the walk around the deck after dinner looking at the full moon over the Strait of Malacca. Given the high cost, the mediocre facilities and the lack of any real "sailing" experience, I can't see trying this again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Fabulous. Started a two week, back-to-back from Phuket - Northern route first week, then Southern. We had done similar cruises in the Caribbean on the old Windjammer Barefoot Cruise ships back in the early noughties, before they went bust, ... Read More
Fabulous. Started a two week, back-to-back from Phuket - Northern route first week, then Southern. We had done similar cruises in the Caribbean on the old Windjammer Barefoot Cruise ships back in the early noughties, before they went bust, and on the SV Mandalay twice over the past few years. This time, for a number of reasons, we wanted a bit more luxury and fancied a different route so the South East Asia sailings appealed. We were concerned that the ship can take 170 when we were used to fewer than 50 on board. In fact, during both weeks on the Star Clipper there were around 130 passengers on board. So, the ship. Stunning to look at and plenty of room to be on. Cabin size, layout, cleanliness, service all great. Plenty of deck space for us sun lovers and seemed to be just enough shade for all those who wanted it. Food, as everyone else has said, high quality, plenty of choice, loads of it, but with only one truly Thai option at dinner time,no problem for us. Dining room spacious, well airconned, sociable but not overpowerlng. Crew: Amazing, friendly, efficient - keeping the ship in top shape all the time. Peter was an excellent cruise director, Captain friendly and approachable, Anita, the hotel manager must really take credit for how smoothly everything runs. The sports team really shone, Hugo and Mathius were outstanding in looking after guests at all times, keeping us safe and entertained. Ports of call: lots of beaches (sadly a few over-run with swimming in life jackets :-) but all still very beautiful, as was the scenery, and the 'city stops' in Malaysia interesting - Langkowi one week and Penang the other. We did the island tour in Langkowi which was worthwhile and the Orangutang sanctuary in Penang which we would highly recommend. The sailing: we were solely under sail for around 65% of the time and it was as wonderful experience as we had hoped. Up on deck during the day and especially in the evenings it was an amazing, peaceful and beautiful sight. So, overall an excellent trip and we will certainly do the Star Clipper ships again on different routes. If you're just thinking of it, do it - we were not alone in loving this trip and heard absolutely no complaints from the lovely fellow guests (half Brits, some German, French, Swiss, Candian and Americans. Oh, and no signs of sea sickness whatsoever from the quite sea-sickly person! Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
The staff on this ship were excellent, great service and friendly / food was very good. The ship is fascinating to sail on especially when they raise the sails, truly a sight to watch. As it is not a large cruise ship you are not crowded ... Read More
The staff on this ship were excellent, great service and friendly / food was very good. The ship is fascinating to sail on especially when they raise the sails, truly a sight to watch. As it is not a large cruise ship you are not crowded with too many people. Our cabin was small but comfortable. The only downside, a serious safety concern is getting off/on the gangplank when getting into/out of the tenders. This platform is very unstable and rickety thus unsafe as it moves up and down and although the staff help you in/out during our time several people fell, luckily landing inside the tender; if you fell in between the tender and the platform you would be killed. Other ships are using a much more stable and secured platform which is much safer. When I brought this matter to the attention of one of the board members/owner whom was sailing with his family he appeared not to care stating "there is nothing we can do". I believe a simple modification to secure this platform would make tendering much safer for all passengers and crew. We did enjoy the cruise and may sail again with this company. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Do not go on Star Clippers if you need pampering or entertaining. It is all about the ship, which is beautiful in itself but when under sail transcends the ordinary. Siting on deck at night, under the stars with a drink and the "one ... Read More
Do not go on Star Clippers if you need pampering or entertaining. It is all about the ship, which is beautiful in itself but when under sail transcends the ordinary. Siting on deck at night, under the stars with a drink and the "one you love" is worth every penny and all the effort of getting to our pick up point in Phuket. As has been said in other reviews, the food is excellent but the entertainment officer is painful and the state of much of the deck furniture is poor. The officers appear lack lustre and oblivious to guest comfort and in some cases safety. I had to report two of the young entertainment staff for cross tanking petrol for the speed boat on deck whilst a party was going on a few feet away. Shore excursions were average but interesting if you found your own way, which is easy in Thailand and Malay. Again the crew appear to wash their hands of passengers when ashore, quite unlike Windstar their competition. It is what it is, we have sailed on Royal Clipper which is even more awesome as a ship but the Teutonic disdain for the passengers is the same. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
I've been on many (30+) cruises over the years including small ships like Wind Star and even chartered catamarans. But never on a tall ship or a cruise in Asia. My main concerns were boredom, ship to shore transportation and sea ... Read More
I've been on many (30+) cruises over the years including small ships like Wind Star and even chartered catamarans. But never on a tall ship or a cruise in Asia. My main concerns were boredom, ship to shore transportation and sea sickness. It turned out no issues with any of the concerns. People ask why I picked this cruise. It was mainly a good price, location and timing. This cruise was price discounted, covered the Thai islands I wanted to see and the departure date was perfect for my schedule. First, the experience is very different than typical larger cruise ships and chartered catamaran. In fact, it is in between. The food, shore excursions and services are similar to large cruise ships, and the sailing, cabin size and access to smaller stops (islands) is similar to a chartered catamaran. The price is also between both if you don't pay brochure price for the Star. The cabin was small but OK since we don't spend much time in there. There are larger cabins for higher price. We had a oceanview porthole cabin, 300. It was serviced daily. The common areas were limited in size but never too crowded. We had 120 passengers, about 2/3 of ship capacity. The food was good with a nice variety, but certainly not gourmet. The alcohol drink prices were reasonable with a bottle of French wine between $20-$30. The deck area is a little crowded, but I always found a lounge chair. There are two small pools nice for keeping cool on the hot days. We only docked twice, in Penang and Singapore. The rest of the stops required a tender or zodiac transfer and wet landings on the islands. Plan for this with waterproof bags and beachwear. The transfer from the ship to tender and tender to island can be rough due to waves. The best part of the cruise was the sailing experience and the port of calls. They go under sail every time we were cruising but the motor helps keep the ship stay on schedule. You can help with the sails and hang out on the bridge. You can climb the rope ladder to the crows nest and talk with the staff about sailing. We had some amazing sunsets as the ship sailed. We also really enjoyed the stops. The first half are Thai islands that center around water sports like snorkeling, diving, SUP, kayaking, waterskiing, etc. There is a shore excursion to the Prnang-nga national park. They put us on tenders to take photos of the ship with full sails in Prnang-nga bay. Koh Adang was amazing. The cultural stops included Penang and Malecca. Embarkation and disembarkation were similar to other cruises and handled fine. Definitely plan to spend extra time in Phuket and Singapore. This cruise is not for everyone, but I think most people will enjoy the experience if their expectation matches what the sailing experience offers. We had one day at sea and the remainder of the day time was spent onshore. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
We never sailed on a star clipper. We wanted to end our Asia trip with the relaxing cruise. We boarded in Phuket Easley with no problem. We were shown to our cabin in the rear of the ship. We chose one of the cheapest rooms. This room ... Read More
We never sailed on a star clipper. We wanted to end our Asia trip with the relaxing cruise. We boarded in Phuket Easley with no problem. We were shown to our cabin in the rear of the ship. We chose one of the cheapest rooms. This room however was very tiny and had one tiny closet for two . We decided not to unpack most of our stuff. Bathing suits a couple of coverups undergarments and some dress clothes. We asked to see the hotel manager because we thought the room was a joke he told us we could upgrade for around $200. we decided we to rough it! After a lengthy drill with the German cruise director, we went to dinner. The food was good. They’re only serving 125 people. There were many Germans and many English people on board. Maybe only six other Americans. Drinks at the bar were reasonable. Salo The food was good. They’re only serving 125 people. There were many Germans and many English people on board. Maybe only six other Americans. Drinks at the bar were reasonable. Sail always Beautiful. Sails were always used. Most of the stops were beaches. We did a lot of snorkeling. Nice barbecue on one of the beaches. Small ship was intimate. Enjoyed a small excursion that was free on the zodiac. I didn’t like the fact that the Germans and English grouped together Amongst themselves. The hotel manager on the first night asked that I not speak to him during dinner. Even went as far as saying I know what you are going to ask me next am I married how many kids do I have? Come on your in the service industry get a better attitude. Ports nice food good people clicky atmosphere of a tall sail ship. I have sailed WinStar and Club Med 2 both of which are more more luxurious but don’t that I’m on an adventure feel! Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
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