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