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2 Star Clippers Cuba Cruise Reviews

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 ... Read More
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. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
We crafted our whole 5 week holiday from Australia around this cruise. It all sounded so fabulous that we were prepared to make significant concessions with our other travel arrangements to work with the cruise dates. Unfortunately, ... Read More
We crafted our whole 5 week holiday from Australia around this cruise. It all sounded so fabulous that we were prepared to make significant concessions with our other travel arrangements to work with the cruise dates. Unfortunately, the ship only stopped at one port in 7 days and that was only for a few hours. For a cruise that is billed as a cruise of Cuba it's ironic to say that this stop was not even in Cuba, but in Grand Cayman. We got off the ship but no one bothered to give us even a map, or tell us what we could do there, so we wandered around aimlessly for a few hours. (I should say that we had booked to do the Stingray City tour with the boat but they cancelled it and warned us that we should not take the trip with anyone else once on shore.) There were so many excuses made for not adhering to the itinerary - the whether and the Cuban authorities, being the most offered. Those excuses are very hollow when you have paid several thousand dollars for effectively a cruise to nowhere. On board there were not enough sun lounges and those which were there were taken from early morning, by people placing their belongings on them and then leaving for hours. I know of one very unpleasant showdown which could have caused World War 111 between Germany and England. The "fun" on board activities consisted of learning to fold napkins and towels, or listen to how great the Star Clipper Experience was, which was even further infuriating. The library only held a few people at a time and there were only very boring activities there anyway, when they were scheduled. The two pools, which are comical descriptions of what they were (more like spa tubs for a few people) always seemed to be without water. I accept that the food was fine -although there was not a trace of Cuban or even Caribbean cuisine. The wait staff, who we were advised were to be tipped significantly according to the instructions, were indifferent. Overall this cruising experience was a disaster. Star Clippers should really consider whether they want to operate this route. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
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