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4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
My family and friends took this trip to celebrate our 50th, 53rd, and 75th birthdays. The ship was wonderful. The staff were amazing. Prices for the bar were very reasonable. The ports were really beautiful and not very crowded. We ... Read More
My family and friends took this trip to celebrate our 50th, 53rd, and 75th birthdays. The ship was wonderful. The staff were amazing. Prices for the bar were very reasonable. The ports were really beautiful and not very crowded. We did a wine tasting and Godfather tour in Sicily that was wonderful. We did the Ravello tour from the ship and that was also very beautiful. We did a Joe Bananas tour in Sorrento - private tour of Capri by boat. Loved it!! We had the same seating for dinner every night so our family could be together and they brought us a cake almost every night to celebrate one of our days. The pool was small, but it was nice to cool off in and close to the pool bar. The piano bar was fun and he let us sing with him. Talent night and white night were a lot of fun. We sailed a good bit and never had any really bad seasickness. The food selections for dinner were very good and lunch was amazing. Breakfast was pretty crowded and people sat wherever. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We were in Athens a few days before we left, which helped us get acclimated both to the time zone and to the heat/humidity of Greece (and the Greek islands we would visit). Embarkation was not well organized in Piraeus, and we had ... Read More
We were in Athens a few days before we left, which helped us get acclimated both to the time zone and to the heat/humidity of Greece (and the Greek islands we would visit). Embarkation was not well organized in Piraeus, and we had little guidance as to what to expect, but once we were aboard ship all was well. Disembarkation in Venice was very smooth. I've been on a couple of standard cruises before (Disney, Royal Caribbean). What stood out most about this trip was the sense of actual *sailing*. This was not just getting a small hotel room on a floating luxury resort that ended up in a different place each morning. The feel of the ship, the ability to stand on the deck as sails were let out or taken in, listening to the music play as we left each port ... it all felt like we were actually sailing (which we were!), not just being transported. Going up on deck in the evening and seeing the sea passing around us, the star fields above us, the wind blowing past us -- it was all a remarkably special experience, and one that I will seek to repeat in the future. The cabin was comfortable and well-appointed. The dining was tasty, upscale without being hoity-toity, and quite satisfactory. The nature of the Star Flyer is such that evening entertainment was a bit constrained -- some DJ dancing, some occasional talent show stuff -- but, honestly, I spent my evenings up on deck, enjoying the air and the sea (and the cocktails). Shore excursions were generally good. Lots to see, usually multiple options, and guide selections ran from fair to excellent. We actually enjoyed just visiting some towns on our own, without doing a formal excursion. Service was efficient and friendly. The passenger count (around 150 on our cruise) was small enough that the bar and dining room staff got to know us ad our preferences. The entertainment director, Simona, was dedicated and excellent. The ports we visited were highly varied. I particularly enjoyed Corfu, Kotor, and Hvar, but they all had something to recommend them, depending on what you were looking for, and, as noted, instead of the excursions either just self-directed wandering at the ports or hanging out on the ship and relaxing were both fine alternatives. A few things I could have asked to be better: - The shipboard Wifi was pricey and spotty in coverage around the ship. - The "drink of the day" at the bar was usually pretty mediocre (the bartenders could make much better cocktails or straight pour drinks). Honestly, sailing the Star Flyer has spoiled me for hotels-with-a-keel style cruising. I will definitely be looking to them for further experiences. It was a memorable and wish-I-could-repeat-it experience. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2018
We picked this cruise because we are loyal repeat customers, but no longer. It was such a disappointment. The crew were rude and room had no air conditioning. The staff did nothing to help us, the higher up we went with our concerns the ... Read More
We picked this cruise because we are loyal repeat customers, but no longer. It was such a disappointment. The crew were rude and room had no air conditioning. The staff did nothing to help us, the higher up we went with our concerns the worse we were treated. We finally had to get wifi off ship and have the main company help us with the issues. It was so stressful. Many others aboard had similar troubles, poor food, rude comments from staff, poor communication and no maps or names to go with the scenery around us. The ship looked old, dirty and dated and lacked the water equipment they had advertised. With no flippers available, we got stung by sea urchins and cut up on coral. The cruise director said it was our fault for not packing flippers, but the advertisement for this particular cruise promised flippers available for "all". The food was so recycled, it became a bore after the third day. Lots of dry bread at dinner, bread pudding the next day, of course. Very sad experience, last sail for us with this company. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2017
This cruise was a gift from my parents, otherwise we wouldn't have gone. However, we are so glad we did and we will do it again, and again, and again! My husband and I took our 4 yr old son on the cruise and he had a blast. He ... Read More
This cruise was a gift from my parents, otherwise we wouldn't have gone. However, we are so glad we did and we will do it again, and again, and again! My husband and I took our 4 yr old son on the cruise and he had a blast. He was the only child on the ship, but he didn't even notice because he was having so much fun. This cruise was so much better than staying at a resort. The food was delicious and the staff and crew were very accommodating and attentive. Mr. J was even able to arrange a bottle of Dom, chocolate strawberries, and other delicacies as a thank you for my parents, which isn't easy when you don't have access to Amazon. Also, we didn't feel overwhelmed by the activities/excursions and felt perfectly happy either staying on the ship or strolling through town. I only have one very minor suggestion. It seems very petty and I hesitate to mention it, but it would be nice if they would lower the price of chocolate milk. I think 1/3 of the bar bill belonged to my son, and that includes the bottle of Dom! Once we realized that the chocolate milk cost more than beer and wine, we had to limit him to just one a day. Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
Be in no doubt this is a beautiful ship. This was our third voyage with them this year. We did one last year and we have another to come in 2016. On the other hand we may not book any more. Only vague thought seems to have been given ... Read More
Be in no doubt this is a beautiful ship. This was our third voyage with them this year. We did one last year and we have another to come in 2016. On the other hand we may not book any more. Only vague thought seems to have been given to the ports of call on this trip. The Panama Canal was interesting but it went down hill from there. Two Colombian Islands one of which was little more than a shopping centre with a scruffy beach, the cruise director Steffi, announced, with a straight face, that there was a better beach an $80 taxi ride away. You couldn't make it up. Providencia was very pretty but we exhausted it after two hours and most people were back on board very quickly. Grand Cayman , on a Sunday, in the rain (not their fault !!) with NO shops open. I would sooner drink battery acid than do that again. We finished in Cuba. Which is always worth seeing and the Island of Cayo Largo is gorgeous Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
This was our fourth cruise via Star Clippers and a disappointment. Our accommodations were fine and the overall service was great, especially in the dining room. The Hotel Manager (Arnold Deutchl) was exceptionally helpful and competent. ... Read More
This was our fourth cruise via Star Clippers and a disappointment. Our accommodations were fine and the overall service was great, especially in the dining room. The Hotel Manager (Arnold Deutchl) was exceptionally helpful and competent. Unfortunately the Cruise Director (Monica) was only interested in promoting excursions and next year's cruises. She was unwilling or incapable of providing information about the ports of call along the way. As a result, available shore activities had to be scouted out after docking, limiting enjoyment of the ports. Expensive access to low speed internet service made it difficult to research destinations in advance. (The cost and availability of internet access on board is a disgrace in this connected age). The ship Captain was ill most of the time and remained aloof. The Sports Team did very little except conduct morning yoga exercises and mast climbing events. The crew in general was not as friendly and happy as we have experienced in the past. We will avoid this cruise line in the future since the quality of the service has apparently deteriorated. Read Less
34 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
My Experience on the Star Flyer I’m surprised by the tenor of the reviews here. We just returned from a 7-day cruise on the Star Flyer, where we had a wonderful time. Overall The ship is a working sailing vessel and, as such, ... Read More
My Experience on the Star Flyer I’m surprised by the tenor of the reviews here. We just returned from a 7-day cruise on the Star Flyer, where we had a wonderful time. Overall The ship is a working sailing vessel and, as such, provides a different experience than the typical ‘big ship cruise’. There is no casino, exercise room or spa, and the maximum number of passengers on board is only 170. Our trip had 120 passengers and 77 crew. 62% of the passengers were repeat travellers. I travelled with my spouse, Two adult sisters, their husbands and my parents. Our ages ranged from 47 to 79. The Trip We were warned that travel by sail is weather dependent and, consequently, the ship may not make all its scheduled destinations. But Captain Yuriy Slastein and his capable crew hit every port as scheduled, despite some very challenging weather. Our first night, we encountered a heavy storm at sea that claimed at least 17 lives on shore. Although there was some sea sickness on board, the crew handled the storm well and, thankfully, kept us all safe. Only one sail was torn, no one was injured — and we made port the next day on schedule. Amazing. The next day, the damaged sail was taken down and repaired out on the deck where passengers could watch the process in action. A nice touch, and an indulgence for the avid sailors among us. The Star Flyer’s reduced size also made it possible for us to go to smaller ports the larger cruise ships would have to miss. Accommodation & Cleanliness Rooms were cleaned at least twice a day, with fresh towels as needed. Each block of rooms had a dedicated steward to provide cleaning and turn-down service — plus the occasional towel animal and a chocolate on the pillow each night. The ship and rooms were impeccably clean. There was no garbage or dirty dishes/glassware on deck, as others have described. And there always seemed to be plenty of deck chairs to go around. Common Areas The library and piano bar are comfortable environments, clean and well-maintained. The low-key ambience was conducive to relaxation and family fun; guests and crew alike were friendly and good-humoured. The Tropical Bar is the social hub of the ship, serving as a general meeting point for many activities, while the upper decks (one fore, one aft) housed the pool, the jacuzzi, and the best vantage point for seeing the ship’s workings in action. Passengers Our fellow passengers were mainly adults, aged 35-80, plus one small child and two teenagers. Passengers were multi-national: mostly American, German, Canadian, British, Swiss and Australian. I wonder how the nationalities vary on different schedules and locations. (Our trip was in October, travelling the Cote D’Azur from Nice to Barcelona.) The atmosphere on board was congenial, and passengers generally easy-going and courteous. Crew The crew were approachable, friendly, and very accommodating, cultivating a more personal experience than we’ve had on larger cruises. Perhaps this is due to the vastly-reduced passenger capacity. Or maybe it’s just the way the staff are trained. Many crew and staff members had been with the Star Clipper ships for a decade or more. The crew were quite open about the workings of the ship, with many tasks, like the aforementioned sail repair, taking place in full view of the passengers. Over the course of our trip, the crew invited guests to climb one of the masts, to lie in the nets on the bow sprit, to take a tour of the engine room with the engineers -- and to watch the ship set off and land every morning and evening, which was undoubtably a highlight of the entire experience. A non-negligible percentage of passengers were avid sailors; it’s easy to see why. Entertainment Wifi is limited! But board games, card games, and regularly-scheduled group activities were welcome diversions from our screen-based habits. We were never bored. Much of the daytime entertainment came from self-guided or pre-arranged tours. On our trip, one of the day excursions was cancelled due to lack of interest, but the two tours we participated in were well-organised. Often we chose to wander the destination cities on our own. In the evening, the pianist, Bela, was the focal point of much of the entertainment, assisted by local talent, crew members and passengers. During our trip, there was a fashion show, a passenger/crew talent show, and a couple of live music acts. The Pursor’s office had DVDs available to check out, as each room is equipped with a DVD player. Books in the library were also available for anyone to read. Meals Meals consisted of: • An early-bird continental breakfast (juice and pastries) • A large buffet breakfast with omelette station • A substantial, themed, lunch buffet • An afternoon snack in the Tropical Bar • A 5-course sit-down dinner with multiple menu choices • A midnight snack in the Piano Bar • An all-day self-serve coffee and tea station • An all-day bar (with bartender) All meals were open-seating, with dinner slightly more formal (no shorts or collarless shirts). All meals and snacks were served on china, with real glassware and utensils. Because we were travelling in a group of eight, the dining room staff reserved a table where our family could sit together throughout the trip. The food was much nicer than we expected — often it was excellent — and the number of choices was more than adequate. Once again, we were pleasantly surprised. Lasting Impressions ‘Pleasantly surprised’ is how I would describe much of my experience on this trip. Based on the reviews I read before departure, I thought I would struggle with aspects of the Star Flyer experience. Instead, I’m so glad I came. The service, the accommodation, and the personable, intimate atmosphere were much more than I’d hoped for. Our family has sailed on smaller vessels for generations, but this trip was something quite different: the silent gliding of the tall ship through the water, the scale and beauty of the vessel herself, and our own experience as an integral part of the sail — this was something unique indeed, and truly unforgettable. Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
Embarkation was fairly smooth. We managed to get an upgrade to a deluxe cabin, which was lucky as we were late bookers. We found the welcome tedious as the girl repeated everything in four languages. The cabin was fine with a shower ... Read More
Embarkation was fairly smooth. We managed to get an upgrade to a deluxe cabin, which was lucky as we were late bookers. We found the welcome tedious as the girl repeated everything in four languages. The cabin was fine with a shower and a balcony. The steward was good. We met some interesting people from various countries. Most of the excursions we went on were good, particularly the first one in Montenegro, which was a gastronomy trip to a lovely lady's house, where we had a choice of aperitifs, made by her husband. The wine was also produced by him. The lady was a well known cook locally and produced a feast for us to sample the local food. The description said the evening meal time was from 7.30 to 10.30 and to arrive when you want to and sit where you want. However the reality was far from this relaxed attitude. We arrive some time after 8.30 to be greeted by a disgruntled head waiter, telling us off for being late and saying we had to sit in an overspill area with the other sinners!! Breakfast was as bad, we arrived a quarter of an hour before finishing time, as we only wanted cereal and coffee, to be greeted again by this awful man, saying "last in dinner, last in breakfast, WHY???" We have sailed on the QE2, the Canberra and the Norway and never had such rudeness. If late sittings aren't allowed then it should be stated in the brochure or two sittings arranged. Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
A cruise on a sailing cruise ship sounds like unbelievable heaven. Sailing on the Mediterranean, to all the beautiful ports on the French Riviera, sounds wonderful right? Boy was I wrong. First off we got rooms, side by side on the top. ... Read More
A cruise on a sailing cruise ship sounds like unbelievable heaven. Sailing on the Mediterranean, to all the beautiful ports on the French Riviera, sounds wonderful right? Boy was I wrong. First off we got rooms, side by side on the top. Our cabins were the top of the choices we could have. They were very cute and roomy. I went with my 2 daughters. Rather than going on and on about the trip in detail, Ill just write what the disappointments were. 1-The food. It was poor. More like cafeteria food. The omelet bar in the morning was the highlight of all meals. I wasn't the only one who thought this. I had many conversations with at least 15 passengers at tables that agreed. 2- The staff. All except one guy (His name was Michal) were far below average. When I asked a question about the name of a port or how long we were there..it was a shrug, and a simple " I don't know" he was uninterested in me or my question. I was a bother to him just by asking. 2- If I tried to ask a question about how something was cooked, no one had any idea about any of the food. When I pointed out that a vegetarian meal was NOT a vegetarian meal and was flagged as so, because it had crab in it, the food manager replied with a snotty remark " Oh are you going to point out every screw that's not right on the ship?" The others at the table couldn't believe how rude he was. 3- The cruise director was always MIA. She was never able to be found, when we wanted to ask any questions. 4- In the brochure it stated water sports included. But when we got our room fliers delivered, it stated that there was No jet skiing, No water skiing, and there was only 1 Stand up paddle board, and 1 Kayak offered. So we had to wait and take turns. There was only 2 guys dealing with all the water sports and bringing things back and forth from the ship. I believe, they were completely understaffed! 5-No Wifi offered. Period. You have to pay extra. 6- The pictures of my higher priced room, showed a lovely marble bathroom with a Jacuzzi tub. I envisioned taking a Jacuzzi in the evening after a long day at the ports. But much to my surprise, the Jacuzzi didn't work and barely had bubbles coming out. In fact the room needed a face lift badly. Everything seemed old and in need of some kind of repair. 7-Staff, as I stated earlier, there was only one guy that was kind, and nice and helpful. His name was Michal. The massage therapist was also wonderful, well trained and very sweet and professional. That's about it. No one was ever around to help. To get towels, to pick up dishes left by the pool. There was no cocktail waitress to help, and dishes were left sometimes all night long. The pool area was left a mess and at one point, I went around and picked up dirty wet towels and put them into the basket. This was about 7pm. I had glasses and dishes under my chair that were left for over 8 hours. 8- There were no table and chairs set up to sit outside. So if you wanted to sit out and look at the water and have a drink, good luck. No place to sit. 9-There was a bridge tournie. Fun right? Until we all showed up to play and there were no cards!! It seems that no one was prepared at all. If you have a game planned, and you know its coming up, go buy some cards at the next port. 10- At one port, I believe it was Corsica, they wouldn't let the transport boat drop off. So we were in the boat for an hour, roaming around trying to find a place they would allow us to be dropped off. Why wasn't this discussed with them way prior to us landing at that port? Very maddening!! 11- Water bottles would have been a nice touch each day, perhaps offered by staff when the water transport picked us up or dropped us off. It was extremely hot and we were very thirsty. 12- Music. What can I say. They have an organ player. He was ok, but I felt like I was in a bad wedding movie. They should perhaps offer a DJ at night to dance to or listen to? Just an idea. By the pool as well. 13- Towels. Never enough, and always seemed to be a fight for chairs and seats. I saw two angry discussions about who's towel was who's, and someone took someone else's chair. There should be more then enough to go around. But the clean towel ben was always empty. When I went to look for someone to ask for towels, it took a long time just to find someone to bring some! To be totally fair, the ports were lovely. Sailing in the middle of the ocean was wonderful. Waking up to the warm sun and watching a sunrise from the front of the ship, while sipping my coffee, before anyone else was awake yet, was beautiful. My cabin steward was very good, the room was cleaned daily and he made a few towel animals that were left. The chocolates and treat tray was also a plus for my high end room. It was filled daily with new treats. There were 2 channels of music in the room. That was nice, would be nice if there were maybe 1 or 2 more channels. All in all...we made the best of the trip. We laughed about all the mishaps and decided to write a log of all things that we felt could improve. This is the list I wrote in our travel journal. Will I cruised with the Clippers again? No way. Unless I'm given a free cruise, on a new , and improved sip...then I might. Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
As this was our fourth cruise with Star Clippers it would seem obvious we were fans of this line. Unfortunately this latest experience will not encourage us to return. Yes Royal Clipper is starting to show her age but the actual sailing ... Read More
As this was our fourth cruise with Star Clippers it would seem obvious we were fans of this line. Unfortunately this latest experience will not encourage us to return. Yes Royal Clipper is starting to show her age but the actual sailing is still a special event. However with a cruise priced at something around £3000 per head for a grade 2 cabin the overall experience was disappointing. The food and dining room service was still very good as was the cabin stewards attention to detail in the tired cabin but the real problem was the attitude of the senior personnel. From the cruise director, hotel manager, restaurant manager and other ranking officers, passengers were basically ignored or treated as if they were a nuisance for any kind of request or help on different issues which were small but escalated as the cruise progressed. Unable to guarantee a table for our family of 7 people for dinner unless we were first in queue at the start of service. In fact these people were more interested in telling us to observe the rules and their own importance than trying to ensure people were happy. Having taken the trouble to write to Star Clippers - Mr. M. Krafft Owner - to try and explain some of the shortcomings - and without the courtesy of a reply I can only presume the line does not care about return bookings. Great Pity! Read Less
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