1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Star Clippers
  4. Star Clippers Cruise Reviews

14 Star Clippers First-Time Cruisers Cruise Reviews

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
Sail Date October 2015
good: - excellent service of the stuarts and very friendly service people - very friendly and urbanity Capt'n and Officers poor to absolutely inaceptable: Ship & interieur & equipment is 15 years old with year ... Read More
good: - excellent service of the stuarts and very friendly service people - very friendly and urbanity Capt'n and Officers poor to absolutely inaceptable: Ship & interieur & equipment is 15 years old with year round refurbishing during the cruises! -> means: lots of noise the whole day and you get much more of it when you paid much more = for a luxury cabin. So be sure that you won't get anny rest. At least once a day is the toilet not working (on the whole ship). Pool was (except the last day) the whole cruise under construction. Restaurant manager is unfriendly. Backslapper cruise manager is unprofessional and telling more private stories than informative stuff. Hotel Manager ist super rude without any acceptable manners and not helpful at all (just two examples: our toilet was leaking, over night the half cabin/ carpet was wet and after a while stinky but we had to stay in this cabin for 2 more nights even there was another free luxury cabin; 8h before an excursion he wasn't able to tell us if that will take place or nit but was asling on the next morning to the money and so on) Seemt like cruise and hotel manager are low budget stuff - you get what you paid for. We did not get any apology - not for the noise, not for the stinky cabin ... Everything there is third rate but the price is higher than for any other cruise. Incredible! Equipment at the gym is old enough to open up a musem. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
Boarding the Royal Clipper in Venice, we knew we were in for a voyage of a lifetime, such a magnificent sailing ship with its 5 masts standing tall and erect. Champagne to welcome us as we made our way to our cabin on level 3. If you can ... Read More
Boarding the Royal Clipper in Venice, we knew we were in for a voyage of a lifetime, such a magnificent sailing ship with its 5 masts standing tall and erect. Champagne to welcome us as we made our way to our cabin on level 3. If you can afford it get the best cabins which are on this deck as it gives you private balconies with chairs and table. The cabin was superbly fitted out and a bottle of champagne and petite fours awaited us while unpacking. The Lounge, Dining area, Library and Bar areas are superb. The staff were great and always willing to help and put on a smile. The food was excellent and you were never left wanting. Sailing out of Venice down the Grand Canal to the sounds of The Conquest of Paradise by Vangellis taken from the soundtrack of the film Vangellis 1492 was itself a memorable experience conjuring up all sorts of emotions within the passengers. From thereon a journey of a lifetime saw us sailing to various destinations in the Istrian Peninsular, Croatia, Montenegro, Italy, Scicily, Capri, and Sorrento eventually arriving in Rome. During the sail we raced the sister ship Star Clipper in the Med for 2 hrs with 42 sails against her 8, no contest really but nevertheless exciting. Travelling up the Kotor fiord whilst climbing the rigging to the first cows nest - brilliant. The ship does roll with a swell if about 2 metres but normally nothing that upsets you. This is not a ship for the disabled however as it is all stairs, obstructions such as ropes and sail mending but you are on a real ship as opposed to those large, sterilised containers called cruise ships. Captain Sergiey Utitsyn and his crew are to be congratulated on their provision to their guests. Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
Just back from a week onboard the Royal Clipper, a 5 masted square rigged sailing ship [ apparently the largest in the world ]. It was an amazing experience to be on deck when the sails were unfurled each evening to the background sound of ... Read More
Just back from a week onboard the Royal Clipper, a 5 masted square rigged sailing ship [ apparently the largest in the world ]. It was an amazing experience to be on deck when the sails were unfurled each evening to the background sound of stirring classical music. The cabin, one of only 2 at deck level, a the stern end was very well appointed, all wood veneer pannelling and a huge bed. Although it was a bit of a tight squeeze and access to the bed was from one side only, so night time ventures to the loo involved clambering to the end of the bed to try and not disturb my good lady. The bathroom was quite large and well appointed with a big jacuzzi bath, a smaller bathroom and larger cabin might have worked better. Lots of soaps and lotions provided and a good sized cabinet for all our bathroom bits and bobs. The cabin had plenty of storage space for clothes and suitcases [ placed under the bed ], and access was from the deck so people would walk by throughout the trip, but we soon got used to this and it was nice to have the privacy of a cabin away from all the other accomodation. Cabin No.315. The food was excellent and the service first class, seating was as youplease so you get to meet different folks every meal if you choose. It was a very eclectic mix of passengers, Usa, Brits, Canadians, German and French made up the majority of the 220 onboard. A nice mix and most seemed friendly and happy to socialise. One thing to note, this is a sailing vessel NOT a mega liner so it moves about quite a bit. So if you suffer from sea sickness come prepared, my wife suffered quite a lot because of it, and we noticed that a few passengers had sea sickness patches on, worth considering. This was evident on the first night when our room steward raised a panel at the side of the bed to help prevent us falling out during the night. The voyage itself was great because, as this is a smaller vessel, it can get into places where the large vessels can't venture. Such as Ille Des Saintes a beautifull tiny French island. Apart from mooring at Martinique all other stops involve using the small tenders to get to and from the shore, these were well organised and seemed to run all day. Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
Hello every one, We are a couple of 33 and 34years and we've done our first cruise on the Royal Clipper, the 26th January to 2nd february in the Grenadines islands. We do not regret the expensive ticket because the cruise has been ... Read More
Hello every one, We are a couple of 33 and 34years and we've done our first cruise on the Royal Clipper, the 26th January to 2nd february in the Grenadines islands. We do not regret the expensive ticket because the cruise has been wonderfull. FOOD : ++ The food quality is excellent and various. You will find something new for every breakfast first example. We can tell that the food is a concern for Star Clipper by the number of time that you can eat on board : 6 time per day!! * Early breakfast on the piano bar * Breakfast buffet on the dinning room (fruit, sweets, eggs, bacon, pancakes, vegetable,... and a egg bar where the chef will make for you the eggs you want) * Lunch buffet at the dinning room with one thematic per day. Wonderful desserts and a meal "a la decoupe" (a full salmon, sucking pig, ...) * Cocktail and Collation at Tropical Bar around 5PM. Again sweets and salty thing, different every day. * Dinner at the dinning room. You are placed by the "Maitre d'hotel" and you can change your table every night if you want. The menu have 2 appetisers and 1 soup; 2 main dishes (one fish one meat) and a vege dish and a more local suggestion; salad and cheese and 2 dessert. * Midnight lunch at the Piano Bar Food are more european/french style than really local. Very good and nice presentation but I would like the local suggestion to be more "local". You will not really taste the local products like grilled fishes, sweet potatoes, yam, colombo, plantain and all the wonderful fruits of the Caribbean. If you want to taste local food you will have to go in ports but, for dinner, you will have time only at Grenada. Wines and cocktails are at reasonable price, count 5.50euro for a cocktail. The cocktail of the day is a little bit cheaper. EXCURSIONS : + One of my biggest fear was the excursions. Previous review were pretty bad about the cruise director. I have to say that the new one, Renata, is more than efficient and friendly. Inside documentation we get by mail before the cruise we've found all the excursions proposed with hours, description, prices, ... And during the week Renata stick to the programm. she even add one more trips due to passenger demand as snorkeling in Santa Lucia. She's speaking English, German, french and also Spanish. You will see her everywhere, at the boat tender to check departure of people for excursions, at evening to animation the shows, explaining the disembarkation or giving more information about the excursions, ... When is she sleeping?? So she's doing a very good job. Excursion themselves are more oriented to 60s people with 4x4 travel. No big hiking or physical activities. Also on many island we stay 4 hours (morning or afternoon). that is a small amount of time if you want to do something by yourself except beach or shopping on the touristic front beach. SHIP : +++ It is a real sailing ship and the captain does not miss any occasion to remind you that. So yes, the boat is rocking (and yes I can confirm that I'm seasick). The Royal Clipper is a pretty lady and you will always seen crew member painting, cleaning, repairing,... every beat of it. It is really something to sail in this ship and to see other cruise ship passenger looking at the Royal Clipper! The dinner room is just amazing. Look at the Titanic, shrink it a little bit and you get it. For a ship of this size it is really impressive To be honest it has been one of our criteria to select the royal Clipper over Star Flyer. *Sun Deck, you will find 2 small pools (hot-tub size) and one big enough for 5 people. A lot of sun chair and roof for the shadow. There are also 2 steering wheel (real ones, you can drive the ship with them if the bridge decide so) and all the sails and rope. Note that thanks to electrical helping plots one sailor is able to rise a sail (he wind the rope around it at that help him to pull). There is also the bridge and the forward nest where you can go, except the night. Very good place to see the sunshine! * Main Deck, the heart of the ship : the Tropical Bar, open both side to the sea in the middle of the ship. It is the real meeting point for everyone. Inside you have also the Piano Bar and the impressive light shaft to the dinning room. There is also the library, the cabins with balcony and the forward lounge used for conferences. * clipper Deck is the cabin deck with the continuation of the light shaft, the reception and sloo shop. * Commodore Deck is again the cabins and the luxurious Dinning room. There is also a well equipped gym room and the spa (used none of them as we were to busy!!) PASSANGERS : ++ We were the youngest. 2 or 3 other couples in the 30s-40s but majority of passenger are couples of 50s and more. A lot of american, german, some canadien also. Usually people are repeaters of the Star Clipper and are seasoned travelers. English is the main language. However all official communication were made in english, german and french. Don't except to have party every night with dance after midnight! In the other hand, if you prefer to enjoy the stars/moon at the sun deck and discuss with crew members it is perfect. SATURDAY, Embarkation at Barbados arrived at 1pm, it is a little bit too early but we've been part of the first to get inside the boat. 1 or 2 hours to explore the ship and wonder if we are inside a dream or not. Followed by the drill exercise then the diner. We skipped the desert to assist to the sail and departure at 10PM. SUNDAY, Captain's choice Union Island Quiet day at the beach, a little bit raining. It was one of my favorite place for the beach background : forest, not to many people, 1 or 2 bars made from wood and really local. MONDAY, Grenada Muddy and slippery hiking to the Seven sister falls. It is not very difficult or long... for young people. The waterfalls are very nice and it stay as one of my favorite place of the cruise. Imagine to swim in the water-pool in the middle of the rain forest... Never think I will be able to do that one day! We've also see some monkeys very quickly. If you want to eat local that's the day because the boat leave at 11PM. TUESDAY, Tobago Cay An other post card place. Very nice beach and good snorkeling place. For the lunch it a a BBQ on the beach. The only problem : maybe too many people (almost all the boat) on the beach... WEDNESDAY, St Vincent The morning at Kingston, the capital. It is a NOT touristic place. Then I will not say beautiful but interesting to see what can be the real world behind the post card of touristic pace. Afternoon at Bequia, this one is a real touristic place in front of the beach. Lot of gift shops (twice the price compare to Kingston). The boat tender can also bring you to the beach, seem to be nice. THIRSDAY, MARTINIQUE Morning at Fort de France. It is a little bit of France in the middle of Caribbean, very surprising. Bring euros here to buy something! The rum is excellent and cheap. :-) Afternon at Anse d'Arlet. Many people love this place but it was my less favorite one. First there is no shadow at all and we've already get sun burned from the previous days, second the beach is narrow and full of constructions. The worse of "Cote d'Azur"! FRIDAY, St Lucia Again, one place in the morning (Marigo Bay) and one the afternoon (Soufriere). The bay is funny to see all the expensive yachts. The Soufriere is a beautiful place. The zip-line excursion is good but the highlight of the day is the photo-tender : at the sunset the 2 boat tender will turn around the ship, all sails out, and you can do amazing picture of the Royal Clipper. SATURDAY, Barbados The end of the cruise, sadly. You can have some excursion (beach or island tour) that will bring you at the airport. As usual the organization is serious and efficient! Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
We absolutely loved the ship - having sailed on big ones before. The atmosphere is very en famille, no silly entertainment or slot machines and you get to places the other big ships cannot get to. Sail Away is totally fabulous with all ... Read More
We absolutely loved the ship - having sailed on big ones before. The atmosphere is very en famille, no silly entertainment or slot machines and you get to places the other big ships cannot get to. Sail Away is totally fabulous with all those sails unfolding and Captain Sergey is a star, he really loves to use the sails as much as possible, for turning the ship or to sail shorter distances. And he talks to people, explains patiently - very much appreciated. The problem sometimes is the wind - if you are going North and the wind comes from there you cannot sail but they do what they can and it worked for us. We had a cat 2 cabin midships right down which was good in terms of stability - but the waves kept banging against it so it was a bit noisy when there was water action. Which there is a lot of - you DO notice that you are on a ship, it moves all the time and even if you do not get seasick which we did not it is unusual if you are not a sailor. There were lots of those on boards who just laughed at our worries. Having said that it really was not too bad but when the ship sails from and to Barbados you notice that you are out at sea and not under land any more. Cabin is small but well appointed but I would not like one of the others which have two sqm less. Already with this you have to be very organised if you are sharing a cabin. Food was the only downside - really not in line with expectations and partially re-heated potatoes, same salad every day, meat overdone and the bbq on the beach which is a good idea in theory turned out to be lukewarm overcooked stuff in reality. Not nice. And they use far too much butter. The ship is not really appropriate for persons with handicaps - lots of stairs and getting from the ship to a tenderboat is not easy especially when there are waves. Having said that we had a blind person on board who we all admired greatly - he did not miss a single trip - and the staff went out of their way to help. Also there were some elderly people who also made it. Great excursions, lots of beach and snorkeling - we enjoyed it, would come again - but get some seasickness plasters instead of just having tablets after the fact! And please note - this ship is also not good for kids either. There is nothing for them and with all the cables going around and open spaces it would be downright dangerous. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
This was our first "cruise" experience, chosen not for cruising as such but because it was a sailing ship and seemed infinitely more exciting. Although a cheaper cabin, ours was well fitted out with plenty of storage, a safe, ... Read More
This was our first "cruise" experience, chosen not for cruising as such but because it was a sailing ship and seemed infinitely more exciting. Although a cheaper cabin, ours was well fitted out with plenty of storage, a safe, 2 hairdryers and clean linen as needed and enough sockets to keep our technology charged. We took our own adapters. The shower room was a bit small but quite sufficient. Food was to a high standard although there is rather a lot of choice and not all of it is enjoyable. For me the fruit variety for breakfast was a bit boring, no strawberries, raspberries, blueberries but lots of melon varieties, oranges and prunes, bananas only twice. The cooked breakfast was a bit disappointing, bacon rather solid, sausages - less said the better, scrambled eggs cooked to standstill and beans not the tomato sauce variety. Fresh omelettes though. It wasn't too difficult to find something. Lunch was probably the best meal, lots of variety, most well done and tasty, lovely roast beef, lamb and pork. Dinner, served formally and usually pretty good but not really enough vegetables. If you don't eat carbs then you're stuck a little. Rather too much food but if you're strong willed you'd be ok. The trips can be changed if the weather prevents the Clipper from docking anywhere and this happened twice on our trip. The places varied but generally included ruins, shops and bars. Beach time happened only once which was a shame, I'd have like more opportunity to swim in the sea. The staff are all delightful, the entertainment is varied and none of it professional but all the more fun for that. The ships talent contest was hilarious. The niggles? Well the same as others have noted, the sunbed hoggers were well in evidence (and an all British clientele) and although saving a bed is against the "rules", it went on and the staff turned a blind eye, unlucky for those of us who went on excursions and were looking forward to resting in the sun, we rested in our cabins instead. The dress code for dinner was also breached by passengers in shorts and this was also ignored, disappointing when most made the effort to be smart. A real occasion was made of setting off under sail and I found this really uplifting, watching the sails unfurl to the music of Vangelis and flying along. The sail time though is often curtailed by the weather and takes place mainly at night, if at all. Still, lovely to see the ship when it did happen. Dining with the captain, you had to pay and as he only appeared once not much chance really as this seemed to have been an option paid for in advance and thus not really open to most of us. All in all, I was glad to have sailed on The Clipper, just for the experience, I don't desire to "cruise" with hordes of people and children and eat bland food. I enjoyed it, loved it even. The weather was kind, never less than 30c and often hotter. No rain, yippee, pity you can't book the weather wherever you go. The one downside was the reports that there had been two and maybe three incidences of theft, almost certainly crew related. I am also against having to tip up for gratuities, in this day and age the crew should not have to rely on them for a decent wage. I know they are "voluntary" but who wouldn't feel obliged, especially when envelopes are provided for you do so. Who knows if the crew even receive the tips? Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
Cruises were certainly not on our agenda, ever, or so we thought. Spending our holiday with potentially hundreds of strangers in close proximity on a floating holiday camp did not enthuse us, no matter how exotic the destinations might ... Read More
Cruises were certainly not on our agenda, ever, or so we thought. Spending our holiday with potentially hundreds of strangers in close proximity on a floating holiday camp did not enthuse us, no matter how exotic the destinations might be. However the ad for this cruise on one of the Clipper ships, the Star Flyer, along the coast of Costa Rica and up to Nicaragua with a choice of daily excursions on land had us interested. We used to be keen catamaran sailors and this cruise looked as if we could experience the thrill of sailing again but without the hard work. After some research we booked and then got a bit apprehensive: would we be able to do the excursions which depended on the weather and conditions in the ports of call, what would life be like on board? We needn't have worried. The trip proved to be one of the best holidays we ever had. From our embarkation in Puerto Caldera on the Star Flyer with the other passengers, most of whom we got to know during the 3-day excursion inland after arriving in Costa Rica to the dis-embarcation 7 days later we enjoyed our stay aboard. And yes, we were able to do all the excursions on land we had hoped to do when we planed the trip. Sailing along the still unspoiled pacific coast of Costa Rica was a fantastic experience: sitting on the sundeck of Star Flyer we watched rain forest covered volcanic peaks give way to dreamy bays not yet overrun by tourism. We never as far as I know met another ship on our way north to Nicaragua which added to the sense of adventure. Hoisting the sails usually early evening was accompanied by music followed often also by a spectacular sunset. One passenger told my that the experience still 'gets to him' after several cruises with the ship. And it was moving, we all agreed. Many of the passengers had sailed on these Clipper ships before and 'knew the ropes'. This proved to be useful for novices during the sometimes choppy and wet transfers from ship to shore on the tenders. Though most passengers came to enjoy the fun of racing towards the shore and having to wade the last meters in knee-high wonderfully warm water. It made you feel like the first explorers on these remote shores. As to exploring the shores there was a well varied programme on offer each day as well as on board activities. From early morning keep-fit to snorkeling and diving lessons before venturing into the deep, excursions inland that included line zipping in the rain forest or visiting some historic place like Granada in Nicaragua, climbing up to the crater's edge of a volcano, trekking through dry forest, or lazing on an almost empty beach there was something for everyone. Life on board too was great and not only the menu choices. There were lectures about the amazing bio-diversity of Costa Rica and Nicaragua, a highly interesting account by the captain of his voyage from Sweden to Shanghai on a rebuilt historical sailing ship, and fun social evenings culminating on our last evening in a hilarious talent show staged by crew members. And speaking of the crew all, from the always calm but efficient maitre'd to the kitchen staff, the eager sports- and social programme team to the friendly cabin stewards, all worked tirelessly to ensure that the passengers had a good time. If you are adventurous but like to have some comfort too a cruise on one of the Star Clippers could be for you. We certainly plan to go on another trip with one of these iconic sailing ships before long.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
My husband and I are in our mid 30s and decided on Royal Clipper for our Honeymoon cruise. The ship was under capacity with only about 130 on board mostly Germans and Brits. Only about 20 Americans(which we are). Announcements were done in ... Read More
My husband and I are in our mid 30s and decided on Royal Clipper for our Honeymoon cruise. The ship was under capacity with only about 130 on board mostly Germans and Brits. Only about 20 Americans(which we are). Announcements were done in French, German and English. Other travelers were well traveled and business 'white collar' types. We enjoyed their company greatly. The average age range was 40-60 year olds. We opted to stay at the Clipper's hotel in Venice two days before boarding. The hotel was in a good part of the city away from too much touristy stuff, but still close enough to get around. Also they served free breakfast which was a nice surprise. Getting to the port was simple and check in was fine. There was quite a line, but by the time we had all forms filled out we easily did the passport check and photo. On board we were treated to music, drinks and light snacks and our bags were in the room waiting for us. Royal Clipper is BEAUTIFUL. We were shocked at the care being given to the ship. It looked and smelled brand new. Every day we would see the friendly crew scrubbing, polishing, or painting something. The decor is tastefully done and all rooms compliment each other. On board each evening there was a different type of entertainment. From the first night introductions and fashion show, to crab races, to Greek dancers and finally the crew talent show. We went to and enjoyed each event especially the Mr. and Mrs. Royal Clipper game which we won. These all took place in the bar which was the usual evening hang out spot. We also watched the sail raising when departing each port, listened to all the port information as we arrived(got some great information and tips on what to do and see), climbed the mast( a MUST do), lied in the front netting, swam off the back dock, listened to music in the piano bar, read in the library, and relaxed in the 3 pools. We also checked out a few dvds from their rental. Not a huge selection, but enough. For such a small ship, we never ran out of things to do. We also enjoyed pirate night though wish we had known about it ahead of time so we could have brought costumes. The service was wonderful. We were so spoiled and felt we had our own personal butlers for the 11 days. Crew members always had smiles on their faces and knew our names, who we hung out with and which wine we drank. We also loved the laundry service, reasonably priced and we got the joy of seeing our undies and swimsuits ironed! We did an excursion at each port and though they are slightly overpriced(as is expected on all cruise lines) none were a disappointment. All the guides were well traveled and bilingual, plus we were usually served food and drink. Our budget would only allow us the cheapest room. It was small, but nice. All we do in the room is sleep and shower anyway, so it wasn't a big deal. Compared to the room size, the bathroom was quite large which was a plus. We had been told that small ships feel the movement of the ocean a lot, but did not find this to be the case. It was a smooth ride the entire time. The dining room had a great menu that changed each day. Breakfast and lunch were buffet style with a theme each day. Every breakfast had a different smoothie which I looked forward to trying. There was also an omelette bar which was my husband's favorite. Lunch included a dessert bar which was wonderful. Dinner was the only meal that required dressing up. I wore a skirt while my husband went in khakis and a Polo shirt. Most people dressed slightly more for the captains dinner. However ties, gowns and all that nonsense are not expected(thank goodness). There was no assigned seating or times which is exactly what we enjoy. The meals were wonderfully made and presented well. About an hour before dinner began there would be a menu and sample dissed placed outside the dining entrance so you knew exactly what you were ordering ahead of time. If nothing on the menu met your needs steak and fries were always an option. One of our favorite things about this ship: no kids! We love kids, but the purpose of our holiday was our honeymoon. We wanted an adult only vacation. There was a 5 year old with his nanny that we saw about 3 times. An out of control 11 year old who someone complained to the crew about and 3 teenagers that easily blended in with the adults. My husband and I have a child now, but would not bring him on this cruise until he is at least 10 if not 15. They have a small fitness room and spa which we used a bit. I got a massage and facial at the spa which was great. On the daily schedule there were several specials for treatments. Each day they'd feature a drink special as well which was always cheaper and usually quite good. You are not supposed to bring alcohol on board, but they do not make a big deal out of this. The ship does not have a party/drunk type atmosphere so anyone getting wasted in their own room would look rather foolish. Leaving was also simple, the procedures were explained to us in a meeting the day before and we were able to quickly get our things and leave to our next destination(Rome). We were very sad to say good bye to Royal Clipper and are planning a return in the near future. Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
When booking our first ever cruise, I was nervous about what I had read on the boards regarding kids on Star Clipper. So I thought I would share our experience which can be summoned up in a single word- Great!!!!!I have 9 year old son and ... Read More
When booking our first ever cruise, I was nervous about what I had read on the boards regarding kids on Star Clipper. So I thought I would share our experience which can be summoned up in a single word- Great!!!!!I have 9 year old son and a daughter who actually turned 12 on our trip. My husband is a Scientist who despises crowds, shopping casinos, & cheesy Broadway reviews. When my daughter asked us if we could go on a cruise for our annual family vacation I was in a bit of pickle given that her Dad's idea of a vacation is not a big traditional cruise ship. He loves nature, adventure, history and science. After months of research we had zeroed in on Star Clipper. We signed up for the 6 night repositioning cruise from Costa Rica to Panama and booked the 2 day pre-land package in Monteverde cloud forest. The land package was fabulous. From the moment we landed we where taken care of. Our transfer driver showed us all sorts of things on the way to Monteverde, including stopping for lunch, monkeys and other wildlife. The visit to Selvatura park was lots of fun and we where able to add in Zip-lining which was heart stopping action adventure. The hummingbirds where amazing and the coatis just wandered all around the hummingbird garden. My family was entranced. The Hotel Fonda Vela had a lovey hot tub and pools with a gorgeous view. A real highlight for my daughter was eating a big bowl of Ice cream made locally at the Monteverde dairy, which the hotel brought to her in the hot tub. Pura Vida!!!! On the last Morning the Hotel helped me book a tour at Monteverde National Park and we where lucky enough to see a female Quetzal and a toucanette plus Coatis, agoutis and trogans. The guide was great! After a terrific lunch we headed to Puerte Caldera.We got to Puerte Caldera about an hour before the boat sailed which was a bit boring as the terminal is minimal but the line did have some apple juice and a nice plate of fruit for us. We killed the time watching the Star Flyer being moved further down the dock to make way for huge container ship so even that was interesting. Embarkation was easy and we where greeted with a nice fruit drink and music.Since there was 4 of us we booked 2 cabins a cat 6 and a cat 4 that where across the hall from each other. The cat 6 is tiny and no frills We joked with the kids it was a combination vacation and "scared straight"., but the kids did like the bunk beds. The cabin across the way was just fine with a port hole, DVD player and between the two we never felt cramped.When we first got on board my daughter said to me mom I think people are staring at us we are the ONLY family. Looking around I think we where attracting some looks. As it turns out we weren't the only family as a set of grandparents where traveling with their 14 year old grandson. The next day at the Captain's welcome speech he made a point to note how happy Star Flyer was to have a family aboard and to publicly welcome us. It was a nice feeling.At dinner Godwin and Herman went out of their way to make sure my super picky 9 year old eater knew that he could always have pasta or steak and french fries. The bar tender also made a point to tell the kids he could make them special fun fruit cocktails just for them.Pretty soon my kids where entranced with ship and the grand adventure. Our first stop was Quepos. We wanted to do the horseback riding but not enough people signed up. Ximena managed to switch us to white water rafting. Our guide was great. Just as we arrived the heavens opened up and drenched us. My son who had a cough was soon shivering. Our guide noticed his discomfort and quickly made him a plastic raincoat from a plastic bag which was very kind. The weather soon cleared and our guide was terrific. Helped us spot all sorts of wildlife and picked a perfect line through every rapid. After white water rafting back on board the kids hit the pools and tried out the bow net both of which where big hits! My son especially enjoyed diving down into the bottom of the pool and waving through the windows down there at the tropical bar.The next few days passed by a in a whirl. Tour of Corvacado National Park, Climbing the crows nest, even my 9 year old, plus raising the sails and swimming. The only tour that was a disappointment was the wildlife rescue center and orchid garden. Definitely not worth 80 E. Our best day was at Isla de Coiba in Panama. The most gorgeous beach I have ever seen. My 12 year old enjoyed the beach while my husband, son and I snorkeled. The snorkeling was fabulous. The highlight for my son was finding a harmless white tipped reef shark while snorkeling. He was so excited it was amazing to watch. The sports team nick named him shark boy after that. Our last stop at Isla Iguana was canceled because the seas where too rough to safely get us off the boat and instead we had a day at sea. While disappointed I appreciated the crews concern for our safety.The kids also had a blast with the evening entertainment. My daughter loved making us pirate costumes out of our daily bulletins (hats) tying our red t-shirts on our heads, dressing yus in strips, and making herself an eye patch from mom's band aids. The frog races where also a highlight for them followed by dancing. The night of the crew talent show my guys where too exhausted to stay up so it was just us girls. We laughed our selves silly a the funny corny show and we topped the evening off with the Macarana. Another funny thing happened as folks began to realize our kids weren't going to be badly behaved or rude they became so friendly it was great. People we didn't even know cheered us as we climbed the crows nest. People called us aside to show us pictures of the kids at pirate night, frog races etc that they had taken. The atmosphere was just wonderful. Apart from that first day we never felt anything but warmth and acceptance.All too soon it was over and we sadly disembarked but then spent another great week touring the Panama Canal zone. As we booked the Star Clipper, what our cruise agent was most worried about was "will the kids be board?" The truth of the matter was they where actually exhausted by the end of every day because there was a lot of fun things to do. However, I do have to caveat a few things. Our kids are used to vacations in the US National parks where there is no TV and a fun time is a ranger lead campfire. We also came prepared, our own DVDs and a Nintendo DS for each kids with plenty of games. Also I wouldn't want to be chasing after a toddler as the tours require a degree of mobility and a kid screaming in the dinning room would not be good, but for a family with tweens (7-13). It was great.If your family loves adventure its a blast! My daughter is already scheming to do one of their Mediterranean cruises. Read Less
Sail Date March 2011
Just returned from our Vantage booked Star Flyer cruise of Costa Rica and Panama. I will not repeat what Budaman wrote, since his review was pretty accurate as to what we experienced. Our cabins were the same and I agree Nelson and ... Read More
Just returned from our Vantage booked Star Flyer cruise of Costa Rica and Panama. I will not repeat what Budaman wrote, since his review was pretty accurate as to what we experienced. Our cabins were the same and I agree Nelson and Herman were outstanding as was Ximena. However, there are a few things I wish I had been aware of before I booked this trip and since I think they are important, that's what I'll report on here: 1. Star Flyer carries about 170 passengers and has two swimming pools. 12 chaise lounges under tarps is not enough shade on the sun deck. The weather in Costa Rica was bright sunshine, hot and humid every day and unless you were comfortable lying in the sun for hours at a time, there was very little shade. 2. Ship only docked in one port(Golfito) all others required tender. Now, if you have ANY problems going up or down a ladder, please reconsider this ship. Since it's a sailing vessel you leave and reboard the ship via gangway, which is about 1 1/2 stories long, very steep and both steps and handrails move. This coupled with the relative movement between the tender and the bottom of the gangway caused one person in our group to fall after which others were afraid to leave the ship at all. There were also several "wet" landings, which means that after the tender gets where it's going you jump off the rear of the tender into the water which can be anywhere from ankle to waist deep! Several people fell into the water and I got my hand caught between the ladder and the tender when reboarding at Isla Gamez. The crew was very helpful but it was still very difficult. 3. Shore excursions: What a surprise to find out that only a handful of people would actually be able to get a shore excursion! Virtually all of the excursions offered closed after 20-40 people signed up and others were on a waiting list. There were people in our group unable to get ANY excursions because by the time they got through the line all the good ones were filled. IMHO this is totally unacceptable. Excursion to wildlife rescue center and orchid garden very over-priced....we were supposed to spend two hours at refuge and only spent one and the gardens were lovely but not worth 80E per person!Other than that one, the excursions to the mangrove forest of Drake Bay and Manuel Antonio NP, which were by the same company, were outstanding. The BBQ on Isla Gamez was wonderful but Isla Tortuga is a rip-off! They actually charged you to walk through their garden grounds! 4. Food: Herman was a delight and the food was really good with a nice selection of fish, meat or vegetarian at every dinner. Only complaint is that they need more waiters and they need to do something to lower the noise level, which is deafening, especially if you wear a hearing aid. 5. Air Conditioning: Sorry guys, but the advertised "individually controlled climate control in every cabin" isn't quite accurate. There is a/c duct in the ceiling over the beds with minimal amount of air coming through and you could NOT control the temperature. If you are in the cabin at night with the lights on, it quickly becomes a sauna! A/C doesn't mean turn off the lights and stay out of the cabin till it cools off! :) Also, in the dining room the a/c was totally inadequate once the room filled with people, which was every night! Only rooms that were consistently comfortable were the library and the piano bar. Read Less
Sail Date February 2011
Having spent the previous four months planning our honeymoon and dreaming about it every minute of every day, I was sure that the SPV Royal Clipper could not live up to my very high expectations. Three days later I still have a high (as ... Read More
Having spent the previous four months planning our honeymoon and dreaming about it every minute of every day, I was sure that the SPV Royal Clipper could not live up to my very high expectations. Three days later I still have a high (as well as sea legs!) We spent our final night in the Executive Suite at the Barbados Hilton, and all we did was wish we were still on the ship. (P.S.The Hilton is very nice, though. I do recommend them as well.) Before I left, I had some concerns, so I'll address them as I imagine many of you reading this are in a similar age group or circumstance: Average age: Since my wife and I are 25 and 31 years old, we feared getting on a ship where the average age is (at least) 65. Truth be told, it was the best thing we could have done. There were several young couples on the ship and we formed close bonds, but we also found that we very much enjoyed hanging out with the older couples. They had much more in the way of interesting life stories, and all of them had very healthy marriages and very positive outlooks on marriage. You don't notice how down most people are on marriage until you're around people who treasure their own. It was very encouraging. These people are also not your standard cruisers. Each were adventure travelers and had no interest in being trough-fed on a huge floating Las Vegas. Eating with others: See above. We LOVED sitting with our new friends that were our age, but hearing about the adventures of our older counterparts and getting good solid advice from people who have made marriages work left us dreaming about what stories we'd have to tell when we reached retirement.Not to mention - older people like to buy younger people drinks. Sea sickness: On a scale from 1 to 10, I'd say most people at some point reached at least a 3, a few people got to a 5 or 6, and some people were full-blown 10s. HOWEVER, I would bet a lot of money that even the people who got the most sick would not even mention it in the conversation when asked about the cruise. It just wasn't a big deal at all. Make sure to bring some over the counter seasickness pills (NOT the prescription kind, which are gel bandages you put on your neck. They fall of when swimming.) Drinking/Nightlife: About 30% of the people on board are Brits, and we made quick friends as we defended our countries' honor by trying to hang with them. (We did.) You won't have any 3:00 AM parties, but I'd say there are at least 15 people out in the Tropical Bar until after midnight. Shopping: There weren't as many opportunities to shop as my wife would have liked. Most of the time we anchored off of a remote shore - most of the good shopping in located near major ports. Adventure/activities: Adventure is built into the ship. You can't help but feel like Jack Sparrow when the sails are up. Beach activities were great. Most people just laid there sunbathing, but many others went exploring (very remote beaches) or snorkeling either by themselves or with the resident Marine Biologist, Mariano. That was great because even an ordinary day of snorkeling was fascinating when he explained the details of seemingly trivial ocean creatures. Snorkeling on most days was fantastic, though! There were many other wonderful features of the honeymoon on-board the Royal Clipper in the Windward Islands, but I can't write about them all. Please contact me if you have any questions. Read Less
Sail Date January 2011
We travelled to Venice and stayed in a gem of a hotel away from the crowds but within walking distance of our embarkation port - San Basilio. Trundling our luggage over bridges and along side alleys, we quickly reached the port and joined ... Read More
We travelled to Venice and stayed in a gem of a hotel away from the crowds but within walking distance of our embarkation port - San Basilio. Trundling our luggage over bridges and along side alleys, we quickly reached the port and joined the queue. Even at this early stage the crew were there to help and guide us through the formalities of boarding Star Clipper. In no time at all we were climbing the gang plank to be met by members of the crew, music, welcome drinks and snacks. We were shown to our cabin - clean, inviting and with lots of storage space, a comfortable queen size bed, bathrobes, and a bathroom to dream about - marble surrounds, mirrors, a large Jacuzzi bath and shower, lots of fluffy white towels and complimentary toiletries, shower caps and emery boards. We then explored the ship - several decks, two pools, a cocktail bar and a small but well equipped library, containing books, board games, information on excursions and a daily potted news summary in English and German. It was then time for our first meal. We descended an elegant staircase to a dining room big enough to seat all the passengers and officers - who always joined a table at meal times. We could sit alone or ask to be seated with other passengers, and in this way we met most of the 130 or so people on the small ship who were all very interesting and added to the enjoyment of the holiday. The dinner menu included several starters, followed by a soup, a sorbet, a salad, a choice of main course and a choice of dessert. All meals were beautifully presented, cooked to perfection and catered for a wide variety of tastes. We were to learn that food was also available round the clock. An early bird breakfast of juices, pastries and fruit appeared at 6 a.m. A full self service breakfast which included fruit, cereals, English breakfasts, cold meats, salads and eggs cooked by a chef to order before your eyes, was offered from 8.30 until 10.00a.m. At twelve noon a buffet lunch appeared, with too wide a variety of dishes to list here, but all tasty and tempting. Midway through the afternoon a cake tray with chocolated fruits and cookies appeared in our cabin. At half past five it was canapE time and later it was dinner. As if this were not enough, there was a midnight snack (which I was never awake to see, but I am sure it was as good as the rest of the food.) There were plenty of ship's activities. I was up at eight each morning for thirty minutes keep fit, and later in the afternoon took part in the mile walk, where we explored parts of the ship I didn't know existed, as well as making several trips round the deck to the amusement of more laid back passengers. There was also water aerobics in one of the two rather small pools. We had severaltalks from the Ship's Captain (who was passionate about his sailing ship) and Doctor and updates from the Cruise Director. We had tours of the Bridge and Engine Room, demonstrations of knot making, games of deck golf and quoits, treasure hunts and quizzes. Nobody was coerced into doing any of these, but there was something to interest everyone. Likewise the entertainment after dinner was a mixture of talent shows, Pirate Nights, Folklore, Comedy Shows and a final night Slide Show of the passengers and sights on this particular trip. And every night there was music and dancing. We also had a massage tent which was very popular. We were fortunate to have the company of the ship's owner for part of the trip and he and his wife mixed easily with us, asking our views and answering our questions with patience and good humour. During our ten days, we visited eight ports before arriving at Athens, and had one day entirely at sea. The ship's tenders transported us to shore and optional excursions were offered at all but one of the ports. I had come on this trip to relax, so only participated in one - a coach tour in Corfu which was well organised and allowed us free time in the town after visiting Achilleion and the Old Town. For the rest, I wandered through the harbour at Losinj, swam from the boat at Hvar and Yithion,explored Dubrovnik from the city walls, walked through a deserted Old Town in Montenegro in the early morning and had a day on the beach at Mykonos. My husband went sailing once, and there were snorkelling or scuba diving available. I have not yet mentioned the part of the trip which gave it that extra touch - the excellent service from every member of the crew. Our cabin boy kept the cabin spotless and folded and laid out clean towels every day. The waiters always had a smile on their faces and seemed to remember everyone's names from day one. The chef frequently came into the dining room to check all was well, as did the maitre d' . The activities team were always available and helpful. My husband spent a lot of time on the Bridge and talking to the Engineer and Captain about the sailing aspects of the ship and found the officers informative and more than willing to answer his questions. The Cruise Director seemed to be on duty round the clock - and she never lost her smile or her temper! Disembarkation could not have been simpler. We received most of our bill the day before so there was plenty of time to check it. We settled up, handed in our keys in return for our passports, went into the customs hall and collected our luggage which we took to the transfer bus. Then we said our final goodbyes to the crew and were whisked away to the airport. Looking back, I can honestly say it was one of the most enjoyable holidays I have ever taken, and as many of the passengers were on their second, third - and in one case sixth - cruise, I was obviously not alone in feeling this way. There was so much to enjoy - the ship's amenities, the lovely cabin, the attentive crew, the information on board, the ports we visited and the wonderful food. However, no holiday is without a down side and if I must find one it will be - the food. There was too much, too often, and it was too good to resist!! I was also a little disappointed that there was not more swimming. The pools were tiny and we only swam off the side twice, but apparently this was because of port restrictions. There was also a tendency among a small minority of passengers to hog the sun-beds, in spite of written pleas by the cruise managers. And in fairness it was not just one nationality which was guilty of this! This was my first cruise, and I was not at all keen to share the experience with hundreds of others, so I chose a small sailing ship. I can honestly say that the ambience, the amenities, the experience and the fellow passengers, many of whom I got to know quite well, made it the holiday of a lifetime and I am already looking at the brochures to decide when to book my next. Read Less
Sail Date July 2010
We are senior citizens who also were sailors for about 40 years! We have sailed twice on the ROYAL CLIPPER - January 2005 & January 2010. We adore her! Best cruises we have ever had - no casinos, no kids on board just plain ... Read More
We are senior citizens who also were sailors for about 40 years! We have sailed twice on the ROYAL CLIPPER - January 2005 & January 2010. We adore her! Best cruises we have ever had - no casinos, no kids on board just plain "relaxation". Shore excursions during the day and sailed at night! Wonderful lectures on board, water activities ashore, sightseeing on the islands, on board entertainment by the crew & occasional steel band aboard for a few hours before our night sails! We used Star Clipper Lines to book our plane reservations so that we wouldn't have any issues with delayed flights. Actually, we flew to Miami from Providence, RI the night before we were to fly to Barbados to meet the ship just to be sure that we would bot be delayed by weather! Would sail on her again if we can! Mediterranean by way of the seasonal transatlantic repositioning crossing would be next on our list. Read Less
Sail Date January 2010
Already Booked?

Get to know who you’ll be sailing with

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click