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2 Star Clippers Romantic Cruise Reviews

Vacation date: November 26, 2016-December 3, 2016 St. Maarten - Barbados The Royal Clipper is a beautiful sailing ship. What excited us the most was the chance to see the five masted fully rigged ship from one of our excursions. ... Read More
Vacation date: November 26, 2016-December 3, 2016 St. Maarten - Barbados The Royal Clipper is a beautiful sailing ship. What excited us the most was the chance to see the five masted fully rigged ship from one of our excursions. Unfortunately, Captain Mariusz Szalek sailed the tall ship using mostly the engine during the entire seven days in the Caribbean. We motored our way from Saint Maarten's to Barbados sometimes navigating in bad weather. Unfortunately, we succumbed to a lot of rain. When we took the tender to an island beach, either it was Antigua or Dominica, the beach was narrow and the water was murky. We were expecting white sands with turquoise beaches. Perhaps our expectation was a bit unrealistic. We don't fault the captain or the cruise director for the 4 days of bad weather. However, the cruise director, Gabor did not offer us opportunities to learn about the islands that we could not visit on those rainy days. We think it would have been very educational if they had films about the islands in the lounge. We could have learned about the culture, economy, history and what influenced The Royal Clipper to choose these islands to visit. Upon many occasions as we motored in the rain, clear skies and sunshine were only a few miles away, If weather reports showed socked-in conditions at the next port-of-call, a leisurely sail under sunny skies would be monumentally favorable to hovering under the rain tarps provided. When this alliterative was put to the captain, the response was that he was strictly prohibited from deviating his course. Is it more important to stay on a rainy track or to make the passengers happy and comfortable? One of the islands that we did visit was called Saint Barts. Unfortunately, it was Sunday and most of the stores were closed. It would have been great if we had some kind of tour guide to direct us to different landmarks on this island to see. To make matters worse, the captain on the ship wasn't very accessible to many of the guests when asked questions. We would think some public relations officer would be at hand here. Towards the end of the cruise, there was a gentleman walking around with a petition to sign complaining about the excursions and the poor communications between the captain and the guests. We found that very troubling. Overall, the food was very good. The dining room waiters and the cabin stewards worked very hard to help make our trip comfortable. They are the backbone of the Royal Clipper. There is always a possibility on any cruise, that inclement weather will put a damper on the journey. We think it's in the ship owner's interests to anticipate the possibility of inclement weather and provide alternatives to make the trip more enjoyable. After all, we are cooped up on a ship with no alternate activities. Most of the passengers like ourselves were bored and the only highlight of our trip was eating. You could go on any big ship for that! We did not feel we got our moneys worth. Lastly, the intercom system was very poor. Some of the speakers were inaudible, because the intercom system is only in the hallways. Having an effective intercom system allows the passengers to hear important information. Perhaps a closed caption line could be added to the TV to facilitate hearing announcement while in the room. I would give this particular trip a 5 out of 10. UPDATE: We did receive a response back from the manager of passenger services. Unfortunately, the answers provided were unsatisfactory. Here it is for your information.: I am sorry the cruise didn’t meet your expectation. We try to use wind power as much as possible but when the wind is not sufficient or the Captains feels we need to use the engines to get to the next port of call, it is ultimately his decision to make sure we arrive on time. You mentioned why we didn’t veer off course to encounter more favorable weather, I know the Captain has his orders and he will do what he can in his means but at times he will need to stay the course. When it rains in the Caribbean and depending on how rough the seas are in that area it can stir up the silt and other marine material at the bottom of the sea which will make the water cloudy at the different ports. Usually these places have blue seas with white sandy beaches but weather can disrupt this and we do not have control over that. We have a small staff onboard so we do not have any type of elaborate production like the larger lines. I know you were not looking for much but more than what was offered. I have forwarded your comments to my director regarding activities onboard the ship, especially on rainy days, and to include more information about the different ports of call. In regards to the stores closed in St. Barts on Sunday, this is the norm in most Caribbean islands to close shops on Sundays. Unfortunately it was St. Barts but I can assure you since our sailings are 7 days or longer regardless of which sailing we do in the Caribbean the port we call on on a Sunday is usually slow. You will also find this to be true in Europe especially when you are in Spain or the Balearic islands. I have forwarded your comments about the intercom system and will have the ship look into this. By any chance did you mention the intercom issues with any staff member? I am glad you enjoyed the food but I understand you didn’t come for the food, you came for the sailing experience. The weather didn’t help and the lack of activities due to the weather really dampened your vacation. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We did a fair amount of research before settling on Star Clipper Cruises. Our decision was based on the fact it was a small ship, small number of passengers (140), and a 7 day (as opposed to 14 day) cruise through Tahiti, our chosen ... Read More
We did a fair amount of research before settling on Star Clipper Cruises. Our decision was based on the fact it was a small ship, small number of passengers (140), and a 7 day (as opposed to 14 day) cruise through Tahiti, our chosen destination. The ship's size was wonderful. Comfortable in size, sort of like a boutique hotel. Two swimming pools, maybe a little short on deck space but tolerable. The trade off of size meant a little touch and go with respect to big waves while sailing, but tolerable. There is essentially no ship-board entertainment, but again we knew this getting in. A very international group of well traveled passengers, all very interesting. Essentially no kids, which was a plus. Most 40 - 60's y/o. Many Europeans, Americans, and a few Asian and Central American passengers. Food was ok, generally not remarkable. Breakfast buffet as expected; Lunch about the same. Dinner was ok but nothing fabulous. Decent selection but presentation and tastes perhaps a bit better than some ships, i.e. Princess but not as good as Oceania or RSSC. Afternoon cocktail hour was amateurish, the food that is. Cost of drinks on the ship were very reasonable and appreciated. During our cruise there was a problem with the AC in the dining room, so dinner was a bit uncomfortable. Stateroom quite small which was tolerable except for the intermittent functioning of the air conditioner (average temperature in Tahiti was high 80's F. Mattress of the bed was substandard, felt as if it was made with straw. Bed covers were decent but no top sheet provided, rather an integrated comforter. Also by the 5th day the toilet began to smell a bit. Maybe you get what you pay for. Our cruise was about $6500 for 2, including airfare from LAX. Would we go again? Maybe, would probably go for one of the larger Star Clipper ships and maybe in an upgraded room. Good way to see Tahiti. Suggest visiting during their winter, not summer...too hot and humid...and we're from Hawaii :) Read Less
Sail Date February 2009
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