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4 Star Clippers Romantic Cruise Reviews

I booked this cruise one year ahead for our special anniversary, I told the UK agents and my own travel agent told them that it was a special time, yet it was forgotten about. No mention of it in spite of others having the waiters sing ... Read More
I booked this cruise one year ahead for our special anniversary, I told the UK agents and my own travel agent told them that it was a special time, yet it was forgotten about. No mention of it in spite of others having the waiters sing happy birthday and such. Also we do not eat meat and ordered vegetarian food. On arrival the restaurant had no idea of our request and could only offer frozen items of poor quality. They did try their best but did not understand any menu that was not pre planned. Your passports are withheld until you pay any extra's although they have your credit card and landing in France without ID was very risky as everyone was asking for ID prior to entry. Beware they take your money and promise a lot yet deliver very little. The ship really sails by motor and the sails are for effect, when they go up they offer Champagne at €7.50 per glass. Everything was for the ships benefit and very little customer comfort. The cabin air condition does not turn off and the air is very stale, I was told that the whole ship was like that and nothing could be done. The towels were so small it would not cover your embarrassment. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We wanted to try the small boat experience. Wind in the sails etc.Freedom. What happened was unexpected and not very good. Worse parts first I think - which may take a while. The sails only went up when the boat was becalmed and ... Read More
We wanted to try the small boat experience. Wind in the sails etc.Freedom. What happened was unexpected and not very good. Worse parts first I think - which may take a while. The sails only went up when the boat was becalmed and not moving. Then only for short periods to take photos.So travel was by engine - noisy and smelly. We missed one important port due to weather conditions. Larger boats didn't have this problem. The substitute port was of no interest to us. Little to see, no maps or information. No excursions organised or even ideas on what to do or see. There was no time or research or plan. We were just dumped. No internet access to research ourselves. Lack of professionalism and unfriendly staff. It was obvious that no one really cared if we had a pleasant voyage. The staff were terrible in some cases. There was a lack of language proficiency. German was the main language. English and French and other speakers were badly treated. There was a large group of German travel agents onboard and all efforts were made to make them happy. The staff ignored the rest of us. There was no "sail away" from ports with music and sails. On departure from Athens it was pitch black on deck. Very crowded and no one could see or knew what was happening. I think I could vaguely hear the famous Vangelis music but although I walked around the deck it didn't get any louder. Staff were only there to sell champagne. The dining room was too cramped and full. Staff canteen feeling. Staff didn't engage with passengers, We sat with a delightful French couple one night and tried to find other french speakers for them. Asked the Maitre D' but he didn't bother to even think about it. Summed up the voyage I've saved the worst for last. Embarkation was easy but we were told to wait on deck for the safety talk. I'm guessing that the cabins weren't ready and they wanted to "manage" us there. Waited and waited. Sickly cheap drink offered. Eventually gave up and found our cabin. No map or introduction to the boat or schedule was given to us on day 1. Staff were here and there but no talking or engaging with passengers. They were mainly Filipino with poor english. Returned later for the safety talk. Disorganised mess. There are simply not enough European speakers there to manage the amount of passengers. Not enough space to do this properly. If that wasn't bad enough we had to sit while a staff member went through a long rambling talk in German, English and French. Went on and on. We can only hope that her German was good as the rest wasn't. All the briefings on deck were like this. Long, long waits. Long, long mangled talks that were often unintelligible. We wasted so much room waiting and enduring these. When we were on deck there was no where to sit and enjoy the feeling of the sea air. All seats were taken early and aggressively defended and were too few for the number of passengers. We had to stand or stroll but that was hard given the number of people packed into such a small space. The public rooms had very small windows and missed the sea experience. We didn't dock in ports. Apart from Athens all were done by tender or even zodiac. Now for the good bits. We found prices for drinks very reasonable. There was a great cheap laundry service. Food was plentiful. It was easy to move around the boat even for those with slight mobility problems. Not suitable for wheelchair users but there were plenty of elderly and/ or walking stick users. We did like our small but very comfortable cabin and the whole boat was very clean. Being on a small boat could be pleasant but there were far too many people for that to happen here. The overcrowding made the staff too stressed to do a good job and the passengers unhappy. It was not a happy voyage. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We choose this cruise because we were already going to Cuba for 5 days prior and 3 days following; but we wish that we hadn't! We boarded on January 7: We were picked up by Star Flyer bus at Iberostar. We were not on the passenger ... Read More
We choose this cruise because we were already going to Cuba for 5 days prior and 3 days following; but we wish that we hadn't! We boarded on January 7: We were picked up by Star Flyer bus at Iberostar. We were not on the passenger list. Fortunately, a Star Flyer person said he remembered our name and that we should board the bus! After almost an hour of driving we stopped because the Star Flyer person had left two people behind at Iberostar. They arrived after another hour while we waited. Eventually, they arrived and we continued. They said that they were in the lobby waiting at 1:50pm. We arrived at Cienfuegos after 6:00pm – it was dark! The bus had us all disembark at the far end of the parking lot (thank goodness it wasn’t raining!). We had to select our luggage which was put onto carts to be taken to the ship. Then we had to enter customs and immigration. We were second in line when we were given two forms to complete 1 Medical 2 Immigration, or maybe emigration! By the time we had completed these forms we were the penultimate couple to walk to the ship and board. We were given our cards OK. Why weren’t these forms in the package? We were the only ones without the medical forms! We had to walk at least 200 metres to the ship across an open parking lot! Our cabin 509 was what we expected although the only window looked out onto a deck and was non-operable. Dinner was served – NOTE: all meals on board were very good and the serving staff excellent! January 8: We discovered that a trip to Trinidad was to be taken starting at 7:30am. Others on board were aware of this – we were not. We didn’t go, which was just as well since those who did thought that it was a waste of time. An hour and a half to get there. Just over an hour in Trinidad, and an hour and a half return because the ship was sailing at 2:00 for Cienfuegos. January 9: The sail was uncomfortable due to heavy seas and some of the sails were raised We were advised that we had to buy visas at 15Euros each for our return to Cuba. These could have been in the package! The visit to Cayman Brac was cancelled January 10: Docked at Georgetown Grand Cayman. The Mission House was closed due to renovations, so we went to Pedro St James, a renovated house, then onto the Botanical Gardens. Both were interesting. The trip director returned us to Georgetown at noon where we were left to our own devices since the ship was sailing at 3:30pm. We had a very good lunch at Breezes – Grouper! January 11: When back on board the captain advised that the stop at Cayo Largo was next. We thought better of this since the sea was rough. People who chose to go went by tender – a forty five minute trip! The first off were late and three hours later the final guests were taken. Later we discovered that there was nothing there other than sand and that the snorkelling dive had been cancelled. Also, there was a charge of 90CUCs each! Miserable sail with rough weather January 12: Again a very rough sea Punta Frances docking was also cancelled! This time apparently due to a previous vessel leaving garbage on the island! Since most of the time was spent on board there was a rush on the insufficient number of deckchairs. There were several arguments about who had what! There was a rule that if you left your chair for more than fifteen minutes you lost it – that was not enforced. The Cruise people ned to allocate access better. It didn’t matter to us frankly, but it was another aggravation. So, another day on the ship! January 13: Overnight the weather improved and the sailing was fairly calm. January 14: Disembarkation by 10:00am. After going through customs/immigration etc. we looked for our driver. Again, many drivers with passenger’s names but no one for us! Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
The trip just fell short on everything. Started badly by having a toilet blockage in the public bathroom having to be fixed through our cabin. Because we couldn't dress for dinner I asked for another cabin (there were plenty that were ... Read More
The trip just fell short on everything. Started badly by having a toilet blockage in the public bathroom having to be fixed through our cabin. Because we couldn't dress for dinner I asked for another cabin (there were plenty that were empty). The cabin they offered was supposedly an upgrade because it was upstairs, but it was significantly smaller and noisier and had less storage space. We moved back the next morning. The food was bland and lacked imagination. In comparison, the Wind Star had a port-inspired dish on the menu each night, offered fresh made menu items at all three meals, plus the buffets at breakfast and lunch, and the option for room service whenever you desired, and there was free soda and water in your cabin at all times. Star Clipper's breakfast and lunch buffets were truly disappointing; buttered noodles should not ever be a dish on a cruise, yet Star Clipper offered it at three buffet lunches. There was the option for fresh eggs at breakfast, and I was told by another passenger that you could also order toast. You must pay for all drinks on the Star Clipper, soda and bottled water included. Lastly, on the food, the service on the Star Clipper couldn't hold a candle to Wind Star. Some, not all, of the staff were often unkempt and unfriendly, and seemed put out by any request. All they wanted to do was what they must, fill glasses, clear plates, etc. On the Wind Star the staff was professional, courteous, and seemed to genuinely enjoy making your experience the best it could be. We got the opportunity to see one of the Star Clipper's "luxury" cabins when we befriended another couple, and I'd have to say aside from the bathtub, it was no bigger or nicer than our standard cabin on the Wind Star. Certainly not worth the price. Our Star Clipper cabin was significantly smaller and older looking than the Wind Star. Also the old TV had no reception and could only be used for DVDs, which you could borrow from the Purser's Office, two at a time. We spent much more time watching movies than on any other cruise, as there is no real entertainment to speak of. Whereas the Wind Star had cultural dance troops and the like, the Star Clipper had a fashion show, where if you had bought any of their apparel, you could walk the "runway" in hopes of getting other passengers to buy stuff. Robert, the piano player was nice enough, but didn't add much to the experience. The piano player on the Wind Star was not particularly nice, but did his job very well, engaging the passengers and playing a wide variety of tunes. Oh, and on the last day they wouldn't give me my passport because they said I hadn't returned a DVD, when in reality the "Sports team" had taken it without signing it out, so they just accused the last passenger who had borrowed it. You sign them out, but don't sign them in, so if they say you haven't returned it, they hold your passport, which made me late for my prescheduled tour that morning. As for the excursions, make sure you know what you are signing up for because a lot of people were disappointed with how they handled the Barcelona tour. The tour ended at the airport, whether you were staying in the city for a couple of days or even continuing on the Star Clipper, you got left at the airport. I've never had that experience before and it was less than clear. Also, there was one couple that wanted to cancel their tour and were told they could not even though they stood before the cruise director with another couple who wanted to take that very tour, but were told it was sold out. All they had to do was switch credit card numbers, but instead both couples were left unsatisfied. In general, I found the cruise director, Anna, unfriendly, unhelpful and unapproachable outside her regular passenger interaction. Many passengers on the ship were happy repeat customers, which left my husband and I confused. What we learned was they were often sailors themselves who were looking for a "real" sailing experience. It is true that the Wind Star used their engine more (usually during sleeping hours) but in all fairness they also sailed farther and all the ports were significant, culturally or historically. I felt like the Star Clipper simply chose ports they could get to under sail. The other thing though was that none of these happy repeat customers had been on a Wind Star cruise and therefore had nothing really to compare. We were sure to encourage all to try Wind Star; I really believe they will all be more than happy with the decision! Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
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