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6 Star Clippers Transatlantic Cruise Reviews

Having sailed once before in the Caribbean with Star Flyer we decided on taking it across the Atlantic. The 23 day crossing was a combination of Malaga, Spain to Las Palmas, Gran Canaria (9 days) and Las Palmas to Barbados (14 days). ... Read More
Having sailed once before in the Caribbean with Star Flyer we decided on taking it across the Atlantic. The 23 day crossing was a combination of Malaga, Spain to Las Palmas, Gran Canaria (9 days) and Las Palmas to Barbados (14 days). Due to popularity it was over a year from booking to sailing. Cabin 121. 80% of passengers are repeat. We arrived in Malaga 4 days before the cruise, allowing time to adjust from the west coast of the US. Our hotel was a few blocks from the harbor and we were able to walk to the boat rolling our bags. check in was at 4 but you could store your bags at the pier starting at 12 noon. The first 9 days we took 2 tours, bus to Marrakesh from Safi and tour of Lanzarote. Tour to Marrakesh was disappointing, tour guide wanted to make sure we shopped "his store" (for a kick back?) so all else was rushed to get to his shops. Lanzarote tour to volcano park was much better. Seas were rough two days especially the Safi to Lanzarote day at sea; this is normal. Also quite chilly needed a sweatshirt and a wind breaker. Meals were good; breakfast and lunch are a buffet, dinner is a menu, all meals are open seating. No formal wear required. The 14 day trip started in Las Palmas, the Canary Islands. Some passengers left here others boarded. No shore excursion is offered, but town is an easy walk from the pier; there is also a multi story shopping mall next to the dock area. 139 passengers made the crossing. Every day it got warmer, seas were rough (15-20 ft swells) at La Gomera and the port was dropped as the pilot could not board. 95% of the cruise was under sail, a record for the captain. To sit and watch the sails in the wind a fantastic experience. We saw whales, dolphins and lots of rainbows. Had an oil rig towed passed us in the middle of the Atlantic. On board entertainment consists of the piano player/singer; passengers playing darts, board games and cards. There is a talent show, toga party, pirate night and Neptune party. When you have the night sky full of stars, the ocean waves ever changing during the day the entertainment takes a back seat to mother nature. Would we do it again? YES, YES, YES. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
The Royal Clipper is the best ship to sail across the Ocean to Barbados. This was my second crossing and it was great that Captain Marius was onboard again. Great to see so many crew I knew and Manolito was back. Gabor was brilliant as ... Read More
The Royal Clipper is the best ship to sail across the Ocean to Barbados. This was my second crossing and it was great that Captain Marius was onboard again. Great to see so many crew I knew and Manolito was back. Gabor was brilliant as cruise director, Franjo makes dinner fun for the second year I am still in touch with fellow sailors I met on the table he sat us at. Anita our hotel manager greeted everyone with a lovely smile as we descended the stairs to dinner. Jonathan remembered how I liked the iced coffee how does he manage that I had not seen him for a year!! I love the low key entertainment our team won the music quiz and came third in the Crossing Olympics. The days at sea went by far too quickly cannot wait to do it again. There is nothing like being up on deck at night under the stars sails up listening to the ocean and he wind in the sails. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
I had a wonderful crossing on the Flyer in Oct. 2015 and booked early to secure a good cabin this year. Overall, there was no comparison with last year. I am not going to moan about things that are outside anyone's control ( poor ... Read More
I had a wonderful crossing on the Flyer in Oct. 2015 and booked early to secure a good cabin this year. Overall, there was no comparison with last year. I am not going to moan about things that are outside anyone's control ( poor winds, virus outbreak, no internet ), but my main complaint ( and that of many others ) was that the on- board entertainment was abysmal! I know, from before, that it is passenger driven, but we do need a lead in. This year there was no Halloween Party, no Pirate's Night, yet another showing of the same old documentary, and a poorly organised Fashion show. As many other repeaters said, the ship only came alive on Captains night/ Talent Show night, the last but one night of the crossing! All praise to the passengers, and Gerry the musician,not the Cruise Director, Sabrina, who was finishing her contract, and showed it. As a friend said, last year EVERY night was like Captains night. Daytime was even worse. Last year we had a lecture series on Columbus by an on board academic ( sell out ), waltz classes (hilarious), classical music concert, sea shanty singalong, Karaoke, a very well planned quiz marathon, etc. This year we had the laziest quiz imaginable. If you won today, you had to pose the questions for the next days quiz! The result was that NO-ONE wanted to win. A lazy way out for the organiser! The alternative was endless Yoga lessons, talks on Yoga, Yoga diets, etc etc. It was in fact a Yoga-themed cruise, and should have been advertised accordingly. Many think it is rubbish! I am copying this to Star Clippers and won't go again unless assured that they will get their act together again. Crossings are all about sailing and interacting with like-minded people, but they can't freeload. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
You can cross the Atlantic Several ways; cruise liner, plane or swim if you've got the time and energy. But the best way, in my opinion, is on Star Flyer, a four masted barque built for the job. You will find lots of reviews of the ... Read More
You can cross the Atlantic Several ways; cruise liner, plane or swim if you've got the time and energy. But the best way, in my opinion, is on Star Flyer, a four masted barque built for the job. You will find lots of reviews of the ship on line but in essence the ship specialises in recapturing the days of the clipper ships but a tad more luxurious for the modern day passenger. The return rate is, I believe, 80% and I've been on them seven times so that speaks volumes. I did the east to west crossing which goes further south than those travelling in the opposite direction and we experienced not weather with good following winds enabling us to sail about 60% of the time! the rest was spent motor sailing. It's a great chance to get a feel for what it was like when sail power was the only way to get around. Standing on deck doing 10 knots is something that will live with me for a long tome. 14 days of doing pretty much nothing is not for everyone but if you are happy judge reading, eating, talking, the occasional game of cards then this is for you. There is a small pool on board to cool off in. Don't expect much in the way of organised entertainment unless you out the 30 plus dolphins who stopped by to ride the bow wave. That said, there were lectures and deck games, etc for those showered interested. Something unique to these ships is bring on deck amongst the ropes and sails, or in the net under the bowsprit, places other lines keep you well away from. In the same vein, talking to the captain of the officer on watch at the bridge is always met with a courteous reply. One point; I don't think this is a place for children, not enough to do. Dining at night is smart casual and the food is very good though not quite up to the standard of the big ships. But when you step off the ship in Barbados, you'll be wearing a Star Clipper shirt with pride to show all those people who belong to the floating block of lists that you crossed the Atlantic the right way. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
I've read a few reviews of voyages with Star Clippers on Cruise Critic and I thought it was time to try to sum up why this quirky cruise line really works. It's not for everybody, that's certain but the question is, "Is ... Read More
I've read a few reviews of voyages with Star Clippers on Cruise Critic and I thought it was time to try to sum up why this quirky cruise line really works. It's not for everybody, that's certain but the question is, "Is it right for you?"My wife and I are repeat travellers with Star Clippers now. We've been on all three ships, once on a coast hopping trip up the Yucatan (sadly no longer one of their voyages) and three times transatlantic. Yes, I know what you're thinking; "What do you find to DO on a ship that small for seventeen days with only a single one day port stop?"Well, here's what we did......* Looked out at an empty sea and had the delight of knowing we were the only people from way over there to way over there.* Watched flying fish and tried to guess how far they'd go before they dropped back into the water.* Looked up into a starry sky and saw the Milky Way sweep across the heavens.* Sunbathed, dodging the stripes from shadows of the masts and the rigging.* Slid across the deck on sunbeds when the ship rolled.* Woke up to the quiet of bowling along with only the sails driving us.* Celebrated 41 years of marriage in the best place on Earth - miles from anywhere!* Got used to walking like a pirate on the ship to cope with the heel, this ship sails properly as often as it can.* Got used to walking like a pirate on dry land when we got to the Azores after 12 days at sea.* Watched the back of a fin whale slide endlessly by as it dipped beneath the water.* Ran to the deck rail like children everytime we heard the cry of, "Dolphins!"* Talked with people we would never have met or never have got around to talking with in any other place.* Shared some small sense of what it must have been like for those that sailed vessels like this in days gone by.* Felt how small a ship is in a sea that goes on for days and days.* Delighted in seeing a swallow appear on board with no land in sight.* Worried when a hawk turned up a day later. No albatross though.* Shared our catalogue of bruises with others that hadn't quite got the sea legs required for the rougher parts of the voyage. * Drank in a bar, ate in a restaurant and slept in a cabin where the crew were universally friendly, helpful and happy to please.* Learned about sailing a tall ship from the people that do it.* Covered 3100 miles and still wanted more. * Stood on the bridge as two fellow passengers renewed their wedding vows under blues skies in the middle of the ocean. * Learned about the life beneath us from one of the most enthusiastic advocates of marine conservation imaginable, and learned some Spanish too.* Sat on a deck with no one else but us under the sky - or so it seemed.* Stepped gingerly over wet decks in a vain attempt to make photographs of rough seas that look like it felt.* Shared the whole thing with people who loved the open sea too.* Laughed on Talent Night as the crew and passengers satirised the voyage in one of the most hilarious sketches we've ever seen. * Watched the red leading lights line up to guide us in as we entered the mouth of the Tagus.* Took bets on whether the mast would really go under Lisbon's 25th April bridge. (Mast height 69 metres, bridge clearance 70 metres at high water. Things that make you go, "Hmmm!") AND ALL THAT IS WITHOUT.....* Ever managing to get to every meal from "Early Bird Breakfast" to "Midnight Snack".* Exercising to burn off the fat from too many meals every day.* Joining the deck golf tournament with its whole new series of hazards; not much sand but the water is REALLY something to avoid.* Climbing the mast to get a unique view of the ocean (and the ship), 'cos I'm a wimp and she broke a toe just before we left. Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
Air--Normally we do our own, however cruise air with Star Clippers (SC) was MUCH better even with the $100 pp custom air (3 days before and after cruise). Saved over a $1000 from what I was seeing. Official taxi voucher from Lisbon ... Read More
Air--Normally we do our own, however cruise air with Star Clippers (SC) was MUCH better even with the $100 pp custom air (3 days before and after cruise). Saved over a $1000 from what I was seeing. Official taxi voucher from Lisbon airport to old town was more than expected--total 21E-but included tip and luggage, and didn't have to hassle with driver. Not bad after a long overnight airline trip. Stayed at ZuzaBed B&B--only 4 rooms. Great! Luis was an awesome host. Check reviews on Trip Advisor. He gave us excellent local information for our Lisbon adventure. Recommended. Lisbon is very walkable if you are in good shape. Lots to do and see in compact area. Did take the tram to Belem--recommended. The trams going up to the Castle were very crowded-I can see how people get pick-pocketed. We walked--no problem. Ate a lot in Bairro Alto--lots of small local restaurants. We liked the Alfaia Wine Bar. The Napoleao Wine market had a great selection of wines. Took the ferry across the bay for lunch at Porto Final--a neat OLD place on the water. Royal Clipper was docked about 5 minutes from Zuzabed. Boarding started at 4 PM. Went smoothly, greeted by Captain and some crew, drinks and appetizers in Tropical Bar. We have been on the Royal before, so no surprises. Ship was in great condition and they constantly worked on it. The crew was always attentive and friendly. After dinner when we returned to our cabin that first night, the leeboards were up and the portholes closed. We did some rolling the next couple of days due to the remnants of Atlantic hurricanes—on the way to Morocco and then on to Tenerife. Not bad, some people fell over in their chairs during meals, and some glasses/plates fell off tables. A couple of people did get some bruises, but I think that is all. We felt fine. In port, we talked to some people on the BIG ships and they had the same issues with the rollers. The rest of the time at sea was pretty calm. Casablanca was the first port. Two tours offered, one of Casablanca and the big mosque, and one to Rabat. Or, you could do it on your own. We chose Rabat (the political capital) at 35E pp, based on my research and our likes. Drove through the countryside, went to the Royal Palace, Mohammed V Mausoleum, Hassan Tour, drove by the Chellah, and walked the Kasbah des Oudayas. Very nice a/c bus, tour guides, and info. Clean city. Less than 4 hours. Recommended! That night we sailed for Safi. The main point of going there was to get people on the tour buses for Marrakesh-- about a 3 hour drive each way. We elected not to go on the tour. We walked around Safi with another couple—not impressive, and fairly dirty. The flies were awful in port, and those flies stayed with the ship for DAYS!! Safi is known for its pottery, but I was not impressed. For some reason, we did not go to the port of Essaouira that afternoon (which was scheduled). Apparently, that had been known by the crew at the start of the sailing, but they never let us know that. Last year's TA also skipped that port. That was my one major disappointment of the trip. I had done a lot of research on the town and some of my friends who have been there said it was really great. Just wish they had let us know in advance. Oh well, I got over it. The Marrakesh buses arrived about dinner time after a 12 hour trip. Most of the people I talked to were not too excited about the trip and said it was too long and the market was too much of a zoo. Tenerife was the last port before all the days at sea. We elected to stay in town, no tour. Had plenty to do. We really liked it. Very clean. Walked all over, visited an internet cafe (our last fix for 11 days), the old town was very nice, had lunch at Mojos y Mojitos which had an outdoor area on the street. About 6-7 cafes lined up here on a walking street. The promenade along the waterfront is a nice stroll, and there is a vertical garden. The ship is docked right there at the bottom of town by the promenade. Easy. Nice day! Recommended. At sea was relaxing, a lot of reading to catch up on. We saw plenty of Kindles, etc, and the library had quite a few books. We did not get bored. The crew had plenty of activities—Spanish lessons, a marine biologist, other lectures, ship tours, Captain talks, films, contests, talent shows, exercise classes, mast climbing, and some other wild and crazy stuff. Food was fine, no water sports (of course!) except the pool. We used the treadmills in the gym quite a bit. Germans, Brits, Americans, Canadians, French, and Spanish were the major passengers (in that order, I believe) with other countries represented. I did not have a problem with smokers and I am sensitive to that. As this was our 5th SC cruise, it reconfirmed the guests are very interesting, intelligent, and well travelled. We met a bunch of cool people!! We sailed, but mostly motor sailed due to the light winds—remember, the Captain has to keep to a fairly tight schedule. Most people understood this. Light layering of clothes with jeans worked well in Lisbon, Morocco, and Tenerife. Bring a light windbreaker, also. After Tenerife it was shorts and swim suits! One rainy day at sea, it was in the middle of the trip and we needed it for a change. The only currency we used during the whole trip was USD and Euros, but also charged a few things. Arrival in Barbados was fun as they tucked us between other huge ships in port. Make sure you are on deck for this (actually for all arrivals and departures)! We have been to Barbados before, but we still stayed for three days. Had to rest from the cruise! Taxi was 30 BD ($15) to our hotel the Peach and Quiet. Car rental was $70 inclusive per day from Courtesy Car Rental (we just did one day). Eat flying fish while you are there--great—no bones and not too fishy tasting!! It was a wonderful trip. RECOMMENDED! Read Less
Sail Date October 2010
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