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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
This was my second time on Star Flyer that sailed out of St Marten to the Leeward Islands, Nevis, Dominica, Guadeloupe, Antigua and St. Barth. I was solo and surprised that I was upgraded from category 6 to category 5 which was very ... Read More
This was my second time on Star Flyer that sailed out of St Marten to the Leeward Islands, Nevis, Dominica, Guadeloupe, Antigua and St. Barth. I was solo and surprised that I was upgraded from category 6 to category 5 which was very convenient to all areas, cabin 404. Ship routine was same as last year except the cruise director gave a talk on each port on the bridge before we got to the islands, this was helpful and don't think I missed it last year but anyway I was glad they did this. The lure of these trips is everything the large cruise ships lack, no crowds, small ports, very relaxed atmosphere. There were many from UK, Canada, Germany, and US on our trip. Food on Star Flyer is very good to my taste. I am not a gourmet but every meal I had was very good, only breakfast buffet I have seen that had crispy and non crispy bacon. Only negative is it took over two hours for dinner which is way longer than I am used to but this may be due to I was seated at table for 8 each night where last year I was at table for 4. They do a great job of seating you with other people and they were all very welcoming to me as a solo. We sailed over 80% of the time according to the Captain and only one night did it get "bumpy". I am not a sailor but am amazed to watch the sails and the sailors who operate the ship. I did only one ship excursion of a tour of Nevis which gave a tour of the entire island, I only wish we could have stayed longer on each island but understand time and sailing. I feel very fortunate to be able to sail on these ships due to specials where they sometime remove the single supplement and will be on the Royal Clipper in March out of Barbados. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2018
I booked this cruise when they offered a no single supplement offer as I have wanted to get to BVI for a long time and my Windstar cruise to BVI in December was moved to Barbados. Flew in one day earlier as few flights available and ... Read More
I booked this cruise when they offered a no single supplement offer as I have wanted to get to BVI for a long time and my Windstar cruise to BVI in December was moved to Barbados. Flew in one day earlier as few flights available and stayed at Alicia's Inn and enjoyed being on the Boardwalk and warm temperatures. Boarding began at 4:00 PM and quickly we were led to the ship, I had cat. 6 cabin 218 which is two bunk beds. Cabin was as small as I expected and two people in room would really be cramped and no way I would risk the ladder for the upper bunk. (if you are in this room as a single the ladder will rattle on it's hanger at night so I used towel to cushion) For one person it was perfect and no problems at all. There were 82 passengers on this trip with half from US and other half from UK, Austria, Germany, Australia, Switzerland and I met a wonderful family from Austria at Alicia's Inn and they included me at their table and for meals and we spent the day together in port and they were a big reason I had such a good time, thank Alex, Jutta, and Mario. Since this is a sailing ship there is less deck space thank my past experiences and shade was at a premium. Stairs are steep and thresholds are high but I had no problems during the cruise and you do notice the motion more but I was expecting this. Best food of any cruise I have been on and I only had breakfast and dinner with lunch being on the islands we stopped at, I had fish every night and was done perfectly and so good. They do have appetizers on deck from 5-6 and start with heavier apps first few days and less as week goes by but still plenty to choose from. I only drink beer and they listed carib on the menu but was not available but they did have a german draft that was fine once I gave it a chance. I enjoyed each Island and only wish we could have stayed longer like we did with Windstar but each was fun. They offered an excursion to the Baths in Virgin Gorda but you can get a taxi there for $4 each but I did do the train in St Kitts and enjoyed that experience. I did not care for the beach club they take you to catch the tender so I went back to my old favorite the Dock at Timothy Beach resort after the train and that was good as ever. Only one night did we have what would consider rough seas and glad it was at night and not during the day. Light shower one morning for 45 minutes and could see if in a rain storm for many hours during the day that could be a problem with where to go and do if not in port. Crew was friendly and ready to help for the most part except for the sport team. As this was my first cruise with Star Clipper I read everything I could find before my trip to know what to expect and not a whole lot of info available but I really enjoyed my trip and seeing some Islands that I have longed to visit and sorry I had to do this after the storm as the damage visible is terrible but there are enough places open to visit and I am sure the vegetation will be coming back also. I hope to do another cruise with Star Clipper and hope this review will help others looking for information. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2018
We picked this cruise because we are loyal repeat customers, but no longer. It was such a disappointment. The crew were rude and room had no air conditioning. The staff did nothing to help us, the higher up we went with our concerns the ... Read More
We picked this cruise because we are loyal repeat customers, but no longer. It was such a disappointment. The crew were rude and room had no air conditioning. The staff did nothing to help us, the higher up we went with our concerns the worse we were treated. We finally had to get wifi off ship and have the main company help us with the issues. It was so stressful. Many others aboard had similar troubles, poor food, rude comments from staff, poor communication and no maps or names to go with the scenery around us. The ship looked old, dirty and dated and lacked the water equipment they had advertised. With no flippers available, we got stung by sea urchins and cut up on coral. The cruise director said it was our fault for not packing flippers, but the advertisement for this particular cruise promised flippers available for "all". The food was so recycled, it became a bore after the third day. Lots of dry bread at dinner, bread pudding the next day, of course. Very sad experience, last sail for us with this company. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
We booked this cruise as we wished to see some of the smaller islands in the BVI's and other neighbouring islands. We booked a cabin on the deck as is it the only accommodation that offers a double bed where you do not have to climb ... Read More
We booked this cruise as we wished to see some of the smaller islands in the BVI's and other neighbouring islands. We booked a cabin on the deck as is it the only accommodation that offers a double bed where you do not have to climb over one another to get in and out of bed. The space was restrictive but the bathroom was a good size. We were kept awake every night by the electric sail motors and banging from the deck above. The food was OK and the waiting staff very friendly and helpful. There was a complete lack of information about the ports of call and the history of the area. No maps or information sheets were provided. What a pity lectures were not available. We wonder why we went to some of the locations often just a beach with a bar and no means of transport to other places on the islands. We left the ship exhausted and needing another holiday. Never again! Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
Since this forum helped me decide to travel with Star Clippers, I feel obligated to report on the marvelous experience I have just completed, March 25-April 1 on the Star Flyer, Treasure Islands itinerary, and to counter the mutterings and ... Read More
Since this forum helped me decide to travel with Star Clippers, I feel obligated to report on the marvelous experience I have just completed, March 25-April 1 on the Star Flyer, Treasure Islands itinerary, and to counter the mutterings and nitpicking of some disgruntled previous posters. Most importantly, this is a far different experience than traveling on a behemoth cruise ship with thousands of passengers. Harking to the bygone days of clipper ships, it replicates a much quieter, more intimate, more collegial journey. You get to know your fellow passengers (there were 155 of us, and 70 crew, total) far better, since you see each other frequently. Most are veteran travelers, with stories and advice to generously share, both with previous Star Clippers trips, and with other cruise lines. On my trip they were a pleasant mix of Americans and Europeans (British, German, Swiss, and French), although most nationalities tended to keep to themselves. All shipboard announcements were made in English, German, and French. I traveled solo, and found several other passengers who were as well. This presents no problem at all, as seating at meals and participation in on-ship and on-shore events allow constant mingling; I never felt like a fifth wheel, and was always welcomed to a table or to a social group. I was able to form some delightful friendships. The ship’s entire staff and crew, top to bottom, deserve the highest praise for their unremitting professionalism, courtesy, and efficiency. It must take a special kind of crew to work amidst a bunch of always-in-your-way passengers, asking you questions, but every one of them handled their duties with aplomb and patience, every, every minute. Meriting special commendation is the cruise director, Steffi, who was worth her weight in gold! She was always on top of everything, giving clear information, and exhibiting a wonderful combination of enthusiasm, patience, and efficiency. Captain Yuriy, too, was a welcome, knowledgeable, reassuring presence (and many of us appreciated his early request that we eschew any talk of politics or religion!) Was the rocking a problem? Not really. A few people wore patches or took tablets, but I found that you very easily, very quickly adapt to instinctively shifting your weight to accommodate. Even with a cabin in the aft area, clipper deck (#343), it was not particularly noticeable (although, admittedly, we had calm seas the entire trip). The appearance of the ship was absolutely top-flight at all times, in every single area. The stress on safety was appreciated, and clearly more necessary than on large cruise ships, since we were much closer to the ship’s operation. Safety instructions were reiterated and explicit, as they needed to be. The food was far, far better than we had any right to expect. Absolutely superb. Day after day, night after night we marveled at how the chef and his staff (in that little galley) could continue to produce such wonderful meals. Everything was absolutely delicious and in many ways superior to that of the large cruise ships. The bars, too, were well-stocked and well-tended. The service of everyone was excellent in all respects, from stewards to waiters, to tender operators, to engineers and sail crew, to officers, consistently exhibiting a high standard of quality and exemplary work ethic. My room steward was every bit as attentive and responsive as those on large ships. The tender operators diligently toiled in the hot sun hour after hour to ferry passengers to and from shore, always providing extremely helpful, safe, and efficient service. I was originally apprehensive about using tender service to and from the shore, as all but the initial embarking in St. Maarten and final debarking there was accomplished by tender. But at every moment I felt safe and under careful supervision and attention. Not to worry! I am not a lie-on-the-beach person, and traveled mainly for the experience of enjoying the working of the ship itself and the destinations, so I found these latter, especially in Anguilla and the BVI, to be a little too remote for my taste. In Tortola, we had no chance to visit Road Town, the capital of the BVI, as we were there only one evening, anchored far from the town, in which everything was closed, anyway (which was regrettable). There are very few excursions provided (one or two per port), along with a few sports activities on shore and on the ship. I made my own arrangements for tours on St. Martin and St. Kitts, so I can’t effectively evaluate those provided by the ship. The highlight of each day was the departure, with sails going up and music playing—really stirring, and unlike anything I had experienced before—a time we all looked forward to each day. I found no problem whatsoever with anyone hogging deck lounge chairs as some have mentioned on this board; everyone courteously vacated them, taking their towels, when no longer needed. The aft area under the awning was a refreshing hangout location, but it never became contentious. I found extremely helpful, and would highly recommend viewing, the 360-degree virtual tour of the Star Flyer provided by Star Clippers: http://www.starclippers.com/us-dom/explore-star-clippers/virtual-tours/star-flyer-virtual-tour.html A few quibbles: • The embarkation process in the terminal was too slow, with only the cruise director valiantly trying to handle everything in the embarkation area, and long lines resulting. More help is needed on this. • Even restricted to two areas, it was hard to avoid the smokers. Might Star Clippers give any thought to a smoke-free cruise? Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
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 ... Read More
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. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2016
We had been out to the tall ship festival in Green Bay, WIsconsin in August 2016 and got a brochure about the Star Clipper tall ships. When our 1st vacation fell through we decided to do a cruise with Star Clippers. We had never been on ... Read More
We had been out to the tall ship festival in Green Bay, WIsconsin in August 2016 and got a brochure about the Star Clipper tall ships. When our 1st vacation fell through we decided to do a cruise with Star Clippers. We had never been on a cruise before but we wanted to travel with 170 people rather than 3,500 or more. Everything about the Star Flyer was great. The crew knew our names after the 1st day which was really astonishing. The food was very good and we had plenty of choices. The best part of the whole cruise was getting to meet all the different passengers from the 14 different countries. We became very close for only knowing them for 7 days and will stay in touch with them for years to come. We can't wait to go on another cruise with the Star Clipper company. You really need to give them a try. It is totally different from the big cruise lines were you are just a number. If we could change anything about our cruise is that we needed a longer period of time in each port. However, each port of call was outstanding and the choices for shore excursions were great. I can't say enough good things about Star Clippers. Read Less
29 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
A cruise on a tall mast ship was on my bucket list for some time. I tried to get a friend to go with me but they either were afraid of being seasick or didn't want to spend the money. I am SO glad I went solo - it really was a trip ... Read More
A cruise on a tall mast ship was on my bucket list for some time. I tried to get a friend to go with me but they either were afraid of being seasick or didn't want to spend the money. I am SO glad I went solo - it really was a trip of a lifetime. Islands on this trip (St. Maarten, Nevis, Dominica, Iles des Saintes, Guadeloupe, Antigua, St. Barts) I flew to St. Maarten and stayed one night at the Holland House Hotel on Front Street. This will put you close to the pier, right on the beach and on Front Street (the main commercial street in Philipsburg). Check in was smooth and organized. There were refreshments/fresh fruit and tents were set up to provide shelter from the sun. It was a short walk to the Star Clipper from check-in. Once welcomed onboard I received my room key. I was in room 325 right off the dining room and across from the gift shop. My room was a Category 2 stateroom with the beds pushed together. The stateroom was very nice with a flat screen TV (which I never turn on) and a safe. I didn't pay a single supplement which was a major incentive for me to go on this cruise. I honestly wasn't in my stateroom that much. I took advantage of the adventure of being on a sailing ship and of the excursions. I was very pleased with the food. There was early bird breakfast (juices and danishes), full breakfast, lunch, 5 pm hors d'oeuvre, dinner and midnight snack. Breakfast and lunch were buffets with a large selection. Dinner had appetizer, soup, sorbet, salad, main course, cheese plate and dessert. Considering that the food was prepared for 150 people that often in a small galley kitchen - I was very impressed with the quality. Excursion Nevis - Hiking: this was a pretty challenging hike made more challenging my rain, but I loved it. Dominica - Rowing on the Indian River: 8 person row boat manned by a local guide. Iles des Saintes (no excursions) I explored the island on my own. Hiked up to Fort Napoleon in the morning and then took the tender to Cabrits and hiked up to the ruins of Fort Josephine. I fell in love with Iles des Saintes - this is why you go on a Star Clipper ship. An island off the tourist radar. Guadeloupe - Solar Power Boat Tour of the Mangrove and Lunch - It poured but we still had a great time. Antigua - Zip Lining - So much fun. St. Barts - ATVing around the island. My favorite. I made sure to get up at 6 am every morning for sunrise and I wasn't disappointed. The sunrise and sunsets were breathtaking. I was in bed most nights between 10 and 11. There really isn't much entertainment on the ship beyond your shipmates and some tunes on a piano. For me that was perfect. I have three minor complaints: one has been mentioned before - there isn't a lot of shade on the top deck. This didn't turn out to be a big issue for me because I was exploring each island so much that I was off the ship in port. This might be an issue if you want to stay onboard. The staff are very reserved to the point of being distant. I'm not sure if this is something to accommodate the large amount of European onboard or if this is a company policy. It did feel at times cold and indifferent. I never could figure out if out. I've been on several cruises and the staff are always so friendly. I missed this very much. Finally there seemed to be tension on my cruise between some of the Europeans and the Americans. Americans are loud. I actually never realized how loud we were until this trip - add alcohol to the mix and we are louder yet. This really seemed to upset some of our European companions. THIS IS NOT A TRIP FOR ANYONE WITH LIMITED MOBILITY. I can't reiterate this enough. I saw people struggling to get in and out of the tenders. The water was quite rough off St. Barts and the tender was really bouncing in the water. If you have any mobility issues - this will be a problem. This was a magical trip: I climbed the mast, I relaxed in the net, I was up for sunrise, I got to sail the Caribbean and I was able to explore new destinations. I would definitely go on another Star Clipper cruise. For solo travelers - go! Take advantage of the lack of a single supplement. I'm 46 so I was at the lower end of the age range and I knew that in advance. Being solo wasn't an issue at all. I met many nice people who included me in their group. Read Less
22 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
This was our 4th cruise on Star Clipper so we knew what to expect. This one disappointed us, however. Pros: Food was good. Breakfast Buffett, Lunch Buffett, Dinner service. Cabin was clean. Ship was in great shape. The crew talent ... Read More
This was our 4th cruise on Star Clipper so we knew what to expect. This one disappointed us, however. Pros: Food was good. Breakfast Buffett, Lunch Buffett, Dinner service. Cabin was clean. Ship was in great shape. The crew talent show was more fun and varied than usual. Cons: The wait staff and room stewards did not clearly understand English and spoke it with such accents at a such speed that they were very difficult to understand. Wait service at Dinner was slow - in one case we waited 25 minutes between appetizer and entree. Often when you asked someone on the crew a question, he would refer you to someone else. The all-day coffee was left to stand so that in the afternoon it was burnt. The cruise director checked off excursion passengers departing the ship but did not interface with the sponsors on shore. In our one excursion to the Indian River in Dominica, the sponsor was disorganized and left us stranded at one point. Disembarking, our luggage was taken to a tent for pickup but there were no signs off the ship to tell you how to find the tent that was quite a distance away. There were other minor annoyances. It just took away the joy we had sailing with Star Clipper in the past. Read Less
23 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
I wasn't sure if I would be any good on a sailing ship but wanted to see the smaller island in the Virgin Islands...I was thrilled by how well appointed Star Clipper is....It's a newish ship built in a style one used to see in ... Read More
I wasn't sure if I would be any good on a sailing ship but wanted to see the smaller island in the Virgin Islands...I was thrilled by how well appointed Star Clipper is....It's a newish ship built in a style one used to see in films....Wonderful amenities when it came to dining, cocktail hours, two pools, comfortable cabins was a surprise yet basic. The variety and quality of food was amazing partly because unlike mega ships the Clipper food is cooked fresh for each meal, Whole Turkey, Lobster, Suckling Pig, Aso Buco, fresh veg and amazing deserts. Wine was amazingling cheap by comparison. The crew quickly became more good friends than crew and because it only holds 180 you get to meet so many others in the open seating plan. Everyday a different island, excersions or just fabulous beach days...mostly taken ashore by tender and there was a Sport crew who took all the toys ashore for you to play with. Casual all day and evenings were less formal but guys should wear long pants and short sleeve shirt or similar but some ladies did it all and looked fabulous....that's what its about....you do your thing and everybody loves it. There internet...can you beleive $6. an hour. Wine starts at $15. and a good bottle might be $35. Endless cocktail choices expertly made at the Tropical Bar on the open deck or in the Piano Bar and what a talented guy on the synthasizer. This is the first of more than 30 cruises where I felt posessive about the ship and didn't want to leave the crew and all...its great to know I can go back....I'm not a kid but nobody cared that it took me a bit longer on the stairs. I must add...we had two wonderful little girls on the ship...so sweet and sadly we mostly thought it was not a ship for children....there's nothing for them to do. Kids need to run, jump, twirl, hop, kick, spin and bounce all over so when the ship is doing the same thing and thee are so many stairs and obsticals we feared something would happen and finally one of the little girls when dashing off along and went head first down the stairs and we had to turn the ship around and rush her to hospital in St. Kitts. She was kept in but magically re-appeared the last night to all our applause. We were returned to St. Martin where we began, and our luggage was already ashore and waiting for us...Sad to say good-by...so I said..."I'll be back". Next time I expect to see the ghosts of Bette Davis and Peter Lorrie sipping a cocktail on deck ... it just that sort of great experience. Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
I took the Christmas 2015 voyage on Star Clipper through the leeward West Indies islands (St Maarten to St. Maarten) as a single traveler. There was no single supplement, which was a bonus. I’ve been a long time Windstar cruiser for over ... Read More
I took the Christmas 2015 voyage on Star Clipper through the leeward West Indies islands (St Maarten to St. Maarten) as a single traveler. There was no single supplement, which was a bonus. I’ve been a long time Windstar cruiser for over 20 years and, in my experience, the only difference between the two is that Clipper will give you a more authentic sailing, if that’s what you’re looking for. As someone who has lots of sailing experience, I have no problems with rocking and rolling but if you have a queasy stomach and easily prone to seasickness, you should be prepared for it, especially while sleeping and using the head. I found the passenger demographics between the typical Windstar passenger types very similar to that of Clipper (couples in their 40s -70s). There were more teens on this cruise, mostly due to the fact that it was over Christmas. Here’s my key dislikes about Star Clipper: -There’s no exercise room and no exercise equipment. If you want to workout while aboard, you’re hosed. Plan to go on excursions that require you to get a workout. Oh yes,they do post a daily workout in the center of the ship but just try stretching and exercising while the ship is listing steadily from side to side! -You can’t get your meals –or anything—delivered to cabin. And, you can’t eat your meals at the ship’s bar. This is a problem if you happen to be single, or even a couple, and simply don’t want to mix with others on any given night. -The ship’s pursars were very snarky and not helpful. Also, you can’t buy anything practical in the ship’s store, i.e, sunglasses, last minute toiletries, etc. They also keep the fact that they offer movies on CDs a secret. -While the ship’s cruise director is very knowledgeable about maritime history, he doesn’t provide much useful info on the islands prior to embarking if you want to go it alone outside of the excursions. He typically mentions just one thing (“take a walk to the fort”) if you are on your own. Be sure to Google the island to make your own way. -If you scuba dive like me, you won’t be able to aboard Clipper. They stopped it, however, they still have tanks aboard the boat. -The ship’s water sports equipment is dated and worn out. Also, I found the sports staff incredibly unfriendly and nonchalant about safety issues. -The food is simply “ok” but not great or anywhere near inspired. You won’t find anything out of the ordinary here. -Clipper glorifies the days of sailing yore (they say you’re welcome to help the crew with hoisting lines, etc., but don’t believe it. Its only hype.) and really plays this theme up as part of their brand. Problem is those days are in fact over and most people can’t really relate to them anymore. I kept thinking that they have a far better opportunity to provide some education on the importance of preserving ocean life, something that better resonates with today’s customer. -The interiors, especially the dining room, looks like a Red Lobster restaurant only with linen. It's a dated look and should be updated without losing its sea faring branding. -The house staff, with the exception of the bartenders and head waiter, seem relatively unfriendly and not happy. Some bad attitudes. -Entertainment. I don’t go on cruises for the entertainment but keyboardist Charlie from Budapest will have you craving for Weird Al Yankovitch before the end of the cruise. They also put on a “Talent Contest,” which is really cheesy and should be retired. Its downright painful to watch the crew be forced to perform. What I liked: -No single supplements -Low alcohol prices. Cocktails were $6; wine was $3. -Ship exteriors—and cabin interiors-- were kept clean and well maintained. I didn’t notice a speck of rust on her decks. Clipper clearly takes pride in her fleet. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
After sailing on mainstream cruises for years we decided to try Star Clippers. Wow, what a difference and what an experience. The ship was beautiful, the service was top notch and the food was delicious. The best part of the trip ... Read More
After sailing on mainstream cruises for years we decided to try Star Clippers. Wow, what a difference and what an experience. The ship was beautiful, the service was top notch and the food was delicious. The best part of the trip was the people we met. The ship was booked with about half European guest and half American. The Europeans were mainly from Germany, Italy and Great Britain. The Americans were a nice mixture from coast to coast. WIthin two days you recognized everyone on the ship and the camaraderie was almost instant. A few guests kept to themselves but for most is was one big friendly group. The islands were beautiful and the fact we had them to ourselves really sets Star Clippers apart from the mega ships. Our Cruise Director, Peter, was a font of useful and trivial information. The Sports Team kept us busy in port and entertained on the ship. The cabin was smaller than a standard cruise ship cabin but it was still very comfortable and functional. Loved the open seating dining - sit with who you want when you want!! Embarkation and disembarkation was a breeze. No long lines, no stress. The evening "entertainment" was cute and fun - it consisted of a passenger/crew talent show, a trivia contest, frog racing (proud to say our frog won!!) a steel drum band or a piano player. Sitting under the stars while under sail was the only entertainment most people needed. We only took one shore excursion (tubing in Dominica) and it was a great value. Nothing on board is overpriced - bottled water (large) and sodas were about $2, beer and cocktails were between $3-5 and good wine at dinner was only $15 a bottle. We had an amazing time and we are already planning our next trip top Asia in 2017!! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
Wanting something special to celebrate our 40th anniversary we chose the Star Clipper. We could not have made a better choice. There were only 100 passengers (out of a possible 170) on the first Caribbean sailing of the season so we felt ... Read More
Wanting something special to celebrate our 40th anniversary we chose the Star Clipper. We could not have made a better choice. There were only 100 passengers (out of a possible 170) on the first Caribbean sailing of the season so we felt very pampered by the staff of over 70. We upgraded to one of the 6 deck cabins on the main deck near the bow. The cabin has a large picture window and direct access to the deck. We had plenty of closet and drawer space. The bathroom is quite spacious and has a whirlpool tub. The bed was quite comfortable and the cabin steward took excellent care of our needs. The food and service was excellent. We had a very large breakfast buffet with the usual options plus meats, cheeses, hot entrees and made to order eggs and more. Lunch was usually themed, again with many hot and cold options and great desserts to choose from. Dinner is served from an extensive menu with several options for appetizers, salads, soup, cheese course, entrees and desserts. Wine pairings are suggested for each course. Coffee and teas, as well as fresh fruit, are available all day in the piano bar. The entertainment is generally silly (in a good way) and interactive with the crew and passengers providing most of the fun. One night we had a steel drum band on board. Peter, our cruise director, is an amazing storyteller who captivated the passengers once or twice a day with tales of the sea, tall ships and the islands we were visiting. He is fluent in English and German and tells the stories in both languages quite easily. Since about half of the passengers were from Germany this was most appreciated. The islands we visited were almost secondary to the sailing adventure. Raising the sails each day was accompanied by stirring music and many passengers took advantage of enjoying time on deck while sailing. The captain prides himself on sailing whenever possible vs using power so we were able to truly enjoy a sailing trip. There is plenty of room on the sun deck to enjoy the sunshine and cool off with quick dip in one of the two small pools. the sunrises and sunsets were memorable and the bonus of a full moon during our cruise was a real treat. A few of the excursions were not quite as advertised and I wish we had just made our own arrangements to tour some of the islands vs paying to join the tour. There is a sports crew that provides snorkel equipment, sailboards, laser sailing, water skiing and trips to some gorgeous beaches. They also lead a 30 minute fitness session each morning that was a nice way to start the day. There were several on our cruise that had just sailed the ocean crossing from Spain and a few who opted to stay on another week rather than get off after one week. I wish we could have done that. We will definitely take another cruise on a Clipper line ship - hopefully in the Mediterranean - maybe for our 45th anniversary. This was the only vacation we've been on where the getting there was better than the destination. We loved the sailing adventure. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2015
We went with a group of 60 or so. Vast majority were first timers with the exception of our travel agent, her assistant and their husbands. The ship was just great. Beautiful and nostalgic. The staff overall did a good job. Igor, the main ... Read More
We went with a group of 60 or so. Vast majority were first timers with the exception of our travel agent, her assistant and their husbands. The ship was just great. Beautiful and nostalgic. The staff overall did a good job. Igor, the main bartender was just great. Slybert, also did a great job. Room stewards did a great job as well. We especially liked that you could order a bottle of wine, and if you did not finish it, they would tag it and you could finish it the next night. I thought that was very innovative in lieu of a beverage package, gave you more options than only ordering house wines and cut down on the waste. Weather, good or marginal, was what it was and gave you the romance of the high seas. The activities were ample and diverse both on the ship and off. At meals, our people were segregated to one side of the dining room. Talk about squashing that aura of meeting other travelers. The only problem was that food poisoning afflicted a number of our group. After just a couple of days in, the first cases started and rippled through our group; eventually taking probably more than 20%, even on their way home. It was not the flu and not motion sickness. You could never pinpoint where you contracted it. But, trying to be fair, we just felt we contracted it on ship. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2014
Margaret and I have a couple of friends who seem to be on cruises all the time, so we had become curious about the experience. However, having sat on Riva deli Schiavoni in Venice with a cold glass of something white and Italian, watching ... Read More
Margaret and I have a couple of friends who seem to be on cruises all the time, so we had become curious about the experience. However, having sat on Riva deli Schiavoni in Venice with a cold glass of something white and Italian, watching packs of tourists from one of the large cruise ships being dragged towards Plazza San Marco by a brolly wielding guide, we had decided it probably wasn’t for us. So when we stumbled across the Star Clipper cruises, we realised there might be a way we could cruise and have a relaxing time, and the icing on the cake (at least for me) was that this was a ship with sails….and it actually sailed. Margaret was perhaps not so keen on this latter characteristic of the cruise, since I had taken her sailing a couple of years ago and I’m not sure she has yet forgiven me for the competitive nature of my “requests” to haul in the jib during the charity regatta we found ourselves in! But it was the Caribbean, it was warm and it looked beautiful, so the Treasure Island cruise was duly booked. It’s hard to summarise the trip in a few words, but from the first moment we saw the Star Clipper to the moment we left her (were those tears in our eyes…?) we both had a great time and a holiday with memories we will cherish. The staff were always on hand and nothing seemed too much trouble, the food was delicious and plentiful and the sailing was impressive indeed (Vangelis will always invoke a recollection of those sails being hauled high into the rigging). The highlights for us, well, that first sailaway, the beach BBQ, the Soggy Dollar on Josh Van Dyke, laying in the Widow’s net with the wind in our hair, the view from the Crow’s nest and not least the new friends we made….with only 130 passengers onboard I guess we spoke with just about everyone and all of them were friendly and having a good time. In all of this, I learnt a few things too, the largest sail on a Barquetine (which is what the Star Clipper is so I believe) is a Fisherman, the Lake District is in Cumbria (how did I not know that), and even after a 20 year break, I can still get up on a pair of waterskis! Would we do it again, absolutely. As has been said elsewhere, this is not something to do 3 times a year, but it is a definite repeat, and now I come to think of it given the relaxed intimate nature of the cruise, I have no doubt sailing along the Grande Canal would be quite an experience and we would almost certainly have the time to visit our little Tratorria for a glass or two of something white and cold. Oh, and one last thing, the Skipper really was a sailing nut, on the last day he anchored us close to the finish line for the St Barts Regatta. To say we had goose bumps watching a billion dollars of huge yachts gunning for the line inches from the bowsprit would be a bit of an understatement! There are some photos here http://www.dd1961.com/StarClipper - Enjoy Take Care and Happy Sailing   Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2014
I truly enjoyed our week upon the Star Clipper. Although my husband and I have cruised several large lines including Celebrity and Princess, nothing prepared us for this incredible sailing vessel.It is a sight to behold and the sound of ... Read More
I truly enjoyed our week upon the Star Clipper. Although my husband and I have cruised several large lines including Celebrity and Princess, nothing prepared us for this incredible sailing vessel.It is a sight to behold and the sound of the rising masts and the wind blowing thru them stay with you way beyond your 7 days aboard! The accommodations are very nice, the ship is kept in superb condition, the service excellent and the food,quality,presentation and variety was the best of any cruise line. 5 star!! Although I have always requested a balcony with any cruise line we have used before I was extremely worried about being sea level. I gave to admit we really enjoyed our little porthole to the world. I have some wonderful pictures out that porthole.....and at times it looked like a washing machine.....Makes me realize I do not need a balcony to enjoy other cruises...think of the money I can now save. The Treasure Islands were perfect ...white sand...turquoise waters ...lots of yummy rum concoctions....but I don't think I would care where this ship was going. I just loved being on board. The small international passenger count of 160 made it easy to make long lasting friendships via pictures and email exchanges even if you do not speak the same language. Helping to hoist the masts, watching the brave actually climb them....or just sun bathing on the deck....there is something for everyone. I can not wait to start to plan our next voyage....we are looking forward to the magnificent Royal a Clipper this time. I would highly recommend this line!! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2014
My wife and I recently returned from our sixth Star Clipper cruise. This cruise took us around the BVI's, St Bart's and St Kitts. First the positive, great crew, excellent food and the ship was as stunning as ever. Don't ... Read More
My wife and I recently returned from our sixth Star Clipper cruise. This cruise took us around the BVI's, St Bart's and St Kitts. First the positive, great crew, excellent food and the ship was as stunning as ever. Don't expect gourmet cuisine, if you want that then pay gourmet prices. Our deck cabin was clean and comfortable. Great mix of passengers from many countries. The negatives on Star Clipper are a lack of shaded areas on top deck (Royal Clipper is much better). This is a serious issue and should be addressed.The house wines have definitely gone downhill since our last cruise and should be improved. The choice of destinations was in the main good, but St Kitts was a disaster, no one was allowed off in the Port unless on an excursion, we dropped anchor a little way up the coast opposite the most appalling beach in the Caribbean. Not good enough Star Clippers. In the main still a great cruise, but I would maintain that the Med cruises are better and I would in future choose the more passenger friendly Royal Clipper Read Less
Sail Date: January 2014
Our cruise started in St martin. This was a trip my husband won through work, the entire boat was chartered by this company. We were greeted warmly with a cool towel, snacks and tropical drink upon arrival. The boat was extremely clean and ... Read More
Our cruise started in St martin. This was a trip my husband won through work, the entire boat was chartered by this company. We were greeted warmly with a cool towel, snacks and tropical drink upon arrival. The boat was extremely clean and well kept. After checking into our room (would recommend asking for a larger room- very small) we were able to leave the boat for the afternoon and explore the island. Embarking/disembarking was a very quick and easy process. We returned to the boat for dinner. I will say this was my main complaint. The main dishes served at dinner were not great. Meats were a bit tough. All other courses were good though and we had a good selection. Servers were flawless and had it down to a T. Breakfast and lunch were much better. I would recommend having dinner off the boat when possible. After dinner there was entertainment at the tropical bar. This was so much fun! Nickola played dance music each night and we enjoyed him so much! Igor was our bartender and he was prompt and had a great sense of humor. Excursions were wonderful! We were accompanied by Matt from the Clipper each time and enjoyed his young energy. We enjoyed kayaking in St Kitts and the ATV tour in St. Barths was so much fun! The seas were rough at night (apparently worse this time of year), but we didn't mind. We enjoyed "adventure sleeping". Our room was made up 2x a day and kept very clean. Liked the chocolates on our pillows each evening. Peter (cruise director) and his staff were all very accommodating and did everything to make our trip more enjoyable. I would recommend going with a group on this trip. The people we hung out with were my husband's co-workers (although we got to know them a lot better on the trip), so it made it fun dining with them each night and doing excursions together. So, other than sub-par main entrée and rough seas, it was still the most amazing trip I have ever taken. Something about that gorgeous ship made the whole thing so romantic too. Loved the staff and would definitely do the Star Clipper again (just work on that food a little bit guys). The memories we made here will last a lifetime! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2013
We and another couple of our sailing friends embarqed on a weeks cruise in paradise. As sailors, we were not interested in the usual cruise ship with thousands of passengers, but to be under sail with a small group going to ports that the ... Read More
We and another couple of our sailing friends embarqed on a weeks cruise in paradise. As sailors, we were not interested in the usual cruise ship with thousands of passengers, but to be under sail with a small group going to ports that the mega cruise ships can't access. We found the Star Clipper to be well found, maintained, and a very pleasant stay for out weeks trip. The class 3 cabin was compact, but very functional. The food offerings were well done, with sufficient choices. The bar offerings were reasonable in price, as were the wine offerings for dinner. The crew performed well, and the watersports team were over the top great! We found the dining room service efficient, but not very engaging. The passengers represented 14 nations, so the announcements got somewhat tedious in 3 languages. The european contigent pretty much ignored the non smoking rules, and smoked wherever they pleased. We also discovered that they don't feel much like being at the back of any lines, and will cut to the front unless confronted. We had hoped to be under full sail like in all the brochures, but our best day had 9 of the 14 sails out, and usually it was 4 or 5, but we were sailing. It seemed like they were more concerned with keeping the ship level, and passengers comfortable as opposed to really cranking under sail which we were of course hoping for. The music playing and sails unfurling was a very nice touch that everyone appreciated whenever we got underway. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2011
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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2006
INTRODUCTION My wife and I sailed on the February 18, 2006 voyage of the Star Clipper round-trip from St. Maarten. It was by far the best vacation we have experienced. This was our eighth cruise overall, but first on a Clipper ship ... Read More
INTRODUCTION My wife and I sailed on the February 18, 2006 voyage of the Star Clipper round-trip from St. Maarten. It was by far the best vacation we have experienced. This was our eighth cruise overall, but first on a Clipper ship type vessel. We have previously cruised twice each on Celebrity, Carnival and NCL, and once on Royal Caribbean. We have grown tired of the larger ships and have wanted to try a sailing cruise for some time now. After sailing on the Star Clipper, we have no desire to return to the mass market cruise ships. ARRIVAL We arrived at the pier in St. Maarten about 3:30. We were told at the pier that check-in would begin at 4:00, but it actually began about 10 minutes early. Check-in consisted of receiving our room keys and ID cards and leaving an imprint of our credit card for purchases on the ship. We were finished with the process and were walking to the ship in a few minutes. We were met as we boarded by the Cruise Director and Hotel Manager and given a complementary cold drink. Light snacks were available on deck. We were escorted to our cabin and our luggage was delivered to our room shortly after our arrival. SHIP The Star Clipper is a fabulous ship. It is a sailing vessel, not a cruise ship. The ship is very elegant and sophisticated with none of the glitz of the bigger cruise ships. There are no casinos, atriums, show lounges, elevators or rooms with a verandah. There are two bars on board, the outside Tropical Bar and the inside Piano Bar. All of the nightly entertainment occurs at the Tropical Bar. The ship has plenty of teak and mahogany wood, all varnished to a high gloss. Additionally, there is a lot of brass, which is also kept polished. The crew was working every day doing routine maintenance around the ship. The ships passenger capacity is 170, but this week there were only 94 passengers on board, along with 73 crew members. The breakdown of passengers was very international - 41 were from the United States, six from Canada, one from Costa Rica and the remaining 46 passengers were from Europe. Of the 94 passengers, 63 had previously sailed with Star Clippers. The 73 crew members were from 25 different countries. The ship never seemed crowded. It is an easy walk from one end of the ship to the other. Because of its small size, the ship can fit into ports that the larger ships cannot. The ship offered several features not found on cruise ships: passengers could climb the mast to the first level crows nest (with appropriate safety equipment) on three separate occasions during the week; we could relax on the widows netting at the bow of the ship anytime the crew was not operating the sails; there was an open bridge policy throughout the week; the crew lowered lifeboats one day during the week to give the passengers the opportunity to photograph the Star Clipper at sea under full sails; and passengers were given the opportunity to steer the ship while at sea. Each day as the sails were raised as we were leaving a port, the ship would play the Vangelis symphony, 1492: Conquest of Paradise over the sound system. The passengers would congregate on deck to watch the crew raising the sails and to listen to the music. We felt there would be a lot of free time for reading - we brought several books along with us. However, we were only able to sit and read on deck one day out of the week because there was so much to do - each day was full of activities. The sailing throughout the week was rough. We had constant winds of 25-30 knots and the sea was rough while sailing. Several passengers were ill at points during the week due to the ships movement. CABIN We booked a Category 5 room and were assigned cabin 342. The room was small, but very efficiently designed, as was the rest of the ship. The room had a raised double bed, four feet off the floor - we had to use a block of steps or a ladder to reach the bed. The bathroom had a shower, toilet, sink and a medicine cabinet with plenty of shelving for storing toiletries. The cabin had sufficient storage and closet space for the two of us. A safe with a programmable lock was located in one of the closets. There was a TV in the room, which only received one English speaking program, Euro News (similar to CNN). A DVD player was also in the room, and video disks could be borrowed from the ships collection. There was a two channel audio system in room, one channel for classical music and the second channel for popular music. Our cabin attendant was very good and efficient. Towels were exchanged each morning and evening. MEALS All meals were served in the main dining room. Like the rest of the ship, the main dining room was very elegant. Booths lined the outside walls and accommodated four persons each. Tables in the middle of the room seated either six or eight. It was very common for the ships officers, including the captain, to join a group of diners at each meal. All dining is open seating, with service between 8:00 and 10:00 for breakfast, 12:00 and 2:00 for lunch and 7:30 and 10:00 for dinner. There are no formal nights - dress for dinner is resort casual for men and women. Buffet meals were served for breakfast and lunch. For breakfast, there was an assortment of cereal, yogurts, pastries and fruits, along with scrambled eggs, french toast or pancakes, bacon and potatoes. There was also an omelet station for fresh omelets each morning. Lunchtime had a nice assortment of salads, cold cuts, cheeses, homemade soups and fruit. There was also a carving station each day with either fish or meat. The breakfasts and lunches were all very good. Each day between 5:00 and 6:00, an afternoon snack would be served at the Tropical Bar. Like the breakfasts and lunches, the afternoon snack was very good. We felt it was better than the dinners. The snack would consist of finger sandwiches, fruit, a hot dish and dessert. We were disappointed in the dinners served, both in the nightly selection and quality of food. Dinner would always have a seafood entree, a vegetarian entree and the two of the following: beef, pork, lamb or chicken. I only had one dinner I would classify as very good - a grilled sea bass. Lobster Tail was served on Thursday night, which is the Captains Dinner. My wife had the lobster, and said it was good, but not great. On two of the nights, I ordered the vegetarian selection when nothing on the main menu looked promising. The beef and pork dishes were consistently under cooked. I ordered a steak one night as medium well, and it came out very rare. On a different night, my wife ordered a steak very well done, and it came out rare. Others sitting at our table had pork and lamb dishes on different nights, and they were also done very rare. Coffee, tea and fresh fruit is available 24 hours a day in the Piano Bar. An early morning breakfast of croissants and pastries is also available in the Piano Bar from 6:00 to 8:00 in the mornings. Many mornings, we would be up early and grab a croissant and our coffee and tea and sit on the deck as the ship sailed to the next stop. SERVICE The service in the main dining room and throughout the ship was outstanding. Our waiters in the dining room were very attentive and we tried to sit in the same area each day with our favorite waiters. Bar service was mainly at the bar, with no bar waiters hounding you to purchase drinks every few minutes. The guys on the sports crew were excellent. The crew that worked the sails was also very good, showing great patience as the passengers were on deck as the crew was trying to raise or lower the sails. They were also very helpful with any information that the passengers asked them for. ENTERTAINMENT As mentioned above, entertainment on this sailing was very limited. There was one entertainer on board who sang and played the keyboard during the afternoon snack period. He also played the piano in the Piano Bar during the dinner hours and served as the deejay for nighttime dancing. There was an organized entertainment activity each night at 10:00 at the Tropical Bar. One night was crab races, another night was a Best Couples contest and a crew and passenger talent show was held on another night. These activities were very entertaining, and better than a lot of cruise line entertainment. The Best Couples contest was very hilarious, and the talent show with the crew performing was very enjoyable as well. Other forms of entertainment centered around the cruise directors daily talk on the upcoming port and the captains story time. Every morning before we reached a port, the cruise director would hold a briefing on the bridge. He would explain the history of the island and places of interest to visit. He detailed what times the tenders would operate to the town or to the beach, and what time the last tender would return to the ship at the end of the day. On two of the mornings, the captain held a story time on the bridge. These sessions lasted 60-90 minutes and consisted of mainly questions from the passengers regarding the ship and sailing in general, with the captain answering the questions. ITINERARY This is not a typical cruise ship itinerary. As was pointed out to the passengers on more than one occasion: This is a sailing vacation, not a cruise. The stops are in remote islands and harbors. The focus on the stops is enjoying the nature and natural history of the islands. There is not a lot of activity going on in most of the ports. At many of the stops during the week, French was the main language and the official currency was the Euro Dollar. English was not spoken in some of the locations and the US Dollar was not universally accepted. At each stop, the ship would run two tenders, one to the town for limited shopping and to meet the shore excursions and one to the beach. For each beach stop, the crew would take a banana boat, water ski equipment, a wave board (similar to a snow board), a windsurf board, sea kayaks, and a small sailboat. All of these activities were provided with no additional charge. Snorkeling gear was also issued at the beginning of the week for use throughout the cruise, again at no additional charge. The stop on Sunday was the island of Nevis. However, all shops in town are closed on Sundays. The beach tender stopped at a nice section of the beach near the Four Seasons Hotel. The Sunshine Bar is an open-air bar located next to the Four Seasons. This bar is famous for its signature drink, the Killer Bee. The walls of the bar are adorned with photos of celebrities who have sampled a Killer Bee. On Monday the ship stopped at Deshaies in Guadeloupe. As with many of the other islands the ship visited during the week, the shops in town were closed between 12:00 and 2:30 or 3:00 in the afternoon. We took the tender into the town, walked around for a few minutes and returned to the ship for lunch. The afternoon was spent relaxing at the beach. On Tuesday the ship stopped at Iles des Saintes in the French Antilles. We hiked up a steep road to the fort at the top of the harbor, with great view of the island. After returning to the ship for lunch, I took the beach tender in the afternoon for some snorkeling. While sailing into Iles des Saintes, we met up with another Star Clippers ship, the Royal Clipper, and both ships sailed side-by-side for a period of time. On Wednesday, prior to arriving in Dominica, the captain arranged for the life boats to be lowered and the passengers had the opportunity to ride in the life boats and photograph the Star Clipper at sea under full sail. This event was originally scheduled for Monday afternoon, but had to be canceled on Monday due to high winds. The fact the captain rearranged the schedule to fit in the photo opportunity is another example of the great service offered during the week. The stop on Wednesday was at Cabrits National Park in Dominica. This was the only stop where we docked at a pier, versus anchoring offshore and taking a tender to shore. The park had another fort overlooking the harbor and several hiking trails. We hiked up one side and down the other, ending up at a remote stretch of rocky beach on the other side of the island. After lunch, we sat on deck and read, as the ship left the dock at 3:00. The Thursday stop in Antigua was at Falmouth Harbour in Antigua. The large cruise ships that visit Antigua stop in the countrys capital, St. Johns, on the other side of the island. Nelsons Dockyard, home of the British Navy during the battles for supremacy of the Caribbean, is located at Falmouth Harbour. The beach visit today was very nice. The ships crew set up a barbecue on the beach and offered grilled hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken, fish and ribs for lunch. There was also good snorkeling at this beach. The final stop on Friday was at Gustavia in St. Barthelemy (also referred to as St. Barth or St. Barts), a very exclusive and wealthy island. Many large private yachts and sailboats were at the dock or anchored just offshore. There are many shops and restaurants surrounding the harbor. This was the only day the ship did not offer a beach tender. We were able to walk to Shell Beach, which was about a 10 or 15 minute walk from the dock where the tender stopped. It is a very nice beach, with plenty of shade and a small bar and restaurant. In the evening, we took the tender back into town for a little shopping and a drink at a harbor front restaurant. SUMMARY Despite our disappointment with the dinner food and the ships constant rolling movement, this was a fabulous vacation, and we would definitely love to take another Star Clippers cruise in the future. Read Less
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