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JimandBeth
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Joined: 07/13/10
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Star clipper
      #1531715 - 08/31/13 04:18 PM (108.183.9.81)

Has anyone tried a Star Clipper cruise out of St.Maarten? We are thinking of renting the last week of our three week winter timeshare and taking this cruise instead. Any thoughts?

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RobT
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Joined: 04/25/01
Posts: 430
Loc: Maryland
Re: Star clipper [Re: JimandBeth]
      #1531828 - 09/01/13 08:16 PM (98.231.234.237)

I sailed on the Star Clipper in 2004. Below is my trip report. Hope it helps. Captain Uli died a year or so after this trip, so I cannot say how much the current captain will keep the ship under sail.


After spending a week on St Martin, we took the Star Clipper out of St Martin for a week of sailing. We must have been under sail for 90-95 percent of the time. The Captain made it clear that this was a sailing adventure with stops at Caribbean islands an added benefit. If you like sailing a tall ship, this is a trip for you. We enjoyed the trip, and got to see some new islands, such as Dominica and Isle les Saintes. We would have like to have more time on the islands though. We usually anchored or docked around 11:00 and had to be back on board by 4:30.

I only got sick the first morning, but that was only because the rest of the mornings I got up at 6:00 every morning and rushed up on deck to get the sea breezes and watch the horizon. My guess is that from 10-20 people were sea sick the first morning. The first night was also the roughest night at sea as well. But the ship got to rocking and rolling most morning around 3-4 AM. After a week at sea, the computer screen is moving as I type this, even though I am in my basement. This was our first trip on a sailing ship, but there were a lot of repeat sailors, many who had made over 5-6 previous trips and 32 of the 129 passengers were continuing on for the second week to the BVI area. The repeat passengers told us that this was the roughest sailing on a Star Clipper ship that they had been on. Why we had to sail all night in rough seas to go from St Martin to St Barts is beyond me.

The food and food service were good, but not great. All seating was open seating, with breakfast and lunch buffet style. It was a nice way to meet people. For dinner we got 2-3 choices, normally with a fish, meat and vegetarian item. Because of the open seating, you never got the same wait staff. However, it is a small boat, so you got to know most of them. We actually like the lunch buffets better than the dinner meals.

The room was okay for a small cruise ship. Ours was actually slightly bigger than most due to its location near the bow, but that gave us more motion being near the bow. The cabin steward took good care of us, but we seldom saw him, which is how they like to operate. It is a cashless cruise, but you need dollars or euros on the islands. The room has a safe, which held everything we needed stored.

The excursions were okay, but somewhat rushed because of the limited time we had on the islands. The main problem we had was that we did not find out what was happening on each island until right before we anchored. That did not give us much time to plan what we were going to do that day if we had not decided on an excursion. For example we purchased an kayak excursion on Antiqua and later found out that the cruise ship was offering a free luncheon barbeque at a beach that we would have missed. As it turned out, the excursion got moved from 11:00 to 1:00 which allowed us to do both. However, this rushed the excursion operator who complained about it the entire kayak excursion.

The pools were very small, but my wife got to use one a few days. I got to climb the mast one day. That was great. Another day, they let those that wanted to get a picture of the ship under sail to take a tender out and get pictures which should be beautiful. On another morning we met up with the Royal Clipper and sailed with her for a few hours, with both ships under full sail. At least we were under full sail until we hit a small storm that really heeled the ship over. It got really exciting for a while there. One of the sails ended up getting torn at that time.

We even got to see the green flash at sunset two nights, although most people missed it hurrying to get on the tender in Dominica. I could see the sun was going down quickly, I just cannot understand why hardly anyone else paid attention to the sunset.

Captain Uli gave a few talks about the ship and sailing. You can easily tell that he loves tall ships and enjoys sailing. Gregor Williams from St Lucia also gave talks and walks on Caribbean history that were informative but not too well attended. Part of the problem was timing.

Entertainment was from a band called Vitamine and a keyboard player named Shaba. Both were very good, but they tended to play a the same time and the band made the key board hard to hear at time. The band also played outside the room where Gregor talked making it difficult to hear him at time.

--------------------
Beach Hunter


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JimandBeth
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Joined: 07/13/10
Posts: 183
Re: Star clipper [Re: RobT]
      #1531874 - 09/02/13 10:27 AM (108.183.9.81)

Thank you.

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sabysmith
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Joined: 06/13/11
Posts: 10
Re: Star clipper [Re: JimandBeth]
      #1534681 - 09/18/13 06:10 AM (219.91.219.150)

The celebrity Clipper is a replica of a 19th century clipper ship supplying all the amenities and atmosphere of a mega-yacht. Gliding along the waters silently under full sail - all 36,000 sq. ft. of them - is such an impressive view not only to you as a traveller but also to all who arrive into view of the ship.

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jerber160
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Joined: 09/14/14
Posts: 331
Loc: Pittsburgh, PA
Re: Star clipper [Re: sabysmith]
      #1608013 - 10/04/14 02:52 PM (75.88.14.133)

i just checked website. this looks incredibly cool. especially out of rome. maybe a st maarten first? ohmy

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denverd0n
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Joined: 10/10/12
Posts: 268
Loc: Tampa, FL
Re: Star clipper [Re: jerber160]
      #1627826 - 01/26/15 03:25 PM (131.247.65.4)

Just returned from a cruise on-board the Royal Clipper. Round trip from Barbados to Antigua and back, with stops every day in between. FANTASTIC WEEK! Loved the ship. Loved the food. Loved the crew. Loved the places that we anchored. The ambiance of the small sailing ship--for me and my wife, at least--just has it all over the big cruise ships.

Are there some limitations? Well of course. It's a relatively small ship. If you want a casino, and a movie theater, and a rock-climbing wall, and a half dozen different restaurants on-board to choose from, you are not going to find that here. And I say, thank God for that!

We will definitely be cruising with StarClippers again.


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jerber160
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Joined: 09/14/14
Posts: 331
Loc: Pittsburgh, PA
Re: Star clipper [Re: denverd0n]
      #1628414 - 01/28/15 06:29 PM (75.88.8.56)

Quote:

denverd0n said:
Just returned from a cruise on-board the Royal Clipper. Round trip from Barbados to Antigua and back, with stops every day in between. FANTASTIC WEEK! Loved the ship. Loved the food. Loved the crew. Loved the places that we anchored. The ambiance of the small sailing ship--for me and my wife, at least--just has it all over the big cruise ships.

Are there some limitations? Well of course. It's a relatively small ship. If you want a casino, and a movie theater, and a rock-climbing wall, and a half dozen different restaurants on-board to choose from, you are not going to find that here. And I say, thank God for that!

We will definitely be cruising with StarClippers again.


thaat timing does sound a wee bit tight. if you dock at 11ish can you get to the island before noon? and does last launch leave the island at 4:30? this sounds so fun

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denverd0n
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Joined: 10/10/12
Posts: 268
Loc: Tampa, FL
Re: Star clipper [Re: jerber160]
      #1628508 - 01/29/15 09:49 AM (131.247.65.4)

The trip that we took, most days we were anchored by 6-7am and the tender was taking people either to the beach, or to the town/harbor by 8-9am. The only time we ever had to rush was when we had booked an early excursion, and we had to catch the tender at 7:30am. Had to hurry through dressing and breakfast not to miss that one!

Oh yeah, we also got information on all of the excursions that would be available on each island, sent to our home, several weeks before our departure. That way we could plan what we really didn't want to miss well ahead of time. As the original review up above was from a couple of years ago, I wonder if StarClippers has learned some things and made some adjustments since then.

Edited by denverd0n (01/29/15 09:52 AM)


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