Star Clipper is a lovely traditional sailing ship, lots of wood, brass and deep blue carpeting with a knot pattern throughout. All was immaculate, very well maintained and extremely clean.
Cabin: Our cabin was on the lowest deck with a porthole about 18 inches above the waterline, so when the ship was under sail and heeled over to port our porthole looked like a washing machine.
The cabin was compact and bijoux with good wardrobe hanging and shelf space, and a personal safe. Our cases were accommodated under the bed and there was a seat, vanity counter with hairdryer, large mirror, TV and DVD player. DVDs could be borrowed free from the small onboard shop, which also sold clothing and souvenirs. The en-suite was marble lined with fixed hairdryer, stowage shelves, razor socket and curtained shower area with plentiful toiletries and vanity kits.
Food: The food throughout was excellent and plentiful at the buffets for breakfast and lunch and not too large at dinner that you could not complete all the courses if wished. There was a better choice of dessert at lunch than at dinner but cheese and biscuits and between course palate cleansing sorbets were always available. All the very friendly officers and staff frequently joined the passengers in the restaurant for their meals. A good variety of hot and cold Hors d’oeuvres, fruit, cakes and other snacks were served on deck at 5p.m. every day, and hot and cold midnight snacks were available in the bar as was the 24hr tea and coffee station. Herbal and speciality teas were plentiful.
Drinks: Choice of drinks and wines was excellent and the prices were reasonable in comparison to those on some large cruise ships. Entertainment: This was low key but very enjoyable centred around an excellent keyboard player who also played piano and accordian and DJ’d the music for after midnight. Talent shows, parlour games, and fashion shows etc involving both crew and passengers were simple fun for all ages and often hilarious. There was also a very comfortable Library with books and games to borrow.
Activities: There were 2 small pools [one totally shaded which was very welcome in 38oC which were both spotlessly clean and of good depth. The various watersports on offer were staffed with fully qualified and enthusiastic people and well equipped. My only criticism would be the plastic sunloungers which were definitely out of character with the rest of the furnishings and fittings in the ship. The guides employed on the shore excursions were very professional, experienced and highly educated.
General Comments: All the staff were excellent with immaculate uniforms, the stewards were unobtrusive and very efficient, the officers were always approachable and the restaurant staff were really expert. The best part for us was when the ship was under full sail, especially magical at night under the stars. The open bridge policy meant that the officers could be approached to answer questions at most times. Star Clipper is a sailing ship and you have to be careful moving around the deck due to ropes and pulleys etc., the compainionways were narrower and the stairs steeper than on larger cruise ships. At most of the ports we were anchored up and tendered ashore, sometimes by zodiac and all the watersports were accessible only by zodiac. Thus Star Clipper is not for anyone with mobility problems but equally, as on our cruise, can be enjoyed by all ages from 4 to 90. We thoroughly enjoyed the experience and would definitely go again, but next time we would choose a longer voyage with more sea days to savour the ship under sail.
Written by JohnPhillips