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PurleyKing

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About PurleyKing

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    Cool Cruiser

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  • Location
    London, England
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Star Clippers

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  1. Car-mel I'm a bit biased. I'm on my 15th Star Clippers cruise this Saturday - Royal Clipper out of Rome to Venice. So I'll be able to tell you if it is a wet landing at Ponza and the Pontine Islands early next week!
  2. The ship is very laid back. Quoting from the website "The atmosphere on the ship will be very relaxed and casual. For daytime wear, walking shorts, bathing attire with cover-ups, skirts, light trousers, and hats are recommended. For shore excursions, comfortable walking shoes are essential. In the evening, sun dresses, skirts or slacks for women, and slacks with polo or dress shirts for men are recommended. Jackets are not required – but are welcome for Captain’s dinner." There is usually some entertainment each evening but don't think "Broadway Musical"! It might be a musical quiz or a crew and passenger talent show. There will always be music and dancing each night - whether it is lively or not is largely down to the group of passengers on board for that cruise; we have had cruises where the dancing goes on into the early hours and other cruises where people head for bed much earlier. At most ports of call, you will be tendered to a pier. I haven't done the Rome to Rome cruise so don't know if the beach stop(s) will involve a wet landing - more often than not, you can get ashore dry-footed even at a wet-landing due to the design of the ramp at the front of the tenders. Have a great time!
  3. Yes, excursions are booked on-board. There are excursion books where you simply add your name to a list of those wanting to take that excursion. The books are normally in the Library on Star Clipper and Star Flyer and in the Gallery area on Royal Clipper. Many of the lists start filling up quickly so, if you know which tours you want to go on, put your name down on the first evening aboard. Each list has a deadline date for completing it, normally at least 24 hours before the tour. When you get your final documentation a few weeks before your cruise, you should get a load of information about each excursion that will show a more detailed description of the contents of the tour, any minimum or maximum numbers and, of course, the cost. On-board, the Cruise Director gives talks about the forthcoming excursions and is there to answer your questions.
  4. They do take the ticket when you board - they must have a system for someone who has lost/forgotten their ticket (and having a print-out or scan of your ticket will surely help). They will have spare bag tags at the quayside - I saw this on our recent Royal Clipper trip.
  5. Lunch is always a buffet-style meal with, as mentioned by the last response, a different theme each day. Normally there will be a big barbeque on the beach once a week and on another day lunch will be held outside on the Tropical Deck. Each lunchtime there will be a roast meat or perhaps a salmon carved by the chef. Dinner consists of three choices of starter, then a soup course, then a salad course, then a sorbet, then three choices of main course - always a meat/fish/vege option - (plus a 'local' main course) then three choices of dessert and cheese and biscuits. Not surprisingly, not many people go for the full number of courses! Oh, and any night you can choose steak and chips as an alternative main course. The food is generally of a high standard.
  6. No need to dress up, even for Captain's Dinner. Typically, most men are in trousers and a shirt (with collar). A few will wear a jacket to Captain's Dinner and a few will wear a tie as well. Shorts and sleeveless / collar-less shirts are not allowed at dinner. Some women will wear a summery dress but many / most will be in slacks and a blouse.
  7. I was hoping to go on a Thailand cruise with Star Clippers recently but circumstances changed so I haven't stayed in the area that they recommended - Laguna ( a bit south of the airport). However, I have had lunch on the beach there in the past and my son and daughter-in-law honeymooned there and it seems a very good area (excellent beach) for a couple of days R & R. Several hotels around the lagoons just behind the beach, so pricing options to suit a variety of budgets. And a fine fish restaurant on the beach. Have a good trip.
  8. Royal Clipper uses 220 volt (European) current. You would need to check your devices' chargers to see if they handle that, but my (UK spec) phone / camera / Kindle chargers all cope with that and American 110 volts automatically - I have used them on both Star Clipper and Royal Clipper. Plug adapters are available to borrow on the ship as mentioned in the previous thread.
  9. Is it possible that the sea state may be bad at times in the Mediterranean in September? Yes, of course it’s possible but not usual. Would it make me feel sick if so? Possibly, if you are sensitive to motion sickness. But…in 13 cruises on the Star Clippers ships all around the world, I can only recall two evenings when the dining room was a little light in numbers because some people weren’t feeling like eating due to the motion of the sea. And, of course, there are very effective anti-sickness prophylactics available from your pharmacist to stop you feeling sick in the first place. On the rare occasions when I have felt a little queasy, I find that getting reasonably horizontal sorts the problem out, be it on the bed in my cabin or on a sun bed on deck.
  10. In response to new_cruiser's post: I have enjoyed all the Caribbean routes that Star Clippers operate. In my view, The Grenadines route offers a good variety of beach and town stops, whilst the Treasure Islands route is more beach orientated but is my favourite because it tends to have the best sailing winds (however, be aware that currently there may still be a lot of rebuilding going on in parts of the BVIs following last year's big hurricane). Which route is best for you will depend on your interests and priorities and where you have previously visited - I don't think you can go wrong. I can't really comment on how safe Barbados is for a single woman but the touristy bits that I have visited have all seemed appropriately friendly. I have travelled the Singapore to Phuket route and really enjoyed the variety of ports of call and remote beaches. I have not done any of the circular routes out of Phuket.
  11. I have sailed on both the Royal and the Star ships a number of times, several times in the Caribbean. Route: on my trips, the best sailing was to be found on the Treasure Island itinerary that features the British Virgin Islands (marketed by the BVI's as a 'Yachtsman's Paradise'). However, I also really enjoyed the Grenadines itinerary. Cabin: I don't have experience of the Cat 6 cabins though I note that the Star ones are on the lowest deck whilst the Royal ones are just one deck below the main deck. The Royal has mainly double beds in its Cat 6 whilst the Star has bunk beds - this suggests that the Star cabins are smaller. Eating alone: Royal has one or two small tables but mainly 6 or 8 seaters whilst Star's tables seat between 6 and ten people. For breakfast and lunch you would have no problem sitting by yourself as people arrive at different times so the dining room doesn't get very busy. However, at dinner there is usually a dash for the dining room at 7.30 pm when the bell is rung. To be sure of dining alone you would be best advised to wait until the people who like dining later go down, probably around 8.45 pm. On board during the day it is easy to find a spot to be alone / not have to make small talk. Try the bowsprit nets or the library or the saloon. Clientele: I haven't noticed a difference between types of passengers on the two ships. 'Feel': My personal view is that the Star ships are a bit more involving in good sailing weather than Royal. The fore-and-aft sails mean that the boat is likely to be (smoothly) heeling over in good winds and, because of the sail layout, can operate at wider angles of wind than the Royal's square-rigged sails permit, albeit the Royal can go like a bullet with the wind in the right direction. (Real sailors may care to take me to task at this point because of my sparse knowledge!). In reality, there is not much 'hands on' for passengers to do. Yes, you may get a chance to steer the ship, yes you will get the chance to climb to the crow's nest and yes, at some stage you and your fellow passengers will get the chance to haul a main sail by hand, but that's about it. Price inclusions: sorry, not much! Plentiful (and, usually, very good food); drinking water, tea and coffee 24 hours a day. But excursions, wine and other drinks are all extras. Have a great time and beware....it's easy to get hooked on these ships!
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