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About PurleyKing

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    London, England
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Star Clippers
  1. 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.
  2. 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!
  3. PurleyKing

    Bali Sailing

    We were on the October 2017 repositioning from Bali to Singapore too. It was a very enjoyable trip, as Solent Richard's excellent report indicates. The sails were used purposefully a lot of the time (often supplementing the engine, sometimes on their own) but only on a couple of occasions did we get exhilarating sailing - both times when a squall blew up. On one occasion when a large contingent of passengers was in the tenders, taking photos of the ship with all sails set on a still and calm sea, a squall blew up out of nowhere and the ship went off like a greyhound - the sails had to be dropped pretty quickly as the ship was speeding away from the chasing tenders. Talking to the captain, he confirmed that his favourite sailing was in the Caribbean with Star Flyer, being the location with the best winds more often than not and acknowledging that the four mast ships in the fleet are more exciting to sail (and sail in) than the all square rigged Royal Clipper. After trying all three ships over 12 voyages in all the parts of the world they currently operate, I can but agree.
  4. PurleyKing


    In the UK, the excursion information for our last Star Clippers cruises arrived with the tickets, two to three weeks before sailing. Note that the excursions can only be booked once you are on the ship. On the last two cruises, the cruise director has given a presentation of the excursions early in the cruise; this had far more information than the excursion pack with the tickets.
  5. PurleyKing

    Royal Clipper - April 28-May 12, 2018 Malaga to Cannes

    Star Clipper's own label shampoo and shower gel plus soap bars are provided in your cabin.
  6. PurleyKing

    Star Clipper Bali to Singapore

    Richard (and Barbara) Brings out the goose bumps every time! Or as one of the German passengers said similarly at sail away "It gives me chicken skin". Ted (and Wendy)
  7. PurleyKing

    Bali bound!

    Keeping a close eye on the volcano situation on Bali. Is anyone out there at the moment able to give an update?
  8. PurleyKing

    New to Royal Clipper: any tips?

    The hotels we have stayed at pre-cruise have always been happy to store our luggage after we've checked out in the morning until we've needed it later in the day.
  9. PurleyKing

    Checking out Star Clippers

    We were heading for the beach on a Costa Rica cruise, using the Zodiacs as there was a sand bar to be crossed about 200 yards from shore that the tenders wouldn't be able to get over. We were in the first Zodiac of the day. On approaching the sandbar very carefully, the sports team member driving the Zodiac felt that the water was too shallow over the sandbar for even the Zodiac to get across. At this point, one of the six passengers on board made the seemingly reasonable suggestion that we passengers could jump out onto the sandbar, float the Zodiac across, and jump back in. Just as this was being discussed, a four foot alligator / crocodile swam by within twenty feet of us. Thus ended any thoughts of people going to the beach that day! Needless to say, by dinner that evening and after countless re-telling of the tale in the Tropical Bar, the croc had grown to twenty feet. We later found out it was a freshwater croc - so much rainwater flows down from the hills that, where the rivers meet the ocean, the saltwater is diluted and the crocs can therefore come out into the sea a ways. Note that after about 10 cruises on Star Clippers, we have only used the Zodiacs twice for beach landings.
  10. PurleyKing

    First and definitely not our last voyage. Star Flyer

    There are snacks / canapés every afternoon around 5 pm - no need to go hungry!
  11. PurleyKing

    Checking out Star Clippers

    Note that coffee and tea are available to help yourself to all day at no charge. There's a fountain to fill up your water bottle too.
  12. PurleyKing

    grand prix of Monaco - anyone done it?

    Lots of relevant information about the Grand Prix available on the Tripadvisor Monaco Forum. https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowForum-g190405-i678-Monaco.html
  13. PurleyKing

    grand prix of Monaco - anyone done it?

    My wife and I went to the Monaco Grand Prix last year (2016). We flew from London Gatwick to Nice on the day before the race and transferred to Star Flyer in Cannes. The ship did the short journey overnight to Monaco. With many people choosing that cruise as a means of going to the F1, frequent tenders went ashore first thing on the race day morning, settling into an 'every 30 minutes' service. It's a 20 minute or so walk from the tender to the circuit...just follow the crowds! This was a special treat for us, so we had bought seats in the top-price stand looking over the track to the pricey yachts in the harbour. Note that all the stands are temporary and rudimentary - plain backless wooden benches to sit on and no weather protection whatsoever; take a cushion to sit on and adequate protection from sun and rain (we needed both!). Take plastic bags to put your cushion in if it looks like rain! I can't comment on hotels as we didn't stay in or around Monaco. As far as flights are concerned, I see from Skyscanner that some airlines have not yet issued their schedules for next May, e.g. Easyjet, so I would expect cheaper flights to com available around September time.
  14. PurleyKing

    Disembarkation Times and Taxi

    Because of the relatively small number of passengers on the ship, there is no need for time slots for disembarkation; if you want to leave the ship at 7.30 am then you can do so without any fuss - just hand in your cabin keys and you will be given your passport and off you go. I haven't yet been to Bali (we're on the Bali - Singapore voyage in October) so can't comment on the taxi situation there.
  15. I don't know what the earliest time you can leave the ship is - this may be dependent upon how long the ship takes to clear immigration requirements - but I believe that they normally want everyone off the ship by 9.30 am (excluding those staying for the next cruise).