Checking out Star Clippers

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#1
Denver Co
1,652 Posts
Joined Apr 2006
Hey all
We have cruised big ships and ready for something different. Can you tell me what is included in your fare? Water sports? Drinks? Any excursions? Thanks!


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#2
469 Posts
Joined Jul 2003
HI Steph
No excursions are included, neither are drinks. Snorkel equipment is provided, and there was one day when they made kayaks available. This was in the Aegean so there might be more water sport days in the Caribbean.
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2005 - Adventure (Southern Caribbean including Aruba)(August)
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2009 - Explorer (9 days - Bermuda and Eastern Caribbean along with Hurricane)(Aug)
2013 - Explorer (5 days to Bermuda) (August)
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#3
Washington State
552 Posts
Joined Sep 2007
Originally posted by Vacation Nut
HI Steph
No excursions are included, neither are drinks. Snorkel equipment is provided, and there was one day when they made kayaks available. This was in the Aegean so there might be more water sport days in the Caribbean.
Correct!

Drinks are markedly cheaper than on the big ships. Excursions, such as they are, are generally less expensive. Quality of excursions varies widely with local vendors. Some of the islands have very little infrastructure for tourists.

Many of the Caribbean port stops include an option to tender to town or to the beach. Tenders run right up onto the beach and you climb over the bow.. Kayaks, water skiing and sailing (Laser) are usually available, subject to local regulations, time available etc. There is one beach barbeque stop with lunch on the beach (included) and beer and drinks available chargeable to your cabin number. The sports crew will for sure have everything out for that stop.

Robbie
#5
Connecticut USA
297 Posts
Joined Jun 2008
Just a note... Yes, Star Clippers charges for drinks, BUT they charge in Euro's, which makes sodas/beer/drinks REALLY cheap to Americans at this time... If you are into "tropical" drinks make sure and try their Caipirinha, (National drink of Brazil) Unlike many places I have ordered it, they do it up RIGHT!
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#6
Cambridgeshire
2,610 Posts
Joined Dec 2011
Are you familiar with the "wet landings" situation? Sometimes jetties and quaysides are not included.

Regards John
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#7
Denver Co
1,652 Posts
Joined Apr 2006
Originally posted by john watson
Are you familiar with the "wet landings" situation? Sometimes jetties and quaysides are not included.



Regards John


Can you explain further?


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Steph

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So, throw off the bowlines and sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, Dream, Discover

Carnival Vista (Miami) Southern Caribbean June 3, 2017
Carnival Vista (Miami) Western Caribbean June 11, 2017
Carnival Freedom Caribbean (Galveston) May 2nd, 2015
MSC Armonia Mediterranean May 26, 2014
Carnival Sensation, Bahamas February 2013
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RCCL Brilliance of the Seas Mediterranean 2009
MSC Orchestra Eastern Caribbean 2009
Carnival Conquest (Galveston) Western Caribbean 2006
#8
Cambridgeshire
2,610 Posts
Joined Dec 2011
Sometimes they decide that the ship will do a tender operation, anchor a little off shore and ferry passengers ashore directly onto the beach in the zodiac ribs. This might be a situation where they are intending to do a beach barbeque for example on an isolated beach middle of nowhere. They do not guarantee the zodiacs will be able to get you ashore completely dry, they do try and limit water depth to knee high but you probably need waterproof reef shoes. I am not joking this is in their small print and unique to Star Clippers.

Regards John
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#9
506 Posts
Joined Feb 2011
White Bay on Jost Van Dyke is a fairly typical Star Clippers wet landing . . . with the added benefit of coming out of the surf on the doorstep of the Soggy Dollar Bar.

Painkiller anyone?


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#10
469 Posts
Joined Jul 2003
There were no wet landings in my trip from Venice to Athens, but I have done them on other cruises. I am very short and wondered if I could manage, but no problems, sit on the side of the zodiac and lower myself into no more that calf-high water. On the way back, they had a one step rope ladder that gave us a leg up if we needed it. No problem. We had water shoes, but wouldn't need this on a sandy beach.
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RCCL:
2001 - Voyager (Western Caribbean including Labadee)(March)
2003 - Explorer (Eastern Caribbean including Nassau)(July)
2005 - Adventure (Southern Caribbean including Aruba)(August)
2007 - Radiance (Western Caribbean including Key West)(March)
2009 - Explorer (9 days - Bermuda and Eastern Caribbean along with Hurricane)(Aug)
2013 - Explorer (5 days to Bermuda) (August)
2015 - Radiance (11 days - Cruise tour to Denali and then Seward to Vancouver)(July)
PRINCESS:
2002 - Grand (Eastern Caribbean)(July)
2004 - Caribbean Princess (Western Caribbean)(August)
2008 - Caribbean Princess (9 days - Bermuda and Eastern Caribbean)(August)
2015 - Regal Princess (7 days - Eastern Caribbean)(December-Xmas Cruise)
2016 - Regal Princess (11 days - Southern Caribbean)(December-Xmas Cruise)
CELEBRITY
2011 - Galapagos on Xpedition (August)
2013 - Summit (Southern Caribbean)(March)
2017 - Reflection (Southern Caribbean) (December - Xmas Cruise)
RIVER CRUISE
2016 - Avalon Impression - Danube (July)
STAR CLIPPERS
2017 - Star Flyer (10 days - Venice to Athens) (July)
#11
Denver Co
1,652 Posts
Joined Apr 2006
Originally posted by john watson
Sometimes they decide that the ship will do a tender operation, anchor a little off shore and ferry passengers ashore directly onto the beach in the zodiac ribs. This might be a situation where they are intending to do a beach barbeque for example on an isolated beach middle of nowhere. They do not guarantee the zodiacs will be able to get you ashore completely dry, they do try and limit water depth to knee high but you probably need waterproof reef shoes. I am not joking this is in their small print and unique to Star Clippers.

Regards John


Love it


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Steph

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So, throw off the bowlines and sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, Dream, Discover

Carnival Vista (Miami) Southern Caribbean June 3, 2017
Carnival Vista (Miami) Western Caribbean June 11, 2017
Carnival Freedom Caribbean (Galveston) May 2nd, 2015
MSC Armonia Mediterranean May 26, 2014
Carnival Sensation, Bahamas February 2013
Carnival Magic (Galveston) Western Caribbean 2012
RCCL Brilliance of the Seas Mediterranean 2009
MSC Orchestra Eastern Caribbean 2009
Carnival Conquest (Galveston) Western Caribbean 2006
#12
UK
21 Posts
Joined Nov 2013
Not wishing to put you off, but one wet departure from a beach in the Caribbean sticks in my mind! One 40 something 'gentleman' who thought he was the bees knees waded out first to show us how to do it, there was surf so you needed to get onboard in swim suits. Unfortunately, he made a big jump, a wave washed by, and he lost his shorts!!!! It was a sight to behold, the rest of us managed with modesty intact, and big grins on our faces. Just a shame I didnt have a camera to hand.
#13
Washington State
552 Posts
Joined Sep 2007
Originally posted by john watson
Sometimes they decide that the ship will do a tender operation, anchor a little off shore and ferry passengers ashore directly onto the beach in the zodiac ribs. This might be a situation where they are intending to do a beach barbeque for example on an isolated beach middle of nowhere. They do not guarantee the zodiacs will be able to get you ashore completely dry, they do try and limit water depth to knee high but you probably need waterproof reef shoes. I am not joking this is in their small print and unique to Star Clippers.

Regards John
A bit of a correction - the zodiacs are rarely (never) used for wet landings on beaches including the regular beach barbeque. We have been on 8 Star Clipper cruises and never did a beach landing off a zodiac. Basically they are too small to be efficient in landing any significant number of people. Star Clipper carries two zodiac style boats with a capacity of around 10 people. We have snorkeled in open water off of both the zodiac and the tenders.

The regular tenders are used for beach landings in the Med, the Caribbean and in Tahiti (alas, no more). There are some differences between the tenders on the Royal and on the smaller ships but they are all designed to run up on the beach and for passengers to exit over the bow. There is a ladder that is lowered for that purpose. As stated the water is usually ankle to knee deep and you should expect to get wet. If you get in a hurry and go over the side you will likely get very wet and it is dangerous as the tender may move with a wave and bash you.

Just want the newbies to know exactly what to expect.

Robbie
#14
London, England
22 Posts
Joined Apr 2011
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.
#15
Washington State
552 Posts
Joined Sep 2007
Well, PurleyKing, I stand corrected. We have not been on that central America cruise so I will amend my comments to say that Zodiacs are rarely used for beach landings . I can definitely say that they are not used on the Royal's windward and leeward sailing out of Barbados nor on the cruises out of St Martin. Also, not used on the Venice to Rome (or reverse) although we did take a zodiac to an island/beach area but there was a pier. That's all I know for sure.

That was certainly an interesting story. How big do you suppose the croc is now?

Robbie
#16
[email protected]
723 Posts
Joined May 2011
Great post and answers -- I am consider my first Star Clippers voyage in 2018 and came to ask the same thing. I love small boats and I am a sailor myself (small 5-cabin catamarans tho) so this should be a unique journey for me.

I already cruise somewhere between 12 and 16 times a year on the big ships but am starting to look at alternative options and the clipper ships are somethings I've always wanted to do.
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#17
1,197 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
Here's a link to a YouTube video I posted of a wet landing at Rodney Bay on St. Lucia. Note that in most Caribbean ports, there are usually two stops on the tenders; a wet landing for those looking for a close beach where the ship has the water toys, and a dry landing at a dock for those going to town.

https://youtu.be/oZlkFkINqeA

The second half of the video shows me sailing one of the ships Lasers. (In my defense, the wind was very shifty, :-) )

Aloha,

John
#18
9 Posts
Joined Sep 2017
We returned from Bali Eastbound, 7 days, yesterday.

I will clarify some open points in the former posts:

- price of the drinks, examples: soft drink (330 ml, Coke etc.): 2,50 €, beer from tap, 0,3l: 3,30 €, Weissbier from Bavaria: 0,5l: 4 €, house wine bottle 0,75l: 16 €, lot of other wines between 20 and 28 €, some expensive up to 160 €. Cocktail 5,80 €, Cocktail of the day: 5 €, water bottle 3 €.

- seasickness: the Star Clipper was rolling often, after the first day some people got a plaster behind the ear, helping 72 hours. My wife got a pill, it helps within 15 minutes and she got no additional symptoms the rest of the journey. Pills are available free from the nurse (there is no doctor on board, only a nurse).

- wet landing: we had totally 3 dry landings (Komodo / Gilli Tranwangan and Gilli Nanggu) and 4 wet landings (Gilli Kondo, Satonda, Pink Beach and Gilli Meno). One wet landing was with the tender, you must leave the tender at the front with the installed ladder, also enter. The other wet landings with the zodiac, jumping or climbing from the side into the water, enter at the back close to the outbord motor. Water was between 3 inch and 1 foot in the depth, recommended are water shoes or swimm slippers, you need them also for swimming due to many corals. 2 wet landings in sandy ground, possible barefoot.
For the wet landing with the Zodiac, you have to change from Tender boat to Zodiac approx. 30 feet distance to shore (more or less), climbing from Tender to the side of the Zodiac. Staff is always helping.
But this cruise is focused on beaches, no trips to villages or excursions, only Komodo was a small excursion to the Dragons.

On the last day there was a possibility to enter a Tender during the Star Clipper was lfting the anchor and set all the sails (16) for taking photos. That was very very great, also some staff including the captain was standing on the sprit.
The attached phots have been taken with my Canon 750D.

Have you additional questions, may I can answer them
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