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rez4jc

Royal Clipper 01/30/2010

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Can't pass up the 45% off price of this cruise, but it will be our first on Star Clippers. We already got the week after the cruise reserved in a time share on Barbados.

Anyone done this itinerary before: Windward Islands? Looking for times in port, excursions, etc...

Anyone else going?

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Can't pass up the 45% off price of this cruise, but it will be our first on Star Clippers. We already got the week after the cruise reserved in a time share on Barbados.

Anyone done this itinerary before: Windward Islands? Looking for times in port, excursions, etc...

Anyone else going?

 

We did this itinerary in March. Category 2 cabin, #234. Here is a brief overview from the daily paper.

 

Saturday – Barbados

Embarkation at 1600, afternoon snack 1600-1800 in Tropical bar, dinner 1930-2200, all aboard 2130, departure 2200.

 

Sunday – St. Lucia (anchor in Rodney Bay)

Mandatory life boat drill 1000, arrival in Rodney Bay at roughly noon.

- The Royal Clipper drops anchor at locations away from the “normal” tourist/cruise ship ports. We thought that the profound lack of information about our ports-of-call was a disappointment on our cruise. We really enjoyed our time aboard Royal but we would have enjoyed our time in port more is we knew what to expect away from the ship. A typical port stop has ship’s excursions, a beach area and the local town. They offer tender service to “the beach” and a local marina dock. The water sports team will have kayaks, sailboats and other activities at the beach. Do not expect that there will be any restaurants/bars/entertainment at the beach locations. The marina dock is just a drop-off/pickup point. Excursions are found here- http://www.starclippers.com/ports_carib.html bottom left in the sidebar (PDF file).

Last tender back to the ship 1730, departure at 1800

- Note … It’s Sunday and there is very little open ashore. We knew that each island had their own local beer and we located an open-air restaurant/bar, watched cricket on the tube and drank the local brew.

 

Monday – Dominica (excursion passengers tender ashore off Roseau, anchor off Cabrits)

Arrive off Roseau and drift 0800-0930, anchor off Cabrits National Park 1130.

- We did the Trafalgar Falls and Champagne Snorkel excursion. Was an all day event so I can’t tell you about the beach/shore stop area.

Last tender from beach 1630, last tender from National Park 1700, departure 1730.

 

Tuesday – Antigua (anchor in Falmouth Harbor)

Arrive at roughly 1000. Tender service begins when local authorities have cleared the ship.

- Tender service to the beach and the local marina. Local yacht club has restaurant/bar service. A few shops/restaurants near the dock. Nelson’s Dockyard/English Harbor historical area is a short walk away. There were a few taxis near the dock for people that wanted to head across the island for St. John (primary cruise ship port). We walked to English Harbor in AM. Went to the beach in the PM and did some sailing for a couple hours.

Last tender from beach 1730, last tender from marina 2300, departure at 2345.

 

Wednesday – St. Kitts (excursion passengers tender ashore off Basseterre around 0800, ship anchors in South Friar’s Bay)

Arrive off South Friar’s Beach at roughly 1100

- We did the St. Kitts Sugar Train excursion. Tour ends at the beach. There was a local bar at this beach along with loungers/umbrellas. Relaxed and did some more sailing.

- This departure is the photo boat opportunity. Interested people are taken out in tenders to take pictures of the ship as she departs under full sail (weather permitting).

Last tender from beach 1630, photo tenders 1645, departure 1700.

 

Thursday – Iles des Saintes (anchor off Le Bourg)

Arrive at roughly 0930

- Spent the day relaxing aboard the ship.

Last tender from beach 1600, last tender from marina (town) 1630, departure 1700

 

Friday – Martinique – Fort de France (dock at cruise ship facility)

Arrive at roughly 0800

- Martinique had been the scene of a major labor strike in the weeks prior to our arrival. Civil unrest was over but the port and other government offices were still on strike. There were significant shortages of food and goods in the city. Very few shops/stores were open and most restaurants/bars were closed along with all historical sites. We walked into the city, saw what there was to see and went back to the ship.

All aboard at 1330, departure at 1400

- This was one of the days when they allowed passengers to climb the rigging, 1530-1700 and I went aloft

 

Saturday - Barbados

Arrive at roughly 0600

- Total distance traveled 703 NM. Transfers to airport for early flight 0630, transfers to airport for late flights 0930, all ashore 1000

 

If you are experienced cruisers on the large ships, and are in the habit of booking excursions independently, you will find it very difficult to do that when sailing on Royal. All arrival times are kinda soft with departure times pretty firm. This cruise will be all about the ship and relaxation.

 

Major price reductions in the ship’s store Friday afternoon/evening; however, they may be out of stock for popular items/sizes.

 

We also stayed in Barbados several days before and after the cruise. Nice place to visit but few places are open on Saturdays and virtually nothing is open on Sundays. Taxi rates are supposed to be regulated but drivers will attempt to gouge you is don’t know what the rates should be. The BBD is half the USD. Make sure you ask/know if a rate/price quoted is BBD vs. USD as some will just say dollars and hope you pay in USD when it should be BBD.

 

Enjoy!

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Hi, if you are going on the Roayal departing on Jan 2 tothe Windward Islands, we are also signed up.

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Hi rez4jc, my wife and I are on the Royal Clipper cruise starting Jan 30. We sailed on the Star Clipper in the Eastern Med in June 2008 and vowed we would try another. Hope you enjoy your first Clipper experience.

 

We're in Cat 2 cabin #223. We are flying out from the UK the week before and are having a private villa for week in Sunset Crest on the west coast of Barbados - saves any hastle with delayed flights.

 

A question for MSN - Travelers - After we finish the cruise we have an evening flight back to the UK so we have time to spare. Are there any lockers at the port terminal where we can leave our luggage for about 6 hours? BTW, thanks for the daily itinerary for this cruise.

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RC offers an excursion at the Malibu Visitor center that includes beach, beach chairs, lunch , 2 drinks. they store your luggage, provide taxi from ship to Malibu and then to airport. and also have showers to use.

 

we did it and it was a great deal.

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... A question for MSN - Travelers - After we finish the cruise we have an evening flight back to the UK so we have time to spare. Are there any lockers at the port terminal where we can leave our luggage for about 6 hours? BTW, thanks for the daily itinerary for this cruise.

 

The terminal in Bridgetown is designed to provide shopping opportunities for the cruise ship passengers that stop at the port for the day. The shops were not open when we passed through for both for both embarkation & debarkation as there were no other ships in port.

 

The embarkation/debarkation area is very small and I didn't see any luggage storage facitities.

 

rpnuge makes a very good suggestion. (The Malibu Visitor Center isn't open to the general public on Saturday's.) Very few establishments in Bridgetown (all of Barbados) are open on Saturdays. If you had thought to store your luggage and walk/shop in the area surrounding the port, you will be walking mostly empty streets.

 

As a side note- Liquor prices in the airport duty free shops are very good and we were allowed to can carry our purchases aboard our flight out of Barbados.

 

Enjoy!

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Thanks rpnuge and MSN - Travelers for those helpful replies. Center sounds great but may be a problem as it is a Saturday we want.

 

rpnuge, at what stage did you book the Malibu Visitor Center with Star Clippers? On the RC or beforehand?

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Malibu Visitor Center on the final Saturday of the cruise turned out to be a great solution for us. Booking is done on the Royal Clipper but if 12 passengers do not book, then the "excursion" is liable to be cancelled.

 

Cost is 52 Euros per person and for that you get:

  • Taxi Transfer from Ship to Center
  • Storage of luggage under supervision
  • Tour of Malibu Rum factory with sampling at end of tour
  • Use of beach beds and umbrellas (beautiful Brighton beach)
  • Lunch (one course but several choices)
  • Two alchoholic drinks
  • Showers
  • Taxi Transfer from Center to Airport

Saturdays at the Center seems to be reserved for cruise ship passengers only, several of which came into the cruise terminal shortly after we docked. Beach, however, was not overcrowded.

 

A local policeman patrolled the area for much of the time we were at the Center which was reassuring from a safety aspect.

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