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thatbloominplace

windward is. cruise info.

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we are seasoned cruises (over 20) but this is our first on star clipper. we have read that it is difficult to organize your own tours because of the 'soft' landing times on this type of cruise. could anyone share what they did in the ports and what the ship's excursions to the beaches were like. we are thinking of just finding local hangouts for lunch and some light shopping or beaches rather than full blown excursions. any feedback would be helpful. we have been to all of these stops before, so we have probably already seen most of the 'must sees'.

 

steve

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I think you will really enjoy Star Clippers. It is definately different than a traditional cruise..but in a good way. You will not experience the long lines when going to shore or when going to dinner. Basically I don't think you ever have to wait for anything! Service is outstanding. I was on the Royal Clipper out of Barbados several yrs ago and now I am going on the Star Flyer/Tahiti sailing in 2 weeks. I did not sign up for any shore excusions while on the Royal Clipper. They are pretty much the same excusions you would have had on the larger ships. Star does a good job with the beach bbqs and their own water sports. If you snorkle, you can pick up your fins and snorkle on the first day and you keep them the entire week. You can just "jump off" the sports deck to snorkle or do the water sports. All of this is free! We did hire a driver in Grenada to show us around..that was fun..and we rented scooters one time..that was fun but scary and not recommmended. From your post, it looks like you have seen many of the islands already. I look foward to reading your posts when you return. You just might get hooked on these type of cruises..we sure did. Now we don't go on the big ships anymore.

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We sailed the Star Flyer in Tahiti last year and it pretty much spoiled us on this type of cruising.....don't think we'll ever do a large ship again.

 

We sail on the Royal Clipper in 3 weeks, but we're doing the Grenadine's route. You didn't state when you're sailing, but will certainly post our impressions when we return...there are a couple of common stops.

 

I can say the beach Bar-B-Que on Tahaa was put on very well. Besides the food, there was a nice Polynesian show,all the water sports available and lots of relaxation if you wanted. Of course, we spent most of our time snorkeling, eating & napping. After we reboarded, we did some mast climbing.

 

Enjoy!

 

Mike

 

http://gallery.me.com/csealove

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we are seasoned cruises (over 20) but this is our first on star clipper. we have read that it is difficult to organize your own tours because of the 'soft' landing times on this type of cruise. could anyone share what they did in the ports and what the ship's excursions to the beaches were like. we are thinking of just finding local hangouts for lunch and some light shopping or beaches rather than full blown excursions. any feedback would be helpful. we have been to all of these stops before, so we have probably already seen most of the 'must sees'.

 

steve

 

We did this itinerary in March. I posted our arrival/departure time info in this thread - http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1061746

 

You are right, it is hard to plan your days' activities ashore when you're not really sure where you will come ashore.

 

I hope this helps.

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msn-travelers

 

thank you.

 

i had already looked up your link and it was very helpful! it has been impossible to get this info. from star clippers directly. i guess we will be 'winging' it, but since we are pretty familiar with the islands, it should be easy to do.. what are their beach days like and where did they have a beach bbq on your cruise.

 

steve

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msn-travelers

 

thank you.

 

i had already looked up your link and it was very helpful! it has been impossible to get this info. from star clippers directly. i guess we will be 'winging' it, but since we are pretty familiar with the islands, it should be easy to do.. what are their beach days like and where did they have a beach bbq on your cruise.

 

steve

 

Yes, getting any information from Star Clippers is next to impossible. With the exception of the last port-o-call (Martinique), every day had a patch of sand claimed for beach activities. This patch of beach became the base of operation for the “sports team”. We made our way to “the beach” on two occasions. We found you could get all the sun, quiet relaxation and ready access to food & beverages right on the ship.

 

St Lucia - http://www.wikimapia.org/#lat=14.0824688&lon=-60.9616756&z=15&l=0&m=b

Royal dropped anchor in the middle of Rodney Bay. The beach area used was near the Sandals Resort to the north and the “town tender” took you to the Rodney Bay Marina to the east. Lunch menu had a Mediterranean theme. Royal Clipper Fashion Show @ 2200

 

Dominica - http://www.wikimapia.org/#lat=15.5790107&lon=-61.4645523&z=16&l=0&m=b

Excursion passengers were tendered into Roseau. Royal dropped anchor in Prince Rupert Bay. If you zoom in on the map above, you can see Royal at anchor in the bay. We were on an excursion this day so I can’t give you information about the beach & town tenders. I would assume you had access to Portsmouth on the east side of the bay. We were brought back to the ship via a tender from The Cabrits National Park docks. The theme for lunch was “Seafood”. “Pirate Night & Crab Race” @ 2200. Passengers are encouraged to be dressed in Pirate garb for dinner.

 

Antigua - http://www.wikimapia.org/#lat=17.0094327&lon=-61.7811012&z=14&l=0&m=b

Royal dropped anchor just inside the entrance of Falmouth Harbour. The beach BBQ is served at this port-o-call. No lunch is served on the ship. Reference this map - http://www.antigua-marina.com/falmouth_harbour_map.html Locate the little anchor and number “8” above the words “Pigeon Beach”. This is the location of the beach used. The town tender drops you off at the Falmouth Harbour Marina dock. It didn't look like it is possible to walk between the marina and the "beach" location. We did walk over to English Harbor and went through the historical area. There is an entry fee. Live music @ 2200 with The Hells Gate Steelband Passengers are encouraged to “wear your favorite tropical outfit” to dinner.

 

St. Kitts - http://www.wikimapia.org/#lat=17.2740326&lon=-62.6784825&z=17&l=0&m=b

Excursion passengers were tendered into Basseterre. Royal dropped anchor in Friar’s Bay just off the beach area in the aerial photo. They were building a “sea world” type facility just off the beach when we were there. This beach had bar/bathroom facilities with loungers & umbrellas. We took the Sugar Train excursion. Excursions terminated at the beach location between 1200-1300. I believe the only tender service run this day was to the beach. The theme for lunch was “Creole”.

 

Iles des Saintes - http://www.wikimapia.org/#lat=15.8688422&lon=-61.5881109&z=15&l=0&m=b

Royal dropped anchor just off the city of Le Bourg. Tender service into town and to a beach area located past the point west of the Le Bourg harbor. We stayed aboard so I can’t tell anything about the island/beach. The lunch buffet was moved to the Tropical Bar area for today. Captain’s Dinner tonight. Captain and staff dine with the passengers. We had two member of the sports team seated with us. The Royal Clipper Talent Show @ 2200.

 

Martinique - http://www.wikimapia.org/#lat=14.6013172&lon=-61.0592651&z=17&l=0&m=b

Docked at the Fort de France cruise terminal. If you look closely, you will see what looks like a large sailing vessel at the dock. No beach activities. The theme for lunch was “Asian”.

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wow!! i thought i was organized. i would never be able to come up with all this detailed info. thanks again, this really helps to decide what to plan. this is why i always go to this site for cruise info and why i try to give info when it's a place i know about.

 

steve

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wow!! i thought i was organized. i would never be able to come up with all this detailed info. thanks again, this really helps to decide what to plan. this is why i always go to this site for cruise info and why i try to give info when it's a place i know about.

 

steve

 

Air Force, 36 years in logistics will do that to ya. I save just about every scrap of paper I get during a cruise for roughly 12-18 months just to help answer peoples questions like yours.

 

They also offer a variety of classroom educational activities/classes during the cruise. The sports team will issue a complete set of snorkeling gear on day two that you can keep/use during the cruise. They publish a daily news letter in English, German and French. All the info I have passed on has come from those. If only I could figure a way to scan them and save them as PDF files I would send them to you.

 

Again, then ship's cruise director does not hold a daily briefing where you learn what is available ashore. (No maps showing where every Diamonds International is located :rolleyes: )

 

The ports where excursion passengers are dropped off before the ship most on to anchor elsewhere is/was supposed to restrict that tender drop-off to excursion passengers only. I know for a fact that we had non-excursion tourists that came along with the priviso that that were solely responsible for making their own way to the ship before it sailed.

 

If you are experienced do-it-yourself travelers, then you may have some additional shopping/sight-seeing opportunities. Dominica, and St. Kitts to a lesser extent, had established shopping areas where the excursion passengers were dropped off.

 

Scuba was a BIG activity on this itinerary and those guys/gals where always in the water someplace.

 

Enjoy!

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I have to echo Steve (thatbloominplace) and say how incredibly organised and informative you are. A boon to novices like myself. And, please don't get me wrong, but are you always reading this site? I've seen your answers on various threads and all are really good, thanks.

I'm so looking forward to this cruise (Apr 2010 grenadines) but it will be a total first. I have done some small stuff sailing before, largest 32ft cat, but this will be a dream come true.

I do have couple questions if you don't mind:

- as female on own can you recommend any places to go to independently?

- also, can you please advise on clothes to pack? posh dresses, just skirts, jumpers for nights (I get cold easily) etc;

- and what currency do I need? some sites say euros, others dollars - BBD or US? or can I bring GBP and change on board?

Many thanks - hope not too silly questions or too many

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Hi! MSN, is that new, that the cruise director doesn't give briefings, daily??? We were on that tour last year and had briefings everyday. Including maps of the area and if you could trust the taxi drivers. I admit, Caroline is not on board anymore. She was great. Had her twice as a cruise director (Clipper and Royal).

On Ile de Saints - don't forget to buy the great soaps. When you get on land, just turn left and go up the street. It's a little store. The soaps are fantastic quality. If you turn right and walk wide past the "mairie", you will come to a lady who sells spices. amazing!!!

 

The Island ist beautiful. We walked all over and were overwhelmed at the sights.

 

Ahoy

 

Oh reíc0002! no posh dresses are needed. Just nice sporty styed skirts and blouses, dresses (like afternoon-tea-type). Nothing elegant. Jumpers are always good. The restaurant could be cool. We found it cold....I would take US Dollars. And your credit card. Do you want to be only on your own??? On the Star Clipper Ships you have the possibility of meeting so many nice people!!!!! Don't be shy! Just say "Hi!!!" Most places are safe. You're there at daytime. Taxis are always safe - the official ones. Others may have bad motors, bad tires, but the drivers are safe. The live from the tourists. Just make sure you're back on time!!!

 

so, that's all for now....

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Hi! MSN, is that new, that the cruise director doesn't give briefings, daily??? We were on that tour last year and had briefings everyday. Including maps of the area and if you could trust the taxi drivers. I admit, Caroline is not on board anymore. She was great. Had her twice as a cruise director (Clipper and Royal).

On Ile de Saints - don't forget to buy the great soaps. When you get on land, just turn left and go up the street. It's a little store. The soaps are fantastic quality. If you turn right and walk wide past the "mairie", you will come to a lady who sells spices. amazing!!!

 

The Island ist beautiful. We walked all over and were overwhelmed at the sights.

 

Ahoy

 

Oh reíc0002! no posh dresses are needed. Just nice sporty styed skirts and blouses, dresses (like afternoon-tea-type). Nothing elegant. Jumpers are always good. The restaurant could be cool. We found it cold....I would take US Dollars. And your credit card. Do you want to be only on your own??? On the Star Clipper Ships you have the possibility of meeting so many nice people!!!!! Don't be shy! Just say "Hi!!!" Most places are safe. You're there at daytime. Taxis are always safe - the official ones. Others may have bad motors, bad tires, but the drivers are safe. The live from the tourists. Just make sure you're back on time!!!

 

so, that's all for now....

 

Hi muskatnuss, our CD was Petra. She was a bundle of energy and a joy to be around. However, the daily briefings focused on excursion departure/return times and the tender schedules to the beach & marina/town. Information about the actual port city/town wasn’t offered to passengers that were going ashore on their own. This omission became a frequent topic of conversation with fellow passengers and I know it was common “area for improvement” noted on the critique surveys at the end of the cruise. I would hope Royal has brought back the practice of expanded port briefings, with maps, for the adventurous tourists.

 

 

I have to echo Steve (thatbloominplace) and say how incredibly organised and informative you are. A boon to novices like myself. And, please don't get me wrong, but are you always reading this site? I've seen your answers on various threads and all are really good, thanks.

 

I'm so looking forward to this cruise (Apr 2010 grenadines) but it will be a total first. I have done some small stuff sailing before, largest 32ft cat, but this will be a dream come true.

I do have couple questions if you don't mind:

- as female on own can you recommend any places to go to independently?

- also, can you please advise on clothes to pack? posh dresses, just skirts, jumpers for nights (I get cold easily) etc;

- and what currency do I need? some sites say euros, others dollars - BBD or US? or can I bring GBP and change on board?

Many thanks - hope not too silly questions or too many

 

 

Reic0002, we were on the Windward itinerary so I can’t offer any recommendations for the islands you will visit on the Grenadines itinerary. Budaman, who will be on the Grenadines route in a couple weeks, should be able to offer his impressions of the islands.

 

I think muskatnuss is spot on with clothing. It is cool in the dining room so a light sweater or shawl would be a good idea. All of the social activities in the evening take place in the Tropical Bar. This is a sheltered location but is outdoors and can also be cool in the evening. If you have space in your luggage, consider bringing along a few props for Pirate Night. You could tell the passengers that were repeat customers vs. first time passengers.

 

Passengers will be a mix of European nationals with Canadian and US passengers in the minority. Announcements and briefing will be repeated three times, once each in English, German and French. The Maitre d’ does a fantastic job of seating people together with others that share a common language. If you haven’t made new friends while traveling to Barbados, you will shortly after boarding or at the first dinner meal.

 

Money – There are no cash transactions aboard Royal. Everything is charged to your onboard account. All charges are in Euros and you settle your account at the end of the cruise. As a general rule, you never want to exchange money aboard ship as they will give you a terrible exchange rate. It seems the US dollar is accepted on nearly all of the islands but I haven’t done any real research on the islands you are headed to. Again, budaman should be your best source for information upon his return.

 

Me – I do spend a fair amount of time on the travel and sailing boards. I’m semi-retired and have transitioned into my new career as a househusband. I normally get Marilyn off to work in the morning, take care of the daily chores and then head to the boat for a couple hours sailing before I have to get dinner started. The boating season is done around here, the boat is in storage and now I tend to spend even more time here as I fine tune things for next March’s Panama Canal cruise.

 

Enjoy!

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Yes, I'll be keeping a journal during the trip...the old memory's not quite what it used to be:D

 

reic0002...If you have anything specific you'd like to find out, let me know & I'll make a concentrated effort to find out.

 

Now, one question from myself.....what's the best way to get a bottle on board. Not that we're big drinkers, but at 4.5 Euros a drink, it can add up.

 

Mike

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Yes, I'll be keeping a journal during the trip...the old memory's not quite what it used to be:D

 

reic0002...If you have anything specific you'd like to find out, let me know & I'll make a concentrated effort to find out.

 

Now, one question from myself.....what's the best way to get a bottle on board. Not that we're big drinkers, but at 4.5 Euros a drink, it can add up.

 

Mike

 

Mike,

 

Unlike the BIG cruise lines, there wasn't any of the complex security screening we have grown to accept from those lines. This is an aerial view of the cruise ship terminal - http://www.wikimapia.org/#lat=13.1006449&lon=-59.6285427&z=18&l=0&m=b

 

Entry is on the west (left) end. Star Clippers sets up a makeshift check-in station staffed by crew members. You enter the building, park your luggage in an area near the station and get in line. It's a small area and the line will extend outside toward the dock. They will provide water while you are waiting in line. They have you go through the typical check-in routine and give you your cruise card. You grab your luggage and carry/wheel it to the gangway. A crew member met us there, collected our luggage and delivered it to our cabin. I believe we were met at the head of the gangway by a crew member and escorted to our cabin. Our luggage arrived a few minutes later.

 

They didn't have, or take, the opportunity to inspect/X-ray any of our luggage, to include our carry-ons.

 

They were still setting up the check-in station at 4 PM when we arrived. We had roughly 185 passengers aboard for our cruise and the majority came from Europe. I suspect they came on a charter flight or commercial in group travel mode because there was a bus load or so of people already waiting when we arrived.

 

Royal was the only ship in port at the time. It was relatively late in the day and the stores in the cruise terminal were closed. Stores were also closed when we returned a week later. We had stayed a couple days pre- and post-cruise in Barbados. If not for that, we wouldn't have had the opportunity to buy anything in/from Barbados except at the duty free in the airport. You may have to bring your liquor to the island with you or have a taxi driver that will stop and so you can buy it after you arrive.

 

Mike, this is a European line with the majority of the passengers coming from Europe. Don't expect to see the typical brands of beer/liquor that you have at home.

 

Enjoy!

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Thanks....sounds very similar to the set up in Tahiti they used. I just wasn't sure in Barbados since they have a cruise terminal. I didn't remember them checking our bags while checking in in Tahiti, but we also didn't attempt to bring anything onboard. We did pick up a couple of bottles of rum while on Moorea and brought them aboard without any issue, but it was the next to last day of the cruise.

 

We will arrive in Barbados Friday evening so we will have all day Saturday to try and find something. We are going to try & get by with just carry-ons, so won't be able to bring anything from the States. If we don't find anything, we'll just suck it up & spend onboard. Any idea what they stock in the mini fridge in the suites?

 

Mike

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Thanks....sounds very similar to the set up in Tahiti they used. I just wasn't sure in Barbados since they have a cruise terminal. I didn't remember them checking our bags while checking in in Tahiti, but we also didn't attempt to bring anything onboard. We did pick up a couple of bottles of rum while on Moorea and brought them aboard without any issue, but it was the next to last day of the cruise.

 

We will arrive in Barbados Friday evening so we will have all day Saturday to try and find something. We are going to try & get by with just carry-ons, so won't be able to bring anything from the States. If we don't find anything, we'll just suck it up & spend onboard. Any idea what they stock in the mini fridge in the suites?

 

Mike

 

Very few places open on Saturdays and nothing on Sundays. See if you can get the cab driver to stop someplace between the airport and your hotel. Failing that, see if you can get a recommendation on someplace open on Saturday AM.

 

Can't help you on the mini-fridge in the suites. We were in a cat 2 cabin mid-ships.

 

As a side note ... the first and last nights can get a little rough. Barbados is out in the middle of the Atlantic vs. the more protected waters in the island chains. All depends on the weather patterns at the time. For us, the first night required the bed sideboard to keep us from flying out of bed. Marilyn took a bonine every night to stay on an even keel otherwise she felt "tired", not sick, just a general overall feeling of fatigue.

 

Enjoy!

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So, I say "Supercentre". There are 3 on Barbados.. What Hotel are you staying at?? Tell the Taxidriver to stop at a Supercentre and in there - it's a supermarket... - you can buy booze. You'll see, you can buy everything. Holetown is the biggest. But down near the St.Lawrence Gap is another big one.

We had to leave our luggage at the dock. It was taken by van to the ship. We were too.

Wish you a great trip. We are on our way to Tahiti for the 26.11 cruise, but that's off-topic here!

Ahoy

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the airline just canceled my return flight. i have the option of 9:30 am or 3:30 pm. i'd rather take the early one, but will i have enough time to catch it. if i take the later one, does star clipper have a hotel they use to bring passengers to as a day room. windstar offered such a service.

 

steve

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Hi Steve

I don't think you'll make the first one. We didn't get off the boat until about 10 am. And being that you have to be at the airport about 1,5 - 2 hours before the flight....And the Airport is about 45 Min from the Bridgetown Port - It doesn't look rosy.

I haven't heard about Star Clippers having a day room anywhere. Try Coconut Court Resort for a day room. I know they offer them. We stayed with them for 7 days after our Royal Clipper tour. They're right on the beach and have a great restaurant. Between Bridgetown and the Gap. 30 Min to airport.

Ahoi

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Steve,

 

If the stars, the moon and all the planets are in perfect alignment ... you might be able to make the 9:30 flight. :rolleyes:

 

Royal was schedules to arrive at 6 AM (it was early) and they had a ships's shuttle that was scheduled to leave the port at 6:30 AM. Arrival at the airport should be around 7:30.

 

Keep in mind that you will have to go through customs & immigration at the port (just as though you had arrived at the airport).

 

I would assume that Star Clippers had some sort of arrangement with the authorities to get their passengers taking their early shuttle expedited through the system at the port.

 

I can't help you with the resort/day room question. We stayed on Royal until they threw us off and then we headed to our resort near St. Lawrence Gap.

 

Good Luck

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thanks for your input. i just got an e-mail from clipper, and they emphatically say the 9:30 flight is no problem. after a total of 2 weeks around the caribbean, we will be ready to leave. so we are going to book the early flight and take clippers' transfer to help keep it moving.

 

steve

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