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marycang

Love Windstar, will we like Star Clippers?

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Would love to hear from those who have sailed both lines. The Windstar is very stable, how about the Star Clipper? Any other big differences?

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Windstar is more upscale. For overall service, food and ship design, I'd give Windstar a 5 and Star Clipper a 4 (based only on sailing aboard the actual ship named Star Clipper--I haven't been on the other 2). Star Clipper is set up more like a working ship...so sometimes, you have to go up to go down, out to go through, etc, because of sailing ship equipment placement. But it is a gorgeous and very clean ship, with a lively and fun crew and cabins on a par with Windstar cabins. Star Clipper caters primarily to European clientele, which is not a bad thing (except all expenses onboard are charged in euros, and that IS a bad thing for Americans). We have loved being able to spend time with Germans, French, Brits, Italians, even Aussies, etc. It IS weird to hear daily announcements done in German, French, Italian and English. Those who work on Star Clipper certainly seem proud to do so, and the crew/passenger talent show night is a hoot! Lots of fun, but also lots of talent. We found that on the SC, the sails went up more often and stayed up longer than on a Windstar. If it weren't for those dang euros, we'd sign up for another SC cruise in a minute.

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The often used comparison is that Windstar is a cruise ship with a couple of sails and the Star Clipper is a sailing ship that cruises. It follows that if you like the idea of sailing the star clipper is for you. If your big preference is for gormet food and top end service perhaps the Windstar is better for you.

 

In terms of stability, it always depends on the weather but, all things being equal the star clipper ships will have a lot more motion in rougher seas. If you are prone to motion sickness I suggest you medicate.

 

I feel the experience of the ship, passengers and crew is far superior to Windstar. That happens to be what I like. Just be aware that it is markedly different kind of experience.

 

Robbie

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I must be the odd one: I love em both! But if all things were equal as to a time I wanted to go: price, itinerary, dollars not euros: my first choice would be Star Clipper. Now, if Windjammers were still sailing, THAT would be my first choice. sigh.....

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You'll love them. They are TRUE sailing ships :D which - depending on the captain - sail whenever wind conditions allow. There is almost 40% of sailing under engine. As I am sailing on clipper ships sionce 1999, I would never go on a ship from "steel box cruising". Anyone who loves the sea will love the clipper ships. It's a great adventure FEELING the sea on a beautiful ship with a happy crew:). And they are not too big to enter tiny bays with perfect beaches! Taht's what it is all about.

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I haven't been on Windstar. But thought I'd put my 'two cents' in re Star Clippers. We sailed Royal Clipper, and it is beautiful. No question, when you're on the upper deck, it's definitely a sailing ship (and they will sail, if you have the weather). But that was a huge plus for us, not a drawback. (My husband is an avid sailor, and he wouldn't consider a 'commercial' ship.) The food was very, very good. And motion? We sailed on the Adriatic in a Force 10 storm (which amounts to a major hurricane here in the States). There were huge seas, and yes, there was motion. But I have motion sickness; felt very quesy, but did not get ill. This was my greatest concern on the Royal Clipper. If you suffer from motion sickness so that you need NOT to realize you're on a ship at all, you will think there is 'motion.' But, nothing more than that.

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Remember, tho, that Royal Clipper is bigger than Star Clipper or Star Flyer. Someone with motion issues may feel more motion on the smaller two. Royal Clipper also is newer, and may have better stabilizers. Just a couple of thoughts to consider.

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Hi

 

do all ships play 'Conquest of Paradise' from 1492 Conquest Of Paradise by Vangelis ... our first 30 minutes of the cruise made us believers in Royal Clipper as we SAILED out of harbour past the wantabe sailer on 'the other line'

 

I still like the song - given how often we heard it ... and the entertainment night ...oh ... that would be way too much of a spoiler for the new guys.

 

Greg

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Just came off of the Windstar Surf. Would like to go back immediately to the Grenadines on the Star Clipper. But I can't get a straight answer about the tenders - I understand they are zodiacs but one agent at Star said that you had to climb down a rope ladder?

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No rope ladders, except if you are diving or snokeling when using the Zodiacs. That's when you are getting back on the Zodiac. When loading onto the Zodiacs or the Tenders, you'll go down the gangway and step onto them. They use the normal tenders to take you into the beach or dock.

 

Mike

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Just came off of the Windstar Surf. Would like to go back immediately to the Grenadines on the Star Clipper. But I can't get a straight answer about the tenders - I understand they are zodiacs but one agent at Star said that you had to climb down a rope ladder?

 

On the Star Flyer when we went a few years ago in Asia nearly every port was a zodiac wet landing - rope ladder and then wade ashore. I assume Star Clipper would be the same if small "beachy stops". The ships are identical.

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Yep--all 3 play it. Pretty cool...........

 

Can no longer hear it in my mind. Does that mean I need another cruise on Clipper?:confused:

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Can no longer hear it in my mind. Does that mean I need another cruise on Clipper?:confused:

 

But, of course!:D

 

Mike

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SailorJM:

I'll have to second your comment about sailing on the Windjammer. We sailed four times on the Mandalay and would still be sailing on her if they were still in business. We did the Star Clipper from Athens to Venice this summer and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Loved the hot showers and being able to eat without the silverware sliding into your lap. However, I'd trade the SC any day for one more trip on the Mandalay.

Happy Sailing

Barbara

 

_____________________

2009 Star Clipper (Eastern Mediterranean)

2006 Windjammer Mandalay (West Indies)

2003 Windjammer Mandalay (West Indies)

2000 Windjammer Mandalay (West Indies)

1997 Windjammer Mandalay (West Indies)

1995 RCCL Sun Viking (So. Caribbean)

1994 RCCL Song of America (So. Caribbean)

1993 Columbia River Cruise

1993 HAL Westerdam (E. Caribbean)

1991 Crown Monarch (W. Caribbean)

1989 RCCL Song of America (W. Caribbean)

1985 RCCL Nordic Prince (E. Caribbean)

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I have been overdosing on big ships and after I complete those booked, its back to small ships.

I sailed the Wind Song years ago in Tahiti and loved her...but felt she was a cruise ship with sails for looks.

Have been lucky enough to have sailed all three Star Clipper ships (Flyer in the far east, Royal in the med and clipper in the caribbean).

after reading all of your comments.....helped me decide to book Star Flyer in Panama Jan 2012.

It will be nice to see and smell the sea...something you dont see on these big ships unless you look down...way down.

My last memory of Star Clipper....standing out on deck forward at about 11 PM with an amaretto on the rocks staring at the stars. Wind was howling through the sails....it was magical!

Thanks for convincing me to go back!

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On the Star Flyer when we went a few years ago in Asia nearly every port was a zodiac wet landing - rope ladder and then wade ashore. I assume Star Clipper would be the same if small "beachy stops". The ships are identical.

no your wrong steps down to tenders that take you to shore

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I did the Star Flyer out of Phuket.......on the Malaysia run.

Never had to use a rope ladder....always a stair/gangway that was the same for the boarding in port.

Now if they let me swing off a rope to get into the water to swim......COOL!

with my luck I'd lose my shorts and be laughed back on board.......

jealousy, yeah, thats it jealousy:D:D:D:cool:

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