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Islandbear

Have you sailed with 9 & 12 year olds?

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I am looking at a family trip late Nov. early Dec. 2010. Has anyone sailed with young children on Royal Clipper with any advice. Either Parents or fellow passengers.

 

Our boys are well traveled and not looking for kids programs or game rooms. They snorkel, hike and entertain themselves.

 

I know the boys would love the ship, just wondering would the ship love them? ;)

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Star Clippers website has the following to say about children.

 

"Terms and Conditions & General Information: Children

Children are welcome on Star Clippers. While there is no structured program providing supervision and care for young children, they are invited to participate in shipboard activities suited to their ability. Children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult."

 

We've been on three Star Clipper cruises (Royal Clipper 2003, Star Flyer 2010, and Star Clipper 2010) for a total of 71 days. During that time, no children have been on board with exception of a couple of older teenagers. I'm afraid that these teenagers had a very isolating time due to the passenger make up. Passengers on Star Clippers are mostly middle aged to elderly with a few (very few) newly weds. Basically, there is nothing for kids to do (especially on sea days). There is a ship's library (no kids books) and movie dvds are available from the pursers office. There are also dipping pools and organized exercise classes. Depending on the cruise director and/or captain, there are lectures on history, culture, sailing or some such. Evenings are fairly quiet with eating (there is a dress code and the cuisine is continental), drinking (generally pretty moderate) and dancing (disco and older rock) being the main activities. There could also be something like a crew talent show or betting on hermit crab races. In port there are bus tours and (sometimes) water sports. Some stops offer opportunities for water stuff on your own and maybe a beach bbq.

 

Almost forgot. One of the sailing highlights is supervised mast climbing. You might want to check with Star clippers as to whether there is an age restriction.

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WOW 71 days in three cruises. I bet Athens to Thailand was incredible.

 

Of course the website and the agents are glad to book us. But I want to make sure that it would not cause a conflict.

 

I am not concerned with the lack of activities on-board like I said my boys are well traveled and do not need computer games and pizza parties.

 

I would only consider a 7 day Caribbean trip that offered lots of snorkeling & hiking options like the Grenadines. My wife and I have sailed a lot from small private yachts to Windjammer and wanted to give the boys the experience of a big ship in small ports.

 

For those of you who have traveled in the Caribbean on Royal Clipper were there more likely young pre-teens on these trips?

Edited by Islandbear

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Islandbear....ok, you've heard the negatives, now for some positives.

 

I think the Grenadines would be a great fit for your family. This itinerary is very water activity intensive at every port except for the morning in FortdeFrance. One other thing they would probably love is the zipline in St. Lucia. Checked the website of Tree Top Adventure Park and the minimum age is 6...and it is a blast. 11 lines total. If they are Pirates of the Caribbean fans, you could catch a cab up to Waliabou Bay, where they filmed the Port Royal scenes. There isn't a lot there and it will take the entire morning you are in St. Vincent, but it would be a nice diversion if you wanted to take a break from the water.

 

When we went in November, the Marine Biologist was still aboard and he held some very interesting lectures and also had field trips at several of the islands that I think the kids would enjoy.

 

As far as food, as long as they aren't super picky, they should be able to find enough food to keep them happy.

 

There were a few kids on our cruise, but they never caused any issues. As long as they are well behaved, they should fit in fine. Kids mostly get a bad rap because of the ones that have no respect for their parents & they are let to run amock rather than figuring out their problem.

 

If you decide on Star Clipper, have a great voyage.

 

Mike

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Thank you for your comments.

 

Funny you mentioned Fort Du France. In 2004 while sailing into FDF on a 78 foot long wooden sail boat we passed star clipper on an opposite tack. I fell in love with it.

 

In FDF, my wife and I took a city bus to to top of the mountains about 40 minute out of town and there is a beautiful arboretum in the mountains. Hiking trails, hummingbirds, orchids and beautiful gardens. It is a must see, so no problem keeping them busy there.

 

They would love the Naturalists lectures.

 

Thanks for a positive experience. I am just concerned that we would get the cold shoulder from other passengers for ruining their trip.

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Island Bear--I hope I wasn't being "negative". I would think it unlikely that Star Clipper passengers would be crude & rude (although there's always somebody on board any ship who we could all do without). From my experience, Star Clipper passengers are well-traveled, well-behaved and polite. As long as your children are also well-behaved and polite, I would be surprised if you heard a single negative comment or saw a negative reaction to your children.

 

Athens to Thailand was incredible. Too bad Star Clippers has had to discontinue the voyage due to dangers from Somali pirates. I'm afraid it will be a long while before they restart this trip. Unfortunately, the pirates are making so much money that they've opened their own stock exchange with 90 or so pirate companies! Evidently the risk is high but so are the returns. One Somali lady invested $1500 in the pirate stock market and got back $75k. What is the world coming to.........

 

Roger

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No Roger,

 

I appreciated your comments. You were not negative at all. But, after your insight I focused on the Grenadines for the boys.

 

Now all I have to do is make some money, so I can afford the trip! ;)

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Unless you're really fixed a particular dates, you might want to wait to book. Star Clippers often begins offering cruise deals in the late fall with items like 2 weeks for the price of one or free (or reduced) airfare. Also, Star Clippers offers reduced fares for previous passengers (we got 25% reductions last year).

 

One last item you might want to check with Star Clippers is whether they have cabins that will accommodate 4 people. I know they have cabins for 3 (3rd person gets a big fare reduction) but I'm not sure about 4 passengers. Aside from the Owner's Cabin and Category 1's, cabins are adequate but not exactly spacious. I suspect that there are other folks on this forum who have the answer.

 

Roger

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Islandbear,

The crew will love the fact that there are children on board. It is at times like this that they really miss their families, so all their attention goes toward the children. Another activity the crew will love to learn them is tie knotting. On most ships you can buy key hangers from the crew for just a couple of dollars.

I have been on several cruises and the only time there wasn't a child on board, was during the atlantic crossings. There was one time a todler, other times a little older, but do keep in mind that they always have to have one hand for the ship. Since they are a lot older, this should not be a problem. If I had children of that age, and was able to take them with me, I would do so. It is a very special experience, one they will never forget. Another thing they could do is get their Padi license. The head of the sports team is a licensed instructor.

About the cabins, I have just looked up the brochure and there are no cabins for 4 persons. But if you book in time you can get them an inside cabin. On the Flyer and the Clipper the inside cabin has two bunk beds. On the Royal the inside cabins have a fixed double bed. There are pro's and cons toward late bookings. Perhaps you will get an offer two for the price of one, or free air (neither one is ever offered in the Netherlands!), but on the other hand, if you book early, you will be entitled to the early bookings discount. The post pax discount is 10% and if you do a back to back trip there is also a discount. In the brochure they also mention discounts for children when there are two full paying passengers. Being under 18 and on certain cruises and if available. Your travel agent should know more about it.

Anyway, if you go, have lots of fun, and let us know what happened and if your children loved it as much as I do.

66 Days to go, next Wednesday I am of to Tahiti, for embarkation on Sunday, February 14, and on April 21, I will disembark in Lisbon, Portugal. Can't wait.

If you have more questions, please let me know.

Ineke

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Thank you all for your comments. I am really looking forward to this trip.

 

 

Ineke,

Hoe gaat het? I grew up in Den Haag.

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Islandbear,

I suppose you are not a Dutchmen, but how come you still know Dutch? Not the easiest language to learn, easier to forget though!

I ben in Den Haag geboren, maar heb er misschien 2 jaar gewoond.

Leuk hoor.

Prettige avond.

Groetjes,

Ineke

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I lived there from 72 to 77 and still remember my greeting and some grammer. But have a hard time with anything more. Your second statement was "But I left two years ago" is that right?

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Islandbear,

Thanks about your comment on my blog. Please leave your comments, if you have any. It is a learning curve for me. Never done it before.

I am sorry to say that your statement is not correct. I wrote: I have probably lived there for not more than 2 years in total.

I can still remember the job I got with Zapata (ex Bush property) in the Netherlands. The managing director came from New Orleans, and also had a habit of taking out his false teeth as soon as he arrived in the office.

So, on my first day he started telling me something, and went on for about 20 minutes. About half an hour later the drilling manager came to me, asking if I had already done something about the central heating system. I said I did not know anything about it, his reply was: well that was what the manager asked you to do! My answer was that I thought he was talking about his trip home. Since then I have learned a lot (thankfully), but I know from experience how difficult it can be to express yourself in a foreign language.

By the way, did you enjoy your time in the Hague?

I will be glad when it is Wednesday. I am getting nervous, and start rattling on and on.

I hope you will be able to take your family on a sailing trip. It is expensive, but worth every Euro!

Have a nice weekend.

Ineke

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We honeymooned on the Star Flyer out of Cannes in '94 and had a fabulous time. Now contemplating the Greek Isles on the Star Clipper with a 7 and 10 year old next summer and really on the fence. We know we'd need 2 cabins (even the owners suite won't accommodate 4) and eating for my picky son may be a challenge (thinking about bring PB on board to have when necessary), but also think they'll really enjoy the sailing and islands -- the ship makes a stop nearly every day. If anyone has insights, would love to hear.

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I have been thinking about the Greek Island trip for my boys 9-12 also. I am torn between treasure Island for snorkeling and greece for the adventure & history. They love greek history and know all the stories. I would love to hear comments from anyone who has traveled with children, theirs or "in the company of"

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