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First-timer questions

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We will be new Star Clipper people this summer and can't wait to go, but have some questions:

 

1. Are there any computers on board for guest use?

 

2. Do you get estimated port times before you sail? Is is possible to arrange for private shore tours at ports, or is it better to just do ship tours due to not having a schedule?

 

3. Are you allowed to bring local wine on board to drink in your cabin or take to dinner with a corkage fee?

 

We will be doing the Greek Islands in July:-)

 

Thanks for any help!

Pam

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Everybody's experience may be a little different:

Yes there are computers aboard in the Library. You need to buy an access card. I have not done so I do not know the rate.

You do not get estimated port time before you go but I have called Star Clipper office and they have given me estimate times but remember that that can vary and weather may not permit the ship into port. We did not get into Capri last May at all because of strong winds. It is hard to book your own tours ahead of time but we have done private taxis once we were ashore. The tours booked on board are some good and some not so good, no different from any other cruise line. Ask here if there is any tour you are thinking about or ask the cruise director.

You are not "suppose" : ) to bring your own alcohol aboard to be consumed aboard and they do not have a corkage fee but you can buy a bottle from the ship and they will cork for you for next meal or use.

The ships are really great. We have been on all 3 and have had a great time and are going again in Feb in the caribbean. Are you doing the Athens to Venice trip? If you are it is fantastic!

Edited by Barnacle Bob

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Hi,

Computers on board are slow and pricey. Best to visit Internet Cafes onshore, the crew always know where they are. Even some travel books have locations.

Request a written intinerary from SC before you leave, although things can change, it is really accurate. It has all the times on it.

Sometimes you can bring wine on--I explain we will never be back to this area and they seem accomodating if you don't overdo it. We always buy wine at dinner. You can also preorder wine to be in your cabin (in US dollars) using their gift form. :rolleyes: Next month our 6th trip on SC! :p

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:)Like Cluso we also always buy our wine on board at dinner. Whilst wines are, of course, a matter of personal taste we sometimes have the Starclippers house wines and we find them good. There is a little "bonus" with the house wines, which is the bottle they come in. If you take one of the (empty) house wine bottles home (maybe from which to serve water at a meal or barbeque) you will not be the first to do that.

 

We have been on the Clippers several times - they are unique and superb. Next trip in a few weeks time in the Caribbean - a very appealing prospect from the big freeze we have here.

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Thanks so much for the responses! We will doing the Southern Cyclades followed by the Northern Cyclades on the Star. It is not until July, so I am very envious of all of you sailing so soon:-)

 

This is a very different experience for me, as I usually purchase shore excursions way ahead, or make plans with others on CC for private tours. Waiting until I get on board to sign up for an excursion is a new experience for my "organize everything" self:-)

 

Good to hear they have some good house wines to choose from. We also like to bring home some local wines, so glad to hear we might be able to pack some for the trip home.

 

And I did not know if computers were offered to guests at all, so good to know they are on board.

 

Anyway, we are really excited to try out the Clippers. We were in port, on another cruiseline, a couple of times last summer in Europe and were able to watch a Clipper ship sail out and we knew we needed to try this out:-) What a gorgeous sight! Also, it was very, very hot weather and when I saw people using the swimming deck - I was sold:-)

 

Pam

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We are doing Greek Isles 2 July followed by Yachtsman Paradise 9 July on Star Flyer really looking forward to it's a first time for us too!

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ltcop,

Do you mean by the swimming deck, the marina? If so, and you are booked on the Star Clipper, you will not find it. The only marina is on the Royal Clipper. If you mean the sun deck, all three ships have a sun deck with swimming pool (small to very small, but still sufficient to cool down).

If you order the house wine and don't want to take the bottle home, just pull of the name sticker, it will come off easily. The wine prices range from Euro 20,-- upwards per bottle and are of a decent to good qualityl

If you love the experience, you will be back many times, like most of the passengers.

Please let us know.

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Pralientje,

 

I did mean the marina! I guess I just assumed that was a feature on all 3 ships! I really thought that when we were in port with the Star Clipper, that there were passengers out swimming near the back of the ship where the ship was anchored. But just now, I checked the website and see that the only ship where they mention the marina is the Royal! So I'm mixed up about the whole deal, I guess:-)

 

Tha marina was something I was looking forward to, but I'm sure there will be plenty of other opportunities to get in the ocean for a nice swim:-) Thanks for that info, as I would have been a bit disappointed to not find that out until I boarded.

 

I love those pictures of relaxing out on the netting too! Can't wait to try that out:-)

 

Any other hints or tips I should know about? Also, do you know what time of time the ships usually allow boarding to begin?

 

Pam

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Meldreth,

 

We are on the July 2 and July 9 cruises too, but on the Star Clipper!!!

 

It would have been fun to have connected with someone on the same cruises! We gave serious thought to your cruises too, as well as those on the Royal! All great itineraries! At least we can count down together:-) Are you flying in early or staying late for your cruises?

 

Pam

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No not extending or arriving early. Star Clippers have changed our booking round we were meant to be starting in Athens the previous week, fortunately because the change was caused by Star Clippers they have rebooked all our flights and paid any difference in costings. If we had made hotel bookings either end it could have been frustrating to have to alter all the arrangements!

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Meldreth,

 

So will you be starting and ending in Istanbul? I'm glad that they covered your air changes! I agree, that if I had made plans for a pre or post trip, that would have been frustrating!

 

We are arriving a few days early in Athens and planning to go spend a few days on

Santorini. We have been there twice on cruises and just love it, so I'm really excited to spend some time there and get to see the famous sunsets:-) But we will be flying back when we disembark.

 

Pam

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ltcop,

Boarding starts at 16.00 hours. If you have to tender in, then it sometimes starts at 15.30, but that will not happen in Athens. I will be there in October 2011, doing the transatlantic on the Clipper. The trip is from Athens to St. Maarten. Countdown has started.

I assume, you will arrive a day early, if so, you can find a hotel in Pireaus, which is the harbour of Athens. Then you'll only have a short distance to travel to get to the ship.

I hope not having the marina on board is not going to be a too big disappointment. I personally prefer the Clipper and the Flyer, since they are smaller and have less passengers. If everything goes according to plan, the captain will be Sergey Utitsyn. Have sailed several times with him. Lovely man. But the crew in general is very nice and good. They will make sure you will feel part of the family. Enjoy your stay to the max.

Pralientje

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I do not think I would stay in Pireaus, not too much to do and there are lovely hotels in Athens with Acropolis views. A lot more to do at night and you can take a taxi or subway to the port. If I remember right it is quit a walk from the port gate to the ship docking while taxis can pull up to the ships staging area.

Edited by Barnacle Bob

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That TA cruise sounds spectacular! I teach high school (special education), so can't do those cruises yet! But can't wait until we can. And the prices are always so good for those! I can only travel when it is most expensive:-)

 

Thanks for info on the Captain! I really appreciate any tidbits, since there is not a lot of info on the website. So you experienced cruisers are invaluable help!!!

 

We have been to Athens and spent a few days there before. We are going to go to Santorini this time pre-cruise, so we will just be getting to Pireaus from the airport and getting off our very short flight from Santorini, so won't have to worry about staying anywhere there.

 

Has anyone done a back-to-back? Will we have to do anything like get off and then re-board? I'm hoping that we can go in to Athens on that turn-around day? I'd like to see the new Acropolis Museum that was not open when we were there the last time.

 

Pam

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:)Whilst we have not yet done a back to back I think the preferred option is readily apparent once you have got the feel of being on board the ship. As I see it you do not have to "check out" at the end of the first trip and then "check in" for the second - your holiday is continuous. On the turnaround day the crew is working even harder than usual - unloading baggage for departing passengers, getting stores on board, cleaning the ship (including scrubbing the decks), getting everything ready for arriving passengers, getting their luggage to their cabins etc etc. You can stay on board if you wish but it is a good day to go ashore and, in your case, go in to Athens for the day. You can get off when you like and return when you like - maybe be gone by 9.00 a.m. and, perhaps, return around the time when your new fellow passengers are starting to board (you just walk on then with the "card" you will have been issued with when you boarded for the first part of your holiday). You can see if the ship is arranging a trip or transport in to Athens for passengers like yourselves or you can "do your own thing" - it's all very relaxed.

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yes LTCop we start in Istanbul, finish the first week in Athens for picking up the new passengers and then return via a different route to Istanbul. (It was originally the other way round ie Starting in Athens turn around day in Istanbul and finishing in Athens.) I have never been to Istanbul and was looking forward to poking around there on turn around day. Unfortunately we have already had a holiday in Athens so it won't be 'virgin' territory for us but i'm sure we will still find some interesting things to do! I think our flight timings won't allow us much time in Istanbul - we will just have to return another time .....

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Hi Meldreth!

 

You would have had a good time getting to see Istanbul. We have spent one day there on a previous cruise and saw as much as we could fit in - but of course, that means we barely scratched the surface:-) It is quite spectacular sailing into Istanbul. The Bosphorus is so busy - like no other port I've seen! And it was really something to see both Europe and Asia at the same time! So you will still have a great experience getting to sail in and out. And now you will have a good excuse to go back there:-)

 

I still do not have our air bought, but want to have it done in the next few weeks. We have to connect to a major city first, and there seems to be less and less options in flight times for us. (We live in a very rural part of the country:-) In the past, we have been able to only have to do one connection to get to a direct flight from the U.S. to Athens, but it appears we will have to do 2 this time. That just provides more chances for delays:-)

 

Pam

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Hi JOBAKE,

 

Glad to hear we won't have to mess with disembarking and checking back in. I know on the larger lines, like Princess, you have to do that, which always seemed silly to me:-)

 

We were hoping to take advantage of seeing some more of Athens that day and it would be great if they offered some transportation options to get in to the city!

 

Pam

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It looks like both Star Flyer and Star Clipper will be in Athens at the same time on the 9th (mid holiday for both of us), if there are several of us from the Clippers doing the two weeks they may lay on some transport for us into the City...... We had Star Clippers do our flights and it was just as well seeing how they changed the booking - if we had booked direct with an airline we would have lost our money. A point worth noting I think!

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Hi Meldreth!

 

I never thought about both of our ships being in Athens on the same day!!! That will really be something to see both ships together like that! And perhaps we will run into each other that day! Maybe as the year goes on and we both solidify our plans, we might think about sharing a driver for the day? Since we have both been before, we might come up with a unique itinerary for the day:-)

 

Will there be a way to find out ahead of time if the company will provide any transportation?

 

I always have my TA check out the cruise ship's air prices, but in most cases they want to charge an air deviation fee when you want to stay longer or arrive earlier, and that usually makes it more reasonable to book our own air. But it sure is nice to have the responsibility be on the cruise line when something happens like what happened with you. Do you know why they wanted to change your cruises?

 

Pam

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They chartered the whole ship 25 June which is when we were supposed to be leaving from Athens - hence the turnaround. I have to say we were very disappointed, however they upgraded us and paid for parking and a hotel and Heathrow, so the outcome is not too bad!! Yes, maybe we might meet up ...... got a few other holidays to do before then...;) starting February for some winter sunshine in the canaries!

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Oh, I hope that charter business does not happen on our cruises! But it does sound like you came out very nice!!! I would love to visit the Canaries! They look lovely! I have so many places on my travel list:-) We often try to do a cruise in February, but this year, our school calendar will not allow it. So we are flying to Key West for a quick 4-day trip in Feb. We have been there twice for short days on cruises, so it will be fun to spend some time there and enjoy the famous sunsets. However, it will be a year between cruises for me, and I really am missing some ship time:-)

 

Have you visited the Canaries before? What other trips do you have planned?

 

Pam

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We go every February its the nearest place to UK with guaranteed sunshine! Been to Lanzarote, Fueteventura and Gran Canaria so far. This year its Lanzarote again . We also have a house in the South of France so will be going in April to open it up after the winter ......

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Hi,I am very new here and we just booked our first cruise yesterday and was wondering how much $$ should we bring for tipping-I have read bring LOTS of singles! But,how much is alot??? Thank you

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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On Star Clippers you can have the tips included in your charges at the end of the trip. We never use cash on any ships. You might want some small bills 1,5,10, and 20's depending on your shore time and intinerary.

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Good Morning Meldreth!

 

We have some cruise friends from England who always talk about Tenerife and love to spend time there:-) All those islands look so lovely! Is it a direct flight for you from London to the Canaries then? How do you connect to the various islands once you get there?

 

How wonderful about your vacation house!!! Do you get to spend much time there? We have been to the south of France twice, as part of a cruise, of course:-) One time tendered at Cannes, but did a ship excursion to Nice and Monaco. Last summer, we tendered at Monaco, but we had set up a private tour with others on the cruise. It was wonderful. We visited Valbonne, Gourdon, Tourettes-sur-Loup, St. Paul de Vence, and La Turbie. We were well away from the big tour groups (until St. Paul:-). Is your place near any of these places? We loved Tourettes - not so crowded and like walking around a fairy-tale place:-) Our favorite souvenir was bringing back a bag of herbes de provence, which we have been putting to delicious use:-) Having a house there must be wonderful!!!

 

Pam

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Helllo, I'm a new member to cruisecritics, this question is for cluso, you mentioned a gift form to purchase wine, I cannot find this form on the Star Clipper web site, can you help me out, We will be sailing on January 29th on the Star Clipper from Balboa to St Maarten. Thanks Lynne

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Welcome to Cruise Critic Dockgirl! And your cruise is so close:-)

 

I haven't been able to find the form either. Maybe you have to get it through your TA or through the Star Clipper office?

 

Pam

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Lynne and Pam,

We book our SC trips through Boat US and they always send the form. Whoever you book through should be able to get it for you. I gave the info to a CC friend on our last trip and he had no problem getting it. Call SC if you can't get it through your TA. It can all be done online. Do it at least 7 days before sailing because there will be a short notice fee added after that. Since we were on a long TA, it worked out well. Also, we paid upfront in US dollars, so no conversion fees. The house wine on the ship is OK, @ 14 euros a bottle. Other wines start @ 20 euros on up. All the tips and taxes are already included in the prices of wine on the ship.

 

Lynne, We will be getting off the Clipper from the westbound Barbados to Panama leg, the same day you get on! :p

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Star Clipper sends as part of your final invoice for payment form also the form where you give them your passport info etc. I do not know what happens with a TA as we always book direct.

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LTCOP, yes we fly from London Stansted to whichever island we are going to, there are ferries interconnecting the island once you are there, but we always stay on whichever island we started from.

Yes, we are very fortunate having a holiday house in S.France. We can be in Barcelona in 3hrs (driving) Andorra (for skiing) 2 hrs and it only takes 1.5hrs from uk by air. In summer we go for 1 month (with our dog who has a passport!) and it is 10 hours driving from Calais. We go through the tunnel from England and usually stop overnight on route. When we go for less than 2 weeks we fly and hire a car when we get there. We try and go every couple of months.

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Ordering some wine ahead sounds like a very smart thing to do. Being able to pay in U.S. Dollars would save a good amount of money. I'll be anxious to see the list and am glad to hear their house wines are good! I guess I'll have to be patient and wait for all the stuff that comes with final payment:-)

 

Pam

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Hi Meldreth!

 

The location of your house gives you such marvelous vacation options!!! I just think that sounds like the most wonderful thing!!! Do they really give your dog a passport? I guess I've never traveled with an animal, so have never thought about that:-)

 

This week has gone so fast and Monday will be back to school for me! Not sure I'm ready for that:-) Planning for cruises gets me through those long days:-)

 

Wishing you a Happy New Year - which you will be enjoying a few hours before me!:-)

 

Pam

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Happy New Year to all of the first-time Clippers cruisers and to all of the Clippers experienced cruisers who have been so helpful! (I'm sure we'll have lots more questions for you as the year goes on:-)

 

Pam

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Thank you for the information, ordering wine prior to the cruise and paying in us dollars is great(especially since I'm a wine lover). This is our 2nd cruise with Star Clipper, we sail 2 years ago on the Royal for 2 weeks and could have stayed for another 2. Kim enjoy your cruise, maybe one day we will cruise together. Happy New Year to all Cruise Critic members!!!

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LTCOP, we have to have a pet passport in the UK otherwise the dog has to go into quaranteen for 6 months when you bring it back. They have to be vaccinated for rabies and have a microchip which. The document has to be stamped by a vet 24-48 hrs before you are allowed back in UK.

 

Happy New Year to you to!

Edited by meldreth

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I seem to be missing something here folks - can you help me out - why would you want to pre-order wine? Is there a limited stock or something? Is this wine to take home as a gift or wine to drink with you meals?

Am I just having a 'blonde moment' here!

 

What is the currency used on board?

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Technically, you are not allowed to bring wine/alcohol on the ship. We preordered wine because we had very few stops on the Transatlantic, and wanted to have some in our cabin and on the deck. The cost for us Yankees for SOME of the wines is a better deal because it is in US dollars if we prepay. All on ship charges are in Euros, so that can add to the cost (depending on the exchange rate), and many charge cards have an added fee for international transactions. That being said, the house wine @14 E is OK, and the wine list starts around 20 E. Prices include tips. We always bought wine for dinner in the dining room. No, I haven't seen them run out of wine! :p

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The currency on board the ship is euro's, pre orders are in us dollars. With the gift order you can purchase your wine prior for your stay on board and save some money.

 

Lynne

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