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molly23

Star Clipper Virgin Islands

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Has anyone been on the Star Clippers Virgin Island cruise and is willing to share their experience?

 

I'd really appreciate it.

 

Thanks,

RMS:)

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Molly - Still no reply!

 

Someone must have taken this cruise. I was looking forward to reading the responses too as we are booked for January.:(

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Molly - Still no reply! Someone must have taken this cruise. I was looking forward to reading the responses too as we are booked for January.:(

 

Hi ladies...there is a vast amount of information about past Clipper cruises to the islands on your itinerary, and life aboard the ships, on this board as well as the Star Clipper site, and Blog. A Google search will turn up many reviews and magazine/newspaper articles about sailing in this area, and sailing aboard the Clippers.

 

We've had two cruises in this area aboard Star Clipper in the years we helped race her in the Antigua Yacht Regatta's. And we crossed the Caribbean aboard Star Flyer for 17 days, on the way to Tahiti. Also, we are crossing from Athens to St. Maarten aboard Star Clipper in October/November this year. Star Clipper sailors come back again, and again...

 

I've sailed to every 'nook 'n cranny' of the islands you are visiting, as skipper or crew, on charter bareboats. So, if you have any specific questions about the ships or the islands, please ask and we will try to help if we can.

 

I'm sure that others will help with specific questions.

 

Molly, our favorite cabins for price, stability & quiet, are the Cat. 4...midships and forward. We've been in every category except Cat. 1 & Cat. 6 {or the Owners Suite ;) }.

 

Hope this helps...Cheers!:cool:

 

Bob & Beatrice Ring

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Hi Molly

 

I have done the BVI's on Star Clipper and thoroughly recommend it.

 

The BVI's are a great sailing destination with many laid back places such as Jost van Dyke and Soppers Hole where Star Clipper will drop anchor and ferry you to the beach. Check out the One Love beach cafe on Jost van Dyke, fantastic food, cocktails and free sun beds. Just soak up the atmosphere.

 

We also anchored of St Barts for a day and really enjoyed a taste of France. At anchor amongst all the super yacht's, Star Clipper looked fantastic and sailing out at sunset was unforgettable.

 

One of our best cruises.

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We just booked the Star Clipper to the BVI's for 3/23/13. One question I have is about the activities/excursions at the various stops. From everything I have read, it seems that most of the stops are beach days with water sports. Most have a bar/restaurant close by for "island cocktails"! Should I consider any formal excursions through Star Clipper, or just hang out and enjoy the beaches and water sports? If you recommend excursions, what stops are best? Thanks!

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We just booked the Star Clipper to the BVI's for 3/23/13. One question I have is about the activities/excursions at the various stops. From everything I have read, it seems that most of the stops are beach days with water sports. Most have a bar/restaurant close by for "island cocktails"! Should I consider any formal excursions through Star Clipper, or just hang out and enjoy the beaches and water sports? If you recommend excursions, what stops are best? Thanks!

Luvbigdogs

We have been wondering the same thing so have been hoping somebody would post. We're booked on a B2B Jan 19th so I'll post when we return to at lest give you our experience. First time on Star Clippers so quite excited.

Happy sailing.

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We have not been on Star Clippers to the BVI, only Windwards with Royal Clipper in January 2011, but have been to the BVI several times for 2 week stays. You can certainly enjoy the beaches each and every day. Jost Van Dyke is the most beautiful blue water anywhere we have been in the Carribbean and you can enjoy the beach and the beach bar Soggy Dollar (have a few Pain Killers) all day long. On Virgin Gorda, I would be sure to get to the Baths. You could rent a car and drive yourself there or take the excursion, just hope you have enough time to see the Baths properly (takes a few good hours doing the caves). If you rent a car you could stop at Mahoe Bay or Savannah Bay for top notch snorkelilng also. Tortola's Sopers Hole is a wonderful little port with shops and restaurants, be sure if you want to eat on shore to walk to Jolly Roger in the west end, it will take you 20 minutes to walk there but a great bar and low key restaurant. Have fun in the BVI.

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If your trip includes going in to North Sound, Virgin Gorda suggest you are in the vicinity of the Bridge both as the ship enters North Sound and when it leaves. Narrow channel to get in there - masterclass of navigation by the Captain when we did that on the Royal Clipper a couple of years ago. The pasengers gave the Captain a huge round of applause for that.

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You'll have a great time in a wonderful place at the perfect time.

 

. . . Painkillers at the Soggy Dollar Bar, snorkeling at the Caves, swimming at the Baths, Pina Coladas at Shell Beach . . .

 

. . . just another day in Paradise.

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You'll have a great time in a wonderful place at the perfect time.

 

. . . Painkillers at the Soggy Dollar Bar, snorkeling at the Caves, swimming at the Baths, Pina Coladas at Shell Beach . . .

 

. . . just another day in Paradise.

Sounds good to me! Thanks smokinmike

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Two suggestions from our visits to the area. Le Select in Gustavia, St. Bart's where Jimmy Buffett supposedly penned 'Cheeseburger in Paradise' amongst the fine French restaurants and 'beautiful people'.

 

Also Sunshine's over on Nevis (adjacent to St. Kitts). Home of the 'Killer Bees'. A famous story from another cruiseline involved a well known and notorious captain warning all of us about Killer Bees by telling a particularly graphic story about the crew retrieving a 250 pound female passenger back to the ship following one or two too many. :eek: Priceless.

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We took the ship excursion to the Baths on Virgin Gorda. Unfortunately there was a death on the beach (not someone from our ship), heart attack while snorkeling, that put everyone in a somber mood. There were also 2 large cruise ships docked on that side of the island that day so it was very crowded. It is a bit of a walk down to the beach and then back up again. My husband has some walking issues and it was difficult for him. We did however enjoy the ride in the open air buses and the beautiful views of the island and the Star Clipper anchored in the bay. We took the tender to the bar on shore that evening for some lively music and dancing.

We also did the St Kitts Tour. It was pouring rain most of the day so the tour of the Fortress at the top of the hill was less than scenic (I can imagine that it would be beautiful on a nicer day) and the stop at the batik factory provided a good amount of shopping opportunity. Again the Garden stop was not appealing in the rain.

We enjoyed the quick snorkel excursion at Norman Island, a deep water entry off the tender near some caves however the snorkeling right near the pier was the best by far on the whole trip.

My personal Happy Place is Jost Van Dyke with its beautiful classic Caribbean blue waters and the Soggy Dollar Bar. I was feeling no pain after 3 Pain Killers! You have to wade ashore so when you pay for your drinks they hang the dollars on a clothes line to dry.

On St Barts I recommend a visit to Shell Beach. I was thinking I could pick up a few shells and was surprised to discover that the whole beach is made of shells, lots and lots of shells. Great bar too. It's an easy walk from the tender drop off. Just follow the streets past the Mega yachts to the right. We also took a Taxi to remote and secluded Saline Beach on the other side of the island where you can enjoy the beach in the Buff. While in France...;) Warning, there is no shade so apply sunscreen!! There is a nice little restaurant at the head of the trail to the beach. Be sure to arrange a time with your cab driver to come pick you up and take you back to the harbor.

Signing up for excursions is rather casual and a lot less hectic than big cruise ships. There are clip boards in the Library that you simply sign your name to. Each day on the White Board there are descriptions of what is available for any last minute decisions.

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Thank you so much. This is exactly the kind of info we have been looking for.

We'll make notes of your post and then wait to book any excursions while on the ship as the mood strikes. Glad to hear we can decide as we go along.

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One of the big differences between Star Clipper and the big cruise ships is the casual slower pace. The remoteness of the anchorages calms your soul compared to the larger docking piers. After meeting some wonderful people on board we always had a "designated Tender-izer". This would be the person who drank... less... and would make sure we all got on the Tender and back to the ship on time:D This helped alleviate the concern that your Home might leave without you. Each time you leave the ship there is a peg board at the gangway where you turn your brass cabin number backwards. When you return you flip it back around. Very simple. When it gets close to departure they start announcing the cabin numbers that have not been flipped. A wonderful method of shame if you happened to have forgotten. The Tender operator casually glances at your boarding card and there is always an Officer at the top of the gangway to greet you on your return but otherwise no facial recognition, no metal detectors! That amazing bottle of Rum that you purchased slips right on board in your beach bag (shhhhh) You are going to have a wonderful very memorable time!!

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Sorry, another question. When you went ashore did you take your passport? What did you do with it while you we're in the water? Not sure I just want to leave it on the beach.

Also, what dollars did you use, US or ??

Thanks again.

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Star Clipper collects your passport when you board and gives it back to you when you disembark. They present the collection of passports in each port to the officials. You change countries so this makes it easier. I carried a small backpack in town and on to the beaches. Most beaches are remote enough where security did not feel like a problem and there were usually enough other passengers around or a group that you friended up with that your bag was well watched. I just put it under a towel so that it wouldn't stand out. The only beach on the Treasure Islands that I was concerned about was Shell Beach because there were a lot of people besides Star Clipper people. I did not swim here though. I was also concerned about this question before my first cruise and I bought a swim safety waterproof belt to put valuables in. But it was not necessary. I paid for everything with US dollars or a credit card, no problems. Just ask vendors, store owners and Taxi drivers what the cost is in dollars. I bought a beautiful dress in a store beside a beach and they converted the amount on a calculator without a problem.

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Now that I think about it and remember more.....I had a cute swim skirt with a pocket. I kept my drivers license, my ship boarding card, a credit card and some cash in the pocket. The bars and beach vendors are very understanding of wet money:D

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2bamboo

Thanks very much that info was just what I was looking for. Now don't have to wonder, should I buy a waterproof something, get Caribbean dollars etc. so much appreciated.:D

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Wondering about dressing for dinner. The photos on the web look like folks are quite dressy. Is that what you found or is the dress code more casual - capris (nice ones) and cute tops?

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I LOVE Cruise Critic because these are all the questions I had and now I can pass the answers on to you. Star Clippers posts the pretty people pictures because that looks nice for promotion but it is not necessary to dress up for dinner.....much, no shorts and T-shirts. There is such a variety of people and cultures on board and some like to fancy up, which means nice slacks and a button shirt for men and for women a nice dress, make up, nice hair and some even attempted high heels. For others it means khakis, a Hawaiian shirt for men and they comb their hair and a sundress and cute sandals for women. I'll admit to applying some make up for dinner and trying to do something with my hair. There is an element of respect, in order to avoid the big cruise ship buffet line in a swim suit and cover up, however there is a lot of room for personal taste. I brought skirts and cute tops last cruise but the skirts get tricky as soon as you step outside. This time I am bringing a slightly tighter fitting reversible sun dress and different shawls and light jackets to mix it up. My husband keeps threatening to wear a skirt just to see if they would kick him out. What would they do? Make him walk the plank?:eek:

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Yes, it was the pretty people pictures I was wondering about. Quite happy to look nice and my hair is very short so easy to "fix". Just trying to keep packing to a minimum so didn't want to pack "dressy" clothes. I have some cute (IMHO) lightweight virtually uncrushable clothes that should do nicely.

So happy you are a CC poster! You have been very helpful.

Still two months to go!!!:):)

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If you wish to use it there is an excellent laundry/cleaning service on board. As for passports you could take a photocopy and keep it with you which might be helpful if needed.

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If you wish to use it there is an excellent laundry/cleaning service on board. As for passports you could take a photocopy and keep it with you which might be helpful if needed.

Thank you. I read somewhere that the laundry service was very expensive. Did you think so or ??

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Difficult to quantify in the absence of comparatives, although I would say "above average". However it is quality and the cost of one or two of a few items is tiny in the context of the overall cost of the holiday - and less clothing to carry.

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Another Passport story: When it is time for the ship to sail and someone is not on board....supposedly....first they announce your cabin number and if there is still no response they make an announcement that your Passport is going ashore and can be picked up at the Harbor Master Office. First, that gets the attention of everyone on board. Yikes! However, if you were actually not on board, you would not hear the announcement and would not know that your Passport went ashore as you missed your ships sailing. SO, this posting is extra important....if you miss the ship, your Passport is at the Harbor Master so that you can find your way home:o

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Another Passport story: When it is time for the ship to sail and someone is not on board....supposedly....first they announce your cabin number and if there is still no response they make an announcement that your Passport is going ashore and can be picked up at the Harbor Master Office. First, that gets the attention of everyone on board. Yikes! However, if you were actually not on board, you would not hear the announcement and would not know that your Passport went ashore as you missed your ships sailing. SO, this posting is extra important....if you miss the ship, your Passport is at the Harbor Master so that you can find your way home:o

Wow, that's good to know because you can never tell what twists and turns life may take. Thanks.

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Laughing.....I kind of made that last post in jest.....however, it is an interesting bit of information. They make every effort to make sure everyone gets on board. With only 150 passengers, or less, it's much more personal. At one port there was a group, including my husband, who stayed at the bar onshore while others made a dash for first dibs on the shower and the tasty pre-dinner snack selections. As the sailing time approached and the bar people were not on board they actually sent a tender with a crew member to go hunt them down. It turns out that they wanted to sail early because of rough weather ahead and the passengers were not actually late......at least that's the story I got from my husband:rolleyes:

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Now a question about shoes which take up so much room in my suitcase! Did you find you needed/used your runners or were you OK with walking sandals, flip flops and dressier sandals for dinner?

Are men required to wear closed toe shoes (not sneakers) to dinner or good sandals OK?

Thanks

:D

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So now I'M getting worried!:eek: I'm sailing 2 weeks before you and I haven't even started thinking about packing. Well, OK, I have thought about it. As I bring out my winter sweaters (I live in California so I am only now, late November, thinking about staying warm) I have a box of summer clothes that I have set aside for this trip. Shoes: I had a pair of good walking shoes for the airport, but never put them on again....until the airport. I lived in a pair of sturdy water shoes, Teva. I walked easily in them around town and they were perfect the 2 times we had to wade ashore, Jost Van Dyke and the second part of St Kitts. I had flip flops for on the boat and cute sandals for dinner. Hubby had the same except a nice pair of leather Tevas for dinner. I'm sure there were men in closed toe shoes, but it wasn't us. There was a group that gussied up every night and they looked so darn uncomfortable compared to those that were resort casual then hurried back to their cabins and slipped on their shorts and T-shirts again....like us:D Every group is different. Remember that the Americans are usually the minority, it is mostly European. Of the 3 couples that we met and spent the most time with, and still keep in touch with, one is from Canada and the other Germany with the couple from a strangely large contingency from Colorado.....I think they all wanted to be warm! Personally, I think the best guideline is Respect. Where are you staying in St Maarten or are you arriving the same day as the sailing?

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I now notice that you are from Canada.:) We had such a great time with the couple from Canada! He was deadpan serious and she was hilarious, the combination was so entertaining at dinner:p They were also "floaters" , those who enjoy simply bobbing in the water just off shore, for hours.

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Hello friends!

This is my first post but long time snooper!

The hubby and I are sailing again on beautiful Star Clipper for 2 weeks in December. We just loooove sailing. Casual and easy is our style. No foo foo for us. Star Clipper is a terrific option. Good food, great sailing, terrific ports of call. Fabulous crew. The best way to run from the cold December days of Alberta! Hi Robyn, had any giant snails from France lately?

:)

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So now I'M getting worried!:eek: I'm sailing 2 weeks before you and I haven't even started thinking about packing. Well, OK, I have thought about it. As I bring out my winter sweaters (I live in California so I am only now, late November, thinking about staying warm) I have a box of summer clothes that I have set aside for this trip. Shoes: I had a pair of good walking shoes for the airport, but never put them on again....until the airport. I lived in a pair of sturdy water shoes, Teva. I walked easily in them around town and they were perfect the 2 times we had to wade ashore, Jost Van Dyke and the second part of St Kitts. I had flip flops for on the boat and cute sandals for dinner. Hubby had the same except a nice pair of leather Tevas for dinner. I'm sure there were men in closed toe shoes, but it wasn't us. There was a group that gussied up every night and they looked so darn uncomfortable compared to those that were resort casual then hurried back to their cabins and slipped on their shorts and T-shirts again....like us:D Every group is different. Remember that the Americans are usually the minority, it is mostly European. Of the 3 couples that we met and spent the most time with, and still keep in touch with, one is from Canada and the other Germany with the couple from a strangely large contingency from Colorado.....I think they all wanted to be warm! Personally, I think the best guideline is Respect. Where are you staying in St Maarten or are you arriving the same day as the sailing?

Good to know! Yes, I have good water shoes so OK there and DH has nice looking sandals so happy to know we can leave more "formal" footwear at home. Plus it cuts down on the weight in the luggage.

Hope I'm not driving you a little crazy but I'm just so excited.

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I now notice that you are from Canada.:) We had such a great time with the couple from Canada! He was deadpan serious and she was hilarious, the combination was so entertaining at dinner:p They were also "floaters" , those who enjoy simply bobbing in the water just off shore, for hours.

Floaters!?? I think that may be me as well! Maybe it's a Canadian thing LOL

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Hello friends!

This is my first post but long time snooper!

The hubby and I are sailing again on beautiful Star Clipper for 2 weeks in December. We just loooove sailing. Casual and easy is our style. No foo foo for us. Star Clipper is a terrific option. Good food, great sailing, terrific ports of call. Fabulous crew. The best way to run from the cold December days of Alberta! Hi Robyn, had any giant snails from France lately?

:)

Puce olive - not long for you to wait now. Have a wonderful time on your sailing adventure. Love to hear about it when you get back.

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Missed the last bit. We are arriving on Friday and staying at the

Holland House in Phillipsburg. Also staying a day after and leaving on the Sunday. Staying at Holland House again.

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PUCEOLIVE!!!! I almost cried when I saw your post! We miss you!! I've tried to get in touch but the email you gave does not work. Must be a Canada thing:D We would have LOVED to sail with you again but decided that pre-Xmas was too much stress. We're doing the half we missed Jan 5th. We are staying in the cabin next to the Owners, bouncing in the back:cool: About snails...lots of developments there. I'll try to contact you through mosquito! So happy you came out of the lurker closet....now That will get people talking:p

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