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Mocamps

Advice wanted for Royal Clipper Grenadines 15th December 2012

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We've just booked this cruise - our first time on any of the Star Clippers. Is there anyone else out there on this trip?

 

Or anyone who is very familiar with the Royal Clipper?

 

We think we have a Grade 3 cabin but don't know the number - any tips in case we have a choice?

 

My husband is into scuba. Does anyone know much about the cost of scuba on the Clippers? And is it any good on the Grenadines trip? We both love snorkeling too so it's not the end of the world if we just do that.

 

Also, we do like a glass of nice wine in the evenings. Is it very expensive on board? Are you allowed to bring any of your own?

 

Many thanks

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We have ben on the RC several times in the Caribbean and I have kept some of the daily programmes which are placed in your cabin each evening for the following day.

 

Cabin selection. Your cabin may already have been allocated within Starclippers - you could, perhaps, enquire. If not a general request for "amidships" might be productive. The Cat. 3 cabins are fine. When the Royal Clipper was built I think I am correct in saying that it came in "above spec" as far as noise is concerned - i.e. quieter.

 

You are probably not allowed to bring your own wine on board. In any case not worth the effort in my view. There is a good wine list on the ship and the Starclippers house red and house white are also good. All alcohol prices are reasonable.

 

Diving/snorkelling. There is some organised diving (for certified divers) with the Sports Team. I can see that is offerred at the Marigot Bay stop in St. Lucia. Later in the day snorkelling is provided during the Souffriere call - I have done that there at the foot of the Pitons - my best ever snorkelling. There may be organised diving/snorkelling at other points of call. It is all "weather permitting". I do not know if there is an extra cost for scuba.

 

One or two other thoughts for you as you are first timers on the Clippers. If your travelling arrangements allow suggest you arrive at 3.30 or thereabouts (half an hour early) for boarding. Have a chat with some other early arrivers and be one of the first to board - welcome drink and afternoon tea upon boarding. Gives the crew time to get your bags to your cabin. Find your way around a bit whilst still daylight - especially to the bridge area. Dinner is at 7.30 - suggest you go in then and be out and up to the Bridge area by, say, 9.45 ready for Sailaway at 10.00 p.m. Watch the sails being raised, listen to Vangelis 1492 The Conquest of Paradise (Columbus) being played - feel the warm tropical breeze - paradise.If you shed a tear ot two you will not be the first to do so (by a long chalk) or the last. I met a lady by chance the other day who had a family maritime history and she told me she cried when she first boarded the RC - even telling me that the memory caused some tears in her eyes.

 

Grenada - the Spice Island. Suggest a visit to the local market and get your husband to spoil you by buying you a necklace - made of spices. Only costs a few dollars. Wonderful aroma. Suggest you then wear it at dinner that evening.

 

Tobago Cays. - Usually a barbecue there (weather permitting). Also some snorkelling in shallow water to the left (facing the beach from the sea) at the point where you are tendered ashore (wet landing).

 

As you can see, we are in Essex - are you near us by any chance?

 

Have a super holiday.

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Hi Jobake,

 

Many thanks for all your advice. There are some really useful tips there.

 

I am SO excited about this cruise. We have been on catamarans in the Grenadines and in the BVI and really enjoyed them but the accommodation is very cramped. We have also been on a couple of big cruise ships but feel that you don't really know that you're on a ship there. It's just that your hotel moves!! - which we also like but we really love being at sea so this looks like being the perfect compromise!! - and you don't have to dress up for dinner. Bonus!!

 

We're quite active and we enjoy researching and exploring on our own - we never do any of the organised excursions on the big ships!! We prefer to use public transport and walking! We are both certified scuba divers but I'm a bit nervous (and seem to be getting worse!!) so will probably just snorkel.

 

We've booked a night in Barbados so will be able to take your advice and get to the ship early - I always do because I'm so keen to get on!! I'm not too bothered about being amidships as I quite like the rocking and rolling!! I guess we tend to worry more about space and noise - and looking at the deck plans it looks like all the Grade 2-5 cabins are about the same size. Do you know what the difference is? I can't work it out unless it is just about the popularity of the position on the ship. Usually, there's a difference in the size of the balcony or something but we don't get a balcony on this - the ones with a balcony were over £1000 more each so didn't seem worth it! - though they do look beautiful but I'd rather spend the money on more holidays!!:)

 

We live in Buckinghamshire - so not a million miles from you, but not exactly next door either!!

 

If you think of any more tips please let me know.

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A few more thoughts!

 

Cabin size - there are some variations in size within some Cats. but as an indicator Cat 2 is 12 sq m, Cats 3,4 and 5 are 11 sq m. I imagine that part of the reason for the price difference is "movement" and wave noise in some circumstances. The cabins are well fitted and attractive. I do not know how they get to those measurements for, to me, the cabins seem larger than the measurements would indicate. You may not spend too much time in them - much of the holiday/experience is outside

 

On the (uninhabited) island where the barbecue is held you can walk over to the other side of the island - only about 5 minutes. Nice beach and usually lots of yachts anchored off there. I have snorkelled off that beach. HOWEVER there are said to be currents at each end of the island so, if you swim off that beach, only do so in the middle area and only after you have checked out carefully for currents.

 

Bequia ("beckwee") is a nice place. Martinique (part of France) is urbanised in the port area where the ship usually goes alongside. However you can walk in to town along the painted footpath.

 

You can lay in the net under the bowsprit on the RC. Have a look at the figurehead under the bowsprit - the owner's daughter - actually a slim lady!! -was the model for that.

 

If, at night, the ship is heeling there are leeboards in the beds - you or your cabin steward can put them up. They work!

 

There should be an opportunity to climb the mast up to the crow's nest. This is supervised by the crew and the safety harness is provided. Take camera!

 

There is also a photo shoot - when you go off in the tender to take your own photos of the ship under sail.

 

You have a reasonable chance of seeing dolphins swimming under the bow - probably the best (but not only) time for that is sunrise/shortly after. Another camera job! If you are very very lucky you may see some whales.

 

You will almost certainly meet some very interesting people (fellow passengers), maybe make some new friends and have stories to tell (we have).

 

I just asked where you lived in case you were "round the corner" from us - it has happened before!

 

I think a good way to travel is to adopt, as we have done, the New Zealand Tourist's motto which is "expect the unexpected". Okay, maybe one or two disappointments (just laugh at them) but the unexpected good things usually well outnumber them.

 

Have a great holiday - not long now.

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Thank you so much for all this really good advice.

 

I have the confirmation that we're booked but still don't know the cabin number! Somehow that makes it more real!! - can't wait! I can hardly think of anything else!

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Just got my cabin number today and found out that we are in 219 which seems to be a Grade 2 cabin when we thought we had a Grade 4!! - not that it seems to make much difference from what I've read as the cabins in Grades 2-5 seem to be all the same size. But I think the location on Clipper deck may be better than on Commodore.

 

I know I'm a bit obsessed with the location of my cabin and it does seem that it doesn't really matter so much on these clippers as on the big cruise ships but I do like to think I'm getting a good deal!!

 

Any thoughts anyone?!!

 

I am SO excited about this cruise! I just love the thought of being on a 'proper' sailing boat rather than a floating hotel!!:D

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You have indeed done well there - very well!. Cabin 219 is well positioned - I would describe it as being towards the forward end of amidships. It has a third berth which will be folded up against the wall so will take up virtually no space. Also, usefully, it is only a few steps along the corridor from the central stairway. The corridors as well as the cabins are carpeted.

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Hi,

 

We have come to the conclusion that we are the ONLY people on this ship!!......since no-one but JoBake has replied and she's been kindly giving us the benefit of her experience with Star Clippers and isn't actually on the trip!

 

So it's just us and our 2 sons?......well. we should get very personal treatment!!

 

Only 2.5 weeks to go!!!:D

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MOCAMPS - Hopefully the Royal Clipper holiday was a success for you and your family???

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MOCAMPS - Hopefully the Royal Clipper holiday was a success for you and your family???

 

Absolutely brilliant!! It was perfect for me. Proper sailing but in luxury. The only problem is that it has totally spoiled me for other cruises!! And I doubt we can afford to do many on the Star Clippers unless I can find any more bargains!! But I surely WILL be looking for them!!

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