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jtmalt

Are the reviews skewed?

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I only just came across Star Clippers while I was researching Windstar, and I'm contemplating either an Eastern Mediterranean or Southern Caribbean cruise on Star Flyer.  From the YouTube videos I've seen, the experience looks like something my wife & I would enjoy, but in perusing the reviews here on CruiseCritic, it seems like nearly half of them contain complaints about rude or disinterested staff, poor communication, or disorganized planning at the ports. It's hard to judge from the reviews, because there aren't a lot of them, and only a few of them are recent. I really don't mean to sound like I'm trolling, but should I lower my expectations if I book a Clipper cruise?  There just isn't a lot of information to go on.

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I agree there is little reviews or info when considering a Clipper trip and I was in the same "boat" before I decided to take my first cruise mainly based on YouTube videos and description of the ports and this was the easiest way to get to many of them plus they have many with no single supplement.  I have been on 3 and another booked for February and find the fellow passengers to be friendly and active, and most have been sailing and have experience, staff has always been very friendly and I have really enjoyed the food.  I am not a sailor but have enjoyed all my cruises and yes the ship is smaller and have yet to experience a full day of rain which will be difficult, I can only suggest that if you find the youtube videos interesting then join in and take a cruise, I believe your fears will prove unfounded.

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The very high rate of repeat passengers on Star Clippers' ships suggests that the overall experience is generally well liked.

 

"Solent Richard" has produced one of the most detailed reviews of a Star Clipper trip at the following link: https://solentrichardscruiseblog.com/2017/11/04/star-clipper-java-sea-limited-edition-cruise/

 

We happened to be on the exact same trip as him and think that he gives a fair review.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

We will be off on our 7th cruise in 2 weeks. We are sailors, and we love the luxury of these cruises where you feel with all your senses that you are on a mighty sailing ship, but without having to pull on oilskins and take a watch at 2am!

However be aware that the Ship is the Star, its all about her and the magic of sails and sea, especially on deck at night when it is truely awesome. 

However it is not a luxury hotel!! Friends of ours love Sea Dream YC, that is a hotel on sea, and the service is 5*. On the Clippers the crew  and domestic staff are lovely, many are real characters, but you cannot clic your fingers and get service! A stroll to the tropical bar gets you a drink, you can ask questions, and do as much or as little as you like.

Try it, bet you will be hooked!

Edited by Ional
sp

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2 hours ago, PurleyKing said:

The very high rate of repeat passengers on Star Clippers' ships suggests that the overall experience is generally well liked.

 

"Solent Richard" has produced one of the most detailed reviews of a Star Clipper trip at the following link: https://solentrichardscruiseblog.com/2017/11/04/star-clipper-java-sea-limited-edition-cruise/

 

We happened to be on the exact same trip as him and think that he gives a fair review.

 

 

 

Yes, I had already found that very helpful review during my initial research, and everything I saw on the YouTube videos was encouraging. It was just the negativity in some of the CC reviews that gave me pause. 

 

1 hour ago, Ional said:

We will be off on our 7th cruise in 2 weeks. We are sailors, and we love the luxury of these cruises where you feel with all your senses that you are on a mighty sailing ship, but without having to pull on oilskins and take a watch at 2am!

However be aware that the Ship is the Star, its all about her and the magic of sails and sea, especially on deck at night when it is truely awesome. 

However it is not a luxury hotel!! Friends of ours love Sea Dream YC, that is a hotel on sea, and the service is 5*. On the Clippers the crew  and domestic staff are lovely, many are real characters, but you cannot clic your fingers and get service! A stroll to the tropical bar gets you a drink, you can ask questions, and do as much or as little as you like.

Try it, bet you will be hooked!

 

Thank you.  I think your post gives a clear idea of what to expect.

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We just returned from our 7th Star Clipper cruise, and even with the current and ongoing problems discussed in other threads on this board, we had a wonderful time.

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Posted (edited)

I feel that the problem with many may be that as this line is NOT cheap, many who book it for the first time have REALLY unrealistic expectations of the trip and crew.  As has been pointed out above, the ships ARE the stars, and the crew, while friendly and competent are not your "five star" white glove variety.  

 

Suffice to say we have done one cruise with them, and are looking forward to another (When we retire and can have the time off to DO a summer Med cruise or longer far east cruise.) 

Edited by FredT

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I went on my first Star Clippers cruise on Star Clipper in April. Most of my cruising has been on Windstar. I'd been wanting to try Star Clippers for a while and the no solo supplement offer sealed the deal as my husband doesn't like to travel as often as I do.

 

Most of the crew was great. The captain was knowledgeable and an interesting speaker. My room steward and the wait staff were attentive and did their jobs well - couldn't ask for better. I enjoyed the mast climb and a chance to steer the ship. The crew gave great support for the climb making me comfortable even though I'm not great with heights.  On the less positive side, I wasn't crazy about the cruise director. I felt that she didn't communicate clearly enough on some things like when the sign-ups for shore excursions would close. Others remarked on that as well. She was also hard to find at times. 

 

I enjoyed the decor of the ship - it's nice to feel that you are on a ship rather than a floating hotel. There are a few downsides to the ship that I noticed.

 

The cabins don't have a thermostat. You can control the room temperature somewhat by adjusting a knob on the vent to increase or reduce the opening but the vent is in the ceiling. My room was initially too cold. I asked the room steward about how to do the adjustment so he adjusted it but I think he closed it all the way and the room got to warm. I'm short and had to stand on the bed to adjust it. Fortunately, the second adjustment resulted in a good temperature.

 

Like some of the Windstar ships, the Star Clippers ships don't have elevators. Some of the stairs on the Star Clipper ships are steeper (higher rise per stair tread) than the Windstar stairs. I was okay with that, but I think that some who are okay with some stairs might find Wind Star okay and Star Clipper stairs too steep. 

 

In some cabins, one side of the bed is against the wall. Traveling solo, that was fine, but if I was traveling with my husband, that would be inconvenient.

 

Overall, at this point, I prefer Windstar but found Star Clipper enjoyable. For similar itinerary and price, I'd chose Windstar, but if Star Clipper had a significantly better price or a unique itinerary, I'd go on Star Clipper again.

 

I hope they iron out the Flying Clipper contract issue soon. Windstar fares are extremely expensive in the Mediterranean making Star Clipper very attractive there. On the other hand, for the Caribbean, at least for double occupancy, Windstar fares are significantly cheaper than Star Clipper. 

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