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queenteacher

Really need expert opinion of Star Clipper

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Hello!

 

A few friends and my husband and I are looking for a good alternative to the mega ships sailing in Greece. I found the Star Clipper Eastern Med and it looks fantastic. I have never heard of Starclippers and I am really looking for good information. We are veteran cruises of Cunard, RCCL, Holland America and are getting tired of the masses. We are looking for a more intimate setting, but still have a bit of luxury.

 

Please tell me everything you care to about the cruise line and in particular, the Star Clipper!

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Star Clippers are not luxury cruises. You don't have to "dress" for dinner; open seating for all meals; no dancing girls or professional shows. However, you do get to really sail. If you are prone to being seasick, Star Clippers may not be for you unless you are a true lover of "sail" and then it is the best, sick or not.

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I cannot help you too much, as I'm not expert cruiser, however I still can compare Royal Clipper with Saphire princess where I was in 2005 in a penthause suite for 14 days.

then, last may I tried Royal Clipper (my first time on a sailing ship) for western mediterranean route.

 

I think I could understand your first post quite well regards what are you looking for, and what I can tell you is with the Star Clippers you haven't so big spaces and extra-comfort or choices than in big ships, you may miss a few more services regards to dinner options or entertaiment, however I found big differences regards to the crew and services which are as good professional as in the Saphire princess, but much more direct, quick, usefull, personalized and friendly with Star Clippers.

Also informations and services in and about ports of call where excellent with Royal Clipper, with an excellent Cruise Director (Mr Frederic)

 

I was in a category 2 with RC as unfortunatelly I was late to book DELUXE SUITE (private veranda) and CATEGORY 1 (same without veranda) were also full boocked.

 

CAT2, were very well furnished and very good layout for so few sq meters, but I really missed "a bit" a few more space in the stateroom, and specially to make it easier going outside the room. (you cannot open the portoles) that's why I really would recommend you to take CAT 1 on STAR CLIPPER, (no balconies or verandas on this ship) were at list you have direct access to the deck, have a bit more space for wardrobe (two doors, only one in CAT2) small minibar and whirlpool on the bathroom.

 

I was very lucky with the weather, may be too much, as we would have like to enjoy a bit more the really sailing experience, but otherwise no sick, no problem!!:)

 

Meals were not impressive, but quite good standard, and although you have only 1 option, no other choices, it is quite well organiced timetable and you have "almost" round o clock service.

 

Entertaiment was only a close piano player 2 or 3 times a day, with a singer some times, one local band one night, so it is again almost on our own, but it is very relaxing to have a drink at night in the tropical bar, which is the center of the ship most of time. Really there's nothing there, at the tropical bar, but you get a really nice feeling!! it is very simple.

 

It is quite impressive to see how the crew manages the sails, specially at night time where you can seat and watching for long time, again with a nice feeling and falling in a very romantic ambience...

 

The ship on itself is fantastic!! you also enjoy to see it docked at the port or anchor at deep sea when you go on land.

 

I really did to enjoy my experience with Royal Clipper, that's why we are going to try STAR CLIPPER next January with the Far East northern route.

Now I've been on time to get CATEGORY 1 stateroom, so I'm very happy and sure we'll enjoy even more!!

 

I'm also looking forward to enjoy the water sports this time, (I couldn't try them on the mediterranean route) which seems to see another good adventage when sailing in all clipper ships. Sailing the Andaman sea we hope to get a good chance for snorkelling & kayaks.

 

So, you may get several better "extra-things" onboard mega ships, but on my opinion, you can't compare a sailing ship to any other cruise experience. Service is good and lovely.

Specially for 7-10 days lenght I think you will loved the experience.

 

ENJOY IT!

 

(post: I hope you could read my bad english, sorry:o )

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What an excellent reply Islands Lover. I agree, you just can't compare sailing vs cruising. Anything "missing" is more than made up by the ambiance. It is a great experience. Porcia

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Here are a few additional contrasts with the big liners -

 

The low number of passengers (maybe 160) creates a very intimate and unhurried experience. It's easier to meet people, there are no long lines for anything! Tenders load and go when you get there, etc.

 

Dining is open and, contrary to above comments, there are usually 3 or 4 entree choices. Food was very good but not truely top end. Breakfast and lunch are buffet, but again, there are not enough passengers to create much of a line. Our Maitre'd was very good at matching people. Our first night we told him we just wanted an english speaking table. He sat us at a table for 6 with a british couple and a couple of minutes later introduced a young german couple who wanted to practice their english (which was pretty good already). They became friends for the entire cruise.

 

Note that americans will likely be in the minority with a large contingent of brits, aussies, germans and french and a smattering of spanish speakers. Our cruise director spoke 5 languages and used them.

 

Cabins are small but well appointed. Stewards were good. Public areas are very nice and comfortable but we really spent most of our time on deck.

 

All in all - different and very enjoyable.

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Your comments are well thought out and exactly what I am looking for. I know that I can't compare the large cruise ships with the sailing ships, but I was looking for comparisons of quality.

 

We are traveling with other couples and we would like our accomodations to be part of our trip!

 

I love the fact that it is an international guest group. You meet the most fascinating people and many new friends.

 

Any other experiences or comments are welcome and wanted.

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you will love it...I have sailed 16 times and it is the best way to have a vacation....

I hope that you book soon. I feel that cat 2 and 3 are wonderful. You are really not spending time in your cabin, life is outside on the deck with the crew, the sails, the winds and the other passengers.

Enjoy, it is fantastic...

the food is good, the wine is great, the bar tender will know you after the first drink....the waiters will know if you take tea or coffee in the morning, the service is the best...

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Hello!

 

A few friends and my husband and I are looking for a good alternative to the mega ships sailing in Greece. I found the Star Clipper Eastern Med and it looks fantastic. I have never heard of Starclippers and I am really looking for good information. We are veteran cruises of Cunard, RCCL, Holland America and are getting tired of the masses. We are looking for a more intimate setting, but still have a bit of luxury.

 

Please tell me everything you care to about the cruise line and in particular, the Star Clipper!

__________________

queenteacher1@cox.net [/i][/i]

Queenteacher:

I have been on the Star Flyer ... We had a great time but I also suggest you look into Windstar. It is more upscale but similar in size, price, etc. Still a sailboat feeling, but much nicer cabins (IPODs, refrigerators, DVD players, robes and slippers, nice bath products etc) and better food. I have been on the Windstar line 6 times and actually much prefer it to Star Clipper Lines.

 

You can't go wrong either way...just go in with full knowledge of what you are getting. Star Clipper is more of a real sailing experience. Many people (most people?) who go are sailors or former sailors. There is not much to do and the cabins are tiny. Very international passenger list. (our voyage had only 10 Americans out of, (I think) 170 people total) The food is average in my opinion. It is all about being on deck and relaxing and we took also full advantage of the water sports. It is probably a 3 or 3.5 star and Windstar is probably 4 or 4.5 star (As a point of reference, Windstar is not as nice as Silverseas which I have also been on, but you pay A LOT more for that, too.)

 

We always pick by itinerary. We did Greece on the Windstar in 2002 and absolutely loved it! I just think, bottom line, Windstar is a great value and we take it when they are going where we want to go. We booked Star Flyer because we really wanted to go to Asia. We were not disappointed. We took Silverseas in the Baltic because we missed our chance to do that on Windstar and regretted it too late.

 

Just my opinions, for what they are worth. We always have fun on EVERY cruise we go on! You will, too. Great sailing to you!

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Hi Chicagogal (or anyone familiar with Star Flyer) -

 

We see that you have cruised Star Flyer/Star Clipper.

 

We are booked on the Star Flyer for a So Pacific cruise in the spring. We are looking forward to seeing the So Pacific, and this cruise will hit many isolated islands. We look forward to beaches and watersports as well as learning some of the culture of the area. Since it is still early, we can cancel this cruise without penalty. It is expensive, and we want to make sure it is worth the trip on this ship.

 

We have one of the few inside cabins (bunk beds from what I understand). Can you tell us if these cabins are nice enough? You know, not too cramped, adequate shower/toilet facilities, etc. We have heard the showers only run a few seconds at a time when you press the button…sounds like a nuisance. What can you tell us about your experience?

 

Looking forward to your response,

Zebra6797

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I have sailed on the Star Clipper (identical to the Star Flyer) twice, and although I did not go with an inside cabin, I would definitely upgrade the cabin if I were you. For not so much more money you can have a much better room (category 4 or 5). Just my two cents.

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I agree with KathyA I have looked in at cat 6 cabins on SC and I think the cabin is very small (97SQ feet. I thought they were very dark and dissmal.

A cat 5, while small does have porthole and a much nicer feel. I would upgrade.

On the other hand the cat 6 cabins on Royal Clipper and pretty good. A little bigger, the bathroom has the marble walls and a real bed.

That's just my 2 cents!

 

Kathy

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Thanks for the quick response Kathy and Kathy A.

 

I am not sure we will be able to upgrade...but maybe it's worth a shot. We actually wish this cruise was on Star Clipper, but that ship is not in So Pacific.

 

If anyone else has any input, any thoughts would be appreciated.

 

Thanks again,

Zebra 6797

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We have sailed on the Star Clipper's Star Clipper twice...highly recommend it! Beautiful ship, fun crew, great food. We especially enjoy the crew and passenger talent night. Expect to meet lots of people from Europe...these ships seem to draw more Europeans than Americans. We loved spending time with Germans, French, Aussies, etc. Only negative: all onboard transactions are done in euros, so your dollars won't go as far.

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Thanks Sailor JM. You mention going on the Star Clipper. Do you have any experience/knowledge of the Star Flyer? My understanding is the Star Flyer is smaller, so the cabins may not be as spacious. Especially since we have an inside cabin on the Star Flyer.

 

Thanks for the help. And if you, or anyone else, can provide any other input it would be appreciated.

 

Thanks,

zebra6797

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Yeah...thanks Kathy A.

 

I knew that, but I just can't seem to get the names right. Anyone...is there that much difference between Royal Clipper and Star Flyer/Star Clipper?

 

I still don't think that inside cabin on the Star Flyer will be adequate. Anyone who knows first hand pls let us know.

 

Thanks,

Pete

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Good Morning Pete. The Star Clippers website has virtual tours of all the different category cabins, that might be helpful. They have also listed the excursions that will be available in Tahiti...except for any scuba info. I would imagine that with the cruises beginning in a couple of months we will start seeing a bit more info.

 

Mike

 

http://gallery.mac.com/csealove#gallery

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I have not been on the Royal Clipper, but friends who have tell me it is a beautiful ship. Physically much bigger and 227 passengers vs. 170 on the two smaller ships. Lots more sails. Royal Clipper cabins are bigger. You can go to www.starclippers.com and take a virtual tour, by the way. Based on having sailed the Star Clipper twice, I would recommend Cat 4 or higher. Star Flyer is identical to Star Clipper, by the way.

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Hi All,

We have done the Star Clipper twice (two different Caribbean routes), the Star Flyer once (Venice to Athens in Sep 06), and we are heading to Barbados for the 1 Dec 07 sailing of the Royal. Needless to say we really like the ships! Mike's review was right on. Also, you do get to go into smaller ports, anchorages that the big ships can't. Most of the people we have met on the Clippers have been very intelligent/fascinating. We have never had a problem with the ship's motion. The food was fine, the amenities great. It is not for children, or the drink until you drop/gambling/entertainment crowd. It is very relaxing, and you can pace yourself to do whatever you want. No crowds!!! Highly recomended!!!!

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