Cruise Your Way Through the Caribbean on the Royal Clipper • We Blog The World

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We had been not too long ago provided an unimaginable media alternative to discover the Caribbean on the tallest crusing ship on the world — sure, actually! Star Clippers Cruises provide distinctive experiences with three totally different ships to select from relying in your pursuits.

Our cruise, which kicked off in Barbados, was on the Royal Clipper which takes 227 passengers, whereas their different two ships, Star Clipper and Star Flyer, each take solely 166 passengers. Our route? We left Barbados after which headed to Rodney Bay in Saint Lucia, adopted by Dominica, Antigua & Barbuda, St. Kitts & Nevis, Guadeloupe (Iles Des Saintes) after which lastly to Martinique (Anse d’Arlet) earlier than ending off in Bridgetown the place we began.

What choice must you select? While we by no means set sail on one in all their smaller ships, we did race towards one in all them whereas we had been within the Caribbean (see beneath — it was a enjoyable expertise). The tradeoffs are apparent. On a smaller ship, your cabin has much less sq. footage and also you gained’t have as many perks and frills. That stated, a smaller ship is extra intimate and offers a extra adventurous expertise for these on board.

One of the Star Clippers smaller cruise ships

What to Expect 

The Royal Clipper is the biggest five-masted, full-rigged crusing ship since her predecessor, the Preussen. Their Captain Nemo Lounge homes the spa and well being membership with distinctive underwater glass portholes. Rooms embody double or twin beds that may be transformed to queen-size beds, in addition to marble-lined bogs, a tv with in-house video, a direct dial phone, a hair dryer and cozy furnishings. A 3-deck atrium welcomes you once you enter the ship, with daylight funneled into an elegantly furnished three-level eating room (btw, the three ranges aren’t provided on the smaller ships).

About to go away Barbados

Below is a view of the Royal Clipper with its sails down, taken from the day boat that transports you to shore for day excursions and different actions. On one finish of the ship, there’s a marina platform that lowers to sea degree, so you will get rapid entry to watersports actions. Some of the choices embody visits to distant reefs, underwater wrecks and blue lagoons the place marine species are in abundance. 

Taken on one of many smaller shuttle boats that tendered us to shore one afternoon

The deck is spacious with loads of room to stroll round. Of the 227 capability, our cruise had roughly 160 or so passengers. We by no means felt crowded and I think about one other sixty passengers wouldn’t have made a lot distinction, largely as a result of there are hidden balconies you’ll be able to escape to on both aspect of the bow.

The shot beneath was taken one afternoon after we had been 4 days into the cruise. Note that I frolicked on the skin decks usually; there’s such a way of freedom when you find yourself one with the ocean. Each time I hung out on one of many deck ends, just a few different passengers had been roaming round. The pool was situated within the middle of the principle higher deck. While it was winter season and we had extra rain than different instances of the 12 months, the climate was heat sufficient to lounge exterior by the pool or on the exterior bar.

We got a chance to steer the ship as effectively, guided in fact. Note beneath among the lounge chairs on the deck (an uncovered choice).

On board the Royal Clipper throughout our Caribbean cruise: Navigating the Wheel

Below, one of many crew members respiration within the majestic, wild, and alluring sea, one thing I made certain to do every single day. Truly, it’s completely breathtaking and being one together with her alluring vastness is to not be missed.

In addition to the chance to steer the ship, we had been additionally in a position to climb the mast. What an exciting journey it was — as soon as on prime, there was an space to sit down and take within the views and vast open sky on all sides. You also can be a part of the Captain on the always-open bridge and learn to splice a line, reef a sail or tie a sq. knot.

The Ship at Sunset

After a day full of island actions or ingesting cocktails at one of many native bars, we’d return to the ship for sundown.

The sky transitioned from blue skies and puffy white clouds to an orange and yellow glow, merging as they danced all through the sky. Pink hues later accompanied the layers, including to its magnificence. From solar, wind and vibrancy, we moved to serenity, with mild and enveloping backdrops.

As the phases of nightfall continued, so did the temper of the passengers, the crew and the ocean itself. We all had been in a position to wind down. The ship wound down. We settled into the power of what nightfall encompasses in all her shapes and types.

People started to order cocktails. A couple of lied down on the lounge chairs going through the breathtaking views.

Others hung out on the deck simply taking all of it in.

A pair with youngsters introduced plates of pre-dinner snacks (served on the deck each night) to their youngsters who couldn’t look forward to dinner time.

A pair of their eighties had been already dressed for dinner as they sipped their martinis on one of many barstools at an out of doors bar. A pair subsequent to them had been nonetheless in informal athletic apparel from their day climbing on one in all our island stops.

A couple of individuals had been dancing to the music enjoying throughout what I suppose you could possibly name Happy Hour. He performed keyboard and his spouse sung. It’s the identical musician who would later accompany us inside at dinner, however quite than his extra peppy and informal keyboard that sits on deck, he was behind a white grand piano as an alternative.

Anthony and I oscillated between our cocktails and chatting with others who we’d gotten to know since we boarded on the Bridgetown Cruise Terminal, largely Americans though a number of Germans, Brits and Aussies made their method into our conversations over a number of days.

Occasionally, you’d discover somebody within the pool at the moment because it’s really stunning to swim beneath a dramatic sky as evening begins to fall, bringing us all to stillness for a number of hours earlier than we liven issues up with dancing and extra drinks after dinner.

Dramatic and fantastically imposing, there’s nothing like these skies because the day winds down on a cruise ship, particularly one as small and noteworthy because the Royal Clipper. Such a magnificence, isn’t she?

The Cabins

At first, I used to be a bit involved that the cabins can be so small that they wouldn’t even match our giant curler suitcases. After all, most of my cruise experiences had been on a lot bigger ships. Not the case on board the Royal Clipper. Of the cabin ranges, ours cabin fell in the course of the choices, which equated to extra sq. footage and lightweight from the portholes.

Room selections have some wiggle room, starting from a double or twin beds that may be transformed to queen-size beds. I used to be stunned by the modern-styled marble-lined bogs and the tv with in-house video for such a small ship. There’s additionally a direct dial phone, a hair dryer and a mushy chair to sit down in on the finish of the mattress.

Our rest room, which was cleaned each day with contemporary towel, cleaning soap and shampoo replacements.

There was additionally a desk space in our cabin and loads of mirrors. Our closet match all of our garments (hung and on cabinets) though we additionally utilized the drawers (one beneath the mattress), a small bureau on the finish of our mattress and smaller drawers subsequent to the mattress for private objects. There was additionally a protected in your helpful objects equivalent to jewellery. Both of our giant curler luggage match comfortably beneath the mattress in addition to the small suitcase we introduced as a carry-on.

I used to be in a position to view one in all their suites as effectively. The room is clearly a lot bigger and has home windows going through the ocean. And naturally, the toilet is bigger. Below, you’ll get an thought of the upgraded choice which comes with its personal tub.

A rest room suite on the Royal Clipper

On the Royal Clipper, their 14 deluxe suites provide not only a whirlpool tub, however a non-public verandah and 24-hour room service. All however six of her 98 cabins are exterior. For the last word indulgence, two 355-square-foot proprietor’s suites could also be mixed to accommodate as much as eight visitors.

What to Expect: Inside the Ship

Throughout the ship, you’ll discover burnished brass fittings and mahogany wood accents, all with a nautical twist. Just a little decadence meets conventional decor, reminding you at instances of yesteryear whereas additionally feeling the heat and luxury of contemporary furnishings.

From the highest degree, as you look down into the center of the ship, you’ll see totally different nooks and crannies of the eating room, the place tables are scattered on each side. You can be a part of others at a extra central spherical desk or sit alongside the wall the place you’ll be able to absorb water views by the portholes.

We sat on the beneath 8-top one night; nevertheless, most nights we had been in a position to sit on the Captain’s Table when he was eating in his cabin or working. A white grand piano was not solely a part of the decor however was used each day because the pianist performed a mixture of outdated crooner tunes, enjoyable musical numbers and extra conventional songs from the 1970’s and 1980’s. (you should definitely watch the video on the finish of this text to get a greater thought of the vibe)

A distinct view of the couches, comfortable chairs and inside lounging space

Contrasting the darker conventional colours, you’ll discover brighter colourful prints of well-known ships and crusing yachts alongside the partitions.

They provided varied theme nights, one in all which was Pirate Night (beneath) . . .

Then there was White Night . . . at all times a enjoyable one. It occurred to be the identical evening I made a decision to play that stunning grand piano myself. Oh what a pleasure it was. What did I select? Tony Bennett favorites that my grandmother taught me so a few years in the past. It appeared ever so becoming for the night.

The Library

The library deserves a particular call-out as a result of it’s an incredible room and it was Anthony’s favourite place to hang around through the cruise. He retreated to the air-conditioned, old style library every single day to learn. Occasionally, I’d additionally go there to learn but additionally simply to sit down and BE. I by no means thought I might meditate amongst darkish wood library decor however fairly frankly, it was simply excellent.

Entertainment

Because it’s a small ship, there’s no area for large-scale Broadway-style productions or dance performances. For us, that’s a plus! It doesn’t imply that leisure isn’t a part of the agenda. Every evening throughout Happy Hour, a husband/spouse duo sang and performed keyboard on the skin deck near the bar. The white grand piano was alive each evening over dinner, which was such a beautiful deal with. Below I’m on the piano; nevertheless, on the video on the finish of this text, you’ll hear and see a few of his piano enjoying.

They additionally had a expertise present on the final evening with varied skits from the crew, which was not solely amusing however significant since many people had developed friendships with among the crew members all through our journey. Below, the lady on the left was my therapeutic massage therapist for example.

One night, we had a memorable deal with on the deck. As the thundering dramatic 1492: Conquest of Paradise by Vangelis performed within the background, they held a lightweight present. We moved from reds to blues to greens and again once more because the lights danced towards the sails and the perimeters of the deck of the ship whereas the music blared in all instructions. Beautiful.

They additionally pleasure themselves on bringing in native expertise from the places we’re visiting. In this case, we had a pan drum efficiency one evening, which you’ll be able to hear on the video on the finish of the article.

Mostly, we cherished hanging out with individuals we met alongside the way in which, dancing, ingesting and connecting . . . together with the wonderful crew.

Below, Anthony with English Arthur who had us in stitches along with his tales and at different instances, practically in tears as he talked about his struggle years. I had the sense that he discovered a brand new set of ears each evening as he had such fascinating tales to share.

Anthony and Arthur

One particular evening after a speech from the Captain, the crew sang as a lot of them paraded across the eating room with totally different flags from world wide.

Drinks & Food

When individuals speak about their cruise expertise, you’ll discover one constant thread throughout all the conversations — the meals. Dining is an enormous (and integral) a part of any cruise, whether or not it’s a big ship, a river cruise or a tall crusing ship just like the Royal Clipper.

Each morning, you’re greeted by an in depth buffet, full of fruit, yoghurt, an assortment of cheese and meats, oatmeal and cereals. There’s additionally a scorching meals part the place you’ll be able to go for a extra conventional (and filling) selection, equivalent to ham, sausage, bacon and eggs, french toast, pancakes and scrambled eggs.

They are likely to cater to the predominant teams on board after which they complement the menu with different objects. On our cruise, Brits dominated adopted by Germans after which Americans. There had been additionally Italians, Mexicans, South Americans, Canadians, and Aussies. For us, it was wonderful to fulfill fascinating individuals from world wide. What this eclectic mix meant for the buffet was loads of jams, pates, cheese, seeds, nuts, loaves of bread, croissants and muffins. I also needs to word the omelet station since I went there virtually each day.

Lunch was equally delicious with a buffet loaded with each cold and warm objects. I tended to go for the more healthy and lighter salads, sometimes throwing one in all their contemporary fish choices on prime. There was at all times a soup as effectively and loads of veggies, meats, and starches.

To the left, delicious fundamental course choices for lunch. Above, varied meats and to the appropriate, breakfast cheeses, croissants and muffins.

One factor they boast is their “no tie” or formal clothes requirement, which makes it straightforward for the journey traveler. Like many cruise ships, the Royal Clipper provided a sit-down meal in the principle eating room (no assigned seating) each evening. There had been a number of choices to select from on the menu, together with vegetarian dishes.

From unimaginable salads and appetizers to mains and desserts, their cooks did an excellent job delivering evening after evening. To offer you a style of a few of their appetizers, listed below are a number of we cherished: Antipasti Ligurian Riveria, Goat Cheese marinated in honey and almonds, Octopus Carpaccio with Apple Saffron dressing (yum), Courgette Rolls with Feta Cheese, Chicken Tempura, Marinated Artichoke Hearts with Grapefruit, Sweet Pepper and Capers (it was a heavenly mixture), and Melon Tomato with Parma Ham.

There had been additionally some wonderful soups as effectively, equivalent to Cream of Lobster, Tomato Soup with Pesto, an Apple Soup with Horseradish, Cream of Mushroom, and conventional French Onion, which Anthony ordered (it’s his favourite). A couple of appetizers beneath.

There had been many contemporary seafood dishes provided all through our cruise, every one memorable.

The fish was off the charts. A couple of examples included Grilled Tilapia with Asparagus and Green Peas, Pan-Fried Fillet of Salmon with Dried Tomatoes and Olive Oil, Grilled Pike Fillet with Herb Risotto, Steamed Sea Bass with Veggies, and Red Snapper with Courgettes and Wild Garlic Pesto. So delish!

Pan-Fried Fillet of Salmon with Dried Tomatoes and Olive Oil

Grilled Tilapia with Asparagus and Green Peas

We didn’t stay on seafood throughout our complete Caribbean keep and there have been loads of fascinating different choices as effectively. For instance, their Chicken Breast with Tandoori Yoghurt Sauce was a delicious dish, as was their Roast Beef with Asparagus (beneath). As for our favorites? The Pulled Pork with Grilled Apples, the Corn and Pepper Fritters (vegetarian), the Tortolan Style Duck Breast, and their Braised Knuckle of Lamb, which I had with out their prompt garlic creamed potatoes. Not certain who I used to be kidding by skipping the carbs since I had a big dessert an hour later.

Other veggie selections included Stuffed Bell Peppers and Eggplant, Vegetable Stew with Garlic Croutons, Mushroom and Potato Beans Tart and a Stew with Fried Plantains and Dumplings.

There was a stunning wine choice on the menu as effectively. Depending on the dish or temper, we oscillated usually between the S. Veran, Terres Secretes 2020 French Burgundy and the 2022 South African Petit Chenin Blanc from Ken Forrester for whites. We gravitated to their 2020 Chateau Cartier, St. Emilion G. Cru French Bordeaux (it’s a wine I’m personally conversant in), and their 2020 French Chateaneuf du Pape, Cos St. Michel from Rhone Valley. For apparent causes, that they had extra European wine alternatives and never solely had been they nice accompaniments to the meals, however fairly priced too (29 to 40 euros per bottle).

While we are likely to keep away from desserts 99% of the time in our on a regular basis lives, after we journey to locations with wonderful meals, we splurge. Not at all times, however virtually at all times. Truth be instructed, I didn’t at all times eat the dessert after dinner however I at all times had dessert at lunch on the Royal Clipper. There had been so many scrumptious choices to select from every single day, neither one in all us might cease ourselves from having fun with the current second. Chocolate, hazelnut, crème brûlée, mousse, puddings, and selfmade tarts had been all a part of that “YES PLEASE” expertise.

For a few of our real-time meals postings, you should definitely take a look at our Luxury Foodies Instagram feed, the place we posted a number of nice dishes and desserts.

Of course there have been Fruit Melbas and Sorbets, however the very best desserts had chocolate in them. Okay, so I’m biased. Okay, so I like chocolate. Okay, it’s laborious for me to search out something unsuitable with any chocolate dessert. So, when Chocolate Mousse got here by, I couldn’t refuse, nor might I say no to the Pistachio Ice Cream, one in all my favorites and so not often provided in eating places. Coffee something has me at hiya (identical for Anthony), so we had been thrilled with their Coffee Panna Cotta, Amaretto Cream Profiteroles and Dark Chocolate Gateau “Marquise.”

I had a cappuccino each evening as a result of why not? A couple of different wonderful dessert call-outs embody their Cherries Jubilee, Floating Island Dessert with Dates, Cheesecake, Raspberry Yogurt Mousse, and their traditional French Apple Tart – excellent with any of their ice cream flavors and there have been a number of.

And how’s this for a novel one? Chardonnay Sorbet. This wasn’t essentially meant to be served as a dessert (it was listed between programs) however in the end you could possibly finish your meal with it. I think about it might go effectively with one in all their cheese platters and a dessert wine.

There was no scarcity of cheese choices so if dessert isn’t your factor, you could possibly order Fontina with Nuts, Goat Cheese with Honey, French Brie Garnished with Dry Fruit, Gouda, and extra.

Hats off to their Executive Chef Frederick Escueta and the top waiter Rio Adhitio. Bravissimo!

In our cabin earlier than heading to dinner one night

Yoga on Board

From full-blown decadence on a several-course meal, high quality wine, and desserts to committing to your well being the very subsequent day, you are able to do all of it. One of the issues that significantly drew us to this tall ship cruise was the supply of a yoga instructor every single day. We hit it off with Shannon, a yoga teacher from Ohio who approached holistic and integrative non secular apply in an identical technique to our personal path. Rain or shine, wind or calm, she was on the deck main courses.

The wonderful thing about exhibiting up for a yoga class on the principle deck is your entry to the views and the great thing about the ocean round you. It has a method of connecting you to nature in a method you merely can’t get in a conventional studio.

80% of the week, we had calm late afternoons and mornings. That stated, there have been a few significantly windy days that challenged all of us. At first, it was a type of awkward moments, every of us discreetly glancing at one another, our eyes all saying the identical factor: “How on earth are we going to pull off that pose with this wind?”

At one level, the wind made it so unattainable to carry a pose, that a number of of us fell onto our mats, burst out laughing and went into little one pose as a technique to settle for if not embrace the wind stirring round us. As Shannon so rightfully identified in that treasured second, “Our yoga practice isn’t always about perfect moments. It’s in the moments where we are most challenged, that our yoga practice becomes even more useful.” This assertion couldn’t be extra related that day.

Yoga wasn’t the one factor that allowed us to remain wholesome and balanced on the Royal Clipper. While most cruise strains have a health club and spa on board, I cherished the intimacy of the ship, the smaller variety of passengers and the dedication by so many to Shannon’s yoga courses.

If you’re keen on cruising, however lead a non secular and holistic life and ponder whether it’ll be a match, discovering one with a yoga instructor, health club and spa on board is a should. Commit to exhibiting up every single day, reserving a number of spa appointments, ingesting low-sugar juices, loads of greens and salads. You also can reap the benefits of contemporary coconut milk and papayas on each island cease. It was a significant plus that the Royal Clipper had yoga accessible. Bravo!

The Gym & Spa

We each made it to the health club. The machines (treadmill, bikes, and sculpting) had been surrounded by mirrors and there have been free weights in addition to a bench, which made Anthony a cheerful camper. This was very true given our dedication to desserts for a few weeks, a uncommon splurge on our half. The proven fact that there was yoga, a health club and a spa on board made it a lot simpler to justify consuming extra and fairly frankly, having fun with all of it with out the guilt.

Based on my expertise with far too many motels and resorts, I’m at all times a bit cautious concerning the high quality of spa providers. I used to be pleasantly stunned that my first therapeutic massage was top-notch, a lot in order that I went again for a second one. She wasn’t accessible however the different masseuse was simply as unimaginable.

To offer you an thought of among the therapies, they included a handful you’d count on, equivalent to an Express Facial, Scalp, Back and Neck Massages, Signature Massages and Reflexology. The Star Clippers Signature is a Hot Lava Shell Massage, meant to eradicate muscular rigidity, calm the nervous system and stimulate blood and lymph circulation.

Other sorts of massages included Oriental, Swedish, Lomi Lomi (impressed by Hawaiian magnificence rituals), and African Massage. I additionally cherished their Exfoliating Body Scrubs and one thing they name the Hawaiian Archipelago. The latter, which is a two-hour therapy, combines sharpening with a guava puree, adopted by a Blue Hawaiian Jelly wrap, and a Lomi Lomi therapeutic massage utilizing each Monoi Oil and Body Milk with Coco. There are additionally showers on-site and a steam room with marble tiles. Two thumbs up!

Island Excursions

Every cruise (effectively, practically each cruise) affords some type of tour once you land at a vacation spot. In our case, it was the Windward Islands within the Caribbean: Barbados, Dominica, Antigua, St. Kitts, Iles Des Saintes and Martinique. In St. Lucia, they provided an Aerial Tram. In Dominica, you had the choice of both an Indian River Boat Cruise or the Syndicate Nature Trail. Antigua had fairly a number of choices: a Canopy Tour, a Jet Ski Adventure, Learning make Rum, a Kayak Eco Tour or Swimming with the Rays.

St. Kitts provided the Essential St. Kitts Tour, which we took, or the island by practice by way of the Scenic Railway. On the Isles Des Saintes, you could possibly head out on a speedboat to go snorkeling or expertise the Blue Escape on a clear-bottom kayak (at all times enjoyable within the Caribbean). In Martinique, they provided a tour that explored the southern a part of the island. As is commonplace with one of these cruise, we tendered every day to a brand new island.

This shot was taken in Saint Lucia, stopping alongside the highway at one in all their breathtaking viewpoints.

In St. Kitts, we had been in a position to see a Batik artist in motion: she made distinctive designs on wraps, tablecloths, t-shirts and luggage,

Above, a Batik Factory in St. Kitts

Iles Des Saintes was one in all our favourite stops, largely due to its French affect, nice outlets and cocktails and great walks by the village surrounding the port.

Below, cocktails galore in Barbados. Another pina colada please!

Since we love tradition (and pictures), we went into extra element on the island visits, so you should definitely learn our article: How to Experience the Carribbean Islands which fits into extra depth about what we did on every island. They embody a boat-load of pictures and a video.

Here is a brief video of our time on the Royal Clipper which brings among the descriptions on this put up to life.

Also, you should definitely learn our articles: How to Experience Barbados, Barbados for Foodies and Barbados Stays for Luxury & Fun.

For extra info on Star Clippers Cruises, go to their fundamental web site. For extra info on the Royal Clipper, you should definitely go to this web site which provides you all the main points, together with e book a cruise with them.

Curious the place they go? There are loads of thrilling selections, together with Africa, Canary Islands, your entire Caribbean, Europe, the Greek Islands, the Mediterranean, Mexico, Central America, the Panama Canal and South America. They additionally provide a Transalantic cruise as effectively. Woot woot!

 

 



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