Star Clippers Caribbean Cruise - Part 2 - Royal Clipper

22nd December 2015

Royal Clipper

After a fantastic lunch at Tamarind al fresco style, we headed to Bridgetown cruise terminal to embark the Royal Clipper. There were several cruise ships in port that day, including P&O Britannia. The stark comparison between any of the Star Clipper ships and a more conventional cruise ship is always most apparent when you see them side by side in port. The 5 masts of the Royal Clipper tower above every other vessel, showing off proudly her unique qualities with guests from other cruise lines looking on in awe, it’s a very proud moment slowly stepping up the gangway and entering the Tropical Bar for the very first time.

After a refreshing welcome cocktail, the check in process begins, which with only 227 (max) guests on board is very timely and straight forward. It makes a nice change to do the check in process on board, as it means you don’t have to spend too much time in the port terminal itself, you can be relaxing on the ship in no time.

Royal Clipper

I was shown to my category 4 cabin, which is down on the Commodore deck (the lowest deck for passengers) and un-packed. There is plenty of wardrobe space and drawer space, surprisingly so bearing in mind this is a working tall ship, the cabins are very comfortable. Categories 4, 3 and 2 are all very similar, the main difference is the position on the ship, so the category 2’s are the most expensive because they are up on the Clipper deck and in a more mid-ship position. Personally, I am quite happy in a category 4!

The first evening on board is always full of anticipation and excitement, with fellow passengers chatting away and getting to know each other at their pre-dinner drinks in the al fresco bar, before enjoying the first of 7 sumptuous dinners in the Royal Clippers grand dining room…

Dining on board is always an enjoyable experience, with no strict dress codes and set dining times, guests can choose where they sit and with whom each evening. The dining room opens for dinner at 1930 and closes again at 2200, so there is plenty of flexibility to fit in with how you choose to plan your day. Although we carry this informal outlook for dinner, you certainly don’t have to sacrifice the quality of food or service.

Our 6 course a la carte menu is different every night, with a great selection of fish, white meat, red meat and vegetarian options. If there’s really nothing on the menu you like the sound of, there is always the choice to order a steak frites or the ‘pasta of the day’, which your waiter will be happy to tell you about. The waiters on board are fantastic, offering silver service in the beautiful dining room; this is one of the 5 meals a day you will always look forward too!

Sail away on the first evening is usually always at 10pm. This is perfect for the first night as it allows time for everyone to arrive, unpack and enjoy their dinner before heading up to the bridge on the sun deck. The black sky is lit with stars and the warm Caribbean air wraps itself around you, as you stand alongside the captain and officers, watching them orchestrate the initial manoeuvres.

As the ship starts to quietly move away from the port, all of a sudden, the crew begin to pull the ropes and the sails begin to unfurl above you. Vangelis’s ‘Conquest to Paradise’ begins to boom out around the deck and the masts are lit with hundreds of tiny lights, creating the most magical and breath-taking moment, one only to be had on board Star Clippers. As you sip your glass of champagne listen to the classical music and watch the sails coming down at the expert hands of the many crew, your journey is just beginning, in our case, as we set sail for St Lucia.

Read Part 3: St Lucia

Back to Part 1: Barbados

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