What you will love about sailing on a Royal Clipper Cruise
The Royal Clipper is no ordinary cruise ship. One of the three vessels in the Star Clippers fleet, with five masts and 42 sails, she is the world’s largest fully-rigged sailing ship. The Royal Clipper carries 227 passengers in 114 cabins. During the winter and spring months, the Royal Clipper sails throughout the Caribbean and then relocates to the Mediterranean for the summer and fall seasons.
The Star Clippers cruise line is a family run business. You will feel like a guest of the owners on a Royal Clipper cruise rather than merely just another passenger among thousands on a larger cruise ship. The diverse mix of passengers is slightly younger than you expect and come from many different countries. Additionally, Star Clippers guests also tend to return year after year, which lends itself to the feeling of coming home to family.
5 Reasons You Will Love a Royal Clipper Cruise
A nautical adventure on the Royal Clipper means embracing all of the excitement of sailing on the open sea. As a true sailing vessel, she also includes one-of-a-kind services and amenities not found on other cruise ships. Guests are encouraged to do everything or nothing at all.
Because of her size, the Royal Clipper can call on a collection of smaller, lesser-known cruise ports. Most days, she will drop anchor rather than dock in town. This means passengers must tender into port via lifeboats.
An incredible advantage of visiting these off the beaten path spots is that you won’t be among thousands of tourists flooding a city for the day. You’ll be able to meander around town like a local.
All of the itineraries vary to include cultural, historical, and recreational stops. The Royal Clippers offers several exciting excursions to help you thoroughly discover each place. They range from historical walking tours with local guides to more physically challenging bike and kayak tours.
However, should you want to explore on your own, it is best to do your research ahead of time. This way, you’ll be prepared to make the most of each stop. Although information sheets can be found in your room each evening, they only include necessary port information. You will want to know ahead of time which cobblestone streets to wander down or the best trattoria to dine at for a local lunch.
The Crow’s Nest & The Bowsprit
Not many cruise ships allow you to climb the mast. However, on a Royal Clipper cruise, you are invited to ascend 65-feet above to the crow’s nest. This look-out point gives you an unobstructed birds-eye view of the ship and the scenery around you. The climb is most definitely worth the reward.
The best seat in the house on the Royal Clipper is most definitely in the bowsprit. There is nothing quite like hovering over the ocean in the netting and watching the sky overhead. Grab a book and relax here while enjoying the gentle rocking of a sailing ship.
The Top Deck
The top deck has lots of space with shady spaces to read or lie on a lounger and sunbathe. You will likely find your fellow passengers enjoying an afternoon cocktail at the Tropical Bar. There is a large swimming pool in the center of the top deck, plus two hot tubs.
The Water Platform
Because the ship anchors at sea rather than docked in a port, guests will have an opportunity to experience the Water Platform at the ship’s stern. You are welcome to jump off and have a swim or take out one of the kayaks, paddleboards, or small sailboats. If you fancy water skiing, the crew is happy to take you out for a spin as well. If you want to relax, lay on a float, and watch the world go by.
The Royal Clipper Crew
The crew is friendly and accommodating — all 110 of them. Your dedicated cabin steward will keep your cabin immaculate and help with anything you might need during your cruise.
All shipboard announcements are made in English, German, and French. This is a reflection of the international clientele on board and the crew, which hail from 15 countries.
On the last night to demonstrate their global diversity, there will be a world sing-along where they showcase their home countries. It is an exceptional evening.
You Should Know about a Royal Clipper Cruise
Guests who usually sail on larger cruise ships should know they will not find the same amenities onboard the Royal Clipper.
- Limited Room service – This perk is only available for certain cabin levels. If you are not staying on the third deck, you’ll need to plan to eat your meals during the hours in which the one dining room is open.
- No beverage package – Not to worry, though, as drinks are very reasonably priced.
- No elevators – The Royal Clipper has four decks that are accessible via stairs.
- Entertainment – The crew provides nightly entertainment at the Tropical Bar. There are no shows.
- No Casino – There is a small library across with air conditioning.
- Electrical Plugs – The Royal Clipper uses 220V European plugs; therefore, you will need to bring converters.
- Captain’s Gala Dinner – This is the only evening that guests tend to dress up. Cocktail dresses for women and a jacket for men are appropriate attire.
- Themed dinner – One night during your cruise, there will be a theme night, such as Pirate Night. While wearing a costume is certainly not a requirement, you might pack an ensemble — you never know you might win a prize!
Disclosure: Star Clippers Cruises provided complimentary, accommodations, meals, and activities. No other compensation was received for this review. This post reflects the honest opinion of my experience without outside influence.