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Caribbean on board Royal Clipper - Review

Weds 22nd Jan 2014

Explore the idyllic Caribbean islands of Antigua, St Kitts and Martinique on a spectacular voyage under full sail. Read Sam’s review of her Windward Islands sailing holiday on board Star Clipper’s impressive five-masted ship Royal Clipper.

I joined Star Clippers’ stunning sailing ship Royal Clipper in Antigua, for the second half of the Windward Islands cruise. After an easy check in, I was shown to my cabin and was immediately impressed at how light and airy it felt. There were complimentary toiletries in the en-suite as well as bath and beach towels, a safe, hairdryer and plenty of wardrobe space for my slightly overweight suitcase contents thank goodness!

We moored in Antigua overnight so had chance to go back ashore to explore the local area before enjoying pre-dinner cocktails in the Royal Clipper’s Tropical Bar. The general atmosphere onboard is most definitely relaxed. During the day casual beachwear is the rule of thumb with shorts and t-shirts acceptable in the dining room. Most guests do prefer to dress a little smarter for dinner but leave the black tie and tiara at home!

Breakfast and lunch are buffet style with a wide variety of hot and cold dishes and the Chef is always present cooking up a special of the day. A casual afternoon tea is served at 5pm in the Tropical Bar, which you can accompany with the Cocktail of the Day! Dinner is served from 7.30pm and is a tempting five course menu with several different options, served by attentive waiters.

Five-masted sailing ship Royal Clipper Falmouth Bay, Antigua Explore Antigua's coastline Discover Basseterre, the capital of St Kitts See the colourful houses on the island of St Kitts Royal Clipper cruises to the idyllic Iles des Saintes archipelago Terre-de-Haut Bay, Iles des Saintes See Mt Pelee on the island of Martinique Explore Barbados Relax in the library on board Enjoy superb cuisine in the dining room Royal Clipper

Our first ‘sail away’ was just before midnight and what a truly moving experience it was. I stood on the deck and was instantly mesmerised by the haunting sound of Vangelis’ 1492. The moon shone through the sails as they were hoisted one by one and as the gentle wind caught hold we gracefully sailed away into the Caribbean night – a moment never to be forgotten!

The next few days were amazing. Ports of call included Basseterre, the capital of St Kitts, the idyllic Iles des Saintes archipelago and Fort de France on Martinique. Every island had its own individual appeal and one day I have promised to re-visit them all.

Back on the Royal Clipper, despite the sometimes ‘excitable’ weather, I enjoyed (not sure this is the best chosen word!) some of the more popular activities offered by this genuine sailing ship; hauling the ropes in with the crew (hard work), negotiating a sunbathing position on the netting (utterly terrifying) and climbing the rope ladder to the crows nest (a knee-knocking journey).

The final day of my cruise came far too quickly and was a sad occasion for everyone. Four nights on this magnificent ship was a real treat but next time – and there will definitely be a next time – will be the full affair.

Blue Water Holidays Blog