Words of Wisdom

  0 Hits
  0 Comments

Smaller Ships can Stop Twice A Day

Chis Owen of the popular blog Chris Cruises boarded Royal Clipper in Barbados. Chris is a travel-writer who focuses primarily on the cruise industry and he began live-tweeting, instagramming and blogging his experience aboard the largest full-rigged sailing ship in the world. Follow along with Chris' journey here, or join the conversation on Twitter, Instagram, or his own blog, www.chriscruises.com.





Taking advantage of the ship’s small size, Royal Clipper often makes two port calls in one day. Visiting St Kitts, for example, we first stopped at Basseterre for a couple hours then went on to a different location for a day at the beach. It’s all a part of the Star Clippers cruise line experience that draws attention to the flexibility of their itineraries.



Stopping first at one port early in the morning, passengers on shore excursions get off the ship and get deep into the destination. On a standard ocean cruise experience, time getting to and from points of interest chew up a lot of the day. Repositioning the ship, often on the other side of any given island, allows more immersion into the destination. This is where Royal Clipper passengers who might want to shop, get cash or just do some people watching. If there is a crowd, this is where we see it.









Interestingly, in St Kitts, taxi drivers and tour operators pitched their services as we had seen when visiting before. But for the most part, once they found that we would be there a brief time, we were left alone…with one exception. One aggressive cab driver started a rumor that our ship would be staying in port a bit longer, allowing more time to employ his services. We quickly found out that the scam here was to lead us into believing that, taking them up on a short tour then, when the ship sails away without us needing their services to get to the next stop, for an additional fee. Pretty clever really.



The second port of call in the day is the longer of the two and happens at a beachfront location. Running continuous tender operations all day, those coming off an excursion can spend time at the beach or go back to the ship upon completion of their tour. On our Windward Islands itinerary, that meant a day at a variety of beaches throughout the Caribbean and many passengers took full advantage of the opportunities.






Interestingly, the only big ship we encountered was Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the Seas, there for the day in St Kitts. Later, after repositioning, we could still see Independence in the distance but were at a nearly-private beach with few other travelers around. That’s also a key ingredient in the Star Clippers experience; few other travelers vying for a destination’s resources and few lines to stand in makes for more quality time off-ship.



Back at the ship with sails, a cocktail hour from five to six in the afternoon became more popular as the itinerary continue, a way for passengers to reunite and discuss what they had done during the day. Normally. On our day in St Kitts, the off-ship events ended with what Star Clippers calls a Photo Tender. This is where those passengers interested board tenders and head out to sea, followed by Royal Clipper under full sail. It’s something we can’t see while on the ship and allows some wonderful photo opportunities of our magnificent ship.



That’s next.



To visit Chris' blog click here: www.chriscruises.com
  234 Hits
  0 Comments