Words of Wisdom Wednesday




As our Caribbean season winds to a close we're looking back on long beach days with nothing but beautiful weather and a good book and relaxing days resting in the bowsprit net. Soon it's on to the Mediterranean!



What's your favorite way to vacation? Do you prefer to relax or to be on the move?
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The Yacht Club Sails On

The Southwestern Yacht Club from San Diego, Calif., recently came together as a group and sailed on Royal Clipper in the Caribbean. A special thanks to guests Nancy and Ed who took the time to share their experiences and photos. Here the yacht club and other guests onboard Royal Clipper wave to Star Clipper as they meet at Dominica.










"We were along the coast of Dominica and our "sister ship" the Star Clipper was at sea next to us. The tenders went down and guests boarded for an incredible photo op. I have to say, this company is truly superior and the personnel the best we have ever encountered."

-Nancy









Have you had a great experience with the crew like Nancy has? Send your photos and stories to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and you may end up in a future post!
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A Sunset at Sea

Some of our favorite photos are sunsets at sea. This shot was shared by Susanne, a Star Clippers' guest hailing from Austria. She snapped these on her sailing adventure with us.









To see more pretty Star Clippers photos of sunsets at sea visit our Pinterest board, Sunsets and Sails.



Do you have one of your own that you'd like to share? Email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
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Star Clippers Words of Wisdom Wednesday

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Chris Features the Finer Points

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, chriscruises.com.





Spending the day in Terre de Haute, a French island in the Caribbean never visited by big ships, I was reminded of the obvious: Star Clipper ships go where big ships can not. But more than the small size of their ships and that they are powered by wind for the most part, there are other features that we discovered on a Windward Islands sailing of Royal Clipper.






Small, But Nicely Appointed Cabins
We had stateroom 208, an Oceanview cabin with two porthole windows that was laid out quite nicely. Two twin beds that could be converted to a double like most other cruise lines are standard. Under-bed storage took our biggest pieces of luggage and a built in storage drawer was a nice addition. Cabin lighting options provided a number of different possibilities ranging from full light to sectional lighting appropriate for working at the built in desk, illuminating a curtained changing area only and more. One closet with hangars was about half what many other lines offer but with hangers mounted high, additional storage below made up for it. The star of the show in cabin appointments though is the marble-floored bathroom which is a generous size with adequate storage behind a triple pane mirror and under the sink.






At the Purser’s Desk/Sloop Shop onboard clothing and logo shop, DVDs are available to borrow at no charge. Passengers can choose from hundreds of titles but I can’t for the life of me see why someone would want to watch television on this ship. Cabins have TV’s and a DVD player but we turned on CNN once and it was such a bad fit for the ambience of Royal Clipper that we turned it off rather quickly.



These are sailing ships with sailors that man the decks as the captain calls out commands. They make quite a show of it too, playing grand orchestral compositions of seagoing music as the ship’s sails are set, every single time. Initially, I thought that would get old pretty fast. On the contrary, as the voyage proceeded and we learned more about sailing ships from the crew and well-traveled passengers we came to appreciate it more each time. As I write this we have two more sailaways left on our itinerary and I’d imagine that the last one will be quite difficult to bear.






A Captain’s Captain
Never has the term “master of the vessel” had more meaning than on this ship. Frankly, I respected that position on other sailings and appreciated the tremendous weight of responsibility that rested on the Captain’s shoulders. Still, on Royal Clipper we see navigation happening in many ways as it has for hundreds of years at sea. Sails are made of longer lasting material now and not canvass. Voyages take weeks rather than months. Modern technology supplements age-old sailing ways. But the Captain is an active, working part of the crew and is constantly present.



One day we met up with another Star Clipper ship and a traditional salute had crew members on the Bow Sprit (pointy thing on the front) of both ships, displaying the flags of their home nations. Another day passengers boarded tender boats to see Royal Clipper with all sails deployed. The masterful seamen on board were able to do that and not outrun the tenders but place the ship in nearly a station-keeping position (to borrow a Star Trek term), one sail set for forward motion while another compensated with equal force in the opposite direction.



After that event, when passengers were back on the ship, they were invited to take a photo of the crew, assembled as a group on deck. Captain Tunikov was quick to give credit to his crew, inviting passengers to get a photo of “the best sailing crew in the world,” a hearty approbation of which no passenger had any doubt.






The Cuisine
Sure, food is a big part of any cruise experience and it has evolved over time. Big ships have gone from “let me fill my gaping maw” buffets to healthy-choice options and a variety of onboard venues from which to choose. On Star Clippers, the attention to detail on culinary offerings is nearly beyond description. I say “nearly” because this is the topic of an upcoming post covering dining from A to Z and we will get into great detail there.



But researching this cruise line and ship prior to boarding, we found very little information about dining. Few details, reviews, menus…nothing. We’ll correct that omission from the body of knowledge available about Royal Clipper shortly. For now, describing the culinary offerings on Royal Clipper one word stands out as quite appropriate: Fabulous. No, really fabulous and not in a gaudy, showy way. Stay tuned for more on that topic shortly.



Let’s put it this way: I can’t remember the last time I had food so good on a cruise ship that I wanted and nearly did eat everything on the menu.






There are other unique features of the Star Clippers experience and we’ll get into those when we reader answer questions, gathered along the way.



To visit Chris' blog click here: www.chriscruises.com
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Sail Along in Dominica

Star Clippers' guest Nancy Geczy kindly shared these photos from Royal Clipper and Star Clipper's sail along near Dominica. The two ships sailing alongside one another is always a fabulous sight, and leaves quite the impression on those lucky enough to experience it. Nancy summed it up, saying:



" Today was beautiful as you will see by the pictures. We were along the coast of Dominica and our 'sister ship' the Star Clipper was at sea next to us. The

tenders went down and guests boarded for an incredible photo op. It doesn't get any better than this!! Truly awesome!!"



















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Star Clippers Words of Wisdom Wednesday




What's the most fantastic thing you've seen or learned while traveling? Let us know in the comments below!
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A Day In Terre de Haut Via Royal Clipper

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, chriscruises.com.





Nearing the end of our Windward Islands itinerary with Star Clippers we have been to a different port each day. Sailing round-trip Barbados to St Lucia, Dominica, Antigua and St Kitts, we stopped at the French island of Terre de Haut on the way to Martinique.



Royal Clipper anchored just off shore as she had for all our ports of call, running continuous tenders to the seaside town’s marina and to a nearby beach. On a self-guided walking tour, we enjoyed a fresh baked baguette, just out of the oven while snapping a few photos along the way.



Quite a colorful place, the French-speaking town was full of activity from tourists visiting by land as well as luxury yachts docked next to our ship with sails. This is one of those places that would be nice to come back to one day and spend more time.


















To visit Chris' blog click here: www.chriscruises.com
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Salute to a Sister Ship

Here's Royal Clipper sailing alongside Star Clipper in Feb. 2013 in the Caribbean. Thanks to guest Maria Nygren of Stockholm, Sweden, for taking the time to share the video.



Says Maria,







"Well, a little more than a year ago we experienced such a moment, on our Leeward Islands cruise with Star Clipper. We all felt like taking part in a feast, and being Swedish, we of course enjoyed the moment even more!"










Do you have a video from your Star Clippers experience that you would like to share? Email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.!
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Star Clippers Attention To Detail: On And Off The Ship

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.





The Star Clipper experience we are working through on our Windward Islands itinerary has some common elements, core components of what they do that keeps passengers coming back year after year. Details in the culinary department make each meal an event. Stateroom stewards customize their services for each guest. Marine operations has sailors raising sails with precision timing. No detail is overlooked, including photo opportunities for passengers on board.



We were told that the end of our day on the island of St Kitts, what Star Clippers calls a Photo Tender opportunity would take place, shortly before sunset. This is where passengers could board tender boats, head out to sea then watch as all of Royal Clipper’s sails were raised. It is a sight that draws the attention of others who live on or are visiting the ports of call on our itinerary, every time we arrive.



Prior to the event, passengers (including myself) wondered how they could do that; have all sails raised but not sail off without us. “Surely the tender boats can not keep up with Royal Clipper under full sail,” said one puzzled passenger. “Maybe they set all the sails then put the ship’s engine in reverse to hold it in place,” pondered another. As it turns out, it was the flexibility of the sails combined with some pretty tricky seamanship that allowed Royal Clipper to have all her glorious sails unfurled but move slowly enough that tender boats could outrun and circle around her.



This sampling of photos shows the variety of angles afforded us as well as the changing silhouette of the ship as the sun set. It’s just one example of Star Clippers attention to detail.

































To visit Chris' blog click here: www.chriscruises.com
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Words of Wisdom Wednesday




"Come sail away, come sail away, come sail away with me,

Come sail away, come sail away, come sail away with me,

Come sail away, come sail away, come sail away with me"


-Styx



It doesn't get much simpler than that! What's your favorite sailing song?
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A Magical Moment in Dominica

German guests Günter Bielz and Doris Boley-Bilez were sailing on Star Clipper's Leeward Islands itinerary when they had the opportunity to sail alongside Royal Clipper. They were so kind to share their experience, and we look forward to welcoming them aboard once again in July.


"We are some really hopeless Star Clippers fans. To meet the Royal Clipper the 3rd of February 2014 to sail together to Cabrits, Dominica, was one of the best things we've ever got to do - a real magical moment! Many thanks to all in the crew for always doing a perfect job - see you in July!!"









For more fabulous pictures of Regal Royal Clipper visit Star Clippers on Pinterest!



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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
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Antigua Welcomes Star Clippers, Royally

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.





As if island-hopping in the Caribbean on a ship with sails is not adventure enough, passengers on Star Clippers Royal Clipper had a select list of shore excursions from which to choose. An Antigua Rhino Adventure, Kayak Echo Tour and an Island Jeep Safari kept many passengers off the ship all day. Add in a beach barbecue, with a relaxing massage or water gymnastics with the ship’s sports team and it was a full day ashore. Or not. Other passengers chose to stay on board and read a book, lounge on deck or do nothing at all.



Comparing the Star Clippers experience to other niche cruise options is no easy task. There simply is no other cruise choice that comes close. Wind Star cruises has ships with sails that appear from a distance to be sailing ships. But the able bodied seamen on Royal Clipper are quick to dismiss their mock sails as ‘just for show’ in a very matter of fact way.



Previous visits to Antigua took us to Pineapple Beach resort, a beautiful place with a wedding chapel perched high on a cliff overlooking the ocean. We thought that location was about as good as it could get on this island if not in the entire Caribbean. But approaching Antigua’s Falmouth Harbour via a ship with sails turns the focus in an entirely different direction.






It’s a common scene when Royal Clipper enters any populated area. Rather than local residents lining shores to wave good bye to the cruise ship, a common scene when big ships leave port, the focus is reversed. Local residents, boat and yacht owners and those on the few other ships we see in port line up to see the ship with sails arrive. I can see why too; Royal Clipper casts a striking image against just about any backdrop.



Upon arrival in Antigua, small sailing craft raced to get an up close view of the Guinness-record holding largest masted ship in the world. At the private beach barbecue, our Executive Chef prepared lunch on an open fire while the Maitre ‘d made sure everyone was well taken care of, all within sight of our ship. Some guests relaxed on the beach, others engaged in complementary water sports or went on to their shore excursion while a few returned to the ship or explored the island on their own.












We did a little of both; walking through town, drinking in the local flavor then returning to the ship for a leisurely afternoon. As we continue our voyage on Royal Clipper, one element of the experience seems universal: you can do whatever you want to do but don’t miss sailaway for any reason.



After this experience, the term “set sail” has an entirely different meaning than it has on any other ship we have ever sailed on. The correct term, we learned early in the voyage was to “set the sails” and that indeed is a major event every single day. Setting the sails are sailors who work in unison, right in front of the passengers as the Captain calls out commands that are instantly repeated by the seaman responsible for executing the order. Every single time. It’s a military-precision operation that results in a breathtaking event that is totally over the top for those who appreciate such things. There is a huge undeniable difference between a big ship where someone we don’t see uses a joystick and thrusters to move the vessel into a launch position and sailors setting the sails.



Antigua is a beautiful port with captivating aquamarine water that is just as pretty as a picture. Ply those waters on a ship with sails and the experience is simply something you have to do to appreciate.
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Favorite Port, Favorite Island

Star Clippers veteran guests Nancy & Ed shared some of his Antigua experience with us, his favorite stop on Royal Clipper's Windward Islands itinerary. Thanks, Nancy & Ed!





"Today is Tuesday and we are in our favorite port on our favorite island: Nelson's Harbor, Antigua.



We are having lunch at Cloggy's around the corner in Falmouth Harbor...We walked around Nelson's Dockyard and the yachts moored there are pretty amazing! There is a boat race as one of the sign ups on the boat.



...Steel drum band on board tonight, we love it!



Wonderful ship, wonderful crew and guests, what's not to love!"



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Words of Wisdom Wednesday 2/12




Do you have a passion for travel?



Do you prefer an urban setting like Rome, Italy, or would you rather roam the more remote roads on Star Clippers' destinations like Patmos, Greece?
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Celebrating a Birthday Royally

Thanks to Star Clippers Facebook fan Susanne Bentlage from Vienna, Austria, for sharing this Royal Clipper collage from a 50th birthday celebration!



On Star Clippers you can have your cake and eat it too...and doesn't that look delightful?






Have you celebrated a milestone with Star Clippers? We'd love to hear your story! Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
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Star Clippers Words of Wisdom Wednesday




Mahatma Gandhi said, "There is more to life than increasing its speed." Slow down, lower your sails and enjoy the world from the bowsprit net.



For more words of wisdom and sailing inspiration visit Star Clippers' favorite travel quotes board on Pinterest.
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Having a 'Double Wow' Vacation on Royal Clipper

Guests Ed and Nancy are on Royal Clipper, and as you can read they are having the time of their lives. Thanks to them for sharing their thoughts and photos!





It is just incredible, this trip ... one has to be here to fully understand this unique experience. We're sitting in the newly opened Nutmegs in Grenada, a place we've been coming to every time we've been here except they had closed last year. A beautiful day, no rain, sunny, almost hot and we're being treated with a steel drum concert on board tonight before sail away at midnight. The food is beyond over the top, the crew are beyond exceptional, the beds are very comfortable, and the wind in the sails lulls us to sleep at night. We're meeting many guests, mostly English, however, they are from all over the world. It is beautiful and casual at the same time.







Our group is now well known (in two short days) and we are having such a great time. Sail away is magnificent ... it is magical ... and when we left Barbados, the guests on a cruise ship in port were hanging off the rails waving and taking pictures as we left port. And the music ... oh, the music ... we were enchanted! We wish that all of you could be on board with us ... and today as we got into the tender, all these rafts were tied together floating off the marina deck of the boat for those who wanted to enjoy. More like the catamaran than a cruise ship! BUT WE ARE GUESTS TREATED ROYALLY!



Beautiful ship, beautiful people, double wow ... what more can I say.









[caption id="attachment_14634" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Lunch at Barbados with Karen, Gloria, Mike, Bob, Dick and Nan.







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Small Ship Advantages

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.





Sailing Star Clippers, it did not take long to notice that smaller ocean-going ships offer some distinct advantages not possible with larger vessels. Our first port of call on Royal Clipper took us to the lovely island of St Lucia, a tender port as most are on our itinerary. Normally not a big fan of tender ports, there is a huge difference between moving a couple hundred people on our ship with sails and thousands off a larger ship. The process is rather easy. But moving a comparatively miniscule number of passengers is far from the only difference.



Smaller Ships At Smaller Ports
That Star Clipper ships stop at ports rarely visited by large ships is unique. Cruise travelers who have become a bit bored with big ship-capable ports will like the change in scenery. A bonus is that the ports are not overwhelmed by a massive surge in visitors as multiple ships deposit legions of passengers ashore for the day.



In St Lucia’s Rodney Bay, we found a more relaxed scene with less crowded beaches, shops and restaurants. At the end of the pier were tour operators waiting for those on excursions but also local guides willing and able to take us on a leisurely, custom tour. Charles from Charles In Charge tours was happy to talk to me for about a half hour about the island, what it had to offer and what he would charge, even after I told him I was not interested. The difference was that Charles was conveying his love of his island and was happy to talk about it with no sales pitch pressure.






Nemo would love this
Dining is a big part of any cruise travel experience it seems and doing so with Star Clippers is no exception. An early riser continental buffet starts the day, followed by a breakfast and lunch buffet. At breakfast an omelet station prepares made to order creations and lunch brings a pasta station with a variety of choices also.



Royal Clipper has one dining room with porthole views of the ocean that are very much like what the crew members might see on a big ship. Gazing out of the window at lunch on the way to St Lucia we were right at water level. Passing through a wave brought an underwater view that, in the crystal clear Caribbean, is something we just don’t see on other ships.






Able Bodied Seniors With A Passion For Life
Sailing in moderately heavy seas the first night, Royal Clipper was rocking and rolling but cabin stewards are prepared, raising sideboards on bed to keep passengers off the floor. To those who enjoy that motion, it was very much like being rocked to sleep, perhaps as a baby in a cradle. Interestingly, the largely senior passenger mix navigated hallways, stairs and open decks with ease on well-traveled sea legs. Veteran hotel manager Steven Adamson told me that is usually the case as passengers who book Star Clipper ships are comfortable with the elements of ocean travel on a ship with sails.



Indeed, it seems every one of them has a story. Ronald from Maryland built model sailing ships as a boy and later worked for the Smithsonian doing the same. Freda from the UK was looking forward to climbing the mast to get an idea of what her father might have seen as a wiry young man who did the same in the Royal Navy.






The People Element Presents Itself Early In The Voyage
Regular readers here know this is not our first mention of how meeting others along the way can make for a rich travel experience. We have found that on the biggest of big ships too. Many of our friends were met on a big cruise ship. Still, it seems that the smaller the ship is, the more apt we are to meet and engage other passengers. We found that on Azamara Club Cruises smaller Azamara Journey. On Viking River Cruise longships we enjoyed meeting many of the 190 people on board. From the biggest to the tiniest ships, each offers a unique cruise vacation experience.



One of the distinct advantages of sailing Royal Clipper is that those on board share a love of the sea unlike we have experienced before.



How interested in ships with sails are the passengers on board? Nearly half of the passenger group were invited to the past guest party after our departure from St Lucia. Held on deck, Captain Tunikov told stories from the sea to the appreciative audience, most of whom had sailed with him before.






Frankly, it would be easy to be embarrassed about our entire cruise history in this environment. I can’t help but think of our friend Peter Knego, a maritime history authority who would be right at home on this ship and could probably swap stories with the best of them.



That said, just a couple days into our Windward Islands sailing, we have learned more about ships, made more new friends who have a passion for travel and gained more of a perspective on the cruise industry than on any dozen other sailings. As this experience unfolds, we are clearly in an entirely different world, that of ships with sails and one we hope to share with you, every step of the way.



To visit Chris' blog click here: www.chriscruises.com
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