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Karon Kallies

Age: 46 to 55

Occupation:n/a

Number of Cruises: 11 to 20

Cruise Line: Star Clipper

Ship: Star Clipper

Sailing Date: n/a

Itinerary: The Grenadines

We sailed on this lovely sailing vessel over Christmas 1998. The ship is in good condition. The cabins are very small but there was plenty of room to store our belongings. We chose this cruise because of two things: 1) We wanted (3 couples) to cruise on a small ship; 2) The itinerary. I liked the itinerary very much since I appreciate the smaller, less touristy islands. One of the couples with us was less happy with the itinerary since she really likes to shop.

The passengers were about 25% American, 28% Netherlands, 27% other Europeans, and the rest from around the world. The mix of nationalities was delightful. We so often travel on ships that cater only to North Americans. Each evening everyone gathers around the open-air bar. Around 5:00pm they bring out wonderful hot and cold snacks, a musician plays and sings, and everyone visits and dances. It is very casual and most people come straight from the pool, stay at the bar an hour and then go clean up for dinner.

There is open seating on the ship, which is one of the best reasons for cruising on smaller ships. The food was excellent. We were delighted with the quality of the food, the portions, the menu choices, and the service. We tend to order wine by the price more than the name; we had plenty of choices in all price ranges.

The crew went out of its way to make sure we were having the best experience possible. When possible we were anchored during meals; on one long stretch we had to eat while going at full speed in very windy conditions. You had to hold your wine glass and sort of sit on one side of your chair and lean to keep from falling. This could not be helped but a few people did get a bit green and miss a meal or two.

The only negative about the ship is the very high thresholds (if that is what they are called) needed on a ship of this size. They are at least 12" high; one is at the top of the stairs leading from the cabins and there is very little space to get your balance before the stairs begin. For many people this was a very scary venture and it was the only way to get outside when the dining room was closed.

We stayed 2 days at the end of our cruise in Antigua. We used the post-cruise package offered by Star Clipper. None of the 6 of us traveling together have anything nice to say about the stay. Star Clipper chose Hawks Bill Resort for the package. It is not suited to American travelers. It is extremely expensive but not air conditioned. The staff was rude; the food average. Most passengers were very unhappy and no one seemed to care. Star Clipper should definitely consider using a different hotel for Americans. We have stayed all over the Caribbean in every type of accommodation. Hawks Bill does not measure up to its cost.

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