A birthday Celebration to remember

Hello Clare

As advised in our last conversation I said I would give you feedback on our recent holiday. This feedback is aimed at a balanced view of the ‘Star Clippers’ holiday experience, utilising our experience in evaluating holiday goods and services (we used to act as mystery shoppers for Centre Parcs in the UK and Europe) combined with our extensive knowledge of travel in the Caribbean and beyond. Clearly with a ship of this size one cannot compare facilities with a large super cruise ship and we have endeavoured to bear this in mind when commenting.

Firstly may I thank yourself and Troy and also Stat Clippers for managing to upgrade Chrissys Mum she had the holiday of a lifetime. Also the ships management for including Chrissys Mum on the Captains table  In fact our overall impression of the holiday was very positive, please find below our feedback

The Ship

Beautiful ship very well presented both inside and out with constant paint renewal no signs of wear and tear. Public areas are well designed, especially the dining area which is both atmospheric and intimate whilst at the same time managing to service volume covers at peak times. We loved the access to all areas of the ship including the bridge and foredeck during sail hoisting etc

Staterooms

Generally well presented but small dimensions (cat 4), the marble bathroom however was excellent and matched the dimensions of that of much larger ships. The bed, sheets and pillows were not of the quality previously experienced on other cruises, also the TV in room was the old tech CRT not the new Flat panel technology which would add space and reduce weight . The media on the TV was totally under utilised showing very limited content ( one news channel, one German language movie that played for the duration of the cruise, one channel showing the ships construction and one channel charting progress but at a resolution that could not be viewed )  A massive opportunity is being missed here. this is a window into each stateroom that could be used to sell products, activities, excursions etc. Cruise info and messaging are also important areas that should be used with this service, personally we missed some cruise info because we did not know that the item was being discussed somewhere on the ship and had not picked up the communication

Itinerary

This is a very subjective area in a nutshell, our personal preferences would be –

In the BVI’s change the snorkelling location from ‘the caves’ to ‘the indians’ as the latter is both more interesting and more impressive
We would drop the Isle de Sante destination and offer the Grenadines
We would substitute Rodney Bay/ Pigeon Island  on St Lucia for Soufriere
Lastly we would have liked to see more actual Sailing between destination We do appreciate that the cruise itinerary is ‘time critical’ and there is a limit regarding sailing efficiency/wind direction depending on routing but it would have been good to have a morning or afternoon pure sailing

Activities

We thought the excursions were excellent value for money with some scope to even increase prices by 15-20%

Sports Facilities, We did not use these despite brining my PADI card and anticipating some diving, We thought the dive facilities were poor using dated RIBs without even a dive ladder (I’m past scrambling over the tube of an inflatable at my age) from our point of view this luxury cruise is being let down by poor quality equipment in this area. The remainder of the Sporting equipment falls in to the OK but not exceptional category

Night time activities were generally low key and informal ( The Steel Band was the highlight ) suited the mood of the cruise exactly

Tenders, we thought were somewhat hit and miss in terms of frequency ( except when Glenroy was running things) also seldom were two tenders running at the same time which meant at least a half hour wait if we missed one by a few minutes. The process of getting people off the ship on arrival in port seemed to work OK most of the time

Staff

Staff almost without exception were excellent with special mentions to – The Hotel Manager, The Captain, The Restaurant Head, Manilito, Glenroy, Raquel, and all onboard.

Food

Generally was good if not exceptional with the exception of Breakfast which was very good, Wine and drinks were, by cruise standards good value for money especially the house wines
The area we see for improvement is access to fresh products e.g. Fish, shellfish en route rather than the frozen fare dished up on occasion. In short, in the context of ‘Luxury Cruise’ some of the food falls someway short of your competitors.

 

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