Royal Clipper, Barbados – Stunning

Just imagine my excitement when I was asked if I would like to go on a trip to the Caribbean, starting in Barbados and then to join the amazing Star Clipper Ship – Royal Clipper.  The trip was to introduce me to the delightful Island of Barbados and the cruise visited St Kitts, Iles des Saintes and Martinique.  I truly couldn’t have wished for more.

They were places I had never been before and the Royal Clipper has long been on my list since I fell in love with the Star Clipper.

Our trip started (as many of our Star Clipper Caribbean Holidays do) when we flew from Gatwick to Barbados with British Airways, everything ran smoothly and I got the chance to catch up on the latest films whilst relaxing with a glass of wine and a meal.

I love that feeling when you get off a plane and the heat hits you, all of a sudden that long flight was all worthwhile. Our transfers throughout the trip were all on time and with very informative drivers who were brilliant at telling us all about sights we passed on route to our hotel.   It wasn’t long before I reached my first port of call, The Colony Club, Barbados. The welcome was very warm and the Rum cocktail was the first of many I had the pleasure of tasting during my trip. This is a lovely hotel, great food and as always in Barbados the staff are friendly and do everything they can to make your stay perfect. The hotel has a wide range of rooms, lovely large decking to relax on and a private beach, a beach as you can imagine, pure white sand and crystal blue sea!  Perfection.

I enjoyed the fact that although we were heading for an exciting cruise, the opportunity to spend the night in a fabulous hotel in a super location really was the icing on the cake.
The following day we flew to Antigua where we joined the Magnificent Royal Clipper, she was everything I thought she would be and a whole lot more. As usual I found the moment the ship sails out of the port so emotional, it is such a moving experience, glass of champagne, Vangelis playing throughout the top deck whilst the 5 sails are being raised by the crew, the captain and his team also on deck at the ships wheel, along with the sound of the wind blowing through the sails, this is definitely a cruise to do if you want to experience something different. During the next 4 days on the cruise we visited St Kitts, Iles des Saintes and Martinique. In St Kitts we had a half day island tour in an open bus with a great local tour guide, he was colourful, informative and lots of fun, he even had his own Rum selection for our refreshments during the morning, this is well worth doing.   We saw volcanos, lush countryside, stopped at a local market and watched children playing at school.  In the afternoon I sampled the white sand and aqua sea and as I had imagined it was all to my liking.

Whilst on board the Royal Clipper – each night on-board there was something different for guests to enjoy, Pirate Night, Talent Show, Captains night and so much more.
During the day you could enjoy one of two swimming pools, laze in the sun on a comfy deck chair or why not experience the difference of sun bathing in the nets?  The ship has a gym,  massage room and sauna so you are able to enjoy all these facilities too.  Don’t forget all your water sports are included, and you get taken on the ships zodiacs to the most stunning beaches to enjoy all the water sports each and every day.

On the second day of our cruise we arrived in Iles des Saintes, I had a little wander around in the port and then spent the afternoon on the beach trying out the water sports that the Royal Clipper sports team had to offer, I’ve decided me and canoeing are not a very good mix.

The town of Martinique does not have too much to offer so I would definitely suggest taking one of the ships organised excursions which will ensure you make more of this destination.
Before I knew it it was our last night on-board the cruise, one of my favourites as the whole team of staff sing traditional songs in the restaurant, a good chance to get some photographs for the album. We disembarked in Barbados and headed off for what was my highlight of the trip, 5 hours on a Catamaran with a Bajan lunch and an all-inclusive bar and my first chance ever to try and snorkel.  And snorkel I did and to make it more amazing I did it with the Turtles, it was fantastic and something I would encourage you to all do at least once in your life.

Our cruise ended in Barbados, but we did not have to fly home as we were lucky enough to spend our final night at the Tamarind Hotel, again a lovely hotel, large beach with lots of water sports and an adults only pool for all those couples who want to enjoy some chill time. If you are wanting something special Daphne’s Restaurant is next door, the ideal place to have an intimate meal for 2 on the beach or a luxury meal for a group of friends whilst sitting on the decking.

Well before you know it we are having our last few hours on the beach and trying to put off the inevitable, leaving for the airport. Once again all our transfers and flights were faultless and I was pleased that we had pre booked them all and did not have the hassle of having to sort anything out locally.
So as you have read, all in all this was a fantastic trip and if I can pass in any first-hand experience to help you make you mind up then please let me know.

Troy Welham


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