A great experience…aparat from the weather!
Adrianne Morris | August 28, 2015 | Star Clippers | Star Flyer
Strictly speaking this wasn’t a Caribbean cruise as we started with 3 nights in Havana at the excellent Iberostar Parque Central staying in the old building in a large Colonial style room. The staff couldn’t do enough for us. The Concierge was great and managed to get wonderful tickets for the ballet at the newly opened Ballet Theatre (I had called him in advance). Despite torrential rain we loved Havana and enjoyed looking around the faded beauty of the city. We enjoyed the classic car tour we took with Fabio Pinero of Havana Vintage Car Tours (see him on Tripadvisor) and then were driven in private taxi to Cienfuegos, another city of faded glory. The Star Flyer is a sight to behold and our cabin, although small was well-planned. The ports visited were mainly beaches and the waters very shallow so all but one, Grand Cayman, and the beginning and end of the Cruise, we had to get on and off the ship by tender and these were often trips of 30 – 45 minutes. The excursions such as the one at Grand Cayman where we swam with Stingrays were generally good but the snorkelling promised at Cayo Rico was very disappointing. We thought we would be guided and the seas were quite choppy and we were left very much to our own devices and compared with snorkelling in the islands of the Caribbean what we saw was a big let down. The BBQ on the beach at Punta Frances organised by the ship’s crew was very nice and the beach itself delightful – a real desert island. As to the Star Flyer, the food was very good generally and there was plenty of choice with earlybird breakfast and teatime snacks and midnight snacks too. One problem was that our only day at sea coincided with a terrible rainstorm with force 5 winds and very large (8-12ft) waves waking everyone at 5.30 am and the whole of that day and the next at sea you couldn’t go on deck and there is only a very little inside space but many people were horizontal in their cabins – the ship really was rocking and rolling. However it did pass and the next day dawned fair and bright luckily when we arrived in Grand Cayman. The crew were generally very nice especially Steffi who was the Hotel Manager – she worked tirelessly and was brilliant- and organised pretty much everything – certainly all the entertainment which was every evening. There were musical quizzes and a talent competition which consisted mainly of volunteers from the crew, however. Most evenings there was music to dance to and this was great fun. The crowd was a mix of Brits, Germans, Swiss and various other nationalities and generally everyone mixed well. We enjoyed it very much and we would like to go again, maybe on Royal Clipper. We would have enjoyed more time sailing and more sunshine but that is not within the remit of the crew!
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