Whisked Off To The Windward Islands - Karen's Blog
14th January 2014
Karen Jones, Sales Support Executive for Star Clippers UK, was lucky enough to take a group to the Windward Islands, sailing from Antigua to Barbados aboard the Royal Clipper, recently. Here, she shares her experiences…
A very excited sales support executive, i.e. me, arrived at Gatwick North Terminal at 08.00am and waited with the Star Clippers brochure in hand for my 7 guests to join me. It was a pleasure to meet everyone and I knew from the start that I had a great group of people and we were all going to enjoy a fantastic experience.
Soon enough, we were all boarded on our BA flight to Barbados for our Caribbean adventure.
Our itinerary included firstly an opportunity to experience Antigua at Blue Waters hotel where we were supplied with the most exotic, romantic rooms I have ever experienced. We were roomed in the Penthouse Villas each boasting 3 double bedrooms with lounge and kitchen area and bathrooms overlooking the ocean along with shared swimming pool. The balcony was huge and this is an amazing accommodation, perfect for a group of friends or families to share.
Keen to start our Royal Clipper cruise, our first sighting of the magnificent vessel was such a special moment for all of us as we were all new to this ship. We were all in awe as we climbed the stairs on to the wooden deck feeling like we had all stepped back in to the early 1900's
Our allocated cabins were category 3’s which are outside with double bed, porthole, ample space and good size wardrobes, all in dark mahogany wood along with vintage pictures of sailing ships. There is a TV and safe and the bathroom has a marble lined shower, which has great water pressure, a sink, shaving point and hair-dryer.
Every day or evening when Royal Clipper sails away from her port of call, the guests on board all gather on the main sun deck where the sails are raised to the haunting tune of Conquest of Paradise by the composer Vangelis. This, for my group and I, was an amazing experience and is what sailing on this stunning cruise ship is all about. We enjoyed 4 nights on board and didn't miss any moment of sail away.
During the day, it is possible to relax in the nets at the bow of the ship and look for dolphins, there are chances to climb the rigging to the Crow’s nest for a spectacular view of the ship in all her glory, enjoy the crew entertainment in an evening or a local band and exchange the views and experiences with fellow guests on board. Everyone is so friendly and the atmosphere is very relaxed, but there is also an opportunity to show off that special dress or suit if you would like to. When it was Pirate night, I quite liked painting a beard on my face with eye-liner and wearing a stripy t-shirt on my head (but that’s just me!).
For me, the water sports is a fantastic extra added value – water skiing, sailing, kayaking and snorkelling all for free, this would cost me a fortune if I booked in to a hotel!
The Windward Island itinerary is a must for anyone with a desire to explore the Caribbean, but to do this on board the Royal Clipper can only enhance the experience and make it a holiday of a lifetime.
My favourite destination was Iles des Saintes. This tiny French Caribbean island lies just south of Guadeloupe and is mostly populated by descendants from Brittany and Normandy so Euros are required here. The buildings are colourful and most of the shops sell local artisan products at a very reasonable price. The waters are so clear and ideal for snorkelling and looking back at the hilly landscape from Royal Clipper was just stunning.
In Barbados, I stayed at the Colony Club for 2 nights. If you want luxury, a room where you can plunge in to your own private pool from your patio, tranquillity, sunshine, a beach on the doorstep, free water sports, amazing service – just call our reservations team and book it as an add-on to your Royal Clipper experience!
Just one last note – sailing on board Royal Clipper was an absolute dream for me to experience and I can’t wait to answer any questions or give advice to anyone wishing to book with Star Clippers in the future. Also, thank you to my wonderful fellow ship mates who made this an incredible trip never to be forgotten.
If you would like to book your own experience aboard Royal Clipper and create some memories similar to Karen's, you can get in touch with us today by calling 0845 200 6145 or download a booking form online.