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My Royal Clipper Cruise Experience - Windward Islands - Day 1

By Ed Holownia - Published November 12, 2006 - Viewed 2211 times

My Experience on the Royal Clipper 11/12/06 - 11/19/06 - Barbados, St. Lucia, Dominica, Antigua, St. Kitts, Ile des Saintes, Martinique, Barbados

11/12/06 Barbados

While I was packing for my trip, I began to get a bit nervous about going on the cruise by myself.  I decided that I should bring a few books and some DVD’s to watch at night.  I wasn’t sure how many people I would meet on board and how much time I would be spending alone. I had never really traveled alone before, not to mention that this was my first cruise ever. 

As I walked out of the Star Clipper Check-In station in Barbados, the Royal Clipper stood out in stark contrast to the tugs, a naval ship, and other assorted work boats and barges all docked at the ship yard. 

It was a relief to finally get on board.  I had begun traveling at 4:00am from my home in Northern Virginia to make my flight down to Miami and connecting flight to Barbados.  As I finally go on board, it was close to 5pm and I was tired from the already full day of travel. 

I got down to my cabin and found my bags waiting right outside my room.  I went in, unpacked and just checked out the room.  It wasn’t big, but I decided that there was more than enough room for me. 

I unpacked my bags and headed up to the bar to grab a beer and a snack. As I was sitting at the bar, wearing my Yankees hat, a man asked me if I was from NY, I told him that I had grown up on Long Island but now lived in Northern VA.  He told me his name was Frank, he was originally from LI as well and that he had season tickets to Yankee Stadium.  We talked about the Yankees for a little while and I realized that I might not be spending all that much time alone, especially if everyone was as friendly as Frank was.  After finishing our beers, I headed down to grab a shower before dinner. 

As I got down to the dining room I again felt awkward being alone and telling the Maitre De that it was just me for dinner.

He sat me with two couples who had known each other for 35 years and an older lady from England who had just come across from Lisbon, Portugal on the ship.  Everyone was very nice and welcomed me openly to their table. 

I had a very nice dinner, the food was fantastic and the company was good.  The atmosphere in the dining room was pretty formal, but the dress code was far more casual.  The dress code for men was slacks and a collared shirt although some were in sport jackets.

There was no dress code for lunch.  Some lunches were in the dining room while others were on deck.  Most people came to lunch in their bathing suits and t-shirts.  I can’t tell you about the dress code for breakfast since I never went, although I assume it was similar to the dress code for lunch. 

After dinner I headed back to my cabin to change into shorts and headed back up on deck as we were about to leave the dock and set sail!  It was a beautiful night as we pulled out of the harbor and the crew hoisted the sails. 

After we had set sail and most people had left the decks, I laid down on one of the lounge chairs and dozed off for about 20 minutes or so.  The breeze was so warm, I was tired from a long day and the rocking of the ship put me right to sleep. 

I got up and went down to my cabin.  I slept like a rock. 

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