Blogging from a Star Clipper Cruise
| September 7, 2010

James Felton is the founder of www.uncommoncruises.com, an online resource center for unusual cruises. He sailed on Star Clipper in the Far East and blogged about it. Although we no longer sail in that region, his posts show the Star Clippers experience. Enjoy the first installment!

SC_patonganchor

What a relief! We’re finally on board our tall ship Star Clipper. I feel like the fellow in that old American Express commercial where he arrives out of the back woods at the front desk of an upscale hotel, clutching nothing more than his Amex card. Except mine’s a lowly VISA with an even more lowly credit limit. I am enjoying a hot shower for the first time in ten days (but that’s another story). Washing off the grime of Patong Beach’s three-ring circus feels great.

At dinner, the atmosphere is convivial. Herman the Maitre D’ diplomatically suggests that sitting at an English-speaking table may be best, at least for the first night. Star Clippers’ “Far East” program attracts a lot of Europeans, mainly Germans, with the Dutch, French, Scandinavians and Italians bringing up the rear. On this particular sailing, the Anglophones are spread among a few Brits, Aussies, Canadians and Americans. It’s rare that North Americans are in the minority on a cruise, but this isn’t the Olympics after all. Besides, all on-board announcements and the daily programs are in three languages — English, German and French. You’re bound to make sense out of one of them.

We have an almost full complement. Capacity’s 170, and the chatter over dinner has grown quite animated. The usual exchange of where you’re from and what you do is underway while the food arrives lightening fast. The evening meals have a civilized European flair: sorbets and salads are served to cleanse the palate between courses.

It really does feel good to leave Phuket behind. The noise, hucksters, and hawkers of Patong Beach on the west side of the island is enough to drive you to drink (the main preoccupation of most westerners visiting this hedonistic enclave, it seems). Everywhere there is an innate need to rev up and remain in a party mood …

Well, it’s ten in the evening. I’ve shaved and scrubbed myself, and I’ve been fed and watered. And everyone’s on deck as Star Clipper weighs anchor, kicking off her Thailand cruise. The night air is thick but it feels enervating. And even three-ring circuses must come to an end.

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1 Comment »

  1. Bob hilton Said,

    December 12, 2010 @ 11:31 pm

    About 6 years ago, I sailed from Thailand to Sinapore with Star Clippers. Aabsolutly the best cruse I have ever done, sorry they no longer offer the cruse…..Was the best!!

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