Star Flyer 15-22 May 2010
Jane Bowen – 25-05-2010 – Star Clippers – Star Flyer
Just returned from the seven night Monaco F1 Grand Prix cruise on Star Flyer. Booked it almost a year ago, as did most passengers on-board. Spoke to only a few who had booked since January. We arranged our own flights, so cannot comment on transfers, etc. Some had come by train or driven to French Riviera.
Departed from Cannes with smooth check-in in a tent on quay-side, with speedy admin procedures carried out by who turned out to be the Sports Team!
All ports were reached by tender, or Zodiac, so you need to be reasonably agile. Also, no lifts on board. We had a Category 4 cabin which was compact but comfortable. Adequate wardrobe space. Shower room very small, but what do you expect on this type of vessel. You certainly seem to get what you paid for with the different categorys, cat. 1 having much more room. We found quite a bit of engine/generator noise in the cabin, but we were on the lowest passenger deck. After two nights we had to move cabins as a "plumbing problem" in our ceiling. Cabin steward and a senior officer very apologetic, and we moved to a similar cabin towards the bow. This had different noise... that of the anchor being lowered. But we found this to be our alarm call!
Food was to a high standard, and I don't know how they managed to prepare such a variety in such a small galley. Breakfast and lunch were buffets, and dinner was open-seating any time from 7.30 - 10pm. The Maitre'd suggested where you sat, or you joined whoever you wanted.
An intimate environment with a max. of 170 pax, and all passengers were very amiable. Many were hardened sailors owning their own sailing boats, and said they "didn't fancy an ocean cruise with all those people on board". A few had done more conventional cruising, and like us, said they could not compare the two types of cruise. Due to this cruise calling at Monte Carlo on Monaco Grad Prix Final day (maybe you saw her anchored just outside the harbour on the TV coverage?), most of the passengers were British. Also four German and two French. Most, like us, had bought GP tickets.
There were no shows or formal entertainment. Evening entertainment consisted of socialising with other passengers, a singer came aboard in St Tropez, and of course the famous crab racing! Dress was casual, with smart casual in the restaurant for dinner. Much was done outside, so a fleece was essential in an evening, although there was an indoor bar area and library.
Many of the stops involved anchoring off a quiet beach in the morning, when you could go ashore by zodiac and partake in the inclusive water-sports (only scuba-diving was charged). Then in the afternoon/evening you sailed on to the nearby town and could be taken ashore by tender.
The ship was spectacular with sails up, however it did not sail with full sail, but with engines too. According to Captain Yuri, this was because at full sail the ship would list, and the passengers would complain if they kept spilling their G&T!
We thoroughly enjoyed the truly different experience, and a good time was had by all. We'll do it again.