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Royal Clipper
A Sailing Diary

Life on Board

Capt. Nemo Lounge

As I learned, sleep came easy on Royal Clipper, but time on board wasn't as "sleepy" as I'd expected. While the daily activities sheet was just that--a single sheet with few organized activities--there was plenty to do, including the compulsory lifeboat drill that first morning. Afterward, Captain Sergiy introduced his staff, Cruise Director Monja offered port information, and the Dive Team outlined upcoming scuba diving expeditions while the Sports Team handed out snorkel gear.

Those who want to start the day with a workout can take advantage of the gym with its treadmills, cycles, and free weights. Follow that up with a relaxing session in the steam room or, better yet, a massage in the spa. Set into a corner of the gym/spa is Captain Nemo Lounge, a tranquil spot for reading or watching for underwater marine life through the submarine-style portholes. 

Tip for tall passengers: You may find it difficult to run on the treadmills due to the low ceiling. 

For the most part, as soon as Royal Clipper anchors or docks, nearly everyone scatters for town, the beach, or to participate in water sports, either on an excursion or from the retractable marina located on the ship's stern. In addition to snorkel gear, other complimentary water equipment, such as sunfish sailing, banana boat rides, water-skiing, and windsurfing, is available. More leisurely pursuits include lounging on Sun Deck near one of the three small "splash" pools or reading in the shade. The ship's library has plenty of books in several languages.

Climbing to the crow's nest 

Depending on the itinerary and arrival times at the ports of call, daytime activities also included mast climbing--passengers can don a harness and climb the rigging to the crow's nest on the main mast--an engine room tour with the Chief Engineer, and the Captain's Story Time, informal sessions when the captain demonstrates sailing maneuvers and shares entertaining sea tales.

It was during one such story time that I learned why ships are referred to as she. Captain Sergiy explained that sailors consider their vessels comforting, much like their wives and sweethearts. Then it dawned on me... I slept like a baby in a cradle being rocked by its mother. It might be just a legend, but it worked for me.

Interestingly, while there is no Bingo or casino gaming, a few traditional cruise ship activities, such as napkin folding, fruit carving, and cocktail mixing demonstrations, appeared on our schedules.

If nothing else seemed appealing, the Sun Deck had more to watch than sunbathers. Crew members were busy amid the chaise lounges each day tending to lines and mending sails. Most were happy to demonstrate their tasks.

Crabs--ready to race

After Dark
Passengers expecting lavish entertainment were probably sorely disappointed. Although there were entertaining ways to pass the evenings, with the exception of music by the ship's pianist (in, where else, the Piano Bar), the fun was largely participatory and took place outside at the Tropical Bar... dancing to a steel band while anchored off Grenada, crab races with a bit of betting on the side, a Sloop Shop fashion show featuring passenger models, a wacky international version of Name That Tune, and a Talent Night starring crewmembers and passengers. A duo played popular music nightly for dancing on deck.

For those who were tired from diving or exploring the ports, every cabin has a television with DVD player and movies can be borrowed from the Sloop Shop. 

No matter what time it took place, the most compelling daily on board activity was the unfurling of the sails. 

More Sailing Diary -->

Going Ashore

The Royal Clipper Experience

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