Sailing round the south coast by Clipper Ship

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Review Details

Overall Rating:
Cruise Line:
Cruise Ship:
Uk Coastal

Review Profile

Family holiday
August, 2021
Times cruised before:
56 - 65

Cruise Elements:

Quality of Food:
The ship has only lost a star because of the informal Grill out on deck, which was rather unreliable. For example, no fries available with a burger! But the main restaurant was pretty good and we had outstanding service.
Shore Excursions:
Fabulous trip to the Abbey Gardens on Tresco - a day of sheer delight.
The waiting staff were fabulous, given everything they'd been through.
Childrens Activities:
Onboard Activities:
The yoga classes were good. The library was fabulous, lots of brand new books and games to borrow. The films on the cabin TV were a bit limited, and we had no access to TV from any country at any time. Especially annoying given it was during the Olympics.
Smaller than a regular ship, but comfortable. Outstanding, expensive toiletries from Noble Isle - very swanky!
Our first experience of a Clipper Ship, the Golden Horizon, was fascinating. The passengers this summer (UK waters only) were rather older than one might have expected, and a few of them definitely struggled with getting around the ship. Whilst it's obviously not suitable for disabled passengers, as there are no lifts etc, the level of mobility required was greater than it seems some people expected. A lot of the stairs were very steep and many of the doors were extremely heavy, which made getting around quite tricky. For the majority of the passengers, this was not a problem, and the sheer excitement of travelling again in such style, while so few choices were on offer, made it a very jolly trip.

Many things about Golden Horizon are broadly the same as a 'regular' cruise ship: the main restaurant (food generally good, with plenty of choice); the bars; the library with a great choice of new books; the spa (sauna, steam room, snow room, gym) and the pools on deck (but saltwater and unheated! Not really designed for the British climate...) In addition, there's a 14' dive pool, where one can take scuba lessons, and a marina that opens up at the back of the ship, with kayaks, paddleboards (and wetsuits, luckily!). This is pretty cool, but obviously was barely used by the majority elderly customers this summer.

We travelled during a confusing time - at the beginning of our trip, we were not allowed on shore unless we had a booked excursion - by the end, anyone could just get off, unchecked. Everyone had a negative lateral flow test prior to boarding (paid for by the company, and quite efficiently done, in your own car) so no one wore masks onboard. Getting off in big port towns felt quite overwhelming - the ship felt a lot safer!

Most cabins have port holes, with only the most expensive having balconies. These cabins are slightly bigger, but I'm not convinced they are worth the increased price. We were upgraded on arrival (no idea why!) and moved up three categories, which gave us a very slightly larger cabin. They're quite stylish, very nautical, and certainly comfortable.

Something we found really interesting was the almost total lack of movement felt, even in quite high seas. Sitting by the window in the restaurant, the waves were breaking over the porthole windows (like looking into a washing machine!) but the boat just didn't move. It made the journey really comfortable for everyone on board, and no problems with those steep stairs when at sea. When the sails go up, as they did quite often, it really is a magnificent sight, and sailing out of some of the harbours was very memorable - the shoreline was packed with folk who'd come out to see the largest sailing ship in the world! At night when the little lights are switched on up in the rigging, it really is like being on a film set.

Overall, we enjoyed our holiday. It wasn't especially cheap, given that our itinerary had been messed about with due to Covid (no Channel Islands, even though one could travel there by plane or ferry...) but we were all so desperate to travel, and the delight of being at sea, with great food and different, interesting wine included at every meal, meant we all came home feeling as though we really DID have a holiday this year!
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