Disappointing Royal Clipper
Only one chance at a first impression. Our first impression on arrival at the quay was not good let alone great. It started with a polite welcome with a glass of something nice. That was it. We spent over an hour sitting in a non air conditioned area with temporary seating receiving no updates as to what was going on and when we would be shuttled to the Royal Clipper. The woman my wife asked face to face for an update was curt and unhelpful (later on we find out she was the cruise director) We were squeezed into a life boat (shuttle) it was ruddy uncomfortable. Far from a good start to a luxury cruise. Final impression and memory was not so good. As our shuttle boat arrived at the Cannes quay we were greeted by the cruise director asking travellers we were so late. Clearly she was frustrated but her rudeness was not warranted we can only move at the speed offered by the clipper staff!! Some of the good bits include: (of course it is difficult to recall all the good bits when you experience so many issues) Lots of tasty food. Trip to and around Pisa was useful. In our opinion there was far too much time spent talking about religion and not enough about the history and the guide missed showing us the wonderful village area close to the tower. Our visit to Ajaccio Corsica was nice. A lovely French island. Our trip up the mountain and the basket ride was excellent. Coach drivers for both trips were so thoughtful and careful drivers a nice surprise. Private hire drivers from hotel to dock and dock to station were fantastic. Informative, polite and very helpful. Even took us to the platform and showed us how to find our coach. Didnt ask for a tip (unlike Royal Clipper) but got one as they did lots more than expected. We had rough seas for much of the trip I loved them but my wife didnt enjoy so much. But thats nothing the tour company can control. Meeting so many people from diverse backgrounds is always enjoyable. The not so good bits We received hardly any updates about the journeys or changes to a number of daily schedules we were treated like a mushroom and clearly not valued! Lots of travellers felt the same. The Cruise Director was poor and rude very hard to understand what she was saying. Mumbled every time she used a microphone. A Cruise Director needs to be someone who can speak with passion in an entertaining manner. We had loads too much time sailing during day time with little or nothing to do (even allowing for the storms and change of locations) The cost of wifi was ridiculous We got our invite for returning travellers 30mins after the drinks party started and told the issue was with our travel agents! Of the very few announcements that were made none were audible from our room. Very poor evening entertainment. Folding napkins!! How to tie rope knots! Stupid quizs. The highlight being a talent show using the tour operators staff clearly a great way for the tour operator to save money and use paying guests rather that pay for professional entertainers. Only had disco dance music 1 night. Loads of guests enjoyed it. Many travellers getting soaked right through during a shuttle trip to St Tropez on the first day there. Did anyone care? No The shuttle boats need significant attention to prevent fully dressed travellers from getting soaked. Not what you expect from a luxury cruise. We had the last full day wasted while the boat was used as an advertising tool at the final regatta of the year in St Tropez. Planned time for travellers to visit St Tropez eliminated again with no explanation apology or offer. No help for gluten free allergies or intolerances. We will ever go again? No. There are so many alternative holidays offering a far better service and experience.
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