UP CLOSE WITH HISTORY
Researching Royal Clipper prior to sailing our Windward Islands itinerary, information on the Star Clippers culinary experience was hard to find. I found all sorts of information on the ship, itineraries and ships with sails in general, but little about the food served on board. Why that was will probably remain a mystery as we thoroughly enjoyed breakfast, lunch and dinner aboard Royal Clipper…and for some unusual reasons.
Breakfast and Lunch are served buffet-style and include a nice variety of entrees. At breakfast, a chef on duty at made omelettes and cooked-to-order eggs. The lunch buffet provided more of a culinary experience with a different theme every day, including Italian, Seafood, Caribbean and Oriental styles. Also, one day (weather permitting) is a Beach Barbecue and another is served on deck in the ship’s Tropical Bar, a meeting place for all passengers, all the time.
At dinner, small portions (like half the size on big ship sailings) made for a unique at-sea dining experience, with many passengers choosing up to six courses…or repeating favorite courses. This really hit me when sailing Princess Cruises Ruby Princess a day after we completed this sailing. The portions on Ruby Princess seemed so very large in comparison.
Complementing each dinner’s bakery selections, a cream cheese-based spread changed flavors daily. A different sorbet also changed daily and made for a perfect transition after appetizers and soups, just before the main course was served…or whenever we wanted it. The menu, while extensive, is quite flexible.
Desserts were something to look forward to, especially at lunch when a display of several choices was presented. Favorites included a warm bread pudding that changed daily and a Chocolate Creme Brulee, served one day at a presentation on deck for lunch.
A day at the beach in Dominica brought a seaside barbecue with the ship’s Executive chef manning the grill. While the menu was not elaborate (hamburgers, hot dogs, grilled chicken) there is something to be said for a beach barbecue cooked fresh, not ahead to keep up with thousands of people swarming the place at once.
Top honors go to our dinner at the Captain’s Table one night when the ship’s Maitre ‘d waited on us. I can’t remember seeing a Maitre ‘d wait tables ever, on land or sea, which might have a great deal to do with how efficiently the dining operation was run.
Just the facts:
06:00-10:30-Early Bird Breakfast served in the Piano Bar
07:00-09:30-Breakfast Buffet served in the Clipper Dining Room
12:00-14:00- Luncheon Buffet served in the Clipper Dining Room
17:00-18:00- Cocktail Hour with hors d’oeuvres in the Tropical Bar
19:30- 22:00- Open Seating Dinner in the Clipper Dining Room
23:45-01:00- Midnight Snack Served in the Piano Bar
- Menus are in English, French and German as are the few announcements made over the ship’s loudspeaker system
- Dinner Dress Code: Simple: No flip-flops or sandals, long trousers for the gentlemen. Most men wore polo shirts and slacks or jeans. Ladies dress varied from quite casual to quite dressy. No one cared either way.
- Room Service: Only in luxury accommodations, basically the staterooms with balconies
See more of the culinary offerings on Royal Clipper in our Facebook Photo Album