French Polynesia Stories and Tips

Star Flyer- Ship and Cruise

Star Flyer Cabin Photo, French Polynesia, South Pacific

Star Flyer Cruise

Luckily our ferry came in right next to where the Star Flyer was docked. When we arrived they took our luggage and we were given a welcome drink and checked in. I told my husband before the cruise that the room would be small (I had been on it’s sister ship, but he hadn’t), but it was smaller than he expected, especially after the huge room we had at the Hilton. But we got used to it after the first day. After checking out our room, we went straight up to the library to sign up for excursions. I wanted to make sure that things didn’t fill up and we miss out on any of the ones we wanted to do. Typically I don’t book excursions through a cruiseline- I book independently for smaller groups and better prices, but I had heard that the port dates and times could change so I didn’t want to chance it. All of our tours ended up being pretty small groups anyway so this was fine.

Ship and Cruise
This is a small sailing cruise ship that carries only about 170 passengers. There is one restaurant and 2 bars (one indoors and one outdoors). There are two small pools and lots of deck space for lounging. There is also a library and a shop. We had a Category 3 room, #331. It was towards the middle/aft of the ship near the dining room (but not too close to the dining room that it was loud) The room and bathroom were quite small compared to other cruise ships I have been on. But the space was sufficient and well organized. The bathroom just has a drain on the floor, so the floor gets quite wet after taking a shower—especially when we were underway. On my previous star clipper cruise we were in a category 1 room and the bathroom and room were a bit bigger. We enjoyed sitting on the loungers on deck after getting back from our port activities. They had a few tarps for shade as well. One of my favorite parts of the cruise was the sailaway. It often happened close to sunset and provided gorgeous views of the islands. It was the perfect time to have some tropical drinks too!

People
We met a lot of interesting people on the cruise. This was a nice change after being pretty solitary at the resort. Most of the Americans were from California, but we met people from Texas, Oregon and New York to name a few. There were also a lot of Europeans on board and even a fellow who had come all the way from Japan for the chance to sail. We really enjoyed getting to know the other passengers and hearing about all their travel adventures. We even swapped emails with a few people so we can share our pictures from the trip.

Food on the cruise
There was an early bird breakfast and a large breakfast buffet a little later every morning. There was a pretty good selection (much better than we experienced later at the breakfast buffets in the Pearl resorts). I really enjoyed the omelete station. The lunch was also buffet and had a different theme every day. Personally I would prefer just to have a sandwich or burger for lunch, but the buffets were fine. I did get my sandwich one day—when they had a beach barbeque on the motu in Tahaa, so I enjoyed that. They had a snack at 5 pm and it varied each day. My husband did enjoy a lot of it. I think his favorite were the tacos one day and the waffles they had another day. I thought that the dinners were very good. Better than other cruise ships I have been on. There was a choice of a couple appetizers, 4 or 5 entrees, and 2 desserts. If there wasn’t an entrée that you liked each night you could order steak and fries or pasta (I did this one night and the steak was pretty good). Also, one night I didn’t see an entrée that I really liked, but I loved the tortellini appetizer—so I was able to get that as my entrée. On the desserts— Some of the ones I really enjoyed were taro ice cream, baked Alaska, and straticella ice cream. The service at dinner was generally good, and the food came out pretty quickly. They also had a midnight snack—but we were in bed every night by then, exhausted from our island explorations, so we never made it there.

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