We were fortunate enough to travel on the Royal Clipper out of Barbados in December, 2011. We loved it so much we went again in 2012 & 2013. Amazing voyage and I'd do it again in a heartbeat.
The ship: Beautifully appointed cabins and social areas. The cabin was not any smaller than I expected with 2 twins pushed together. Your average size bathroom done in marble. Our one complaint was water leaking onto the bathroom floor when you used the shower while sailing.
This is a vessel with no stabilizing system. Although technically not a sailing ship (it has a deisel engine that is used most of the time) we were concerned about that so we took non-drowzy dramamine the first day. After that we were fine. It is however decidedly not a stable platform. No elevators and alot of steps between the decks.
My first impression topside was one of "how can they keep track of all these lines?" but they do a good job and it adds to the experience. Never a problem locating a deck chair but with all of the awsome ports we were rarely on the deck during the day.
44 sails and 54,000 sq. ft. of sail made for a beautiful view. Sails were raised to symphony music, specifically 1492: Conquest of Paradise. Sounds corny but it was awe inspiring to watch the sails raised to the music.
Crew: On a scale of 1 to 10 they get a 7.5. Being that this ship is small in comparison to a standard cruise ship you get to know more of the staff. The crew that actually handles the sailing aren't very talkative and many don't speak english. Our cruise director was new and not very knowledgeable of the ports. We relied on Stan, a salty Windjammer veteran who knew everything about all of the places we visited.
Ther are few shipboard activities during the day (not a trip for kids) but in the evening they attempted to replicate many of the Windjammer activities. Pirate night, crab races, talent shows etc. One of the guests, an elderly retired principal from inner city Baltimore got up and we all joined in singing White Christmas. For me, it was one of those unforgetable moments.
Scuba was offered off of a unique retractable platform on the rear of the ship. There were many Windjammer veterans although the overall consensus was this ship was Windjammer Posh.
Food: Easy breakfast and lunch buffet. Dinner was menu driven each night. The only dress requirement was resort casual. No assigned seating so we had a different waiter each night. I liked the option of a nice sirloin steak if nothing on the menu was appealing.
Ports of Call: Being that it is only 6000 tons we were able to visit ports the standard cruise ship will never see. Most are tenders. Our new favorite is Bequia and Saltwhistle Beach at Mayruea is idyllic. Currency can be a bit confusing. Euros on the ship, the EC in most of the ports, and Barbados dollars. When in doubt whip out the plastic.
When in Bequia it's a short taxi ride to Friendship Bay and the Moskito Bar and Grill. Paradise.
Upon your return to barbados if your flight leaves later in the day the ship offers the Malibu Beach Break (now it's the Cockspur Rum Beach Break) excursion. They transport you to the Rum Factory where your luggage is held and you get a beach chair, two drinks, lunch and transfer back to the airport. Great way to spend the last day in port.
Overall an amazing trip for those who can do it. We made new friends and met some interesting folks.