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Sail Date: March 2019
My wife (32) and I (31) chose this cruise to go on our honeymoon. My dad and stepmom had gone on the old barefoot windjammer's and I always thought the trip sounded incredible. This company did not disappoint! The trip was extremely ... Read More
My wife (32) and I (31) chose this cruise to go on our honeymoon. My dad and stepmom had gone on the old barefoot windjammer's and I always thought the trip sounded incredible. This company did not disappoint! The trip was extremely memorable and enjoyable and we we will cherish it for the remainder of our lives. The boat itself was gorgeous and had three main common areas with plenty of room for all 10 passengers (10 sounds crowded, but it's honestly not). The food was absolutely first class and the crew was very helpful and enjoyable, especially our captain who acted as both captain and tour guide throughout the west indies. The rooms were quaint but nice and we only really slept in them anyway. We snorkeled every day, saw sea turtles, reefs, sting rays, and even a shark! Wish we could do these sails more often. 5 stars all the way for a fun and authentic way to see the west indies. The company was great to work with too. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
It has been a many-decades long dream of mine to sail the Caribbean. I never quite got around to it when I was young enough to captain my own sailboat. As we are all aware, such fantasies are rarely matched by the reality of the eventual ... Read More
It has been a many-decades long dream of mine to sail the Caribbean. I never quite got around to it when I was young enough to captain my own sailboat. As we are all aware, such fantasies are rarely matched by the reality of the eventual trip. So as a 70 year old, reasonably fit traveler, off I went, and I can report that this trip, in all ways, exceeded my long help tropical sail dream. Some opinions on few important general items: -This is not a cruise ship, and will likely not appeal to those who love the big cruise ship experience. The crowds and lines and glitz and glimmer of large ships have never appealed to me, so this was really my cup of tea (or glass of rum). -This is a sailing vessel. There is considerable rocking and rolling during transit. The weather and seas were fairly tame as open-water sailing goes. Four of the 16 guests developed mild seasickness early in the voyage. None had to miss any meals or activities. Do bring sea sickness meds that you have tried out before the trip if you think you might be prone, and plan on exercising some caution as you walk about the ship during transit, especially for the first day or two. The captain always anchors the ship in protected harbors or leeward locations, so most of the time things are pretty calm and stable. -As an older somewhat overweight guy with 2 knee replacements, I had no difficulties with any of the activities. You do need a degree of flexibility and fitness to navigate the fairly steep stairway down to your cabin, to get on and off the dingy (excellent assistance from the crew with this maneuver), and to enjoy the hikes and snorkeling. -I loved the activities on this trip, but other reviewers seem to have expected more of a cruise ship experience. Expect time on gorgeous beaches, time swimming and snorkeling in amazingly clear and warm water, lounging on deck, and visiting small towns at your various island anchorages. The only "optional tour" on our passage was an island tour of Bequia, where we rode in the covered back bed of a small truck and visited small local attractions (model ship builder, turtle sanctuary, whaling museum. Our driver and guide was one of the last members of an extant whaling family, and his whaling history talk was fascinating). At $30, this was a great experience and a great value. The other notable activity was the optional after dinner dingy rides ashore to visit local bars. These trips were as much about the local culture as about drinking, and quite a rich experience. Just don't expect casinos, floor shows, spas, and tour busses. As others have noted, you will likely become good friends with your fellow passengers, and the crowd that chooses this kind of vacation tends to be a pretty unique and interesting group. That being said, we had a couple of passengers who preferred to spend more alone time, and there was plenty of space and support for that experience also. Some reviewers have mentioned the small cabins. Having sailed before on a smaller boat, I found my solo cabin to be quite adequate and comfortable. It was actually charming and cozy. The bathroom with combined sink/toilet/shower was very functional. Pack everything in a soft-sided carry-on and you will be fine. As others have mentioned, the food is remarkable for such a small ship. Portion sizes are just right, and you are always offered seconds. In addition to the three meals, excellent appetizers and rum punch were served every afternoon during "cocktail hour." The vinophiles on our trip described the house wine as fairly decent, and there were opportunities to buy premium wines along the route of sail. I'm a beer snob, and found the local lager (Piton), stocked on the ship, to be excellent. On one occasion, the crew prepared and delivered an excellent "Cheeseburgers in Paradise" feast to the beach where we were spending the day. When anchored, dinner on deck was a real treat. One of the keys to this cruise being so outstanding is the crew. We had 16 passengers and 10 crew. Each crew member was always busy tending to their duties, which often centered around the comfort and enjoyment of the passengers. They were personable, fun, yet professional. Our activities director was great, and gave us full briefings of the day's activities. She also accompanied us on most of our onshore adventures. I have never done a mega-cruise, and have only heard of the hassles on embarkation and disembarkation days. Getting on and off Vela was quick, simple, and well organized. Oh, and did I mention that this truly is a barefoot cruise? Except for the one island tour, I did not wear shoes from the time I boarded Vela until the time I got ready to leave for the airport. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
This week's holiday began in St Lucia and Rodney Bay where I would meet up with the ship, cruise mates and crew of Vela of Island Windjammer. I had the opportunity to spend a day and night in the Rodney Bay area before the cruise ... Read More
This week's holiday began in St Lucia and Rodney Bay where I would meet up with the ship, cruise mates and crew of Vela of Island Windjammer. I had the opportunity to spend a day and night in the Rodney Bay area before the cruise began and wondered about the area exploring restaurants, bars and the Coco Palm hotel meeting the friendly and helpful people of St. Lucia along the way. The following day marked the beginning of a great experience on Vela and 6 days of island sailing that was only out matched by the gracious attention and service provided by all of the crew of this wonderful ship. The dining and beverage service was the best and the expertise of Chef Robert was truly amazing. I often travel solo and this trip was no different so I was a bit concerned given the low number of passengers (10) but everyone was friendly and helped make for a vacation that I will remember for many years to come. The cabins are small but very adequate and comfortable and the stewards freshen the room every day to maintain a constant level of comfort. Jess (Ops Manager), Alexis (Captain), Romaine (Steward) and Troy (Designated Dingy Driver) to only name a few all went out of their way to make for a wonderful experience. The sights, sounds, smells and adventure of experiencing an island sailing adventure is without equal. Every activity, every dingy ride, every tour, every meal and all of the service, conversation and attention provided by this crew was exemplary and should you decide to book a cruise on this ship be prepared to be delighted and amazed! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
I have only great things to say about my 1st experience with Island Windjammers and I will certainly be back! I have not stopped smiling since I have been home. I have been to many different places and on many vacations and I can safely ... Read More
I have only great things to say about my 1st experience with Island Windjammers and I will certainly be back! I have not stopped smiling since I have been home. I have been to many different places and on many vacations and I can safely say this vacation has been my favorite of all. We cruised on the Vela from Saint Lucia (Marigot Bay) to Dominica to Isle De Saintes to Marie Galante to Martinique to Saint Lucia (Rodney Bay and then to Marigot Bay). The food is absolutely amazing and it is included. All meals were made with fresh ingredients from the island. I have never eaten so well for a week straight in my life. Lenny the chef a.k.a. Big Sexy made healthy food taste delicious! At 5pm everyday a snack and velacoladas are served. When we went to Isle De Saintes, we had wine, cheese, and meat as the snack to go with the French flair. There was a very diverse group of 12 passengers on the boat ranging from kids to seniors. One of my favorite parts of this adventure was getting to know all of the other passengers and also the crew members. Everyone was so nice, helpful, and interesting. It was really neat to learn about everyone's lives. By the end of the trip, I almost felt like crying leaving everyone! You really become close very quickly throughout the duration of the trip! There was something for everyone on this vacation and there were always a lot of options for things to do at each stop. We hiked, snorkeled, sunbathed, relaxed, went on excursions, checked out the nightlife on the different islands, visited stores/boutiques, swam, jumped off the rope swing of the boat, watched fish at night swim through the fish light off the boat, visited a rum factory, danced on the deck at night, told stories, listened to stories, used the paddleboard, learned how to tie sailing knots and relaxed in paradise. I felt very safe and knew that the crew was very knowledgeable about sailing and safety. Unlike other cruises that I have been on, I never felt crunched for time or on a schedule. PLENTY of time was given at each island and Andrew, our operations manager, knew the best things to do on each island. He really helped make sure we hit all the best things on the island. The dingy brought you back and forth between the boat and island. If you wanted to stay on the island instead of going back for a meal, that was perfectly fine and they would come back and get you whenever you wanted! Everything on the boat was spic and span and very clean. I was worried about getting seasick so before I went, I got a prescription for the seasickness patch that goes behind your ear and I did not feel sick at all the whole cruise. It was very casual and there was no need for any fancy clothes. I wore a bathing suit and comfy clothes the entire trip! The bed was comfortable and the cabins had a shower and toilet in them. We spent most of our time on the upper part of the boat. We saw a lot of cool fish, dolphins, turtles, birds, iguanas, and lizards. If you are a food and nature lover, you will love this trip. My only complaint is that the cruise ended. :( I left with wonderful memories and new friends that I will never forget. This was the trip of a lifetime and the passengers needs are put first from beginning to end. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
We had an amazing time aboard the Vela! My wife and I traveled down to Saint Lucia the day before and stayed in the quaint town of Marigot Bay, where Vela was located. We met the crew the day of the sail and I knew we were in good hands ... Read More
We had an amazing time aboard the Vela! My wife and I traveled down to Saint Lucia the day before and stayed in the quaint town of Marigot Bay, where Vela was located. We met the crew the day of the sail and I knew we were in good hands right away. Our bags were taken to the ship and we followed shortly behind. The first thing you received when you boarded the ship was a rum drink- perfect! Vela was the largest sailing vessel in the Bay, which made me feel special ;) The crew raised the sails the first day and we headed into the sunset. Our cabin had all the amenities that we needed. The bed was comfortable and there was adequate storage. Yes it was small but we weren't in there long enough to care. The food was one of the best parts of the trip. Every meal was prepared onboard with fresh and local ingredients. I honestly did not eat a bad meal. I was never hungry and I was never thirsty. Most meals, other than breakfast, were outside on the deck with the wind in your hair. You could get water, tea, beer, wine, etc anytime of the day. There was also a rum punch happy hour every night! There were plenty of activities to do on the ship- paddle boarding, snorkeling, rope swinging, games and just plain lounging. In addition, every day there were offshore activities planned that you could partake in. One day there was horseback riding, another was hiking to a waterfall. We even had a BBQ on the beach one night! You also had a tour of a rum distillery and some people were even accommodated to have a scuba diving experience. That leads me to the crew. They were absolutely phenomenal. Every single crew member was always smiling and willing to bend over backwards to make sure you were happy. I was amazed at how truly caring and friendly everyone was to all passengers. It was like we were family at the end. The entire experience was more than I could have imagined. From the sails to the cabins to the service/crew, everything was amazing. Plus you meet some amazing guests while aboard! I will definitely be coming back, hopefully to sail on another Island Windjammers ship! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
Island Windjammer's Dimant Captain Danny and his crew did everything to accommodate our desires. We wanted to sail without power from the engine and he "made it happen". We sailed for hours, rocking and rolling in the ... Read More
Island Windjammer's Dimant Captain Danny and his crew did everything to accommodate our desires. We wanted to sail without power from the engine and he "made it happen". We sailed for hours, rocking and rolling in the waves under full sail. The crew became friends and shared their personal stories of the sea. The chef, Barney prepared the most fantastic meals, we even had lobster one night. Two days under full sail Barney prepared breakfast while rocking and rolling with the waves. His egg muffins were fantastic. My wife had a special request that she would not be served eggs and Barney accommodated her desire every morning. The picnics on the beaches and the time spent with the local population added an interesting local flavor. On the last day, there were many tears shed on the dinghy as we looked back at the Diamant knowing we would not be returning that day. On the dock the crew hugged us and treated us as family departing from their home wanting us to return soon. We have traveled much in the past 10 years and this is the best vacation EVER!!! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
Great time aboard Sagitta. The crew was tremendously helpful and pleasant. Captain Matt was extremely cordial and pleasant. The cabin, although small, was comfortable and adequate. I would not hesitate to go again. Although the company has ... Read More
Great time aboard Sagitta. The crew was tremendously helpful and pleasant. Captain Matt was extremely cordial and pleasant. The cabin, although small, was comfortable and adequate. I would not hesitate to go again. Although the company has three ships, I really would find it hard not to travel with Sagitta again. Andrew, the operations manager did a wonderful job, always pleasant and cheerful. Chief mate Bryan was always pleasant and very knowledgeable. Chief Engineer Aubrey gave a tour of the engine room that made everyone appreciate the skill and hard work required to make the ship operate in an efficient manner. The food was prepared by chef Philbert and George. It was both varied and delicious. The chief deckhand was Aubrey King, known as King, was both our tender driver and the comedian of the ship. He did a one man show that was both entertaining and creative. The other deckhand was Lennox , who was both pleasant and helpful. There were two stewards Stephen and Dennis. They kept the cabins very clean and were available to help the passengers whenever asked. All in all a good time was had by all. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
We are just back from our second trip on the Vela this year. We participated in the "Rum Cruise" visiting St. Lucia and Martinique. The ship is in great shape. That captain and crew did a great job the entire time making sure ... Read More
We are just back from our second trip on the Vela this year. We participated in the "Rum Cruise" visiting St. Lucia and Martinique. The ship is in great shape. That captain and crew did a great job the entire time making sure everyone was enjoying themselves and keeping thing interesting. The ports of call and trips to the distilleries (organized by Dave Russell- the rum expert) were great. We got an in-depth look of the distilleries operations, got to meet the people that ran the operations and see everything from the cane fields to the various distilling processes used to make their rum. and ports of call. We could not visit Dominica and Guadeloupe this trip due to storm damage, but the captain and crew made the trip just as enjoyable as our last trip when we did visit those islands. We also got to see the Diamante which is still carrying relief supplies up to Dominica. We finally splurged and booked the owners cabin this trip which was great. Although, we were always satisfied with the other cabins we have had on previous trips. The meals were very good and we are always impressed with the cook staff can do with such limited space. We had a couple of very nice snorkeling opportunities and swimming off the side of the boat or beach was usually available. The rope swing came out on a regular basis to supply entertainment to the participants and spectators. The crew was always friendly and helpful. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We picked this cruise because we wanted to get away from the larger Caribbean ports and the big cruise ships. We also love snorkeling and actually sailing on a tall ship (schooner), not just motorsailing. It was all that and more. Staff ... Read More
We picked this cruise because we wanted to get away from the larger Caribbean ports and the big cruise ships. We also love snorkeling and actually sailing on a tall ship (schooner), not just motorsailing. It was all that and more. Staff very professional and highly organized, food was terrific and they easily accommodated my preferences (pescatarian). The chef was creative and clearly took pride in his work. They gave us a very fun, classy, safety-minded week, tremendous snorkeling sites, use of the kayaks while at anchor, swimming off the boat or on beaches, opportunities for walks and hikes. Everyone was helpful, friendly, engaged. You don't need to pack much, just tee shirts and shorts and swim suits. Really. You need to be able to navigate stairs and ladders and climb on and off a dinghy. There's not much in the way of formal entertainment (didn't want that), but there's great conversations and plenty of time for reading and sketching and learning, making new friends. We laughed so much. Captain Nervo from the Galapagos was amazing. I would absolutely go again. It's wonderful to be at full sail with the engine off and the sun setting. Stunning and so relaxing. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
My husband and I just returned from our sail on Sagitta. We knew beforehand that it was a motorized vessel, but it did not take away from the experience. We loved the ship, the crew, our room, the food, and the service. The island stops ... Read More
My husband and I just returned from our sail on Sagitta. We knew beforehand that it was a motorized vessel, but it did not take away from the experience. We loved the ship, the crew, our room, the food, and the service. The island stops were gorgeous, and we enjoyed lots of beautiful snorkeling. We also hiked a little in a few areas. Our shipmates were friendly and lots of fun. One of our few regrets is a visit to a sea turtle "sanctuary" in Bequia. Having visited topnotch sea turtle facilities in the past, we recognized immediately that the Old Hegg sanctuary was really just a place that confines healthy turtles in tiny shallow tanks FOR YEARS just to attract tourists and their money. This was very disturbing as we watched the healthy turtles swim around and around empty concrete boxes with no stimulation, no sign of food, and no hope of being released. Some turtles had been there for 19-22 years, and one very large old turtle was actually desperately trying to climb out of his tiny enclosure. Even though we didn't like that particular place, we certainly don't hold Island Windjammers responsible. We just would hope they wouldn't support or promote it. We loved most everything else, and we can't wait to sail with the company again. Read Less
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