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Sail Date: August 2010
Friday, 06Aug2010: Travel Day (RDU-MIA-SJU-GND): Finally time to head to the Caribbean again to sail on a Tall Ship!! Traveled to Grenada (all day 6am to 9:03pm) and was met by the Island Windjammers driver at the airport. He took us to ... Read More
Friday, 06Aug2010: Travel Day (RDU-MIA-SJU-GND): Finally time to head to the Caribbean again to sail on a Tall Ship!! Traveled to Grenada (all day 6am to 9:03pm) and was met by the Island Windjammers driver at the airport. He took us to the Allamanda hotel in St George's. Checked in and meet up with friends, visited for awhile, took a quick walk on the beach, and then headed to room for sleep just after midnight. Saturday, 07Aug2010: Grenada: Awoke at 7am ready to start my vacation!! Headed to breakfast near hotel then went to grocery store to buy booze. A few went deep sea fishing. Just as we got back to the hotel it started to rain. By 10:30am we were ready to leave the hotel and decided to walk down to Garfield's Beach Bar. We made it to Garfield's just as the rain continued so we were forced to drink Carib and entertain Chester the bartender. Weather finally cleared so we headed to the beach (Grand Anse Beach) and floated in the water, enjoying the Caribbean Sea. At 7:30pm we headed to town to have dinner at the Nutmeg Restaurant. Alison our final team member had arrived while we were at dinner. We visited with her for awhile and then headed to bed about 11:30pm. Sunday, 08Aug2010: Grenada - Board S/V Diamant: What a way to spend my birthday, in the Grenadines getting ready to finally board the S/V Diamant. Woke up about 7:30am and went to Gibson's (again across the street) for a nice breakfast. Bruce and Maryse headed out for an Island tour and the rest of us headed to the beach. About 11am we decided to walk down to Garfield's Beach Bar for a few drinks and a few birthday shots! We headed to Port Louis about 1pm and got our first look at the Diamant. What a beautiful small ship, she is a 101 ft schooner with tons of character. About 4:45pm we headed over to the Diamant. The check in procedure was a breeze and we were all shown our Cabins within an hour of boarding. The cabins were great; each different with their own little touches. There is decent storage space in each but don't bring a lot and don't bring hard sided suitcases (there is no place for them); duffle bags or backpacks are the way to go. You're on a boat so the cabin and bathrooms are small but the layout is great in each. The ship has its own water purification system and the cabins have water bottles for each passenger (that stay with the ship). Near the back of the ship were two coolers that were kept stocked with sodas and BEER (we had Heineken, Carib and Stag) plus you had access to a house red and white wine at all times. Once we all settled in we just walked around the ship, chatted and soaked in the fact that we were back on a Tall Ship. We had dinner around 7:30pm and the crew even had a birthday cake for me! We spend the evening relaxing, talking and drinking beer and cocktails. Monday, 09Aug2010: Grenada - Carriacou - Union Island: Ship set sail about 5am; it was great sleeping to the sway of the ship! Made it to Carriacou about 10am and had our safety drill. We stayed on the ship for the morning, had lunch, and then headed to Anse La Roche Beach for the day. No one else around and no beach bars so the crew brought us a cooler with beer (and other drinks). There was lots of Technical Diving and we drank an insane amount of beer (between all 9 of us). I think by the end of the afternoon there were concerns on beer and ice stock ? Once we were all feeling pretty "happy" a game was created by John - "Redneck Bowling"; this provided us hours of entertainment! And yes we did take all the empties back to the ship, left only footprints. Back to ship around 5pm; we were all tipsy, a little sun burned, and ready for Rum Swizzles and Snacks. Eventually we all cleaned up and had dinner on the ship. We relocated to Chatum Bay near Union Island for the night. Stayed on ship for evening, there were tons of stars out, so amazing. Fell asleep on deck just staring at the stars. Tuesday 10Aug2010: Union Island - Bequia: Woke up at 7am and made my way to the deck for the morning sail. Was wonderful hearing Amazing Grace played while the sails were raised, has been way to long. As we made our way to Bequia we passed Moon Hole. Once we got to the main harbor in Bequia had a nice hot breakfast and then into town around 10am. We went into a few shops, bought t-shirts, and Kim got a really cool map of the Caribbean in one of the book stores, also visited the ATM. Headed over to the Whaleboner bar but they were closed so we had a few beers at the Magnolia bar to cool off. Back to ship around noon for lunch (it is amazing what Boston created in that tiny kitchen). We all stayed on the ship for the afternoon. There was reading, relaxing, journal writing and some drinking of adult beverages. Bruce and John fished off the ship. The ship's entertainment system has a connection for MP3 players so you can play your music thru the ship speakers; we had a Jimmy Buffett type of afternoon. Broke out the rope swing and jumped off the ship for some swimming/floating next to the ship. The Diamant has an awesome ladder for getting back on the ship after swimming, very easy to navigate and. We had a great relaxing afternoon with no agenda which was so nice. After swim we had Rum Swizzles, Wine, and Cheese; Boston also cooked up the Tuna that Bruce brought on board. We cleaned up, watched an awesome sunset, and then headed to Mac's Pizzeria for Dinner. Back to ship about 9:30pm. Some to bed early, others up front star gazing. Wednesday, 11Aug2010: Bequia - Tobago Cays - Mayreau: Early sail to Tobago Cays for a day on the beach. Another beautiful, sunny day and the Tobago Cays are breathtaking. We ended up anchoring near one of the many beautiful small islands and then took the dingy to a great little beach with picnic tables. Spent morning walking beach, taking pictures, laying out to perfect the tan, and working on our "technical diving" skills with our well stocked cooler. The crew brought us a picnic lunch ashore that was delicious. About 1:30pm we headed back to ship and then several of us headed over to Turtle Island to swim/snorkel with the Turtles (the ship provides snorkel gear for use at the beginning of the week, no extra charge). Some did a walk on the island and saw several big iguanas and land turtles. Headed back to ship for Rum Swizzles and Snacks and a few headed to "Johnny Depp" island which is where one of the scenes from the first movies was filmed. Once everyone back on ship we sailed to Mayreau. Had dinner and then we all changed into our "TGDT" shirts that Ester made and Kim provided glow-stick necklaces and bracelets. This was so we could keep track of the group during our "cultural walk" of Mayrue. Headed into town about 8:30pm and walked up the long steep hill to the top. Our plan was to "drink" our way down. We ended up visiting 3 bars with the final one being "Dennis's Hideaway". Back to ship about 11:30pm. Another great day!! Thursday, 12Aug2010: Mayreau- Salt Whistle Bay - Union Island - Happy Island - Carriacou: After breakfast picked up anchor and moved to other side of island to visit Salt Whistle Bay, which is a beautiful beach. We spent the morning on the beach just relaxing and floating on the blue rafts. Some hiked around and a few passengers walked over the hill to town. Back to ship for lunch then we sailed to Union Island. We went into town for quick look around and to visit the ATM. The entire group ended up at the dock at the same time to catch the dingy around 2pm. Instead of heading back to the ship we went straight to "Happy Island". They serve food if his wife is around, otherwise you just receive drinks. The rum punch on Happy Island is AWESOME and will make you very happy! Around 4:30pm we were not ready to leave, so the crew brought snacks to us and we continued to party on the island. We had so much fun! Rain clouds were around and there were a few rainbows (it could not get any more perfect). Somewhere around 6pm we all decided to head back to the ship as it looked like serious rain was coming. We packed the passengers and crew on the dingy for the very short ride back to the ship and wouldn't you know it, the heavens opened up and it started to rain in earnest. Once back on the ship we headed into the indoor saloon area, Kim attached her iPod to the stereo and became our DJ for the night. Eventually all the passengers and all the crew were on deck dancing to disco music. I can't tell you how much fun we had joking around and dancing in the rain. We eventually dressed for our "tacky Hawaiian shirt" night which we planned ahead of time. At some point (time blurs some) we did a quick move to Carriacou to anchor for the nigh. All through dinner (and after) the music, singing and dancing continued. Eventually people headed to bed but there may have been some late night swimming off the side of the ship ? What an absolutely wonderful day and night. Friday, 13Aug2010: Carriacou - Sandy Island - Grenada: Up around 8am. Most of us stayed on the ship to recover and napped through the morning. I believe Bruce and Maryse were the only ones who went over to Sandy Island. After lunch we started the trip back to Grenada. On the way back the Capt. shut off the engines and we truly sailed for about 2 hours. It was absolutely amazing. Bruch continued to fish and we just hung on the back on the ship just enjoying the sail. Brandon made his special "drink" for Snacks (think pina colada). Just to let you know how much fun we had, we were planning our next trip before we even docked and were e-mailing Island Windjammers about available dates. We ended up docking in Grenada about 5:30-6pm. Once docked, we cleaned up and proceeded with our "Pirate themed" night; which included eye patches, bandanas and tattoos. We did a quick check out with Natalie to settle our ship accounts and they provided us with a map of our weeks sail with the route plotted and signatures from all the crew. We had a nice Captains' dinner and all the crew came out so we could take pictures with them. We eventually ended up drinking (trying to finish off the booze we brought aboard) and playing stupid drinking games Saturday, 14Aug2010: Grenada: Awoke around 7:15am to see Kim off as she had an early flight. After breakfast, packed and slowly got ready to leave the ship (you have until noon). Spent the morning on the ship and explored the marina. Bentley picked us up at noon and took us to the Allamanda. Checked in then headed across the street for pizza. We headed to Garfield's Beach Bar around 5pm for a few final beers and then meet at 7pm for Dinner. We had a nice time chatting about the week and re-living all the wonderful times we had. Many Rum Swizzles were consumed (again). Left around 11pm but don't think I ended up in bed until 2am. Sunday, 15Aug2010: Travel Day: Up at 4:30am for Taxi came at 5AM for a 6:55 am flight. GND to SNJ to MIA to RDU. All I can say is WOW, what an absolutely fantastic vacation and I can't wait to be back on the Diamant. I am 99% certain that this will be a "yearly" pilgrimage for me and many of my friends. I cannot say enough positive things about Island Windjammers. If you are looking for a truly relaxing, unique, no frills vacation to small ports that those big "foo foo" ships could never get to, this is the trip for you. It does not matter if your single, a couple, going with friends, or going by yourself - you will have a wonderful time. Just be open to adventure and making your own fun! If there is something you want to do ask and the crew will do their best to accommodate you. When I got back home I made a positive vs. negative list and the positive list had about 12 items and there was only 1 suggestion (not really a negative). The ship is beautiful, well maintained, with a great crew. The individual room air conditioning is a bonus as well as the provided cabin water bottles. Ice was always available along with fresh water. Snorkel gear is included along with unlimited filtered water, sodas, juices, select beers and a house red and white wine. Fare also included crew tip (but I left more because they so deserved it), the night on board prior to sailing, and all port charges. This was a great intimate experience with a small passenger group for an amazing price. The captain was very flexible and willing to change plans (within reason if all agreed). It was very nice being docked on arrival and departure. I heard rumors that more sails were going to be added and that air conditioning was being considered for the indoor saloon area (this was my one suggestion). I would not hesitate in recommending this vacation to anyone with an adventurous, laid back soul. Get a couple of friends (or family) together and book tomorrow at www.islandwindjammers.com. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2012
Just returned from the "Tempting 10" sailing on the Diamant. Had a great time. We sailed 9 times with Windjammer Barefoot Cruises, unfortunately they are no longer in business. We couldn't wait to sail again on a tall ship. ... Read More
Just returned from the "Tempting 10" sailing on the Diamant. Had a great time. We sailed 9 times with Windjammer Barefoot Cruises, unfortunately they are no longer in business. We couldn't wait to sail again on a tall ship. Even though the Diamant is a smaller ship, there was plenty enough room for the 11 passengers and 6 crew. Cabins were surprisingly spacious with a nice size bathroom with a lot of hot water and plenty of storage space, however we were told that we had the larger cabin(Cabin #3). The boat was very clean and well maintained. Food was great and it was amazing to see what the chef (Philbert)can do in that tiny galley! The captain and crew were more than accommodating and very professional. There were not a lot of shore excursions, however you can go to the beach,snorkel, sit on the boat and read a book or go into town or set up your own excursions. The captain can set up scuba diving for those who choose to do so. The itinerary included islands that the larger cruise ships don't go to. Overall, we had a great time time and would highly recommend Island Windjammers and the Diamant for those people who don't want the big cruise ship experience. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2015
I have been interested in a windjammer cruise for years and finally convinced my family. After looking at several options we chose Island Windjammers, and could not have enjoyed our trip more. I should say that the Sagitta, while it has ... Read More
I have been interested in a windjammer cruise for years and finally convinced my family. After looking at several options we chose Island Windjammers, and could not have enjoyed our trip more. I should say that the Sagitta, while it has sails, was powered by a motor. That may make some say that it was not a true wind jammer cruise, and they would have a point. However, that did not detract from our enjoyment of the trip. The crew was wonderful. There was nothing that we wanted for. It seemed as though no sooner did you ask for something than a crew member was there to help. The food was OUTSTANDING!! How the chef was able to produce so much wonderful food from small a small galley was hard to imagine. There is a rope swing from the rigging that my daughter, her friend, and I loved swinging from to splash into the Caribbean. The ports of call on each of the islands were fun, and much more remote than if we had traveled on a large ship. We are all certified SCUBA divers and the cruise director did a wonderful job locating dive shops for us to use (I reviewed two of them.) I will warn potential travelers to bring motion sickness meds. While in the lea of the islands the boat is very calm. When travelling between the islands, mostly at night, you will be tossed around your bunk. After the first night I thought "Oh no, what have I done.) After the first night we were better prepared for a couple of hours of rough seas and adjusted just fine. It all made for a geat adventure. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2015
Excellent, superb, the best....it's rare indeed to have an experience that so exceeds every expectation that there isn't a superlative fine enough to do it justice. Wanting a very special vacation to celebrate our 40th ... Read More
Excellent, superb, the best....it's rare indeed to have an experience that so exceeds every expectation that there isn't a superlative fine enough to do it justice. Wanting a very special vacation to celebrate our 40th anniversary, we finally decided to ship-out with Island Windjammers for the week. We selected Diamant precisely because she is small allowing for a cruise that would be more intimate with the sea, but affording a level of style, service and comfort we wanted for this special week. The shipboard experience was beyond what you would experience in the finest hotel. We were wonderfully cared for from the moment we stepped on deck in St. George's, Grenada to the moment we stepped off. Diamant is a beautiful lady extremely very well maintained. Our safety was at every moment assured by an ever vigilant and experienced captain and crew who also assured we enjoyed every moment of the cruise. The itinerary was as advertised. We visited interesting islands, explored local towns, swam and snorkeled in the clear, warm eastern Caribbean, and spent some lovely idyllic time just sitting on deck watching Diamant sail. Cabin 5 was terrific. Surprisingly roomy given Diamant's size with plenty of storage space. The head/shower was efficiently designed with all the comforts of home. The food was the best, including two fish caught by the chef while we were underway (can’t get fresher than that!!). We are already looking at the Diamant’s future sailing schedule. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2015
The first problem we encountered was the requested overnight stay in St. Lucia prior to the start of the cruise. We chose Marigot Bay Beach Club because it looked nice to us and it was stated on the website that "The resort is ... Read More
The first problem we encountered was the requested overnight stay in St. Lucia prior to the start of the cruise. We chose Marigot Bay Beach Club because it looked nice to us and it was stated on the website that "The resort is located on the water's edge on the north side of Marigot Bay, just a few steps away from the marina where you'll be joining your ship". What you failed to tell us is that it is 45 MINUTES from Rodney Bay where we were to join the ship. It also resulted in a $45 cab ride! When we brought this up with Crystal, the operations person on Sagitta, she said it is "offered as an alternative to those wanting to see other areas around St. Lucia". If that is the case then Island Windjammer must be truthful about where it is. This was not the way to start our vacation and I found it very disconcerting. (Since writing to the company regarding this, additional wording has been added to the Island Windjammer website) I was also disappointed because there was little or no communication prior to travel from Island Windjammer. When we asked for pre-cruise information we were told to just print it out. No itinerary was given prior to the cruise, or even when we boarded, Why is that? When asked we were given vague answers. Shipping lanes, night sailing, weather, - that was it. No explanations. No clear answers. It appeared that Dominica was to be our first stop. We were all surpised that a lady we boarded with the day before had already left the cruise! The rough overnight swells clearly were not for her. Dominica was a total let down. Ugly beach with broken glass everywhere from beer bottles. No facilities. The town itself was dreadful. No restaurants, no tourist shops - nothing. Why on earth did we spend 2 days there? Also we did not go to Guadeloupe although the statements on your website would infer that we were to go there in addition to Iles de Saintes. Again, why? Martinique had beautiful beaches that I would have loved to have stayed longer on but we wasted a whole morning being dropped in Fort De France with it's mediocre shops and not much else. After an hour we waited to return to the ship. The captain (Deylan)was returning on the same dinghy too. We told him there was nothing interesting to do there and his response was "there are 150,000 people there and you can't find anything to do" That was rude an not very professional. Then again he was still in his twenties. It turns out we didn't even sail. The sails we discovered were for cosmetic purposes only as confirmed by a new, soon-to-be captain of Windjammer who joined us from Domenica (where he lived - Ah, now I get it, that's why we spent 2 days there unnecessarily). The S.V. Sagitta, it was shared with us by Stefan (the new-soon-to-be captain for Windjammer), was built in 1961 as a laundry ship for the navy. It was never meant to be a sailing ship and the shape of the hull proves it. Any romantic notions I had of a beautiful cruise on a sailing vessel just sank to the bottom of the ocean once he shared that information. I could not tell if he wanted to give us the shock value of that statement or whether he was secretly regarding us as stupid for booking the trip in the first place. Regardless, I did not think it was a very smart statement to be making about your future employer's business. I guess he'll find out. The few highlights that are in Windjammer's favor - The cabins, although small, were very clean everyday and housekeeping was good. Daily Happy Hour was a pleasant experience and everyone looked forward to it and the great food and drink surprises. Chef Lenny was by far the biggest asset to the company. The food was creative and excellent and his attention to special food requests due to allergies makes him shine even more. He truly cared for the comfort of the passengers. The deck hands, 1st mate, the servers etc. all get top marks from me for their hospitality. However, I found the young captain (Deylan) to be a little arrogant and definitely unfriendly. He showed no interest in how anyone was feeling and how we might be enjoying ourselves. In fact he liked to bark orders rather than discuss situations at hand. Crystal was nice and upbeat and kept everyone smiling however I felt that the company could do a much better job of helping the passengers with what to do when the ship docked. Having Crystal stand there with a small foldout map and pointing to parts of it saying "you can go here or you can go there" doesn't really cut it. Most of the time it was the only map she had so when we got on land we had no clue where we were going. How about a supply of maps for each island in a welcome packet with typed up suggestions of where to go, suggested restaurants etc? Community Editor's Note: The following statement was provided to us by the management of Island Windjammers and appears in its unedited entirety: "Sagitta is a motorsailer, as she is clearly described on our website, and as is carefully explained in our FAQ's. Island Windjammers does not book hotels on behalf of our guests, but does provide links on request to select properties which offer discounts to Island Windjammers guests. The planning information given to all guests at the time of booking states that IWJ vessels in St Lucia will be berthed at Rodney Bay until December 2015, at which time they will relocate to Marigot Bay". Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2015
I have an extensive history of traveling to many countries around the world for over the past 40 years. I have taken a couple of cruises prior to this trip. Most notably I went to the Galapagos islands which was incredible and a fantastic ... Read More
I have an extensive history of traveling to many countries around the world for over the past 40 years. I have taken a couple of cruises prior to this trip. Most notably I went to the Galapagos islands which was incredible and a fantastic experience. I have always been fascinated by 19th century sailing ship stories such as Joshua Slocum's tale of Sailing Alone Around the World, 1898. We decided to go on a Windjammer tour because we wanted to experience the feeling of sailing a schooner. I was told that this was a sailing vessel and that we would participate in working the sails. The Sagita which is sold as a motorized sailing vessel. I was told the motors would only be engaged when the winds failed. Windjammer arranged a hotel at the Marigold Hotel the day before our department. They told us it would be only a five minute taxi to the ship. As it turned out the Marigold Hotel was on the other side of the island and was an hour drive to Rodney Bay which unnecessarily cost us an additional $45. We paid for transfers to and from the ship in advance and never told to expect this. I'd like to begin by stating some of the positive facts of this trip. First, excluding the captains, The entire crew was friendly and helpful and generally a pleasure to be with. The chef, Lenny, was excellent. I have several food allergies and he went above and beyond to ensure that the food I ate met my dietary restrictions. I am very grateful to Lenny. Every day we had a cocktail hour and without exception Lenny provided us with new and interesting hors d'oeuvres and cocktails The cabins were clean and met my basic requirements. Onboard there were sufficient deck chairs for us to enjoy the views and relax. Fortunately, the Caribbean is so beautiful that no matter how much you mismanage a voyage you can't help enjoy the environment. I will now detail the facts of the Sagitta that caused such distress. The source of this information I quote from the mouth of Captain Stefan, a German man from the island of Dominica. I will never understand why he told me this sensitive and damaging information to me while giving us a tour of the bridge. Captains Stefan claims to have been Captain on 35 National Geographic ships to Antarctica. The first shocking surprise was Captain Stefan revealing the true history of the Sagitta. Stefan told us the Sagitta was never built as a sailing vessel. He told me that the hull was not even built in the shape of a sailing vessel. I had wondered and asked why were the sails never being raised. He told me that the Sagitta could not sail and that they did not even have adequate sails on board even if they wanted to sail. According to Stefhan, the ship was built as a laundry boat for the Navy. This gives a whole new meaning to the expression that we were sailing on a tub,pardon the bad pun. I asked Crystal, the tour guide, why the sails were not raised when I was told to wind was only 10 kn and her feeble excuse was the winds were too strong and they would tear the sails apart. After Captain's revelations I learned the real reason for their not being raised. Captain Stefan also told me that the masts we're not capable of holding sails The purpose was only decorative and to give the impression that the ship was meant for sailing. The cruise did not follow the stated itinerary. We ended up spending two days in Dominica, which according Frommer's, which I found on the ship, Dominca is the worst island in the Caribbean and a must to avoid. The entire beach was literally covered with broken glass. There were no hotels, bars or any facilities and I wonder why they chose two days of my vacation to spend there when there were so many other wonderful choices which they didn't take us to, including Guadalupe which we were supposed to go to. I wondered if the reason for this was that Captain Stefan was from Dominica. In conclusion, you cannot plan a more awful cruise even if you decided to sail to Gilligans Island and end up on a deserted island. i'm writing this review as a public service to all prospective future clients of Windjammer. Be wary of squandering your hard earned vacation days and money with a company that so flagrantly misrepresents in their marketing material who they really are and what they offer. In my opinion, this is shameful behavior. Community Editor's Note: The following statement was provided to us by the management of Island Windjammers and appears in its unedited entirety: "Sagitta is a motorsailer, as she is clearly described on our website, and as is carefully explained in our FAQ's. Island Windjammers does not book hotels on behalf of our guests, but does provide links on request to select properties which offer discounts to Island Windjammers guests. The planning information given to all guests at the time of booking states that IWJ vessels in St Lucia will be berthed at Rodney Bay until December 2015, at which time they will relocate to Marigot Bay". Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2015
We were fortunate to get to sail on the Sagitta as part of a wedding party and it was one of the absolute best experiences of my life. Yes, some of us got a little seasick, but I wouldn't blame that on the ship or crew. We had the ... Read More
We were fortunate to get to sail on the Sagitta as part of a wedding party and it was one of the absolute best experiences of my life. Yes, some of us got a little seasick, but I wouldn't blame that on the ship or crew. We had the best crew ever (still craving Lenny's banana pancakes, homemade chips and dip, and Sagita-ritas!) and the boat was beautiful. The cabins were boat cabins - not large, but big enough, esp. since you spend so much of your time above deck. Yes, if you want to sleep two full-grown adults side-by-side on the lower bunk, it'll be cozy, but this is a boat. Our captain was great and even turned the boat around so we could be completely surrounded by a 25+ dolphin pod + Pilot Whales. I don't know who ordered the many rainbows and green flash at sunset, but they completely capped off the wedding in the shadows of the Pitons. The ports we stopped at were lovely and the crew was fantastic about making sure that we knew we would be going back to the boat for lunch, happy hour and dinner. The locals on each island were very friendly and proud to show off their land. I thought there was a good mix of readily available tour options and "explore on your own". Lots of snorkeling and beautiful views abound. I think part of the appeal of our trip was that we knew everyone on the boat. I would HIGHLY recommend anyone looking for a special wedding or event consider doing the same. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2015
IWJ exceeded every single one of my expectations. This was by far the best vacation we've ever taken. My boyfriend and I talked to their trip planner when deciding whether to do the cruise. She was amazingly helpful, even offering ... Read More
IWJ exceeded every single one of my expectations. This was by far the best vacation we've ever taken. My boyfriend and I talked to their trip planner when deciding whether to do the cruise. She was amazingly helpful, even offering summer beach read recommendations! We booked it and received periodic updates and pre-boarding information. I do wish they had given us even the most tentative itinerary, though--even after we got on the boat there was no handout of where we were going, though there was a daily schedule on the whiteboard. We had never been sailing or on a cruise before and didn't know what to expect. The boat is beautiful and they raised the sails as often as they could. Plenty of seating both in the front and the back. Also we ALL took the motion sickness pills and were all fine, save for one day in which we all struggled in the morning because of very choppy seas. But other than that, totally fine! Food was excellent! I'm both a vegetarian AND picky and George made me incredible things. On the first day I mentioned that I didn't like eggs (not a vegan, just picky) and after that, without saying a WORD, I never got a dish with eggs, not even a salad! The sauces were especially delicious, and I was so grateful that they stocked up on some soya for me and the other vegetarian. There is also Rumaggeddon at 4pm, with special recipe rum punch and snacks. Definitely looked forward to that every day! The locations we went to were beautiful. White sandy beaches, fun local bars, and some incredible snorkeling. It was so relaxing! When we anchored, there was a rope swing, and access to kayaks, snorkeling, and paddleboarding. Did I mention a ROPE SWING? At night, they would turn off the lights so we could stargaze. The boat had a cooler of all-you-can-drink sodas and beers, with unlimited wine as well. We also only visited ONE island where you had to pay for an excursion (which was only $30), so everything really is included in the price. But really, the most amazing part of the whole trip was the staff. Captain Phillip was great. He let my boyfriend steer the ship and taught him about sailing, and ate every meal with us. King gave a comedy show (indescribable!). And then there's Bolo. Oh, Bolo, I miss you every day! Our steward was INCREDIBLE. So attentive to our every need, made our rooms look great every day, and just generally lovely and wonderful and a joy to be around. King made a necklace for one of the passengers as a gift! And they gave us all a map signed by them at the end, as a souvenir. Our trip had only 11 people and by the end we were all exchanging Facebook accounts and email addresses. It's such an intimate and lovely experience to travel with such a small group from all over the world and see such amazing places. We ranged in age from 17 to mid-50s (we're early 30s). Finally, a shoutout to Monja, the local contact in Grenada. She was so fun and helpful and even invited us to a Grenadian Hashing (google Hash House Harriers). We tried to make it but were too late, alas, but it looked like fun. She made us feel so welcome on her adopted home! In sum, best vacation ever. GO GO GO. We never do the same trip twice but oh man, we are SO doing this again with a different itinerary! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
Over the past few years my husband and I have realized that we like things to be smaller. We no longer enjoy the crowds at large resorts. We enjoy B&B's. We avoid chain restaurants.We like small restaurants where we actually know ... Read More
Over the past few years my husband and I have realized that we like things to be smaller. We no longer enjoy the crowds at large resorts. We enjoy B&B's. We avoid chain restaurants.We like small restaurants where we actually know the staff and owners. We became disenchanted with the large cruise lines. We found we spent a lot of time avoiding the crowds. We wanted more time in ports. We hated the nickel and diming at every turn. We had started flying to favorite destinations and renting vilas. We wanted more time on the water. Luckily we found Island Windjammers. We chose a trip on the Sagitta from Grenada to Bequia and back. The website describes in great detail what to expect and they were very accurate. If you have questions they are more than happy to answer. When you call real people answer the phone! Our trip had 16 guests and 10 crew. We knew everyone within days. The atmosphere is casual. We all got along well and had a great time. We took the transfers arranged by Island Windjammers. This made everything very easy. They were prompt and very friendly. The prices were good. The night before our trip we stayed at the True Blue Bay Resort. The resort grounds, room, and breakfast exceeded all expectations. The staff is amazingly nice and friendly. Our cabin was exactly what we expected on a ship this size. There was plenty of room if you don't over pack. You end up with 6 drawers, a space to hang things, and multiple shelves. There are several well placed hooks around the cabin to hang things. Take soft sided luggage, it stores better. Everything was spotlessly clean. The AC was wonderful to have at night. The bed was very comfortable. The ship was not huge, but large enough to find a quiet place of your own if you wanted it, or to find a conversation with the other guests. It is a real ship. It moves, you feel it. It is good. Stairs are more like ladders. Good mobility helps on this trip. The food served was excellent. I am amazed by what the chef and cook accomplish in a small galley. Everything was delicious and well prepared. There was a mix of traditional American foods with a few local favorites added. The cheeseburgers served on the beach were perfect. Good luck getting George to share recipes. I would like to have had a few. The tomato ginger sauce for the pork, the conch fritters, the honey roasted coconut strips. Perhaps they could sell a small cookbook....We enjoyed the fact that water, iced tea, sodas and beer were always available self service. Wine was served at dinner. We also liked being able to bring along whatever other libations we would enjoy. Several of the guests did just that. We stopped at a nice mix of islands. Usually you had a choice of going to shore-beach or town depending location-going snorkeling, hiking, or hanging out on the ship. Tenders ran hourly. Some landings are wet. On a couple of stops the Captain snorkeled with us. (How often do you see that?) The staff was quick to bring out the pool noodles, lounge floats, and standup paddle boards for swimming days. We even put the rope swing to use one day. The towns were small, but cute, the beaches were postcard perfect, and the tour in Bequia is a great way to learn about the history and see the island. Crystal did a great job as ops manager and helped make sure all of the guests had a great time and were well cared for. The Diamante stopped at many of the same ports. We got familiar with their guests as well. We enjoyed crab races together in Chatham Bay and I think they enjoyed visiting the Sagitta for a wine and cheese party later in the week. I can not say enough good things about the entire crew. On a ship this size you are lucky enough to get to know them all. They are a nice crew and very interesting people. Every person working on the ship worked very hard to make everyone comfortable. Upon return to Grenada we stayed at Coyaba to be on the beach and walking distance to shopping. The grounds were beautiful, the pool with the swim up bar was nice after spending a week in salt water, and the room was large. We enjoyed everything about the trip and are planning another trip With Island Windjammers next year. A few last thoughts. Pack light. Take extra sunscreen and some mosquito repellent. Take a dry bag as a day bag to protect whatever you may carry from splashes. Buy more chocolate in Grenada than you think you want. It is double the price to get in the states. Be adventurous. Return with no regrets and wonderful memories. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
I would go sail again on the S/V SAGITTA with Islandwindjammers in a minute! Sailing on the motor sailor vessel SAGITTA from October 18 to November 1 2015 was the trip of a lifetime. SAGITTA is 120 feet long, and crew is about 10. It ... Read More
I would go sail again on the S/V SAGITTA with Islandwindjammers in a minute! Sailing on the motor sailor vessel SAGITTA from October 18 to November 1 2015 was the trip of a lifetime. SAGITTA is 120 feet long, and crew is about 10. It holds 24 passengers. We embarked St Lucia and visited Antigua, Nevis, St Kitts, St Barths, St Maarten, Domenica, Martinique. Having only 21 passengers aboard, we enjoyed visiting to be had no where else. 12 nights and 13 days were spent getting to know each other and developing long-lasting friendships. Excursions onto the islands included visits to forts, rain forests, beaches, businesses, little towns, rural places, and a volcano that wiped out capital city. Our guides were local folks who knew all the histories of the islands they called home. One could choose a hike, a walk about town, a swim, an island beach barbecue, drinks at beach establishments, or reflect on the tarpin and turtles and barracuda, or take a snorkel swim over coral reefs. This trip was bliss. Chef Lenny and Chef Robert put three square meals in front of all of us daily, with hors d'oevres and sagittaritas at 5 pm, and little muffins and coffee before breakfast at 7 am. Steward Brandon and Steward Herschel served everything to us with elegance, good humor and much joy. Our rooms were cleaned before we knew it. Captain Matt and First Mate (also a Captain) Simon made sure our ship ran on time and with accuracy and safety first. The weather cooperated FULLY! Engineer we didn't get to see to much, because he was busy below running everything, right under our noses! He gave tours of the Engine Room! Bo'sun Mark ad Deckhand Roy ran us all back and forth to the beach and towns and excursions, painted and washed deck items, weighed and let the anchor, set and furled the sails, and cleaned up after us so fast we didn't know we even made messes! For Manager Katy, her first trip in this position seemed like her 50th trip; she made the job look seamless! There is no weight room or exercise facility on this boat, but there are stairs, hikes, swims, walks, and dancing that more than make up for these things. Cabins are big enough to move around it and the mattresses are pure clouds! We made much of our own entertainment, from reads to swims to hikes to games we brought along and were on the ship. There is a ships library as well. WIFI can be had on an island at a restaurant. Teaching a German politician American slang was one of the best parts of it! NOT having computers was the absolute best part. One HAD to be in social contact in spite of ones-self! Vacation was TRULY vacating from everything. We watched sunrises and sunsets, got sun, got more sun, got wet, got more wet, and got a great time with everyone! No other vacation I have ever taken has been a better way to spend the time and the money. Worth EVERY SINGLE DIME. Read Less
25 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
This was our second trip with an Island Windjammers ship. In December 2014 we enjoyed our time on the Sagitta so much that we signed up for a January 2016 week on the Vela without hesitation. The Vela has been newly refitted and we were ... Read More
This was our second trip with an Island Windjammers ship. In December 2014 we enjoyed our time on the Sagitta so much that we signed up for a January 2016 week on the Vela without hesitation. The Vela has been newly refitted and we were aboard her on her third week of carrying passengers. One can see the dedication that has gone into making her a worthy addition to the Island Windjammers fleet. Itinerary: Initially the Vela was supposed to sail to the French West Indies, but due to the prevailing high winds the itinerary had to be changed to St. Vincent and the Grenadine Islands. We appreciated having advance warning about this change, but also knew from past experience that island visits need to be flexible and one doesn't always know in advance. We were skeptical but as we hadn't had our hearts set on a particular destination we were open to this new option and we definitely did not regret exploring this area. For a detailed description of this itinerary check out the reviews for the Diamant, as she regularly sails this section of the Caribbean and I would only be duplicating the well-written and thorough review of the unspoiled Grenadines I read there. The snorkeling, empty beaches, the water, the rough hills, the small towns - these are all things that we had not seen in our previous visits to the Caribbean and we highly recommend this area. The crew of the Vela made sure we had daily excursions and were brought by dinghy to island towns, beaches and snorkeling areas which most of the passengers took advantage of. The passengers who stayed on board tended to be those who were a little more limited physically. One does need some flexibility to climb up and down the gangway and aboard the dinghies, but one certainly doesn't need to be a teenager to do so. We were permitted to jump from the sides of the ship to our hearts' delight, and Captain Nervo even put up a rope swing for all to enjoy. The Vela would usually anchor at night, we did not dock at any piers while on this cruise. Attire/items needed for the trip: The overall vibe of the ship is casual and during the day bathing suits, shorts, and cover-ups were all that was needed. Evenings usually found us showered and a bit more presentable. Shoes are optional onboard, but I would definitely recommend a pair of good sandals or sneakers for island walking/hiking. Also bring a backpack for those excursions. And hats! The Caribbean sun can quickly burn your winter-pale skin. Sometimes you get lucky and can find sunscreen and/or bug spray left by previous passengers in the salon. We did not have a problem with insects biting us on this trip, but it's good to be prepared for some beach trips. Be sure to bring your own beach towels or purchase an Island Windjammers towel from the ship store. I would recommend a quick-drying towel meant for camping or even a yoga towel. Very practical collapsible water bottles/pouches are left as a gift when one first arrives in the cabin. They have a hook on them and we would attach them to our backpacks for shore excursions, which means you don't have to bring along any water bottles (like we did for our first trip aboard the Sagitta!). The passengers: Some of us were couples, three traveled as a single. We had one family of three onboard. One of the couples was on their honey-moon, others have been married for years. I mention this to show the variety of passengers who still manage to have a very nice time together. We even had a Londoner onboard. Food: It is so nice to not have to cook a single meal, plan a meal, or wash the dishes. The meals were always on-time and well-done and fresh ingredients were incorporated. Appetizers at Happy Hour were always plentiful and beverages were always accessible. Local beers, wine, soda selections were in a cooler. Large dispensing coolers of Iced Tea and Ice Water were also always fully filled. You won't go hungry on this ship, but you also won't be over-stuffed. Portions were just right and service in the salon was done well. The two stewards were always on the ball. Asking for seconds or smaller portions was not a problem. The Ship - three masts and many sails. The Vela can run on wind-power alone and several times she did. No engines. It was a trip back in time. I am prone to sea-sickness but by taking the medication offered on board (right next to the water station) well in advance of any turbulence, I didn't feel sick at any time while onboard. The crew will warn you when some rocking and rolling is expected and, with that in mind, I was always well prepared. I also occasionally wore the pressure point wrist bands. Many of our 16 passengers wore the 'patch' but as the week wore on some reported side-effects such as 'dry-mouth' and blurred vision which made me glad I relied on the occasional pill. My point is, one can go on this cruise and not feel ill when the seas get a little rocky. Deck chairs and lounge chaises are provided and shaded when not underway. The salon has four booths in which 6-8 people can sit for meals, or card playing, or chatting. All meals were eaten in this area. A bell summoned us to the salon for meals and story time. Breakfast was at 8:00 am. Lunch at noon or 12:30 pm. Snacks and Rum Punch were offered at 5:00 pm. Dinner was usually at 7:30pm. Each morning after breakfast the whiteboard in the salon would list the day's activity options and schedule (not a rigorous time schedule by any means) and the Ops Manager would be available for questions and planning. This was not a party-ship experience. Most evenings were spent chatting on the deck under the stars or taking a launch in to a small island bar. One goes into these cruises meeting strangers and one disembarks as friends. With some one remains in touch and others remain vacation memories. There is a sense of togetherness while onboard and groups are variable and get together for different shore excursions or deck activities. We have fond memories of our time aboard the Vela and in today's age of speed and instant communication, the Vela offers a slower pace. It is a week away from wifi and 'the real world' but the truth is one can usually find wifi in the beach bars along the islands. But don't sit there for too long checking messages and emails - you'll miss out on the island's offerings. ******** in case you have questions about getting there: Traveling to Marigot Bay (Embarkation Port): This in itself was an adventure. We flew from Boston via Miami to St. Lucia. The main airport is in the south east corner of the island, but Marigot Bay (Cappella) is in the north west part of the island. We had hired a taxi/driver in advance of arriving and the hour plus long ride was not for the faint-hearted. Tail-gating, windy roads, unattended brush fires along the side (!!!), going from shore line into and across the mountain region through rainforest type areas, goats and stray dogs can all be seen along the way. I had to just trust that our driver had it all under control, but as a well-practiced backseat driver this was not easy. The Vela was leaving on Sunday, January 3rd and we arrived at Marigot Bay on January 1 as we did not want to risk missing her departure due to cancelled flights or bad New England weather. We stayed in the Marigot Bay Beach Resort for those two nights and be prepared for this very expensive area. We arrived by taxi at the end of the road and a launch boat took us (and our luggage) the rest of the way to the hotel area. Yes, there was no road to the hotel! The restaurant by the hotel is Doolittle's but one could also take the hotel launches back to the road's end. There is a small supermarket there which also serves the yachts and sailboats which arrive here. Several small (and quite good) restaurants can be found within walking distance. Eastern Caribbean Dollars are used here, and unlike other areas of the Caribbean we found that US dollars weren't really accepted. Meals and groceries were not cheap. There is a small beach and some hiking trails in this bay and one can enjoy watching the constant traffic of sailing vessels and a few yachts. One can get good wifi at the bayfront cafes. The wifi at the hotel was sketchy but did the trick. Bring adapters for your electronic devices as St. Lucia is not compatible with USA plugs. There are also some other towns close-by to the embarkation port where one can stay and then take a taxi the morning of the departure date (Rodney Bay or some near-by luxury resorts). Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
My girlfriend and I just returned from an incredibly enjoyable and relaxing vacation aboard Island Windjammers' Sagitta Motorsailer. From initial questions about booking the trip until stepping off the vessel at the end of the ... Read More
My girlfriend and I just returned from an incredibly enjoyable and relaxing vacation aboard Island Windjammers' Sagitta Motorsailer. From initial questions about booking the trip until stepping off the vessel at the end of the vacation everyone at Island Windjammers was courteous, service-oriented, friendly and wanted to make sure we had a great experience. Our trip took us from St. Maarten to St. Barths, Nevis, St. Kitts and Anguilla. While the weather was initially a bit unfriendly with some wind, rain and rolling seas (but who can control the weather?), the Sagitta crew was always smiling and helpful and went the extra mile to ensure we had a safe, happy and memorable vacation. The ship was always spotless and cabins were very roomy for a small vessel. The daily snacks and food at every meal were delicious. The shore excursions were interesting and well-planned. When Sagitta was in port one could go ashore to explore or stay aboard and just relax or swim, snorkel, float or swing from the mast rope. This was my girlfriend's first sailing/cruise experience and she loved it so much we are already talking about another booking. It was my sixth vacation of this type (four windjammers and two ocean liners). Island Windjammers is without question the best choice for those who prefer smaller groups and the opportunity to relax, explore, and learn about "the real Caribbean" with others who have similar vacation interests. The quality,service and atmosphere are exceptional. Suggestions for interested parties: - Try to schedule week day flights. Island airports are very, very busy on weekends. Long line and delays are the norm. Having a couple of days at the beginning and end of the sailing trip will simplify your vacation. - Visit the Island Windjammer website. It is very informative and will tell you all you need to know about their vacations. - Pack light - all you need are shorts, T-shirts, swimwear, flip-flops for the beach (go barefoot aboard ship) and comfortable shoes if you do a hiking excursion. A light jacket may be handy as windy nights can be cool. Thanks to Captain Steffen and all his crew we had a fantastic vacation aboard Sagitta and look forward to another Island Windjammers vacation very soon. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
Spent 6 nights on Island Windjammer's Diamant sailing from Grenada to several stops in the south Caribbean. We had been on quite a few large ship cruises, but this was only 11 passengers and 6 crew. Best cruise we've ever had by ... Read More
Spent 6 nights on Island Windjammer's Diamant sailing from Grenada to several stops in the south Caribbean. We had been on quite a few large ship cruises, but this was only 11 passengers and 6 crew. Best cruise we've ever had by far. Hit 5 or 6 islands we'd never heard of, including one called Sandy Island which was amazing. Just a small beachy island with great snorkeling (which we also did 3 or 4 other times). Also visited a place called Happy Island - basically a bar in the middle of the water only accessible by boat. Throw in a couple of scenic hikes, a bonfire, hanging with locals, and of course the boat's own rope swing and we kept active. No need to deal with room keys or customs - all taken care of for us. But the best part of the trip was the crew. All of them focused on keeping the guests happy and safe. Gourmet meals cooked by our chef Lenny and served by Bolo included breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks every day. Unbelievable food using some traditional and some exotic ingredients we never heard of. Rumageddon every afternoon was a blast, although we started as early as 9am (twice) so I didn't do many late nights. Smiles and King kept us in line on the dingy rides and entertained in the evening (King's show had us rolling). Old School was always popping up somewhere and giving a fist pump. And Captain Stuart was involved in everything we did. He was the tour guide, cruise director, part time entertainer, and just acted like the 12th guest sometimes. Most of the passengers were total strangers when we started. By the end of the week we were all best friends. We will be back, most likely over and over. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
This was our first cruise with Island Windjammers and on the sailing schooner Diamont. It was everything we had hoped for and more! We wanted to sail, and we did. Everyday we had daytime sailing and it was just beautiful. Just watching the ... Read More
This was our first cruise with Island Windjammers and on the sailing schooner Diamont. It was everything we had hoped for and more! We wanted to sail, and we did. Everyday we had daytime sailing and it was just beautiful. Just watching the scenery and enjoying the adventure. Every day we anchored and spent the night on-board in a serene bay along the Grenadines. Activities included hikes, snorkeling, paddle boarding, kayaking, picnics, shopping and just relaxing on some of the most quiet gorgeous beaches in the world. We had perfect weather all week. We had 9 total guests and 6 crew. What a great crew! Each member was expert in his role and made sure every one was comfortable and having a great time.The food was prepared by Chef Lenny and it was SUPERB! Every meal was perfect, including breakfast, lunch and scrumptious dinner! We were also treated to afternoon Rumageddon- appetizers and rum punch. We stayed in a standard cabin and it served us well. Steward Bolo took great care of us. Captain Stuart Ramsey is a real pro. He is a master sailor and has the perfect personality to interact with the guests and crew and keep it all fun and interesting. He planned each day's activities to be enjoyable and not rushed. Every aspect of this trip was well thought out and efficiently performed. The Diamont is a great sailing vessel and there is plenty of room to hang out with others or just get a bit of alone time. We are already planning another trip. We have found a perfectly relaxing, zero stress, vacation that totally suits us. Best we ever had, and ready to do it again. Highly recommend it to anyone. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
I am delighted to give high marks to the company Island Windjammer, it's ship the Sagitta and the crew! Booked this trip to celebrate my birthday and was not disappointed. The entire experience was amazing! The ship was beautiful, ... Read More
I am delighted to give high marks to the company Island Windjammer, it's ship the Sagitta and the crew! Booked this trip to celebrate my birthday and was not disappointed. The entire experience was amazing! The ship was beautiful, our room was comfortable and the bathroom spacious. But the best part of the trip besides the beautiful locations, was the crew! Each and everyone of them went above and beyond to ensure we were safe, comfortable and well fed. And the food was amazing!! Each crew member was very helpful and friendly. This is a very well run ship. We are not usually the types that do group tours, but we did every excursion the Sagitta offered on this trip and loved each one! We had an amazing time on each island and while simply hanging out on the ship. A huge shout out and thank you to Island Windjammer and the Sagitta's crew! You guys (and gal) are the best! We'll definitely be back!! Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
I just recently returned from a 6 night cruise aboard the Island Windjammer Sagitta. It was everything I expected and more! I travel all of the time so my expectations were high on seeing some great islands, snorkeling, hiking and lots of ... Read More
I just recently returned from a 6 night cruise aboard the Island Windjammer Sagitta. It was everything I expected and more! I travel all of the time so my expectations were high on seeing some great islands, snorkeling, hiking and lots of adventure. I got it all! From the moment I stepped onboard I was greeted with warm welcomes and big smiles. The captain was great and Christine our cruise host was fantastic. She showed her passion of being on the water and made sure we were well taken card of. The crew was great and the food was fantastic. You don't need a big selection with the quality and taste you get onboard. I travel all the time and I am also a Travel Agent. This trip was one of the best ever!!!! If you want to experience a true Caribbean feel look no further than Island Windjammer there are several companies out there but this one sets a new standard in small ship sailing. Thank you!! I will be back soon. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
My husband and I have done the big cruise ship thing before and found it not to be what we were looking for. Sailing on the Vela was exactly what we wanted. We had the comforts of home, but were able to explore the locations we visited. ... Read More
My husband and I have done the big cruise ship thing before and found it not to be what we were looking for. Sailing on the Vela was exactly what we wanted. We had the comforts of home, but were able to explore the locations we visited. Our cruise only had 14 other sailors so our small group got to know each other fast and had a wonderful time together. Everyone was there to have a good time and I can't remember laughing so much. We could do as little or as much as we wanted. My husband was often involved in the ship sailing, while I was found reading a book. The islands we visited had many options, from shopping, to snorkeling, to reconnecting to wifi. or you could just stay on the ship and enjoy the sea. The crew went above and beyond to make sure we had everything we could have possibly wanted. This was the best vacation I have ever had. My husband and I could completely unplug and relax. I am counting the days until we can go on another Island Windjammer cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2016
This was an amazing cruise! The food was great and the crew was superior. They ensured your comfort and happiness at all times. The destinations were so amazing, we were like the only tourists on these islands and you could see clearly ... Read More
This was an amazing cruise! The food was great and the crew was superior. They ensured your comfort and happiness at all times. The destinations were so amazing, we were like the only tourists on these islands and you could see clearly down in the water, even in the towns. There were flying fish following us in sailing days. We got to hike across small islands, snorkel with their gear and the Chef would catch dinner off of the back of the boat. The captain was fun and entertaining. We went on a rum cruise and experienced rum in so many ways, by itself, mixed in drinks and had fun days and nights sampling rum from around the world. We met friends we still stay in touch with. They use an inflatable boat to take you into harbors and beaches and it is very easy getting on and off of the inflatable. From the moment go this was so enjoyable and the islands are beautiful. We went just before the Diamant was overhauled and our room, room 2 is now combined with room one and is a suite. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
We choose Vela because of the unique sailing experience, small number of guests and interesting destinations. Our Captain was extremely knowledgable,experienced and cool!! He truly loves the ships and enjoys what he does. He went out of ... Read More
We choose Vela because of the unique sailing experience, small number of guests and interesting destinations. Our Captain was extremely knowledgable,experienced and cool!! He truly loves the ships and enjoys what he does. He went out of his way to ensure all guests had and excellent time. The crew was amazing as well, we all became fast friends. They work hard, always smiling and know the guests by name. The chef and cook did an excellent job with very delicious meals. The Islands we visited were fantastic, beautiful and no big cruise ships. We snorkeled a lot, relaxed, hiked with the Captain leading the way,drank beer, Vela Coladas, and rum punch provided by our excellent staff!! It was truly an amazing time. The perfect way to relax and enjoy the beautiful sea and Islands on a wonderful ship. We would definitely go again and recommend it to anyone, even if you travel alone. They accommodate single travelers too. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
My husband and I are Windjammer kind of folks. The casual and relaxed atmosphere on the ship, the adventures on-board and off, and the emphasis on unpretentious enjoyment, are all reasons why we love the Island Windjammers. We have ... Read More
My husband and I are Windjammer kind of folks. The casual and relaxed atmosphere on the ship, the adventures on-board and off, and the emphasis on unpretentious enjoyment, are all reasons why we love the Island Windjammers. We have 'done' the Diamant, and the Vela on previous trips. This time, we sailed the Sagitta. It was a WONDERFUL experience! The Sagitta is larger than the Diamant, and the rooms are MUCH more spacious. We had plenty of storage and hanging space in our room, with a larger bathroom than 'normal', and it was MORE than adequate and clean. The Sagitta also has larger options for dining, inside and out, than either the Diamant or the Vela. The Sagitta may not have the pretty exterior lines of a sailing vessel, as the Vela has, but it makes up for it in substance! That ship is SOLID. No one got seasick, we all had plenty of room to move around and explore different parts of the ship, and there were numerous relaxing 'spots', inside and out. This was our second time with Capt Matt, and he is a great Captain! Matt is professional and inclusive and graciously answered all our seafaring inquiries, all week long! His leadership of the ship was also noted as the crew trusts him, and he appreciates their hard work. We visited beautiful ports (for us, the second time in the French West Indies), and both Matt and Leah had valuable insights to share. Our excursions were well planned and FUN, and we also had plenty of opportunities to do our own exploring. The crew did a great job, and Leah was also very helpful. Everyone talks about food when they mention cruises. We ate fresh and tasty food that was in season, and ate way more than we usually do! There was diversity in the menus and everything was well prepared. The only 'requests' I would suggest is having some local honey or regional syrups and jams for breakfast, along with some decaf coffee for those of us with caffeine issues. Glad to see the Sagitta has a popcorn offering, as it helps with the sodium loss we all experienced in a VERY hot Oct. Yes, we had amazing weather, which helps make a cruise great! And since we went during the slow season in the 'French West Indies', there were no tourist lines to suffer. Everyone wished they could have a few more days at Isle de Saints, as that is the prettiest of the French Islands. The ship was comfortable, the crew was skilled and professional, and our fellow shipmates were a charming group of adventurers. I do not think that Island Windjammer can take credit for our wonderful shipmates. Adventurous-minded people are drawn to each other it seems, and this week was a perfect example. Our group ranged in age from early 30's - 70, and while not all were extremely active, that was their choice. However, the rope swing into the water and swimming and jumping off the ship were enjoyed more than once! We had a great group of folks, and my husband and I thoroughly enjoyed a variety of discussions in the moonlight, and at meals. It is only our 3rd day off the ship, and I already miss the SagittaRitas and fun chats! We certainly lucked out with a great group of fellow travelers. We have seen most of the Caribbean islands by now, so we may not do another Island Windjammer for a while. When we are ready to return, I think we'll once again choose the Sagitta. We will certainly recommend Island Windjammer to our friends, for they offer an unpretentious and fun way of exploring the Islands. This company appreciates their customers and offers a wonderful escape from 'reality' of the media-obsessed world. Take a sail with Island Windjammers on the Diamant or the Sagitta. It is a delightful adventure. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
This was our 3rd Island Windjammer. Each time they continue to impress me. You absolutely have the most beautiful views & unique experiences - truly unlike any other trip! If you are one that enjoys kicking back & seeing the ... Read More
This was our 3rd Island Windjammer. Each time they continue to impress me. You absolutely have the most beautiful views & unique experiences - truly unlike any other trip! If you are one that enjoys kicking back & seeing the islands by water, hopping off & playing on different islands & hopping back on the ship for the next destination then I highly recommend these guys & gals. We hit the smaller islands so there's none of the 'big' cruise ships, which is perfect for what we love! The food is varied but always delicious. One thing I enjoy is that that portion it properly (unlike many of us, myself included, who always eats too much!). The crew all takes an interest in you & your individual experience, they truly care - We like to do a different ship & different islands each time and we are already planning our next one & can not wait! Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
My husband and I have sailed on Island Windjammers’ tall ship Diamant 3x before, and love her. First, let me say we much prefer cruising on tall ships, with their intimate atmosphere (no crowds, no lines!), graceful beauty (inside and ... Read More
My husband and I have sailed on Island Windjammers’ tall ship Diamant 3x before, and love her. First, let me say we much prefer cruising on tall ships, with their intimate atmosphere (no crowds, no lines!), graceful beauty (inside and out), professional yet friendly and fun-loving crews—and especially the genuine sailing experience. Diamant has been one of our favorite tall ships for all those reasons. She just underwent an almost four-month renovation, and we did have to wonder just what could have been done to make her even better. We got the opportunity to find out when we sailed her recently, her first cruise after the refurb, and wow! The 100-foot sleek schooner Diamant was the first of IWJ’s “Island Girls”—there now are three IWJ tall ships—and in late November, Diamant emerged, refreshed and updated from her refurb. She now has an enlarged galley, updated wheelhouse, and her salon has been totally rebuilt , with all new tables and seating and, oh yes! the salon now has A/C. This is in addition to all new wiring and plumbing throughout the ship. Fresh new cushions in bright yellows and oranges everywhere, new carpet in cabins, plus a freshly painted hull. Her cabin area has been all redone: with basically the same cabin layouts as before (with one big exception) but new wood, carpets, cabinets and beds. The exception is the new owner's cabin, which replaced two smaller cabins, and we had that one, and we can say it is fabulous! It’s quite large for a tall ship, with four portholes, a very comfy queen bed, with a very nice seating area, not found in the other cabins. Lots of stowage. Bathroom is cozy, as in tightly configured, but quite useable (lol). The addition of the owners’ cabin means Diamant now has five cabins, instead of six, and carries 10-13 passengers. It should be noted that each cabin has its own A/C controls and private bathroom. Our week on the "new" Diamant was just so much fun. We lucked out by having two of IWJ's premo captains: Capt. Phillip and IWJ’s fleet captain, Capt. Nervo. Since this was Diamant's first cruise after her renovation, Nervo was along to tackle any issues that might pop up. As far as I know, nothing needed fixing. Or if it did, the crew must have quickly/efficiently taken care of it. Great crew...so much fun, very professional! Chef Barney is especially amazing, so creative and such tasty food. It was our first sailing with Capt. Phillip, who hails from the UK, and we really look forward to sailing with him and his crew again. Diamant sails in The Grenadines, in and out of Grenada, and on our cruise, we visited Bequia, Mayreau, Canouan, Union Island, Carriacou, Tobago Cay—and of course, we stopped at "Happy Island," a small, funky man-made island (in the harbor near Clifton, Union Island, and built upon a foundation of shells, rocks, etc. It is is just about all bar! Great pina coladas! And a great spot from which to watch the amazing kiteboarders doing their aerobatics. Some of the islands were mostly flora and fauna, with gorgeous beaches, great hiking, wonderful snorkeling, and of course, beach bars. At Tobago Cays, where we had a beach picnic, you can swim with the turtles. On one of the islands, we went ashore after dinner for a beach bonfire. Some of the islands, like Bequia offer more: restaurants, museums, bars, shopping, etc. Bequia has a small whaling museum and an amazing model ship woodshop where minutely detailed boats are built by wood craft artisans. Bequia also is home to a turtle sanctuary that has been rescuing and saving hawkbill turtles for many decades. The Bequia shore excursion goes to all of the above mentioned Bequia locales and is well worth it. Diamant would sail in the mornings––oh yeah, sun and sails—and anchor in beautiful bays and harbors for the rest of the day and overnight. She carries kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, and snorkel gear and even has a rope swing, all at no extra charge. There were many opportunities to use any or all of those, to hike on shore, relax on the beach or on board, and to explore. Her tender runs back and forth on a schedule: yours! Rum, beer, wine, sodas or water are always available on board—also at no cost. And you're welcome to bring your own favs on board. Late afternoons, we always had a variety of chef-prepared snacks/treats and the rum drink of the day, and a wine-and-cheese party one afternoon. For us, it was another super week with an amazing crew, wonderful food, the gorgeous Caribbean—and a beautifully refurbed ship. We'll definitely be going again....after we sail on Vela, IWJ's newest tall-ship next spring. It should be noted that true sailing ships really aren't appropriate for young children, mostly for safety reasons. They DO rock (sometimes a lot!) when they are sailing between islands and depending on the wind, and walkways around the ships have open railings. From our 16 years of tall-ship sailing, we find that those who sail the tall ships tend to be from mid 20s to mid 80s, and always happy, easy-going, adventure-seeking folks who love going where the wind takes them. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2017
As usual, an excellent sailing experience aboard the Sagitta, with a great itinerary and a comfortable mix of sailing and island visits. It is so nice to be able to work with a crew who are as professional, safety-conscious, attentive, ... Read More
As usual, an excellent sailing experience aboard the Sagitta, with a great itinerary and a comfortable mix of sailing and island visits. It is so nice to be able to work with a crew who are as professional, safety-conscious, attentive, courteous, friendly and helpful as those on the Sagitta. It was truly a pleasure to see old friends again, as well as meeting new members of the team. It is always great to see them all working as one - helping each other with all assignments and always there for the guests as well. Kudos to Captain Patricio and the rest of the crew. The Sagitta is a three masted schooner, with only 24 passengers. Very intimate and comfortable, with excellent service from the crew. Swimming and snorkeling on island beaches or off the ship. Adventurous hikes or lazy days or shopping on a different island every day. The food is delicious - I gain weight on every cruise. This is an annual cruise for me - two back-to-back 12 day cruises - St Maarten to Tortolla and then back to St Maarten. I will be back: already have the same cruises booked for 2018. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2017
Great food and service, lovely crew. LOVED our stateroom. Diamant is a goldie-locks ship: not too big not too small. ten passengers only. Highlights were swimming with the sea turtles and waking up to dawn in the eastern Carribean! ... Read More
Great food and service, lovely crew. LOVED our stateroom. Diamant is a goldie-locks ship: not too big not too small. ten passengers only. Highlights were swimming with the sea turtles and waking up to dawn in the eastern Carribean! The food was consistently great, and so was the rum punch. Climbed a hill on an island to see our boat far down on the bay, went to some night clubs far off the list of the normal tourist spots. Used the Tarzan swing on numerous occasions. Came back from various excusrsions always to find our stateroom crisp and cool and perfect. Hot showers worked perfectly, and then it was time for cocktails and then dinner on the tiny deck, with the eight other passengers. Best place in the world to read a book, watch the sunset, have may juuust one more drink, and then do it all again the next day... Miss it, miss it... Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
My wife have sailed throughout the Caribbean since the early 1990's. Originally on the old Windjammer fleet, later on charter catamarans. We tried the Diamant with Island Windjammer last year out of Grenada and really enjoyed it. ... Read More
My wife have sailed throughout the Caribbean since the early 1990's. Originally on the old Windjammer fleet, later on charter catamarans. We tried the Diamant with Island Windjammer last year out of Grenada and really enjoyed it. Our trip this spring on the Vela was equally great. The ship and the crew are top notch. The crew knows the ship, the islands and demonstrated great customer service. The cabins were clean, neat and well maintained. The food was excellent. The visits to shore were well planned and with very good guides (if you chose to sign up for the tour options). The captain new the best snorkeling spots and was always on top of the weather conditions. The sailing was great including a couple evenings with strong winds allowing the ship to show what she could do under full sail and steady breeze. The ship was large enough to find some space for yourself if needed. The mix of guest background also made the trip enjoyable (which we have found to be the case on every trip we have taken like this). We will definitely be back on an Island Windjammer when time permits. Read Less
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