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Sail Date: January 2019
I have been home for 3 days but my heart is still on the beautiful Windjammer Diamant. I will never ever forget this amazing trip from St. Lucia to Granada. I could have never imagined how very well I would be treated. The Captain Phillip ... Read More
I have been home for 3 days but my heart is still on the beautiful Windjammer Diamant. I will never ever forget this amazing trip from St. Lucia to Granada. I could have never imagined how very well I would be treated. The Captain Phillip and Captain in training, Andrew were the most professional seamen and also amazing humanitarians. All of the crew were the finest you could ever expect on any cruise. We visited beautiful private islands we snorkeled...swam with sea turtles, swam and played by the ship,hiked and whatever we dreamed....our Captain made it happen. My captain even made a great effort to help me discover sea glass. The sails being raised, the beautiful turquoise water, rainbows many days, delicious smells coming from the kitchen of our amazing chef.....I am at a loss for words. If you want that small...10 people...personal experience then this is the trip to take. Not a tourist trap but a special opportunity to connect with nature,reflect and have adventures you could never imagine. This was a life changing adventure for me and I hope others will grasp this amazing opportunity. 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
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: July 2017
Fantastic crew performance. Absolutely stellar captain. He was funny and entertaining, as well as professional/knowledgable. None could be better.World class crew, that caters to your every need.The owner cabin was very spacious and clean. ... Read More
Fantastic crew performance. Absolutely stellar captain. He was funny and entertaining, as well as professional/knowledgable. None could be better.World class crew, that caters to your every need.The owner cabin was very spacious and clean. They even had a bottle of champagne waiting when you first enter. Truly incredible food and drinks.Could not have imagined a better onboard experience. Stellar. Extraordinary job done by the chef and crew for dining experience. The islands were beautiful. We were able to snorkel everyday and paddle board. The captain made scuba diving arrangement possible for those interested. They even have a rope swing. The diamant caters to its guest as well with a crew to passenger ratio 1:2 Thus you are not left wanting. Also, the smaller passenger size lead to more bonding and less clichy groups that could form from larger cruises. I would hands down recommend this company because they truly care about your experience and happiness. 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
Sail Date: March 2014
Twenty-four strangers sailed out of Sint Maarten on 23 March 2014. Six days later, 24 friends bade each other an emotional farewell on the same dock, promising to see each other again. The Caribbean is a magic place. Seeing it on a small ... Read More
Twenty-four strangers sailed out of Sint Maarten on 23 March 2014. Six days later, 24 friends bade each other an emotional farewell on the same dock, promising to see each other again. The Caribbean is a magic place. Seeing it on a small three-masted schooner made it more magical. The crew of the Sagitta made it perfect. I was never interested in taking a cruise on a floating city. The only other cruise I had been on was an Alaska Inside Passage cruise on the sternwheeler, Empress of the North, with about 320 other passengers. When my wife said she and her sister wanted to go on a cruise together, I told her I didn't want a megaliner. In her inimitable style, she said, "You in charge, Bubba." There are a bunch of small ship cruises in the Caribbean. I had always wanted to take a trip on a sailing ship, so I started sorting through the windjammer cruises. I also wanted some stops at some of the more out-of-the-way islands. The two wants led me to a 6-day island-hopping jaunt along the Leewards aboard the Sagitta. So, let's run the checklist: Hotel: We stayed two nights at the Pasanggrahan ( pasa-grahn ) (you don't even want to know how badly I was butchering that one). Very nice. Simple, comfortable, great staff, right on Front Street and the boardwalk. Ship: The Sagitta is a 120-ft three-masted schooner with a 22-ft beam. It has cabins for 11 couples and two singles. There are two lounges, one on the main deck and one right below it, plus there are booths for dining and lounging on the aft deck. The fore deck had plenty of chairs and loungers. When a dinghy leaves a million dollar yacht and swings by your boat to get a closer look, you know you're something special. Activities: That would be you. And your fellow passengers. No rockwalls or hot tubs or tai chi classes. Lots of old-fashioned sitting and chatting, making new friends, telling all your best stories and listening to some really good new ones. There's a cooler of cold beer on the aft deck and wine in the fridge in the lounge to help with the story-telling. There is swinging from the yards on request. A rope swing from the yardarm of the main mast where you swing along the side of the ship and let yourself go into the incredibly blue waters of the Caribbean. You have to be plain foolish to try that when you're in your 70s, so I quit after my third swing. Service: Good service is unobtrusive. Ours must have been excellent, because I have little to comment on. Cabins were tidied every morning after everyone was out and about. The coolers and the fridge were always stocked. The lounge had a "magic sink" where any dirty dish or glass magically disappeared when put there. The meals were served promptly and efficiently. There were only 24 of us and we were a pretty low-maintenance crowd. Port and shore excursions: We stopped at Anguilla, Nevis, St. Kitts, and St. Barth. Leah, Sagitta's Operations Manager, had excursions lined up at each port for those who wanted them. Most were island tours at a fairly nominal charge. On St. Kitts, quite a few of the company took advantage of the opportunity to zip-line through the rain forest. Shoal Bay on Anguilla is touted as the most beautiful beach in the Caribbean. I don't have enough experience to compare, but I can't imagine one any more beautiful. Georgetown on Nevis is a small, unpretentious town with only a little shopping. Basseterre on St. Kitts is the largest town we visited with many nice shops and a modern shopping area. Gustavia on St. Barthelemy is very French, very chic, and very expensive. Most made a point to stop by Le Select which is relatively less expensive and is reputed to be the inspiration for Jimmy Buffet's Cheeseburger in Paradise. Wherever we were, the crew usually ran a dinghy to and from the boat hourly to shuttle us and our goodies. On St. Kitts, our dinner was a barbeque on the beach at the Shiggidy Shack with dancing to steel drums afterwards. Cabin: Small (10x10, or so). Double bed with a single bunk over it. Plenty of space to hang and stow your clothes and stuff. My wife has big boat experience and said the bathroom was the same size as most she had seen. Very comfortably air-conditioned with a small fan to keep the air moving. I have no complaints. How much room do you need to change out of your swimsuit into your shorts? Or, to take those off and flop into bed? Dining: I gained three pounds. What can I say? It's all Lenny's fault. Lenny- big, black, with a 1000-watt grin and a magician in the tiny galley. No really fancy food- roast pork, lobster tail, mahi-mahi, stewed pumpkin, conch salad, eggs benedict. Ok, a little fancy, maybe. All served with the Lenny touch. There were several in the crowd who were experienced chefs and one professional chef. They all took notes of the special little touches Lenny had worked with his dishes. Late afternoon was snacks in the lounge. Fish fritters, Fried plantain or breadfruit, thin as potato chips, great dips with fresh veggies. At St. Barth, Leah scored about a dozen baguettes and about half a dozen cheeses and pates as only the French can make them. This was a BYOW(ine) snack party and we sampled the variety that each had brought back from Gustavia. Lenny said he's working on a cookbook and we all will be looking for it. There's no non-stop eating here, but the meals are healthy and delicious. Disembarkation: Piece of cake. We all settled up with Leah the afternoon before we got back to Sint Maarten. On-board expenses were light, considering that the beer and wine were complementary the whole trip. A couple of excursions, some souvenirs, and tips for the crew. She helped arrange transportation for those who needed it. The next day, we got our passports and a hug and began our sad journey back to reality. Summary: If you've thought it would be fun to stand barefoot on the deck of a sailing ship with the wind in your hair and the sun on your face and the sails popping overhead, you're right. It is. On the Sagitta, you get the fun of the adventure without the discomfort. You need to be able to entertain yourself, to enjoy the company of friends you're still learning about, to roam the streets of small, quaint towns with a friend or two. I don't know about children. Our crowd were all older, many retired. The Sagitta is big enough to ride the waves in comfort. We had one night that was a little bumpy, but most everyone enjoyed the ride. She is small enough that you get the real feel of what sailing must have been like a couple of centuries ago. I would do it again in a heartbeat.   Read Less
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