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20 Island Windjammers St. Maarten Cruise Reviews

Although it's been a year+ since we cruised on Sagitta, reading these reviews is bringing back many great memories. We decided to splurge and do something extra special for our 40th anniversary. Neither one of us care for crowds, ... Read More
Although it's been a year+ since we cruised on Sagitta, reading these reviews is bringing back many great memories. We decided to splurge and do something extra special for our 40th anniversary. Neither one of us care for crowds, dressing up for dinner or the general cattle call of the big ship cruising experience. Sagitta is 180 degrees from that. Sagitta's capacity is 24 passengers, and she was not full on the date we sailed. The moment you step aboard in St. Maarten, you are handed a flute of champagne and sit on deck chatting with the crew and passengers and friends. It was a treat to watch hundreds of people pass by on their way back to their huge ships docked behind us and looking with envy at us on Sagitta. We knew she was the right choice for us. Cabins are small but efficiently organized. Plenty of storage room for your t-shirts and shorts and undies, you won't need much more than that. Good water pressure in the shower. Enough counter space and outlets to charge up your devices. Double size bunk on the lower level, single size above. One porthole by the bed, one in the bathroom. Mimi - our amazing everything person - took our passports on Day One and she took them into each island ahead of time to clear us ahead of time. All we had to do was tender in and out from each island at our leisure. To me, that's luxury. We visited St Barths, St Kitts, Nevis, Anguilla The food was fantastic! Not fancy, just very well prepared and presented. All of the crew were wonderful - I noticed some familiar names in the recent reviews - Stephen and George were with us, and I'm glad to see they are still there. Bamboo and Bernard were members of our crew as well, and they were wonderful - every single one of the crew went out of their way to make it special. Access to go below deck is very steep, and more like a ladder. No grand staircase here, folks. And the access to the tender could be challenging for some. Read Less
Sail Date March 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 January 2017
Family of 4 traveling with two teens. Looking into long-term sailing and just getting our feet wet in the sailboat world. This cruise was extremely relaxing with enjoyable ports of call and a stellar staff. With only 14 total passengers on ... Read More
Family of 4 traveling with two teens. Looking into long-term sailing and just getting our feet wet in the sailboat world. This cruise was extremely relaxing with enjoyable ports of call and a stellar staff. With only 14 total passengers on our trip (not including 10 staff), the small size of the ship was great for getting to know our fellow travelers of varied ages. The smaller boat size also allowed us to moor just off-shore of our stops (St. Maarten, St. Barthelemy, Nevis, St. Kitts & Anguilla). With no wi-fi on the boat, unplugging from technology was a good thing for all of us. Even my 17 year old daughter said it was our best vacation yet, and we've literally travelled around the world. The food and service were excellent. Just about the only negative thing I can think of was that our cabin on the lower deck smelled a little musty, but I guess that's life at sea. That being said, I highly recommend, and my family and I would all definitely go sailing again with Island Windjammers. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Last year we sailed on the Sagitta and had such a good time we had to book again. We loved the casual, relaxed atmosphere. Unlike the big ships, everything is small and more personal. You will know the crew and guests by first name within ... Read More
Last year we sailed on the Sagitta and had such a good time we had to book again. We loved the casual, relaxed atmosphere. Unlike the big ships, everything is small and more personal. You will know the crew and guests by first name within a day or two. We didn't expect to see several of the same crew members. I think it says something very positive about a company to see employees stay for long periods of time. Once again, we were completely impressed by the entire crew, each one working tirelessly to ensure we all had a perfect week. Leah did a great job of providing information, offering suggestions, and setting up activities in each port. Matt, our Captain shared his extensive knowledge of all of the islands and was always ready to assist wherever needed. If you are lucky enough to sail with King, you will get to enjoy his comedy show- a highlight of each of our trips. The Sagitta is a very comfortable ship, with enough room to move around to find a quiet place for relaxation or for joining the conversation wherever a few people gather. The cabins may look small in photos, but they are very thoughtfully laid out with plenty of storage. The bathrooms are larger than you expect. The stewards do a great job of keeping everything spotlessly clean. Food on these trips has been excellent. We had George as out chef both weeks. This week we got to meet the new crew member, Erman who did beautiful food carvings and baked wonderful pastries. There is no lack of opportunity to overeat on this trip. I especially love the days they serve West Indian cuisine. We enjoyed meeting the other travelers and will remain friends with several. A few tips: take extra sunscreen and less of everything else. Take soft sided luggage. When the crew offers advice on what to see or where to visit, listen, they know these islands well. Whenever they offer to set up transport let them. They hire excellent, reliable transportation at fair prices. Read Less
Sail Date November 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 May 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
Sail Date March 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
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
Sail Date February 2016
I spent almost 2 weeks with a total of 6 passengers on a very impressive vessel. The crew of 10 were very attentive maintaining the ship, keeping it impeccably clean and personalizing their service. Some passengers had dietary requirements ... Read More
I spent almost 2 weeks with a total of 6 passengers on a very impressive vessel. The crew of 10 were very attentive maintaining the ship, keeping it impeccably clean and personalizing their service. Some passengers had dietary requirements that were met with ease. The quality of the food was exceptional and provided regional cuisine with just the right amount of back home favorites like cheese burgers, steak, etc. Captain Matt imparted his sailing skills and was mindful and watchful for our safe passage. Island excursions were arranged by Leah. The tours were interesting and exciting ranging from beautiful hotel properties, and lovely beaches to jungle boat rides, hiking to waterfalls and a rain forest. Snorkeling the islands was good however on Dominica the champagne reef was spectacular. Sagitta has her own distinct character and beauty, yet she handles well on large swells. I have a tendency to motion sickness but was not sick the entire time. The crew was accommodating and gracious Jermaine was outstanding in service and always greeted the passengers with a warm smile. There was the opportunity to dine off ship and the dinghy shuttled us on our requested time frame. On board activities were not necessary however we enjoyed rock and roll trivia with dinner and dessert. I was a single female passenger going it alone and had absolutely a wonderful time without any concerns for my welfare. I plan to book again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
The Sagitta is a wonderfully design ship for motor sailing. Accommodation are comfortable, areas for lounging and dining are spacious. The ships captain and crew are friendly, knowledgable and provide excellent service. The food is ... Read More
The Sagitta is a wonderfully design ship for motor sailing. Accommodation are comfortable, areas for lounging and dining are spacious. The ships captain and crew are friendly, knowledgable and provide excellent service. The food is expertly prepared and presented in a manner to rival the finest dining restaurant. Activities were posted daily with several as well as being able explore the local cultures on your own. Sailing with Island Windjammers is a very unique and personal experience that when the trade winds blows it will find the sailor in your soul. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
As we sit here in St. Maarten having breakfast overlooking the Caribbean at the Royal Passanggrahan guest house, we are reflecting on the fabulous time we had aboard Sagitta, already missing the warm smiles of the crew and the new found ... Read More
As we sit here in St. Maarten having breakfast overlooking the Caribbean at the Royal Passanggrahan guest house, we are reflecting on the fabulous time we had aboard Sagitta, already missing the warm smiles of the crew and the new found friendships made throughout the week. It was the perfect vacation for people like us - casual, intimate, and relaxing. Lots of sailing and beach time on islands with breathtaking views, shared with people from diverse backgrounds but with the same down-to-earth love of simple beauty and a spirit for adventure. Our cabin was very comfortable and seemed to magically return to its pristine state before noon each day. We loved getting to know the crew and captain who were always willing to have a chat while confidently and quietly attending to the ship and its other passengers. Everything was very clean and well maintained. The food was very fresh and plentiful and too good to say no to, even when our bellies protested that enough was enough. Each island visited had something for everyone and Island Windjammers provides the flexibility to accommodate most tastes, whether it's sunning on picture perfect beaches on Anguilla, beach bar hopping on St. Kitts, snorkeling in crystal clear waters off St. Barth, or strolling in the lovely botanical gardens on Nevis. This is not a big cruise ship experience and we love the intimacy and personalized service of being on a smaller vessel that provides the true feel of sailing as if you were on your own private yacht. And given the small number of passengers, we got the bonus of making some wonderful new friends we hope to meet again for future adventures. We love you, Island Windjammers! See you again next year when we can sail on your newest vessel, Vela! Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
This company thinks it's like the old Windjammer Barefoot cruises but falls short in a lot of ways. The service was okay but the crew didn't go the extra mile when it comes to customers needs coming first. I stayed for two weeks ... Read More
This company thinks it's like the old Windjammer Barefoot cruises but falls short in a lot of ways. The service was okay but the crew didn't go the extra mile when it comes to customers needs coming first. I stayed for two weeks which was a mistake. I knew I would be on my own for the Saturday night I was to stay on the ship. Not one of the crew ever asked if I needed anything and no one ever offered me a cup of coffee or a piece of toast. I was totally ignored as if I didn't exist there. For what I paid for the total vacation I should have been offered a coke, snack, or a free tee shirt for staying over for two weeks. Nothing was offered. The only person who was friendly and accommodating was Eric, a white man from California. He made it a point to visit with the guests and get to know everyone, he made the trip interesting.  The food was good but served cold. Unfortunately it was terribly windy but that didn't stop the crew from serving lunch and dinner on the back of the ship. The lettuce was flying off the tables, glasses were tipping over, food was cold and I complained but they still served the meals back there. You would think that customers come first and their comfort but, no, that didn't happen. I had to take my food downstairs to eat while some of it was still warm. In Anguilla if you wanted to go to the famous Shoul Beach there was a charge. Lunch was warm chicken wraps and some oranges in a cooler that wasn't cooled. This should have been included in the cruise. I booked a shared cabin and had a roommate. The second week there was an empty cabin. They should have offered one of us the other empty cabin so we could have some privacy but no one said anything. Other passengers who've never been on a boat like this might think it was excellent but it really needs some big changes. I won't take another vacation with this company, they failed. Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
I was very unsure about going on the Diamant the first time in January 2010 (I was afraid of being seasick - tablets on board are brilliant, a brand we don't have in the UK), but I came home feeling I'd found my heaven on earth. ... Read More
I was very unsure about going on the Diamant the first time in January 2010 (I was afraid of being seasick - tablets on board are brilliant, a brand we don't have in the UK), but I came home feeling I'd found my heaven on earth. I've now been on 5 trips in 6 years. If I could afford to go three times a year I would. I have made lots of very close friends from each trip. Last month I shared a cabin with a lady I met the previous year. I feel very safe and very happy on board. I'm greeted with big hugs from crew members now as I've got to know some of them well. The crew maintain high professional standards while also being very friendly and welcoming. They will do what they can to meet your individual needs, and have a laugh (I like my salads naked - something one crew member remembered from my previous trip 15 months!) The food This is amazing, no doubt at all about that, on both Sagitta and Diamant. I'm a fussy eater and love the meals on board. If there was occasionally an aspect of a meal I didn't like it never mattered - I would like most of the food, and another meal was always just around the corner. I love the freedom to help yourself to water or a variety of soft drinks (what Americans call 'sodas'!) at any time. Sailing The sails are put up whenever there is enough wind. In practice this means the sails go up most days but not every day. Everyone loves it when they are up so the crew do their best to have them up as much as possible. 12 Day Trips The extended trips are the ones I go for every time. 6 days is too short. I've done 12 days on Diamant going to/from Grenada down to St Vincent via about 10 Grenadine Islands. I adore the little islands, they are less developed and less touristy. I've also done 12 days on Sagitta to/from St Maarten down to Dominica (via St Kitts, Nevis, Saba, Guadaloupe, Isle de Saintes, Montserrat, Anguilla and St Barths - those are the islands I can remember right now) - an interesting trip as the Islands were all very different. I loved the French ones best, and Monserrat was fascinating to see post-volcanic eruption. My trip in January 2015 was 12 days starting in St Thomas and ending in St Maarten (via Tortolla, Norman Island, Sandy Cay, Cooper Island, Jost Van Dyke (fab!), Virgin Gorda, Tintamarre Island, Anguilla and St Barths again). I think there was more actual sailing on the Dominica trip as the BVIs are very close together. I adore beautiful empty beaches and clear seas for swimming and the BVIs were amazing for me. There is more culture and visits/excursions on the Dominica trip, and more tourist-type activities (shopping, old forts, scuba diving.) There were water sports such as paddle boards and kayaks in several places in the BVIs. Diamant and Sagitta The two boats and general life on board - Diamant is gorgeous, small and more informal and personal. You get to know the 12 passengers and 6 crew really well. The cabins on the Diamant are smaller than Sagitta's but all are air conditioned and beautiful. The ensuite shower rooms are roomy with enough surfaces, hair dryers and excellent hot showers. The wood everywhere is a joy to touch and look at on both boats. You get clean towels every 3 days and clean sheets after 6 days. Everywhere is spotlessly clean (felt strange seeing men do the cleaning....my ex- husband and my Dad never did any, ever.) Sagitta is bigger taking 24 passengers and has 10 crew. Rules have to be stricter and it is a little more formal with more people to keep safe and happy. The cabins are bigger with more storage and are spread over two decks rather than one. There are two single cabins - they are tiny, and they share one shower room. However, there is a large comfy seating area right beside the two singles which is rarely used by other passengers. I have shared a cabin with a stranger twice, and come away with 2 new great friends. The Sagitta has plenty of sun loungers on deck and upright 'director' chairs, and the Diamant has new upright chairs but no loungers. I felt it was quite 'posh' when I first went on Sagitta because of the loungers. There are rubber/foam mats you can lie out on deck on Diamant or you sit on the beautiful wooden seats. On the back of both boats there are the seating-dining areas with cushioned seating. There is plenty of shade on both boats if you need it. People tend to read and chat on board, and after the evening meal many passengers go to their cabins. The more sociable stay up later (helped along by alcohol for some) socialising and playing the odd game or two until 11-11.30pm, but most people prefer to retire early and get up early. On a few islands we did leave the boat after dinner to party at local bars (Foxy's on Jost Van Dyke was lively, busy and included dancing.) Breakfast is at 8am, and coffee and freshly made mini cakes are available from about 6.30 or 7am I believe (I'm not an early bird!!) You never need to wear shoes on board but they do like you to wear a shirt at breakfast and shorts/skirts/dresses and tops at dinner ie no swim wear at dinner. Home ports I highly recommend staying a couple of nights in Grenada or St Maarten or St Thomas before you board. It allows you to recover from a tiring journey and adjust to Island time and heat. At least one night at the end is an added bonus but not so important. The hotels are expensive but cheaper ones are still pretty good by European standards. They charge by the room and not per person as in the UK, and breakfast is not generally included. If you want to keep costs down buy drinks (especially water) at local supermarkets and keep them in your room fridge. The local buses are great and cost just $1 for most trips. Just ask locals where to get the bus and where to get off. They are very friendly and helpful. Taxis are expensive and the open local buses are much more fun. The Islands where you board all have good shopping (mainly closed on Sundays unless big cruise ships are also in port - shops open for big cruise passengers on any day of the week.) Swim wear is not considered appropriate in the towns anywhere in the Caribbean, unlike European resort towns. They are far more conservative than the British! Oh, and it's illegal to wear camouflage shorts or shirts on Grenada. Luggage Pack a basic change of clothes, swimsuit and important items in your hand luggage. It is not uncommon for luggage to arrive a day or two late (mine arrived a week late for my first trip, and I'd only gone for a week...!) There is one socket in the cabin so an adaptor with multi-ports for recharging phones, iPads etc is useful. The snorkel equipment the boats have for you to borrow is excellent, and you keep your set for the trip. I highly recommend travelling with Island Windjammers.   Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
My wife and I had previously sailed on "Arabella" out of St. Thomas and I thought the Island Windjammer cruise would be a similar experience. My wife opted out of the cruise and I ended up as a "Solo" in one of the 2 ... Read More
My wife and I had previously sailed on "Arabella" out of St. Thomas and I thought the Island Windjammer cruise would be a similar experience. My wife opted out of the cruise and I ended up as a "Solo" in one of the 2 Solo Cabins (12). Flew from Detroit to St. Maarten and stayed over night at the Pasanggrahan Hotel. It was dated but clean and served its purpose. For some reason the bar and restaurant were closed and I ended up at "The Green House" which was just a five minute walk away. I recommend the Green House. The bar tender was friendly and the food was great. Boarded the Sagitta at the main port dock and the adventure began. There were 23 passengers, mostly from the US, I'm Canadian (Ontario) and there was a 4 member family from Calgary. We left at about 2:00 pm and sailed over to St. Barts. Now I have my first negative observation. Island Windjammers does not really explain the itinerary very well in their webpage. I thought we would be sailing (or motoring) some place every day. That's not the case. We stayed the first 2 nights anchored in St. Barts. I have been to St. Barts several times so I was disappointed that we were there that long. So on Tuesday we sailed over to a marine reserve (Anse de Colombier). Nice beach, very secluded no chairs but your could snorkel. Pulled anchor and sailed to Nevis (part of St. Kitts). Probably I should explain that Sagitta is not really a sailing ship. It is considered a motorized yacht with sails. The captain explained that even with the sail up he could not cut the engines. He needed the engines to steer. So if you are looking for a true sailing experience, Sagitta is not it. Anchored at Nevis harbour for the night and some went ashore for tours Wednesday. I've been to Nevis so I stayed on board. We left for Pinneys Beach Nevis (just a short sail away). Pinneys is a beautiful beach with a great beach bar called Sunshines. Great drinks and beautiful sand. Wednesday night we sailed to St. Kitts and anchored in the Harbour for dinner. On Thursday, several passengers went ashore and toured or shopped. At noon we sailed to South Friars Bay to the Ship Wrecked Bar for the afternoon. We had a bbq on the beach for dinner. A good time was had by all. Pulled anchor and did a night sail to Anguilla (the other side of St. Maartens). This was rocky night in my little bunk. Woke to Sandy Ground Anguilla in the morning. Anguilla is a beautiful place and I went ashore to Sandy Ground to find Elvis's Beach Bar. It was a national holiday so it was not going to open until night time. So I found "Dads" beach bar and it was great. All (but myself and one other passenger) went to Shoal Bay which is beach lovers dream. I have been there and I wanted to explore Sandy Ground. Had a great day. Went back to Sagitta for lunch and back to Dads for the afternoon. Now here is my second negative comment. I originally booked my flight back to Detroit (from St. Maarten) for 8:40 am, thinking that would be enough time to get to airport from the cruise dock. US Air changed the flight time to 8:05 am so I emailed Island Windjammers whether that would be enough time to catch the plane. I ended up changing my flight to a later one which cost me $200.00 US. So I was rather miffed when the captain said we would be sailing to St. Maarten on the last night and spent the Friday night at the dock in St. Maarten. If I had known this I could have easily been up and made the early flight saving myself some money. Island Windjammers really needs to include the itinerary information on the web site and booking information. Knowing you are docked in St. Maarten the last night does make a difference on travel plans. So... The food was good. Crew was great. Weather was warm and the sea is relaxing. By the Way: The solo cabins are SMALL. but there was a lounge outside the 2 solo's which came in really handy. Except for the travel glitches, I did enjoy the Sagitta. Would I do it again? Probably not. My wife really likes the Windstar Cruises for sailing, which are about the same cost and a great deal less "rustic".   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
My wife and I sailed with the old Barefoot Windjammer in 2005 and were looking for a similar experience. We have sailed the larger cruise lines and did not enjoy the crowds, lines and large bills when leaving the ship. Island Windjammers ... Read More
My wife and I sailed with the old Barefoot Windjammer in 2005 and were looking for a similar experience. We have sailed the larger cruise lines and did not enjoy the crowds, lines and large bills when leaving the ship. Island Windjammers does not have a hot tub, masseuse, rock climbing wall or swimming pools. Instead, you are free to relax and enjoy great food, superior company and fantastic out of the way ports of call. When we arrived at embarkation, there was a Royal Caribbean giant cruise ship loading up near the Sagitta. The port guard tried to get our taxi driver to go to that ship and I begged "please don't make me get on that thing!" Our check-in with the Sagitta was pleasant and quick. The First Mate, Fernando met us on the dock and escorted us on board and introduced us to the crew. We were pleasantly surprised to find out that we were two of only fourteen passengers (the ship can carry up to 24). Our reserved cabin was the Owners Cabin. It is pure luxury, with a stocked refrigerator, large king-size bed and large head. I was amazed at how large the cabin was on this small ship. Talking with the other passengers, their cabins were comfortable, but nowhere near as comfortable as ours. However, you don't really spend a lot of time in the cabin, so you really don't need that much room. Most of the time is spent on deck or in port. Why would you want to spend time in a cabin when there is the beautiful islands right off the side of the ship? Captain Patricio sailed mostly at night. The first night or two, we didn't sleep great because of the movement of the ship, but after that it was like the Sagitta was rocking us to sleep. It does take a little time to get used to the motion of a smaller cruise ship. The night sailing was actually better because it allowed us more time on the islands, most of the time getting off the first dingy at 9:00 AM. We hit several islands (Anguilla, St. Barths, Nevis, St. Kitts, Montserrat, Guadeloupe, Iles des Saintes, Dominica, Martinique and St. Lucia). If we had sailed during the day, we may have not had enough time to see all of those wonderful places. The excursions were arranged by the Operations Manager, Moira. She did a great job of finding really good shore tours and excursions at decent prices. The Wacky Rollers tubing trip in Dominica is a don't miss tour. Two of the days, we did not feel like taking tours, so the dingy took us to a secluded beach with a cooler full of beer and sodas along with some rafts and floating noodles. The ship also provides snorkeling gear, so pack lightly. After about an hour at the beach, floating in the water, the dingy came back to check on us and to see if we needed anything. It was unbelievable – they were willing to do a beer run for us! That brings me to the alcohol policy, the best of any cruise line I've heard of. Island Windjammers provided a stocked cooler full of sodas and another full of beer. There was also wine available during dinner (both red and white). If you wanted stronger spirits, no problem, just buy what you wanted at a duty free shop and bring it on board. There is no large bar bill at the end of this cruise! Meals were prepared by Chef Lenny. He would venture out on the islands and pick up fresh fruit and other items for meals. The food was wonderful and I don't recall a single meal that I didn't clean the plate. The cruise price includes breakfast, lunch, a 5:00 snack (with rum drinks) and dinner. You can eat ashore and we did once only to find that the food on-board was much better. Chef Lenny promised us he would finish his cookbook soon. The rest of the crew was very attentive, polite and friendly. On a cruise this size, you get to know everyone on-board. I can't say enough about the great service we received from all of the crew. They felt like family by the time the cruise was over. If you like long lines, great crowds of people, expensive shore excursions that are also packed with people and large alcohol bills upon disembarkation, this is not your cruise line. If you like relaxed cruising with a small group of people, attentive crew aboard a clean ship and smaller more intimate ports of call, then I highly recommend Island Windjammers. My wife and I will be back.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
If you liked the old Barefoot Windjammer cruises, you'll love an Island Windjammer cruise. We got on the ship with 22 strangers and got off with 22 new good friends. You know you're going to have a good time when you know all ... Read More
If you liked the old Barefoot Windjammer cruises, you'll love an Island Windjammer cruise. We got on the ship with 22 strangers and got off with 22 new good friends. You know you're going to have a good time when you know all your shipmate's name and the crew's names in the first couple days. The Sagitta is a 120', 3 masted sailing ship. Room enough for 24 passengers and a crew of 10. The cabins are compact but large enough not to feel cramped. Lots of drawers and shelves for storage (as much as any hotel room) and the bathroom is very functional with a separate shower. The rooms each have their own controls for air conditioning. The seas can be a little bumpy at times, but not enough for most people to bother needing medicine. If you're prone to car sickness or air sickness, get an over the counter remedy and take it each morning. The food is excellent. 3 great meals each day with fresh fruit and vegetables purchased during the island stops. All the wine you want is served with dinner (and far into the night if you so desire). At 5:00 each day snacks and a rum punch are served. During the snack time you learn about the next days itinerary. In addition to the free rum and wine, there is a cooler with iced down beer and sodas available all day long (all included in the price). Dressing up for dinner usually meant putting on a clean tee shirt...shoes sometimes. The islands visited are small islands that are too small for the cruise ships to dock so they are not crowded. The Sagitta Operations Manager lines up tours, excursions, taxis or if you want to go out on your own, she gives you tips on island attractions. If you don't want to do anything when the ship anchors off the islands, relax on a lounge chair on deck and enjoy the sun and beauty of the seas. Most taxi fares are about $10 per person, where ever you go. Everyone on the islands takes the US dollar and give back change in US dollars. If you want to go to the island and do a little shopping and go back to the ship, the crew runs a small motor boat from the ship to the island every hour on the hour. If you miss it, get a beer ($1.50 to $2.00) and wait for the next one. If you are into photography, these cruises are a dream come true. The islands are made for photography...white tan sandy beaches, crystal clear turquoise blue water and quaint little towns.One day, the crew set all the sails and then loaded up all who wanted to and circled the ship with a dingy so we could snap pictures of the ship under full sail. That was a special touch you won't get with a big cruise ship. If you book a cruise from St. Maartin, go a couple days early or stay a couple extra days and explore the island. One thing that is a must is the Sunset Beach Bar. The bar sets at the start of the airport runway and planes are literally a few feet above the beach when they land. Great for pictures. Our cruise on the Sagitta was one of our best trips ever. If you want to see tropical islands up close, feel the sea breeze in your hair and be totally relaxed for a week or more...call Island Windjammers.   Read Less
Sail Date June 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
Sail Date March 2014
My wife and I sailed with Island Windjammers on Sagitta in March 2014. We joined Sagitta at the passenger terminal in St Maarten, we were met at the taxi rank by a member of the crew who directed us to the boat where other crew members ... Read More
My wife and I sailed with Island Windjammers on Sagitta in March 2014. We joined Sagitta at the passenger terminal in St Maarten, we were met at the taxi rank by a member of the crew who directed us to the boat where other crew members loaded our bags and placed them in the cabin for us. The cabins all have their own air conditioning unit, shower, sink and toilet, and two good sized bunks, with the exception of two single cabins, there are no inside cabins and all have a porthole. There is plenty of room for clothes and in my case a full sized Scuba BCD, mask, fins and regulator. On the first night onboard we met our fellow passengers and at 5pm we were introduced to the Island Windjammer Sagittarita Cocktail hour and snacks. Snacks were different each evening and ranged from BBQ ribs, Cheeses, Savory pastries, chicken wings, fresh battered fish, shrimp, fresh fruit and more. Dinner was served at 7pm on the aft deck and was absolutely outstanding. The seating area consists of four permanent tables arranged in a circular plan, you are free to sit where you choose and each table can seat six or even eight people. Wine is served with the evening meals and you are free to bring your own on board if you wish. The food is 5 star, prepared by the star Chef himself, Lenny. Sagitta sailed from St Maarten to Anguilla during the evening and the following day there was a tour to Shoal Bay Beach. Beautiful white sand, aquamarine Caribbean Sea and a shallow water reef just offshore that is fantastic snorkeling for all levels of swimmers. The next evening we sailed to St Kitts, and after another excellent evening meal we spent an hour or so looking over the bow at the natural phosphorescence being left in Sagitta’s wake as she made her way South, a truly magical experience. St Kitts itself was fun, we visited Sunshine’s Beach bar, and enjoyed their signature “Killer Bee” cocktails, the bar owner, Mr Sunshine will divulge the recipe to anyone can finish five of these, the logic being that they won’t remember what the recipe is, I didn’t take up the offer, or at least I don’t remember doing so. Sagitta then moved to Frigate Bay later in the afternoon and the evening was spent on the beach where the crew served Sagittarita’s at 5pm followed by a beach BBQ, beach games, dancing and cold beer. The following day we visited Nevis and took a tour to around the island one of the Hotels we visited was apparently a favorite spot of Lady Diana’s, it certainly was a beautiful location. Other highlights of the trip included, seeing Humpback Whales off the aft end one evening, magical sunrises and beautiful sunsets, beach “wet” landing’s in secluded bays inaccessible to larger vessels and making new friends with our fellow passengers and crew. Our final two days were spent in St Bart’s, the St Tropez of the Caribbean. St Bart’s, has some of the best beaches in the world, the best shopping in the Caribbean, incredible beach bars and restaurants. We walked to St Jean beach, about 3/4 hour from Gustavia, and well worth the journey. Again pure white sand, aquamarine sea, amazing beach bars and Eden Rock restaurant, which has to be seen to be believed. After lunch we took a cab to Shell beach and had dinner at the Brazilian restaurant “Do Brazil” overlooking the beach, the bay and a view to die for. The following day Sagitta moved from Gustavia and anchored in the Anse du Grande Columbier Bay. Here you had the option to go ashore by dinghy and spend the morning or the day at the beach, I opted not to return for lunch, I had not taken a packed lunch with me so my good friend Lenny made me one and sent it back with some of the returning passengers, a nice touch, especially the two cold Carib’s. I enjoyed every minute of my trip with Island Windjammers and I would definitely recommend this trip and Island Windjammers, I can’t wait to return.   Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
The thing about Island Windjammer is that there is no hard core itinerary. You book a Island Winjammer cruise to chill and not worry about excursions or buffet lines or what day or time it is. You book a Sagitta Island Windjammer cruise to ... Read More
The thing about Island Windjammer is that there is no hard core itinerary. You book a Island Winjammer cruise to chill and not worry about excursions or buffet lines or what day or time it is. You book a Sagitta Island Windjammer cruise to go with flow, drink sagaritas and eat snacks at 4:30, and to enjoy cruising. It's not a sailing ship, but it looks fantastic with the sails unfurled! We had a full house-- 24 passengers. The deck space was accommodating and the food was fresh and tasty. Entertainment? How about a sky unobstructed by the light pollution you get on a big cruise? Cabins? Small and efficient - but who wants to be in their cabins when there is a whole sea of dolphins and flying fish? Activities? Plentiful - if you like going to the beach, snorkeling, touring, a wine and cheese party and getting to know a diverse crowd. Our group had two sets of mother- daughter travelers, a group of 40 something friends who had been doing a once a year trip since high school and several couples. Ages ranged from 30 to 60-ish. The crew was accommodating, disembarkation was organized - overall a no-care vacation. Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
Sagitta October 2013 six day cruise This was my second cruise on Sagitta and sixth with Island Windjammers. I have just finished my seventy fifth cruise so I have some experience. While I do enjoy cruising on mid size cruise ships doing ... Read More
Sagitta October 2013 six day cruise This was my second cruise on Sagitta and sixth with Island Windjammers. I have just finished my seventy fifth cruise so I have some experience. While I do enjoy cruising on mid size cruise ships doing the real deal on small sailing ships is a dream vacation. Throw a couple of bathing suits, a few T shirts, a pair of shorts or two in a ditty bag and you are good to go on the adventure of a lifetime. If you like formal dress and fancy feed read no further, this is not for you. If you enjoy long lines and large groups forget this. With only a maximum of 24 passengers on board (mostly experienced well traveled shipmates) life onboard is relaxed and enjoyable. Good conversation, socializing, sailing and snorkeling are the highlights. Snorkeling gear is provided and better equipment than my own. The islands visited are excellent and often in coves exemplary for snorkeling and hiking. Beer, wine and sodas are included in the price and you are free to bring spirits. The rooms are comfortable, individually conditioned and with very nice facilities. The crew is very friendly and you will know most of their names before you depart. Engine room tours and bridge visits are interesting. The ships of IWJ are small and do move about in some weather conditions, which I love but others do not appreciate. For those precautions are prescribed. Frankly if you need a little adventure in your life and are looking for something you will remember fondly for a long time look no further.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
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