This was not my first Windjammer experience. My husband and I sailed about 15 years ago on the original Windjammer. It was the best vacation we've ever taken together. Gorgeous ship, amazing crew, wonderful co-passengers, and more. We made cherished memories and lifelong friends.
This version of Windjammer (now known as Island Windjammers (IWJ) ) is under different management and it shows.
On May 8, 2022 we embarked on a 6 day cruise from Timothy Bay in St. Kitts (not St. Maarten, but St. Maarten was the closest option provided in the drop down). We were to sail the Leeward Islands. We were excited to be on a 'jammer again. Within minutes we learned why we never got a specific itinerary from IWJ, despite asking for one. Apparently, we weren't going to be leaving the island of St. Kitts. Rationale provided was due to Covid restrictions. Disappointing to say the least and frustrated that IWJ was never upfront and honest about it. Nonetheless, we were on the ship, and we were going to make the most of it.
Unless you are in the Captain's Quarter cabin (a rentable room, not really the Captain's cabin), the cabins on the Vela are SMALL. Do not let the marketing, fish-eye lens pictures fool you. Do not pack a large suitcase, there is no room for that!
If you have mobility issues, be warned the beds require some athleticism to get in and out of. If your human form is particularly large (tall or wide), you may have issues. The air conditioner helped to keep the room from musty, but having it blow on your the entire time you are sleeping is not very comfortable.
Despite the itinerary being the Leeward Islands, we never left St. Kitts (Caribbean die only). I found the beaches to not be very nice.