12 St. Lucia Family Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise to get some winter sunshine and we were lucky as the weather was excellent, with just one day of rain. We flew from Gatwick and the organisation at the airport was superb ( bags dropped off and we didn’t see them ... Read More
We chose this cruise to get some winter sunshine and we were lucky as the weather was excellent, with just one day of rain. We flew from Gatwick and the organisation at the airport was superb ( bags dropped off and we didn’t see them until we got to our cabin on the ship). Embarkation was quick and no problems, unfortunately our problems then started to occur. Our arrival at the port was later than expected so after boarding and going to our cabin we went to the buffet to get something to eat. We must have missed or did not understand the tannoy call for the attendance for muster station and other drills. We received a message later to attend a drill the next day. After being on the ship for 16 days we did not understand 90% of the messages given out over the tannoy. The dining room was well set out if a bit tight. Our waiters did an excellent job with service but couldn’t help with some of the food which was only average at best. We tried the buffet but as usual with cruises it was difficult to find a place to sit and food was only just average and repetitive.Entertainment was poor, activities were the normal as on most cruises. Poor service at bars with some of the items on menu unavailable. Because of the number of embarkations during this cruise there were always times the ship seemed overcrowded and whenever there was a drill nearly all bars and services were closed. Disembarkation was the same as most cruises with most of the day wasted. This llovely ship needs better organisation from the top to ensure satisfaction for customers. Would we use MSC again, not very likely. Worst cruise ever. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
A casual cruise experience with a small crew and passenger count. Our ship was 24 passenger with 9 crew. All the crew was very interactive with the passengers and made you feel completely comfortable. The food was incredible - fresh ... Read More
A casual cruise experience with a small crew and passenger count. Our ship was 24 passenger with 9 crew. All the crew was very interactive with the passengers and made you feel completely comfortable. The food was incredible - fresh fish and produce bought at the local island markets. All crew were very knowledgeable and were happy to interact and answer questions. The small ship gave a very intimate feel with the sea. The Operations Manager had a detailed review of the following days actives and options to choose from. He was great at making accommodations and making sure everyone was ready and prepared for the day. I would recommend this to older and younger generations. I enjoyed the snorkeling and rope swing on the boat. Plenty of games to keep you occupied as you sailed from one island to the next.You can stay on the boat as little or as much as you'd like while at the different ports. So this could be made as a super relaxing cruise or plan as many activities as possible on the islands. If you get the chance , do this cruise, spectacular!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
This was perfect for our family. The grandsons were totally all about using the rope swing off the side of the ship, paddle boarding, snorkeling, kayaking, night time swimming with the underwater lights, visiting different islands, and ... Read More
This was perfect for our family. The grandsons were totally all about using the rope swing off the side of the ship, paddle boarding, snorkeling, kayaking, night time swimming with the underwater lights, visiting different islands, and just having fun. They felt comfortable with the crew, interacting with them, and loved the popcorn machine. Since they were so involved, the adults, could sit back, read, sun, or have a cold beverage with the blue sea as a backdrop. The crew of the Sagitta was always readily available if we needed help or had a question. The food was excellent, presentation was lovely, and served with the beverage of choice. It was good to have daily shore excursions to the different islands. Each was different and each experience was different. I would recommend this to anyone with young adolescents due to the many options available for entertainment. One important item, we have many wonderful memories to take with us. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
I have only great things to say about my 1st experience with Island Windjammers and I will certainly be back! I have not stopped smiling since I have been home. I have been to many different places and on many vacations and I can safely ... Read More
I have only great things to say about my 1st experience with Island Windjammers and I will certainly be back! I have not stopped smiling since I have been home. I have been to many different places and on many vacations and I can safely say this vacation has been my favorite of all. We cruised on the Vela from Saint Lucia (Marigot Bay) to Dominica to Isle De Saintes to Marie Galante to Martinique to Saint Lucia (Rodney Bay and then to Marigot Bay). The food is absolutely amazing and it is included. All meals were made with fresh ingredients from the island. I have never eaten so well for a week straight in my life. Lenny the chef a.k.a. Big Sexy made healthy food taste delicious! At 5pm everyday a snack and velacoladas are served. When we went to Isle De Saintes, we had wine, cheese, and meat as the snack to go with the French flair. There was a very diverse group of 12 passengers on the boat ranging from kids to seniors. One of my favorite parts of this adventure was getting to know all of the other passengers and also the crew members. Everyone was so nice, helpful, and interesting. It was really neat to learn about everyone's lives. By the end of the trip, I almost felt like crying leaving everyone! You really become close very quickly throughout the duration of the trip! There was something for everyone on this vacation and there were always a lot of options for things to do at each stop. We hiked, snorkeled, sunbathed, relaxed, went on excursions, checked out the nightlife on the different islands, visited stores/boutiques, swam, jumped off the rope swing of the boat, watched fish at night swim through the fish light off the boat, visited a rum factory, danced on the deck at night, told stories, listened to stories, used the paddleboard, learned how to tie sailing knots and relaxed in paradise. I felt very safe and knew that the crew was very knowledgeable about sailing and safety. Unlike other cruises that I have been on, I never felt crunched for time or on a schedule. PLENTY of time was given at each island and Andrew, our operations manager, knew the best things to do on each island. He really helped make sure we hit all the best things on the island. The dingy brought you back and forth between the boat and island. If you wanted to stay on the island instead of going back for a meal, that was perfectly fine and they would come back and get you whenever you wanted! Everything on the boat was spic and span and very clean. I was worried about getting seasick so before I went, I got a prescription for the seasickness patch that goes behind your ear and I did not feel sick at all the whole cruise. It was very casual and there was no need for any fancy clothes. I wore a bathing suit and comfy clothes the entire trip! The bed was comfortable and the cabins had a shower and toilet in them. We spent most of our time on the upper part of the boat. We saw a lot of cool fish, dolphins, turtles, birds, iguanas, and lizards. If you are a food and nature lover, you will love this trip. My only complaint is that the cruise ended. :( I left with wonderful memories and new friends that I will never forget. This was the trip of a lifetime and the passengers needs are put first from beginning to end. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Its been a while since we sailed with P&O and we decided to go as a last minute decision. Britannia is a lovely ship but we and others felt it was far too big and that there was not enough going on, in fact less than on other P&O ... Read More
Its been a while since we sailed with P&O and we decided to go as a last minute decision. Britannia is a lovely ship but we and others felt it was far too big and that there was not enough going on, in fact less than on other P&O ships. Standards have slipped too: no hand cleanser before entering the restaurants or buffet (sinks to wash hands before entering the buffet but most bypassed them), handrails by the stairs were all dirty, the towels and bed linen were a delicate shade of grey with marks left on them, floors not properly cleaned, etc, etc and we were not the only passengers to notice this; many others who had sailed before had come to the same conclusion and they too said they would not be sailing on Britannia again. P&O obviously had trouble filling the ship as they were offering cabins up to half the advertised price! The food was ok but nothing very special, no ice carving, no fruit carving, no attempt to entertain passengers on sea days other than at extra cost. The staff, as always, were lovely and so very helpful. The itinerary had been changed subsequent to the earlier hurricane damage on some islands which meant that we spent 2.5 days in Barbados which we didn't mind as we love it there. Instead of Tortola and St. Maarten the ship went to Bonaire and St. Vincent. We were in cabin G303 allocated on arrival and it was ok, a balcony with unobstructed view as the lifeboats were just below us alongside meaning that we couldn't look straight down but that was alright and its starboard; the ship mostly docked portside. Would we go back? Definitely not on Britannia! Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
I love tall masted ships and always have. Four years ago, I was so lucky to find a company that continued the tradition of simple but comfortable sailing in the Caribbean. Island Windjammer has 3 wonderful ships that sail different ... Read More
I love tall masted ships and always have. Four years ago, I was so lucky to find a company that continued the tradition of simple but comfortable sailing in the Caribbean. Island Windjammer has 3 wonderful ships that sail different itineraries in the Caribbean with a small number of passengers so that each passenger can explore and enjoy the islands and beaches that large cruise ships don't even know exist. I have been on all 3 ships - my latest experience was on the Vela, sailing to the French West Indies out of St. Lucia. If you love the wind in your face, watching the dolphin swim with the ship and the adventure of exploring lush tropical islands - this is it. We hiked to waterfalls and forts, relaxed in hot springs (volcanic islands), took river tours and shopped in French boutique stores. The ship's cabins are all air-conditioned with private baths - even the solo rooms! Meals are delicious and well prepared. Beer and Wine are complimentary, as are mixers, should you want to bring your own bottle. You can rope swing off the ship or just dive. Snorkeling gear is also provided. The ship can rock and roll when they sail - but if you are unsure of how you might do - sea sickness tablets are also available. Most people get their sea legs by day 2 without medication. Did I mention this was my 17th tall ship cruise?...and I'm signed up for next year to the BVI's. If you like adventure WITHOUT 5000 other people tagging along - this is a cruise you will enjoy and come back for more. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
I had a great time and food and service was brilliant. Entertainment could not of been better. I am due to go on another cruise this September around med. I just hope the shows have changed, as I would not like to see the same shows as ... Read More
I had a great time and food and service was brilliant. Entertainment could not of been better. I am due to go on another cruise this September around med. I just hope the shows have changed, as I would not like to see the same shows as I did a mini cruise and the shows were the same. I went with my parents, they really enjoyed it, my mum is disabled and I was helped so much getting on and off ship. Food was always served hot. I would have like more choice at lunch time. But what choice there was, was good. There was a lot of choice in bars and restaurants. The resident band pulse were brilliant they entertained us in bars and on the pool area. Cocktails were to die for and not too expensive either, shopping was good and not too expensive either, especially tax free Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
From arriving at the airport in Gatwick everything went so smoothly. Flight was on time and arrived in St Lucia. From St. Lucia we quickly disembarked the aircraft no security to pass through at the airport and no luggage to locate. We ... Read More
From arriving at the airport in Gatwick everything went so smoothly. Flight was on time and arrived in St Lucia. From St. Lucia we quickly disembarked the aircraft no security to pass through at the airport and no luggage to locate. We were put straight on a coach and headed straight to the Britannia Ship. The embarkation process was quick and friendly. We located our room quickly and we soon settled in though tired with the journey. The cabin was C526 and would certainly recommend. It was set out as a double bed and there was plenty of space and storage/ hanging of clothes and belongings. The room included a safety deposit box. The shower room was adequate in size and always hot water. Our cabin steward did a fantastic job of looking after us and our room. The dining experience on this ship was excellent. We enjoyed mostly dining in the Oriental where we shared a table of 6 people. Again the staff did a great job in looking after us(very professional) and were very friendly. If something wasn't to your liking they soon rectified the situation. Personally everything was to my and my husbands liking and for this reason we dined here regularly. We tried the sindhu restaurant and that was outstanding and we also are at the market cafe for lunch and the Limelight club for an evening show and again they were more than adequate. We watched a selection of entertainment in the headliners theatre to which we thoroughly enjoyed. It was varied from singers to ventriloquist and comedians. also we had the opportunity to see Dean Andrews into the limelight club,who was fantastic and we saw pulse the resident act in the live lounge who were excellent! The only part I struggled to enjoy was sea days on deck. It was crowded with people glued together in rows of beds. Therefore we spent much of our time at sea on our balcony which is quite small. Service on the ship was excellent from reception to coffee shops and dining. It's a very busy ship so these people deserve a medal! The shore excursions were good at the very least. The only thing I would have liked more was more photo opportunities off the coaches. Sometimes I could see this was difficult though for health and safety reasons. The guides were all excellent and informative though. All in all an excellent cruise experience! Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
My husband and I traveled on Windjammer Barefoot cruises in the 1990's and 2000's, and loved the casual atmosphere, amazing Caribbean scenery, and the thrill of sailing on a tall ship. We've been watching Island Windjammers ... Read More
My husband and I traveled on Windjammer Barefoot cruises in the 1990's and 2000's, and loved the casual atmosphere, amazing Caribbean scenery, and the thrill of sailing on a tall ship. We've been watching Island Windjammers for several years, and decided to give it a try -- and what a treat! We set sail from St. Lucia, and criss-crossed the seas connecting the islands of the French West Indies/Windward Islands for 12 nights. We were a small passenger group, with 10 staff members and 8 passengers (the Sagitta berths 24) -- all of us got along well, and we had many enjoyable days and evenings chatting and swapping tales. The snorkeling was reportedly amazing; we focused on relaxing and diving, and thoroughly enjoyed the entire trip. The greatest surprise was the quality of the food. George, the chef, ended up cooking without an assisting cook for most meals, and the cuisine was fresh, delicious, original --- in a word, outstanding. It's easy to see why Island Windjammers won 2016 Cruise Critic awards for both value and dining! We stayed in the Owners Cabin, which was spacious with (according to the ship's Captain) the most comfortable (and only King-size) bed on the ship. We had two couples and four singles, including a number of sailboat owners, and everyone was thoroughly delighted with the entire experience. This is probably not a trip for small children, as the stairs/ladders are steep and the ship rolls -- but we were told that families have traveled well, with all parties having a great time. The crew goes out of their way to ensure that all passengers feel pampered and appreciated -- and we do! Give them a try. Read Less
Sail Date October 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
Sail Date January 2016
This was my 2nd Island Windjammer Cruise and I enjoyed it just as much as the first one although the experiences were different. Both captains and the crew were outstanding! My recent cruise was on Sagitta which is larger than Diamanté. ... Read More
This was my 2nd Island Windjammer Cruise and I enjoyed it just as much as the first one although the experiences were different. Both captains and the crew were outstanding! My recent cruise was on Sagitta which is larger than Diamanté. However each provided excellent accommodations, meals, and overall customer service from reservations to disembarkment. The Sagitta cruise had around 20 passengers vs. 7 on Diamanté. However, it's amazing how the bonding between passengers occurred each time. It was amazing having some beaches and islands (Happy Island--a must see built out of conch shells) all to yourself with Bon fires, Caribbean drinks and beach barbecues with a live band. My friends and I enjoyed the hot springs experience that much more after watching the scene from "Vacation" on the way over. :). I didn't get to experience the previous Windjammer Cruises but many of the passengers on each of my trips have and still spoke highly of IWJ. The entertainment onboard IWJ is created by the passengers and crew but the opportunity is also there for entertainment ashore! There's opportunity to choose fun, cultural insight and/or relaxation! I've enjoyed several big cruise ship experiences and yet I highly recommend this intimate cruise experience!!! Next for me, VELA! (The newest IWJ Vessel!) Read Less
Sail Date December 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 June 2015

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