16 St. Lucia Romantic Cruise Reviews

It has been a many-decades long dream of mine to sail the Caribbean. I never quite got around to it when I was young enough to captain my own sailboat. As we are all aware, such fantasies are rarely matched by the reality of the eventual ... Read More
It has been a many-decades long dream of mine to sail the Caribbean. I never quite got around to it when I was young enough to captain my own sailboat. As we are all aware, such fantasies are rarely matched by the reality of the eventual trip. So as a 70 year old, reasonably fit traveler, off I went, and I can report that this trip, in all ways, exceeded my long help tropical sail dream. Some opinions on few important general items: -This is not a cruise ship, and will likely not appeal to those who love the big cruise ship experience. The crowds and lines and glitz and glimmer of large ships have never appealed to me, so this was really my cup of tea (or glass of rum). -This is a sailing vessel. There is considerable rocking and rolling during transit. The weather and seas were fairly tame as open-water sailing goes. Four of the 16 guests developed mild seasickness early in the voyage. None had to miss any meals or activities. Do bring sea sickness meds that you have tried out before the trip if you think you might be prone, and plan on exercising some caution as you walk about the ship during transit, especially for the first day or two. The captain always anchors the ship in protected harbors or leeward locations, so most of the time things are pretty calm and stable. -As an older somewhat overweight guy with 2 knee replacements, I had no difficulties with any of the activities. You do need a degree of flexibility and fitness to navigate the fairly steep stairway down to your cabin, to get on and off the dingy (excellent assistance from the crew with this maneuver), and to enjoy the hikes and snorkeling. -I loved the activities on this trip, but other reviewers seem to have expected more of a cruise ship experience. Expect time on gorgeous beaches, time swimming and snorkeling in amazingly clear and warm water, lounging on deck, and visiting small towns at your various island anchorages. The only "optional tour" on our passage was an island tour of Bequia, where we rode in the covered back bed of a small truck and visited small local attractions (model ship builder, turtle sanctuary, whaling museum. Our driver and guide was one of the last members of an extant whaling family, and his whaling history talk was fascinating). At $30, this was a great experience and a great value. The other notable activity was the optional after dinner dingy rides ashore to visit local bars. These trips were as much about the local culture as about drinking, and quite a rich experience. Just don't expect casinos, floor shows, spas, and tour busses. As others have noted, you will likely become good friends with your fellow passengers, and the crowd that chooses this kind of vacation tends to be a pretty unique and interesting group. That being said, we had a couple of passengers who preferred to spend more alone time, and there was plenty of space and support for that experience also. Some reviewers have mentioned the small cabins. Having sailed before on a smaller boat, I found my solo cabin to be quite adequate and comfortable. It was actually charming and cozy. The bathroom with combined sink/toilet/shower was very functional. Pack everything in a soft-sided carry-on and you will be fine. As others have mentioned, the food is remarkable for such a small ship. Portion sizes are just right, and you are always offered seconds. In addition to the three meals, excellent appetizers and rum punch were served every afternoon during "cocktail hour." The vinophiles on our trip described the house wine as fairly decent, and there were opportunities to buy premium wines along the route of sail. I'm a beer snob, and found the local lager (Piton), stocked on the ship, to be excellent. On one occasion, the crew prepared and delivered an excellent "Cheeseburgers in Paradise" feast to the beach where we were spending the day. When anchored, dinner on deck was a real treat. One of the keys to this cruise being so outstanding is the crew. We had 16 passengers and 10 crew. Each crew member was always busy tending to their duties, which often centered around the comfort and enjoyment of the passengers. They were personable, fun, yet professional. Our activities director was great, and gave us full briefings of the day's activities. She also accompanied us on most of our onshore adventures. I have never done a mega-cruise, and have only heard of the hassles on embarkation and disembarkation days. Getting on and off Vela was quick, simple, and well organized. Oh, and did I mention that this truly is a barefoot cruise? Except for the one island tour, I did not wear shoes from the time I boarded Vela until the time I got ready to leave for the airport. Read Less
Sail Date August 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
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
Our first time on P&O, although we have cruised over 12 times in 10 years. Our UK friends highly recommended Britannia, and they we spot on. Service was impeccable. The cabin staff was the best we have encountered, and the wait staff ... Read More
Our first time on P&O, although we have cruised over 12 times in 10 years. Our UK friends highly recommended Britannia, and they we spot on. Service was impeccable. The cabin staff was the best we have encountered, and the wait staff was efficient and entertaining. The meals were very good in all the restaurants, and the drinks were reasonably priced, unlike other lines who add a surcharge to each drink. The entertainment was quite good, especially in the Limelight Club, which we visited on two occasions. A nice touch was the receipt from the dining room staff of a copy of all the menus on the cruise. We have only had this once before on another line, and that only after we requested them. The trivia and other activities were well organised and attended. There was always something to do, even on port days, which can be a problems on some lines. We have already booked a 35 night cruise next year on P&O Ventura, and can't wait. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We are just back from our second trip on the Vela this year. We participated in the "Rum Cruise" visiting St. Lucia and Martinique. The ship is in great shape. That captain and crew did a great job the entire time making sure ... Read More
We are just back from our second trip on the Vela this year. We participated in the "Rum Cruise" visiting St. Lucia and Martinique. The ship is in great shape. That captain and crew did a great job the entire time making sure everyone was enjoying themselves and keeping thing interesting. The ports of call and trips to the distilleries (organized by Dave Russell- the rum expert) were great. We got an in-depth look of the distilleries operations, got to meet the people that ran the operations and see everything from the cane fields to the various distilling processes used to make their rum. and ports of call. We could not visit Dominica and Guadeloupe this trip due to storm damage, but the captain and crew made the trip just as enjoyable as our last trip when we did visit those islands. We also got to see the Diamante which is still carrying relief supplies up to Dominica. We finally splurged and booked the owners cabin this trip which was great. Although, we were always satisfied with the other cabins we have had on previous trips. The meals were very good and we are always impressed with the cook staff can do with such limited space. We had a couple of very nice snorkeling opportunities and swimming off the side of the boat or beach was usually available. The rope swing came out on a regular basis to supply entertainment to the participants and spectators. The crew was always friendly and helpful. Read Less
Sail Date October 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
My wife have sailed throughout the Caribbean since the early 1990's. Originally on the old Windjammer fleet, later on charter catamarans. We tried the Diamant with Island Windjammer last year out of Grenada and really enjoyed it. ... Read More
My wife have sailed throughout the Caribbean since the early 1990's. Originally on the old Windjammer fleet, later on charter catamarans. We tried the Diamant with Island Windjammer last year out of Grenada and really enjoyed it. Our trip this spring on the Vela was equally great. The ship and the crew are top notch. The crew knows the ship, the islands and demonstrated great customer service. The cabins were clean, neat and well maintained. The food was excellent. The visits to shore were well planned and with very good guides (if you chose to sign up for the tour options). The captain new the best snorkeling spots and was always on top of the weather conditions. The sailing was great including a couple evenings with strong winds allowing the ship to show what she could do under full sail and steady breeze. The ship was large enough to find some space for yourself if needed. The mix of guest background also made the trip enjoyable (which we have found to be the case on every trip we have taken like this). We will definitely be back on an Island Windjammer when time permits. Read Less
Sail Date February 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
This was our 3rd Island Windjammer. Each time they continue to impress me. You absolutely have the most beautiful views & unique experiences - truly unlike any other trip! If you are one that enjoys kicking back & seeing the ... Read More
This was our 3rd Island Windjammer. Each time they continue to impress me. You absolutely have the most beautiful views & unique experiences - truly unlike any other trip! If you are one that enjoys kicking back & seeing the islands by water, hopping off & playing on different islands & hopping back on the ship for the next destination then I highly recommend these guys & gals. We hit the smaller islands so there's none of the 'big' cruise ships, which is perfect for what we love! The food is varied but always delicious. One thing I enjoy is that that portion it properly (unlike many of us, myself included, who always eats too much!). The crew all takes an interest in you & your individual experience, they truly care - We like to do a different ship & different islands each time and we are already planning our next one & can not wait! Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
My husband and I are Windjammer kind of folks. The casual and relaxed atmosphere on the ship, the adventures on-board and off, and the emphasis on unpretentious enjoyment, are all reasons why we love the Island Windjammers. We have ... Read More
My husband and I are Windjammer kind of folks. The casual and relaxed atmosphere on the ship, the adventures on-board and off, and the emphasis on unpretentious enjoyment, are all reasons why we love the Island Windjammers. We have 'done' the Diamant, and the Vela on previous trips. This time, we sailed the Sagitta. It was a WONDERFUL experience! The Sagitta is larger than the Diamant, and the rooms are MUCH more spacious. We had plenty of storage and hanging space in our room, with a larger bathroom than 'normal', and it was MORE than adequate and clean. The Sagitta also has larger options for dining, inside and out, than either the Diamant or the Vela. The Sagitta may not have the pretty exterior lines of a sailing vessel, as the Vela has, but it makes up for it in substance! That ship is SOLID. No one got seasick, we all had plenty of room to move around and explore different parts of the ship, and there were numerous relaxing 'spots', inside and out. This was our second time with Capt Matt, and he is a great Captain! Matt is professional and inclusive and graciously answered all our seafaring inquiries, all week long! His leadership of the ship was also noted as the crew trusts him, and he appreciates their hard work. We visited beautiful ports (for us, the second time in the French West Indies), and both Matt and Leah had valuable insights to share. Our excursions were well planned and FUN, and we also had plenty of opportunities to do our own exploring. The crew did a great job, and Leah was also very helpful. Everyone talks about food when they mention cruises. We ate fresh and tasty food that was in season, and ate way more than we usually do! There was diversity in the menus and everything was well prepared. The only 'requests' I would suggest is having some local honey or regional syrups and jams for breakfast, along with some decaf coffee for those of us with caffeine issues. Glad to see the Sagitta has a popcorn offering, as it helps with the sodium loss we all experienced in a VERY hot Oct. Yes, we had amazing weather, which helps make a cruise great! And since we went during the slow season in the 'French West Indies', there were no tourist lines to suffer. Everyone wished they could have a few more days at Isle de Saints, as that is the prettiest of the French Islands. The ship was comfortable, the crew was skilled and professional, and our fellow shipmates were a charming group of adventurers. I do not think that Island Windjammer can take credit for our wonderful shipmates. Adventurous-minded people are drawn to each other it seems, and this week was a perfect example. Our group ranged in age from early 30's - 70, and while not all were extremely active, that was their choice. However, the rope swing into the water and swimming and jumping off the ship were enjoyed more than once! We had a great group of folks, and my husband and I thoroughly enjoyed a variety of discussions in the moonlight, and at meals. It is only our 3rd day off the ship, and I already miss the SagittaRitas and fun chats! We certainly lucked out with a great group of fellow travelers. We have seen most of the Caribbean islands by now, so we may not do another Island Windjammer for a while. When we are ready to return, I think we'll once again choose the Sagitta. We will certainly recommend Island Windjammer to our friends, for they offer an unpretentious and fun way of exploring the Islands. This company appreciates their customers and offers a wonderful escape from 'reality' of the media-obsessed world. Take a sail with Island Windjammers on the Diamant or the Sagitta. It is a delightful adventure. Read Less
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
I would go sail again on the S/V SAGITTA with Islandwindjammers in a minute! Sailing on the motor sailor vessel SAGITTA from October 18 to November 1 2015 was the trip of a lifetime. SAGITTA is 120 feet long, and crew is about 10. It ... Read More
I would go sail again on the S/V SAGITTA with Islandwindjammers in a minute! Sailing on the motor sailor vessel SAGITTA from October 18 to November 1 2015 was the trip of a lifetime. SAGITTA is 120 feet long, and crew is about 10. It holds 24 passengers. We embarked St Lucia and visited Antigua, Nevis, St Kitts, St Barths, St Maarten, Domenica, Martinique. Having only 21 passengers aboard, we enjoyed visiting to be had no where else. 12 nights and 13 days were spent getting to know each other and developing long-lasting friendships. Excursions onto the islands included visits to forts, rain forests, beaches, businesses, little towns, rural places, and a volcano that wiped out capital city. Our guides were local folks who knew all the histories of the islands they called home. One could choose a hike, a walk about town, a swim, an island beach barbecue, drinks at beach establishments, or reflect on the tarpin and turtles and barracuda, or take a snorkel swim over coral reefs. This trip was bliss. Chef Lenny and Chef Robert put three square meals in front of all of us daily, with hors d'oevres and sagittaritas at 5 pm, and little muffins and coffee before breakfast at 7 am. Steward Brandon and Steward Herschel served everything to us with elegance, good humor and much joy. Our rooms were cleaned before we knew it. Captain Matt and First Mate (also a Captain) Simon made sure our ship ran on time and with accuracy and safety first. The weather cooperated FULLY! Engineer we didn't get to see to much, because he was busy below running everything, right under our noses! He gave tours of the Engine Room! Bo'sun Mark ad Deckhand Roy ran us all back and forth to the beach and towns and excursions, painted and washed deck items, weighed and let the anchor, set and furled the sails, and cleaned up after us so fast we didn't know we even made messes! For Manager Katy, her first trip in this position seemed like her 50th trip; she made the job look seamless! There is no weight room or exercise facility on this boat, but there are stairs, hikes, swims, walks, and dancing that more than make up for these things. Cabins are big enough to move around it and the mattresses are pure clouds! We made much of our own entertainment, from reads to swims to hikes to games we brought along and were on the ship. There is a ships library as well. WIFI can be had on an island at a restaurant. Teaching a German politician American slang was one of the best parts of it! NOT having computers was the absolute best part. One HAD to be in social contact in spite of ones-self! Vacation was TRULY vacating from everything. We watched sunrises and sunsets, got sun, got more sun, got wet, got more wet, and got a great time with everyone! No other vacation I have ever taken has been a better way to spend the time and the money. Worth EVERY SINGLE DIME. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
We were fortunate to get to sail on the Sagitta as part of a wedding party and it was one of the absolute best experiences of my life. Yes, some of us got a little seasick, but I wouldn't blame that on the ship or crew. We had the ... Read More
We were fortunate to get to sail on the Sagitta as part of a wedding party and it was one of the absolute best experiences of my life. Yes, some of us got a little seasick, but I wouldn't blame that on the ship or crew. We had the best crew ever (still craving Lenny's banana pancakes, homemade chips and dip, and Sagita-ritas!) and the boat was beautiful. The cabins were boat cabins - not large, but big enough, esp. since you spend so much of your time above deck. Yes, if you want to sleep two full-grown adults side-by-side on the lower bunk, it'll be cozy, but this is a boat. Our captain was great and even turned the boat around so we could be completely surrounded by a 25+ dolphin pod + Pilot Whales. I don't know who ordered the many rainbows and green flash at sunset, but they completely capped off the wedding in the shadows of the Pitons. The ports we stopped at were lovely and the crew was fantastic about making sure that we knew we would be going back to the boat for lunch, happy hour and dinner. The locals on each island were very friendly and proud to show off their land. I thought there was a good mix of readily available tour options and "explore on your own". Lots of snorkeling and beautiful views abound. I think part of the appeal of our trip was that we knew everyone on the boat. I would HIGHLY recommend anyone looking for a special wedding or event consider doing the same. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
I have an extensive history of traveling to many countries around the world for over the past 40 years. I have taken a couple of cruises prior to this trip. Most notably I went to the Galapagos islands which was incredible and a fantastic ... Read More
I have an extensive history of traveling to many countries around the world for over the past 40 years. I have taken a couple of cruises prior to this trip. Most notably I went to the Galapagos islands which was incredible and a fantastic experience. I have always been fascinated by 19th century sailing ship stories such as Joshua Slocum's tale of Sailing Alone Around the World, 1898. We decided to go on a Windjammer tour because we wanted to experience the feeling of sailing a schooner. I was told that this was a sailing vessel and that we would participate in working the sails. The Sagita which is sold as a motorized sailing vessel. I was told the motors would only be engaged when the winds failed. Windjammer arranged a hotel at the Marigold Hotel the day before our department. They told us it would be only a five minute taxi to the ship. As it turned out the Marigold Hotel was on the other side of the island and was an hour drive to Rodney Bay which unnecessarily cost us an additional $45. We paid for transfers to and from the ship in advance and never told to expect this. I'd like to begin by stating some of the positive facts of this trip. First, excluding the captains, The entire crew was friendly and helpful and generally a pleasure to be with. The chef, Lenny, was excellent. I have several food allergies and he went above and beyond to ensure that the food I ate met my dietary restrictions. I am very grateful to Lenny. Every day we had a cocktail hour and without exception Lenny provided us with new and interesting hors d'oeuvres and cocktails The cabins were clean and met my basic requirements. Onboard there were sufficient deck chairs for us to enjoy the views and relax. Fortunately, the Caribbean is so beautiful that no matter how much you mismanage a voyage you can't help enjoy the environment. I will now detail the facts of the Sagitta that caused such distress. The source of this information I quote from the mouth of Captain Stefan, a German man from the island of Dominica. I will never understand why he told me this sensitive and damaging information to me while giving us a tour of the bridge. Captains Stefan claims to have been Captain on 35 National Geographic ships to Antarctica. The first shocking surprise was Captain Stefan revealing the true history of the Sagitta. Stefan told us the Sagitta was never built as a sailing vessel. He told me that the hull was not even built in the shape of a sailing vessel. I had wondered and asked why were the sails never being raised. He told me that the Sagitta could not sail and that they did not even have adequate sails on board even if they wanted to sail. According to Stefhan, the ship was built as a laundry boat for the Navy. This gives a whole new meaning to the expression that we were sailing on a tub,pardon the bad pun. I asked Crystal, the tour guide, why the sails were not raised when I was told to wind was only 10 kn and her feeble excuse was the winds were too strong and they would tear the sails apart. After Captain's revelations I learned the real reason for their not being raised. Captain Stefan also told me that the masts we're not capable of holding sails The purpose was only decorative and to give the impression that the ship was meant for sailing. The cruise did not follow the stated itinerary. We ended up spending two days in Dominica, which according Frommer's, which I found on the ship, Dominca is the worst island in the Caribbean and a must to avoid. The entire beach was literally covered with broken glass. There were no hotels, bars or any facilities and I wonder why they chose two days of my vacation to spend there when there were so many other wonderful choices which they didn't take us to, including Guadalupe which we were supposed to go to. I wondered if the reason for this was that Captain Stefan was from Dominica. In conclusion, you cannot plan a more awful cruise even if you decided to sail to Gilligans Island and end up on a deserted island. i'm writing this review as a public service to all prospective future clients of Windjammer. Be wary of squandering your hard earned vacation days and money with a company that so flagrantly misrepresents in their marketing material who they really are and what they offer. In my opinion, this is shameful behavior. Community Editor's Note: The following statement was provided to us by the management of Island Windjammers and appears in its unedited entirety: "Sagitta is a motorsailer, as she is clearly described on our website, and as is carefully explained in our FAQ's. Island Windjammers does not book hotels on behalf of our guests, but does provide links on request to select properties which offer discounts to Island Windjammers guests. The planning information given to all guests at the time of booking states that IWJ vessels in St Lucia will be berthed at Rodney Bay until December 2015, at which time they will relocate to Marigot Bay". Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
The first problem we encountered was the requested overnight stay in St. Lucia prior to the start of the cruise. We chose Marigot Bay Beach Club because it looked nice to us and it was stated on the website that "The resort is ... Read More
The first problem we encountered was the requested overnight stay in St. Lucia prior to the start of the cruise. We chose Marigot Bay Beach Club because it looked nice to us and it was stated on the website that "The resort is located on the water's edge on the north side of Marigot Bay, just a few steps away from the marina where you'll be joining your ship". What you failed to tell us is that it is 45 MINUTES from Rodney Bay where we were to join the ship. It also resulted in a $45 cab ride! When we brought this up with Crystal, the operations person on Sagitta, she said it is "offered as an alternative to those wanting to see other areas around St. Lucia". If that is the case then Island Windjammer must be truthful about where it is. This was not the way to start our vacation and I found it very disconcerting. (Since writing to the company regarding this, additional wording has been added to the Island Windjammer website) I was also disappointed because there was little or no communication prior to travel from Island Windjammer. When we asked for pre-cruise information we were told to just print it out. No itinerary was given prior to the cruise, or even when we boarded, Why is that? When asked we were given vague answers. Shipping lanes, night sailing, weather, - that was it. No explanations. No clear answers. It appeared that Dominica was to be our first stop. We were all surpised that a lady we boarded with the day before had already left the cruise! The rough overnight swells clearly were not for her. Dominica was a total let down. Ugly beach with broken glass everywhere from beer bottles. No facilities. The town itself was dreadful. No restaurants, no tourist shops - nothing. Why on earth did we spend 2 days there? Also we did not go to Guadeloupe although the statements on your website would infer that we were to go there in addition to Iles de Saintes. Again, why? Martinique had beautiful beaches that I would have loved to have stayed longer on but we wasted a whole morning being dropped in Fort De France with it's mediocre shops and not much else. After an hour we waited to return to the ship. The captain (Deylan)was returning on the same dinghy too. We told him there was nothing interesting to do there and his response was "there are 150,000 people there and you can't find anything to do" That was rude an not very professional. Then again he was still in his twenties. It turns out we didn't even sail. The sails we discovered were for cosmetic purposes only as confirmed by a new, soon-to-be captain of Windjammer who joined us from Domenica (where he lived - Ah, now I get it, that's why we spent 2 days there unnecessarily). The S.V. Sagitta, it was shared with us by Stefan (the new-soon-to-be captain for Windjammer), was built in 1961 as a laundry ship for the navy. It was never meant to be a sailing ship and the shape of the hull proves it. Any romantic notions I had of a beautiful cruise on a sailing vessel just sank to the bottom of the ocean once he shared that information. I could not tell if he wanted to give us the shock value of that statement or whether he was secretly regarding us as stupid for booking the trip in the first place. Regardless, I did not think it was a very smart statement to be making about your future employer's business. I guess he'll find out. The few highlights that are in Windjammer's favor - The cabins, although small, were very clean everyday and housekeeping was good. Daily Happy Hour was a pleasant experience and everyone looked forward to it and the great food and drink surprises. Chef Lenny was by far the biggest asset to the company. The food was creative and excellent and his attention to special food requests due to allergies makes him shine even more. He truly cared for the comfort of the passengers. The deck hands, 1st mate, the servers etc. all get top marks from me for their hospitality. However, I found the young captain (Deylan) to be a little arrogant and definitely unfriendly. He showed no interest in how anyone was feeling and how we might be enjoying ourselves. In fact he liked to bark orders rather than discuss situations at hand. Crystal was nice and upbeat and kept everyone smiling however I felt that the company could do a much better job of helping the passengers with what to do when the ship docked. Having Crystal stand there with a small foldout map and pointing to parts of it saying "you can go here or you can go there" doesn't really cut it. Most of the time it was the only map she had so when we got on land we had no clue where we were going. How about a supply of maps for each island in a welcome packet with typed up suggestions of where to go, suggested restaurants etc? Community Editor's Note: The following statement was provided to us by the management of Island Windjammers and appears in its unedited entirety: "Sagitta is a motorsailer, as she is clearly described on our website, and as is carefully explained in our FAQ's. Island Windjammers does not book hotels on behalf of our guests, but does provide links on request to select properties which offer discounts to Island Windjammers guests. The planning information given to all guests at the time of booking states that IWJ vessels in St Lucia will be berthed at Rodney Bay until December 2015, at which time they will relocate to Marigot Bay". Read Less
Sail Date July 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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