4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
I booked two back to back cruises to different areas, it wasn't until I was on the second trip that I was told the itinerary had changed and we were going back to do the same itinerary in which I had just finished, no one from the ... Read More
I booked two back to back cruises to different areas, it wasn't until I was on the second trip that I was told the itinerary had changed and we were going back to do the same itinerary in which I had just finished, no one from the company had warned me otherwise I would have chosen something different or cancelled one of them. When I contacted the head office they apologised and offered me a free 6 day cruise to which I asked for the cost equiverlent instead as I wasn't going to be in the Caribbean again plus the wasted 6 days repeating everything again. They didn't want to do that and their response was a letter reminding me about their Small Print that says they have the right to substitute any scheduled sailings and itineraries without notice, a great cop out and an extremely bad way to treat customers. After talking to some of the other guests about it I found out I wasn't the only one unhappy with their customer service treatment from head office and they wouldn't be travelling with them again. I have travelled exstensively for many year to over 90 countries and work in tourism as a Guide and also spent 10 selling trips just like this and never had I had or heard of such bad service. Air con didn't work for a while in some of the rooms so 2 of us had to sleep in the hallway. average food , horrible coffee and undrinkable wine. There are lots of other companies out there to choose from. The ship staff were fantastic Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
I was on the same cruise as "huge world wide traveler" and had an entirely different experience. It was TERRIFIC !! The captain altered the itinerary to avoid rain and stormy weather. Instead of sailing north right away he ... Read More
I was on the same cruise as "huge world wide traveler" and had an entirely different experience. It was TERRIFIC !! The captain altered the itinerary to avoid rain and stormy weather. Instead of sailing north right away he headed south for 4 of the 12 days. This was an extreme amount of work and resulted in several night sails (for the crew) to travel that far south and then again backtracking that far north just of please all of the passengers. That's a good thing, who wants to sail in a storm? Even if you already have been there. We were able to enjoy more of the Caribbean islands in good weather and still did the northern islands per the published itinerary. The food was excellent and plentiful and the chefs were accommodating to individual needs. They baked all their breads and rolls and deserts were to die for ................ we're talking award winning caliber. The service was over the top, all the crew were always asking you if you needed something or a drink or whatever. The cabins were large for this type of sailing ship and cleaned/made up daily. Some people are just complainers. I have sailed with IWJ many times and they are always top notch and I always have my next sail booked!!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 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: August 2017
Like most of my vacations I put a lot of time an effort beforehand researching the how and why of whatever we are planning to do. I knew we wanted to sail and I knew we wanted a small boat and the Caribbean. I did my research and Island ... Read More
Like most of my vacations I put a lot of time an effort beforehand researching the how and why of whatever we are planning to do. I knew we wanted to sail and I knew we wanted a small boat and the Caribbean. I did my research and Island Windjammers consistently seemed to get great reviews. We were not disappointed. I will start by saying everything from purchasing passage to disembarking went smoothly (saying goodbye to fellow shipmates and the crew, however, was not easy..) Once you have bought your ticket to sail, Island Windjammers gives you access to a message board to chat with other would-be sailors so gearing up to go is extra fun. You can find very helpful posts, get answers to questions and chat with your soon to be shipmates! We buddied up with a couple of other travelers on our boat to share cab rides to and from the ship this way. The Sagitta is a 120 ft motorsailer. For our sail we had 20 passengers and 11 crew. There isn't a set itinerary, per say, but the days were very organized. Yes, you may do as much or as little as you like. The general course of events were--breakfast at 8, story time to follow (this is when you learn about your days options/activities) first dinghy usually left for shore around 9:30 (back and forth to the ship hourly) lunch at noon, snacks and "Sagitta-ritas" (delicious) at 5 and dinner at 7. All meals were delicious. George and Philbert prepared amazing food in that small galley. Standouts to me were the beef Burgundy, the trio of salads we had one day for lunch, the cheese burgers, all the breakfasts and all the varieties of juices offered. Our cabin was perfect. Clean with an amazing amount of storage (definitely try to pack light, I'm a notorious over packer.)We had our own bathroom, also perfect and surprisingly spacious. There were plenty of things to do (or not do!) The crew made sure paddle boards were out and available as well as floats and my favorite--the noodle. We swam off the side of the ship using these and also took them to a couple of beaches. Snorkle equipment was also available. I believe we snorkeled in at least 3 different locations. There was also a rope swing off of the ship which received plenty of use. There were optional excursions offered as well. Almost everyone on our ship took the all day tour of Dominica. In the evening I believe several passengers played dominos and dice games. I was not up this early but I do know one morning dolphins were spotted traveling along with the ship by the Captain and a couple passengers. The crew were all amazing. Always smiling, always helpful. They seemed to be having as good of time as we were just doing their jobs. Safety was taken very seriously. Captain Patricio was serious about his job and confident which made me feel very safe. Jermaine was always pleasant to see on deck first thing in thing in the morning making sure coffee was available (beer wine and rum were also not in short supply, but only after coffee for me, ha.) This is the best vacation we have ever taken. We plan on sailing with Island Windjammers again very soon. This time we would like to try the Vela or Diamanté just for variety sake. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 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
3 Helpful Votes
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
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
When I was in my early 20's, I worked on the S/V Fantome. Those experiences formed who I am today. I wanted to return to the new experience. Gathered 13 friends and we all had the time of our lives!!! EACH ONE OF US. The food, crew, ... Read More
When I was in my early 20's, I worked on the S/V Fantome. Those experiences formed who I am today. I wanted to return to the new experience. Gathered 13 friends and we all had the time of our lives!!! EACH ONE OF US. The food, crew, ship, islands...everything was a gift. The crew was always a joy and always sincere. The food was always amazing and fresh. When they realized there were a few of us with vegetarian diets, they were so accomodating. From then on we were always fed fabulous dishes related to all the others that were being served. From the deck , steward to Captain to Purser...all were like family. The tiny islands we visited were just what we all craved. Quiet untouched places. Free from Starbucks and American commerce. The little Sagitta was the most sweetest vessel. Cabins so much nicer and bigger then we had on the Fantome. But who is in the room ? We spend so much time outside,,,who could you not? This experience is the only kind I seek and will return again. A true peaceful place with the joy and fun wrapped up in rum, sun, night swims, laughter, quiet ....anything you choose. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
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
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
I took a 12 night one way explorer cruise from St. Lucia to St. Maarten, threading through the beautiful and underdeveloped Leeward Islands. We visited 9 countries, and 12 islands on this outstanding, hard to find itinerary. We had 21 on ... Read More
I took a 12 night one way explorer cruise from St. Lucia to St. Maarten, threading through the beautiful and underdeveloped Leeward Islands. We visited 9 countries, and 12 islands on this outstanding, hard to find itinerary. We had 21 on board (capacity is 24), a mix of singles, married but traveling single, couples and one mother/ son pair. This is a social cruise, you are in close quarters with everyone one, as the cabin are small (but very adequate), and you will not spend much time in them except to sleep. There are steep stairs/ladders to get up and down decks, be sure you are comfortable with that. I understand the old barefoot windjammer cruises were serious party boats, but the new line has mellowed, and there is a good time atmosphere, 5 pm rum punch and snack hours, free flowing wine and beer, but I gather the partying is more subdued that prior years. Fine with me. The crew was outstanding, instilling confidence, and took good care of us and the boat. There were island excursions offered at many of the ports, ranging from free hikes, to moderate cost island tours ($30 ish), up to cycling or ATV tours for close to $100. NO pressure to take them, you could do nothing, or plan your own day based on the dingy to shore times. Sagitta is a MOTOR sailer, so you motor everywhere, with a few stay sails for added boost. WE mostly moved at night, to maximize day time on shore. BTY, the generators are on 100% of the time (for AC, etc) so there is a constant hum in the background. Choose your rooms carefully if you want to minimize the sound. If you get seasick, you might want to consider a bigger ship, or choose on of the itineraries in protected water, like the British Virgin Islands. This is a special experience, one of a kind, and I hope to repeat it soon. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
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
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
My wife and I have been doing the small sail ship thing since 1990 and it never gets old. Capt Matt, Simon, Leah and the rest of the crew could not have made us feel any more at home. This was our second sail on the Sagitta and I felt ... Read More
My wife and I have been doing the small sail ship thing since 1990 and it never gets old. Capt Matt, Simon, Leah and the rest of the crew could not have made us feel any more at home. This was our second sail on the Sagitta and I felt that every passenger had a great time. There was some sea sickness involved with some passengers due to 2 pretty "rock and roll" sailings across some open sea; but, the rest was smooth sailing. Snacks and meals were plentiful and delicious. Beer and wine included and you can bring on your own alcohol beverages. Embarkation and disembarkation were both simple and flawless. Travel from UVF to Rodney Bay is 1 hour15 minutes and not cheap, where the ship is anchored. I would recommend Desir's Taxi Service for transportation on St Lucia - Murphy, the owner, is extremely friendly and knowledgeable regarding the island. We stayed one night prior to sailing at Cleopatra Villas and one night after at Harmony Suites. We highly recommend both places We will definitely be returning to one of Island Windjammer's 3 ships in the the next year or so. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2015
I went on the Solo Sojourn in July and it was an wonderful experience. The crew was top-notch, never letting you lift a finger to do anything. They were very helpful and one of them even fixed my camera so I didn't miss out on ... Read More
I went on the Solo Sojourn in July and it was an wonderful experience. The crew was top-notch, never letting you lift a finger to do anything. They were very helpful and one of them even fixed my camera so I didn't miss out on capturing the memories. Although I was a bit nervous about sharing a room with someone I didn't know, my roommate was great. There were only 19 people on board and everyone seemed to get along just fine. We're already talking about planning our next cruise together! The rooms are spacious for a boat that small. And there is always a place you can get away and have some 'me' time on the boat. The only thing that was a little off was our visit to Martinique's Fort Du France. It was just too big of a city, too many people and too much noise compared to what we had been experiencing. But considering we were only there for 1/2 a day it wasn't too bad. The other smaller stops in Dominica, Iles de Saintes and Martinque were mellow and enjoyable. If you're considering sailing with Island Windjammers - book it today! Don't wait! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 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
6 Helpful Votes
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
We cruised in late July and had a wonderful time. St. Lucia, Martinique, Dominica, Guadeloupe. Waterfalls, river excursion, shopping in Martinique, snorkeling, swimming in crystal blue water and making new friends on the Sagitta. ... Read More
We cruised in late July and had a wonderful time. St. Lucia, Martinique, Dominica, Guadeloupe. Waterfalls, river excursion, shopping in Martinique, snorkeling, swimming in crystal blue water and making new friends on the Sagitta. Comfortable cabins, extraordinary crew, Sagitta-ritas at 5:00, wonderful island food, and more. Thanks to Captain Delyan, Patricio, Jonesy, Crystal, Chef Lenny, Dextroy, Herchell, Shyam, Clay and Shem! We enjoyed meeting you all. All our best to Stefan, too! We'll definitely do this again! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2015
Just back from a week on the Sagitta so I thought I'd share some thoughts with my fellow travelers. We did the Sagitta's 6-night cruise that traveled from St. Lucia to Dominica, Iles des Saintes (part of Guadeloupe) and ... Read More
Just back from a week on the Sagitta so I thought I'd share some thoughts with my fellow travelers. We did the Sagitta's 6-night cruise that traveled from St. Lucia to Dominica, Iles des Saintes (part of Guadeloupe) and Martinique. First the good news: Island Windjammers (IWJ) rates highly on coordinating hotels, transfers, taxis, etc. They are polished at getting everybody aboard the vessel with ease and comfort. This is especially important for the Sagitta, which is too big to dock at any of the destinations; instead, the crew relies on a couple of Zodiacs for all ship to shore transportation. More good news: Chef Lenny was great at accommodating those of us with special dietary needs, including those with allergies as well as those pesky vegans. I think everyone aboard rated all three daily meals as very good or better. Another very nice aspect of this trip is a 5:00 happy hour, where drinks and punches were served alongside pizzas, grilled tuna, fruit platters, cheese platters, and a lot of other tasty finger food. In addition to Chef Lenny, most of the crew was pleasant and helpful. Operations Manager Crystal was an angel at coordinating activities and joining in the fun with the guests. Clay and Shem were great at running the Zodiacs hour after hour. The ship has an ample number of chaises and chairs for deck side lounging. Roughly half the deck is kept shaded by tarps. The fore deck is huge, with plenty of room for guests. Now some bad news: the Sagitta is not a sailing vessel. It runs under power the entire time and puts up a sail or two for cosmetic purposes only. This was a huge disappointment, as IWJ's Diamant was under full sail on many occasions when we travelled with her a couple of years ago. The itinerary is flawed. Two days are spent in Dominica, an impoverished nation with virtually no tourist infrastructure, and very little in the way of sandy beaches. While on Dominica, we did manage to do a third party tour ($60 per person) that included a cave swim, a short hike to two really awesome waterfalls, and a relatively nice snorkel. A river tour the next day was mediocre. All in all, Dominica is not worth two days out of a six day tour: we did not see a single restaurant or bar worth visiting, nor a single store that a typical tourist might want to shop in. The people of Dominica, it must be noted, were as nice as can be, especially our tour guide Josie. Another flawed part of the itinerary is spending a whole morning in Fort-de-France, an urban area of Martinique with many modest stores, a farmers market and a fort, but not very much to hook in the typical tourist. The problem with spending too much time in Dominica is that it takes time away from a two-stop visit to Ilse de Saintes, which has a very nice town, really good snorkeling, a couple of nice beaches, and amazingly beautiful bays. Ilse de Saintes deserves more time that IWJ allots to it. The problem with stopping at Fort-de-France is that it takes away a half day that could be spent at an incredible bay on the opposite side of Martinique, where we were able to spend just three hours on the beach and in the town. This other side of Martinique deserved a lot more time, as it seems everybody on board loved the beaches, the water and the turtles. A couple of us commented that we would have gladly spent the whole week on the back side of Martinique. While most transit is done at night, much of one day toward the end of the tour is wasted on the return trip to St. Lucia. We would have greatly preferred this transportation be done at night as well, as it would have allowed another half a day at Ilse de Saintes. Note also that this excursion does not allow for a stop at the main island of Guadeloupe, which seems like another flaw in the itinerary. A few more comments: 1. The Sagitta crosses several choppy channels during the trip. Sea sickness patches or pills are recommended. 2. Bring Euros for the French islands, as they do not take the US dollar. 3. The best St. Lucia hotel for this trip is the Bay Gardens Beach Resort. It is located right next to Rodney Bay, where the Sagitta anchors, and is just a two minute transfer from hotel to marina. 4. Pack lightly and casually. This is an extremely relaxed trip; no one is getting dressed up. 5. Sagitta does not have Wi-Fi but you can get a cell signal on or near every island. I'll wrap up by saying IWJ's trip to Grenada and St. Vincent was fantastic. It proves IWJ knows how to do things the right way. Hopefully IWJ can make a couple of adjustments on the St. Lucia cruise to get it up to the level it deserves. Happy Travels to All. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2015
We just returned from the Sagitta's 6-night cruise that traveled from St. Lucia to Dominica, Iles Des Saintes and Martinique. This was our first cruise ever, and we went with our friends who have done Windjammer cruises in the past. ... Read More
We just returned from the Sagitta's 6-night cruise that traveled from St. Lucia to Dominica, Iles Des Saintes and Martinique. This was our first cruise ever, and we went with our friends who have done Windjammer cruises in the past. To sum up our experience - for us, in spite of a little bit of rain, it was a perfect week! The crew was friendly and super accommodating. The sites were beautiful. The ship was quite comfortable and spacious. The food was really yummy. Not to mention the daily "Sagitarittas!" And all the guests onboard got along quite well! We made sure to take motion sickness meds every day, and we're glad we did. Not a bit of seasickness, in spite of some bumpy rides in the "channels" between the islands. If you are looking for one of those luxury giant ship cruises, you won't find it here. If you're looking for a nice, low key, super friendly and wonderful time, we recommend it wholeheartedly. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2015
We just returned from a 7 day 6 night cruise (June 7 through the 13, 2015) from St. Lucia, Dominica, Iles Des Saintes (Guadalupe), and Martinique. We didn't board the ship on the 7th until 2:00 pm so you lose most of the first day of ... Read More
We just returned from a 7 day 6 night cruise (June 7 through the 13, 2015) from St. Lucia, Dominica, Iles Des Saintes (Guadalupe), and Martinique. We didn't board the ship on the 7th until 2:00 pm so you lose most of the first day of your adventure. You leave the harbor after 7 pm and you sail all night to Dominica. We had rough seas every time we sailed at night which makes it incredibly hard to sleep so I recommend some kind of sleeping aid and more importantly some kind of motion sickness medication. We took bovine which worked very well. We stayed in the owner's cabin which is wonderful, spacious and very comfortable. During rough seas we would surrender to our room which has TV with a DVD player, the ship provides several movies. The food at breakfast, lunch and dinner is plentiful and very good. The Chef did a fabulous job, in fact I'm incredibly impressed with what he could do in such a small kitchen. Snacks i.e. chips, packaged cookies......etc...are provided in the afternoon but it would be nice if they were left out all the time as there are no other food options if you get hungry between meals. Soda pop and several varieties of beer are provided. White and red wine is served with supper. Take the full day excursion on Dominica if you get a chance as it was a beautiful and take good walking shoes that you don't mind getting wet. A word of caution, if you're cruising in the summertime keep a close lookout for jellyfish as one woman was stung on the beach in Iles Des Saintes and we saw them EVERYWHERE snorkeling at one of the beaches in Martinique. Overall, the Windjammers Cruise was an absolutely incredible experience, the crew was attentive and VERY nice and always made sure were were safe. I highly recommend taking sailing on one of their ships, it will be an adventure you will never forget. "The High Sea is calling and I must go, Leaving these confining lands far behind, And making my way to her foaming edge, Let them sink in the wake of memory. When at last I come to the harborage, I will pause at the waterfront, inhale Slowly and deep, lifting my head mast high; 'Til briny air fills the sails of my chest, Purging the dusty road from my veins. Then I will face my prow to the uncharted - My maiden voyage, my soul pilgrimage. The bounding main: whitecaps and salty spray; Motion, waving me to find my sea legs. A seasoned schooner: helm, shrouds, and canvas; Bid me come aboard and compass about, Chasing the horizon full sail; Come friend, Break forth and croon a new ballad of life. The hour has come, weigh anchor, for we Sail tonight seeking Absolute Bearing. The High Sea is calling and I must go " Carrico...... Read Less
Sagitta Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 1.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 2.0 0.0
Family 2.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 3.0 0.0
Enrichment 1.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 5.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 N/A

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