4 St. Lucia to Caribbean - All Island Windjammers Vela Cruise Reviews

Island Windjammer had been on my bucket list for quite a few years, and we finally had the opportunity to join the Vela and cruise the windward islands from St. Lucia. Admittedly, we have cruised the mega ships about a dozen times in ... Read More
Island Windjammer had been on my bucket list for quite a few years, and we finally had the opportunity to join the Vela and cruise the windward islands from St. Lucia. Admittedly, we have cruised the mega ships about a dozen times in the past, and when I saw the sign onboard “If you’re not barefoot, you’re overdressed” I felt at home immediately. Boarding was seamless. The staff met us at the designated spot and took our luggage in one raft while we followed on another. Once boarding the ship we had the obligatory safety talk and then had the chance to explore the ship, chat with your mates for the next week or unpack your bag, which by this time had been delivered to our cabin. The first night on the open seas was rocky, and as someone who has never been seasick before, I felt a bit queasy myself. Once I got use to the rocking of the ship it was quite peaceful, and after 24 hours I found my “sea legs”. Cabins: OK, we were warned that the cabins were “cozy”, and I now know what they meant! We had a Deluxe Cabin, which had a double lower and single bunk. We also had our own bathroom & shower, but considering the minimal amount of time you spend in your cabin we made it work. (although one of us had to leave the room to make room for the other to unpack!). When they state storage is minimal and to bring soft sided luggage they mean it. Travel mates: Interesting make-up of travel mates - 2 Canadians, 2 Brits and the rest American. At 53 & 55 years of age, we were the youngest on board. Nevertheless we made fast friends and there was always great discussions going on. Activities: Not sure whether it was the makeup of this particular date, but the activities on the ship were quite low-key. I looked forward to doing some of the things I heard of from other reviews, such as using the paddle boards, night snorkeling and the rope swing, but none of those materialized. Luckily the itinerary was fantastic. Itinerary: After 10 mega-ship cruises around various Caribbean islands, we were most looking forward to experiencing different ports of call, and the Vela did not disappoint. The crew was excellent in offering us a variety of options at each port when possible, and at some stops we partook in multiple activities. It seems the zodiac was always on the go, dropping us off or picking us up at multiple locations. For example, at St Vincent we had the option to hike up Fort Duvrnette, lounging at a resort, strolling the boardwalk or all three. The trip was full of little surprises also, optional hikes at some stops, a night-time bonfire on a beach, a visit to Happy Island, and keeping us guessing with what our final stop would be. Crew: Tanya, our Operations Manager was excellent. Each day she would fill the whiteboard with the following days activities and options, and though it must be like herding cats, she did a great job of keeping us mostly on schedule. Our stewards Stephen and Jermaine were always smiling and ready to provide top-notch service, whether it was while dining or tending to our cabins. Captain Nervo was very hospitable, and you could tell he was proud of the Vela and ready to show it off or talk sailing anytime. Food: I wasn’t sure what to expect as a somewhat fussy eater, but cook Robert did a fantastic job of offering a wide variety of excellent meals and snacks, and I never went hungry. Considering the small size of his galley he worked wonders in there. All in all, this was an excellent trip and I’m left with wonderful memories and pictures to remind me of the Vela - Beautiful rainbows, stunning sunsets, uncrowded beaches, our cultural tour in Mayreau (aka Pub Crawl!), cool little beach bars, great rum and new friends. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We chose this cruise because of the ship and the destinations. Vela is a very beautiful, three masted tall-ship. She takes a maximum of 26 passengers with a crew of 10. We had very personal service from the booking process onwards, ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the ship and the destinations. Vela is a very beautiful, three masted tall-ship. She takes a maximum of 26 passengers with a crew of 10. We had very personal service from the booking process onwards, nothing was difficult. We joined the ship in Rodney Bay, St Lucia. We were taken out to the ship on dinghies. We had up-graded to the Owners Cabin which was absolutely lovely, a huge bed, space all around, an excellent shower room and even a DVD player - not that we ever bothered with that, the views outside were far better night or day! This was our second week on Vela. We had a "deluxe" cabin the first week which was fairly "cosy"! However, as you only sleep or change in the cabins, it was perfectly adequate if you are fairly mobile and agile! The Staysail, Compass and obviously the OC do give you a bit more space. We sailed south to Union Island and then back to Tobago Cays which are my favourite place on earth! The colours in the seas are just exquisite and we swam with sea turtles and rays among many other fish. Then on to Bequia and back to Rodney Bay. There was an excellent variety of fresh food for each meal, each day. We were served breakfasts in the saloon area, with lunch and dinners being outside as weather and sailing conditions allowed. Almost each day we had shore excursions, sometimes island tours, sometimes just shopping trips and in the evening we sometimes sampled the local bars in the ports. Our Ops Manager Tanya, handled all the admin behind the scenes and organised our excursions and games etc on board, always professional and friendly at the same time. In fact, the whole crew managed that difficult balance of being professional but also being friendly and sociable with the passengers as well. Our Captain was great fun and he had our safety at heart at all times, we had utter confidence in them all. We would definitely go again if time and finance permits! But there are so many other destinations we still need to see. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
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
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
Vela Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.8
Dining 4.0 5.0
Entertainment 2.0 4.5
Public Rooms 4.0 4.9
Fitness Recreation 2.0 4.7
Family 3.5 4.7
Shore Excursion 3.0 4.8
Enrichment 1.0 4.8
Service 4.0 5.0
Value For Money 4.0 5.0

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