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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
My wife and I just completed a week cruise with Island Windjammers aboard the Vela. We have wanted to take a Windjammer style cruise for years and after researching options we chose Island Windjammers Pirate Week as our first adventure. I ... Read More
My wife and I just completed a week cruise with Island Windjammers aboard the Vela. We have wanted to take a Windjammer style cruise for years and after researching options we chose Island Windjammers Pirate Week as our first adventure. I have to say this was by far one of the best vacations we’ve ever had. After a brief time meeting the other ‘Pirates’, I knew this was going to be a fun trip. It was a diverse group of folks but we all had that Pirate mentality and were ready for a special week. If you like lounging around a pool, spending time in the casino, going to shows, etc. This is not that type of cruise. However... If you are adventurous and enjoy meeting people and seeing places you'll never see while on a large cruise ship, then you'll love this. We sailed into small coves with great snorkeling, beaches, hiking and dropping into local bars in very, very small villages. The crew members were awesome. Leah and Andrew laid out each day’s activities, providing tips on the best snorkeling spots, hiking, shops and food options. Chef Robert along with Panchoo prepared some amazing meals. You will not go hungry while sailing Island Windjammers. Something I had not given much thought to was our ability to get to know the crew. Something you can’t do on a large cruise ship. I especially enjoyed sitting with Captain Patricio and talking about his life fishing and sailing. I definitely will be sailing again and I hope our photos and stories will inspire our friends to join us. However, we established what I hope will be long friendships with our fellow Pirates. Overall it was an amazing experience. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 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
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
I chose Island Windjammers because I wanted to FEEL the Caribbean and relive the experience of the old Barefoot cruises. I was not disappointed!! I sailed on the VELA, a true 3 masted sailing ship. The crew, the service, the food, ... Read More
I chose Island Windjammers because I wanted to FEEL the Caribbean and relive the experience of the old Barefoot cruises. I was not disappointed!! I sailed on the VELA, a true 3 masted sailing ship. The crew, the service, the food, everything was a pure joy. My spouse and I chose their 12 night cruise of the French West Indies and the Windward Islands. Super!!! Our ship was 156' of fun and sun. I could go on and on, but until you experience it for yourself you will never forget pure happiness of sailing under the stars and sun all the while you are truly enjoying the company of shipmates who love it as much as you do. The VELA (which is Spanish for sails) only has room for 24. All cabins have private bath with showers and are air conditioned How's that for the best of all possible worlds. By the way I am 80 yrs old and my wife 71 so don't think this adventure is only for the young. Our shipmates (now friends) were all age brackets. Everything was 15+ on a scale of 1-10. people should not hesitate to ENJOY!!! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
Had always wanted to do one of the windjammer cruises because I had heard they were so low key and could go places the big ships were unable. A friend was putting together one for a group so it seemed a great time to go. It was ... Read More
Had always wanted to do one of the windjammer cruises because I had heard they were so low key and could go places the big ships were unable. A friend was putting together one for a group so it seemed a great time to go. It was phenomenal. Island Windjammer did everything they said as they said they would from start to finish. The entire crew was great. Captain Patrici was always available. Very welcoming and warm and joined us for dinner pretty much every night which was served outside under the stars on the open deck. How great is that? Jermaine and Romaine made every meal a pleasure. They were always there making sure you had enough and taking care of everything. Our cook, Donald, from day one took special care because of a food allergy to let me know and was fantastic about finding replacements with joy it being a big deal. Most of all the entire crew worked together to make the whole experience a relaxed fun easy time. There was lots of snorkeling,swimming, swinging from ropes and just hanging out. So if this is the kind of cruise you are looking for I would say Island Windjammer is a definite winner. If you could ever get this same crew you won the lottery... One last note...I also happen to have lucked out because the group I was with was just one great fun everyone got along there to have a good time group. That plus the right cruise made it one of those wish it could have gone just a little bit longer... Read Less
Sail Date: July 2016
This was an amazing cruise! The food was great and the crew was superior. They ensured your comfort and happiness at all times. The destinations were so amazing, we were like the only tourists on these islands and you could see clearly ... Read More
This was an amazing cruise! The food was great and the crew was superior. They ensured your comfort and happiness at all times. The destinations were so amazing, we were like the only tourists on these islands and you could see clearly down in the water, even in the towns. There were flying fish following us in sailing days. We got to hike across small islands, snorkel with their gear and the Chef would catch dinner off of the back of the boat. The captain was fun and entertaining. We went on a rum cruise and experienced rum in so many ways, by itself, mixed in drinks and had fun days and nights sampling rum from around the world. We met friends we still stay in touch with. They use an inflatable boat to take you into harbors and beaches and it is very easy getting on and off of the inflatable. From the moment go this was so enjoyable and the islands are beautiful. We went just before the Diamant was overhauled and our room, room 2 is now combined with room one and is a suite. Read Less
25 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 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
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
Sail Date: June 2015
This was my second time on the Diamant. This time we were a private 12 night charter to celebrate a friend's 50th wedding anniversary with vow renewals. We arrived in Grenada 4 days before sailing. Just in case we would have any ... Read More
This was my second time on the Diamant. This time we were a private 12 night charter to celebrate a friend's 50th wedding anniversary with vow renewals. We arrived in Grenada 4 days before sailing. Just in case we would have any issues with our flights or luggage, we wanted to be sure to not miss a day of sailing. Diamant had lovely arrangements made for the vow renewal ceremony! I can't begin to express how impressed I was with the entire crew! You could see they took safety very seriously. Great mixture of wonderful personalities. Very friendly, entertaining and helpful while still being quite professional. I must admit the chef on this sailing was awesome! Hard to believe he is able to be so creative in such a small kitchen. we really enjoyed many different entrees of fresh fish. We don't see many fish here in the desert where we live. Dining al fresco with all the ocean breezes and star was wonderful. I could also see that Island Windjammer does indeed listen to feedback they receive from cruisers. I could see nice little things that had been added since my last sailing. Plenty of new deck chairs, sand chairs, floating mats and two new paddle boards. How fun was all this!! We had contacted Island Windjammer prior to our departure and they helped arrange a couple of Island Tours for us. It was great to be able to just add these expenses to our accounts. We enjoyed many special snorkeling days. The quiet powder sugar sand beaches were very enjoyable. The captain even snorkeled with us at times. He was able to pint out many interesting undersea creatures that we would have missed. Put a whole new dimension on our snorkeling experience. Lights added underneath the Diamant created an wonderful ambiance at night. It was a lot of fun to see what sea life would be attracted to the lights. We were even entertained one evening by bats eating insects that were attracted by the lights. What fun!! The information received prior to arriving in Grenada was very useful. No problems. They were able to answer all of our questions ahead of time. We had no surprises. The ship also makes its own fresh water. The water tastes very good and we always had plenty of it. We are starting to plan our next sailing adventure. Which Island Windjammer sailing vessel will it be??? Read Less
Sail Date: August 2010
Friday, 06Aug2010: Travel Day (RDU-MIA-SJU-GND): Finally time to head to the Caribbean again to sail on a Tall Ship!! Traveled to Grenada (all day 6am to 9:03pm) and was met by the Island Windjammers driver at the airport. He took us to ... Read More
Friday, 06Aug2010: Travel Day (RDU-MIA-SJU-GND): Finally time to head to the Caribbean again to sail on a Tall Ship!! Traveled to Grenada (all day 6am to 9:03pm) and was met by the Island Windjammers driver at the airport. He took us to the Allamanda hotel in St George's. Checked in and meet up with friends, visited for awhile, took a quick walk on the beach, and then headed to room for sleep just after midnight. Saturday, 07Aug2010: Grenada: Awoke at 7am ready to start my vacation!! Headed to breakfast near hotel then went to grocery store to buy booze. A few went deep sea fishing. Just as we got back to the hotel it started to rain. By 10:30am we were ready to leave the hotel and decided to walk down to Garfield's Beach Bar. We made it to Garfield's just as the rain continued so we were forced to drink Carib and entertain Chester the bartender. Weather finally cleared so we headed to the beach (Grand Anse Beach) and floated in the water, enjoying the Caribbean Sea. At 7:30pm we headed to town to have dinner at the Nutmeg Restaurant. Alison our final team member had arrived while we were at dinner. We visited with her for awhile and then headed to bed about 11:30pm. Sunday, 08Aug2010: Grenada - Board S/V Diamant: What a way to spend my birthday, in the Grenadines getting ready to finally board the S/V Diamant. Woke up about 7:30am and went to Gibson's (again across the street) for a nice breakfast. Bruce and Maryse headed out for an Island tour and the rest of us headed to the beach. About 11am we decided to walk down to Garfield's Beach Bar for a few drinks and a few birthday shots! We headed to Port Louis about 1pm and got our first look at the Diamant. What a beautiful small ship, she is a 101 ft schooner with tons of character. About 4:45pm we headed over to the Diamant. The check in procedure was a breeze and we were all shown our Cabins within an hour of boarding. The cabins were great; each different with their own little touches. There is decent storage space in each but don't bring a lot and don't bring hard sided suitcases (there is no place for them); duffle bags or backpacks are the way to go. You're on a boat so the cabin and bathrooms are small but the layout is great in each. The ship has its own water purification system and the cabins have water bottles for each passenger (that stay with the ship). Near the back of the ship were two coolers that were kept stocked with sodas and BEER (we had Heineken, Carib and Stag) plus you had access to a house red and white wine at all times. Once we all settled in we just walked around the ship, chatted and soaked in the fact that we were back on a Tall Ship. We had dinner around 7:30pm and the crew even had a birthday cake for me! We spend the evening relaxing, talking and drinking beer and cocktails. Monday, 09Aug2010: Grenada - Carriacou - Union Island: Ship set sail about 5am; it was great sleeping to the sway of the ship! Made it to Carriacou about 10am and had our safety drill. We stayed on the ship for the morning, had lunch, and then headed to Anse La Roche Beach for the day. No one else around and no beach bars so the crew brought us a cooler with beer (and other drinks). There was lots of Technical Diving and we drank an insane amount of beer (between all 9 of us). I think by the end of the afternoon there were concerns on beer and ice stock ? Once we were all feeling pretty "happy" a game was created by John - "Redneck Bowling"; this provided us hours of entertainment! And yes we did take all the empties back to the ship, left only footprints. Back to ship around 5pm; we were all tipsy, a little sun burned, and ready for Rum Swizzles and Snacks. Eventually we all cleaned up and had dinner on the ship. We relocated to Chatum Bay near Union Island for the night. Stayed on ship for evening, there were tons of stars out, so amazing. Fell asleep on deck just staring at the stars. Tuesday 10Aug2010: Union Island - Bequia: Woke up at 7am and made my way to the deck for the morning sail. Was wonderful hearing Amazing Grace played while the sails were raised, has been way to long. As we made our way to Bequia we passed Moon Hole. Once we got to the main harbor in Bequia had a nice hot breakfast and then into town around 10am. We went into a few shops, bought t-shirts, and Kim got a really cool map of the Caribbean in one of the book stores, also visited the ATM. Headed over to the Whaleboner bar but they were closed so we had a few beers at the Magnolia bar to cool off. Back to ship around noon for lunch (it is amazing what Boston created in that tiny kitchen). We all stayed on the ship for the afternoon. There was reading, relaxing, journal writing and some drinking of adult beverages. Bruce and John fished off the ship. The ship's entertainment system has a connection for MP3 players so you can play your music thru the ship speakers; we had a Jimmy Buffett type of afternoon. Broke out the rope swing and jumped off the ship for some swimming/floating next to the ship. The Diamant has an awesome ladder for getting back on the ship after swimming, very easy to navigate and. We had a great relaxing afternoon with no agenda which was so nice. After swim we had Rum Swizzles, Wine, and Cheese; Boston also cooked up the Tuna that Bruce brought on board. We cleaned up, watched an awesome sunset, and then headed to Mac's Pizzeria for Dinner. Back to ship about 9:30pm. Some to bed early, others up front star gazing. Wednesday, 11Aug2010: Bequia - Tobago Cays - Mayreau: Early sail to Tobago Cays for a day on the beach. Another beautiful, sunny day and the Tobago Cays are breathtaking. We ended up anchoring near one of the many beautiful small islands and then took the dingy to a great little beach with picnic tables. Spent morning walking beach, taking pictures, laying out to perfect the tan, and working on our "technical diving" skills with our well stocked cooler. The crew brought us a picnic lunch ashore that was delicious. About 1:30pm we headed back to ship and then several of us headed over to Turtle Island to swim/snorkel with the Turtles (the ship provides snorkel gear for use at the beginning of the week, no extra charge). Some did a walk on the island and saw several big iguanas and land turtles. Headed back to ship for Rum Swizzles and Snacks and a few headed to "Johnny Depp" island which is where one of the scenes from the first movies was filmed. Once everyone back on ship we sailed to Mayreau. Had dinner and then we all changed into our "TGDT" shirts that Ester made and Kim provided glow-stick necklaces and bracelets. This was so we could keep track of the group during our "cultural walk" of Mayrue. Headed into town about 8:30pm and walked up the long steep hill to the top. Our plan was to "drink" our way down. We ended up visiting 3 bars with the final one being "Dennis's Hideaway". Back to ship about 11:30pm. Another great day!! Thursday, 12Aug2010: Mayreau- Salt Whistle Bay - Union Island - Happy Island - Carriacou: After breakfast picked up anchor and moved to other side of island to visit Salt Whistle Bay, which is a beautiful beach. We spent the morning on the beach just relaxing and floating on the blue rafts. Some hiked around and a few passengers walked over the hill to town. Back to ship for lunch then we sailed to Union Island. We went into town for quick look around and to visit the ATM. The entire group ended up at the dock at the same time to catch the dingy around 2pm. Instead of heading back to the ship we went straight to "Happy Island". They serve food if his wife is around, otherwise you just receive drinks. The rum punch on Happy Island is AWESOME and will make you very happy! Around 4:30pm we were not ready to leave, so the crew brought snacks to us and we continued to party on the island. We had so much fun! Rain clouds were around and there were a few rainbows (it could not get any more perfect). Somewhere around 6pm we all decided to head back to the ship as it looked like serious rain was coming. We packed the passengers and crew on the dingy for the very short ride back to the ship and wouldn't you know it, the heavens opened up and it started to rain in earnest. Once back on the ship we headed into the indoor saloon area, Kim attached her iPod to the stereo and became our DJ for the night. Eventually all the passengers and all the crew were on deck dancing to disco music. I can't tell you how much fun we had joking around and dancing in the rain. We eventually dressed for our "tacky Hawaiian shirt" night which we planned ahead of time. At some point (time blurs some) we did a quick move to Carriacou to anchor for the nigh. All through dinner (and after) the music, singing and dancing continued. Eventually people headed to bed but there may have been some late night swimming off the side of the ship ? What an absolutely wonderful day and night. Friday, 13Aug2010: Carriacou - Sandy Island - Grenada: Up around 8am. Most of us stayed on the ship to recover and napped through the morning. I believe Bruce and Maryse were the only ones who went over to Sandy Island. After lunch we started the trip back to Grenada. On the way back the Capt. shut off the engines and we truly sailed for about 2 hours. It was absolutely amazing. Bruch continued to fish and we just hung on the back on the ship just enjoying the sail. Brandon made his special "drink" for Snacks (think pina colada). Just to let you know how much fun we had, we were planning our next trip before we even docked and were e-mailing Island Windjammers about available dates. We ended up docking in Grenada about 5:30-6pm. Once docked, we cleaned up and proceeded with our "Pirate themed" night; which included eye patches, bandanas and tattoos. We did a quick check out with Natalie to settle our ship accounts and they provided us with a map of our weeks sail with the route plotted and signatures from all the crew. We had a nice Captains' dinner and all the crew came out so we could take pictures with them. We eventually ended up drinking (trying to finish off the booze we brought aboard) and playing stupid drinking games Saturday, 14Aug2010: Grenada: Awoke around 7:15am to see Kim off as she had an early flight. After breakfast, packed and slowly got ready to leave the ship (you have until noon). Spent the morning on the ship and explored the marina. Bentley picked us up at noon and took us to the Allamanda. Checked in then headed across the street for pizza. We headed to Garfield's Beach Bar around 5pm for a few final beers and then meet at 7pm for Dinner. We had a nice time chatting about the week and re-living all the wonderful times we had. Many Rum Swizzles were consumed (again). Left around 11pm but don't think I ended up in bed until 2am. Sunday, 15Aug2010: Travel Day: Up at 4:30am for Taxi came at 5AM for a 6:55 am flight. GND to SNJ to MIA to RDU. All I can say is WOW, what an absolutely fantastic vacation and I can't wait to be back on the Diamant. I am 99% certain that this will be a "yearly" pilgrimage for me and many of my friends. I cannot say enough positive things about Island Windjammers. If you are looking for a truly relaxing, unique, no frills vacation to small ports that those big "foo foo" ships could never get to, this is the trip for you. It does not matter if your single, a couple, going with friends, or going by yourself - you will have a wonderful time. Just be open to adventure and making your own fun! If there is something you want to do ask and the crew will do their best to accommodate you. When I got back home I made a positive vs. negative list and the positive list had about 12 items and there was only 1 suggestion (not really a negative). The ship is beautiful, well maintained, with a great crew. The individual room air conditioning is a bonus as well as the provided cabin water bottles. Ice was always available along with fresh water. Snorkel gear is included along with unlimited filtered water, sodas, juices, select beers and a house red and white wine. Fare also included crew tip (but I left more because they so deserved it), the night on board prior to sailing, and all port charges. This was a great intimate experience with a small passenger group for an amazing price. The captain was very flexible and willing to change plans (within reason if all agreed). It was very nice being docked on arrival and departure. I heard rumors that more sails were going to be added and that air conditioning was being considered for the indoor saloon area (this was my one suggestion). I would not hesitate in recommending this vacation to anyone with an adventurous, laid back soul. Get a couple of friends (or family) together and book tomorrow at www.islandwindjammers.com. Read Less
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