WindJammer Cruises- do you recommend?

Jul 21st, 1999, 04:36 AM
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WindJammer Cruises- do you recommend?

My husband and I are contemplating taking a windjammer barefoot cruise. If you have been on one, please post your experience to help us decide. Thanks!
Jul 21st, 1999, 03:46 PM
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I took one at Thanksgiving and probably won't do it again. I think you either love them or hate them - nothing in between. It was a singles trip, and maybe just a regular week would be better. As a seasoned Caribbean traveler, I thought the help provided by the cruiseline for your transportation down to the ship was POOR. The airfare is a good deal, but no one meets your plane, you have to get your own taxi to the ship, and it took close to 2 hours standing in the heat in traveling clothes to check in on board. Had I not met another gal from my ship in San Juan, I'm sure she would have missed the LIAT flight to BVI and would have missed the ship. WJ does not apparently hire land-based personnel to meet and greet airplanes bringing passengers, unlike every other cruise line I have ever sailed. I found this annoying and cheap, since the cruise isn't really any cheaper than the bigger lines that do meet you at the airport.

Basically, on WJ you need to be prepared to entertain yourself. There are no pools, no stageshows, no library or gameroom and just 1 bar. There is no place to escape the constant commotion and the cabins are TINY, even by cruiseship standards-you probably have closets at home bigger than the standard cabins. You will get to see places that no big cruiseship will go and this is great, but when I want a small ship, I'll stick to Clipper Cruise Line. For more positive reviews, see if the WJ bulletin board is still functioning at - the BB shut down for awhile last year after the Fantome sank in Hurricane Mitch [another story for another time].
Jul 21st, 1999, 04:32 PM
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If you are considering "Barefoot" as an alternative to sailing on a larger cruise ship, you may consider Windstar cruises...simply the best! I have been on two large ships and have decided that I do not like them (big, boring buckets in my opinion...great if you're over 60)

However, Windstar was another story. As I recall it, our ship had 165 passengers and 80 crew. Intimate and powered by engines and a big sailboat. Also, the food puts the big buckets to shame, unless you enjoy buffets of course.

I know they have some decent deals now, they just don't do Tahiti anymore...a shame...that trip is the one I'll always remember.

Good luck!
Jul 22nd, 1999, 07:46 AM
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Apparently the WJ Bulletin Board is no more - I just checked into the site and the BB is gone. That's too bad - it was a very active BB.

Try posting this question on the Cruises area here at Fodors-you might pick up some additional opinions
Jul 22nd, 1999, 07:55 AM
K Noel
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Most of the "regulars" who used to post on the old BB are now at:
this is a very active BB with lots of WJ information. I went on a WJ trip two years ago (Yankee Clipper) and had a great time most of the time. Unlike one of the other posters, I could have done without the "entertainment", which was not for me. I felt bad for people on boats enjoying a quiet harbor when we sailed in and a band came aboard, making all kinds of racket! The sailing was fun, although there are engine sounds all the time, and the islands we visited were quiet, friendly, and not touristy. Do your research to see if WJ is for you.
Jul 22nd, 1999, 09:03 AM
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I have been on 5 Windjammers and have another booked for next spring. I think they are a lot of fun and we like the casual atmosphere.

As far as WJ not providing transportation from the airport or having someone meet you, we have never found it to be a problem to hail a cab and have it take us to the dock.

I agree with K. Noel, I am tired of the crab races, but it is a WJ staple. There isn't a lot of planned on board activity, but that is the idea. There isn't someone bugging you to play shuffleboard etc. 24/7.

The food has always been good and the cabins, tho small, were spotless. Some of the standard cabins are larger than others and it might be worth an extra $100 to get a deck cabin. We just sailed on Royal Caribbean and the cabin there was as small as the ones we had on WJ.

Gee, I think I answered your post on another board. LOL I guess we both get around! Like I said, email any questions.
Jul 23rd, 1999, 11:34 AM
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My wife and I were on the newest ship, the Legacy, April 98. Nothing like a big cruise ship. The food is okay, nothing special, but decent. There is little in the way of entertainment on board, except perhaps parties among the 100 or so passengers. It is a great way to focus on the islands you are visiting, without disembarking with 2000 other passengers. Plus they tend to dock at less travelled ports. For this reason I would recommend an intinerary in the virgin islands, because there is almost no time "at sea" so you won't be bored on the ship.
We had a good time, but I don't think I would do it again, preferring to fly directly to the islands and stay for longer periods. Particularly the Virgin Islands, where you can island hop relatively easily.
Jul 25th, 1999, 03:59 PM
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I can strongly recommend Windjammer, but the Legacy would be my last choice. It was the last one we did and if would have been our first, it would have been our last.

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