Windjammer Cruises

Old Jul 8th, 2004, 04:31 PM
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Windjammer Cruises

Has anyone gone on a Windjammer Cruise? A friend and I are looking to go on a sailing vacation in September and are considering Windjammer.
wander365 is offline  
Old Jul 13th, 2004, 02:33 PM
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I too would be interested in first-hand experiences with a Windjammer cruise. What was the atmosphere like? How was the food? How were prices on the non-included items (like bottled water, beer, etc...)? Did you have enough time to explore the islands on the itinerary? How small were the rooms/bathrooms? Would you recommend for first-time cruisers?
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Old Jul 15th, 2004, 11:19 AM
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I ahve been on 3 Windjammer cruises (very definately hooked) and am planning my 4th one next year.

Windjammer ships are sailing ships that hold around 120 people on average. It is just the opposite of a big cruises ship. The atmosphere is very laid back and and most people don't even put on shoes until it's tiime to go ashore. You really do get to know just about everybody on board including the captian and crew. Heck, the crew sometimes parties with you on shore when they are off duty.

The food is OK nothing gourmet or grand. Seating is open with two seatings for dinner. The last night is the captains dinner where they get a little special. GEnerally you have two choices for main entree and they can make special arrangments for special diets.

When you want to boy something at the bar or bottled water you pay $10 and get a dabloon that they punch for a drink i.e. 6 punches for a mud slide. I think the price per drink is quite reasonable myself. YOu can also prebook excursions and rent snorkel gear form them.

the best thing about Windjammer is that the ships are small and can go into ports the biggies can't get too. You usually sail at night and arrive by breakfast time. After breakfast there is storytime where the captain tells you all about the island you ar evisiting for the day and givieng you advice about what you can do and what should be avoided. You usually set sail around 11 ish at night. It is so great ot have literally all day and most of the evening on the island. At 5ish there are the traditions sum swizzles and as the week goes on they get stronger

You use the cabins to change clothes and maybe sleep in so they are very small. Lots of people put out a raft and sleep on top deckunter the stairs. The bathroom consits of the toilet, sink and shower all in one tiney room. The toilet paper us hung up high above the shower head so it does not get wet. Keep in mind when you ar eusing the facilities that the ships does heel some and you will feel the movement.

If you want something out of the ordinary, low key and intimate where dressingup is puttting on a clean tshirt and shaving and are not prone to extreme sea sickness then it is a wonderful expereience and the crew becomes family and you keep in touch with them and some of your fellow crew memebers. My girlfriend who went with me on my first cruise met her husband on that cruise!

Feel fre to email me more specific questions [email protected]

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Old Jul 25th, 2004, 07:09 AM
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I've spent 15 weeks on Windjammer and continue to sail every other year for two weeks on Mandalay. It can be the most relaxing vacation you've ever taken - no phone, TV, radio or newspaper (unless you're obsessed and seek one out on one of the islands). You make your own good time - some stay up late and close the bar, some turn in early and see the sun come up. Don't go expecting aerobics on the Lido deck or ice sculptures with every meal. This is a laid back, nobody cares what you're wearing or what you do for work, kind of cruise. Lots of beach and island time - or just swim off the side of the ship if going to shore requires too much work (sometimes rum the night before has something to do with that!). As the last poster mentioned, you really get to know your fellow passengers - I still sail with people I met 10 years ago. Be advised, September is hurricane season and you may encounter seas a bit rougher than other times of the year. I'm happy to answer any questions.
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Old Jul 25th, 2004, 10:39 AM
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I too have enjoyed Windjammer and not much more to add from what others have said. It is a very relaxing, low key experience and your fellow passengers feel like family after a short time. I do wish that it was completely all inclusive and I've made that recommendation as have others. It is a fun experience that everyone should experience at least once for themselves. It is not quite the cruise experience that is my very favorite....but it sure is close! You will have a great time!
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Old Aug 6th, 2004, 11:41 AM
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You either love them or hate them. I did one and won't likely do another. Now I love small ships (I'm headed for my 3rd Clipper Cruise) and I don't need a casino or entertainment etc, but there was just no escape on this ship for quiet or privacy. Now - I did go on a singles trip which may have made the situation worse, but the party went on all night every night and no room was far enough away from the noise. The cabins (we were on the Polynesian) were TINY. I loved the daytime in the little small ports of the BVI but confined to that ship in the evening with the revelery inescapable was more than I could take.
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Old Aug 6th, 2004, 12:21 PM
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Tigerhawk - I think I have become hooked on Clipper also. I did a S.P. cruise last November and am doing another one in September. Which have you done and which one are you going on?
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Old Aug 11th, 2004, 02:32 PM
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Poly is the party ship and the singles' cruises are a lot wilder than the regular cruises.
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Old Feb 21st, 2005, 06:07 AM
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What are the ages of the people on the ship (not a singles cruise) my wifa and I are late 20s early 30s.
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Old Feb 21st, 2005, 11:10 AM
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take a look at and we love the royal clipper. New, small, excellent food......not roughing it at all.
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Old Feb 21st, 2005, 11:23 AM
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Just wanted to say great post! One of the best-written I've seen--just forwarded it to a friend of mine who is considering WJ.

Thanks for taking the time.
triathlete is offline  
Old Feb 23rd, 2005, 03:54 PM
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From the other posters' comments, it looks like little has changed on the Windjammer cruises. We went on one 20 years ago.
Atmosphere: laid back. We steered the ship, hoisted the sails, and then just laid on deck. Some slept on deck at night too.
Itinerary: Ours was to visit a different island a day. Most were uninhabited (we snorkeled in the lagoons). One had a lighthouse keeper and his dog. One had a population of about 100 people.
Food: Whatever the chef, a crew member, or anyone caught off the stern of the ship was part of dinner.
Rooms: Very small. Bunkbeds. Just enough room to turn around in so don't bring large suitcases.
Bathrooms as described.
However, just remember your timing. September is hurricane season.
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Old Mar 1st, 2005, 08:23 AM
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It seems you all are talking about Windjamming in the warmer part of the world. I happen to be a fan of the Maine Windjammer fleet, especially the Schooner J&E Riggin. The Captains are warm and inviting, the food delightful, the scenery breathtaking and beautiful. It was the experience of a lifetime being able to participate in furling the sails, hoisting the anchor, steering the ship and helping out in the galley. The cost was afordable and included all meals and lodging of course. We anchored every evening for dinner and could take the small peapod boat out to fish, swim, or ashore to do some shopping in little fishing villages. One night we did an old fashion lobster back complete with all you can eat lobster, clams, corn and all the fixings. We went on a 6 day trip and it was barely long enough. We are planning another trip for this year and plan on going back again and again. I would recomend a windjammer trip on the J&E Riggin to anyone that was to get away from todays technology and get back to the basics of it!
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Old Mar 2nd, 2005, 02:43 PM
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I love the feedback, but can anyone recommend the best ship in their fleet and why? It would add to this post and I have considered a Windjammer, but can't decide which ship to take.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2005, 04:37 PM
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'Best Ship' is a hard one. It depends on what you're looking for. Check out the website. I haven't looked at it lately but they used to do a pretty good job of describing the islands and the activities on the various itineraries. Legacy is the more modern ship with amenities the others lack - like deck chairs and bar stools. Polynesia is the party ship and caters to the singles crowd. Yankee Clipper is the best sailer if you're looking for a real sailing experience and sails the beautiful Grenadines. We love the two week Antigua to Grenada trip on Mandalay and so are partial to her.
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Old Mar 10th, 2005, 06:21 AM
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I concur with the above.

I will have to try one of the Maine Windjammers. They sound like fun.

What is the "Best Ship"? That, is not an easy question. "Best" needs to be clarified. Best at ____.

If you talk to any Jammers, they will have there one ship that they are loyal to. It could be because of the captain, the crew, the itinary or all of the above, and than some.

My ship happens to be the Poly. The Poly is know as a "Party" ship but that is not always true. I have been on singles cruises that were tame compared to the week before or the week after. It just depends. You never know.

What I would recommend to wtggirl and others is go to the Windjammer site and look at the destinations. They do a pretty good job of breaking down the week.

Once you have some idea on where you want to go or do, find out what ship it is. The ships don't necessarily do one route, they change.

And than, after you have some idea of what you are looking for go to and click on the Flotilla, Happy hunting.


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Old Apr 28th, 2005, 05:00 AM
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I have gone on windjammer trips mostly up in Maine, Grace Bailey,2001 Isaac H Evans, 2003-04 and Mystic Whaler in Chesapeake Bay 2002. I guess I can say they are a really great value you get to see the coast without having to go through the time and trouble of driving, the food has always been very good, there's something special about food in the outdoors and of course I have met some wonderful people, both fellow passengers and crew. To Fairwinds I am going to be sailing on the J&E Riggin this fall Sept 19-24 anything I should know
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