anyone been on a Windjammer cruise? that's one of those sail ships.

edprush

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Sep 18, 2000
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I hear you get to a lot more off-the-beaten-path islands by taking these smaller ships.
 

edprush

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Sep 18, 2000
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Anyone been on any cruise?

How was it?

Where did you go and which cruiseline?
 

glareman

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Apr 28, 2003
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A few years ago my wife and I went on a Windjammer cruise in the British Virgin Islands. We started on Tortola and went to a lot of islands that the "Big Boats" can't get into. It was a really relaxing, laid back vacation. They sail a lot at night, so you can snorkel, scuba, para-sail or just chill during the day. Lots of optional activities and an inexpensive bar. The food is excellent ( Lots of fruit and local island dishes ), but don't expect to get the lavish meals that the big cruise lines offer. You will also find that the cost is really reasonable http://www.windjammer.com We intend to do it again soon!
 

edprush

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glareman, what time of the year did you go? I am giving strong consideration to June of this year.
 

glareman

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We went at the beginning of January. Unless it's during hurricane season, I think any time of the year would be fine!
 

edprush

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which vessel were you on? I'm looking at sailing on the Polynesia.

How were the cabins?
 

BornStar

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Oct 30, 2001
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My grandparents go at least once a month on the American Eagle that sails out of Maine. They love it (as is evidenced by the fact they've probably been more than 10 times). I'm pretty sure that they've actually been on more Windjammers than big boat cruises which I think think speaks very highly for them. I'm not sure exactly where theirs stops but I was able to get a really nice tour of the vessel a couple of years back. The living quarters seemed pretty cramped but the point of one of those boats isn't to spend time in your room.

I've been on two cruises myself; one Princess and one Royal Caribbean. Both stopped at a private beach or island (Princess stopped at Princess Cays, a private island in the Bahamas and Royal Caribbean stopped at some private beach on Haiti) and then Jamaica, Grand Cayman and Cozumel. The Royal Caribbean boat crashed (!!!) at Cozumel, knocking out one of the drive shafts (they have back up engines, but no backup shafts) so we had to limp home on one prop. We missed our flight home and things just sort of went down hill from there. I personally preferred Princess to the Royal Caribbean but the Princess boat we were on was much newer.

Um, yeah. There's a lot of information there that you didn't ask for, but let me know if you have any other questions.
 

Dominionion

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Dec 12, 2001
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We went some years ago on the Mandalay. I higher recomend the Mandaley over the other boats as its a bit smaller and personable. The cabin was very nice, we paid a little for a nicer/larger cabin on the main deck( I'd recommend getting the most cabin you can aford ). The Mandalay had maybe 60 passengers and we went places the larger cruise ships didn't go and with only 60 people, when we hit an island it wasn't like a cruise ship invasion with a 1000+ storming the beach! Also, with the Mandalay you'll get more of a 'sailing' feel then say the larger Polynesia. The Madalay has some structure to the cruise( we'll be at this island tomorrow and the next day we'll stop at... etc. etc.), but far less than the big cruise ships.

The next time we went back we chartered our own 50ft sailboat with captain and cook. That was total freedom. We went where we wanted, when we wanted... the only rule was we had to be at the plane on a certain date ;-) The private boat wasn't that more expensive.

Anyway, have fun!
 

edprush

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Sep 18, 2000
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Originally posted by: Dominionion
We went some years ago on the Mandalay. I higher recomend the Mandaley over the other boats as its a bit smaller and personable. The cabin was very nice, we paid a little for a nicer/larger cabin on the main deck( I'd recommend getting the most cabin you can aford ). The Mandalay had maybe 60 passengers and we went places the larger cruise ships didn't go and with only 60 people, when we hit an island it wasn't like a cruise ship invasion with a 1000+ storming the beach! Also, with the Mandalay you'll get more of a 'sailing' feel then say the larger Polynesia. The Madalay has some structure to the cruise( we'll be at this island tomorrow and the next day we'll stop at... etc. etc.), but far less than the big cruise ships.

The next time we went back we chartered our own 50ft sailboat with captain and cook. That was total freedom. We went where we wanted, when we wanted... the only rule was we had to be at the plane on a certain date ;-) The private boat wasn't that more expensive.

Anyway, have fun!


WOW, a chartered sailboat huh? So this was an overnight trip too? Do you know a link to the site from which you chartered the trip?

That sounds incredible. I would have assumed it would cost at least 4x more than just regular Windjammer cruise.
 

glareman

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Apr 28, 2003
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Originally posted by: edprush
which vessel were you on? I'm looking at sailing on the Polynesia.

How were the cabins?

We sailed on the Flying Cloud ( She doesn't seem to be in the fleet anymore ) The cabins were small but the beds were comfortable. Nobody spent a lot of time in their cabins . Enjoy the fresh air and sun! Take a lot of good sunscreen (Don't forget the feet!) If you go to the BVI, insects are almost nonexistant so I wouldn't worry about repellant. Shorts and T-shirts, or bathing suits are the uniform of the day.
 

Jzero

Lifer
Oct 10, 1999
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Originally posted by: Dominionion
We went some years ago on the Mandalay. I higher recomend the Mandaley over the other boats as its a bit smaller and personable. The cabin was very nice, we paid a little for a nicer/larger cabin on the main deck( I'd recommend getting the most cabin you can aford ). The Mandalay had maybe 60 passengers and we went places the larger cruise ships didn't go and with only 60 people, when we hit an island it wasn't like a cruise ship invasion with a 1000+ storming the beach! Also, with the Mandalay you'll get more of a 'sailing' feel then say the larger Polynesia. The Madalay has some structure to the cruise( we'll be at this island tomorrow and the next day we'll stop at... etc. etc.), but far less than the big cruise ships.

The next time we went back we chartered our own 50ft sailboat with captain and cook. That was total freedom. We went where we wanted, when we wanted... the only rule was we had to be at the plane on a certain date ;-) The private boat wasn't that more expensive.

Anyway, have fun!

What kind of cost, and how did you do this? I love sailing and we are thinking of going on a cruise for our honeymoon....this would be a good marriage of the two (pun intended).

 

Kelemvor

Lifer
May 23, 2002
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Group of friends of ours go on those cWindjammer ruises like every other year and absolutely love them. Big drunken party, lots of sun and sand, etc. They all have a ball. We'd go too if we could afford it. I've never heard anything bad about them at all...
 

RaiseUp

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Dec 7, 2002
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I guess we are going on a cruise on a private boat in the summer . I got back from a cruise on the Explorer of the Seas about 3 wks. ago. Then we are going on the Carnival Glory. Been on alot of Royal Carribean cruises and Carnival ones.
 

Dominionion

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Dec 12, 2001
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Originally posted by: edprush
Originally posted by: Dominionion
We went some years ago on the Mandalay. I higher recomend the Mandaley over the other boats as its a bit smaller and personable. The cabin was very nice, we paid a little for a nicer/larger cabin on the main deck( I'd recommend getting the most cabin you can aford ). The Mandalay had maybe 60 passengers and we went places the larger cruise ships didn't go and with only 60 people, when we hit an island it wasn't like a cruise ship invasion with a 1000+ storming the beach! Also, with the Mandalay you'll get more of a 'sailing' feel then say the larger Polynesia. The Madalay has some structure to the cruise( we'll be at this island tomorrow and the next day we'll stop at... etc. etc.), but far less than the big cruise ships.

The next time we went back we chartered our own 50ft sailboat with captain and cook. That was total freedom. We went where we wanted, when we wanted... the only rule was we had to be at the plane on a certain date ;-) The private boat wasn't that more expensive.

Anyway, have fun!


WOW, a chartered sailboat huh? So this was an overnight trip too? Do you know a link to the site from which you chartered the trip?

That sounds incredible. I would have assumed it would cost at least 4x more than just regular Windjammer cruise.

I did some checking, the gap in pricing has gotten much greater since we went. We went on the Mandalay for two weeks at ( I think ) 1K each(2K total). The next time was a crewed 50ft sail boat for two weeks at 4K total. Prices look higher now, but you can always save going in the offseason(we did). And the price difference is worth it, the captain and cook only care about two people, you and your wife/GF. We'd find a place we liked and tell the captain we wanted to stay here a couple of days, and we did. We set the menus. We were King and Queen =-)

But the Mandalay was lots of fun too, but it was us and 60 other people( still way better than 1000+ shipmates )...

So my ten cents would be... If you can't afford a crewed charter, go Windjammer. Check out the pictures on their site, you can kind of get a feel for which ships are true Sailing ships and which are heavier Sail/Powered ships( assuming you are after the sailing experience ). The Mandalay is a true Sailer and more intimate. But you'll have fun no matter what you choose!

Here's a site for charters. The site we used is no longer around, but this one was started by one of the founders. Theres lots of other sites too. But look at some of the boats and pictures. The difference between a crewed charter and a Windjammer is like the difference between a Windjammer and one of the big cruise ships.

Crewed Charters

 

Dominionion

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Dec 12, 2001
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Originally posted by: Jzero
Originally posted by: Dominionion
We went some years ago on the Mandalay. I higher recomend the Mandaley over the other boats as its a bit smaller and personable. The cabin was very nice, we paid a little for a nicer/larger cabin on the main deck( I'd recommend getting the most cabin you can aford ). The Mandalay had maybe 60 passengers and we went places the larger cruise ships didn't go and with only 60 people, when we hit an island it wasn't like a cruise ship invasion with a 1000+ storming the beach! Also, with the Mandalay you'll get more of a 'sailing' feel then say the larger Polynesia. The Madalay has some structure to the cruise( we'll be at this island tomorrow and the next day we'll stop at... etc. etc.), but far less than the big cruise ships.

The next time we went back we chartered our own 50ft sailboat with captain and cook. That was total freedom. We went where we wanted, when we wanted... the only rule was we had to be at the plane on a certain date ;-) The private boat wasn't that more expensive.

Anyway, have fun!

What kind of cost, and how did you do this? I love sailing and we are thinking of going on a cruise for our honeymoon....this would be a good marriage of the two (pun intended).

For an idea on cost see my link in the post above. Remember you can save by going off season. I contacted a Yacht Charter company and told them were I wanted to go( Windward Islands) for how long(2 weeks) and what size boat we wanted(50'). They sent me a bunch of pamplets(pictures, menus, history, etc.) and we picked a boat. Normally a 50' boat would be for 4 people(another way to save money), but we wanted room. We flew to Martinque and the captain met us in the lobby of a big French Hotel. He took our bags and we walked on to the beach past all these stairing people. At the water we jumped in a dingy and headed out into the bay. We got to the boat and the cook had champaign ready for us and Captain said"so, what do you want to do?" We said in two weeks we need to catch a plane in Granada, we want to revisit some spots from our Windjammer cruise... the rest, we'll just wing it!" ;-) Some days we'd have breakfast at one island, lunch at another and dinner at a third. We came accross a big sandy bay surrounded by small islands and a big reef, we spent three days there. During that time a big cruise ship and the masts of the Polynesia could be seen on the far side of the islands sheltering the bay, but they couldn't get in and didn't stop to unload their hordes ;-)

The key is that everything was up to us, the Captain and cook would just make it happen. The charter company made all the arrangements for us. We just enjoyed =-)
 

edprush

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Sep 18, 2000
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Originally posted by: RaiseUp
I guess we are going on a cruise on a private boat in the summer . I got back from a cruise on the Explorer of the Seas about 3 wks. ago. Then we are going on the Carnival Glory. Been on alot of Royal Carribean cruises and Carnival ones.

Which ship and itinerary was your favorite?


 

iamwiz82

Lifer
Jan 10, 2001
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The atmosphere on the Windjammer cruises is not for me, personally. I have been on Royal Carribean before and had a good time, but next time we will go for Celebrity.
 

Ogg

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Sep 5, 2003
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Sounds great and much more appealing to me than having another 1000 crazies around me.....
Ill start saving money for it now but what about PIRATES? :argh;:shocked: