3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
I booked two back to back cruises to different areas, it wasn't until I was on the second trip that I was told the itinerary had changed and we were going back to do the same itinerary in which I had just finished, no one from the ... Read More
I booked two back to back cruises to different areas, it wasn't until I was on the second trip that I was told the itinerary had changed and we were going back to do the same itinerary in which I had just finished, no one from the company had warned me otherwise I would have chosen something different or cancelled one of them. When I contacted the head office they apologised and offered me a free 6 day cruise to which I asked for the cost equiverlent instead as I wasn't going to be in the Caribbean again plus the wasted 6 days repeating everything again. They didn't want to do that and their response was a letter reminding me about their Small Print that says they have the right to substitute any scheduled sailings and itineraries without notice, a great cop out and an extremely bad way to treat customers. After talking to some of the other guests about it I found out I wasn't the only one unhappy with their customer service treatment from head office and they wouldn't be travelling with them again. I have travelled exstensively for many year to over 90 countries and work in tourism as a Guide and also spent 10 selling trips just like this and never had I had or heard of such bad service. Air con didn't work for a while in some of the rooms so 2 of us had to sleep in the hallway. average food , horrible coffee and undrinkable wine. There are lots of other companies out there to choose from. The ship staff were fantastic Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2015
I have an extensive history of traveling to many countries around the world for over the past 40 years. I have taken a couple of cruises prior to this trip. Most notably I went to the Galapagos islands which was incredible and a fantastic ... Read More
I have an extensive history of traveling to many countries around the world for over the past 40 years. I have taken a couple of cruises prior to this trip. Most notably I went to the Galapagos islands which was incredible and a fantastic experience. I have always been fascinated by 19th century sailing ship stories such as Joshua Slocum's tale of Sailing Alone Around the World, 1898. We decided to go on a Windjammer tour because we wanted to experience the feeling of sailing a schooner. I was told that this was a sailing vessel and that we would participate in working the sails. The Sagita which is sold as a motorized sailing vessel. I was told the motors would only be engaged when the winds failed. Windjammer arranged a hotel at the Marigold Hotel the day before our department. They told us it would be only a five minute taxi to the ship. As it turned out the Marigold Hotel was on the other side of the island and was an hour drive to Rodney Bay which unnecessarily cost us an additional $45. We paid for transfers to and from the ship in advance and never told to expect this. I'd like to begin by stating some of the positive facts of this trip. First, excluding the captains, The entire crew was friendly and helpful and generally a pleasure to be with. The chef, Lenny, was excellent. I have several food allergies and he went above and beyond to ensure that the food I ate met my dietary restrictions. I am very grateful to Lenny. Every day we had a cocktail hour and without exception Lenny provided us with new and interesting hors d'oeuvres and cocktails The cabins were clean and met my basic requirements. Onboard there were sufficient deck chairs for us to enjoy the views and relax. Fortunately, the Caribbean is so beautiful that no matter how much you mismanage a voyage you can't help enjoy the environment. I will now detail the facts of the Sagitta that caused such distress. The source of this information I quote from the mouth of Captain Stefan, a German man from the island of Dominica. I will never understand why he told me this sensitive and damaging information to me while giving us a tour of the bridge. Captains Stefan claims to have been Captain on 35 National Geographic ships to Antarctica. The first shocking surprise was Captain Stefan revealing the true history of the Sagitta. Stefan told us the Sagitta was never built as a sailing vessel. He told me that the hull was not even built in the shape of a sailing vessel. I had wondered and asked why were the sails never being raised. He told me that the Sagitta could not sail and that they did not even have adequate sails on board even if they wanted to sail. According to Stefhan, the ship was built as a laundry boat for the Navy. This gives a whole new meaning to the expression that we were sailing on a tub,pardon the bad pun. I asked Crystal, the tour guide, why the sails were not raised when I was told to wind was only 10 kn and her feeble excuse was the winds were too strong and they would tear the sails apart. After Captain's revelations I learned the real reason for their not being raised. Captain Stefan also told me that the masts we're not capable of holding sails The purpose was only decorative and to give the impression that the ship was meant for sailing. The cruise did not follow the stated itinerary. We ended up spending two days in Dominica, which according Frommer's, which I found on the ship, Dominca is the worst island in the Caribbean and a must to avoid. The entire beach was literally covered with broken glass. There were no hotels, bars or any facilities and I wonder why they chose two days of my vacation to spend there when there were so many other wonderful choices which they didn't take us to, including Guadalupe which we were supposed to go to. I wondered if the reason for this was that Captain Stefan was from Dominica. In conclusion, you cannot plan a more awful cruise even if you decided to sail to Gilligans Island and end up on a deserted island. i'm writing this review as a public service to all prospective future clients of Windjammer. Be wary of squandering your hard earned vacation days and money with a company that so flagrantly misrepresents in their marketing material who they really are and what they offer. In my opinion, this is shameful behavior. Community Editor's Note: The following statement was provided to us by the management of Island Windjammers and appears in its unedited entirety: "Sagitta is a motorsailer, as she is clearly described on our website, and as is carefully explained in our FAQ's. Island Windjammers does not book hotels on behalf of our guests, but does provide links on request to select properties which offer discounts to Island Windjammers guests. The planning information given to all guests at the time of booking states that IWJ vessels in St Lucia will be berthed at Rodney Bay until December 2015, at which time they will relocate to Marigot Bay". Read Less
Sail Date: February 2015
This company thinks it's like the old Windjammer Barefoot cruises but falls short in a lot of ways. The service was okay but the crew didn't go the extra mile when it comes to customers needs coming first. I stayed for two weeks ... Read More
This company thinks it's like the old Windjammer Barefoot cruises but falls short in a lot of ways. The service was okay but the crew didn't go the extra mile when it comes to customers needs coming first. I stayed for two weeks which was a mistake. I knew I would be on my own for the Saturday night I was to stay on the ship. Not one of the crew ever asked if I needed anything and no one ever offered me a cup of coffee or a piece of toast. I was totally ignored as if I didn't exist there. For what I paid for the total vacation I should have been offered a coke, snack, or a free tee shirt for staying over for two weeks. Nothing was offered. The only person who was friendly and accommodating was Eric, a white man from California. He made it a point to visit with the guests and get to know everyone, he made the trip interesting.  The food was good but served cold. Unfortunately it was terribly windy but that didn't stop the crew from serving lunch and dinner on the back of the ship. The lettuce was flying off the tables, glasses were tipping over, food was cold and I complained but they still served the meals back there. You would think that customers come first and their comfort but, no, that didn't happen. I had to take my food downstairs to eat while some of it was still warm. In Anguilla if you wanted to go to the famous Shoul Beach there was a charge. Lunch was warm chicken wraps and some oranges in a cooler that wasn't cooled. This should have been included in the cruise. I booked a shared cabin and had a roommate. The second week there was an empty cabin. They should have offered one of us the other empty cabin so we could have some privacy but no one said anything. Other passengers who've never been on a boat like this might think it was excellent but it really needs some big changes. I won't take another vacation with this company, they failed. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2015
The first problem we encountered was the requested overnight stay in St. Lucia prior to the start of the cruise. We chose Marigot Bay Beach Club because it looked nice to us and it was stated on the website that "The resort is ... Read More
The first problem we encountered was the requested overnight stay in St. Lucia prior to the start of the cruise. We chose Marigot Bay Beach Club because it looked nice to us and it was stated on the website that "The resort is located on the water's edge on the north side of Marigot Bay, just a few steps away from the marina where you'll be joining your ship". What you failed to tell us is that it is 45 MINUTES from Rodney Bay where we were to join the ship. It also resulted in a $45 cab ride! When we brought this up with Crystal, the operations person on Sagitta, she said it is "offered as an alternative to those wanting to see other areas around St. Lucia". If that is the case then Island Windjammer must be truthful about where it is. This was not the way to start our vacation and I found it very disconcerting. (Since writing to the company regarding this, additional wording has been added to the Island Windjammer website) I was also disappointed because there was little or no communication prior to travel from Island Windjammer. When we asked for pre-cruise information we were told to just print it out. No itinerary was given prior to the cruise, or even when we boarded, Why is that? When asked we were given vague answers. Shipping lanes, night sailing, weather, - that was it. No explanations. No clear answers. It appeared that Dominica was to be our first stop. We were all surpised that a lady we boarded with the day before had already left the cruise! The rough overnight swells clearly were not for her. Dominica was a total let down. Ugly beach with broken glass everywhere from beer bottles. No facilities. The town itself was dreadful. No restaurants, no tourist shops - nothing. Why on earth did we spend 2 days there? Also we did not go to Guadeloupe although the statements on your website would infer that we were to go there in addition to Iles de Saintes. Again, why? Martinique had beautiful beaches that I would have loved to have stayed longer on but we wasted a whole morning being dropped in Fort De France with it's mediocre shops and not much else. After an hour we waited to return to the ship. The captain (Deylan)was returning on the same dinghy too. We told him there was nothing interesting to do there and his response was "there are 150,000 people there and you can't find anything to do" That was rude an not very professional. Then again he was still in his twenties. It turns out we didn't even sail. The sails we discovered were for cosmetic purposes only as confirmed by a new, soon-to-be captain of Windjammer who joined us from Domenica (where he lived - Ah, now I get it, that's why we spent 2 days there unnecessarily). The S.V. Sagitta, it was shared with us by Stefan (the new-soon-to-be captain for Windjammer), was built in 1961 as a laundry ship for the navy. It was never meant to be a sailing ship and the shape of the hull proves it. Any romantic notions I had of a beautiful cruise on a sailing vessel just sank to the bottom of the ocean once he shared that information. I could not tell if he wanted to give us the shock value of that statement or whether he was secretly regarding us as stupid for booking the trip in the first place. Regardless, I did not think it was a very smart statement to be making about your future employer's business. I guess he'll find out. The few highlights that are in Windjammer's favor - The cabins, although small, were very clean everyday and housekeeping was good. Daily Happy Hour was a pleasant experience and everyone looked forward to it and the great food and drink surprises. Chef Lenny was by far the biggest asset to the company. The food was creative and excellent and his attention to special food requests due to allergies makes him shine even more. He truly cared for the comfort of the passengers. The deck hands, 1st mate, the servers etc. all get top marks from me for their hospitality. However, I found the young captain (Deylan) to be a little arrogant and definitely unfriendly. He showed no interest in how anyone was feeling and how we might be enjoying ourselves. In fact he liked to bark orders rather than discuss situations at hand. Crystal was nice and upbeat and kept everyone smiling however I felt that the company could do a much better job of helping the passengers with what to do when the ship docked. Having Crystal stand there with a small foldout map and pointing to parts of it saying "you can go here or you can go there" doesn't really cut it. Most of the time it was the only map she had so when we got on land we had no clue where we were going. How about a supply of maps for each island in a welcome packet with typed up suggestions of where to go, suggested restaurants etc? Community Editor's Note: The following statement was provided to us by the management of Island Windjammers and appears in its unedited entirety: "Sagitta is a motorsailer, as she is clearly described on our website, and as is carefully explained in our FAQ's. Island Windjammers does not book hotels on behalf of our guests, but does provide links on request to select properties which offer discounts to Island Windjammers guests. The planning information given to all guests at the time of booking states that IWJ vessels in St Lucia will be berthed at Rodney Bay until December 2015, at which time they will relocate to Marigot Bay". Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2015
Just back from a week on the Sagitta so I thought I'd share some thoughts with my fellow travelers. We did the Sagitta's 6-night cruise that traveled from St. Lucia to Dominica, Iles des Saintes (part of Guadeloupe) and ... Read More
Just back from a week on the Sagitta so I thought I'd share some thoughts with my fellow travelers. We did the Sagitta's 6-night cruise that traveled from St. Lucia to Dominica, Iles des Saintes (part of Guadeloupe) and Martinique. First the good news: Island Windjammers (IWJ) rates highly on coordinating hotels, transfers, taxis, etc. They are polished at getting everybody aboard the vessel with ease and comfort. This is especially important for the Sagitta, which is too big to dock at any of the destinations; instead, the crew relies on a couple of Zodiacs for all ship to shore transportation. More good news: Chef Lenny was great at accommodating those of us with special dietary needs, including those with allergies as well as those pesky vegans. I think everyone aboard rated all three daily meals as very good or better. Another very nice aspect of this trip is a 5:00 happy hour, where drinks and punches were served alongside pizzas, grilled tuna, fruit platters, cheese platters, and a lot of other tasty finger food. In addition to Chef Lenny, most of the crew was pleasant and helpful. Operations Manager Crystal was an angel at coordinating activities and joining in the fun with the guests. Clay and Shem were great at running the Zodiacs hour after hour. The ship has an ample number of chaises and chairs for deck side lounging. Roughly half the deck is kept shaded by tarps. The fore deck is huge, with plenty of room for guests. Now some bad news: the Sagitta is not a sailing vessel. It runs under power the entire time and puts up a sail or two for cosmetic purposes only. This was a huge disappointment, as IWJ's Diamant was under full sail on many occasions when we travelled with her a couple of years ago. The itinerary is flawed. Two days are spent in Dominica, an impoverished nation with virtually no tourist infrastructure, and very little in the way of sandy beaches. While on Dominica, we did manage to do a third party tour ($60 per person) that included a cave swim, a short hike to two really awesome waterfalls, and a relatively nice snorkel. A river tour the next day was mediocre. All in all, Dominica is not worth two days out of a six day tour: we did not see a single restaurant or bar worth visiting, nor a single store that a typical tourist might want to shop in. The people of Dominica, it must be noted, were as nice as can be, especially our tour guide Josie. Another flawed part of the itinerary is spending a whole morning in Fort-de-France, an urban area of Martinique with many modest stores, a farmers market and a fort, but not very much to hook in the typical tourist. The problem with spending too much time in Dominica is that it takes time away from a two-stop visit to Ilse de Saintes, which has a very nice town, really good snorkeling, a couple of nice beaches, and amazingly beautiful bays. Ilse de Saintes deserves more time that IWJ allots to it. The problem with stopping at Fort-de-France is that it takes away a half day that could be spent at an incredible bay on the opposite side of Martinique, where we were able to spend just three hours on the beach and in the town. This other side of Martinique deserved a lot more time, as it seems everybody on board loved the beaches, the water and the turtles. A couple of us commented that we would have gladly spent the whole week on the back side of Martinique. While most transit is done at night, much of one day toward the end of the tour is wasted on the return trip to St. Lucia. We would have greatly preferred this transportation be done at night as well, as it would have allowed another half a day at Ilse de Saintes. Note also that this excursion does not allow for a stop at the main island of Guadeloupe, which seems like another flaw in the itinerary. A few more comments: 1. The Sagitta crosses several choppy channels during the trip. Sea sickness patches or pills are recommended. 2. Bring Euros for the French islands, as they do not take the US dollar. 3. The best St. Lucia hotel for this trip is the Bay Gardens Beach Resort. It is located right next to Rodney Bay, where the Sagitta anchors, and is just a two minute transfer from hotel to marina. 4. Pack lightly and casually. This is an extremely relaxed trip; no one is getting dressed up. 5. Sagitta does not have Wi-Fi but you can get a cell signal on or near every island. I'll wrap up by saying IWJ's trip to Grenada and St. Vincent was fantastic. It proves IWJ knows how to do things the right way. Hopefully IWJ can make a couple of adjustments on the St. Lucia cruise to get it up to the level it deserves. Happy Travels to All. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
My wife and I had previously sailed on "Arabella" out of St. Thomas and I thought the Island Windjammer cruise would be a similar experience. My wife opted out of the cruise and I ended up as a "Solo" in one of the 2 ... Read More
My wife and I had previously sailed on "Arabella" out of St. Thomas and I thought the Island Windjammer cruise would be a similar experience. My wife opted out of the cruise and I ended up as a "Solo" in one of the 2 Solo Cabins (12). Flew from Detroit to St. Maarten and stayed over night at the Pasanggrahan Hotel. It was dated but clean and served its purpose. For some reason the bar and restaurant were closed and I ended up at "The Green House" which was just a five minute walk away. I recommend the Green House. The bar tender was friendly and the food was great. Boarded the Sagitta at the main port dock and the adventure began. There were 23 passengers, mostly from the US, I'm Canadian (Ontario) and there was a 4 member family from Calgary. We left at about 2:00 pm and sailed over to St. Barts. Now I have my first negative observation. Island Windjammers does not really explain the itinerary very well in their webpage. I thought we would be sailing (or motoring) some place every day. That's not the case. We stayed the first 2 nights anchored in St. Barts. I have been to St. Barts several times so I was disappointed that we were there that long. So on Tuesday we sailed over to a marine reserve (Anse de Colombier). Nice beach, very secluded no chairs but your could snorkel. Pulled anchor and sailed to Nevis (part of St. Kitts). Probably I should explain that Sagitta is not really a sailing ship. It is considered a motorized yacht with sails. The captain explained that even with the sail up he could not cut the engines. He needed the engines to steer. So if you are looking for a true sailing experience, Sagitta is not it. Anchored at Nevis harbour for the night and some went ashore for tours Wednesday. I've been to Nevis so I stayed on board. We left for Pinneys Beach Nevis (just a short sail away). Pinneys is a beautiful beach with a great beach bar called Sunshines. Great drinks and beautiful sand. Wednesday night we sailed to St. Kitts and anchored in the Harbour for dinner. On Thursday, several passengers went ashore and toured or shopped. At noon we sailed to South Friars Bay to the Ship Wrecked Bar for the afternoon. We had a bbq on the beach for dinner. A good time was had by all. Pulled anchor and did a night sail to Anguilla (the other side of St. Maartens). This was rocky night in my little bunk. Woke to Sandy Ground Anguilla in the morning. Anguilla is a beautiful place and I went ashore to Sandy Ground to find Elvis's Beach Bar. It was a national holiday so it was not going to open until night time. So I found "Dads" beach bar and it was great. All (but myself and one other passenger) went to Shoal Bay which is beach lovers dream. I have been there and I wanted to explore Sandy Ground. Had a great day. Went back to Sagitta for lunch and back to Dads for the afternoon. Now here is my second negative comment. I originally booked my flight back to Detroit (from St. Maarten) for 8:40 am, thinking that would be enough time to get to airport from the cruise dock. US Air changed the flight time to 8:05 am so I emailed Island Windjammers whether that would be enough time to catch the plane. I ended up changing my flight to a later one which cost me $200.00 US. So I was rather miffed when the captain said we would be sailing to St. Maarten on the last night and spent the Friday night at the dock in St. Maarten. If I had known this I could have easily been up and made the early flight saving myself some money. Island Windjammers really needs to include the itinerary information on the web site and booking information. Knowing you are docked in St. Maarten the last night does make a difference on travel plans. So... The food was good. Crew was great. Weather was warm and the sea is relaxing. By the Way: The solo cabins are SMALL. but there was a lounge outside the 2 solo's which came in really handy. Except for the travel glitches, I did enjoy the Sagitta. Would I do it again? Probably not. My wife really likes the Windstar Cruises for sailing, which are about the same cost and a great deal less "rustic".   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
I was on the same cruise as "huge world wide traveler" and had an entirely different experience. It was TERRIFIC !! The captain altered the itinerary to avoid rain and stormy weather. Instead of sailing north right away he ... Read More
I was on the same cruise as "huge world wide traveler" and had an entirely different experience. It was TERRIFIC !! The captain altered the itinerary to avoid rain and stormy weather. Instead of sailing north right away he headed south for 4 of the 12 days. This was an extreme amount of work and resulted in several night sails (for the crew) to travel that far south and then again backtracking that far north just of please all of the passengers. That's a good thing, who wants to sail in a storm? Even if you already have been there. We were able to enjoy more of the Caribbean islands in good weather and still did the northern islands per the published itinerary. The food was excellent and plentiful and the chefs were accommodating to individual needs. They baked all their breads and rolls and deserts were to die for ................ we're talking award winning caliber. The service was over the top, all the crew were always asking you if you needed something or a drink or whatever. The cabins were large for this type of sailing ship and cleaned/made up daily. Some people are just complainers. I have sailed with IWJ many times and they are always top notch and I always have my next sail booked!!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
A casual cruise experience with a small crew and passenger count. Our ship was 24 passenger with 9 crew. All the crew was very interactive with the passengers and made you feel completely comfortable. The food was incredible - fresh ... Read More
A casual cruise experience with a small crew and passenger count. Our ship was 24 passenger with 9 crew. All the crew was very interactive with the passengers and made you feel completely comfortable. The food was incredible - fresh fish and produce bought at the local island markets. All crew were very knowledgeable and were happy to interact and answer questions. The small ship gave a very intimate feel with the sea. The Operations Manager had a detailed review of the following days actives and options to choose from. He was great at making accommodations and making sure everyone was ready and prepared for the day. I would recommend this to older and younger generations. I enjoyed the snorkeling and rope swing on the boat. Plenty of games to keep you occupied as you sailed from one island to the next.You can stay on the boat as little or as much as you'd like while at the different ports. So this could be made as a super relaxing cruise or plan as many activities as possible on the islands. If you get the chance , do this cruise, spectacular!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
This was perfect for our family. The grandsons were totally all about using the rope swing off the side of the ship, paddle boarding, snorkeling, kayaking, night time swimming with the underwater lights, visiting different islands, and ... Read More
This was perfect for our family. The grandsons were totally all about using the rope swing off the side of the ship, paddle boarding, snorkeling, kayaking, night time swimming with the underwater lights, visiting different islands, and just having fun. They felt comfortable with the crew, interacting with them, and loved the popcorn machine. Since they were so involved, the adults, could sit back, read, sun, or have a cold beverage with the blue sea as a backdrop. The crew of the Sagitta was always readily available if we needed help or had a question. The food was excellent, presentation was lovely, and served with the beverage of choice. It was good to have daily shore excursions to the different islands. Each was different and each experience was different. I would recommend this to anyone with young adolescents due to the many options available for entertainment. One important item, we have many wonderful memories to take with us. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2018
I've been on larger cruise ships and I've also chartered monohulls and catamarans with friends in the Caribbean, Croatia and Thailand. I love sailing on smaller ships and knew for my 50th Birthday I wanted a sun, sand and sail ... Read More
I've been on larger cruise ships and I've also chartered monohulls and catamarans with friends in the Caribbean, Croatia and Thailand. I love sailing on smaller ships and knew for my 50th Birthday I wanted a sun, sand and sail type of vacation without having to do any of the work as a crew member. Sagitta was, in a word, perfect for us. I went with two friends and my mom. There was something for all of us whether it was simply lazing around on deck in a lounger reading a book, going on a tour during the island stops, snorkeling, going ashore to a grab lunch on a patio by the sea, walking through a peaceful botanical gardens etc. Sagitta holds 24pax; however, our trip only had 13 pax booked which likely added to that feeling of being on our own, casual, comfortable, unpretentious yacht. The information provided from Ops manager Andrew and the service crew Jason and Denis were fantastic. We were never without a drink and they have a popcorn machine if you're hungry between snack time and the main meals. The food selection was good and the quality was outstanding-everything from casual multi-salad lunches to fresh fish dinners. One of my travelling companions is a pescaterian and they gave her delicious (and different) choices each day. 2 of us shared Cabin #1 and were extremely happy with the space for all our stuff. The bathroom was a sufficient size too (porthole in bathroom and at upper bunk). Safety is first on this vessel and we felt very taken care of at all times by the Captain and crew. The Cheeseburger in paradise George and Lenny made us during our swim stop at Pigeon Beach on Antigua was the best beach burger I've had. The cold beer served to us by Denis while we sat on our towels in the sand didn't hurt either! We simply loved this trip. I knew from the start that Sagitta was a motorsailer and while I don't necessarily like the sound of the engine, you got used to it. Loved it when the sails were up though. It's magical. Thanks Island Windjammers. I'll be back! Read Less
Sagitta Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 1.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 2.0 0.0
Family 2.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 3.0 0.0
Enrichment 1.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 5.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 N/A

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