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Ever taken a "small ship" cruise?

Discussion in 'TUG Lounge' started by DaveNW, Jun 14, 2019.

  1. amycurl

    amycurl TUG Member

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    And if it’s pirating you want, you definitely want Island Windjammers! (Windstar is definitely a “frou-frou” cruise line in their world, LOL!)
    http://www.islandwindjammers.com/

    The sails are not motorized. And you get to help raise them, if you want. :)


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
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  2. amycurl

    amycurl TUG Member

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    And the Mandalay might be one of the most beautiful vessels ever built, originally for EF Hutton
    https://sailwindjammer.com/


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
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  3. DaveNW

    DaveNW TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    Amy, I remember hearing about Windjammer Barefoot cruises back in the 70's. That always seemed like it'd be so much fun. I was sad to hear they'd gone out of business. I'm kind of looking for that kind of thing now. If Island Windjammers is the new version of that, (and why do I remember the Mandalay? Was that one of the barefoot company's boats?), I think that's likely where I'll end up. A lot of it has to do with itinerary and dates. Working within my spouse's work and vacation schedule makes it difficult to go when the time is right. And I'd lose my head if I went by myself. :) Windstar definitely has the edge on luxury accommodations and such, which is also a plus. I think I would enjoy both types of cruises.

    To be honest, the more rustic hand-on approach really appeals to me. I can navigate, read charts, and I know my way around sails, sheets, and capstans. I have decided snorkeling on Bonaire is a new bucket list thing, so any cruise I take needs to stop there. My recent snorkeling day on Cozumel reminded me of how much I enjoy being in the water. I want to do more of that sort of thing.

    First world problems, I know. LOL! :)

    Dave
     
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  4. RNCollins

    RNCollins TUG Lifetime Member

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    Hi Dave,
    You should look into Tradewinds. They offer 7 day Catamaran sailings scattered around the globe with a heavy presence in the Caribbean. Depending on the boat, there is usually 8-10 passengers and 2-3 crew aboard. The price for the week depends on the season, size of the boat, “Luxury” level of boat.
    During the week you will have the opportunity to snorkel (and dive), go onshore for shopping, exploring, and hiking. If you go as a referral from a member you get a discounted price, or you can go as an Exchange with RCI.
    Let me know if you have any questions. Below are some pictures from my Caribbean trips:

    https://www.trade-winds.com/

    DE421E1B-3D23-44BF-B6EE-299FCEF850B9.jpeg 1C81A470-7055-49B7-B1D3-CB75A4F39977.jpeg 46DB8C86-01C7-4237-86A2-FDABD34803F7.jpeg 7A8248B7-1A80-4894-93C3-4CF3186BF500.jpeg 928AF1CB-4AB2-4259-9856-DA9A749312EC.jpeg
     

    Attached Files:

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  5. DaveNW

    DaveNW TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    That looks really nice. I know I'd enjoy them, and I know catamaran sailings are out there, but I wonder if it's a bit too bareboat? I'll have to investigate it. The idea of a bigger multi-masted boat is really appealing. @amycurl's recommendation of Island Windjammers and the Mandalay is really striking a chord with me. My head is full. :)

    But thanks - if it looks like this is the way to go, I'll come pester you for a referral. LOL! :)

    Dave
     
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  6. amycurl

    amycurl TUG Member

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    My mother and I were regulars on WBC, starting in the mid-80s (I was 12 when I went on my first one; luckily, there happened to be another 12 year old girl on that same cruise.) Probably slightly more tame then back in the 70s. Their downfall is a story of a hurricane that sunk the Fantome and its crew, under-insurance, new regulations, and greedy squabbles amongst the child heirs of the original founder. Unfortunately, my mother bought into a brief "timeshare" scheme that WBC ran, where they were offering shares upon a new ship that would have been a "timeshare." While she did salvage value from it--a few years of cruises that the offered to those who bought in before the timeshare ship was finished--the ship never materialized before the company went belly up. (Luckily, she got the chance to sail the Fantome a year or so before it went down.) The beautiful Polynesia, upon which I went on my last cruise in their most-deluxe cabin, is rotting off the coast of Costa Rico as I type, I believe. (For a long time, it was stuck in harbor in Aruba, as it was regularly cruising the ABCs--we got to snorkel in Bonaire from its decks!) And, yes, the Mandalay was one of the original WBC ships, and the only one still in service. Both Sail Windjammer (which is the one that owns the Mandalay) and Island Windjammers are both owned by former die-hard WBC fans and passengers. The Mandalay is still on my bucket list.

    A few years ago, Island Windjammers showed up on Groupon, believe it or not, so deals are available, and they do run specials (I'm on their e-mail list.)

    If you want to be close to the sea, and don't need super-fancy amenities, I think you'd really enjoy them. Feel free to PM with any questions.

    My work here is done, LOL. ;)

    (And we *loved* AP, btw, and had a great time--thanks for all of your reporting on my behalf!!)
     
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  7. DaveNW

    DaveNW TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    Great info, and it's nice knowing someone who actually took a WBC trip. I always had planned on it, but it never happened. As I was surfing around, I found Sailwindjammer.com last night, when I searched for the Mandalay. I couldn't find it on Islandwindjammer.com, which makes sense, if they don't own the boat. Looking at pricing, sailwindjammer.com is lots cheaper than island windjammer, but I'm cautious about them having just a single boat, and such a fixed itinerary from just the one location. Islandwindjammer may have the variety to end up with my money, even if it's higher priced. The larger issue to scheduling is matching a cruise to my spouse's vacation calendar. It may end up being better to book the cruise first, and then match a timeshare stay with it, so I can justify the travel expense from the Pacific Northwest.

    I'm really happy you found my blathering helpful about Avenue Plaza. We enjoyed things in New Orleans quite a bit. How was your stay there?

    Dave
     
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  8. Paumavista

    Paumavista TUG Member

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    My daughter, husband and a couple of their friends took a small boat cruise (Dream Yacht Charter) in the Bahamas. She has traveled extensively (and he is an AF pilot...who has also traveled the world) - they said it was the best trip of their lives. Dream Yacht has many small boats around the world.
     
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  9. sdbrier

    sdbrier TUG Member

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    Did a small 3 day Caribbean once. Wasn’t a fan. Finally did a large ship. QM2 Southampton to New York. Highly recommended. Would do it again in a heartbeat. Planning on maybe 25th wedding anniversary. Hope you enjoy whatever you decide.
     
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  10. RNCollins

    RNCollins TUG Lifetime Member

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    SkyAuction frequently offers deals for Sail Windjammers. Is this the same company?
    http://www.skyauction.com/vacation/rest-of-caribbean
     
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  11. amycurl

    amycurl TUG Member

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    Short and packed, but very nice. My father-in-law loved that he got a room that oversaw the streetcar line (huge train buff,) they were in 504, so just a few floors below where you were. And they did a good job of making sure that all three of our one-bedroom suites were all close together (on the same stretch of hall) despite the fact all three of the rooms checked in on different days (my brother-in-law and his family were significantly delayed,so didn't check in until the morning after we did, which was the day after my parents-in-law checked in.)

    They were not as helpful about finding a place to order a cake, but my daughter did the research, and the hotel staff made sure the cake was in the room's fridge when they checked in, which was the important thing.

    We loved the courtyard pool. Especially since the afternoons were warm and muggy (because, duh, it was June in New Orleans,) we would often head back to AP and swim for a while in the late afternoons before heading out to dinner.

    My only complaint--I *wish* they had larger suites. It was hard to have all nine of us eat at the same time in the common area of the one suite that was larger than the other three.

    And I don't feel so bad about highjacking this thread since it was yours to start with. ;)

    I would agree that Island Windjammers has probably the better infrastructure of the two companies, and they've added ships over the past few years, while the other is solely focused on the Mandalay. So, based on that, I think your strategy is sound.
     
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  12. amycurl

    amycurl TUG Member

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    They are one of the TWO companies I've been talking about. One is Island Windjammers that own three smaller sailing vessels and, therefore, more itineraries and date choices. The other is Sail Windjammers, which is what this deal is for, and sails only the Mandalay. (But since they are more expensive to begin with, it makes sense that they offer specials more often.)
     
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