You’re about to embark on one of the best vacations of your life! We want to make sure that you feel comfortable every step of the way. Following are some of the most commonly asked questions about Island Windjammers and our Caribbean tall ship sailing cruises. If there is anything else you'd like to know, please give us a call or email us. We’re standing by to lend a hand.
Q. How much time is spent at each island, and how much time is spent sailing?
A. Itineraries are flexible, but are always planned so that you’ll have plenty of time to explore each port of call. Sailing time depends on how far you’ll be traveling between islands. Sometimes a long overnight sail takes you to your destination. A few hours’ sail between islands is more typical, and may take place in the early morning, late evening, or anywhere in between!
Q. Do the ships “really” sail?
A. Sagitta is a motorsailer. While underway, her sails may be used as auxiliary propulsion in conjunction with the engines. Diamant and Vela are both true sailing vessels. However, we want to make sure that you experience as many beautiful islands as possible on your trip. Since wind and currents often have other ideas, the engine and sails are generally used together. If conditions are right, the captains will take advantage of it to turn the engine off and proceed under sail alone.
Q. I'm a single traveler. Are there other solo travelers? What cabin options are available for me?
A. We welcome solo travelers all year round! We have two tiny, private solo cabins on both Sagitta and Vela. The two solo cabins on each ship share a bathroom. All cadet, standard, and deluxe cabins are available for private reservation at a premium single supplement rate (please inquire). You can also book as a “share” (we assign a cabin mate) in a standard or deluxe double cabin within sixty days of a sailing date.
Q. Is there internet on board? Will I have cell phone service?
A. There is no internet on board, but there are cyber cafes on some islands. Some restaurants and bars have free wifi. Check with your cell phone provider prior to sailing to see if you will have coverage while sailing. Adding an international package to your phone plan before you sail may save you money in roaming fees.
Q. What is there to do on board?
A. A. From bowsprit to stern, this is your home for the week, so make yourself comfortable. Take a dip from the ship and laze around on a floatie mat. Take a turn at the helm, or simply relax and watch the action. Board games and playing cards are available.
Let us know what you came to enjoy, and we’ll do our best to ensure that you’re a happy sailor.
Q. How’s the food?
A. Delicious and plentiful! Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served on board, as well as afternoon and evening snacks. We make every effort to buy provisions locally. This helps the local economy and brings you the freshest fruits, meats, fish and vegetables available.
Q. Is there a full bar on board?
A. Beer, red and white table wine, and afternoon rum punch are provided on board. You’re welcome to bring your own spirits on board to mix your favorite drinks. Depending upon availability, we provide Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite, ginger ale and tonic water.
Q. What’s included in the price of my sailing cruise?
A. Your six night tall ship sailing cruise price includes accommodations for the week, all meals aboard the ship, complimentary soft drinks, locally brewed beer and wine and use of ship’s snorkel gear. Your cruise fare also includes port taxes and government fees.
Q. How far ahead should I reserve my cabin?
A. We suggest reserving your preferred cabin at least six months in advance. With our limited capacity, dates fill up fast.
Q. Do we tip the crew, and if so, how much?
A. Tipping is solely at your discretion. If you feel that our crew has done an outstanding job, a tip of $150 per guest, per week is suggested. You may charge your gratuity at the end of your cruise on a credit card.
Q. What if I want to stay for two weeks or longer?
A. You can book consecutive six night sailings and overnight on the ship in between cruises at no additional cost. Our crew will be busy preparing the ship for the next set of guests, so there will be no meals or onboard services between 10AM on disembarkation day and 1 PM the next boarding day. Guests sailing on back to back extended cruises must find shore accommodations between cruises.
Q. What style and type of clothes will I need to pack?
A. Bring T-shirts, shorts, a hat, a couple of bathing suits and a sweatshirt or light jacket for cooler evenings on deck. Bare feet are best on wet decks, but do pack a comfortable pair of shoes or sandals for beach days and excursions. Don’t forget sunscreen and a beach towel! Keep all prescription medications with you in your carry on. Cabins on tall sailing ships, while comfortable, are very compact. Extra space is at a premium. Pack light!!
Q. Do you have space to store my luggage?
A. Due to our limited space, you are encouraged to pack lightly and bring soft-sided luggage or a duffel bag. All luggage must be stored in your cabin during your cruise.
Q. Should I bring snorkel gear? Are there opportunities for scuba diving?
A. We offer complimentary use of snorkel gear for your sailing week. If you have your own mask and snorkel, we encourage you to bring them, as they will probably be the best fit for you. We have plenty of fins, if you’d like to leave yours at home. For those interested in scuba diving, you can make arrangements with local dive shops.
Q. Will I get seasick?
A. Sensitivity to motion is not always based on weather conditions. If you have experienced motion sickness in the past, or you’re not sure how you will adjust, we recommend that you pack your preferred remedy. If you are prone to seasickness, you should take your medication approximately four hours prior to setting sail. If you wait until you start to feel sick, the medication may not be effective.
Q. I have physical limitations. Can I still enjoy this trip?
A. To access your cabin, you will need to be able to go up and down fairly steep stairs. While at anchor, you will need to be able to climb down a stairway and board the dinghy if you wish to go ashore. Also, some beaches are accessed by a “wet landing” in the dinghy. This involves stepping in and out of the dinghy from shallow water. Depending on the swells, this can range from the relatively simple to slightly adventurous! As always, our strong and sturdy crew will be there to lend a hand.