I just booked a Windjammer Barefoot Cruise for 6-18-05. It was a steal deal at $559 p.p. with automatic upgrade to best available cabin. It sails many of the islands of Panama and Costa Rica. The ship's name is Amazing Grace.
Has anyone done one of these cruises? Will we be happy or sorry? I think we are thrilled but am not totally sure if that is the case, never having sailed this way.
Chuck, I have done a Windjammer, although not on Amazing Grace.
Amazing Grace is a small freighter converted to passenger use. Lots of teak and mahogany . Nothing is terribly fancy. For many years she sailed a 13 day route from Nassau to Grenada and back. She was (and still is at times) the supply ship for the balance of the Windjammer fleet. Unlike the rest if the fleet, Amazing Grace is of course not a sailing vessel.
Bring tee shirts, shorts and bathing suits. If you have more than one medium sized bag packed you have WAY too much stuff. Accomadations are spartan compared to what "jammers" call "fru fru " cruising. If you like relaxing, and can do it by reading a book , not by seeing a first run movie at sea, this might be for you. Think upscale camping , at sea. The passengers get very close, the party is usually great. The stops are smaller more out of the way places, a bit more adventure. Sea time is quiet peaceful, party time is Party with a capital P. Food is good. Coffee and sticky buns in the very early AM onboard deck watching the sunrise. Lunches are sometimes on deck and sometimes on a secluded beach. Rum swizzles and cheese tray served pre dinner on deck most nights. I believe they still serve wine with dinner. Brands are red and white. After dinner the party shifts to the outer deck and bar area. Great fun.
We thoroughly enjoyed our trip.
There are two web sights with message boards I suggest you go explore.
windjammerfanclub.com and jammerbabe.com both have active message boards frequented by experienced "jammers" who are happy to help to get new folks addicted.
There are so few posts on the Windjammer threads on Cruisemates that you can still find my review in three or four parts, posted probably on the first page. It is probably under "Bill" in those days.
I think you might enjoy this.
Let me correct a few misconceptions above. YOU DO NOT WORK. YOU DO NOT WASH YOUR OWN DISHES. you do not, unless you ask to, participate in the running of the ship, food preparation or service, cabin cleaning etc. If you wanted to steer the ship, they would probably let you. Although casual and laid back, you are not paying to work on a Windjammer ship. They have bartenders, waiters, cooks, and cabin stewards (as well as "sailing" crew. There will be an "activities mate" respnsible for some of the fun, travel arrangements, shore "excursions" (to the extent they exist), operates the ships store an hour or two each day as well.
Correcting more misconceptions. NO RODENTS, this is not a tramp steamer sailing
between remote islands of the south Pacific. Amazing Grace may be old, but she is clean , everything works etc.
Plus , when I mentioned food above I forgot to mention, in between Early morning sticky buns and lunch, you have a full, sit down cooked breakfast. I usually had little room for much breakfast after "cheating" early in the morning.
I keep remembering things to tell you. If they do a "stowaway night" , do it most definately. You board the ship the night before sailing. Dinner and breakfast included.
The party also starts that night and you will know everyone on the ship before you head off to bed.
We've been wanting to do this for so long!!! Just for us the airfare to where they pull out of stopps us each time. It getts to be a lot more expensive then a ship out of a home port here in Texas. BUT we LOVE scuba diving and snorkeling and this is suppose to be great for that - secluded beaches and great diving /snorkeling. Small out of the way places large ships can't get too. A lot less people and you can lay on deck and watch the stars or watch dolphins off the bow. You'll have an awesome time - enjoy!!! Debbie