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  #1 (permalink)  
Old April 18th, 2004, 09:21 PM
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Default windjammers barefoot cruise

Hello!
Has anyone personally ever been on the Windjammers SV Polynesia's Barefoot Cruise?
I'm looking for any and all information about this specific cruise.
What is the best time to sail since it is a smaller vessel?
Are there places on these smaller ships to relax and sunbathe?
What is the dining area like? Is there a dining area?
What are the cabins like? I have read that there are 6 bunks in each cabin, which is fine, (I think) but I'm curious to hear if anyone has had a personal experience with this as I've been reading all the posts fromother larger cruise lines and some speak of having their own balconies. I'm certain this ship does not have that.

Please.......any information is greatly appreciated......I'm looking into this one in particular as I'm not sure I'd be into the larger crowds and having to be dining with all couples. I found one post to be humorous concerning traveling with a companion who met someone and he was being asked....'where's your wife'.....and in fact, that was not the case. I'd rather not be on a cruise where you have to keep explaining why you are single.

Thanks for any replies
Pattie
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old April 19th, 2004, 12:50 PM
Hondo
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Default Re: windjammers barefoot cruise

Hi Pattie:

I got 4 hours sleep last night so I should be good for another week. <G>

You must of sent this before I emailed you with the Jammerbabe site. Believe me, you will find the anwers to your questions but since you asked:

1) Yes. 5 cruises on the Poly (Polynesia) of which one was a singles. 1 cruise on the Mandy (Mandalay) and one on the Legacy. This year it will be 3 on the Poly, of which one will be a singles and one on the Clipper, (Yankee Clipper).

2) "any and all" I think I would get banned for taking up to much bandwidth answering. <G> In a nutshell, The Poly does a pretty good job holding the 1/1 ratio of guys and gals. Boarding is on Sunday at 5:00 P;M (for stowaway night) (which is optional). They usually have a band Sunday night. There are excursions Monday morning and than you set sail. You visit different islands each day. The ship usually comes back very early Saturday morning and you have to be off the ship by 1:00 or so depending on the captain. Usually one of the days will be a beach day where you just hang out at a beach and get sunburned. <G>

3) The ship doesn't actually sail. It's more like motorized sailing. They have the sails up but the motor is also on. The only ships that actually sail are the Mandy and the Clipper and for both of them it is only for a couple hours or so. The only time that I've been "sailing" was on the Mandy and that was for an hour. Yes it is nice, but the ship would never get anywhere without the engines.

4) Yes there is room to sunbathe. There are benches that you can lay out or you can do lay out on the deck. They do have rubber mats that are pretty comfy that you'll need. You can also go on top of the chart house which is a pretty good place. My favorite place is on the widows nest to lay out. It's the net in front of the ship. On the Poly you can lay out there when the ship is at anchor. You do need the captain's permission to go out there and there is usually a crew member nearby. On beach days or swim calls, with permission, you can jump off of it. I've never been told no and I usually try to go out at least once a day. Since the crews cabins are near there, the captain usually only lets you out there to 5 or so.

5) Cabins. Well, how can I put it. On the Poly I've only stayed in the BQ which are the 4 (not 6) cabins. The Poly renovated and took two beds out. I sleep on deck with a hammock so to me a cabin is not a big deal. You are only in the cabin for a little while anyway. The bathrooms are real small. The cabins that I went in where in a bunk bed configuration (that sleep two) with the lower bed a little larger than the top. As for storage, I've never had a problem. I usually take a backpack and store it under the bunk. I do know that some cabins maybe a little tight on storage from what I've read but ... No balconies.

6) The dining area on the Poly is on the aft (back) end of the ship. Depending on the number of pax, there will be one or two seating. Count on two for the singles. It's not assigned seating so you can sit anywhere. I believe the seating arrangements are 8 booths (4 on each side with a center station for food/dishes ect) that can seat 8 and in the very back 12 seats in a horseshoe arrangements. I'm a litte fuzzy on the exact number of booths but it will give you an idea.

Someone described WJ as adult camping at sea. I would tend to agree with it. WJ is not for everyone. The people that love it, really love it, the people that hate it, wil not set foot on another one. As you can tell, I'm in the former group so I guess my views are biased but .....

Hondo
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Old April 19th, 2004, 07:06 PM
Pat Hagan, Singles Editor
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Default Re: Re: windjammers barefoot cruise

Hondo, thank you for responding to this cruiser's questions. She can also read the review for Windjammers on Cruisemates.

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Old April 20th, 2004, 01:23 PM
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Default Re: windjammers barefoot cruise

Go to the Windjammer part of the cruise lines section above. Since not many people post there you only have to scroll down a few lines to find a five or six part , pretty detailed account , I wrote of our Windjammer cruise. Not on Poly and not a singles cruise ( About half singles and half couples), but it will give you a flavor of what this Windjammer thing is all about. As stated above you will either love ot or not, but I would do another again in a heartbeat. Speaking of that, I have run into the Poly in several ports and simply dreamed of a cruise on her each time we see her.
FYI our cruise was on Flying Cloud which has since been retired.
Make sure you do the stow away night, the party really begins that night.
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Old April 23rd, 2004, 04:37 PM
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Default Re: windjammers barefoot cruise

Hondo, thanks for the info. WJ Poly sounds tailor made for me. I will look into booking one after I return from my Carnival cruise in October. The concept is more what I like about travel. Laid-back and fun!

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Old April 28th, 2004, 04:27 PM
shadow23
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Default Windjammer - 1st Timer/Sgs. or Regular?

Interested in Hondo answering these questions since he sounds like an experienced Windjammer, but welcome all feedback from anyone who knows!

I'm torn between theses Singles Cruises: either on the Yankee Clipper in August to St. Vincent & the Grenadines OR on the Poly in October to St. Lucia/Windward OR in December (Repositioning Sgls. cruise) to St. Lucia/St. Maarten/a bit of Windward & Leeward. I like the idea of the Clipper having less passengers.

VERSUS a Regular cruise on the Poly to either St. Lucia/Windwards or St. Maarten/Leewards OR the Mandy to Panama/San Blas.

I'm 43, SWF, very active in the outdoors and enjoy a cocktail or two, BUT am worried about the Singles cruise being too much of a Hedonistic frat party VERSUS finding myself on a regular population cruise listening to folks talk about their kids & retirement plans! Never been on any cruise before...What do you recommend?!

I like to do all water sports, bike, hike, and just hang & read a book in the sun. Love your idea about the hammock up on deck!

Are the St. Vincent/Grenadine itinerary too remote? Will there be enuf island activities that I enjoy per above? I'm leaning toward this Singles cruise that leaves Grenada on Aug. 9th since there's a woman who wants to share one of the higher end cabins which I prefer.

Again, all comments welcome & appreciated. If someone wants to chat via the antiquated telephone, I'd be up for that to do some more Q&A. Thanks for your time!!

"shadow23"
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Old May 16th, 2004, 11:34 AM
Joe Gagnon
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Default Re: windjammers barefoot cruise

Pattie,

I went 2 years ago on the Polynesia's sister -ship- the "Yankee Clipper". The Yankee is almost an exaxt replication of the Polly. My cruise left from Genada. This type of sailing is simplicity. It's not about "creature comforts". It's not dressing "to impress". It doesn't offer all the modern conveniences and entertainment options of the cruiselines. Basically, plan to bring an "open mind" and a novel. You'll have plenty of time to catch up on that book-you've put to the side for just the right moment. I say that-because; frankly, there's nothing to do on the boat. NOTHING! There is no where to go. It is about as much fun as walking out your backdoor- to the lenghth of your backyard and back. Once you've done that a few times- the excitement is over. The first night you will "stow-a-way" on the boat- at it's peir. Because passengers will be arriving at all different times of the night..because of the Caribbean destination..flights will be arriving very late. This allows everyone to make it for the early departure the next morning. I chose to go with the "bunk-cabins" down below main deck. I would say next time-if I go- to definetly not do that lower cabin location. Try to get somthing on the main deck with the picture windows. The cabins below- did offer 1 port-hole window-however most the time- we were in line directly at the sea level- and you never actually saw the sun- because it was mostly splashing water over the window. My cabin -and most of them below deck-had 2 bunk style cabins. 1 top, 1 bottom. A small shared closet...extremely small bathroom with shower-though not enclosed. So basically when you took a shower- you would have to remove and paper products and electrical items- so as not to get them wet. While taking showers- you would just get everything wet- toilet, sink, door, vanity- everthing! Hot Water is at a premium especailly in the mornings. No biggie- you soon realize that your on a schoohner- and by no means- are you there to impress anyone- were 'all in the same boat" as everyone else. Frankly I brough way too many cloths. No need for so many nice shirts and pants. I could have vacationed the whole time in my swimming suit.. I did see other seasoned veternes doing just that. Breakfast, lunch and dinner- for 75% of the cruise- were served "buffet style" on the main deck-sometimes with a covered canopy. Basically, line up- get your food and scatter for a wooden bench or the floor deck to eat. Speaking of seating- there are NO CHAIRS, NO CHAISE LOUNGES.You sit on the hot deck or grab a coushion and sit on that or a wooden bench that stores the life preservers. Sitting on those was not at all comfortable. That was a big complaint of mine...while your on this boat- with no where to go- and nothing to do...you want a nice comfortable chaise lounge to relaxe, read a book, listen to some CD's or just fall asleep. Not gonna happen. You're gonna have to make the best of it with the cushion- or go back down to the sinkhole of a cabin and lay on your twin bed. Sailing is at night- or sometimes will set sail around 5pm. Yes; it is rough. You will have to be very sea-worthy. You will feel it. Actually you will feel every motion of that boat-its small; they'r are no fancy stabalizers- and that's one might y sea. After a day or so; youl'll get the hang of it. Walking on the deck- is never just a straight walk. It's as if you are extremely intoxicated- just trying to walk to the bow. It's funny though. Food on average was fine; there is a small dinning room in the back- lots of bulk U shaped dinnets. Remember- there are NO Chairs! Dinining is family style. Comfort food- but not gourmet. Far from it. Again; you can stay in your shorts or bathing suit and eat there too. Staff- extremely friendly and generally fun. Alcohol drinks-you purchase with tokens..so for maybe 3 or 4 tokens that you would get you a pina-colada..maybe 2 would get you a beer. Moderate pricing. Tipping- at your descetion. Don't bring any jewelry. Nobody cares about that on this type of sailing. Don't bring any fancy cloths- again nobody cares! No high heels, dress shoes...again; they don't care. You wont be visiting any fancy places on that boat anyhow. You actully could barefoot the entire time-its that casual. T-Shirts, shorts, more T-shirts and your book will do you well. Lunch was brough to the beach daily while we were in remote ports. Snorkling gear is assigned to everyone at the beginning of the cruise. You are responsible for it the entire time. Some nights- got together with fellow mates-and went to town on the islands -to eat a a local restaurant- thay was a very nice privlige to be able to get off the boat! Ideally, 3 days would have been enough. Not 5 or 6 days. It's just too long to be on that type of boat without anything to do. Would I go again; probalby not- I might opt for the luxury type- of a masted schooner- like maybe StarClippers or Windstar Cruises...both offering a much more ammentiy type of ship. And thats the difference- it is a ship- not a schooner. Yea I had fun; but would not do it again. Sorry to be so honest- but think that this might help you. I am a travel agent- so I do travel alot and can compare that to alot of different experiences- that otherwise might not be able to do so. Call me if you wish- I do sell vacation travel only...I am in Southfield Michigan and have been a travel agent for 14 years now and know the products well.. I hope this helps you. joe@cadillactravel.com or 248-358-5330 x114
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Old May 16th, 2004, 07:34 PM
Hondo
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Default Re: Re: windjammers barefoot cruise

Hi Joe:

Thank you for your response. I was hoping that more people would reply but...

I concur with most of what you said. You stated some points that I didn't think to mention, actually never thought anything about them, since I was used to Jammin, but I thought I would try to add to them.

Jammin is not for everyone. The above points along with posts on other boards clearly show that. I believe you need some level of tolerance (comfort level). (Not sure if that is the right word or not). Adult camping at sea is what other people have called it and I agree.

The Yankee Clipper holds about 64ish pax compared to the Poly 128ish pax. The Poly is bigger but she still can rock and roll and roll and roll. I actually like the rolling and rocking. One night it was so rough you could hardly walk on the top deck. Since the ports are so close together in the Grenadines the Clipper does have more opportunity to sail. This is what I first thought the Windjammer was and I was a little disappointed to learn that the Poly was actually motorized sailing. With the Yankee Clipper you will probably have a opportunity for pure sailing. I can provide a website with pictures of the Clipper under sail but I'm not sure if I'm able to post on this board or not. I've booked a month in October and the first week is on the Clipper and I can't wait.
If your concerned there are a variety of options for sea sickness but ....

Stowaway is the optional night before the "official" start of the cruise. If the cruise starts Monday than stowaway is Sunday night. You board the ship usually at 5:00 P.M. You are usually allowed to drop off luggage at the ship but not board until 5 or so. There is usually a band or some kind of entertainment that night. I believe the current stowaway charge is $55.00. I always recommend that you fly in the day before stowaway (Friday). You never know in the Carribean plus the flights are limited. Many of trips have started at 4 in the morning and ending around 10 P.M. or so. I usually also recommend staying the night after the cruise (Saturday) to wind down but it depends. Most of the stowaways that I have been on have been when the ship is tied to the pier. I really never gave that a second thought. A couple of the bands that we had during the week were along pierside also.

The showers are unique. Totally agree with the above. As one captain said, you can do all three things at once and not have to move, or something like that. I'm a pretty early riser since I usually sleep on deck so I'm usually the first one in and out. There have been times(O.K. Alot) when the water could be a little warmer. Nothing like the 30 second showers. <G>

As for clothes, well, I would fit in the veteran spot. I do bring two bathing suites though. <G> Depending on what islands you are going to, you may want to bring something that you could go to a nice place in . For example. St. Barts or St. Martin. I usually get dressed up on the flight a little but for the rest of the week, shorts and t-shirts and yes, no shoes.

Excursions. I'm not a 100% sure on how the Yankee Clipper handles this but if is is like the other three ships than the excursions sign up are on a clipboard with a little blurb on what it entails and the price. It will also give you the time that you need to be up on deck. The sheet will just be a simple sign your name and cabin number. Some excursions go quick. Very quick. The AM (activities Mate) is the person that handles the excursions. I generally try to sign up for them as soon as you can.

Drinks. Many a dubloon have been lost. That dang shower. <G> A dubloon is a small round piece a paper (about 3/4 size of a CD) with 20 (I believe) dots on the edge. They are $10.00 a piece so I believe 20 is correct. They are flimsy and fall apart when wet. I have learned to take a baggie and put them in it. Also at the end of the cruise I have a big sign "WILL BEG FOR DUBLOONS". You never know. You go to the bar and the bartender will punch out the dots. For example if a beer was 5 than 5 dots would be torn or punched out. You can either pay for the dubloons at the bar or put it on your "TAB". I have learned to pay for them with cash.

On deck. Concur, kind of. There are no chairs but you can improvise. I usually get a mat or two and put it on a bench and lay out on deck. I'm not sure the layout of the Yankee Clipper is but I agree that the benches are uncomfortable without a mat. I really don't need a lot of activity so, on this point, I don't agree with Joe. Sailing with the sails fluttering, the sky and the ocean is very soothing. I have been also to have people that I feel comfortable to talk to since I'm usually not the talking type. The crew are also great to talk to.The captain, the officers and really the whole crew are approachable.

I hope this has helped. It is what you make of it.

Hondo
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