I'm back, albeit very reluctantly!!! I can describe my trip in one word
Before I went on my Windjammer cruise to the West Indies the week of July 4th I had done considerable research. I knew what to expect and knew I would have a good time. But... This was the best vacation I have ever had.
My trip started out great even before I even got to St. Martin. While in line at the check-in counter in Miami, Debbie and I met Sam, Tracy, and Jack all from LA. We struck up a great friendship right there. Monica, the activities director, met us at the airport. She is great and we all loved her, and she is really cute too! We couldn't get on the ship until five so she suggested we go to a bar called "Everything's Cool", relax and get to know each other. So several of us did just that.
One really fun couple we met was from Austin so I'm sure we will see them again. As a matter of fact, one of favorite things about the cruise was the really interesting, educated and fun people we met form all over the US and Canada.
We went aboard the ship (NOT BOAT) at five pm and got our cabin assignments. Ours was 31, a great location, the cabins were small, but all we did was change and sleep there. Several passengers slept on deck every night. I have a tip for you they conserve water so the shower faucet only stays on if you hold it on. The full length mirror is on the other side of the room from the electrical outlet. This made it hard to blow dry your hair and put on any make up (it's a girl thing).
The dining room is nice and the food is great, they feed you all the time. I would be in line for appetizers and the ever popular rum swizzles at 5:00 and I wasn't even hungry. There are two seatings but you can sit with whom ever you like. The first night there was a band on board and I got to lead the conga line (I had already had several rum swizzles and wine by then).
The first morning they ring the bells early to get you up for breakfast and the safety drill. We had two people filming the entire cruise for a new Windjammer video and commercial, I tried my best to get into every shot) I will be available to autograph copies!
The second night on board we had the Crab races (similar to horse races). Monica, the ships activities director, drew a circle on the main deck and dumped about 10 crabs with numbers painted on their backs in the middle of the circle. The first crab to cross the outer line of the circle was the winner. It was really funny to see all of us passenger hunkered over the circle yelling at the crab we had bet money on " come on bay faster momma needs a new pair of shoes or mama needs money to pay for the cruise" HA! There were a series of qualifying races between which we all bet money. Monica was dressed as a crab just for the occasion.
I'll bet I had a better 4th of July than anyone else. We docked at Sandy Island late in the day and I got ashore in time to get some awesome sunset pictures. A local band set up to play music all evening and we had a great beach barbecue. Combine the music and a great bar (take cash), just try and stand still after you have had a mango margarita like I did!!! We danced in the sand under the stars and had a fantastic limbo contest. Dee a honeymooner on board won.
The next night we docked at St. Barts (my favorite Island). We had a wine & cheese party. We rented a car with Same & Tracy to explore St. Barts. Fun, but scary, (the French drive crazy). The shops close early so if you want to shop do it early. Shell beach is a great beach on St. Barts (and topless of course) and yes I did).
One night we had the BLT party Black tie, lingerie, Toga. Debbie and I did togas, but some of the guys wore their wives lingerie, was it funny or what. They also have a box of costumes but get there early to get the best ones. I got tipsy at this party like I did at the beach party. I hope I got some great pictures.
One of the best experiences was when we night sailed. The first time we did that after the sails were up they turned out all the lights on deck and you should have heard all the oos and ahhs. There was a sea of stars, I had never seen so many stars in my life (awesome). The crew is great and lots of fun.
When we were on Anguilla some of our group, unfortunately I wasn't in the group, ran into David Letterman and his girlfriend!!! They all got their picture taken with him, boy I was envious.
I got to steer the ship, be sure to do this, and several of us took turns crawling onto the widow's net to have our picture taken. I was really nervous doing it, but I hadn't bought all those bathing suits for nothing.
It is very casual on Windjammer cruises. I ran around in shorts and swimsuits all week, and barefoot of course. All age ranges were aboard from 13 to 76, although I wouldn't recommend it for children, it really isn't geared for kids. Most of us aboard were in 30s, 40s and 50s.
The ship itself is just gorgeous with all that wood and sails and you really get a feel for the blue/green Caribbean on this type of ship. No one got seasick. Just to be sure I took a pill the first day until I got my sea legs. There are plenty of mats to sit on top deck. I could go on and on but I've got to end this. I do have one last tip. I didn't take enough t shirts and shorts it's really hot this time of year and the taxis have puny air conditioning.
There were 86 passengers on board. I'm out of time I've got to go or this will turn into a book. My friend Debbie and I are already planning our next cruise. If anyone has any questions you can call Windjammer, 800-327-2602.
Kay Barnes, Dallas Texas USA
P.S. I learned how to snorkel too!
Photo Copyright Windjammer Barefoot Cruises, Ltd.