Windjammer Mandalay Cruises Questions with Answers
Windjammer Mandalay Cruises
Q & A with a Mandalay Cruises Jammer
Story Time commences on the top deck each morning after breakfast. On the first day of each cruise Captain Sly, during “Story Time,” asks:
Who has sailed on Mandalay cruises before?
Who has been to the beautiful island of Bequia?
Who has been to the amazing island of Mayreau?
Who has been to Sandy Island?
We’re experienced “Jammers.” We’ve sailed now with “Sail Windjammer” (the “new” company) twice, and with Windjammer Barefoot Cruises (the “old company”) three times. Folks always seem interested in hearing about these Caribbean vacations, but are hesitant to book one. For today, here are the questions I am most frequently asked about these “No Foo Foo Ship” cruises. The first one is “What is a foo-foo ship?”
This Ain’t No Foo-Foo Ship
Q: I’ve read about “barefoot” cruises off the coast of Maine where you have to work on board. Is this the same?
A: Sail Windjammer was formed two years ago from the legacy and culture of a former Windjammer company which operated for decades from Miami, plying the warm Caribbean waters with, at one time, five tall ships. I would imagine the Maine sailings are very different. On the S.V. Mandalay cruises, Sail Windjammer’s historic ship, passengers are invited to help raise the sails — to the melody of “Amazing Grace.” The deck hands do need the help, and it is appreciated, but not required. Passengers do not cook or clean the ship, of course. The morale of the passengers determines the amount of rum in the swizzles.
Q: What do you do on board?
A: As much or as little as you like. Each day the activities director writes (and draws) the day’s itinerary on the board.
We like to sit on deck and soak up the Caribbean sun. (Grenada is just 12 degrees from the equator.) When the ship is under sail, it’s enjoyable to watch the Captain at the wheel or take a turn yourself.
We sail to a different island every day, and passengers can enjoy the beach or an island excursion. My family snorkeled nearly every day, and even swam with sea turtles at a national preserve. At Union Island, we visited the very unique and famous locale, Happy Island, a man-made island that celebrities, including Alton Brown, visit.
Q: How is the food?
A: The food is excellent! Unlike a cruise ship, passengers enjoy meals in the saloon and bare feet are acceptable. The dinner bell rings and guests choose their tables. Snacks and rum swizzles are served each afternoon around 5 p.m. and early risers get Bloody Mary’s and sticky buns at 6:30 a.m. Sometimes the crew brings a picnic lunch and bar to the deserted island we are visiting for the day.
Windjammer Mandalay Cruises Guests
Q: How big is the ship? How many passengers are on board? How old is the ship?
A: S.V. Mandalay is 236 feet long. Up to 55 passengers can be accommodated in the 29 staterooms. She is 93 years old.
Q: Do you sail from Florida?
A: No, the US Coast Guard does not appreciate ships that have a high percentage of wood below deck, or lack water tight bulkheads — Anyway, that would be a long sail. Most weeks of the year, S.V. Mandalay embarks from Grenada. American Airlines flies from Miami to St. Georges, Grenada, several times a week. Due to wacky airline schedules, most passengers arrive a day or two early and stay an extra day in Grenada.
Mandalay Cruises Crew
Q: What is the crew like?
A: The Mandalay Cruises Crew is fantastic. They cannot do enough for the passengers. We enjoy visiting with crew members, many of whom are from islands in the West Indies.
Q: What are the islands like?
A: The islands in Grenada and St. Vincent and the Grenadines are beautiful. Some are uninhabited, like Tobago Keys. Mayreau has 300 residents and Bequia has a population of 4,300 including a large concentration of international expats.
Q: Do you get seasick?
A: I rarely have had problems with seasickness. Because the ship is under sail — and really sailing — passengers will feel the waves. It is advised to have anti-sickness medicine on hand, or, wear the anti-motion sickness wristbands available today. There is almost always land in sight — the ship is island hopping — but on each itinerary there is always one or two big sails, where the captain takes the ship out 50 miles or so, and then sails back down through the islands.
Q: Is there a safe for my valuables?
A: There is a plank on the ship. It is normally used for diving off the side of the ship.
Q: Would you go again?
A: Yes! Headed out in two weeks.
Q: Do you have any videos of Mandalay Cruises?
A: Yes! September 2012 October 2006
TYPICAL JAMMIN DAY ON MANDALAY CRUISES:
6:30 am- Sunrise Breakfast:
Pastries, Bloody Mary’s and coffee are available for early risers. Hang out on the top deck and watch the sunrise. Great way to start the day. View marine life and birds while enjoying your coffee, or bloody mary’s and sticky buns.
7:30-8:15 – Sit down breakfast
Full Service breakfast served in the saloon
8:30- Captains Story Time
The day begins with the legendary greeting: Good Morning Capt. Listen to the captain as he delivers an entertaining overview of the islands and region. Local lore, history, jokes, tall tales are all part of the fun.
9:30am- Daytime Activities Begin
Almost every island we visit offers beach and water sports activities, including snorkelling, and even swimming from the ship. If we’re on a deserted island, grab your beach towel ,sunscreen, a good book, and your favorite floatie and head for the beach. You can choose from various Island excursions each day. Some last a few hours, some a full day (lunch is included). If you choose to, you can just relax on the top deck, read a book with drink in hand and enjoy the solitude.
12:00 or 12:30 Lunch
Lunch is served in the dining room or ashore on the beach
5:00-5:30 Snacks and Swizzle Time
Enjoy a refreshing rum swizzle and an assortment of tasty goodies ranging from local seafood to peanut butter pate and mingle with your fellow passengers
5:30- Fun on the top deck
You can either relax on the top deck and watch the sun begin to set- and try to catch a glimpse of the green flash, or participate in our whacky deck games.
You’ll have a choice of a couple delicious entrees served by our amazing, friendly, and charming crew. Dinner can be a buffet, sit down , or even prepared ashore.
9:00- Nocturnal Activities
Many choices here… dance the night away, mingle with your new found friends at the rail, relax with your beverage of choice on the aft deck, or grab a floatie and gaze at the stars. If you’re worn out from the day’s activities, retire to your cabin enjoy the tranquil nights at sea.
Nightly games and activities including MANDALAY CRUISES MASQUERADE. Bring a costume if you like, or make one on board.
Snorkel gear is available on board for weekly rental. Be sure to bring sunscreen and toiletries.
We currently do not have them for sale in our Mandalay cruises store. Soap is available in all cabins, but we do not provide shampoo.
Mandalay Cruises previous posts and information:
December 6-19, 2015
(Two Week Sail) $2198pp
December 20-26, 2015 (Christmas on the Mandalay!) $1099pp
January 3-9, 2016 $1099pp
January 17-23, 2016 $1099pp
January 24-30, 2016 $1099pp
Special price includes port charges!
Best Cabin Available.
Subject to Availability.
Cannot be Combined with any other offer.
New Bookings Only
Adapted from Evanston Living, Kristen Tucker