Sail Windjammer – S/V Mandalay (June/July 2013)

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#1
29 Posts
Joined Feb 2009
I meant to post this a long time ago... every day since coming home I have been thinking about getting back on the decks of the S/V Mandalay. And since I just booked two more weeks on board posting this review here came back to mind.

To quote a Jimmy Buffett song “Some never find it, Some only pretend… I just want to live happily every after every now and then”. The moment I stepped foot onto Sail Windjammer’s S/V Mandalay’s deck I had that “happily ever after” feeling! I had sailed on the S/V Mandalay with the old Barefoot company and I thought those days were long gone.

The Sail Windjammer's crew has a contagious smile. They are truly having the time of their lives welcoming long time Jammers home and showing those new to Windjammer what the Caribbean really should be. In the 2-weeks I spent on board, Captain Sly and the crew did their best to ensure that each passenger had the best vacation ever.

Old Windjammer traditions of captains story time, dancing on the decks to island music, crab races, sea hunt and raising of the sails to Amazing Grace were honored. We rode in the widows net (in a safety harness) while under sail back to Grenada. Sly held several star gazing classes. I finally saw the Southern Cross and now can easily identify it (Thank you Sly). A very special Mandalay pirate flag was raised, and we even fired the canon on the Diamant. We visited Bequia, Tobago Cays, Carriacou, Chatham Bay & Clifton on Union Island, Palm Island, Happy Island, Sandy Island and Mayreau. Sea life was abundant.

The turtles did not disappoint, as we visited them on Bequia at the sanctuary, swam with them in the Tobabo Cays, and also, the purser, Ciara arranged a special tour for us to see Leatherbacks nesting & hatching on Grenada (very awesome)! We saw lots of stingrays and even had a special appearance by a large eagle ray while swimming with the turtles at Tobago Cays. There were lots of tangs, parrot fish, trumpet fish, puffers, squid, a few eels and even a juvenile shark was sighted. The Grenadines gave us perfect robins egg blue sky and calm seas both weeks.

I don’t remember seeing the Mandalay in better condition. We had the King cabin with its huge bed and a shower sized for a normal home. Every cabin that we took a peek at, looked to be very comfortable. Every morning Captain Sly asked if there were any problems with the cabins; any issues raised were addressed and corrected… duct tape is no longer needed to adjust the temperature in your room like in the old days!

Philbert and Ren did their best to see that we all gained weight during our vacations. I can’t think of one meal that I did not thoroughly enjoy. I even threatened that if I win the lottery I’m coming after those two for my personal chefs! One passenger had a wish to assist in the galley and it was granted. His comments were “it is clean back there” and about what an amazing job they do difficult conditions… the ship was under sail and while he was sliding all around as he worked, Philbert and Ren were steady and a rock.

I can’t tell you enough how much the crew makes the trip. I’m not sure that I can name all 20 of the crew… I know I will miss someone and everyone of them worked so hard to make our trip, but here it goes. Captain Sly doing his job (which is to look good, just ask him). Blaze making sure that Sly didn’t get us lost. Ciara organizing all the paperwork and great tours. Grandpa (Marlon) and Rocky serving our meals and making towel animals for our cabins. Rocky had a birthday that we all celebrated, too. Mashup and Conrad served up creative drinks and potent rum swizzles. Philbert and Ren making such awesome food. Quinty and Spice kept us safe as they shuttled us to and from shore in the launch. The deck hands and engineers that we didn‘t see as much but appreciate all their hard work keeping the Mandalay in such fine shape: Brian, Squall, Yellow, Chippy, Blair, Lennox, Browne, and Joseph. Joseph, also, had a birthday that we all celebrated. Squall made a new rope anklet for me. Thanks everyone for the best 2-weeks!

For those reading this; I would like to echo Jimmy Buffett’s advice:

Take it from me ‘cuz I’ve found , If you leave it then somebody else is bound, To find that treasure, that moment of pleasure, When yours, it could have been“.

Go find the Mandalay and “that moment of pleasure”. Don’t let it become a “could have been”.

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2017 Aranui 5
2016 HAL Eurodam
2016 Sail Windjammer Mandalay
2015 Sail Windjammer Mandalay
2014 Sail Windjammer Mandalay
2013 Sail Windjammer Mandalay
2012 Island Windjammer Diamant
2009 Carnival Cruise Line Legend
2007 Celebrity Cruises Galaxy
2007 Windjammer Legacy
2007 Windjammer Yankee Clipper
2006 Windjammer Yankee Clipper
2006 Windjammer Mandalay
2005 Windjammer Legacy
2000 Celebrity Cruises Horizon
1997 Dolphin Cruise Line
1993 Big Red Boat
#2
San Diego, California
456 Posts
Joined Nov 2007
You have combined two of my loves: Jimmy Buffett and tall-ship sailing. And you have done it so well!! We, too sailed on Mandy in the Barefoot days. We so love Island Windjammers' Diamant that we haven't yet tried Mandy in her renewed life. Both sailing the Grenada route is part of the issue. Especially when we have to get from the left coast to the Caribbean. But your report is so enticing, brings back so many memories and some familiar names...well, it's got me thinking. Thank you for sharing!
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Next: Tall ship sailing, March 2018

Since 2000: on Sailing Ships
Arabella (7), Diamant (4), Vela (2), Mandalay, Polynesia, Sagitta, Star Clipper (4), Star Flyer, Wind Star (4), Wind Surf (2)

Pre 2000: on small cruise ships
Caribe I, Seabreeze, Oceanbreeze, Renaissance III, Columbia Queen
#3
29 Posts
Joined Feb 2009
SailorJM we sailed the Island Windjammer's Diamant in 2012, I love the Jammers that manage that ship! My heart however is with the Mandalay and her crew (as you could tell by my report), that is why I have booked on her again this year and next.

I couldn't quite swing a 2-week vacation during the same time, but the Mandalay is making a 2-week run all the way from Grenada to St. Maarten next year. Check out their "News & Updates" page. Oh, those lucky people.




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2017 Aranui 5
2016 HAL Eurodam
2016 Sail Windjammer Mandalay
2015 Sail Windjammer Mandalay
2014 Sail Windjammer Mandalay
2013 Sail Windjammer Mandalay
2012 Island Windjammer Diamant
2009 Carnival Cruise Line Legend
2007 Celebrity Cruises Galaxy
2007 Windjammer Legacy
2007 Windjammer Yankee Clipper
2006 Windjammer Yankee Clipper
2006 Windjammer Mandalay
2005 Windjammer Legacy
2000 Celebrity Cruises Horizon
1997 Dolphin Cruise Line
1993 Big Red Boat
#4
San Diego, California
456 Posts
Joined Nov 2007
Verrrrrry interesting!
Thanks!
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Next: Tall ship sailing, March 2018

Since 2000: on Sailing Ships
Arabella (7), Diamant (4), Vela (2), Mandalay, Polynesia, Sagitta, Star Clipper (4), Star Flyer, Wind Star (4), Wind Surf (2)

Pre 2000: on small cruise ships
Caribe I, Seabreeze, Oceanbreeze, Renaissance III, Columbia Queen
#5
29 Posts
Joined Feb 2009
SailorJM we couldn't swing 2-weeks in February but we are going for the 1-week sail out of St. Maarten. So, currently we have one week booked for winter 2014 and one week booked in February 2015. We love the Mandalay!


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2017 Aranui 5
2016 HAL Eurodam
2016 Sail Windjammer Mandalay
2015 Sail Windjammer Mandalay
2014 Sail Windjammer Mandalay
2013 Sail Windjammer Mandalay
2012 Island Windjammer Diamant
2009 Carnival Cruise Line Legend
2007 Celebrity Cruises Galaxy
2007 Windjammer Legacy
2007 Windjammer Yankee Clipper
2006 Windjammer Yankee Clipper
2006 Windjammer Mandalay
2005 Windjammer Legacy
2000 Celebrity Cruises Horizon
1997 Dolphin Cruise Line
1993 Big Red Boat
#6
San Diego, California
456 Posts
Joined Nov 2007
I'll be looking forward to your report. I love St. Maarten and I'll be interested to hear if Sail Windjammer sets up more sailings from there.

My all-time favorite sailing tall ship, Arabella, now owned by Manhattan Yacht Club, started offering public sailings in the BVI (via Tortola) last Feb-Apr, and we sailed her again, which renewed our love-affair with her. So when some 2015 sailings were announced recently, we didn't blink before signing up.
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Next: Tall ship sailing, March 2018

Since 2000: on Sailing Ships
Arabella (7), Diamant (4), Vela (2), Mandalay, Polynesia, Sagitta, Star Clipper (4), Star Flyer, Wind Star (4), Wind Surf (2)

Pre 2000: on small cruise ships
Caribe I, Seabreeze, Oceanbreeze, Renaissance III, Columbia Queen
#7
29 Posts
Joined Feb 2009
Our first trip on the Mandalay was in the BVI's during the old Windjammer Barefoot Cruises days. Great island chain for a sailing vacation. I've had my eye on Arabella for a while...just not enough vacation days to do it all!


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2017 Aranui 5
2016 HAL Eurodam
2016 Sail Windjammer Mandalay
2015 Sail Windjammer Mandalay
2014 Sail Windjammer Mandalay
2013 Sail Windjammer Mandalay
2012 Island Windjammer Diamant
2009 Carnival Cruise Line Legend
2007 Celebrity Cruises Galaxy
2007 Windjammer Legacy
2007 Windjammer Yankee Clipper
2006 Windjammer Yankee Clipper
2006 Windjammer Mandalay
2005 Windjammer Legacy
2000 Celebrity Cruises Horizon
1997 Dolphin Cruise Line
1993 Big Red Boat
#8
Massachusetts
112 Posts
Joined Jan 2005
Would love to hear more about the current Mandalay trips. Going in Feb. 2018
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QLOTP-Lisa
#9
29 Posts
Joined Feb 2009
Originally posted by QLOTP
Would love to hear more about the current Mandalay trips. Going in Feb. 2018

Looks like you'll be sailing thru the Leeward Islands. We did that trip in February 2015. Here is a link to our photos from that trip: https://clukey.smugmug.com/Through-T...eeward-Islands

Great trip, beautiful Islands, but we had a bit of rough weather one night and one passenger decided to go up on deck to see why we were rocking and rolling so much...he went home with a broken toe. So, if it gets rough (it won't last long) stay in your cabin until the captain gets the ship into safe harbor.

Try the bang bang calamari at the Green House on St. Maarten.

Order a large Killer Bee at Sunshine's on Nevis.

Stop by Le Select on St. Bart's for a few cold beers, but honestly not the best cheeseburger even though it is supposedly the inspiration for Jimmy Buffett's Cheeseburger in Paradise.

And plan to spend some time at the Sunset Bar in Maho Beach on St. Maarten, order a few cold Carib beers and a tasty cheeseburger while you watch the airplanes fly low over the beach.

If you haven't been on the S/V Mandalay before expect a casual laid back not always on schedule but awesome vacation.
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2017 Aranui 5
2016 HAL Eurodam
2016 Sail Windjammer Mandalay
2015 Sail Windjammer Mandalay
2014 Sail Windjammer Mandalay
2013 Sail Windjammer Mandalay
2012 Island Windjammer Diamant
2009 Carnival Cruise Line Legend
2007 Celebrity Cruises Galaxy
2007 Windjammer Legacy
2007 Windjammer Yankee Clipper
2006 Windjammer Yankee Clipper
2006 Windjammer Mandalay
2005 Windjammer Legacy
2000 Celebrity Cruises Horizon
1997 Dolphin Cruise Line
1993 Big Red Boat
#10
missouri city, tx, usa
1,490 Posts
Joined Apr 2004
Considering this type of sailing for the first time and lots of questions:

1. In the FAQ of their website under things to do it states exercise. Is there a small gym on board? I know. I know. Who exercises on vac?! I do (somewhat unfortunately) as I am always in Marathon trg mode not to mention trying to justify my over indulgence on vac!

2. If the weather is bad during the day what is there to do to pass the time?

3. Are you at a port every day? What is the avg length of stay in a port?

Thanks
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Cheri & Charlie

Royal Harmony 03/2017 - 20th cruise & 20th anniv of mtg on a cruise!
Royal Navigator 02/2015
Princess Crown 02/2013
Holland Eurodam 11/2011
Holland Oosterdam 02/2011
Carnival Conquest 11/2010
Carnival Ecstasy 04/2009
Royal Voyager 04/2008
Princess Grand 04/2007
Carnival Conquest 11/2006
Princess Golden 11/2005
Carnival Elation 05/2005
Norwegian Spirit 08/2004
Royal Voyager 11/2003
Carnival Celebration 09/2003
Princess Grand 11/2002
Celebrity Infinity 11/2001
Norwegian Sea 11/2000
Carnival Sensation 11/1998
Carnival Celebration 03/1997
#11
Massachusetts
112 Posts
Joined Jan 2005
Originally posted by MissJammin
Looks like you'll be sailing thru the Leeward Islands. We did that trip in February 2015. Here is a link to our photos from that trip: https://clukey.smugmug.com/Through-T...eeward-Islands

Great trip, beautiful Islands, but we had a bit of rough weather one night and one passenger decided to go up on deck to see why we were rocking and rolling so much...he went home with a broken toe. So, if it gets rough (it won't last long) stay in your cabin until the captain gets the ship into safe harbor.

Try the bang bang calamari at the Green House on St. Maarten.

Order a large Killer Bee at Sunshine's on Nevis.

Stop by Le Select on St. Bart's for a few cold beers, but honestly not the best cheeseburger even though it is supposedly the inspiration for Jimmy Buffett's Cheeseburger in Paradise.

And plan to spend some time at the Sunset Bar in Maho Beach on St. Maarten, order a few cold Carib beers and a tasty cheeseburger while you watch the airplanes fly low over the beach.

If you haven't been on the S/V Mandalay before expect a casual laid back not always on schedule but awesome vacation.
Thank you for your reply! We are so excited for this. We went on The Legacy back in the day and the laid back vacation is what it's all about!
Going to check out your pictures right now!
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QLOTP-Lisa
#12
missouri city, tx, usa
1,490 Posts
Joined Apr 2004
Originally posted by MissJammin
Looks like you'll be sailing thru the Leeward Islands. We did that trip in February 2015. Here is a link to our photos from that trip: https://clukey.smugmug.com/Through-T...eeward-Islands


And plan to spend some time at the Sunset Bar in Maho Beach on St. Maarten, order a few cold Carib beers and a tasty cheeseburger while you watch the airplanes fly low over the beach.

If you haven't been on the S/V Mandalay before expect a casual laid back not always on schedule but awesome vacation.

We've had the good fortune of visiting Maho Beach numerous times, but last year was the highlight. Had the opportunity to sit on the beach and watch my husband land on the runway! He's a retired commercial pilot and now a corporate pilot in semi retirement. For YEARS he's waited for an opportunity to land in St Martin and finally had the opportunity. I surprised him by having a professional photographer capture it on film for him. He also had a video mounted on the flight deck to give a different perspective!
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Cheri & Charlie

Royal Harmony 03/2017 - 20th cruise & 20th anniv of mtg on a cruise!
Royal Navigator 02/2015
Princess Crown 02/2013
Holland Eurodam 11/2011
Holland Oosterdam 02/2011
Carnival Conquest 11/2010
Carnival Ecstasy 04/2009
Royal Voyager 04/2008
Princess Grand 04/2007
Carnival Conquest 11/2006
Princess Golden 11/2005
Carnival Elation 05/2005
Norwegian Spirit 08/2004
Royal Voyager 11/2003
Carnival Celebration 09/2003
Princess Grand 11/2002
Celebrity Infinity 11/2001
Norwegian Sea 11/2000
Carnival Sensation 11/1998
Carnival Celebration 03/1997
#13
Massachusetts
112 Posts
Joined Jan 2005
That's great!!! I loved watching the planes land the last time we were in st Maarten!
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QLOTP-Lisa
#18
29 Posts
Joined Feb 2009
Love that picture! One day we will cross paths again. It would be nice for it to be down island.


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2017 Aranui 5
2016 HAL Eurodam
2016 Sail Windjammer Mandalay
2015 Sail Windjammer Mandalay
2014 Sail Windjammer Mandalay
2013 Sail Windjammer Mandalay
2012 Island Windjammer Diamant
2009 Carnival Cruise Line Legend
2007 Celebrity Cruises Galaxy
2007 Windjammer Legacy
2007 Windjammer Yankee Clipper
2006 Windjammer Yankee Clipper
2006 Windjammer Mandalay
2005 Windjammer Legacy
2000 Celebrity Cruises Horizon
1997 Dolphin Cruise Line
1993 Big Red Boat