Windjammer for Beginners: What You Need to Know

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As of press time, Windjammer's future was still pretty uncertain. Keep an eye on our blog, This Just In, for updates--and be sure you read our story on what to do if a travel operator goes belly up.

If you book the Grenadines trip, schedule early flights in and out of Grenada, and leave time to connect. (The boat returns to Grenada late Friday night.) Folks on our trip had to pay for charter flights to make the ship or to get home within a reasonable time frame.

Not every Windjammer reservation agent is familiar with the layout of each of the company's ships. Talk to someone who knows the various cabins' quirks.

Standard cabins on our six-night cruise started at $1,300 per person; we paid $1,700 each for a small, overheated Admiral Suite. That covered room and board, Bloody Marys in the morning, afternoon Swizzles, a glass of wine at dinner, and launches to and from various beaches. Snorkeling gear was $25 for the week. The extra tours and excursions ranged from $28 for the turtle tour to $85 for a half-day of scuba diving. Jammer regulars paid much less for cabins, having been offered half-price or two-for-one deals through Windjammer e-mail promotions. Be sure to sign up for CyberSailor at before you book: You may be sent a deal soon afterward. (A month after we returned from our cruise, I received a one-day-only sale notification: $499 per person for any cruise taken in the next two months.)

Windjammer claims that seasickness is "seldom a problem," but this is scant consolation when you're the one bending over the railing. Get a prescription and/or anti-seasickness wristbands before you go. There's a heaping bowl of over-the-counter seasickness pills on the bar, but they made me fall asleep at 7:30 p.m. Then again, when the karaoke started, I really didn't mind.

You'll have to find space for everything in your itty-bitty room, which is even more crowded with two bags of snorkeling gear and a wet beach towel in it. I packed three sundresses and a pair of hiking shoes I never wore. I wish I'd ditched them and packed a thin sheet or a large sarong to sit on at the beach.

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