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Bill H

Age: 55

Occupation:retired

Number of Cruises: 10

Cruise Line: Windjammer Sailing Adventures

Ship: S/V Mandalay

Sailing Date: 2012-07-22

Itinerary: The Grenadines

"Like a phoenix rising from its ashes, the spirit of Windjammer is alive and well with the new Windjammer --Windjammer Sailing Adventures!!

My wife and I have just returned from the inaugural WSA week of sailing the beautiful turquoise blue waters of the Grenadines on the 236 foot long tall ship Mandalay, the Queen of the old Windjammer Barefoot Cruises fleet that now belongs to the new WSA. We can report that the ship is in fantastic shape, looks better than it has in years and sails just as well as it ever did. Best of all, almost all of the crew is old Windjammer people, starting with Captain Sly; Bosun Yellow and his great deck team including Squall, Rudy, and Roy; Chef Boston with Ren and Mckenzie; Chief Steward Rocky with Marlon and two great ladies, Stephon and Tina; Bartender Mashupâ assisted by Conrad; and finally Chief Engineer Bishop with Quincy, Sheldon, Blair, and Snake helping him keep all the ship's systems running. And I've probably missed some others! It was like old home week on the ship, being greeted with hugs from so many old friends and being made to feel as though the grand old gal had never taken a break from sailing! It was truly a fantastic week.

Some of the best of the new things on the ship are a greatly enlarged Galley that makes Boston's job of food preparation even more efficient; new individual air conditioning units providing individual temperature control in every cabin; new, firm, memory-foam mattresses in all cabins; a brand new water-making system that provides a great additional supply of fresh water; lots of honestly hot water for showers; lots of new fabric goods, including bedspreads, blankets, tablecloths and napkins; and finally all new dishes and glassware!

Most of the cabins are similar than before, but all have been cleaned and refurbished to provide a new look. And the portholes on the main deck are still there, so the cabins all still have daylight.

Finally in the cabin story, there is one new grand cabin on the ship for those who book early enough to get it, the King Cabin, #25, which now includes the space of old cabins 25 AND 27 and features a King Sized Bed, and a separate and large head, complete with a large vanity and sink and a walk-in shower big enough for two or three or four, depending on what kind of a party you want to have! It is truly decadent!

Suffice to say that on Monday when we sailed away from St. Georges, the raising of the sails to the strains of Amazing Grace was an incredibly emotional time for almost everyone on the ship -- especially the two of us. And the emotions continued to be close to everyones hearts during the week, especially when events occurred that brought back old and fond memories!

And then, if Mondays first raising of the sails was not enough, on Saturday as we were leaving the ship in St. Georges -- loading our bags into Mandoo's bus and sharing sad goodbyes with crew and friends alike -- that dastardly Mashup pushed a button at the bar and the strains of Amazing Grace flowed across the ship and the wharf and the tears started anew! We all love that dastardly guy, who has loyally served Mandalay longer than anyone we know of, but he sure pulled our chains effectively with that. Standing on the wharf saying our goodbyes and listening to that music there were again many tears, but they were all tears of joy for we knew that the old Windjammer was back and that the spirit and memories of all those who sailed her in the past and are no longer with us definitely sailed with us this past week!

So this is just a quick note to let everyone know that Windjammer Sailing Adventures scored a huge home run on their first week of sailing, and that we are sure that will be many, many more to come! We know that we'll be back and hope many of you will join us!"

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