Topdeck vs Island Windjammers - Tour Companies Compared
Compare details and see what other travelers are saying.
Overall — 5
Value — 4.6
Guide — 4.6
Activities — 4.6
Lodging — 4.6
Transportation — 4.6
Meals — 4.6
Overall — 3
Value — 3.0
Guide — 5.0
Activities — 4.0
Lodging — 4.0
Transportation — 4.0
Meals — 4.0
Fast-Paced Tour of Western Europe that highlighted most Bucket List Sights. Awesome Company. Great Food and Tour Leader5.0 June 2019
I jumped on this tour with very little notice and planning, and I was thoroughly impressed. Our Topdeck trip leader was very knowledgeable, fun, and adjusted the trip to the group (34 people). The meals provided were delicious, and they worked hard to cater to dietary needs. Accommodations were good, typically with 2-6 people in a hostel room. Keep in mind they are hostels, not hotels (bring your own towel).Read more
I loved the itinerary, as it highlighted the must-see places and had variety (ex. Paris, Rome vs. Switzerland). The optionals in each city were all wonderful. However, many were not presented in the Topdeck literature online and were not introduced on the trip more than a day in advance. All are paid for in cash (Euros). Because of how the optionals were presented, it was a bit harder to budget. I would recommend inquiring more about the optionals when booking and at the beginning of your tour via your trip leader. Don't feel pressured to do all of them and remember to keep your own interests in mind.
The solo travelers easily found others with similar interests to explore with. For many on this trip, drinking and going out to bars/clubs was a major component (as alcohol is often cheaper than water). Because of the shortness of this tour along with all the destinations, prepare for lots of driving and to make the most of the time you have in each city.
This trip provided am amazing sampling of Western Europe and opened my eyes to cultures and history I was unfamiliar with. Overall, I would highly recommend this itinerary and touring company, as it provided a good balance between budget and experiences.
P.S. Stay flexible with plans, but some of the popular sights need more pre-planning than expected, like the Eiffel Tower and the Anne Frank House (Amsterdam).
Tour European Wonder
Overall amazing value. Food, particularly by Topdeck staff, excellent. Spontaneous/flexible; be prepared to pay for lots of extra excursions, on and off your itinerary, in cash.5.0 June 2019
Food was excellent. Accomodations were better than expected: hostels, but usually with in-suite bathrooms and always only with other members of your tour of the same gender. Don't try to overplan; trip is quite spontaneous and flexible and you won't know much about the schedule/optionals for each city more than a day or so in advance. Optionals will be plentiful and paid in cash. Only do those that are right for you, even if your trip leader really encourages them and most other people are going. These trips are great for solo travelers, but make sure you find people interested in the same things as you...it will probably be easy to find groups to go to bars and clubs with in the evenings, but harder to find people who prefer other evening plans. Driver was excellent and bus was very comfortable and clean, but be prepared to spend a lot of time on it as there is no driving at night. Trip leader extremely knowledgeable, experienced, and helpful. Overall, excellent value and a trip with plenty of time to see the bucket list highlights in each city.Read more
Tour European Wonder
Winter Spirit around Europe!5.0 March 2019
I did the 24 day Winter Spirit around Europe! I would definitely recommend booking a Topdeck tour! It was the best experience ever. Doing my second Topdeck in July around New Zealand!
Tour Topdeck Company Reviews
The worst company I have been with1.0 November 2018
Does Not Recommend
I booked two back to back cruises to different areas, it wasn't until I was on the second trip that I was told the itinerary had changed and we were going back to do the same itinerary in which I had just finished, no one from the company had warned me otherwise I would have chosen something different or cancelled one of them. When I contacted the head office they apologised and offered me a free 6 day cruise to which I asked for the cost equiverlent instead as I wasn't going to be in the Caribbean again plus the wasted 6 days repeating everything again.Read more
They didn't want to do that and their response was a letter reminding me about their Small Print that says they have the right to substitute any scheduled sailings and itineraries without notice, a great cop out and an extremely bad way to treat customers.
After talking to some of the other guests about it I found out I wasn't the only one unhappy with their customer service treatment from head office and they wouldn't be travelling with them again.
I have travelled exstensively for many year to over 90 countries and work in tourism as a Guide and also spent 10 selling trips just like this and never had I had or heard of such bad service.
Air con didn't work for a while in some of the rooms so 2 of us had to sleep in the hallway.
average food , horrible coffee and undrinkable wine.
There are lots of other companies out there to choose from.
The ship staff were fantastic
Tour Island Windjammers Company Reviews
The perfect relaxing vacation!5.0 June 2015
After taking an Island Windjammers cruise, it would be hard to return to big-ship cruising in the Caribbean. We were able to drop anchor off small, secluded coves on tiny islands in the French West Indies. There were no loudspeaker announcements, no cruise director trying to convince you to play silly games, no long lines to stand in, no need to dress up beyond shorts and T-shirts, no pressure of any kind. You do need to be able to entertain yourself, though, since there are no organized shows or performers (one passenger did play a few songs with his guitar). I would estimate that half the passengers on ship (just 24 in all) were in bed or their cabins by 9:30 p.m. while the other half partied until midnight or later – alcohol is included in the fare and there was plenty of imbibing, but it didn’t get overly noisy or obnoxious at night. Everyone seemed to have a good time and I heard few if any complaints about the food or service the entire voyage. It was the perfect relaxing vacation.Read more
Tour Island Windjammers Company Reviews
|Tours||347 Trips||0 Trip|
|Average Trip Price Per Day||$ 147||$ 0|
|Operator Type||Group Tour Operator||Small Ship & Expedition Cruise Line|
|Headquarters||Chiswick, London, UK||Acworth, Georgia|
|Solo Friendly||Good for singles, No single supplement||N/A|
Founded in 1973, Topdeck has been providing fun, adventurous trips around the world for 18-39 for over 40 years.
What Makes Topdeck Travel Stand Out?
Topdeck tour focuses on providing friendly and authentic guided group tours where like-minded 18-39 year old travelers can have amazing group experiences. There are several trip types to choose from, from camping, to immersive, to multi destination, to sailing.
Who Will Enjoy Traveling with Topdeck?
Sociable, adventurous, budget conscious 18-39 year olds are the kinds of traveler who will gravitate to Topdeck. Though they offer a few different distinct travel styles, there is definitely a sense of an ongoing party, with travel as the conduit and underlying shared interest.
If the idea of being around a group of similarly aged people - many of whom may be exploring internationally for the first or second time - being spontaneous, and meeting locals (often in the environment of bars or clubs) is unappealing, then Topdeck may not be your cup of tea.
Introverted travelers, or those for whom an extensively planned itinerary including many museums and historical sites is ideal, may want to hunt around before choosing a Topdeck tour.
That is not to dissuade the more observational traveler - who may very well find a group they gel with perfectly on a Topdeck tour. Only to caution that you will be surrounded by several extroverted personalities.
The bottom line is if you are game for anything, are traveling on a budget, and don’t mind fairly basic but comfortable accommodations and inexpensive meals - sometimes on the go - then you will enjoy the Topdeck tour experience.
Topdeck has tours throughout the world, in Europe, Australia & New Zealand, North America, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.
Topdeck Travel Style
The Topdeck travel style is tied quite specifically to their audience. These tours are great for youthful and energetic 18-39 year olds looking for a good time and to make new friends.
In the interest of keeping their tours affordable, travelers with Topdeck will need to make a few allowances. For example, hostels and hotels may be situated quite far away from the city centers. You can also expect some long travel days. The more of a good sense of humor and adventure you have, the more you’ll enjoy the experience.
Why Choose a Tour With Topdeck
Feeling the urge to connect with travelers in your age group, have fun, and make lasting friendships? Topdeck has over 40 years of experience in adventure travel, which has helped them create epic low cost trips for 18-30 somethings.
These tours are certainly not for those who prefer to take things slow. You will be running around, moving between a lot of places - which in some cases means very long bus rides - going out a lot, meeting new people, and staying active throughout your tour.
If your ideal travel experience is more methodical and planned out in nature, Topdeck may not be for you.
But if you are an adventurous and social travelers eager to absorb a new culture and make new friends, then hop on board!
Born in 2009 after the demise of Windjammer Barefoot Cruises, Island Windjammers was started by former Barefoot passengers who wanted to revive a similar type of casual, relaxed Caribbean cruising. Emphasis is on fun and spending your time onboard as you please.
Island Windjammers cruises are best suited for relatively affluent adults in their 30s to 60s, who prefer small ship cruising and uncrowded ports to big ships that offer multiple activities, restaurants and entertainments. They’re also for people who are most comfortable in T-shirts, shorts, and either sandals or bare feet onboard.
Beyond offering a few optional organized tours, Island Windjammers leaves your activities largely up to you. No one will look askance if you spend the entire day sunning or reading on the ship, stay up late or go to bed early, party hearty or find a quiet chair on deck to watch the world go by.
Island Windjammers cruises exclusively in the Caribbean, offering four possible itineraries: the Windward Islands, the Leeward Islands, the British Virgin Islands, and the French West Indies, which together cover much of the eastern and southern Caribbean. Home ports include Grenada, St. Lucia, Tortola and St. Maarten.
Two motor sailing ships – the 12-passenger Diamant and the 24-passenger Sagitta – make up the current fleet. A third tall ship, the 30-passenger Vela, will be introduced in early 2016. Itineraries are relaxed, visiting islands for a day or two at a time, allowing plenty of time for touring, swimming, and snorkeling. Cabins are cozy but comfortable and most have their own bathrooms and portholes.
Island Windjammers cruises are for those who want to relax and have a good time in the company of relatively few fellow passengers – who you will probably all get to know (the captain may well join you for lunch or dinner in his bare feet). Wine, beer, and rum punches are complimentary and the cuisine is excellent. If you’re looking for a traditional big cruise ship experience, look elsewhere. Narrow stairs leading down to the cabins can cause problems for people with disabilities -- there are no elevators -- and choppy seas on occasion may cause problems if you’re prone to seasickness.