Island Windjammers vs Discover Corps - Tour Companies Compared
Compare details and see what other travelers are saying.
Overall — 3
Value — 3.0
Guide — 5.0
Activities — 4.0
Lodging — 4.0
Transportation — 4.0
Meals — 4.0
Overall — 4.5
Value — 4.5
Guide — 4.5
Activities — 4.5
Lodging — 4.5
Transportation — 4.5
Meals — 4.5
1.0 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
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
5.0 November 2018
Japan Cultural Odyssey
We really enjoyed our Discover Corps tour and can't wait to return to Japan. My wife and I took the Discover Corps cultural trip to Japan (Started in Tokyo-then a bullet train to Kyoto & more local trains to Osaka). The transportation system works well and no cars were ever needed. We were completely taken care of from booking and then thru the process. Adrienne did a great job of informing us of all the details-no planning required. Our guides in Japan, Aki and Miwa, were very knowledgeable local people & made sure we were having a unforgettable time! The cultural experience in Japan was terrific. Great mix of excitement; watching Sumo and participating in Kendo. The food was wonderful plus we were able to participate in sushi making!Read more
Tour Discover Corps Company Reviews
5.0 July 2018
We lived in the African bush for 10 days. Accommodations were wonderful - tents with nice furniture and attached bathrooms. Plenty of hot water! Food was delicious and quite sophisticated. But the best were the wildlife experiences led by an extremely knowledgeable and personable guide. All the staff were kind and professional.Read more
5.0 July 2017
This trip was really superb, starting with the folks like Alex in the San Diego office to our tour guide in Havana, Orelvis (a perfect gentleman if there ever was one--and he seemed to know absolutely EVERYTHING about Havana), and our driver, Boris (who was an extremely safe driver, and the SUV that was our transportation was a practically new Honda), and our friendly hostess at the casa particular (B&B).Read more
But at breakfast at the casa particular, keep in mind the CDC guidelines for healthy travel: cook it, boil it, peel it (yourself) or FORGET IT. So the bowl of fruit and the fruit juices? Pass them up in favor of coffee and toast. I know that sounds boring, but after I got home, I ended up in the hospital emergency room for dehydration due to e-coli--my fault for not following the CDC guidelines.
Also, to get up to my room at the casa particular, I had to climb a narrow, curved marble staircase--I took extra care not to fall either on the way up or on the way down.
The activities and attractions were first rate (but you must keep in mind that you're on "Cuban time," and not everything runs like a Swiss train). From the Hemingway house to the canon ceremony (which I loved even though it was a substitution for another event that was unexpectedly closed) to the jazz club (again, we went to one jazz club that for some reason didn't work out, but no problem--Orelvis took us to another jazz club recommended by his supervisor in Havana) to the art museum to the Malecon to the outdoor terrace at the Hotel Nacional and more, it was amazing how much we saw of Havana in about 72 hours.
There were only four people on the trip, and that was both a good thing and a bad thing--good because each of us received a great deal of attention from Orelvis and bad because two of the four didn't want to follow the itinerary and often went off on their own and then kept the rest of us waiting for them to return (highly frustrating--finally Boris said, "the schedule is the schedule," and we stopped catering to them). One of them spoke fluent Spanish--good for her--but I did wish that Orelvis had curtailed the lengthy conversations that she initiated with him, which the rest of us could not understand.
Two of my favorite activities were ones that I arranged myself: attending the world-class ballet at the gorgeously restored el Gran Teatro and then taking a yellow 1950 Chevrolet convertible with an Italian driver, who was an absolute hoot, back to the casa particular.
And the food at the private restaurants known as paladars was first rate. We even had lunch at one that Anthony Bourdain recently featured on his CNN travel show "Parts Unknown."
Just a small word of caution: sometimes there wasn't enough bottled water in the SUV in which we were riding, especially when we were dropped off at the casa particular at night. Make sure that you have plenty of bottled water with you at all times. (The CDC even recommends that you brush your teeth with bottled water.)
I also wish I had brought another pair of shoes with me because with all of the walking in the heat of the Cuban sun, my feet swelled. Fortunately, I had brought some Band-Aids with me, which helped cushion the sore spots.
I highly recommend this trip--to my way of thinking, it's much better than taking a cruise ship that only docks in Havana for one or two nights--and the "Havana Weekend Getaway" is the most popular trip to Cuba that is offered by Discover Corps, as I learned from Orelvis.
|Tours||0 Trip||28 Trips|
|Average Trip Price Per Day||$ 0||$ 399|
|Operator Type||Small Ship & Expedition Cruise Line||Group Tour Operator|
|Headquarters||Acworth, Georgia||San Diego, California|
|Solo Friendly||N/A||No single supplement|
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.
San Diego based tour company Discover Corps is a leader in the rapidly growing field of volunteer vacations. Operating since 2004, Discovery Corps trips average one to two weeks and focus on volunteering either with children and schools or with animals and wildlife conservation.
What Makes Discover Corps Stand Out?
They are focused on providing travel experiences with a wider humanitarian purpose - and help you put your tourism dollars to good use on the ground. The world of “voluntourism” is a sticky area, and has been met with some criticism over the years, so traveling with a reputable and transparent company has become super important.
With Discover Corps, volunteering, responsible tourism, and giving back to local communities is their entire brand - not just a buzzword on the “about us” page. So for those travelers who truly want to make their vacation about volunteering first and tourism second, Discover Corps is a great choice.
Discover Corps trips are all inclusive, and while volunteering is the primary focus, sightseeing and cultural activities are also included. Their trips are very popular among families, friend groups, and solo travelers.
Who Will Enjoy Traveling With Discover Corps?
These tours are best suited to travelers who want to have a humanitarian focus on their next trip. And if this idea is new to you, but you are interested in getting involved, Discover Corp is a great way to start.
The average age on a Discover Corps trip is 45-65 except in summer, when families with children as young as 10 are welcome on “family friendly” trips.
Wildlife lovers as well will love the opportunities available on Discover Corps Nature & Wildlife conservation tours. You’ll have a chance to get up close to some amazing species, learn about their habitats, and get to participate in various initiatives designed to protect these habitats.
Discover Corp travels around the world, in rural villages, beach locations, and rainforests. Popular destinations are primarily in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
Discover Corps Travel Style
Their all-inclusive trips combine light volunteer projects with sightseeing and cultural immersion. They also offer support while you’re on site – from building classrooms to improving water systems to creating eco-friendly homes. The ideas come from the local communities themselves, and local staff plan everything in advance.
Why Choose a Tour With Discover Corps?
If you’re the kind of person who likes being actionable and getting involved with protecting threatened cultures, wildlife, and contributing to growing communities in need of schools and homes, then Discover Corps would be a great choice.
Volunteer vacations are one of the best ways to get to know the local people on a different level than many tour companies provide. Rather than simply enjoying a meal at a local restaurant, you’re out in the neighborhoods meeting everyday people.
“Traveling with a purpose” might seem like a thrown around phrase these days, but it is the entire philosophy around every Discovery Corps trips. So when you join one of their tours, you’ll be surrounded by guides and other travelers for whom this isn’t a buzzword - it’s an important and meaningful mission.