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Thanks for visiting Sauce du Jour. Feel free to share a great recipe, leave a comment, or make me dinner. I'll bring hors d' oeuvres and the wine! To visit my website go to Thanks for visiting the Sauce ~Tammi

Jul 8, 2010

Free Ingwe: Not Your Granny's ♥ Boat

     In the yesteryear of cruising, ships were filled with blue haired ladies in gold lame and floweridy prints (think Lilly Pulitzer on Boniva) and old guys in tuxedos, polka-dancing, pinching bottoms and pulling all-nighters (think Lawrence Welk on crack). Days were for playing shuffleboard and standing in a buffet line and nights were for fancy clothes and formal dinners.    
   Since the 21st century cruising has become family friendly. Cranky babies, whiney toddlers and sullen teens with uncool parents are all welcomed on board. Corona and Captain Morgan have replaced champagne as the drink of choice and pizza, nachos and chicken wings are de rigueur on the 24-7 buffet. The splash pool still gets peed in but it’s not just for the geriatric set dozing in wheel chairs anymore. The big cruise ships have become so economical that the whole fam damily can afford to go—so it’s still a great way to vacation, right?
     HAH! I know something that the people with Royal Caribbean luggage tags don’t! To see the Caribbean, you don’t have to spend a week with 2800 annoying people, standing in lines, plotting excursions in advance and on marathon duty free shopping sprees.
     Nosiree, I know this wonderful little PRIVATE charter that will allow you to get up close and personal with the islands. Free Ingwe is a 45’ catamaran with better amenities then its much larger brethren. 
For starters, the food is made fresh and served minutes after coming off of the stove! No buffets, no MSG, no chicken wings (unless requested of coarse). Dinners are 5 star quality and served when YOU want them. Mel is an amazing chef and she can please even the pickiest pallet. (I won’t name names, but I happen to know a couple of people who think frozen burritos and hotdogs are two of the food groups). That said, even Savannah and Shane loved the food. No dressing for dinner here. Swim wear is perfectly acceptable attire.
     Second, there are NO LINES, unless you count waiting your turn to water ski or wake board, which means that you could have to wait for a sec while 1 or 2 other people get in the dingy.
     But wait, it gets even better! Captain Matt knows all the best spots for snorkeling and scuba diving and has tanks and gear on board. There is no looking up a dive shop, catching a taxi, standing in line and filling our paperwork, fitting gear and then waiting while it all gets loaded on the dive boat. You barely have time for one quick dive before you have to get in the long line of day trippers waiting to get back on the big boat. On Free Ingwe diving/snorkeling is like this: hmmm, I think I want to dive/snorkel today. Within minutes the boat is at a site and you are ready to take that big step off the platform. Don’t know how to dive? No problem, Mel is an instructor and she can certify you during your trip! You will find beaches so secluded that no one else will even be there. If anyone dares to have the nerve to invade your private paradise, Matt will find you another one. 
     Another thing, the big boats dock at the big ports of call, meaning you will be dumped off in a TOURIST TRAP (don’t forget…with 2800 of your new closest friends). On Free Ingwe you will be able to snorkel and/or hike The Baths on Virgin Gorda, have a spa treatment on Peter Island, go to Anegada and eat the best lobster in ALL of the Caribbean, kayak at Guana Island, water ski at Great Camanoe and do the bar crawl on beautiful Jost Van Dyk. 
     I can hear you now…but you like nightlife, maybe even a little show. Well it’s your lucky day buddy because Matt and Mel know the places where all the cool kids go. They can take you to a touristy trap like Willy T’s (there is always a “show” there), or a place where all the locals hang out, like Willy T’s or even a world famous place, like Willy T’s. Let me tell you, those crazy kids know how to par-tay! If that’s a little much for you, there is always the spectacular nightly show of the sun setting and the moon rising over the Sir Frances Drake channel. You can relax with 5 of your best friends (or favorite kids) and enjoy one of Matt's specialty cocktails. No trying to flag down a bartender here, no ticket to sign and no surprising bar bill at the end of the week! On this cruise, drinks are FREE! You heard me right--ZIP, ZERO, NADA!
     So if you are a mega-cruise-ship kind of gal, go ahead and bring your floral muumuu, your gold lame sandals and your straw beach bag, if you must, but under no circumstances will Grandpa be allowed to pack his penguin suit.
     TRUST ME, when I tell you that this is THEE way to cruise. And feel free to drop my name when you book your trip, it’s good for one free tattoo at Willy T’s.

Mel is sharing her recipe for Blue Cheese Crusted Filet Mignon with Port Wine Sauce.  I had it when I was on board and I can vouch for its delish factor. Go to the "Beef-Pork-Chicken" tab at the top of this page to view it. (Photo above  right: Your hosts-Captain Matt and Chef Melissa)
This is Part 1 of a 2 Part Blog about Free Ingwe, so stay tuned!

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