The four days we spent on the Jubilee in mid January were the best vacation we have had in Panama since we arrived almost 15 years ago. The boat is beautiful and comfortable and the crew is fantastic! The captain and his wife were the most charming and knowledgeable hosts one could expect and Yam, apart from providing great music was always available to help with anything we needed. We were 3 families with children aged 3 to 14 and we all had a fantastic time. Wonderful beaches, great snorkeling, comfortable rooms and delicious fresh seafood: Paradise found!!!
We had an experience that would make anyone believe in karma.... We are a very well travelled family and finding a place and an experience none of us have never had was a difficult task- somewhat last minute, we agreed to all go to sail off Panama as a birthday celebration for my husband's special b day. Many plans had come and gone and as "lets just try this out" sailing, which was on my husband's bucket list, became the thing to do. The caribbean was out.... I get seasick so finding calm waters was a must and we engaged a trip with San Bias sailing. Another sailing expedition was engaged but on the first day out many negative things occurred- the sail ripping on the catamaran we rented was the final straw- no sail= no sailing. The company did come thru and to our rescue arrived the Jubilee. Had I known what I now know, I would have rented this craft without hesitation from the start.
First the boat is amazing and although we hoped to have a sailing experience, I would say we had a “motoring” experience but heaven sent compared to the boat we initially engaged. The rooms are great- the bathrooms generous for a boat but the stand out feature are the crew, Ismael, Gulcin and Yam. They are mature, intelligent, engaging wonderful people. Fortunately, not having the cook from the other boat to join was the perfect decision. It would have bothered us and disturbed the camaraderie between the Jubilee crew. They rose to the occasion- they treated us wonderfully and cooked amazing meals. We trusted them implicitly - within minutes of being aboard we had a safety briefing and Ismael was the “captain”- he was in charge and this made all of us feel very comfortable. After this experience I believe in karma- My eldest daughter speaks Turkish (poorly but the amount she could learn with 4 months in Turkey), she also has a love of art history and so a bond with Gulcin was immediate. My husband’s initial wish was to be in Israel in December but we had spent a few December’s there and the weather at that time of year is just ok, no one wanted to go, so instead having Yam there meant Israel was brought to my husband. So the real birthday was the change from a very uncomfortable situation on the cataman (initially engaged) to an amazing experience on the Jubilee.
I will follow the adventures of this Turkish gullet and its amazing crew and will book them annually where ever they are... no higher compliment can be given. They are the best.
You will be forever ruined for commercial cruising after taking a trip on the Jubilee. The boat is AMAZING and is decorated more beautifully than many luxury hotels. The suites are HUGE, especially if you're lucky enough to end up in one of the two master suites onboard.
Working with the friendly (and english speaking) crew you get to set your own itinerary for your trip and really customize it to what you and your family/friends are interested in. Want to wake up to a new beach every morning, they can do that for you! Want to explore the native villages after breakfast and snorkel some pristine reef after lunch, they can do that for you!
The food. Oh my. My husband and I are amateur foodies and eating is one of our favorite things to do on vacation. We were worried about being stuck on a boat and not getting to experience all the Panamanian restaurants and local food. We were wrong to worry. The food was great and we were definitely spoiled! We'd come up from a great snorkel to have a full spread waiting for us on the aft deck...and a lot of our meals were fresh caught fish/crab/lobster that the locals sell!
And don't get me started about Panama! I didn't really know what we were getting into when we booked the trip, but discovered that Panama today is still the unspoiled and naturally gorgeous Caribbean that I can only imagine that Cozumel was 50 years ago.
You won't regret a trip on the Jubilee.
San Blas is a paradise! And the boat is just gorgeous! The team working on the boat is wonderful and very patient with children. One of my children can't eat gluten and the chef on the boat always offered delicious gluten free option!