Are you wondering about the little details for taking yourself and guests on a private yacht charter? Let us ease your mind with a list of what to have ready for any private yacht charter. It will ensure that this upcoming trip is truly delightful.
Before Boarding: Yacht Charter Tips
#1: Pack Your Vitamins and Medications
Healthy cruisers are happy cruisers. Make sure you remember all the medications and supplements that you normally take.
#2: Packing for Your Home Away from Home
Here’s what you will definitely want to have on hand:
- Identification papers, including passports and IDs
- Cash in the proper converted currency(ies) or cash in your currency, ready to exchange upon arrival
- Copy of your Charter Reservation Statement, Charter Contract, and any applicable insurance policy information such as Trip Cancellation Insurance if applicable
- Skincare—sunblock, lip balm and lotion with SPF, and insect repellent if applicable
- Lightweight wardrobe—bathing suit cover-ups, shorts, dresses, activewear, shoreside shoes, sun protection clothing if needed, upscale or elegant nightlife clothing depending on the charter location (most charter locations are very casual ashore)
- Sunglasses and a hat
- After-sun creams or aloe vera
- The tools: waterproof phone case, universal plug adapters and converters if needed, and chargers!
- For camera buffs, all camera gear, with backup everything including batteries
#3: On-board Cuisine
The crew will be preparing on-board meals during your charter. Once you board, reprovisioning may not be available, depending on your charter location, so all meals must be planned in advance. If there are special dietary requests, certain items may need to be ordered in advance to have on board.
Before your charter we will send you a comprehensive provisioning form that will ask you not only what you like to eat, but how you like to eat. You can request low-fat meals with sauces on the side as a priority, and whether you prefer your main meal at lunch or dinner.
In certain locations your fish dinner can be caught fresh and prepared by your chef minutes later. Shellfish can be purchased right from the fisherman or shell farm. Lobsters right from the lobster trap and steamed in clean seawater are an unforgettable treat.
Chefs can accommodate all allergies and food requests such as gluten and dairy-free, as well as tree nut allergies. Just be sure to include all dietary requests and needs when completing your provisioning form. If chartering in a new location, take advantage of the opportunity to try fresh local cuisine from that region.
Many of our private yachts have excellent WiFi and numerous connectivity options for playing music, entertaining the children, checking in with the office, etc. Despite these amenities, we highly recommend stepping away from email, chat, and social media for at least a little while. They will still be there when you finish hiking volcanoes, scuba diving with tropical fish, and getting in from a night out at chic clubs. For any movies you might want to see or music you might want to hear, download those while at home before embarking on your yacht charter vacation.
#7: Ask About Pets
In some cases, Fido or Daisy can join you on your charter. First, you’ll want to check on the rules with your charter broker. Once you know your dog will be allowed, make sure to check on the following:
- Documentation: Find out any paperwork that may be required for each country you will be entering on your charter.
- Microchipping: Check to see if the country(ies) where you will cruise require(s) that an animal be microchipped.
- Fear and anxiety: If your dog has never been on a yacht, consider if this is the best vacation for your pet, and if your dog will be comfortable with the whole boating experience. A yacht may make a dog accustomed to stable land feel uncertain and anxious.
- Bathroom needs: Which supplies do you need so that your pet can be comfortable?
- Pet flotation device: Bring one that your dog will find comfortable, and expect your pet to wear a flotation device at all times when on deck or in the ship’s tender.
#8: Pre-Assign Staterooms
This is your choice. You can either pre-assign staterooms to your guests, or allow everyone to choose upon boarding. Pre-assigning staterooms will allow the crew to immediately take all luggage to the right stateroom upon boarding.
After Boarding: Living On Board Your Charter Yacht
The preliminary work is done, and now you are on board, ready to enjoy your fabulous vacation. Here are a few basic tips we compiled for all guests when on board your chosen charter yacht on a yacht charter holiday.
Enjoy the yacht as you would your own home
It might take you a day or two to fully relax. That’s normal! The vessel will soon become your home away from home.
Allow time for crew housekeeping
Part of the crew’s job is to keep things sparkling and to clean your stateroom every day. Be aware of their need to clean, giving them the time and space to do so.
Listen to safety briefings
This is not only a requirement when boarding a vessel, it is also important for your safety. The safety briefing given at the beginning of any charter includes how to avoid dangerous equipment, the location of the medical kits and lifejackets, and where to muster in the unlikely event that all must abandon ship.
Follow the “barefoot” rule
When boarding, expect that your street shoes go into a basket or another location on deck to be gathered when heading ashore during the charter. The usual mode on board is barefoot. Shoes with land dirt on the soles can scuff and damage yacht decks. Anyone that needs to wear shoes on board is welcome to do so. Just bring a pair of new or very well-cleaned rubber-soled shoes to be worn solely on board.
On every charter the crew is working very hard to supply you top service. It is customary at the end of the charter to leave a crew gratuity. This is discretionary and is based on what you feel the crew has earned. The gratuity range is from 5 or 10 percent up to 15 or 20 percent, depending on the charter location. Your charter broker will advise the crew gratuity range for the location in which your charter takes place in advance of the charter. If crew gratuity is earned, it is given to the captain to divide up equally amongst the crew. The work of each—whether in the engine room or on deck—adds up to an enjoyable charter..
Plan special occasions ahead of time
The crew wants to create a fun environment, but they do need to be able to plan for all special events or celebrations in advance. This way, it can be ready when you board. With complete information, the crew will be able to do a better job for you in creating events such as a special birthday party, a themed dinner night or a wine tasting of local boutique wines.
Be sure to check before booking your yacht re: the smoking or non-smoking standard on board. Every yacht has a standard on smoking or non-smoking which will include whether you can or cannot indulge in the occasional after-dinner cigar. If smoking is allowed, it will be in exterior areas only. Check with the crew on where smoking zones might be on board.
The very nature of luxury private yacht charter is an entirely customizable experience. This extends from food and drink to unique activities such as a murder mystery night and celebrating special occasions on board.
Just be sure to let the crew know all group needs and desires in advance. It will all be ready and waiting on board at the beginning of your charter, so you can have the best and most memorable time possible. On a private yacht charter, there is no such thing as providing the crew with too much information. And do ask any question you would like to ask in advance. Every detail helps!