When chartering a crewed yacht for a fabulous family vacation, it is best to regard your captain and crew as your beloved hosts. It is in your best interest to treat these people with the utmost respect as you are essentially spending time in their 'home'. While you may be paying a pretty penny for this privileged vacation, you should still treat your host with a certain level of courtesy. After all these people are educated professionals who are passionate about sailing, the sea, and showing others a great time on the water. In short, they should not be treated like servants. Read below for 11 behavioral tips on how to properly charter a crewed yacht.
Upon arrival it is extremely respectful to ask permission before boarding your yacht charter. The crew will be eagerly awaiting your arrival and while they might invite you aboard before you have a chance to ask, it is still a very polite custom to uphold.
It is fairly common for yacht charters to have shoe lockers or baskets dedicated for street shoes in the boats boarding area. These bins are meant specifically for shoes that will be utilized ashore only. It is proper etiquette to only keep one pair of shoes per person in these baskets or lockers at all times. They are not meant to hold your entire fashionista shoe collection. While aboard the boat is it acceptable to walk around either barefoot, in a pair of clean slippers, water socks, or light soled shoes that have not been worn on the street.
When chartering a yacht the captain and crew are obligated to give you a thorough and complete briefing on the boat's safety procedures prior to departure. This briefing is for your safety as much as it is for their safety, meaning you should be listening carefully and paying close attention. The rules they will be going over are in place for your comfort and safety, and should be abided by at all times.
These systems are in place for your benefit and so it is extremely important that you listen to how they are utilized the first time in order to avoid any accidents or misusage. Toilets, electrical outlets, lights, and all water usages (showers & sinks etc) are topics that the crew will cover during this instructional tour. Each ships inner system workings differ and it is in your best interest to listen to their guidelines the first time around. You do not want to be the guest clogging up the toilet system. Plus, you will have to pay for any boat damages.
Remember, the yacht crew are not your personal babysitters. In addition to serving you, the personnel have several other daily tasks to take care of. The crew's job titles and responsibilities should be thoroughly outlined in your charter contract. However, most crews are kid-friendly and may offer to entertain your kiddos for an allotted time frame. If you accept this offer you must abide by the time frame and not abuse the privilege.
When docked in any harbor it is important to be considerate of neighboring charters. If you socializing in the early morning or alternatively late at night it is best to keep your noise level to a minimum. It is no secret that lively music and conversation carry over water easily.
Saloons, decks, and the boat's main living area are all community spaces. Thus, it is best to keep all personal items like hats, towels, spare clothing, sunglasses, and any other toiletries in your own specified cabin. If you do need to access these items while in the community spaces then make sure to tote a reasonability size day pack with you at all times.
There will be designated snack areas where you will be welcome to help yourself to any food or drink that your heart desires. The crew and chef will point these areas to you upon arrival. Otherwise, it is extremely rude and inappropriate to help yourself to food or drinks that are stored in the kitchen and main galley fridge as these food supplies are likely kept in a special manner to be utilized during prepared breakfast, lunch, and dinner hours. If you would like to overlook meal preparations, ask permission from the chef, and if you are declined please respect the chefs wishes. Besides this is your time to kick back, relax, and enjoy sometime in the sun.
If your captain states that sailing to a certain location or at a certain time is prohibited because of weather or water conditions then do not argue the point. The captain as well as the crew are chartering professionals with many years of experience and want to provide you with the safest and funnest vacation possible. They will, within reason, try to cater to your every desire but they are ultimately responsible for your lives while at sea and will never jeopardize this factor.
While this tip is completely optional, it is a thoroughly appreciated gesture. If you are having the time of your life on this chartering trip then why not show your crew your gratefulness by treating them to a special thank you dinner.
If you have enjoyed your stay aboard the charter then it is customary to leave a five to fifteen percent tip on top of your charter fee. This amount is dependent on your satisfaction with the services provided. A good crew will work hard without ever letting on just how hard they are actually working to make your stay unforgettable. These crews work from sunrise to well after sunset and should be tipped accordingly.