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what to expect on your crewed charter

As you daydream about your holiday onboard a crewed yacht it will no doubt involve beautiful turquoise waters, amazing food and service plus lots of fun and relaxation. Whether you are a family, a couple or group of friends, a crewed yacht will provide a fantastic vacation experience. However, there is a different etiquette between a boat and land-based accommodation to make note of.

One of the most frequently asked questions is how will it work being in a small area with strangers. Kayaking in the British Virgin IslandsWe have met all of the crews and what comes across is their absolute dedication to guests’ well being and comfort - they will do their utmost to fulfill any reasonable request you have, going above and beyond to ensure a fabulous vacation. You can expect your crew to be, above all, discreet, friendly and accommodating. Your skipper and chef are professionally trained sailors as well as having exemplary customer service skills. They will discuss the day’s plans with you, probably over breakfast and whether you want to relax, dive, water ski or snorkel and will take you to the best places to enjoy these activities. They know the area really well and will probably come up with some ideas that you haven't thought of such as visiting a natural bubbling pool, kite boarding or snorkeling the wreck of an old airplane. They will keep the boat spotless - make your bed and clean your bathroom daily. The chef will provide sumptuous meals using the preferences that you send in, and your skipper will probably turn his hand to barbequing and barmeister - watch out for the cocktails, soooo good but can be dangerous! In short, they will begin as your crew and end as your friends.

Now we come to the etiquette side of things and what you, as guests, can do to ensure that you will not be referred to in the future as "the guests from hell”! The most important thing to remember is that the Skipper's word is gospel. He/she has your best interests at heart and will not compromise your safety so if you are told not to do something, there is good reason - don't argue! You will have free run of the boat, however, the galley will be by invitation only. Please don't try and make yourself a coffee or help yourself from the fridge, just ask and the chef/hostess will be happy to get what you need. Try to be courteous by not being too loud, messy or demanding - sound travels over water and your neighbours are probably trying to relax to the gentle sounds of the water, not listening to a karaoke version of "Respect" at 3am!

As you are on a boat there are a few rules that most charter boats will employ so that the boat doesn't get damaged – after all, it is a very expensive piece of floating real estate. Crewed charter yacht sailing in the BVIDon't be put off by these rules, they are mainly common sense and will make everyone's life a lot easier.

Bring soft sided luggage with you as hard cases are difficult to store and also try to pack light - you won't need the posh frock or the suit - daily wear will probably be swimsuits, shorts and t-shirts - maybe a pair of long pants and long sleeve shirt for cooler evenings.

There is no wearing of shoes onboard the boat - you will find it is way more comfortable and it saves any damage to the decks. Also, whilst on feet, you will be asked to rinse off after a visit ashore. Sand is a boat’s worse nightmare as it damages the decks, blocks deck drains and finds its way into every nook and cranny it can.

Marine toilets have come a long way from the old bucket and chuck it routine! Nowadays, they are often electric flush and very similar to your bathroom at home. However, the plumbing can be quite finicky and block fairly easily. You will be shown how to use it and if you are not sure of anything, it's best to ask as a blocked toilet is unpleasant for everyone.

Only smoke in designated areas. It's worth noting that some boats are non-smoking so, if this is important to you, ask before booking.

Despite what you read about the Caribbean, the BVI has zero tolerance for drugs. Apart from the visits to the BVI courts and the fine you will receive if you are caught, you will also be told to get off the boat immediately with no refund or redress.

Try to be frugal with the water onboard. Despite most yachts having a water maker these days, it's still an expensive process producing fresh water so try not to leave taps running during teeth cleaning or hair washing.

A crewed yacht charter is an amazing experience - your own private yacht with crew to pamper you, fantastic scenery, beaches to yourself, diving and snorkeling some of the best coral reefs in the world and succumbing to the relaxing Caribbean lifestyle. All the crews listed on our website are, without doubt, some of the most professional and hard working people there are - if you feel the same way at the end of your charter then it is customary to tip them - normally this runs at between 15-20% of the yacht charter rate.


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