INITIAL INFORMATION TO PROVIDE
Let us know your detailed requirements first and be prepared for some questions which will allow us to search for the perfect yacht. Knowing your budget would also be very important, whether you are inclined to a motor yacht or a sailing yacht, and the composition of the charter party. For instance, a group of friends who are sharing the charter cost would need cabins to be of equal size, luxury, and facilities while a family party would be much more flexible and could consider a range of cabins of varying size and luxury.
If you have to entertain older people or business partners, this would maybe call for a sophisticated yacht, perhaps, lined with custom or collectible items, carpets, and precious woods, whose crew can prepare cocktails and canapés or set an elegant silver service dinner party. But such a yacht would be very different from one that would suit a family with lively young children who, to avoid a large bill for damages, might need a more rugged and plainly decorated interior, multifunctional deck spaces and excellent watersports facilities.
If you are considering a sailing yacht, please be clear in telling us if you are seeking a performance cruiser-racer perhaps for young and enthusiastic sailors, or a more sedate vessel for sailing with added comfort either on deck or below deck. Or maybe something in between.
Whatever type of yacht you choose, we will need to know such things as:
Your dining preferences: formal or relaxed when onboard? Will you often eat aboard the yacht or mainly dine ashore? These details are important as if you choose to eat ashore often, it’ll be fundamental to have a big enough tender for your whole party to take you ashore, with dry clothes!
The types of cuisine that you prefer: from Mediterranean to Thai, to Japanese sushi or whatever your tastes may be. Being clear on this important particular that will further help us to choose the perfect yacht with the right chef.
Whether you have fixed ideas on a cruising area or whether you need advice. Once this is selected, local knowledge on items such as the most convenient airport and the best time of arrival will often make your journey and the initial day of your charter considerably more relaxed.
What water sports interest you and if so what tenders, water toys and qualified instructors you might need; if scuba diving is an activity high on your agenda.
If there are elderly or disabled members of your party who might need a yacht with an internal lift and easy access to water level for swimming or to board a tender; If you need a child-friendly yacht with a crew that likes entertaining children.
Whether high speed internet access and sophisticated entertainment systems are essential, or just a bonus.
Perhaps we will ask you to answer questions on details that you had not even thought about. But knowing more about yours and your guests requirements will definitely help us to select the best yachts for you. Whatever is asked, do give detailed consideration to your answers as, without a doubt, such accuracy will directly influence the selection of yachts that you receive.
THE FIRST YACHT SELECTION
Following the initial telephone call or email, we will send you a first yacht selection; each yacht will be presented with a digital brochure as well as detailed information on prices and the terms of the charter. After studying the brochures, feel free to call us whenever you have time to dedicate to a detailed discussion, just to get to a focus on one particular yacht.
Following this, you are ready to book the vessel and receive the Charter Agreement for a careful reading. Our brokers know the Myba Charter Agreement very well and are ready to answer all your questions. Please click here for complete information on the Charter Terms and Agreements
Once the deal is done you and/or your guests will be asked to fill up a “preference sheet” answering some questions so that the yacht can offer you the best service and to allow the crew to prepare in advance. This covers topics such as special dietary requirements and allergies, any medical conditions guests may have, that the crew should be aware of, water sports preferences, sizes for fins and wetsuits, any special events or anniversaries that might occur during the charter, the magazines and newspapers that you require and your taste in drinks and wines.
Once in the hands of the captain, the chef and the chief stewardess, the preference sheet will often generate more direct enquiries by phone or e-mail; the captain will also want to know if you have any particular itinerary in mind, or whether you would like him to make suggestions. Take his advice as he knows the sea in general and the specific area; he will be able to propose an itinerary based on your requirements but also on wind directions, local attractions, nights at anchor, berth availabilities etc. Sometimes Charterers are inexperienced and want to fill their days and hours as much as possible; but they often set up a challenging race to complete a rigid itinerary instead of a relaxing cruise leaving them time to enjoy a swim, a walk ashore, a romantic candle-light dinner at anchor, maybe delighted by a guitarist to accompany them through their dinner singing traditional songs.
Attitudes vary throughout the world on the subject of tipping. Europeans generally think Americans tip excessively, while to many Australians the whole concept of tipping is practically obscene. How much to tip is a question often asked by our clients but generally a tip of around 10-15 per cent of the charter fee distributed amongst the crew members is fine. Please remember that the tip is compulsory but is given at the Charterer’s discretion; so leave it in proportion of how happy you are the service the crew provided. Crews work extremely hard to make a success of a charter, and tipping is an appropriate way to say thank you.
One of the questions that our clients often put to our charter broker is the level of insurance built into the contract. Checking in particular whether the yacht’s insurance policy covers guests for Third Party Liability (for instance if they cause injury to a swimmer whilst driving a jet ski), loss of possessions and personal accidents is our duty and we are always prepared to answer. Specific items not covered can then be insured privately if required. Cancellation and Curtailment insurance, for example, are available through our partner insurance to cover a possible loss of the charter fee if you have to cancel your cruise for unforeseen reasons.
If you have any doubts before the charter starts, don’t be afraid to put your questions to our charter broker or your yacht’s captain. Some basic advice includes:
Suitcases? It’s always best to pack your luggage in soft bags if possible; storing hard suitcases can sometimes present problems on yachts.
High heeled shoes? Not welcome and allowed aboard in general (same for hard shoes) as they cause expensive damage to teak decks. Please put them only for shore use.
Laundry? All ship’s laundry including sheets, towels, table linen, crew uniforms, etc., are included in the Charter Fee and normally carried out by the vessel’s crew onboard. Guests personal laundry is usually an extra at the Charterer’s expenses although it is common practice on most vessels for moderate quantities of personal laundry to be carried out by the vessel’s crew onboard as a service and as a matter of goodwill. But the size of the crew can sometimes inhibit a comprehensive laundry and a crew member could maybe decline politely to do excessive quantities of laundry and also refuse to handle particularly delicate items. The crew can, of course, arrange for any dry cleaning to be done ashore if time allows and with the prior agreement of the Charterer
Smoking? The 90% of yachts do not allow smoking inside. If you wish to smoke inside the yacht you should check with the captain or broker if this is a potential problem before the charter is signed.
Sunscreens? Of course, the yacht will have a good range of sun lotions, but it is always best to let them know your preference or, better still, take your own, especially the high-factor waterproof creams that might not be available locally. Do avoid oil-based sunscreens as these tend to stain expensive chair fabrics and teak decks. Even in the hottest areas, take some light, long-sleeved cover-up clothes at some time during a cruise in a hot climate you will certainly need to reduce your exposure to the sun as sunlight reflected from water can double normal exposure.
Complaints? Any problem you might have, please tell your charter broker or the Captain at once: a problem with the yacht’s equipment, a complaint about the behavior of a crew member or whatever is the matter, let us know it at once. Bottled up grievances can ruin holidays and a word in time will certainly lead to the problem being solved.
DRUGS AND ANTISOCIAL ACTIVITIES
It is a rare occurrence, but charter parties should be aware that yacht owners do not condone the use of drugs, antisocial behaviour or illegal activities, as these bring disrepute on his vessel, and in some cases these may lead to the confiscation of the yacht by local officials. The captain has the final say in these matters and, should his warnings go ignored, he may with full rights ask any offenders to leave the yacht.
Some clients came to us as first-time-charterers with the premise that a charter will be a once-in-a-lifetime holiday. Many have found the experience so good that they have never been able to do other types of vacation anymore.