Renting a yacht is an exceptional experience to escape and relax. Life on board must strike the right balance between high-end service and respect for the privacy of all guests. For a successful stay for all, you, your family, and friends, it is important to follow a few basic rules. Here is a list of our 10 rules to follow onboard a boat!
These ten commandments will allow you to enjoy your vacation in perfect conditions.
1. Respect the crew and keep them informed
The crew members have your comfort and well-being at heart. They strive to offer you outstanding service throughout your cruise. They place their energy and know-how to ensure that you spend a memorable and unique moment. Treat your crew at the true value of their service, with respect and consideration. If you feel that the value of the service justifies it, don’t hesitate to leave a tip before disembarking. There is no rule, but it is considered fair to tip 5-15% of the yacht charter amount.
In order for your stay to take place in optimal conditions, keep the crew informed of your different projects or desired changes. If you wish to invite additional guests on board, let the crew know. This way, the crew can prepare a meal or cocktail for everyone, according to your wishes. The crew is there to allow you to relax and have fun. However, this requires some planning. Also, notify the crew if anything is damaged or broken on board. If you want to use the water games, notify the crew, who will give you the necessary advice and instructions.
2. Ask about the specific rules for animals and smoking
Would you like to travel with your four-legged friend? This will not be a problem if you inform your charter broker and choose the right solution. Some yachts accept animals, but not all. In this case, it is essential that you find out beforehand.
Are you an avid smoker? All yachts have their own smoking policy. While most yachts do not allow smoking in the indoor areas of most yachts, some have dedicated smoking areas outside. Ask your broker about the internal smoking policy beforehand to avoid any unpleasant surprises. Once on board, ask where you can smoke.
3. Follow the “barefoot rule” on board
The majority of yachts do not allow the wearing of shoes on board. Street shoes, such as boots and heeled shoes, are prohibited on all boats as they can damage decks and floors and contaminate carpets and other exotic decorations. Therefore, the “barefoot” rule is regularly enforced on board. You can often observe a basket to place your shoes near the gangway. On some yachts, the rule will only be applied in the cabins and everywhere on board. If shoes are allowed on deck, you will only be allowed to use “boat shoes” with soft, clear, and clean soles. Don’t see this rule as an inconvenience but more as an opportunity to show off your beautiful pedicure.
4. Anticipate cleaning time slots
Remember to give the crew the time they need to clean your cabins, do the laundry, and maintain the various systems. Good communication on your schedule allows the crew to organize themselves to do all the housework discreetly, during your shopping trips or at sea with the nautical games. The cabins can also be used for coffee or breakfast on the terrace. It makes sense to allow the crew the time and space they need for daily housekeeping.
5. Hoping that the crew will look after your children
If children are welcome on board, you are responsible for them. Yachts are great places for children. Some of them offer access to water games, video games, a cinema, … If you wish, you can provide your own baby-sitter and reserve a cabin for him/her. Your charter broker can also inform you about this kind of service. Yacht crews never act as babysitters because they don’t have the time.
6. Doing illegal things
All illegal or illicit activities are subject to zero tolerance on board. Such abusive behavior may lead to the seizure of the yacht, the immediate withdrawal of the license and thus the termination of your charter, your return to shore and your denunciation to the local competent authorities.
7. Staying stuck on your initial idea of itinerary
Remember that once onboard, you may have to make slight adjustments to your itinerary, especially for weather reasons. Don’t get formalized and listen to your captain’s recommendations, which are often formulated to guarantee you a flawless and safe stay.
8. Waste fresh water
The crew takes charge of energy management and waste disposal. The yacht is an autonomous entity and the fresh water reserves are not unlimited. It may then be suggested that you limit your water consumption. Be aware that fresh water is a scarce commodity on a boat and that the lack of drinking water on board can be a real problem. Use fresh water responsibly.
9. Pollute the sea
It is probably not necessary to specify this, but be careful not to harm marine life. Do not throw cigarette butts or garbage overboard. Whenever possible, use natural, organic, and/or eco-friendly detergents, shampoos, soaps, and sunscreens that are not harmful to coral reefs. Avoid the abusive use of plastic (cutlery, bottles, towels, …).
10. Forget to bring or fill in your preference form
The preference sheet is a very practical document. It helps to make your trip as pleasant as possible by mentioning your preferences in terms of food, sleeping arrangements, and any other special requirements. This sheet will be sent to you by your broker. Remember to fill it out at least 3 weeks before boarding.