You’ve Been Invited as a Guest on a Yacht: Now What?
What to Expect as a Guest on a Yacht
Being a guest on a luxurious yacht on a voyage to an exotic location such as The Bahamas can be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but it can come with some expectations, too. If you’ve been invited onboard a yacht for a magical voyage, here’s what you can expect as a guest.
The yacht will likely have a captain and crew, meaning you can essentially just enjoy and savor your trip with the crew’s daily needs, such as preparing meals, laundry, flower arrangements, and more. Some yachts may expect their guests to assist with some of the basic tasks such as mooring, which can be a fun experience and one that will be carefully explained to you.
As a guest on a superyacht, a few things to keep in mind include respecting the captain and crew, listening carefully to safety briefings, treating the yacht as you would your home, and keeping the crew informed of any plans that may affect their duties, such as inviting other guests onboard. Don’t expect the crew to provide childcare or do anything illegal, and ensure guests adhere to policies onboard such as a “bare feet” or no smoking rule.
What Activities Should You Expect?
An ocean yacht voyage can be filled with fun activities. Depending on the host, your destination and stops along the way, and what the yacht itself offers, you can expect activities ranging from kayaking, surfing, snorkeling, and swimming to formal dinners, beach outings, and vibrant nightlife at bars and nightclubs.
The host will likely plan several activities that you can enjoy. Feel free to ask your host about the potential activities that you and your family can enjoy before embarking so that you can pack accordingly — and don’t be afraid to try new things that you normally wouldn’t consider doing. An experience such as swimming with dolphins can create lifelong fond memories.
What to Wear on a Yacht
One of the important things to consider when packing for your yacht trip is the activities you’ll enjoy. You will need to pack things like swimming, formal dinners, and nightclub outings specifically for them. The expected climate will dictate most of your packing, but preparing for breezy, chilly nights on the water is also important.
Most yachts have a no-shoes policy to prevent damage to the deck so if you get cold feet, consider packing some extra socks to wear at night. The yacht may also have a gym onboard so make sure to check with the host what amenities are onboard so that you can pack accordingly.
Should You Tip the Crew on a Yacht?
Tipping the crew on a yacht charter is customary. You should tip between 5% and 15%, but you should check with the host or captain first because they might be tipping the crew on behalf of guests. If you need to tip, plan accordingly because the total may be significant by the end of your trip.
On a private yacht trip, such as through a work colleague or friend, you will not be expected to tip as it is not a business; however, a small tip such as a few hundred dollars can go a long way to show your appreciation for all the hard work that the crew put in during your stay. Tips are typically given to the captain so that they may distribute them among the crew, or if you would like to tip a particular crew member, you can always tip them directly.
Other Considerations for Yacht Guests
Sea seasickness is one of the worst things that can spoil a spectacular yacht trip. It’s always prudent to bring seasickness medication even if you don’t think you’ll experience it. You’ll also need to plan for the sun. Water reflects sunlight, so being on a boat amplifies potential sunburn. You should always bring plenty of high-SPF sunscreen (make sure it’s water-resistant) and bring sun shirts and hats to keep you protected from the intense sunlight.
You may also want to bring a gift for your host to show your appreciation for the voyage. Onboard chefs should be told about any dietary restrictions before boarding so that they can prepare for them. Be considerate even with something like taking pictures. Ask your captain or host if they mind you taking pictures during your trip and if it’s OK for you to share those pictures on social media.