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BEWARE Hidden Yacht Charter Costs – Avoid these 3 Pitfalls

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For the nouveau riche, the idea of taking a private yacht charter vacation is both casual and routine: “Honey, should we go to the chalet in the Alps this weekend, or spend a few days boating around St Barts?”

For the rest of us working-class types, a boating holiday (be it a crewed yacht in the islands of the Caribbean, or a do-it-yourself Florida Keys bareboat charter) is something we plan far in advance – including squirreling away our pennies to pay for this special experience.

When affordability and value matter, it’s important to lock in a great charter price and not get blindsided by unexpected cash outlays.

Here are three pitfalls that can put a crimp on your charter budget – along with some helpful advice from Jana Sheeder, President of 1-800 Yacht Charters.  Avoid or mitigate these expenses, and it will be smooth sailing:

 

COMMUNICATION FEES – The idea of an “all-inclusive” charter rate is a bit of a misnomer.  Many Caribbean-based charter yachts offer all–inclusive rates, but carefully read the small print on your charter agreement.  One item that is rarely included is the cost associated with using the yacht’s onboard communications system.  This includes cellular phones and internet connectivity.

man on wooden boat talking on cellphone

Unlike back home, cellular and internet service is very expensive in the Caribbean – often $1 or more per minute.  With the whole family logging on to check emails, staying in touch with the office, friends, and family adds up quickly – you can easily incur communication fees of $500 or more in a week’s time.

Jana’s Tip“Limit everyone’s online time to a few minutes a day. Better yet, turn off the cellphones, laptops, and get ‘un-connected.’  The whole point of a yachting vacation is to spend quality time with one another and to become immersed in the local culture and nature.  Take a break from technology and enjoy your vacation!” 

SPECIAL ALCOHOL REQUESTS – Many all-inclusive yachts offer a “ship’s bar” in the cost of the charter.  This means the yacht will provide beer, house-quality wine, and some hard alcohol.  But beware – if you request certain top-shelf brands or vintage wines and champagnes, you could be in for a rude awaking when your skipper hands you an invoice for, “special requests” at the conclusion of your charter.  While some islands offer duty-free alcohol, this is not for local consumption, and premium brands in the islands are often 3 to 4 times as expensive as the same brands back home.

Crew member pours a drink for a woman seated at a table

 

Jana’s Tip“Unless you absolutely must have your hand-brewed artisan ale, or a special single malt whiskey from some remote bog in Scotland, enjoy the house brands for a few days – especially the local island concoctions like Rum Runners and Pina Coladas.”

 

DELIVERY FEES – one of the great joys of a Virgin Islands yacht charter vacation is the flexibility – you can come and go as you please, when you please – all at your own pace.  Sometimes, charterers decide to conclude their charter in a different place than where they started.  Your trip might commence in St. Thomas, USVI, for example, but you’ve looked at a map and feel an adventurous cruise concluding in St. Martin sounds like fun.  It is YOUR yacht for the charter – everything’s up to you!

Most yacht owners and crews are more than happy to accommodate your wishes for everything – after all, this is your fully-customized vacation.  However, there could be a hefty cost to end in a port other than where you began your odyssey, and if you’re not careful, you could be left footing a “delivery” bill.

The technical term is “re-positioning” – the cost of fuel and crew salary to return the yacht, after the charter has concluded, back to its home port.  Depending upon how many days it takes the crew to return the yacht to its homeport, you could be looking at a fee as low as $500 to as high as $1000 for a sailboat, and double that for a motoryacht.

Jana’s Tip – ask your charter broker before signing your charter agreement if there will be any delivery fees if you end in a port other than where you began your trip.  If there is a fee, ask your broker to approach the yacht owner and see if the fee can be reduced, or even waived.  Oftentimes, owners will absorb the cost of re-positioning, in order to secure your business.

Avoiding these budget-blowing pitfalls can save hundreds of dollars and keep your trip as it should be – a memorable experience to cherish for a lifetime.

Want more money-saving yacht charter tips?  Contact the team at 1-800 Yacht Charters at 1-800-922-4824 pr pm pir 24 hour hotline at 305-720-7245.

What questions do you have about the costs of yacht charter vacations?  We’d also love to hear about your experiences when chartering!  Please feel free to comment below…

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It’s Random Acts of Kindness Week  #RAKWeek – Spread the Kindness

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The week of February 14-20 is your chance to ramp up the idea of “being kind” as the world celebrates Random Act of Kindness Week, 2016.  Let’s extend Random Acts of Kindness Week!!!

Logo with animated dog under umbrella that says Random Acts of Kindness Week

 

Created by the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation, the week-long event is a way for all of us to “…step up your acts of kindness, be loud with your generosity, and commit to being a better person throughout the year. We believe kindness is a daily practice, but this is a week to celebrate and inspire others to join you.”

There are soooo many things we can do, and sooo many ways to get involved.  All it takes is a bit of time — and a big heart!

A few ideas for you:

  • Smile at or wave to a stranger
  • Hand a cold drink to a police officer directing traffic
  • Compliment a parent on how well-behaved his/her child is
  • Defend someone who’s being unfairly bashed on the internet
  • Put your phone away when you’re at dinner or having a conversation
  • Compliment an employee to his/her boss
  • Donate that bag of clothing items that you really didn’t want to part with yet…
  • Let a person with just a few items check out in front of you at the store
  • Write a thank you note on paper – the snail mail kind – and send it!
  • Give an unexpected gratuity to an employee who’s gone above and beyond for you
  • Write a nice comment on a random blog
  • Say thank you to a postal carrier
  • Give a tip to a janitor because the cleanliness is appreciated and made your day
  • Buy an extra umbrella and give it to someone in need when it’s raining
  • Do something nice and remain anonymous!
  • Buy lemonade from kids’ lemonade stands – and compliment them (always)
  • Change your phone’s alert ringtone to Temple Bells, and every time the bell chimes, state something for which you are grateful (Jana Sheeder calls these bells, “Gratitude Bells“)

Here’s a real-life example from yesterday:

We were inspecting private yacht charter vessels at the inaugural Superyacht Miami Show, when I noticed our company President, Jana Sheeder, bent over picking something up on the docks.  A few minutes later, I saw her do it again.  I asked her what she was doing, and she proceeded to lay a handful of objects out on the dock for us to see.  It was small items of debris – a used book of matches, some plastic, a metal bolt, and more. “Any of these objects could end up in the water, possibly harming the marine environment or adding to our problems with plastic pollution at sea.  It only took a couple of moments to stop and pick these items up and try to make a difference.

Miscellaneous trash items found on dock of yacht marina laid out on the top of a metal dock box

Suddenly, I found myself looking down as I walked along the dock, hoping I too could “chip in” and do my small part…   Generosity and kindness are contagious, and it feels so good to do random things for others and for our community!

Need a little more motivation to jump feet-first into Random Act of Kindness Week?  Sign the online “Kindness Pledge,” and you’ll be on your way to inspire others to do their part in making a kinder world for everyone.

SIGN the pledge here:  https://www.randomactsofkindness.org/rakweek2016#pledge-form

We’d love to hear your suggestions of Random Acts of Kindness. Please leave them in the comments section for others to follow your lead in kind acts!

Have a kinder, generous week everyone…  Thank you for making a difference and for being the change with us!

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Where to Cruise in 2016 – Three Amazing Off-the-Beaten-Path Yacht Charter Destinations

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The most common “complaint” we hear from our repeat North American clients, is not really a complaint, but rather a pleading for, “More, more, more!”  “We love the superyacht experience they say, “and we want MORE…find us more unique places to see, closer to home, and more things to do…”

So, for all you private yacht charter aficionados seeking new places to cruise and explore in 2016, our charter department mates have selected their 3 favorite “Under-the radar” cruising grounds in the western hemisphere:

Aerial view of Brewster Island

 

Boston, Massachusetts – bet you didn’t know there are 34 islands off of Boston that are open for exploring?  Yep, Beantown is a great stopover for anyone planning a New England yacht charter vacation.  The Boston Harbor Shipyard and Marina is world-class and a great place for megayachts to dock.  If you have kids in your group, take them to the Boston Children’s Museum (kids love this place – lots of interactive exhibits).  Adults will enjoy cocktails at ultra-upscale Strega Waterfront’s dockside bar, overlooking Boston Harbor on Fan Pier in the beautiful Seaport district (try the Silviano, made with Stoli and muddled blueberries – but make sure a crewmember drives your tender back to your yacht).

 

Photograph of Bute Inlet in British Columbia

Bute Inlet, British Columbia – sure, just about any island or inlet north of Seattle is mesmerizing, but we like the isolation of this rugged fjord on the Canadian side of the border.  This place is all about mountains, wilderness and nature.  Take note-  this is not a destination for small boats.  Strong winds can swirl down from the mountains into the inlet. Large yachts with stabilizers (think expedition yacht charter destination) are a must in our opinion.  Putting up with the wind is well worth the natural beauty of this locale.

 

Photograph of white sandy beach in Cuba with a yacht anchored in the distant ocean

Cuba – don’t even to try to say, “Been there, done that” ‘cause we know you’re probably fibbing!  A decades-old embargo between the USA and Cuban governments virtually shut off this island destination from the yacht charter marketplace.  The proud, resilient Cuban people are eager to meet North Americans and share their beautiful country, artwork, and crafts. As travel regulations continue to loosen up, we anticipate that more and more charterers will want to be among the first yachtsmen and women to explore the many bays and protected anchorages this island nation offers.  It’s important to note a well-stocked and provisioned megayacht is essential – the island’s marine infrastructure is nonexistent, and the country’s economy, quite sadly, is a trainwreck.

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What’s your favorite hidden gem dream yacht charter destination for a vacation in the western hemisphere?  Share your favorite spot with us in the comment section below, and we’ll send you a complimentary eco–friendly tote bag – courtesy of 1-800 Yacht Charters.  Email your contact information to us at info@1800yachtcharters.com for your tote bag!

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