Your Luxury yacht Charter Crew
There is an experienced crew at the heart of every charter
A luxury yacht charter is made special in many ways, from the finest bed linens to first class service, none of which would be possible without a professionally trained on board crew. Crew members are there to ensure each and every detail of your luxury yacht charter is a dream come true.
The charter crew are industry professionals who have been personally chosen by the owner of the yacht. When planning a yacht charter it is important to ensure the personalities of the crew suit the characters of your charter party as more often than not, it is the crew that makes the charter. A yacht broker can assist when choosing a yacht with a crew who can accommodate your requirements. Each crew member works hard to ensure a guest’s expectations are not only met but surpassed and in turn, should be treated with an utmost respect.
The size of a yacht crew is very much dependent on the size of the yacht. Typically, for a mid-size yacht charter, guests can expect between 6 to 15 crew members, which often exceeds the number of charter guests, making for an impeccable level of one-to-one service.
"You will be impressed" explains Catherine Ambrogi, Head of Charter and Director, Yachting Partners International Limited, "as soon as you're on board you are considered the owner of the yacht by the crew. Whatever you want to do, wherever you want to go, it's your yacht. Whatever the size, or the price or the value of the yacht, the crew will be there for you and your guests twenty-four hours a day, only for you."
It is important to consider the type activities you would like to do during your charter. Food lovers may prefer an award winning Chef whereas guests looking for ultimate relaxation may lean more towards a crew with an on board masseuse. It is the job of your expert broker to ensure your yacht charter is equipped with a diverse crew who have a good reputation in order to suit your chosen charter experience.
During a yacht charter, the Captain is the highest ranking authoritative figure on board and is responsible for the yacht. With an experienced Captain, ensure to utilise their knowledge when expressing any itinerary wishes and requirements and he/she will do all they can to ensure your desires become a reality. The Captain is also responsible for the crew, meaning that in the rare circumstance that there is a problem with a crew member on board, it is deemed incorrect to take a matter into your own hands. If there is a problem or concern, you should direct it to the Captain.
An experienced on board Chef can often be the most important crew member to a charter party and some charter Chefs have been awarded with Michelin stars. Before booking a yacht charter it is possible to sample a Chef’s cuisine and discuss your catering requirements, from likes and dislikes to any allergies the Chef should be made aware of. Utilise the preference sheet when deciding on what you would like to eat and drink and be as detailed as possible; that way an on board Chef can ensure that each and every meal is tailor-made to perfection.
The Stewardess is typically responsible for maintaining the interior cleanliness of the yacht including general housekeeping duties and laundry in addition to ensuring the charter guests are kept happy. The Stewardess is often the crew member whom you may come into the most contact with and her attention to detail when it comes to catering to the needs of guests is unparalleled. Furthermore, some Stewardesses may have talents such as massage or manicures for an exceptional level of personalised service.
Interior and Deck Crew
It is important to familiarise yourself with the crew members and their individual responsibilities. The deck crew, often referred to as deck hands, are primarily responsible for maintaining the operation of the yacht itself, though they can also assist with any water sports and activities. Depending on the size of the yacht, some deck hands may also serve as bartenders or waiters in the evening. The interior crew are essentially responsible for refreshing the cabins and are usually who to approach should you require an additional towel or pillow. For any special requests such as a wake-up call for instance, ensure to inform the Stewardess.
Although often out of sight, the engineers of a yacht charter are responsible for ensuring the yacht is running smoothly, which includes making sure the engines are running as they should. They predominantly spend most of their time below deck and may assist with tenders and water toys as needed.
There is a bit of a grey area when it comes to tipping the crew and tips are usually made at the charterer's discretion based on the service they have received. The amount of which to tip may vary depending on the destination of the charter. An American crew will expect a tip no less than 15 percent whereas a European crew will be happy with a tip between 5 to 10 percent.
It is customary for any tipping to take place at the end of the charter and to be presented to the Captain for them to divide the amount amongst the crew. Some guests may feel the need to tip individually, particularly if they have been very well taken care of by their Stewardess, but it is important to remember that deck crew will be more visible and, although the engineers are out of sight, they too work hard behind the scenes to ensure the yacht is running smoothly.