Hints and Tips for your Adventure in Paradise
Aboard Yacht Braveheart
Life in the virgin islands is laid back and that is part of the pleasure. The idea is to relax and not let inconveniences upset you. Remember you are on Island time, so the locals will move at a slower pace and service may take longer than you are used to in restaurants and airports. Carry your valuables, medications, toiletries and a swim suit in your hand luggage in case your suitcase is delayed. As to where the yacht will await you be sure you know before you leave home. Taxi drivers are familiar with marina locations - and rates are posted at the airports. The boat can provide you with the name of a reputable taxi company and call them on your behalf to arrange for your pick up at the airport. You should board no sooner than the agreed time on contract normally noon. If your arrival is delayed let the Captain know by calling the relevant number depending on where your pick up is.
Payment & proofs
Cash and Credit cards are accepted aboard for payment of:
- Boat store gifts purchased
- Dive Fees
- Crew Gratuity
- Alcohol surcharges
- Additional Dockage upon charter’s request
- Credit Cards are not accepted for charter fee payments
- Personal checks are only accepted in an emergency
- Travelers checks are not preferred
- There are ATM’s available but these are limited and access is dependant upon your sailing schedule
Space is limited on a boat so bring soft sided luggage or duffle bags which can be stowed easily. T-shirts & shorts are the usual uniform of the day when you are not in swimwear and only a few clothing changes are really required. Clothing should be kept to the minimum when packing. You shall be in swim attire most of the time. It is advised to bring a long sleeved and full length cover up that’s light and cool to wear to prevent sun burn especially if fair skinned. Evenings can be cool especially out on the water so a light sweater will come in handy. Temps range from 85-90F during the day and 75-80F at night. Eating out is normally casual attire. Shoes are not allowed on the boat. One pair of flip flops or sandals is all that is required ashore. If you need to wear shoes aboard they must have clean white soles, be non slippery and only worn on the boat so you will need a second pair of foot ware for shore.
The tropical sun can be very damaging to the skin, so bring protective lotion that does not stain towels, bedding cockpit cushions and decks. Sea & ski, Coppertone and Clinique lotions are non staining. Pre-sun and Bain de soleil are very damaging and oils and sprays in general are forbidden on board. After sun lotion with Aloe Vera is advised. A wide brimmed hat or visor and sunglasses will help shade you. A lycra swim shirt is a good idea as well.
Bring any medications required with you, access to pharmacies on the islands are limited. Painkillers, antihistamines for allergic reactions you may encounter with sea urchins or fire coral. If you watch where you are swimming this isn’t likely to be a problem. DO NOT bring illicit drugs, your captain will terminate the charter without refund if brought aboard.
Unless you wish to use your own snorkeling gear there is no need to pack these as they are provided on the boat along with towels. If you arrange for scuba diving you’ll be able to rent gear on the boat.
Getting to know you
On your arrival you will be welcomed by the Captain and crew who will show you around the boat and let you settle into your cabins with a welcome aboard drink in hand. The Captain will explain some do’s and don’ts and ask about your special interests for the cruise. This is your chance to plot the course for where you want to go and what you want to do. The Captain has extensive knowledge of the islands and will be able to give you lots of ideas and help of places to see and entertainment to join in, including taking the helm and trimming the sails if you wish. Remember though the captain is responsible for the yacht and those aboard and has the final word in all decisions.
Activities on shore such as dining out under the stars with feet in the sand eating freshly caught lobster can be arranged. Such excursions are of course at your own discretion and will not be deducted from your charter fee.
Entertainment & Communication
Free Wi-Fi is available aboard check but quests must bring their own laptop or pda. The salon & each double stateroom cabin have independent tv/dvd players. There is a wide variety of films aboard for you to choose from to view. There is an I-Pod dock for quests to use. Speakers are situated in the salon cabin, cockpit and fore deck.
Each cabin has a hairdryer which is the same as the boats voltage, please use these and not your own.
You will have received or should have downloaded a food and drink preference sheet to be filled in with regard to all members of the charter. This is to allow the chef to plan your meals on the information provided including any strong dislikes or food allergies indicated. All food and drink requirements for your charter have to be provisioned ahead of your charter start date so be sure to have returned your preferences 45 days before the charter start date. The yacht stocks a selection of premium wines and drinks to stock a reasonable bar which is included in the charter fee, ( please ask for more detail if required) more expensive ones can be put aboard, usually at a cost to you. For safety all soft drinks and beers will not be in glass bottles. This may affect sourcing a particular choice you require but the crew will endeavor to provide you with your choices.
Your Captain and mate may be a couple or working partners. They operate the yacht for the owner. In any case you are quests in their home. You will savor your own quiet time staring up at the starry night sky or reading a book. The crew will appreciate being allowed such times too - after all they will probably be the first ones up and last to go to bed at night, working hard to please you. If you come to think of the crew as friends ( and you probably will) tipping may seem awkward at the charter’s end. But tips constitute a major part of their working capital, and if you have enjoyed their efforts, they’ll appreciate your letting them know in this way. Industry standards are a tip of 15 to 20% of the total charter fee, the same as going to a fine dining restaurant in the U.S. Putting your gratuity in an envelope with a note of thanks at the end of the charter is a nice way to avoid any awkwardness. Tipping in the islands for restaurant, taxi services is a customary 15-20%.
Check it out
Here's a list to check off your preparations to help ensure a carefree cruise:
- Food & beverage preference sheet filled and returned 45 days ahead of time
- Where relatives and associates can reach you in an emergency
- Passport for each member of charter party
- Soft luggage or duffle bags
- Adequate sun protection ( lotion, hat, clothing sunglasses)
- Suitable footwear
- Regular medications and others as required
- Credit cards or cash for shopping, drinks / meals ashore other ashore expenses and gratuity