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Frequently Asked Questions we are here to help

Private charter yacht vs resort or a villa on land?

A private charter yacht allows autonomy in a relaxed atmosphere. Traveling from place to place in luxury and convenience of having your own floating hotel. The yachts and crews are dedicated only to you and your guests from the moment you step onboard. With a private charter yacht you vacation can be tailored to your desires.


Do the yachts welcome children?

Most yachts welcome children but you will need to check on the required minimum age for the specific yacht. A yacht charter vacation is possibly the “best “ family vacation you would ever have. There is plenty to do for adults and children alike; water sports, beach games, treasure hunts. Ample supplies of games aboard the yachts. You will also note that most chefs do special menus for children.

It is very important that you note that you are held responsible for their safety and behavior. Crew on board is responsible for the yacht.


Should we take out travel insurance?

Yes we do recommend that you do take out travel insurance. Its is a relatively low cost item that can save the day if flights are canceled, lost or damaged luggage medical requirements etc. below is a link for travel insurance site that we recommend our clients use. www.travelguard.com


How much involvement do we have with menu planning?

Five Star Yacht Vacations will send you a comprehensive food and beverage preference list before a few weeks before your charter. Thus you and the crew will be familiar with your favorite foods and beverages. All yacht Chefs have wonderful menus with a variety of cuisine to fit everyone’s needs and will do their absolute best to satisfy your requirements. 



What does Five Star Yacht Vacations charge for their service?

We at Five Star Yacht Vacations provide information guidance, security, experience and convenience at no extra cost to you the client.


What does the charter fee include/exclude?

Most of the yachts in the Caribbean operate on Caribbean Terms Inclusive (CTI) which means that the charter rate includes the hire and insurance of the yacht, crew wages, crew food, ship’s laundry, fuel for cruising per day, harbor dues and three meals per day, and includes soft and alcoholic beverages, but excludes communication costs and local taxes and the crew gratuity. Some yachts operate on Mediterranean Yacht Brokers Association Terms (MYBA) that means that the charter rate includes the hire and insurance of the yacht, crew food and wages and the ship’s laundry only. All other expenses such as fuel for the main engines, generators and water sports equipment, all running costs, harbor dues, all food, all soft and alcoholic drinks, communication costs, local taxes, crew gratuities etc. are at an additional cost to you the Charterer. All of this will be clarified at the time of enquiry depending on choice of boat.


What is the level of the crew gratuity?

Like any gratuity, this is left at the discretion of the customer, however as a guideline, gratuities are normally in the region of 15% of the basic charter fee. This can be paid by traveler’s cheques, cash, or sent by wire transfer at the end of the cruise if you do not wish to travel with large amounts of cash. 


Does the Yacht have beach towels hair dryer etc?

All yachts supply linen, towels and some yachts supply sun creams, hairdryers and general toiletries.


Does the Yacht have Internet connection?

In the majority of cases, yes Wi Fi / broadband is now commonplace. Though it is worth checking as this can vary from yacht to yacht.


How difficult is it to get into the major yachting ports in the Mediterranean?

(i.e. St Tropez, Porto Cervo, Monaco) Please be aware that during peak season berthing arrangements can be very difficult, especially around the more popular ports. We strongly advise booking well in advance. Nothing is guaranteed and some ports only accept bookings three days before your intended arrival.


Can land excursions, tours be arranged?

Yes. We can provide information on any cruising area and recommend places of interest. We will also liaise with the Captain prior to embarkation and arrange for excursions ashore. Once on board your Captain will be happy to advise and arrange excursions.  



Will I be picked up at the airport or hotel?

Yes, we will arrange for transport and a member of the crew to meet you and take you to the yacht. 



Can I go scuba diving from the yacht or elsewhere?

Some yachts have fully qualified Dive Instructors/Divemasters onboard as part of the crew and carry dive equipment. However in some cases diving is by arrangement with a separately employed local dive company (Rendezvous Diving). If you are qualified be sure to bring your diving certificate with you. If you want to get certified in Scuba Diving, why not complete your theory at home and carry out your open water dives whilst on your sailing vacation.




Can anyone use the watersports equipment drive the tender/dingy?

The tender or dingy can only ever be driven by a crewmember. All the watersports equipment is made available to charter guests and the crew is on hand to assist and teach guests that may be unfamiliar with some of the water toys. However, SCUBA Diving and Waverunner use is generally restricted to guests with appropriate qualifications as this is a legal requirement in most countries.


Can we book a charter to start on any day of the week and for any amount of nights?

Yes, charters can start any day of the week and be any period in length. Although most owners will request a period of at least a week during peak season and over Christmas & New Year.


Can we help sail the yacht?

All our yachts are fully crewed so there is no need to get involved in the running of the yacht. However, if guests are keen to sail, most crews will be happy to involve you in a safe manner.


Can you provide a private jet for us?

Yes – we can definitely assist with this. Whether it is longer haul or local helicopter transfers.


How do we find out about our crew?

We will send you full details and information of the crew and the Chefs sample menus.


Will we be able to talk to the crew prior to the charter?

Yes in most cases if you wish to speak to the crew direct we can give you a phone number of the yacht and or an email address.


How much luggage are we allowed?

Within the limits of your airline or private jet. We always recommend soft luggage for stowage purposes. If you are vacationing in the Caribbean light attire is recommended.



What types of bar and wines can we expect?

All inclusive yacht charters include a reasonable amount of alcohol aboard Inc beers, house spirits and house wines tailored to your tastes. Premium brands are available at an additional cost to you.


How do we pay?
Deposits Escrow payments transfer’s credit cards balances?

Most charter yachts operate outside the USA. In almost all cases we keep your deposit in an escrow account, which is not released, to the yacht until just before the charter. All payment transfers are receipted and safe. 



What is the APA? (Advanced Provisioning Allowance)

The APA usual for Med and some Caribbean charters is for extra expenses involved in the provisioning for guests, the fuel cost, land arrangements etc. Normally it is about 25% of the contract value and all items are specified in an Addendum attached to the charter contracts providing breakdown analysis of the costs. Final accounts will be produced by the Captain at the end of the charter on presence of the Broker and any unused funds will be refunded in full to the Charterer directly. If the funds are not sufficient, the Captain will advise you accordingly and bills are to paid prior to leaving the yacht.




How to book a charter?

With the help of Five Star Yacht Vacations. You will have chosen a yacht, location and dates. We will provisionally reserve the yacht. We will then send you a contract to complete along with wire transfer details for the required deposit. This is kept safe and secure in the clearinghouse escrow account. We will then send you confirmation and a preference sheet for you to complete with such items as your favorite foods and beverages and activities special interests. We can assist and organize any travel arrangements, hotels or villas prior or post charter. We can also advise on private air transport if needed.

All in all with help and guidance of us this should be the most hassle free vacation planning you have ever made.

 

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