As with any good event or party, a little research and preparation can make the difference between the time of your life or a mediocre – even disappointing – memory. When it comes to finding the perfect San Diego yacht rental, there are a number of considerations that should guide your decision. You deserve a phenomenal adventure and a getaway to revitalize you.
1. What Kind of Adventure Are You Looking For?
Are you planning an end-of-summer corporate cruise to celebrate a milestone? Perhaps you are celebrating an engagement in the family or having a small San Diego yacht wedding against a marine sunset? Is it a bucket list whale watching excursion? Imagine the event, and take notes of details you like.
You should be thinking about things like what time of day you want to sail and what kind of atmosphere to strive for, how big you want your party, how long your trip will be. These parameters will make the search for the most suitable yacht charter a little easier to navigate. It will also give you a better idea of what supplies will need to be obtained or included, and what sort of pre-preparations should be undertaken.
Related to this consideration is what kind of guest list you are anticipated. The age range of your invitees will have an impact on the next item on this list. You may not be looking at an open bar if you are going to have many children onboard, for example.
2. Determine Your “Must-Haves”
With so many companies offering day charters and corporate cruises, figuring out what amenities you want on your yacht rental can help you whittle down the list. There are always some items that will ultimately be your dealbreakers, assuming that they are not overreaching.
For events that feature dancing, you know you want a decent sized, good looking dance floor and a phenomenal sound system – perhaps an impressive light show. If you want to leave guests with a long lasting recollection of your sophistication and class, you want to ensure that you have a menu and an array of delectable hors d’oeuvres that will put celebrity chefs to shame, especially if it’s a brunch, lunch, or dinner cruise.
Your budget will likely dictate which and how many must-haves you can have, and there are a lot to choose from .
3. Do the Research
Whether you are renting a banquet hall for a wedding, hiring a DJ, or hiring party planners, when it comes to planning an event, you wouldn’t just click on the first company who appears on your search engine results list and hire them on the spot. You want to at least comparison shop, so to speak, starting with the information on their websites, testimonials and ratings, types of offerings, included amenities, and price ranges.
Specs and Amenities
Most people are less concerned about the specific type of yacht ; after all, to the layperson, they all have their pros and cons. The amenities included in your cruise are much more important to the success of your special event or getaway.
In terms of specs and available amenities , most of the information will hopefully be on the companies’ websites. You will want to know how big your party can be
Then, you want to correspond with them in a meaningful way. Do they specialize in a particular type of excursion? Some companies may have great three-hour dinner cruises but are not properly equipped for an eight-hour whale watching tour. They may have great connections in the culinary world, but not so much with the guides with knowledge of the different types of marine life, signs of whale activity, or the ability to keep guests entertained even during the wait between whale sightings.
With so many review sites out there nowadays, it is relatively easy to find out which companies on your list have the happiest customers. Remember that a five-star rating over two customer reviews and a five-star rating over dozens of reviews may say different things. In one case, they may have had a low percentage of clients willing to recommend them, or may not have undertaken as many sailings as they imply. In the second case, you know that there are a number of people who have been so impressed by their cruises that they have made a point of extoling them online.
4. Talk to Them
You can find out a lot about a company’s dedication to customer service when you deal with them directly. How do they handle your questions? Do they answer you promptly and able give you the information you request? Are they professional, respectful and courteous?
By corresponding with the company, you can find out how experienced their crews are, whether they have undertaken a good number of the type of excursion you’re interested in, and what options are available. This back-and-forth is extremely important because not only will you be getting some insight into how this company runs, but how knowledgeable their personnel are.
If you get broad answers and generalities, can you afford to trust them with the success of this important trip, and with the wellbeing of your guests? Are they asking you questions in return, that indicate that they are experienced with different types of charter cruises? If they don’t offer something on your wish list, do they offer alternatives or helpful suggestions?
Are they upfront an honest? If your expectations are too high for what you will be paying, do they manage those expectations and explain what can reasonably be done, or do they let you live in lalaland?
5. Be Realistic and Open
This is not a time to be penny pinching. You are planning more than just a boat ride – you are building an experience for you and your guests. If you have properly considered #1 and #2 above, you will be aware of the different elements, and if you have completed #3 and #4, you should have a good idea of how much it will realistically cost. You will also have gotten to know the companies a little bit, and may have felt good feeling about certain ones.
At the same time, be open to suggestions. After all, presumably, the yacht charter company will have seen many events – enough to know what works well and what doesn’t. For example, you may think you want a big boat, when what you are looking for is a vessel that feels spacious; a larger yacht may feel more impersonal and empty, and have the wrong atmosphere. You may think you are ordering enough vegetarian dishes but have forgotten that meat-eaters like non-meat options too. Take advantage of the experience and wisdom the company has gleaned.