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Charter Etiquette/Question #271413
12/17/2021 12:56 AM
12/17/2021 12:56 AM
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JJ23 Offline OP
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I posted on TA but it was suggested I post here as there are more charterers.

We are currently on a charter—our second in the past 5 years, both in the BVIs. The experiences with the crew were quite different. I’m wondering which is customary. The second situation has been a bit off putting and left us feeling a somewhat taken advantage of, but it’s entirely possible that we are novices unfamiliar with the proper etiquette of chartering.

Both half board. The first was not owner operated, the owner had two employees living aboard but he was not on board himself. The second that we are on now is owner operated. First time it was just a trip for 2 adults. Second trip 4 adults. The first time we invited the crew to dine with us on island on one occasion but the other times they just dropped us at shore to do our own thing. The second trip the crew has made reservations for lunch and dinner on shore and always includes themselves, regardless of whether they were asked. We have probably spent an extra $1000 (probably more) for food and alcohol between all of the lunches and dinners they had with us on shore. At one restaurant they ordered two bottles of wine just for the two of them, which was of course added to our bill. Again, this second charter crew took it upon themselves to be included in the restaurants, all of which were upscale. We likely would have extended the offer for dinner on at least one occasion, lunch as well, but from the first reservation on they went ahead and made the decision for us.

Are we wrong to feel put off by the second experience? Is that typical, or was our first charter experience more typical. Otherwise the trip has been fine. But the expectation to pay for all of their meals in addition to the charter cost and tip seems odd to all of us.

For what it’s worth….There are many good reviews of our charter. None mentioned the dinners and lunches with the crew. None suggested any imposition. Which is why we are wondering if that’s just how it works?

Last edited by JJ23; 12/17/2021 01:14 AM.
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Re: Charter Etiquette/Question [Re: JJ23] #271414
12/17/2021 01:36 AM
12/17/2021 01:36 AM
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706jim Offline
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I think they had their bloody nerve inviting themselves for dinner.

But that's just me.

Re: Charter Etiquette/Question [Re: JJ23] #271416
12/17/2021 03:08 AM
12/17/2021 03:08 AM
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 3,931
U.K. and Spain
Jeannius Offline
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Definitely not usual for a crew to behave like that. My wife and I ran our boat as a crewed charter a few years back, also on a half board basis with most lunches aboard at anchor or moored, and evening meals were ashore at a restaurant. We would never have invited ourselves out with the guests without being asked. And, if asked, we would certainly not have drunk one bottle of wine, never mind two! They are not only inconsiderate but endangering the guests by consuming that much alcohol while in charge of the boat and your safety.

Last edited by Jeannius; 12/17/2021 03:13 AM.
Re: Charter Etiquette/Question [Re: Jeannius] #271419
12/17/2021 06:24 AM
12/17/2021 06:24 AM
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JJ23 Offline OP
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We were concerned by the alcohol intake too. We were too uncomfortable to question any of this with them directly, particularly without knowing what is customary and what isn’t. And mid trip we didn’t want to piss them off. Our instincts told us it was off, but they’ve been chartering many years so we just trusted it was the norm.

At Willie T’s for example, they came aboard with us. Before we ordered lunch they approached the restaurant and gave the name of our charter before we all ordered. They did the same with the bartender. They had lunch and several rounds of drinks on our charter “tab” with no offer to pay their portion.

There are differences between our charter and most others they do. We went directly through them and it sounds like most book them through a broker/third party. And they said most do full board but we requested half board when it was offered. But this still wasn’t an inexpensive trip, and we still paid their website’s advertised rate for a direct booking, half board.

Sounds like they just took advantage of us? Very frustrating. Today is our final day.

Re: Charter Etiquette/Question [Re: JJ23] #271420
12/17/2021 06:49 AM
12/17/2021 06:49 AM
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Posts: 1,186
Washington DC
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bailau Online content
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Not normal...you certainly can adjust the "tip" if you want...

Re: Charter Etiquette/Question [Re: JJ23] #271424
12/17/2021 08:56 AM
12/17/2021 08:56 AM
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GA/NC
GeorgeC1 Online content
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Personally a professional crew should be drinking very little if at all and certainly not at lunch.
G

Re: Charter Etiquette/Question [Re: JJ23] #271425
12/17/2021 09:01 AM
12/17/2021 09:01 AM
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MIDiver Offline
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This is not and should not be the norm. I agree with Bailau - adjust their “tip” deducting the amount you spent on their food and “beverage”.

Re: Charter Etiquette/Question [Re: JJ23] #271426
12/17/2021 09:41 AM
12/17/2021 09:41 AM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 640
Kannapolis, NC
ndfaninnc Offline
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"They are not only inconsiderate but endangering the guests by consuming that much alcohol while in charge of the boat and your safety."

That is the first thing I took from the original post. Not safe at all. I would do just as bailau & MIDiver just posted.


Go Irish!!

Bill
Re: Charter Etiquette/Question [Re: JJ23] #271427
12/17/2021 09:49 AM
12/17/2021 09:49 AM
Joined: May 2019
Posts: 98
Orlando, FL
Time Will Tell Offline
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That is definitely bogus - and yes, potentially dangerous. Sounds to me like you have already tipped them!

Common sense is definitely not a common virtue.


Peter
s/y Time Will Tell
peter@syTimeWillTell.com

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Re: Charter Etiquette/Question [Re: JJ23] #271431
12/17/2021 10:03 AM
12/17/2021 10:03 AM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 5,575
An island state of mind
tradewinds Offline
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Name the boat and complain to the owner.

Re: Charter Etiquette/Question [Re: tradewinds] #271435
12/17/2021 10:10 AM
12/17/2021 10:10 AM
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JJ23 Offline OP
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Originally Posted by tradewinds
Name the boat and complain to the owner.


The boat for this current charter is owner operated. The captain and his wife are the owners. I have no problem naming the boat…once we are off.

Re: Charter Etiquette/Question [Re: tradewinds] #271436
12/17/2021 10:10 AM
12/17/2021 10:10 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 78,175
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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The original post says that the boat currently is owner operated.


Carol Hill
Re: Charter Etiquette/Question [Re: JJ23] #271437
12/17/2021 10:14 AM
12/17/2021 10:14 AM
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Posts: 769
Kansas
captmoby Offline
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How did you phrase the invite? Possibly they thought it to be a invite for the whole trip?


Jim
Sailmoby II
Re: Charter Etiquette/Question [Re: captmoby] #271439
12/17/2021 10:40 AM
12/17/2021 10:40 AM
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JJ23 Offline OP
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Originally Posted by captmoby
How did you phrase the invite? Possibly they thought it to be a invite for the whole trip?

Originally Posted by captmoby
How did you phrase the invite? Possibly they thought it to be a invite for the whole trip?


There never was an invite. We boarded at 5pm and ate on board the first night. The very first full day we went to Willy T’s. They came with us and immediately when we walked in they went up to order food and drinks under the boat name then never offered to contribute to the bill. Next day for lunch on shore they told us they made a reservation for “all 6 of us.” We were the only ones in the restaurant. It was very pricey (and we live in a major US city with $$ food) and they each ordered two drinks and food (including an appetizer for two) on our bill with the expectation that we pay. Went to CocoMaya on Virgin Gorda the next night. They made reservations for a table for 6. The two of them shared a bottle of wine then ordered another for the two of them, in addition to all of their food, and we got the bill.

In their defense, we never objected until the last place where they had pre ordered lobster. Just before dinner we asked if we could have that meal alone just the 4 of us since we hadn’t yet had the chance. But by then we’d dropped at least 1k in food and drinks. And we only asked because we already had insight from others on TA that this was not customary.

Last edited by JJ23; 12/17/2021 10:46 AM.
Re: Charter Etiquette/Question [Re: JJ23] #271440
12/17/2021 10:59 AM
12/17/2021 10:59 AM
Joined: Jul 2020
Posts: 343
Bay Area
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Husker Offline
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Definitely bizarre behavior. I never done a half-board charter so maybe its a little different. We normally do a full-board and we make it a point to take the crew out for at least one dinner a week, and maybe a lunch or two when possible, just to give the chef a day off. We also make a point of spending a fair amount of time ashore to give the crew some down time. We've NEVER had a crew assume they were invited on shore trips and meals out.

We hired a captain once on a "bare-boat" trip in Croatia. The deal there was we had to provide his meals. We usually had lunch aboard and he ate with us. BF and dinner were mostly ashore and occasionally he joined us, but most of the time he happily hung out with the friends he seemed to have in every town.

If you haven't already done so, adjust the gratuity for your odd crew.

Re: Charter Etiquette/Question [Re: JJ23] #271442
12/17/2021 11:12 AM
12/17/2021 11:12 AM
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 3,245
Cane Garden Bay, Tortola
JasonHelmbrecht Offline
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I do think it's customary for the guest to pay for meal ashore so the real question is about the invitation. Seems like a miscommunication somewhere since you haven't seen other complaints in their reviews. I guess if other guests mostly do full board they wouldn't have this experience. I'd guess the miscommunication started back with the initial booking and the half/full board conversation. Just guessing....

No comment on the alcohol topic as I don't even drink when I run my own boat.


JasonHelmbrecht
Coconut Breeze Villas
Cane Garden Bay
reservations@coconutbreezevillas.com
www.coconutbreezevillas.com
Re: Charter Etiquette/Question [Re: JasonHelmbrecht] #271447
12/17/2021 11:32 AM
12/17/2021 11:32 AM
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JJ23 Offline OP
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Originally Posted by JasonHelmbrecht
I do think it's customary for the guest to pay for meal ashore so the real question is about the invitation. Seems like a miscommunication somewhere since you haven't seen other complaints in their reviews. I guess if other guests mostly do full board they wouldn't have this experience. I'd guess the miscommunication started back with the initial booking and the half/full board conversation. Just guessing....

No comment on the alcohol topic as I don't even drink when I run my own boat.


They told us when we booked that most of their guests book full board. But their sample itinerary included several recommended off shore restaurants. Having done this before as half board and enjoyed a few meals off the charter, we requested half board because we felt it would be silly to pay full board knowing we wanted to have several lunches and dinners on shore. And our contract specifies half board with the exact number of on shore meals we’d have. But from the reviews it sounds like all others have done full.

Re: Charter Etiquette/Question [Re: JJ23] #271459
12/17/2021 11:56 AM
12/17/2021 11:56 AM
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Posts: 136
Folsom Lake, CA
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Latadjust Offline
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Folsom Lake, CA
Was the boat provisioned for enough meals for the crew to eat aboard?

Re: Charter Etiquette/Question [Re: Latadjust] #271467
12/17/2021 12:12 PM
12/17/2021 12:12 PM
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JJ23 Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Latadjust
Was the boat provisioned for enough meals for the crew to eat aboard?


I would assume so. They live on the boat full time. But we weren’t responsible for buying provisions, it was all included in the cost (as was our first BVI charter several years back).

Last edited by JJ23; 12/17/2021 12:13 PM.
Re: Charter Etiquette/Question [Re: JJ23] #271468
12/17/2021 12:32 PM
12/17/2021 12:32 PM
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Cleobeach Offline
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What you describe strikes me as strange....

During our 20+ day charters, we had a range of captains from ones that stayed on the boat during lunch to ones that joined for lunch (no drinks) to the worst, the one who seemed to make it his and his mate's mission to run up the bar and food bill as much as possible. (I learned to convey my expectations before booking the boat after two times of the last behavior)

We did our first crew charter in February and in the run up to the trip, the crew (husband and wife) communicated with us via zoom and by email with an extensive list of questions that included how much interaction we wanted with the crew. They were very professional and didn't drink during our trip. I am a drinker and the mention of a bottle of wine each at dinner while on the job raised my eyebrow.

Re: Charter Etiquette/Question [Re: JJ23] #271471
12/17/2021 12:57 PM
12/17/2021 12:57 PM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 1,272
USVI
LocalSailor Offline
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Not a usual dining situation!! -- especially about drinking -- I was a charter Captain in the VI since early 1980s -- crew and guest drinking/partying together was more common way back when but is certainly condidered Very Unprofessional today.
I often made reservations for my guests for dinner BUT would never have included crew without a Specific invitation.
It was often a welcome treat to not have guests aboard for a few hours and give the chef the time off.
*****An explanation of your dissatisfaction when Tip Time comes may be an answer

Re: Charter Etiquette/Question [Re: JJ23] #271554
12/19/2021 09:45 AM
12/19/2021 09:45 AM
Joined: Mar 2020
Posts: 238
Virgin Gorda, BVI
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VirginGordaResident Offline
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Virgin Gorda, BVI
Too be fair, I highly doubt they are doing this maliciously or with malintent. It seems to me like an unfortunate miscommunication. They probably like you guys a lot and you've been really friendly and fun with them so they feel like you want them to come with you and in turn they want to come out with you!

My advice would be just to communicate with them your honest feelings. Keep it positive and upbeat but do let them know!

Last edited by VirginGordaResident; 12/19/2021 09:46 AM.
Re: Charter Etiquette/Question [Re: JJ23] #271562
12/19/2021 03:49 PM
12/19/2021 03:49 PM
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 566
Vail, CO
caribbeangirl13 Offline
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WOW! It is certainly a red flag that they drank that much. Did they move the boat after drinking or was the drinking done after the boat was set for the night? Pretty sure most captains for the major charter companies are either not allowed to drink at all or I think one told me he was allowed 2 drinks after the boat was safely set for the night. I do know that with most charter companies they say that you are responsible for the captain's meals but they do not specify that you have to take them with you to all the meals.


Sue
s/v Ripple
Leopard 40

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Re: Charter Etiquette/Question [Re: caribbeangirl13] #271574
12/20/2021 07:43 AM
12/20/2021 07:43 AM
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Posts: 7
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JJ23 Offline OP
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Originally Posted by caribbeangirl13
WOW! It is certainly a red flag that they drank that much. Did they move the boat after drinking or was the drinking done after the boat was set for the night? Pretty sure most captains for the major charter companies are either not allowed to drink at all or I think one told me he was allowed 2 drinks after the boat was safely set for the night. I do know that with most charter companies they say that you are responsible for the captain's meals but they do not specify that you have to take them with you to all the meals.


Most times we were set for the night but once there were several drinks at lunch and we moved after. There’s nothing in the contract saying we are responsible for the captains meals.

We ended up tipping 13%. By the end of the trip we all agreed that the captain and his wife did not make the experience a very good one for any of us. Drinking and eating on our dime aside, they just weren’t good.

Re: Charter Etiquette/Question [Re: JJ23] #271576
12/20/2021 08:24 AM
12/20/2021 08:24 AM
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Posts: 1,186
Washington DC
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bailau Online content
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What you experienced I have never experienced to that degree in all our years down here chartering.

The drinking is totally unacceptable and more times then not staff refuse our offers for meals and never take it for granted

I hope next time you have a more typical island experience chartering

Re: Charter Etiquette/Question [Re: JJ23] #271612
12/20/2021 03:03 PM
12/20/2021 03:03 PM
Joined: Feb 2020
Posts: 54
London, England
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sunman60 Offline
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lots have been said about the over the top drinking by people in charge of a boat but I want to add this; you're chartering from them right? rather than a company; so they've had free bed and board for the duration of your holiday plus what they're making on the charter fees so in my mind that's enough. I'm a Brit so I know we have a different attitude towards tipping than some here but I wouldn't be giving any tip at all, in my opinion they've already had that, and some.

Re: Charter Etiquette/Question [Re: sunman60] #271634
12/20/2021 06:17 PM
12/20/2021 06:17 PM
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 3,245
Cane Garden Bay, Tortola
JasonHelmbrecht Offline
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Originally Posted by sunman60
lots have been said about the over the top drinking by people in charge of a boat but I want to add this; you're chartering from them right? rather than a company; so they've had free bed and board for the duration of your holiday plus what they're making on the charter fees so in my mind that's enough. I'm a Brit so I know we have a different attitude towards tipping than some here but I wouldn't be giving any tip at all, in my opinion they've already had that, and some.

Or to say it another way, you are vacation in their home. These are owner/operators. Have some respect and tip according to the local norms. You don't have to like it, that's why Motel 8 exists.


JasonHelmbrecht
Coconut Breeze Villas
Cane Garden Bay
reservations@coconutbreezevillas.com
www.coconutbreezevillas.com
Re: Charter Etiquette/Question [Re: JasonHelmbrecht] #271635
12/20/2021 07:09 PM
12/20/2021 07:09 PM
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Posts: 54
London, England
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sunman60 Offline
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Originally Posted by JasonHelmbrecht
Originally Posted by sunman60
lots have been said about the over the top drinking by people in charge of a boat but I want to add this; you're chartering from them right? rather than a company; so they've had free bed and board for the duration of your holiday plus what they're making on the charter fees so in my mind that's enough. I'm a Brit so I know we have a different attitude towards tipping than some here but I wouldn't be giving any tip at all, in my opinion they've already had that, and some.

Or to say it another way, you are vacation in their home. These are owner/operators. Have some respect and tip according to the local norms. You don't have to like it, that's why Motel 8 exists.


I'm sorry I've pinched a nerve here Jason but if you read back up this thread you'll see that you, and others don't drink on a rental like this, never mind drinking copious amounts and charging it to the guests. So no, I'm sorry, if they were drinking at lunch, and dinner as we've read then local norms go out the window imo, some people suggest adjusting the tip to take account of the excessive spending and I agree, at least.

Re: Charter Etiquette/Question [Re: JJ23] #271645
12/20/2021 09:23 PM
12/20/2021 09:23 PM
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Posts: 468
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706jim Offline
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In tis situation, the tip should have been ZERO!

Re: Charter Etiquette/Question [Re: JJ23] #271653
12/21/2021 08:31 AM
12/21/2021 08:31 AM
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Posts: 111
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skipdastraw Online content
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13% sounds overly generous in this situation.

Re: Charter Etiquette/Question [Re: JJ23] #271676
12/21/2021 05:14 PM
12/21/2021 05:14 PM
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Posts: 1,272
USVI
LocalSailor Offline
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This situation could have been resolved the 1st time it happened with some open communication of everyones expectations for the week.

Re: Charter Etiquette/Question [Re: LocalSailor] #271677
12/21/2021 05:21 PM
12/21/2021 05:21 PM
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Washington DC
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bailau Online content
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Originally Posted by LocalSailor
This situation could have been resolved the 1st time it happened with some open communication of everyone's expectations for the week.


Maybe if they were regulars...but OP was 2nd time charterer and last time was 5 years ago...

They don't know what they don't know. They do now and imagine if they get back down it will be different because (1) it isn't the norm or even close or (2) they will speak up. In addition it shouldn't be on the "guest" to have to tell the "owner" what the owner should already know and is customary.

Re: Charter Etiquette/Question [Re: bailau] #271680
12/21/2021 06:21 PM
12/21/2021 06:21 PM
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Posts: 621
Panama City Beach, Florida
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Originally Posted by bailau
Originally Posted by LocalSailor
This situation could have been resolved the 1st time it happened with some open communication of everyone's expectations for the week.


Maybe if they were regulars...but OP was 2nd time charterer and last time was 5 years ago...

They don't know what they don't know. They do now and imagine if they get back down it will be different because (1) it isn't the norm or even close or (2) they will speak up. In addition it shouldn't be on the "guest" to have to tell the "owner" what the owner should already know and is customary.

Well said!

Re: Charter Etiquette/Question [Re: bailau] #271682
12/21/2021 06:49 PM
12/21/2021 06:49 PM
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 566
Vail, CO
caribbeangirl13 Offline
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Originally Posted by bailau
Originally Posted by LocalSailor
This situation could have been resolved the 1st time it happened with some open communication of everyone's expectations for the week.


Maybe if they were regulars...but OP was 2nd time charterer and last time was 5 years ago...

They don't know what they don't know. They do now and imagine if they get back down it will be different because (1) it isn't the norm or even close or (2) they will speak up. In addition it shouldn't be on the "guest" to have to tell the "owner" what the owner should already know and is customary.



Completely agree! Still would like to know the name of the boat so I don't steer anyone in that direction! Feel free to PM me.


Sue
s/v Ripple
Leopard 40

[Linked Image]
Re: Charter Etiquette/Question [Re: JJ23] #271692
12/21/2021 10:21 PM
12/21/2021 10:21 PM
Joined: Dec 2018
Posts: 1,186
Washington DC
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bailau Online content
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bailau  Online Content
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Washington DC
That is the real tip OP gave them...not publicly calling out the boat

Re: Charter Etiquette/Question [Re: bailau] #271766
12/22/2021 06:47 PM
12/22/2021 06:47 PM
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 566
Vail, CO
caribbeangirl13 Offline
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caribbeangirl13  Offline
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Vail, CO
Not asking them to publicly call them out but it would be nice to know not to send someone their way, which is why I said PM me instead of call it out on here. Either way, I am happy with whatever they are comfortable with.


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Re: Charter Etiquette/Question [Re: caribbeangirl13] #271811
12/23/2021 10:13 AM
12/23/2021 10:13 AM
Joined: Dec 2018
Posts: 1,186
Washington DC
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bailau Online content
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bailau  Online Content
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Washington DC
Originally Posted by caribbeangirl13
Not asking them to publicly call them out but it would be nice to know not to send someone their way, which is why I said PM me instead of call it out on here. Either way, I am happy with whatever they are comfortable with.


agree...and understand you weren't asking for and would like to know as well as we refer many people to the BVIs

Re: Charter Etiquette/Question [Re: JJ23] #271815
12/23/2021 10:36 AM
12/23/2021 10:36 AM
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 1,295
Memphis, BVI, CT
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RatmansWife Online content
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RatmansWife  Online Content
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Memphis, BVI, CT
I don't have a dog in this hunt, but find the "why" interesting. Some people enjoy their sailing vacations so much - good booze and nice dinners ashore - they get to thinking "If we bought a boat we could live like this full time and get someone else to pay for it". So it's more about their lifestyle than about running a business and satisfying guests. Wonder if that was the case here.

Re: Charter Etiquette/Question [Re: RatmansWife] #271822
12/23/2021 12:06 PM
12/23/2021 12:06 PM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 3,372
VIRGINIA
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BEERMAN Offline
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BEERMAN  Offline
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VIRGINIA
Ha, I deleted my first post if you read it...did the right thing and discussed this with my wife, she's less knee jerk than me ;-) I agree with her and others that have mentioned open dialogue about expectations from the start may have avoided some issues. I can also understand that people new to charters may not know the questions to ask? That's why TTOL is valuable! My main concern about JJ23's comments is that it makes the captain look unsafe and when you pay for a vacation charter you want a captain who takes your safety seriously. As far as the meals/drinks, I think you were taken advantage of, but by remaining silent the behavior was allowed to continue. Doesn't matter to me if we know the name of the operation, what is important is to not hold ones tongue when things are uncomfortable, been there, done that!

Re: Charter Etiquette/Question [Re: BEERMAN] #271829
12/23/2021 01:03 PM
12/23/2021 01:03 PM
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 293
California
Sunnykm Offline
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Sunnykm  Offline
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Posts: 293
California
It is a confusing situation. We bareboat with a captain and are told by Moorings we are responsible for his meals.

We dingy ashore for dinner and invite him to eat at the restaurant with us as an ice breaker on the first night. Next evening same scenario as we dingy ashore and eat in a restaurant. The captain sits with us as the night before but we didn't invite him. Now what do we do? Send him back to the boat to use provisions to cook his own dinner?

The best we can figure out is having the captain come ashore with us and we provide dinner at the bar so we can eat dinner with friends. He is fed and we get to socialize.

The situation is awkward and compounded when a dingy is needed to get to dinner. I think now after a few charters I have the the confidence to speak up about expectations but in the early charters, I did not.

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