This article could have been well entitled “The Magic of a Well Prepared Preference Sheet” – since the secret of a perfect yacht vacation will depend largely on the quality and detail of this essential document. The value of a well filled out, and complete charter Preference Sheet cannot be over-estimated.
Does your group include any vegans? Do you only drink Chivas Regal Scotch? Are you into light snacks in the middle of the night? Heavy or light breakfasts? Do you hate fish? What are your favorite wines?
Clearly food and drink are the essence of every good charter experience and the main focus of most preference sheets has to be dietary requirements, allergies, likes and dislikes – they are the critical elements of any charter.
Your personal preferences can only be communicated to the captain and crew of a charter yacht by the use of a well-designed preference sheet and the discussion of this sheet with the captain and chef prior to the charter.
Your charter broker should provide you with a set of preference sheets at least 90 days prior to the charter start date. This allows you (the charterer) sufficient time to discuss the preferences of all members of your group and to take the necessary time to fill the form out in the greatest possible detail and get it back to the broker who in turn will forward it to the yacht’s captain and chef or purser and set up a date and time for a direct personal conversation to discuss the document.
Most captains we talk to, prefer to have the sheets in their hand about 30 days before the charter, especially in some of the Caribbean islands where specialized provisioning takes time and effort
Preference sheets are all too often looked at as a nuisance by clients, but they can easily make or break a charter. This document will provide the captain and crew with the insights into the personal preferences of the guests ahead of time so that the crew can provision and prepare the ship for your arrival.
Once the yacht has been chosen, and booked, hey, it’s preference sheet time!
Everyone in the industry has all heard the horror stories of misplaced or ill-prepared preference sheets, and crews trying to guess what the clients will want to eat and drink. Stocking up with steak when the guests are vegetarians, etc. etc. But this is not about the crew, it’s about YOU.
Take the time to fill out the form in as much detail as possible, if something is missing on the form, give us an addendum, the crew will love to have all this additional information about you and your family or friends. It makes their job easier and gives you the charter experience that you deserve.
Of course, it’s not only about the food. The crew would like to know what newspapers or other reading material their guests prefer.
Especially important are the activities that guests prefer on vacation (besides lounging around the pool or Jacuzzi with a glass of wine). Are you an active group? Are you interested in shore excursions? Are you into historic places or ancient monuments? Snorkeling? Diving? Watersports?
We have a variety of different Preference Sheets that we use for different types of vessels and some yachts have even designed sheets of their own to ensure that their guests cover every aspect of their preferences and requirements. Getting the preference sheet right is an absolute priority for every successful charter.
So, as you can see, the secret of a perfect yacht vacation is not always dependent on the make and the length and model year of the yacht, it is highly depend on the quality and experience of the crew, especially the captain and the chef, and their knowledge of YOUR preferences ahead of time so they can prepare for your arrival.
So take the time to fill out those pesky Preference Sheets and discuss them with all the members of your group, it’s to YOUR benefit and will help the captain and crew to give you all the best vacation in the world.
If you would like to see an example of a perfect preference sheet we can send you one.