Preference Sheet: The Key to the Perfect Yacht Charter
As the term implies, a preference sheet is a tool used in the charter industry for guests to communicate their preferences for all aspects of the charter to the crew. A well filled-out charter preference sheet is essential in ensuring the success of the charter. The crew uses this information to understand specific needs and requirements of the guests and plan how best to cater to each unique group, totally customizing the charter.
Your broker will send you a link to complete the preference sheet about 6 weeks prior to the charter. Plan to return the preference sheet 4 weeks (or more) before embarkation to give the crew adequate time to prepare and provision for the charter.
Here are some guidelines and suggestions to consider when completing each section of the preference sheet in preparation for your charter.
Make sure to include the main charterer’s mobile phone number so the crew can be in contact upon arrival. It’s also important to provide at least one emergency contact number just in case it is needed.
Information about your travel plans including arrival and departure times will enable the crew to check if your flight(s) have arrived on time or if there are delays. If you are staying at a hotel before embarkation, it's helpful to include that information to arrange transportation and other logistics.
Food and Meals
This is one of the most critical sections of the preference sheet. Detailed information about the group’s preferences are encouraged.
- Note preferred meats and cuisine types, as well as requests for specific dishes.
- It is of great importance to note individual allergies, strong food dislikes, and special dietary requirements.
- If you have children in your group, you should note what they prefer to eat and drink.
- In case you would like to have any meals ashore during the week, or a special event such as a beach barbecue, share that information so the crew can plan accordingly.
Photo by Aeolus.
Beverages and Alcohol
- Rates include the “ship’s bar,” which refers to basic spirits such as vodka, gin, and rum, and typical house brands as you might expect to be served in a bar.
- Each yacht has its own budget for the bar. A yacht priced at $20,000 for the week may budget $15-$20/bottle for wine, whereas a yacht priced at $50,000 per week will carry premium wines.
- The quantity of alcohol ordered in total will also be a factor. If you wish to order premium alcohol, please let the crew know the specifics, and they will provide a price estimate. If the crew cannot source an item that was requested, they will offer substitutions.
- A guideline for the order quantity would be one bottle of wine per person per day, plus beers and cocktails.
Plus Expenses Charters:
- The crew will stock the bar according to the information you provide on the preference sheet. Everything you order will be deducted at cost from the Advance Provision Allowance (APA).
- There is no need to over-order. Depending on the destination, it is likely that the crew will be able to replenish supplies during the week, and space onboard may be limited. Since it is unlikely you will be able to take anything with you when you disembark, you may want to order somewhat conservatively.
For more information on All Inclusive and Plus Expenses charter pricing, visit our Yacht Charter Prices article.
Are you an active group? Are shore hikes of interest? Any scuba-divers in the group? Providing this type of information will help the crew plan the itinerary and ensure they are well-prepared for all your preferred activities. If you are planning to bring any sports equipment with you, for example, snuba gear or a kiteboard, be sure to note that in case the yacht’s insurance has any stipulations to be aware of. If anyone is interested in fishing be sure to note that since a license is required in some destinations such as the BVI.
Photo by Mahasattva.
If you have any special occasions you want to celebrate during the charter such as a birthday, anniversary, or graduation, be sure to include that information. It will help the crew plan to make special occasions extra memorable.
Desired Ports and Places to visit
The itinerary will be determined in discussion with the captain but it is helpful to provide an idea of ports or places that the group would like to visit.
Once the preference sheet is submitted, your broker will make sure it gets to the crew promptly so they can review it and begin the charter preparations.