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Cruising Tales: How to Properly Handle your Charter Guests

If your charter guests are honeymooners, forget everything in this article and do this: 1) Leave them alone on the boat three times a day and 2) change the sheets often. No matter what you do for the honeymooners, it doesn’t really matter because they are so happy.  To them everything is wonderful, even if you put some frogs in their bed.

The first step for handling other charter guests is to frighten them. Arrange in advance for the taxi driver who picks them up to drive extra fast to your boat. By the time they arrive, they’ll be terrified from the ride and will be very grateful to get aboard. After calming down, they may ask you why we drive on the left here. It’s because of either the donkeys’ preference or the Danes’.

Now that they’re in your greedy little hands, you must insist strongly that the captain’s word is law and that they must remember to do exactly as they are told. This requirement will probably have to be reinforced repeatedly when they start to grumble which may be frequent. The only exemptions are the captain’s wife/concubine and the cat.

The next important step is to wear them out so that they will go to bed early every night.  Each morning conduct the required and rigorous exercise session on the deck before breakfast. After breakfast there should be a strenuous hike such as from Great Harbour, Jost Van Dyke up to the top of the mountain, or on Norman Island up to Spy Glass Hill from The Bight, or best yet, to the Lookout on Virgin Mount at Virgin Gorda.

Since you have made certain ahead of time that the anchor windlass will not work, have them raise and lower the anchors by hand. Raising the sails and grinding the winches is required. Two or three vigorous snorkeling or scuba diving sessions per day are also essential. For good measure, pretend the outboard motor is broken so that they will have to row everywhere.

You may wish to feed them a lot throughout the day, particularly in the evening so that they will get sleepy early. Adamantly demand that they are required in the contract to do all the clean up such as washing the dishes, making the beds, vacuuming,  polishing the brass, checking the vitals of the main engine and generator, cleaning the decks, the cockpit and the dinghy and taking the trash ashore. If all this activity doesn’t knock them out, then you will have to step in personally by entertaining them so badly that they will beg you to let them go to bed.
 
Various techniques you may use are 1) sing-a-longs where you sing loudly off key; 2) recite pointless stupid jokes, 3) tell long boring stories, 4) cheat outrageously at cards or other games and 4) take steps to insure that the VCR does not work.

Naturally you should make threats to punish them if they do not use the head properly.  After explaining how to operate it and they still don’t get it, then sing them this song (off key, naturally) to the tune of “The Ball and Jack”. The words were created by Bill Hayes, a talented charter guest:

First, you put the lid down nice and neat,
Then you step upon the pedal down beneath your feet,
Grab the pumping handle standing by the seat,
Then you pull it hard, push it hard and don’t you cheat!
Fifteen times is the minimum score,
Then release the pedal but continue pumping more.
When the water’s all gone, smile and nod your head,
Cuz that’s what we call pumping the head.

At the end of the charter you will need to send an evaluation of your charter guests to the charter broker. If they disobeyed your orders frequently and were too obstreperous, then the charter guests will never be allowed aboard again.

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