Been away from the boat for two weeks and I always find it bittersweet. I love getting up to the first world for awhile and having fast internet and all such, but I also miss living on the water and going SCUBA diving every day...
Having said that, I really think we are finally, after so many years of doing a ton of charters getting to the point where we have a good balance of charters and time not on charter.
I wanted to put up a post giving those who book us every year an opportunity to see what we have for bookings coming up and what time we have available. I am already taking bookings on Promenade for June/July of 2012, so any one that I have told it was too early and they did not need to book yet, well, I may be wrong.
Things will even book up more/quicker nowadays since we are doing half the amount of charters only that we used to do.
I am going to ramble for a bit here, cuz I am in that mood! It was with a large gulp a few months ago when we decided to change our strategy and charter offerings on the yacht to allow us to run the yacht in a much more casual style and not have to have full time crew living with us on the boat.
People were not impressed when I took out the cooking. I found most don't want to do that part themselves and I had a lot of requests to include that. I can understand that, as if you have large groups, it is not as easy as it sounds.
When I added back in a "mostly inclusive" option where I did the bulk of the cooking but the guests participated in most other ship duties, I was surprised how attractive that was to some people, and in areas that I never imagined.
Most tell me they don't mind pitching in with the other things, and in fact, I have found out that many PREFER to. I never thought I would see that when guests would prefer to do some of these things themselves. One of our charter guests told me that after a couple times on the boat it gets quite boring just being the one sitting around the table and it was much more satisfying having the run of the boat, and participating.
For everyone I ever stopped helping us with the dishes cuz it was our job, I apologize! I did not realize that you truly wanted to help and were not just being polite. Silly me. What a lot of pressure I put on myself and crew over the years.
Another thing I have noticed is that I am getting smaller family groups booking now who love the idea of a larger boat with more room and amenities, but weren't interested in finding ten people to come along with to make it financially feasible. I am really excited about the smaller groups, as it will give me so much more time to SCUBA dive etc with them.... and take pictures!
Promenade is still a great yacht for families and multi generations...and I think that will definitely be our niche, with maybe single groups as well, maybe not so much the 5 couples looking for lots of high end service... One other thing, with our new casual style, if conditions and everything permit, and we have guests who are interested, we would be more then willing to take out one of our fast boats on a day of charter. Buoy Boy is perfect for fishing (and diving for that matter) and the Bingo Bus is just plain all around fun! Just pay for the fuel costs, not a problem.
OK, rambling done.
I would still like to book another charter in the late July/Early August range... We drop off our last one July 17th, and we plan on going back to SoCal about mid August. Would love an opportunity to perhaps find a group who wanted to go gunk holing and diving around the Spanish Virgins or the south coast of puerto Rico. We are kind of planning that for early August whether we get a charter or not.
We still are open for Thanksgiving this coming season...
The holiday season is totally booked already, all the way up to mid January, when we have openings still until toward the end of February, then some more good openings in March and April. After Easter we will close off our calendar again until mid June, when we already have a week booked for the end of June beginning of July.
And that takes us far enough ahead...
My link here will take you to the calendar page which has further links for the two types of charters we do
Our captain/ mate only charter details can be found here, and we will take up to 12 guests
Our mostly inclusive, we prefer to stick to 10 guests and under and the details can be found here
Of course I have to put up a couple pictures, My friend Heather Perry, took these of ME taking pictures of her while down on Swim Vacation Charters last month. It is such a treat to get pictures of me in the water, even if I don't like them all!
This is Heather on the bow of the boat, I actually really like this photo...
And me on the helm, we had obviously just jumped up from a dive and were heading straight out somewhere...
And me diving underneath the pier at Salt Island, which is one of my absolute favorite places for photography!
And one more, what the heck, Heather took this of me at Salt Island when we were looking at the patch of old bottles down there...
That is all I have for you today...The boat continues to rest nicely in Puerto Del Rey and we will be back in the islands for charters in early June..