Captain and Crew Dream Teams
By D.J. Parker, President and Charter Sales Agent, Neptune Group Yachting
Part of a professional Charter Agent’s due diligence is to travel frequently to popular cruising grounds around the globe inspecting yachts and visiting respective crews on behalf of their charter clients. Instinctively, I always endeavor to view these yachts and crew through the eyes of my clients. Conversely, crews treat visiting charter agents as a kind of litmus test and strive to let us know how well our clients will be treated if the yacht is selected for a charter.
As a matter of course, I expect the captain and crew to display professionalism as they play host to their visitors, guiding us through these multi-million dollar private yachts and hosting lavish lunches and dinners aboard.
The characteristics we are looking for include hospitality, friendliness, efficiency, courteousness, and the capability of performing proper table service. We assess whether the crew typically performs a formal “silver service”, or if the owner and crew prefer more of a “member of the family” atmosphere aboard the yacht.
We anticipate a high standard of professionalism; however, there are times when I realize that I am in the company of greatness … a Captain and Crew “Dream Team”.
These crews truly are teams! From the moment I approach the yacht, I see a properly uniformed crewmember waiting at casual attention near the passerelle to greet the guests. His or her eager smile, greeting, handshake and invitation to board the vessel are all genuine. Once aboard, a smiling stewardess(s) eagerly greets me with an invitation to enjoy a beverage and/or treats. Another crewmember is standing by to graciously guide me through the yacht and share the ambiance and service they promise my clients. I may have the honor of the captain guiding me through the yacht, or he may be introduced at the end of the tour.
Dream Team Captains pay special attention to detail. They want to meet you and share their expertise on itineraries and seasonal plans. They exhibit a positive, “can do” attitude. Proper grooming and hygiene are evident. This is not just a job, it is a profession and they are the best.
Not surprising, Captain and Crew Dream Teams can boast of multi-repeat charters. After a week or more aboard these yachts, your client and the Dream Team will part ways as casual newfound friends. Should one of these clients contact the yacht captain directly for an encore charter holiday in the future, the captain professionally will discuss the request and graciously redirect the client back to the his or her Charter Agent to book and plan the trip.
Since yachting is a “small-world” industry, Captain and Crew Dream Teams quickly become well known. They enhance not only the business of their yacht’s owner but also of the Charter Agents, while advancing their own careers.