8 Tips to Communicate with Your Yacht Captain and Crew

If you’ve ever seen yachts sailing through the Sea of Cortez, you know it’s a wonder to watch. For those planning to charter a yacht and glide through the sapphire waters, Los Cabos is the place to launch.

A recently-built marina tucked inside the luxurious Costa Palmas property accommodates megayachts up to 250 feet long and offers seaside amenities, like boutiques and restaurants, at its Marina Village.

Whether it’s your first time chartering a yacht or your tenth, you must communicate with the captain and crew while on board. To help ensure clear communication,

Here are some tips to remember:

    1. 1) Understand the chain of command

      The crew size depends on the yacht size, but most charters have a captain, chief steward(ess), hostess, and deckhand.

      If you have any requests regarding your itinerary, length of stay, or places to visit, talk with the captain. Remember, the captain’s priority is your safety, so he or she will consider your requests but may say no based on things like weather conditions, tides, or the boat’s abilities. The captain is the expert, so heed their advice respectfully.

      If you have any requests regarding the interior of the boat, like wanting to swap cabins, altering the laundry service, or changing the housekeeping schedule, speak with the chief steward(ess), also known as the chief stew.

      You can, of course, speak to the crew, but it should be small requests that are within their job description. You can ask the stewardess for another drink, for example, or ask the deckhand how to operate the jet skis.

    2. 2) Fill out the Preference Sheet before boarding

      Most yachts sailing through the Sea of Cortez have five-star chefs onboard. Before your trip, you’ll receive a Preference Sheet, which asks about food preferences. Your chef wants to know your favorite meals, snacks, and drinks so he or she can prepare them.

      As a courtesy, complete the form as soon as you get it to give the chef ample time to get groceries and plan meals.

      You’ll also specify any food allergies or foods you want to avoid.

      Be as specific as you can. If you’re bringing kids onboard, for example, who only eat brand-specific food, provide that information to the chef.

    3. 3) Follow etiquette while onboard

      If you’re new to yachting, there’s a certain etiquette you should follow. Understanding these unwritten rules eases your communication.

      • Pack in soft luggage. Hard shells are difficult to store and can damage the interior.
      • Be on time to set sail.
      • Ask permission to come aboard. It’s a sign of respect.
      • Be polite and respectful. Expect this from your entire party.
      • Take off your shoes. Since shoes damage the deck floor, you’ll be asked to stow them in special bins.
      • Listen to the safety briefing when you come on board.
      • Respect the advice of your staff.
      • Respect the privacy of the crew.
    4. 4) Tell the crew where you’re going

      When you’re anchored, you can choose where to go. Whether you plan to go ashore, take a swim, or kayak around the island, tell someone where you’re going.

      If you’re going ashore, a crew member may need to take you in on a smaller boat. If that’s the case, they’ll know where you are but discuss how you plan to return. Will you call the deckhand when you’re ready to go? Or do you plan to return at a set time? Communicate your plans.

      Likewise, if half of your party plans to go ashore and the other half plans to swim near the yacht, let someone know.

      Informing the crew of your plans not only ensures your safety but helps the crew plan, too. For example, if your family splits up for the day, the chef may only need to feed a few people lunch. Meanwhile, the steward will clean cabins while you’re gone, so it’s helpful to know when you’ll return.

    5. 5) The crew will follow a social media blackout

      When you charter a yacht, part of the contract often requires the crew to observe a social media blackout. Doing so ensures your privacy.

      Crews are accustomed to working with high-profile guests who value confidentiality, so it’s common practice among experienced staff.

      As a guest, you should extend a similar courtesy. While you can share pictures of your trip on social, avoid taking pictures of the captain and crew without permission. If you plan to post the picture to social media, ask them if it’s okay first.

      They’re willing to protect your privacy; you should be willing to do the same.

    6. 6) Ask for private quarters if needed

      Some travelers request a special workspace. When it’s in use, the crew will not interrupt you unless it’s an emergency. While this kind of space is available, you must request it before boarding.

      You’ll tell the crew who is allowed to use the space, too. For example, the space may be off limits to kids while parents work.

    7. 7) Consider childcare

      Your crew will work tirelessly to ensure a memorable trip. The crew might initiate a game with your child or show them how to use a water toy like a kayak or jet ski. However, your crew won’t provide consistent childcare.

      If you’d like additional childcare, bring a nanny with you. With added support, parents can go ashore alone or take the afternoon to snorkel while a nanny spends time with the kids.

    8. 8) Listen to the rule regarding water toys

      The deckhand will likely prep the water toys for you. When you wake up at a new destination, he or she will likely have the jet skis or kayaks ready to go. Before you zip through the waters, listen to the rules. While you may know how to use them, there are different rules for different places.

      There may be boundaries where you can and can’t take the jet skis, for example, or you may need a certain license to ride them.

      Always check with the crew before you take out a toy, and inquire about any local rules you should know.

Yachts sailing through the Sea of Cortez have a wealth of places to visit. To simplify scheduling, Costa Palmas has several pre-planned overnight yacht charters for you to choose from. Take a look at your charter options or reach out to plan your very own itinerary with our experienced crew.

Where elemental luxury meets a sea of dreams

Set at the edge of the Sea of Cortéz, Costa Palmas is a dramatic landscape…and a home. Costa Palmas is a unique invitation to elemental luxury and spirited adventure on a calm blue sea of dreams. Resort amenities include:

  • A world-class Beach & Yacht Club
  • Marina and Marina Village
  • Robert Trent Jones II designed world-class 18-hole Golf Course, and a Golf Practice Facility
  • Organic farms, orchards and an estuary
  • Aventura Adventure Planning and Guides
  • Bespoke Shopping
  • Sports Park

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