How Deck Crew can add to the Superyacht Experience

How Deck Crew Can Add to the Superyacht Guest Experience

A superyacht charter is the ultimate luxury experience, and guests expect opulence. As standard, all yacht charters should be delivering five-star food, drink, service, and amenities. But with every charter and private vessel providing such high standards, how does a crew make themselves and their vessel stand out from the crowd?

To really shine, it’s down to every single crew member to ace their role and pull together as a team to make the overall superyacht guest experience unforgettably magical. To ensure guests experience that wow factor while onboard and make them want to return season after season and leave a generous tip, each individual must go above and beyond their role to truly make an impact.

And while the stews, chef, and captain all get their time in the limelight to showcase their skills and impress the guests, the deck crew can sometimes feel a little overshadowed. So, while this may seem like an easier task for stews and chefs, there are plenty of ways that the deck crew can make a big impression. By taking a little initiative, being observant, and doing some forward planning, the deck crew can have a massive influence on the overall guest experience.

Entertain the Younger Charter Guests

Motoryacht Gene Machine deck crew with nerf guns on charter
Image: Motor Yacht Gene Machine

If you have kids on board, keeping them entertained will not only make them happy, but you’ll also be relieving some parental stress and hopefully provide a few blissful hours of peace for Mum and Dad. There’s plenty you can do to keep children engaged, and having some fun activities and games up your sleeve, will surely earn some brownie points from the parents.

Treasure hunts are always fun, especially when you have a group of kids that can work together or in teams. Get creative and drop clues and prizes in various locations around the boat, and you’ll keep the kids busy for hours.

Gather them for a mini fishing lesson and then hold daily fishing competitions with points for the number of fish caught, biggest fish, rarest fish, and best-looking fish.

If you have a projector on board, or an outdoor screen, liaise with the stews and chef and organise an on-deck movie night on the Loungers under the stars, complete with snacks and mocktails.

Kids playing with FunAir Water Joust on a standup paddleboard in a superyacht sea pool
Image: Motor Yacht Loon

Bring out their competitive side and organise water games such as polo, swimming races, paddle races, Water Joust, and diving competitions, or get them to do the TikTok pool pose challenge and film them. Talking of filming, kick off their future YouTube career by handing them GoPros and giving them a day to complete a list of challenges, filming each one to prove they completed it. If anyone has time to edit the clips, you can gather everyone together to watch the final edit, plus they’ll have a memento of their trip they can keep forever.

Deck crew can dial up the fun by organising a superyacht Olympics. Hold events like diving, racing, breath-holding, long jump (swim platform into the sea), limbo, swimming egg and spoon, juice or water pong, stand-up paddle boarding, and even paddleboard jousting. Yacht Olympics offers another fantastic opportunity to film and edit into a holiday movie they’ll treasure forever.

Make a Splash with Superyacht Toys

FunAir Lagoon Pool with yacht toy inflatables and charter guests enjoying watersports in Australia

Yacht toys and superyacht inflatables can provide endless hours of fun to guests of all ages, so be sure they know exactly what’s in the toybox. If it’s not custom to set everything out each day, then put together some kind of menu of the toys you have available to encourage guests into the water for some playtime.

If you’re secretly a semi-pro wakeboarder or are harbouring any skills in the watersports department, why not offer your guests a private lesson or advice on how they can improve? You may have guests who feel nervous about trying new things, and a little encouragement and assistance from you may be just what they need. If your guidance helps them to waterski for the first time, they’ll be smiling from ear to ear for the rest of the trip, and they will be super grateful for your help.

Got a group that’s not so confident in the water, who maybe stick to paddle boarding around the boat rather than exploring any further? Suggest running a group paddle board session and lead the way across the ocean to explore the nearby coastline with them. With an expert leading the way, they’ll feel much more confident, and this new experience could be a great bonding activity for everyone involved, planting life-lasting memories.

Research the Area and Anchorage

Deckhand on a yacht tender with photographer exploring Alaska
Image: Tristan Najbicz on Instagram

Dazzle everyone on board with your knowledge of the local area. Before the charter starts, check in with the captain on the itinerary and do a little research on the vicinity. Maybe you’ll be able to recommend some decent dive spots, a secluded beach they can tender or paddle board to, restaurants or bars they should visit, or point out local wildlife or interesting facts about the area on your tender cruises. Based on your research, you a can plan a tender trip for the guests to a location to see local wildlife at the ‘best time’ for spotting them. Your new knowledge might open up a ton of new experiences and opportunities that none of your crew or guests ever knew existed.

Create a Vibe and Keep the Music Going

Women dancing on superyacht tender cruising into the sunset
Image: Clear Marine on Instagram

Music is food for the soul. In fact, research has shown that listening to music can actually reduce blood pressure, anxiety, and even pain, while improving mood, mental alertness, memory, and sleep quality. Tell that to the Captain next time he asks to turn the speakers down.

While we may not be able to provide live orchestras or world-famous rock bands (well not every night anyway…), everyone will still appreciate a selection of playlists to drown out the engine noise during tender rides. Try to match your choice of music to what you think the guests will enjoy. Generally, younger guests will appreciate current chart-toppers, while older guests may prefer some golden oldies. Get a feel for the group’s tastes, or ask them what they’re into so you can match their vibe and create playlists for the next tender trips.

Most of the time, yacht guests like to control their own music, but if you notice radio silence in the beach club while the guests are enjoying the water, it may be a good time to practice your Spotify DJ skills. Some great ready-made Spotify playlists include:

Summer Holiday 2022

Summer: The Greatest Hits

Ibiza Sunset

Oldies but Goldies

Yacht Rock FM: 70s, 80s, and Today!

If you have any musical talent, offering a short performance will make any themed night that extra bit special. You’ll be taking some of the entertainment pressure off the stews and chef and hopefully impress both guests and crew with your skills.

Monitor Charter Guest Whereabouts and Take Initiative

Female yacht deckhand with binoculars on watch at sea on a superyacht tender
Image: Chanté Dawson on Instagram

Teamwork makes the dream work. Earn points from the guests and stews by staying observant and taking action when needed. If you have guests relaxing in your vicinity, reduce the pressure on the stews by letting them know you’re keeping a watchful eye on guest needs. Are there drinks that need topping up? Empty glasses ready to be cleared? Rather than letting stews make unnecessary rounds, inform them via radio when they’re needed. The stews will be grateful because they can focus on other duties or maybe have a quick sit down, and guests will still feel well looked after.

Be extra helpful by keeping a selection of items guests might need in your deck locker or storage space. Ashtrays, lighters, chargers, scissors, binoculars, and nail files are all things people will need regularly. You’ll be saving multiple people’s time by keeping them close to hand rather than radioing someone else to fetch them.

Prepare the Yacht’s Tender for Supreme Comfort

AO Coolers for deckhands to suse as a grab bag on superyachts
Image: AO Coolers on Instagram

When you’re tendering superyacht guests to and from the boat, they will still expect the same level of attentiveness and care as they receive on the main vessel. With this in mind, and for your own convenience, stocking the tender with all the essentials will ensure you’re ready for any situation, especially if you end up waiting at the dock for hours while the chef does the shopping.

Create a checklist and pack the tender or a grab bag with obvious items like water, sunscreen, beers, and snacks. If you have space, consider extras like hats, sunglasses, bottle openers, umbrellas, rain jackets, first aid kits, phone chargers, towels, blankets and anything else you think guests, or crew, could need. Having everything ready will keep passengers happy, and you’ll avoid any last-minute panic and rushing about when there’s a random tender request.

Preserve your time and energy by using a couple of baskets or waterproof containers to hold guest shoes and shopping bags when loading or unloading the tender. Everything will keep dry and safe, and it will be easier for you to unload everything once back on board.

We hope our suggestions have provided some inspiration for bettering your yacht’s guest experience. Stay focused, and you’ll soon be drinking from a world’s best crew member mug. If you have any tips and suggestions for improving guest care, we’d love to hear them. Get in touch by emailing us at [email protected] or tagging us on socials.

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