The trees are going up, lights are twinkling, presents are getting wrapped, and Christmas songs are blasting out of the radio. The holiday season has officially begun. Although, If you’re working on a superyacht in the Caribbean sun, a traditional snowy white Christmas may feel a million nautical miles away. But don’t stress, there are tons of ways to instill some festive cheer and Christmas magic for your holiday charter guests and hard-working yacht crew.
At this joyous time of year, it’s vital that superyacht guests feel that an extra special effort has gone into their charter experience. With a little forward planning, adding some small touches shouldn’t feel too much of a chore, but it will make a huge impact on your guest’s overall experience. We’ve put together some simple ideas to add Christmas spirit to a superyacht to really knock your guests’ stockings off this winter, and don’t forget to spread some festive joy below deck for your hard-working crew mates.
Decorating the Yacht
Some superyachts may already have a holiday decor scheme in place. But if not, or you feel the current set-up needs a little sprucing up, don’t panic. There’s a lot you can do, even when in the Caribbean with limited supplies.
You don’t need to go overboard with the decorations on a superyacht, tinsel in the guest area on a billion-dollar superyacht may look a little tacky, but small touches can go a long way. Some well-placed pine cones or baubles can add some understated festive cheer, or why not get the team involved with some DIY projects.
Handcrafted wreaths can be simple to make and can be hung or used as table centerpieces. You can create beautiful wreaths even without a store cupboard full of holiday decorations. All you really need is a wire coat hanger and some greenery, real or fake, and a little imagination. This post from Country Living has some fantastic DIY wreath ideas.
Fill glass vases with candles or warm fairy lights to create a cosy glow. Use cones, tree sprigs, cinnamon, or dried orange slices for rustic decor and a subtle festive scent. Use pine tree garlands to decorate banisters for a simple yet classy touch. Need more? Type Christmas into Pinterest for a wealth of crafty ideas. We particularly like The Yacht Stew’s Christmas board as it’s packed with festive ideas, including decoration and service ideas.
Superyacht Service Ideas
For the service team, forward planning is essential. As well as stocking up on all the obvious necessities such as champagne, mulled wine and spirits, think of some festive-themed drinks and snacks you’d like to offer and any garnish you’d like to decorate with. Things like candy canes, red currants, rosemary sprigs, cinnamon, cherries, and gingerbread can really spice up your usual offerings.
We’ve concocted a few simple cocktail recipes that look and taste divine without being overly complicated or a hassle to make. Stews, you can thank us later.
This one is easy yet super effective. Simply swap orange juice for pomegranate or blood orange juice and garnish with sugared cranberries and rosemary sprigs for the ultimate Christmas morning cocktail.
- 1.5 oz gin
- 1 oz cranberry sauce
- 0.75 oz lemon juice
- 0.5 oz orange juice
Build all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a rocks glass. Garnish with rosemary.
- 2 oz cranberry juice
- 1 oz fresh lime juice
- 1.5 oz blanco tequila
- 0.5 oz Cointreau (optional)
- 0.25 oz simple syrup or agave syrup
- Fresh cranberries and lime for garnish
Combine all ingredients in a shaker filled with ice, give it a good shake, and then pour into a salt-rimmed glass over fresh ice cubes. Garnish with cranberries and lime wheel.
White Christmas Martini
- 2 oz vanilla vodka
- 2 oz white chocolate liqueur
- 1 oz white crème de cacao
- 1 oz half-and-half or single cream
- Honey and coarse sugar for rim garnish
Pour the honey into a shallow dish and put the sanding sugar in another shallow dish. Coat the rim of the glass in the honey, then dip the rim in the sugar to coat evenly. Set the glass aside. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, add the vodka, white chocolate liqueur, crème de cacao and half-and-half. Shake vigorously and strain into the prepared martini glass.
The North Pole Cocktail
- 4 oz vodka
- 2 oz Kahlua
- 4 teaspoons chocolate syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 3 teaspoons molasses
- 1/8 teaspoon ginger
- 1/2 cup heavy cream or whole milk
Combine all in a shaker and shake well. Add ice and shake again, then strain into glasses.
Hot chocolate is a favourite with guests of all ages, and it’s super easy to give a festive makeover. Decorate classically with whipped cream, candy canes, and marshmallows and serve with gingerbread or cookies. Spice it up by adding ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg. For adult guests, add spirits like baileys, spiced rum, whiskey, amaretto, tequila, or flavoured liqueurs for an evening pick me up. If Christmas in the Caribbean calls for something a little more chilled, why not serve iced cocoa? Just blend your drinking chocolate and other ingredients with ice and milk, or ice cream for a little extra indulgence, decorate and voila.
Everyone loves the occasional festive cup from their favourite coffee chain. Wow your superyacht guests by recreating these seasonal offerings onboard. There’s a vast selection of coffee syrups that can be purchased online or from local coffee shops, gingerbread, toffee nut, and peppermint being among the favourite. But if you’ve left it too late or would rather add just a subtle hint of festive aroma, then try adding a little cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, or orange zest to your coffee grounds before you brew.
On a busy superyacht charter, it’s ideal to have several pantry cupboard snack options ready to serve. That way, there’s no need to bother the chefs who probably have a million other things going on. Be prepared with a premade festive popcorn mix. Combine salty and sweet popcorn with dried cranberries, smoked almonds, and pretzels.
It’s easy to turn your usual cheese board or fruit platter into a festive offering. Add cranberries, red grapes, red currents, and rosemary sprigs to the board for added seasonal colouring and get creative with your arrangement.
Talented yacht chefs will undoubtedly have a whole host of ideas for their holiday meals but have they thought about snacks? There’s always at least one guest who surprises you with a more substantial snack request. Plan a brainstorming session with your galley team for snack ideas that will wow your charter guests. Anything that can be made ahead of time and stored or is quick and easy to make should go down well.
Some ideas to pitch include:
- Holiday antipasto wreath (mini skewers loaded with cold meats, mozzarella, basil, peppers, and olives and arranged into a circle make a delicious Christmas wreath. Alternatively, you can do the same thing with a charcuterie board and some pine branches)
- Christmas tree-shaped pizza bites
- Mini turkey cranberry sausage rolls
- Bitesize cranberry and Brie toasties
Plans for your Christmas day or seasonal dinner table all depend on your charter guests preferences, yacht aesthetics, and budget. Some of you may already know exactly how your table is going to look. For others, even just thinking about the table decoration on the big day may send your head into a spin. But there’s no need to fear, with a few small touches, even the most simple dinner table set-up can look magical.
Try to have fun with it. Any design incorporating seasonal items such as candles, greenery like pine or eucalyptus, baubles, pine cones, or maybe even some dried oranges or cranberries is sure to make a statement. If you’re still stuck for inspiration, Pinterest is loaded with Christmas table decoration ideas. Make some time to browse with your team and jot down some ideas you’d like to try.
For napkin folds, anything goes. If there are kids on board, why not try the classic Christmas tree fold? Red bows are sure to add a seasonal touch to any table. Get creative and craft some seasonal napkin rings. String or ribbon can be tied with seasonal decorations such as pine sprigs, golden bells, mini baubles, cinnamon, snowflakes, or mistletoe.
Superyacht Housekeeping Ideas
The service team doesn’t get to have all the fun. There are plenty of things the housekeeping team can do to instil some festive cheer onboard.
Turn Down Ideas
Do you leave turndown treats for your superyacht guests? If so, why not leave a more seasonal treat? Ginger chocolate or special festive editions from your favourite suppliers are sure to go down well. If you like to leave quotes for guests, swap them out for Christmas carols or religious verses, depending on your guests. If you plan on leaving small gifts for guests, wrap them festively for an added special touch.
Can you add some seasonal scent to your cabins? Many of your favourite brands such as Jo Malone, offer limited edition festive scent products. Jo Malone’s festive room scents include pine and eucalyptus room spray, orange bitters scented reeds, and frosted cherry and clove. Most luxury fragrance brands offer festive-inspired home fragrances. Shop around and find an aroma that works best for your yacht.
Christmas crackers can easily be hand-made, and guests love them. Leave them as turndown gifts in cabins, arrange on the dinner table, or even place them around the yacht as decorations. Get your team crafting or buy empty, pre-made crackers and fill them with luxury items your guests will love. Cracker and turn-down gifts could include mini bath and spa samples, jewellery, fragrance samples, aromatherapy gifts, eye masks, floating sunglasses straps, boat branded gifts, keyrings… the list is endless.
Get everyone in the festive spirit with a seasonal playlist. Spotify has a wealth of holiday playlists to suit any taste in music. For a party atmosphere, play Christmas chart-toppers from the Christmas Hits playlist. Are you looking for something a little more chilled? Try the Acoustic Christmas or the Christmas Peaceful Piano playlists, both great options for meal times or soft background music. The Feel Good Christmas playlist is perfect for atmospheric background music or for guests who prefer the classics and jazz. It’s packed with famous songs by the likes of Dean Martin, Ella Fitzgerald, and Tony Bennett.
Ensure you have a bunch of classic movies ready to play for guests. Everyone loves watching Christmas movies around the big day, and if you don’t have any available, you may risk disappointing guests, especially those with children. You could even suggest a special Christmas movie night for family charterers.
With the crystal clear water and golden sandy beaches, beach trips are a must-do for guests in the Caribbean. Whilst an untouched beach may seem a million miles away from a traditional festive scene, there are still ways to incorporate seasonal fun. Replace sandcastle building with sand snowmen or sandmen, and be sure to bring some extra Santa hats. For refreshments, offer the seasonal cocktails and snacks we mentioned earlier. Bring a portable, waterproof speaker for festive tunes.
Give your guests the gift of comfort and fun with the FunAir beach collection. We have a range of inflatable beach furniture and superyacht toys to complete any superyacht beach set-up, including inflatable beach loungers, day beds, and floating islands.
Remember that all superyacht crew working aboard during the holiday season are away from their loved ones. It may even be their first Christmas away from home. It’s likely everyone will feel that little pang of loneliness or homesickness, so put some effort in to try and make this time feel special for the crew too. Decorate the crew areas and encourage cabin decorations. You could even run a competition for the best-decorated cabin.
Although you’ll be busy working, try and make the day fun for all the crew. Try to keep everyone running on a high with positive energy. Have little festive treats ready for when they have a spare few minutes. Play upbeat festive music in the crew areas and think of some fun games to play in between jobs.
Secret Santa is a great way to ensure everyone has at least one present to unwrap on the big day, plus you’ll all get a few laughs too. Depending on budget, stockings can also be a nice touch for crew members, filled with foodie treats, sweets, and even little thoughtful presents.
We hope this post has helped inspire you in time to create some festive magic for your upcoming holiday superyacht charters. And remember, if you’re still lacking ideas and feeling stressed, Pinterest really is your best friend. We would love to see and hear what your superyacht does for holiday guests and owners. Share your photos, ideas, and feedback with us by tagging us @FunAirFun on socials or by getting in touch.
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