Have you ever had a booking catastrophe turn GOLDEN?
An August news flash via one of our daily emails alerted me of a “situation” in Europe with the Windjammer vessels. Apparently they were being held in port for non-payment of various bills, and I diligently forwarded this press release to my client, who had been booked for a January 2008 cruise with Windjammer for some time. Not only had we deposited $1,500 for three cabins, but we had pre-paid the hotel stay as well! I was very concerned when my call to the company went unanswered.
As my client was concerned enough to decide to cancel his vacation, I went to work quickly attempting to rescue him, as he and his wife, an adult son and his wife, and another son had arranged flights into St. Martin and home from Tortola. NOW what?
Google to the rescue! I plugged in “yacht charters”, discovered there were several different brokers we could consider from Tortola, and I quickly emailed several of them. As is often the case (we should all make note of this in our OWN business!), the first responder got my attention that day. Lynne Campbell of Carefree Yacht Charters was going to be my “lifesaver!”
What fun! I asked my client, Steve, if he would consider a sailboat charter, and he hesitated. “My wife and daughter-in-law are both worried about seasickness,” he replied quickly. “Let me see what they say about that.”
While Lynne worked quickly on her end to see which yachts were available, the next email from Steve revealed that the girls were a “GO!” I was VERY excited, and let Lynne know immediately that the client was game.
We discussed the fact that perhaps a catamaran-style boat would suit this family’s needs best, but Lynne also explained that the classic sailing experience found aboard a mono hull-style yacht might be an excellent option as well. Not only did she discuss this with me, but she was more than happy to talk directly with my client in order to answer questions, address concerns, and help determine the best boat and crew for this particular vacation – which turned out to be a mono hull in this case!
Carefree Yacht Charters takes care of EVERY detail. I cant tell you how many amazing amenities these boats have, right down to the great water toys. Of course, each yacht is unique, just as each crew is different. Some have just one crew member who acts as both captain and chef, while others have two or even more.
A yacht charter typically includes ALL alcoholic beverages and meals, and the course is often charted according to the clients preferences! A client preference request form is sent to the clients in advance of the charter so that all their requests and requirements are met. The price is NOT much more than the cost of a Windjammer or big-ship cruise. In fact, this family is bringing six people for just over $10,000, plus the customary 15 percent tip to the crew.
I need to share with you that Lynne and her husband owned and operated two successful yacht charters in Turkish sailboat the Virgin Islands for twelve years, so they are really well equipped to organize and book your clients vacations. And I cant WAIT to hear the stories when my clients return from this adventure. And, to think it all came about because of a potential cancellation!