Many people overlook renting or chartering a boat as a viable vacation option. Some may simply never have heard of such a thing, some will think it is too expensive, and some will make a generally negative assumption of it being too confining or dangerous. Sadly, these people miss out on one of the easiest vacations to plan, and certainly one of the most leisurely and relaxing to experience. Renting a motorboat is distinctly different than renting a sailboat, but both provide positive benefits to the soul and the wallet! Renting a boat with yourself as the captain does include more work and organization for you, but booking a charter means you can leave the work and organization to the captain and crew.
Customize Your Trip
This kind of vacation allows you to customize the perfect plan for your vacation needs and desires. If you are interested in adventure, stepping onto a boat is the best place to find it. Being out on the crystal-clear blue water of the Caribbean Sea is an adventure in and of itself. Dolphins join you on your voyage from one destination to another, diving under the bow as you slice through the water. Fishing gives you the opportunity to reel in the “big one”, and hopefully it does not get away! It is likely that you are looking for a sun-filled, relaxing, and easy time with family and friends, so renting or chartering a boat is an excellent way to achieve these goals.
If no responsibility is what you are looking for, then booking a charter is certainly the way to go. Once aboard, the captain and crew take care of everything. Leaving port, charting the course, hoisting the sails, preparing the meals, serving the drinks, organizing onboard activities, and setting the anchor…it is all done for you. Your job is to enjoy yourself fully. It makes getting away on a vacation entirely stress free.
As opposed to taking a “normal” vacation where you book accommodation separately from food purchases, tours, equipment rentals, etc., renting a crewed boat in the Caribbean means that your holiday is completely all inclusive. It is a one-time amount that includes all the port and immigration fees as well as the things mentioned above. Also included on most boat charters are the alcoholic beverages. This cost alone can really add up on an individual purchase basis, so drink responsibly as well as cheaply!
Fine Dining Food Quality
Most boat charters have an onboard chef. Meals and snacks are of as high a quality as any fine dining restaurant you would find on land. Local products and specialties are offered throughout the day, and you will not find a better location to enjoy a sunset dinner, literally on the water. Dietary restrictions or needs can be requested, and you will find yourself having a healthy appetite after a day in the sun and wind.
Variety of Destinations
Depending upon the departure port of your boat rental or charter, as well as the duration of your rental, you will have the opportunity to visit a variety of destinations. Circumnavigating one island means you can visit many beaches along the way before returning to your home port. It is possible to go to different islands in the same country or visit islands of another country nearby. This kind of variety is particularly easy on a Caribbean boat rental due to the proximity of islands in one area and offers the greatest number of cultural and geographical experiences.
Variety of Activities
There is really no end to the number of activities available on a boat rental in the Caribbean. Swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, wakeboarding, paddle boarding, tubing, rope swings, fishing, and kayaking are offered on charters and rentals; the number of activities depending on the size of the boat. Sunbathing, music, dancing, reading, card playing, and keeping watch for wildlife will take up your days without ever leaving the boat! Hiking onshore, going for a jog along the beach, having a picnic on the beach, or exploring small inlets in the dinghy, are also options from the place where you are anchored or moored. Most land vacations cannot offer this kind of variety.
Therefore, the cost per person can be reduced depending upon the number of people in the group. The more people, the less the individual cost. Full day sails generally include two meals, drinks, and the regular activities included in half day sailing trips.
For those who book overnight sailing tours, it is advisable to contact the sailing tour operator to determine cost inclusive options. Many charge on a per day or per week format. Destinations will also be a determining cost factor in overnight sailing tours.
Never Having to Unpack More Than Once
Perhaps one of the least thought of benefits to renting a boat in the Caribbean, is the fact that you only need to unpack once! Wherever you are, no matter how many destinations you travel to, that initial chore of unpacking need never be repeated. How wonderful it is to return to the boat after spending the day in one location and not have to pack your suitcase to move on to the next destination, where you would need to unpack again!
Learn How to Sail
There is something to be said for learning something new, no matter how old you are. Renting a crewed boat in the Caribbean is perfect for learning how to sail, navigate, and operate a water vessel in a supervised environment with an experienced crew at your disposal. It is the perfect time to ask questions, take part in the many aspects of being a crew member, and feel accomplished after having mastered a new skill. Learning how to navigate the sea with a marine GPS, understanding the various chart markings, and learning the rules of entering and exiting ports will give you experience and confidence to potentially captain your own vacation someday.
There are certainly more benefits to a boat vacation, than there are negatives. Once you have chosen a location, check out the local boat rental and charter agencies to see what they offer. Remember to check the reviews for each company as this will give you a better understanding of the reality of your boat rental experience in the future. And then…just book it!