Yes there are differences here as well. You might see ads for "charter services” or “charter specialists," saying that they find you “The best yachts to suit your needs for events up to 750 or 800 people," or "Avoid all the hassles, just call us and we will take care of your event arrangements," or "We represent all the yachts in Chicago."
Think twice about these ads, especially if your event is a "very special event." Some companies that run these ads own the boats they are sending you to. They use two different company names to conceal this information.
Other charter services send you to the yacht that pays them the most for their referral. Arrangements such as these make it difficult for these services to really send the customer to the best places. Simply knowing what you are purchasing is your key to success!
At Adventure Sea Tours, our office is a direct link to our yacht. No third-party or outside person is making your arrangements. The person who takes care of your arrangements might also be leading the serving of the events on board, along with our other staff. Mary Antoniette, Valara VI’s event specialist, also hires and trains our on-board service staff. You cannot get more personalized service than this anywhere!
Lastly, unfortunately during the last few years we have identified on-line companies popping up everywhere that claim to offer many different types of services and boat rides are among the services offered; the boats these folks are sending their clients to are undocumented, unlicensed and uninsured boats. The U.S. Coast Guard are aware of this situation; they can only catch the illegal charters while they are actually taking place out on the water. This has resulted in plenty of embarrassment for the guests on board, ruined parties and impounded boats. The only easy way clients can identify these types of operations is: 1) The prices quoted, they will always be 40-70% less than what a documented, insured and licensed boat must charge. Due to the fact that they do not pay for boat Inspections, Charter Insurance, or the numerous 10+ different Licenses and Permits that are required each year, this is a clear indication that they cannot possibly be legal and run for such rates that they are quoting to their clients. 2) If you are ever in question as to whether you are in touch with one of these operations and you wish to know for sure, simply request from them a copy of their U.S. Coast Guard Certificate to Carry Passengers for Hire. This Certificate will show the name of the boat on it, the number of passengers they are allowed to carry and an expiration date for the certificate. Be sure to look for the name of the boat you are renting to be on that certificate. The most difficult part of making a decision to do business with one of these operations this; Not only does the illegality of such operations make the overall industry look bad when unfortunate things happen in these cases, but more importantly, the lack of safety posed for you and your guests in boarding a boat that has no trained crew in the event of an emergency, boarding a boat that is not even certified as safe to carry passengers, and in most cases, even the so called captain is just a boat owner, and not even a licensed captain. Until these types of businesses are shut down, all that we can do is forewarn and say…..buyer be smart and be aware.