Some time ago we made a nice little movie about gulet cruise categories! It really looks very good and it educates the client about the official gulet cruise categories. On the other hand, it is incredibly misleading and it has nothing to do with any REAL CATEGORIZATION!
Shame on you Goolets agency!!
Here is the gulet charter categories movie:
In our agency, we separated gulets into 3 main categories:
STANDARD – LUXURY – DELUXE!
Without going any further with explanations what each category means – there is already very big problem about this presentation.
It is true that Goolets agency is a huge expert on gulets.
It is also true we inspected more than 500 gulets in last 10 years.
It is also true we have a very very good idea what makes a gulet Standard, Luxury or Deluxe quality.
We know all the prices, we know the crews, we know the owners.
But we are not the officially licensed government type of company that specializes only in CATEGORIZATION! Not even close!
And so it is not any other agency out there also.
Our categorization is STANDARD, LUXURY, DELUXE!
Some agencies use ECONOMY, STANDARD, SUPERIOR DELUXE.
Some agencies use STANDARD, STANDARD WITH AIR/CON, LUXURY, VIP.
Some agencies use CLASSIC, A CATEGORY, A CATEGORY, VIP, ULTRA LUX.
Some agencies use 3 stars, 4 stars, 5 stars, 6 stars, 7 stars.
Some agencies use Standard, VIP, Superior, Amazing, Ultra DELUXE.
Some agencies use oranges….
The thing is because there is no official categorization everybody tries to do their best to help clients determine what they can get for their money.
So every agency that makes their own category standard – do it to help clients with their decisions. But unfortunately this is (almost) mission impossible.
I will explain why.
Let’s say one gulet is 36 meters with 6 cabins but an older vessel that is maintained ok.
Another gulet is 24 meters with 6 cabins but is incredibly maintained with lots of water toys and other equipment.
Which one is better?
Let’s say one gulet has 6 crew, 30 meters, and 5 cabins and is very well maintained.
Another gulet has also 30 meters, 5 cabins are maintained the same but have only 4 crew who does not speak any English – but they offer much much better food for the price as gulet no.1?
Where do you get more luxury type experience?
One gulet is huge 45 meters vessel with 5 cabins and 5 crew. But they do not sail.
The other gulet is smaller 35 meters gulet with 5 cabins and 7 crew and they sail amazingly.
Which one is better?
Gulet has an amazing captain, that speaks perfect English and a chef with 3 Michelin stars. Gulet is not super luxury but the crew makes it like this. The crew gets into a fight with the owner just before the start of the season and he has to change them with an average crew. Who will remove 2 stars from this gulet?
2 SAME GULETS with different crew and owners. 1 gulet has the price 15.000 €/week and amazing feedback”s from clients. The other one has price 10.000 €/week and terrible feedback”s from clients due to organization, crew, and food on gulets. How do you categorize this?
Most agencies separate gulets by budget (standard gulets up to 1.000 €/person/week and luxury gulets from 1.000 €/person/week and up to 1.500 €/person/week). What happens when some gulet has “LUXURY PRICE” but you as an agency believe it belongs to STANDARD CATEGORY? Or the other way around?
And then you have a gulet that looks STANDARD and has a STANDARD price in LUXURY SECTION (because you know he deserves it) and when a client sees this he is 100% sure you do not have any idea what you are doing by putting this gulet there.
Or imagine the wrath of the owner that has a “LUXURY GULET” and you put him to standard category (because you know he belongs there).
It is really a shame there is no official categorization as it would make the lives of gulet owners and agencies much much easier.
Lets give a REAL LIFE EXAMPLE what I think it would be interesting.
I will not go into technical stuff here, but I will talk about commercial things that are important from clients point ow view.
Here are 5 conditions I would give to gulet owners in the order you wish to be 3 stars (standard), 4 stars (luxury) or 5 stars (deluxe) gulet:
FOR 3 STARS GULETS:
a) Gulet must have air condition in cabins and use it minimum 35 hours/week (according to the wishes of clients)
b) At least the captain has to speak conversational English which has to be checked every year by TEST OF ENGLISH AS FOREIGN LANGUAGE!
c) Gulet has to be properly technically maintained! (I will not go into details here)
d) The minimum food standards should be set for breakfast, lunches, and dinners.
e) The size of the cabins should be calculated according to the size of the gulet.
f) Matching t-shirts of the crew are a must have.
FOR 4 STARS GULETS:
a) Air condition should be used minimum 50 hours/week.
b) The captain should talk Active English and waiter should also speak active English.
c) There should be a higher standard for food and it should be exactly specified what this means.
d) The gulet MUST HAVE powerful dinghy (at least 40 HP – more is better) and water sports for clients (skiing, doughnut ride, windsurfing, canoes…)
e) Entire crew must have matching uniforms (shirts trousers).
f) The size of the cabins has to be bigger than with Standard gulets.
g) More crew per person as on standard gulets.
h) More cruising, bigger flexibility during itinerary and more of sailing.
FOR 5 STARS GULETS:
a) Minimum 10 hours of AIR/condition/Day (if needed).
b) Captain, Sailor, Waiter, Hostess (if they have it) should all speak perfect active English.
c) Food standards should be set in advance.
d) Separate uniform for each crew member and more crew per person on a gulet than on luxury gulets.
e) Biggest cabins (again standard would need to be set).
f) Even more flexibility and cruising every day. Sailing should be done always when the weather would permit it and clients would request it.
This is of course not even close to perfect. This is maybe 20% of the possibilities and probably some of them are maybe not possible also.
But if this kind of official categorization would be done the clients would know exactly what to expect!
And they would have to pay for this well. Gulets would not have to negotiate so much over the price and at the end – clients satisfaction would be much higher.
Let me give you another example of what is going on.
Lets say you have a 5 stars gulet but you are not booked well and you have to lower your prices to get bookings.
You have this amazing looking gulet but instead of chartering it for price 25.000 €/week you charter it for 15.000 €/week.
What are the first things you will do as an owner?
Here we go:
1) You will save 1.000 € on fuel and will cruise much less than you would normally.
2) You will use air condition only 3 hours/night instead of 10 hours/night. You save another 1.000 €.
3) The amazing chef you have and you are paying him 1.500 €/month will be changed by the one from some village for only 500 €/month.Here goes another 1.000 €.
4) The captain that is amazing and working for you for 6 years and is paid 2.500 €/month will be changed by another one. Good one, but no English, no good communication – and only 1.000 €/month.
5) On food, you usually spend 2.500 €/week (you get 2.500 € from clients for this). Now you only spend 1.000 € and out the other 1.500 € in your pocket.
6) Normally owner also includes water sports usage in the price now he has to charge them extra.
He has to get some money back. So maybe from the offer you think you will get 5 stars gulet for 15.000 €/week instead of 25.000 €/week and this is true. The gulet is 5 stars but services will be 3 stars. And this is the problem then
To sum it all up.
1) The crew and food is as important (if not more) as the size of the cabins.
2) Categories are there to help you – but pay more attention to the advice of your agent then to “categories” you find on any internet page (including ours).
3) If you get incredible discount expect cutting corners and saving on services – unless agent can truly explain you very very well why the price can go down so much.