Do you know what is the most important gulet cruise secret? The secret sauce, that will make your holidays an experience you will never forget?
Is it the size of the gulet?
Is it size of cabins?
Is it how old is the gulet???
This post is about 3 most important secrets, that will determine if your gulet private charter holidays will be an amazing experience which you will remember for the rest of your life…or something that was “just fine”.
Let me tell you a little story that will explain this 3 secrets the best way.
10 years ago we were chartering a vessel from Croatia, that had around 25 meters LOA and 16 cabins!?!?!
Some cabins had air condition (only 4 of them), some cabins had bunk beds, but they all had something in common. They were all ridiculously small.
Bathrooms were even smaller. You could sit on the toilet and had a shower at the same time and you could not even turn around neither in the cabin, neither in the bathroom.
You had to eat inside salon, which was OVER CROWDED! 32 PEOPLE ON 25 METERS SHIP!?!?! Crazy.
And the ship did not have a cool look from outside. It looked kinda strange.
BUT NOW COMES THE SECOND PART OF THE STORY!
This ships had booked more than 20 weeks every season (average in Croatia is around 15 weeks if you do good business).
And the best part was, that around 12 – 15 groups were repeated clients and by repeated clients, I do not mean clients that were coming back for 1 or 2 years.
Some groups were getting back on this ship for 5,6 or even more years!!
And the price of the ship was not small. She was quite expensive!
So the big question goes like this:
WHY WOULD SOMEBODY PAY SO MUCH MONEY FOR UGLY SHIP, WITH SMALL CABINS, NO AIR CONDITION, CROWDED AND UNCOMFORTABLE SALON – AND EVEN COME BACK FOR 5 OR MORE YEARS! AND EVERY YEAR PAY EVEN MORE MONEY WITHOUT ASKING FOR ANY DISCOUNT!!?!?
At that time, I had no idea.
However now I know exactly why this was the case.
It was because of the TOP 3 GULET CRUISE SECRETS that matter the most during the cruise!
The owner of that ship did all these 3 things incredibly well. And that is why all the groups were coming back to him year after year after year after year…
So here we go. TOP 3 gulet cruise things which matter the most!
If you have those on your gulet, you will go home happy.
SUPER IMPORTANT GULET CRUISE SECRET NO.1 – THE ROUTE WHERE YOU CRUISE IS SUPER IMPORTANT!
This sounds a bit stupid and simple, but people have no idea how important it is.
Again I will explain this with a story.
Captain no.1 knows the Dubrovnik area in Croatia like his own pocket!
He knows every single hidden bay.
He was born there and even if he is 60 years old now, he still remembers where his father took him fishing when he was young.
And you know what?
He will be super happy to show you this secret place.
He will also tell you a little story, that will be so nice that will even make some woman cry (from happiness).
And the captain will make such an incredible cruise and route combination, that clients will not be able to believe it!
Every single day new surprise.
Forget lonely planet guides for this.
I am talking about super hidden treasures.
Now the same captain has to make a cruise in Split area. Same country.
Same gulet. Same captain.
But different route.
A route where captain knows only the “normal” places, has no particular passion about it and he just wishes to make the safe an “normal” trip.
Clients will be happy, but it will not be “OVER THE TOP” HAPPINESS.
The happiness when they will explain to all their friends what they have seen and where they have been!
This part was done by the captain described above incredibly.
He knew exactly where he had to take the clients, he was passionate about it, and the stories he could tell were amazing.
And all he had to do at the end of the cruise was: “If you come back next year, I will show you something EVEN MORE CRAZY”! 🙂
They all came back for more.
So it is super important to select:
a) the best possible route according to what you wish to see (better nature, more towns, away from crowds, parties….)
b) get the gulet with a captain, that can do this in the best possible way
You can check best gulet cruise routes on this link: https://www.goolets.net/gulet-cruises/
SUPER IMPORTANT GULET CRUISE SECRET NO.2 – CREW ON A GULET!
You already know from the examples above how important it is to have a GREAT CAPTAIN.
However, the entire crew working together for you is even more important!
I try to express this every single time, but it is super hard to explain to the clients why the crew is more important than the size of the gulet for example.
You only sleep in cabins and use the toilet.
So this is really not so important. 24 meters gulet has more than enough deck space for 12 guests, but people believe more is better.
Well, it is, if there is also an upgrade with the crew.
But if 24 meters gulet has a better crew than 30 meters gulet, then I would always go with the 24 meters one.
To go back to the 25 meters, 16 cabins example.
The crew there was phenomenal.
The captain showed incredible places and was also a guide and an animator.
Chef did wonders.
Sailors and waiters all connected incredibly well.
After some time I realized that the groups that were coming back did not come back only to have holidays there.
They came back to see their friends (crew) again and have lots of fun with them.
If the crew can recognize the profile of the clients and can act 100% accordingly to their status and characters…guests will appreciate this!
And they will appreciate it so much, they will want to come back for more next year.
SUPER IMPORTANT GULET CRUISE SECRET NO.3 – FOOD ON GULET!
One gulet owner explained me this a couple of year ago and told me like this:
“Clients will forget the size of the cabin in 1 week”
“But they will remember how the food was like for entire life (if it was really amazing)!”
And this is 100% true. I have seen gulets, where chefs received standing ovations. And this was not normal standing ovation. This was very long and passionate and honest standing ovation.
If you have a great menu and chef knows how to prepare it and serve it in the best possible way…you will remember this forever.
Back to our main example.
The way that the crew served the food and organized everything was crazy.
I thought they were overreacting.
They did not just prepare the food.
They made an incredible SHOW every time they had dinner.
So everyday clients did not wait for dinner just to eat, but to see what they will prepare this time.
And every time they made tons of pictures.
Which they happily shared with their friends….And you know what? Friends wanted to try this out also.
Do you think they wanted to try it out because of large cabins, low prices and lots of deck space?
Not at all!!
They wanted to experience:
1) all those amazing places that they have seen on the pictures.
2) they wanted to meet this incredible captain and the crew
3) they wanted to experience all this food and action
4) they also wanted to cry at the end of the cruise, because they were going home
5) and they also wanted to brag to their friends what kind of cool holidays they had
Would they brag about the size of the cabins and ship??
Okay, you got my point 🙂 I will not repeat it again.
So if you wish to book a gulet, my deepest advice would be like this:
1) first determine your wishes – what do you even expect from your holidays?
2) then find out what kind of route would be the best for you.
3) After that get a gulet that can do this route perfectly
4) Make sure the crew is perfect
5) And at the end, also see if the gulet fits at least your basic criteria of accommodation.
Discounts and best deals come in last.
Unfortunately, most of the agencies do it just the other way around (we were the same a couple of years ago):
1) tell me your budget and dates
2) I find you best possible gulet that offers huge discount
3) we deal with minor things such as itinerary, food, and crew 4 weeks before your departure
This is a great procedure for saving a couple of €€€€ and having a mediocre holiday. The decision is yours.