In the first part of “What is a gulet” blog post we wrote about:
– what is a gulet
– what you can do during your gulet cruise holidays
– what is the best way to book gulet holidays
– how agencies think and what happens when you get offers in your inbox.
In this post, we will concentrate more on smaller (but super important) details that can make your gulet holiday AMAZING instead of just GREAT.
1) Get the best possible gulet for your money – bad points about huge discounts for clients
We wrote already in the past why it is so important to tell the agency your budget range. You can read it again here: GULET CRUISES AND BUDGET!
I will tell it again. If you wish to get the best possible deal, give us your approximate budget. The biggest mistake clients do is trying to save money on their holidays. BAD IDEA! Your wife would for sure disapprove of that! Instead of saving money on your holidays, you should concentrate on getting more for your money!
And how can you do it? Here is the exact procedure:
1) When sending the first inquiry to give as much information as possible to the agency and state your approximate budget range.
2) Tell the agency to offer you a minimum of four different gulets if possible (if they are available). They will all be in your budget range so all will be interesting.
3) When you get the offers, check them out and send feedback such as:
a) if one gulet is a bit expensive but you like it, tell the agency. A lot of the time gulet owners do not wish to lower the prices for “non-serious” requests. And you should know that out of 100 inquiries we get, 80% of them are crappy – non-serious clients. If the gulet owner would lower his prices for any client, at the end of the season he would be driving the gulet for free! But on the other hand, if you tell us that you will definitely book the gulet, if the owner will give a bit more discount, or include something more (like extra dinner, some water sports, transfers from airport to gulet or something like that….) – if you are reasonable with your requests, the owner will probably accept them!
4) do not concentrate on one gulet only. It is possible the gulet owner will not accept your offer, but if you go after one more gulet (you can also start a rising competition between the two gulets) this again means owners can be a bit more flexible.
ATTENTION: if you send an inquiry to 10 different agencies and 30 different gulet owners, you are doing yourself a very bad favor. The gulet market is a small market and if you are browsing around like crazy, the word will get around fast. Sometimes we get an inquiry and call a gulet owner for the deal and he tells us that already 6 different agencies already called him and he also received the request directly. When I get this information, my motivation will be much lower as I know I am competing with tons of other agencies, and also usually this kind of client-only means price competition and lots of headaches. Other agencies think very similarly to this and so you will get the worst kind of deals like that.
And there is one more bad point to that. I do not wish to brag but the size of our agency and the level of services we provide is already at the point that we do not need to chase down every crazy client. But there are some agencies that need to catch every single client….and what they will do? In order to provide you with the best deal, they will lower their commissions to the minimum and they will provide bad services because of that…and you might even end up with a different gulet as you have booked or with super bad services on a gulet itself!
The lesson which I learned in the last couple of years (since the recession started) is that a lot of the time, the percentage of discount is related to the percentage of complaints! In the past, we managed to get some truly amazing discounts for several of our clients, and in most of these times, the clients came back from their holiday disappointed, angry, and stressed out! And after that experience, we said – NO MORE!
If clients are only shopping for huge discounts, we prefer to send them to our competition – as huge discounts always mean saving on services and clients are then the ones paying the difference.
So, by all means, do negotiate, but do not go over the top.
2) How to pick the best possible itinerary
Okay, now you have a great gulet deal in front of you and you have decided to book it. What next?
With the first inquiry you send us, you state what you prefer. More nature or more towns. According to this, we offer you gulets that serve special areas the best. For example, if you wish to go to Croatia and explore nature, you can start in Split or Zadar or Šibenik and cruise the Kornati islands.
So now you have selected a gulet from Šibenik and you know the North route is the best. How would you then organize your itinerary 100% to the max?!
Well, my most honest advice would be – DO NOT!!! You know where check-in is and you know where to check out is. We will advise you of some places which are amazing and interesting to see and you can do a bit of research on your own. This is really FUN PART OF IT. However, I advise you not to decide to visit more than 3 or 4 places you wish to see during your trip
We will send you your preference list before the start of your cruise, where you can mark your wishes – and those will be noted. But other than that, be flexible. Ask yourself this question: Who do you think knows that region better? Lonely planet guide, or the captain that is cruising there for more than 10 years, around 3 months every year? I am a huge fan of “Lonely Planet guides” however in this case the captain (or gulet owner) wins big time. And if somebody knows where he will take you (according to your preferences), then it is the gulet owner.
So check some places you would like to see…and leave the rest to the owner, You can always sit down with him on the gulet and ask him for advice. Or if you like a place, in particular, you can stay there for one or even two more days. Too much planning is normally not a good idea, believe me.
3) What is a preference list?
This is the document which you fill out around 4 weeks before your departure. It allows us to prepare for your arrival. Instead of describing it, here is an example of the list we use for TURKEY CHARTERS! Check it out on this link!
When we have this information from you, we send it to the owner and our representatives and they are then ready for your arrival.
4) Voucher and travel information
After you make the final payment, we send you your travel voucher and travel information. The voucher will have all the services you paid for ON PAPER so that no misunderstandings can occur. On the travel information document, we give you all the phone numbers you need. We supply you with any information you might need when you arrive at your destination and you have all the details for your smooth arrival to your gulet.
5) Arrival at your destination
We use a standardized check-in procedure which makes everything very smooth and easy-going. The plan is to make you comfortable in the most efficient and fastest possible way.
Here is an example of a check-in procedure we use in Croatia.
CROATIA PRIVATE CHARTER
I hope you now have a better understanding of gulets and what to expect when you book and when you go on your cruise. Maybe I even gave you a bit too much information (especially in the negotiation part :-). However, our main interest is happy clients.
In the next blog post, I will write about a free consultation. If you have never cruised with a gulet before, this is a very useful thing for you to use.
If you would like to try out a gulet cruise holiday Send us an inquiry today!