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Charter Tips

If you are an experienced sailor  or have never stepped foot aboard a sailing catamaran, a luxury crewed charter is a wonderful vacation for you.  You do not have to worry about the details because Penny Jo charters are All inclusive luxury charters and our experienced crew are aboard to help tailor an amazing vacation just for you.  We want to make sure to make the most of your time aboard, so we have prepared a list of frequently asked questions for you.

What is the itinerary? 
What if I want to go somewhere specific like Iguana Island or to see the swimming pigs?

Our crew will customize an itinerary for your charter based on your preferences.  You can feel free to provide as much input as you and your group would like, or you can relax and leave it up to the captain to create an unforgettable vacation just for you. 

At least 30 days prior to your charter, you will receive a Preference Sheet.  On the preference sheet there will be lots of questions about what you and your group like to do.  Are you looking to just relax in secluded areas surrounded by the most beautiful torqouise waters and nature, or are you more active and want to do a lot of water activities, snorkeling and hiking, or do you like a mix of both with a stop or two for some nightlife?  Based on your answers the captain will suggest the best itinerary based on his expert knowledge of the Islands and Cays.

My family is particular when it comes to meals.  What type of meals are provided?

Similar to the itinerary, our chef will customize your meals for your charter based on your preferences.  Based on your responses on the Preference Sheet, the Chef will carefully prepare menus based on your likes, dislikes and dietary preferences.  

The Chef will provide sample menus in advance of your charter for your input on how many meals a day, what time you would prefer breakfast and any special requests for special occasions.  The crew will also do their best to have on board your preferred beverages, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, in the ship's provisions.  Don't worry, the chef will also make sure there are plenty of snacks because snorkeling and sailing always make us hungry.

What should we pack?

Pack Lightly!  only pack what you need, there is ample but limited storage on board.  Swimsuits and Cover ups will be your most worn items.  Casual clothes and an outfit or 2 for going ashore to dinner are all you will need.  If you are going to hike, then we recommend good supportive shoes, otherwise flip flops and water shoes are all that are needed.  A light jacket, sweater or sweatshirt are good to have for cooler evenings or a rainshower.

Packing in soft sided luggage like a duffel bag are the best for a catamaran, they are easy to fold and store.  Hard sided and even soft suitcases are difficult to store. 

Items not to forget:

  • Passports, licenses and copies of each

  • Prescription and non-prescription medication

  • Non-aerosol Sunscreen and bug repellent

  • Sunglasses and sun hats, the Bahamian sun is strong and bright

  • UV shirts for swimming and snorkeling are recommended

  • Dry bags or waterproof bags for phones, electronics and wallets

  • Seasickness pills or patches are recommended

You will not need to bring any of the following:

  • Expensive jewelry or valuables

  • First aid kit, we have an EMT level kit on board including a AED

  • Bed linens, bath towels and beach towels

  • Dress shoes or clothes

What else should we know?

There are a few etiquette and customary things you should know if this is your first catamaran charter.  A few tips from the seasoned pros:

  • For safety reasons and Sailor's etiquette, request permission to come aboard from the Captain.

  • Remove your shoes while on board

  • Be mindful of sand and water on the deck and in the boat.  Water is slippery and sand is a nightmare if it makes it to your cabin.

  • Gratuities for the crew is customary in the industry.  The amount of gratuity is at your discretion depending on the level of service from your crew.  Typical gratuities are 15-20% of the charter fee.

How do we get to Nassau and to Penny Jo?

For the majority of charters, Penny Jo will be docked at a convenient Nassau marina.  There are direct flights to Lynden Pindling International Airport (NAS) in Nassau from most US and Canadian cities.  Our crew can recommend private transportation vendors for your party, from the airport to the marina, where you will board Penny Jo.

Should I bring cash and what currency?

The currency in the Bahamas is the Bahamian dollar, however most restaurants, shops, bars and vendors accept the US dollar.  As a general rule, you should have some cash with you when traveling in the Bahamas.  There are ATMs around the islands that dispense Bahamian dollars (1:1US $).  Be sure to spend all Bahamian dollars before returning since it is near impossible to exchange them once off the islands.  Credit Cards are widely accepted however, there are a few beach bars and local transportation and vendors that only accept cash.

What is there to do while on charter?

The crew will make sure your vacation is one to remember.  Penny Jo is fully stocked with lots of water toys as well as games for evenings aboard.  Penny Jo also has an amazing bluetooth soundsystem with speakers in the salon, forward cockpit and on the flybridge.  So make sure to download your playlists before leaving home.  

Water toys aboard Penny Jo:

  • snorkeling equipment in all sizes small to large

  • wakeboard and tubing

  • sea scooter

  • stand up paddle boards and 2 person kayak

  • Sun chill floating ring

  • 20' floating dock

Should we be worried about seasickness?

Seasickness is always a concern when on the water.  If you have had issues with motion sickness in the past or are worried about seasickness, a doctor can prescribe medication or a patch to help prevent or ease symptoms.

Several over the counter medications like dramamine and ginger tablets can also help with symptoms.  We recommend you bring them just in case.  Also, the Captain also will make sure to keep you busy assisting at the helm which always helps ward off nausea.

Will we have cell service while on charter?

While cell service is generally strong while close to New Providence, the further down the Exuma chain, the weaker the signal will be.  In some areas of the Exumas, cell service is very spotty.  Check with your cell provider before heading to the Bahamas to understand your foreign roaming coverage and fees, as many charge daily fees while in the Bahamas.

We understand that our guests like to stay connected to family and friends, Penny Jo is equipped with the a Starlink satellite-based internet for texting, emails and wifi calling  (not included is social media, streaming or video services like Facetime, etc which are high data usage services).  Therefore, even if your cell service is out of range, you will most likely be able to connect via the boat Starlink wifi and make a wifi call or text.

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