If you have a party at home, at work, or in a park, it's not a real problem if someone arrives late. Sure they might miss the first round of drinks or not get to try the appetizers, but it's not a biggie. However when you charter a boat it's a major problem.
The wharfs are used by many vessels, and there are rules about their use. Some wharfs require booking, and if guests are sufficiently late, we will be unable to pick them up from that wharf and have to wait in a queue at a public or ferry wharf.
Please ensure that ALL guests are at the pickup point at least 15 minutes before boarding. Also make sure everyone knows precisely where the pickup is.
Be ON THE WHARF as XTsea approaches so that time is not wasted rounding up everyone and everything. Don't be shy!
A quick and easy way to check-in to any NSW venue is via the Service NSW App and a QR code. The first time you install the app a little bit of time is required to set it up, so please encourage everyone to have the app already configured.
From November 23, check-in is MANDATORY for NSW venues. You will need to show that your phone is checked-in before boarding, or your name and number will need to be written down which will delay our departure.
Please don't bring a lot of stuff on board. If infants are attending please leave the pram in the car and carry the babies.
Please check the weather forecast. Conditions on the harbour range from sweltering heat to driving rain. If it's raining, you WILL get wet so plan accordingly. Bring a hat... but be prepared to lose it if it's a windy day and it's not on tight.
Along the same lines as packing light, you would be better off finding another time and place to exchange any gifts. Getting everyone and everything on and off the boat at the dock is simpler with less gear to move.
XTsea has a wonderful BBQ and a small oven and a small microwave. Please do not bring masses of food or anything that requires a lot of complex preparation.
Meat for the BBQ should be ready to cook! Anything still frozen will make life difficult and gives disappointing results. If you want melt-in-the-mouth steaks, they should be room temperature.
XTsea is a full-service experience and your crew will prepare and present the food for you so that you can relax and enjoy the party.
It is NOT a good idea to tell everyone to bring along a plate of food! This always results in WAAAAY too much food of which only half even gets opened and a whole lot of food in containers which have to be carried off and sorted out at the end of the event.
Make sure you have given all your food to the crew when you board. We can't cook what we don't know about. Food will go to the galley side of the boat and personal bags go to the left.
If you have vegan/vegetarian/allergy issues, LET THE CREW KNOW EARLY so that we can deal with them.
Don't bring along plates or cups or bowls or cutlery or serviettes or knives. We supply EVERYTHING that is required to host a party. Just bring on board your food and drinks and everything else is already here.
We supply FREE bottled water so please don't bother lugging it along. The booking companies all tell you to bring some in their general information, however onboard XTsea it is included!
If you want to bring along a cake, we'll try to squeeze it into our limited refrigeration, plate it up, and bring it up to the saloon with plates and knives. However our experience is that after a few hours on the harbour and a lot of drinking, there is usually very little interest in eating cake. Most of it ends up in the bin.
If you MUST have a cake, we suggest a small one. Better yet, bite-sized sweets and chocolates do tend to get eaten.
Drinks are best served cold. In the middle of a hot day on the harbour it is surprising how much ice will be used, especially if people are drinking spirits.
We supply four bags of ice FREE for the first charter each day, but subsequent charters will need to bring ice along. We'll discus this with the party organiser when we call to discuss your party.
Congratulations! You have booked the charter boat with the best audio system on the harbour! Give some thought to the music you want to play in advance as there is nothing worse than having a DJ-wannabe swapping music mid-track all day.
If you have a Spotify playlist, make it public and share a link to it with us and we'll have it running as XTsea approaches the wharf.
(THIS IS IMPORTANT TO DO! There are areas of the harbour where phone service is patchy and we will download the playlist for uninterrupted audio.)
It gets windy on the water, and space on a boat is limited. There isn't a lot of headroom and only limited available wall space. Balloons and decorations generally are not worth the trouble and create a lot of problems.
We provide the largest available swimmat, a stand-up paddleboard, and a one person kayak. We have found that these provide plenty of fun times in the water, and are simple and easy to deploy and recover. In contrast, you'll have to pump up your watertoys yourself, make sure they don't blow away from the boat, and then deflate them at the end of the charter. Not recommended.
Red wine causes staining on the boat's exterior hull. We ask that if you bring red wine aboard you do not take it to the foredeck, and you take a bit of care while pouring and drinking it.
Keep your drink in your hand. A boat is unstable and exposed to windy conditions and drinks often spill or go overboard. Any drink container that has been abandoned will be cleaned up.
High heels have no place on board a boat.
We recommend bare feet during summer and we usually end up with all the shoes and thongs in a pile.
We are not super-fussy about non-marking soles as most people don't even know that they are wearing them. If you happen to know the difference, please make sure your shoes are non-marking.
We do not allow single-use plastics like cheap cups and straws to be used aboard. They tend to fly off the boat in wind and are very damaging to the marine environment. If someone has a medical requirement, we will provide them stainless steel straws on request.