DCFT Sailing trip - Participant Guide - 15 Sept


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Participant guide for DC Fun Tours sailing trip, updated 15 Sept 2013

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DCFT Sailing trip - Participant Guide - 15 Sept

  1. 1. Gay Armada Sailing Adventure …and a few of your fun straight friends, too! Group Participant Guide British Virgin Islands February 22nd – March 2nd, 2014 www.DCFunTours.com (November Update) Distributed July 2013 Updated November 2013 © 2013 DC Fun Tours LLC Group travel facilitated by DC Fun Tours
  2. 2. Get ready for a fun week in the Caribbean! The BVI has some of the most phenomenal sailing in the world: Perfect, warm blue water… Natural harbors… Steady winds… Smooth ocean… Fun bars… Delicious food… Neat traditions… Amazing rum… Great people… and beautiful boats. The bareboat yacht charter companies make it really easy and fun –even for total beginners and vacationers– to sail on amazing boats and spend a week island hopping and exploring the BVI with friends. Even better: The trip is pretty affordable (given what you get!), so it’s a great way to have an amazing time with friends. This package creates a fun “Gay Armada Sailing Adventure” of chartered yachts full of friends (primarily from DC, NYC, LA, and Chicago, who are planning to sail in a big group of boats on a loose itinerary, giving each boat the freedom to be with the group, or do what it wants throughout the trip. It lets you combine the benefits of your small boat team as well as the bigger group. Because the boats (holding ~6-10 friends) are filled in groups, there will be a few straight friends on the trip, too (don’t worry, they’ll be fun!), and all are welcome to join in for the adventure. As this is a privately planned group, registrations will be coordinated through the group organizers, or specific boat Captains / Admirals. The group organizers have been working on this idea for months, and have brought in travel agencies and great local partners to run the logistics, so get ready for a fantastic week! DC Fun Tours Sailing Adventure 1
  3. 3. FAQ: The Quick Summary • The group has chartered an “Armada” of yachts to sail around, “island hopping” across the British Virgin Islands • The boats will be in groups of 6-9 sailors each; assembled either as groups of individuals put together as a combined group, or a separate subgroup of its own, organized by a group “Admiral” / Coordinator • While the trip is primarily gay, fun straight friends are welcome to join in the trip, too • Most of the group will be from NYC / DC / LA / Chicago, but you are welcome to invite friends; the more, the merrier… it will be an absolute blast, and a great way to make cool new friends in other cities • The group has partnered with travel agencies and contracted vendors to help support the logistics; this will reduce the total cost for everyone involved and significantly improve the service quality • While everyone helps out on the boat, there will be a qualified “Captain” on board each boat; either a hired professional or a group participant (certified by Sunsail), whose trip is very heavily discounted as a result; if you or any friends can be a Captain, please let the group know • The travelers will fly into St. Thomas, USVI, then take the ferry to Tortola, BVI; on the first night, there will be a fun welcome party before sailing out the next morning • Each island has different activities, neat things to see / do / explore, and great people to meet • Sailors sleep in cabins on the boats all week, with the final night at a St. Thomas resort hotel • Typically, groups do breakfast and lunch on the boats, then have dinner at a local restaurant on shore, followed by drinks and Caribbean fun in the beach towns • The groups will intermingle throughout the day and (depending on activities), friends can hop between boats for the day or evening throughout the trip • There’s not much gay activity in the Virgin Islands, so the group is bringing some fun to this amazing island paradise, and hosting a few beach parties and dinners • The trip is comparatively affordable for the almost all-inclusive, fun package, especially as airfare specials come throughout the year or if you can use miles DC Fun Tours Sailing Adventure 2
  4. 4. Preface: For many guys, this will be their first sailing trip and a once-in-a-lifetime fun adventure; the purpose of this guide is to help them understand the trip, as it is more complex and very different from a “normal” group vacation What this trip IS • • • • • A professionally managed, private yacht charter trip, focused on a group of loosely affiliated friends, and coordinated by travel professionals A group of friends, looking to have a great time sailing together for a week of sun, fun, sailing, and exploring A collection of individual groups, many of whom will be organizing their own subgroups on their own boats A big group charter of medium-size boats in the Virgin Islands, which we will generally sail together and go island hopping, with individual flexibility up to each boat team A fun side project by the organizing team and friends What this trip is NOT • • • • • What this participant guide IS • • • Information focused exclusively on this trip, and to help the specific people invited to attend this trip Assembled jointly by trip organizers and travel agents Basic information about the fun group vacation, which is needed to: • Prepare the friends going for what to expect • Explain the trip to new sailors who are joining A public tour group – This is a private group trip, funded by its participants, though coordinated by travel agencies Affiliated with “The Yacht Week” or any other official tour group plan or travel program in the BVI A “Gay Cruise” with DJs and circuit parties – We will be having fun at night at local bars, restaurants and discos on the small islands that we sail to A cruise liner – This will be an authentic sailing adventure (though easy sailing) on ~50’ sailboats, not traveling on large cruise ships with hotel-like accommodations Prepared or planned on other work time by the organizers What this participant guide is NOT • • • • A comprehensive guide to the British Virgin Islands (Complete guides are available via internet and books) Designed for all people – This is specifically a trip set up for a specific group of friends chartering the boats Relevant to anyone not attending this trip A public document – This is an private, internal planning document for the group. It is also copyright protected © 2013. This is a private, internal group document. All rights reserved. All materials, content and forms contained in this document are the intellectual property of DC Fun Tours LLC (except where otherwise noted) and may not be copied, reproduced, distributed , or displayed without express written permission from DC Fun Tours LLC,. Publishing this material without authorization, constitutes copyright infringement in violation of Title 17 U.S. Code, Section 106(a) of the Copyright Act of 1976, and several recognized international copyright laws. Any source publishing this document is subject to prosecution for willful violation of copyright laws. DC Fun Tours LLC is an independent affiliate of Montrose Travel (CST#1018299-10) and an associate member of the IGLTA. DC Fun Tours Sailing Adventure 3
  5. 5. The Trip Where are we going? …and what will we do there?
  6. 6. Sailing the Caribbean We will live on the yachts for a week, island hopping around the BVI, sailing and exploring the Caribbean during the day, and hanging out together at night • Our group of sailboats will hop between islands in the BVI, exploring the most amazing sailing area in the world • We will intermingle the boats on land during the day and at night, when we will gather for dinner and dancing • Meals are split between land and sea, and we sleep while moored to buoys at night DC Fun Tours Sailing Adventure 5
  7. 7. The Trip in Huff Po Huffington Post named its “Top 10 Awesome Beach Bars Around the World;” The BVI was the only country with two, and we are going to both of them DC Fun Tours Sailing Adventure 6
  8. 8. Where are the British Virgin Islands? The US Virgin Islands and the BVI are near Puerto Rico, in the Caribbean Sea, and easy to get to by flying into the airport in St. Thomas, USVI (Code: STT) DC Fun Tours Image: Google Sailing Adventure 7
  9. 9. We will fly into St. Thomas and take the fast ferry to Tortola to meet the boats for the trip, then spend the week sailing the BVI Fun Fact: The fast ferries are often on loan from Ptown during the winter, and much of the fast ferry fleet has “Provincetown” painted on the side of the hull Sail all through here BVI Sunsail Marina USVI Sail all through here U.S. AT&T cell data off coast Fly into here Locations and lines are approximate Image: Google DC Fun Tours Sailing Adventure 8
  10. 10. The tentative agenda has been set, though each boat can plan its own routes, or change to go see other areas anytime it wants to, one of the best parts of a “bareboat charter” adventure Trip Map THE GAY ARMADA BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS 4 6 5 1 3 Map Key # Night Mooring Spot Suggested Stop en route 7 DC Fun Tours 2 Optional Stop en route Sailing Adventure 9
  11. 11. The Trip Itinerary We will determine the final itinerary of island hopping as we get close to the trip, but we will visit each of the classic and amazing yachting spots in the BVI • Our final itinerary of places to visit will vary somewhat based on a number of factors, but no matter what, we will hit each of the key spots • Some boats may want to make a slight alternative to the planned itinerary, which will be coordinated by their boat Admiral with the trip Fleet Admiral (for example, for SCUBA diving, rather than another planned activity) • In addition, other groups will be going on during our trip. They are usually all a fun bunch, but we will vary our itinerary so that we don’t overstep on their plans, and they don’t overstep on ours, though we can mingle with them at a couple stops along the way • The ferry from St. Thomas to Tortola is a fun place to meet other groups, as is the bar at Sunsail Base • The following pages highlight many of the stops that we will make to give a flavor of the islands DC Fun Tours Sailing Adventure 10
  12. 12. Fly into St. Thomas We will fly into St. Thomas, group up at the ferry terminal, then take the (on loan) Ptown fast ferries across the channel to Tortola, BVI • Most everyone will fly into St. Thomas (Tortola is also an option) www.DCFunTours.com can provide discounted airfare specials • If you want to explore St. Thomas by arriving a day or two early, that is fine, and it’s a neat city to see! • The flights / ferries / boat check-ins are (by island standards) pretty well timed, with plenty of lag time… no worries! • Once you are “Wheels Down St. Thomas,” the vacation begins, with steel drum music and drinks at the airport… Relax… and get ready for “Island Time” (nobody’s in a rush) • Relax in getting your bags… They’re usually pretty slow, so plenty of time for your first painkiller drink of the trip! • Take any of the numerous taxis (most are open air converted trolley things) to the harbor at Charlotte Amalie for the ferry (they know where to go! • The scene at the ferry dock is usually a nutty party as all the sailors get ready for a great week ahead (not just us, but everyone off on sailing adventures)… it’s a perfect time to make friends from other trips that we’ll see all week long • Once the Fast Ferry comes, you may notice something ironic: Many of the ferries are actually Provincetown Fast Ferry boats on loan to the Virgin Islands in the winter… How fitting! DC Fun Tours Images BSC and Flickr Sailing Adventure 11
  13. 13. The “Painkiller” One of the hallmarks of any Virgin Islands trip is the famous “Painkiller” drink, a glass of local rum goodness that you will enjoy all through the islands Most sailors have fun ordering their first painkiller of the trip at the St. Thomas airport or the ferry terminal en route to Tortola Images Lua Los Angeles, Cocktail Chronicles, Mother Meets the Road , The Blond Cook DC Fun Tours Sailing Adventure 12
  14. 14. Arrival & Group Mixer in Tortola, BVI Once we arrive in Tortola, we will gather for a fun night of mixing together at Sunsail Base, enjoying our last night on land and exploring the Road Town area • Your welcome packet will include tickets for the ferry and vouchers for taxis in Tortola • Once you arrive in Tortola, you go through BVI customs/immigration, and use your taxi voucher at Sunsail Base (in Wickham’s Cay Marina II), where we check-in at their boat. • Once on the boat, our crews will make any last minute shopping trips for provisions, and get to know how things work onboard • Captains will also walk everyone through how things work onboard the boats, so that they are ready to leave the next morning • Sunsail has showers, and even hotel rooms for those who want one last “princess” night before we sail away • There is a swimming pool and bar for relaxing • That evening, we will have a welcome intro, followed by a dinner mixer for everyone to get to know their shipmates, as well as the crews on the other boats • This is a great time to get to know everyone DC Fun Tours Images Tui and Flickr Sailing Adventure 13
  15. 15. Norman Island and the “Willie T” Norman Island has amazing snorkeling, great mountain hikes, fantastic dinner at Pirates Bight, and the best parties all night on the moored boat “Willie T” • Norman Island, is perhaps most famous for being the inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel, Treasure Island. However, Norman Island also has a rich documented history of acting as a hiding spot for Pirate booty. • Documented history for the island dates back to the early 18th century when a Spanish galleon buried 55 chests of silver coins after the crew mutinied. Although most of the treasure has been discovered more pirate treasure is rumored to exist today • “The Caves” offer spectacular snorkeling, with stunning coral and fish, which are easy to get to and moor the yacht at • After a dinner buffet beach party and rum drinks at Pirate’s Bight restaurant on the cove beach, we will spend the rest of the night at the Willie T’s – a 30m schooner called the “William Thornton,” which is now a legendary bar and hosts amazing (and infamous) parties all night long in the bay • One of the enduring legacies of any BVI trip is who had too many “Painkiller” drinks and ended up getting the “Willie T” bartenders to lick temporary tattoos onto them and ends up with creative tan lines all week • A night at the “Willie T” has been known to result in skinny dipping and bad decisions that provide fun stories for years to come DC Fun Tours Info integrates messaged from Tui, The Yacht Week, and experience; Images: Flickr Sailing Adventure 14
  16. 16. Virgin Gorda: The North Sound Of all the places we sail to, one of the most stunning bays is the North Sound, where the Bitter End Yacht Club and Saba Rock restaurant make it a fun stop • We will sail to the northern tip part of Virgin Gorda. On the way there, it’s worth slowing down to stop outside Necker Island - Sir Richard Branson’s famously private island • In North Sound we will spend the afternoon and evening at anchor at the Bitter End Yacht Club. This is a beautiful, exclusive, famous resort where a room runs $1000+ / night at this time of the year, and the yacht club is full of fun water sports and other activities, as well as great beaches for relaxing (You can always find fellow BVI sailors in the future when you see them in gear from the Bitter End YC) • We will have dinner at the Saba Rock restaurant (on a tiny island in the middle of the sound), followed by late night drinks and music in the Bitter End Bar • The North Sound is an ideal place to relax, snorkel, hike ashore and enjoy other sports • This is also a prime spot for restocking the boat with any needed supplies and fresh water, or to come on shore and enjoy real resort showers • The North Sound has available wifi onboard DC Fun Tours Info integrates messaged from Tui, The Yacht Week, and experience; Images: Flickr Sailing Adventure 15
  17. 17. Virgin Gorda: The Baths Even jaded sailors are amazed by the beauty of “The Baths” rock formations on Virgin Gorda, and it is usually everyone’s favorite stop of the trip • The Baths are Virgin Gorda’s most famous attraction, and we will spend the afternoon there… it may be your favorite stop on the trip • Enormous boulders are scattered across idyllic beaches creating an exotic landscape of magical grottos – one even houses a natural indoor swimming pool! (Thus the name “baths”) • Walk through the cool tunnels to Devil’s Bay where you can find good waves for surfing and bodyboarding • The beach is also one of the nicest for relaxing, tanning, nursing a hangover or just splashing and laughing with friends in the perfect blue water DC Fun Tours Info integrates messaged from Tui, The Yacht Week, and experience; Images: Flickr Sailing Adventure 16
  18. 18. Cane Garden Bay One of the most resort-type stops is the picturesque Cane Garden Bay, on the coast of Tortola Island, where the perfect beaches are lined with fun spots • Cane Garden Bay is the most perfect half moon beach you could imagine • The perfect beach on the far side of Tortola is lined with picturesque little restaurants, bars, shops and discos that make it a great afternoon, dinner, and evening stop (Note: It’s a perfect place to propose… hint hint) • This is also a great place to enjoy mini spas that have showers and treatments to get you feeling like a princess again • The restaurants are delicious, and you can dance all night on the beach at the fun bars • Later in the week, the spas, services, and supplies in Cane Garden Bay make it a great stop after the more remote islands DC Fun Tours Info integrates messaged from Tui, The Yacht Week, and experience; Images: Flickr Sailing Adventure 17
  19. 19. Jost Van Dyke This beautiful island has spectacular mountain hikes, and famous restaurants that offer either the most chaotic parties or the most chill relaxing anywhere • Enjoy a day of beautiful sailing towards Jost van Dyke and White Bay. This is the home of three excellent bars: • Soggy Dollar Bar – Original home of the Painkiller, a drink known worldwide… you have to jump off the boat to get there, leaving you with “Soggy Dollars” • Ivan’s Stress Free Bar – so relaxing! • Gertrudes – Grab a beer in the bar and sit down right on the beach • In the afternoon we move to Great Harbour, home to Foxy’s Bar, and moor for the night. Foxy’s offer live Caribbean music and wild parties. • Those wanting a quieter night can relax and moor their boat in Little Harbour at Sidney’s Peace & Love, a famous restaurant / bar on the little bay that provides some of the most chill Caribbean relaxation imaginable • The next morning, we will hike to the top of Jost Van Dyke, a great walk for amazing views that will make you feel like Christopher Columbus or Captain Jack Black, exploring uncharted territory DC Fun Tours Info integrates messaged from Tui, The Yacht Week, and experience; Images: Flickr Sailing Adventure 18
  20. 20. St. Thomas, USVI: Sugar Bay Resort We will make a final sail back to Sunsail Base in Tortola, then spend the night returning to dry land at the Sugar Bay Resort in St. Thomas before flying home • St. Thomas is an incredible city, and a destination all on its own that is worth seeing • Because of the time involved in returning the charters (due at 11 am) and unloading them, it can be impossible to make the ferry back in time for flights home on the last day of the trip • With this in mind, we get one more night together to relax in St. Thomas, returning to the real world off the boat… at least an idyllic paradise, if not the real world • We have a greatl deal at the idyllic Sugar Bay Resort, where we can get back to dry land and enjoy a day of paradise, pampering, and recovery by the ocean • From here, sailors can explore, shop, frolic in the pools, chill on the beaches, play tennis, hit the gym, read a book, or just relax before the last trip home the next morning DC Fun Tours Images: Flickr Sailing Adventure 19
  21. 21. A “Choose Your Own Adventure” Vacation The best part of flotilla vacations is that you can “go your own way;” your boat can be with the group (or not), relax, be rowdy, be peaceful, and do it your way • Each boat is ultimately responsible for what they want to do each day, so it becomes a unique “choose your own adventure” trip for the groups to do what they want, when they want • Sailboat groups will plan with their Admiral and their Captain what they want to do for the day… and do it • If they want to go with the group itinerary, it’s fine. If they want to do their own thing, it’s also fine… that’s the best part • Each night may be different for each boat group, and they can do whatever they want to, such as: • Dance until dawn with friends at a local bar or disco on the beach at Cane Garden Bay • Play “Cards Against Humanity” with (legal!) Cuban cigars on the cockpit deck while laughing with friends all night • Cook dinner and enjoy a perfect, quiet night in the Caribbean • Go explore a new island that’s off the beaten path • Do way, way too many shots on the “Willie T” bar schooner • SCUBA dive or go snorkeling to see the fish and coral reefs • Drink wine until you all decide to jump off the boat and swim • Explore the island and hike to the top of the mountain • Do some serious sailing, having fun with the perfect winds • Lay on the beach, or read a book while laying on the deck • It’s all up to you, which is what makes charter boats one of the favorite vacations for so many people who become quickly become “hooked” on sailing for a lifetime DC Fun Tours Sailing Adventure 20
  22. 22. Was this forwarded to you by friends, or saw it online? At its core, this is a private group trip of friends and their collective larger networks of friends, but there are a few more open slots, and the capacity to add another boat group – If you were sent this guide through friends or saw it online, there is some space, ideally if you already have a roommate to join • This trip began as a private group trip being coordinated by DC Fun Tours on behalf of the organizing team, but there is some additional capacity for new folks, but ideally with a roommate • Their goal is entirely inclusive (to have a blast traveling with friends and their bigger network of friends from a few cities around the country) and not at all exclusive – the objective is more fun friends attending, not fewer • Knowing their friends, and knowing the large LGBT sailing and travel community, it is possible that some readers of this guide will have received it indirectly (possibly in violation of copyright laws) • If you are interested in attending, or interested in adding sailboat capacity for a group of your friends, please email Trips@DCFunTours.com and travel planners can put you into open slots, ideally if you have a roommate DC Fun Tours Sailing Adventure 21
  23. 23. The Yachts How will this work on the boats we are chartering?
  24. 24. How it works: Yacht Pictures We have chartered a mix of catamaran and monohull yachts; these are illustrative examples of what to expect from the types of boats we will have Pictures courtesy of The Moorings DC Fun Tours Sailing Adventure 23
  25. 25. How it works: Yacht Layouts Many of the boats will be slightly different, and individuals will have the option of different choices upon final payment, but here are examples of the types of layouts of the yachts that we will be sailing on To keep everyone comfortable, we will make sure the boats are comfortable and livable for a week, not packed like sardines; Some of the cheaper trips will cut corners by cramming too many people into the tiny spaces, but we are keeping it liveable 43’ Monohull • • 3 cabins, 1 sofa, 2 baths Holds ~6 + 1 Captain 46’ Catamaran • • 6 cabins, 1 sofa, 4 baths Holds ~8 + 1 Captain 51’ Monohull • • 4 cabins, 1 sofa, 1 mini, 4.5 baths Holds ~8+ 1 Captain Note: Yeah… we know bathrooms are called “heads” on a boat, but this is to ease the beginners on what to expect Pictures courtesy of The Moorings DC Fun Tours Sailing Adventure 24
  26. 26. How it works: Sleeping Arrangements Most beds on sailboats are designed for two people, and priced accordingly, though we can make adjustments for sailors who would like a private room Depending on the boat’s layout, many of them are also designed with convertible bed(s) in the main salon; we typically use these for the captain, though that may vary based on particular boat dynamics, and if the Captain is a volunteer Be careful not to over-pack: Storage space is incredibly tight on board, so we will send detailed packing lists beforehand; If you would like a single room, they can be arranged for an $800 additional charge for the unused berth space – This is higher than some packages because we are under-filling the maximum capacities to keep everyone more comfortable, based on prior experience sailing these boats Most boats have 3-4 cabins (2 guys ea.) and a convertible sofa (1 guy) that we will use 2 0 2 2 Some boats have an incredibly small front “cabin,” which is not really big enough for a person, and is usually used for storage or occasional privacy instead We want everyone to be comfortable on board 1 2 DC Fun Tours Sailing Adventure 25
  27. 27. How it works: Roles on the Ship Each boat will have one “Admiral” coordinating things, one “Captain” who actually sails the boat, and a crew of “Sailors” helping out and having fun Roles on the Boat Sailor • Everyone on the boat will help a little throughout the trip • Each boat will have 6-10 sailors, depending on its size (and crew makeup) • How much or how little you do on the boat is up to each team to work out Everyone will also work together on the boat to: • Make snacks, food, and drinks onboard; keep the boat clean; stock supplies Captain • The Captain is “really” in charge of the boat… He/She actually knows how to sail • The Captain may be a “hired skipped” from the yacht charter company if nobody on that boat’s crew is qualified to Captain • This is very common, and we expect several boats to have hired captains • If you have friends qualified to captain, we’d rather “hire” them than hire regular captains (since they’re more fun!) • The Admiral may also be the Captain, if he is qualified by Sunsail (some are) • While on the boat, the Captain is legally always in charge, to ensure safety Admiral • The Admiral is the commander of the boat, and the liaison to the organizing team • If you want to get a full boat of friends together, and be the Admiral of your own boat, you’re welcome to do that, and run your own show on board, doing what you want • Some of the Admirals will be trip organizers, heading up a boat full of a variety of our friends who are coming on board • Other Admirals will be one of the group’s friends who has organized a full sub-group of friends to come along and sail on their own boat • The boat Admiral will work with the crew to decide what to do for the day, and see if they want to make any changes or adjustments to the bigger group plan (which is fine!) Fleet Admiral • The Fleet Admiral (and the Vice Admiral) are the coordinators of the whole trip • They will coordinate the trip with the travel agents, vendors, event staff, and suppliers • At the end of the day, the Fleet Admiral runs the trip, but Admirals and Captains are ultimately in charge of their own boats, and can work with their crews as needed to create whatever experience the team wants to have for the week DC Fun Tours Sailing Adventure 26
  28. 28. How it works: Filling the boats Each yacht will have one “Admiral” coordinating, one “Captain” who knows how to sail, and a crew of sailors helping out and having fun on the boats Signing up in Various Roles Individual Sailor(s) • If you’ve been invited along to join the group trip, you can register as an individual sailor, and the group will place you into a boat full of fun folks • If there are 1-2 others that you would like in your boat, you can include them during the registration process, and we will work to make sure they are on your yacht • Each sailor needs to confirm the trip with a $450 deposit via the DC Fun Tours website Certified Captain • If you are a certified captain (determined by Sunsail requirements), you can receive a very large discount on the cost of your trip… and we want you to come! (save $800!) • Please email Trips@DCFunTours.com and let the group know that you are interested • You don’t even have to fill your own boat, unless you want to be an admiral and coordinate all of the open slots (indicate as such during registration) • The trip is more fun with captains that the group knows (or will fit in well with the group), so please feel free to recruit as many certified captains as you can! • We will hire professional captains for any boats that need them to make up the difference Group Admiral • If you are interested in coordinating your own boat group, you can register as an Admiral when you sign up for the trip (indicated on the registration form) • Admirals may need to determine how many people they want on their boat (3-10), and we will discuss any price adjustments necessary (cheaper if one of them is also a Captain) • Your group will not be officially registered until $450 deposits have been received for each slot that you have asked to fill (or as otherwise arranged for subgroups) • If you fill your own boat, you can also decide whether you prefer a Catamaran sailboat or a monohull sailboat, and we can even change the base boats, based on vendor availability Boat Owner • If you or a friend actually have a private boat that could be in the BVI this week (or own a boating time share already), email Trips@DCFunTours.com and we would love to have you participate in some way, either with entirely your own group, or a mix of registrants Registration is done via the www.DCFunTours.com website DC Fun Tours Sailing Adventure 27
  29. 29. How it works: Life on the Boat The boats have cabins for sleeping, bathrooms, decks for relaxing, and full kitchens; the downside is limited showers, but it is not a problem in the BVI Logistical Life on the Yachts Food Toilets Showers The yachts are equipped with cabins, usually with double beds (2 people) or small bunks There is limited storage space, so we pack very carefully so as not to over-pack (we’ll send lists) There is no real ability to do laundry or wash linens on the boats, except at certain stops • • • • • Cabins • • • The yachts have full kitchen capabilities, along with a BBQ on the back There is storage space for food, and a big refrigerator / freezer unit onboard As part of our package, each boat will have basic supplies provided, and each boat’s Admiral will sort out additional food called “provisions” to be added for group meals Typically, groups eat breakfast and lunch on board the boats, then do dinner on shore Groups can team together for fun BBQs, meals, or parties on board together • • • The boats have bathrooms with marine toilets on them (usually 3-4 per boat) One catch of toilets is that only… um… “human waste” goes into them – nothing else While the bathrooms have showers, they make a huge mess, so we use deck showers • • Showers are very limited due to limited fresh water onboard, and tiny bathrooms Instead, we typically clean ourselves off in the ocean (warm like bathwater), then rinse off the salt water and do a quick cleaning rinse with the shower on the back of the deck Even our biggest “princesses” on past trips found that the reality of this was fine (and actually fun), even though they had initially been dreading it – it’s no big deal • • Each island has unique, cool, authentic nightlife, often featuring Caribbean music, food, drinks, and dancing – we will make each night into a festive party Many of the bars in the islands are famous – sailors have been loving them for decades Music • • The boats will all equipped with stereo speakers, iPod / audio input cables, and a 110v inverter There is very little access to electricity (and boats are wet), so avoid unnecessary electronics Internet & Data • • • There is very little internet access, outside of some internet wifi at nighttime rest stops AT&T mobile internet works off the cost of the USVI, but we are rarely close enough to St. John International roaming is very expensive – This is a “Disconnected” trip (So nice!) • As discussed, the Virgin Islands are very lacking in LGBT life, so we are bringing our own fun with our own armada of great folks and gay laughs In prior trips, GLBT travelers had no problems, though (to be frank) we will expect everyone to behave appropriately in public, just as you would on the streets of NYC / DC / LA / Chicago Nightlife LGBT DC Fun Tours • • Sailing Adventure 28
  30. 30. Travel Plan What kind of travel arrangements do we have to make?
  31. 31. Schedule You will fly to St. Thomas, spend 7 days on the boat, and one night in a hotel Schedule Plan: Logistics February 22 2014 Saturday February 23 2014 Sunday February 23 through March 1, 2014 Sunday to Saturday March 1 2014 Saturday March 2 2014 Sunday DC Fun Tours • • • • • • Fly to St. Thomas, USVI Take the fast ferry from St. Thomas, USVI to Road Town, Tortola, BVI Check into the boats at 6:00 pm Get groceries set from the provisioning store Have a fun big group dinner at Wickham’s Cay II Marina (Sunsail Base) Spend the night on the boat • Have your safety briefing and Captain’s briefing • Sail out of Road Town Sail through the Virgin Islands Have a blast with old friends Make new friends (on various boats) Drink a lot of rum-based beverages Dance until sunrise on tropical beaches, in waterfront discos, or timeless beach bars • BBQ on the boats, or have great meals in restaurants • Have an absolutely fun adventure! • • • • • • • • • • Sail back into Sunsail Base in Road Town Return the boats by 11:00 am, pack up and check out Take the ferry to St. Thomas, USVI Relax on the beach or by the pool in St. Thomas Spend the last night together in a St. Thomas resort hotel • Relax on the beach or pool in St. Thomas, or do a little exploring • Fly home to the U.S. Sailing Adventure 30
  32. 32. How it works: What is “DC Fun Tours?” Logistics for the trip will be handled by local agency “DC Fun Tours,” run through Montrose Travel, offering group discounts and professional support Unlike prior group trips to Provincetown, Miami, or the BVI, the size and scale of this trip warrants professional support; Montrose Travel (a major industry agency) is partnering with the organizers through DC Fun Tours, offering the necessary professional support – yachts, flights, hotels, ferry boats, etc. – and group discounts while lowering the total cost The group would love to just give everyone the itinerary and go from there (like in Ptown or Miami), but this trip is too complex to just rally and go without getting the pros involved. Thankfully, this makes things easier, smoother, better and cheaper! DC Fun Tours Powered by Montrose Travel www.DCFunTours.com or Trips@DCFunTours.com • Trip bookings (including deposits and final payments) will be handled through the DC Fun Tours website, so you are saved the hassle of dealing with PayPal or coordinating individual group payments • With the service focus, any personal changes needed can be accommodated • Airfare comparable or (better than!) online discount sites is offered directly on the website – By booking through the DC Fun Tours website (run via Montrose Travel), our dedicated travel agents will be able to help you manage the trip in case of travel problems and make sure you are not left behind (a major benefit!) • The DC Fun Tours site is cheaper than many sites for discount travel deals • Using the DC Fun Tours website saves costs through group rate discounts, offers the group more travel protections, and dramatically improves the level of service and support you have access to in order to make this a great trip DC Fun Tours Image: Flickr • If you have other group trips, meetings, cruises, or events that you want to organize, let DC Fun Tours help you save money and improve service – Email them anytime at Trips@DCFunTours.com Sailing Adventure 31
  33. 33. Getting there: Air to St Thomas Each person should coordinate their own air travel, arriving into St. Thomas by early afternoon on Saturday, March 8, departing the following Sunday; Booking via DC Fun Tours site allows better support from the trip travel agents • Because so much goes into each person’s airline plan, the flights to St. Thomas is one part of the trip that we will not be coordinating directly. You need to choose your own airfare, ideally directly through the DC Fun Tours site (same prices as online sites) BOOK FLIGHTS TO: • Arrive St. Thomas by Mid-Afternoon Saturday, February 22, 2014 • Depart St. Thomas anytime Sunday, March 2, 2014 • as this allows us to better support your trip, and manage your reservations in case you have problems en route, so that you don’t miss the trip, like one of our sailors did on the 2011 trip (unless you’re scamming airfare for free via friends, then nice work!) …though we defer to travelers for the best airfare options Most Common Airline Routes into STT Code: STT Most of the flights arrive mid-day into St. Thomas (early morning departures from the US), which works perfectly Note: The late night flights on Saturday arrive too late – either come in earlier in the day, or later on Friday night and stay in St. Thomas • Because of the logistics of returning the boat, flights are too tough to do leaving STT on Saturday, so we spend that night in St. Thomas • Lots of the guys on the trip have miles or AmEx points, and can use these (but pass along the itinerary). You can also fly into Tortola, but it is harder and usually needs more connections DC Fun Tours Please consider www.DCFunTours.com for airfare, • New York (JFK) • Boston • Miami • Washington, DC (IAD) • Chicago (ORD) • Newark • Charlotte • Philadelphia • Atlanta • New York (JFK) • San Juan • Boston Note: Charlotte Amalie is the capital city of the USVI, and the largest city on St. Thomas Island. Airlines will sometimes list STT flights as “St. Thomas,” and sometimes as “Charlotte Amalie” Sailing Adventure 32
  34. 34. You will need to make sure you have a passport good through October 2014, non-US citizens need to make sure you have appropriate visas as needed • All travelers will need a passport, and we go through passport checks during the trip: • • • • US Virgin Islands (Leaving US) British Virgin Islands (entering Road Town) US Virgin Islands (returning to St Thomas) United States (returning home) • The passport needs to be valid for at least six months from the date of travel, so they need to be good through circa Oct. 2014 • US citizens do NOT need a special visa to enter the USVI or the BVI • For planning purposes, we will defer to any non-US citizens to coordinate or identify any necessary visas as needed for their own unique citizenship situation • Advance note: Fix any passport issues now, well before the trip to avoid time crunches DC Fun Tours Sailing Adventure 33
  35. 35. Many of the sailors on past trips took Dramamine for motion sickness, and then had very little problem on these boats after the first day (if any at all) • Motion sickness can be common for people, and a number of medicines (like Dramamine or other brands) can easily take care of issues for lots of people • On past trips, friends who are commonly motion sick on boats had very little trouble, though some took the first day to adjust • The Sir Francis Drake Channel (where we sail) is very smooth (nicknamed “The Drake Lake” and protected on both sides from the open ocean, where the waves are larger) • The catamarans have particularly smooth rides • The moorings that the boats use at night are very smooth and in very quiet, protected harbors • Everyone has to decide for themselves, but motion sickness has been far less of a problem than people usually think it will be on these yachts DC Fun Tours Sailing Adventure 34
  36. 36. Everyone traveling on this trip (or just around gay men in general) should go immediately to a doctor for a meningitis vaccine if they have not had one since 2009; this is a close quarters trip with tight communal space Meningitis is a completely preventable infection, and there is no excuse for anyone to suffer the tragic consequences of not having bothered to go to the doctor – At this point, it is essential for you to do it for the safety of your friends Boats have lots of close contact, close quarters, and communal spaces that create an increased risk of any kind of meningitis exposure – Health providers are generally recommending that most gay men and those in close contact with them be vaccinated Steps to follow immediately (If you have not had a meningitis shot in the past ~5 years) • Call your doctor - or • Go to almost any free clinic targeted at serving the LGBT community • Get the shot for meningitis • It’s that easy – It doesn’t even hurt • Just do it • While there, tell your doctor that you are traveling to the Caribbean, and make sure that your overall immunizations and vaccinations are up to date before heading out on the trip Image: SFGate DC Fun Tours Sailing Adventure 35
  37. 37. Finances What is this going to cost? How is it not a zillion dollars?
  38. 38. The trip will provide all the primary logistics, lodging, and boat needs; each boat group will handle some expenses, and people pay for their airfare In general, the trip will feel “all-inclusive” except for food on land, but costs will be split in few different ways, allowing for flexibility, and for each person to make the trip cheaper, or more high end at the discretion of each person, and each group of friends (We want to keep it flexible… it’s your trip!) What the Trip Provides (Via rental and participation fees) • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • A bareboat charter yacht, ready to go (all equipment included) Fun trip tank top and sailor hat Shore bag A captain to sail the yacht Snorkel / watersports gear for the yachts Departure party and dinner, on at the marina on Saturday night Basic provisioning needs (Groceries and supplies) Beach parties with dinner buffets Planned activities at many of the stops Hotel room in St. Thomas on the last night before flying home Round-trip Fast Ferry tickets between St. Thomas and Road Town, Tortola Dinghy, outboard engine & gasoline for the yacht (for moving between boat/land) GPS & nautical charts Sheets, blankets & towels Stereo & cockpit speakers Electric power inverters Mooring fees at night (safer than anchor) DC Fun Tours What Each Boat Provides (Via coordinated shared costs, tracked by the boat’s onboard Admiral) • • Extra Provisioning (Groceries / supplies) (most groups are adding $100/head to cover the rest of the food & drinks) Extra gas and water for the boat What You Provide (Via whatever means you prefer) • • • • Illustrative. Full, detailed listing follows Air transport to St. Thomas (or direct into Tortola) Taxis on land Food and drinks on the islands, aside from the beach party dinners we are throwing for you and the provisions put onto each boat for eating onboard Your fun self! Sailing Adventure 37
  39. 39. Gay Armada Sailing Adventure: Package Details and Fine Print PACKAGE – The “package” as referred here, is in reference to the standard package deal coordinated by DC Fun Tours in cooperation with a wide array of vendors and providers. Some individuals DC Fun Tours and Montrose Travel are only the aggregators of a series of individual services, who are independently responsible for delivering those services. Timing: • Participants need to arrive at the Wickham’s Cay Marina II in Road Town Tortola by 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 22, 2014 for introductions to the boats • Participants will be free to depart any time after 12:00 noon on Saturday, March 1st, though the package continues through Sunday, March 2nd in St, Thomas, USVI What IS included in this package: • WELCOME PACKET: Each attendee will receive (via US Mail) a welcome packet with key documents, vouchers, travel information, and detailed packing lists in January 2014 • THE YACHT – One berth (typically shared) in one yacht, provided by Tui marine. Yacht types vary based on availability. Yacht price includes taxes, fees, one tank of gas and water, damage waiver. and the standard yacht equipment (GPS, galley, heads etc.). Yachts will be from a mix of the three Tui “brands” (Moorings, Sunsail, Footloose) based on availability. Each group will be required to sign a waiver assuming responsibility for the prepaid rental agreement prior to departure from the marina, as well as standard liability waivers. • THE CAPTAIN – Each boat will have once Sunsail-certified captain on board. This may be a member of the trip, or hired support from Tui. If a subgroup coordinates their own yacht group, they will fully have the option of which they choose to use. Others will be paired accordingly. • THE DINGY– Each yacht will include a dingy, with outboard engine and one tank of gas • YACHT SUPPLIES & FOOD / DRINK PROVISIONS – Each charter boat will include a range of additional supplies (speakers, audio cable, 110v power inverter, Armada rainbow flag, etc.). Each yacht will be pre-loaded with a basic “starter kit” of essential provisions, a variety of food items, water, and beverages (as determined by the organizing team) • MOORING FEES – Each yacht coordinator (“Admiral”) will receive an allowance to cover standard moorings fees at night, which are subject to availability. All yachts should be moored to buoys or docks, and should refrain from anchoring overnight unless under 24 hour watch by experienced, professional crewmembers • EVENTS - There are several events being organized, which will have some food provided to attendees, most notably the welcome event, which are included in the price. • FERRY TICKETS: Vouchers for round-trip ferry transportation between St. Thomas and Road Town will be included with the package. • SOUNVENIR SUPPLIES: Each participant will receive a souvenir package, including a shirt/tank, water bottle, beach bag, and sailor hat • CHARTS AND GUIDES: Each yacht will include nautical charts, as well as a copy of the sailing “Cruising Guide” which may be taken home by one of the participants • ST. THOMAS RESORT: Each participant will be provided one hotel room (shared accommodations) at the Sugar Bay Resort in St. Thomas, USVI for the night of March 1st, 2014 What is NOT included in this package: • EXTRA REQUESTS – DC Fun Tours can coordinate special requests (room upgrades, boat upgrades, extra provisions, cooks, etc.) at additional cost • TRAVEL INSURANCE– This is a non-refundable trip. The organizing team highly suggests travel insurance, available from any number of vendors, including www.dcfuntours.com • AIRFARE – Due to the complexity of locations and the number of frequent fliers attending, the organizing team specifically requested that air travel be at the traveler’s discretion. Additional airfare options are available online at www.dcfuntours.com which will allow the travel agents and group organizers to better track travelers and resolve flight issues The organizing team most strenuously recommends that you NOT use any standby “buddy passes”- In the past, people have missed trips, as airline employees fill STT flights • CLEANING – Each boat group will be expected to appropriately clean up their boat upon return to the marina, leaving it in the condition it came in • ADDITIONAL PROVISIONS – Because each person and each boat has different diet needs and eating preferences, the organizing team defers to each boat group to coordinate additional provisions beyond the basic starter kits, and supplemental food and beverages, which are provided with the package. Attendees will have the option of ordering additional provisions beforehand from The Moorings, or purchasing them on site at the marina or at a local Road Town grocery store. • FOOD / DRINK / TAXIS ON SHORE – Outside of the organized events, each person is responsible for their own food, drink, and taxi costs on shore, and water taxis at some stops Adjustments • PROVISIONS & EVENTS – This trip is organized based on a budget that its organizing team, in partnership with DC Fun Tours, Tui Marine, the Sugar Bay Resort, and a variety of vendors believe to be fully accurate and very inclusive. Should the cost of the trip (likely due to estimates of captains, a key cost driver, or estimates of costs that cannot yet be formally contracted for this far in advance) be either over or under budget, adjustments will be made to the allowance of provisions provided to each boat, though this is likely to be immaterial. DC Fun Tours Sailing Adventure 38
  40. 40. There is a real cost to the trip, but it is pretty affordable given that it’s eight days of faraway Caribbean beach paradise; plus, with this much time to plan, it is possible to save a little extra to get ready for an amazing time at sea We estimate that saving only $35/week will cover most of the expenses of this trip-of-a-lifetime For those saving money, there are numerous ways to save money on food, drinks, and extras on the trip • Dollar for dollar, it is difficult to find a more exotic, absurd, fun, adventuresome trip for such a reasonable cost (on a relative scale) • By partnering with DC Fun Tours and Montrose Travel, the group is able to create an even more affordable process, and integrate online booking features, saving time, money and hassle for all • By estimating the “full” cost of the trip, rather than only partial costs, the group believes it can prevent the sailors from having “wallet shock,” like when they go to PV, Ptown, or Hawaii and have to spend far more than they expected • Unlike many organized, straight-focused trips, nobody (other than the yacht companies) is working on this to make a high margin, or using our sailor’s money to fly in German house music DJs, so the group can keep costs down and include more without nickel and diming the sailors DC Fun Tours Sailing Adventure 39
  41. 41. The group has asked us to include ALL costs (well, as much as we can) into the package price, so that they are faced with as little uncertainty as possible Some costs, such as airfare or food on land, vary too much to include, but DC Fun Tours is providing discounted airfare on its website, and many of the dinners are included as beach BBQ parties Each person can balance their own needs to reduce the trip cost, or to spend more and enjoy themselves as they please. We want to leave room for flexibility, but be as all-inclusive as possible ? 8 Days / 7 Nights in the Caribbean Sample Breakdown of Package Costs & Total Spending (Estimate of all costs needed for the 8 days) Personal costs will vary – For Illustrative Purposes ? Free, if you have miles or AmEx points Remaining food, extra water, fancier moorings, etc. Starter pack of food & drinks, events, etc. Captain (Share of Hired or Discounted) Food & Events Equipment & Mooring Tanks & Fun Gear Ferries, Taxis, & Hotel in St. Thomas Included in the package – As much as we could DC Fun Tours ~1575 to ~$2100 ? $1495 Total Yacht Cost ? Total Package Cost Yacht Group Expenses Food on Land Note: Don’t use standby passes – you probably won’t get on the plane and will miss the trip. STT is a favorite flight for airline employees with high seniority Airfare Personal Misc. Total Trip Cost Variable – Up to the traveler Sailing Adventure 40
  42. 42. Cost Estimates The cost of the trip varies by what you want, but it can be done cheaply, too In grad school, this identical trip, with going out/drinks/dinner every night, cost ~$1300 / person + airfare (with a free captain) We are including many costs that most tour providers ignore, so that you have the complete, all-inclusive cost estimate Big Spender ~$600 Normal ~$350 Schedule Plan: Logistics Saving Cash ~$0 Airfare • • • • • ~$2195 $1495 $1395 (Single Room) Trip Package Cost • • • • ~$200 ~$100 ~$50 Group costs • ~$500 ~$200 ~$4000+ ~$150 ~$50 Food & Drink on Land • • • Airfare varies based on how you buy it Using miles (or a friend’s extra miles!) or credit card points will save a lot of money, and make it really affordable Don’t use standby passes – you may miss the boat! The trip cost will include the full cost of the boat It will also include many of the “extras” that most sailing vacations and yacht weeks do not, like basic food provisions, beverages, water, power inverters, iPod docks, etc. The trip cost includes the St Thomas/Road Town fast ferry, Some taxi costs, and a few dinners / beach parties This will also include one night at a great St Thomas resort If you do a private room on the boat, it will cost much more than the normal shared rooms ($650 more) The boat group will incur some incidental fees (water taxis at night, trash removal, extra water, etc.), which each boat’s admiral will track for the group to pay Your boat’s “extra” provisions will also be in this Food and drink on land can vary a lot… sandwich or lobster? If you do more of your eating on the boat (BBQs, etc.), it is dramatically cheaper than eating out in local restaurants If you do lavish dinners with lots of wine, it gets pricey (duh!) ~$100 ~$50 Personal Misc. • Taxis in St. Thomas, spa showers on land, etc. are an area where extra costs get added in… you won’t need much of this unless you want to… It’s entirely up to you ~$2100 ~$1600 Total • • The total cost can vary… it’s up to you! The organizers (bringing a captain!) did it last time for $1300 DC Fun Tours Sailing Adventure 41
  43. 43. There are other options for sailing in the BVI, but we have planned this to provide a once-in-a-lifetime, unique experience for the sailing group, while at the same time being a low cost, “turn key package” for all involved Other Options for a Sailing Trip • • Your organizers are big fans of this trip for their straight friends, and recommend it to them • The crowd they recruit is incredibly straight – Most of their boats require girls, and they charge very high penalties if you don’t include enough girls for “the ratio” …this “Armada” trip’s organizers want an atmosphere that is embracing the LGBT community and creates the atmosphere they want • They have great captains, but also higher costs for things like European DJs, photographers, straight dance parties, etc. We’ll have a ball at the “real” island bars with our LGBT group • The Yacht Week The Yacht Week is a fantastic group that creates a really fun package tour for straight students and professionals… many of this trip’s organizers have had friends go on it and they all had a blast Their boats plan for a much more fixed itinerary… We give boats more freedom if they want it, and our captains work for the Admiral & crew on each boat • By Partnering with DC Fun Tours and Montrose Travel, we have obtained volume-based pricing on a number of aspects of this trip (Boats, insurance, hotels, etc.) that makes it more affordable • We have also included within the package all sorts of various options that most “do it yourself” trips don’t – and we know from experience what to add into the prices to estimate better what you’ll “really” spend. These costs add up quickly if you haven’t planned for them • Our Group armada actually includes all the costs you’ll need to worry about • We are also using very “nice” boats from the industry’s largest and best provider – We don’t want to worry about smelly, or problematic boats that might have problems at sea • Some other tour aggregators offer some group packages, and can use nooks and crannies to create a cheaper package, but we haven’t found one that offers as complete a “turn key” package as this for the same price, at least not at the quality levels that the trip participants have asked for • The cheaper the tour package, the more likely that they are using older, beat up boats; we are planning this trip on very nice boats from the industry’s top provider • Public Groups This trip’s organizers believe that this “Armada” trip offers a better plan for their friends • Do It Yourself They have better volume pricing, but more expenses, and a high profit margin that we don’t • This trip is organized around core friends, so the planners know that each group invited is great people who will be fun, legit, and add to a great time for the group Disclaimer: These views are exclusively those of by trip organizers, and do not reflect the views of DC Fun Tours, any travel agency providers or any vendors DC Fun Tours Sailing Adventure 42
  44. 44. Spots are limited – this is a very, very popular travel week – so make your deposits ASAP, then the full amount will be due by the end of the year We have worked with Tui Marine to secure a very limited number of boats for this trip; If you want to go, it is important to make the deposit soon. Late additions may or may not be available, but the price will likely be higher. For those interested in joining on the trip, the trip group does need your help in making deposits ASAP, to keep prices down and boats available Payment Schedule • $450 $450 + $595 Deposit due ASAP Progress Payments due Oct 20th + Dec 20th • • • • • • Air Anytime • • TBD On Trip DC Fun Tours • Secure a spot on the boats today by making your deposit Please consider making the deposit as soon as possible so that we can finalize contracts for the trip To ease the pain a bit, we will divide the remaining payments (every 2 months) into smaller groups This lets you be paid in full over 2 months before we leave, which we are stuck with to meet hotel and boat rules You can pay early for a discount Unless discussed otherwise, cards will be auto-charged for your convenience You can book airfare anytime, though there aren’t any major sales right this moment, and not an immediate rush to lock them down today (but don’t wait too long, since they can go up) In the past, we found waiting a couple months for a sale made it a lot cheaper www.DCFunTours.com will provide us with good discounts on flights that usually match (or beat!) discount sites A little help, please… • This trip is being funded entirely by the participants – Because nobody is making any real money off the package (so costs stay low), no one in the group is fronting the upfront planning capital. We need to assemble the deposits ASAP so that we can secure the boats on tentative holds • If you are serious about the trip and want to come, then we need your help (sorry to be blunt) in assembling some of the initial capital outlay on the deposits so that it can be a big success • Everyone is very excited, so we need to start getting deposits in so that it can be an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime trip! • Please consider making a deposit ASAP if you’re serious, so that we can have things locked down for those that are still slightly on the fence • If you pay in full at booking, you will receive a discount, plus an invitation to the private Commodore’s Reception • Deposits made after July 25th are not refundable, but can be transferred to others interested in going The extras and incidentals will be payable as incurred onboard the boats Sailing Adventure 43
  45. 45. Want to be a Captain? The group is offering a special, cheap deal to any of our friends who want to be a captain, and can be qualified by Sunsail to skipper the boat: $800.00 off • Every boat needs a captain – We will hire them locally if we can’t get enough qualified sailors to join in and serve as skippers • It’s a lot more fun if we can bring our own captains than if we have to hire them (we know them, we like them, more flexible, and more fun for everyone on board) Can you or your friends be one of our yacht Captains? • If you are a volunteer Captain, we will make the sailing portions of your trip basically free – You get a $800 discount, and still receive all the same benefits as everyone else (Since our trip package includes hotels, food and lots of non-boat expenses) • All sailing and incidental costs • Resort stay in St. Thomas • Ferries between from St. Thomas and Tortola • Basic provisions and food • Beach parties and buffet dinners • Unlike hired staff Captains, our volunteer Captains are full participants in the trip, and a full part of all trip activities (Note: A captain does not have to be the coordinating Admiral of the boat! …they just have to help operate and drive it) • In order to keep the cost down, we need to try and recruit more Captains (gay or straight) to join us for the week… Ask friends! • As FYI: More captains is not only fun, but it will place the trip under budget. These funds would be allocated to increasing provisions for each boat, so that everyone comes out ahead! • The converse is true, as well, so it is important to recruit captain friends DC Fun Tours Image: Disney Sailing Adventure 44
  46. 46. Deposits and payments will be handled on the DC Fun Tours website, where travel professionals from Montrose Travel and Sunsail will manage the details The website will collect relevant information, though it is important that you indicate if there are specific friends you are planning to sail with or room with on the trip so that we know which boat to put you on at the time of booking www.DCFunTours.com Full trip information is online under the “Gay Armada” tab Remember that DC Fun Tours can provide any travel needs for you, both for this trip and future travel of any kind Check out discount prices on the website, or contact them for future travel needs anytime As our partner for this trip, the professionals from the Montrose Travel team will handle any needs, no matter how complex or difficult Book flights for the trip Prices are subject to change until paid DC Fun Tours Sailing Adventure 45
  47. 47. Next Steps OK… I’m in! Now what do I have to do to get going?
  48. 48. Your “To Do” List: 1. Get ready for a fun time… This trip will be a blast! 2. Read through this participant guide It has the key info that you need to know for now. We will have updates coming out with final info and more logistics information later this fall. Please also read the terms and conditions, and full package details which are in this document 3. Put down your deposit Go to the DC Fun Tours website and put down your trip deposit of $450 www.dcfuntours.com > Gay Armada tab 4. Save a little bit of money If you set aside ~$35 a week, you can pay for most of the trip just with that 5. Check your passport status Make sure your passport is good through ~Oct 2014 Non-US citizens should check visa needs for USVI / BVI travel 6. Get vaccinated for meningitis Get a meningitis vaccination (if you still haven’t within the past few years) 7. Make travel arrangements Book your flights… or at least being exploring flight options 8. Buy some fun swimsuits, sunglasses, and tank tops
  49. 49. For additional questions, feel free to reach out to 1) our trip organizers, 2) To the friend who invited you, or 3) directly to DC Fun Tours at any time It’s going to be a great trip… We look forward to fun adventures in the Islands! DC Fun Tours Web: www.DCFunTours.com Email: Trips@DCFunTours.com FB: http://facebook.com/DCFunTours DC Fun Tours Sailing Adventure 48
  50. 50. Ready to come sailing?!? Make your deposits today at www.DCFunTours.com for this fun adventure! DC Fun Tours Sailing Adventure 49
  51. 51. Gay Armada Sailing Adventure: Terms and Conditions (November update) PRIVATE GROUP – This is a private group tour, whose organizers have contracted with DC Fun Tours to manage. All registrants must be approved by the trip’s organizing team before their payments are processed. The organizers reserve the right to refund deposits of uninvited guests who register without a connection to the main group or a specific boat group. NATURE OF PACKAGE– The “package” as referred here, is in reference to the standard package deal coordinated by DC Fun Tours in cooperation with a wide array of vendors and providers. Some individuals DC Fun Tours and Montrose Travel are only the aggregators of a series of individual services, who are independently responsible for delivering those services. The specific list of services provided is in this document. Should vendors unexpectedly be unable to package a specific service, the value will be credited for use during the trip BEHAVIOR EXPECTATIONS AND LIABILITY WAIVERS – This trip will have basic expectations of appropriate behavior in public society. Anyone in egregious violation of these may be removed from the group and forfeit any payments made. Attendees will need to agree to these basic guidelines, and will also be expected to sign a standard liability waiver prior to departure. Further, each group will sign an assumption of responsibility for the prepaid rental of the vessel they are embarking on before departing Road Town on the charter yachts. TRIP RATES – This package has been priced at $1495, representing the best estimate of costs to be incurred. Should costs change dramatically, travelers will be notified of required changes. As part of the cost structure includes estimates of hired captains, an increase in the estimated number of captains will create a surplus, which will be used towards the purchase of additional food provisions for the travelers, lowering their total cost. Should the travelers be unable to meet the estimate for hired captains, adjustments will be made to the onboard provisioning to compensate. Each boat’s representative Admiral will be consulted before any programmatic adjustments are made. PRICING STRUCTURE - There are several pricing options: • ADVANCE PAYMENT: $1395 if paid upfront in full, plus invitation to private Commodore’s reception • NORMAL SAILOR: $1495, paid in three installments ($450 + 450 + 595) • CAPTAIN: $595 - Note: Regardless of certifications, there can only be one Captain on each boat receiving the $800 discount, paid in two installments • SINGLE ROOM ON BOAT: $2295 (normal sailor) or $1435 (Captain – no more than one per boat), paid in three installments • SINGLE ROOM IN HOTEL: Additional cost subject to options provided in follow-up discussions ADDITIONAL YACHTS: Should the group grow beyond its original pricing structure, additional yachts may need to be reserved, and prices are subject to change. If prices increase, new prices will be provided to the prospective customers prior to booking. TRAVEL INSURANCE – The trip organizers strenuously recommend travel insurance, which may be included with your final charge. This is an expensive trip with significant complexity. Further, it relies on weather conditions in the Caribbean. All travelers should have travel insurance of some kind to protect themselves. The booking form contains an option, though DC Fun Tours defers to customers for their best solution. PAYMENT SCHEDULES – Deposits are due immediately to secure a spot. There are no guarantees of availability until confirmations are booked. Final payments of remaining amounts due will be needed before December 20, 2013. Any slots not paid in full by 12:01 a.m. December 20, 2013 will be canceled and replaced, with no refund or credit to the deposit. NON-REFUNDABLE DEPOSITS – Deposits made prior to July 25, 2013 will be treated as refundable through October 31, 2014. At 12:01 a.m., November 1, 2013, all deposits are nonrefundable. Deposits made after July 25, 2013 will be non-refundable, though, in the event of canceled travel, they may be transferred to a replacement traveler upon mutual agreement of the boatmates scheduled. This credit transfer will only apply once the replacement traveler has paid the remainder of the balance AUTOMATIC PAYMENTS OF BALANCE – Sailors will be contacted for automatic payment of their balances due in advance of the deadline, so that any balances not already charged will be automatically charged on October 20 and December 20, 2013 for the second deposit and final balance unless they pay in advance by credit card or check. Montrose Travel incurs a 3% surcharge from its banks for credit card processing, which is added to any credit card transactions. Checks can be paid in person in Los Angeles, CA, or Washington, DC TRANSPORTATION PROBLEMS – If travelers miss flights, they should contact the trip organizers or Trips@DCFunTours.com immediately. The yachts will leave Tortola early on the morning of Sunday, February 23, and will not wait for late travelers. Upon arrival, late travelers can utilize local ferries to rejoin the group en route, with appropriate communication. Neither DC Fun Tours nor Montrose Travel is responsible for late travelers, who must provide their own transportation or accommodations if they miss the ship’s departure. This trip also relies on ferry service between Road Town and St. Thomas. Travelers should leave adequate time between ferries and other forms of transit. ALLERGY AND DIET RESTRICTIONS - As food will be often prepared communally, and many islands have limited restaurants, complex diet needs may require some additional food provision shopping by you at the marina or a local grocery store beforehand. You should discuss any complex diet needs with DC Fun Tours or the trip organizers before booking and do what is right for you. PRIMARY VENDORS – The primary vendors on this trip are Tui (The Moorings, Sunsail, Footloose), Road Town Fast Ferry, and a series of small vendors throughout the trip. Additionally, DC Fun Tours can assist with airfare on its website, though the individual airline becomes the primary vendor. DC Fun Tours Sailing Adventure 50