Posted August 29, 2017 in Charter by Janine St.Denis

Michaels planned a 12-day luxury yacht charter with her family and friends cruising Italy’s beautiful Amalfi Coast. What she didn’t plan for was an unkempt yacht, unfriendly crew and an unsavory experience which left her and her guests high and dry — they literally asked to be dropped off and had to book a hotel for the duration of their stay in Europe.

Michaels chartered the 78-foot (24m) NEVER ONE, a 2001 Maiora motor yacht, for her trip. According to her Facebook post on August 5, 2017, the yacht was not at all in proper condition to welcome guests, despite the photos online that suggested otherwise; Michaels saw said photos when researching her charter.

“We rented the boat for 12 days,” wrote Michaels in her post, “The boat was shown in pictures as pristine; if you google the boat (called NEVER ONE) you will see how the boat was shown in pics online.” Michaels then posted a variety of photos that she took of the yacht. These can be seen here. “It was not only filthy, but also it had no hot water, no air con when not docked, no Wi-Fi and partial electricity,” Michaels continued. “It was clearly in total disrepair. If that would have been all, it would be one thing, but this situation turned aggressive and threatening.”

Michaels and her guests stayed aboard the unkempt yacht for three days before they began to feel threatened. “By the third day of our charter, we were being extorted for money and things became so escalated we literally feared for our safety.” At this point, Michaels requested that she and her guests be returned to land to disembark the yacht and end the charter.

Michaels did indeed book her holiday with a yacht brokerage, however this online brokerage clearly was not as well vetted as more reputable brokerage houses. Michaels goes on in her post to warn her follows of the pitfalls of not properly vetting the people with whom you’re booking travel. “Check all credentials of the broker,” she warns. “And don’t book person-to-person. Although we did check on the broker, it still turned out this way. Make sure to follow all the possible steps for protection.”

This unfortunate situation emphasizes a growing issue in the yachting community and the travel sector in general. The Internet has made it increasingly easy to book travel, including luxury yacht charters. And while this ease and convenience is expressly helpful in the hurriedness of today’s society, it also has its hazards. There are online companies and brokers who not only misrepresent themselves, but also misrepresent yachts. Unfortunately, due diligence is not done by these companies or brokers to ensure the safety and condition of the yachts that they represent or offer to clients. It has become increasingly easy to distort the truth online. This is when ill-fated instances, such as the one Michaels experienced, arise.

Northrop & Johnson is proud to be one of the most reputable charter brokerages in the yachting industry. With almost 70 years of expertise and a steadfast legacy of trustworthiness, our charter brokers are able to provide clients with nothing but the absolute best. In addition, Northrop & Johnson represents for charter only yachts that are of top caliber. Our captains are authorities in their field, our crew is exceptionally professional and the yachts not only are safe and well equipped with all the modern conveniences one would need, but they also are remarkably beautiful, well designed and offer an impressive range of amenities for guests to enjoy.

It is sincerely unlucky that Michaels had to find out the hard way that dealing with non-reputable brokers or brokerages can really throw a wrench in even the most-well-laid plans. She comments, “Ultimately, at the end of the day it’s just money,” But warns her followers: “Don’t put yourself in harm’s way.” And we concur. We hope this experience hasn’t turned Michaels off from luxury yacht charters. If it hasn’t we have a variety of beautiful yachts that would be well suited for an Amalfi cruise and a bevy of Worldwide Yachting Association (MYBA)-certified, expert charter brokers who truly can make her charter yacht holiday dreams a reality.

For more information on a charter with Northrop & Johnson contact one of our reputable charter brokers.

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