FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
The safety of guests and crews is our highest priority as we work together to minimize the spread of COVID-19. We are in full compliance with the coordinated efforts of the Office of the Governor, the Department of Health, the Virgin Islands Port Authority and the Department of Tourism. Our goal is an utmost safe and enjoyable yacht charter. We have listed below the most common questions and answers to put your mind at ease regarding compliance with COVID-19 and your your upcoming charter. The information below reflects the most current update as of 08/01/2020.
What are the testing requirements prior to arrival in the U.S.V.I.?
Any traveler whose home state has a COVID-19 positivity rate* of greater than 10 percent or who has spent more than 7 days in and is traveling from a highly impacted state is required to produce:
- A positive COVID-19 antibody test result received within four months prior to travel to the USVI.
- Or Proof of Vaccine
IMPORTANT: The five-day window is related to receiving your test results, not taking the test. We understand that the timing of results varies from location to location. Prospective travelers who are required to present test results are encouraged to plan testing dates so as to receive their results within the five-day window prior to travel to the USVI. Test results received outside the five-day window do not meet the requirements.
What if I arrive on island and do not have the test results?
Travelers unable to produce the required test result will be subject to quarantine for 14 days or until they are able to receive the required test result while in the Territory.
If your state is close to the positivity rate (7.5 percent or higher), COVID-19 testing is recommended, but not required. This is to ensure that travelers are prepared for possible “spikes” in rates while preparing for travel.
*A highly impacted state is a state with a positivity rate greater than 10 percent. Positivity rates are derived from data and analysis from Johns Hopkins University and are subject to change without notice. Travelers are encouraged to stay up-to-date at: https://bit.ly/3hFzxUF.
If I have a layover in a high-risk state, am I required to produce a COVID-19 test?
COVID-19 test results are not required from travelers transiting impacted states en route the USVI.
I have a 15 year old child traveling with me, what is the procedure upon arrival?
What is the procedure when arriving in St. Thomas in order to be awarded entry at the airport?
What should I expect at the checkpoint screening?
Can I present a copy of my COVID-19 test?
It is required to travel with the original written test results that are subject to inspection upon arrival by government authorities.
Is it necessary to wear a mask in St. Thomas?
COVID-19 PREVENTION & CLEANLINESS
Which guidelines do you follow for optimal cleanliness for a charter?
The following practices are recommended by VIPCA in compliance with suggestions released by the Center of Disease Control, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, the American Cleaning Institution, and the World Health Organization. By creating a standard of expected cleanliness, the charter industry can give guests peace of mind regarding preventive measures taken to protect the heath of themselves and their crew. VIPCA encourages all of it’s members to follow government standards and laws regarding COVID-19. Please direct all questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information: https://vipca.org/
Could you explain the terms on how you clean?
- “Cleaning” suggests wiping away residues, dirt, grease and other debris, but only removes these items on surfaces, and does not kill or remove harmful bacteria, germs, or microorganisms.
- “Sanitizing” reduces the microorganisms on a surface to a safe level, based on established parameters. Sanitizers should contain 70% or more alcohol and should not be substituted for proper hand-washing.
- “Disinfecting” destroys specific infectious microorganisms on hard surfaces. Strong chemicals are usually used and may be toxic and if used on food surfaces and consumed. Proper rinsing and drying the surface to remove the chemical is a must.
What are some of your effective disinfectant solutions?
When using a disinfectant or sanitizer on surfaces, contact time is important. Contact time is the amount of time the chemical needs to be left on surface to completely kill the microorganisms before wiping the chemical off. The times listed here are minimums.
- 3% Hydrogen peroxide - dilute to 0.5% concentration - contact time one minute
- 100% Rubbing Alcohol - dilute to 70-80% concentration (100% alcohol evaporates too quickly to be effective) - contact time 30 seconds
- Disinfectant wipes - contact time four minutes
- Bleach - Dilute 1/3 cup bleach in one gallon water (four teaspoons in one quart water) - contact time one minute. Some versions of bleach are not intended to be used as a disinfectant (check the label). Do not mix bleach with any other chemical.
Protect yourself while using disinfectants to clean surfaces and objects. Fumes may be harmful to breathe and chemicals may be harsh on skin. Wear masks and gloves when needed. Keep all disinfectant solutions out of reach from children.
For additional information on disinfecting and preventive measures: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/disinfecting-your-home.html
For a complete list of EPA approved disinfectants for use against COVID-19:
What are your sanitary recommendations for the crew?
Utilize provisioning services or grocery store order-ahead options to avoid leaving the boat to shop when available. Remember, the items you bring into your boat may have coronavirus on its surface. Once provisions are delivered, do the following:
Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water before and after handling provisions, packages and mail
Break down and discard excess cardboard and plastic packaging
Wash fruits and vegetables in one part vinegar to two parts water for 30-60 seconds
Wash all reusable grocery bags before reusing
Disinfect all surfaces where provisions were placed prior to being stowed in the boat
For more information on the surface stability of COVID : https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMc2004973
If utilizing provisioning services or grocery store order-ahead options are not available to you, do the following:
Go shopping at a time less likely to be crowded
Maintain a six-foot distance from other shoppers and store employees when possible
If possible, visit a store that limits the number of customers allowed inside at one time and making sure that people stay a safe distance apart while waiting in line outside
Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face covering
Sanitize the handles of shopping trolleys or baskets before shopping
Once back on the boat, wash your hands thoroughly and also after handling and storing your purchased products.
How do you clean the vessels?
All vessels should be meticulously cleaned to the standards listed prior to welcoming guests onboard according to the CDC with these practices:
Continue with normal routine cleaning, this will decrease how much of the virus is on surfaces and objects, which reduces the risk of exposure
Frequent disinfection of surfaces and objects touched by multiple people is important before and throughout the charter
Clean all interior surfaces thoroughly with a disinfectant solution, including walls, counter tops, tables, light switches, hand rails, and door knobs
Exterior surfaces should also be washed down thoroughly and special attention should go to disinfecting dining areas, coolers, trash bins, and any common guest use items touched frequently like ice box, sunscreen bottles, and sliding door handles
All guest linens and towels should be freshly laundered including mattress protector, pillow protectors, and throw pillow covers
Spray throw pillows and salon cushions with disinfectant (test first!) and leave in the sun to dry
For more information on cleaning best practices: https://www.cleaninginstitute.org/coronavirus-cleaning-information
What is the procedure for education and communication these cleaning and prevention practices to the guests?
It’s important that both crew and guests engage in conduct that ensures the health safety of all onboard. Here are some recommendations to share with your guests before they arrive:
Guests should contact their healthcare provider if they have concerns about COVID-19 before traveling
While traveling to their destination, guests should wipe down all surfaces around their airplane seats and taxi seats with disinfecting wipes
Wash hands frequently while traveling and avoid touching mouth, face, eyes and nose
When greeting the crew, please use verbal greetings rather than handshakes or hugs
Once onboard, guests are encouraged to change their clothes in their bathrooms, isolate those clothes in a plastic bag, then wash their hands with soap and water
Guests are expected to wash their hands before all meals
High risk guests may need to take extra precaution or seek medical advice before traveling
Yacht crew who have heath concerns regarding COVID-19 or are high risk are encouraged to communicate their concerns to the appropriate identity (managing company or yacht owner)
Communicate the precautionary steps you are taking with your guests and broker prior to the charter
What are the sanitary recommendations for the crew during charter?
Ensure proper cleaning of living spaces, beds and heads
Dining table, galley countertops and high-traffic areas should be sanitized multiple times per day
Guest cabins and heads should be cleaned daily with disinfectants for toilets, counters, knobs, handles, etc. while wearing gloves
Charter yachts offering mid-week sheet changes, daily turn ups and turn downs may consider doing this on a needed bases going forward to limit contact and reduce storage of laundry
Have guests hang their own towels and wet clothes to reduce contact
Remain diligent in the frequent cleaning of galley & dining areas:
All dishes should be washed in hot water with dish soap, or in a dishwasher if available
Dish towels and sponges should be changed out frequently
Crew will wash hands prior to any food service, food prep, or cooking
Carry hand sanitizer in the dinghy
Explain in safety briefing steps everyone will need to take to maintain a clean vessel while living in close proximity
How long have you been in business and what does the future look like for PYM?
Paradise Yacht Management was opened in the summer of 2015. Over the years we have grown from managing 4 boats to now over 30. We have tried to grow at a reasonable pace and have hired the best employees to help us along the way.
How do select your crew?
We attract crew members that are the best in the industry and share our passion of maintaining high standards of excellence. Crews must be devoted to providing the ultimate guests experience and professionalism, being charter ready within a 24-hour notice and following our strict preventative maintenance schedule. This will lead to fantastic reviews that exceed the charter brokers expectations and the ultimate measurement, many repeat guests.
Paradise Yacht Management ensures that all Captains are compliant with all US and BVI laws and always ensuring a safe environment for the guest. We require the following the following from our Captains:
USCG licensing or equivalent
Enrollment in our random drug-testing program administered by a third-party facilitator, Maritime Consortium
Live our Core Values
We also will ensure that the chefs are the highest of quality in the hospitality industry by reviewing all food menus, food preparation and ensuring we have access to the finest ingredients and beverage selection. In addition, we closely monitor the budget and use our group systems of purchasing power. We support ongoing growth in culinary knowledge with classes, knowledge sharing and training.
How do I know my boat is being maintained properly?
Paradise Yacht Management performs monthly boat maintenance checks to ensure systems vital to chartering are maintained and properly running. The results of the checks are communicated to both owners and crew to best prioritize to match schedules and budgets. Our strong relationships with local vendors provide quality, fast and reliable service. In addition, we are partnered with MultiTech Marine VI, also a authorized Lagoon Service Center, where we receive preferential pricing. During the charter off-season, we build customized haul-out and hurricane plans for annual inspections, surveys, bottom paint, and any other refits desired.
Can you tell me more about your marketing strategies and how my boat will get advertised to brokers?
Our primary marketing focus is the promotion of each of our Yachts on the international charter brokerage network. Your personal E-Brochure, which includes updated yacht photos, crew profile, rates and availability and guest comments will be available for charter brokers around the world to book your yacht. We also have resources to produce, design and shoot a video of your yacht that would be displayed on your E-Brochure, Youtube and other social media web sites.
We are experts in the process and preparation of each yacht into the annual broker boat shows hosted by organizations in the BVIs and USVIs. We use these opportunities to showcase your beautiful, well-maintained and equipped yachts and give the brokers a chance to get to know the best crews in the Caribbean (Our Crews). In addition we keep in contact with the top brokers in the industry by using traditional marketing methods such as e-blast, specials in off-peak time and social media. Where we go over and above is a bit old-fashioned dying method of communication….we pick up the phone and have voice-to-voice contact with brokers. This personal touch gives us time to direct more business to our yachts, talk to them about market trends and keep our relationship strong and vibrant.
As part of our company core values, we maintain open communication with the entire industry always seeking knowledge as well as open communication and the ultimate 100% guest satisfaction. This causes a snowball effect of the incredible word of mouth referrals and repeat business, the cheapest and most effective form of marketing.
Can you help with insurance?
Absolutely! We have partnered with MHG Insurance Brokers that have assisted in setting up a specific fleet insurance policy for our boats and our specific needs.
They offer competitive rates and we work with a specific broker that knows our boats and owners. Of course our owners are not required to use our fleet policy.
What are some of the yacht amenities?
- Guest cabins each with private ensuite head with enclosed shower stall.
- Sectional couch on upper deck and sunbed area with 360 degree view.
- Aft deck offers lounge area plus alfresco dining area.
- Salon offers lounge area with coffee table and flat screen TV.
- Sound system provides music throughout all indoor and outdoor areas.
- Spacious master stateroom.
- Bunk-beds for children.
- All cabins have air conditioning, two fans, 110v outlets and dimmable recessed lighting.
- Breezy fly-bridge and lounging.
- Snorkle Gear
- Water Ski (Mono & Bi)
- Underwater Scooters
- Fishing gear
- Floating island mat
What exactly would be included in my yacht charter?
Your charter would include the following:
The Yacht: Top of the line accommodations, kitchen accessories, bedding, towels and amenities.
The Crew: A professional certified Captain and skilled Chef.
Food and Beverages: Gourmet five-star meals, snacks, beverages, and an extensive ship’s bar.
Activities: All charters include on-deck water sport activities, snorkeling, paddleboarding, plus much more; some charters also include e-foil, scuba diving, and even yoga instructions.
Are charters kid/family friendly?
Absolutely! Our sailing charter vacations are perfect to bring the whole family. Our top brokers can match your group to the perfect family-friendly yacht. We can't think of any better way to spend some quality time with your loved ones than to be on a boat for a week or more! Some yachts do have age-restrictions but not all. As accommodating as the crew will be, extensive supervision of your kids will have to be done by your group. The catamarans are very safe and stable. You young ones will love the memory they have created of their and we're sure they will strive to do the same to theirs when they grow up!
Can the chefs accommodate my diet restrictions?
Of course! Your chef will be able to create a menu to suit everyone in your group. Whether you are Kosher, vegan, or one of your party is gluten or lactose intolerant, your Chef will cater to your group’s individual needs. Our focus is on fresh local ingredients when possible, and all types of requirements and diets are expertly catered for.
What will my itinerary be like?
The following is a sample cruising itinerary to give you some idea of the possibilities available for your vacation. Working with your Captain, your group may plan a different and custom itinerary to craft the best vacation depending on your group’s interests.
You’ll meet your crew on the dock in one of the marinas located on St Thomas. You’ll review a safety and settle in on private charter yacht, and then you’re on your way! Settle in for a quick sail to St John which is home to a large National Park that covers much of the island. Home to tropical and migrating birds, fish, corals and other marine life it’s a spectacular place to spend the night. Stop in Maho for snacks and maybe paddle up or swim into Maho Crossroads -a pop up Tiki bar. Then enjoy the waters of Francis Bay, for dinner, drinks and your first evening aboard in the Virgin Islands.
Wake up and snorkel, paddleboard, or just watch the turtles swim on by as you enjoy your breakfast. Head on over to Waterlemon Bay for exceptional snorkeling. Enjoy lunch onboard and then consider a hike to the Annenberg plantation. Perfectly preserved and reached easily by foot this National Park site is a living example of the cultural history that the Virgin Islands has to offer. Relax with a cocktail, a good novel and your favorite tunes as you sail around St John to Princess Bay. Consider a dinghy ride into the world famous Coral Bay to enjoy sundowners at Skinny Legs! After all the action you will be ready for appetizers and sundowners back aboard the yacht while the sun sets, followed by a hearty dinner.
Wake up and enjoy the quiet of the harbor. Following breakfast jump into the calm water for a snorkel or a kayak. Consider a stop at Round Bay to grab a margarita or a taco at the swim up bar Lime Out! Swim back to your yacht for a light lunch and a then head over to Booby Rock for the amazing underwater life. A quick sail to Little Lameshur bay to enjoy access to the many hiking trails or just to enjoy a stroll on the beach. Finish the day onboard with cocktails, canapes, and an amazing dinner.
After breakfast aboard, haul up the anchor raise the sails and head out for Buck Island. Situated off the south side of St Thomas this island is home to a turtle nesting ground and is a national park. Enjoy the swimming with the turtles and pop back on board for a lively lunch. A quick hop around the corner puts you over the wreck of the Cartanza! Situated in shallow water this is a great place to explore the mysteries of the not-so-deep. Take an afternoon sail to Water Island! Consider a dinghy ride to Dinghy’s bar and grill and enjoy a cocktail with your toes in the sand. Cocktail hour back on your yacht, while the sun sets over the islands ends another perfect day, followed by good food and good company.
Another beautiful day in paradise begins with breakfast on board. A quick jaunt to Brewers Bay lets your enjoy watersports, snorkeling, and is home to several pods of dolphins! Look out for fun and friends. Home to the University of the Virgin Island marine science program you can witness students tagging turtles and collecting water samples on the beach. Going clockwise around St Thomas, you’ll stop for lunch on the leeward side of Outer Brass Island. A deserted island home to migratory birds and local deer and goat enjoy the remote quiet as you enjoy your tasty treats. A short trip takes you into the world famous Magens Bay! This stunning mile long stretch of sand is a perfect spot for walking the beach as the sun goes down. The beach bar offers great libations as well. Back on board it’s time for another amazing meal!
After a relaxed morning coffee and breakfast raise the anchor and the sails to head to a secret snorkeling spots off the barrier islands of Mingo Cay. Circle around to the back side of Lovango for lunch and end the day moored at Honeymoon bay. With close proximity to Cruz Bay, St John there is tons of options for a dinner ashore, shopping, or generally sharing the Caribbean spirit with locals and tourists alike. A great dinner is also available onboard, not to mention some terrific stargazing.
A short sail brings you to Little Saint James, and it’s famous shallow snorkeling! Enjoy lunch and then a short hop over to the famous Christmas Cove!
Finish your final day on board with watersports, swimming, kayaking, paddleboarding, and as much lounging and relaxing as you can! Not to mention stopping by Pizza Pi – the Virgin Islands only floating pizza boat! Great cocktails and slices, as well as camaraderie are available as you slowly find your way to the yacht for sundowners. Celebrate your week with an amazing final meal, cocktails, and reminiscing about your fun and adventurous week spent sailing the U.S. Virgin Islands.
After a breakfast it’s time to head back to your home port. Take time to remember the great week you’ve had with family and friends and make plans to return as your crew guides the yacht home to your departure port by noon.
Your trip will be customized to your liking so be sure to express your desires to your crew. With that said, some of the on-board activities such as E-Foil may be only available on certain charters so be sure to inquire here if you have any questions or concerns prior to booking. You can even head over to #YachtCharterDiaries to view some more awesome photos from previous charters!
What should I pack?
Please remember to travel lightly. We also highly recommend packing into a soft-sided duffel bag instead of hard luggage, which is difficult to stow. The following is an example packing list:
- Three or four shirts
- Three or four shorts or dresses
- Three or four swim suits
- Beach cover-ups - the Caribbean sun can be deceptive. Don’t get burned!
- Flip flops
- Full foot hiking sandals or water shoes if you are planning on doing some of the beautiful hikes ashore
- Camera and charger
- Hat and sunglasses
- Seasickness remedies, if anyone in your party is prone to this ailment
- Cash. We recommend you travel with the cash you will need to purchase souvenirs, cocktails on shore, etc.
- Last but not least, an easy-going, fun, adventurous attitude! :)
You will not need:
- ANY amount of illegal drugs on board, which includes marijuana. This can lead to termination of the charter, confiscation of the boat which is our home & business, and land us all in jail.
- Snorkel gear - we have fins, masks and snorkels aboard, and you can rent any gear you need down here. We recommend that you bring your own mask and snorkel if you have them, as this tends to be the best fitting gear.
- Sunscreen, especially no aerosols or sprays. We provide reef-safe and an environmentally friendly sunscreen in SPF 50 that you are free to use. If you do prefer to bring your own, please consider a sunscreen with mineral ingredients (titanium dioxide and zinc oxide) which are less harmful to corals and reef life.
- Bath & Beach Towels - we provide both for each guest. We will supply a fresh set of towels mid-charter.
- Eco-Friendly Bath Soap, Shampoo & Conditioner are provided in each shower. Some guests prefer to bring their own which is totally up to you. Whatever you decide to pack, be sure to bring along all of the items that are going to make sure you are comfortable.
What facilities are on board?
You will have your own cabin with private en-suite facilities (some of the smaller yachts may have shared bathrooms). Yachts come fully equipped with AC, water-makers, some have ice-makers, TVs and music entertainment systems as well as fun board and card games. Most yachts have Wi-Fi available for their guests’ use.
What is not included?
Do you recommend Travel Insurance?
Travel insurance can be a powerful tool for staying protected while on charter and vacationing in general. So we provided an easy route to the one of the top travel insurance agencies in the U.S. : Travelinsurance.com
The basic purpose of a standard travel insurance policy with cancellation coverage is to reimburse travelers for their insured pre-paid and non-refundable trip costs if they have to cancel their trip due to a covered reason. The covered reasons vary by provider and plan, but depending on the plan, these include:
- Accidental injury, sickness, or death of you, a traveling companion or a family member
- Weather events that cause cancellations in travel plans or a cessation of service
- Mandatory evacuation ordered by local authorities at your destination due to hurricane or other natural disaster
- Strike that causes complete cessation of travel services of your carrier
- Bankruptcy and/or default of your travel supplier
- Terrorist attacks that occur in your destination city
- You or your traveling companion are terminated, or laid off from employment
In addition, a reliable travel insurance plan with medical coverage will take care of medical care and related costs, including the sometimes expensive cost of transporting a patient back home if it includes an emergency medical evacuation benefit. These costs can easily climb into the tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars, so protective insurance coverage is absolutely essential.
Buying travel insurance allows for smart risk management and peace of mind on any type of trip at a fairly low price. Feel free to find more information how travel insurance can work in your favor here.