Every Yacht stew out there will admit to doing a handful of ‘nautical’ themed nights. It’s an easy go-to and charter guests love it! Over the years, I’ve created a fool-proof plan to make it as enjoyable as possible for the guests & quick for the stews set up.

1) Source some local yummies

This photo was taken in Maine, so after a quick chat with the chef, we were able to get fresh lobster from a fishing boat just down the dock. It was a highlight for the guests being able to see the fishing boat that had caught their dinner!

2) Keep them keen

Whenever I do a themed evening, I like to subtly let the guests know ahead of time. After lunch service, I often put an invitation to that evening’s dinner on their beds. We let them know when cocktail hour will be served and leave a prop with the invite. For this dinner, we put sailor hats on all of the beds along with an antique map of the area.


3) Get involved

I will often get the whole crew onboard involved with the theme. The captain and first mate gave us some old charts & burned some holes in them to give it a vintage look. The bosun & deckhand used some extra white lines to tie different knots for each place setting. The deck crew also used our onboard flags to spell out a special message along the railing.

4) Set the mood

We started the evening with a delicious menu of cocktails & a unique playlist!
The Salty Dog
Fog Horn
Low Tide Martini
With some red and white striped paper straws & anchor cocktail napkins, this kicked the night into full swing. We offered a ‘pirates tasting’ which was 5 different rums – the men onboard loved trying them out! I love to play around with music so I hooked up the boat iPad and played a Spotify playlist called ‘pirates party’. The captain dressed up in his full epaulets to escort the ladies to the table – it makes a world of difference when the captain is enjoying the theme!

5) Continue the entertainment

Some guests enjoy a quiet meal while watching the sunset, other guests may enjoy more of a party atmosphere. We had an awesome group of 12 older adults who loved a bit of a shindig! During dinner, we
handed out some trivia cards about the boat, the crew and the area. We also had the deck crew come out after dessert to teach the guests how to do the different knots at their place settings.

6) Play it by ear

Often dinner can be the end of the evening, but I always prepare otherwise just in case. I lit up the sundeck with lanterns wrapped in rope and had another full bar set up ready to go. We continued with our specialty cocktails and set up a Photo Booth with a Polaroid camera for the guests to dress up and have a keepsake.
Overall it was an awesome evening for both the crew and guests!!
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