Keeping the guests happy is what a charter is all about. Anticipation of their needs and effective communication is the key to a great charter. A few pointers in the right direction from seasoned and weathered crew. Play with the kids. If the kids are happy then their parents are also. Have kids theme parties, teach them about life on board, give cooking lessons, let them help decorate the table for dinner. Napkin folding techniques. Take them snorkelling and teach them about how to respect the sea and its creatures. A great way to calm hyperactive kids is to teach them yoga. Astound the adults. Remember how they like their coffee in the morning. How many cubes of ice in their gin and tonic. Make their favourite meal, it might be meatloaf, but it will make them happy. Organise unusual trips for them, if they are the adventurous type, helicopter flights over volcanoes, sportfishing trips, horseback riding. If they are foodies, organise a wine tasting, cook the speciality from the island that you are visiting. Wait until the last fishing boat of the day in Capri arrives and make spaghetti a les vongole(national dish of Capri). If they are on board to relax, ask them if they would like a masseur to come on board(if you donâ€™t already have one). Find out what kind of music they like and play it. If they are into history, find out interesting snippets of information about where you are chartering, always have a good pirate story to tell. This one works very well in the British Virgin Islands, as it was a pirates paradise. Look into the origins of nautical terminology and how it is used in todayâ€™s language. A great book is Ship to Shore (A dictionary of everyday words and phrases derived from the sea. By Peter D. Jeans. Available at Bluewater Books. It really is the little things that count. You as charter crew are the end service provider for a dream vacation. Remember that each and every charter is unique, do your research, as soon as you have the preference sheet ,have a crew meeting and discuss how you will make this dream come true. Input from all crew is important as you are working as a team, and the team spirit will shine through(even on a cloudy day). Guests will be amazed at how you can multi-task, working over 15 hours a day and still be smiling as they prepare to head to their cabins. Happy chartering you dream makers! Author: Christina Bridge (Published Dockwalk, May 2006).