The Best New Years Ever

16 December 2010 By Rubi McGrory

People rarely have a mediocre New Years’ Eve experience. Their occasion is usually filed under “The Best New Year’s of All Time,” or “The Absolute Worst New Year’s Ever!” With planning, it is so easy to help your guests put their charter at the top of the list in the first column.

When it comes to holidays with your guests, there is no such thing as too much planning. Knowing their expectations (and budget) is key. It’s pointless to plan a raucous dock party in Gustavia if their perfect idea of ringing in the New Year is playing board games and drinking gluvine. Make time to speak with your principal charterer before s/he arrives so you can be well stocked with decorations and favors, and extra crew if you need them. Otherwise you may be at the mercy of Le Grande Marche 's leftovers to help your guests ring in the New Year.

First, decide on your theme. Oftentimes the simplest, most elegant theme is based on a color scheme. Everything this winter is sparkley and sequined, so your guests will most likely be dressed for this. Black and white, all white, Tiffany blue and silver…your guests will be happy to dress the part without having to cramp their style. Your guests may have difficulty preparing for a masquerade, costume or fancy dress party.

Go bubbly: bottles of bubbly, bubbles and lots of iridescent balloons.

Keep guests from heading to the casino by having your own on board. Hire local croupiers (they will have their own tables to bring) and hand out special boat money.

Got kids coming? Give them their own special place to hang out with movies, games, crafts, a chest of dress up costumes. Hire a nanny and a clown. Don’t forget to provide them their own menu, pizza and hot dogs will be more popular than oysters and pate with the little ones.

No matter your theme, you can add some special touches to really cinch your lifetime position on the “Best Parties EVER” list. (You may need to consult with your charterer about budget.)

· Sending out invitations can be as fancy as a bottle of champagne with a note dispatched to appropriate vessels in the area, or small handwritten notes left in each cabin on board.

· How about a red carpet with a photographer as each guest comes on board? Since you’ve hired the photographer, keep him around for a few hours to capture the whole evening.

· No matter where you are, there will be a rental center nearby to assist with standards like plates and glasses, but what about special lighting, disco balls, a dance floor and a fog machine?

· Host your own ball-drop: will set you up with a beautiful, gem shaped, sparkling metallic piñata.

· Entertainment: have a music savvy crew member put together a playlist that will build up your guests to midnight and chill them out after. Better yet, hire a local DJ or some entertainers, performers, psychics, tarot card readers or a balloon man or clown for the kids.

· Don’t skimp on the favors, have buckets and baskets of noisemakers, hats, glasses and tiaras. Make sure every guest leaves the boat with something that says the boat's name (matches, bottles of aspirin, a bottle opener).

But whatever you do: prepare, plan, list, and then prepare some more.

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