Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Coming to St. John for the 1st time? Looking to maximize your Caribbean charter? Not sure what you have to bring with you? Hopefully we’ve got you covered with our FAQs…as always, feel free to contact us with any other questions.

Chartering with Palm Tree

1Am I chartering the whole boat or sharing with others?
Palm Tree Charters has a fleet of boats that cruise around the USVI/BVI that include a captain. Each boat is meant for one group at time.

While we have tried subdivided charters with say 3 couples who just met at dinner the night before, it is not only difficult to organize on our part, but also puts each couple or mini group on a boat riding around with people they don't know. This makes it difficult for choosing destinations and just plain enjoying yourself.
2Can I share the boat with others not in my party?
We primarily do private charters, however, If you want to organize a group, made up of your new best friends you met on St. John, to go out on an all-day charter, we are fine with that. We just ask that you all agree on an itinerary and that one of you be responsible for the organizing and the payment and don't forget to tip your captain :)

Payment for your Cruise

1How much is it for the boat charter?
Full Day Charter Fee = $750 (Cash, VENMO, VISA/MC, or US personal/business check)
Luxury full Day Charter Fee = $1800 for up to 6 guests and $100 for each additional guest (Cash, VENMO, VISA/MC, or US personal/business check)
+ Customs Fees: $75 per person* (Cash only)
+ Fuel: $varies
+ Tip: $varies (20% is customary for great service.)

*BVI Customs Fees are collected by your captain and any refunds are returned to guests with receipt. There is an additional $30 boat fee for BVI Sunday and British Holidays

We also offer a unique 'extra hour' at the end of your trip for +$100. (+$200/hr on the Luxury Trips). You can come in 1 hour later (staying at Soggy Dollar Bar or other destination for an additional hour) and end up arriving in Cruz Bay at 5:30p.
2How can I pay for my cruise?
It's easiest if one of your party is responsible for the charter payment. We accept Cash, US personal/business checks, Venmo, and Visa/MC (Note: there is a 3% processing fee if paying by Credit Card.)
3How much will fuel cost us for the day?
Our smaller boats are equipped with fuel efficient outboard engines that typically burn between $120-170 worth of fuel in a typical day on the water. We have had local (around St. John) trips that were only $80, and we've have trips all the way over to Virgin Gorda that have used up $220 of fuel.

We ask that you pay for the fuel & oil fill-up AFTER the trip while at the fuel dock. They accept cash and major credit cards.

On the Aquila (Last Call) fuel will typically run from $150-$300. With far off destinations costing more.
4How much money should we bring with us?
There's an old saying in the islands: pack half as much and bring twice as much cash. That being said, most people bring enough to have a good time, lunch, maybe a souvenir, and tip for the captain. You can always take it back with you (a little soggy) - bring $100 each and a credit card :)
5How much should I tip?
Loaded question.
Answer: As much as you've got!
Just kidding!! We love our jobs and work hard to make your day full of smiles. We appreciate all tips! (20% is customary for great service.)

Customs & International Travel

1Do we need Passports?
If going to the British Virgin Islands, Yes, a passport is required. If staying in the US Virgin Islands then a passport is not required.
2What form of currency do these islands accept?
All the islands in the US and British Virgin Islands accept US$ cash and typically Visa & MasterCard.
3Why is BVI Customs so expensive?
We have no idea. We just know the Queen wants her money. I hope they put our names on the birthday card!
4Why do we have to check back in to US Customs at the end of the day?
Because it's the law. Everyone is required to check back in to the United States after being out of the country. Any company that does not check you back in to US Customs at the end of a day is breaking the law.

Day of the Cruise / Packing

1What comes on the boat?
A smiling captain, Large cooler full of ice, bottled water, and Swim noodles.
2What should I bring?
  • Passports for EVERYONE
  • Your own snorkel gear and fins
  • Drinks you want on the boat
  • Towels
  • Camera
  • Non-aerosol Sunscreen
  • Cash
  • Credit Card
3Where do we meet the captain and boat?
All of our cruises start on the beach in front of High Tide restaurant in Cruz Bay at 8:30am. We will complete any required paperwork on the boat prior to departure.
4Where do I park?
Parking can be found right behind Beach Bar. $15.00 for an all day pass. Parking is also available across the street at Slim Man's Parking lot. You may find free parking elsewhere but these places make a great "plan B"
5How likely am I to get motion sickness?
We very rarely have a guest get motion sickness. Our boats react in real time to the waves and offer a stable ride. Throughout the day we are always within sight of land and make frequent stops during the day.

Weather

1My weather app says it's going to rain every day the week of my trip?
Ignore it. They all say that.

There are times where it rains every day for 2 weeks - for 2 minutes. The air & water temperature is warm and we have Bimini covers on the boat. Pack a towel, some sun screen, and some drinks and enjoy your day.
2What if it rains the day of my charter?
It's warm, the water's warm, and it rarely rains all day. We've had some of our greatest charter trips even with a passing shower.

Trust us - it's beautiful out there!