What’s not to love? Celebrating the end of another year out on the water, watching the sunset with a cold bevvy and great company. No wait, it’s your company. Your colleagues. Here’s just a sample of what could go wrong.
1. Titanic Scene Re-enacted
There’s a Leonardo Dicaprio on every cruise it seems. No, you weren’t flying, you were falling. OFF THE BOW. If only Kate Winslet was here to help with the workers’ comp forms...
2. Nowhere to hide
Unless your CEO has organised a special charter to get him/her off the boat before 10pm they’re likely to be stuck listening to a long line of staff complain about everything they’re not happy with and why they should be paid more.
3. Limited Alcohol
Be prepared for the inevitable whinging when you tell employees it’s not an open bar all night because, you know, falling overboard is actually a THING.
If you regularly use a boat to entertain your top clients and said clients look forward to it each year, try to use multiple cruise companies. Chances are the bad behaviour of your staff (or clients!) could ensure your company’s blacklisting if it happens more than once..
5. Crimes Against Karaoke
If the thought of listening to your accounts department attempt to sing Dancing Queen, or your boss belt out his awful version of Khe San for the third time is anything but sweet, choose another venue. Preferably one with multiple escape routes, and ideally one that doesn’t allow karaoke.
6. Wild Weather
Be aware that it will likely take a cyclone forecast for a cruising company to admit that perhaps the weather is not ideal and perhaps the planned boat party should not go ahead. The more metres the swell forecast has, the more vomit-inducing your journey will be. Bucket anyone?
7. Kris Kringle
Swapping cheap, silly anonymous presents is always a good way to generate laughs & get the party mood going, right? WRONG. There’s always one (and if you’re really unlucky MORE than one) who didn’t get the memo about what constitutes appropriate gifts. The confined spaces of a boat can make this even more embarrassing as there is literally nowhere to hide for the unfortunate recipient of red crotchless Santa panties. Plan with caution.
8. Appropriate Attire
Wear flat-soled shoes. Bring something warm and/or water/wind-resistant just in case the weather turns. Nothing too skimpy (it is a work do after all). Wear sunscreen! Rest assured this sensible advice will be blithely ignored by most and people will totter onto the boat wearing 6-inch stilettos, stroll around in their budgie-smugglers or bake themselves an increasingly alarming shade of lobster red. Have a first aid kit on hand.
9. New to Sea Sickness
There’s always one poor soul on a boat that didn’t realise just how prone they are to motion sickness. It doesn’t matter how calm the waters are, the gentle movement of the boat leaves them retching discreetly into the nearest vessel at hand (their clutch, an ice bucket, your wine glass). If only one of those Kris Kringle presents was a pack of sea-sickness tablets.
It’s not just the patrons that can start to look a little under the weather as the night wears on. The single toilet on board can prove evident that it’s far more difficult to aim straight on a boat than on land. If it goes well, by the end of the night you’ll have a boatload of people in a slightly desperate state to disembark and find the nearest bathroom. Or even worse - some who couldn’t wait.
If after all this you still decide to go ahead with your staff Christmas booze cruise may the water gods be with you! See you at the pub next year.