Frequently Asked Questions

Amenities

Unless we are conducting an ash scattering or burial at sea service, Bella Luna generally stays within San Diego Bay and in close proximity to either Coronado or the city of San Diego. Depending on your cell service provider, we are almost always within range of the major cell service towers. If there is any place in the bay where the service is weak, it is typically very temporary as we move around.

Yes, you can. But you may not want to. We have a house tablet with a premium Spotify account that you're welcome to use and play whatever kind of music you'd like. Even if you don't have a Spotify playlist, you can create one on the fly and search for whatever artist, genre, or other party playlists already created. If you're absolutely certain you want to use your own device and play your Pandora list, or whatever, we can connect your device if it is Bluetooth enabled. HOWEVER, your device MUST be dedicated to our sound system and MUST remain at the helm station with the Captain so that he can control the volume in case he needs to communicate with another vessel or with Coast Guard. This means, your device is no longer available to you for phone calls, photos, social media posting, texting, etc.

Yes. Our Venue Fee also allows you up to an hour early access to the yacht to come aboard to deliver, drop off, and set up your food and beverages, and decorate the boat with party favors, balloons, flowers, streamers, etc. (depending on availability) If you think you'll need more than an hour, please call Captain John for other arrangements. If there is no other charters before yours, we may be able to make more time to accommodate you. If there IS another charter prior to yours, we ask for your patience while we disembark the previous guests before letting you on.

Although, we don't like to say, "No," we do not encourage DJs to lug their equipment on board.  There isn't a whole lot of room for additional entertainment equipment and certainly not additional speakers.  HOWEVER, IF your DJ has a compact mixing board connected to a MacBook with Bluetooth capability, they can connect to our sound system IF we can find room for their setup.  PLEASE call ahead to make arrangements. There are a LOT of variables to accommodate.  Otherwise, we have one of the best sound systems on the water and a house tablet with a premium Spotify account. You're welcome to create your playlist and your guests will likely want to add their songs to the queue as well.  Frankly, we've hosted hundreds of super fun parties with this setup!

Bella Luna is very family-friendly and has been customized to not only meet but exceed all applicable Code of Federal Regulations. Bella Luna has hosted birthdays for guests from 1 to 100 years old. There is seating throughout the yacht. There are a few stairs to navigate with handrails. There are no ramps for wheelchairs. But, if you or your guest can be assisted, then we can accommodate.

Bella Luna comes equipped with two very large coolers to keep beverages chilled, spacious bathroom, large salon area with ample seating and food service area, galley and bar area with a full liquor license, and a premium light and sound system wired throughout the yacht. If you need anything in particular, please ask.

Booking & Cancellation

There are no age requirements to enjoy a cruise aboard Bella Luna. We have hosted birthday parties for guests from 1 to 100 years old. We have also customized Bella Luna with a variety of safety features that make Bella Luna one of the most family-friendly charter yachts on San Diego Bay.

You can reach Captain John directly at (619) 928-2441 from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm

Yes. The passenger count aboard Bella Luna is regulated by our Certificate of Inspection and Letter of Stability issued by the US Coast Guard. The capacity number is calculated by mathematical formulas and measurements very similar to other commercial spaces that might be regulated by "Fire Code." Bella Luna is rated for 49 guests. But, for everyone's comfort, we try to keep our parties limited to 40 guests or fewer.

Because we have a working arrangement with the San Diego Sheraton, our charter guests are allowed to park on hotel property. We will provide all of our charter guests who park on hotel property a parking voucher that will reduce the parking rate from the regular rate of $32,000 per car (Okay, it's not THAT expensive. But, it's pricy.) to a flat $15. Please ask the crew for a parking voucher as you disembark after your charter.

Yes. Because San Diego Bay is quite large, with so much fun to be had, most private yacht charters run a 2 or 3 hour minimum. Because we host a lot of corporate events with shorter windows for break out sessions and team building, we have a 2 hour minimum. HOWEVER, we DO recommend at least 3 hours. Generally speaking, unless you have an itinerary that flows after your charter, your guests may come back after only 2 hours and say, "Wow! That was such a good time. I can't believe we're back already. ONE MORE HOUR! ONE MORE HOUR!" San Diego Bay is quite large enough that we can fill 3-4 hours quite easily.

As long as your desired date and time are available, we typically need at least 24 hours advance notice to complete our Charter Agreement and approval process. You may also book as far ahead as you'd like for future events. You can check our online booking calendar for the availability of your desired date and time.

As you pull into the main entrance of the hotel, you can take either an immediate left or an immediate right to two different parking gates. You are best advised to take an immediate right and receive a parking ticket from the gate booth. Once through the gate, drive all the way around to the back of the hotel. You will not need to turn anywhere, but the parking lot will bend left. You're welcome to park in any open space that is opposite the fence side. Parking along the fence is for marina TENANTS only. Not guests. Everything else is fair game. There is a sidewalk that begins at the back of the hotel property from the parking lot. To the right of this sidewalk is a lawn area that overlooks the marina.  Please gather your group on this lawn for the safety briefing and orientation.

There are two ways to book Bella Luna. You can communicate with us directly and we will work up a Charter Proposal and Agreement for your review and approval. Once your agreement is signed, we take a deposit to secure your booking and then charge your balance within 2 weeks prior to your event. The other method is by booking directly online and paying with your credit card at the time of booking.

We allow you to secure your reservation worry free for up to 14 days prior to your departure times. If you need to cancel your charter, for any reason, outside of 14 days from your departure time, we will return 100% of your deposit. For bookings occurring on Holidays or special events we require 30 days of notice to receive a full refund. Unfortunately, if you cancel for any reason within 14 days of your departure time (or 30 days if Holiday or special event), we are not likely to be able to procure another client for the charter time you booked. Therefore, we will keep your deposit. If you wish to reschedule your charter for another time, we will be happy to retain your deposit and apply it to your rescheduled date, even if you cancel within the 14 day, non-refundable, cancellation time. We provide one year from the originally scheduled charter date and time before losing your deposit completely. The Captain may cancel your charter, up to the time of charter, for safety concerns, inclement weather, or mechanical failure. If the Captain cancels your charter for any of these reasons, we will refund 100% of your deposit. Unfortunately, no other concessions can be made. In the unlikely event that Bella Luna becomes disabled during your charter. Your charter rate will be prorated to the time of the incident. You will be refunded for the length of time that we were unable to complete your voyage. If the Captain is able to fix Bella Luna and resume your charter, we may be able to offer an extension of time to complete your charter duration. Otherwise, we will refund the remainder of your time.

There are only two occasions by which we will cancel a charter. One is mechanical failure. The other is bad weather. We are pretty flexible with weather depending on the severity. San Diego tends to be somewhat fickle when it comes to weather. Our primary concern is SAFETY. Second to safety will be the severity of the weather. If we're only experiencing a slight drizzle or mist, and we can continue safely, we would be inclined to move forward. We understand there is a lot of planning for these events and we work closely with our guests to accommodate as much as possible. Every charter is considered on a case-by-case basis.

San Diego Bay Cruises will consider the charter in effect, as scheduled, up until one hour prior to launch if the chances of rain remain less than 40% as reported by weather.com. Considering that weather reporting is not always 100% accurate, the Captain will be entitled to exercise his/her better judgment for the sake of safety. If weather.com shows the chances of rain to be more than 40% within 48 hours, the charterer may request to cancel or postpone their charter and receive a full refund of deposited funds.

Bella Luna is docked at: The San Diego Sheraton Hotel & Marina - 1380 Harbor Island Dr. San Diego, CA 92101

Catering

Yes. Bella Luna is very flexible in regards to bringing food and beverage aboard. We supply two very large coolers that we keep stocked with complimentary soft drinks and water. We leave enough room in those coolers that you're welcome to bring aboard anything else that you would like to keep chilled as well, including alcohol if you've chosen a BYO option. We have worked with several local caterers that have come aboard and have done fantastic jobs. If you'd like our assistance with catering, we'll be happy to make recommendations depending on your preferences and budget.  If you prefer to bring your own, you're welcome to go shopping at a local grocer, CostCo, or order take-out from your favorite restaurant and bring it aboard.

Yes. But, you don't have to. Bella Luna has a full liquor license and can supply you with everything you need. If you don't care to shop, carry stuff around, and prefer a full-service experience, ask us about our bar options. If you choose to bring your own alcohol, you can bring beer, wine, and seltzer at no additional charge. If you bring liquor on board, we will supply a bartender to serve the liquor for only an additional $65/hour.  We have two very large coolers on board. So, you do not need to bring coolers. You WILL need to bring ice if you choose a BYO option.

Events & Activities

You may bring balloons, flowers, streamers, tablecloths, linens, etc. Perhaps it would be easier to address what we prefer you do NOT bring. Please DO NOT bring confetti or glitter! These items are strictly prohibited and will not be allowed aboard. We "prefer" that you do not bring Mylar balloons. But they are not prohibited. If you do bring Mylar balloons, we ask that you make sure that the knots that are currently on them are tightly secured, and if you secure them to the yacht indoors or out, that you also secure them tightly to the vessel. Mylar balloons are not good for the ocean environment if they should happen to drift away. Please do NOT bring anything that can puncture the boat, such as thumbtacks or push pins. If you need to use tape for anything, please use ONLY painter's masking tape and NOT Scotch tape.

Bella Luna is an incredibly fun party yacht. But the party is ON the yacht, not in the water ;-) Bella Luna is not set up for anchor and play, as some private yachts are, because we are a commercial yacht. As such, our insurance premiums would be excessive and require a Life Guard on duty.

Yes. Please click on the link to our burials at sea page. This is generally the only time that Bella Luna ventures into the ocean. Otherwise, most of our cocktail and party cruises stay within the picturesque San Diego Bay.

We're sorry. For the enjoyment of everyone aboard your cruise and the charters after yours, we ask that you refrain from smoking of any kind during your voyage. This includes, but not limited to, e-cigarettes, vaping, burned tobacco, and marijuana (medicinal or otherwise). If any of your guests insist on smoking or vaping, irrespective of our policy, we reserve the right to terminate the charter and all funds for the remainder of the voyage are to be forfeited.

What an excellent question! Thanks for asking! Please do not wear stilettos or any variation of spiked heels. Although we recommend flat shoes only, wedges or anything with a minimum of 1" heel is acceptable. High heels are less than ideal while walking on a moving yacht that may encounter wakes (waves) and spiked heels may potentially damage our floors.

No guarantees. But the chances are VERY slim that you'll get sea sick aboard the Bella Luna yacht. On a regular cocktail or party cruise, Bella Luna stays within San Diego Bay. One of the great things about San Diego Bay is that it's almost entirely landlocked. This means that aside from an occasional passing vessel that sends a short term wake, Bella Luna is not subject to ocean swells. As such, our charters are usually very smooth rides and you hardly notice that we're even moving on the water. To this day, we have not had anyone disembark Bella Luna suffering from motion sickness. However, if you still feel that you are one of those rare, highly sensitive people, we recommend that you take a non drowsy motion sickness remedy of your choice approximately 1/2 hour prior to your charter time. This will give your system enough time to absorb the remedy so you can enjoy your special occasion without worry.

Rates & Fees

Chartering Bella Luna comes with a variety of fees and taxes. We are completely transparent throughout the booking process and all fees are outlined for your review. There may also be some add-on services that will vary depending on your preferences. Examples may be catering, bar options, transportation, entertainment, etc.

We only ask for a refundable deposit for the first hour of your charter (including taxes and fees). The remaining balance will be due within 14 days prior to the charter and is typically charged automatically during that week's billing cycle.  Nothing more for you to worry about.

We add a mandatory 15% service fee to charters with no bar tender and 18% to charters with a bar tender. You are welcome to add to this should you please and we are able to charge the same credit card that you placed your deposit. Or, you may provide the Captain with a cash tip to be distributed among the crew.

Bella Luna charters our at a regular rate of $825 per hour, plus Port taxes and other fees.  If you wish to enjoy food and beverages during your voyage, there is a $150 Venue Fee for early access and clean up during and after the charter. Holidays (4th of July, New Year's Eve, etc.) and special events are subject to premium pricing. Because there are several variables with regard to add-on services, catering, bar options, etc., please ask us for a more accurate quote with your preferences.  Or, click on any Book Now button and our calendar will walk you through all the options and give you a real time accounting of costs.

Bella Luna is a US-based charter company. We accept all major credit cards. However, all transactions must be in US currency.

Your charter fee includes the use of the Bella Luna yacht, a qualified and licensed captain, and a professional crew. All other charges including taxes, fees, and add-on services are variable and will be outlined on your invoice.

Almost all of our charters aboard Bella Luna are either self or professionally catered. If you wish to enjoy food and beverages while on your voyage, then a $150 Venue Fee is applied to your charter. This fee allows you up to an hour (if available) early access to the yacht (so, we don't actually charge you for THAT time aboard the yacht) to deliver, drop off, and set up your food and beverages. It also provides you with our crew to clean up during and after the charter. This is a one-time fee and not hourly.

We ask that all of your guests arrive no later than 15 minutes prior to boarding, so that our Captain can provide a safety briefing and orientation. The Captain will then escort your party to the dock and you will all board together. We actually recommend that you ask your guests to arrive at least a 1/2 hour early so that stragglers and lost Uber drivers do not delay your departure.

Safety

Bella Luna has gone through extensive modifications to not only comply with the US Code of Federal Regulations but exceed most safety standards. Captain John has designed Bella Luna to be a family-friendly yacht so that we can provide you with a worry-free environment for all of your family members. Children are not required to wear life jackets while aboard Bella Luna. But we respect the fact that YOU'RE the parent and the decision is ultimately yours. However, Captain John has had 3 young boys of his own and is very safety-conscious. He designed Bella Luna with your kids' safety in mind. We wouldn't be able to push a kid off Bella Luna if we wanted to, and we've tried! 😉 (Just kidding, of course)

Bella Luna is a private commercial yacht. We serve thousands of guests of all ages per year celebrating a variety of life's milestones. In an effort to maintain as clean an environment as possible, we try to limit allergens and dander as much as possible. Although we do not strictly prohibit pets, unless they are documented service animals, we strongly encourage our guests to find other accommodations for their pets for the duration of the charter event.

You do not need to arrange for an insurance policy for your event aboard Bella Luna. Because we are a certified commercial yacht, we are required to carry commercial insurance as a charter vessel.

The short answer is no. However, we have made extensive modifications to comply with US Code of Federal Regulations to become US Coast Guard inspected and certified. Some of those modifications included exceeding many safety standards set forth in those codes so that we can provide your friends and family with a safe experience. That being said, Bella Luna is still a boat and some things simply cannot be worked around. So, there are stairs on Bella Luna. Some are more narrow, and some are more shallow than you're used to and certainly cannot accommodate a wheelchair or other appliances. We do have plenty of seating on the inside and outside decks. We have hosted many guests who are in need of appliance assistance. Generally speaking, we along with friends and family have assisted the guest aboard and found them a comfortable seat of their choosing and they have been able to enjoy the voyage along with everyone else. We have hosted many birthday parties of elder guests upwards of 95 years old and have been able to assist with movement if requested. As for the trip, we stay within San Diego Bay which is almost entirely landlocked and not subject to ocean swells. Aside from an occasional passing vessel that might throw us a short-term wake, our charters are very smooth rides for the duration of the trip.

We thoroughly clean and inspect Bella Luna after every charter. We check to make sure all of the guest amenities are cleaned and functional before boarding your guests. We also encourage every charterer to come aboard up to a half hour prior to their event to inspect Bella Luna to make sure everything meets their satisfaction.