Crew Life » Departments » Interior » Great 'Theme Nights' for Charter Guests - Part Two

Great 'Theme Nights' for Charter Guests - Part Two

stew tips4

Carrying on from Great Theme Nights - Part One, here are some additional tried and tested, popular themes that will ensure owners and charter guests enjoy a memorable time on board.

As we need to keep the children happy too, let's start with a great idea for the kids!



Aboriginal/Outback Evening

Ask, beg and plead with an Australian friend or crew member to bring Aboriginal art tablecloth and napkins from Australia. 

Create a desert-type atmosphere. Aussie didgeridoo music playing. Boomerang on table or Boomerang lessons on beach. Stews have painted faces while serving. Guests to wear “cork” hats. Bushman type menu with grub-type names, parasites, and Australian plant names; have a zoo-keeper visit the boat and talk about Australian animals – kangaroo, koala, dingo, crocodile.

Asian Night

Lanterns hanging on the boat deck, oriental rug in the center of deck with a low table for seating - large cushions, Kimono costumes for serving, large fans side of doors as you open them, gong, little Buddhas, incorporate full Asian Menu. Chopsticks and other Asian food items – soup bowls, ramekins with soy sauce, chopstick rests, Sushi, stir fried noodles, miso soup, etc. Find an Asian napkin fold such as this:

asian napkin

Olympics:  Olympic Rings

Aft deck draped in yellow, red, black, green and blue. Correct colour hula hoops form the Olympic rings. Candles and torches to represent the Olympic torch. Olympic flag if possible, each guest dresses as an Olympic athlete – swimmer with goggles and swim cap, runner, tennis player, boxer, etc. Play Eye of the Tiger, Chariots of Fire, etc. Stewardesses also dressed in sports gear. Or each guest gets a flag from another country, representing that country in the Olympics.

Olympics:  Athenian Dinner

Representing the earlier Olympics with a torch burning, table arrangement with Greek Columns – further incorporate Greek food, stews wearing togas and guests given a Greek crown of leaves to wear, incorporation of the gold rings as part of the table arrangement, stews could also dress up as athletes. Fake medals given to all guests to put around their necks (could first be used as napkin rings), have Olympic T-shirts made up for guests as a gift – (e.g. M.Y. Blue Sky Olympic Team, France, 2004)

Olympics:  USA Victory (or could be adjusted to the nationality you have on board)

If it is Olympics and you have USA guests on board – incorporate a USA flag and make it national USA day on board.  USA flags everywhere, hot dogs, hamburgers, USA National Anthem played, blue, red and white theme (similar to 4th of July theme). Can repeat the hula hoop rings.


Priscilla Queen of the Desert

Have the guys dress up in drag, serving the food. Guests are given feathers and ornamental jewelery to wear. Buy some cheap high heal shoes (new, not used!) and use as a decoration on the credenza, not on the main table (shoes do not belong on tables!!), along with feather boas, jewelery, sequenced fabric. Incorporate a very drag-themed menu, end with a show (e.g. ideas out of the movie Birdcage or Priscilla).

Oscar/Movie Night


Crew dressed up as film stars, information about the last Oscars (who won what awards), and impersonate them. 

Make signs resembling the “cut” sign on a movie set and hang on the back of each guest’s chair, giving them names of different movie stars (e.g. name the women Charlize, Julia, Reese, Meryl and the men Russel, Clint, Robin). 

Create your own Oscars. Formal black and white and glitzy table setting, crew dressed in black Tuxedos. Oscar-sounding names on menu:  Russel Crowe seared Tuna with Balsamic dressing, etc. - great to do this theme with the Cannes Film Festival. If you can find fake Oscar © statues at a costume store, use those.

70’s Psychedelic Theme

Using Austin Powers or Absolutely Fabulous for ideas. Play 70s music. Tie-die shirts, peace jewellery.

Charleston 20’s/30’s (Great Gatsby)

Stewardesses serve in Charleston dresses, long pearls around neck. Guests get satin head bands with feather stuck in it. Print out old black and white photos of people in the 20’s. Use on table. Men wear something gangster like. Make it like a gangster movie from that time. Fake guns on table, Bonnie and Clyde-like. Alternative to this could be “Godfather” or Great Gatsby theme.

grand prix

Race Night – great for Monaco Grand Prix

Glitzy and glam! Have TV screen hooked up with actual racing footage and photos flashing of the race. Checkered flag, red, for table decoration.  Crew dress up as pit crew. Guests dress up in black and white to represent checkered flag. 

Give them ear muffs and medals to wear and serve expensive Champagne. Make a wreath to put around main guest’s neck at end of night (he is the winner!) – and if the deckhands are ok, you can spray some Champagne on the swim platform. Or each guest represents a different driver and country – and get a courtesy flag from that country on their place setting. 

Good idea to serve caviar and champagne before dinner. Binoculars and racing cars on table for decoration and even a racing track with toy cars in the middle of the table as centerpiece.

white party

White Party or combining White Party with Venice Theme

Very glam, classy and glitzy – add a few touches of gold.  If you have time - write personal invitations for the guests that are left on their beds with some things they can wear - like their masks and long white gloves for the women and strings of fake pearls.

A nice tip for table decoration:  Get some tall, solid cylinder vases and fill with oranges and daisies, or apples or lemons, or limes.  (Do this only in Port, not at anchor!) Also, these could be filled with water all the way to the top (only in port!) and use large flowers, like proteas (with sinkers hidden in them and float them in the water).

More Handy Ideas:










Start thinking outside the box!! Here are some more theme ideas:

Bavarian Viking, Gold and White, Beach, Black and Red, Black Asian Style, White Asian Style, Christmas Eve, Under the Sea/Atlantis, Fruit Table, Apple Setting, Vegetables, Wine and Cheese, Roses Roses Roses everywhere, Fluffy Pink Kitsch, French Restaurant, Lavender Theme, A Day in Provence....

Nature or Beach Treasure Hunt (with kids on board), African or Amazon Jungle, Silver, Tropical,  Survivor, Greece, Colours, White, Superheroes, Beach party, Ballroom Dancing, Wild West, Nautical....

Loony Tunes/Cartoon Characters, Shipwrecked, Classic Hollywood, Toga party, Egyptian, Zulu,  “What you want to be when you grow up”, Rocky Horror Picture Show, Godfather - the movie, Phantom of the Opera, any Disney Movie, Alice in Wonderland, Musicals (e.g. Mamma Mia).

Coming soon - Part Three including Turndown Ideas and Guest Gifts!

See: Great Theme Nights - Part One 

*Image credits: Pixabay;

About the Author:
After working in the superyacht industry as a stewardess, chief stew and purser for 10 years, Isobel Odendaal moved back to her home country, South Africa, and co-started a training school for superyacht steward/esses, Super Yachting South Africa, where she continues to learn and teach every day.

resizedimage278107 superyachtlogo

Post your comment

You cannot post comments until you have logged in.

Login to post a comment


No one has commented on this page yet.

RSS feed for comments on this page | RSS feed for all comments



Search articles with keywords