All Posts From September 2009

Family Traditions

Posted September 24, 2009 by Fantasea Yachts Team

My grandmother is pictured above at the Tuscon Public Market in 1922 where customers were waited on for each and every purchase.

My grandmother is pictured above at the Tuscon Public Market in 1922 where customers were waited on for each and every purchase.

Hospitality and concern for the genuine care and comfort of my guests is a family tradition! A client recently asked me, “What do you get out of doing all of this?” I stopped for a moment, I never really thought about why I like doing what I do.  It occurred to me that being of service takes our mind off of ourselves and helps us look for how we might be useful where we are.  That seemed pretty altruistic, a nice sentiment but why is it enjoyable?  There are so many ways in which we are allowed to be a part of the momentous occasions in peoples’ lives at FantaSea – you really feel privileged to be a part of it all.  For me, I have to acknowledge that I learned the joy of being of service at home.

My grandparents emigrated from Lebanon in 1918 after the fall of the Ottoman Empire. They settled in Tuscon, Arizona where they opened the Tuscon Public Market.  Later, during the Great Depression, my grandfather’s market thrived not only because it filled a need and did so at a value, but because of the level of customer service and attention to detail provided.  My father and his brothers grew up working in the market where they would pick the produce out for the customers, weight it, take it to the cash register, get the change and then carry the bags out to the parking lot.

During World War II, my father and all of my uncles enlisted in the Navy.  With the War effort and food rationing taking its effect on the community, the market closed.

My father with the Budweiser clydesdales in front of his first restaurant "The Club 21" in 1946.

My father with the Budweiser clydesdales in front of his first restaurant "The Club 21" in 1946.

When the war ended, my dad and his brothers decided that they wanted to get into the bar business and they opened up a little restaurant and bar on the outskirts of town.  This was to be the start of a business that is still open to this day.  The restaurant was founded on the same principals of hospitality and old world charm that keep it thriving today where my brothers and sisters are working hard to continue the tradition.

I learned my sense of hospitality from my parents, especially my mother.  Nothing was ever too much to ask for – and you generally didn’t have to ask for anything! Every detail was attended to lovingly.  It was her sincere pleasure to be of service.  Our guests at the restaurant, like the guests at our home, were always overwhelmed by a more than generous presentation of food and beverage in a warm, refined setting. Entertaining was more than taking care of people, it was an extension of the heart and as such, you always left our home with an unexpected sense of wellbeing.

Similarities in history between my family’s business and that of FantaSea make me feel at home. Both businesses, founded by emigrants, continue to be run by the family.  Even more importantly, both are grounded on the old world traditions of attending to the guests’ needs – both expressed and unexpressed! I look forward to sharing amazing life moments with you all and continuing a tradition of service here in Los Angeles that honors my parents and grandparents and hopefully, knocks your socks off!

An interior view of my family's El Parador Restaurant in Tuscon, Arizona

An interior view of my family's El Parador Restaurant in Tuscon, Arizona

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An Unforgettable Surprise!

Posted September 17, 2009 by Fantasea Yachts Team

I met Frances working a special charter aboard FantaSeas’ flagship yacht, the Dandeana, early last year. It was a burial at sea, but a beautiful and festive one I can say for certain. Frances decided that day that the Dandeana would be a perfect venue to surprise her partner for her 70th Birthday. Frances is a busy attorney here in Los Angeles and wanted to pretty much make the decision and not worry about it after that.

We met a week later and planned what was to become the first surprise in Arlene’s 70 years. Clearly, as time ticked away, we were on task, but the Host (Frances) was becoming very nervous. Could it be, we could actually surprise Arlene?

Well if you take a look at the attached pictures you can note that Arlene was onboard and upstairs on the party deck before she had any idea! An then, just as they do it in the movies…SURPRISE!

Everyone was smartly dressed in Black and White, Arlene’s favorite flowers adorned the tables and folks came as far away as Israel to greet Arlene for her fabulous affair. Frances and I worked out the skit in which we put in to action at EXACTLY 6:52pm as they arrived to have dinner ‘next door’. Everyone was in place and in the end the party was a grand success.

Arlene was treated to an unexpected surprise and I gained an unexpected new friend in Frances…Thank you doll!

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New Kids on the Block

Posted September 4, 2009 by Fantasea Yachts Team

FantaSea is family through and through – from the Ginzburg family to the deck hands and dishwashers! In fact, there are three generations here working together. During school holidays, you will often see father and son working together out on the yachts so that the young men appreciate the hard work that goes into their upbringing.

The Captain, crew and staff have all been working together for ten to twenty years. As part of our interview process, we had to work a yacht party. We were both super impressed with the team – they worked like a well-oiled machine! The entire crew is very versatile and shares responsibilities to ensure a seamless cruise. We were personally amazed as we watched the party deck where a ceremony was held be transformed into the most elegant dinning room in a flash – it was actually less than 8 minutes. We were later informed that this is standard operating procedure for this group!

The impact of a group of this caliber and their knowledge and experience can’t be measured when it comes to your party and makes us proud and confident to plan parties here at FantaSea Yachts.

-Amy Chong and John Williams-Jacob

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