All Posts Written By John Jacob

Rosemont Avenue Elementary School – Cruising into the Future

Posted June 17, 2011 by Fantasea Yachts Team

Rosemont Elementary School - 2011 5th Grade Cruise“I feel like I’m the King of the World” This is just one of the quotes overheard when we were privileged to have Rosemont Avenue Elementary School join us aboard Dandeana the afternoon of June 8th.

“I feel like a rich man” was another …and maybe one day he’ll be the next Bill Gates!

For those of you not familiar with Rosemont Elementary, they are known for educating under-privileged families in the Rampart/Echo Park area of Los Angeles. Many are below the poverty level and have just started new lives living as immigrants.

The animated 60 5th graders who boarded Dandeana, with the help of their dedicated teacher Kamille Maslon, raised money to pay for their cruise by working hard selling chocolates. These eager and excited 5th graders learned that, with hard work and determination, anything is possible and they are capable of making their dreams come true. Watch the kids here!
Thank you Rosemont Elementary for reminding us life is a luxury; we are thankful and humbled.


Leave a Comment »

Best Wedding & Catering Negotiating Guide and Tips

Posted November 3, 2010 by Fantasea Yachts Team

When you’re getting ready to plan an event, whether it’s your wedding, company holiday party, charity event or an anniversary party, there are key things you need to know to prepare and protect yourself when negotiating with your venue, caterer and/or vendors. Here at FantaSea Yachts & Yacht Club we have helped hundreds of brides, event planners, party planners and first time coordinators plan the best, most cost effective events. Here are some useful tips I’ve learned about the negotiating table!

  1. Be Prepared. The three most important things about negotiation are preparation, preparation, preparation.  Learn as much as possible. The internet and magazines are a great resource to see what the competition is doing and what’s popular. I recommend creating a file with photos and articles that you have collected. This will help communicate your vision when working with your florist, caterer and other vendors as well as narrow down your choices.
  2. Know What You Need. Now that you have a sense of style and vision, the next step is to zero in on your needs.
    1. What is your date?
    2. What is the time of your event? Afternoon, Evening, Lunch or dinner?
    3. How many guests? You don’t need an exact count, but a good ‘guestimate’ (example 25-50 or 150-175)
    4. What is your budget?  Many times my clients say, “I don’t have a budget, I’m just investigating right now.” The truth is, everyone has a comfort range. Is it between $3,000 –  $5,000? $8,000 – $10,000? $15,000 – $20,000?
    5. Do you want a buffet, a plated meal or appetizers?
    6. What kind of bar do you want? A cash bar or hosted bar?
    7. Know What’s Most Important To You.  If you have followed steps one through three you have a good idea of what you want.  Now you need to figure out what’s most important. Is it price? Date? Special décor? A combination of everything? You need to narrow down what’s most important in order to negotiate the best deal.
    8. Be Flexible with Your Date & Time. If budget is most important, then your ability to be flexible is key to negotiating the best price.  Just like a hotel or airline, most catering prices are based on supply and demand. If you’re planning your company’s holiday party, you’ll get more bang for your buck if you’re willing to have a week day evening or weekend daytime event than if you try for a prime Saturday night. By choosing off-times & off-season, you can negotiate 30% – 40% off a prime time, allowing you more money to throw a great party!
    9. Utilize The Venues Resources. Here at FantaSea Yachts & Yacht Club we are a full service event company. We will help you plan your event from invitation wording to liaising with vendors. Because we do so many parties and events, we can make money saving recommendations for anything you need. We are your event planners so you don’t have to spend money on outsourcing one. We want you to make use of our expertise!
    10. Understand the difference between bargaining & negotiating. Bargaining is a quid pro quo affair – it’s this for that, tit for tat. Negotiating is about psychology and building trusting relationships – it is really a mutual education.

So, When you are ready to plan your next event I’ll be here waiting for you on the other side of the of the negotiating table. I promise, by following the six steps outlined above, we will both leave the conference room with a smile!


Leave a Comment »

Signed, Sealed, Delivered…I’m Yours!

Posted November 10, 2009 by Fantasea Yachts Team

It started as typical phone call, “Hi, I am a party planner and I have a client looking for a location for her wedding…”  I followed up with the requisite questions about date and time, number of guests and then asked the kinds of questions that get me interested in the people I am working with:  how did they meet? When did they get engaged? Tell me about the wedding she always dreamed about!

The couple had been together for several years and just had a gorgeous baby.  We set up an appointment to meet the bride and the wedding planner. Candace (bride), loved the idea of having the ceremony on the RegentSea Yacht, and the reception in the FantaSea Yacht Club.

There were lots of thematic touches that added to the event.  The RegentSea was festooned floor to ceiling in burnt orange and hot pink draping – adding a regal and festive air to the yacht.  The flowers were gorgeous in the same colors. There was a specialty drink called “The Candy-Moon” (see recipe below) – a play on the bride and grooms names; Candace and Mumtaz. There were so many special touches, but there was one additional special touch that topped them all!

I was in the office the day of the wedding when a blind gentleman was led by a guest to my desk.  He asked if there was a restroom so that he could change into his tuxedo.  We see famous stars from a distance, their images are etched into our minds in a stylized, constructed fashion because they are always “presented” to us.  But when greatness walks by your desk on the way to change his clothes, you’re not sure what to do, or how to react.  Daniel walked out of his office…we looked at each other and said, almost in unison, “Was that who I think it was?”

The delightful bride and groom with a wedding planner never mentioned that Stevie Wonder was the groom’s father! As the yacht cruised back to the dock, the beautiful ceremony was punctuated with the sweetest a capella serenade by one of music’s greatest luminaries, and what started as a typical phone call ended in an extraordinary fashion!

CandyMoon Cocktail


1 Comment »