Smile Lines Creates Personalized LGBTQ-Friendly Charters in Tampa Bay

Smile Lines Charters
Photo courtesy of Smile Lines

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Smile Lines, a Tampa Bay yacht charter that prides itself on offering more than just a boat ride, is redefining luxury with its personalized service and attention to inclusivity. The company, anchored in the beautiful waters of Florida, outside of Tarpon Springs, not only provides full and half-day charters, overnight stays, and a host of other bespoke packages but also an authentic experience guided by the personal journey of its owner and captain, Paul Oliver.

Smile Lines Charters
Jay (first mate), Jay’s fiancée, and Paul Oliver (owner). Photo courtesy of Smile Lines

The Journey to Smile Lines

Oliver’s initial venture into the world of yachting was to help lower insurance costs for his parent’s vessel by acquiring a captain’s license. But the tides of life had bigger plans. A friend’s acquisition of a 70-foot yacht propelled the future captain towards a higher license, and soon after, the opportunity to run the larger vessel emerged, sparking a love for the freedom and joy found on the open sea.

However, it was a desire for greater control and a personalized approach to service that led to the birth of Smile Lines. Disenchanted by work with a yacht rental service that could be likened to ‘Uber for Boats,’ the captain decided it was time to steer his own course. The vision was clear: to create a charter service that could navigate to more intimate locations like Passage Key, offering experiences not bound by the constraints of larger, less mobile vessels.

A Donzi 3250 LXC: A Smile on the Horizon

The crown jewel of Smile Lines is a lovingly restored Donzi 3250 LXC, a yacht that embodies the luxury of conversation-friendly spaces and the intimacy of shared adventures. While it sleeps four comfortably and has a bathroom on board, the yacht’s lack of a shower is a nod to the old-school charm and simplicity of seafaring life.

Smile Lines Charters
Photo courtesy of Smile Lines

Unique & Inclusive Experiences Aboard Smile Lines

Inclusivity isn’t just a buzzword for Smile Lines; it’s the compass by which the company navigates. As an LGBTQ+ community member, and leather title winner, Captain Paul understands the unique needs of his guests and creates a welcoming atmosphere on board. The first mate, a close friend and ally, embodies the ethos of the company, fostering an open and inclusive environment for all who step aboard.

Guests in search of a distinct experience will discover that Smile Lines is a haven for tailor-made adventures. The captain and crew, with ties to American Association for Nude Recreation (AANR) and the local LGBTQ+ community, bring a personal touch to each charter, creating experiences that resonate deeply with guests, including special themed trips, clothing optional adventures, nude beaches, bear boat rides, leather luxury rides, and alternative lifestyle-themed sails.

Rooted in the community, Captain Paul is active in charity work and events. He  speaks passionately about confidence and self-acceptance and uses his platform to contribute to various causes like PFLAG and the Gay Rodeo.

Celebrate Your Special Occasions Aboard Smile Lines

Aboard Smile Lines, your celebrations and special occasions become unforgettable moments against the backdrop of Tampa Bay’s serene waters. Whether it’s toasting to another year of love during an anniversary, blowing out candles at a birthday bash, enjoying a fine dining experience with the horizon as your backdrop, or gathering for holiday cheer, the yacht is equipped for every festivity. They offer instructional charters too, including navigation lessons, spouse education for collaborative sailing, and vessel handling for the nautically inclined.

For those ready to embark on the journey of matrimony, the serene setting is perfect for both intimate marriage proposals and on-the-water weddings, with a notary public on board to officiate. Those in the market for waterfront real estate can take advantage of the unique perspective from the decks of Smile Lines, and social butterflies can indulge in conversation with the skyline gliding by. Even more poignant occasions, such as scatterings, are handled with care and dignity, providing a peaceful setting for farewells. Smile Lines crafts each charter into a personalized experience that’s as vast as the ocean and as unique as every individual who steps aboard.

Smile Lines Yacht
Photo courtesy of Smile Lines

Ensuring Safety and Security at Sea

Captain Paul, a seasoned mariner since 2001, not only boasts a US Coast Guard Certified Master Captain title but also teaches seamanship alongside First Aid and CPR. The yacht itself is a vessel of assurance, equipped with the required safety gear from PFDs to EPIRBs, ensuring peace of mind as guests enjoy the open waters.

Flexible Booking and Cancellation Policies

Acknowledging the fluid nature of plans and people, Smile Lines offers a transparent booking and cancellation policy, with a streamlined process accessible through their online system. Guests are invited to book and pay online with ease, with waivers to sign. Guests are also given the option to use their preferred name for bookings, ensuring a personalized touch from the outset. This considerate approach to online transactions and provisions for last-minute changes underscores the company’s compassionate and understanding nature.

Packing Suggestions from the Captain

When setting sail with Smile Lines, it’s important to pack mindfully for the ultimate experience on the waters of Tampa Bay and St. Petersburg. Communication is key, so ensure you have your mobile device handy, but don’t forget the camera and charger to capture the memories. Essentials like a towel and sunscreen are a must under the Florida sun. 

Packing is an art – think minimalism and convenience, opting for soft bags that won’t scuff the yacht’s deck and eschewing hard or black-soled shoes to keep it pristine. Soft-sided coolers are recommended over a single large one, as they can be tucked away neatly, optimizing space for relaxation and enjoyment. Pack a variety of snacks and beverages, but please leave behind any red-colored drinks to avoid potential stains. While adult life jackets are provided, don’t forget life jackets for the little ones. Lastly, if the sea’s sway isn’t your dance of choice, bring along sea-sick medication to keep you feeling your best as you cruise with us.

Smile Lines Charters
Photo courtesy of Smile Lines

A Set of Rules for the Ultimate Charter Experience

To maintain the quality of the experience, Smile Lines sets clear rules: no smoking, suitable attire to avoid damage to the boat’s surfaces, and no high heels to preserve the elegant decking. Sorry, Queens! Flip flops only!

Sail the LGBTQ-Friendly Seas With Smile Lines

Smile Lines isn’t just about sailing; it’s about creating stories on the sea. With a commitment to safety, inclusivity, and personalized service, it’s a charter service where every guest is guaranteed a chance to smile against the backdrop of Tampa Bay’s serene waters.

**Disclaimer: There is a good chance that this post contains affiliate or sponsor links. If you make a purchase through them, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you (for which we are extremely grateful).

Also, while we do our best to highlight LGBTQ-friendly destinations and businesses, info provided is based solely on personal experience and recommendations by community partners. We hope that nobody experiences discrimination or homophobia while visiting Florida and beyond, but we make no guarantees. Please inform us if you experience discrimination or homophobia while visiting any destination so we can make updates to our recommendations.

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july, 2024

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