Arabella does not offer traditional entertainment onboard. The New England and Chesapeake itineraries are port-oriented, focusing on the history of places like Annapolis and Martha's Vineyard. Oftentimes, a local tourism representative will come aboard to give a short briefing about the community. The Caribbean itineraries are all about water sports: kayaking, snorkeling, swimming, scuba diving and fishing. Arabella's amenities include snorkeling gear and six two-person kayaks.
When Arabella is sailing, passengers typically gather on the top deck to enjoy the sun and the wind. Sailing is often a peaceful and quiet endeavor, and it's not unusual for guests to enjoy the sail in silence. When Arabella is docked, the ship is pretty much deserted.
Arabella routinely offers complimentary walking tours in many (but not all) ports, but it doesn't feature traditional ship-sponsored shore excursions. In their absence, the crew does a lot of heavy lifting when it comes to making restaurant reservations, arranging transportation for guests and directing passengers to local landmarks. On our Chesapeake cruise, the crew arranged a complimentary walking tour of Annapolis with a local guide and, on Solomons Island, a visit to an outdoor sculpture garden.
A roomy midship salon serves as the dining room, bar and social hall. With eight mahogany tables polished to a high sheen and blue leather seating, it's an attractive space with large oceanview windows. It also houses "Captain's Corner," a navigation station where the captain tracks, among other things, weather, wind, water depth, and longitude and latitude.
The salon is also where passengers will find concierge services and brochures and guidebooks about each port.
There is no Internet cafe or Wi-Fi service on Arabella.
The main deck on this sailing cruise yacht contributes hugely to Arabella's joy quotient. There's a hot tub that seats six people in the stern. (The stern is also the only place where smoking is permitted.) Next to the tub is a horseshoe-shaped outdoor "lounge" that seats 20 and is canopied for shade. Up front, there's a sun deck, which the crew calls the "lido deck." Basically, it's an elevated platform with cushions that can comfortably accommodate a half-dozen people. When the ship is at sea, passengers typically congregate there on the sun deck and at the outdoor lounge to enjoy the sailing experience. Sailing almost always takes place during the day, so guests have plenty of opportunities to indulge. While passengers aren't permitted to help the crew with the sails, the captain will sometimes let guests steer.
The ship does not provide special children's programming. To sail on Arabella, passengers must be 14 or older and physically able to step out of the boat's tender.