A day in the life of a sole Superyacht Stewardess

Note that there are not really any ‘typical’ days’ on yachts because each owner and each group of guests are different.  It also does depend on the job you do – captain, first mate, engineer, deckhand, chef, stewardess etc. and how many are in your team.  It also depends on the size and type of yacht.  Some yachts are known as “party boats” but by no means all.  This will depend on the attitude of the captain and the owner ! Mostly the guests are amazing – since they’re on holiday they are usually happy and enjoying themselves and it’s your job to keep that happening!  Sure they can be demanding but it’s always best to be clear on exactly what people want so that you can deliver!

So on this particular day with guests this is how it went:

6:15am woke up: showered and dressed in my day uniform. Ran out into the crew mess to grab a quick coffee and toast.

6:30am started work: Run the washing machines and while they are going, I head upstairs to see how much mess the guests made last night after they sent me to bed about midnight. Cleaned up their empty cognac bottle and full ashtray of cigars on the aft deck. Washed glasses, dusted and polished EVERYTHING until it was spotless. Tiptoed around so as not to wake the guests. Fluffed the cushions (everywhere!), set the table for breakfast, ran downstairs and put everything in the dryer, started the next load in the washing machine.

Breakfast Time9-10am guests wake, in dribs and drabs, so I greet them and offer coffee on the aft deck and lots of water (to help with their likely hangover).  I invite them to the breakfast table in small groups when there’s a few guests accumulated and take their order for anything cooked (whatever they want - the chef will make!).  Usually they would have a juice, fruit platter, pastries and toast and often bacon and eggs or omelettes plus coffee coffee coffee!  I help the chef in the galley and take their hot food out to them.  Then while they’re eating breakfast  I duck into their cabins and make the beds, clean the cabin and bathrooms until they are spotless. Then it’s time to run back upstairs to the table, clear the place settings of those who’ve finished breakfast and receive the rest of the guests – those who’ve slept in, when they eventually surface!

11:00am the decision is made to take the yacht out to an island for lunch, so I go outside and help the deckhand while the yacht is leaving the berth. Then make sure that the guests have everything they need (ie. another coffee or a coke) and then head downstairs to start ironing. Once we are anchored near the island I would set the table on the upper deck for lunch and it’s often the same deal as breakfast – but the buffet has a bigger offering and today we are having a bbq.

It’s usually either that or the guests would all take the tender boat to the island for lunch, in which case I would remain onboard and vacuum as you can’t do that while the guests are onboard as its too noisy.  Continuously throughout the day I am making sure the yacht is spotless – so when I spot a speck or a smear or a smudge I’m fixing it. Any free time is spent doing laundry or ironing as there’s A LOT!  (crew uniform, sheets, towels, guest clothes, beach towels, seat covers, napkins, tablecloths, galley rags, tea-towels and glass-cloths!)  

6pm: The call goes over your radio that crew dinner is on the table when you’re available for it. Run down and eat!

Depending on whether they are having lunch out and dinner onboard, they would call us to pick them up with the tender, then we’d head back to our berth.  They may decide to ashore to go out and party.

Tonight they have decided to go out so the captain makes a reservation and the deck crew drive them to the restaurant.  I do a final run around the yacht and clean their bathrooms again as they would have all showered, put on make-up and dressed up and there would be clothes everywhere from trying on outfits (keep in mind that on this yacht there’s 5 cabins sleeping 2 in each – that’s a lot of cleaning up!)  Then I’d turn down each bed and put out a bottle of water and a chocolate on their bedside table.  Then it’s back to finish the ironing.  By that time between 10pm to midnight – sometimes even later!  Now it’s bed time. Phew! Sore feet!

You should know that if they had decided to stay onboard for dinner, I’m doing all that (above) PLUS setting the table, serving the dinner  (allow around 3 hours for this), cleaning up afterwards, putting everything away and also ducking down when possible to ‘turn down’ the beds and clean the bathrooms and cabins!

On every yacht it’s different though.  If you work on a bigger yacht – mine is 33m – there would be more stewardesses, so you spread the work around.  Bear in mind that bigger yachts have more staterooms so you’d have more guests to look after!  Stews on bigger boats do a ‘rotation’ through Housekeeping, Laundry and Service, so you do a day in each and move to the next area.
That’s just when guests are onboard.  It’s completely different when guests are not there!

Story supplied by www.superyachtcrewinternational.com
Superyacht Crew International