Your first time working as yacht crew on board a superyacht is always a daunting one. It’s an experience you won’t forget and can often feel like a blur with each day rolling into the next.
As a first-time junior stewardess, there are ways you can prepare for your first yacht charter which will, in turn, boost your overall confidence. From procedures you need to learn, to knowing how the boat operates, are the expectations of your role whether it’s laundry, housekeeping, service, or crew mess.
Top tips to help you prepare for your first yacht charter as a green crew:
- Familiarise yourself with the whole boat, from the names of each cabin to the different decks (Sun deck, Upper-deck, Owners Deck, Main Deck, Lower Deck), storage areas, and the yachting terminology such as port (left) and starboard (right).
- Stock up your cleaning caddy and be sure you know how each cleaning product is to be used. (For example, don’t spray alcohol or vinegar on marble surfaces).
- If you have access to guest profile pictures before they arrive, familiarise yourself with the charter guest’s faces and preferences. This includes which wine they love, how they like their laundry done, and any food allergies.
- Make sure you understand what’s required of you in your role, and if you’re not sure ask your chief stew. Is it your responsibility to look after the crew mess? Run guest laundry to cabins? Hoover the guest upper deck level? Bring in sunscreen baskets in the afternoon? These are all things to think about. Most organised vessels have a manual for each shift. If there’s no manual, you need to ask what’s required to ensure nothing is missed.
- Make sure you clear space in your cabin cupboard for on charter uniform, ensure you have all of the uniform (including an epaulette) and it’s all pressed and ready to go.
- If you’re in service, it’s good to create a table decor schedule. This allows you to prepare your table decorations in advance, enabling you to be organised the night before. With this schedule, you can edit your charter dates and table decoration themes, then save and print so you can refer to each day.
- If you’re in housekeeping, make sure you are familiar with the sheet change schedule. This is when each cabin is meant to have the sheets changed, whether it’s daily, every 2 or 3 days. Label it in calendar format so the laundry stew and housekeeping team are aware.
- Take the time to understand the laundry procedures specific to your boat. Who takes the guest’s clothes back to the cabin? What days can you put your clothes/towels/bedding in the wash? Where does the laundry stew want items put? Often there are systems in place, and you need to know them to ensure everything runs smoothly. If you’ll be doing some laundry on charter, make sure you understand how the machines work. Consider learning about how different materials are washed, how stains are treated etc. If you need an extra bit of help with laundry, then check out The Seaworthy Yacht Stewardess Online Course. With the laundry module, you will have all of the necessary information in a handy downloadable format.
- Ask about the procedure for when guests arrive. Often it’s a busy time for the heads of departments, however, for juniors, it’s a time in limbo where you can find yourself unsure of what to do. Find out where the luggage tags are stored, be ready to tag and unpack any guest luggage, make sure the luggage mats are out in the cabins, and if you have spare time, set up for crew mess meals or restock items. There is always something to do.
- If you’re going to be unpacking for the guests, ask your chief stew or head of housekeeping how they would like it done. For instance, find out how the cupboards are set out, which items are a priority to be pressed, how the clothes are to be hung on hangers, how the shirts are to be buttoned (usually it’s buttons 1,3, 5) etc.
- Lastly, if you’re in service, make sure you try and learn the wines, spirits and snacks you have available onboard. Guests will always be wanting to know what’s on offer, and you need to be able to provide them with all the important information.
Still not sure about how to prepare for your first charter or what to pack for the charter season? You can find exactly how to do this in the wardrobe management and guest packing/unpacking module in The Seaworthy Stew Training Course.
It’s always a busy time leading up to the first charter, but by following top tips on how to prepare for your first yacht charter, you’ll step into your role as a junior stew understanding what is required to meet the standards onboard.
I wish all the first-time stews reading this, the best of luck on your first charter! – Jess
Further advice on how to perfect your yachting CV can be found by clicking, here.