A Day in the Life of a Superyacht Stewardess

a day in the life Jan 01, 2019
Hi there FreshYacht Insiders! We’re back and launching 2019 with a peek into the life of a stewardess.

You’ll remember Sarah -- we’ve chatted with her before -- and today she’s sharing some funny stories from working on superyachts, a glimpse into her routine, and why working as a stewardess has helped her in every other part of her life!


Sarah, thanks for talking with us! We love to hear about your experiences. Can you give our readers an idea of what a “normal” day looks like when you have guests onboard?


It varies a bit depending on the size of your boat or crew, but typically you’ll be either the “morning girl” or the “late girl”, working a shift each day so you stay on a routine schedule.

I’m often the “morning girl”, so I’d get up quite early -- before any of the guests -- and work through the day. In comparison, the “late girl” may start her shift mid-morning, but she’s responsible for any guest requests that come in, no matter how late in the evening.  


If a guest wants lobster at 2 a.m., it’s the late girl’s job to go wake the chef and make that request happen. So, this is a peek at what my day may look like as “morning girl”.

5 a.m.

I’ll get up and dress in the uniform of the day -- typically we wear smart polos in different colors depending on the day of the week.


I’m usually up first to clean and prepare the space, then start setting up the breakfast table. Even though it’s only breakfast, it’s still a formal setting.



Once the table is prepared, I’ll shift over to taking care of morning service as the guests wake up -- taking their orders, serving coffee, that type of thing.


After breakfast is sorted, I head down to clean the cabins and make sure everything is turned up properly, neat and clean.


11 a.m.

Guests leave the boat for activities so we start setting up for lunch service. Usually, around lunch I’ll have my break -- typically a few hours - while the other stewardesses will manage lunch; then I’ll rotate through breaks with the others so everyone has time to eat and take a  rest.


After my break, I’ll clear any lunch service remaining and then start setting up for dinner. It’s not as simple as just setting a table -- we really go all out on the table settings, so it could take thirty minutes or more for an intricate setting.


3 p.m.

If the guests want to go off the boat for activities, generally a stewardess will go along -- whether to make cocktails on the beach or serve other drinks or snacks -- so sometimes we’ll be missing one person during the dinnertime prep, which can make it even more work to get ready in time.



7 p.m.

I’ll finish dinner service and breakdown, then I’ll go to the cabins for turndowns - that’s my most important evening task, to prepare the guest cabins for their rest.


It’s important to make it all look lovely and inviting, so I’ll dim the lights, pull their sheets down, make sure the shower and sink are dry and clean, empty the dustbins, and make sure everything is tidy.  


Image result for superyacht master cabin turndown


I’ll place water and chocolate next to the bed and take away any laundry. It’s a lengthy process to do turndown properly - probably takes about the same time as dinner.


My final task is to make sure the heads are clean and refold the toilet paper.


Image result for superyacht toilet


11 p.m.

I’ll head to bed myself, after taking care of any personal duties or relaxing a bit. Then it’s up early to do it again tomorrow!

Wow, that’s quite the day! What changes about your job when you don't have guests onboard?


When we don’t have guests there’s still plenty to do - but it’s more of a normal Monday to Friday, 8 to 5 schedule.


I’ll do laundry and daily tasks, but then I’ll spend my extra time on detailing -- this is that superhero level of cleaning to hear stories about! I’ll use toothpicks and Q-tips to make sure I’m getting every single surface clean and polished!


The nice thing about when we’re waiting for guests is we all have a bit more free time and a more casual environment. We can dress casually and go out in the evenings or weekends to explore your area with your friends or crewmates.


That detailing sounds intense! What’s your favorite tool to use when you’re doing your best cleaning work?


Well, it sounds so simple, but I would actually say a rag with soap -- it’s really just what you use all the time. It’s helpful when you’re doing a deep clean with just a simple bucket with warm water and soap. I call it giving the whole area a “shower” or a “bath” -- everything is absolutely covered in soap -- it’s the best way to really get something nice and clean!


What is the funniest story you can share from your time working as a stewardess?


Well, I have a few actually that have stood out in my memory!


Florida is known for the iguanas, but you kind of get used to them. 


But one day the girls were in the main salon, and one of the boys came in looking white as snow. He had been busy clearing things out of the bosun's locker (a storage space on the exterior of the boat) when an iguana jumped out at him.


He was so shocked he leaped back and then just ran away! We were all in stitches laughing!




Another funny thing that happened -- although it wasn’t so funny at the time -- was once, we had guests coming on board in one day so we were pretty much all prepared and the boat was spotless.  I was walking in the lower guest area when all of a sudden I heard water flowing, and we discovered that all the toilets were overflowing and had started reaching the carpets!


I have never seen people running so fast with so many towels, hoping we could at least save the carpets. Once we had the water stopped, we had to lift the carpets to dry them and clean all the bathrooms again in time so the guests would not have any idea that anything happened!  


It wasn’t funny then, but I look back on it now and smile because it was an awesome thing to have conquered without anyone knowing a thing!


Finally, one last thing that always makes me think about the tricky work of being a stewardess.


Stewardesses have to be very quiet with guests on board because it is inappropriate to be too loud and disturb the guests. We’re just silently there working in the background and helping them to have their best stay.


However, there’s a downside to being TOO quiet! There have been numerous occasions when I have scared a guest -- when we both turned a corner and walked into each other, or when I’ve been working to dry or clean a shower and someone walks into their bathroom to use the loo!



In cases like these, you have to balance being quiet with making yourself heard -- before it’s too late!


Were you intimidated when you first started? How did you overcome being nervous around wealthy visitors or rude guests?


I was so nervous at first, very timid. I couldn’t even speak to guests properly, I would stutter and come across as a very nervous person.


I think that the only thing that helped was time - to get used to being around super-rich people, or famous people -- you have to realize that they are still just humans.  


It’s very normal for people to be nervous when they first start on a superyacht crew - but the rest of the crew can really make a difference and make the atmosphere calm and easygoing.


Why do you like your job better than others onboard?


Well for me, I’m quite fair skinned, so I’m really happy I don’t work outside.  I would get sunburned! Plus, it’s also really hot outside and the deck crew are doing a lot of physical work and activity, so it’s quite demanding in that sense.



I like the mental challenge of working interior -- you’ve got to be prepared for anything, but it’s a different type of work.


Finally, the interior crew don’t have to worry too much about the weather -- it’s always nice inside!



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