The structure of the interior department varies depending on the size of the yacht. The duties of a steward or stewardess change accordingly. Small yachts require diverse interior staff who can help with service, laundry, food preparations and at times, help on with deck operations. Large yachts have a more segmented approach with job roles focused on specific areas of service or housekeeping. It is advisable to understand what the position entails so that you have realistic expectations of the job at hand.
Do you have what it takes?
A yacht steward or stewardess is responsible for the interior maintenance of the vessel and for delivering the highest standard of service to the guests on board. Although the interior structure is not consistent with all yachts, you will find a common breakdown of the departments and positions below.
Steward / Stewardess Department:
Whilst on service it is your responsibility to cater to the guests wants and needs and provide the highest level of service possible. Service duties include but are not limited to making and serving drinks, meal service, table setting, washing up, polishing crockery, cutlery and glassware, making conversation and entertaining guests. Superyacht guests expect the highest standard of quality and service levels that exceed the best restaurants, hotels and villas in the world. The role of service stew is a high pressure one and requires training and experience. The service role is usually operated by stews with strong experience on yachts or from high standard service industries. As a junior stew you may be required to help out during busier times. This is a good opportunity to gain experience and prove yourself in the service department.
The housekeeping department oversees the smooth running and immaculate upkeep of the guest areas. Roles include; cleaning cabins, making beds, drying and cleaning showers, cleaning toilets, replenishing toiletries, replacing used towels, removing all dirty laundry, tidying the saloon/s (lounge areas) and turning down the cabins before guests retire to bed. Whilst the guests are not on board the stews will deep clean all areas of the vessel, commonly known as detailing. Ear buds and toothpicks are even used to get the yacht’s interior as immaculate as possible.
The laundry department is in charge of all the laundry on board. Laundry will vary from washing, drying and ironing guest clothing, towels, table cloths, service napkins to crew uniform, galley tea towels and deck rags. It is important to keep the laundry functioning throughout the day and make sure it is cleared at the end of the night. It is essential to check the labels of clothing garments and other items to ensure they are laundered correctly, always double check with the chief stew or someone more experienced if in doubt – ruining guest clothing can be a costly exercise and can ruin the trip altogether. Duties will also include cleaning and maintaining the laundry equipment such as the iron, washing machines, tumble dryers, steamers and other equipment that you may have used.
Structure and Roles vary depending on yacht size:
It is important to understand that the structure will vary depending on the size of yacht and number of interior crew. Not all superyachts will fill every position and quite often on smaller yachts crew will perform a dual role, for example, stew/cook or deck/stew.