Along with our ‘Meet the Crew’ series, we thought it would be good to go into more detail about the roles of the yacht crew. The interior team is the heart of a yacht charter’s service; from being greeted with a smile, to the million details they take care of throughout the day to ensure their guests have the best possible experience.
How Many Stewardesses Work Aboard a Yacht?
The number of stewardesses generally depends on the size and style of the yacht. On yachts and gulets up to 30 m, it is typical for there to be only one stewardess a ‘sole stew’, who is responsible for everything – food and drink service, interior detailing, housekeeping, and guest experience. On larger yachts above 30 m, it is usual for there to be 2 – 3 service stews, and one stewardess dedicated to housekeeping. This is necessary as the yacht is larger, and the level of service and detailing expected is higher.
What is the Role of the Sole Stew?
As mentioned above, a sole stew is responsible for everything, he/she is a ‘one (wo)man band’ to speak. The beauty of smaller yachts and gulets is their family style atmosphere. The service is friendly and efficient. From your first morning coffee to your last nightcap and everything in between, your sole stew is there for you. Many are also very knowledgeable about the coast and are happy to make recommendations and bookings for you or in some cases, the captain does this; it varies from boat to boat. The biggest difference between having one or two stews is that while sole stews are there for everything, they are still one person, so it may mean that they ‘disappear’ for small periods during the day, for example – to clean cabins after breakfast. They do their best to choose the most appropriate moments, and there should always be a member of the crew around to help. It is also important to note that on smaller yachts when there is a sole stew, they do not do guest laundry.
What is the Role of the Interior Team on Larger Yachts?
On yachts over 30 m, usually, there are 2 – 3 service stews. The hierarchy in this set-up is usually – Chief Stew, 2nd Stew, and 3rd Stew. The Chief Stew is like the manager of the interior team; they are responsible for ordering, inventory, delegating tasks, primary guest communication – giving recommendations and making bookings, and communication with the captain and galley. During the off-season, the Chief Stew also takes care of any interior maintenance required or ordering new inventory – from towels to uniforms. Ideally, the Chief Stew also organises crew training during the off-season to upskill their team.
Service Team: 2nd and 3rd Stew
If there are three stews aboard, then the 2nd stew is generally the ‘right hand (wo)man’ to the Chief Stew. This means that they may have more duties and responsibilities, like helping with ordering and inventory, and stepping in to be the main point of communication if the Chief Stew is busy. If there are only two service stews aboard, then either one will be the Chief Stew or they operate as a team, sharing roles and responsibilities equally. The service stews are naturally responsible for all drink and food service, and interior detailing of the salon. On larger yachts, if there is a 3rd stew, often they will help housekeeping with the cabins. Regardless of the set-up, the service team are always discreetly present, there for the guests’ every wish – often before they realise it themselves. Personable yet professional is the demeanour and approach of the stewardesses in our fleet.
On yachts above 30 m, usually, there is a stew dedicated to laundry and housekeeping. While this role is ‘behind the scenes’ it is a very important part of the interior team, and the overall guest experience. This stew cleans the cabins in the morning and evening (turn up / turn down), and usually checks them throughout the day. As part of the morning service, they also collect guest laundry and work hard to get laundry back to guests within a 24-hours. When not cleaning cabins, this stew is busy with laundry all day. It isn’t just guests’ clothes, there are also bath towels, beach towels, table linens, chef’s cloths, and crew laundry. The washers and driers run non-stop, and so too does the iron. Organization and time management are key to this role.
Hospitality that Stays with you
Stewardesses are a jack of all trades – waiter, barista, bartender, entertainer, cleaner, concierge… they wear many hats and do it all with grace and efficiency. Their days start around 7 am, and don’t end until the last guest goes to bed. ‘Service with a smile’ doesn’t come close to encompassing everything they do. Every crew member has their part to play, and every role is important, but naturally, service is a huge part of the guest experience. Service is the skills and tasks, but hospitality is the warmth and genuine care that it is done with. Feeling welcomed, comfortable, and taken care of is hospitality, and this is this feeling that stays with guests. We may be biased, but this genuine approach is what we believe all the crews in our fleet have as it is the feedback we receive time again. Hopefully, you now have more of an idea of what the stew role entails.
Look at our fleet or check our crew profiles to learn more, and if you have any questions, contact our team. We look forward to welcoming you aboard soon.