Working on a superyacht is truly a wonderful experience, and I can honestly say that I have not worked in such a unique industry before or since leaving the yachting industry. The following article explains the Superyacht Crew Hierarchy in detail along with what a superyacht actually is.
What is a superyacht?
The word yacht comes from the Dutch word ‘jacht’, which means to hunt. Originally the yacht was a light and fast vessel that was used by the Dutch Navy to pursue pirates. After 1650, this developed into a luxury vessel for VIPs and was used by the Dutch Navy until 1843.
Yachts for civilians were known as ‘play yachts’. Until the 1990’s most yachts were usually under 40 metres. Over the years they have slowly become larger. Currently, the largest yacht to date is 163 metres, with a 180 metre ‘new build’ under construction at the world-renowned German shipbuilding company ‘Lurssen’.
Luxury, indulgence, elegant, expensive, bling, sumptuous, rare. The world of luxury yachting has taken off exponentially in the new Millennium. It seems the rich and famous are no longer satisfied with a mere luxury superyacht, and towards the end of the last century, the term ‘mega and ‘Giga’ yacht had come into use.
This has resulted in an increase in the demand for highly skilled crew. The years of backpacker dominated docks have been replaced by the bachelor holding hotel managers and commercially qualified professional seamen.
There is no absolute definition of this subject, so this is what I found on Wikipedia:
“The term luxury yacht, superyacht, large yacht and mega yacht, refers to the expensive privately owned yachts, which are professionally crewed.”
Who owns these superyachts?
Well, it’s no surprise that superyachts are owned by wealthy people. The superyacht industry knows no boundaries and the yacht owners come from all corners of the globe. The yacht owners are people from varying backgrounds. It is true that some owners are movie stars and celebrities.
The majority of the owners are wealthy business people, who prefer to stay away from the paparazzi and who prefer to have their identity kept secret. The yachts are used for various reasons.
Some are completely privately owned, others are for charter only, and the rest operate between these two positions. Charter prices also range from tens of thousands, through to hundreds of thousands.
The Organisational Structure
The organisational structure onboard a superyacht can best be described as being top-down and strongly hierarchical (as shown below) based upon a military model. Where positions, job duties and lines of authority are set, however, a superyacht is not the military, nor is it merchant shipping or large-scale commercial shipping like cruise liners.
Obviously, the larger yachts will have more crew with the same title and job description. Another area that may cause a little confusion is in the galley. Most yachts run with a chef or cook on a smaller yacht and only the larger super/mega yachts run with a team of chefs.
The following diagram represents clearly the formal structure by which superyachts operate. It also shows a clear separation of authority and duties of their hierarchical rank.
A Superyacht runs this way for a few reasons:
An authoritative chain of command is implemented for safety reasons, with the Captain is the master of the vessel… the king of the castle so to speak, with the Chief Engineer and Chief Officer following closely behind with the safety of the crew and vessel in their hands.
The middle managers follow in line to execute the commanding orders.
Followed by the lower ranks to carry out the orders.
This diagram broadly represents the chain of command on board a superyacht (please keep in mind that this example is a general summary and yachts will differ in the organizational structure.).
The horizontal specialization of the crew is again quite obvious, with each department specializing in their relevant departments:
Superyacht Crew Hierarchy
Engineering: Safety and smooth operational running of the vessel and hotel services.
As superyacht stewardesses, we see the damage caused to our oceans and waterways by plastic daily. Moreover, its no surprise to know that plastic pollution is a global problem that threatens aquatic life.
Therefore, it is necessary for everyone to take small steps to reduce plastic use as well as take good care of their environment.
This article is written for the superyacht stewardess but can be applied to all walks of life. Further, it aims to highlight some steps to follow to reduce plastic use and pollution.
Cutting down the Daily use of Plastic
Avoid using plastic straws.
These straws are a massive problem in ocean contamination; they are also among the most picked up trash on beaches.
To stop straw use is straightforward: As a consumer, simply do not order a straw, and as a superyacht stewardess do not offer a plastic straw. If you guests asks for one, offer a bamboo straw instead.
Make use of a reusable tumbler or a no-go mug when you order coffee. As a consumer, take your own insulated coffee cup along to your favourite coffee shop. The use of insulated tumblers will also keep your beverages hot or cold a lot much longer.
Moreover, You also need to know that paper coffee cups are mostly coated with plastic resin, so you need you to avoid these as well and go for reusable containers.
Avoid dry-cleaning in reusable bags.
Avoid making use of the dry-cleaners’ one-time-use plastic bags and nasty coat hangers. Instead, provide your dry cleaner with your own coat hangers and reusable bags.
Avoid chewing gum.
How would have thought that chewing gum was so bad for the environment! However, according to Planet experts, it is.
The gum was initially made from natural materials like sap and rubber, but manufacturers now make use of a type of synthetic plastic instead.
Therefore instead of mindlessly grabbing the first of chewing gum, you see look for a biodegradable natural gum or eat mints instead.
As a superyacht chief stewardess who does all of the provisioning’s onboard, this is one area that you have complete control over and one tip that can be extended throughout all of your product purchases
Yearly, billions of plastic bags occupy landfills. In order to help reduce this number, use your tote bags when you go grocery shopping.
Reusable bags are much sturdier for moving groceries and will make a large impact on the number of plastic bags used.
It is easy to get reusable bags at most grocery stores and if you are using a provisioning company, ask them not to use single-use plastic bags.
Buy food from bulk bins and store them in reusable containers. Purchasing foods from the bulk section will save you money as well as lots of plastic packaging.
So instead of bagging your bulk foods up in plastic bags make use of your reusable bags or containers.
Waste-free storage options include cotton bags, glass jars and stainless-steel containers.
You may consult the customer service desk if you are worried about how your containers will affect the weighing and paying.
This is because most stores have weighing options for personal containers. Cotton bags have their weight printed on the bottom which makes the weighing process easier.
Avoid purchasing bottled beverages.
Stop your use of plastic bottles by getting alternatives, i.e. by using a reusable bottle to fill up with water, by making your own soda with machine-like Soda Stream, or you purchase fresh fruit to make your juice.
I acknowledge this is a hard thing to do onboard a superyacht, but as we are all citizens of this planet, this point is for everyone, so please just do your best.
Purchase secondhand toys and electronics.
This is because new toys and electronics come with excess plastic packaging. This may not be an easy tip to adopt onboard the superyacht if you are shopping for the guests, but it is easily done in your private life.
Shopping secondhand helps you eliminate waste and high price.
Reduce Plastic onboard the Yacht.
Keep your food in glass containers or jars.
This is a super easy thing to change onboard. And if you are worried about breakage, then there are other alternatives, such as wheatgrass containers, or upcycled plastics. Also, check out the beeswax food wraps.
The orchid is a humble yet exquisite flower and it will be right on top of the list of plants to take care of, as many superyacht interior designers and stewardesses just love them.
This may be because the beautiful orchid can compliment any colour scheme and it will bloom for weeks on end.
Caring for the delicate orchid flower may look like a challenging task, but taking care of Orchids is not that complicated, in fact, it’s quite easy. And Just because it’s different from traditional potted flowers, many stewardesses think that they are far too delicate to have on a yacht, however, in my experience, this simply is not the case.
But people are afraid of them. So, if you’re looking for the best orchid care there are a few important tips you need to know to help make it easier to care for the indoor plant.
What are Orchids?
Orchids are epiphytes or “air plants”. This means that the Orchid flower doesn’t grow in the dirt but rather by clinging on to tree barks and roots. They get most of their nutrients from detritus which gather around their roots.
Orchid flowers aren’t rooted in soils in the wild. So, if you want the best Orchid flowers these facts are important to consider. With the right care, Orchid flowers can blossom and live virtually forever.
Most Orchids die mainly because of overwatering due to the misconception that plants only need water to survive longer. This is, in fact, the opposite when it comes to Orchid flowers because, in the wild, they don’t sit in wet soil because the flowers’ roots will rot and die since it cannot absorb water and nutrients.
So, when it comes to Orchid flowers, the less the water the better.
Orchids are tropical plants and need four things to thrive on the yacht, these are:
Place 2-5 ice cubes around the roots of the indoor plant at least once a week and allow them to melt into the pot. Many stewardesses place the ice on the crown (on the top of the leaves in the centre).
This is a fundamental error because wone the ice melts, it can pool around the leaves which in turn will rot them over time.
To test if there is enough water in the soil, dip two fingers into the soil, pull them out, then rub the fingers together. If the soil is dry, then you can add more water, but if it’s moist, then there’s probably enough water for the Orchid flowers.
Temperature and Lighting Tips
Air conditioning can dry the soil, so it’s wise to keep checking from time to time to ensure proper moist levels. Spraying the flower with water is bad since spraying the plant with water turns the flower brown and rot.
In case of dusty leaves use cotton wool dipped in milk to wipe the leaves. The leaves will feed on the milk and as a bonus, will make the leaves glossy.
Don’t place the Orchid flowers close to direct sunlight, a fan, or air conditioner. But once in a while, get them outside for some moments near the sunlight but not in direct sunlight, away from the air-conditioned yacht for a fresher flower.
Some Orchid flowers bloom in humid areas like restrooms. Orchid flowers flourish in humid areas, like out in the sea or a bathroom. But remember that too much moisture with little air movement can make the Orchid flower vulnerable to rot. You must achieve a decent balance of airflow and humidity for optimum Orchid care.
Most orchids need moderate to warm temperature constantly. For the best Orchid Care, you should ensure the temperature doesn’t fall below 15 degrees Celsius. During the day, the best temperature for the indoor plants is between 22 to 25 degrees Celsius for the best Orchid Care.
Ceiling lights in the superyacht will undoubtedly not have enough light for the Orchid flower so you should place the plant near a window for natural sunlight but ensure the plant isn’t exposed to direct sunlight.
Other Orchid Care Tips
You should never let the Orchid flowers touch anything. If the Orchid flowers touch something like a wall, it completely harms the delicate flowers’ leaves and petals.
Orchid bark is most probably the best the best material to plant the Orchid flowers in. Remember that Orchids should not be planted inside the soil to avoid root rot and to allow the root to have enough oxygen to live.
Since some superyachts Orchids are potted in moss you should ensure the moss is dry before rewetting it since it’s so easy to over water the flowers in the moss. If you’re not sure, you can just go with bark instead.
Orchid plants can live for a long time but it depends on whether they have roots or not.
Good luck with taking care of the of the beautiful Orchid flowers, and hopefully, you feel more confident when handling these amazing flowers.
Well, what a lovely surprise, I’ve just received some Jo Loves & Le Labo Christmas Cheer. The beautiful Ruth from Superyacht luxury sent me some delicious luxury beauty products to reviews for you all.
Now before I start off, I would like to say that I fall into the 35-45 year old demographic and my skin is typically dry and very sensitive.
Further, I am not paid to review these products, and the opinions are solely mine.
From joloves.com: “Jo loves was created by Jo Malone. Jo Malone MBE has been described as an ‘English scent maverick’ and the woman responsible for creating some of the world’s most loved fragrances.
Originally a facial therapist, Jo fell in love with fragrance while working from her discreet skin care clinic which she set up from her London home.
Discovering an instinctual talent for creating scented products by hand in her kitchen, word of her exceptional potions quickly spread and soon Jo was unable to keep up with demand.
From these artisan beginnings, Jo launched her first brand, Jo Malone London, which gained cult status around the world. In 1999, Jo sold the business to Estée Lauder Companies and remained Creative Director until she left in 2006.” www.joloves.com.
A woman who doesn’t wear perfume has no future. – Coco Chanel
Before I give you my opinion here is what jo loves has to say about their product:
A luxurious foaming gel for hands and body, designed to be used every day as a hand wash or shower gel to gently cleanse and scent your skin.
In my opinion, the product and packaging present elegantly and would sit nicely in the bathroom on board any superyacht. Further, the soap offers a delicate and familiar fragrance which is reminiscent of a bygone era.
Jo Loves Pomelo Hand & body cleanser 200ml.
I was happy to find that the soap didn’t dry out my sensitive skin, and I will happily continue to use this product.
On a less constructive note, I could not find an ingredients list, so I’m really not sure what I was putting on my body, which is something that I always consider when choosing beauty products.
La Labo – Santal 33
Moving onto the La Labo – Santal 33, I received the 60ml hotel size body lotion which is packaged in a standard bottle.
Without doing any research on this product, in my opinion, this product oozes masculinity. Just think of the Marlboro man mixed with an American retro Barba shop, and then you will find this delightful elixir.
Sure enough, when I did look to see the who, what, where, why and how behind this product, I found the whole website is geared towards the male consumer.
Some other reviews disagree and have stated that this range spans ages and genders. The founders themselves have said that “We never thought about who was going to wear it regarding gender at Le Labo. We are more thinking of the souls — perfumery has to be sexual to me — it has to create an attraction, an addiction.”
For me, this is a man’s fragrance, and there are many other beautiful scents out there that will appeal to your female guests.
So if you are looking for a gender-neutral product for the guest bathrooms then perhaps this product isn’t for you. If you are looking for his and her line, then I would recommend this range for him.
The lotion goes on with ease, and it is far from greasy, The fragrance was not to my liking, but my husband found it quite nice. The scent does stay on the skin for a while, but some people do not mind that either.
On the positive Le Labo claim to be “Plant-based, genderless, claimless, cruelty-free”.
Free of any promise other than making you feel good while using it”. Which is a massive plus in my book. Further, I did find the ingredients to Santal 33 which are:
“Enriched with vitamin E, vitamin A, aloe vera, coconut and olive oil, this paraben-free hand and body lotion perfumes, softens, and smoothes your skin”. For better results, have someone else apply it to you… gotta love the sexy marketing tactics here)
As a Superyacht stewardess, providing excellence in service is just what you do and providing a luxury dining experience on the sand is one way, which will create lasting memories for your guests.
Your guests are probably used to dining in luxury so it is your job to provide them with beautiful experiences, something that they just can’t do at home.
Before you start gathering everything you need, consider what you want from the dining experience for your guests. It could be the sight of the sun setting on the horizon, the evening breeze, or the view of stars and the moon late in the night.
Having the best possible moment for your guests in mind will help you find the perfect location. This could range from the sandy stretches with a graceful touch, to rocky ocean shores and to a place where the last rays of the sun are most visible as they disappear into the horizon.
The logistics of setting up a luxury dinner on the beach from a yacht can be a little bit of a challenge. However, remember you are professional superyacht crew, and making magical moments for your guests comes naturally to you.
How to set up a luxury dinner on the beach.
You will need to consider the following items when planning this dinner.
Lighting is an essential factor because you will not have a power source. Candles, hurricane lamps and tiki lamps are a great way to add ambience and practical lighting to this remote area.
Dinner candles are selected depending on your preferences. The most common candle styles include those that are 100% beeswax, bayberry tapers, colonettes, dollars, tapers and Aristas.
The candles could be patterned, coloured, and preferably non-scented (you don’t want this messing with the delicious menu that the chef has prepared).
Other essential factors included when setting candles are holders and warmers. Choose your most preferred warmer from a list of Aurora pewter, hurricane black, hurricane oil, hurricane rustic brown and the brushed bronze.
This is a tricky one because you will need somewhere to store this furniture. And as we all know, space on a superyacht is a precious commodity. Therefore, the obvious statement here to make is that the furniture must be able to fold away.
The chairs should be strong, firm to the ground, padded to improve comfort, meticulously neat, heroically arranged and not make screeching sounds due to movements. great choices when purchasing the furniture would be a royal palm beach solid wood chair, Moseley, fine view, parsons, Caravella, Chastain side chair or Aubrey.
Attractive chairs welcome you to the table and make the mealtimes more inviting the above image clearly demonstrates this point nicely.
The dinner tables should be stable to the ground and large enough to accommodate your guest’s needs comfortably. Linen should cover the entire table and add to the attractiveness of it. The colours and patterns of the soft material should blend perfectly.
Your chef is probably very good at what she/he does. However, the challenge here will be to create a menu that is up to standard, but with limited resources. I mean the tender runs back and forth to the yacht’s galley would be a real mood killer.
Therefore the foods, drinks and music should blend excellently with the location and as best you can with the resources that you have available to you.
You are going to have to ask the deck department to help you with achieving a luxury dinner on the beach. First, you may need them to scout out a super romantic location. You will also need them to help you to carry all of the items your need ashore. Moreover, finally, you will need help setting up this romantic dinner.
Set the service tables away from the guests, make sure you have adequate lighting and make sure the chef has as much help as possible.
The crew demonstrate a degree of confidence, maintain physical and verbal neatness, be attentive, fast acting and approachable. Lastly, A sparkling smile and a sharp eye will help you gauge the right level of service for this unique location.
The sand may brush off and the salt may wash away, but the memories will last forever.
Image via Strada
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