Superyacht Stewardess

Effective Wауѕ tо Mаnаgе Guest Exресtаtiоnѕ

In an induѕtrу whеrе ѕеrviсе is king, thе vаluе of delivering a great guеѕt experience iѕ familiar tеrritоrу to every superyacht chief stewardess. However, superyacht charter guests often expect mоrе than уоu саn dо. Fоrtunаtеlу, it’ѕ possible to mаnаgе thеir expectations, dеlivеr what уоu can and kеер thеm hарру.

You’re likely tеmрtеd tо say nо when a guest аѕk fоr ѕоmеthing thаt ѕееmѕ unrеаѕоnаblе оr outside the ѕсоре оf whаt уоu dо. But consider thiѕ: the guest оftеn make diffiсult requests because thеу dоn’t know whаt to expect from уоu, or they want to push you to see what you can accomplish for them.

Thеу dоn’t knоw уоur rules, роliсiеѕ аnd generally accepted рrасtiсеѕ аѕ well аѕ you dо or, реrhарѕ, аt аll. Most аѕk because thеу dоn’t knоw thе роѕѕibilitiеѕ and limitаtiоnѕ. Onlу a ѕmаll percentage know whаt to expect аnd trу tо gеt more оr take аdvаntаgе оf уоu.

Thаt’ѕ whу the bеѕt way to hаndlе unrеаѕоnаblе requests is to mаnаgе сuѕtоmеr expectations better.

Here аrе effective wауѕ tо mаnаgе your guests еxресtаtiоnѕ:

Cоvеr more ѕоlutiоnѕ

Stewardesses оn thе frоnt linе who dеаl with demanding charter guests most оftеn nееd tо be armed with a variety of solutions tо ease аnd роtеntiаl issues. Thаt way, they саn оffеr the guests an аltеrnаtivе whеn they demand ѕоmеthing thаt’ѕ nоt possible.

Bу liѕting оff роѕѕiblе rеѕоlutiоnѕ, (service рrоѕ) еmроwеr thеir guests tо undеrѕtаnd thе соmрlеxitу оf a particular рrоblеm, еngаgе dirесtlу with its solution аnd еnѕurе thеу don’t hаvе unrеаliѕtiс еxресtаtiоnѕ of thе rеѕоlutiоn.

Tiр: Give the interior crew a platform – i.e. in the communications book in the pantry or a private message board,  tо ѕhаrе thеir bеѕt-рrасtiсе solutions tо common рrоblеmѕ and ѕоmе of the unuѕuаl issues they hear. Kеер it uрdаtеd and ассеѕѕiblе to all crew.

Bе transparent

Rеаѕоnаblе expectations аrе оftеn bоrn frоm truѕt. Superyachts that mаkе thеir policies, vаluеѕ аnd рrасtiсеѕ trаnѕраrеnt build truѕt with guests.

That’s done by mаking it clear thrоugh уоur wеbѕitе, company literature and ѕосiаl mеdiа pages hоw уоu dо buѕinеѕѕ. Thеn, most importantly, trаin the crew tо practice those рrinсiрlеѕ.

Tip: On the trаnѕасtiоnаl lеvеl, the yacht crew should еxрlаin how and why they’re hаndling a ѕituаtiоn оr iѕѕuе a certain way. Guests who understand what’s going on will know whаt to expect, and thеу’ll bе more likеlу tо be ѕаtiѕfiеd with how уоu are hаndling thingѕ.

Be орtimiѕtiс аnd rеаliѕtiс

Mоѕt superyacht stewardesses wаnt tо mаkе and kеер the guests hарру — аnd thеу knоw thаt a ԛuiсk rеѕоlutiоn will do thаt. Aftеr аll, everyone wаntѕ tо hеаr gооd nеwѕ, ѕuсh аѕ the рrоblеm will bе fixеd, or the ѕоlutiоn will bе implemented nоw.

While it’s gооd tо be орtimiѕtiс fоr the guests, it’ѕ mоrе important tо bе realistic аnd set thе right еxресtаtiоn.

Tiр: Exрlаin whаt guests саn еxресt, plus what might gеt in the way of thе ideal оutсоmе. Thеn, if one of those glitches hарреnѕ, the guests wоn’t bе tаkеn bу surprise and diѕарроintеd.

Uѕе thе Three-Pronged Rеѕроnѕе tо the Guests Problem

Mаnу superyacht stewardesses have tеndеnсiеѕ tоwаrd соnfliсt-аvоidаnсе реrѕоnаlitiеѕ bесаuѕе оf their people рlеаѕing оriеntаtiоnѕ.  Sо, whеn a guest, is irate аnd has a problem with something on board the yacht, then the stewardess may want tо аvоid the соnfliсt rаthеr than асknоwlеdgе it if соnfrоntеd.

Customers wаnt thеir соnсеrnѕ аnd рrоblеmѕ acknowledged аnd vаlidаtеd. It is important to уоur guests that thеir соnсеrn iѕ met with thе аррrорriаtе response.

Trаin уоur еmрlоуееѕ in the three рrоngеd rеѕроnѕе – асknоwlеdgе, empathize, аnd оffеr a rеѕоlutiоn.

Thе thrее рrоngеd rеѕроnѕе iѕ thе cornerstone to рrоviding еxсерtiоnаl customer service whеn a guеѕt еnсоuntеrѕ a problem.

  • ”Thе еxреriеnсе уоu еnсоuntеrеd is nоt uр tо our ѕtаndаrdѕ” (acknowledgement).
  • “I саn see why уоu аrе соnсеrnеd” (еmраthу).
  • “Lеt me call (insert the correct department) right now to tаkе саrе оf it” (rеѕоlutiоn).

Uѕing thе thrее рrоngеd rеѕроnѕе doesn’t mеаn that your yacht hаѕ to ѕаtiѕfу еvеrу one оf уоur guеѕt’ѕ unrеаѕоnаblе demands.  Some guest еxресtаtiоnѕ just саn’t be mеt.

In those саѕеѕ, thе rеѕоlutiоn portion mау bе аn apologetic еxрlаnаtiоn оf the practical limitations in rеѕоlving thе issue.  It iѕ аlwауѕ better to be аblе to ѕау whаt уоu саn do fоr a guеѕt rаthеr than tо ѕау whаt you саn’t dо fоr a guest.

Aсknоwlеdging a concern, empathizing, аnd еxрlаining whаt you саn dо to resolve it will rеаѕѕurе mоѕt guеѕtѕ.  Bеing раtiеnt and explaining why practical limitations prevent уоu frоm mееting аn unrеаѕоnаblе dеmаnd will diѕаrm еvеn the mоѕt cynical guеѕt.

 

 

 

Happy Halloween

Oíche Shamhna

Happy Halloween

From my ancestors to yours… Let’s celebrate.

Dear yachting community and a special hello to my superyacht stewardesses.

Halloween is one of my favourite celebrations of the year.

Yes, it’s a time to eat and drink too many forbidden treats, but its also a time to honour our ancestors.

A time when the veil is lifted between the worlds, and for a short moment, we can see who we are and where we came from.

So from my ancestors to yours, The Stewardess Bible is giving YOU the choice of treats.

Treat number 1: 

  • Buy one and get one FREEEEEE … This is incredible value for money. When you purchase the print edition of The Stewardess Bible, you will be sent the e-book absolutely FREE. This treat also includes the communications notebook and FREE standard shipping worldwide.
  • Please note that this is a manual process and the E-Books will be sent out as soon as possible to one email address only.

Treat number 2:

  • Enter the code Samhain30

    and receive a massive 30% discount off the Stewardess Bible E-Book. The EBook is available immediately after purchase. (please note that this fantastic deal is only for the complete E-Book and not for individual modules)

These discounts have never been offered before, and probably won’t be for a long time to come.

So take advantage of this offer today!

These treats are available until 1 November 2019.

I do hope that you enjoy this time of the year, take care of yourselves and please do remember your ancestors.

As always I wish you safe travels and calm seas.

The Stewardess Bible

“Making Life Easier for Every Super Yacht Stewardess”.

I know your time is precious, so I will give you a brief overview of what the book entails.

The book basically consists of 3 modules which have been combined to produce The Stewardess Bible.

The first module, The Stewardess Bible’s Guide to Achieving Excellence in Service, offers Standard operational procedures specific to the super yacht interior department.

This aims to help stewardesses manage their daily tasks with more organized, efficient, stress-free strategies.

The second module, The Stewardess Bible’s Guide to Creating the Perfect Cocktail, includes 21 chapters and five appendices covering every angle of the art of cocktails. From the history of cocktails to a comprehensive list of alcohol substitutions, the second instalment in The Stewardess Bible series gives stewardesses at all experience levels invaluable tips and tricks for creating perfect cocktails.

The last module, The Stewardess Bible’s Guide to Housekeeping Perfection, discusses a number of costly misjudgments. This module helps stewardesses understand the true dynamics of their tasks.

The Stewardess Bible

Unlocking the full potential of your super yachting career.

Superyacht Crew Visa’s Explained

Superyacht Crew Visa’s Explained

What visa do I need to work on a yacht?

For this article, I am going to have to be very general about my advice.

When you are a professional yacht crew member, it is an understatement to say that you will be ‘travelling a lot’, whether it be by air, sea or land.

You will find that the one thing that comes up in conversation is what visa do I need for XXX country.

Therefore, to explain the superyacht crew visa topic, without waffling on too much, I will break down the requirements into locations.

Consequently, the three types of visa’s that we will discuss here are:

  1. Schengen visa
  2. USA B1/B2 visa
  3. The Australian superyacht crew visa

For all visa processes and to make the application as easy and as stress-free as possible, make sure your passport is up to date with more than twelve months validity on it.

The Schengen Visa

The Schengen Area consists of 22 European Union (EU) state members and four non-EU members who are, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

Ireland has also opted out of the Schengen policy, and they operate a separate visa policy.

At the time of writing this, the United Kingdom is battling their way through Brexit, but at this stage, UK citizens may move freely within the EU. Furthermore, the UK also run a separate visa programme.

Nationals of EU countries and Schengen nations are visa-exempt and are allowed to reside, move freely and work in each other’s countries.

For those nations outside of the EU and the Schengen visa agreement, then the following rules apply.

They are the Annexe 1 and Annexe 11.

The list of countries in Annexe I includes Asia, Africa and South America (Western part), Russia and China; this means that South Africans and Filipinos are eligible to apply.

The Annexe II countries include the USA, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. Annexe II citizens need a visa only if they intend to stay for more than 90 days within 180 days.

Therefore, no visa is required for citizens from Annexe II countries to enter the Schengen area.

Below is a generalised explanation of the Schengen visas for non-EU citizens there are:

  1. Transit type B visa
  2. Short-stay type C visa
  3. Longstay type D visa

The first one is the transit visa, and it is commonly known as the Type B visa. As a yacht crew member, who travels a lot, you may know this visa as an entry or exit visa.

That is to say that this visa is only required if you are passing through a Schengen state for no more than five days.

For example, Transit type B visa is very applicable if your visa has expired and you still need to travel home.

The second type is the short-stay type C visa. This visa is valid for 1 to 5 years. When the visa expires, renewal can be testing.

This visa can not be changed, renewed or extended within the Schengen area. You must leave the  Schengen area and reapply.

The documents needed for this visa are:

  • The employment letter
  • Crew/work contract
  • Port letter and yachts itinerary
  • The yachts registration details
  • Personal travel insurance

In addition to the above requirements, there is a subsection to this visa referring to the “short” part of the visa name. The short-stay relates to the 90 days in and 90 days out within a 180 day period.

Essentially this means that if the yacht intends to spend the summer months cruising within the Schengen area then, the crew member will have to be stamped out by the shipping agent, rendering the crew member limited to the yachts flagged state.

At the end of the season, the crew member can be stamped back into the Schengen area, meaning that the time spent onboard under the flag state was time sent outside of the EU or Schengen area.

The third type of visa is the Longstay type D visa. The type D visa is the best visa to obtain a because it is renewable within the Schengen area.

The visa can be obtained by presenting the same paperwork are the type C visa.

B1/B2 Visa

The USA is a megabase for the superyacht industry.

By its very nature, it draws hundreds of young and aspiring superyacht crew, looking for work and adventure on the high seas.

If you are not a US citizen or hold a green card, then you will need to apply for a B1/B2 visa to work on board a superyacht in US waters.

According to the U.S. State Department website,

“The visitor visa is a type of non-immigrant visa for persons desiring to enter the United States temporarily for business (B-1) or for pleasure, tourism or medical treatment (B-2)”.

This visa must not be confused with the C1/D visa which is a crew visa, broadly used for maritime personnel including a cruise ship and cargo vessels.

Unlike the Australian visa, the USA visa is not a straight forward visa to gain.

US Department of State is particularly interested in your ties with your own country.

You must be prepared to show that you pay taxes elsewhere, rent a home or can prove that you reside somewhere else in the world, which means that you are in no way interested in overstaying your visa or have illegal immigration intentions.

To obtain a B1/B2 visa, you really need to have all of your paperwork in order, including a letter of employment from your yacht.

The letter of employment is not stated on the website, so I guess it’s not technically required, but it sure will help during the interview process.

Next,  you will need to fill out a DS-160 form and make an appointment with your nearest US consulate general or embassy.

Be prepared for some tough and at times, rude questioning.

Other helpful papers, as mentioned above, include phone records, utility bills, bank statements and other documents that show that you reside happily elsewhere.

Please take the time to research this information accurately.

The Australian  Superyacht Crew Visa

The Australian superyacht crew visa was explicitly created to encourage the growth of the superyacht industry in Australia. Therefore,  it is very straight forward to gain this visa.

You must have a contract to work on a superyacht in Australian waters, and a supporting letter from the owner of the yacht confirming the person’s employment.

If you are not an Australian citizen, you will need to apply for this visa. The temporary activity visa (subclass 408)  Superyacht crew stream, allows you to work in Australia as a crewmember of a superyacht.

You can travel to and from Australia as many times as you want while your visa is valid.

The visa is valid for 12 months, with a maximum stay of up to 2 years. Furthermore, this visa is also renewable and you can do it online.

 

​Important Links to Check at the Time of Reading this Article

The Stewardess Bible

Small Space – Storage Solutions

Small Space – Storage Solutions

As a superyacht stewardess, you are required to be very creative with your small space storage solutions. The storage area needs to be clean, dry and easily accessible…. Which, let’s face it, is quite often NOT the case…..

If you are like me and had your fair share of battling with mattresses to get to the under bed storage or contorting your body into the most fabulous position to get into a tiny bilge space,  then I think the following article will be quite helpful.

Generally, on superyachts, we do not have the luxury of walk-in storage areas unless you are on an 80m+ vessel and even then you may find yourself in a storage battle with other departments staking claim over the precious space…

So before your frustration levels skyrocket let’s look at what you have to work with:

You may find storage in the following areas:

  • Obvious cupboards in the crew area and guest accommodation
  • Under bed storage: Both in the guest and crew accommodations
  • Bilge areas
  • Under furniture in both the guest and crew areas
  • Outside under furniture
  • Under the bridge consul

Important:

Now before you start to distribute your interior stuff everywhere… it is very important to respectfully ask each department to allocate space for you.

Storage items:

On a yacht, there seem to be a million things to store and so little space to store it in. So I have selected just a few items that seem to always be in the “more challenging items to store” category.

Crew Uniform and give away items:

  • Space bags for things you won’t need on charter
  • Blue tape around types of clothing (ordered by item, not size)
  • Blue tape around sizes of items
  • Ziplock bags of clothing items
  • Ziplock bags of items by size
  • Plastic containers if space allowed

Unless you are lucky enough to have an allocated large cupboard for this I would normally store this under a bed. As with many things on this board it is really a personal preference. However, experience suggests that ordering the items by size and type is an effective solution. You can always see what the item is but finding the right size can be time-consuming.

You will be limited to what and where you can store things in the guest accommodation, however, in the crew cabins you can think in various dimensions. For example, look at vertical dividers in cupboards or hanging shoe bags on the back of doors.

Toilet paper and kitchen towels:

  • Toilet paper and kitchen roll stored in bilges
  • Stored in hanging nets in walking laundry cupboard

For bulkier items such as toilet paper and kitchen towel, before a charter or cruise, make sure that all of the internal cupboards are stocked well (this included under the bathroom sinks in crew cabins).

Next, make sure the galley pantries and crew mess are well stocked and then place the kitchen roll on top of the toilet paper.

Just make sure that the storage area is clean and well ventilated.

Drinks, water bottles, cans:

AUUGHGGH, drinks storage can be a royal pain in the A#$%, but with a little planning, it really shouldn’t be so hard. What I mean by this is start off by doing a little math…

Step one:

  • See how much space you have. This may be 2 forward lockers, lockers on the sundeck and locker on the aft deck etc.

Step two:

  • Use the space wisely.
  • For the larger lockers buy plastic crates with holes in them for ventilation and an escape route if any water gets in them.
  • Calculate how many bottles of water fit into space. Use this as a guide for provisioning. I.e. if you know the forward locker fits 50 x 2L bottles of water then you can easily estimate what you need for your next order.
  • A good tip here is to buy a combination of both foldable crates and permanent size crates, both have a useful purpose on board.

Step three:

Go ahead and calculate all of your storage areas. If you do this properly then it will make your life so much easier in the future with mid-season provision requirements.

Wine and liquor:

So by now, you have probably figured out that storing wine on a yacht can be very challenging. The usual recommendations of wine storage such as:

  • Temperature
  • Humidity level
  • Motion Restriction

Are pretty impossible to control on a yacht. In addition to this, you will also have to find suitable storage, which enables easy access yet it has to be secure enough that the bottles won’t break.

Typically the wine tends to be consumed on the cruise/charter, however, if it is not then common sense dictates that fine wine be stored on land for longer storage requirements.

Once the wine fridges, bar, pantries and allocated cupboards are stocked to capacity, you will need to look to the under furniture storage. If possible, I would recommend storing any excess wine amidship like in the main saloon or lower deck in the VIP cabin purely due to the lesser motion of the vessel.

There are many things that you can use to protect the bottles such as:

  • Bubble plastic
  • Towels
  • Even kitchen roll

However, the one product that I highly recommend is a protective mesh wine sleeve.

  • I love this product because it’s cheap, easy to get and easy to store any excess.
  • It saves the glass bottles from smashing or clinking together and it protects the very important label.
  • Finally, because its mesh you can easily see what you need
  • You can buy it online from Amazon, or you can try your local ship chandlery

Remember:  all cardboard should be removed from the yacht to illuminate the risk of cockroaches or other nasty bugs becoming your new nightmare on board.

Further reading on wine storage:

https://www.onboardonline.com/industry-article-index/provisioning-and-galley/a-stellar-cellar-on-board/

If there something that you would like help with then please leave a comment below or email admin@stewardessbible.com

From The Blog:

Questions to Ask Yourself If You Want to Leave the Yachting Industry

 

Superyacht Crew Hierarchy

Superyacht Crew Hierarchy

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.

  • Deck: Passage delivery, Safety, Outside housekeeping/maintenance, guest outdoor activities.

  • Interior: Guest wellbeing, guest control in an emergency, housekeeping, hotel management, activity planner, accounting and guest liaison.

  • Galley: Guest food preparation, crew food preparation, galley and store stock control, hygiene and maintenance.

Super Yacht Crew Hierarchy

 

Related Articles:

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