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Superyacht Stewardess

How to Write a Good Letter of Recommendation

A letter of recommendation also known as a reference letter is a formal document which requires a lot of thought and consideration. Generally speaking, the letter should be 12 point font in an easy to read business font such as:

  • Arial
  • Time New Roman
  • Garamond

Further, the letter should be printed on letterhead and the stamped with the yachts official stamp next to your signature.

How to Write a Good Letter of Recommendation

As a chief stewardess or interior manager, you will/may be required to write a letter of recommendation for your departing interior crew member. This is a very important skill to master as it, as the crew member leaving will rely on it to gain future employment.

You can see online there are many variations in the layout of a good letter of recommendation, but below is a good place to start.

To begin the letter you should always start off by stating the facts, things like:

  • Full name of crew member whom you are writing the letter for
  • Duration of service on board, including dates
  • The position or title held

The second paragraph is designed to highlight their skills, education and positive attributes:

The third paragraph focusses on positive personal attributes such as:

  • Is a team player
  • Has a bubbly personality
  • Has a warm personality and is easy to get along with

Close your letter on a positive note and give your contact details. Always finish with yours sincerely, or yours faithfully.

A letter of service

Now consider the crew member whom you are writing the letter for, had a bad record of service onboard and you had to let them go. Clearly this letter will not be a glowing letter of recommendation, however, you still need to be professional and maintain a balanced outlook on the person.

The crew member may have performed badly for many reasons, this is not for you to analyse as you have already made the decision to let them go, rather you need to focus on their strengths (remember… everyone has both strengths and weaknesses).

The format is as above with an example letter below.  The things to remember here is to just state the facts.

This should never be a personal vendetta against the person, however, if you cannot possibly recommend them or write a simple letter of service, then ask the chief officer or the captain to write a letter of service, (its ok to do this we are all human at the end of the day).

Lastly, if you feel so negative about the person then simply write the letter of service, end it in a positive note, i.e., I wish her/him well, but do not include your contact details at the end.

You need to be able to stand by what you write, and if you write merely a letter of service, then chances are that it hasn’t gone well on board, therefore you do not want to “run off with your mouth” with a verbal reference check!

Sample letter of recommendation

[Insert Yacht Letter head]

[Yacht Name]

[Current location]

[Date]

To whom it may concern;

I had the pleasure to employ and work with [insert full name] from [insert date] until [insert date]. She/ he was employed on a permanent basis in the capacity of [insert position].

[Insert yacht name] is a [insert size and type of yacht] which is [insert private or charter yacht], which spends her time between the Mediterranean and the Caribbean seas. [Include more details about the yacht, i.e., busy with children, back to back charters or demanding owner’s etc.].

[Insert name] was an excellent asset to have on-board. She/he holds an advanced diploma in Hotel Management and is clear to see these skills displayed with her/his superb hospitality and people skills. Her true strengths are in managing her time and quality of work.

She joins us with short notice and adapted immediately to the crew and her working environment. [Insert name] has a pleasant personality and is a team player, this made her popular with the crew and guests alike.

We are very sorry to see her/him leave, but I know that [insert name] will compliment any yacht that is fortunate enough to acquire her/his excellent services. {You can also add why she/he is leaving here}

I highly recommend [insert name], and I wish her/him well with future endeavours.

Should you have any further questions regarding [insert name], please do not hesitate to contact me [insert telephone number, email address or both].

Yours sincerely

[Insert your name and position] {Insert yacht stamp and have the Captain sign it}

Sample letter of service

[Insert Yacht Letter head]

[Yacht Name]

[Current location]

[Date]

To whom it may concern;

[Insert name] joined [insert yacht name] from [insert date] until [insert date]. She/ he was employed on a permanent basis in the capacity of [insert position].

[Insert yacht name] is a [insert size and type of yacht] which is [insert private or charter yacht], which spends her time between the Mediterranean and the Caribbean seas. [Include more details about the yacht, i.e., busy with children, back to back charters or demanding owner’s etc.].

[Insert name] holds an advanced diploma in Hotel Management, and is clear to see these skills displayed with her/his superb hospitality and people skills. Her true strengths are in managing her time and quality of work.

If the crew member does not hold formal qualifications, then simply state their duties which they performed; i.e.

[Insert name] performed the following duties to a satisfactory/ good level

Housekeeping, service, floral arrangement, laundry etc.

I wish [insert name] all the best with future endeavours.

Yours sincerely

[Insert your name and position] {Insert yacht stamp and have the Captain sign it}

 

 

The Social Systems On Board a Superyacht

A Super yacht is a unique environment whereby the crew live, work and play together for months on end. The services that the crew provide range from safety and vessel operations to luxury hospitality services.

The Social Systems On Board a Superyacht

The Superyacht crew typically consists of a young international mix of nationalities. There is a formal professional hierarchy during working times with strict rules and regulations, which the crew must adhere to.

During downtime or when there are no guests on board the formal hierarchy is flattened and crew interact on somewhat of an equal basis.

English is the official maritime language, therefore, it is spoken and written on-board. Financially, the crew are well compensated for their positions on board and the owners of superyachts are typically situated in the top one per cent of wealth in the world.

Superyacht Crew Hierachy

The Formal Structure

The captain has complete autonomy over his crew. He is in a position whereby he settles disputes, controls rewards such as time off or extra time ashore, and has the power to dismiss crew members.

As stated above, the captain is governed by international maritime laws, however, there is no one who governs the captain on a daily basis. This is an area that can be subjected to personal and professional abuse, should the captain wish to gain from his position.

The limits to individual freedoms, refer to the crew’s lack of job control. Whilst they are obliged to carry out their professional duties, they may have conflicting ethical issues, related to operational decisions, the abuse of power, money or position.

Furthermore, the standing orders are thorough in the operational procedures on board, dress code, drugs and alcohol, with the protection of the environment, and the safety of the vessel and of the people on board, however, it is very limited with its health and wellbeing.

It is important to point out here that there is no mention of the crew emotional wellbeing.  There is no mention of a policy or a procedure dealing with abuse, bullying or harassment. It simply refers to the laws under the flag state.

This means that if a crew member has a problem with or no support from the captain, then that must seek help from the flag state. In many cases crew members will lose their jobs, should they complain or ask for assistance.

The Informal Structure on board a superyacht

The Informal Structure

The informal social structure occurs during downtime, when there are no guests on board or when the yacht is not moving. The informal behaviours focus on “how people in the organisation relate to each other” (4). Given that Superyacht crew work and play together, the boundaries between the formal and informal structures are very delicately intertwined.

There are three types of interaction that interplay with the social structure, these are understandable communications, the exercise of power and the sanctioning of one another (6). For the crew of many yachts, this can be seen with the kinship that they form with one another and the language patterns that they use,(an important consideration considering many crew do not have English as their first language).

The routines which the crew performs either during work hours or during downtime, reinforce the social structure.

It is suggested that people are motivated to perform the routine in order to obtain ontological security, which offers comfort, order… and tension reduction (6). For the superyacht crew daily routines, offer job security and reassurance that their physical safety is guarded.

The social systems onboard superyachts can change regularly when a new crew member joins. The crew access the social norms to guide their behaviour, conform to the cultural norms and values of the yacht.

However, this can be a little challenging for many crew members at first, as it blurs their own cultural boundaries and traditional norms.

Lastly, superyacht crew tend to form an artificial family or kinship with each other. They are reliant on each other and the balancing of power (in this case their rank) is decentralised.

Furthermore, they celebrate birthdays, support and do good deeds for each other. This is beneficial for the crew as it promotes a family feeling on board which supports personal well being.

BVLGARI: Eau Parfumeé au the’ bleu

BVLGARI: Eau Parfumeé au the’ bleu – Product Review

Last week the lovely people at the Moncada Hispania Boutique asked me if I would like to review the new, BVLGARI Eau Parfumeé au the’ bleu range that BVLGARI has recently launched.

“Yes.. Of course, ”  I said.

I mean… who would l love to get their hands on this amazing product.

Now, I know most of you would have heard about this brand before, but this is the first time I actually took the time to find out exactly who and what BVLGARI is/are. So off I went to the internet to do a little poking around…

Superyacht Stewardess

About the company:
“BVLGARI (Italian pronunciation: [ˈbulɡari]) is an Italian jewellery and luxury goods brand that produces and markets several product lines including jewellery, watches, fragrances, accessories, and hotels”

The company was founded in 1884 and is owned by the French multinational luxury group LVMH who incidentally also own another 70 luxury subsidiaries. So it really is no surprise to find out that this luxury brand conglomerate operates on a colossal scale with profits soaring into the billions (source: https://www.lvmh.com/group).

EAU PARFUMÉE AU THÉ BLEU
Here is what BVLGARI have to say about the fragrance:

“Inspired by the finest Chinese Oolong Tea, an airy luxury Eau de Cologne for men and women.
A precious fragrance with floral and aromatic tones, a new sensation of Renaissance for the body and the mind”. (Source: http://www.bulgari.com/en-us/products/47370-e.html)

  • Olfactory family: Floral – Aromatic – Blue
  • Top Notes: Lavender – Shiso Leaves
  • Heart Notes: Blue Tea Accord – Violet
  • Base Notes: Iris – Musk

BVLGARI Eau Parfumeé au the’bleu: Review by The Stewardess Bible

 

Mindfulness & The Superyacht Stewardess

Mindfulness & The Superyacht Stewardess

The Superyacht industry is truly a unique place to work, and as such you can easily get swept up in the drama that can be associated with living  in a bubble.

 Mindfulness seems to be the ‘buzz’ word of this generation. His Holiness the Dali lama lives by it, Deepak Chopra teaches it and the Harvard Medical School students are writing research reports about it.

 So why is mindfulness receiving so much attention these days, especially since the world is getting busier and busier.

  • We make a plan for the weekend whilst watching TV and playing with the dog
  • We fold the washing whilst watching the kids,
  • We eat our lunch whilst sat at our desk for 8 hours without a break
  • We drive our cars around on auto pilot
  • We “do, do, do, do, do, do,” all day long without engaging our brains into the one single activity that we are actually doing at the time.

The super yacht stewardess does the all of the above, just in a different way. Her day is just as busy as the regular woman at home.

This article will explain what mindfulness is, how it comes to be and how we can master mindfulness in with our busy daily schedules.

What is Mindfulness?:

“Mindfulness is the practice of purposely focusing your attention on the present moment and accepting it without judgement” (Siegel 2009, Harvard Health Publications).

 The History of Mindfulness:

The art of mindfulness has been around for generations with strong roots being founded in Buddhism, however every religion, prayer group and meditation practices, teach us to be aware of the present moment and leave the preoccupying thoughts behind. For those readers who are not religious at all then you will be pleased to know that science is now taking an interest in mindfulness as it helps to reduce the effects of stress on our bodies and minds, which results in a happier more positive outlook on life. Mindfulness also decreases psychological symptoms, such as depression, anxiety, sleep and mood disorders.

 Mastering the Art of Mindfulness:

Mindfulness is being present in the mind at the present moment, it is being aware of your body, mind and spirit; it is paying attention to words, tasks, feelings, and atmosphere. Mindfulness is not some new age “mumbo jumbo” nonsense created by hippies and social outcasts to  shame the rest of us for living extravagant lives; it is a way of thinking and a way of being that EVERYONE has instant access to regardless of your personal beliefs or religious followings.

 We can cultivate and nurture mindfulness through various mediums, such as:

Basic mediation and mindfulness. Sit quietly and focus on your breathing, let the thoughts come in and out, do not judge these thoughts or put any pressure on yourself at this time.  Practice a mantra out loud or quietly to yourself; the idea here is to systematically focus your attention on what you are doing and how you are feeling.

  • Body sensations: Notice any subtle or strong sensations in your body, notice they don’t think about them or judge them, now let them pass.
  • Sensory: Notice, smells, sounds, sights, colours, tones, taste and touch, do not judge them and let them pass.
  • Emotions and urge surging: Coping with cravings can be challenging for us all; so the idea here is to notice how your body is responding to the urge. Replace the physical urge with knowledge, that in time it will pass. You are aware that nothing ever stays the same and life is a continual river of change. You have the power within you to resist the urge.

By practicing mindfulness techniques, daily you will slowly be empowered to take your life into your own hands without judging yourself or placing unrealistic expectations upon your personal goals. It is about being kind to you and giving yourself the tools to handle all of life’s little challenges in a calm state of awareness.

Mindfulness & The Superyacht Stewardess

 

How to Clean Vomit From Carpet

Now, please let me make this quite clear that the idea of cleaning up vomit is literally putting a bad taste in my mouth, and I must admit that I am feeling slightly squeamish as I write this…

However, it is one of those things that as a Superyacht stewardess you will just not be able to get around. The fact is both, guests and crew may succumb to seasickness at some point in the journey, so every Superyacht stewardess will need to know how to clean up vomit.

We protect our clothes as well as our carpets with the hope that they attract no stains. However, try as we might, accidents can happen and in a flash, we spill juice or coffee on our clothes and rugs.

There are other stains that are more difficult to remove and they include blood, grease, pet urine, and vomit, which can really stink and mess up our carpets.

How to clean vomit from carpet

Vomit falls into the category of bodily fluids, which is a protein stain. Like all protein stains the most important thing to remember is to NEVER use hot water when cleaning the stain.

As soon as you know there is a vomit mess to clean up, time really is of the essence. Especially if you want to avoid having to deal with that horrible rancid smell, or that bright orange stain on the carpet that just will not budge.

What you will need:

Gloves (for the love of god… Do not clean up vomit without gloves on)

A bucket or bowl for scraping up the chucks

A spoon or a spatula

Paper towel or a white terry cloth

Bicarbonate soda or cornstarch

A vacuum cleaner

Vinegar cleaning solution

Tepid water

Method:

Place the bowl at an angle and gently scrape the chunks and as much fluid into the bowl as you can. Be sure to do this in a gentle manner so that you avoid damaging the carpet fibres.

Make sure you pick up all the pieces first. Do not use a towel as it may spread the vomit around.

Dab the area gently with the paper towel or terry cloth to remove as much fluid as possible

Sprinkle the bicarbonate soda over the area and leave for 15 minutes

Vacuum up the bicarbonate soda and re-evaluate the stain

Should a stain remain, on a new white terry cloth, blot the area with a vinegar solution (see notes below).

Rinse the area with clean water.

Dry the carpet immediately with clean paper towel or a clean terry cloth.

Should the stain still remain, call a professional.

If you mess with the stain too much, you may be damaging the carpet fibres and a professional will they have a tougher time of not only trying to clean the original stain, but then also they will have to reverse your cleaning efforts.

 

(1 tablespoon vinegar, 1 teaspoon clothes detergent, 2 cups of water).