Oops! It appears that you have disabled your Javascript. In order for you to see this page as it is meant to appear, we ask that you please re-enable your Javascript!
Superyacht Stewardess

Bamford Geranium Collection Product Review

Superyacht toiletries

Here at The Stewardess Bible, we love offering genuine reviews of the superyacht amenities that we receive.

It’s been a long time since I wrote a product review, but last month the good people at MH Boutique sent me these glorious Bamford products to review.

I would also like to state that I was not paid for this review, and all opinions of the products which I reviewed are solely mine.

I was sent a broad range of the Geranium collection to review, and I was not disappointed.

Here is what Bamford had to say about the collection:

Herbaceous heart notes of Egyptian Geranium and twin lavenders, with spicy vanilla hints of Tonka, lifted by peppermint and blue gum eucalyptus. Uplifts mood and promotes inner harmony.

 

Superyacht

These products have been made with naturally sourced and certified organic ingredients that nourish and re-energise body and soul.

The range is also certified by the soil association which means that the ingredients are organic and are free from parabens artificial colourings, mineral oils and synthetic fragrances.

This is great news for me as I fall into the 35-45-year-old age group. My skin is super sensitive, dry and damage from years spent on yachts and in the sun.

I always struggle to find products which will do what they say, and quite often I find myself with a red, painful rash after using products which claim to be safe for sensitive skin.

I was a little apprehensive about trying new products for this reason, however, with the Bamford body range I was happily surprised.

Superyacht stewardess

I received the Bamford hotel amenities in a white muslin bag. The products themselves will sit handsomely in Superyacht cabin. The products are available in 50ml and 100ml sizes.

The soaps were mild and the body lotion was moisture-rich, without feeling greasy.

The Botanic pillow mist and the body splash have the most inviting fragrances, without being overbearing and the heart shaped soap and the rosemary candle are simply divine.

For more information on the Bamford hotel amenities, please contact MH Boutique.

If I tried to find any negative elements to these products, then I would have to say the fragrance. At first, I thought the aroma, was a little overbearing when I open the box, as I was hit with a gush of delicious geranium smells, which could possibly be too much in a guests cabin.

That said,  the fragrances are organic, they don’t smell artificial and it does uplift you… so, In my opinion, it’s not such a big deal.

The last point that I would like to mention again is that Bamford is a certified member of the soil association which just makes my heart sing.  Below is a little excerpt is taken from their website, which explains what they do:

The Soil Association, its standards and activities, and the practice of organic farmers are all based on a set of internationally recognised principles. These principles are the roots from which organic agriculture grows and develops. They express the contribution that organic agriculture can make to the world, and a vision to improve all agriculture in a global context.

Agriculture is one of humankind’s most basic activities because all people need to nourish themselves daily. History, culture and community values are embedded in agriculture.

The principles apply to agriculture in the broadest sense, including the way people tend soils, water, plants and animals in order to produce, prepare and distribute food and other goods. They concern the way people interact with living landscapes, relate to one another and shape the legacy of future generations.You can read more here: www.soilassociation.org

In conclusion, Bamford products are truly wonderful.  I am super impressed with their philosophy, and staying true to their mission statement:

Bamford is a way of life. We create beautiful clothing and body & Skincare products that are natural and artisan made.

 

 

 

Cleaning with Vinegar

Cleaning with Vinegar

Cleaning removes germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces or objects. “Cleaning works by using soap (or detergent) and water to physically remove germs from surfaces. This process does not necessarily kill germs, but by removing them, it lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection.

Disinfecting kills germs on surfaces or objects. Disinfecting works by using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces or objects. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection.

Sanitizing lowers the number of germs on surfaces or objects to a safe level, as judged by public health standards or requirements. This process works by either cleaning or disinfecting surfaces or objects to lower the risk of spreading infection.”

Things you SHOULD clean with vinegar:

As a general rule, to make up a vinegar cleaning solution, simply add ½ cup vinegar to 2 cups of water. Place it in a spray bottle and you are good to go.

  • Removes tea and coffee stains on porcelain
  • Removes water marks on the glass
  • Removes grime and sticky stuff off scissor
  • Restores rug fibres
  • Freshens most fabrics
  • Removes waxy residue of wooden furniture
    Removes candle wax
    Mixed with a ½ cup of baking soda, unclogs, and deodorizes drains
    Shines chrome and stainless steel
    Place a bowl of water and vinegar into the microwave for a steam clean
    Mixed with baking soda, deodorises the refrigerator
    Shines ceramic tiles
    Removes calcium and mineral deposits from shower heads
    Helps to fight mould and mildew
    Add 1 cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle of the washing machine for soft fabric
    Mixed with baking soda, removes sweat stains from around collars and underarms
    Freshens up musty cupboards
    Kills some bacteria and germs
    Wash your fruits and vegetables to kill pesticides

Things you SHOULD NOT clean with vinegar:

The most glaringly obvious things that you should not clean with vinegar is granite and marble tops. This material is a very durable and resistant material which is commonly used in bathrooms, pantries, and floors on board superyachts.

The stone would normally have a sealed finish on it, however, due to the porous nature of these natural stones, you want to stay away from citrus and vinegar based cleaning solutions because it can etch away at and put the stone. Instead, use warm soapy water and a microfibre cloth to clean the beautiful stonework.

Smart screens:

By cleaning your smartphone tablet, or Crestron multimedia screen with vinegar, you can actually remove the oleophobic coating. Instead, keep the touchscreen free of dirt and dust.

You can clean the screen by using a non-abrasive cloth with any non-ammonia cleaning solution applied directly to the cloth (do not spray the screen directly).
Cleaning with Vinegar

The Steam Iron:

I know you would love to pour some vinegar directly into your steam iron, but in fact, this can damage the inner workings of your iron, and it may lead to more black stuff being spat out.

Instead, READ the manual and use the self-cleaning function. Further, many modern steam irons will come with an anti-scale cartridge to remove the scale deposits inside the iron.

These tablets will prolong the life your steam iron.

The same applies to the coffee machine. I know there is a lot of recommendations all over the internet about cleaning your coffee machine with a vinegar solution. However, depending on the machine, the boilers are typically made from steel or aluminium, which vinegar can corrode.

Any waxed surface. As mentioned above, vinegar is a mild acid, so it makes sense that it would strip away any waxy residue, leaving the surface dull.

Lastly, does not mix bleach and vinegar. Both of these substances are powerful cleaning agents in their own rights, however, mixing the 2 can create a dangerous gas.

 

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.

Why a Superyacht Stewardess Should Not Flush Tampons Down the Toilet

Please note: It is not the intention of the author to belittle you, rather, it is to slightly educate you as to what will happen if you do.

Why a superyacht stewardess should NOT flush tampons down the toilet

The menstruation cycle of a woman is a standard monthly occurrence. However, it is not a topic that is readily discussed amongst men, especially not seafaring men.

(Let’s be honest here, it’s not the most delicate subject to talk about, and it does make many people very uncomfortable)

Nonetheless, in the Superyacht industry, it is the engineers (typically men) who have to sort out the problem when women dispose of their feminine hygiene products correctly.

This article will discuss Why a superyacht stewardess should not flush tampons down the toilet.

The “NO tampons in the toilet” instruction came from the engineering department; where the personality characteristics of an engineer varied as much as the oceans themselves.

Some would bark the command… “don’t put tampons down the toilet”, others would approach the subject a little more delicately. However, the message was always the same.

Needless to say, that, throughout my long career as a Superyacht chief stewardess, I always had a mandatory chat with the new stewardesses about not putting tampons down the toilet.

My go-to reason was so that it wouldn’t block the toilet system.

Fair enough, I thought, (I mean, I had not given the subject much more thought than that). It was not until recently when I decided to write about this subject that I wanted to know a lot more. So off I went to ask an engineer, and this is what I found out:

  1. A marine toilet is NOT like a standard household toilet.
  2. It is a vacuum toilet constructed by the intricate use of smaller pipes with Y pieces, which twist and turn to the yachts specification.
  3. The pipes which are used can be 6 times smaller than those used in a private house.
  4. At the end of this pipework sits a macerator which cuts the human excrement and toilet paper into smaller pieces which then passes through to a holding tank.

Now, should material other than bodily fluids and purpose made tissue (i.e. toilet paper) be flushed down the toilet and get stuck in the pump, then ultimately this can interfere with the guest’s toilets.

This will depend a lot on the construction of the pipework, but basically, if you flush a tampon down the toilet, which the system can then Not the process, the whole system will need to be shut down until the problem can be resolved.

This will make for a very unhappy boss and guest. Not only that, but your fellow crew member has to then sort out a very unpleasant problem. They will first have to find the blockage, which means opening up the pipework and removing the culprit responsible for the blockage.

Now as you can imagine, the culprit will be used a tampon or too much toilet paper, or other materials such as dirty tissues or other material.
As I mentioned above, each engineer is different, and I have had the pleasure of working with some brilliant personalities and with some undesirables.

One engineer comes to mind; he would bark commands at everyone. Concerning this topic, he said,

“If any of your girls block the system then I will give them the bucket to clean it out”.

To summarise why a superyacht stewardess should not flush tampons down the Toilet:

  • A marine toilet is NOT a standard household toilet
  • It is constructed with smaller pipes and a lot more bends
  • The vacuum system is delicate
  • If the pump gets compromised, it does not only affect the crew area; it can also affect the guest accommodation