Superyacht Stewardess

How to set up a luxury dinner on the beach

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:

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.

The Furniture:

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.

The menu:

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.

The crew:

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.

A luxurious dinner on the beach

Image via Strada

 

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The Power of a Smile In Guest Service

The Power of a Smile In Guest Service

We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do. – Mother Teresa

The power of a smile in body language is significant.

It’s a way to show your guests and customers that you have a strong desire and commitment to keeping them happy. If you work in a guest services field one of the most important things you can do is to learn to separate your personal and professional life. Maybe you woke up this morning and you weren’t feeling well. Or maybe you are having a lot of personal upheaval in your life right now.

The bottom line is that these are personal issues that have no place in your workplace. You need to learn to shut out all of your personal concerns when you are at work and give your full attention to your guests and customers. They don’t want or need to know that you have personal issues going on. What they need is to see you with a smile, exuding positive body language, and being there to greet and help them with whatever they need.

Now that the power of a smile in body language should be clear to you,

It’s important that you set an example for others in your workplace. It doesn’t matter if you are an owner, manager, or a regular employee, leading by example is a great way to get the message across to others that smiling and making the right impression on guests is essential to the success of your business. So what can you do as only one person?

You can help to start building a culture where smiling and positively greeting every guest becomes commonplace. You can help others to learn about how important non-visual communication is. Even if you aren’t in a position of leadership you can lead by example. Given enough time your co-workers should notice the way that you treat customers, and management will as well. This can lead to further career advancement opportunities for you, and it may also prompt management to urge other workers to adopt your example.

We’ve all heard the old saying that the customer is always right. The truth is that while the sentiment is a great way to look at customer service, it’s actually far from the truth. In fact, in many cases, customers are wrong and get upset about something that is not the fault of the business they are at.

Does this mean that you should tell a customer they’re wrong? No, of course not. You may have to explain the position or policies of your business, and you may not be able to give them the resolution that they want. However, you should never be as harsh as to tell a guest or customer that they are wrong. Instead, you should remember to approach them with a smile, and always be respectful to them. Even if they don’t like what you have to tell them, the fact that you use nonverbal communication such as smiling will help to make the encounter with them less hostile and more positive.

Learning excellent customer service skills

Is the key to both your success as a person and the key to the success of the business that you own or work for. Remember that a lot of how we communicate as people is nonverbal in nature.

If you approach a guest or customer with a frown and a slouch you are going to get your interaction with them off on the wrong foot. At that point, even if you have nothing but wonderful things to tell them they will already get a bad feeling just by looking at you.

Instead, you need to make sure that you stand up tall, show them that you are a positive person, and always greet them with a smile. You want your guests and customers, to feel welcome and appreciated, and showing them a smile is a great way to start this process.

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Coffee Service

A good cup of coffee is like warm liquid gold, and learning how to make a great cup of coffee is like one of the many things in life that “you just have to know”.

Traditionally a great cup of coffee comes from fresh coffee beans, but I believe you can produce a fantastic cup of Joe, with whatever you have at your disposal.

History:

The name Coffee in English was a word adapted from the Dutch Koffie, who borrowed it from the Turkish Kahave, who in turn borrowed it from the Arabs Qahwa.

A possible origin of the name is the Kingdom of Kaffa in Ethiopia, where the coffee plant originated.

The History of Coffee: The history of coffee goes as far back to the 9th century, when a humble Ethiopian goat herder   called Kaldi noticed that his goats became spirited after eating the berries from a certain tree.

He reported this information to the monks who in turn made a drink out of the berries and discovered that they could stay awake longer to pray. From Ethiopia it is said that coffee spread to Egypt and Yemen.

As interesting as the goat herder story is, the first credible evidence of coffee as a drink is in the middle of the fifteenth century in the Sufi monasteries of Yemen.

By the 16th century it had spread throughout the world, reaching Europe, the Americas, Persia, Turkey and North Africa.

The 10 Steps of Coffee:

According to the National Coffee Association of America, there are 10 steps to producing coffee, these are:

 

  1. Planting
  2. Harvesting the cherries
  3. Processing the cherries
  4. Drying the beans
  5. Roasting the beans
  6. Milling the beans
  7. Exporting the beans
  8. Grinding the coffee
  9. Brewing the coffee
  10. Tasting

 

  1. Tasting the coffee

Buy Good Coffee:

Now this is an important step, buy the best coffee that you can afford! It’s one of those things that the better quality coffee you buy, the better cup of coffee you will make.

Storing Your Coffee:

Storage is integral to maintaining your coffee’s freshness and flavour.

It is important to keep it away from excessive air, moisture, heat, and light — in that order — in order to preserve its fresh-roast flavour as long as possible.

It has been a popular myth for years now that you should always store your open bags of coffee in the fridge or freezer, however, this may lead to the deterioration of the coffee as contact with moisture is a big no-no.

Instead, buy your coffee a quality airtight ceramic or glass container and store in a cool, dry and dark place.

How to Brew Your Coffee:

OK, here is the fun part. There is no right or wrong way to making a cup of coffee… it’s up to you and how you like your coffee.

  • What is important is that you get the measure of coffee to water ratio right.
  • You do not recycle used coffee grind.
  • Your coffee has been stored appropriately for freshness and aroma.
  • Whether you are using a top of the line coffee machine or a simple kettle for instant coffee, make sure your equipment is clean.
  • The coffee you use should be no older that 2 – 3 weeks old.
  • Use bottled water if the water in your area is not clean.
  • If you are reading this article then that means that you can afford your own or have access to a computer… whenever possible buy fair trade coffee, your conscience will thank you for it.
  • Enjoy Your Coffee

Now all the hard work is done, sit back, and take a minute to smell that beautiful aroma, and taste that amazing flavour.

Serving Coffee:

When serving coffee remember that coffee drinkers are very particular about the way they drink their coffee.

There is in excess of over 36 known coffee bean types in the world, with over 60 different ways of making coffee. So it’s no wonder that many stewardesses get a little intimidated by the thought of making a double macchiato skinny latte, for example.

However, in my experience the most popular types of coffee that my guests enjoyed are as follows:

  • Cappuccino: Is an Italian coffee drink, which is traditionally prepared with espresso, hot milk, and steamed-milk foam. Sprinkle chocolate or cocoa over the top for something special.
  • Espresso: Is coffee brewed by forcing a small amount of nearly boiling water under pressure through finely ground coffee beans. Espresso is generally thicker than coffee brewed by other methods.
  • Café Latte: Is a coffee-based drink made primarily from espresso and steamed milk. It consists of one-third espresso, two-thirds heated milk and about 1cm of foam.
  • Drip/brew/filtered Coffee: Is a method which involves pouring water over roasted, ground coffee beans contained in a filter.
  • This was most popular in the mornings, where simple coffee was required.
  • This should not be mistaken with Café Americano which is coffee prepared by adding hot water to espresso.

Regardless of the type of coffee you will be required to serve, you will need the following:

  • A tray: ready, neat and clean
  • Sugar bowl (white sugar, brown sugar, sweet’N Low and Candela)
  • Coffee cup with underline and relevant coffee spoon
  • Milk creamer with the coffee or tea orders as per the guest requirements
  • Water glass
  • Service napkins

Simple Table Settings.

Simple table settings are just that simple.

They are elegant, simple and beautiful, and as an added bonus will save you loads of time and energy…

So next time you are setting the table just take the ‘less is more’ approach, and you may just surprise yourself about how beautiful your table looks.

Ok, It’s official… I am now addicted to Pinterest!  I just love flicking through the visually beautiful boards that many ordinary people like you and I have created.

It just proves that creativity lies within all of us, and simplicity is my personal favourite style!

Below is a collection of simple table settings but first we need to discuss what you will need.

Cutlery:

  •  Steam cutlery over a bowl of boiling water with a drop of white vinegar to remove any water or residual soap marks.
  •  Buff dry with a glass cloth or very clean cotton tea towel.
  • Wear butler’s gloves to eliminate any fingerprints whilst setting the table.
  • If you don’t have any, you can buy them from Amazon. I have provided the link below:

 

Glasses:

  •  Normal a basic table setting has a minimum of a water-glass and one wine glass.
  • Steam clean the relevant glasses using the above method. And place in the correct spot on the table. 

Plates:

  • Prepare the plates in accordance with the chef’s requirements and clean in the above method.

Table covers:

  • Placemats: Cleaned and freshly ironed
  • Table cloth: Cleaned and freshly ironed
  • Napkins: Cleaned and freshly ironed and starched if needed.

Decorations:

  • See ideas below.

For detailed information on how to set a table or how to be creative when setting a table you can visit the following links:

  • How to set the PERFECT Table

If you loved this article and want to find out what other people have been up to the check out these other great articles:

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5 Things You Need to Know About Your Russian Guests.

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5 Things you need to know about your Russian Guests.

When you have worked on super yachts as long as I have you come across an array of people cultures and races. Russians are big spenders in the world of the Mega yachts, with more and more billionaires buying up BIG every year.

Your role as a super yacht stewardess is to know as much as possible about your guests as possible.  The following article will give  you a glimpse of Russian cultural etiquette that I have  observed over the years.

[headline_georgia_medium_left color=”#000000″]1. History:[/headline_georgia_medium_left]Russia has had a rich and turbulent history and for some Russian people their personal finances have never been greater. Approximately 160 ethnic groups call Russian home with over 100 languages spoken. Most Russian people identify themselves as Eastern Orthodox Christians, but Islam, Judaism and Buddhism are also practices there.

[headline_georgia_medium_left color=”#000000″]2. Vodka:[/headline_georgia_medium_left]Like many other cultures, food and drink play a major role when socialising. Most people are familiar with the Russians love affair with Vodka, and I agree  that is does take centre stage whenever there is a party or gathering or Russian people.  If your guests have not specified what kind of vodka they prefer then make sure you have a good selection on hand.

Below is a brief overview of popular types of vodka. Until you know your guest preference keep a bottle of vodka in the freezer  and the rest in the cabinet.[features_box_light_green width=”75%” + border=”2px”]

Types of Vodkas to consider:

  • Chopin Vodka. Polish Vodka is reputed to be the best in the world.
  • Zyr Vodka: Is a Russian premium vodka made from wheat and rye. It is an ultra smooth vodka and great for accompanying caviar.
  • Stolichnaya Vodka is a Russian Vodka and is ne of the more popular brands. This is a great vodka to use as a cocktail base, and as a little ‘sipper’. Any good charter super yacht will have ‘Elite’ on board.
  • Grey Goose Vodka: Is French and very smooth. This  is my ‘go to ‘ vodka as it does not disappoint. It is a must have for any super yacht.
  • Ketel Vodka:  is Dutch no frills but very smooth.
  • Hangar Vodka: Is an American vodka that is making quite a name for its self. Hangar vodka is distilled from Viognier grapes rather than potatoes/grain,  it also comes in different flavours.
  • Belvedere Vodka: Is another popular Polish vodka. It is a very fine vodka that is made from rye.

[/features_box_light_green]

[headline_georgia_medium_left color=”#000000″]3.  My experience with Russian Guests:[/headline_georgia_medium_left]

  • No one liked room temperature vodka.
  • Russian guests preferred clear vodka
  • Russian guests stayed away from flavoured vodka.
  • In addition to wine with dinner, I also served a lot of cognac and fine whiskey to my Russian guests.

[headline_georgia_medium_left color=”#000000″]4. Guests & Table Service:[/headline_georgia_medium_left]russian table

It took me a while to understand the Russian culture, and to be honest I used to think they were very cold  and “standoffish”people;  but I found out that this is not the case. Russians love to entertain and you do not need an excuse to invite a friend over or to go visit someone. It is wise to have a selection of canapés and hor d’oeurves at hand (and not chips or nuts).

[features_box_light_green width=”75%” + border=”2px”]

Russian people love to have an array of different foods when entertaining, so make sure  the chef has prepared a selection of:

  • Meat
  • Poultry
  • Sea food
  • Salad
  • Soups
  • Breads
  • Dessert

[/features_box_light_green]

[headline_georgia_medium_left color=”#000000″]5. Be prepared for the ‘cheers’.[/headline_georgia_medium_left]

As mentioned before the Russians love to drink and to entertain. They tend to sit at the table and discuss all of kinds of things, and when entertaining guests or celebrating an occasion, you will see the true Russian warmth in the cheers. Toasts are usually given at the beginning of the meal through the meal and at the end… (especially if it is a celebratory meal), so make sure you have plenty of their chosen beverage on hand.

Thank you for reading my article about: 5 Things you need to know about your Russian Guests.

[headline_georgia_medium_left color=”#000000″]Reference:[/headline_georgia_medium_left]

  • Kylie O’Brien
  • http://goeasteurope.about.com

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The Role of Etiquette in our Society

The Role of Etiquette in our Society

Etiquette is defined as a set of habits, manners, and practices that are performed in different situations. A lot of people think of etiquette as part of decorum or a state of appropriateness and general social deeds.

Every society has its own unique set of etiquette, and different cultures within a society maintain their own set of rules and social standards.

Learning and applying these sets of behaviour can pose a challenge for individuals who are new to a specific way of life. And there are times when even old residents of a community experience difficulty in blending in.

Etiquette sets standards for how people should behave. For instance, greeting people with politeness and respect is common to most world cultures. However, the way respect and civility are expressed vary.

In most Asian cultures, people take a bow or clasp their hands together whenever greeting others. On the other hand, in the West, people generally shake hands or embrace each other when greeting other people.

There probably is an etiquette set of guidelines for almost every situation, from courteously declining a meal offer to meeting a president. Since the social customs of various cultures are so unlike, some people try to learn a specific culture’s etiquette before joining their social circle.

They do this to make sure that they do offend their hosts or embarrass themselves. As a superyacht The Difference Between Food Service Styles. it is recommended that you familiarize yourself with the cultural norms of your international guests.

We need etiquette because:

  • It makes you a well-educated and refined individual.
  • It teaches you the appropriate way to behave within a particular society.
  • It creates a good and everlasting first impression on you. The manner by which you interact with other people reflects your personality and the way you have been brought up.
  • By following etiquette standards, you can earn the respect and appreciation of other people. We abhor interacting with an individual who does not know how to properly behave in social circles. You are perceived as a responsible and mature person if you show etiquette when you mingle with your peers and even with superiors.
  • It helps people value relationships.

Different Types of Etiquette:

  1. Social etiquette teaches us how to behave in society.
  2. Bathroom etiquette is the set of rules that have to be followed while in public restrooms and even office toilets. This includes leaving the restroom clean and tidy for the other person.
  3. The set of behaviour that one has to follow while at work is referred to as corporate etiquette. A sense of decorum has to be maintained inside an organization and this is where corporate etiquette plays an important role. This includes avoiding unnecessary loitering and peeping into other’s work areas.

Read the full article in The Stewardess Bible