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Before I embarked on this journey I would be lying if I said I understood completely what a stewardess on a yacht even meant. Like some people who were new to the industry, I did a lot of research and social networking. Let me tell you, there is a whole process before you board on a boat. But never fear, cause Gaby is here!
Let’s start off with the two type of boats:
Below is a motor yacht, an equipped vessel made of many shapes, sizes and power strictly driven by motors.
Sailboats are my personal favorite type of boats because of how free I feel when sailing, especially when it heels! Sailboats are propelled partly or entirely by sails.
There are a variety of positions for working on a motor or sail boat, which include captain, mate, officer, deckhand, steward/ess, chef/ sous- chef, engineer, bosun. And other requirements the owner requests such as masseuse therapist, nanny, fitness instructor, etc. In this post I’ll be explaining the role as a Stewardess since I have personal experience working on a motor yacht.
Working as stewardess on a yacht means you work interior. You would be providing prestige hospitality to owners, guest members, clean/ detail the boat, and organize countless of items and rooms. There are many entry levels for a steward/ess, for instance junior, 3rd, 2nd, chief, and sole steward/ess. Each position depends on how much experience you have. They all have one thing in common and that’s how to begin the process to start in this industry.
Step One – STCW
First, you need to obtain an STCW (basic safety training), 4 classes in total at Maritime Professional Training (MPT). These classes consists of Fire Prevention and Fire Fighting (Basic Fire fighting), Personal Survival Techniques (PST), Personal Safety and Social Responsibility (PSSR), and First Aid / CPR (Basic First Aid). These courses can take up to 5- 7 days to complete. So if you have another job I highly suggest you take those days off.
Most jobs now require to have a Proficiency in Designated Security Duties (PDSD) in order to work in bigger vessels. I was fully prepared, so I did take it and the course only took me one extra day to complete. I was able to obtain all my certificates in a matter of a week. Also, some jobs will require you to take your ENG1 medical certificate to see if you have any medical conditions. The ENG1 exam can be done in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
As most things, unfortunately I should warn you that these classes do cost money. With just courses alone I spent $1,277 and that’s excluding gas money and lunch to bring during class. I took my courses at Maritime Professional Training (MPT) located in Fort Lauderdale. Don’t worry though, once you are hired into a position on a yacht, you do make the money back and more, I know I did.
Step Two – CV
Funny story, I kept calling the CV a resume when I first started and it tuned out that you don’t call it a resume in the yachting industry; It’s called a CV. A CV consists of a head shot (preferably in a white polo shirt), any prior experience you have with hospitality, references (if any), and other little details like language, nationality, etc.
Step Three – Apply
Now that you have the necessary certificates and impressive CV, you are ready to start applying in order to be a stewardess on a yacht (or whichever position you are applying for). There are many crew agencies and facebook groups you can join to see job posts. I encourage you to refresh and look at this website daily as the positions get filled pretty fast. One website that I found myself most on was daywork123.com, you can upload your CV onto the website and look for jobs while you’re at it.
Some people get hired rather quickly than others. Whatever your case may be, do not be discouraged. Just keep trying and keep applying. It’s all about networking too! Don’t be afraid to walk the docks, socialize and ask if they are hiring.
Final Step – Interview
Congratulations! You’ve got one or more interviews. This is a pretty big deal as it’s hard enough to stand out to other people trying out for the same position even if it’s on different boats. The qualifications are pretty strict. Most boat owners or captains won’t hire you if you have visible tattoos, bad background check, outdated passport, etc.
First off, make sure your interview is safe. If the owner or captain invite you to go underway during an interview, that is not normal, do not go to that interview, it can be considered dangerous. All interviews should be on land or on the boat without moving. Also, it is not typical for an interview to be in a group setting. It’s supposed to be a one-on-one interview. I have to clarify this because some people have been fooled only because they don’t know any better; however, the likelihood for that happening is slim to none.
When you are getting ready for the interview:
- Make sure you dress the part. White polo shirt with khaki or dark blue shorts/skorts accompanied with comfortable Sperry’s will do the trick. Men, groom well, and ladies wear light makeup and have your hair preferably up just incase it’s windy outside b the docks.
- Take a copy of your CV and certificates, notepad and something to write with in case you need write down notes.
- Youtube! Youtube is your best friend when in doubt. Search how to create proper table setting, how to greet guests, how to make beds & heads, how to clean certain products, how to fold napkins in a fancy way, and more.
- Do your research about the boat because it’ll show how much you truly care about the job. What kind of boat is it? How big? What’s the itinerary?
- Have comments, concerns or questions ready to be discussed during the interview. There is nothing more awkward than to stay silent during a one-on-one interaction.
- You want to feel confident. Don’t forget to smile! Be yourself, and remember if you did not get this gig, then there will be other interviews lined up for you. You just have to be patient and the rest will fall into place.
I’ve given you the basics to starting your first steps into one of these positions, if you have any questions at all, feel free to contact me & I’ll be more than happy to help.
Be one with the ocean.