When you think of a luxury yacht, you probably imagine an old man surrounded by sunbathing beauties. You probably also imagine cleaning up after them is a crew of young, eager self-starters that long for adventure and see crewing a yacht as the ultimate escape.
This image comes from shows like "Below Deck", a series that premiered on Bravo in 2013. The show depicts several male and female crew members and the struggles that they go through during their first season on the water.
But how accurate is that image? Are stewardesses and deckhands given the opportunity to explore the distant locations? Or do they spend their days slaving away at sea? Read on to find out what crew life is all about.
Deckhand vs. Stewardess
Some people like working from home, but others dream of the adventure that comes out on the open water.
Within a superyacht, there are multiple roles to fill before the ship is ready to set sail. Depending on the size of the ship, a crew might consist of at least two deckhands and three stewardesses.
At the center of that team is the head stewardess. They answer directly to the captain of the ship, working day in and day out to ensure the needs of guests are being met.
A deckhand has other responsibilities. They are the ones who perform maintenance on the ship and get things ready for yacht guests to enjoy.
Most often, the deckhand job is much more physical, and the stewardess position requires intense attention to detail. Want to explore more about these two exciting careers? Read on to explore a day in the life.
Deckhand Morning Responsibilities
A deckhand has to start his day early, often waking around six in the morning to start preparing excursions for guests like deep sea fishing charters. (Learn more here.)
On a daily basis, they dry the morning dew off the ship and set out towels for the guests to use that day.
After things are ready, they will perform that day's portion of general yacht maintenance. Since a thorough cleaning of a yacht would take multiple days, often the tasks are divided up.
Once the guests begin to wake up, deckhands usually make themselves scarce until it is time to clean up their meals.
Stewardess Morning Responsibilities
A stewardess is in charge of keeping the yacht in its best condition and ensuring a high level of service to guests.
They start by preparing a nice table setting for the guests to have breakfast. They typically set a formal place setting for every meal.
When the guests wake up for the day, some of the stewardesses will begin to clean the guest's rooms. Typically, one person is placed in charge of laundry, one is serving the guests, and a third goes around to the rooms of the guests to straighten up.
Deckhand Daytime Responsibilities
Once breakfast is wrapped up, the deckhands will typically take yacht guests on some sort of excursion to shore. This could require them to pack a small boat, gather water sports items, or preparing tackle for fishing.
In the afternoon, deckhands continue to entertain guests by preparing activities for them. This could include snorkeling, jetskiing, floating water slides, and more. Typically the deckhands will split up with one person managing the guests off-ship, while another prepares things for their return.
Stewardess Daytime Responsibilities
At around ten a.m. the head stewardess advises the rest of the crew what they will be doing that day. This includes any special meal or activity requests for the guests.
If it's necessary, the stewardess will call to check on reservations for the guests and make sure everything is in place for their adventures.
At lunchtime, the stewardess will again set a nice table and decorate it elaborately. Once lunch is finished, the stewardesses typically change from their day uniform into crew evening wear.
Deckhand Evening Responsibilities
After a long day in the sun, the deckhand's evening responsibilities are easier. Once the guests have sat down to dinner, the deckhands are free to eat in shifts before inspecting the ship and equipment to make sure everything is ready for the next day.
At the very end of the evening, the deckhands will lower the ship's flag and put it away. Then the crew is free to relax until the next morning.
Stewardess Evening Responsibilities
After making sure the guests were taken care of all day, the stewardess has to continue their care. Dinner is the most important meal of the day and often the table decorations are expected to be themed and exotic.
The stewardesses will help serve meals to guest and make sure their drinks stay full throughout the meal.
While the guests are at dinner, one stewardess will generally tidy up their room again. They can turn down the sheets, fluff the pillows, and even set out pajamas for a guest if they request it.
After the guests retire from dinner, at least one stewardess has to stay on shift until all of the guests have gone to sleep.
The final stewardess responsibility of the day is getting everything ready for the next day. Are the reservations made? Will there be enough supplies to prepare the meal that is planned?
Making the Most of Crew Life
Living on a luxury yacht as a crew member is in some ways a difficult life, but in many ways, it's very rewarding.
Crew members love that they get to see all corners of the globe and are often given time off between charters to explore. They also enjoy the fact that their housing and meals are paid for so they can pocket their salaries and tips.
More Helpful Articles
Now that you have an understanding of the basics of crew life for luxury yacht stewardesses and deckhands, you're ready to make an informed career decision.
For more helpful articles to help you select the job of your dreams, check out our blog today.