What Do Yacht Stewards & Stewardesses Do? 10 Daily Tasks & Workload

In Boating by Morten Storgaard

Are you considering working on a yacht or are you just curious as to what the crew actually do all day long?

What Do Yacht Stewardesses Do?
Yacht stewardesses do a wide variety of practical tasks onboard the yacht such as:

  • Housekeeping
  • Waitressing
  • Entertainment
  • Crew support
  • Maintaining the yacht
  • Budgeting
  • Valet tasks and guest service
  • Decorating
  • Human resources
  • Self-care

Here are more details on the tasks yacht stewards and stewardesses do on a daily basis onboard the yacht.

1. Housekeeping

Stewards and stewardesses work to help the yacht run ship shape. They will work to keep common areas neat and clean. Laundry might also be part of their day to day tasks.

Detailing and cleaning windows might be some of the responsibilities that they will tackle.

Other housekeeping tasks include:

  • Vacuuming,
  • cleaning bathrooms,
  • making beds,
  • washing linens
  • etc.

They’ll need to keep all interior storage areas neat and clean, and also to be able to keep track of inventory and restock as needed.

As guest use supplies, they will make a note of this and help to replenish any necessary materials.

Stewards and stewardesses will spend time polishing, dusting, straightening up and in general keeping house.

Every day they will go in guests’ cabins and clean their space as well as their personal belongings.

They will make sure that make-up containers look brand new, and scrub all the corners down, so the room is spotless and clean

2. Waitressing

Before and after eating, stewards and stewardesses will keep things organized. They’ll assist during meals and cleanup. As well as assisting in picking out what will be eaten, they will serve food to guests and organize the area after meals.

Behind the scenes, stewards and stewardesses work with the chef to create a meal plan that the guests will enjoy.

Stewards and stewardesses will help in selecting and purchasing cigars, teas, or wine, which may require expertise.

With occasional guest dinner parties, they will also assist in planning activities and the menu.

There are five different styles of service that a steward or stewardess will need to master. The first is the English service. This is where a server will transfer food to the diner’s plate.

The other types of service that they must excel in are buffet service and silver service.

3. Entertainment

With guests, they’ll keep high energy and be professional at all times

This role involves maintaining proper etiquette. Stewards and stewardesses may assist guests in planning daily activities both on and off the yacht, including destination experiences. Music, movies, games, barbecues and other entertainment options are all part of the gig.

Some stewards or stewardesses will help in teaching yoga classes or similar projects depending on their personal skills.

A steward or stewardess may have to carry three dishes at a time upstairs.

They’ll need to be expert waitresses, and know how to set tables. This requires knowing which fork goes where and specific settings.

As well as serving and selecting wine, stewards and stewardesses will need to be experts in bartending. This is a part of the job that some will find to be fun.

Drinking is the center of many social experiences onboard the ship. The steward or stewardess will need to be competent in beer knowledge and pairings as well as wines.

They will assist in choosing wines for guests, so expertise in drinks will be a big benefit to them in their career.

4. Crew Support

From writing manuals to safety tasks, yacht stewards and stewardesses work with the crew for better teamwork.

For ships with smaller crews, stewards and stewardesses will have more hands-on duties

They will help to create an informational management system which keeps things in order. All guest documents and information are also part of their responsibilities, including safety manuals.

Stewards and stewardesses will purchase the uniforms for the crew.

They will also make sure that the crew has everything that they need. This includes toiletries, drinks, snacks, and other necessities. They’re in charge of the crew common areas and maintaining these spaces.

5. Maintaining the Yacht

Guy doing an inspection of a tiny house on wheels

As well as serving guests, stewards and stewardess work to maintain the yacht.

They will be responsible for the crystal glassware, linens, artwork, marbles, fine woodwork, and any other valuables on the ship.

Stewards and stewardesses will work with anchoring, tender driving, assist within the galley or deck operations and mooring procedures. Overall, they’re in charge of cleanliness and creating solutions with guests as well as fellow crew members.

In case of emergencies, stewards and stewardesses have the essential job to maintain security and safety.

This will vary on the size and type of yacht as well as the crew. Much of the training involved to become a steward or a stewardess involves safety courses such as Red Cross certification.

6. Budgeting

One of their responsibilities is to account for interior spending and make budgets.

They’ll need to keep track of expenditures and work with their clients to create a financial schedule that will meet their needs.

This includes a food budget and working with chefs to achieve client’s goals. They’ll also make purchases and decorations according to the budget the client gives them and will decorate according to their requests.

The steward or stewardess will need to be able to assist guests in currency exchange. In many aspects to vessel operations, they will need to be on top of it. This includes accounting and being able to reconcile the accounts. All purchases on the yacht will need to be accounted for.

They will work as the purser.

On larger ships, the purser is a position that deals with finances, such as bookkeeping, accounting, and payroll. They will also make sure that the crew’s certifications are up to date and current.

They will also make sure to take care of delivery contracts and other financial fine points.

7. Valet Tasks and Guest Service

Packing and carrying luggage is part of the job description. They will assist guests in caring for specialty garments. With special purchases, a stewardess or steward will assist in shipping and handling.

Any special requests that guests have, the steward or stewardess will work to bring it to them. They are hands-on and personal with their assistance to guests and work to build relationships as well as to help them get their needs and requests met.

Stewards and stewardesses schedule their days around their guests.

When the guests are up, so are they. Their duty is to lead every service and be the go-to person on the yacht. They will be in charge of securing transportation during excursions.

The average day can be up to 13 hours, and they are actually on call 24/7.

8. Decorating

A stewardess or steward will be responsible for creating an ambiance and overall pulled together look on the yacht. For example, they will select flowers and create table settings to make the yacht look more beautiful.

Other decorations include selecting art and linens. Stewards and stewardesses who have an eye for interior design or decoration will be a fantastic asset for the yacht.

When setting tables, a steward or stewardess should be able to fold napkins artistically, in shapes like rabbits or flowers.

They will color coordinate meals with table settings to create an amazing experience

The chief steward or stewardess is in charge of hospitality on the ship. He or she will need to anticipate the needs of the guests. They’ll need to give instructions to the stewards and stewardesses to achieve their goals.

9. Human Resources

Human resources are one area that the chief steward or stewardess will need to focus on.

The leader is only as good as the team, and they will organize the team that is on the yacht. The chief stewardess is responsible for obtaining these people.

He or she will source the staff. They will also assist in maintaining discipline on the vessel. If crew members are slacking, they will need to fix the situation. The steward or stewardess is responsible for making sure the crew treats guests professionally and with respect.

They will work with the captain with any discipline issues and act with them to make sure that things are going smoothly. The chief steward will help to encourage their stewards and stewardesses and to help energy levels stay high.

10. Self Care

Stewards and stewardesses must take special care to give superior service to their crew and guests, and also maintain their personal appearance. This includes having modest jewelry and to keep on top of hair and makeup if they choose to wear it.

This list of ten duties expected of stewards and stewardesses gives a good overview of everything that it takes to work on a yacht. Whether it’s an entry level steward or stewardess, or a chief steward or stewardess, there are many responsibilities to giving five-star service.

They will work to create a fun and exciting environment and also organize the yacht to the best of their abilities.

From the kitchen to the cabin and everything in between, the steward or stewardess helps to bring all of the details of the ship together, from sunrise to after dinner.