Marie-Jose (31) from Langbroek works as chief stewardess on private and charter yacht Jo. She works for the richest people of the earth and today exclusively tells her story for The Telegraph. How did she start as stewardess? What does her work involve?
A down to earth Dutch girl
You see, I am just a down to earth Dutch girl Marie says with a lively smile. I studied tourism and leisure management and did an internship in Palma de Mallorca. I like it there so I staid. I worked for several employers, but all for a Spanish salary of less than € 1000 euro per month. When I had a car crash I realized suddenly that I really didn´t have any money. Palma is the place for super yachts so I decided to look for a job on board.
Hearing “no” for two months
From May till October in Palma there are hundreds of super yachts and most of them have several stewardesses. So there are plenty of jobs. There are in fact also crew agencies in Palma but they require experience and I didn’t have that. So I started to look for a job by dock walking. Every morning I would walk the dock and ask if they had a job for me and every morning I would hear “no” again. That was because I lacked experience on boats while they did in fact require experience. But I persisted and after two months I finally heard yes and that was for a fixed job too!
Few Dutch crew members
There are few Dutch crew members on super yachts. Quit strange because except for the STCW 95 basic safety you don´t need an education. You do need a representable appearance. Because there is no education, it really comes down to what you put into it yourself. For me that meant staying down to earth, take notice, work hard and continuously improve. Also a good relation with the owner and captain is important. I really did my best and after a year and a half they offered me a job as chief stewardess.
From stewardess to chief stewardess
Your work as a stewardess involves making the beds, serving drinks, cleaning, polishing and more typical hotel type of jobs but then on a 6 star level. As chief you are actually more a manager. I am responsible for the budget, the accounts, managing the other stewardesses, the contact with the guests and I am the Personal Assistant of the owner on board.
Seeing the world
In the summers the yacht is in the Mediterranean and in the winters in the Caribbean. The three months which I am not on board I spend in Mallorca, the Netherlands and Australia where my boyfriend lives. The owner comes on board several times a year and Jo is one of the best booked charter yachts in the industry. We work really hard so we have many returning customers which tip royally. That’s lovely. This work is not for everyone but who wants to make a career in this luxury industry I give as advice; persist! I myself heard no for two months.
Hope sails with Carl Stahl Yachting tuigage
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This blog is a translation of my Telegraph blog