Welcome to my Stewardess blog!
I’m Angelique. I left home at age 20 to travel and work on mega yachts, as you may know, if you’ve been reading my blog.
I’m delighted I completed this job since it allowed me to travel to the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, and Australia extensively. I had a lot of experiences, therefore I’m glad to be through. I’m no longer employed in this field. Now that I’m married and raising a family, my life is taking a totally different turn than it did while I was working as a stewardess.
On my blogs, this is the query that is asked the most frequently. In order to address all of your questions in one location, I decided to do a Q&A. I thus invited you to post queries about sailing on my blog. Let’s begin.
Where to begin was a subject of some debate. I’ll thus start there.
How do you enter the stewardess or sailing world? Where do I begin?
You enroll in STCW training. Without completing STCW training, you cannot work on any boat. The STCW training covers both fire safety and water safety; in short, you’re responsible for other people’s lives as well as that of your guests, yourself, and of course the staff surrounding you. Understanding safety precautions is crucial.
I completed the training in one week and learned all I needed to know about security, including first aid, fire safety, and water safety. If you want to be anything higher up than a stewardess, such as an engineer, captain, or someone else, you can take further training. There are several other courses you must take. But as a stewardess, I was only required to get my STCW; any additional coursework I completed was optional and added nothing to my resume.
The STCW course is required. You can then seek employment after completing your coursework and proceed in a more or less direct manner. After finishing school, I moved to Cape Town and did an STCW course, and started applying for employment. I went to several of the docks and handed out my resume, and I also applied online. I also participated in a few Facebook groups, which provided information and occasionally posted job openings. After applying to several positions, I finally found my first job online. Once you land your first job, other opportunities present themselves and are considerably simpler. But even though gaining that initial experience might be incredibly challenging, everyone eventually receives their first bow.
In other words, you have to enroll in a course, and then once you pass it, you have to apply for a job. So that’s all.
There are four questions that are comparable to this one, then.
What time should you set off on your travel and is it worthwhile? What to anticipate How did the chance come about, and what gave you the guts to seize it? Before you went, did you have anything scheduled, or is this a last-minute chance?
I had the aim of leaving Johannesburg to go work on the super yachts, which sort of answers all four of those questions. When he was younger, my oldest brother did it, which is how I got the concept. Additionally, it was something I wanted to attempt and did. In essence, I departed Johannesburg and traveled to Cape Town. And I was aware that I had registered for my course in Cape Town on a particular day. After finishing my education, I started applying for employment. I thus had it planned, but I had no work lined up. I had just signed up for the course.
It was unplanned. It was quite impromptu because I just purchased a one-way ticket a month or two prior to leaving. However, I had the course scheduled, so I was prepared.
How did the chance come about, and what gave you the guts to seize it?
I remarked that I was certain I wanted to travel abroad. I also intended to relocate to Durban. My brother then suggested that I give sailing a try. I finished. It excelled. He then assisted me in scheduling the course. Additionally, it had superb sound. It sounded like something I would take pleasure in accomplishing. So my brother led the way for me, and yes, that’s how I learned about it and entered it.
What did you do every day as a stewardess? How many hours would you put in? Is it challenging?
Let’s just say that you put in a lot of time and effort. However, there were also times when you would receive time off and work a regular nine-to-five. It all depended on whether or not the boss was present. If the boss wasn’t present, your hours would be pretty standard nine-to-five; you would clock off at five and be free to leave the boat and do whatever you pleased. so long as you were in port and not out at sea. Of course, working for a boss meant working more than 16 hours per day, seven days per week, for months on end, and on occasion, four months straight of 16-hour days. Thus, it varies. I received a reasonable amount of each. There were times when I worked so hard and was always inside that I would go for weeks without seeing the sun. Despite working 16-hour days, you would always have an eight-hour break. However, that may be divided into two during the day and six at night. The amount of sleep you receive at night may only be six, but you still have a two-hour respite during the day. No matter what, you must get eight hours of sleep. Yes, it varies. At times, it might just be a regular nine-to-five, sometimes even shorter. On the vessels I worked on, we frequently received half days off. And that was great. However, there were also times when you wouldn’t be working 16 hours a day, seven days a week, for months on end. Thus, it has a reasonable amount of each.
What did your everyday schedule entail?
It again depends on whether or not your employer is in charge. It may become rather intense when you have a boss on. When they are finished, if they had a shower, you must go and dry it off because you were serving them the entire while you were cleaning the bathroom. You would have to prepare breakfast for them, serve it, be on call for them, wash laundry, continue to do crew laundry, set up lunch for the crew, and clean up lunch. Yes, it was somewhat taxing if Boss was present. The cleaning up of everything they left behind was incessant; you were always at their service. Fold the toilet paper when they’re finished cleaning up the bathroom. As I previously mentioned, if they have a shower, you must enter, dry it off when it’s wet, and visit each room. When the boss was on, you had to do it for every visitor; if there were five, you had to do it for five people. When the boss was off, you were free to do anything you needed to on the yacht.
Additionally, you could have needed to tidy up the cabinet or prepare a room in case the boss came on. If the boss went off, things might have changed. It was considerably more relaxed and laid back than a typical nine-to-five in the hotel industry. However, while the boss was in charge, there was simply no time for breathing; it was all or nothing.
Can you do yachting for a one- to two-year period?
Yes, but only for a period of two years. By season, it changes. Thus, the summer season is around six months long. And after that, you might decide to spend another summer in the Caribbean during the winter because many boats travel there. As a result, they enjoy summer all year. Alternatively, you may just spend the winter aboard the boat by doing a winter season. It may be completed in between one and two years. But as you advance in the field, your pay increases and, in my opinion, your quality of life improves. This is because, when you start out as a junior, you get all the undesirable jobs, just like in any other field. And certainly, there are many more benefits to moving ahead in the field. So I suppose that the longer you stick out, the more your career will develop into being a chief stewardess or whatever you want to accomplish. And certainly, it’s a little easier on you than constantly acting like a junior. But you can do it for a year or two. For three years, I did it.
Okay, this query was frequently asked. Are you treated nicely by your bosses? Were the customers courteous or unkind? Did you communicate with the clients frequently?
It depends, as I indicated; your boss or anybody else who joins the team might be the friendliest individuals imaginable. They could be the most impolite individuals ever. There are two different kinds of boats that you may work on: one is private, meaning that the owner is the one who owns the vessel. And then he starts talking about himself, his family, or his friends. He, therefore, owns the boat. Charter is the second. Whereas people hire boats for charter boats.
The standards must be quite high if people are leasing the boat since they will undoubtedly host parties and demand more because they are spending so much money to do so. Of course, private yachts must also meet high standards, but chartering a boat is significantly more labor since the expectations are often much higher. The advantage of charters is that you constantly encounter fresh groups of passengers, but with privately owned vessels, the owner is essentially constant. With charter, you also receive a lot of tips from people who are constantly trying to provide five-star service in order to earn high tips.
But in essence, it varies. Some people are so impolite that they will just snap their fingers and demand food, regardless of the fact that they’ll damage something you just cleaned. Even if some people are quite rude, you still receive a tip. Some individuals are kind. I’ve lived with several lovely families who were quite welcoming to me. They address me by name, but I’ve also encountered some really rude people who have just snapped their fingers. Get me a drink, kind of. Therefore, it depends on who you choose, but if you wind up with a decent family-owned yacht, it will be well worth it. You have struck the lottery if you can find a decent job, a good family boat, and a good crew since it’s really difficult to find all three. It would be a really delightful and enjoyable experience, but often, they claim that you either have to accept having a lousy staff or bad owners since you seldom have a good crew, a good owner, or excellent visitors.
I’ve had my fair share of both excellent and bad owners, so it really just depends. If you have excellent owners, it is so worth it because they value you, call you by your name, and even darling, allow you to take time off. They are simply decent people. The bad ones deplete you. Therefore, it depends, but you do communicate with the client. Again, it depends. Some clients want to converse with you and get to know you, while for others, you simply greet them with a good morning. What can I get you? Sir, may I clean your room? a certain level of vitality. If a good family wants to get to know you, they treat you like a visitor rather than an employee. It is a lot of fun.
Okay, the following query is: Was the remuneration satisfactory? What sort of income do you receive as a group on pay?
The money is rather excellent, but I have no idea what you consider to be good and I have no idea what your current wage is. I believe it is excellent. Which explains why many stewardesses and deckhand crews continue to work in the field. I began out as a new green, or Greenie as the crew would say. My income was 45K per month (ZAR), which is around average, although I’m not sure. Although most of the boats I’ve been on were 45K, I believe certain vessels do pay you 40K. Since that is typical pay, that is how much you are paid each month. And if you did charter boats, you would receive gratuities from customers who hire the boat, as I said. And you would receive a lot of tips if you received any. In other words, everyone who rents a boat is expected to tip 10% of the increased boat fee.
You are required to tip the ship when we did charter, but I’m not sure of the specifics, so don’t take my word for it. Yes, you are working a little bit more because these folks are hiring the boat, but it was still much better. As I stated, they demand a lot and have high standards, but you also occasionally receive a big tip; for example, for a week’s charter, I may receive about 15K in tips. Depending on the individual, you might make a lot of money by, for example, having one family come on for, say, two weeks or 10 days, then another family comes on for another four days, another family comes on for another month, and so on. Each family that comes on will tip you. Moreover, your hourly wage. I did work on private yachts, earning simply my regular 45K, and I still consider it to be a respectable wage.
The more you advance, the more money you’ll make. Therefore, it depends on your position on the boat. The compensation is often decent, but you are making a lot of sacrifices to be at sea. Of course, the tougher the task, the more credentials you need for the position, and the higher the salary. You occasionally spend a considerable amount of time away from land, away from your family, and with little opportunity for social interaction. If you work as a stewardess, you are always working indoors. It is a highly demanding lifestyle, but the pay is fantastic. So that’s why I believe a lot of stewardesses and deckhand crews continue to do it—for the money.
Do you meet people on the yacht? Did you also have to share a bathroom, a room, etc.? And how did the personnel seem?
You develop friendships with your crew, of course. A happy crew means a happy boat on many of the boats I worked on, but there were other boats where that effort paid off. On other boats, though, the crew wasn’t as important, and it was a really difficult and unpleasant experience to be on such vessels. A happy staff, therefore, means a happy boat. However, it goes without saying that you make friends on board. For me, some of the finest moments have been spent with the crew, and I still have friends with whom I communicate frequently from the boats. They became some of my closest pals.
Are you sharing a bathroom or a room? You do. In the crew mess, you both share a cabin. You have a bunk bed, a single bunk bed, and often one other person uses the bathroom. All of my other boats were just me and another person, with the exception of one when I had three in one room and shared with two other females. However, there is a bathroom and a bunk bed. The entrance area also has a mess caused by the staff. There is a little kitchen there, and there is where you all gather to have supper. You eat there, of course. There is generally a TV as well. So the answer is that you do share with others. The Captain always had his own room.
What aspect of sailing was the worst?
This is a really intriguing query. There were many negative aspects, but they were outweighed by the positive ones. The sacrifice you have to make to work, to be away from your family, and to return home after work is, in my opinion, the worst aspect. You can’t make a lot of sacrifices and be among your pals. The pay is decent. Therefore, occasionally money can make up for such issues. However, I placed a lot higher value on my mental well-being than I did on money. I gave it a go and kept hopping boats in the hope that they would be safer, but they weren’t.
I thus believe that it was just the industry in general for me. I wasn’t overjoyed. Because I was working so hard, I wasn’t thinking about myself and I was eating a lot of junk food. Since I was working 16 hours a day in the midst of the ocean, I found it difficult to maintain a healthy balance. Before you can please yourself, you have to please so many other people. And I wasn’t really into it. The same as with every employment, there are many advantages and disadvantages.
After asking this question, I’ll probably end the conversation. Just end it on a positive note. I believe I’ve addressed most of the questions I intended to address.
One asked about your favorite memory. And what aspect of the overall experience was the best?
Traveling was certainly the highlight of the whole trip for me. the locations I was able to visit and the experiences I created. It was great, even though it was just with myself. It was wonderful to be able to visit these locations, and I don’t have many better memories. There are both good and terrible things about it, but looking back, I can chuckle. However, if you have a nice crew, you will always have wonderful recollections. I believe that because you don’t have many days off, your vacations were much more thrilling.
In order to get from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean, you must do an Atlantic crossing. And that was unquestionably a memorable event. That was absurd. My bucket list was definitely crossed off with it.
There are numerous recollections, but I can’t think of just one. It was both incredibly difficult and highly fulfilling. Being surrounded by so many diverse individuals with diverse emotions in a small, cramped environment is difficult mentally, in my opinion. You must be fairly powerful and guard your energy. And I didn’t always do it well. There were times when I just wanted to abandon everything. I’ve also always believed that the grass is always greener on the opposite side. Ocean blue on the other side isn’t always the case, though, for me. Ultimately, I came to the conclusion that this position is not for me.
I do commend those who work in the field for more than five years. Well done, they make progress. If you still want to do it after reading all of this, then take the leap of faith and go ahead and do it. I advise everyone who wants to do it. Life is fantastic as a stewardess.
It is possible anywhere in the world. Everything is covered for you when you’re on the boat, including your lodging, food, and amenities, making it a fantastic opportunity to work and save money. So if you want it to be your job, it’s a terrific industry to work your way up in. It’s also a great opportunity to save money, travel, and see the globe.
The STCW course is thus a wise investment if you want to make this your career, and you can quickly recoup the cost of the course from your earnings at sea.