For a long time, I had wanted to work as a yacht stewardess. Maybe it was because of the movie Fools Gold starring Kate Hudson, or maybe it was the idea of luxurious yachts in exotic places, but something appealed to me.
Funny enough, before moving to Australia I had a short list of jobs I wanted. Out of about 5 top jobs I wanted or considered, I was able to get 3. Not too bad I must say. I mean, considering I was only there for 1 year.
Anyway, surprise, surprise, one of those jobs was working as a yacht stewardess for a small private yachting company. They had 3 yachts that went out on day charters and two of the three were a 5 min walk from where I was living. It couldn’t have been more perfect!
Now, here’s the thing. I really didn’t think I would get this job for two reasons; I had no experience working on boats and I didn’t have any of the certifications I legally needed. Pretty big deal breakers I would say. But, lucky or not, I was hired without all of that based on sheer hospitality experience.
I figured going into this job that there would be at least a little training. I mean, I’ve worked hospitality for over 5 years but I’ve never worked on a boat. But no. They threw me into an event no questions asked, with barely a rushed intro into where everything was.
Once onboard I got my wine glasses out, set up everything, and the captain and I set off to pick up the guests. It wasn’t until the safety briefing the captain gave the passengers that I would need to know some of these key things. I mean, lifejackets are just slightly good to know where they are.
So was it as glamorous as the movies portray it to be? Was I serving the rich and famous, making huge tips and living the life?
I’ll just say this, a lot of our parties did involve hookers and there was cocaine use all of the time. As staff, we just had to direct the people to please do any drugs in one of the bedrooms where we couldn’t see them. That was the rule. Out of sight out of mind.
In any case, most of the cruises were fine. It would be a family or business trip, enjoying a beautiful day out around Sydney. Of course, some were a bunch of guys who hired strippers and a lot of alcohol to “live it up” for the afternoon. My job then became to make sure a bunch of coked up and drunk guys don’t do something stupid to themselves or the boat. But everything else, they let us know, would be taken care of by the strippers.
The work itself was pretty easy. I’ve worked catering for years, so it was nothing new. Bring out food for people, get all of their drinks cold, serve everyone, make sure they are safe, and make sure everyone has a good time. It’s basically like hosting a party for a bunch of strangers. With the fun part of cleaning up after everyone leaves. It’s never too messy but there was the time…
It’s never a good sign when your boss calls you to come in 15 minutes early because the boat is extra messy from the night before. But I came in, expecting nothing too serious since it was just myself on the larger boat that normally requires to stewards. Oh, boy was I wrong.
Trash was everywhere, almost every surface was sticky, the toilets were disgusting, cocaine was on the bedside table, the sheets were all messed up… It was like some frat party had invaded and trashed the place. Of course, that’s when I find out it was from my bosses own personal party the night before and he was just too out of it to clean anything up.
“I’m so sorry! Thank you for cleaning up!” His 20 year younger fiancee said as she walked off the yacht, clearly hungover and looking one hot mess.
My boss, on the other hand, said nothing. Never have I had to clean such a disgusting mess in such a short time.
Eventually, this being one of the turning points, I couldn’t take it anymore. The job was fine most of the time but I couldn’t stand the boss and I didn’t want to deal with this sort of environment anymore. The money was that great, and I had experienced it. That’s enough for me.