Working for the super-rich and famous on board some of the most luxurious yachts in the world not only presents an exciting and challenging experience, it also offers fantastic stories to share. Yachting Pages spoke to two chief stewardesses to get the inside story.
Julie Perry, author of The Insiders' Guide to Becoming a Yacht Stewardess: Confessions from My Years Afloat with the Rich and Famous, told Yachting Pages, “I had a serial pooper on board once. He was 16! Without naming names, he was the son of a billionaire heiress, so like many, he was born and raised with a silver spoon in his mouth. He was totally dysfunctional. He managed to go to the bathroom, and that is a ‘number two’, in his bed every night. The family’s nanny was along for the trip, and after the third time he soiled his sheets and the pyjamas he slept in, I told her what was going on. After she confronted him, he assumed correctly that it was the stewardesses who tattled on him.
“Obviously embarrassed, he spent the rest of the trip ‘getting even’ with our interior team by making our lives hell. For example, we had a mirrored staircase that led to the lower guest cabins. Every time he went up or down those stairs, he would drag his grubby little hands along the mirrors, often in places that were way up high and hard to reach. Worse off, he would do the same to the grand piano we had in the main salon. Fingerprints, fingerprints, fingerprints! Everywhere! But hey, at least they weren’t poop-stained.”
Most have experienced a dreaded laundry mishap, from that illusive red sock to shrunken clothes. But it’s good to know that even those rubbing shoulders with the world’s rich and famous sometimes get it wrong.
Adrienne Gang, chief stewardess from Below Deck confessed, “After nearly a decade in the yachting industry as a chef, stewardess and accidental chief stewardess (on national television no less), I'd be lying through my teeth if I said I've never screwed up a load of laundry. Anything from losing an owner’s favourite shawl in the fray of sending sheets and delicates to be dry cleaned, to accidentally shredding an expensive throw blanket and turning an entire load of white crew t-shirts yellow because I was in too much of a hurry to notice the brand new bright yellow microfiber cloth in the basket. When you practically do laundry for a living it's impossible not to screw it up on occasion, no matter how hard you try.
“My worst laundry debacle (I still cringe when I think about it) happened when I was on a charter for a famous golfer. I grabbed some of his own branded signature polo shirts to clean without realising that there was a pen in the pocket of his grey shorts. Lesson learned: Always check their pockets! Everything was fine in the wash cycle, but, predictably not so in the dryer.
“As soon as I saw the shirts come out of the dryer I started crying. I tried so hard to remember what I had done to gain such terrible pen karma?! Had I mistreated a Bic ballpoint in high school or forgotten to pay homage to the gods of ink?! And what golfers ever use pens to keep score instead of those little pencils anyway?! At that point the shirts were a lost cause. I had to tell the guest about his shirts and offer to pay for them, which, fortunately for me he laughed off and refused to accept. I'm not saying I've enjoyed the successive years of digging through guests pockets, but I've never made that mistake again, and hey, occasionally I've discovered some spare change along the way…”
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