Crew confessions: Superyacht crews bare all
Have you worked on a superyacht and have a story to tell? If so, we'd love to hear from you! Please email your crew confession* to firstname.lastname@example.org
*Of course we understand that some of you may wish to keep your confessions shrouded in mystery. If you'd prefer for your confession to be anonymous, please let us know in the email. However, we will need you to send us your name and the length of the yacht for verification.
A meal fit for a King...
I should have known there would be a problem when the captain started his daily meeting with, “There will be a dog on this charter.” Scurrying up the gangway, wearing a diamond studded collar and pink ribbons clipped in his hair came King. Not only was King no bigger than a Crestron TV remote he also came with just as many instructions. Mrs X said, “He has scrambled eggs for breakfast and then needs to be walked. Chicken and rice at lunch and fish for dinner.” I looked at Emma to verify that we were still talking about a dog. I struggled to keep my composure while Mrs X rattled off King’s detailed daily routine.
That evening I poached salmon for the crew with a warm baby potato salad and roasted asparagus over rosemary branches. I flaked pieces of the moist fish into the gold-rimmed dog bowl and had Emma call him to dinner. King strutted into the galley like the royalty he was. He sniffed the salmon and wandered nonchalantly back out the door. Not a minute passed before Mrs X came into the galley to inspect the dog bowl, “No, no, no! This will not do. Sole or some other white fish is more to his liking.” I bit my tongue. Did the dog just send back my meal?
I tried my luck with fish meal number two. I seared a thick fillet of halibut, white and delicate like he requested. Again Emma called him for dinner. He barely lifted his head from the cool marble floor. He opened one eyelid and looked at Emma with disinterest before lowering his head again. She placed his bone china dish closer and encouraged him once more. No movement.
By this time I had finished plating the guest meals and was ready for Emma to take them up. As she stepped over the lifeless canine and approached the table Mrs X called out, “Come here baby. See what Mama has for you.” Emma stood by the table, her mouth hung open in disbelief as Mrs X fed him her halibut from the silver fish fork she’d spent all afternoon polishing cooing, “What a good little boy you are. Yes, you can have another piece. Here you go.” With that she removed our Versace plate from the setting in front of her and placed it on the teak deck. King licked its surface clean. “Without even the hint of a smile Mrs X looked at Emma and said, “From now on you can set another place at the table. King will dine with us.
Victoria Allman, yacht chef
I was overwhelmingly star-struck by a yacht guest...
Wouldn’t you know, with only one person on the planet who could have left me star-struck, it just so happened that he turned up as a guest of a guest for a two-night stay on board during the Monaco Grand Prix. I received word that this individual would be joining us only moments before his actual arrival. I’m not sure how I then missed the boisterous frenzy taking place on the dock as his brigade of vehicles turned up, drawing hordes of paparazzi and fans, but I did. Instead, I was down in the lower cabin he’d be staying in, sprucing up the pillows just one last time. Once I felt the room looked picture perfect, I vacated the cabin and went darting up the stairs. But, as I reached the top, guess who I plowed right into? Sir X. And yes, it was literally physical contact that I made with him - not quite a body slam, but definitely more impactful than a gentle ‘brush with fame.
In stewardess training school, one of the things they teach you is how to address various types of dignitaries, such as royalty and heads of state. Sir X, as you can tell by the title I write here, is a Knight of the British Empire. But, in that instant, all of those formal titles for individuals of distinction that I’d crammed into my brain for my stew-certification test came flashing at me. All I had to do was say, “It’s an honour to meet you, Sir.” However, at that moment, the only words coming to me were ones like Duke, King, Lord… even Lady, Dame, and Your Royal Highness. Blubbering helplessly, I came up with something along the lines of, “Nice to meet you, Sss…Um…Yes…Hi… Welcome aboard."
Julie Perry, chief stewardess
My worst laundry debacle...
I still cringe when I think about it, 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.
Adrienne Gang, chief stewardess
We had a serial pooper on board...
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 cabin. 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.
Julie Perry, chief stewardess