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Interview with a yacht stewardes
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Updated on January 9th, 2020

I’m very happy to be interviewing my wonderful friend Melissa Ryan creator of The Sand Pillow on what it’s like working on a superyacht. Mel and I met back in 2014 when we were living together in a crew house in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. We had both arrived at this yachting hub with the goal of finding our first jobs on a superyacht. Yay! Go us. Little did we know how much working onboard a megayacht would go on to influence our lives.

Finding a job that pays you to travel the world is a dream. A few other ideas to start you off are teaching English online or teaching abroad, working in a ski resort or on an island in Australia.

However, working on a luxury yacht is something few people can say they have done and yet there are so many benefits to superyachting. This exciting career makes up some of the best days of our lives. In this interview with Mel, she will tell you more about herself and why she joined yachting. What it’s like to work on a yacht and why this is the perfect job for someone who loves travelling. Also, check out how to become a superyacht stewardess.

In the Mediterranean

Disclaimer: Some links in this article are affiliate links, which means that if you purchase through them, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. For more information on my disclaimer click here.

Hi Mel, tell everyone about yourself.

I’m in my 30s, from New Zealand and live in Australia now. I love the beach and the sea environment, often spending my days off relaxing down on the sand. I’m also an avid traveller and love seeing somewhere new and trying the food!

While working on a yacht is one way to make money while travelling there are so many others. Click here to see a huge list of the best travel jobs around the world.

How did you first hear about working on a superyacht?

Years ago at a bar in Thailand, I met a guy who told me all about the yachting world which he had worked in. I had never seen a superyacht or heard anything about it so I wasn’t sure exactly what he meant. Afterwards, I went away and Googled it. You just can’t believe how big some of the boats are!

Picture yourself working on this yacht and getting paid to travel the world

What was life before yachting? What made you want to work on a yacht?

Having worked in an office in the corporate world for years, I realized sitting at a desk all day it didn’t suit my personality.  I wanted to take a break but I didn’t know how else to earn money. Then one day I remembered the stories I’d heard about the superyacht industry.  I knew I just had to give it a try.

Download the checklists to getting your first superyacht job.

What does a yacht stewardess do?

I really had no idea what being a stewardess meant before I got started but it’s actually quite a varied job.  The main aim of the game is to keep the interior of the yacht spotless and to look after the guests when they come on board.  There are so many jobs that need doing all day long, from making beds, to washing uniform and serving meals.

What other yachting jobs are there?

There are 3 main categories of other roles on board in addition to being a stewardess.  They are the Deck crew, the Engineering team and the Chefs. So there’s a good amount of variety on board.

Life with a new family

Crew hierarchy

In the yachting industry do you get annual leave?

You can work year-round and accrue about 4 weeks leave. Although I prefer to take seasonal contracts and have time off in between the seasons. I typically have between 2 and 4 months off a year to travel and catch up with friends and family at home.

What’s the most incredible yachting season locations?

Personally, I love the Caribbean islands.  There’s something so magical and cool about themEach island has its own style and culture and I absolutely love trying the local food and beer!

Feeding the pigs in the Bahamas while working on a superyacht

What about the best place you have been on a boat?

The Italian and French Rivera is hard to beat. They are so glamorous and beautiful and there’s always something to see and do there. It’s hard to pinpoint my absolute favourite because there are just so many! I’ve been lucky enough to work on some boats that have travelled all over the globe.

The beautiful Mediterranean is home to thousands of superyachts

What are your favourite memories of yachtie life?

The fun times out with a great crew is what makes this job so fantastic. Meeting like-minded people who you get to work with, and hang out with is what it’s all about.

A great crew will make or break a yacht

Are there things that are hard to get used to?

The tight bunk bed spaces can be a bit hard but thankfully most yachts I’ve worked on have been ok.  Sail yachts are notorious for small cabins so I try and avoid them!

How do you cope with sharing small spaces?

It’s true you do have to share a cabin but surprisingly, you actually get used to it pretty quickly.  The key is to be quiet and respectful of the other person’s space and then it normally works out fine.

Sunsets in Caribbean Islands are one of the highlights from working on a yacht

Are there any negatives?

As with any job, there are some, however, the positives definitely outweigh the negatives. The hours you work can be long which makes it tiring. It can also be hard to live and work with people that you don’t get along with.  I try and get off the boat as often as I can to have some space and time away. It can be quite full-on in this sense, especially if you’re an introvert like me.

What advice do you have on how to become a yachtie?

Just give it a go! Be brave, get out there and take a risk. It’ll be worth it!  In fact, I’ve never met anyone who regretted starting out in the industry and getting a yachting job. Also, we have written a great book for getting started in the industry. You can find out more about it below.

Would you recommend working on a yacht for someone who loves travelling?

It’s the perfect job if you have the travel bug and love exploring as you are always seeing somewhere new. For this reason, I cannot recommend it highly enough for people who are travellers and would like to combine their passion and their job into one!

Are you a chef? Find out how to get a job on a superyacht as a chef here.

Work on a superyacht Island views

Does getting a yacht job sound like the career for you?

Does this sound like something you would like to do? If yes, then Mel and I can help make this a reality for you. Over the past four years, we have learnt all the in’s and out’s of the industry and have helped numerous friends and family start in this career field. Each year more people are trying to get a job aboard a superyacht. If you are serious about making this career yours then don’t make the same mistakes others have made – stand out above the rest. For those of you who want to start your career in the superyacht industry now and who want something more, allow me to quickly introduce all of you to our ebook.

Superyacht Crew: How to Start Your Career in the Superyacht Industry has 12 loaded chapters of everything you need to kickstart this dream of yours. Authors Melissa Ryan and I have put our combined six years and counting experience into one concise but comprehensive guide. We have helped numerous friends and family members make this dream a reality we want to help you.  Each year more people try to join this industry. Don’t wait any longer – act now. Gain insider knowledge, answers to all the questions you may have and use an example CV with step by step instructions to make yours stand out.

In addition to all of this, you get a detailed reference guide. This guide lists all the crew houses and crew agencies that have been tried and tested. Where to do your courses, which doctors do the ENG1, all of the useful online job boards and facebook groups, plus more.

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Hello! My name is Erin, the lady behind Curiously Erin. After more than 10 years of travelling and working abroad, I wanted to create a platform where I could share my stories and travels. My goal is to help you live the life you desire and inspire you to travel more.

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