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Level of service
Posted: Friday, December 6, 2019 4:43 PM
Joined: 10/01/2010
Posts: 1

I need help! I work as a solo stew on a 120' yacht. We do a lot of dinner cruises many of them are buffets if it is over 10 guests. The first mate washes dishes for me but it is a huge amount of work for both of us. It is typically between 15 and 20 guests. That means I must set up two tables and split the group in two different locations. I greet the guests as they come aboard, make drinks from the bar,  take their coats, participate in the safety briefing with the captain, and also serve them two passed apps, and a cheeseboard as well as bussing dishes and glassware, and setting up the buffet, passed dessert trays, or plated desserts, coffee & dessert wine service, putting away dishes as they are washed, refreshing the heads. I am also the medic aboard and if there is a medical that is mine to deal with. This has happened on two occasions and the guests have been left with out me as the other crew are not good about stepping in to the service roll. I know the stews in past have had help at varying levels. The captain and crew and I discussed and set guidelines for it. Over 15 guest buffet I can ask for help, or over 12 plated dinner i can have help or if it is a known high maintenance group then I can ask. I went thru the calendar for December and submitted my request. It ended up being all of the trips scheduled. The captain is now balking at the request and wanting to submit more information to the corporate office of how we justify asking for an additional stew and how that increases the level of service. The office likes to schedule 20 ppl mostly even thought they realize the boat is more intimate and enjoyable with smaller groups. they often say don't worry we are an easy group we will help our selves.... Each new person aboard is more work as they have so many questions about the history of the yacht and the program we run and where things are and the flow of the evening. I am not new to yachting. I have been on many other boats and have done this job for two seasons now. It has taken two years for the captain to agree to allow me to bring on an assistant strew, but then he flipped after one week. The stews in the past cried all of the time he said and I haven't cried yet. I have told him I will get burnt out. He said it cant be justified that it makes my job easier. It needs to be about the guest experience.

What is the best way to define the addition of a on call stew and what they bring to the service and what should the standards be? What are reasonable expectations?

Posted: Friday, December 13, 2019 8:33 PM
Joined: 22/11/2019
Posts: 1

Imagine if you went to a restaurant as a 20 top and only got 1 server? This happened to me this summer and it was a disaster. Especially if you get a thirsty group. 1 server couldnt even keep up with waters for a group that size. We tried to make it easy for her and ordered bottles of wine for the table and she just couldnt keep up. Someone eventually came to help her and they were finally able to keep up. Its absolutely possible to still serve a group that size but level of service is seriously diminished. Expect that in a restaurant but that is not yacht standard. Not when there are so many other steps to your service. I would look for a different boat with higher standards if they won't even hire a temp stewardess. I wouldnt want my reputation being built in a program that is not set up for success. Plenty of good boats out there.good Good luck!
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