What to Expect from and How to Treat a Hostess

One of the most relaxing types of sailing holidays is with a hostess aboard. It is considered a luxury charter, so the price is different from standard charter. Hostesses most often work in pair with a skipper, so they both can be hired, while many luxury charter yachts are offered as crewed. Hiring only a hostess is also an option.

Many have a false image of a hostess as a person who is there to entertain the clients and be nice and cheerful. Good personal approach and pleasant appearance is, for sure, very important part of the hostess’ role, but it is far from being the only one. Her major duty is to ‘keep the house functional’. In other words, she is in charge of the yacht’s interior hygiene and is the master of the galley. Her word is the law, right after the skipper’s one. She has to carry many duties, and her job requires a lot of hard work.

Prior to clients’ arrival, the hostess has to do a check-in along with the skipper. The skipper takes care of technical and overall functionality of the check-in procedure, while the hostess checks the galley and the accommodation facilities. If the yacht is crewed, the skipper and the hostess only have to arrange the provisioning. Right after the check-in is done, the hostess has to prepare welcome drinks and snacks, so clients can feel comfortable as soon as they embark.

Her next task is to help clients embark, of course, along with the skipper. As the clients enjoy their welcome drinks and snacks, the skipper should proceed with the safety briefing and an introduction to the yacht, while the hostess has to present daily schedule about the meals and snacks. This conversation is crucial, so that the hostess can plan provisioning and coordinate the daily routine (timetable) with the skipper.

Eating aboard, Luxury

Hostesses usually serve breakfast and lunch, along with refreshment drinks during the day and an afternoon snack. An extra option includes dinner as well. The menu is usually offered in advance, just after the booking is confirmed. The menu can be either accepted or demanded by clients in line with their own preferences or diet (vegetarian or vegan menu, food intolerances, etc.). The hostess always has to wake up the earliest because breakfast has to be served when the clients get up. Please, be up at agreed time because it is disastrous for the crew if the clients are late or too early.

Right after serving breakfast, the hostess runs under-deck to clean toilets and cabins. She does it on a daily basis, so have in mind allowing her some time and space to do it properly. Right after breakfast is over, the hostess has to do the dishes (usually underway) and plan the snacks and drinks for the swim break and/or lunch. Do not make your hostess do the babysitting because it is not one of her duties. She is quite busy between two meals.

Evenings are usually free for hostesses (if she is not obliged to serve dinner). Respect her private time because she is on duty since early morning. Part of the provisioning can be done in the afternoon or evening, but fresh bread and croissants are only available early in the morning, so the hostess can never afford a lazy morning. It is considered normal that the hostess cannot exactly get the way clients like their eggs done for breakfast or what type of cereals are their favorite, so detailed initial briefing with the hostess is crucial, as well as a patient and understanding communication later on.

Clients have to be aware of the limits of onboard galley and refrigerators, so it is not fair to demand some eccentric or ‘haute cuisine’ meals. For such demands, one should hire a chef, which is also possible. At the end of the day, in case of any dispute or misunderstanding, the issue has to be solved together with the skipper, since he is the master of the crew and the yacht. After all, the hostess acts like a deckhand in many situations which extend her list of duties. Hostesses are very hard-working crew members and they carry a great deal of the responsibility. The clients’ satisfaction relies on her performance in a great extent. Therefore, hostesses are not there to do babysitting, entertain the clients or to party with them. There is another personnel that can be hired for such activities.