Working on a Yacht: Day 3; A Hostess's Job is Never Done

By 23 August 2017

One week working on a charter yacht in Croatia through the eyes of a hostess. Monday 21st August 2017 finds us on day 3 of a 7-day charter.

By day 3 we are almost in a rhythm. I have everyone figured out; not in an arrogant ‘I know you already’ kind of way, just in a – ‘I know how you have your coffee, what you have for breakfast, your drinks and a basic personality type... Trust me, 10 years working in hospitality and tourism and you figure a few things out about the rhythm of service and people in general.

It seems breakfast is always going to be a long, extended affair. Funnily enough, breakfast is actually the more labour-intensive job for a hostess as everyone gets up at different times and has a tendency to ask for something one-by-one. Same goes in a restaurant, everyone hates the breakfast shift, why? Because people are fussier when it comes to breakfast; I don’t know if it has something to do with breakfast being a meal that everyone can make themselves, so everyone is an expert and they know exactly how they like their eggs, fruit cut, coffee, pancakes, smoothie… the list goes on. I remember working in a café and we would have the most ridiculous requests – “Can I have this, with this, minus that and don’t let the eggs touch the toast…” A menu becomes more like the items list at subway, where people think they can just create their own meal.

Anyway, thankfully this group is great and not too demanding. However, the breakfast service still lasts from 6.30 am (the time I make the first coffee) until midday (by the time I have cleaned and cleared everything).

We sailed from the Pakleni islands to Vela Luka on the island Korčula, where we would be for the rest of the day.


Most guests we have had on the yacht over the last few years are coming to Croatia for the first time, so they are interested in seeing what Croatia is all about. Days are spent swimming and enjoying water-sports, while late afternoon normally entails a walk around town and going out for dinner. And some groups, even though they are in Croatia for the first time, get settled into the boat and aren’t interested in exploring anything the gorgeous islands have to offer (which kinda breaks my heart a little).

In between breakfast and lunch, there is cleaning to be done, stocking fridges, making drinks, getting snacks and sometimes small adventures… One of the guests didn’t tie the kayak to the boat very well, so it drifted away. I jumped at the chance to get close to the water, so I grabbed the SUP board and off I went after the kayak!


It turns out, what I mentioned from Day 2 about not being so fit anymore is true, I was knackered after my short sprint on the water; but happy to be closer to the sea.

Lunch was at 4 pm until around 6 pm. The chef prepared lunch for the crew, but as per usual all the crew could sit down and eat in peace, except me. There is always something needed from the hostess and it always seems that guests can sniff out the second my butt is about to touch the seat. I could walk around the yacht, check everyone is ok, stand at the bar and man it all day – but guaranteed the second I disappear, everyone will want something.

My first year hostessing on the yacht, I lost so much weight (I am only around 50-something kilos anyway); I went down to a scary 42 kg and was constantly getting sick. I was eating, but nowhere near enough compared to my output and guests never had a problem interrupting me – poking their head down into the salon “Oh, am I bothering you?” In my head: Of course you’re bothering me, I have a mouthful of my now cold dinner. Out loud: No problem at all, let me help you find your hat. It’s not like in a restaurant where you eat before and after service and wouldn’t dream of eating during; on a boat, there is NO end to service, we are on-call 24/7. I learned the hard way that I needed to create some boundaries and look after myself – beginning with eating properly.

It did always amaze me though, that people can spend a week on a boat with you and never wonder or be considerate as to when you are eating or taking any rest. At least on super yachts, there is a big team and even a rota sometimes; so, you can eat, sleep and rest almost like a normal human being. On a yacht with only four crew, you don’t have this luxury.

Above all the other crew, the hostess is the only one who can’t ever have a moment of peace – once the chef has finished cooking for the day he is done, the captain always has responsibilities, but he can disappear from time-to-time unnoticed or at least without explanation, same goes for the deckhand. If I disappear for more than 10-minutes, I would have a mob of hungry, thirsty, angry guests who have lost all of their belongings. Ok, obviously a slight exaggeration, but I swear that’s what it feels like at times.

By the end of the day, the guests had been off the boat for only one-hour, which meant I really didn’t have a break. In 3 days, I have not been able to get off the boat for even a minute (as we have been on anchor the whole time); it is fine, as I am only here for the week, but now I am beginning to remember why I used to go a little crazy and get cabin-fever.

Another 18-hour day done and maybe you are starting to realise just how much work is involved with this job.