The images of a yachting lifestyle, cruising to exotic ports, sipping drinks in fancy glasses, and lounging about on deck are how the guests on board enjoy their time. Crewing on a yacht is not glamorous. It’s hard work and is anything but a vacation. Here is what to expect when living on board a yacht as crew.
Every yacht is unique in respect to crew cabins and crew common areas. While some yachts have comfortable cabins and spaces for crew, other yachts have sacrificed the crew space to make the guest areas more specious. Apart from the Captain, most of the officers and crew must share cabins. There are some exceptions, but for an entry level yacht job, expect to share with one to three other crew members, including sharing bathrooms.
Crew spaces are typically on a lower deck, have limited windows, and are often located near noisy mechanical spaces and laundry facilities. Most yachts have a crew mess and the larger mega yachts also have a crew galley and an officer’s mess. Typically a Sous Chef is responsible for preparing all meals for the crew. The crew mess generally has a TV and entertainment system, and a fridge stocked with drinks and snack items for the crew.
As for laundry, uniforms, towels and linens are washed, dried and ironed by a Steward. You may have to be responsible for your own non-uniform clothing. This varies from yacht to yacht.
When owners or guests are on board the yacht, you typically work seven days a week. When there are no guests on board, generally a crew schedule allows the crew to have a couple days off per week (not all at the same time, though). When you do get a day off, you may be in a beautiful part of the world and realize that a yacht job has many rewards.