During the summer in Antibes, a selection of junior and senior interior crew congregated at the Royal Hotel to participate in a day of training workshops offered by GUEST, the yachting industry standard for interior training available at 24 accredited crew training schools worldwide.
And what a wonderful day we had, with positive feedback from participants.
“It was a fantastic experience! Having over 10 years in hospitality and seven years onboard yachts, it is great to finally have appreciation and attention given to the interior crew. I hope this training will improve future crew members' work ethics and knowledge.” said an attending chief stew.
The event was fully booked with a long waiting list. The majority of participants were junior level steward/esses with more senior interior crew willingly sharing their own experiences and issues. The trainers worked their magic and with their professionalism, dedication and humour they ensured that participants gained the maximum from all the snap shot sessions provided.
From etiquette to service, laundry to cabin set up, care of surfaces and teambuilding to food safety and wine appreciation – we offered a wide range of interesting and interactive sessions for all, bringing the workshops to life and turning the day into a real success for all.
Attendees had the opportunity to learn from the very best in the industry:
Peter Vogel, Principal Trainer of Luxury Hospitality Management, Lynne Edwards, Senior Training Manager at The Crew Academy, Sophie Leach, Trainer at The Crew Academy, Kim Woodey, CEO & Trainer for KDW Training, Georgie Vintner, Hotel Fleet Training Consultant for Carnival, Terry Gilmore, Director of Interior Training Academy and Helen Brotherton Director and Trainer for Fine Wine Works.
The day began with the teambuilding session run by Peter, whose aim was to demonstrate to crew the importance of trust and respect within the teams. We had the groups tangled up in a practical exercise “the human knot”, which set the tone of the interaction for the day.
“I have always placed training as top priority on my list. It is essential to have the right tools to help mentor future stews in the right direction” said a chief stew.
Georgie led the teams on the essential elements of food safety, stating, “It’s the responsibility of all crew, especially food handlers, to ensure due diligence and duty of care with regards to safe practices for guest and crew alike.”
Another participant added, “It’s scary to see how much can go wrong if you don’t know or understand what you’re doing.”
Lynne and Kim presented the intricacies of food and beverage service to the group, highlighting a wide range of service styles and emphasising the importance of understanding the needs of owners and guests in order to fulfil their particular requirements while on board.
GUEST partner, Boutsen, kindly supplied the exquisite Aston Martin range of cutlery and beautiful flatware and table linens for use during the session while Creative floristry supplied the flowers for the centrepiece.
One junior crew member stated that “This session confirmed to me how high end the service onboard really needs to be”
The Cabin session “eye for detail” run by Peter and George, with the beautiful linens and bedding supplied by GUEST partner Talisman, got the teams thinking as they had to learn best practices for bed making and cabin etiquette, with a fun exercise of "spot what’s wrong with this room".
Lynne created a fun, interactive sketch to help the attendees understand which types of behaviours they might expect from owners and guests of different nationalities and cultures. Together with training partner, Sophie, she underlined the importance of clear and accurate communication, as well as acceptable behaviours when dealing with yacht owners and guests.
Lynne ended the session by giving invaluable information on the correct action to be taken if crew members experience challenging situations aboard.
A new crew member said, “I learnt so much, and felt much better informed - this session was very interesting and a part of yachting that I hadn’t really appreciated before. It's good to know there are people you can turn to for help.”
Kim presented the care of fabrics and furnishings session, beginning with a fun quiz to introduce some of today’s more unusual fabrics, and explained the terms used for the identification of various linens, essential for the ordering, care and maintenance of fabrics and furnishings aboard.
Terry Gilmore used his expertise and experience to show how to correctly iron shirts of different fabrics.
The grand finale was showcased by Helen from Fine Wine Works, who added her own flair and experience as an actress to her session on wine tasting and food pairing to the great delight of our guests after a long but inspiring day. “I was very impressed, it was an all engaging, knowledgeable and approachable session!” said one of the guests.
Guests enjoyed a delicious lunch which provided an opportunity for sharing industry experiences and networking. The day was also enriched by the presence of our GUEST partners who provided their luxury and high end products for use in the training sessions.
We'd like to thank TeslaMall, White & Green by The Winckworth Collection, Aqua Air by Real Sphere, Yachtneeds, Superyacht Operating Systems, and Boutsen Design.
The overall value of the GUEST event was summed up nicely by another chief stew attending: “I'm truly thankful for the opportunity to have come to this one day workshop which was filled with a wealth of knowledge that I will forever be thankful for. GUEST is paving the way not only for yacht crew, but hospitality professionals as a whole. I would love to come back one day to be a GUEST trainer.”