Yacht Crew: Their Day-to-Day Work

Since you’re thinking of starting a career in the yachting industry, you may be wondering about the typical day-to-day work that goes on. Well, first of all, you should know that every day can be different, and that while your basic responsibilities won’t change, many other aspects of the job will change. For example, if you work on a charter yacht, you will be serving a whole new set of passengers each time the yacht leaves the dock.

In the Members section of CruiseJobFinder, we provide you with detailed information about the job responsibilities of each crewmember onboard a yacht. To get more specific information about particular jobs, visit the page for those jobs. This page will give you an overall view of a day onboard a yacht.

Rise and Shine

For crew members, the day starts out several hours before passengers will be served their breakfast. You will shower and dress, and then eat the breakfast that the chef has prepared for the crew in the crew mess. After eating, deckhands leave to prepare the decks and all of the items on it for the passengers. The chef and his or her assistants finish preparing the passengers’ breakfast, and the stewards and stewardesses prepare the dining room for the passengers. After breakfast, the captain, mates, and engineers prepare the yacht for the day’s cruise or perform necessary or routine maintenance or repairs.

Once passengers arrive in the dining room, the stewards/stewardesses serve breakfast and make sure the passengers have everything they need during the meal. They may also discuss the day’s ports of call, if there are any, and answer any of the passengers’ questions. After breakfast, the stewards and stewardesses clear the dining room and clean it in preparation of lunch.

The Mid-Morning

During the mid-morning hours, the stewards and stewardesses make up the passengers’ beds and clean their rooms. The deckhands clean all exterior surfaces, and the captain, mates, and engineers ensure that the ship is functioning effectively and according to all safety and environmental regulations. If at sea, passengers may sit by the pool, or spend time on the deck. Stewards and stewardesses will also check to see if passengers need any drinks or snacks, while the chef spends this time preparing lunch for the crew and passengers.


Lunch is prepared, served, and cleared much the same way that breakfast was, with the chef preparing the food and the stewards/stewardesses serving it and making sure the passengers have everything they need. After the meal, the stewards also clear the tables and clean the dining room in preparation for dinner. The crew members will eat lunch just before the passengers, or afterwards, in the mess.


If at port, the passengers may leave the ship to explore the port. If at sea, the afternoon will pass in the same way the morning did, with the passengers primarily enjoying the sun and sea on the deck. Stewards and stewardesses will ensure that all passengers have what they need, including any snacks and beverages. The deckhands will continue to clean the decks and make sure that everything is kept organized and in working order. The chef begins preparing dinner, and by the end of the afternoon, stewards and stewardesses go to the dining room to get it ready for the passengers.

Dinner and Evening

As with the other two meals, the chef and other galley workers have prepared the food, and the stewards will serve it and clean the dining room after the last passenger has left. Crew members then eat dinner. Stewards may also serve the passengers beverages throughout the evening. It is usually late when stewards or stewardesses can officially clock out and are off duty. Deckhands’ day may end at sunset, but one or two of them may also take turns standing watch or assisting the engineer or mates. It can be midnight or later before all crew members are able to sleep.

This is a general overview of a typical day onboard a yacht. Of course, there is always a lot more to the job than can be discussed in a short article. This should allow you to see, however, that the days are long, and for most crew members, you will be on your feet for most of your shift. You will also be expected to help other crew members as needed.

Now that you know what a typical day is like, click on the link below to learn more about living concerns on a yacht, most importantly, the health and hygiene expectations you’ll be expected to live up to.

Dress Code & Neatness Protocols