The Chief Stewardess’s Guide to Preparing and Stocking Toiletries and Amenities for a New Season

Oct 16, 2023 | Crew Tips, Lifestyle, Crew Members

Jamila García

Jamila García

CEO Starfish Crew LTD

Jamila García is a true inspiration for hundreds of new stewardesses, sharing all her knowledge with grace, warmth, and an unwavering passion for the yachting industry.

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As the next season starts to approach, and the superyacht emerges from its winter hibernation, a sense of anticipation fills the air of every crew mess.

Amongst the many responsibilities that fall under the Chief Stewardess‘s purview, selecting the right toiletries and amenities for the interior department is a critical task.

These selections play a pivotal role in ensuring the comfort and satisfaction of discerning guests who expect nothing but the best.

Choosing the perfect toiletries and amenities for a super yacht’s interior entails a meticulous process.

  1. · Understanding the needs of the guests
  2. · Evaluating eco-friendly options
  3. · And balancing budget constraints

The Chief Stewardess must navigate a complex web of considerations.

 ASSESSING GUEST PREFERENCES:

Understanding the preferences and expectations of the guests is paramount to choosing the right toiletries.

Chief Stewardesses must communicate with the guests, (or their representatives) to gather information about their preferences, allergies, and any specific requests.

Some guests may have allergies or sensitivities to certain ingredients, making it imperative to ensure that all toiletries are safe and suitable for everyone on board.

By compiling this information, Chief Stewardesses can create a personalised toiletry selection that caters to the unique tastes of each group of guests.

 

CURATING A LUXURY COLLECTION:

 Chief Stewardesses must curate a collection of products that exude opulence, quality, and refinement. This involves selecting high-end brands and products known for their exceptional quality, and presentation.

A well-rounded luxury collection typically includes:

· Premium bath and shower products: High-quality shampoos, conditioners, body washes, and soaps from renowned luxury brands

· Plush towels and bathrobes: Soft, absorbent towels and bathrobes in elegant designs that provide ultimate comfort

· Fine fragrances: scented candles and diffusers will help you to create an enchanting ambiance on board

· Luxurious skincare: Moisturizers, face masks, and serums

· Specialty items: Tailor the collection with unique items such as bath salts, bath oils, and silk pillowcases for an added touch of indulgence

Infographic Healthy Diet for Yacht Crew
 BUDGET CONSIDERATIONS:

 While luxury is a priority, Chief Stewardesses must also manage the budget allocated for toiletries. Balancing opulence with fiscal responsibility is an art in itself.

It involves evaluating various brands and product lines to find the right combination of quality and cost-effectiveness.

Some strategies for managing the budget effectively include:

· Bulk purchasing: Buying toiletries in larger quantities can often result in cost savings per unit

· Negotiating with suppliers: Engage in negotiations with suppliers to secure favourable terms and discounts for the season

· Prioritising essential items: Focus the budget on essential toiletries, while considering optional items as add-ons based on guest preferences

· Seasonal adjustments: Adjust the toiletry selection and budget to match the specific demands of different seasons and guest profiles 

 

STORAGE AND PRESENTATION

 The presentation of toiletries is just as important as their selection.

Guests expect a seamless and aesthetically pleasing experience, and this includes the way products are stored and displayed in the yacht’s interior.

Chief Stewardesses should:

· Optimise storage space: Maximise available storage areas to keep toiletries organised, easily accessible, and aesthetically pleasing

· Invest in elegant dispensers: Consider high-quality dispensers and containers that match the yacht’s interior design and enhance the overall guest experience

· Ensure proper labelling: Clearly label all containers with product names, brands, and usage instructions for guests’ convenience

· Regular maintenance: Regularly check and replenish toiletries to ensure that guests always have access to a fully stocked collection

 

ADAPTING TO CHANGING TRENDS:

The world of luxury yachting, like all industries, is subject to evolving trends and guest preferences. Chief Stewardesses must stay attuned to these changes and be ready to adapt their toiletry selection accordingly.

To stay current:

· Monitor industry trends: Keep an eye on emerging trends in luxury travel, wellness, and sustainability to anticipate changing guest expectations

· Seek guest feedback: Encourage feedback from guests about their toiletry preferences and satisfaction levels to make informed adjustments

· Collaborate with colleagues: Engage with other crew members and departments to stay informed about guest feedback and industry developments

· Attend industry events: Participate in boat shows and other similar events to network with suppliers and gain insights into the latest products and trends.

 

GOOD HYDRATION IS KEY

THE REMOTE REALITY. STOCKING TOILETRIES AND AMENITIES IN REMOTE AREAS:

Resupplying everyday toiletries and amenities in remote and exotic locations is usually not a possibility.

Ensuring that guests continue to enjoy the utmost luxury, even in the world’s most secluded and beautiful destinations, with careful planning and resourcefulness is expected from the Chief Stewardess.

 

LIMITED ACCESSIBILITY:

Remote areas may have limited access to conventional suppliers. The absence of nearby stores or suppliers means that chief stewardesses must plan well in advance.

This involves creating comprehensive lists of supplies needed for the trip and coordinating with suppliers to ensure timely delivery.

Establish reliable partnerships with suppliers who specialise in yacht provisioning and can deliver to remote areas.

Communication and coordination are key, so ensure suppliers are aware of your yacht’s itinerary and can adjust delivery schedules accordingly.

 

LANGUAGE BARRIERS:

Yacht crew members often find themselves in foreign countries where language barriers can make procurement even more challenging. Miscommunications can lead to wrong orders, delays, or even frustrations.

Employ local agents or yacht provisioning services who are familiar with the area and can navigate language barriers on your behalf.

Additionally, using translation apps and having a few basic phrases in the local language can help bridge communication gaps.

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CUSTOMS AND REGULATIONS:

 Navigating customs and import regulations in different countries can be a complex process.

Each destination may have its own set of rules and restrictions on importing certain products or quantities.
Prioritise research and compliance.

Work closely with your Captain and Purser to ensure you are aware of and adhere to local customs regulations.
Always keep documentation of your inventory and receipts to prove compliance if necessary.

 

LIMITED STORAGE SPACE:

Storage space is at a premium.

Storing a diverse range of toiletries and amenities for guests and crew can be a real challenge, especially on longer voyages.

Optimise storage space by using:

· Creative solutions like collapsible containers

· Vacuum-sealed bags

· Modular storage systems

Keep a detailed inventory and restock strategically to avoid overloading storage areas. 

SUSTAINABLE AND ECO-FRIENDLY CONSIDERATIONS:

In recent years, there has been a growing awareness of sustainability and eco-friendliness in the luxury industry, including the world of super yachts.
Chief Stewardesses are increasingly tasked with selecting toiletries that align with these values. Sustainability is not just a trend, but a responsibility in preserving the pristine marine environments these vessels navigate.

 

To make eco-conscious choices, Chief Stewardesses can:

· Opt for refillable containers: Instead of single-use plastic bottles, choose refillable containers for toiletries to reduce plastic waste

· Select eco-certified brands: Look for products from brands that prioritize sustainable sourcing, environmentally friendly packaging, and cruelty-free testing

· Minimise chemical content: Choose toiletries with minimal chemical additives, focusing on natural and organic ingredients that are gentler on the environment

· Partner with eco-conscious suppliers: Collaborate with suppliers who share a commitment to sustainability and can provide eco-friendly alternatives

 

In the past few years, there has been a clear shift from the toiletries brands we used to stock onboard, and the ones preferred by guests nowadays.

These are the brands I used to stock onboard at the beginning of my career, in 2010:

· Hermès: As well as the whole range of toiletries, I always made sure to have a few bottles of Hermès Eau d’Orange Verte perfurm, an absolute favourite amongst super yacht guests

· Bvlgari

· Acqua di Parma

· Molton Brown

· Jo Malone

These are some of the brands most commonly seen onboard in the present day:

· Bamford: my absolute favourite without a doubt, as well as the guest’s favourite. Aesthetically pleasing, delightful scents, exceptional quality, and a reasonable price point

· Aesop: An Australian brand known for its minimalist and chic packaging. Aesop toiletries suit a modern interior aesthetics

· L’Occitane en Provence: Known for its Provençal-inspired products. I used to stock this brand every Mediterranean season

· Le Labo: This New York-based brand is known for its unique and customisable fragrances. Easier to stock during the Caribbean season. Modern and minimalistic aesthetics

 

PREVENTING LAST-MINUTE HASSLES:

Running out of essential toiletries mid-voyage is a situation best avoided.

Planning ahead allows you to take inventory of the toiletries stock and ensure that you have an ample supply of everything your guests might need.
This proactive approach prevents last-minute shopping trips or frantic searches for specific items, which can disrupt the seamless flow of service and create unnecessary stress for both the crew and guests.

Finally, make sure you contact your trusted supplier and stock all the toiletries you need onboard before crossing to the Caribbean.

Stocking your favourite toiletries brands is usually much easier (and cheaper) in Europe than on the other side of the Atlantic.

Has this post helped you? Let us know your favourite toiletries brands and how you plan ahead for next season!

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