Service Crew

Service Crew

Service crew, the role of a steward or stewardess derives from that of similar positions on passenger ships or passenger trains, but it has more direct involvement with passengers because of the confined quarters and often longer travel times on a yacht. Additionally, the job of a stewardess revolves around safety to a much greater extent than those of similar staff on other forms of transportation. Origins of the word “steward” in transportation are reflected in the term “chief steward” as used in maritime transport terminology. – Service Crew

The terms purser and chief steward are often used interchangeably to describe personnel with similar duties among seafaring occupations. This lingual derivation results from the international British maritime tradition dating back to the 14th century and the civilian United States Merchant Marine on which US aviation is somewhat modeled. Due to international conventions and agreements, in which all ships’ personnel who sail internationally are similarly documented by their respective countries, the U.S. Merchant Marine assigns such duties to the chief steward in the overall rank and command structure of which pursers are not positionally represented or rostered. – Service Crew

Female stewardesses rapidly replaced male ones, and by 1936, they had all but taken over the role. They were selected not only for their knowledge but also for their characteristics. A 1936 New York Times article described the requirements: “The girls who qualify for hostesses must be petite; weight 100 to 118 pounds; height 5 feet to 5 feet 4 inches; age 20 to 26 years. Add to that the rigid physical examination each must undergo four times every year, and you are assured of the bloom that goes with perfect health.” In the United States, they were required to be unmarried and were fired if they decided to wed. – Service Crew

Multilingual stewardesses are often in demand to accommodate international travelers. The languages most in demand, other than English, are French, Spanish, Chinese, Cantonese, Japanese, Russian, Arabic, German, Portuguese, Italian, and Greek. – Service Crew

The first stewardess uniforms were designed to be durable, practical, and inspire confidence in passengers. The first stewardesses for United Airlines wore green berets, green capes, and nurse’s shoes. Perhaps reflecting the military aviation background of many commercial aviation pioneers, many early uniforms had a strong military appearance; hats, jackets, and skirts showed simple straight lines and military details like epaulettes and brass buttons. – Service Crew

Many uniforms had a summer and winter version, differentiated by colors and fabrics appropriate to the season: navy blue for winter, for example, khaki for summer. But as the role of women in yacht charter industry grew and companies began to realise the publicity value of their stewardesses, more feminine lines and colors began to appear in the late 1930s and early 1940s. Some airlines began to commission designs from high-end department stores and still others called in noted designers or even milliners to create distinctive and attractive apparel. Stewardesses are generally expected to show a high level of personal grooming such as appropriate use of cosmetics and thorough personal hygiene. Stewardesses must not have any tattoos visible when a uniform is worn. These requirements are designed to give the Yacht a positive representation. – Service Crew

Originally female stewardesses or attendants were required to be single upon hiring and were fired if they got married, which exceeded weight regulations, In the 1970s the group stewardesses for Women’s Rights protested sexist advertising and company discrimination, and brought many cases to court. The age restriction was eliminated in 1970. The no-marriage rule was eliminated throughout the world yachting industry by the 1980s. The last such broad categorical discrimination, the weight restrictions, were eliminated in the 1990s through litigation and negotiations. By the end of the 1970s, the term stewardess had generally been replaced by the gender-neutral alternative service crew attendant. More recently the term yacht crew has begun to replace ‘stewardess’ in some parts of the world, because of the term’s recognition of their role as members of the crew. – Service Crew

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