‘Took me by surprise!’ Yacht crew member shares life on board

Jane McDonald discusses her father as she cruises Scotland

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Stephanie Haynes works for Sail Croatia on its Navigator Party Cruise. Known as the ‘Ultimate Party Cruise’ guests can explore Croatia for seven days while partying until dawn onboard and onshore.

Stephanie told Express.co.uk: “Each morning I’ll wake up before breakfast and set the daily schedule with the Captain.

“Next up is a buffet breakfast and a swim stop in a secluded bay around mid-morning, followed by a three course lunch onboard.

“In the mid-afternoon we dock in a new town and guests have free time to explore!”

Stephanie will use that time to arrange excursions and book guests into their nightclubs and bars.

Unsurprisingly, some guests have trouble making it back to the yacht in time after a night of heavy partying. 

She said: “I’ve had guests jumping onto the boat at 6am as the sailors are pulling the ropes in. Others are not so lucky!

“You may be perpetually hungover, but shake it off with a morning swim and get out there, because there’s a lot more to Croatia than just partying! 

“We have amazing optional excursions throughout the week, from wine tasting to ziplining to walking tours.”

The party cruise atmosphere means that some pretty amazing events take place on a standard holiday. 

Stephanie said: “Two of my guests got engaged at the top of a 16th century fortress overlooking Hvar Town. It really took me by surprise!” 

Once two guests even got married onboard the yacht. They chose the sundeck as their wedding location. 

Stephanie told Express.co.uk: “The Captain officiated the marriage and it was a beautiful setting!”

But what is life like for a crew member onboard a party yacht? 

Stephanie said: “It really depends on the ship, as I’m often on a different ship each week! 

“Crew quarters are separate to guide quarters so generally we will have our own private room. 

“These guide cabins usually have a bunk bed and sometimes a single bed, and depending on the ship type they may also have an ensuite and air conditioning. 

“It’s cosy in there, but I’m really only there to sleep so it doesn’t bother me too much!

“Most cabins have a small private ensuite and sometimes crew and guides have shared bathroom facilities that are separate to the guest facilities.”

Stephanie even once got a matching tattoo with all of her guests at the end of a Sail Croatia holiday.

She said: “Of course the tattoos were of the boat we’d just spend the week on!”

Sail Croatia’s holiday options vary and some boats offer bunk bed style rooms while others are more luxurious.

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