An Uncensored Approach to Being a Stewardess

27 February 2020 By Laura Dunn

This is the year of the mermaid, says Marién Sarriera, a freelance chief stewardess. Sarriera, owner/founder of Yachts Mermaids (YM), creator of The Mermaids Kick-Starter Bible, and host of “Yachts Mermaid Uncensored,” a Yachting International Radio show, also launched her website last October.

YM has been operating since 2013 but has grown recently thanks to their social media and new site — which has more than 1,000 stews and counting. “Yachts Mermaids is a platform [that] provides resources, tools, and support for female crew. It is changing the paradigm, encouraging more women in yachting to create sustainable careers and a healthy work/life balance at sea and beyond,” says Sarriera.

As for the radio show, it is unapologetically raw, to the point, hard-hitting, and completely uncensored, says the radio host. It addresses industry taboos that are overdue and is not for the overly sensitive. “It exposes topics within the industry that many are not willing to talk about but that are necessary to speak of. I act as the voice for those who feel suppressed and don’t have the courage to speak up yet,” Sarriera says.

“With the radio show and with our social media activity, we’re challenging the norms and stirring up a new narrative. We’re asking the questions that are relevant today and we’re daring to demand answers,” she says. “Although Yachts Mermaids is a support network of women for women, the narrative we’re challenging is so much bigger than that,” she says, going on to explain that they welcome all crew in their support platform. “Feminism means equality for both men and women and the yachting industry is years behind the rest of the corporate world in terms of progress.”

Everything started with The Mermaids Kick-Starter Bible, an interior management system that helps stews to have a smooth transition into a chief stew role and excel in their work. Stewardess friends kept asking to borrow her system because it worked well. “From my own experiences, I had put together a series of documents [that] covered every element of managing the interior, ensuring that no detail went under the radar, the interior team knew what was expected of them, and we were able to be really time-efficient,” says Sarriera, adding that she hadn’t been able to find that kind of resource before. “So, after many revisions and with contributions from other successful and innovative chief stews, I made The Mermaids Kick-Starter Bible available online,” she says.

Sarriera has spent the last six of her 14-year career freelancing on various motor yachts, including Surina, Amarula Sun, Ostar, and Lady J. One of the advantages to her freelance career is that it gives her the flexibility and revenue to pour her time and energy into YM. However, whenever freelancing, the chief stew takes a bit of a break from her business, “I sideline my company because I think it’s important to be totally present in the work at hand. Although I don’t spend my time developing Yachts Mermaids during a yachting contract, I’m constantly drawing inspiration from the crew around me for how I can better support them and their needs.”

Sarriera is also in the process of curating YM’s first women’s retreat “aimed at yachties who are ready to disconnect from stress, service, cell phones, and to reconnect with their spiritual side, while also picking up tools for a healthy work/life balance on board and beyond,” she says. The seven-day, six-night retreat includes daily yoga, plant-based cuisine, and spa treatments. Register here: Dates and location are TBA.

To buy The Mermaids Kick-Starter Bible, go to The price for the all-in-one bundle is $444, but if you join the tribe through the newsletter, you receive a welcome gift of 10 percent off the entire store. It also comes with two yoga video classes. For individual bundles, prices range from $22 to $188.

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