Top Notch Stew Tips, FLIBS 2019

17 December 2019

Not only did the interior crew participating in the Aqualuxe Top Notch Tabletop set spectacular and magical tables at the 2019 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, but they provided insightful interior tips as part of the competition. The winners were chosen by a panel of experts for the most artistic napkin fold, top creative centerpiece, best beverage presentation, stylish menu design, Luxe Interior, Chic Outdoors, and best overall.

Each of the vessels offered helpful tips, but the win went to Chief Stewardess Petronela Sivakova, Stewardesses Victoria Rowley, Mimi Trung, and Danielle Hadlington of M/Y Sovereign. Check them out below and consider incorporating a few of the tips aboard your own vessel.

“Stay calm, cool, and collected when you’re on charter and to take care of your fellow crewmember. If people need help in a different department [or] if people need help in your department, the best thing you can do is give them a hand and help them smile because the guests see it all and the guests want to smile.”
Chief Stewardess Madison, M/Y Hospitality

How to clean Thermos and thermal cups: “Use OxiClean and hot water, so you take a scoop of OxiClean, put it in [the container you’re cleaning] and a little less in a thermal cup. Then you pour boiling water into it, and it’ll foam up so do it over a sink because it normally foams up quite a bit. What it does is it takes all that nasty residue off of the inside.”
Chief Stewardess Bintu, M/Y Excellence

“What we use to dry [crystal decanters] is a piece of paper towel [rolled up] — we stick it in and we just wait over night to absorb all the moisture out of it. And it leaves no water marks.”
Chief Stewardess Mariel, M/Y Sotavento

“Just see the good in everyone that you serve, whether it’s to the crew or not, it’s going to go a long way so stay positive and never give into that negativity. Turn that frown upside down!”
Chief Stewardess Morgan and Stewardess Jessie, M/Y Three Sons

“Use a Magic Eraser whenever you have a stain on a T-shirt or on a white carpet. It works great. You put it under water, you [brush it over the stain] and it’s going to be gone. We discovered it also works for lint.”
Chef Nadine and Chief Stewardess Lucia, M/Y Andiamo

“When a guest orders wine and wants it extra cold, I freeze grapes beforehand — put a red grape in the red wine and a green grape in their white wine. It keeps it nice and cold, keeps the flavor of the wine, and then they can eat it after.”
Chief Stewardess Monica, M/Y My Maggie

“When I’m vacuuming, vacuums don’t always smell the best, so to make a room smell really good, I use Downy Unstopables beads. I take a handful of them with a new vacuum bag, put them in my hand, and vacuum them up. Then when you vacuum the room, it always smells good, fresh, and ready to go.”
Chief Stewardess Jessica, M/Y Rhino

“Teamwork makes everything. When you have long months at sea, when you have long charters, the boss is on board for months at a time, or long crossings, everyone needs to help each other out. Everyone has to work together. It has to be one team, not separate departments. It’s so much better if everyone works together. You can’t do it without a great team around you.”
Chief Stewardess Erin, M/Y Qing

“We have our RIEDEL polishing [cloths]. They’re actually made for the wine glasses from the RIEDEL company. You can use them on any wine glass, but we have found out that we can use it on just about anything in the interior. Just like our glass for the windows, and it works great on the marble and the stainless. And you don’t need any product.”
Chief Stewardess Petronela, Stewardesses Victoria, Mimi, and Danielle, M/Y Sovereign

“My tip of the day is a morale booster. Because at the end of charter when everybody’s going crazy and getting exhausted, we all start getting giddy and we all figure it’s much more fun to laugh. Laughter’s good for the soul and good medicine. So that’s my tip of the day — laugh, have a good time.”
Chief Stewardess Kelly, M/Y Claire

“Time is of the essence. Time is so important, not just in yachting, just in everyday life. You’d rather be three hours early than two minutes late, and that’s not just for turning up for work. It’s for preparing stuff and preparing meals. Just preparation and time is very important.”
Stewardess Chenelle, M/Y MAG III

“Always be ready with a smile and a bottle of Champagne because who doesn’t like Champagne on your holiday?”
Chief Stewardess Kylie and Deck/Stew Krystine, M/Y Coy Koi

To watch the video by Suki Finnerty from of the stews, their tips, and how to do the classic swan napkin fold by Second Stewardess Zia of M/Y Excellence (at 2:25), visit: