Bravotv.com: First, you say in the premiere that this is your first time as a Chief Stew(ard). What are your biggest fears?
Adrienne Gang: I am usually the chef on these yachts, however, I have been a stew in the past, and I have worked under some pretty strict stews. I was fearful that I would come off as tough too. The hard part is finding the balance between being the boss during the day and being a friend at night. At the end of the day, no matter if you are sick, or tired, or hungover, there are still guests on board that need 24-hour care, and I can't let our service suffer. I was trepidatious that the audience wouldn't understand the full demand of my position, but I'm happy that I took on the challenge.
Bravotv.com: What is the Chief Stew position expected to do differently than the Stews?
AG: My position is much less about the daily chores of doing laundry and cleaning bathrooms, although I have done my fair share of that on other boats, and am always happy to jump in when we are behind as a team. Being the Chief Stew is much more about focusing on service and coordinating the guests activities and excursions along with all of their demands and preferences. I am the one who goes on location for events like picnics, BBQs, etc. to make sure everything is perfect for the guests. I have to be in contact with the guests well ahead of time, so that we can avoid situations like the "Great Veggie Juice Debacle." I handle a lot of the paperwork and logistics for the trips, which, depending on their complexity, can require lots of phone calls and emails with suppliers, florists, masseuses, tour guides, taxi companies, and everyone else we would need to coordinate with in order to make the guest experience as seamless and relaxing as possible. I also handle some of the financial management of the ship and oversee the care of the entire interior of the vessel including managing, scheduling, and training the stews under me. I guess the best way to sum up my position is that I'm the "cruise director" in charge of all the guest entertainment, activities, and social events, and working with the other crew members including the deck staff, engineers, and chef to arrange everything; no small feat! For a much more comprehensive description of what my and the other girls jobs are, check out The Insiders' Guide to Becoming a Yacht Stewardess by Julie Perry or www.workonayacht.com
Bravotv.com: You and Sam pretty much rubbed each other the wrong way from the get-go. What do you think caused the bad first impressions?
AG: I think that it can happen in any working environment that you encounter people that just rub you the wrong way. I think Sam is a smart, fun-loving girl, but that she never really took her position as a stew on this yacht very seriously, and I still had a job to do. There are plenty of people who get into yachting and shortly discover that the workload is not for them. It's frustrating in any career to have someone working for you who has no real motivation or interest to learn the job. How do you motivate someone who is indifferent? I know that I as a leader I had a lot of challenging issues to deal with, and I still feel like I did my best to handle each situation as it happened.
Bravotv.com: Kat says she feels like she's in the middle between you two. What's your take on that?
AG: She absolutely was. I appreciate all of the pep talks and encouragement she gave both Sam and me. Hers was also not an easy position to be in because she found herself picking up a lot of slack for Sam and fielding frustration from both Sam and myself. Kat is a hard worker and a kind-hearted girl, and I didn't envy her being stuck in the middle of us, but I think she handled it really well.