What did you do before yachting, and how did your yachting career first begin?
I started travelling very young. At Seventeen years I went as an exchange student to Australia after that I worked at Disney in Paris, Switzerland, Selling bikinis on the beach in Guadeloupe. Cruise ships and ended up at the Soggy dollar bar in St.Maarten. From there I sailed away on a boat to Honduras. One of my previous owners used to always ask if I had been to the places that he was talking about, because I always had a story.
What has been your favourite boat you’ve worked on, and why?
There are so many of them and some fantastic memories. I have worked on everything from small sailboats to 80m motor yachts. The best boats are always made because of the best crew.
What are the best and worst parts about working onboard?
So many great things about yachting. I love my job! I love to make people smile, I love how diverse my job is and the challenges that I get. I also love that if I have a day off it is usually in some fabulous place.
The worst is definitely the limited privacy and the fact that you can’t always make your families and friends celebrations.
How do you keep sane on charter?
I love being on charter, I thrive on surprising people and doing the little extra.
Not to say that I am not exhausted after a long season.
What are your best strategies for spoiling charter guests?
You have to be good at reading people. Everything from hiking boots on the table to Casino night, bed time riddles or keeping the kids busy. One of my best lessons from the Cruise ships was to entertain the kids. Happy kids equals happy parents means great tip.
What’s the coolest thing you have done for guests?
Tough call, there has been a few. One of the coolest must have been one of the beach bbqs in the BVIs, we had the beach to ourselves and hired a musician to come and play. I have also made a few Olympics, one of them were so successful that we weren’t allowed to stop. The Olympics kept going for three days and the crew had to keep coming up with games.
What is your signature cocktail?
Probably a Hugo or different variations of it. I love making Prosecco cocktails. Prosecco, Elderflower cordial, lime and strawberries. They are always refreshing and always a hit. I always love picking up local alcohols and make cocktails. In St.Maarten the Guava berry colada is one of my favorites.
What is your favourite yachting destination?
I think I have to say Croatia and Turkey. Love both these places, every time I go I discover new places.
If you owned a superyacht, what would you do differently?
If I would own a boat it would just be a small sail boat
What is your on-board pet hate?
Definitely crew throwing cigarette butts in the ocean or on the dock. I have quit a job because the Captain did it. It makes me absolutely furious.
What career achievement are you most proud of?
Winning best crew at the Charter show a few years ago.
Best housekeeping tip/hack?
Look around! You always see something, also keep your cleaning products simple.
Tell us about your funniest embarrassing moment on board.
I can’t tell you the three worst ones, I will lose all respect forever.
Me and my Captain answered to a mayday call ones in Greece. We both got in to the tender with our life jackets on to save three men who’s boat was sinking.
We got them to the closest beach and all three men were in shock so I was going to swim ashore to find help. I was in the air, diving from the tender when I heard a loud NOOOOOOOO as I hit the water. Pouff and my life jacket filled up. I looked like a right tw*t trying to swim ashore with my life jacket all filled up.
What’s your favourite adventure in Mallorca?
Mallorca is so beautiful, there is still so much to see. I think I have to say just get on a bike, bus or drive and explore a new place. I just recently went to Sa Calobra for the first time.
If you could give your 20yr old self one piece of advice, what would it be?
Save more money!
What’s your plan for the future?
At the moment I am happy where I am, but I would like to take some time off to write and photograph.
How do you make Christmas special for crew?
It is sometimes difficult as this is the time that everyone miss their families the most and sometimes you have guest on-board. We always do a crew Christmas, whether it is before or after a guest trip, try to get some home food from all nationalities on-board and do one of the Christmas gift games.
Monica Jensen – Chief Stewardess