NCM: I think everyone on this boat brings something extra to the table. It is not just about being a stewardess or a deckhand; every crew member offers more than that, whether it’s their personality or skill set, and we expect everyone to excel and to “be more” than what we hire them for.
We know it’s not for everyone – we have had a lot of experience with other crew in the past – but we really try to handpick people and always look for a little bit more that they can offer. That’s why it is not always important what is written on paper, we try to look passed that and see what the person really has to offer.
TCR: So what is it that you particularly look for in new crew?
NCM: First of all everyone always compliments our captain on the crew; brokers, yachting professionals, anybody that walks on board will always say what a nice crew we have and what a great atmosphere there is onboard. I think one of the main things we look for is genuinely nice, open and warm people more than anything. We all get along and I think that shows to anyone that comes on board.
TCR: You have been on board since the start of the refit, how was that?
NCM: It was incredible and one of the biggest professional challenges of my life so far, especially because we didn’t have a project manager. Our captain was the project manager and oversaw everything while I was in charge of the interior. That was a huge challenge for my professional career, but it was marvelous. Now it feels so special to walk around the boat and show it to people; I feel really proud because I was able to experience the before, during and after; I saw the boat when it was taken over and participated in creating what is now Aquavita.
"I am so grateful that I was given the opportunity because it is not something that the crew is normally entrusted with."
TCR: What were the main challenges during the project?
NCM: We ripped out the master bathroom completely and we did everything from picking the stone, to having it shipped to Florida, to milling it down (because it had to be all lightweight), to coordinating the carpenters, stone specialists and glass makers. So that was probably the biggest challenge we had because it was the most time consuming and comprehensive task. In addition to this, all interior surfaces, furniture and lighting were replaced
TCR: How did you find the experience?
NCM: I am so grateful that I was given the opportunity because it is not something that the crew is normally entrusted with. Typically a project of this cost and magnitude is given to a team of designers, project managers, etc. In this case, the owner trusted the captain and crew to manage every aspect of the project, from start to finish. Judging by the owner’s satisfaction and the overwhelming response to the boat by all who have come aboard, I have nothing but pride in what we have done and confidence moving forward.
I was very lucky to meet this captain, who I have been working with for the past three years because he saw my potential even though I didn’t have the CV for it, whereas someone else would not have considered me. Yachting has afforded me the possibility to have responsibilities and take on projects like this and now I am here today with this incredible experience behind me.